Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: on the state of the defense, and the proper level of tinkering

Two days ago, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan offered an analysis of the Wings' forward corps via an article and attached photo gallery, and this morning, he looks at the Wings' defensemen in article and photo gallery form.

The article allows Wings GM Ken Holland to weigh in regarding the team's inability to land what's become a frickin' unicorn in an elite, right-shooting, free agent defenseman...

“We made offers to players,” general manager Ken Holland said. “They signed elsewhere. That’s going to happen with 30 teams trying to win and with the salary cap. We went in looking to add a right-hand defenseman and we felt we made very competitive offers.”

As well as the reality to which we're still becoming accustomed to--the concept that the team's probably going into the season with its blueline as-is--and unless a Mike Green or Tyler Myers becomes available between now and the trade deadline, that the Wings' "kids" will have to both unseat Kindl and Lashoff and provide an offensive boost:

The return of a healthy Jonathan Ericsson, who missed the end of the regular season and playoffs because of shoulder surgery, and the continued development of Brendan Smith and Danny DeKeyser, could improve the group as it is currently constructed.

Then, there’s the talent in Grand Rapids, and many made cameos with the Red Wings last season. Young defensemen such as Ryan Sproul and Alexey Marchenko are right-handed, while lefties Xavier Ouellet and Mattias Backman appear close to cracking the Red Wings lineup, no matter which hand is their strong hand.

“We feel we have kids who aren’t far away,” Holland said. “We had young players who got an opportunity last season and helped us make the playoffs. We like the pool of players coming up.”

In the photo gallery, Kulfan offers assessments of the Wings' current defensemen, and I agree that Jonathan Ericsson's return should stabilize the "top six"...

Jonathan Ericsson -- Don't underestimate Ericsson's absence in the playoff series against Boston. Ericsson's size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) would have helped offset Boston's strength. Ericsson, 30, is in his prime and with Kronwall forms one of the better pairings in the league.

While this player may or may not be an "x-factor"...

Brendan Smith -- One of the fans' favorite whipping boys most of last season, Smith actually had a good playoff series, adding to a fine end to the regular season. He was playing a safer, smarter game with less gambling, and his willingness to square off with 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara showed tenacity. Smith is only 25, so there's room to grow his game.

And we have yet to find out what exactly this player can bring to the table offensively speaking:

Danny DeKeyser -- At 24, the sky is the limit for DeKeyser. He can play major minutes, doesn't make glaring mistakes and is one of the better skaters in the league. There's every reason to believe DeKeyser will be a Red Wing for a long, long time.

Kulfan continues with seven more profiles, including ones of Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul and Alexey Marchenko, but there's no Mattias Backman profile.

I'll defer to Kulfan regarding the timing of his columns--he's supposed to break down the goaltenders on Saturday--but by that time, we'll have a pretty solid picture of Holland's takes on his team.

Holland suggested that it's health that will provide the biggest boost to the forward corps, and in a strange way, an article that wasn't posted "online" in a conventional manner will bring us back to the defense.

Michigan Hockey's latest issue, which is available via Bluetoad.com, includes a Dave Waddell-penned article alluded to in this Tweet:

Waddell's article, which you can either read on Bluetoad or by downloading the issue as a PDF, is the best and most scathing criticism of the Cleary re-signing that I've read.

Waddell works for the Windsor Star and is no longer a dedicated "sports beat" guy, so maybe he felt that he had more room to be critical of Holland, but in any case, he lays his dissatisfaction with the Wings' GM plain...

However, the Cleary signing is just the latest troubling sign about what’s been happening in the front office.

Holland has overseen an organization too reluctant to part with the past for a few seasons now. He’s been loyal to a fault at times. Detroit could afford such luxuries when the Wings were perennial contenders and players were  lining up to come to Detroit. That’s no longer the case.

By sticking with players too long, the Wings are hindering the progress of the transition to a younger squad they’re trying to complete.

And given that the Red Wings aren't likely to find their elite right-shooting defenseman from within the organization's ranks unless Ryan Sproul or Alexey Marchenko suddenly blossom into superstars, Waddell suggests that Holland's most telling screw-up involves having "lost his mojo" in terms of trading for players, as evidenced by the Calle Jarnkrok and Patrick Eaves and a second-round pick (a 3rd round pick that became a 2nd-rounder when the Wings made the playoffs) for David Legwand deal:

Holland has made 50 trades during his reign as Detroit’s GM, but he’s made only six deals since 2011. Most of those six recent deals were relatively minor, trading up or down in the NHL draft, but his last deal was dreadful.

Acquiring center David Legwand from Nashville for a second-round pick, Patrick Eaves and one of the team’s most intriguing prospects (Calle Jarnkrok) reeked of desperation. On a team that isn’t blessed with a lot of prospects at center, the Wings gave up one of their most interesting ones for essentially five playoff games since Legwand wasn’t deemed worth re-signing.

The inactivity in Hockeytown this summer is particularly tough for Wings’ fans to take when they see Detroit management alumni Steve Yzerman and Jim Nill rebuilding their franchises in Tampa and Dallas respectively with a series of bold moves in both the free-agent and trade markets.

It’s made Holland look overly conservative in a summer when the expectations really weren’t especially high.

