The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/21/13 at 03:43 AM ET
The Red Wings officially exceeded the salary cap (at least by Capgeek's estimations, to the tune of $637,879, with Daniel Alfredsson's $2 million in bonuses deferred to the 14-15 cap) and have 25 players (and 16 forwards) under contract after inking Gustav Nyquist to a 2-year, $1.9 million contract.
Assuming that the team remains healthy throughout training camp and the exhibition season, the team will have to clear at least $640K off their cap figure and at least two bodies to get under the "upper limit" and the 23-man roster rule, respectively, by 5 PM on September 29th (the day after the exhibition season ends).
With the team able to either demote Nyquist (who will also earn $950,000 at the AHL level) and Danny DeKeyser to the Griffins if they are unable to move anyone, and the team able to retain up to half the salaries of likely trade candidates like Cory Emmerton (1 year at a$533K cap hit), Patrick Eaves (1 year at $1.2 million) or Jordin Tootoo (2 years remaining on a contract with a $1.9 million cap hit), the Wings will probably be able to alleviate their roster crunch...
If only because no team ever stays completely healthy throughout their training camps and exhibition seasons.
I wouldn't completely rule out the Wings eating a chunk of Mikael Samuelsson's $3 million deal to convince Samuelsson to waive his no-trade clause and go away, but that's probably unlikely at this point.
One way or another, the Wings will alleviate their roster and cap crunches. Regrettably, they'll have to do so at the cost of some good foot soldiers and solid citizens if they move Emmerton or Eaves, a pugnacious player hoping to have found a home in a career re-start in Jordin Tootoo, or, in Samuelsson's case, someone who, despite his injuries, really, really, really wants to be a Red Wing.
In any case, the spotlight should not escape Nyquist himself, and on the day that the person who swiped Nyquist's goal puck was charged with orchestrating the sale of storgae units in Grand Rapids, Nyquist was able to weigh in on his job security while speaking with the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
In 22 regular season games, Nyquist had six points (three goals) after spending most of the season in the minors (60 points, 23 goals). During the postseason, the forward had five points (two goals) in 14 games.
“You could tell he was getting more comfortable and confident,” Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said after the season ended. “Gus is going to be a real good player for us.”
After the Red Wings’ season ended, Nyquist returned to Grand Rapids, helping the team win the Calder Cup. He had seven points (two goals) in 10 playoff games.
Nyquist isn’t particularly big (5-foot-11, 185 pounds), but he’s extremely quick and has a strong, accurate shot. A true goal-scorer, Nyquist has a knack for finding open spots on the ice.
“That’s a big part of my game,” Nyquist said. “I have to use my speed. The more (NHL) games you play, you get more comfortable.”
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
"I’m real excited to know that I’ll be a part of the organization for two more years,” Nyquist said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s such a great organization to be a part of. I’ve learned so much from all the guys there over the last couple of years so it’s a great feeling for sure.”
Nyquist, 23, will earn $850,000 next season and $1,050,000 in the final year of the deal.
“It feels great,” Nyquist said. “I’m real happy to be here for two more years. The negotiations went well and it all worked out.”
Nyquist will still be a restricted free agent when the deal expires. Nyquist played in 22 games during the regular season last year and had three goals and three assists. He played in all 14 of the Wings’ playoff games where he contributed two goals and three assists. He really blossomed playing on the third line along with Joakim Andersson and Damien Brunner....
“It was a real exciting year last year being able to play with Brunner and Andersson there on the third line and I think that went well,” Nyquist said. “We have added some great additions to our team (this offseason). The whole thing is looking great and it’s real exciting that we got (Daniel) Alfredsson and (Stephen) Weiss as well.”
Nyquist is still in Sweden and attended the Olympic team camp.
“The Olympics would be something special, but I’m real excited to get the season started,” Nyquist said. “It would be an unbelievable experience to be a part of an Olympics. We have such a great team in Sweden, so it all depends on how you start the season, obviously. It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to try to make the team, for sure.”
And MLive's Ansar Khan:
Nyquist could be paired up again with Andersson, a fellow rookie last season who also got a new two-year contract last month.
"We had a lot of young guys last year that developed throughout the year and it was a real good learning experience for us all," Nyquist said. "For us to be around the guys, especially in the playoffs they all know what it takes to win. We have added some great additions to our team. We'll see where I fit in, but I'll do my best to help the team out."
