Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings morning report: on Tatar, Nyquist, acclimating Alfredsson/Weiss and ‘what it’s all about’

I guess we'll start here: As noted yesterday, the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau conducted a very blunt and candid interview with Tomas Tatar, who was not thrilled to hear that the Wings had re-signed Daniel Cleary--which all but assures that the Wings will move 2 of their 17 forwards until Darren Helm's healthy and ready to play, and a third forward whenever Helm is finally healthy--and Tatar pulled the, "If the Wings don't want me, they can trade me or I'll play in the KHL" card out of his hat again:

“It is going to be a hard battle, but I am a young guy so I am ready for the battle,” Tatar said. “I don’t know what is going to happen and they signed new guys so I don’t really know what their plan is. I am just going to try and prove that I belong there and it’s up to them if they choose me or not.”

The competitive forward is a proven goal scorer and has shown he can create offense at every level including the NHL. Last season, Tatar was called up for four games where he netted four goals and seven points in that span. He’ll have to continue that productivity when the exhibition season starts next week to make a strong push for a roster spot.

“Obviously I will try and play my best, but sometimes it doesn’t go your way,” he said. “It’s kind of scaring me a little because sometimes you can’t play the five best games in your life. I think I proved that I belong in the NHL these four years so these games shouldn’t be the final decision factor, but I am going to play the best that I can.”

The 22 year-old must clear waivers to be sent to the AHL and he’s made it clear he isn’t interested in a fifth season in the minors.

“I have been in the AHL for four years and we won a Calder Cup,” Tatar said. “I love Grand Rapids, but I don’t  think it makes sense for me to be in that league anymore. I want to play in the NHL, but if there is no room with the Red Wings then hopefully another team picks me up on waivers or I am traded.”

Tatar’s agent has also fielded multiple calls from the KHL over the summer and if he can’t land an NHL job then playing in Europe is a strong consideration for the diminutive forward.

“I have lots of options and teams in the KHL have called asking about my plans for this season,” he said. “I want to do my best to make the NHL, but if that doesn’t happen then I will probably play in Russia.”

The Slovak News Agency SITA and Dennik Sport's Tomas Stuljater picked up on those comments and the ones Tatar made to the Free Press's Helene St. James...

Daniel Cleary’s return to the Detroit Red Wings increased the number of NHL-tabbed forwards to 17, three more than they will carry. For a guy trying to establish a footing, much less hoping to become a regular, the competition for a job just got more crowded.

“It’s going to be really hard,” Tatar said after practice at Centre Ice Arena. “We have like eight exhibition games and it’s part of the season. Maybe you’re not scoring, nothing is going your way - I wouldn’t be happy if this is going to decide my next future.”

...

Tatar, 22, is at the point in his career when he has to make the Wings, because he can’t be sent down without waivers. He appeared in 18 games last season for the Wings, producing four goals and three assists, but mostly starred at the AHL level with the Griffins, where he collected 23 goals and 26 assists in 61 games, followed by 21 points in 24 games as he helped Grand Rapids to the Calder Cup.

“I was really happy I was doing good, there were lots of good moments,” Tatar said. “I was really happy I could help win.”

The challenge now is for Tatar to show he belongs at the NHL level. He’s not going to be used in an offensive role with the Wings, so he’s got to figure out how to work as a role player before he can make an argument for more minutes.

“I think I’m a skilled player,” Tatar said. “I can bring some really good offensive part of the game. I know Mike wants me to get better on defense, so I will try to get better at that and will try to manage the puck and not lose it a lot, so hold it for us. I think this is going to be my focus for the season.”

And I just can't blame the guy at this point. He's been a good soldier in Grand Rapids, he won the Jack Butterfield Trophy as the AHL's playoff MVP his past spring and he's ground it out in the AHL since he was 18.

I'm hoping that Mike Babcock and Ken Holland understand that the Wings' long-term success depends on affording Tatar, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist every chance to succeed on this Red Wings team, and that doing so may mean having to let some "role players' go for the sake of allowing younger players to grow into their roles, but that's just me.

Holland offered this about Tatar and Nyquist to MLive's Ansar Khan:

“Both played well for us last year. We like them both,'' Holland said. “Tats was the AHL (playoff) MVP with 16 goals; that's a lot of goals in a league where it's hard to score. Certainly, the expectations are they're going to be on the team.''

But, Holland also said of Nyquist, “There's a chance he could go to the American League. He's a good player. We want to win. We're going to try to ice our best team against Buffalo (in the season opener Oct. 2).''

As Khan notes, Nyquist's waiver-exempt--for now:

If the Red Wings are unable to trade a veteran, they might be forced to send down Nyquist, at least temporarily. He loses his waiver-exempt status after playing two more NHL games. That would preclude the team from assigning him to Grand Rapids, since there is no doubt he would be claimed off waivers.

“I’ll just have to make it an even harder decision for them to make, show them what I’ve got,'' Nyquist said.

Tatar, 22, has patiently waited for his opportunity to play in the NHL, spending four seasons with the Griffins. He showed much promise during an 18-game stint with Detroit last season (four goals, three assists).

He can't be assigned to the minors without being exposed to waivers (he surely would be claimed).

“They always have lots of guys here and it's a big battle for, let's say, one spot,'' Tatar said. “Even when you play good it's really hard for them to change something when they still have option to send you down. This year it's a little different for me (not being waiver-exempt), but I'm still going to battle for my ice time and I want to make sure I play real good in camp and show I deserve more ice time. I have been waiting for that chance a little longer (than most). This year I got the chance and I try to show I belong here.''

I hope so, I really do.

 

 

 

In cheerier news, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan pointed out that this is the Red Wings' first real training camp since 2011, and the gents were very happy to be able to get back out on the ice without knowing that they had to almost immediately prepare to play 44 games over the course of 99 nights...

“It was fun to be out there again,” [Henrik] Zetterberg said of the action on the first day of camp. “This is Day 1 and it’s fun to go out and play and skate again. It’s another step and fun to actually scrimmage.”

[Justin] Abdelkader looked comfortable going to the net and complementing [Pavel] Datsyuk and Zetterberg’s offensive prowess.

“Playing with those two guys, it’s fun,” Abdelkader said. “They’ll find you. You have to be ready with your stick on the ice all the time because the puck will end up there. I can bring something different to that line, whether I’m there or not, who knows? It’s the first day.”
...

Because of the lockout last season, training camp consisted of a few days of practice and no exhibitions. Getting back to the regular routine this season will be a positive experience, [coach Mike] Babcock said.

