Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings morning report: on the trade alternative and taking stock of what the Wings have

Updated 2x at 12:36 PM: Puck Daddy's weighed in on the Red Wings' status as no longer a unique destination for free agents...The Sporting News's Sean Gentille notes that a certain Mike Commodore's not-so-delicately played the, "Your coach is an *#$%@& and that's why nobody wants to come to Detroit" line on Twitter (this has become a disturbingly common line, as has the, "Injuries are clearly not coincidental" theory among fans), and the Detroit Sports Site's Chris Burke reports that Wings fans are so pissed off that they messed with Ken Holland's Wikipedia page, and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spent yesterday speaking with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Rico & Beard about the Wings' whiffs...

And ESPN's Pierre LeBrun believes that the Red Wings have one good alternative in terms of improving the team via the trade route:

[T]his isn’t a team that needs that much. Just being healthier after the incredible injury losses this past season would be one way to add about three or four wins next season. The team should also benefit from itsr younger players such as Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser getting some of their initial NHL experience under their belts. Just those two factors alone make Detroit a better team for next season in a division and conference that are as wide open as ever.

But there remains a glaring hole for sure: a right-handed, puck-moving, power-play defenseman. That’s why either Boyle or Niskanen would have fit the bill.

So I bring you the name of Mike Green. The Washington Capitals spent some major dough bringing in Niskanen and Brooks Orpik on Tuesday. It screams of perhaps needing to trade out a body now.

Could it be Green? It’s interesting in talking to team execs around the league on Wednesday that there was a mixed response. Some believed he was available, some didn’t. But if the Caps do try to move him, I would suspect the Wings would at least look at him. He fits the criteria listed above.

Now, he’s coming off a couple of less than impressive seasons, especially at a $6.08 million cap hit. On the other hand, he’s heading into the last year of his deal. He’s got a modified no-trade clause in which every offseason he lists seven teams he can’t get traded to, which leaves 22 open for trade.

Again, we’re not 100 percent sure Green is available, but if he is, one would think Detroit would perhaps take a look ...Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres could be another possibility. His name has been out there for a bit as well as trade bait.

MLive's Ansar Khan also suggested that the Wings will have to address their need for a top-four and offensively-minded defensemen via a trade:

Mike Green of Washington might be the most viable candidate, and he's probably available after the Capitals signed Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. Injuries have hampered Green in recent years, but he's a tremendous skater who produces offense and can quarterback the power play. That would be enough for the Red Wings to overlook his defensive deficiencies.

Green, 28, is in the final year of his contract at slightly more than $6 million, so the Red Wings might not have to part with a young, top-six forward, a top prospect or a first-round pick for him.

Other potential trade targets could cost more to acquire, including right-handed shooters Tyler Myers (Buffalo), Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg), Cody Franson (Toronto) and Jeff Petry (Edmonton) and lefties Keith Yandle (Arizona) and Alexander Edler (Vancouver).

If the Red Wings acquire another defenseman, they likely would trade Jakub Kindl, who has three years at $2.4 million per season remaining on his contract.

More players are sure to become available during the season. Cap space isn't an issue; the Red Wings are roughly $5 million-to-$6 million under the cap, factoring in the money it likely will take to re-sign restricted free agents Tatar and Danny DeKeyser.

The Bruins were the class of the East during the regular season, much better than the Red Wings. But the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens reached the conference finals. Those teams were better than Detroit, too, but not that much better.

Khan and the Wings' other beat writers tried to accentuate the positive on Wednesday afternoon and this morning for a good reason: unless you feel like continually surveying the "Free agency losers" columns, and unless you want to read Lambert and self-flagellate with a wet noodle...

The Red Wings' roster, for the present moment, anyway, "Is what it is." Examining what the team has and looking at the players who can provide improvement from within is far less exciting than talking about a free agency addition, but it's about all we can do.

The Detroit News's Kulfan made sure to posit a photo gallery annotated with free agency "hits and misses" before diving into an analysis of the team's presently moving parts...

