The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/24/14 at 10:59 AM ET
Updated 6x at 2:54 PM: Amongst today's Red Wings-related stories...
"talked to him; we're gonna talk again before Monday," general manager Ken Holland said. "Basically his message to me was he feels good. He's not 100 percent. He'd like to feel a little bit better but he feels good. He's not ready to make a decision right now that he's gonna retire. He wanted (to) just kind of pass that news on to me and get my thoughts."
The Red Wings would be interested in Alfredsson returning to them but only if he fits into their salary structure — and depending on what occurs this weekend at the NHL draft in Philadelphia.
"I said, 'Let's take a few days,' and I'm gonna explore the phone lines Wednesday and Thursday and see what's in Philadelphia (at the draft) and then he and I will touch base," Holland said.
But The Score's Jason Cuthbert notes that a possible wrinkle's popped up:
he Boston Bruins are hopeful they will retain free agent forward Jarome Iginla, but as TSN's Darren Dreger explained in an appearance on TSN 690 in Montreal, general manager Peter Chiarelli's staff might be losing momentum.
Dreger suggested if the Bruins are unable to strike a deal with the former Flame, the Detroit Red Wings would be "in the mix" for his services.
Per TSN 690's Connor McKenna:
Dreger on Iginla and Bruins: "This is something that's gonna take a bit more time and time isn't something that favours the Boston Bruins."
Dreger mentions the Red Wings as a team that will be in the mix for Iginla if he makes it to July 1st.
TSN 690 posted Dreger's interview, and you can listen to it here:
Regarding another "possible target," ESPN's Craig Custance threw some water on the Joe Thornton rumors via an Insider-only entry:
One center who we might have to pull the reins on including in trade talk is San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton. For one, his agent and brother John Thornton has repeatedly said Joe has no intention of waiving his no-trade clause. That hasn’t changed.
The veteran center truly believes that his best chance at winning a Stanley Cup is with the Sharks if a few changes are made, and it would mean more to do it there with long-time teammate Patrick Marleau, who he waited to make sure signed in San Jose before signing his own extension. Thornton hasn’t submitted a list of acceptable teams to GM Doug Wilson, and hasn’t been asked to do so either. That likely won’t change anytime soon. Because of that, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Thornton would okay a deal.
In theory, the Sharks could try to force him out by stripping him of the captaincy before the season starts, but the reality is that Thornton would probably accept a back seat on the leadership front to younger players like Logan Couture or Joe Pavelski if everyone felt it was the best path to a championship in San Jose.
Marleau has proven that there’s life in San Jose post-captaincy; removing the "C" alone likely wouldn’t be enough to push Thornton out.
“He really wants to stay there,” said one source close to Joe.
In terms of yesterday's Hockey Hall of Fame induction class announcement, the Buffalo News's John Vogl added a few more quotes to the mix, noting that Hasek almost retired prior to being traded to Buffalo (and the Buffalo News posted a Hasek photo gallery as well)...
Dominik Hasek was ready to pull the plug on his North American experiment in 1992. The goaltender had spent two years bouncing between Chicago and minor-league Indianapolis, failing to get a legitimate shot in the NHL. The then-27-year-old figured he’d be better off going back to his starring role in his native Czech Republic.
In August, however, Hasek got word he’d been traded to Buffalo. He thought he’d give the Sabres a shot since they were willing to take one on him.
It’s safe to say things worked out. The ultimate proof came Monday when the Hockey Hall of Fame announced Hasek as one of six inductees for the Class of 2014.
“In 1992 I was traded to Buffalo, and actually it was probably the best thing that could happen for me because in Buffalo I got a chance to play and prove that I could play on the highest level,” Hasek said on a conference call. “I got a chance in Buffalo, and I was ready. Thank you to Buffalo because without getting a chance in Buffalo I probably wouldn’t be here today and getting
in the Hockey Hall of Fame.”
The Olean Times Herald's Bill Hoppe noted what came next...