After the Red Wings' playoff run ended with a Game 7 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, Nyquist returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins and helped them with the Calder Cup for the first time in franchise history.
It's possible Nyquist could be assigned to the Griffins to begin the season, as he and defenseman Danny DeKeyser are the only two players under contract exempt from waivers.
"You’re excited every time you get a chance with the big club," Nyquist said. "Ice time is something you have to earn at every level. Not many players expect to jump in their first years and player 20 minutes a night. Hopefully I’ll get more and more ice time the longer I’m up there."
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Ken Holland about the signing--made before Holland's daughter, Julie, gets married this weekend, but a little late for those of us who had been hoping that there would be any sort of "summer"*--and the fact that Holland's pleased is good news...
“Gus has been a tremendous producer, in college and in the American league,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He had a good playoff for us. He’s one of the young guys we’re looking for to come in and contribute some secondary scoring, make us a little deeper and give us the ability to roll four lines.”
Nyquist, 24 on Sept. 1, had three goals and three assists in 22 games for the Wings last season, and contributed two goals and three assists in 14 playoff appearances. A fourth-round pick from the 2008 draft, Nyquist has steadily impressed through a college career at Maine and a season with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. He and fellow restricted free agents Joakim Andersson and Brendan Smith all were signed to two-year deals, taking each of them through to unrestricted free agency status.
“We’re hopeful all take big steps for us,” Holland said. “The deals are fair for us and the young player.”
But every time I read St. James say this, part of me goes, "It's a conspiracy! A c-o-n...spiracy!"
The latest deal does put the Wings at a salary cap payroll of just under $68 million, about $600,000 over the limit. It also gives them 16 forwards; the plan is to carry 14. And the plan is still to re-sign Cleary, who remains on the unrestricted free agent market but who wants to stay as badly as the Wings want him back.
How does that work, exactly? Well, somebody is betting against two players' backs holding up. For starters.
Teams don’t have to be compliant until October, so the Wings can go into camp with the group as is. They’ll need to move at least two forwards — Jordin Tootoo and Cory Emmerton are prime candidates — but matters are made murkier by Darren Helm, Mikael Samuelsson and to a lesser extent, Todd Bertuzzi.
Bertuzzi missed a large chunk of last season while Helm and Samuelsson basically sat out all of the season. Holland said he has been getting “good reports on all three —basically, the indications is they are all healthy and ready to go,” but the proof will come during exhibition games. The Wings heard all spring, for example, that Helm was doing better, but he never made it into another game after a lone appearance in January.
I'd prefer to let Nyquist have the "last word" here, and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's Tweets allow me to do that instead of grumbling and grousing about rooting for drama (It's a professional sport with heavy contact. Drama tends to take care of itself):
Regarding Nyquist's AHL campaign, Fox 17's Steve Amorose reported that the Calder Cup is finally winding its way back to Grand Rapids on Wednesday afternooon....
And here are the details thereof, per Fox 17:
The Calder Cup has been traveling all over the world this summer as each member of the Grand Rapids Griffins gets to spend a day with it. This Friday, the Calder Cup will becoming to East Grand Rapids
Luke Glendening will be allowing the public to take part in his day with the Calder Cup from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Friday at Big Bob’s Pizza on Croswell Avenue. Glendening was an instrumental part of the Griffins championship-run as a rookie, racking up 16 points (6 Goals, 10 Assists) which was good for third-best on the team. He was also called on to take many of the key face-offs during the postseason, especially late in games.
Glendening recently signed a one-year deal with the Griffins parent-club, the Detroit Red Wings.
Don't forget that Joey Kocur's charity softball game is taking place on Saturday, August 24th in Highland, MI, and as such, it's going to be a very hockey-heavy weekend in Michigan, even without pucks!
