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Red Wings overnight report: on free agent forwards, Holland’s trip to Toronto and Babcock on WJR

In theory, this exhausted blogger (still, go figure) has a light morning.

The Detroit Free Press (via photos) and Michigan Hockey (text, video, photos) looked back at the top moments of the Red Wings' 2013 season, USA Today posited a list of the top unrestricted free agents-to-be, and Valtteri Filppula's picture includes a ridiculously astute comment from Matt Kartozian as to why he's going to earn $5 million somewhere that isn't Detroit:

7. Center Valtteri Filppula (Detroit Red Wings): The Red Wings hope they can re-sign him, although teams around the NHL seem to think he will test the marketplace. He has had one noteworthy statistical season, when he had 23 goals and 66 points in 2011-12. But there is a leaguewide romance with his skill set, especially with a shortage of centers with offensive potential.

There is a ridiculous level of romance with Filppula's skill set, and while USA Today's list notes that the kinds of players the Wings need to go to the front of the net, stay there and hack and whack at rebounds--like Nathan Horton, Bryan Bickell, David Clarkson, Ryane Clowe and even Viktor Stalberg--exist on the pre-cap-complaince buy-out UFA market--there's nobody who can replace Filppula's speed (even if he uses that speed to gain territory in the offensive zone before peeling off and trying to back-pass all the God-damned time).

I get the feeling that the Wings will push hard to re-sign the player that Wings coach Mike Babcock deemed "the devil you know" to 97.1 FM's Jeff Riger.

In the end, however, Filppula's agent will most certainly pull a Jiri Hudler--knowing that the Wings can't and won't pay Filppula $5 million with $11.894 million available to spend on re-signing RFA's Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl, to re-sign UFA-to-be Damie Brunner, and at least make stabs at re-signing UFA's-to-be Drew Miller and Daniel Cleary, and to go after either a goal-scoring forward with size or to address the team's need for another top-four defenseman (possible use of up to 2 cap compliance buy-outs and trades excluded)...

And as such, Filppula will, at best, witness himself signed and traded at the draft. More likely, his rights will be pawned off for a mid-round draft pick.

Oddly enough, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch tossed off an early-week rumor column, and it offers absolutely nothing that's worth mentioning. USA Today's photo gallery is much more pertinent.

 

 

As for shaping the game's future in a non-personnel vein, Wings GM Ken Holland will be representing the league at the joint NHL-NHLPA competition committee's meeting today and tomorrow in Toronto, where the sides will talk about grandfathering in mandatory visor usage, implementing hybrid icing, knocking 10% off goalies' thigh rises and shrinking the "landing gear" yet again, and probably some other stuff. Ahem, per the Canadian Press:

[M]andating all NHL players to wear visors is something the league office has supported for years. The NHL Players' Association educates its members on visors but has considered it a matter of individual choice.

That could change based on an internal NHLPA survey taken late this season. The union asked its members to weigh in on making visors mandatory for all players — those entering the league and grandfathering in current ones — or keeping it a choice for everyone. According to the NHLPA, approximately 73 per cent of players wore visors during the 2013 season, up from a Hockey News estimate of 28 per cent in 2001-02.

"My feeling is that I'd like to see them be grandfathered in," said Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who will be one of the NHL's team officials in the meeting. "The players basically wear visors almost at every league other than the NHL. I certainly understand players that have been playing without them and it's their way to make a living. In the middle and later in their careers they don't want to change, but if you grandfather them in, you could slowly through time have all our players wearing visors."

General managers voted in March to approve the implementation of hybrid icing, which was used experimentally in the American Hockey League during the NHL lockout. Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Joni Pitkanen suffered a broken heel bone on an icing touch-up in April, prompting more discussion about changing the long-standing rule.

"To me safety's No. 1," said Holland, a proponent of hybrid icing. "Every so often we have an injury that's strictly related to racing for an icing call that a player has either a career-ending injury or a season-ending injury. Why do we want to have somebody get hurt on a race for an icing?"