Waddell suggests that the Cleary and Quincey re-signings prove that no one "takes the Wings seriously" in terms of their playoff-series-winning ability.

A couple of weeks ago, I would've gone that far. This morning, I look at the two previous "major" trades that the Wings made--Shawn Matthias and a pick for Todd Bertuzzi (Matthias is a still-developing power forward in Vancouver) in 2007, and the draft pick that became (get this) Mike Green, prospect Tomas Fleischmann and a 4th-round pick for Robert Lang in 2004...

And when I look at the team's willingness to send Matthias, Fleischmann, Jarnkrok, and the draft pick that became Green away for immediate help, I look at this summer's Cleary-and-Quincey haul, Stephen Weiss's rough debut, the burying of Samuelsson and buying out of Tootoo and Colaiacovo to make up for the signings two summers ago, etc. etc., and all of a sudden, "The Kids Or Bust" starts making a whole lot of sense.

The management group's free agency record is quite spotty, especially of late, and the Wings' "bigger" post-salary-cap trades, even given the jury's-out statuses on the majority of players the Wings have divested themselves of along the way, and I look at the team's unwillingness to give Jiri Hudler what the Calgary Flames gave him because he "doesn't skate very well" and Valtteri Filppula an extra hundred thousand dollars because a healthy Stephen Weiss is supposedly a better all-round player, and I start feeling a little queasy.

Detroit drafts well, it develops well, but even when Jim Nill and Steve Yzerman were still around, it wasn't setting the world on fire with free agent signings not named Hossa or Rafalski, and its trade record has been iffy since Brad Stuart came here in 2008.

All summer long, I'd stated that I would've been far happier had the Wings not signed anyone after swinging and missing on a top-pair defenseman and that I would've been far happier had the Wings given Cleary the same treatment Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby received in being told that they'd have to make the team out of training camp on a two-way pro try-out instead of what will be a $2.5 million retirement present (plus a $250,000 signing bonus) for #11-turned-71.

At this point, aside from hoping that the team stifles the tabloid fodder by re-signing the coach, and yes, the GM, to contract extensions before the regular season begins--and of course figuring out whether the team's co-leading scorer is healthy enough to play one more season in Detroit on an earned basis--I'd much rather see the team "see what the kids can do" during training camp and let other teams' injuries, cap problems and next summer's free agents-to-be's salary demands yield the kind of truly useful trade that needs to be made closer to the trade deadline than the August primary election.

One could very well argue that, aside from being too ridiculously loyal and continuing to load up on "safety net" veterans, the team's been guitly of being far too deliberate in sticking its managerial fingers in the Big Red Machine's gears instead of relying upon its drafted-and-developed players to "fill holes," and then making more meaningful attempts to retain the players that "fit" here.

The team's ability to land Danny DeKeyser as a free agent prospect, to grab Daniel Alfredsson as a free agent veteran and the occasional subtle trade have been welcome respites from either gross inaction or far too much tinkering and bet-hedging by the management group.

At this point, maybe a little less doubling down for loyalty's sake and a little more allowing prospects to "fill holes" might serve the team's present and future better than continuing to violently jerk the wheel whenever the team's skidding sideways instead of just patiently taking one's foot off the gas and calmly pointing the Big Red Machine in the right direction. This team seems to have the continually-developing personnel to set itself back on track regularly enough...

And when it doesn't, you deal with it, but now is not the time to sell the barn and the horses in it for a Mike Green that probably isn't available to begin with. Now's the time for Ken Holland to go golfing and to talk with fellow Vernon, BC resident Tyler Wright about the next generation, and to listen to what Chris Osgood has to say about Petr Mrazek's potential, and to let time take its course, at least between now and October.

 

 

 

Otherwise...The Free Press's Helene St. James concludes her assessment of the Atlantic Division's teams' offseason moves this morning. Over the past two days, she's noted that the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres have made aggressive moves, but not necessarily the kinds of moves that will immediately pay off with playoff runs. Here's her take on the Sabres' machinations:

Faced with a financial goal of reaching the salary-cap minimum of $51 million, general manager Tim Murray has had a busy off-season, using free agency to sign Brian Gionta, formerly the captain in Montreal; scorer Matt Moulson; and defenseman Andrej Meszaros. Murray also traded for Josh Gorges.

These veterans join a club that has used the draft to add a great deal of young talent, most recently center Sam Reinhart, the second overall pick this summer. There’s also Zemgus Girgensons, the 14th overall pick from 2012, Rasmus Ristolainen (eighth overall, 2013) plus first-rounders like Tyler Ennis and Tyler Myers from a few years ago.

The Sabres have one of the more illustrious claims to fame in goal, with past netminders including Miller, Dominik Hasek and Grant Fuhr. Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth have none such name recognition, but they’ll be battling for the No. 1 job next season. After that, the Sabres will likely to transition to one of their prospects.

St. James has already discussed the offseason moves made by the Senators, Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Bruins and Lightning. In my opinion, the Bruins will remain a pain and the Lightning have gotten even better, but I'm not sure whether the Wings' other rivals for that 3rd divisional playoff spot have improved themselves to the point that they're any more or less of a threat than they were this past season.

