Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: on scouting departures, Babcock on the roster and Shanahan’s HHOF date

From a public perception and PR point of view, the Red Wings followed up a fantastically-crafted Friday with a bit of a herky-jerky performance on Saturday.

First we were told that the Wings were "still interested" in re-signing Daniel Cleary, but that Damien Brunner was still headed elsewhere. Then we were told that the Wings were all but ready to move a body off their 50-man roster--the NHL maxes out player contracts at 50 players--to re-sign Cleary. Then we were told that the Wings neither a) wanted to exceed the salary cap, even though the team has $2.307 million of Capgeek-estimated space under the cap and another $6.43 million to spend under the "summer cap" to ink Cleary* and that b) no roster moves were imminent, so Cleary would continue to pursue alternate employment.

In the middle of all of this, we found out that Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill took his right-hand man in terms of scouting and drafting in Wings director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell, as well as fellow "eastern scout" Mark Leach, to Dallas.

Let's start with that little embarrassment. It is incredibly obvious that the Red Wings' front office should have prevented Nill from stealing the other gentleman in charge of the team's draft by having McDonnell sign a non-compete clause, but Nill told the Dallas News's Mike Heika that he timed things this way for a reason:

The Stars have hired Joe McDonnell as their new director of amateur scouting and Mark Leach as one of the head scouts, Stars GM Jim Nill confirmed Saturday. Both worked under Nill in the Detroit Red Wings system, but both were without contracts and free to sign with any team.


“They’re great at their jobs and I asked if they were interested, and they had hard decisions,’’ Nill said. “We’re very lucky to get them.’’

Former Stars GM Joe Nieuwendk fired Tim Bernhardt as director of amateur scouting in 2011, and never replaced him. Assistant GM Les Jackson filled the role for the past two seasons, but will be able to step back now and do more work with the pros and the Texas Stars. In addition, the Stars lost scout Shane Churla to Montreal in the spring, and Leach helps fill his void.

McDonnell has been a scout with the Red Wings since 1995 and director of amateur scouting there since 2003. Leach has worked with the Red Wings since 1998. Leach is based on the East Coast, while Stars scout Dennis Holland is based in the West for the Stars. They will be the top scouts reporting to McDonnell, Nill said.

I'm not surprised that McDonnell left to join Nill. The fact that he left does not reflect poorly upon Ken Holland--it reflects the fact that McDonnell's spent the past ten years reporting to Nill, not Holland, and if you're a scout, scouts want to pursue opportunities to build teams, and the Red Wings are arguably coming off some of their best drafts in a long time in terms of pumping prospects into the system, whereas the Stars are rebuilding in more ways than one. That, and he probably got a fat raise.

What does concern me is the lack of due diligence here--it took Steve Yzerman all of five minutes to take Pat Verbeek with him to Tampa Bay, and Nill was way higher up the food chain than Yzerman ever got.

Can the Wings replace McDonnell? Sure, but just as Nill was the person who coordinated relationships with the rest of the team's executives, McDonnell was the same "axle upon which the wheel was turning" in terms of coordinating efforts between the Wings' extensive network of amateur scouts. Geographically speaking, his operating headquarters in Kitchener gave him opportunities to scout throughout Ontario, Michigan, and to some extent, Quebec and the Midwest, which are really the most densely-packed junior hockey locations around, and his starkly black buzzcut was conspicuous as Nill's moustache at rinks all over the place, from Plymouth to Shawinigan.

The Wings over-build their front office just as they prefer to over-build their roster, so the team will be able to rebound, but losing Nill and McDonnell are like losing the team's liver and one of its eyeballs, and as Ken Holland's continually told us since the salary cap was instituted, drafting and developing players is the lifeblood of sustaining the Wings' 22-year playoff streak by building the roster from within.

So the Free Press's Helene St. James assured us that Hakan Andersson would remain...

The Red Wings will be naming a new head of amateur scouting in the coming week, as Joe McDonnell has left the team to join his former boss in Dallas.

McDonnell and amateur scout Mark Leach are joining Jim Nill, the former assistant general manager in Detroit who left in April to take the head job with the Stars.