Under the hybrid icing rule, players race to an imaginary line across the faceoff dots instead of the goal-line.

Players have expressed mixed sentiments about hybrid icing, given that it is designed to prevent serious injuries but also involves making it a judgment call for linesmen.

GMs also recommended shrinking goaltending equipment, specifically leg and knee padding. Holland said the key is making sure “the goalies can do their job and the shooters can do their job” without sacrificing safety.

Hybrid icing saves clock time, too, because when an icing's an obvious call, the refs and linesmen can blow the whistle as soon as the "defending" team's player gets to the faceoff dot, and come the last five minutes of the third period, when those seconds can determine whether that defending team can rally to tie or win games, those extra seconds that bleed off the clock between the faceoff dot and the actual touching of the puck disappear.

Regarding goalie equipment, even as a goaltender, I think that thigh rises are starting to reach Garth Snow and Patrick Roy-like, "They're up to my hips!" proportions, even under goalie equipment cop Kay Whitmore's revised goaltending gear guidelines, and I'd argue that mandating a "break" on the "outer roll" of goalie pads to force those thigh rises to flex would yield more goals.

Even Jimmy Howard's thigh rises have gotten higher, stiffer and more built-up over the past two years, and there's no taper to them, either, so they've essentially replaced the "thigh boards" that eliminated the 5-hole in the early 2000's. Some sort of tapering might help them serve as less of a blocking surface as well.

 

 

Otherwise, aside from encouraging you to vote for Pavel Datsyuk in the TSN Play of the Year competition, noting Datsyuk's Tweet from Sunday...

I'll note that:

1. Darren McCarty appeared at a ValuLand in Dearborn on Monday;

2. The Free Press duly noted that the Grand Rapids Griffins are in fantastic shape heading into Game 6 of their AHL Western Conference Final series with the Oklahoma City Barons, who the Griffins lead 3-2 with Game 6 taking place tonight in Grand Rapids and even the Syracuse Crunch's press corps has taken note of the fact that, should the Griffins advance to the Calder Cup Final, Danny DeKeyser may be ready to help Grand Rapids' cause at some point;

3. And it's worth re-posting Ken Holland's interview with WBBL's Bill Simonson, because it certainly sounds like Brian Lashoff will be on the roster alongside Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser:

But other than that, we're pretty much done save mentioning that the Buffalo Sabres are confirming that they're taking part in the Wings' prospect tournament in the fall, and that I have to gauge your input as to whether you're willing to lend me a hand in getting up to next month's summer development camp, right?

 

 

Not quite.Wings coach Mike Babcock's degree from McGill Univerity would have made him a PE teacher, though his focus on psychology suggests that he wanted to do more with his degree than teach gym.

Babcock reminds me of one of my teachers in high school, minus the alpha male supreme part, anyway, and that teacher would absolutely lay waste to Divine Child High's top students' GPA's because they couldn't discern the very, very slight change in the man's voice from, "I'm just talking" to, "Here is the entirety of what's going to be on Death by Scantron. Pay attention." I could, and I listen to Babcock's end-of-season comments, which are essentially something of an "Off-Season Game Plan," two or three times.

Then I watch it to get his body language. Then I leave it alone for a couple of days and watch it again.

The day before Babcock made ten minutes' worth of comments to the asembled media during locker room clean-out day, WJR's Mitch Albom spoke to Babcock for 10 minutes, and Babcock reveals some points of emphasis--including some remarkable praise for the input Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall had upon his coaching--and it's just fascinating to listen to in no small part because Babcock's comments are far more off-the-cuff and less polished than the final lecture he delivered last Friday.

Paul alerted me to this on Monday evening, mostly because WJR doesn't update its Mitch Albom Show podcast page with day X's interviews until 3 or 4 days after the guests appear. The interview is worth several listens:

It's a bit of a relief to hear that Babcock thought the officiating was shitty, too, and Babcock is much, much more blunt about his desire for the Wings to add some size and strength to his roster going forward, even if it only comes from giving Danny DeKeyser, Joakim Andersson and Justin Abdelkader the opportunity to earn more prominent roles.