The Red Wings' secondary developmental affiliate made a pair of signings on Thursday...

Forward Trevor Bruess and defenseman Corey Fienhage have agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2014-15 season.

The Walleye are the ECHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

Bruess hails from Minneapolis, Minn. and skated in 61 games in 2013-14 with the Florida Everblades with 14 goals and a career best 23 assists. He has been an alternate captain each of the last two years for Florida. The 28-year-old forward has appeared in 176 ECHL games between Florida and South Carolina since turning professional in 2009 with 107 points (42g-65a). In 2011-12, he set a career high with 18 goals in 61 games and followed that up with 12 points (5g-7a) in 18 playoff games as Florida went on to win the Kelly Cup. He played with Minnesota State from 2006-09 with 61 points (24g-37a) in 110 games.

Fienhage spent all last season in Orlando posting 17 points (2g-15a) in 63 games with the Solar Bears. The Apple Valley, Minn. native has also skated with Gwinnett in his ECHL career spanning a total of 160 games in which he has nine goals and 36 assists. Prior to turning professional in 2011, the 24-year-old played one full season with Kamloops of the WHL, notching 14 points (4g-10a) in 70 games. He also played two years of college hockey with the University of North Dakota with a total of 39 games played, three assists and 56 penalty minutes.

Leaf Hype Machine warning: velieve what you read from Sportsnet's Chris Johnston at your peril given that Stephen Whyno--a writer for the Canadian Press, not a "blogger starting fires"--was the one who drummed up the "Steven Stamkos could be like LeBron" dial to the point that the Lighting felt it was necessary to posit a corrective Tweet:

Despite the fact he grew up in Michigan, David Booth says it was “a childhood dream” to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I’m very excited to have this opportunity,” Booth, who often travelled to Toronto to play in tournaments as a kid, told Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday. “I grew up watching Hockey Night [in Canada] in Detroit so it’s very, very exciting for me. I have a great love for the city, and I’m very excited to be playing hockey for the Maple Leafs.”

I will allow you to "Go Down the Wikipedia Hole" with Grantland's Sean McIndoe on your own (octopus matter! for shame!);

In the, "If you ever wondered how important the Wings' fall prospect tournament is to the rest of the league" department, the Columbus Blue Jackets' signing of a free agent prospect, to an AHL deal, resulted in this press release from the "Chatham-Kent Sports Network"...

Blenheim’s Kyle Hope will officially be a professional hockey player this winter, as the 21-year-old forward has signed an American Hockey League (AHL) contract with the Springfield Falcons.

The top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Hope will also play for the NHL’s Blue Jackets at the annual NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, which is hosted by the Detroit Red Wings from September 12 to 16.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for myself to attend the Traverse City Rookie tournament in September with the Blue Jackets and then at the Springfield Falcons camp,” said Hope about his recent signing. “It is a step toward the NHL and I’m very excited for it.”

And I had to smile when Jim Nill said this to the Sporting News's Travis Yost about those dang bloggers:

As for what Nill is looking at currently, away from the proprietary stuff that Dallas internally tracks? He's reading anything and everything that's produced — and Ruff's along for the ride, too.

“Well, first, I love the job you guys do. You are part of the community — part of the hockey world. I love what you write and what you read. We are always — we are all trying to get 3-5% better. It’s a cap world and we are limited. We are always looking for the next thing. That’s the best part of the game.”

“There’s amazing stuff in the blogosphere. We sit down all the time and analyze it. Lindy and I are on the plane all the time and looking at this stuff – we look at it and track it to see if there’s something there. Like I said, we’re all very competitive, and we are all looking for the edge. And whatever’s gonna help us is great for the game.”

I don't need to tell you that there's a who's-who of Kukla's Korner readers, and I can at least say that from time to time, this yahoo writing a far-too-rambly summertime blog entry this morning has gotten some surprising, "Hey, I read your stuff!" nods from "hockey people" employed by major print, online and broadcast outlets and NHL teams.

Whether that's due to me producing "good stuff" or being a rambling idiot is of course up to you to determine wink

Update: FYI/FTR: Norran.se noted that Red Wings prospect Axel Holmstrom and his pal Sebastian Aho won't take part in Skelleftea AIK's first practice on August 5th because the pair will be taking part in Team USA's World Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY from August 2nd to 9th.

Dylan Larkin will represent one of the two U.S. teams, and the "White" and "Blue" teams battle what are Sweden and Finland's WJC evaluation teams, and in Montreal, Zach Nastasiuk and Tyler Bertuzzi will be taking part in the Canadian World Junior Evaluation camp from August 4th to 9th, playing against teams from Russia and the Czech Republic.

I'm not going to be blogging every day between the 2nd and 9th as my mom and I are going to the Upper Peninsula to take part in the family vacation. We haven't had a vacation in two years, so we need it pretty badly, but by the time I'm back in South Lyon, most every European pro team will have begun their training camps, and we'll be all of a month removed from the fall prospect tournament.

Update #1.5: On Twitter, I think that Ryan Sproul and Mickey Redmond will get along just fine...

And...

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Comments

Rumbear's avatar

Has anybody drilled down into the stats to find out haw many teams ....crippled by only having left shooting defense man, have done in the playoffs???  Just asking….

