Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: tackling the Wings’ no-move stance and the Ilitch rink deal

I know that many of you are less than enthused about the concept that the Red Wings aren't likely to make a trade deadline move, especially given what Ken Holland himself had to say to the New York Times (on Saturday, reiterating that the Wings' first round draft pick is not for sale) and MLive's Ansar Khan (on Wednesday), but the reported asking prices for Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler (as well as someone who insists he's going to test the unrestricted free agent marketplace in Thomas Vanek) are nuts...

And while I don't like the concept of the Wings adding, at most, a depth defenseman, I despise the concept of the team surrendering Anthony Mantha, Calle Jarnkrok, Teemu Pulkkinen, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet or Petr Mrazek--as well as at least one of Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco or Riley Sheahan, and that first round pick--for the sake of making a move.

Just as importantly, regardless of whether this summer's crop of potential free agent defensemen, cap compliance buy-outs and/or players who might be available at the entry draft or over the course of the summer via trade, the Red Wings started this season only accommodating Tomas Tatar because they would've lost him to waivers; Gustav Nyquist wasn't on the roster because Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo were playing instead; and Cory Emmerton, Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Cleary were skating ahead of Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Luke Glendening.

Somewhere along the way, the Red Wings' stubborn coach and management finally decided to "let the kids play," and while I do believe that the Wings must absolutely, positively add a top-pair defenseman somehow this summer, I'd just hate to see the team screw the developmental pooch at this point.

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch believes that the Wings are still going to "buy" due to Henrik Zetterberg's injury...

DETROIT RED WINGS - If they can’t find a way to get it together, their 23rd straight trip to the playoffs will be in major jeopardy. The club needs help up front with Henrik Zetterberg gone, especially in a tight playoff race.

But that's not an accurate assessment of what's really going on in terms of the Wings' scoring situation.

Pavel Datsyuk at 70% and perhaps in a moody state is still a game-breaker; Johan Franzen is playing perhaps the most consistent and engaged hockey of his Wings career; Daniel Alfredsson serves as something of an every-night x-factor; and the aforementioned Tatar, Nyquist, Sheahan and Jurco are remarkably posting points on an incredibly regular basis.

Add in the fact that the Wings really need to figure out what the hell Stephen Weiss can bring to the table, that Darren Helm chips in from time to time and that Justin Abdelkader still finds the occasional goal when he goes to the front of the net and stays there, and the Wings are OK up front (FTR: Drew Miller does a fine job, but I don't know if Joakim Andersson has any understanding of the concept that he's being replaced by Sheahan and Glendening).

Jimmy Howard's gotten way better since the New Year and Jonas Gustavsson remains consistent in goal, so the net's not a worry...

But the one concern involves the fact that, after Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, the Wings' defenders continue to struggle posting points. For whatever reason, as Kyle Quincey's almost disturbingly turned into a capable rearguard, Danny DeKeyser's been bit yet again by the sophomore slump skating alongside #27, Jakub Kindl remains frustratingly inconsistent--to the point that I believe his tenure with the Wings is in Andersson-like jeopardy--Brian Lashoff's just not an offensive contributor, and Brendan Smith has turned into an engima and a half, sometimes aiding the cause and sometimes aiding the opponent, not seemingly able to learn from his defensive gaffes.

On the blueline, the Wings will go as far as Kronwall, Ericsson, and at this point, Quincey and DeKeyser will take them, and the team could definitely use a third-pair defenseman that's at least better than Cory Cross, their underwhelming acquisition back in 2006. I just don't think it's going to happen.

As the Free Press's Steve Schrader notes, the Wings have come out of the Olympic break taking care of business despite an in-absentia captain...

The "They Forgot How to Lose" award: To the Red Wings, who — despite missing captain Henrik Zetterberg — closed February with a flourish in their scramble for a playoff spot. Shoot, with last week’s big wins in Montreal and Ottawa, they haven’t lost a game in three weeks.

And while the Wings won't practice today (and it appears that Pavel Datsyuk won't be practicing save game-day skates), and the Washington Capitals have snuck up on the Wings in the Wild Card race, the Wings embark upon a stretch of 5 games played over the course of 8 nights starting on Tuesday in New Jersey; they'll return home on Thursday for Nick Lidstrom Jersey Retirement Night, they'll host the Devils on Friday, the Rangers in a Daylight Savings Time matinee on Sunday, and then another Wild Card rival in the Blue Jackets next Tuesday.