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard is the starter and Gustavsson the backup — with Petr Mrazek a phone call away in Grand Rapids. Howard will be looking to rebound from a sub-par season — 21-19-11 with a 2.66 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

Getting Gustavsson re-signed for another season was a mild priority. He was 16-5-4 with 2.63 GAA, .907 SVS, and saved the Red Wings filling in for Howard. But the issue with Gustavsson remains his troublesome groin injuries, which limited his availability. He needs to play approximately 25 games to give Howard a breather.

The plan for Mrazek is to play one more season in Grand Rapids before likely taking over for Gustavsson in 2015-16.

Defensemen: The starting lines include Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey-Danny DeKeyser and Brendan Smith-Jakub Kindl (or Brian Lashoff). In an ideal world, coach Mike Babcock would love to have a left-righty on each line playing on their natural side. The Red Wings were all left-handed last season.

The good news? DeKeyser will continue his growth into an elite top-four defenseman, and Smith played well late. And, re-signing Quincey, a defensive defenseman and able penalty killer, was needed after the free-agency bust.

Don’t be surprised to see a right-hander — Ryan Sproul or Xavier Ouellet — play early, jumping past Kindl and/or Lashoff on the depth chart.

And the Free Press's Helene St. James continues the narrative in a more "holistic" sense:

To save space, here’s another way of looking at the 2013-14 Wings: Only two players appeared in all 82 games. One was Kyle Quincey, the defenseman re-signed after being rejected by righties throughout Tuesday’s opening of free agency. The other was fourth-liner Drew Miller. Only an additional five skaters played in at least 70 games. That is how gutted the Wings were last season. If the Wings can achieve a modicum of good health, they could add a half-dozen victories to the 39 of last season.

Another reason for optimism: Youngsters Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Danny DeKeyser have gained NHL experience, including how difficult it is to be a factor in the playoffs. Gustav Nyquist learned a hard lesson about being an “everyday’er” after cramming 23 goals into 28 games only to have two assists the last six games of the regular season and then no points in the playoffs.

What the young guys did contribute last season is reason to like the future. Here’s another: The Wings are going to give Anthony Mantha, a two-time 50-goal scorer in juniors, every chance during exhibition season to make next season’s team. Xavier Ouellet, the young defenseman called upon for an elimination game, will be considered, too, as will right-shot defense prospect Ryan Sproul.

Last season demonstrated how well the Wings have drafted and developed. So add those young contributors to an even remotely healthier NHL-vetted squadron, and the future looks brighter than the dark clouds that hovered over Detroit on Tuesday evening.

Lastly, there’s this: Boyle took less money than the Wings offered to join his friend Martin St. Louis with the New York Rangers. Robidas took the same money the Wings offered to play in Toronto, closer to his kids in Montreal. Niskanen took marginally more money to join his former mentor in Washington. But none of those targets was going to replace Nicklas Lidstrom or Rafalski. And by being rejected, the Wings retain room down the road to make a trade.

 

 

 

Otherwise...The Red Wings posted a YouTube video to serve as a companion to DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's "Wings in Waiting" profile of Teemu Pulkkinen...

In not-so-cheery news, the Toronto Star's Rick Westhead, and, via Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford, the CBC report that Steve Moore is now seeking $68 million in his lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi, the Vancouver Canucks and the NHL, with the civil suit scheduled to take place in September;

And to not end this report on a downer, the Livingston Daily Press & Argus's Bill Khan reports that Ted Lindsay lived up to the hype in terms of his kindness and generosity while appearing at a charitable event on Wednesday:

All that Cathy Brock knew about Ted Lindsay, the human being, was confirmed when he walked into the restaurant and greeted her.

Brock, the marketing manager at Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill, had met Lindsay at other fundraisers. The hockey Hall of Famer knew that a friend of hers has autism, a developmental disorder that affects the brain’s development of social and communication skills.

“He’s always such a nice man,” Brock said. “For being such a tough guy on the ice, he’s such a gentle soul. The first thing he asked me today was about my friend and her son with autism. He was truly interested in his care and asked if he got early care. It’s never about him. It’s a privilege to have him here.”

Lindsay mingled with fans Tuesday afternoon at Aubree’s, which was donating 15 percent of its sales to the Ted Lindsay Foundation. The foundation was established in 2001 to raise money to research the cause and treatment of autism.

Lindsay weighed in on the Wings' free agency...lack of signings...

He believes the team needs to sign at least one veteran defenseman to be a contender next season.

