The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/19/13 at 04:55 AM ET
My technological odyssey continued on Monday afternoon, so I took a little time to attend to something I'll need to write a short story about one day...
And the Red Wings and their fans received bad news, bad news and more bad news in the injury department.
In theory, we all assumed, Kyle Quincey had only suffered a chipped cheekbone, and could be back within a week or two. As it turns out, Quincey's a mess, and the team's initial estimate is now that Quincey will miss 4-6 weeks (i.e. he won't be back until the playoffs).
According to DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose, Quincey's going to see an optometrist this week, which indicates that he's got an orbital bone fracture, and the team won't even know if Quincey needs surgery to repair his fracture(s) until next week because he's dealing with significant swelling:
“Quincey got checked by the doctors today,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He sees (the eye doctor) tomorrow, still won't know anything because of the swelling. Will re-evaluate in a week, but he's got multiple fractures.”
The loss of Quincey – who will likely be out a minimum of 4-6 weeks – definitely hurts the Red Wings on the back end. The veteran had really started playing well. He had a goal and an assist with a plus-8 rating in 26 games. Quincey suffered the facial injury Friday night during the third period of the Red Wings’ 3-2 overtime win at Edmonton. He was struck in the face when a puck rode up the shaft of his stick from a shot by Oilers center Jordan Eberle.
Fortunately, the Red Wings had nine defensemen up at the time of Quincey’s injury. Veteran defenseman Ian White replaced Quincey in the lineup Saturday in Vancouver. It’s expected that he’ll play Wednesday when the Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena. The Wings also have an insurance card in veteran journeyman Kent Huskins, who is up with the big club and available to play.
“What are you going to do? We've been talking about this all year,” Babcock said. “The rest of it doesn't matter. We got to find a way to win a game. We found a way last game, we got to find away again.”
Beyond Huskins, depth on the back end becomes a problem as they’re still without veteran defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who has been sidelined by a shoulder injury since the season’s opening week.
“I don't know anything about Carlo's situation, but White played the last game and did a fine job,” Babcock said. “He's just got to get himself rolling like he can, get his confidence to the highest level and play.”
Colaiacovo's shoulder remains problematic--as in "he might not return this season" problematic--and that last line Babcock offered is worth repeating, per MLive's Ansar Khan:
Quincey was hit in the face with the puck when it deflected off his stick after a shot by Edmonton's Jordan Eberle with 2:01 left in the third period of Friday's 3-2 overtime victory over the Oilers.
“He sees (the eye doctor) tomorrow, still won't know (if he needs surgery) because of the swelling,'' coach Mike Babcock said.
With Quincey sidelined for Saturday's 5-2 victory in Vancouver, Ian White took his place in the lineup.
"White played the last game and did a fine job,'' Babcock said. "He's just got to get himself rolling like he can, get his confidence to the highest level and play.''
Read: Babs still isn't sold on White.
As such, and even if Quincey was to magically heal before the trade deadline on April 3rd, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan states the obvious:
But it wouldn’t be surprising, now, if a depth defenseman does become something the Red Wings search for before the trade deadline, given the uncertainty regarding Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), who has only played two games this season.
Yup, and here's what Holland told Kulfan about Bertuzzi:
"There's been no decision on whether surgery is necessary, we'll know about surgery in a week," Holland said.
Regarding Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi, I guess this isn't a surprise, per Kulfan:
Forward Darren Helm was hoping to put his back issues behind, but...Helm was on the ice for approximately 10 minutes before suffering a "little bit of a setback."
"It didn't feel too good traveling (on the recent western Canadian trip) and sitting down a lot," said Helm, who has a torn ligament near his disc and has been limited to one game. "I don't know if that was the cause. We were pushing it pretty hard on the ice."
Helm had been skating with the team the last week and was hoping to play Wednesday against the Wild.
"That's a pipe dream," coach Mike Babcock said. "He just has to stay positive."
With 19 games left in the season, and the Red Wings fighting to earn a playoff spot, time is beginning to fade.