There's more in there and it's worth listening to several times, even with the lead-in-tune yielding hit or miss material.



In the prospect department, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill spoke to ESPN 96.1 FM's Sean Baligian on Monday, discussing the Griffins' opportunity to advance to the Calder Cup Final this evening:

I know that many of you hear Blashill or watch him on a Griffins post-game interview on their YouTube channel and immediately react by saying, "BRING HIM BACK UP HERE!" but when I listen to the man, I hear a, "Pete and Repeat" carbon copy of Babcock. I can understand why the Wings chose to bring in Tom Renney as an associate coach--having another Babcockian grind-grind-grind, push-push-push, no-nonsense personality must have ground upon the players, and Renney's kinder, gentler approach gives the troops something of a buffer.

 

 

And yes, it's time to ask whether there's an appetite to lend a hand in sending me up to the summer development camp in Traverse City. The camp takes place from July 9-17 in Traverse City, and I'm not sure whether you'd like me to go, whether you're OK with Paypal or whether you think I should try to start a Kickstarter petition, or whether you're cool with my desire to stay at the old reliable Howard Johnson of Traverse City, which has served me very well in the past.

Due to the computer fun and off-and-on blogging, I've got $22 in my bank account and the debit card currently has an honest-to-goodness balance of zero dollars, so I'd be starting from scratch here. Let me know what you think.

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Comments

cowboycoffee's avatar

always down to chip in for camp.

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 06/04/13 at 04:15 AM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

George - I’m definitely contributing should you decide to go. Paypal is easy. Not sure what a Kickstarter petition is.

Posted by joedaiceman on 06/04/13 at 08:05 AM ET

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What have you typically gone to in the past George? Does this generate more content then the prospect tournament in September? This is the one they try to bring everyone over and is the first real look at the new draft picks?

Posted by teldar on 06/04/13 at 08:20 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

And as such, Filppula will, at best, witness himself signed and traded at the draft. More likely, his rights will be pawned off for a mid-round draft pick.

I sure hope this happens. If the Wings end up signing Flip to keep it will be for too much. His shit has sailed in the D.

and Babcock is much, much more blunt about his desire for the Wings to add some size and strength to his roster going forward, even if it only comes from giving Danny DeKeyser, Joakim Andersson and Justin Abdelkader the opportunity to earn more prominent roles.

I hope like hell Holland is on board with this. Time for the Wings to toughen up a bit. Maybe Pasha could persuade Tick Tock to get bigger/meaner/tougher during his negotiations.

 

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/04/13 at 08:21 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

*ship

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/04/13 at 08:22 AM ET

pgoody's avatar

Filapoola

Posted by pgoody on 06/04/13 at 08:32 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Last year they let a 4m per player in Hudler go for nothing.  They let a 4.5m per in Leino go for a bag of balls the year before that. 

Hopefully Holland can do a better job managing Fils, or else we’re talking about failing asset management 101 for GMs for the third year in a row.

In the meantime the Wings PR continues steer the sheep into believing that these guys suck and they should be let go.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/04/13 at 08:52 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

The tough part about Filppula is that he also plays excellent defense. Letting him walk makes it much harder for the Wings to put Pav and Z together against good teams. I can’t help but always go back to the way he played against Malkin in the ‘08 SCF. Filppula has a quiet way of going about playing really good defense, and despite the offensive disappointment of this season, his D is not easily replaceable.