One key guy who Nill has not been able to pry from the Wings: Swedish superscout Hakan Andersson, whom Holland said has been signed for four more years.

Andersson is considered one of the best in the business, and was the force behind two of the picks in last week’s annual draft, where he masterminded the Wings selecting forwards Mattias Janmark and Hampus Melen. Amateur scout Jeff Finley, meanwhile, was behind two of the other eight picks, defensemen Mitchell Wheaton and Marc McNulty.

The Wings also still boast a staff headlined by director of pro scouting Mark Howe, a staff which includes former players Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper. As big a loss as Nill was, and as easy was it was to hand the reigns to his right-hand man, McDonnell, selecting picks never was a one-man operation.

The Wings already had split Nill’s duties between two people, as McDonnell was charged with running the draft table while salary cap specialist Ryan Martin’s duties expanded to managing the Grand Rapids Griffins.

And MLive's Brendan Savage assured us that the Wings would find replacements...

Holland said the Red Wings hope to have their scouting staff in place by next week. They're going to make a few additions and will give more prominent roles to scouts Jeff Finley and David Kolb.

But this is definitely a "time to worry" moment:

The good news is that the Red Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, is coming off an AHL championship-winning campaign, and that the Wings can't accommodate Cleary because they a) signed Luke Glendening to a two-way deal and b) all of Calle Jarnkrok, Teemu Pulkkinen, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Richard Nedomlel, Nick Jensen, Martin Frk, Marek Tvrdon, Alexei Marchenko and UFA signee Jared Coreau are turning pro, which means that their entry-level deals all count against the 50-man limit now (and they join Landon Ferraro, Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan, Adam Almquist, Petr Mrazek, Riley Sheahan et. al. in Grand Rapids), and the good news is that McDonnell left the Wings with some presents in draft picks Anthony Mantha, Zach Nastasiuk, Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pope.

But one should "leave no doubt" here in terms of understanding that the Red Wings' front office now faces its most difficult and perhaps future-determining personnel changes since Jimmy Devellano handed the reins to Ken Holland in 1998.

Oh yeah, by the way, the * regarding Cleary?

Think of it this way, folks: if the Wings were willing to bring back Cleary at the expense of regular playing time for Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist, or Tomas Tatar's spot on the roster, they simply would have let a grinder-in-the-making in Glendening walk, they would have asked Andersson, Nyquist and Brendan Smith to wait until closer to training camp to be re-signed as restricted free agents, and they would have signed Cleary already.

As the Free Press's St. James suggests, trades are inevitable, but you can expect the Wings to show other players the door..

So, what’s left is trading someone. Candidates are Samuelsson (hard to think anyone would take him, though) and Jordin Tootoo (Mike Babcock didn’t use him late in season and into the playoffs). Patrick Eaves might be in play, because the Wings re-upped Drew Miller, and the two bring much the same to the table. Cory Emmerton is on the bubble, but he’s needed for now as insurance in case Darren Helm has another setback in his recovery from a sore back.

I personally believe that Cleary's wonderful service and blood, sweat, tears, broken jaw and messed-up knees sacrificed for Detroit's cause should be praised before wishing him a fond farewell and moving on to accommodate the Nyquists, Anderssons and Tatars, but I get the feeling that even if Cleary comes back, any suggestions that the Wings would trade or waive the AHL's Jack Butterfield Trophy-winning playoff MVP (Tatar) for Cleary's sake are extreme reactions to say the least.

And in terms of the roster going forward, one Mike Babcock himself spoke with St. James (following up a pair of interviews with NHL.com's Dan Rosen), telling St. James that the Wings are very happy to add an older player who is still a star in Alfredsson and someone who understands that he has to be part of the program in Stephen Weiss....

“We made that clear to him,” Babcock said. “If you’re not ultra-competitive and you don’t want to be pushed and battle for ice time and situation, and play for a coach that’s going to push you hard, if you don’t want to commit to off-season training and training during the year, you can’t come here.”

Some players use free agency to move to quiet hockey markets, some use them to move to Detroit, where playoffs are a rite of spring. It’s what appealed to Alfredsson and to Weiss. And now, with those two on board, with a defense that features three pairs that can move the puck, and a solid goaltender in Jimmy Howard, the Wings have so much more appeal to Babcock. Babcock looks back fondly to the Wings teams that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 swaggered into the playoffs and pushed their way into the third round, into the arms of the Stanley Cup, and into the Finals again, respectively. This coming season’s group could herald a resurgence.