After Monday's optional practice, Helm told MLive's Ansar Khan (Khan Tweeted that 9 players skated at City Sports Arena) that he may or may not have pushed himself too hard during the Western Canadian road trip, and may or may not have allowed his impatience to get the better of him:
“When we only have a shortened season, it’s getting upsetting to not be able to play,'' Helm said. “We have a handful of games left, it’s tough sitting here watching. You don’t want to force yourself to try and get back earlier. I just need to listen to the doctors, (trainers) Piet (Van Zant) and Russ (Baumann) and, I’ll say it again, just take it one day at a time.''
Helm, out since Jan. 25, practiced with the team for several days last week. He wonders if the travel to Western Canada or the extra drills he had been doing attributed to the setback.
“It didn’t feel too good, traveling, sitting down a lot; I don’t know if that was the cause of it,'' Helm said. “We were pushing pretty hard on the ice and added in a few new exercises. I don’t know if it was one of the combination of it all, but the last couple of days it’s just not feeling the way it was earlier after the (pain-killing) shots. Hopefully, this is just a minor, minor setback.''
Backs are backs. You never know.
He is hoping to be back on the ice in a couple of days and accompany the team on the four-game Western trip that starts Friday in Anaheim. He'll continue to work out in the gym.
“I think if I was just going out there and skating by myself with no pucks I could have stayed out there a little longer,'' Helm said. “Shooting kind of aggravated it a little bit, so I’ll stop doing that.''
Babcock obviously believes that Helm can still return and make a positive impact...
“We're in crunch time; guys who are playing and playing well aren't losing their jobs to people that are coming back unless the guy coming back has earned the right to play over time,'' Babcock said. “Helmer, we'd welcome back at any time. Let's not kid ourselves. He's a good player. Now, does it get to a point where he can't help us? Not the Helmer I know. The Helmer I know can help us at any time.''
But Helm understandably sounds frustrated given that he's barely played for the last year-and-a-half due to an assortment of injuries, as the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness noted:
“I think I’m doing a little better with this one (mentally),” Helm said. “I don’t think it’s as bad as 2-3 weeks ago. I’m hoping it’s a small thing and I aggravated it by doing a little too much work and too much traveling. I’m hoping it’s just a couple of days.”
Todd Bertuzzi essentially had to make an appearance because Monday night was the Toast of Hockeytown, and things sound pretty bad in terms of his attempts to put his back woes behind him, as noted by DetroitRedWings.com's Roose...
Bertuzzi’s issues are anything but minor. Since a bulging disc in his lower back pinched a nerve on Feb. 7, he’s had problems with muscle atrophy. He's lost three-centimeters around his right thigh, which has zapped him of any strength and the ability to push off that leg. He tried skating on his own last week, but it didn’t go very well.
“It wasn’t strong enough and where it needs to be,” said Bertuzzi, who hasn’t played since the injury. “Unfortunately it’s just time. I don’t have an answer. I wish I did because that’s the frustrating part,” said Bertuzzi, who hasn’t played since a bulging disc flared up on Feb. 7. “If you have a knee injury or something you know how long it’s going to take, but when it’s the back you have no clue.”
The disc between the L3 and L4 vertebrae in his lower back pinched a nerve, which caused excruciating pain that sent Bertuzzi to the hospital, where he stayed for four days. The pain is so intolerable that it’s left the 6-foot-3, 245-pound forward nearly immobile at times for more than a month. Bertuzzi said he felt the pain coming on during a game in St. Louis last month. The pain was accompanied by a loss of strength and numbness, he said.
“It got tweaked or whatever, but by the third period I lost all feeling and everything in my right leg,” Bertuzzi said. “I had not strength and after the game it got worse and worse and by the time I got home I was done. I went to the hospital ... kind of been every two weeks getting needles and resting.
Going to the hospital was the last resort, Bertuzzi said, because it “Was the only thing that would control the pain. Everything kind of came down the front and all that. No pills could really take away the pain so I went there.”
The Macomb Daily's Pleiness...
“I don’t have an answer, I wish I did because that’s the frustrating part,” Bertuzzi said when asked if there was a time frame for his return. “If you have a knee injury or something you know how long it’s going to take, but when it’s the back you have no clue.
“Game four or five my back was hurting a bit,” Bertuzzi added. “Then, that play (against St. Louis), it got tweaked or whatever, but by the third period I lost all feeling and everything in my right leg. I had not strength and after the game it got worse and worse and by the time I got home I was done. I went to the hospital for four days, kind of been every two weeks getting needles and resting.”