“For the new guys coming in, it’s very important to have training camp, so they can understand, get comfortable, feel good about themselves,” Babcock said. “This will be a month of getting better before we even start (the regular season).”

 

 

 

As the Free Press's Helene St. James notes, training camp's also affording Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss, who are playing alongside Johan Franzen, the opportunity to acclimate to their new surroundings...

“[Franzen's] been around with Babs a lot of years here,” Alfredsson said. “He knows what to expect, so he made sure I didn’t mess up too much. He said he would in trouble if I did.”

...

“It was great to get out there, try to get used to get new players and new systems,” Weiss said. “It’s not going to take long. The key for us is to hold onto the puck and make sure we’re making plays. The longer you stay together with certain people, the more chemistry you’ll find.”

Weiss finds a lot about the Wings great: It’s “awesome” that they’re committed to competing for the Stanley Cup every year, it’s “awesome” to be surrounded by so many skilled players.

“The Mule is a big, strong, skilled guy,” Weiss said. “Daniel has been around forever, and his intelligence is amazing. To play with those guys is pretty special.”

...

Alfredsson isn’t going to be a surprise on the ice — he’s a world-class player — but he has been one on the greens.

“It’s fun to have him here in camp,” Zetterberg said. “It’s fun to show him around, have some time to play some golf, even though he’s much better than me.”

For all the Swedes the Wings employ, Zetterberg said Alfredsson “was probably the last Swede I expected to play with over here. When he got here, I was really happy, excited to see what we can do together.”

 

 

 

And while the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook duly notes that Daniel Cleary's return stole the show for day 1 of training camp...

“Tuesday, I was ready to go to Philly,” Cleary said. “And then I just couldn’t go. I decided to come out and meet with Babs and Kenny to get closure on the situation. I had to know deep in my heart, ‘Was it going to happen?’ We figured out a way to get something to happen, to get something signed.”

Cleary reportedly had an offer for a tryout contract from the Flyers, with the potential to earn a three-year, $8.25 million contract — $2.75 million a year. Instead, he took $1.75 million to return to Detroit.

“I’ve got a great relationship with Kenny (Holland) and I believe in myself,” Cleary said. “I just think we’ll see how it plays out. I know people are probably thinking I’m not the smartest guy or whatever, but I have to do what is right for me — and I did it.”

Cleary said he passed his physical Thursday and is expected to skate with the team in today’s practice and scrimmage.

“We’re happy to have Dan back,” Holland said. “We tried to re-sign him in the summertime. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a solution. The last few days, Dan had some opportunities elsewhere and I guess was close to a deal. He wanted to have one last conversation with me and Mike Babcock. He jumped on a plane (Wednesday), flew up here and we met him at the airport.”

While he was addressing the congregated media, Drew Miller and Niklas Kronwall walked by. “Hey, look who’s back!” Miller jokingly shouted over the throng of reporters.

 

 

 

Again, as Cook notes, the newcomers and returnees alike were very happy to be able to do more than simply jump in to games, all while feeling like the Wings were making the right moves to return to Cup-contending status:

Detroit signed Daniel Alfredsson and Weiss and extended Pavel Datsyuk’s deal, giving the franchise a better chance to have success as it shifts to the Eastern Conference. The Wings also re-signed veteran forward Danny Cleary on Thursday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal for $1.75 million.

“It’s really refreshing,” Weiss said as the Red Wings began training camp Thursday in Traverse City. “Those were some of the things that the coach and Mr. Holland stressed in the summer. They try to win the Stanley Cup every year and they’re going to try and do what they have to do to make that happen. That’s awesome for me, coming here and try to do whatever I can to help out.”

With established veteran stars like Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg already in the fold and adding two proven vets in Alfredsson and Weiss, the Red Wings aim to improve their offense from a year ago, when they struggled to manufacture goals. At 2.54 goals per game, Detroit was 20th out 30 NHL squads.

“One of the things we wanted to accomplish in the off-season was secondary scoring,” general manager Ken Holland said. “Last year, we were fifth in the league in goals against. We needed to be a little better in the goal-scoring department. Injuries were a factor, but we also changed the personnel. We added Alfredsson and Weiss. Weiss has 48 points in five of his last seven seasons. Alfredsson is a guy that’s a shooter and gives us another dimension on the power play. We’re excited about the additions. Obviously, it’ll take some time for the chemistry and for Mike Babcock to decide on the line combinations.”

...

Both Weiss and Alfredsson said the camp being away from Detroit was great for their acclimation to their new teammates.

“For a new guy, this is the perfect environment,” Alfredsson said. “I feel bad for my wife, being at home with four kids by herself this week. But for me, this is great. A new guy on a new team. All my time is going to be spent with the guys. It’s something I’m going to try to make the most of to make the transition here a lot easier. Anytime you’re together for this amount of time, you’re going to get to know everyone a little bit better. We’ve had a couple golf tournaments, a couple functions, so getting more comfortable every day with the guys. This is a beautiful place. It’s nice to get up here and get away from the city of Detroit a little bit and spend some time up here.”

...

“I came to a lot of Wings games when I was up there,” Weiss said. “You always imagine yourself playing for them one day, so to get that chance is pretty special. Playing in Joe Louis Arena is pretty special, and playing with players like Pavel and Henrik and guys like that that I was watching back then is exciting.”

 

 

 

In other news, as Paul noted, former Red Wings defenseman Ian White is taking part in the Winnipeg Jets' training camp as a pro try-out, and he spoke with the Winnipeg Free Press's Melissa Martin about his status...

"Getting closer to camp, it seemed like there was hardly anyone being signed," he said. "The cap going down threw a big monkey wrench into everyone's plans."

So now, for a veteran of five NHL teams and 503 regular-season games, a new plan: White will battle to make the cut. The Jets have 18 blue-liners in camp, with seven on one-way NHL contracts already and few spots up for grabs. There's also Zach Redmond, who appeared to solidly install himself with the big club before his horrific leg injury last season and talented youngsters Jacob Trouba and Julian Melchiori will push for their NHL chance.

A pro, though, can't get caught up worrying about all of that.

"Your mindset's gotta be that you're going to fight for a job, and show you deserve to be here and can help the team win," White said. "I know I have a lot of game left. I'm only 29, and as a D-man, that's kind of where guys start really getting into their comfort zone."

Besides, there's a little extra spark in getting a chance at home, for once. White remembers playing shinny as a kid and dreaming about pulling on that old Winnipeg jersey; he has his own kids now, aged four and two, and his family will soon settle into a house in Waverley West.