Let’s go Babcock !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, doing the prospect shuffle.... on 07/25/14 at 03:00 AM ET

Avatar

We went in looking to add a right-hand defenseman and we felt we made very competitive offers.”

Uh Boy… First, I don’t think they made that “competitive” of an offer to anyone. They told Gilbert, “Peace!”. They didn’t want to give Strahlman the term… and THEY STILL Offered Niskanen less money than the caps… If you’re desperate to improve the team, please the fans, and you have a Defenseman who’s proven (I know, debatable, but for the most part he’s proven) Why not throw something at him he couldn’t refuse? The deals The wings offered Niskanen and Sutter both seemed like they were ,“on the edge” of being a deal that, “Hey, where the Wings, we can offer you less money because we’re the Wings damnit!”. Why not Offer Niskanen 6mil at 6 years or something? They also offered quite a bit less for Sutter than the Wild offered him. I remember when July 2nd came around everyone was saying the Wings offered more money to Boyle, and he left, that you can’t do anything about, I get it. But the Wings could have offered more to pretty much everyone else.

In summary, I guess after reading the Waddell article, I really do think Holland has lost his mojo. Why since 2011 have we made SUCH bad moves?

Posted by Pasha1277 on 07/25/14 at 07:44 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

but his last deal was dreadful.

If we want to nitpick, Holland’s last deal was moving up in the third round of this year’s draft.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/14 at 08:07 AM ET

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Let us presume, for the sake of argument, that instead of re-upping with Cleary and Quincey Holland instead signed these two deals:

Anton Stralman for 5 years 22.5 mil.
Brendan Morrow, 1 year, 1.5 mil.

The perception of Holland’s offseason would be wildly, vastly different (as evidenced by how his not getting Stralman is viewed here as a failure) and the actual production/performance difference would be almost entirely NOTHING.  Except, obviously, much worse for the blueline prospects on the team who now have another spot taken up for a much longer term instead of just two years tops.

That is a part of the reason why I find the argumentum ad nauseum about how backwards facing Holland is to be completely unconvincing: the people here value ‘new’ or ‘different’ much too highly.  Because the aging depth forward was Cleary instead of not-Cleary (Morrow, whoever) it’s a disastrous move that reaffirms all anyone ever thought was wrong about Holland with regards to overvaluing vets.  Because the 27-28 year old #4 defenseman signing was Quincey for 2 instead of Stralman for FIVE it’s a disastrous move that reaffirms anything ever thought was wrong with Holland about how he refuses to give the kids ‘a chance’.

(Matthias is a still-developing power forward in Vancouver)

That is a hugely, hugely generous description of Matthias.  It should be noted that he completely washed out of the franchise the Wings traded him to, which would suggest that criticizing the trade that sent him there for a someone who was a pretty significant piece for the first 3 of his 5 years as a Wing might not, perhaps, be a very accurate evaluation of events considering the guy allegedly still developing is 26 years old now.  Where, exactly, was Detroit going to be keeping that guy over the intervening 8 years while he was ‘still developing’ as a power forward?

If the guy couldn’t get it done in Florida he had no shot of ever being a successful Wing.  C’est la vie.  The joys of second round draft picks.

and I look at the team’s unwillingness to give Jiri Hudler what the Calgary Flames gave him because he “doesn’t skate very well” and Valtteri Filppula an extra hundred thousand dollars because a healthy Stephen Weiss is supposedly a better all-round player, and I start feeling a little queasy.

And if the Wings had kept Hudler and Filppula instead of Weiss and Alfredsson (last year)... what? 

Hudler’s put up 27 goals and 54 assists in 117 games in Calgary, getting more IT and opportunity there than he would here behind D and Z and Franzen (and probably even Nyquist for this past season).

Filppula went from 2ish minutes of PP toi/g to 3:21 of PP toi/g, and from 13 ES toi/g to 15:32 ES toi/g, and essentially had the season there he had in 2011-12 in Detroit… which was sandwiched by a bunch of barely half a point per game seasons all over the place, including a pretty awful contract year in 2012-13.

Not losing sleep over letting both of those guys walk instead of paying them a combined nine million a year to be on smaller roles here than they are elsewhere, and that’s presuming they wouldn’t have gotten magically dismembered like the whole rest of the team did at some point.

Weiss’s deal is a concern, now, because of his injury status.

And by the way, in the midst of all the concerns about deals, and who was signed or not signed for how much or for not enough, I do notice a rather significant omission by George:

James Howard.

Just pointing that out.  Seems odd he’s not on the list.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/25/14 at 09:11 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I probably would have been more upset with the Wings signing Morrow than I was with them signing Cleary.

And yes, I absolutely would have preferred to have Valtteri Filppula in the lineup over Stephen Weiss. I’m even comfortable assuming that he plays more than 26 games and produces more than Weiss.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/14 at 09:26 AM ET

DocF's avatar

I still feel that Cleary, unless he has had a visit to Lourdes in his rehab program, has no chance of beating out all the youngsters.  This even given the bias of Babcock/Holland for washed up veterans.  As time has gone by, I think the loyalty issue is overblown here on this blog.  I would like to see Cleary offered an assistants slot in Grand Rapids.  He is on the payroll, the slot is open and we all can find out if he has a future in coaching.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 07/25/14 at 10:17 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Has anybody drilled down into the stats to find out haw many teams ....crippled by only having left shooting defense man, have done in the playoffs???