Hasek, of course, wasn’t an overnight success in Buffalo. The unorthodox netminder played only 28 games in 1992-93. The Sabres acquired Grant Fuhr, a future Hall of Famer, halfway through that season.
But when Fuhr was injured the next season, Hasek seized his chance, going 14-7-3 with five shutouts from Nov. 13, 1993 to Jan. 11, 1994.
With that torrid stretch, a legend, “The Dominator,” was born.
“Goalie’s always more difficult because a great player can start on the third line, on the second line and the first line,” Hasek said. “For the goalie, you have to wait until you get a chance, and I got a chance in Buffalo and I was ready.”
Hasek posted a 1.95 goals-against average in 1993-94, a number unheard of then. In 1997, he became the first goalie to win the Hart Trophy since Jacques Plante in 1962. He won two Stanley Cups later in his career with Detroit, including one as Red Wings’ starter in 2001-02.
Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski discussed Hasek's tenure with Detroit...
He didn’t win the Stanley Cup until 2002 when he backstopped the Detroit Red Wings with a 1.86 GAA.
Did he know he was the seventh player of that team to make the Hall of Fame? “Oh, OK?” he said, surprised. “It was one of my best years to ever play hockey.”
Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille, Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios, Igor Larionov and coach Scotty Bowman are all in the Hall.
“From Day 1, I played with so many great players, so many stars. Our goal from Day 1 was to win the Cup and nothing else,” recalled Hasek. “Already seven players in the Hall of Fame and in the future there will be even more players. Some are still playing hockey.”
He’s referencing Pavel Datsyuk and Sergei Fedorov, who along with Nicklas Lidstrom will likely bring the total number of Hall of Famers to 10 from that Red Wings team.
“I don’t know if there will be more players from one team in the Hockey Hall of Fame,” said Hasek.
And the Free Press's Steve Schrader wondered which Wings might join Hasek in the years to come:
■ Nicklas Lidstrom: Well, there’s no debate for one of the greatest defensemen of all time. The former Wings captain is eligible for entry next year and will go in.
■ Sergei Fedorov: Lidstrom’s former teammate also is eligible next year and should go in. He is a former Hart and Selke trophy winner who helped the Wings win three Stanley Cups. He had 483 goals and 1,179 points in 1,248 NHL games.
■ Chris Osgood: Now it gets more tricky. Ozzie has his supporters and Hall-worthy stats, such as 401 career wins and a 2.49 goals-against average. But detractors say he was an average goalie who owes his stats to being on the Wings.
■ Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg: Can they be a paired entry? They’re both dazzling players but might need strong finishes to get in the Hall. Neither has scored a point per game nor 300 goals.
■ Daniel Alfredsson: The longtime Senators leader is on the list with 444 goals but no Cups. Maybe he’ll get one next year?
Rather conveniently, Chris Osgood spoke with WDFN's Matt Sheppard this morning, discussing his Hall of Fame wait, the Red Wings' changes to come and a certain "handshake incident"...
If you're interested in a take from one of Hasek's teammates, Rhett Warrener spoke with The Fan 590's Brady & Walker this morning, too:
In terms of tonight's NHL Awards (7 PM EDT on NBCSN;
8 PM EDT 7 PM EDT--they're showing it live!--on the CBC), MLive's Brendan Savage notes that Mike Bbacock isn't expected to take the Jack Adams Award back to Detroit....
Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings has never won the Jack Adams Awards as NHL Coach of the Year.
And although he's one of three finalists for this year's award, Babcock probably will come up short again if oddsmakers are correct.
The online gaming site Bovada.lv has made the Colorado Avalanche's Patrick Roy an overwhelming 1-5 favorite to win Coach of the Year followed by Babcock at 9-2 and Tampa Bay's Jon Cooper at 10-1.
Roy, in his first season behind the Avalanche bench, directed a remarkable turnaround that saw Colorado go from 39 points in 2012-13 to 112 last season. The Avalanche won 36 more games than they did two seasons ago.