My hope would be that with the huge step we saw Andersson take, that he can play in a checking center role next year. And of course, if Helm gets healthy we know what he’s capable of as a checking center. But without a healthy Helm, letting Filppula walk puts a lot of pressure on Andersson to perform at a high-level against good opposition forwards.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/04/13 at 09:06 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Last year they let a 4m per player in Hudler go for nothing.  They let a 4.5m per in Leino go for a bag of balls the year before that. 
Hopefully Holland can do a better job managing Fils, or else we’re talking about failing asset management 101 for GMs for the third year in a row.
In the meantime the Wings PR continues steer the sheep into believing that these guys suck and they should be let go.
Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/04/13 at 08:52 AM ET

That’s the confusing part aboot Holland. IMO he shoulda moved Flip and White for any pick he could get. I suppose he kept White on board just in case we had lots o’ injuries AND he figured Flip was gonna turn it up when the playoffs started… but really? I love how people (cue HD’s long winded reply that I won’t read) will say that anything below a 3rd round pick is useless and then in the next thread they’ll say how awesome Detroit is at finding gems in the later rounds.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/04/13 at 09:10 AM ET

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Letting him walk makes it much harder for the Wings to put Pav and Z together against good teams.

True, but getting a top six winger (or two) who will actually shoot the puck or has some semblence of toughness would make it less necessary to put Pav and Z together against good teams.

An if they really need to put Pav and Z together then they can easily move their third line centre (Andersson or a healthy Helm) up to centre the second line.  Hell, if they keep Filppula around they’d be putting a third line centre on the second line anyhow, except that with Filppula it would be a vastly overpaid third line centre.

Posted by Garth on 06/04/13 at 09:22 AM ET

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Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/04/13 at 09:10 AM ET

I’m more baffled about not trading White than Filppula.  You know that Holland is going to at least try to convince himself that he’s been right all along thinking that Filppula was a second-line centre (and will use the Ericsson “we have faith” contract as evidence, but anyone knew that Babcock wouldn’t put White in unless he had absolutely no other options.

Posted by Garth on 06/04/13 at 09:24 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

The link of available UFAs was interesting. I haven’t watched many games in the East in several years. How does Mark Streit look beyond the stat sheet, and would he be a good short-term pickup for the wings to patch over the holes left by Lidstrom’s retirement?

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 06/04/13 at 09:25 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 06/04/13 at 09:25 AM ET

http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/hockeynews/hockey/player.php?4907

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/04/13 at 09:47 AM ET

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I like that he acknowledges the need to get bigger, and by bigger he doesn’t mean size wise, he means playing bigger, ala grittier.  I’ll say it again the Eastern Conference is a tougher conference by far.  Teams have 4 lines of players who are physical and due to the geographic location and rivalries that have existed for years the games are more intense.  If the Wings think they can face guys like Milan Lucic and counter him with a Franzen type they are sadly mistaken.

Posted by bababooey on 06/04/13 at 10:57 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Filpulla was a second line center on a cup winning team, but it was with absolute high water mark Mule and Samuelsson with him and the best offensively minded defense move unit we’ve ever seen behind him.  Definite fool’s gold.

George, or perhaps the article he quoted, talked about Filppula’s speed.  He is fast but he doesn’t really use it all that well.  He’s more Bret Lebda fast ( I’m going to fly up to where I cough up the puck) than Datsyuk fast (burst of speed to split forwards and get on on an undermatched defenseman).  So, from an offensive prospective, does that speed get us anywhere?  Even a guy like Michael Ryder, who isn’t as fast by any means, does so much more with his skating (he essentially skates to create gaps/screens to launch they crazy writer through).  Obviously one guy is a goal scorer and one is a defensive center with limited offensive upside but Filppula is being slotted as a second line wing so I figure its not as invalid a comp as it seems.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/04/13 at 10:59 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I’ve always said it is almost impossible to give up on Fil ,because he has the potential to be the ‘poor man’s Zetterberg’, which means a solid #2 on any team in the league.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/04/13 at 11:45 AM ET

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Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/04/13 at 11:45 AM ET

I think he did have that potential, but how long do you keep paying for potential?

I think they stopped believing in his potential when they started playing him on the wing, and he certainly isn’t earning a $5M pay check as a scoring winger either.