You mean someone hasn’t invented an advanced analytic to describe this condition??????

How bout we call it the “Left D Flop” ??

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/25/14 at 11:02 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The 2006-07 Ducks had Joe DiPenta as their most well-known right-shooting defenseman and they won the cup, despite him playing nowhere near their top four.

I’d feel better about that if Detroit had two future Hall-of-Famers on their blueline right now.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/14 at 11:11 AM ET

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Because the 27-28 year old #4 defenseman signing was Quincey for 2 instead of Stralman for FIVE it’s a disastrous move

Just curious, had Stralman been signed would you be saying the team would have been better off with Quincy at some assumed contract cost and length - that likely wouldn’t be what his new contract actually turned out to be? I bet you wouldn’t have.

C’est la vie.  The joys of second round draft picks.

You’re right! The wings should just give up every first round draft pick from now until forever. Oh, am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

Filppula went from 2ish minutes of PP toi/g to 3:21 of PP toi/g, and from 13 ES toi/g to 15:32 ES toi/g, and essentially had the season there he had in 2011-12 in Detroit

Let’s not forget that he played most of the season as a first line center. I wonder, did his point production stay the same, get better or go down when Stamkos came back from his injury?

Not losing sleep over letting both of those guys walk instead of paying them a combined nine million a year to be on smaller roles here than they are elsewhere

That’s a relief. I was worried about how much sleep you were getting.

Filppula is a second line center in TB as he would have been in Detroit. Only Hudler is playing in an upgraded situation. If all things were equal and both those guys were in Detroit last season I guarantee Detroit would have been in a better situation with Fillpula filling in on the first line then a Weiss on the IR. And, what if Detroit had Hudler for an entire season to move into a first line role? Oh, the joys of hindsight and hypotheticals!!!!

Weiss’s deal is a concern, now, because of his injury status.

Uhm…what about your joy over having Sammy on the squad? And, how do you feel about the often injured Franzen? How many full seasons did both of those guys play again? Oh, I’m pretty sure you love both those deals but I guess, they are not comparable for some asinine reason you would use to justify you position.


That is a hugely, hugely generous description of Matthias.

I’m so glad we agree about this. Matthais should just quit hockey all together and become a washed up “could have been” selling used cars.

I’m even comfortable assuming that he plays more than 26 games and produces more than Weiss.

JJ you have to remember in last season’s universe it was the trainer’s fault that all those injuries occurred. Fillpula would have started and ended last season with the same injury not healed. wink

I probably would have been more upset with the Wings signing Morrow than I was with them signing Cleary.

Did I miss something this summer? The Wings were trying to sign Morrow?

Posted by howeandhowe on 07/25/14 at 11:14 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

We didn’t have the cap room to pay hudler and fill other holes at the price a basement dweller like the Flamers were willing to pay him, and the year prior, his production in limited 2nd line minutes sucked pucks.

And you of all people should know that Wings nation was DONE with Flippula, they wanted him outta town so bad, they would’ve had a fundraiser for a plane ticket. Remember the lamenting over Babcock’s the devil you know comment.

He traded Jarncrock, terrible.
He didn’t get a FA Righty D UFA,  I don’t find that as earthquaking as most. .
He resigned Quincey, considering its 2 year, I don’t find this terrible either
He resigned Cleary. terrible yet Babcocks problem to deal with and at best it costs the team waiving a fringe 4th liner, and 35 games of NHL hockey for a young kid.

That’s not good, but in consideration of the above, we also have a second wave of talent coming up and in that might be the foundation for a cup contender that he didn’t trade away, and he also hasn’t locked the team into many terrible contracts mule aside that we will regret when that team comes to fruition.

I agree, the guy hasn’t been good, but let’s not go all hindsight 20/20 and make him out to be a bumbling idiot. 

Personally I would like to see this team go full rebuild mode and move Pavel for real influx of high end picks and prospects to support that next wave, its the right thing to do, and right time to do it. Unfortunately I’d have to stop reading anything Wings related when it happens, wings nation would blow their minds out.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/25/14 at 11:28 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Did I miss something this summer? The Wings were trying to sign Morrow?

No, I was addressing the idea that people would have been happier with Morrow than with Cleary as though “neither” isn’t an option the Wings could have selected.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/14 at 11:29 AM ET

Avatar

Holland has never deserved being labeled the “best GM in sports” not even close, he was never even the best GM working for the Ilitches.  Dave Dombrowski runs circles around Holland and always has.  Holland even knew it when he was “joking” about retiring when Nick Lidstrom left the scene, that folks was what always stabilized the Wings and always made them contenders.  Now their core is aged and with Lidstrom gone we see that the emperor has no clothes, and even though Jim Devellano wants to do what’s best for Ken Holland, I hope they don’t re-sign him.  To be honest they need a fresh perspective in that chair now, ken Holland has way outlived his usefulness.

Posted by bababooey on 07/25/14 at 11:52 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Did I miss something this summer? The Wings were trying to sign Morrow?