Babcock, who has been nominated for the Jack Adams Award previously, led the Red Wings into the playoffs for the 23rd straight season with a 39-28-15 record despite a season-long rash of injuries that led to eight players making their NHL debuts for Detroit.
Cooper, in his first season as the Lightning's head coach, led Tampa Bay to 46 wins and 101 points after the club won 18 games and had 40 points in 2012-13.
Somewhat ironically, Babcock's former assistant coach, Bill Peters, discussed his new endeavor as the Carolina Hurricanes' bench boss on yesterday's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast...
Otherwise, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose posited a pair of Tweets...
With Hasek and Modano headed to the Hall of Fame, there will be 75 individuals with ties to the #RedWings franchise enshrined in Toronto.
NHL draft prospect Sonny Milano has worked on "magic hands" drawing inspiration from #RedWings forward Tomas Jurco: http://is.gd/0kctoP
Cue the video!
In more familiar territory, the Wings posted Tomas Tatar's 2013-2014 season highlights (via RedWingsFeed)...
And I must regrettably kick this into overdrive as I'm running short on time:
Over the three years that the Wings have held development camps in Traverse City, I've asked for your help in raising the finances to cover my hotel and gas bills, and you've been amazingly and remarkably kind in affording me the opportunity to "work for you"; due to my present financial circumstances, I'm afraid that I have to ask for your assistance again.
If there's any way that you can lend a financial hand in my attempts to get up to Traverse City for the summer development camp and/or eventually to attend the prospect tournament and main camp in the fall, I would be incredibly grateful for any help.
I'm sticking with Paypal as it's the most direct route (though I will also do the whole, "Give me your address and I'll send you a check or a few bucks in the mail" thing, too), and you have to use my email address, rtxg at yahoo dot com, as the recipient.
Here's the button:
If you can aid the cause, I'd be incredibly grateful; if you can't, I understand, and as usual, literally any amount helps. You'd be surprised how many $5, $10 and $20 donations end up paying my way. Thanks.
Update: As I was posting this entry, Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford discussed Holland's impending discussions with the Wings' unrestricted free agents-to-be (Holland stated to the Wings' press corps that he'll begin negotiations with the trio at the draft)...
The most pressing is DeKeyser, the 24-year-old rearguard that blossomed in his second professional season. Despite missing significant time with a separated shoulder, he racked up 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI — technically considered a rookie this year, DeKeyser finished second among all freshman D in minutes per game (only Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba played more.)
DeKeyser’s first NHL contract was a two-year, $2.7 million pact, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of bump he gets on his new one.
As for Tatar and Sheahan, they’re both coming off solid efforts in the last of their three-year entry-level deals. Sheahan turned into an everyday player for Detroit halfway through the season and finished with 24 points in 42 games, while Tatar posted career highs across the board in games played (73), goals (19) points (39) and TOI (14:21).
One thing to keep an eye on is how long it takes Holland to actually finalize deals for his RFAs. Talks are starting early but, traditionally, Detroit has let these types of negotiations linger well into the summer — last offseason, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist weren’t signed until mid-August.
Again, per Capgeek, the Wings also have to decide whether to tender qualifying offers to restricted free agents Adam Almquist, Mitch Callahan, Willie Coetzee, Landon Ferraro, Gleason Fournier, Andrej Nestrasil, Trevor Parkes and the departed-for-the-KHL Cory Emmerton. If the Wings don't submit qualifying offers to those players, they become unrestricted free agents.
The team has to decide whether to sign Tom McCollum to a 2-way contract, too.
WDIV's David Bartkowiak Jr. looked back at the up-and-down tenures of Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson...
Bertuzzi first came to Detroit from the Florida Panthers at the 2007 trade deadline in exchange for prospect Shawn Matthias (who happens to play for the Vancouver Canucks now).
The then 32-year-old -- who was coming off of an injury -- wasn't exactly outstanding in the playoffs that year. The Red Wings did reach the Western Conference finals, but Bertuzzi scored just 3 goals and 4 assists in 16 games.