"It's a really neat feeling, not having to move," he said. "It seems like I've been moving for the last decade, every year, twice a year."

As well as how things went down in Detroit...

The Steinbach-raised defenceman sat as a healthy scratch for 18 games, the second most of any Red Wing.

"It's brutal," White said Thursday, still flushed from the first day of the Winnipeg Jets' training camp. "You never want to sit out like that, especially when you know you can help the team... It was definitely not the way I thought it was going to go."

 

 

 

The Red Wings want to remind us that their, "Day in the Life of a DRW Fan" contest is still running...

 

 

 

And I'm going with, "This is what it's all about" regarding the following pair of stories from the Traverse City Record-Eagle's Dennis Chase:

To Jim and Sue McCarty, the Detroit Red Wings are more than just a hockey team.

"We love hockey," said Jim McCarty, as he waited outside Centre ICE for player autographs at the team's training camp opener Thursday. "But the Red Wings have gone way overboard for us personally. They've done a lot of very nice things for us and we're forever grateful."

The McCartys work hospice in the Bay City area. They often raise money, and spirits, for grief-stricken families. The Red Wings have helped immensely.

"We've had benefits and the Red Wings have always come through with something that we could use for silent auctions," McCarty said. "I had a friend pass away in March and (Wings GM) Ken Holland called me personally. He wanted me to meet him for one of the games. He wanted me to come up to his suite so he could hook me up with the stuff he was going to give me for the benefit. Unfortunately, it was Ash Wednesday, and my commitment was to be in church. Kenny still came through and sent the stuff express mail and we got it the next day. When a guy calls you up on your personal cell phone and says, 'This is Kenny,' it gets your attention."

That man who died was a dear friend of McCarty's. His family needed money to pay the bills.

"He had cancer for 15 years," McCarty said. "Just a super, super nice guy. He had done any number of things for other people, so it was fitting we did this. We served 1,200 spaghetti dinners (at the banquet). The Red Wings jersey, though, was the big hit."

A Pavel Datsyuk signed jersey netted close to $1,500 in the auction. The team supplied other items as well.

"It was unbelievable," McCarty said. "The Red Wings are so in tune to people. It's not just the sport."

Times two, per both Cook and Chase:

Matthew Litchfield, keeping warm in his Detroit Red Wings sweatshirt, watched from along the boards Thursday morning as the team opened training camp at Centre ICE. The Traverse City 9-year-old was a honorary Red Wing on this day. He and his family guests of coach Mike Babcock.

It was a day the Red Wings, along with staff and volunteers at the training camp, wanted to make special for a boy who has endured so much the last 10 months. Matthew was diagnosed with a brain tumor last October — on Halloween — and has spent most of those 10 months in treatment at the University of Michigan Hospital. He’s now home and in hospice care.

“The prognosis is not good,” his mother, Heather, said. “He’s essentially terminal. The doctors told us to bring him home and let him enjoy the rest of his months. Who knows how long? I don’t think we’re seeking any further treatment. It had progressed quite a bit since he’s been through all his chemotherapy and radiation. There’s not much else they can do. This is it.”

...

Matthew was able to meet, among others, Jimmy Howard, Chris Chelios, Kirk Maltby, Mickey Redmond, Niklas Kronwall, Jiri Fisher and Babcock. Babcock made it a point to introduce himself to the family before practice, and chatting with Matthew for several minutes.

...

Perhaps the biggest surprise came later when officials presented the Litchfields with nearly $3,000.

Larry Angove raised $1,700 around the community. Terry Marchand, Centre ICE director, rounded it up to $2,000 with a donation from the arena. The Fedorinchik family and Hallmark Construction — which hauls team equipment during the Prospect Tournament — donated their tips and raised more funds for another $750. The cooks from Munson that made team staffers food in the suite chipped in and donated $100. Camp volunteers — the drivers — pitched in and bought Matthew a Red Wings blanket to keep him warm at the rink.

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Comments

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Paul's avatar

I will add to the morning notes here since George is at the rink.

Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun on Weiss and Alfredsson…

Imagine trying to pass the puck to a guy you once jeered while growing up.

Welcome to the life of Stephen Weiss.

As a teenager in the Toronto-area town of Markham, young Stephen watched Daniel Alfredsson assume the villain’s role during those memorable Leafs-Senator Battle of Ontario playoff series, which saw the teams clash four times in five post-seasons starting in 2000.

On Thursday, years later, there was Weiss, flanked by Alfredsson, attempting to set up the former Sens captain during the first official scrimmage for both players as members of the Detroit Red Wings.

My, how times have changed.

“I wouldn’t say he was my favourite player growing up,” Weiss said. “But I definitely respected him and that’s the main thing.

more

Zeisberger also has a sit down with Holland and the topic was Alfredsson.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/13/13 at 09:08 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

So due to work and rehearsals and the like, I’m just now discovering this whole Clearly-signing fiasco.  I spent 15 minutes befuddled, angry, confused, hungry, angry again, numb…but I’ve decided that, while I can’t believe this happened and do not support it, I am going to just cheer on Danny Cleary and hope that he has one HELL of a year.  Yes, he’s going to take away ice time for more talented players.  Yes, we will probably going to have to trade away Tatar and Eaves, two guys I’d much rather have on the ice during the season than Danny.  Yes, Kenny Holland had garnered a lot of good will and faith back this summer with his Alfi Coup, and now we all have to question his sanity again.  But, like I’ve already settled in my head with Sammy: If he’s on the ice with a Wings sweater on, I’m rooting for him to play at his best. 

Good Luck Danny, welcome back. I really, really, really hope you have a phenomenal year.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 09/13/13 at 09:17 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

“Last season, Tatar was called up for four games where he netted four goals and seven points in that span.”

Called up for EIGHTEEN games where he netted four goals…

I have a feeling if he got seven points in four games, we wouldn’t be having this discussion wink

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 09/13/13 at 09:19 AM ET

DocF's avatar

As long as hockey managements are as closed mouthed as they are, we fans and the media will have to wait to find out the true meaning of the Cleary signing.  I suspect there is much more to this than meets the eye.

That being said, I want to see both Tatar and Nyquist up with the big team at the start of the season.  I do not particularly care if Samuelsson or Tootoo ever suit up again for the Red Wings.  They are viable players for someone, but they need to be elsewhere.  My other thought is that Helm may well never be able to be healthy enough to play again.  This situation needs watching.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 09/13/13 at 10:15 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Just please, please, please, please don’t but Cleary in the Top 6, Babcock…

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 09/13/13 at 10:21 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

*put

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 09/13/13 at 10:21 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I suspect there is much more to this than meets the eye.