“I’m just looking for my team to get a defenseman,” he said to one fan who came up for an autograph. “They haven’t done that yet.”

And he spoke about Gordie Howe's condition as well:

“He spends most of his time now with his son in Connecticut,” Lindsay said. “It’s a shame to see his dementia is getting worse. Every time I see him, it’s gotten a little bit worse. He was in town last weekend at East Side Sports and signed. He’s having trouble signing, too, because of his concentration.”

sad

 

 

Update: The Hockey News's Rory Boylen's free agency grade for the Wings isn't a surprising one:

Detroit: The Golden Age of Detroit hockey is over. The Wings had a few targets in mind heading into July 1 and struck out on all but one of them. So you get the feeling the one signing they did make was their third, fourth, or even fifth choice. Getting Kyle Quincey for a $4.25 million cap hit and two years is quite a lot for a depth defenseman, but the Wings were desperate to add something to the blueline and couldn’t convince Matt Niskanen or Christian Ehrhoff to come aboard. If the Wings were still in the West, they likely would have missed the playoffs last season – but because they are having a hard time filling their needs, it’s going to get tougher to hang on even in the East. GRADE: D

 

Update #2: FYI:

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Comments

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I didn’t know it was the detroit media’s job to do PR and cheerlead the summer fiasco that is Ken Holland.  But I have to say I’m not really surprised they don’t ask the tough questions, Holland would be skewered if he was in any other major media market, here everyone in the media will just drink the Kool Aid

Posted by bababooey on 07/03/14 at 09:29 AM ET

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I posted this at WIIM earlier, but I think its worth the repeat:
Looking back at the names the Wings have signed via free agency since the institution of the cap during the 2005-2006 NHL season reveals a that this is really nothing new and if we thought different we were wearing blinders:

2005
Mikael Samuelsson
Andres Lilja
Chris Osgood

2006
Dominik Hasek
Danny Markov
Greg Johnson

2007
Brian Rafalski

2008
Marian Hossa

2009
Todd Bertuzzi
Jason Williams

2010
Mike Modano

2011
Ty Conklin

2012
Carlo Colaiacovo
Jordin Tootoo
Mikael Samuelsson
Jonas Gustavsson

2013
Stephen Weiss
Daniel Alfredsson

2014
nada

Other than notable Hossa and Rafalski, who came here around championship caliber teams, all of the names up there came here with prior ties to the organization, as second tier signings, or in the twilight of their respective careers. I think the point is, this free agent destination has been a myth for awhile now, bolstered in four year increments by championship teams built mostly from within by developing waves of good players (Yzerman, Federov, Lidstrom, Konstantinov, Osgood etc.,Datsyuk Zetterberg, Kronwall, Franzen, etc.,) then adding pieces to fit around them. The most successful of those have been trades. (Shanahan, Stuart, Chelios, etc.)
This is where we find ourselves now. Before 2002, I can remember calls to trade Yzerman! Bowman should retire! blah, blah, blah. I can remember the uncertainty when Yzerman retired, the reins being passed to Z. We had Lidstrom here as a bridge, now we have Zetterberg and Datsyuk.
This is an uncertain time for Wings fans. But there is hope still in the youth that they have developed. And given that this is how they build their teams, from within first, I don’t feel all that down about this FA whiff.  Id be calling for Holland to move heaven and earth or move on if he hadn’t amassed a farm team that everyone in the NHL wants when mentioning trades.
This a is the bust end of a cycle of players, we’ve been through this before.

Posted by geoffreypelkey on 07/03/14 at 09:36 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

There’s an assumption that post-lockout 2 free agency has been some sort of wonderful windfall for Detroit, and I agree completely that it hasn’t been fantastic…For anybody. We tend to forget that a good third of the signings “don’t work out” regardless of where players are signing, and while this definitely sucks, the odds are always stacked against your team landing anyone. I’m not surprised by anything that happened, including the Wings running back to Quincey, regrettably.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/03/14 at 09:41 AM ET

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Kulfan says Xavier Oullet is a right-handed shot. Wrong.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/03/14 at 09:46 AM ET

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OK, the wiki page was funny.