He left town in the offseason on a two-year, $8 million contract with the Anaheim Ducks -- the same team which knocked the Red Wings out of playoffs en route to winning the Stanley Cup. Then he ended up in Calgary for a year before returning to Detroit for the 2009-10 season.
With his best years behind him (he scored 97 points with the Canucks in 2002-03), Bertuzzi was in Detroit to offer size, experience and skill in coach Mike Babcock's offensive lineup. He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the team, followed by bigger ones.
Overall, the next five seasons amounted to a successful tenure for Bert. Despite suffering numerous injuries between 2006 and 2009, he came back to Detroit healthy. He played all 82 games with the Red Wings in 2009-10, scoring 18 goals and racking up 26 assists that year. He added another 11 points in 12 playoff games. He scored 45 points in 81 games the next season, followed by 38 points in 71 games.
He was solid until injuries again caught up to him, forcing him in and out of the lineup a lot the past two seasons.
Bertuzzi's game changed to more of a two-way style while with the Red Wings. He adapted to better serve the team. He wasn't the power forward he was in Vancouver, but the Red Wings weren't asking him to be that. Yet, his hands were as good as ever, and he showed flashes of magic, reminding us he is the same guy who scored 119 points in juniors.
And I checked the Pittsburgh papers to see whether I could corroborate Josh Yohe's report that new Penguins GM Jim Rutherford expects Matt Niskanen to walk, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson delivered the same message, albeit a little more delicately:
Rutherford would like to hire a coach before the start of free agency next Tuesday, but there are a lot of other things happening before then, too. Wednesday, a window opens for teams to interview other clubs’ prospective free agents, although negotiations are prohibited before next Tuesday.
“I have a list of guys we’re going to contact starting Wednesday to make them aware we’re interested in them,” Rutherford said, indicating that an upgrade on the third and fourth forward lines is a priority. I’d like to get some more balance in our forwards, one through 12, and then am open to anything, really, if we have the [salary-cap] space,” he said.
As for the Penguins’ long list of players eligible for unrestricted free agency, Rutherford seems skeptical he will be able to re-sign some of them, although he noted, “We haven’t told anybody we’re moving on from them.”
Pending free agents Matt Niskanen, a defenseman, and winger Jussi Jokinen might have priced themselves out of reach with strong seasons, and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik’s status remains unclear.
“I have talked to the agents of our UFAs to see how much they’re looking for,” Rutherford said. “The prices are high.”
TSN's Darren Dreger just posited a Tweet that might not be sweet music to your ears...
A few days of detail work left on Matt Greene's new contract with the LA Kings. Expected: 4 years, $10 mil...annual average of $2.5 mil.
Sportsnet's Mark Spector explained the parameters of the "Wining and Dining period," which starts tomorrow and lasts until June 30th...
After last year's shmozzle, the NHL has defined parameters around the "interview period," which opens tmw. "No binding offers," 1/2
Also no, "promises, undertakings, representations, commitments, inducements, assurances of intent ... express or implied, oral or written."
What can be done? Teams can sell players on their franchise plan; tell them where they fit into lineup, what role they fit. 1/2
Players' families can research schools, housing. Players can learn which teams are/aren't interested, then discuss with families 2/2
Via RedWingsFeed again, you may make what you will of the following video....
And Yahoo Sports' Buzzing the Net's Kelly Friesen asked scouts to pick the NHL draft's top prospects. I've heard suggestions that some of the following players might slip to the Wings' 15th overall pick:
8. Brendan Perlini, wing, Niagara IceDogs (OHL) – The Shelby Township, Ont., native has an enticing combination of speed, skill and size at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds. He put it all on display in his second year of OHL puck as he broke out into a superstar with 34 goals and 71 points in 58 matches. The scary thing about Perlini is his breakout season seems to be just a sign of greater things to come.
