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The Malik Report

Red Wings morning news: on Athanasiou, ‘shopping around’ and trade talk

Updated w/ St. James audio at 8:50 AM: The Red Wings' summer development camp continues with its second and last day of dedicated skill development practices starting at 9 AM today at Centre Ice Arena, and the camp will wrap up with an 11 AM scrimmage on Tuesday.

I focused on "Team Yzerman" during yesterday's drills, and today, I'll be watching "Team Lidstrom," who are undoubtedly led by the turning-pro Andreas Athanasiou. The Traverse City Record-Eagle's Chris Dobrowolski spoke with Athanasiou regarding the importance of this summer camp as an event that can build the foundation for his first pro season...

"As you really go on through the years, you really learn what it takes and you learn that every little bit of information that you have, take as much as you can from it," said Athanasiou. "It may be a little bit of information, but it will go a long way. Coming into this year I'm trying to pick up everything — everything the coaches say, strength and conditioning coaches, even when I go to the food seminar I'll be tuned in because I want to get better and be the best.

"It's a good week here. It's a good thing you get right in the middle of summer. You've got that pro hockey feeling again. You've got that feeling of practicing at a high level and we've got the games in, so it's good to get those games in and it takes you a long way. When you come into main camp you've had a little bit of feeling there in the middle of summer."

And Athanasiou talked about his other springboard experience in playing for th Grand Rapids Griffins after his Barrie Colts were eliminated from the OHL playoffs:

Athanasiou is coming off a career year on the ice. He scored 49 goals for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League — a 20-goal jump from his first season with the Colts in 2012-13. That led to his mid-April assignment to Grand Rapids, where Athanasiou saw action in two regular season games and six playoff games. All told, the speedy forward tallied one goal and three assists in his brief stint in the AHL.

"I think it was unreal," Athanasiou said. "You really got a taste of how pro hockey is and how the players act on and off the ice. You can see the game's at a whole different level and you really have to step up to play at that level. I know it pushed me to go harder. I knew coming in at the end of the season, and coming into my training off ice, that if I wanted to play at that level, and play at the next level, I'm going to really have to get ready to go."

Dobrowolski continues asks Athanasiou about his goals for this upcoming season. They match his levels of skill and healthy self-confidence...

Yesterday afternoon, the Red Wings posted a trio of videos regarding a quartet of free agent try-outs in Kyle Baun, Blake Clarke and Tylor and Tyson Spink, and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose revealed something that some of us forget:

This is a busy month for Kyle Baun. Following the conclusion of the Wings’ camp on Tuesday, he is heading to the Boston Bruins’ development camp, July 9-13, in Wilmington, Mass.

“I thought it was a good opportunity to be exposed just being around the organizations and it’s a great learning experience,” said Baun, who has produced 25 goals in two seasons at Colgate.

According to the Cornwall Standard Freeholder's Todd Hambelton, another player from the Wings' pool of 23 camp invites is going to "shop around," and I'd imagine that he and Baun have company:

Mike Borkowski is going to be busy, too -- he'll head to Vancouver next week for a Canucks camp, then it'll be on to Chicago, to try to impress the Black Hawks' coaching and scouting staff.

I have no problem with prospects taking advantage of as many summer camps as they can squeeze in--they're trying to find NHL homes, so they may as well "shop around" to maximize their chances. NCAA players can only participate in pro camps during the summer, and they have to pay their own way, so it makes sense for them to

Here are the Wings' interviews with Baun, who's going into his junior year at Colgate...

Clarke, who played for the OHL's Saginaw Spirit this past season, and, per Roose, will take part in the fall prospect tournament...

And the Spink brothers:

The Free Press posted a short Spink-brothers biography:

Considered mirror-image twins, they are playing on the same line at camp with Tyson shooting left and Tylor right.

“More or less we have always been on a line,” Tyson said.

Said Tylor: “It is pretty cool to play alongside your twin brother.”

