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The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: playing with the sympathy meter

Thursday's biggest Red Wings story involved the coach dismissing media speculation that he's leaving after next season--which was more or less tossed aside as "PC talk" by those who believe that what Mike Babcock suggests about grass not being greener elsewhere is just a little gunk in the rumor mill's greasy wheels--more locker room clean-out-day talk and prospect news.

This morning's Wings reflections run the gamut of the "sympathy meter," and we'll start our survey with the Free Press's Helene St. James' conversation with one Todd Bertuzzi.

Bertuzzi, like Daniel Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Cory Emmerton, lost his job to the Wings' "kids," but Bertuzzi wants to continue playing, and Bertuzzi's words to St. James reflect those of a player whose tenure with the Wings was one of professionalism and surprising mentorship to the "kids" that will leave him looking for employment elsewhere:

“Playing and living in Detroit, it’s been a great place to raise a family, a great place for kids to play sports, and a great place to play in front of fans, who’ve been awesome to me,” Bertuzzi said Thursday en route to Toronto, where his 13-year-old son is playing in a tournament. “I’d put Detroit as my favorite place to have played. California and Florida had their weather benefits, but as far as life style, we couldn’t have lived in a better area. I love playing here, with the ownership and management that we have, the way they run the organization, you’re treated first class.”

Bertuzzi, 39, is coming off a season that saw him contribute 16 points in 59 games. He went from being used next to Pavel Datsyuk in the first half to the fourth line and then had success playing with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar.

Bertuzzi's health continued to get in the way as he battled some back and groin issues, but the Tatars, Nyquists, Sheahans, Jurcos and even Glendenings left him working out in the weight room instead of playing. Bertuzzi still believes that he can play, however...

“I feel like I got off to a good start, then we had a tough month when we weren’t scoring, then I got parked for a month and then we went on break,” Bertuzzi said. “I was disappointed not to get into the mix of the playoffs. I still feel like I can play, and I’d love to come back, but I don’t know if there’s room.”

The Wings have 11 forwards under contract for next season, only one of whom, Tomas Jurco, is waiver-exempt. Joakim Andersson, however, doesn’t seem to be a fit any more, as he was jumped on the depth chart by Luke Glendening. The Wings do have interest in keeping unrestricted free agent Daniel Alfredsson, who is deciding whether he wants to play again.

(one could also argue that Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff are in the Andersson camp)

“If there’s no room here, or the coaching staff doesn’t feel there is a fit for me, I’ll look to see if there is anything else out there,” Bertuzzi said. “But it would have to be a perfect fit for our family’s lifestyle. Both my son and daughter are huge parts of the consideration because they both play hockey, too.”

Bertuzzi became a fan favorite and his status as the Water Bottle Police was less than surprising, but if he chooses to continue to play, it's hard to imagine that he's going to do so with the Wings, especially with Mitchell Callahan and Landon Ferraro no longer waiver-exempt next fall.

In my opinion at least, it's a bummer that Bertuzzi won't finish his career here. He came in as an outcast in 2007, he stayed for one playoff run, chased the Cup past Anaheim in 2008 and Calgary in 2009, and then he returned here and was a superb pro on and off the ice. I'll miss him because it turns out that Todd Bertuzzi's a very decent human being.

For whatever reason, the Detroit News re-posted an edited a John Niyo column in which Niyo discussed Jimmy Howard's up-and-down season with Howard. We all know that while Howard's a swell guy, he was a little harder to sympathize with as he re-injured his knee, groin, and the Wings' goal on a regular basis, thanks to an incredibly inconsistent post-contract extension season:

[A]fter finishing the season with subpar numbers — 21 wins in 50 starts, a 2.66 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage — Howard admits, “I can be a lot better, across the board.”

“Just with consistency alone and helping the guys get wins,” said Howard, who recorded a shutout in Game 1 against the Bruins but gave up a few easy ones the next two starts. “It was just one of those years. Statistic-wise, it wasn’t very good. I think I can be a lot better. I’ve proved in the past I’ve been a lot better. And that’s the way I want to be moving forward."