“What’s happened is, we have much more depth now,” Babcock said. “Alfie is a guy who is ultra-competitive. He plays his best when it matters. He gives us a right-handed shot. He’ll help our power play immensely.”

I can't quote her entire article, so you'll have to read the rest to find out what Babcock feels about Filppula (hint: he wasn't a second-line center) and how Babcock might dress a power play's starting five, but this next paragraph IS VERY IMPORTANT:

There’ll be some more tinkering with the roster: For starters, the Wings need to get their restricted free agents, Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith signed. At the moment, they’ve got just enough cap space left to do that. That means that until Holland moves an existing contact, Daniel Cleary can’t get done. The Wings very much want Cleary back — “he’s one of our leaders,” Babcock said — and Cleary wants to return, but someone else has to go. Trade possibilities include Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves.


Regardless of what else happens, Alfredsson and Weiss already promise a much better team for next season. Datsyuk and Zetterberg can play together, like they prefer, like Babcock prefers. Weiss can center the second line. “Alfie,” Babcock said, “can play in a lot of different slots, we can have more combinations, and that’s a real positive thing for us.”

Interesting that the coach has come over to the players' side regarding "Pavel and Hank" playing alongside each other. See also: Babcock saying that he consulted extensively with the pair, Niklas Kronwall and other players during the past season and playoff run.

Are the Wings back among the elite? It’s harder and harder to stand out in a salary cap world. At the very least, though, the Wings “are like night and day compared to where we were at last summer,” Babcock said. “I think we’re going in the right direction again. Now, sometimes you can have the best team and sometimes things don’t work out — but sometimes you knock on the door, and sometimes it opens.”

Again, I'm going to suggest that losing Brunner's speed and scoring, even with Nyquist and Tatar prepared to contribute, Andersson giving the Wings many more options on the third line, Justin Abdelkader surprisingly developing into a sort of Tomas Holmstrom replacement and hopefully seeing Darren Helm recover from his back woes, never mind losing Filppula's flash and dash for the sake of adding Weiss's grit and consistency, well, it's more of a wash in my mind than it is to Babcock...

But I'm not the coach or the GM.

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan was a little late to the party, but he confirmed the shape of the roster changes to come...

After landing two big names in the first day of free agency, the Red Wings remained silent Saturday. And they may likely remain so for a while, as they whittle away at a bloated roster.

The Red Wings are close to an agreement with unrestricted free agent forward Daniel Cleary, but are stuck from a roster standpoint at the moment.

They’ll have 25 players under contract — including 16 forwards — once restricted free-agent forwards Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson and defenseman Brendan Smith are signed.

Even without those three and Cleary signed, the Red Wings already have a $65 million payroll — which is acceptable for the summer; teams can be up to 10 percent the salary cap limit of $64.3 million.

Cleary has drawn intersest from other teams, but appears focusing on the Red Wings, likely on a three-year contract.

General manager Ken Holland said the issue of sizing down the roster back to a 23-man limit will be a process over the summer.

And after a Saturday in which Sportsnet's Ian Mendes and Yahoo Sports' Harrison Mooney discussed the concept that Daniel Alfredsson's defection to a new division rival in Detroit should give the Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur-reinforced and "better" Senators team more than enough ammunition and "anger" with which to prove the Wings "wrong" (TSN's asking fans to weigh in as to whether Alfredsson is to blame for his departure, and you can imagine how the "Your Call" feature is going), and a Saturday night's crop of Ottawa Sun articles discussing the Senators' next captain, comparing Detroit and Ottawa as hockey cities, and some surprisingly sympathetic comments regarding Alfredsson's plight issued by one Jarome, "Okay, Boston, I'll play for you after all" Iginla to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch...

Though Iginla spurned the Bruins at the deadline, he did end there in the end after agreeing to a one-year deal with Boston Friday. But, the decision he faced in February was very similar to the one Alfredsson had Thursday.