No, I was addressing the idea that people would have been happier with Morrow than with Cleary as though “neither” isn’t an option the Wings could have selected.


I would’ve been happier to see them sign 29 year old David Booth, who got less than both to play for the Leafs, he would’ve actually been a good fit.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/25/14 at 11:58 AM ET

awould's avatar

Valtteri Filppula an extra hundred thousand dollars because a healthy Stephen Weiss is supposedly a better all-round player, and I start feeling a little queasy.

My recollection was that Filppula had one foot out the door, and if you look at the deal at the time, Weiss had better numbers, albeit playing first line minutes, but on a weaker team. I also don’t really recall a lot of grousing about the deal, to me it satisfied the hole Filppula left on the roster. Obviously the injuries…. but let’s not accuse Holland of being Nostradamus and blast him for signing a guy who was destined for the IR.

Did I miss something this summer? The Wings were trying to sign Morrow?

No, it’s just the well-worn strawman tactic employed so it’s easier to win a losing argument. It means nothing since nobody really ever once in the entirety of this argument has brought up Morrow until now. Then he’s brought up and an assumption is then cast out there that we all would’ve been thrilled, thus “proving” how stupid and wrong we all are. People who use this tactic generally don’t have a leg to stand on, or they have a weak grasp of the actual topic at hand. Either way, the tactic is both condescending and patronizing and those it’s directed at are well within reason to think the other guy is a… well, you know.

Posted by awould on 07/25/14 at 12:20 PM ET

DrD's avatar

I know trashing Holland is the most popular thing you can do here, but I’m going to wait to see who makes the team before I cast any judgement. There is no way to judge the Weiss acquisition until the guy has a chance to get healthy. I’ve been patient with Holland, mostly because of his drafting record (he hires the scouts, so he gets the credit too), trading down to get Mantha and Bertuzzi, acquiring DeKeyser for nothing, hiring Blash and trusting him to develop the talent in GR.

The Jarnkrok move - not so much. Resigning Cleary - not so much. Quincey - not sure, it depends on if it’s mid-season Quincey or late-season Quincey.

I want to see who makes the lineup and how the team plays with a healthy Z, Pav, Weiss and Ericsson (and maybe Alfredsson) in the lineup…how many kids get a legitimate shot with the big club and if Jimmy can bounce back. I am likely in the minority here - but I want to see how those play out before I decide if Holland has completely lost his mojo.

I guess I’ll know soon enough.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by DrD on 07/25/14 at 12:23 PM ET

Avatar

Just curious, had Stralman been signed would you be saying the team would have been better off with Quincy at some assumed contract cost and length - that likely wouldn’t be what his new contract actually turned out to be? I bet you wouldn’t have.

Again, I don’t believe you comprehend my position.  I think Quincey is, at worst, an equivalent player to Stralman and it’s not unlikely he’s actually better.  I don’t think signing him at 5 or Stralman at 5 make any appreciable difference in the team.

My point, to further clarify, was that the problem people had here wasn’t in the WHAT that was signed, but the {b]WHO.

You’re right! The wings should just give up every first round draft pick from now until forever. Oh, am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

Yes, unsurprisingly.

Filppula is a second line center in TB as he would have been in Detroit. Only Hudler is playing in an upgraded situation.

That’s factually incorrect.  Fil is playing more at ES and on the PP in Tampa than he ever did (or would have) in Detroit.  That is why I included that information in my comment.  That is the definition of an upgraded situation.

You have no command of the facts, which is particularly alarming since the facts were right there in front of you.

Uhm…what about your joy over having Sammy on the squad?

You do not comprehend my position.

And, how do you feel about the often injured Franzen?

That he is worth his current deal, and has been worth his deal to date.  I have concerns about the tail end of his deal as I had the day he signed it.

I’m so glad we agree about this. Matthais should just quit hockey all together and become a washed up “could have been” selling used cars.

That is disingenuous hyperbolic misrepresentation of my opinion.  Unless it’s actually your opinion, which just makes it a silly opinion.

I probably would have been more upset with the Wings signing Morrow than I was with them signing Cleary.

Come on, JJ.  I bet you could have talked yourself into it, especially if Holland had also brought in Stralman.  ‘Getting rid of the organizational dead wood!  Woohoo!’

Dave Dombrowski runs circles around Holland and always has.

I like Dombrowski.  He makes pretty decent moves.  He has 0 titles in 12 years in a league with no cap and with a team that has had the 5th highest payroll in MLB for the past 3 years and has been in the top 10 for most of the decade in payroll..  Holland has 2 in the same stretch, and 1 more prior. 

Hey, maybe there is more to winning than making moves fans think are awesome.  And maybe it’s stuff fans don’t quite have a handle on.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/25/14 at 12:32 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Come on, JJ.  I bet you could have talked yourself into it, especially if Holland had also brought in Stralman.  ‘Getting rid of the organizational dead wood!  Woohoo!’

It’s entirely fallacious to necessarily connect any two signings without the entire realm of context.