Posted by George0211 on 07/03/14 at 09:46 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I went to the twitter and didn’t see anything about the coach or GM.. Is that what you meant by he said your coach is an assholr?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/03/14 at 09:49 AM ET

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I went to the twitter and didn’t see anything about the coach or GM.. Is that what you meant by he said your coach is an assholr?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/03/14 at 09:49 AM ET

I didn’t see it either from the link, but in any case, no one takes Mike Commodore seriously.

Posted by George0211 on 07/03/14 at 09:50 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

You could get hit by a bus tomorrow.  Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave the house.  Not trying for sake of failure is failure.  If that’s what they’re trying to spin they should try another angle cause that just irritates the shi out of me.  Own up when you don’t get it done.. Don’t try to feed me a turd sandwich and tell me its steak.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/03/14 at 09:58 AM ET

tekjansen's avatar

I don’t think I’ve heard Ted Kulfan speak, he’s a lot cooler sounding than I would have thought.

That being said, his colloquial demeanor with regards to player and personnel hockey nicknames (Bert, Clears, Babs…) certainly colors the relatively mild criticism of the “diggers.” I think Detroit is a perfect place to be a player with regards to the media (though maybe not against the fans sometimes), but I’d love to see a James Mirtle/Jonas Siegel-type emerge and be more direct. So far, the closest thing we’ve got has been Dery’s new gig, stirring up the Babcock contract stuff.

Posted by tekjansen on 07/03/14 at 10:05 AM ET

DocF's avatar

At this point, I am very reluctantly OK with signing Quincy.  There are a lot worse options, so it makes some sense.  Am I a happy camper?  No, I am not.  I would have preferred a short-termer and especially Willie Mitchell.  However, his injury history makes him a major risk.  Same with Jovanowski. 

Given my druthers, I would rather see Detroit make a trade for Jeff Petry.  He is a Detroit boy and his dad knows how to win, so I would think that may be passed on.  Cody Franson also has a lot of upside.

We will see what we will see.

Oh, I’ve thought for some time that Babcock’s negatives outweigh his positives.  The players who went elsewhere for less tend to reinforce this.  It sure as hell was not because they dislike pizza.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 07/03/14 at 10:08 AM ET

Primis's avatar

There are 29 other NHL teams who think Commodore is worthless too, so I bear that in mind any time I see him spit venom at DET.  He seems to solely blame Babcock for his career derailing and, yeah… that doesn’t explain why 29 other teams don’t want him either.

So his own opinion is basically just tears from the a**-end of Russia.

I don’t think I’ve heard Ted Kulfan speak, he’s a lot cooler sounding than I would have thought.

I wish he spoke like he tweets.  He could be like Hockey Yoda then.

Posted by Primis on 07/03/14 at 10:15 AM ET

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I’ve been secretly hoping that signing Quicney to that 2yr contract was a signal that they are ready to promote Sproul or Marchenko. It means they don’t need to trade away their prospects for a dman. And while Quincey isn’t anywhere near the answer ultimately, it does allow them to show the NHL what they have in GR at a professional level by using them as that 3rd pairing with a RH shot, resulting in either filling that hole internally or bolstering their trade credentials for a later trade. Only if they relegate Kindl to 7th and bury Lashoff, of course.
Its a long game and I want to feel like Holland is going to lay down some decisiveness on the matter.
And I think that need for decisiveness is an outcome of this FA period. They obviously did want one or two of those guys and signing them would have made a youth transition much easier. Now that they don’t have that buffer, every move by a GR call up is gonna be that much more scrutinized. Its better to all the fans that he owns it and is communicative about it rather than throwing out phrases like “We like our team.”

Posted by geoffreypelkey on 07/03/14 at 10:30 AM ET

@TheJimP19's avatar

Franson appears to be the odd man out in Toronto; maybe he would be a cheap alternative.

Posted by @TheJimP19 from transplanted in Nashville on 07/03/14 at 10:33 AM ET

tekjansen's avatar

Franson is the odd man out because his RFA demands are going to be between $5-6 million, and the Leafs think Rielly is a much better replacement. Franson would be a solid move, but would cost a defenseman prospect and Darren Helm.

Posted by tekjansen on 07/03/14 at 10:41 AM ET

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After a couple of days of cooling off, I’m now trying to figure out what players we should be targeting in trades.  For me it’s a no-brainer (which is perfect for our GM) that we should be looking at teams that are in trouble with cap issues. 