That’s what the Red Wings are counting on, no doubt. And their first priority has to be to protect him better by adding the top-four defenseman they should have brought in a year ago. Whether it’s in free agency or via trade, there’s no hiding the need now, even with youngsters Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet ready to play in Detroit next season.

Or Mattias Backman or Alexey Marchenko?

Just as Niyo rather loudly proclaimed that Babcock's out the door on Tuesday morning, he's playing devil's advocate regarding the concept that Petr Mrazek not only needs to be given a chance to "push Howard," but also that Howard should be on the path to planned obsolescence:

“We believe we’ve got a 60-game No. 1 goalie (in Howard),” Holland said. “Is Petr Mrazek, as a 22-year-old, better off playing 15-18 games in the NHL or is he better off playing 65 games in the AHL for one more year? That’s the internal conversation we’ve got to have.”

Holland and Babcock were in Grand Rapids on Wednesday night, watching the Griffins drop their first-round playoff home opener. (Mrazek made a team-record 55 saves in the double-overtime series opener last week.) They’ve seen Mrazek in action in Detroit as well, most recently in a shutout victory over the Blues in the Red Wings regular-season finale.

The Red Wings can stash Mrazek in the AHL for one more season without him having to clear waivers, so there’s a chance they’ll try to re-sign Gustavsson — or another veteran — to a one-year deal. But at 29, Gustavsson’s likely looking for something more — “I’m just going to try to go where I can feel like I can take that next step,” he said — and the Red Wings might be, too, considering his injury history.

If so, maybe it’s time to give the backup job to a rookie. Not to mess with Howard’s mind, really. Just to give the next guy a head start.

It's harder still to sympathize with Stephen Weiss, because his desire to play through a nagging groin injury turned his 2013-2014 season into a nightmare.

The Wings' medical and training staff may be incredibly cautious, but letting Weiss continue to play due to poor self-reporting may be the most damning criticism of their mismanagement of the team's injuries.

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness took note of Weiss's comments regarding his desire to fulfill expectations yielding a pair of surgeries and a lost campaign:

If Stephen Weiss had it all over to do again he would have come clean about how he felt to start the season. Weiss began the season with a hernia and tried to play through it.

“Coming down for the first game of the year and thinking ‘How are you going to get through the game?’ is probably not the right way to start,” Weiss said Tuesday during the Wings’ locker room cleanout at Joe Louis Arena. “I have to be smarter. It’s not my first year, I’ve been around a bit and should be a little bit smarter and should have spoken up earlier and maybe some of this could have been avoided. But sometimes that’s not my style. I’ll tend to do that and it got me in some trouble this year. (This season was) a huge disappointment, but in saying that it kind of fuels the fire for this summer and next year.”

The hefty salary he signed in the offseason – a five-year deal worth $24.5 million – to be the Wings’ second-line center to replace Valtteri Filppula helped fuel the pressure of making an immediate impact.

Weiss, 31, managed to play just 26 games this season totaling two goals, two assists and a minus-4. Filppula had a career-high 25 goals in his first season in Tampa Bay with 33 assists in 75 games.

“I’m not big on saying much about (injury) stuff and it got me into some trouble, there’s no doubt about it,” Weiss said. “I should have been smarter in taking care of it sooner and not played through it as much.

“I’ve done it in the past and been able to play through those types of things, but I’m not 23 and 24 years old anymore,” Weiss continued. “So that’s a bit of a wake-up call that you’re getting older and you’re going to have to be smarter with these types of things.”

Weiss's future with the Wings is secure because not playing hockey for most of the past two seasons (he also had reconstructive surgery on his left wrist during the 2013 season) means that he's untradeable, but the Wings don't necessarily know what they have in unlucky #90, as Ken Holland told Pleiness:

“It’s hard to know where he’s going to be in September,” Holland said. “A lot of where he’s going to be is going to be about … in the next month, is he going to be healthy? Was that small surgery that was performed last week or was that the answer to what ails him. Is he able to have a June, July and August where he’s able to hit the guy and come to camp healthy, fit and ready to go or are we going to wake up in early June and he’s where he was a month ago and we’re going to continue to be looking for answers as to why he isn’t getting healthy. I don’t have an answer for you. I thought he’d be healthy six weeks ago. So for me to stand here and say he’s going to be healthy in a month, he’s going to have a great summer, he’s going to have a great year, I don’t know that. We need him to get healthy before anything positive can happen. He’s not healthy.”