"It would be a very, very tough decision and I don't think he took it lightly at all. By going through it, I know it's not an easy thing as far as leaving a team you've been with for a long time and made a lot of lifelong friends," said Iginla Saturday.

"And I know he knew there would be a lot of people that would be upset about that. But I read that he said he made the decisions for a big part for him and his family. And he wants to win. We want to win. As players you want to win, and I don't know which team he thinks is better or anything like that. That's not for me to say. But obviously he still loves playing and has that fire and I guess he probably feels that's his best shot. But I do feel for him, it would be a tough decision. I guess that's all I can really say."

Alfredsson's short  Swedish-language interview with Expressen--super super short--was followed up by what I guess can be called "typical Garrioch" in some surmising as to what Alfredsson's Saturday plans consisted of, as well as a quip from the Alfredsson-Weiss presser, in an article discussing the Senators' future without #11 in the lineup:

On his first official day with the Detroit Red Wings, Daniel Alfredsson swung different kinds of sticks — his golf clubs.

The former Senators captain spent at least part of Saturday at the golf club near his home in a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden. A world away, meanwhile, the city Alfredsson left behind -- Ottawa -- tried to get over the shock of his sudden departure Friday.


At some point or another, there was going to come a time when the Senators were going to have to learn live without their captain. It may have happened sooner than the club anticipated, but Alfredsson noted he wouldn't be around forever.

Though he felt the right steps were being taken here, he doesn't think the club is ready to be a Stanley Cup contender and that's why he jumped to Detroit. He didn't want Murray to have to trade him at the deadline to be a rental.

"I felt a week ago, I was not going to go anywhere and I was going to play in Ottawa. Then, I waited a few days and just started thinking, 'Ottawa is in a great spot I think'," said Alfredsson. "They're going in the right direction and have a lot of things going for it.

"If this was my last season, I don't want to change anything that's going on there. I don't want to demand Bryan or (owner) Eugene (Melynk) that you're going to have make a push for me here to go for it. I think there's too many good things going on there. The torch was going to have to be passed sometime pretty soon anyway."

In "the spirit of the thing," the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo weighed in on the Wings' signings...

The Red Wings in 2013-14 won’t necessarily be an older team or a younger team. They will be a balanced team.

Weiss is essentially replacing departed free agent Valterri Filppula. In regard to talent, it’s a wash. Filppula didn’t have his best season last year, but was a good two-way player for the Red Wings for a long period. It’s not a coincidence he received a five-year, $25 million deal from Tampa Bay and general manager Steve Yzerman. Obviously, Yzerman is a top hockey mind and very familiar with Filppula. Filppula followed his best season in 2011-12 with his one of his worst in 2013, but he wasn’t going to be easily replaced. Weiss is a capable replacement. He was once the fourth overall pick in the NHL Draft. He is a better goal scorer than Filppula and his skill was wasted with Florida, one of the NHL’s deadbeat franchises.

Alfredsson was once one of the NHL’s best players, but it is questionable how much he has left in the tank. I specifically recall watching him the last couple seasons and trying to access how good a player he remains. At times, he’s looked like the Daniel Alfredsson of old. Other times, he’s looked like an old Daniel Alfredsson.

This could be similar to a decade or so ago when the Red Wings landed Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille. They were premier players on the downside of their careers when they came to Detroit. However, they fit specific roles on the Red Wings perfectly.

Ideally, the Red Wings will address their defense with a signing or two. They have depth along the blue line, but could use one more experienced NHL defenseman. They are still young on defense.

But the Red Wings are a better team now than a year ago at this time. They are a better team now than they were a week ago, too.

They are trending upward. The NHL’s free agent signing period is just another reason why.

As did the Toledo Blade's Mark Hackenberg, who reminded us that Mr. I is not solely spending his pizza money on the Tigers' payroll:

The team that extended the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks to overtime in Game 7 of their conference semifinal playoff series needed to bump its scoring punch, so Wings general manager Ken Holland dug into Ilitch’s deep pockets and jumped on one of the league’s all-time leading scorers among active players and one of its premier playmakers.