Chicago has a roster that is filled out, but they’re $2mill + over so they have to move somebody of significance and they have to think of re-signing Toews and Kane still.  Seabrook is a FA in 2016.  He’s a right-handed D.  He’s only 29 years old.  Why not offer up Gus (which would hurt, but he’s not irreplaceable), Smith, Ouellet, and a pick (2nd?).  Shouldn’t that at least make Chicago interested?  Am I crazy? 
Short of that, they have other solid D that we should at least show interest in (Oduya, Leddy).

And then there’s Boston.  Not over the cap but they have a lot of spots to fill and not much space left.  I’m not sure what it would take to get Boychuk, but since he’s a FA in 2015 I don’t suppose we’d have to bust open the bank to make a decent offer.

THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO ADDRESS OUR NEEDS WITH A DECENT TRADE SINCE WE HAVE A LOT OF SOLID YOUNG TALENT!  There just has to be.

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 10:55 AM ET

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Why not offer up Gus (which would hurt, but he’s not irreplaceable), Smith, Ouellet, and a pick (2nd?).  Shouldn’t that at least make Chicago interested?  Am I crazy? 

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 10:55 AM ET

Are you saying we should trade for Keith or Seabrook?

That package you proposed would be severe overpayment. Seabrook ain’t that great.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/03/14 at 11:10 AM ET

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Trading prospects is tough because we all thnk about their potential for years and it then hurts to think of them meeting that somewhere else.

But…

Not all these D-Men will have a place on the Wings roster. Not All the forwards will as well. You can hold on to them all and wait for their waiver eligability to run out and then lose the ones that don’t have a spot (for nothing), or make the assesment a year or two before that of which ones will be long term keepers and trade a few of the others.

The wings have been doing more of the former than latter, but I think that should change. What the point of having a deep prospect pool and just sitting on it?

Posted by lancer on 07/03/14 at 11:12 AM ET

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[quoteThere are 29 other NHL teams who think Commodore is worthless too, so I bear that in mind any time I see him spit venom at DET.  He seems to solely blame Babcock for his career derailing and, yeah… that doesn’t explain why 29 other teams don’t want him either.]

I couldn’t agree more. I was in Traverse City watching training camp the year they acquired Commodore. I remember thinking that he didn’t seem to be taking things as seriously as the other guys, not as focused, just going through the motions….and telling myself, this guy isn’t going to be worth a shit. One of the few times I was right.

Posted by Steve in SE MI on 07/03/14 at 11:12 AM ET

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Keith ain’t going anywhere.  But Seabrook (big, reliable, righty and in his prime) is exactly what we need.  And Smith is the one that ain’t that great.  Ouellet I’m not sure about.  Sproul should be untouchable in my mind.

Think about going into next year with this lineup:

Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Mantha
Franzen, Weiss, Tatar
Jurco, Sheahan, Pulkinen
Miller, Helm, Abdelkader
Glendenning, Anderson

Kronwall, Seabrook
DeKeyser, Ericson
Quincey, Sproul
Kindl

Now that’s a lineup that I like a lot more than what we’ve got now.

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 11:17 AM ET

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I want Mantha to start in GR. I want to see him dominate there before coming up. There are things he probably needs to learn about playing in professional league first.

Of course if that domination starts on day 1, bring him up by december.

Posted by lancer on 07/03/14 at 11:22 AM ET

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If they plan to play Mantha with anyone other than Zetterberg and Datsyuk then I agree, he should start in GR.  But I just think that two of the best players in the world should be able to compensate for a rookies shortcomings.  Imagine Dats and Z feeding this kid instead of Abby!

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 11:27 AM ET

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If they plan to play Mantha with anyone other than Zetterberg and Datsyuk then I agree, he should start in GR.  But I just think that two of the best players in the world should be able to compensate for a rookies shortcomings.  Imagine Dats and Z feeding this kid instead of Abby!

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 11:27 AM ET

I think it’s fair to say, that if Mantha starts to dominate AHL, they will bring him up and put him with Pav.

Posted by George0211 on 07/03/14 at 11:29 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Quincey, Sproul
Kindl

Now that’s a lineup that I like a lot more than what we’ve got now.