Bertuzzi has tried to skate once since the injury, five days ago, and his back wasn’t strong enough and where it needs to be.
“I’d like to get back because the only other option is going to get it fixed,” Bertuzzi said. “That’s where I’m at right now. I’m going to try and rehab and get it strong enough and back to being strong enough to where I can play. I don’t want to play one game and be back to where I’ve been. I want to be able to last the remainder of the games and all that.
“It’s frustrating,” Bertuzzi added. “I wish I had more answers.”
"Getting it fixed" = surgery, and Bertuzzi missed half of the vast majority of the 06-07 season when he was with Florida due to back surgery.
He's working out, but as MLive's Khan notes, Bertuzzi's well aware of the fact that "backs are backs":
“With the back, it’s just time,'' Bertuzzi said. “I don’t have an answer. I wish I did because that’s the frustrating part. If you have a knee injury or something (like that) you know how long it’s going to take. But, when it’s the back, you have no clue.''
He skated for five minutes last week, but his back wasn't strong enough to stay on the ice.
“I’ve got a couple of issues with my discs,'' Bertuzzi said. “I did three shots and it’s gradually gotten better after each one.''
His off-ice workouts have been limited, too.
“I've been doing the elliptical for a couple of days now and gradually try to get better every day and see if I can get to the point where I can get back on the ice and start skating,'' Bertuzzi said.
Babcock groused at the Detroit Free Press's Carlos Monarrez when discussing Helm's return or the lack thereof--and yes, we can assume that Gustav Nyquist will be recalled after the Grand Rapids Griffins play the Peoria Rivermen this (Tuesday) evening...
“Helm didn’t last in the skate today, probably had a setback,” Babcock said. “There’s no timeline. I think we were talking about having him Wednesday. That’s a pipe dream.”
But Mr. "Worrying is a waste of time" offered this bit of Babcockian philosophy to Pleiness:
“What are you going to do? We’ve been talking about this all year,” Babcock said about his team’s rash of injuries all season. “We’ve got to find a way to win a game. We found a way last game, we got to find away again.’’
And Jimmy Howard speaking to the media after the Wings' win in Vancouver on Saturday night:
Monday night's Toast of Hockeytown isn't the kind of event the media digs attending--they tend not to want to mingle with players as that's not their job, and the Toast is about fans paying a significant chunk of charitably-donated change to have access to their favorite players at a super-fancy buffet and wine-tasting, but Currich5 on YouTube did post some short clips from the event.
We will see more from the Toast of Hockeytown sooner or later:
In terms of other fan-oriented stuff, Niklas Kronwall answered questions for the Red Wings Kids Club...
The Wings are holding a promotion on Wednesday...
The Wings face off against the Wild at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday March 20th for DTE Energy’s third annual 'Going Green Night'.
As part of the theme night, DTE Energy and the Red Wings will be giving away “Going Green” coolers at the distribution tables located at the east doors and sections 106, 112 and 124 on the concourse. “Going Green” facts will be displayed throughout the game on the JLA scoreboard and energy efficiency experts will be at the DTE Energy table on the concourse at section 118 to talk with fans.
DTE Energy and the Red Wings will also welcome the 400 fans who won tickets to the match up by entering an energy efficiency contest hosted by DTE.
“The Detroit Red Wings have provided a unique venue for helping consumers learn about energy efficiency” said Kim Huffman of DTE Energy. “Events like Going Green Night help us educate consumers on how to save money on their energy bill in a fun way.”
In addition to this year’s “Going Green Night” the Red Wings and DTE Energy have collaborated on several projects, including ‘Light the Lamp’. As part of this collaboration, the goal lamps and 8 scoreboard lights at Joe Louis Arena were replaced with state-of-the-art LEDs that use less power and have a longer lifespan then the average incandescent light bulb.
Take part in DTE Energy Going Green Night at Joe Louis arena on March 20 and stop by the DTE Energy table to learn more about how you can make small changes that will have big effects on your energy consumption.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. Doors to Joe Louis Arena open at 6 p.m. “Going Green” giveaway is available to the first 5,000 fans to visit the giveaway tables. Tickets to the game can be purchased by calling 313.396.7575 or visiting DetroitRedWings.com.