Scout’s take: “It’s rare that you see a player with that big of a frame who has that lively foot speed and raw offensive tools,” says [McKeen's Hockey's Scott] Lafortune. “He’s still a bit of a work in progress, but the one thing that grabs you is his potential to become a goal scorer at the next level. He came into the year determined, stronger and more focused. His best offensive weapon is a prime snapshot with a tricky release point that fools goaltenders.”
9. Nikolaj Ehlers, wing, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) – The Denmark native burst onto the scene in his rookie season with the Mooseheads. He notched 49 goals and 104 points in 63 games while riding shotgun with Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin. His explosive speed and creativity put him in the conversation of the top 10, but concerns regarding his slender 5-foot-11, 163-pound frame has kept him from being a lock.
Scout’s take: “Ehlers is a dynamic, creative and explosive offensive winger,” says [International Scouting Services' Ross] MacLean. “He’s a great playmaker who sees the ice very well and can find outside of the box ways to set up teammates. He is a great skater who doesn’t show much trepidation in going to any area of the ice and plays with great energy. He is very elusive and difficult to contain off the rush. His explosive skating and puck control sets him apart and makes him a very exciting offensive prospect for the next level.”
Update #2: FYI:
Update #4: Michigan Hockey's Robert Bondy penned an article about Hasek's comments:
Hasek played for Buffalo from 1992-2001 where he won all six of his Vezina Trophies and his back-to-back Hart Trophies. He also won an Olympic gold medal in 1998 with Czech Republic during such span.
However, it wasn’t until Hasek joined the Red Wings before the 2001-2002 season that he was able to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. Hasek was in net for all 16 of Detroit’s playoff wins and posted an impressive 1.86 goals-against average en route to his first career Stanley Cup Championship in 2002.
“It was one of my best years I ever played hockey,” Hasek said. “…The goal from day one was to win the cup and nothing else. I remember to play with so many great guys (like) I never played before. There’s already 7 players in the Hall of Fame (from that team) and in the future I believe there will be even more. … Never played with so many great players in my life then I did in 2002.”
Hasek would go on to win one more cup with the Red Wings in 2008 in his final season in the NHL. He continued to play a couple more years back in Europe before finally hanging up the pads in 2011, ending a long-lasted career that began in 1981. Hasek played 16 seasons in the NHL, with four different teams and finished with 854 career games played.
Update #5: The Hockey News's Matt Larkin suggests that Dominik Hasek was the best goalie ever. Amongst his arguments:
1. His major hardware collection is the closest thing goalies have to Wayne Gretzky’s and Bobby Orr’s.
The only goaltender with more Vezina Trophies than Hasek’s six is Plante, who had seven and won six of those playing in a league with six teams and six starting goaltenders. The NHL had 26 teams when Hasek won his first Vezina and 30 when he earned his sixth. Plante also won all his Vezinas when the award went to the starting goalie of the team with the lowest goals-against average, so Hasek has the most Vezinas under the “real” system, in which GMs vote on the league’s best goalie.
Hasek won a hilarious, ridiculous five Vezinas in a six-year stretch at one point in his career. He’s the only goalie to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP twice, which he did over back-to-back seasons in 1996-97 and 1997-98. In both of those memorable campaigns, he won the Ted Lindsay Award, chosen by the players as MVP. Mike Liut is the only other goalie to win the Lindsay. Hasek is a six-time first-team All-Star. He won two Cups with Detroit (one as the starter) and, before that, got to the final by dragging along a Buffalo team that boasted Mike Peca, Miroslav Satan and Jason Woolley as its best players. His .922 career save percentage is No. 1 in NHL history. Did he play a big chunk of his career in the Dead Puck Era, or is it more accurate to say he was the Dead Puck Era?
Update #6: Red Line Report's Kyle Woodlief conducted a mock draft for USA Today:
15. Detroit Red Wings — David Pastrnak. This is such a perfect fit, and totally in character with Detroit's record of nabbing fast, highly skilled Euros who play with great intensity despite average size.
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About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.