The Ontario natives are enjoying their time in Traverse City. Tyson said he liked watching the Blue Angels and sitting by the beach.

 

 

 

I'm no fan of trade rumors, but I'm writing this listening to this beat writer appear on morning radio shows, based upon what I suppose is a well-intentioned column:

Both TSN 1050 and WGR 550--as well as the Slovakian press--are more or less treating her suggestion that the Red Wings should pursue Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers, even if doing so requres the team to send one of Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar (and a defenseman, and a first-round pick) to Buffalo.

St. James said this on Sunday, and on WGR 550, she mentioned Keith Yandle's name as well:

Myers stands a towering 6-feet-8, the only D-man who can look Boston’s Zdeno Chara in the eye without craning his neck. Myers is only 24, but already he has played 318 NHL games since joining Buffalo in 2009-10, the season he took home the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year on the strength of 48 points in 82 games.

He is good offensively (he has hit or come close to 10 goals four out of five seasons) and valuable on the power play, where he has 13 of his 41 career goals.

In 2013-14, Myers had nine goals and 22 points in 62 games, averaging just under 22 minutes per game. He is a very good skater, plays in all situations and can serve as a shut-down guy. Myers makes mistakes (like everyone else), but he has franchise defenseman written all over him, and he is still two or three years removed from even entering his prime.

Two years ago, the Sabres signed Myers to seven years for $38.5 million, working out to a very amenable $5.5-million annual salary cap hit. He has already made $18 million, making the rest of his contract all the more attractive as the most he’ll pull in salary is $5 million a season.

Myers has 5 more years of that $5.5 million cap hit coming, per Capgeek.

The downside of having to trade instead of signing a free agent is the internal cost. Myers is Buffalo’s top defenseman and the asking price is going to start with one of Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco. Buffalo might well ask for Anthony Mantha, but the Wings aren’t relinquishing him. One player alone wouldn’t do it, though — there would likely be a high draft pick involved, too, maybe even a second player, someone in his mid-20s.

When she appeared on TSN 1050 and WGR 550, St. James also talked about the Wings' free agency strikeouts, suggesting that Dan Boyle went to New York because he believed that the Rangers are closer to winning a Cup (in addition to the Martin St. Louis friendship thing), and she stated that the Wings were most interested in Matt Niskanen, but weren't quite willing to match the Capitals' compensation for a player with one fantastic season (though some of her other Wings beat writers disagree with that monetary assessment).

BIGGY UPDATE: Here's St. James on TSN...

And here she is on WGR:

 

Who did the Toronto and Buffalo radio stations mention as the first player their respective teams would want in a trade? Mantha, Mantha, Mantha. And Nyquist, Nyquist, Nyquist.

The Buffalo radio gents, Howard Simon and Jeremy White, don't believe that Myers going to be traded, either.

You should expect NHL teams' management staffs are asking for that kind of compensation TO START conversations for such players' compensation, and that's why I don't believe that Myers or Yandle are coming to Detroit--and if I may be blunt, we have no clue if there's fire where there's summertime smoke (well-intended smoke, but still).

I say that because I read NHL on Sirius/XM Radio's Jimmy Murphy posit this...

– Speaking of silly, it would be silly of a team like the Dallas Stars — who according to a team source are looking into shedding Sergei Gonchar‘s $5 million cap hit — to not take a look at 24-year old UFA puck-moving defenseman Michael Del Zotto. That same source indicated that they are and you can expect other teams to as well. As NHL Network host and analyst EJ Hradek pointed out to me on Twitter Saturday, DZ  could benefit from the tutelage of Larry Robinson in San Jose. Del Zotto will join me on Monday’s edition of ‘Top Shelf’. I’d keep an eye on the Red Wings, the Islanders, the Devils and Maple Leafs as teams maybe interested in helping Del Zotto get back on track and fulfill his potential.