And I received an email stating that the Wings are offering "3-packs" of tickets to three of the Wings' remaining home games for $87.
On Wednesday, the Wings will tangle with the Minnesota Wild for an NBC "Rivalry Night" game, and the Wild leapfrogged the Canucks to take 1st place in the Pacific Division standings, sitting a point ahead of Detroit in the Conference standings and two ahead of the Canucks, who they defeated 3-1 on Monday night.
NBC Sports posted a promo for the game on the NHL's YouTube channel:
Uh, the Wild aren't "lurking" anymore, Mr. Announcer...
In the prospect department, TSN's Bob McKenzie's Tweet that the Wings are close to signing Northern Michigan goalie Jared Coreau surprised me--and I don't get surprised very often anymore.
As Paul noted, the Marquette Mining Journal's Matt Wellens more or less confirmed the news...
Northern Michigan University junior goaltender Jared Coreau has reached a tentative agreement with the Detroit Red Wings and will be in the Motor City on Tuesday, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The Mining Journal has also confirmed the report with a source within the NMU hockey program.
Coreau has one more year of NCAA eligibility left, but has decided to forgo his senior season at NMU.
As first reported by The Mining Journal, Coreau had seven teams interested in him following the Wildcats first-round CCHA playoff series loss at Michigan.
Grand Rapids Griffins first-year head coach Jeff Blashill contacted NMU head coach Walt Kyle the Monday after the Wildcats season-ending loss to Michigan to enquire about Coreau.
The Griffins are the AHL affiliate of the Red Wings. According to the source inside the NMU hockey program, the 6-foot-4, 208-pound Coreau could see time not only with the Griffins, but the Wings as well.
Blashill is also a former assistant coach at Ferris State and Miami. He was head coach of Western Michigan for one season before becoming an assistant for the Red Wings.
That "first report?" It's from Wellens, from March 13th:
"It's looking like I will be moving on," Coreau said Tuesday outside the training room of the Berry Events Center. "It's sad. There are great guys here. It's too bad because I think next year is going to be a big year for Northern. We'll be going into a league that we should be top three. I'm not saying that to slight any other teams in the division, but Northern is definitely going to have a competitive edge against all the new teams in the new WCHA."
Coreau mentioned seven NHL teams - Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks and the Rangers - that have expressed interest in signing the Wildcat netminder this spring.
Coreau attended rookie camps with the Sharks and Rangers following his freshman year at NMU. Last summer in between his sophomore and junior year, Coreau attended camps by the Flames and Oilers. This season Coreau said he's been in contact "a lot" with the Jets while the Red Wings contacted the Wildcats as recently as this week to enquire about the 6-foot-4, 208-pound, 21-year-old netminder from Perth, Ontario. Coreau said he wants a fair shot at the NHL and will sign with the organization that can give him that kind of opportunity.
"Really it just comes down to where I will get an opportunity to play and I'll take it from there," Coreau said. "There is no certainly yet where it could be. It's exciting. I'm kind of nervous. I want to have a chance and know what I have to do in terms of work and everything. I'd like to hear that the NHL teams and representatives are in the AHL, they are involved a lot with the AHL team and at games watching you develop."
Coreau started all 38 games for Northern this and finished with a 2.70 goals against average, .919 save percentage and 15-19-4 record. All three stats were in a way disappointing considering as a junior, Coreau allowed an average of 2.22 goals per game with a .928 save percentage and 12-7-2 record.Of course, last season he only faced 590 shots, which is barely half what he faced as a junior.
Coreau's 2,181 minutes, 36 seconds in goal currently leads the CCHA, though Western Michigan sophomore Frank Slubowski should surpass that this weekend in a second-round CCHA series against the team that most likely ended Coreau's career - Michigan. The 1,109 saves Coreau made this year, however, most likely will stand as a league-best - Ferris State sophomore C.J. Motte is second with 878 - while only five other netminders in NCAA Division I college hockey have over 1,000 saves.
That's an insane number of shots to face over the course of 38 games. He stopped 29.18 shots per game, and faced an average of 31.78 shots per game.