Then the Wings get a two-day break before playing every other night for the balance of the month, and they will do so while asking their veterans to set the tone for the kids they're riding and that youth movement that the team's finally reluctantly embraced.

That ain't a bad thing.

In terms of the in-absentia captain and 70% Magic Man, The Hockey News's Alexander Liepold noted that the pair rank among the top 10 NHL'ers in terms of scoring since the 2004-2005 lockout:

8. Pavel Datsyuk: 609 games, 217 goals, 429 assists, 646 points
Many fans and media think Datsyuk is the league’s best player and his point production certainly puts him in the conversation. Like Crosby, he has missed time due to injury, playing the second fewest games on this list, and Detroit isn’t exactly known as a team that scores a ton of goals anymore.


10. Henrik Zetterberg: 619 games, 242 goals, 391 assists, 633 points
Zetterberg has only topped 90 points once in his career. However, like many on this list, he has been able to crack the top 10 through consistency – the mark of a great player.

I like the fact that Babcock told the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's George Sipple that both Weiss and Kindl are essentially on try-outs thanks to the present Wings team's play of late...

Babcock said Weiss and Kindl have to earn their way back into the lineup. “We’ve got to win games,” Babcock said. “You start by flying in practice. Get noticed in practice and the coach puts you in.”

But I do have a beef with Sipple's story because his editor chose to pen the headline as follows: Red Wings' Johan Franzen: Fighting 'not a part of the game'

If you followed purse-gate through Saturday's first and second practice posts, that's not what Franzen said, not necessarily, anyway.

Franzen told Sipple that he doesn't believe he should fight given his history of concussions and the subdural hematoma he suffered in 2008...

Asked after Saturday’s practice about Neil’s comments, Franzen shrugged them off. “What he says? Yeah, I definitely don’t really care,” Franzen said.

How much respect does Franzen have for Neil as a player?

“Well, he thinks I’m not tough because I’m not fighting him,” he said. “What does he have, like 30 fights a year? He’s been doing that his whole career. I’ve not had a fight my whole life. It’s like me asking him to have hockey sense and good hands or something.”

Here's your problem:

Franzen said he doesn’t believe in fighting.

“For me, it’s not a part of the game,” he said. “I couldn’t care less what (he says). I’m not going to fight him. It’s easy as that. I’ve had enough concussions and definitely not going to risk one doing something as stupid as that.”

Franzen then added: “It’s like me asking him to be a good hockey player.”

Franzen was in fact very specific regarding the concept of fighting in a non-#93-doing-it sense, as the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness noted:

"I didn’t say that,” Franzen said when asked if he believed fighting should be taken out of the game. “I said I don’t fight. I never played that way. I don’t see the reason to start now.”

As such, I'm quite disappointed in whoever edited Sipple's article for going for an easy web-hit-inducing headline, and as you and I both know, even in this day and age, people go by the headlines that the Free Press and News publish over just about everything else.

Franzen didn't need to fight Neil after scoring a hat trick, in the last 6 minutes of the last regular-season meeting between the two teams, simply because Neil's a giant dick. He especially didn't need to respond to Neil pulling his helmet off and popping him in the head by fighting, either, and if we are to believe Franzen, there was no spearing provoking the incident--Mr. Neil, who insisted that Franzen's "yellow" behavior ticked down league-wide respect for a supposedly 6'4," 250-pound tough guy, started begging for a penalty when he felt...Hell, I'll quote from Khan:

Franzen disputed Neil’s claim that he was speared in the groin area during the Red Wings' 6-1 victory at the Canadian Tire Centre, a game in which Franzen scored three goals. He said he put his stick between Neil’s legs and could hear Neil “crying to the refs that ‘he’s spearing me!’ ”

The NHL did not punish Neil for dropping his gloves and taking a swing at Franzen’s head with 5:55 remaining in the third period. Neil received minor penalties for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct and both were given 10-minute misconducts.