And while Del Zotto's 6,' 195 pounds, 24 years old, and he has a 37-point 09-10 season and a 41-point 10-11 season to his credit, one would think that the beat writers would discount Del Zotto entirely because he "shoots left."

What do I think will happen, based upon the team's historical moves and the less-than-bustling July trade market?

Absolutely nothing. The Red Wings' decision to re-sign Kyle Quincey gives them "no room at the inn" to find out whether Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mattias Backman, Alexey Marchenko or Nick Jensen are ready to steal Jakub Kindl or Brian Lashoff's jobs during training camp.

Just as importantly, the fact that the salary cap's upper limit came in at $69 million instead of $71.1 million makes players harder to move, whether we're talking about Kindl (signed for 3 more seasons at a cap hit of $2.4 million) or Lashoff (though he's signed for 2 more seasons at a cap hit of $725,000). If any of the aforementioned quintet of defensemen "steal" their jobs.

Sure, when teams start suffering injuries during training camp and the exhibition season, that makes a trade-off more realistic, but the Wings might suffer some injuries, too, and that's why they're not moving Kindl or Lashoff (never mind the fact that the Del Zottos of the world remaining unsigned = Kindl and Lashoff have less trade value than a bag of stale airline peanuts right now).

You and I can hope and dream that a "cap floor" team like Buffalo or Phoenix would also be willing to take Kyle Quincey's 2 years at $4.5 million off the Wings' hands, too, or perhaps that the Washington Capitals would "equalize" a trade for a Mike Green with an established veteran defenseman, but that's the Red Wings fan's version of Toronto and Buffalo broadcasters suggesting that the Wings would be willing to part with one or both of Mantha and Nyquist to acquire Tyler Myers.

Ideally, the Wings will make some sort of move at a more traditional time, either over the course of the regular season or nearer to the trade deadline. If somebody gets hurt and/or a team with an elite offensive defenseman might find that they have more depth than they assumed due to their own prospects "'stealing jobs," then a trade might happen.

Too many free agents are still available for the cost of their salary, and prior to training camp and/or the exhibition season, there's no real impetus for any team to subtract unless they're in cap trouble.

Trade talk is fun. Trade reality is not as much fun. The reality of any trade situation, whether we're talking about Tyler Myers, Keith Yandle, Mike Green or anyone else--and again, who the flippity flurk knows whether these players are actually on the market to begin with--is that the Red Wings would be asked to "help" the teams that had available assets by sweetening deals with untouchable players.

It doesn't work the other way around, and a within-division trade for a Myers would involve Sabres GM Tim Murray telling Ken Holland that no deal would be made until the Sabres "helped" the Wings get rid of Mantha and/or Nyquist to take on Myers' reclamation project.

That's sports' real version of teams "helping" other teams, and while I would certainly like to see the Red Wings add a right-shooting defenseman to their lineup, I don't believe that we're going to see any sort of "trade action" until next March's trade deadline.

 

 

 

In number-crunching of a different kind, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose looked back at Justin Abdelkader's 2013-2014 season "By the Numbers." Among Roose's six stats:

172: Led the Red Wings in hits, which ranked No. 59 in the league paced by New York Islanders forward Matt Martin, who dished out 359 hits for a 4.54 hits/game average through 70 regular-season games. Abdelkader has led the Wings in hits in three of the past four seasons.

147: Set a single-season career high for shots on goal averaging 2.1 shots per game. He had a season high six SOG twice at Philadelphia (Jan. 28) and at Tampa Bay (Feb. 8).

 

 

 

In the Twitter department...Joe Kocur's reminding us about his charity softball game on August 23rd...

And...