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 11:17 AM ET

I think Marchenko is ahead of Sproul on the depth chart.

And we could move Kindl for picks and promote Ouellet

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/03/14 at 11:30 AM ET

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That lineup is cute. But the price for Seabrook you’ve proposed is a king’s ransom for Chicago.

Also, Nyquist is a likely candidate for future captain. Tatar is the guy the team would be willing to trade.

Smith will be a very good defenseman in a couple years. He’s got to put it all together. And I believe he will.

Way too much to pay for Seabrook, who I don’t consider an elite defenseman.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/03/14 at 11:34 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Also, Nyquist is a likely candidate for future captain. Tatar is the guy the team would be willing to trade.

Smith will be a very good defenseman in a couple years. He’s got to put it all together. And I believe he will.

They might be more willing to move Tatar, but I love his creativity and his drive. I think he is offensively more complete than Nyquist.

As for Smith, I agree and I think his best years are ahead. I wouldn’t mind seeing Marchenko work his way up the depth chart to pair with Smith: then you’d have your puck mover with a solid stay at home guy.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/03/14 at 12:02 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

But the price for Seabrook you’ve proposed is a king’s ransom for Chicago.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/03/14 at 11:34 AM ET

Agreed, though I assume he’s considering that Ken Holland is making this trade, and hence significantly overpaying.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/03/14 at 12:05 PM ET

@TheJimP19's avatar

I wasn’t aware of Fransons demands, hes not worth close to that amount…..

Posted by @TheJimP19 from transplanted in Nashville on 07/03/14 at 12:18 PM ET

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I think I was being too charitable to Smith earlier.  He’s garbage.  Zero hockey sense as a defenseman.  Do you all remember how competent Quincey looked when they separated him from Smith and teamed him up with DeKeyser?  And I’m sick of this “Smith is young. Just give him some time.” stuff.  DeKeyser is young and he knows how to play D.  With d-men it’s just one of those things.  Either you got it, or you don’t.  And Smith don’t got it!  He’s essentially a more physical version of Kindl, who is another turdbag.  Even a young guy like Almquist looked like he had a better feel for the game at the pro level than Smith does, and he only played 2 games last year!  Same thing with Ouellet and he’s only 19!

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 12:20 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

For the first time in many years, I clicked on a PuckDaddy link. And for the first time ever, I agreed with something he wrote. What if Babcock is the reason?

With the salary cap and the ensuing parity (meaning all things being equal), if you’re a player deciding where to go, isn’t the coach a big part of your decision? The Wings have not only been unable to attract top FA talent, they’ve been unable to retain their own FA’s. Shanny, Hossa, Hudler, and Filppula have all left as FA’s after playing under Babcock.

Does anyone other than the local media consider Babs to be the best coach? Sure, Canadians love him because of the two gold medals, but it doesn’t seem like those who cover the NHL on a regular basis think he’s the best; they’ve never voted him the Adams Award. Sutter and Q-Stache both have coached two Cup winners. Julien and Bylsma are at least his equals with 1-1 records in the finals.

Babs is a throwback in the worst sense of the word. I think he thinks he’s Scotty Bowman Jr., but his act has worn thin and he doesn’t have Scotty’s record to back it up. He needs time away from the game to renew himself.

Dave Lewis was fired even though he made the playoffs. After nine seasons, it’s time for a change.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/03/14 at 12:28 PM ET

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I don’t know why anyone would expect ANY kind of significant trade from Ken Holland. You can talk all you want about all of these terrific NHL d-men that would look great in a Wings’ sweater, but it won’t happen. No chance. What we have is basically what we’re going with this season with the possible exception of an additional bottom tier FA d-man (Morris, Jovo, Salo etc.).

Posted by godblender on 07/03/14 at 12:28 PM ET

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And I’m sick of this “Smith is young. Just give him some time.” stuff.  DeKeyser is young and he knows how to play D.  With d-men it’s just one of those things.  Either you got it, or you don’t.  And Smith don’t got it!  He’s essentially a more physical version of Kindl, who is another turdbag.

Stupid.