“I’ve been getting head shots pretty much every year and I don’t think it’s ever been punishment for any of the hits I’ve gotten to the head,” Franzen said. “This was the third one, targeting the head. He just sucker-punched me. Maybe (the NHL) should actually try to protect the players … a play like that when he just drops his gloves and punch me in the head, if he doesn’t get anything for that I don’t know, seriously, what’s going on.”

As far as I'm concerned, yes, Franzen could stand to learn to freak out a little less when someone makes contact with his head in a non-punching form, because players definitely know that he can go absolutely ape when he's facewashed, and I'd certainly suggest that there's no shame in putting on a visor to send a, "If you try to punch my face you will have to go through Lexan" message.

But that's just me.

Wrapping up the hockey-related portion of this entry, as I was writing this, NHL.com's Dan Rosen penned a set of "14 Storylines For the Final 6 Weeks of the 2013-2014 Season," and we're going to be hearing this from the out-of-towners until and/or unless the Wings prove their doubters (sometimes including you and me) wrong:

Will Wings' streak get clipped?

The Detroit Red Wings quest for a 23rd consecutive appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is far from a sure thing.

The last time the Wings failed to qualify for the postseason was 1990, when George H.W. Bush was president. It's the fifth-longest playoff streak in NHL history and the longest active streak among the four main professional sports leagues. The Boston Bruins own the NHL record at 29 seasons (1968-96).

As a perennial contender in the Western Conference, the Red Wings were supposed to breeze into the postseason after realignment moved them into the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They finished third in the Central Division last season and beat the Anaheim Ducks in the first round before taking the eventual Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks to seven games before being eliminated.

Since the start of the 1997-98 season, the Red Wings have won more games (849) than any other team in the NHL. The team's 736 regular-season victories and 113 playoff wins are tops in the NHL over that span.

But key injuries to several players, including forwards Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Daniel Alfredsson, defenseman Niklas Kronwall and goalie Jimmy Howard, have forced the Red Wings to dig deep. Still, Detroit enters Sunday in possession of the second wild-card playoff spot in the East; the Red Wings are one point ahead of the Washington Capitals. But a 23rd straight trip to the playoffs is anything but a sure thing.

I believe that this team will make the playoffs.

Even if it doesn't make a trade deadline addition.




In the "Business of Hockey" department, SportsBusiness Journal's Christopher Botta's rare interview with Mike Ilitch got so much "play" that the Red Wings sent it to their email subscribers under the headline, "Mike Ilitch: Champion for Detroit," but the recent approval of a massive 40-block land transfer to clear the footprint of the Wings' $450 million rink and $200 million economic development yielded an editorial from the Free Press's Stephen Henderson today, demanding that Ilitch help unite the Downtown and Midtown areas, lest the City spend, "$250 million for nothing"...

The city’s development arms and the state will spend $261 million to build a new downtown hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings, whose billionaire owner will chip in about $189 million of the cost.

But it’s also true that the deal doesn’t include any agreement for community benefits — so no guaranteed jobs for Detroiters, only “targets” that may or may not be met; no spinoff investment by the Ilitch family into programs or brick-and-mortar into struggling neighborhoods.


The city’s rebound is doomed to fail if it doesn’t expand from downtown and Midtown to Detroit’s hardest-hit areas and most economically isolated people. That’s the message I heard over and over this week, and one that’s echoing louder and louder in the conversation about how to get the city back on its feet.

But look where we are: State and local governments agree to a massive public investment in a downtown stadium but can’t manage even the most meager benefits agreement.

That makes it difficult to imagine how affordable housing agreements might be included in upcoming residential projects around the city’s core, or how benefits to public schools might be siphoned out of high-end commercial developments.

The stadium will bring people and some economic activity (how much is debatable, according to many studies) to an area that doesn’t have them now, but there’s no guarantee it will do anything more.

This is precisely what Sugrue, author of “The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit” and a lecturer about Detroit and other struggling urban centers, says is the wrong strategy.

“The kinds of jobs that are being created by a lot of the downtown redevelopment are jobs for folks who have significant education, skills and means already,” Sugrue told Free Press reporter John Gallagher last week. “They’re not, by and large, creating stable secure jobs for folks down the ladder, for working-class folks, in particular.”