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 09/13/13 at 10:15 AM ET

Holland’s M.O. as of late would suggest there isn’t more to it than meets the eye, it is what it is.  That’s why people are freaking out.  Holland hasn’t exactly done chess-type moves in the past few years, thinking ahead.  He does a move to do a move, plain and simple.

Cleary may have gone to Holland and simply whined and pleaded, and appealed to Holland’s loyalty hang-up.  I’m not kidding, it may just be that simple that Holland got guilted into it.

Just please, please, please, please don’t but Cleary in the Top 6, Babcock…

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 09/13/13 at 10:21 AM ET

Too late.  In all likelihood Cleary will get to drag down the Z & Pav line yet again.  God forbid Abby and his able-to-actually-skate legs join them, or someone else.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 10:32 AM ET

Avatar

Doc, I agree we need to wait to see what will happen here.

My first reaction was AHHHHHHHHHHH. Gosh darn you kenny!

Now I am calmer. I don’t “hate” Cleary. Actually, of the “vets” (Cleary, Bert, Sammy) he is the one I would want on the team.

I think something must be up. Either a little trade or dump (eaves, tootoo) or something larger (that top pairing D we all want). I don’t think they made that signing without a plan in place.

There are some good 4th liners waiting for a chance in the AHL (I think Glendenning could turn into a Babcock favorite sooner rather than later) so dumping a 4th liner grinder is not a big deal.

I can see Kenny waiting till the last few days of camp to let us all know his plan. It really is better to wait. An injury on another team could mean his phone starts ringing and a better deals being made. So I would probably wait too. Plus Babcock loves to challenge and motivate, so this is perfect for him to attempt to light a fire under players. Already talking about putting Cleary on the top line was a great little messege for Gus and Tatar and even Abby to not coast through camp.


tl;dr - I am less crazy today and actually think things will work out ok.

Posted by lancer on 09/13/13 at 10:38 AM ET

gowings's avatar

Ok..I personally can live with this signing for now. We got #11 at a very low cost. Although I am not sure his knees will hold, he is a character guy and that for me is extremely important in a team…..imagine if that type of character could rub off on Franzen…..but that’s another topic…

Until I know for sure who is leaving (and possibly get something in a trade) I will also hold judgement. I don’t hate Cleary….it’s too bad that he suffered many injuries, but compared to others, it takes more than a scratch to prevent him from playing…he has guts and that I admire. So for now, I am happy with the deal and hopefully, Cleary will do his damn best and will prove many wrong…


and yes….I have been wrong in the past….but I am trying to be optimist…..for now anyway smile

Posted by gowings from MTL on 09/13/13 at 10:51 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If Helm isn’t going to be healthy, I like the idea of moving Abdelkader back to a lower-line center position and allowing the team to part with Emmerton.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/13/13 at 10:55 AM ET

Avatar

Well there’s no arguing that at least we have a glut of talent and not a lack of it like we did for much of last season.

Posted by neffernin on 09/13/13 at 10:59 AM ET

Avatar

If Helm isn’t going to be healthy, I like the idea of moving Abdelkader back to a lower-line center position and allowing the team to part with Emmerton.

I’m sure you already know this, but I agree 100%.

Emmerton is an AHL player lucky enough to play on a team that basically has nothing but wingers in the bottom six. It would be a shame to hold on to him AGAIN this year while 2-3 competent-if-unspectacular NHL forwards lose their jobs for no return.

 

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 09/13/13 at 11:13 AM ET

Rumbear's avatar

If Helm isn’t going to be healthy,...

Getting hard to remember when he was healthy. At some point the date stamp on his usefulness runs out…...

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, hanging with Dan Cleary.... on 09/13/13 at 11:17 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Getting hard to remember when he was healthy. At some point the date stamp on his usefulness runs out…...

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, I can see Cleary now….. on 09/13/13 at 11:17 AM ET

Ahhh but this is the Red Wings.  Loyalty Above Usefulness.  Has Clearygate taught you nothing?

Not that I’m advocating anything with Helm.  Just stating that The Org is “loyal” to the point of shooting itself in the foot repeatedly with an RPG.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 11:25 AM ET

Avatar

What a poor message it sends to prospects.  No matter what you do we will always have a preference for veterans, especially aging ones whose usefulness has gone.  If I hear about Holland and Babcock talking about earning a job and the best players play I’ll be sick.  If your name is not Zetterberg or Datsyuk you should be pretty expendable.

Posted by bababooey on 09/13/13 at 11:30 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

As long as hockey managements are as closed mouthed as they are, we fans and the media will have to wait to find out the true meaning of the Cleary signing.  I suspect there is much more to this than meets the eye.

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 09/13/13 at 10:15 AM ET

My fear is that Tatar saddled himself as a complainer last year when he first spoke up about not getting a spot on the big club.

I’d like to think that Holland and Babcock wouldn’t see that as a personal affront, but you really have to wonder.

We’ll know if that’s the case if, should Tatar leave the team, the Detroit media starts referring to him as an “enigma.”

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 09/13/13 at 11:36 AM ET

calquake's avatar

If Helm isn’t going to be healthy, I like the idea of moving Abdelkader back to a lower-line center position and allowing the team to part with Emmerton.

Agreed.  That may help open up a spot for Tatar or Nyquist to start the year in Detroit.

Posted by calquake on 09/13/13 at 11:39 AM ET

perfection's avatar

Tatar’s a baby. He will not be a Wing for life no matter what. I’m calling it now.  He sounds like Hudler whining to the press and entertaining fantasies of other teams. While he has MOST DEFINITELY earned his spot, I’m getting a chance to see his true colors and do not like what I see. His attitude is very un-Red Wing like. It should be all drive, poise, and confidence. I don’t hear a peep out of Gus… you know the guy who actually can be sent down. Does Tatar REALLY think Holland is going to simply waive a kid with his potential? Maybe he gets traded, as he’s the only bate we really have with any actual value, but as I wrote yesterday, I don’t really get why Tatar is quaking so much. Just do your thing kid. Babs is going to fight to have the best 12 guys and Tatar is absolutely one of them. So just shut your mouth, shut your agents mouth and PLAY. Earn your friggin spot, don’t whine about the past four years. Moving Abby down is an interesting idea, though I really like what he brings to the Pav/Z line. He is the best puck retriever on the team and that pairs very nicely with those two. But I think Tootoo, Eaves (or Emmerton if bodies were shifted), and Sammy are clearly the three men out. You can keep one till Helmers better (or send Gus down), but I just don’t see where in these scenarios Tatar’s job is at risk? It’s probably more at risk now than ever after mentioning the friggin KHL in an interview. ugh.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/13/13 at 12:07 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Not that I’m advocating anything with Helm.  Just stating that The Org is “loyal” to the point of shooting itself in the foot repeatedly with an RPG.

you are a “small picture” guy, huh Primis?