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Comments

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Call me naive or blissfully optimistic, but I believe Detroit will find a top tier defenseman in one of the prospects it currently has in GR.
These defenseman that are being bandied about as trade bait for Detroit all have one thing in common: they were developed by the teams that are trying to trade them. Thats the new reality in the NHL. If you don’t want to pay through the nose for a good defensemen, you have to draft and develop well.
Unfortunately, Wings fans are not used to this, though I cannot see why after Holland has publicly stated this repeatedly over the last few seasons. But it makes perfect sense if you want to be a successful franchise in this league now. Take these two teams as an example.
You can be at the top of the league as Detroit or Pittsburgh have been and take two different routes. Detroit has taken a survey of the air and decided to be more conservative with its approach. They have spurned making a splash at deadlines and have kept a hold of their prospects as a result. The results over the last few years of sticking with familiar names and faces and plugging holes in the lineup with second tier signings has been middling, but they have managed to be a playoff team while amassing what has to be considered the most promising of farm teams in the league and holding on to NHL caliber, young talent, which puts them in a strong position for years to come.
Pittsburgh on the other hand decided to throw caution to the wind for the sake of bringing more Cups in the prime of Crosby and Malkin. They seemingly are the main player at every deadline, acquiring many pieces and signing big deals. But it has painted them into a corner. Fully half their roster were UFAs this offseason. After jettisoning picks and prospects for trades and signing Malkiin, Fleury, Neal, Dupuis and Letang to massive contracts, they have to fill out their team with whatever they can scramble together, not being able to sign many of the good players they wanted to resign and having to trade Neal. Their is a massive gap between what their farm team can provide and what they currently need. As a result, this team will look very different this season. It bit them in the ass. They might be good this season still, cause thats what Crosby will do for a team, but they are a bit of wildcard.
So Detroit could probably get Myers or Yanlde if they wanted, but he cost just isn’t worth it IMO. Losing players with potential at a 2 -1 ratio that you’ve developed to get a player is always a wildcard. That player may not work out, the prospects may not work out. But we do know that most of the league would like to get their hands on our up and coming players. Maybe fans should try to see what the other teams do and give the kids a chance.

Posted by geoffreypelkey on 07/07/14 at 08:56 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

the Wings were most interested in Matt Niskanen, but weren’t quite willing to match the Capitals’ compensation for a player with one fantastic season (though some of her other Wings beat writers disagree with that monetary assessment).

So either Helene or Ansar has a source feeding bullshit.

My money is on Helene being wrong.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/07/14 at 09:19 AM ET

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My money is on Helene being wrong.

She’s also contradicting herself.  She tweeted that the Red Wings were told “before free agency” that Niskanen wasn’t coming to Detroit (https://twitter.com/HeleneStJames/status/484079467673812993).  So…which was it?  Did Niskanen rule himself out before hard numbers were discussed, or did Detroit refuse to match Washington’s offer?

I’m pretty sure the “evolution” of HSJ’s story here reflects party-line excuse-making.

I also have to say that I don’t share George’s cynical attitude towards either trades or the ability of the kids to steal a job.  But it’s the latter that I find harder to understand.  Because there’s “no room at the inn” it doesn’t matter if Ouellet or Marchenko outplays Lashoff?  Why would that be true?  If he loses his job he can be waived with zero salary cap impact—he’ll be claimed or he won’t.

Posted by captaineclectic on 07/07/14 at 09:28 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I’m sure after seeing what Holland gave up for Legwand, every team they approach will be asking for the sun, the moon, the stars and a 1st round pick.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/07/14 at 09:43 AM ET

@TheJimP19's avatar

No offense to Helene, but I have to agree with JJ…  I don’t see Holland moving Mantha ......

Posted by @TheJimP19 from transplanted in Nashville on 07/07/14 at 09:45 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I’m pretty sure the “evolution” of HSJ’s story here reflects party-line excuse-making.

After listening to some of her interviews over the last week, I get the feeling that St. James likes to hear herself talk.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/07/14 at 09:46 AM ET

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I agree that the Wings MAY have the solution to their defensive woes already under contract. The only issue is the amount of time it might take before those players are ready.