And if you're not one for this kind of political talk, I included it for a reason: the Free Press's Joe C. Guillen and J.C. Reindl also revealed the following this morning:

For more than 30 years, the Red Wings have played hockey in Joe Louis Arena under an agreement negotiated by former Mayor Coleman Young to keep the team from moving to the suburbs.

With a new hockey arena on track to open as early as the 2016-17 season, the agreement between the City of Detroit and the Red Wings will disappear, and with it about $7 million in revenue the city received annually from the team’s home games.

Under a new deal hashed out between representatives of the team’s owners, Mike and Marian Ilitch, and state and local development authorities, the Red Wings will no longer have to share 10% of ticket proceeds, 7% of suite sales, 10% of food and beverage concessions, 5% of souvenir sales and other revenue from parking. All of that money — estimated to be about $7 million annually — would belong to the Ilitches’ Olympia Development of Michigan when the team moves north of downtown into a proposed $450-million arena.

In addition, any future proceeds from the selling of naming rights to the new 18,000-seat arena would also go to Olympia Development. Other NHL teams have snagged corporate naming rights deals worth millions a year or more.

Because the Downtown Development Authority will lease the rink to the Ilitches, they won't be paying any property taxes, either, and as I recall, even with an 18,000-seat arena in the offing, the estimates of new revenues in the new rink vary from $8-10 million per season.

There are some who suggest that the revenues and soon-to-be-rising salary cap are reasons as to why the Wings haven't spent as freely of late, and some believe that when the new rink opens and the cap's in the $80+ million range, the Wings will start holding summer press conferences announcing the signing of free agents every year.

That's inaccurate, but public perception is public perception, and the Ilitches are taking a huge hit here:

Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland said the council did not publicly seek a share of the new arena’s naming rights when it considered legislation last month to advance the project. But the topic was raised in “backroom discussions” with Olympia Development, the arena’s operator, he said.

“It just didn’t seem like they were willing to budge,” Leland said.

Sports business experts say it’s no longer unusual for team owners to obtain 100% control over revenues from new venues that are built in part with public financing. As cities compete with one another to lure sports teams, owners can often bargain from a position of strength.

“Those things used to be in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s more commonly shared with the public partner,” said Neil deMause, an expert on stadium financing and author of the book “Field of Schemes.” “But starting with the round of stadiums that were built in the early ’90s, it’s really been team owners wanting public money and wanting to keep all revenues.”

Guillen and Reindl report that the Ilitches are paying the City $1 million a year to rent Joe Louis Arena, which will be demolished by the State and likely added to Cobo Hall's footprint--promising a significant profit to the city over the long haul--but de Mause thinks the deal stinks, and you and I know what's going to happen here:

The Red Wings declined to say whether ticket prices will be affected by the move and elimination of the city’s 10% cut. The arena will have 2,000 fewer seats than the Joe but feature upgraded amenities, a larger concourse and high-end luxury boxes nearer the ice.

Guillen and Reindl report that realistic estimates suggest that about 440 new jobs will be created by the rink itself as the follow-on rink will have a larger staff, but we have no idea whether the "proposed economic development" involves, say, a practice facility, or what percentage of Detroiters the Ilitches will employ. In that part of the agreement, they definitely got off scot-free.

What do I think about the deal?

I guess you could say that I'm hopeful, as Henderson is, that the development of the Cass Corridor will finally link Downtown and Midtown if the Ilitches really do want to create a living legacy to pay tribute to the 84-year-old Ilitch, and to some extent, I'm just happy that the Downtown Development Authority and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation are in charge of the construction and maintenance of the facility, because they've delivered Compuware's downtown headquarters, Campus Martius and other downtown real estate investments on-time and under-budget--in a city and Wayne County where the Wayne County Jail's 1,800-bed addition's turning into a quarter-billion-dollar boondoggle.

But I'm also resigned to the fact that the way of the business world is fundamentally unfair to "regular folks," and when the city's bankrupt, people who've spent decades of their life earning below-market wages because they believed that pensions that probably won't be honored would help them in their post-retirement lives and in a city as crime-ridden, bereft of basic city services and in a county that's about to go bankrupt because Bob Ficano is just as crooked as Kwame Kilpatrick was, there are always fundamentally "better" ways to spend taxpayer money on taxpayers instead of businessmen. Especially businessmen whose wives own casinos and who operate an entertianment empire.