You simply don’t grasp the difficulty (bordering on impossibility) of rebuilding on the fly in a cap controlled league without missing the playoffs and without a top 10 pick?

We are going on our second time doing it in the last decade and that loyalty you scoff at, while maybe shooting ourselves in the foot in specific circumstances is a HUGE part of the teams continued success. I mean, you talk your trash, but our team SHOULD have beat the Hawks last year and could have easily won it all. This the year AFTER Lids retires. It’s incredible really if you stop and look at the big picture for once. Despite the cap evening the playing field, we are right up there with teams like Chicago and Pittsburgh who had to tank for years in order to stockpile their talent. We simply lead by example, respect our veterans, groom our draft picks, maintain organizational stability, and rely on our “culture or winning”. And all the while fans like you and at least half of the people who posted on here yesterday whine and bitch and act like Kenny doesn’t know EXACTLY what he’s doing. Please. You can’t be a GM and not be a big picture guy. The coach may have to be more of a “what have you done for me lately” guy, but the GM knows loyalty to one guy today, means signing another guy three years down the line means playoffs again and again and again and again…

Despite this summer of fan whining, the team that came one game away from beating the cup champions has managed to both improve dramatically AND decrease their travel by a million percent. I have nothing but excitement for this season. All the rest is petty nonsense.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/13/13 at 12:22 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I’m hoping that Mike Babcock and Ken Holland understand that the Wings’ long-term success depends on affording Tatar, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist every chance to succeed on this Red Wings team, and that doing so may mean having to let some “role players’ go for the sake of allowing younger players to grow into their roles, but that’s just me.

Actually, it isn’t, George. I’d say from the comments I’ve seen that three-fourths of the Wings fans here at KK have exactly the same opinion. And it’s obvious the Wings attitude about young players is beginning to wear on all of us.

I’d like to think the Cleary signing is all part of some great secret plan that Holland will reveal at any moment now. But, like others, I’ve lost almost all faith in this guy. It began with signing Tootoo to a freaking three year contract and then adding Sammy for two years with a no-trade clause. And the final blow is the Cleary signing.

If it’s frustrating for us to watch what’s happening to the young guys, imagine what it’s like for them. You can just feel the frustration in Tatar’s words. And I bet it’s having an equally chilling effect on guys like Jarnkrok, Sheahan, Ferarro, Jurco and others. Very sad to watch.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/13/13 at 12:33 PM ET

Avatar

Does Tatar REALLY think Holland is going to simply waive a kid with his potential?

No, he would never do that, right Kyle?

 

Posted by Garth on 09/13/13 at 01:08 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

  If Helm isn’t going to be healthy,...

Getting hard to remember when he was healthy. At some point the date stamp on his usefulness runs out…...

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, I can see Cleary now….. on 09/13/13 at 11:17 AM ET

Reminds me of Mickey Redmond. After two back to back 50+ goal seasons(1972-1973 and 1973-1974) he injured his back, and to quote the Mick,“That was all she wrote.”

In the 1974–1975 season Redmond sustained a back injury(according to legend, it was during the off-season while playing tennis) and played only 29 games. His back woes continued the following year; after 37 games he retired early at the age of 28.

The longer this drags out, the better the chances Helm will not play again. Huge bummer!

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 09/13/13 at 01:21 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

@ Rummy. This Bill’s for you.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTiChdWTX_I

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 09/13/13 at 01:27 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Holland’s M.O. as of late would suggest there isn’t more to it than meets the eye, it is what it is.  That’s why people are freaking out.  Holland hasn’t exactly done chess-type moves in the past few years, thinking ahead.  He does a move to do a move, plain and simple.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 10:32 AM ET

I don’t think you’re giving management/coaching as a whole nearly enough credit. It was thinking ahead to hold onto Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, Smith, and Lashoff in a season where the team could’ve easily decided late to push hard for a trade for a veteran like Morrow or Iginla, and go all-out for “one last hurrah.”

On the other side of the coin, they could’ve given up last season before the deadline and tried to ship out Filppula, Franzen, Cleary, Miller, and Quincey.

Instead, it sure looks like Babcock and Holland thought ahead and made the right decision by standing pat. They were able to sign DeKeyser for free to improve the D. Babcock and his staff dramatically turned around the games of Ericsson and Quincey, and saw it through with Kindl, Smith, and Lashoff to the point where they now look like a legit top four right now (Kindl), a future top four and power play thread (Smith), and a Brad Stuart-lite, stay-at-home 5/6/7 D (Lashoff). They put Nyquist and Andersson together with Brunner for the stretch run, and it paid off massively—Nyquist and Andersson built on their great chemistry and gained valuable NHL experience, showing they can both be NHL players for a long time. And maybe the decision with the most foresight (that was also the most panned by us folks in the KK comments section) was playing Abdelkader with Datsyuk instead of Tatar. It took a while to work, but it sure looked like a genius move by Babs at the end of the season, when the kid found some scoring touch and started to look like the long-term replacement for Tomas Holmstrom (obviously they aren’t the exact same style of player, but where Homer was better at net-front, Abdelkader is better at skating, shooting, and defending).

If Helm isn’t going to be healthy, I like the idea of moving Abdelkader back to a lower-line center position and allowing the team to part with Emmerton.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/13/13 at 10:55 AM ET

This is a big point that I was trying to make in the other posts. The Cleary signing does impact the Helm injury because this team is currently loaded with guys that are centers-by-trade—Pav, Z, Franzen, Weiss, Emmerton, Helm, and Abdelkader.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/13/13 at 01:32 PM ET

Avatar

It was thinking ahead to hold onto Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, Smith, and Lashoff in a season where the team could’ve easily decided late to push hard for a trade for a veteran like Morrow or Iginla, and go all-out for “one last hurrah.”

I’m sorry, what?  It was thinking ahead to not sell the farm to make a push with a team that was on the bubble?  I think you’re giving management/coaching as a whole way too fu*cking much credit.

Nyquist and Andersson built on their great chemistry and gained valuable NHL experience

You’re right, and now Nyquist could very well be sent back down to Grand Rapids.  What amazing foresight they had!