The signing of Daniel Alfredsson to a one-year deal was surprising if not stunning. He is leaving Ottawa, the only team for which he has played, after 18 seasons. Imagine Al Kaline leaving the Tigers late in his hall-of-fame career.

Getting forward-center Stephen Weiss of Florida, a guy who makes good things happen around him, in a five-year deal is an investment that should have a far longer return.

But Alfredsson is the marquee name. He announced recently that he would forgo retirement for one more season and nearly everyone presumed it would be with the Senators, for whom the forward was the longest-tenured captain in the league.

At age 40, though, he decided to be admittedly selfish. The Red Wings, who move next season to the Eastern Conference, may be a scorer away from the full playoff run. Alfredsson has long been among the game’s best. If one and one equal two, he may be able to do something he has never done during all those years in Ottawa, skate with that big cup hoisted above his head.

He said he feels the Senators are “getting closer and closer and that they’re going in the right direction and have a really bright future in front of them. [But] I don’t have the time to wait for that. It was a tough decision to make, and it still hasn’t really sunk in. I feel I’m doing this for myself. I feel this was right for me. I really like the fit with the Detroit Red Wings.”


"I gave it everything I had throughout my career. This is purely a situation where this is about me. This is a decision I make for myself, not for anybody else. It’s all about trying to get the Stanley Cup.”

And it’s all about the same thing for the Red Wings. It always is. With Mr. Ilitch footing the bill, it’s never about rebuilding. It’s about winning.

That's the theory, and now the Wings' front office needs to "reload."

I wish I could come up with a better closer than that, but after putting in a seventeen-hour day and a twelve-hour day over 36 hours, I'm fried, folks.



In foreign-language news: From Pavel Datsyuk:

The World University Games are taking place in Kazan, Russia, and Datsyuk's obviously going to be at the opening ceremonies.

The International University Games Federation and the 2013 Games' official site's English-language page have more details if you're going to be in central Russia later this month.

Starting on July 2nd, and over the past couple of days, the Slovakian Olympic team held a pre-2014 games summer meeting at the Tatra National Park in Poprad, Slovakia, and if you want to read a translation of Tomas Tatar speaking to SITA about playing tennis shirtless (yes, there are pictures, how some of you find the male form attractive, I do not understand, but if you do, enjoy), and CAS.sk reports that Slovak coach Vladimir Vujtek did discuss his expectations for potential Slovak olympians, including Tatar and Tomas Jurco, with the players before they had a barbecue, played soccer (more pictures) and visited 8,500-foot-tall mountain Lomnicky Stit (even more pictures).

Tomas Jurco did speak to SME.sk, and while my Slovak is terrible, he stated that:

1. Given that he had no expectations going into his first pro season, it ended incredibly well, but it was important that he played well in the playoffs and the Wings' management saw him do so;

2. Yes, he attempts tricks with soccer balls as well as hockey pucks;

3. He readily admits that he had a rough start to his 2012-2013 season, but, as he's repeatedly stated, at its mid-way point, he started finding his stride, and he's very happy that he did;

4. And again, he's hoping to get into a few games as a call-up, but Jurco understands that he's got to earn his way up to the NHL over multiple seasons to come, as Tomas Tatar's example certainly proved.

Please note that the Red Wings' summer development camp roster is almost completely devoid of Grand Rapids Griffins players as their Calder Cup run required rest and recuperation, not another six days of grinding things out training-wise.



In terms of news from other U.S. cities, it should be noted that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford confirmed that the St. Louis Blues swung and missed on both Stephen Weiss and Valtteri Filppula before signing Maxim Lapierre and Derek Roy, with GM Doug Armstrong admitting that he couldn't compete with the Wings' pitch for Weiss...

Weiss, a zippy center who has spent the last eight seasons in Florida, signed a five-year, $24.5 million contract ($4.9 million annual average value). Filppula, who struggled last season in Detroit but has skill, inked a five-year, $25 million deal.

Armstrong wouldn’t disclose the Blues’ offers but said the club made strong presentations in both terms and dollars.

“We were a little bit less (than Detroit and Tampa Bay), but not a lot,” he said. “We didn’t low-ball anybody ... we were certainly in the neighborhood that our offer was good enough if they wanted to be here.”