In other news and news from the other side of the pond, I'm repeating two stories from Tuesday for good reason:
1. First, preceding Pavel Datsyuk's visit to Sochi, Russia on Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th with Team Russia's Olympic orientation campers (the team will meet Comrade Putin on Friday), Datsyuk will stop by Sovetsky Sport's offices in Moscow to pick up the Kharlamov trophy, and Sovetsky sport is asking readers of all nationalities to ask Datsyuk questions. He'll be asked the "5 best," and the one Datsyuk deems best of all will receive autographed Sovetsky Sport duds;
2. And in Sweden, as noted on Tuesday, Henrik Zetterberg gave a lengthy video interview to HD.se while skating with Rogle BK of the Swedish Allsvenskan--a team captained by Andreas Lilja--and Kvallsposten's (Expressen's Southern Swedish branch) Alf Karlsson offers us a semi-transcription of the interview that I can roughly translate into English.
The long story long is that Zetterberg's from Njurunda (by Michigander standards, north of Stockholm and "halfway up" the country), but his wife's from Angelholm, in the southwest, so Henrik and Emma split their summers between Njurunda/Sundsvall (and Timra IK, Zetterberg's Swedish team) for the first half of their summertime visit and Angelholm (where Rogle BK is located) for the second half.
Anyway, here's Karlsson's transcription (again, roughly translated):
"It's nice to be on the ice again. I've also practiced on the ice a bit with Timra when we were up there," says Henrik "Zata" Zetterberg to HD.se.
The superstar has a very exciting season ahead. Both pursuing an Olympic gold and a Stanley Cup again.
"Fantatsic challenges. It's of course very important to be well-prepared for a long and demanding season. Hopefully we'll be playing in the Stanley Cup Final next June," says Zetterberg.
Can you win the Stanley Cup again?
"It looks good. We have a good team. That's what you need. We're among five or six teams that can win the Stanley Cup," says Henrik Zetterberg.There were many famous faces on the ice along with Henrik "Zata" Zetterberg among Rogle's players.
It's been so for most of the pre-season training sessions for Rogle BK.
"There's always good momentum here. The 1990's-born players are light in their legs," says Henrik Zetterberg.
What about Rogle?
"They have a good mix of young players and seasoned vets. Otherwise, I'm trying to focus on myself. The challenge is to get yourself in order."
There will be some more practices with Rogle before Henrik "Zata" Zetterberg and his wife Emma leave next week to go back to Detroit and the Detroit Red Wings.
On Sunday, Rogle will embark on their usual pre-season tournament and camp in Switzerland.
Henrik "Zata" Zetterberg is also very pleased to have national team teammate Daniel Alfredsson playing with the Detroit Red Wings and not the Ottawa Senators next season.
"Awesome addition. We're delighted that he's coming to play for us," says Henrik "Zata" Zetterberg.
Back over on this side of the pond, sticking with Swedish news, albeit in an annoying vein, there was this....
And yes, yes, there is a TSN video of Alfredsson smiling and politely trying to GET THE F*** OUT of the rink before the reporters corner him, all while insisting that he meant no ill will.
We're going to conveniently ignore Ryan Classic's contribution to Puck Daddy's "League of Hockey Nations," Ottawa version, because, well, other than naming his kids weird names, there's nothing we need to dwell upon.
While our focus is placed upon Ontario, we'll move closer while noting that neither Stephen Weiss nor Brendan Smith appear in the video chronicling the second day of Biosteel Sports' camp in Toronto, but Sportsnet did capture Stephen Weiss discussing his decision to join the Wings.
Regrettably, as I'm writing this, the video isn't working--Sportsnet's videos are down, period--so you'll have to tell me what he said!
Closer to home, Drew Miller spoke with the Lansing State Journal's Chris Solari while attending Michigan State University's pro camp (as noted on Tuesday, Justin Abdelkader's in attendance as well). Miller told Solari that re-signing with the Wings just prior to the start of unrestricted free agency (3 years at $1.35 million per season) was a big relief:
“As much as being local is a perk and positive, I think just staying with an organization like the Red Wings is something that's at the top of my list,” Miller said. “I've found a place I can fit in and play a role. It's a situation that's worked out from a lot of different angles for me.”
Miller, who won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 after being called up during the playoffs, was released in November 2009 by the Tampa Bay Lightning after they acquired him in a trade before that season. Detroit picked him up almost immediately, and it's been a wonderful homecoming.
“It was a very emotional time for 24 hours,” Miller said. “Luckily, I got picked up and kind of put that behind me. I learned from it and use it as something to motivate me.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound left winger had four goals and four assists for the Wings in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. He scored at least 10 goals in each of his previous three seasons with Detroit, including career bests of 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points in 2011-12.