Posted by Garth on 09/13/13 at 01:40 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

If it’s frustrating for us to watch what’s happening to the young guys, imagine what it’s like for them. You can just feel the frustration in Tatar’s words. And I bet it’s having an equally chilling effect on guys like Jarnkrok, Sheahan, Ferarro, Jurco and others. Very sad to watch.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/13/13 at 12:33 PM ET

All this conjecture about these guys feelings is absurd.

Don’t tell me the Wings don’t develop the guys they draft:
- Datsyuk
- Zetterberg
- Franzen
- Helm
- Abdelkader
- Nyquist
- Tatar
- Andersson
- Emmerton
- Kronwall
- Quincey
- Ericsson
- Kindl
- Smith
- Lashoff
- Howard

Barring unexpected injuries, at least 12 of those guys will be on the ice opening night. Lashoff will almost definitely be on the opening night roster as the 7th D. Helm would be on the opening night roster if he were healthy.

And then don’t tell me that the Wings aren’t great at taking players off the scrap heap that other organizations did a poor job developing, and bring the best out of them by re-developing them to be valuable NHL players:
- Samuelsson
- Cleary
- Miller
- Eaves

Barring unexpected injuries, at least 2 of those guys are likely to be on the ice opening night.

That’s 16 guys that the organization played the most important role in developing that, barring health concerns, are damn near locks for being on the opening night roster. That’s a hell of a job developing players, and while the Red Wings have very often been frustrating in how long they let players marinate in the AHL, it speaks strongly to the truth that the Wings absolute DO graduate guys to the NHL, and not only that, but get them there setup for success.

Certainly, it is a balancing act. You don’t want to alienate the kids by making them think that they can do everything right and still not be rewarded for their efforts and talents. But you also have a proven track record of turning guys into winning NHLers, so you don’t want to deviate too far from that process just because you’re worried about a 19 year old’s feelings.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/13/13 at 01:47 PM ET

Primis's avatar

you are a “small picture” guy, huh Primis?

You simply don’t grasp the difficulty (bordering on impossibility) of rebuilding on the fly in a cap controlled league without missing the playoffs and without a top 10 pick?

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/13/13 at 12:22 PM ET

How?  What difficulty am I not “grapsing” exactly?  I don’t think I’m the one here not “grasping” the situation…

The Wings *HAVE* the pieces to rebuild on the fly.  They have them in Nyquist, Tatar, Anderssson, Sheahan, Lashoff, Smith, etc…  later on Jarnkrok, Pulkkinen, Jurco, and others… those are pieces you bring in to inject energy to a roster whose core in Z, Pavel, Kronwall, Franzen, etc continues to age (because DET doesn’t play those guys until so late that they’re already sometimes 25 or 26 by the time they hit the NHL).  They already added veterans in Weiss and Alfredsson to bolster scoring this year.

How is signing/keeping Samuelsson, Dan Cleary, Jordin Tootoo “rebuilding”.  It’s not, and that’s the whole point.  That’s restocking veterans because it’s safe and familiar, not “rebuilding”.

Signing aging vets is in fact the “small picture” view.  Not playing your kids and driving them away is in fact very “small picture”.

Last year Holland and Babcock were backed into a corner where they had to play the kids and lo’ and behold, the sky didn’t fall, they made the playoffs, got hot and nearly made the Conf. Finals.  For a lot of fans it was as much fun a ride of a season as they can remember.

The lesson Ken Holland learned from that?  “Man, we can’t have those kids playing… bring back a guy like Cleary in addition to bringing in Alfie and Weiss, let Nyquist and Tatar waste their younger years…”.  How f***ing dense do you have to be to come to that conclusion after last season?  WTF is Nyquist (who still was leading the AHL in scoring for like *weeks* after he was called up to DET) supposed to gain from playing in GR?  What is Tatar (the overwhelming playoff MVP with a nutso playoff stats line) supposed to learn and do in GR?

We are going on our second time doing it in the last decade and that loyalty you scoff at, while maybe shooting ourselves in the foot in specific circumstances is a HUGE part of the teams continued success.

What success?  The last Cup was 2008.  The last Finals, or Conf. Finals was 2009.  This season will be the 2014 Cup Finals, already 5 years since the last finals visit.  There is no overwhelming success to point to since 2009.  I must have missed how vets like Holmstrom and Bertuzzi, etc, helped us to big-time success in 2010, 11, 12, and 13.

Success in free agency?  It didn’t help land Suter or Parise when they really needed them, did it?  It got Weiss and Alfredsson this year, but the Alfredsson signing is way, way overblown and the jury remains out there in a way.  So obviously that loyalty thing isn’t doing much there, Alfie on a 1-year deal to maybe end his career and Weiss who comes with baggage and a chip on his shoulder as a #2 center.

There’s a difference between Loyalty and a Class Org.  DET can be the latter without being the former to a fault.  Signing vets instead of playing more-than-ready kids is in fact incredibly shallow and short-sighted.  That’s what you do when you think you’re a true Cup contender from the get-go, and I’m sorry DET is not that this year with that blueline returning.

How about loyalty to the kids you draft, develop, and keep promising a chance to but never give said chance?

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 01:51 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I’m sorry, what?  It was thinking ahead to not sell the farm to make a push with a team that was on the bubble?  I think you’re giving management/coaching as a whole way too fu*cking much credit.

You’re right, and now Nyquist could very well be sent back down to Grand Rapids.  What amazing foresight they had!

Posted by Garth on 09/13/13 at 01:40 PM ET

How is that not thinking ahead? You might not like that truth because it doesn’t fit your worldview that somehow Ken Holland and Mike Babcock are ruining this team, but it doesn’t make it any less true. At some point, you can only make rational judgments based on WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Sometimes what happens is a function of luck, sometimes it is a function of skill. But the FACT remains they made that this team’s management essentially maximized what any reasonable expectation for this team could’ve been last season, on all fronts, whether it be how well they developed young guys like Kindl, Smith, Nyquist, and Andersson, or how unbelievably far they got in the playoffs with a roster that had little business playing that well against the Hawks.

I might be giving them too much credit, but it only seems fair given how little credit you are willing to give a management team that has been immensely successful in putting winning teams on the ice since 2005 despite all the remarkable changes they’ve had to endure (two lockouts, significant rule changes, the implementation of a salary cap, the retirement of their heart and soul, the moving on of one of their other most important veteran forwards, the retirement of the, at worst, second-best D-man of all time).