But it is what it is, and this is the best of a deal that was going to happen regardless of what you, I or anyone else who's not a business mover and shaker think about it.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



George, I have a couple questions.

1) Do you have a feel for the reasoning behind holding off on a move for Ehrhoff (or another top-four defenseman, but him in particular too) now versus making a trade over the summer?  I get that, theoretically, prices are lower in the summer—they should be, you’re getting less hockey out of the guy—but every defenseman someone else acquires now is someone OFF the market which raises the price for the remaining guys.  2012 wasn’t so long ago and we all remember there being nothing left but scraps.

FWIW, I don’t object at all to the idea that the 1st rounder, Mantha, Nyquist, Tatar, etc., are untouchable.  I just think it’s a little silly to also declare Pulkinnen and Jarnkrok untouchable as well as Ouellet, Sproul, Backmann—at some point we can’t bring all these guys along.  We’re going to wind up losing Landon Ferraro for nothing, and that will be the fate of some of these other guys if we continue to wait and see. 

I don’t believe that it’s impossible to get a player more valuable (today) than Kyle Quincey or Brendan Smith—much less Jakub Kindl or Brian Lashoff—without dipping into a genuinely untradeable asset.  So I wonder—is there some kind of big plan for the offseason that management is putting stock in?

2)  Given Cleary’s injury, do you think there’s a chance he’ll see LTIR time?

Posted by captaineclectic on 03/02/14 at 07:19 AM ET


Does anyone know for fact if Weiss can be bought out this summer under the new cba.
I have read both yes and no.

Posted by Wings2426 on 03/02/14 at 10:23 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

You could flip him for Stastny.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/02/14 at 11:00 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Weiss, that is.  Throw in Ferraro.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/02/14 at 11:01 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Some have said Weiss no, because he was signed after the new CBA.  I don’t know if that’s valid.  So that was a meaningless answer.

Posted by RWBill on 03/02/14 at 11:25 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Bad night for the Wings’ standing position, as everyone just below the Wings won, except Carolina, PLUS Toronto and Montreal, just above Detroit, shared an OT 3-point game.  Putz!

Posted by RWBill on 03/02/14 at 11:27 AM ET


Wait, so no Zetterberg, 70% Datsyuk,  big question mark with Weiss and the occasional goal from Abdelkader and Helm all add up to the Wings being “set” up front?


Does anyone know for fact if Weiss can be bought out this summer under the new cba.
I have read both yes and no.

He cannot be used as one of their compliance buyouts but regular buyouts still exist in the new CBA so he can be bought out.

But that’s irrelevant because he is not going to be.  There is no way the Wings give up on him after one, partial, injury-plagued season.

No way.

Posted by Garth on 03/02/14 at 11:33 AM ET


Does anyone know for fact if Weiss can be bought out this summer under the new cba.
I have read both yes and no.

Why should it matter? There is no possibility whatsoever that Detroit would buy him out, nor would they have any reason to want to.

Posted by godblender on 03/02/14 at 11:33 AM ET


You could flip him for Stastny.

If Colorado wouldn’t accept overpayment in the form of a first rounder for Kyle Quincey you can probably scratch the Avalanche off the list of teams that would even consider trading with the Wings.

Posted by Garth on 03/02/14 at 11:36 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

You could flip him for Stastny.

If Colorado wouldn’t accept overpayment in the form of a first rounder for Kyle Quincey you can probably scratch the Avalanche off the list of teams that would even consider trading with the Wings.

Completely different management team.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/02/14 at 11:38 AM ET


Completely different management team.

Same GM.

And if he’s the GM in-name-only as some suggest, do you think Patrick Roy is likely to want to help the Wings get better?

Posted by Garth on 03/02/14 at 11:42 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Part of the new Arena deal is further economic development that is being funded by private investments to the tune of a couple of hundred million dollars.  I don’t see that mentioned anywhere.  Was that dropped or just chosen to be ignored?

I wasn’t aware the new Arena itself would add 400 jobs over the current level at JLA, but it has been estimated the entire complex could add up to a couple of thousand additional jobs.