RedWingsFeed also noted (all per Wellens) that Coreau was expected to lead NMU throughout their playoff push, but college hockey is a single or two-game elimination sport, so NMU fell short, and Coreau had apparently nearly signed with the Flames.
As MLive's Ansar Khan noted, adding Comeau to the mix makes little short-term sense:
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Coreau decided to leave Northern Michigan after his junior season, when he went 15-19-4, with a 2.70 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. He was named CCHA goaltender of the week twice this season.He went 32-31-8, with a 2.72 GAA, in three seasons for the Wildcats.
Coreau can join the Grand Rapids Griffins on an amateur tryout contract after he signs with Detroit.
The Red Wings will need to add a couple of goalies in the system after this season. They have Petr Mrazek, who likely will spend another season with the Griffins. But Tom McCollum will be a restricted free agent whose future with the organization is in question. Jordan Pearce is an unrestricted free agent who is expected to pursue a medical career after the season.
The club also has its system 2012 third-round draft pick Jake Paterson, who plays for the OHL Saginaw Spirit.
I'm not a tea-leaf-reader, but I would guess that the Wings plan on having Paterson play for the Spirit for his "overager"season...
And things don't look good for Tom McCollum. The former first-round draft pick is indeed a RFA this summer, but, like Pearce, the Wings can simply let McCollum go by not issuing a qualifing ofer.
As Chicago Blackhawks prospect Kent Simpson has relegated Pearce to back-up's status with the Toledo Walleye, the Grifins may go with a three-headed goalie monster for now...
And I hate to suggest this, but this signing does suggest that Mrazek is closer to part-time NHL duty than those of us who are cautious about suggesting prospects be recalled to Detroit had imagined.
In any case, the Wings' main free agency target remains Western Michigan University defenseman Danny DeKeyser, but they face stiff competition for his services.
The Wings will probably bring Coreau to Detroit to give him the "Red Wings prospect experience" before sending him to Grand Rapids...
And it's entirely possible that Calle Jarnkrok will join him sooner than later. Jarnkrok went scoreless as Brynas IF was eliminated from the Swedish Eliteserien playoffs by Skelleftea AIK on Monday, and while Aftonbladet's Linus Norberg reports that Jarnkrok told Swedish TV that he didn't know what his immediate future would hold, and Expressen's Oscar Brostrom notes that being swept in the first round was an inglorious defeat for last year's Eliteserien champions.
In the interim, whoever suits up for the Grand Rapids Griffins has a busy week ahead, as noted by Griffinshockey.com's Kyle Kujawa in the team's weekly press release:
This Week’s Games
Tue., March 19 - GRIFFINS at Peoria Rivermen - 8:05 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Fri., March 22 - Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., March 23 - GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters - 7:30 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Rivalry Week: The Griffins entered last week with a four-game winning streak and were able to extend that run to an AHL-best five games with a 3-2 overtime win against Chicago on Wednesday. Landon Ferraro scored a goal in regulation and added the overtime winner and Tomas Tatar scored in his return to Grand Rapids after a month-long stint in the NHL, as the Griffins improved to 6-0 this season against the Wolves to extend their Midwest Division lead. The contest was just one of two home games the Griffins will have in a 13-game stretch (March 10-April 6), as the Griffins began a three-game road trip with a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee on Friday, with Andrej Nestrasil tallying the team’s lone goal. Grand Rapids picked up a point in the second game of the stretch on Sunday after Tatar and Louis-Marc Aubry scored, but the Griffins fell 3-2 to Peoria in overtime, marking their fifth straight loss to the Rivermen.
Double Headers: This week, Grand Rapids will end a double-header against Peoria before a home-and-home set against Lake Erie. After falling 3-2 in overtime to the Rivermen on Sunday, the Griffins will stay in Illinois for a rematch at Carver Arena on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. EDT. The Griffins will return home to host the Monsters on Friday at 7 p.m. before making a visit to Cleveland on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s contest against Lake Erie marks the first of seven consecutive road games for the Griffins, which is the longest road trip of the season.