From the looks of it, Dekeyser is at or near ready to take on top pairing minutes. Hell, he was the minute leader for many games late last season. Now, what they need is someone to pair with him for the next 10-15 years. There is no way any of those GR players are ready to do that this season and frankly, they are probably 2 or 3 seasons away from even thinking about that role.

I really have no issues with the Wings failing to add a new defensemen in free agency. In fact, I could be happy if Quincey’s spot went towards developing one of these young guys. It wouldn’t be pretty with all that youth, but we’d have a better idea of what they have in the system.

I thoroughly believe 2 of the young d-men will push hard for Kindl and Lashoff’s spots. If they don’t they Wings have a serious problem.

I’m not a big proponent of making moves just to make certain D & Z’s talent “isn’t wasted”. They’ve brought Detroit multiple cups. If waiting on development means they have to close their careers in less than ideal fashion, so be it. They’ll still have plenty of memories and achievements to fall back on. The Wings management has to be more concerned about what it takes to be competitive for the next 20 years.

As for obtaining someone like Yandle, I think the price is would be way to high. If I thought they could get him for Tatar, Quincey and a pick, I’d be thrilled. I just think it would take a lot more and there is no way they should trade some of those gifted offensive players without seeing how they handle the NHL.

No thanks on Michael Del Zotto. He’s no better than Quincey.

Posted by evileye on 07/07/14 at 09:51 AM ET

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From the looks of it, Dekeyser is at or near ready to take on top pairing minutes.

He was not a strong possession player and needs to improve.

They’ve brought Detroit multiple cups.

We have won one Stanley Cup in Zetterberg’s 11 seasons in Detroit.

The Wings management has to be more concerned about what it takes to be competitive for the next 20 years.

Competitive for what?

No thanks on Michael Del Zotto. He’s no better than Quincey.

Agreed.  When it just looked like a conflict with Tortorella it was one thing, but not Vignault, Trotz, Poile, and Laviolete have all come to the same conclusion about this guy.  Not worth the trouble.

Posted by captaineclectic on 07/07/14 at 09:56 AM ET

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Maybe fans should try to see what the other teams do and give the kids a chance

And that’s the whole point imo. You go for the best available UFA who can help the team (Niskanen, Boyle, Erhoff) and if you do not get them, you allow your kids to develop, especially when everyone says Sproul, Marchenko and Ouelette are ready for NHL. There is absolutely no need to sign average (like Quincey) players to take their spots. The sooner you trust them, the sooner they will pay off (or at least the sooner you realize they are not as good as advertised).
Same with forwards. I credit KH for drafting and developing so many prospects despite not having high end picks, but he has zero trust in them. Again, if you sign a legitimate top 6 forward, no problem, but if you do not, no need to sign/resign Sammy, Bert, Cleary, Miller, Eaves or trade a good prospect for Legwand just to get into the playoffs, etc. Go with the young players, who will learn from Dats and Z while they are still playing.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/07/14 at 10:52 AM ET

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Posted by VPalmer on 07/07/14 at 10:52 AM ET

Correct.  This is why the Quincey signing was worst-of-both-worlds.

1)  Expensive
2) Doesn’t address right-handed shot problem, team blueline mediocrity problem, or indeed any problem from last year’s team;
3) Occupies a spot that could be used to audition another player, not only in 2014-2015, but also in 2015-2016.

Posted by captaineclectic on 07/07/14 at 10:58 AM ET

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You go for the best available UFA who can help the team (Niskanen, Boyle, Erhoff) and if you do not get them, you allow your kids to develop, especially when everyone says Sproul, Marchenko and Ouelette are ready for NHL. There is absolutely no need to sign average (like Quincey) players to take their spots. The sooner you trust them, the sooner they will pay off (or at least the sooner you realize they are not as good as advertised).