Whether I’m happy about the Red Wings signing a defenseman who is better than Kyle Quincey in a roster spot that still leaves two roster spaces open for kids to compete in the immediate future and potentially a third in the near-term future does not have an effect on whether a different bad signing is still a bad signing.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/14 at 12:57 PM ET

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acquiring DeKeyser for nothing

You know that all 30 teams were after him and it was because he was close to the Nill’s, and obviously grew up here that tilted it in our favor.  So ok, give him credit for that I guess. 

I am likely in the minority here - but I want to see how those play out before I decide if Holland has completely lost his mojo.

I guess I’ll know soon enough.

He’s lost his mojo because he doesn’t make any moves unless they involve panic moves.  I can’t think of a move he’s made in 5 years that has worked, Hossa and Alfredsson called Holland, so that leaves the Brad Stuart move at the deadline that was the last effective move he’s made.  If Holland was able to cut ties with the past, move deadweight from prospects our even draft picks, I’d be fine with his lack of inactivity.  But it’s not part of a plan, it’s his default because he’s failed.  So instead of having alternate plans or going with the kids more (like he should have done in 2012 instead of re-signing the garbage he did) he keeps turning back to Quincey and Cleary with ridiculous comments. What further shows he’s “losing his mojo” is that his supposed understudies are all making proactive competitive moves to improve their roster now, and years from now, while ours can’t even acquire an obvious need. I do expect the Wings to remain mediocore and just squeak into the playoffs, I don’t expect them to be competitive there though because they’re competition, outside of Boston, has gotten stronger.

Posted by bababooey on 07/25/14 at 01:00 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

acquiring DeKeyser for nothing

You know that all 30 teams were after him and it was because he was close to the Nill’s, and obviously grew up here that tilted it in our favor.  So ok, give him credit for that I guess. 

Posted by bababooey on 07/25/14 at 01:00 PM ET

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/25/14 at 01:25 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

DeKeyser’s dad skates with Mickey Redmond on the East Side, DeKeyser has ties to Detroit youth hockey teams, Blashill coached him at Western, there was way, way, way more than Jim Nill on our side there.

But I’ll take what we can get! wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/25/14 at 01:30 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

acquiring DeKeyser for nothing

You know that all 30 teams were after him and it was because he was close to the Nill’s, and obviously grew up here that tilted it in our favor.  So ok, give him credit for that I guess. 

Posted by bababooey on 07/25/14 at 01:00 PM ET

Curious are you also a person who faults him for not bringing in Sutter who chose home? Erhoff who wanted to play with the Pens, or Boyle with the Rangers?

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/25/14 at 01:31 PM ET

awould's avatar

Curious are you also a person who faults him for not bringing in Sutter who chose home? Erhoff who wanted to play with the Pens, or Boyle with the Rangers?

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/25/14 at 01:31 PM ET

I think the issue w/ Suter, to me anyways, was they pursued him at the expense of any viable Plan B, knowing that Minnesota held that special ‘hometown’ allure. Then they low-balled the initial offer for his services. Low-balling to get a guy to play for you while his hometown team is lavishing him with a giant offer for both him and his buddy was a bad idea. Doing so while all other options got locked down by other teams was a mistake.

This to. Well said>>>> What further shows he’s “losing his mojo” is that his supposed understudies are all making proactive competitive moves to improve their roster now, and years from now, while ours can’t even acquire an obvious need.

Posted by awould on 07/25/14 at 01:47 PM ET

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Again, I don’t believe you comprehend my position.  I think Quincey is, at worst, an equivalent player to Stralman and it’s not unlikely he’s actually better.

No, I hear you loud and clear. In fact, here you are saying in the first part of your claim that Quincy is better than Stralman because at his worst he is equal. Then in latter part of your comment you are saying, via a double negative, exactly the same thing. I think, you are so drawn in by your own narcism that you don’t exactly know what you are saying at all. Thus, when someone actually reads what you say logically rather then reacting to your childish personal jabs you get upset about not being understood.

Boo Hoo.

I don’t think signing him at 5 or Stralman at 5 make any appreciable difference in the team.

But you do otherwise you wouldn’t care to comment. If you truly didn’t think it made a difference then you’d quietly be ambivalent about the situation. The only other reason you would be making any comment on this situation is because you want to make other people feel worse about themselves than you do about yourself.

Yes, unsurprisingly.

That was pretty much a rhetorical question. Yet, why did you feel you needed to respond?

That’s factually incorrect.

Let’s see, what you are saying is that you would play Fillpula over Samkos if you were TB’s coach. Crazy.

Fil is playing more at ES and on the PP in Tampa than he ever did (or would have) in Detroit.

Was that because Stamkos, TB’s #1 center, was injured for more than 1/2 the season? could Fils stats have been padded due to that?

You also can not make the claim that Fillpula wouldn’t have played as much as he did last season if in Detroit is a bit of a jump. If all things were as the season played out, he would have been getting more playing time with all of Detroit’s injuries. So, your claim isn’t well founded statistically speaking.

You have no command of the facts, which is particularly alarming since the facts were right there in front of you.

Facts from you is like school in the summer…no class.

You do not comprehend my position.

No, I did not. You pick and choose who you like to complain about on specific subjects without concern for the whole picture. Sammy had a history of injuries that I pointed out to you before. His signing was a risk because of his age history. Franzen also has a history of injury, most recently his on going concussions. Concussions do not go away. The more a person gets the more likely they will get them. That worries me considering his contract (not to mention the rest of his life). Just say you are biased and all will be corrected.