“He's a great guy to have in the locker room and just a great person,” said Red Wings teammate Justin Abdelkader, also back for the Pro Camp. “On the ice, he can really do it all. He's great on the penalty kill, he's great on 5-on-5, he can play in all situations at all different spots. And defensively, you want to just have him on the ice because you can rely on him.”
Miller, who could have become a free agent, said he met with coach Mike Babcock and general manager Ken Holland near the end of the season to talk about his future. He had no doubt where he wanted to be.
“The consensus from all three of us is that we wanted to get a deal done,” Miller said. “I didn't want to go. I told them my first choice was I wanted to come back. ... I can't believe it's been four seasons already in Detroit, and I'm signed on for three more. It's definitely where I want to be.”
Filppula's featured in NHL.com's "30 in 30" Tampa Bay Lightning previews today, but you can read what Steve Yzerman has to say about the player everybody swears isn't Vincent Lecavalier's replacement on your own....
In the Twitter department...
This made me smile:
This is pretty spiffy, per Michigan Hockey:
SA Hockey has announced the upcoming dates for their annual Try Hockey For Free days.
The official ‘Try Hockey’ days, designed to help aspiring players experience the game for the first time, will be take place on Nov. 2, 2013, and March 1, 2014.
The November ‘Try Hockey For Free’ day is part of USA Hockey’s ‘Come Play Hockey Month’ while the March skate coincides with Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by CCM.
USA Hockey reported that more than 16,000 kids between the ages of 4 and 9 tried hockey for the first time during last year’s events. The governing body for hockey in our country is hoping to capitalize on the popularity the sport will garner from the Winter Olympics.
Rinks and associations can now register to host a Try Hockey For Free event by clicking here.
Note: Rinks and associations host ‘Try Hockey For Free’ clinics throughout the calendar year. Keep an eye out for ‘Try Hockey’ skates happening near you by following MiHockey and the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association.
And at this point, I'm going to suggest that you read "Reason's" Shikha Dalmia's Libertarian's critique of the Wings' rink deal on your own.
All I can say is that the suggestions that the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and Downtown Development Authority are taking tax money away from kids is incorrect as the State of Michigan's General Fund pays for the money the DDA withholds from downtown businesses' property taxes for the sake of economic development...
And, as usual, regardless of whether I disagree with her point of view or your point of view or not, I have found that the vast majority of the articles--conservative, liberal, libertarian, communist, whatever, regardless of their specific ideological stance--tend to take a few "facts" out of context, hear what they want to hear and simply use the rink issue to proffer an ideological perspective about the bankruptcy as a whole as opposed to arguing for or against the rink development on its factual merits.
*I know that many of you feel that the summer's dragged past, and perhaps drama's your thing, but for me, I've had about five total "quiet" days. This summer's been incredibly busy from the perspective of someone looking all over the dang place for news, it's been intense more days than not.
Again, this is out-and-out repetition, but I think that it's important as you might want to know who's going where in terms of Olympic orientation camps:
- Pavel Datsyuk will take part in Team Russia's Olympic Orientation Camp on Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th in Sochi, Russia;
- Mike Babcock and Ken Holland will be in Calgary for Team Canada's Orientation Camp between Sunday the 25th and Wednesday the 28th;
- And Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard and Danny DeKeyser will head to Arlington, VA to take part in Team USA's orientation camp on Monday the 26th and Tuesday the 27th.
And finally, you know the drill. I'm "on" the curve now, but I still need to raise a significant chunk of bucks to pay the costs of heading up to Traverse City for two weeks to attend the prospect tournament and main camp.
I need to raise about another grand to just afford the hotel bill (gas up there, back down and driving around there can be as low as $120 or as high as $220 depending on the price of gas--you'd be surprised at the amount of miles I end up racking up staying very close to the rink over the course of two-a-day trips--and while-I'm-there food costs, well, I'm cheap and don't eat out often, so I'd say I could live on a hundred and my own money after that), and I'm TWO WEEKS TO THE DAY from leaving town on September 4th. If there is any way that you can lend a hand and/or spread the word, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it.
I'm sticking with PayPal as folks are familiar with it, and the email address that you use as my "recipient" ID is my personal email address, email@example.com.
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About The Malik Report
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.