Posted by VPalmer on 07/07/14 at 10:52 AM ET

I was a little disappointed with Quincey signing, but it’s not the end of the world. That said, this argument is clearly flawed, First, “everyone” is not saying Sproul, Marchenko and Oullet are ready for the NHL. People are saying they’re the highest defensive prospects on the team, which doesn’t mean they’re ready for full-time NHL duty. The team clearly hasn’t said they are ready for the NHL.

That said, I do believe they will get a chance to earn spots. I believe the team will allow them to leapfrog any of the defensemen not named Ericsson or Kronwall. The team does not have a perilous cap situation and if Kindl or Lashoff loses his spot and has to get sent down, I don’t think the team will be devastated if someone claims either one on waivers, although I know how much they love “depth” (which, apparently the team believes means, regardless of success or failure, the player has played in the NHL).

Secondly, the idea of “the sooner you trust them, the sooner they will pay off” is also flawed in some ways. It’s not quite as simple as that. Growth and development can be stunted (and I think this partially happened to Smith) when they player is not mentally ready. When guy who isn’t ready makes mistakes, gets in the coach’s doghouse, or is just fighting the speed of the game or ineffective play over the course of a stretch of games, the guy might panic, change his game, etc. This can lead to a change in trajectory of the guy’s game.

That’s not to say these guys aren’t ready right now, but it is food for thought. This team tends to be as conservative as possible and prefers its players to dominate the league they’re in before they move up (in addition to having to steal someone’s job). I do think there is some merit to requiring the player to steal someone’s job - and that doesn’t happen in one or two games (then again, there is always the question of the team’s judgment as to when the job has actually been stolen - the team likes that to take a LOOOONNNGGG time).

Anyways, I think there is a legitimate possibility that even in the absence of injuries on defense, the combination of any of Marchenko/Oullet/Sproul will play a significant number of games this year.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/07/14 at 11:13 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Bottom line is you never know how good these players are until they get here.  Eaves and emmeeton tear up the ahl so did almquist.  Others games are better fine tuned against NHL talent.  I like what Nill did in leaving space for one of many d to compete for spots.  Kindl and lashoff lost their jobs IMO.  Oullette being called in in the playoffs was the deal sealer.  So why bring back sub par known quantities and giving hungry talented physically ready prospects the chance they be been waiting for?  I’m all for doing with the kids and holding onto then but Detroit just wants to hold onto them and not five them a shot.  Then we backlog and well end up forced to move marchenko or Sproul oullette Jensen Backman etc… Detroit’s great and developing but horrible at graduating

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/07/14 at 11:33 AM ET

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“The sooner you trust them, the sooner they will pay off “

Edmonton are full believers of this idea. I’m willing to state unequivocally that this has NOT worked out for them.

The patience it takes to develop young players so that they are capable of competing with the best hockey players in the world is tough to swallow, especially for fans of a team used to ready-made solutions rather than the stops and starts of project development.

Posted by geoffreypelkey on 07/07/14 at 11:36 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Edmonton didn’t have any established vets to carry the load.  Our guys sit behind some very capable vets.  Its our tier two slots that aren’t paying off and what our kids excelled at.  Overripe they’re prime to take on 3rd and 4th line guys with limited skill.  This is what makes cup teams.  Good vet leaders and greater secondary production than the contracts are worth.  Detroit with its Quincey and clearly signings limit themselves and wonder why we can’t score.  Our scoring talent are doing on the minors.  And I like Quincey unlike most.  But Detroit needs to pick a direction and go with it

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/07/14 at 12:21 PM ET

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It would be best for the Wings to stand down, as far as trades go. 

KH has made some very poor decisions, and, at the moment, it would be unwise to ship Tatar, or Jurco, or Nyquist, or several of them for Myers. However, and I’ve made this point before so apologies if it’s repetitive, but if Mantha and/or Pulkinnen turn into regular NHL scorers, THEN Tatar and others become expendable, but only then. 