No Vacation: The Griffins are in the middle of a stretch of 10 of 11 games (March 16-April 6) on the road, as this Friday’s contest versus Lake Erie is their only home game in that stretch. The team will finish up the first part of that stretch on Tuesday, as the Griffins’ rematch against the Peoria Rivermen marks their third straight road game. Following Friday’s home game, Grand Rapids will take on the Monsters in Cleveland on Saturday, beginning a season-high seven-game road trip. The team will return to Grand Rapids following that game, but each of the following six games will be against South Division opponents. The Griffins will take on San Antonio, Houston and Texas over three consecutive days (March 28-30) and return to Houston on April 2, before concluding the trip with back-to-back games in Abbotsford on April 5-6. The team’s next home game is April 10 versus Chicago, the first of four straight at Van Andel Arena to wrap up the regular season home slate.
In the Mix: After earning points in eight of their last 10 games (7-2-1-0), the Griffins now hold an AHL-high 10-point lead on Chicago for first place in the Midwest Division and sit second in the Western Conference. Grand Rapids nearly caught top-seeded Texas after the Stars’ five-game winless streak (0-3-0-2) from Feb. 26-March 8, pulling within two points after their 3-2 win over Chicago on Wednesday. Texas (81 points) pushed its lead back to four points by picking up three of a possible four points over the weekend, while the Griffins (77 points) picked up just one point following a loss to Milwaukee on Saturday and an overtime loss to Peoria on Sunday. Grand Rapids, which still holds one game in hand on Texas, is currently tied for fifth overall in the AHL, also trailing the Eastern Conference’s Syracuse (82 points), Providence (81 points) and Binghamton (80 points). Charlotte and Springfield also stand at 77 points.
This week's first crop of power rakings hit the wires on Monday afternoon and evening, and ESPN's Scott Burnside praised the Wings for redeeming themselves this past weekend...
10. Detroit Last Week: 14 Just when you want to write off the Wings, they come back with inspired performances, as they did in coming from behind to beat Edmonton in overtime Friday and then spanking the Canucks 5-2 in Vancouver on Saturday.
NHL.com's Dave Lozo agrees with Burnside...
10 [last week 13] Detroit Red Wings: After laying an egg in Calgary on Wednesday, the Red Wings squeezed out a pair of road wins against the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks. After a quick stop at home to face the Wild, the Red Wings embark on a five-game road trip that starts with back-to-back games against the Anaheim Ducks.
As does Fox Sports' A.J. Perez...
10 .Red Wings [up] 2 [highest/lowest] 9/18: Maybe it was a little too soon to write off Detroit. (Cue up another Clint Eastwood commercial.) But the Wings face some stiff competition with games against the Wild and Ducks (twice) over the next six days.
And Sportsline's Brian Stubits believes that the Wings are a "spoiler" team this year:
9 [Detroit Red Wings, last week 13] Are the Wings an elite team this season? Absolutely not. Are they a playoff team? Most likely, and they're one I don't think any team would be happy to draw.
Also of Red Wings-related note: Sean McIndoe, a.k.a. "Down Goes Brown," offered little sympathy for Wings fans in an "NHL Misery Watch" article penned for Grantland.com:
Detroit Red Wings
What’s gone wrong: The Red Wings are still hanging around the West’s tight playoff race, but they clearly miss Nicklas Lidstrom — maybe even more than anyone thought they would.
Why that should make you happy: Detroit fans got to watch Nicklas Lidstrom for 20 years. Screw those guys.
In the innuendo department, Sportsline's Chris Peters penned a Wings "trade watch" article:
Rumors: The Detroit Red Wings are looking at potentially strengthening their top four on defense, according to Ansar Khan of MLive.com. Whether Detroit fills that hole with a puck-mover or stout shutdown defenseman is still unclear.
Khan wrote that the Red Wings are interested in Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid as a potential shutdown target. Should the Wings look more for a defender with some offense to bring to the table, Calgary Flames blueliner Jay Bouwmeester might fit the bill.
Buyers or Sellers? The Red Wings should be in buy mode, if they do anything at all at the deadline. As of Monday, the Wings are solidly in the playoffs, but there's a lot of room for strengthening the lineup, particularly on the back end.