That he is worth his current deal, and has been worth his deal to date.  I have concerns about the tail end of his deal as I had the day he signed it.

You mean you have a disclaimer so you can bemoan his contract when he’s not playing and Detroit still has to pay it. I can’t wait to hear you justify his contract when he’s 37-40.

That is disingenuous hyperbolic misrepresentation of my opinion.  Unless it’s actually your opinion, which just makes it a silly opinion.

you are so think in your own narcism that you can’t understand sarcasm. Sad.

‘Getting rid of the organizational dead wood!  Woohoo!

there’s some deadwood commenting here that I wish would go away. Wanna bet who? HiHD, if you get it right, I will leave this forum forever. Please call yourself deadwood. Please!!!!!

Posted by howeandhowe on 07/25/14 at 04:36 PM ET

Avatar

Curious are you also a person who faults him for not bringing in Sutter who chose home? Erhoff who wanted to play with the Pens, or Boyle with the Rangers?

Are you looking for a strawman? I never said any such thing.  I didn’t care if he signed any of the above, except Suter of course, but I didn’t blame him for not getting him.  What I did blame him for was to go out and panic sign Samuelsson, Coliovaco, etc. etc. when he struck out on Suter.  Same with this summer, he struck out on their targets so instead of having a plan B he goes out and overpays for Quincey, among others.

Posted by bababooey on 07/25/14 at 05:03 PM ET

@TheJimP19's avatar

George can help me with this one, but I thought Holland offered Suter over 100 mill ?  It was the second highest offer, and Holland can’t compete with Suters wife wanting to go there.  The power of the wife… wins more often than not.  Cant blame him for this one guys.

Posted by @TheJimP19 from transplanted in Nashville on 07/25/14 at 05:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I believe the money was quite similar to the Wild’s deal, not quite as much but very close. The thing that always pissed me off about the telegraphing was that Wild owner Craig Leipold gave Suter’s agent Neil Sheehy, plane rides to and from International Falls, MN to Suter’s place in Wisconsin. I thought that was a ridiculously unfair advantage in terms of chit-chatting on the plane.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/25/14 at 05:15 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

To be honest they need a fresh perspective in that chair now, ken Holland has way outlived his usefulness.


Yea!!....we need someone like ...Garth Snow, or Paul Holmgren, or Brian Burke, or Mike Gillis, or Dave Nonis….


hmmm

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/25/14 at 05:54 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What I did blame him for was to go out and panic sign Samuelsson, Coliovaco, etc. etc. when he struck out on Suter.

Samuelsson wasn’t a panic signing and it had nothing to do with Suter. That deal was signed on July 1st 2012, several days before Suter made up his mind.

I wouldn’t categorize Colaiacovo as a panic signing either, considering that deal went down in September just before the lockout (when a lot of people were getting deals). That was a depth signing.

I’m sorry. Kyle Quincey this summer has all the trappings of looking like a panic signing, but I don’t think any of the other examples you’ve cited as panic signings qualify as such particularly well, not to mention the etc. etc. signings.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/14 at 05:59 PM ET

awould's avatar

Yea!!....we need someone like ...Garth Snow, or Paul Holmgren, or Brian Burke, or Mike Gillis, or Dave Nonis….

Or Jim Nill or Dean Lombardi….

Saying you’d prefer Holland to be replaced - and I’m not saying he should - doesn’t mean that you’d like that replacement to be someone who obviously sucks. And the fact that some teams have terrible GMs is entirely irrelevant to a review of Holland’s performance. In general, keeping a mediocre performer just because some existing options are worse is a poor way to operate. It’d be like re-signing Kindl because Lebda is out there.

Posted by awould on 07/25/14 at 06:06 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Kyle Quincey this summer has all the trappings of looking like a panic signing, but I don’t think any of the other examples you’ve cited as panic signings qualify as such particularly well, not to mention the etc. etc. signings.

I think it’s very possible even Quincey was plan B all along. It’s not like they went into free agency assuming there was zero chance they couldn’t snag one of their 3 or 4 targets without severely overpaying. I think they were willing to overpay on money but not on term. They would have gladly given more to Boyle than the Rangers but it would have been two years. That didn’t pan out, so they overpaid for the guy they knew in Quincey and got the term they wanted in 2 years. I definitely don’t think they’re treading water by choice, but they are trying to upgrade wisely without handcuffing the advancement of all of these top d prospects and it when it didn’t work out, rather than making what is probably more of a panic move by just signing someone roughly Quincey’s level that they don’t know well, they chose a guy that played every game last year and at a very high level the second half of the year.

I don’t know if that was done out of panic or not, but it seems entirely possible that was the plan going in if in fact they struck out on their desired few.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/25/14 at 09:25 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

My recollection was that Filppula had one foot out the door

From what Babcock said last season, the Red Wings offered Filppula a 7 year contract (I don’t know the amount), but Filppulla walked anyway. So it sounds like he wanted out of Detroit.

Posted by bigfrog on 07/25/14 at 11:04 PM ET

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