Holland doesn't get any sympathy from fans, and his 2:59 PM EDT trade for Nashville Predators forward David Legwand garners none from me. Legwand may or may not have been the team's difference-maker in terms of making the playoffs, but Legwand's stock dropped precipitously during his tenure here.

When he was first acquired, he displayed a fantastic nose for the net, grit, jam and poise, carrying Johan Franzen along while producing at a 50-point clip.

Afew weeks in, his nastiness seemed to fade, and Legwand had gone from centering Franzen and Nyquist to playing the shift disturber with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco.

At the start of the playoffs, Legwand was to steady Drew Miller and Luke Glendening, and that seemed to work well during Game 1.

By the end of the first round, Legwand was at least winning some of the faceoffs that Glendening lost, but he was invisible otherwise.

Given that the Wings paid a stiff price to acquire Legwand in top prospect Calle Jarnkrok, a 2nd round draft pick and free agent-to-be Patrick Eaves...

In all honesty, it's very hard to make a real assessment of the trade, and I'll be the first to admit that my incredibly positive impressions regarding Jarnkrok's future continue to cloud my judgment here.

That's probably not going to change any time soon, but with trades like these, the best determinant of its cost is TIME, and whether this trade proves to be a minor setback or a millstone around Ken Holland's neck will reveal itself based upon the performances of Jarnkrok and whoever the Predators draft thsi spring over the next five to ten years as opposed to between now and October.

Wings fans once thought that trading Anders Eriksson and the first round picks that would become Adam Munro and Steve MacIntyre to Chicago for Chris Chelios would doom the team, and Eriksson turned out to be a journeyman.

The Wings did reap the benefits of Robert Lang when he was snagged from Washington for Tomas Fleischmann and a 1st round pick in 2004, with Lang helping bridge the gap up the middle and scoring some key playoff goals, and Fleischmann never did quite find his form, but that first-rounder became Mike Green, who's...Never found his form.

As for Kyle Quincey, he was acquired for the first-round pick that became Andrei Vasilevski, and Salavat Yulaev's starting goaltender is now supposedly one of the Lightning's top prospects, but one never knows how goalies will develop.

And now there's Legwand.

The timing of DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's once-or-twice-weekly "By the Numbers" review of Red Wings players' statistical outputs can foretell their futures with the organization, and the fact that Legwand leads off the "By the Numbers" campaign hints at the fact that the Grosse Pointe native is going to continue to skate with the Wings when they practice at the Troy Sports Center and Joe Louis Arena every August for as long as he plays hockey...

But those red Warrior gloves with shot-blocking plastic on the knuckles are going to be replaced by some other team's colors soon, and he's only going to visit Detroit during summers and road games.

Anyway, here's Roose's summary of Legwand's 2013-2014 season:

83 The number of regular-season games he played between Nashville and Detroit.  The Red Wings acquired him at the trade deadline. He’s the only player in the past two seasons to play a greater number of games than the NHL schedule.

11 The total points he produced in 21 regular-season games since joining the Red Wings at the NHL trade deadline. Only Gustav Nyquist (20), Tomas Tatar (13), Daniel Alfredsson (12) and Riley Sheahan (12) produced more points between March 6 and the April 13 season finale in St. Louis.

...

37: In his 14th NHL season, Legwand collected a career-high number of assists, including seven in the final five-plus weeks of the campaign with the Red Wings. The 37 assists are the most he’s had since 1998-99 – his final OHL season when he picked up 49 helpers for the Plymouth Whalers.

If you're interested in a different kind of review of the 2013-14 season, the Free Press posted a 12-image photo gallery highlighting the ups and downs, and in Boston...