Detroit has struggled to stay healthy this year, which means general manager Ken Holland may not have had enough time to evaluate what the team actually has vs. what he might need. The point remains, the blue line could be better, especially with Kyle Quincey lost for the next four to six weeks.
The Red Wings are deep on prospects and could move draft picks if need be, but would Holland be willing to part with potentially valuable future assets?
Top Targets: As Khan noted, the Wings need some extra grit on the back end and Smid has plenty of it. He hits, he blocks shots and he can be awfully tough to play against. Smid's contract is up at the end of the year, and it is believed the Oilers would like to try to re-sign him, which could drive the price up.
The Wings were rumored to be interested in Bouwmeester going back to last summer. As Calgary fades in the Western Conference standings, interest should be high in this 29-year-old rearguard. He's signed through the 2013-14 season at a big but manageable $6.68 million cap hit. Bouwmeester does have a no-movement clause, so he'd need to sign off on any trade.
Jarome Iginla has also been mentioned as a potential target for Detroit, though there isn't as much need at forward as there is on defense. As one of the hottest names this trade deadline, Iginla may command too rich a price for the Red Wings. Iginla has a no-trade clause.
Even the CBC's Elliotte Friedman suggested that Wednesday and Thursday's GM's meetings will involve trade scuttlebutt ahead of the April 3rd deadline...
The NHL's general managers convene in Toronto on Wednesday for a day of meetings. There will be discussion about goaltender's equipment, shootouts and diving. But, there will also be trade talk. Vancouver, for example, is bringing its scouting staff to "The Centre of the Universe" in conjunction with this event.
Many GMs believe the trade deadline is inflationary and that it's better to make your moves earlier. Several teams have tried, including the Canucks (looking for centres), Philadelphia (defencemen), Rangers (a defenceman and depth forwards) and Nashville (offence).
But it's very hard to get things done. Common complaints: "The prices are outrageous" or "teams we think are a match aren't selling."
That's because the standings are so jam-packed in both conferences, yielding lots of demand and very little "seller" supply, and the cap going down to $64.3 million from $70.2 million means that more than a few teams won't be eating salary for trades' sakes when they can simply buy out up to two players over the next two summers...
23. Jimmy Howard, on when the Red Wings started to improve: "We realized that if we were in trouble, it was okay to put the puck off the glass and make the safe play." Seriously, it's almost sacrilege to hear a Detroit player talk like this. For years, that would put you in Babcock Jail. Howard laughed: "We're a different group now."
24. The toughest thing about watching Pavel Datsyuk toy with Edmonton and Vancouver is that we may be coming to the end of it. He has one more year under contract and there is a feeling he enjoyed playing in Russia so much he will go back for good afterwards. Talk about a casualty of the lockout.
25. One scout on Ottawa: "It's amazing how much they look like Detroit, the way they pressure the puck and support it." The Paul MacLean influence, of course.
28. Shootouts: there is growing concern with how many games are being decided by what Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski refers to as "the skills competition." I don't think you'll see it go to 10 minutes as Ken Holland has suggested. But, I do think you'll see teams made to switch ends so that they have the "long change," as in the second period. That will make it tougher to defend in OT.
Yeah, if you want more Datsyuk freakage outage, Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner's got you covered.
For seven minutes.
I had to set up my fourth laptop over the past three weeks and the fifth laptop I've used over the last three, and that's about 50-55 hours of tear-down-and-set-up time, not including the hours spent on the phone with HP and now Toshiba tech support, Office Depot, and putting a couple hundred miles on my car going to different locations to get what was in stock, and freaking out about weird noises and driving my mom, my aunt, my case manager and possibly Paul up a wall, and all the energy expenditure that freaking out about your livelihood and outlet and identity entails (for the record: repair shop messed up my original laptop on my last legs, 2 HP's had bad hard drives and the display model that was being set up for me had its hard drive crash, and the first Toshiba had a busted, clicking cooling fan. It's been less than fun).
I don't have the time or energy left to freak out about Pavel. I hope he stays, but his daughter's in her second year of primary school back in Yekaterinburg, so he's not going to retire here, that's for sure. It is what it is and I hope that the Wings can keep him around for as long as possible, but if he chooses to go home, I'm grateful for what he's given Wings fans, including a pair of Stanley Cups.
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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.