And it isn’t like they had all this success and have been equaled by a bunch of other management groups over the same time frame. The only team with 2 Cups is Chicago, and they were utter shit the first couple years post-lockout while they implemented the Washington/Pittsburgh style “tank to rebuild” plan. I’d rather have Chicago’s 2 Cups, to be sure, but Detroit’s unmatched consistency in all-around success isn’t a bad consolation prize.

And for the umpteenth time, yeah, Nyquist COULD be sent down to the AHL. But please for the sake of sweet baby Jesus why don’t you let camp play out before you skewer Holland and Babcock for doing something that they absolutely haven’t done as of this moment…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/13/13 at 01:56 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t think you’re giving management/coaching as a whole nearly enough credit. It was thinking ahead to hold onto Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, Smith, and Lashoff in a season where the team could’ve easily decided late to push hard for a trade for a veteran like Morrow or Iginla, and go all-out for “one last hurrah.”

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/13/13 at 01:32 PM ET

What?

The braintrust that signed Tootoo and Samuelsson as FA’s, along with Colaiacovo, traded a 1st for Quincey, has re-signed Dan Cleary, re-upped Bertuzzi, never traded Filppula and got zero back for him, drove Jan Mursak to sign in the KHL because he wasn’t given a chance because he committed the crime of getting hurt the one time he did get a chance (hurt blocking a shot even IIRC), and now has an upset Tomas Tatar openly talking of the KHL as an option?  Not giving them enough credit for “thinking ahead”?

I do not think that term “thinking ahead” means what you think it means.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 02:01 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

How about loyalty to the kids you draft, develop, and keep promising a chance to but never give said chance?

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 01:51 PM ET

Like the 16 guys I listed above?

Wings fans are so f*cking spoiled. This team is the most consistent winner since 2005 (and well before that, but since the criticisms here are about the Holland/Babcock era, I’m cutting it off there), and we’re whining because we only have 1 Cup. If this isn’t the “grass is always greener” syndrome, I don’t know what is. I suppose you guys would all rather have the Oilers or Islanders roster since they’re stocked with young, unproven talent, and clearly their GMs and coaches are much smarter than the guys we have in Detroit.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/13/13 at 02:02 PM ET

Primis's avatar

And for the umpteenth time, yeah, Nyquist COULD be sent down to the AHL. But please for the sake of sweet baby Jesus why don’t you let camp play out before you skewer Holland and Babcock for doing something that they absolutely haven’t done as of this moment…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/13/13 at 01:56 PM ET

Because this situation was completely preventable and is 100% of Holland’s own doing.

It’s difficult to have faith in Holland when Holland is the one that made this mess in the first place, a mess that was quite preventable, a mess EVERYONE saw coming and screamed to not ever have happen.

I’m not getting into the Babcock thing because Babcock isn’t coaching in July, August, and September when Kenny is signing 30-something guys to contracts when he already has a full roster.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 02:05 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

The braintrust that signed Tootoo and Samuelsson as FA’s,

I’m with you on this one. I keep findng myself thinking there would be none of these roster problems if these two were not under contract.  Maybe these are the two that will get sent down to GR…  we can hope

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 09/13/13 at 02:06 PM ET

perfection's avatar

No, he would never do that, right Kyle?

so you are saying in your mind Tatar and Quincey have the same amount of potential? What’s the issue then? You should be holding the door open for Tatar.

oh wait, you’re not saying that… you actually think the two situations are parallel. Despite that there are probably 4 others who would be waived before Tatar, despite the fact he tried to TRADE Quincey with no takers and could likely trade Tatar in a heartbeat if need be. Despite the fact that neither Meech nor Quincey could be sent down but Gus actually can for right now. Oh yeah, total parallel situations. Again, there’s no chance in hell Tatar gets waived… unless he doesn’t shut up… and then whatever… have fun in russia kid

I love how you and the other unpleasables see every move in a bubble. There’s no last move or next move. There’s no future or past. It’s simply a mistake to not trade for every single player you think is good or not sign every free agent you think it’s good. There’s no reasoning or even a pause to consider the costs or the reality of the situation. There’s no consideration as to the fact that sometimes they are forced to make lemons out of lemonade. Sure, some moves look bad in hindsight - that’s true of EVERY single GM in every single sport. Every move is a gamble. I know you understand this yet the temptation to act in hindsight like you actually know what’s going on is just too great. But having been on Kuklas for the past 4 or 5 seasons there’s a pattern. You bitch all summer, you bitch all training camp, you bitch all season, you really bitch during the trade deadline, and then you shut the hell up come playoff time when you jump back on the bandwagon. And god forbid, if we’re knocked out early, you were just sooooo right, but if we overachieve as we did last year, not a peep. Just a month of silence and then back to your bitching. That’s your problem Garth. It’s not that you don’t know hockey, don’t have interesting ideas, or don’t express yourself well, hell, I love having passionate discussions with people who I disagree with - you just aren’t EVER wrong as far as your concerned. You also NEVER give credit where credit’s due. We could win the cup this year and it’ll be in SPITE of Holland’s terrible job and Babcock’s terrible coaching and the HORRIBLE one year deal for Cleary and BLAH BLAH BLAH. You literally were saying the Wings should waive Abbie last year because you didn’t agree with Babs’ decision to put him on the top line… a decision that was validated in spades by the way.

I mean if Z goes 5 games without a point this year, maybe we should waive him too? It’s not like there aren’t other vets who can take on leadership. Right? That’s your logic. We don’t need Cleary’s leadership because we have other guys right? So we don’t need Z’s either because we have other guys. And seeing that it only takes a point slump for you to want guys off the team, then at least extend your faulty, emotion-based logic to everyone.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/13/13 at 02:06 PM ET

Primis's avatar

and we’re whining because we only have 1 Cup.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/13/13 at 02:02 PM ET

You don’t actually have any idea whatsoever why people are upset about this, do you?  None.

Nobody’s crying for the Cup.  What’s being said is that the level of success required to constantly be favoring vets instead of giving kids chances has not been present.  It’s not 2002 anymore.

We’re not spoiled, we’ve come to terms with what this team is and where it’s at for the most part.

Dan Cleary is not going to win us a Cup in 2018 though.  Todd Bertuzzi is not winning us a Cup in 2018.  Mikael Samuelsson is not winning us a Cup in 2018.  And spoiler alert but… they’re not winning us a Cup in 2013-14 either.