The blather continues from a media corps that still insists the Wings are and forever will be nothing more than a speedbump, even as they rationalize the Bruins' 4-3 OT loss to Montreal on Thursday.

SoutCoast Today's Mick Colageo offered this prior to the game...

MICK'S PICK: Bruins in 6

Of all 16 horses in the race to the Stanley Cup, the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins were the first to clinch their spots in the second round. No two teams were as efficient at diffusing the points of attack from their opponents, and no two teams were as successful in executing their respective game plans.

How much of that reflects on their opponents? Some to be sure, as injuries rendered the Detroit Red Wings a shell of what their logo has signified the past 20 years, while the Tampa Bay Lightning also proved not ready for prime time after an encouraging season of rebuilding and an inspiring comeback by superstar Steven Stamkos.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has fairly noted both at the end of series wins and series losses that injuries play a major role in the outcome of the playoffs. Montreal's opening-round sweep is convincing by any measure, but the team that faces the Bruins tonight won three of the four games against the Lightning by one goal. The Bruins are nowhere near as sloppy as the Canadiens, and with their young defensemen's playoff resumes extended by the Detroit series, there could be not stopping them now. This series will be difficult, but it will end in Montreal in overtime of the sixth game.

And CBS Boston's Matt Kalman gushes about Tuuka Rask (among others; that being said, he's not much compared to CSNNE's Joe Haggerty, either, given how gushy Haggerty gets over every little Bruins thing):

The disgust Rask was feeling after the game isn’t likely to linger. He’s known for not letting much faze him; the type of guy who burns his toast in the morning and just throws a couple of more pieces in (even though he definitely drops an f-bomb or two).

It’s the Canadiens’ fans and a majority of their players who speak French, but Rask is one whose motto is c’est la vie.

“Well, you suck, you suck. That’s it,” Rask said. “What can I say? It’s playoffs.”

Rask definitely doesn’t suck. Ten million Vezina Trophy voters can’t be wrong. He’s a finalist for the award as the best goaltender, he’s been the best goaltender for a couple of seasons now and you know the Bruins can always count on him.

He’s also a rarity for a goalie – he’s a player willing to take the blame and rarely, if ever, excoriates his teammates. That’s why they love him and a major reason why they’ll try to do better for him in Game 2.

In this long series, Rask will probably make everyone forget anything he said or did in Game 1. The only four-letter word you’ll associate with him will be save.

I'll spare you from the rest, but I can assure you that the B's media continues to spew its love for the spoked-B, and at least the Wings' ouster spared us from having to read more of it.

Sympathy for the Bruins?

Not a milliliter.

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Comments

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Seriously torn on Legwand. I mean as an available UFA he’s 4th in points for the season, just ahead of Alfredsson. How many other 50+ point C are available? I think the Wings will re-sign him especially with the health of Weiss so up in the air. Just don’t give him a NTC.

Posted by AZWinger on 05/02/14 at 11:13 AM ET

DocF's avatar

I hope that Weiss can come back to something close to the form he had before the last two seasons, but I suspect his best days are behind him.  These sports hernias have ended the career of more than a few hockey players.

Bertuzzi has nothing left in the tank and his back woes make him very expendable, especially with the glut of forwards coming up. 

Legwand looked at the end of the season like a guy who had lost all his skills and his desire.  I hope it turns out he had a nagging injury as he could be worth resigning if he can be gotten for a smallish short term contract without a no trade clause.

Alfredsson has chronic back issues that may encourage him to retire.  I do think he is worth keeping for one more season, as he plays much younger than his years when his back is not giving him fits.

Somehow, I suspect that Anthony Mantha will be up with the Wings next season.  If his defense is even close to acceptable, his offensive skills are just too good to ignore.

Now on defense, I would expect to see most, if not all of the defense corps coming from the ranks of the Griffins.  The kids are just plain better than those free agents that will be available.  Kindl and Lashoff will be good players from some team that is less structured.  I can see either of them helping any number of teams.