But, and maybe someone can clarify this for me, I don’t understand why Quincey re-signing means Kindl or Lashoff couldn’t be replaced by someone from GR.

Posted by ianfdunham on 07/07/14 at 12:53 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

All I’m going to say about the source of these “rumors” is that it’s summer and that the same reporter has rather consistently stirred up summer drama.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/07/14 at 01:02 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Ian.. With Q back for that price your top 4 are kron Ericsson ddk qbert then Smitty on bottom 6 and Kindl lash as 6 and 7.. No room for Sproul oullette baxkman marchenko or Jensen.  Well need injuries and even then they’ll sit in the press box as an on hand.

I do hope we make a trade and it involve kindle and lash.. Or at least once but our kids look gooooood

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/07/14 at 01:12 PM ET

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Quincey signing could also stunt Smith’s growth, and he’s a player I expect to have a very good season. 

George, isn’t this rumor coming from HSJ? She’s often been a propagandist for the team.  Yourself, Regner, Ansar, and Niyo much more reliable.  Krupa too.

Posted by ianfdunham on 07/07/14 at 03:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

All I’m gonna say is this, because I don’t want to play favorites or least favorite, and do respect the fact that the beat writers work their asses off, even if we may think they’re a little bland or repetitive from time to time: there was one person who played up the Daniel Cleary Return Story as if he was an absolutely essential portion of the team leading up to his dramatic return last year.

You can determine who that is by a process of elimination, and there is no knowledge as to whether that person had any real insight into what was going on despite what they were writing, because they were as surprised as anyone when Cleary showed up signed.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/07/14 at 04:09 PM ET

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To change subject, Larkin sounded very sincere when saying that he “hasn’t really proven anything yet.” Was encouraged to hear a 17 year-old speak that way.  I wish he was going to play junior hockey in an isolated city in Canada so he would focus solely on improving.  U of M, and college in general, is full of distractions.

Posted by ianfdunham on 07/07/14 at 04:14 PM ET

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Bottom line is you never know how good these players are until they get here.

That’s such a nonsensical opinion.  No, fans like HO may not know how good a player is until he gets to Detroit… but that’s because he never sees that player play very much, if at all, before he gets to Detroit.  The coaches, scouts and assorted front office staff see that player play all the time.  Live, on tape, in practice, they hear from the coach… they have the full report.

Does that mean they know precisely how good a player will be in the NHL?  No… but they know whether or not the guy is NHL-worthy.  This is why a team doesn’t have to rotate their entire AHL (or ECHL) roster up through a 30 game tryout at the NHL level to “know how good these players are”.

So why bring back sub par known quantities and giving hungry talented physically ready prospects the chance they be been waiting for?

Because as fans like HO should have seen from last year, when you have a roster overstuffed with rookie players of middling ability you get… disaster.  Do not doubt for a moment that the Wings group of dmen prospects, while plentiful, are none of them legit top tier locks.  They are all 3-5 guys with different strengths and weaknesses.

So, to reply directly to the question:  Because you don’t need 3 full-contest roster spots on a 7 slot blueline, and you rarely even need two.  Bringing back Quincey still leaves the Kindl and Lashoff spots there for the taking, and bringing back Quincey provides an option in case none of the prospects passes Lashoff (which would be terrifying), or doesn’t beat him out by enough to make an appreciable improvement in the team.

Babies, and bathwater.

Now to be sure, you do want more than 1 or 2 slots of role competition on a 7 slot dman roster… you just don’t want to be turning over 40% of your blue line very often.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/07/14 at 06:58 PM ET

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Because as fans like HO should have seen from last year, when you have a roster overstuffed with rookie players of middling ability you get… disaster.

Really?  Disaster came from having too many rookies?  Seems to me that the veterans getting injured was the disaster and the play of the younger players is the main reason the Red Wings managed to make the playoffs at all.

Posted by Garth on 07/08/14 at 12:50 PM ET

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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.