Posted by Garth on 06/04/13 at 11:57 AM ET

SYF's avatar

*ship

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/04/13 at 08:22 AM ET

It worked.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/04/13 at 12:51 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Red Wings own Steven Stamkos in the making?  And a right hand shot, too?

WTF is going on in GR???

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/04/13 at 12:55 PM ET

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Fil is close to or at 30yrs old, at what point do you just acknowledge that he is what he is.  He is a decent defensive center with speed and some offensive ability.  He is not a second line center, he is a tweener.  In a non capped world you can make a case for his skills at $5mm but not when the Wings have bigger needs (wingers with size).  Let him go, I don’t even think he wants to come back, or at least take the Kenny Holland “hometown discount”.

Posted by bababooey on 06/04/13 at 01:00 PM ET

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He is not a second line center, he is a tweener.

Exactly, and the Wings have a #1 and a #2 as well as multiple bottom six centres (Andersson, Helm, Emmerton, Miller if they need him, and Abdelkader), the last thing they need is a $5MM “tweener” (or a $4MM tweener or a $3.5MM tweener or a $3MM tweener or…well, you get my drift).

Posted by Garth on 06/04/13 at 01:24 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I have a feeling Cleary’s days are numbered, too…

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/04/13 at 04:20 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Streit announced he will test the Free Agent market.

WTF is going on in GR???

Posted by SYF from the Flood on 06/04/13 at 12:55 PM ET

Quit sharing videos like that.  Gary Bettman will see them and then he’ll start selling every square inch of the arena for ad revenue and then NHL games will look like that!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/04/13 at 04:39 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Streit announced he will test the Free Agent market.

Link?

Posted by calquake on 06/04/13 at 04:53 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Sorry, apparently he didn’t “announce it” but this story says he’s gone.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/mark-streit-won-t-return-to-islanders-1.5405742

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/04/13 at 04:57 PM ET

BC's avatar

Quit sharing videos like that.  Gary Bettman will see them and then he’ll start selling every square inch of the arena for ad revenue and then NHL games will look like that!

Not to mention the NASCAR-like uniforms

Posted by BC on 06/04/13 at 04:59 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Streit is 35 and a 1/2 years old. He’s looking for 5.5M for a 4 year deal or higher for a 3 year deal.

It’s a risk, but it’s also true he doesn’t have the mileage of many NHL d-men his age as he was in Europe and missed the playoffs a lot with Isles.

But doing that move would almost eliminate the possibility of signing a bought-out player. ESPN’s Craig Custance is predicting as many as 15 players this summer. Those are some prime targets for the Wings and lure of playing with Datsyuk/Zetterberg, making the playoffs, playing in a Winter Classic should be an allure for some of them.

Posted by d ca on 06/04/13 at 06:01 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Quit sharing videos like that.  Gary Bettman will see them and then he’ll start selling every square inch of the arena for ad revenue and then NHL games will look like that!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/04/13 at 04:39 PM ET

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/04/13 at 06:31 PM ET

Avatar

The tough part about Filppula is that he also plays excellent defense. Letting him walk makes it much harder for the Wings to put Pav and Z together against good teams. I can’t help but always go back to the way he played against Malkin in the ‘08 SCF. Filppula has a quiet way of going about playing really good defense, and despite the offensive disappointment of this season, his D is not easily replaceable.

Nathan: I’ve been banging the same drum all spring. I understand Filppula is a bit of an enigma and he leaves you wanting more consistent offense, and lord knows, I’ve certainly cussed him out on my TV more than a few times, but you hit the nail on the head. He’s a world-class skater and he’s a big part of the Wings’ ferocious commitment to the backcheck and he is definitely not easily replaceable. The question simply becomes, Can you retain his services at a palatable number or does someone like the Flames or Panthers come in and make him an offer Detroit simply can’t or won’t match? I know he is a go-to whipping boy around here but I’d like to see him back if it’s at all possible. He’s a high-end player even if the scoring output doesn’t always reflect it.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/04/13 at 07:19 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