Completion of this entire proposal, not merely the Arena, effectively will join the Mid and Downtown areas.  Plus maybe more people will park at and give donations to the Vietnam Veterans club on the west side of Woodward at Temple.

For the Legends game on Dec 31 they let me walk down into their clubhouse and change into my cold cold weather gear.  Otherwise I would have had to try and strap the clothes on in the car with the door open, which in a windy 12 degrees would have been uncomfortable, to say the least.  The Vietnam Vets don’t officially charge but humbly ask for a donation.  It is about a 10 minute walk to Comerica, and will be just a couple of minutes from the new arena.  I wonder if their parking lot will be left in tact or gobbled up in the new development?

Posted by RWBill on 03/02/14 at 11:43 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

I agree barring something extraordinary that the Wings are not going to jettison Weiss after one year.  It is true that he will have to earn his way back onto the team as he gets healthy, but wink wink there’s more latitude for him if he’s looking good than to put Glendening or Samuelsson back out there.

He has shown to much knack to be involved offensively in his past to give up on him.

Posted by RWBill on 03/02/14 at 11:47 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

“too much knack …”

Posted by RWBill on 03/02/14 at 11:49 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Same GM.

And if he’s the GM in-name-only as some suggest, do you think Patrick Roy is likely to want to help the Wings get better?

Ahh, I was confused about their management structure.  I thought Sakic was the GM, not just the “Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations.”  As per Wikipedia, “In this expanded role, Sakic has the final say on all matters regarding hockey personnel.”

I would suggest that Roy and Sakic are probably more pragmatic than a lot of people might think.  Players and coaches tend to want teammates that can help them win more than anything else; it’s why you see even disliked rivals being embraced when acquired (Hey Chelios).  I’m not suggesting they’d make a trade to make Detroit better- obviously there’s exactly one GM in the league that’s looking to do that- but that they might be less likely to turn down a trade that makes them better in the long-term than they were a few years ago.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/02/14 at 11:53 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I agree barring something extraordinary that the Wings are not going to jettison Weiss after one year.  It is true that he will have to earn his way back onto the team as he gets healthy, but wink wink there’s more latitude for him if he’s looking good than to put Glendening or Samuelsson back out there.

Maybe the extraordinary is recognition that Weiss was not a ‘fit’ and he could still produce somewhere else.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/02/14 at 12:27 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

I wish people would stop hating on Weiss. Dude was probably never 100% when he got here. Now he’s had his surgery. It’s been 20 games. Loosen up.

UWE Krupp was not a fit.

At the least, Weiss will perform like Fil. Always wanting more.. but will do the trick.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 03/02/14 at 01:37 PM ET


The move east also means trades with our former bitter rivals, ie every team in the west, is now possible.  Is Polie allowed to make moves while possibly concussed?  For our sake, lets hope so.

Weber could wind up being Chelios part 2 if ownership there gets tired of paying those bonus checks for the next few years.

Posted by maltby18 on 03/02/14 at 01:37 PM ET


Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/02/14 at 10:53 AM ET

I’m don’t know about Sakic (and between him and Roy I’m not sure which one is pulling the strings) but I would bet that Roy is exaclty as pragmatic as he seems.

Maybe the extraordinary is recognition that Weiss was not a ‘fit’ and he could still produce somewhere else.

Or maybe the extraordinary would be to give the guy more than one partial, injury-plagued season to prove himself before paying him a bunch of money and accruing an empty salary cap hit so that he can play against the Wings.

It’s amazing how sensible Wings fans can be about handing over too much of Mr Illitch’s money to a UFA who has only had one decent season, but how unreasonably quick they are to decide to give away a bunch of Mr Illitch’s money to a recent signee who has had one disappointing season.

Posted by Garth on 03/02/14 at 01:49 PM ET


Who must come up from Grand Rapids this upcoming year without fear of losing them to waivers? 

Which players deserve a chance to be on the team next year?

Who is not going to be here next year from current roster?

Just wondering what next years team will look like without any deadline moves.

Posted by Wings2426 on 03/02/14 at 01:54 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Okay, answers and stuff:

1. I have been told that Weiss cannot be bought out. I would imagine that the rising cap = there may be some sort of market for a “salary dump” if he doesn’t work out, but that’s my gut talking.