With both Weiss and Filppula, there might have been uncontrollable circumstances that the Blues couldn’t match. Weiss played three seasons of junior hockey with the Plymouth (Mich). Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.

“It is neat to come back to a city where I played before and watched the Wings, and wondered about playing for the franchise one day,” he told Detroit reporters.

According to Armstrong, there was another factor. “Talking to Steve and his agent, Pat Morris, and I had to take them for their word, the thought of playing with (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk, is something that really intrigued him,” he said. “I think that was a deciding factor for him.”

And in Tampa Bay, Steve Yzerman did his best to insist that Valtteri Filppula was not brought in to replace Vincent Lecavalier, as noted by NHL.com, and you can watch Yzerman speak about Filppula on the Bolts' website if you wish:

"High-character guy, he's a Stanley Cup winner."

But Yzerman on Saturday was quick to say Filppula was not given a five-year contract to leave the Detroit Red Wings and simply replace Lecavalier, who was let go via compliance buyout last week after 14 seasons with the Lightning that included the 2004 Stanley Cup.

"He's completely different than Vinny, [a] totally different type of player," Yzerman said. "Vinny was a No. 1 pick overall in the draft.

"We've changed our team; we've acquired a good player who's going to be a real positive contributor to our team, who's a real good guy. We understand everybody's going to say, 'Oh, he's here to replace Vinny.' He's here to make us a better team and he will make us a better team."



In the Sunday smarm department, the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons offers this quip about Daniel Alfredsson...

The rumblings out of Ottawa, which are much more than rumblings, tell a story of a Senators team almost out of money and of an owner, Eugene Melnyk, in trouble. Stay tuned: Melnyk may be losing more than Daniel Alfredsson ... And just when I was starting to fall in love — in a hockey way — with Alfredsson, he bolted Ottawa. And now I can resume not caring about him anymore...

We All Bleed Red found a clip of Ray Ferraro, Aaron Ward and Marc Crawford talking about the Wings' additions of Weiss and Alfredsson during a not-so-busy Saturday TSN free agency show, too:

Do the Wings need to find another top-four defenseman before the 2014 playoffs begin? Yes. Is Tomas Tatar trade bait? *#$%@& you, Marc Crawford, no.

He's put in his time in the AHL, he got pissed off about being demoted but held his tongue, and every indication suggests that the Wings want him on their NHL roster--and if I may be frank, while I know that many of you''ve suggested that the Wings' desire to retain Cleary indicates that the Wings don't want Tatar, to me, the fact that the Wings didn't sign Cleary at the expense of all of a third-line grinder-in-the-making in Luke Glendening told me that this team may be sentimental to the very border of stupidity...

But the team isn't willing to cross the border of dumb in terms of sacrificing its future for staying loyal to its past. Cleary is still unemployed.

The Wings still have the over-the-cap space to retain Nyquist, Andersson and Smith's services.

And the 50th roster spot is occupied by a walk-on try-out at the University of Michigan and a walk-on try-out with the Grand Rapids Griffins, not the walk-on try-out from the Red Wings' 2005 training camp.




And heading back to Detroit in a roundabout way, the Hockey Hall of Fame will be naming its 2013 induction class on Tuesday.

While I'm on the road, it's highly likely that Wings player mentor Chris Chelios will be named an inductee during his first year on the ballot, and, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose notes, it is incredibly unlikely that the Hall of Fame will pass over Brendan Shanahan for the second year in a row:

On Tuesday, the Hall of Fame election committee will meet to determinte the 2013 class of inductees. Whether Shanahan, who since retiring as a player has worked in the NHL office as the league's vice president of hockey and business operations, is among the names called is anybody’s guess.

Former Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios is also up for induction in his first year of eligibility. Detroit general manager Ken Holland believes Tuesday will be a banner day for the organization.

“Chris Chelios for me is a slam dunk as a first-time (eligible) hall-of-famer,” he said. “I have to believe that Shanahan is going it. It was obviously a tremendous class last year. But he has hall of fame numbers too. So hopefully July 9 is a great day for former Red Wings.”

Holland remembers the notoriety that the Red Wings received a decade ago when they compiled a lineup laden with extraordinary talent. And that was before the assembled group won the 2002 Stanley Cup.