from what little reading I’ve done so far, Clarkson looks like a better target. Chime in anyone.
If I can contribute this year, same preference of paypal.
re: Leino, didn’t he want out badly enough that Detroit couldn’t get much for him? Maybe I don’t remember correctly. He had 1 good year in Philly, went to Buffalo and has plummeted there between performance and injury, so maybe that’s not on Detroit if he’s an enigma. I’m still not sold that keeping him longer here would have helped, so it’s more a matter of whether the situation was too toxic to get more than a bag of pucks.
re: Hudler, is it a matter of conceding they wouldn’t sign him a bit earlier basically?
If the Wings are truly trying to sign Filppula at the “right” price, I guess it’s whether they “give up” early enough to trade the rights (a third round pick?).
I don’t think it’s a question of if they need to get bigger and stronger, but at least when they’ve played a Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. for one game, I don’t recall any of those games where they were beaten up on the ice and blown out—they seemed to hold their own. They have some size, they’re still a puck possession team, but one (or 2) more players from outside may be enough for size/strength for next season (?).

Posted by Bugsy on 06/04/13 at 07:34 PM ET

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Posted by Eric H. on 06/04/13 at 07:19 PM ET

The problem is that Detroit is positively loaded with guys who can play defence but can’t score.  That’s the problem.  People go on about the fact that Detroit asks their players to play a two-way game, yet they’re very quick to gloss over the fact that a guy who plays great defence but can’t score isn’t playing a two-way game, he’s just a defensive forward.  Detroit is chock full of these guys, so why not take a chance on having ONE player on the roster who thinks about offence first?

Posted by Garth on 06/04/13 at 08:12 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

I’m more than happy to plug NyQuist into Fil’s slot.  I don’t think miss a beat with that substitution.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/04/13 at 08:16 PM ET

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Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/04/13 at 08:16 PM ET

I’d really like to see the third line stay together and for an honest to god scoring winger to be brought in to play with Pav or Z.

Posted by Garth on 06/04/13 at 08:37 PM ET

Avatar

I agree with you Figaro.  Nyquil is a nice hybrid of Dats and Filppula…A bit better than Filppula and a bit less than Dats.  He’s my newest favorite Wing.

Let Filp go for whatever you can get for him.  There are plenty of options to replace him.  IMO, if Andersson continues to progress, he’s a capable option too.

Posted by zombietroy on 06/04/13 at 08:50 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

This is the article George can explain better tomorrow from Craig Custance on the compliance buyouts, retained salary transactions (re: trades, and hold onto part of the salary), and the cap advantage recapture clause for > 6 yr. contracts. If you have insider and want to take a peek:
http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/custance_craig/id/9340903/2013-nhl-playoffs-new-cba-makes-interesting-offseason

Posted by Bugsy on 06/04/13 at 09:28 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m more than happy to plug NyQuist into Fil’s slot.  I don’t think miss a beat with that substitution.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/04/13 at 08:16 PM ET

Would you really want to break up the chemistry of Nike and Mr. Andersson?  Move Broooner back to Zata’s wing and maybe try Tatar on their line.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/05/13 at 12:52 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

He’s a high-end player even if the scoring output doesn’t always reflect it.

Filpulla may be good on the back-check, but maybe if he wasn’t a turnover machine he wouldn’t have to race back to play defense so much.

that’s the problem with Filpulla.  he can’t get the puck into the zone to save his life.  he’s like Cleary with puckhandling skills.  deke, deke, turnover.  whereas Cleary is crash, crash, turnover.

as for splitting up the Brunner, Andersson, Nyquist line?  HELL NO.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/05/13 at 09:04 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Babcock would have broken up Howe, Able, & Mr. Lindsay if he thought it would suit his match-up needs.  I enjoy the BANner Line, but I’m not getting too attached.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/05/13 at 10:03 AM ET

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as for splitting up the Brunner, Andersson, Nyquist line?  HELL NO.

This.

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 11:25 AM 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.