2. My reasoning for holding off for Ehrhoff/whoever’s a top 4 until the summer?

Simply because the Red Wings’ history of moves over the past near-decade have almost always involved adding meaningful additions via free agency. Quincey and Stuart are exceptions to the rule, but the rule has generally stayed fast, and if KH is serious about not moving his 1st-rounder and not moving a top prospect…That’s not gonna get the job done.

3. Regarding Cleary? *#$%@& if I know.

4. Garth, I would call the Wings “set up front” by Red Wings standards, and by Ken Holland tends not to do shit standards.

I want you all to know that I still believe that the Wings will kick the tires on *Jaromir Jagr,* but that’s my hockey gut talking.

5. I can’t see the Wings ever making moves with Nashville or Colorado directly, and my worry about any Ehrhoff hopes is that the Sabres are now trying to save face against what is now a divisional rival.

6. When public tax dollars in a sports development project are involved, even if it’s *nearly* a 50-50 split, the private investment is ignored.

7. The Production Line’s Michael Petrella’s list of players who are not waiver exempt next season:

Louis-Marc Aubry
Mitch Callahan
Landon Ferraro
Andrej Nestrasil
Trevor Parkes
Riley Sheahan

Adam Almquist
Gleason Fournier


Prospects of the middle-to-OK variety tend to clear waivers these days, so I would imagine that Callahan would in fact clear, and that the Wings have only Almquist, Sheahan and Ferraro to worry about. That’s my gut talking but Callahan’s goal-scoring spate doesn’t seem to have done anything to dismiss the theory that he’s still 5’10” and 170 pounds instead of 6” and 180-ish and stocky…

But I really don’t know what happens with Ferraro. He has speed, he has a good shot, he’s a solid playmaker and he can play with a “skilled edge,” but the Wings haven’t brought him up (even in a Glendening-for-let’s-see-what-he-can-do stint) and it appears that he’s going to have to make the team out of training camp—like Almquist—to not be allowed to walk.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/02/14 at 02:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I honestly don’t know what to think about Weiss.

He’s a year removed from having major wrist surgery that curtailed his 2013 season significantly, so the reality of the situation is that he hasn’t played a “healthy season” in two years.

When Weiss has been healthy, he’s played a speedy, workmanlike and efficient two-way game, and while he’s not particularly flashy, nor does he have Filppula-like top speed, Weiss’s work ethic, subtle grit, good playmaking, superb faceoff skills and sneaky wrist shots have yielded consistently positive performances.

Do the Wings stick with him with Sheahan, Helm, Glendening, Datsyuk/Zetterberg and possibly Andersson (again, he seems clueless to the concept that his job is in jeopardy) up the middle and/or on the wing? Do they move Weiss to the wing save taking faceoffs, and see whether he’s regained his step and/or is more effective there?

Or is he just a “mulligan” who a higher cap and the ever-present need for a solid #2 center might make possibly tradeable if the Wings feel that they want to get out of their long-term relationship before it becomes a long-term one, especially if they can simply dump his salary, or maybe even eat some of it in order to simply say, “Well, this didn’t work, good luck?”

I don’t know, and that’s why I’m not a GM. I love the fact that Babcock’s stated that Weiss is in a tryout situation, and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Weiss’s attitude, work ethic and desire to fit into the machine as a productive cog. I’m crossing my fingers that he “works out.”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/02/14 at 02:25 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

and while I do believe that the Wings must absolutely, positively add a top-pair defenseman somehow this summer, I’d just hate to see the team screw the developmental pooch at this point.

Good insight G…....and that is why the Emperor pays you the Big $$$.  The hard heads in the front office finally agree to let the kids have their shot and NOW…we have to add talent? Bahhh!  For what? Live by them, die by them. 

It is fun as hell watching them perform.  At times they may be out played, but the never give up attitude is what I want to see in the Wings. They are able to play rough, play fast and score goals.  That will only improve as they “develop”.  I’m with G, don’t screw it up.

Quick hits…..

Weiss?  Who knows what talent he now has. Maybe he has a new bionic whatevertheyactuallyoperated on thingy. Try out is a good thing….