“We said at the time that half of the team in 2002 was going to go into the Hall of Fame, and there are more coming,” Holland said.

On Tuesday, Shanahan and Chelios could be the fifth and sixth members of that spectacular lineup to learn that they’ve received passage into the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining teammates Igor Larionov, Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull and Luc Robatialle who’ve already been enshrined.

The enshrinement will take place on Nov. 11 in Toronto. The 2013 class will be the fifth time in six years that the Wings’ organization has been represented at the enshrinement ceremony. Mark Howe was inducted in 2011, and senior vice president Jim Devellano and former forward Dino Ciccarelli were in the class of 2010.

Roose continues and offers more praise for Shanahan as both a player and now an NHL executive from Holland, and the Wings' website offers photo galleries commemorating the careers of both Shanahan and Chelios.



Speaking of "on the road," my level of coverage is going to go down over the next couple of days as the Wings' summer development camp is approaching. I made my hotel reservations on Thurdsay, took my dry cleaning in on Saturday...

I've got some grocery shopping to do today for both the fam and the trip, and on Monday, I have to run around make some appointments and get my car's oil changed. I've got to pack as well and will haul ass up I-75 on Tuesday afternoon.

The camp starts Wednesday, and at this point, I can only promise my best effort in terms of coverage.

Right now my brain is kind of fried from the draft and free agent-lead-up and frenzy, so I'll try to address your expectations and desires for levels of coverage and/or interview targets...

Tomorrow, if that's okay with you.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



If the team is thinking of getting another D-man, ( no need I think) what is up with Ian White? Nothing has been mentioned about him at all ZERO. No articles about him at RedWing Central No talk in the usual Hockey medias. I feel since he got put in the dog house to stay late in the season. He’d be dealt his pass out of town-don’t you agree? Did I miss the memo or he’s so far down in the dog house he can’t see nuthin but dirt above? Now that we’re hearing talk of trades needing to get us to the 23 man roster size, you’d think we’d hear a rumble or two somewhere in the blog-o-sphere or from KK’s Korner. He’s got to have some value to some NHL team in need of a seasoned D-man, I mean he’s worth something…RIGHT?.....wondering .. ohh  big surprise  rolleyes  confused surprised rayzredwing

Posted by rayzredwing on 07/07/13 at 09:32 AM ET


Uh..White’s an UFA.

Posted by AZWinger on 07/07/13 at 09:49 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Any team can sign White whenever they please, that may be the problem.

“I can go steady with any girl I please.”

“Then why don’t you?”

“Because I don’t please any of them.”

-Bazooka Joe.

Posted by RWBill on 07/07/13 at 12:19 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

So Babcock (and maybe the players???) consider Cleary one of their leaders, so that’s pretty much decided, it looks like, for him to come back.

Not a peep on White, no surprise there.
Not a peep on Brunner, that’s a surprise. It seems awfully tight-lipped about him.

You’d think Holland and company anticipated possibly losing some of their staff, too, including Nill, at some point, so we’ll soon see the contingency plan. The losses still hurt, but outside of (1) Letting Nill leave on written condition he doesn’t hire Wings’ staff (is that legal?), (2) re-signing the personnel on a stagger or (3) making a raise/renewal “anticipating” the other staff want to leave, my sincere question is what should the Wings have done/should do in the future? I think (1) was discussed earlier?

At the very least, though, the Wings “are like night and day compared to where we were at last summer,” Babcock said. “I think we’re going in the right direction again.”

Losing Brunner, not sure if that’s Babcock painting the sunny side (that they’re about the same right now as George, Burnside, and others wonder in essentially getting Alfredsson for Brunner) or he really believes that. The St. James article is worth looking at.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/07/13 at 12:25 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

It shouldn’t have come as any surprise that Nill left, as teams have been asking about him for years, and I think this was the first year his contract would allow him to talk to other teams.  As far as the scouts go, you would think there would be some kind of courtesy from one GM to another when poaching their staff, and if the media department knew about this for a week or two, then i would imagine Nill gave Holland a heads up on this around the time he took the Dallas job.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 07/07/13 at 12:41 PM ET

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