Smith has played less than two full NHL seasons. It’s not his fault that the organization kept him buried in GR longer than probably should have, or that he’s generally been paired with on of the weaker defenceman on the team. A lot of really, really solid NHL defenceman take 3-4 years to fully develop. He does need to take a big step forward this coming season, but he’s still a hell of a lot better than Lashoff or Kindl.

Posted by godblender on 07/03/14 at 12:33 PM ET

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Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 12:20 PM ET

I know you’re not alone on Smith. But I disagree that he doesn’t have the sense or that he doesn’t know how to play the position. I think the issue is more in line with him trying to do things he shouldn’t try and instead needing to learn to make the simple play. He’s a bit too much of a gambler, so far.

I think he’s needed an attitude adjustment and I think he’s starting to get it. He’s been able to put it together for periods - he looked pretty good paired with Kronwall on the top pair when the defense was dealing with injuries.

I know not everyone is sold on him. But defense is a tough position to learn and there was a recent study that showed defensemen do not peak until 26-29 years old. Smith is 25. Before the end of 2015-2016, I believe we’ll see a different Brendan Smith - a guy who puts up close to 40 points per year and plays pretty decent defense. A good middle pair guy.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/03/14 at 12:35 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I think ur right Capt D.  Babs has a drill Sargent like temperament.  And that’s good.  And it creates winners.  And it’s completely acceptable and admirable.. In the short term.  Can you imagine if you had a boss for a DS.. Everyday year after year.  He’d stop getting results unless you give him new bodies to get his message while they’re still listening.

I think that’s a huge reason.  I think KH changed the culture from ” win” to “just get in” and that doesn’t atract FAs either

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/03/14 at 01:06 PM ET

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Semi Off topic.. Does anyone know last seasons game of Jurco getting roughed up? I think it was against Ottawa or Carolina but I can’t find any youtube clips. I think NBC was announcing at the time. Let me know if anyone has anything.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 07/03/14 at 01:32 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Commodore didn’t like Babcock and he still came to Detroit to play for him.

Posted by RWBill from lead guitarist for The Pompous Dicks. on 07/03/14 at 01:33 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Commodore didn’t like Babcock and he still came to Detroit to play for him.
Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/03/14 at 01:33 PM ET

And how did that work out for him? I think you proved my point.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/03/14 at 01:41 PM ET

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  Commodore didn’t like Babcock and he still came to Detroit to play for him.
  Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/03/14 at 01:33 PM ET

And how did that work out for him? I think you proved my point.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/03/14 at 01:41 PM ET

It didn’t work out well because Commodore was a fat, shitty defenceman.

Posted by godblender on 07/03/14 at 01:56 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

It didn’t work out well because Commodore was a fat, shitty defenceman.
Posted by godblender on 07/03/14 at 01:56 PM ET

Exactly, Commode was not a top FA. No one else offered him a deal. Wings offered him 1yr/$1mil and traded him after 17 games. If fat shitty FA defenceman are the only ones willing to sign with the Wings, there is a problem. And very few people around here will even consider that the problem is Babs. He’s the Third Rail of Red Wing politics.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/03/14 at 02:06 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Exactly.. He came to play BC he was so amazed he got offered a contract he almost wrecked his truck

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/03/14 at 02:16 PM ET

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All this Babcock bashing is ridiculous.  Who are all these warm and cuddly players coaches out there that players love playing for?  And please let me know which one of them has won a Cup.

That little baby Crosby had nothing but praise for Babcock in the Olympic prep, as did a lot of other players on that team.  Babcock coached his ass off last year and took a relatively young team decimated by injuries into the playoffs.

Today’s athletes have all the money that they could ever want.  It’s not always the deciding factor.  They have other things that often trump money, like living in New York, or in a nice climate.  It’s unfortunate but most people see Detroit as a total dump.  I vaguely remember reading a story about Shea Weber going to Detroit on his own to get a feel for the city when he was looking for a potential landing spot.  If you don’t know where you’re going that’s a disaster waiting to happen!

Add to that that the Wings are in the oldest building in the league and are clearly going through a rebuild.  Even though it’s not an Oilers-style rebuild, it’s still a rebuild, and I’m sure players aren’t crazy about the idea of being on a Wings team 3 years down the road without Datsyuk (potentially) and an older Z.

Posted by Wise1 on 07/03/14 at 02:48 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.