The Michael Illitch Memorial Hockey Rink and Anchor To Cure Everything Wrong With Detroit-Build it and they will come. Fans, jobs…etc, etc, etc.

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, Czech out my recliner..... on 03/02/14 at 02:27 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Emperor pays me the big $$$ because he knows I’d do this anyway wink

Whatever happened with Weiss, it sounds like we’re talking about a set of muscles that are much more crucial to moving around as opposed to a sports hernia. A sports hernia is when your abdominal wall is torn…Whatever Weiss had was much more complicated.

And yes, we all know that the fans will come, and the fans will pay higher ticket prices at JLAII.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/02/14 at 03:12 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Again, just in case you missed it: Weiss can’t be bought out via cap compliance as he was signed after the third lockout ended.

He *can* be bought out under regular means, i.e. the Wings would pay him 2/3rds of his remaining salary, and would be paid that $ out over twice the years of his remaining contract.

It’s not as simple as saying, “Okay, the Wings would be hit for half of the 2/3rds amount for 8 years,” though. That’s why Capgeek both 1. Explains buyouts and 2. Has a buyout calculator.

Here’s how a Weiss buyout—a regular buyout—would work in terms of the Wings’ cap penalties if they bought him out this summer, per the Capgeek calculator.

The last column = how much the Wings would be hit cap-wise. It varies from $2.6 million in 2017-2018 to only $608,333 in 15-16 and 16-17.

Buyout Details
2014-15 $4,500,000 $4,900,000 $1,708,333 $2,791,667 $2,108,333
2015-16 $6,000,000 $4,900,000 $1,708,333 $4,291,667 $608,333
2016-17 $6,000,000 $4,900,000 $1,708,333 $4,291,667 $608,333
2017-18 $4,000,000 $4,900,000 $1,708,333 $2,291,667 $2,608,333
2018-19 $0 $0 $1,708,333 -$1,708,333 $1,708,333
2019-20 $0 $0 $1,708,333 -$1,708,333 $1,708,333
2020-21 $0 $0 $1,708,333 -$1,708,333 $1,708,333
2021-22 $0 $0 $1,708,333 -$1,708,333 $1,708,333[/url]

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/02/14 at 03:26 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I need to put a BIG DISCLAIMER HERE:

Paul and I are going into full deadline mode between Monday and Wednesday, and in all honesty, I’m gonna be skimming comments if I am able to read ‘em at all as we’re going to try to double-team the deadline deals. I get email alerts whenever a comment posts in ANY blog entry that I author, so I may be digging through 500 over the next 3 days, if not more.

As such, if you want to contact me about a question, it may be more efficient to hit me up at my email address, georgemalik @ kuklaskorner dot com or on the Twitterz: https://twitter.com/georgemalik

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/02/14 at 03:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Every time somebody mentions using a compliance buyout on Weiss, use this:


It references the exact part of the CBA which specifies the Wings may not use a compliance buyout on Weiss and directs to Capgeek’s compliance buyout calculator.

The Wings are not buying out Weiss. It would be terribly short-sighted.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/02/14 at 03:32 PM ET


Weiss.  Buyout.  No. 

Just keep it that simple.

Posted by maltby18 on 03/02/14 at 04:04 PM ET


Thanks for the fantastic info George

Good luck this week

Posted by bobbo on 03/02/14 at 05:31 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Does anyone know for fact if Weiss can be bought out this summer under the new cba.
I have read both yes and no.

Yes, Weiss can be bought out.

When people say, “No,” they mean that you can’t buy him out so that he disappears from the cap hit.

The rules Weiss was signed under mean that you “can” buy him out but a large portion of the contract will remain on our cap-hit.

I “think” what happens under “some situations” is that the cap-hit is:

1/2-of his contract amount per year
for twice-as-many years as the contract runs.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/02/14 at 05:39 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

George, do you say, “he seems clueless to the concept that his job is in jeopardy,” because:

* you haven’t seen Andersson play with “urgency” since he came back from injury?,
* you haven’t seen “urgency” from him in the practices you’ve been seeing?, or
* is it because of what he’s actually said when you talked to him?

Personally I haven’t seen “urgency” but neither have I drawn any conclusions from that.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/02/14 at 05:49 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Door #1.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/02/14 at 06:44 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.