Tomas Tatar could win us a Cup in 2018.  Gustav Nyquist could too.  Heck, Jan Mursak might have (and theoretically could still I guess).  Danny Dekeyser could.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 02:11 PM ET

perfection's avatar

all this talk about “kids not getting a chance” is such utter nonsense. I’m not going to do the legwork, but to Nathan’s well-made point, the Wings probably have more players that they drafted and developed on their current squad than most if not every other team in the league. And guess what, in 4 years they probably will STILL have some of the most homegrown talent of anyone. And they will do this while STILL maintaining loyalty to their vets.

The kids get their chance when the team damn well thinks they’re ready. Is Mursak really your example here? You mean the Mursak we WAIVED that was also rejected by every single other NHL team in the league? Oh yeah, that must be Kennys big mistake. Re-signing Cleary to that contract was a must after his playoff performance. Seriously? Your second best playoff scorer (and maybe the most dominant Wing against the Hawks) signs one year for less than $2mil and you bitch?? I agree that the Sammy and Tootoo contracts suck (but also don’t think you grasp the fact that it took those contracts to actually land them… but whatever), but I’d rather waive/trade Tootoo and have Cleary than not sign Cleary and have Tootoo. Not sure why that’s not just obvious. What exactly is the issue with that? It has nothing to do with “the kids”. The more guys you have competing for these roster spots the better. Competition breeds greatness. The team has always believed that. And for you to say they’ve had no success since 2009 is just laughable. You don’t quite appreciate how close they actually were last year do you? They win game 6 in the D against the Hawks and I think they would have gone all the way. There was sure no other competition that gave Chicago nearly the challenge the Wings did.

You talk about Tatar and Gus being the future - you don’t think these guys pay attention to how the veterans are treated in Detroit? I don’t think there’s a team in sports where more guys stay their entire career. Stability is rare and underrated in professional sports. This loyalty should make the kids feel MORE secure in their career not less. Yeah there’s a tradeoff, you don’t get to play regularly in the NHL for a few years after you would on a crappier (or less loyal) team - but you also know that if you put in your dues and act/play like a Wing you will be treated like a Wing. And the playoff streak will continue… despite the spoiled fanbase

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/13/13 at 02:24 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

I don’t understand why some people think there’s more to the Cleary signing that meets the eye. No there isn’t. This is Holland we are talking about. He’d rather give an older player a spot out of loyalty. If you think he signed Cleary to trade him, you are nuts. He will trade the future for a bag of pucks. If I was Tartar, I would be pissed. Like someone else said, if the Wings are using this to motivate these young guys, I think it will backfire on them big time. Then again, I don’t think there is anything more to this story other than Holland not being able to let go of anyone. Cleary is here to stay. Tartar or Nyquist? Probably not.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 09/13/13 at 02:25 PM ET

Avatar

How is that not thinking ahead?

It’s not thinking ahead because he would have had to have brain damage to blow everything up and go for it when his team was on the bubble.

It was exactly as forward thinking as the Panthers not blowing up their prospect pool in order to make a Cup run.

Jesus, are you really that impressed by an NHL GM not acting like a brain damaged child?

so you are saying in your mind Tatar and Quincey have the same amount of potential?

No, I’m saying that they were always high on Quincey, then let him go for nothing.  Five years ago Holland/Babcock chose a 40-year old Chris Chelios over Kyle Quincey, do you really want to pretend that there’s not parallel to them potentially choosing Dan Cleary over Tatar and/or Nyquist?

In the last five years they’ve let a number of young guys walk for nothing.

The most consistent thing that Ken Holland has done over the past several years is let players walk for nothing.

Get your head out of the sand and stop pretending that it’s out of the realm of possibility for Holland to let go of a player for nothing.

Posted by Garth on 09/13/13 at 03:25 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Holland will almost CERTAINLY let a player go for nothing. I never said otherwise. He’s probably going to HAVE to as the trade market seems pretty dried up. But unless his play plummets drastically over the next few weeks, that player is NOT going to be Tatar. It is out of the realm of possibility.

Because,even if he wanted to get rid of Tatar, there would absolutely be a trade market for him. In fact, after his AHL playoff performance last year, his trade value is probably inflated. Quincey on the other hand SUCKED the preseason before we got rid of him (I think keeping Meech over Quincey, while a “mistake” in hindsight was pretty much unanimously endorsed by fans, critics, media, etc. Quincey was terrible once it was made clear his job was on the line). Dave Lewis took a stab once we waived him out of familiarity (like Yzerman taking a stab at Mattias Ritola, another kid Holland let walk for nothing) but I actually think there was a genuine belief that he had a good chance of clearing waivers. Tatar would obviously not clear waivers. He’s not going to get waived.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/13/13 at 04:05 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

@perfection - I agree with your assessment regarding Tatar. This is now the second time he has voiced his displeasure through the press, which, to my way of thinking, is a bad sign. I don’t begrudge him his frustration, but it is an immature way of dealing with it and likely highlights a gap between his assessment of his abilities and the club’s. I would guess that if KH could do it over, he would have left Tatar in Slovakia for another year before bringing him over. When you look at his development, he is right in the normal age to be working his way on to the big club, but it seems longer due to the extra year in GR.

I also fail to see the connection between Cleary’s signing and the assurance that others have that Tatar will be waived or his talents misused. Cleary and all of the others will compete for their spot in the lineup, and it is in everyone’s best interest to ice the best lineup possible. There is a very high likelihood that Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, and Cleary will all play at the same time and begin the season as starters. If anyone were to be upset, it would likely be DeKeyser or Nyquist, given that they have the greatest chance of going to GR. But, even if the worst case scenario occurs and both Nyquist and DeKeyser head to GR, it will be because there was no other choice. It is clearly not KH’s preference to send them down and they would be brought back as soon as possible.

Posted by PDXWing on 09/13/13 at 04:21 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

I don’t understand why some people think there’s more to the Cleary signing that meets the eye.

I don’t think there is anything more to this story other than Holland not being able to let go of anyone.

Well, perhaps the reason is that your analysis is so grossly simple-minded that it is insulting. To take a complex process like managing a hockey team (not just any hockey team either, arguably one of the top clubs in any sport), and to reduce the dynamics to your rationale requires that I or anyone else reading your argument believe that KH operates without self-awareness and that he surrounds himself with others who are incapable of seeing such an obvious flaw. Babcock, Zata, and Kronwall all pushed for Cleary’s return; there was even a dinner in which Kronner (and another player, Z?) encouraged Cleary to keep pushing to work something out. So to suggest that the decision to re-sign him was solely the work of KH and his inability to let someone go doesn’t stand up as a credible argument.

Posted by PDXWing on 09/13/13 at 04:43 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.