This all bears watching over the next several weeks.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 05/02/14 at 12:03 PM ET

perfection's avatar

So it’s kind of absurd to judge trades of draft picks against the player the other team drafted. To compare Quincey to Tampas goalie assumes if we didn’t trade for him we would have neccisarily drafted the same guy. It’s impossible to know and yet another reason micro analyzing trades on that level is a futile excercise.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/02/14 at 12:14 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

11 The total points he produced in 21 regular-season games since joining the Red Wings at the NHL trade deadline.

7 of those points came in 3 games, leaving 4 points in the remaining 18, and something like a -9.  Please, Holland, do not resign him and compund the mistake.

Posted by Hootinani on 05/02/14 at 12:22 PM ET

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Seriously torn on Legwand

Legwand will cost $4 mil per year for 5 years. If you use his skills playing him with other skilled players on the top 2 lines, it’s worth considering. If he is going to be used by Babcock as a 4th line shut down specialist playing with Glendening and Miller (and Abby who is suited for this role will be used on the first line), we obviously do not need him.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 12:53 PM ET

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Legwand looked at the end of the season like a guy who had lost all his skills and his desire

He looked like the player who was not put in the position to succeed and I do not blame him. Babcock lines decisions at the end of the season and the playoffs were mind boggling to me and I do not want to repeat what I said before, but only Babcock can make a 4th line checker out of a skilled 50+ player and put him on a line with players who cannot pass or shoot.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 12:59 PM ET

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Please, Holland, do not resign him and compund the mistake.

Couldn’t agree more.  We don’t need a 34-year old center who can’t crack the top 6.  If we did want a center beyond Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Weiss, Helm, Sheahan, and Andersson—and I don’t think we do, but if—there would be other, more attractive options given the cap space we have available.

Posted by captaineclectic on 05/02/14 at 01:16 PM ET

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If you use his skills playing him with other skilled players on the top 2 lines, it’s worth considering.

Exactly. Which is why KH’s comment on Weiss having a big June is critical. If Weiss isn’t healthy I can see Legwand getting re-signed and centering the 2nd line. If he is healthy, well I can see him walking.

Posted by AZWinger on 05/02/14 at 01:18 PM ET

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Still a little dumbfounded as to Babcock splitting up nyquist/franzen/legwand in the playoffs.  He basically made all 3 players ineffective by splitting them up.

Posted by neffernin on 05/02/14 at 01:20 PM ET

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Frankly, I can see the roster coming out of training camp looking something like this:

CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
FORWARDS
Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($7.500m) / Gustav Nyquist ($0.950m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / David Legwand ($4.500m) / Stephen Weiss ($4.900m)
Daniel Alfredsson ($4.500m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Tomas Tatar ($1.100m)
Drew Miller ($1.350m) / Riley Sheahan ($0.950m) / Luke Glendening ($0.628m)
Joakim Andersson ($0.733m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)
DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Brendan Smith ($1.263m)
Jakub Kindl ($2.400m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($4.250m)
Ryan Sproul ($0.620m) / Danny DeKeyser ($2.500m)
Brian Lashoff ($0.725m)
GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
———
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $65,347,879; BONUSES: $282,500
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $5,752,121

Posted by AZWinger on 05/02/14 at 01:34 PM ET

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Hmmm, Sorry to see Bertuzzi go but he has to look at his worth, a lessor job in hockey would suit, maybe in the Wings organization.
Legwand, torn on this one, question to ask is Dats and Zett going to be the only vets guiding these kids???
Alfie should be encouraged to retire, that way the Wings don’t look like the villan, classic Modano case. 
Weiss, we are stuck, he could be an albatross.

Summing it up, Kenny may be on shaky ground if the team doesn’t show improvement next year… no more boneheaded mistakes.  We have been in decline, this year worse that last year.
Same thing for Babs, we don’t need a Tort deal,

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 05/02/14 at 01:43 PM ET

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Still a little dumbfounded as to Babcock splitting up nyquist/franzen/legwand in the playoffs

Yes and even more mindboggling was separating our best line for the last 2 months of the season - Jurco/Sheahan/Tatar. Babcock finally found a perfect mix of skill and power on one line and predictably enough just went away from this line when Dats came back. On the other hand he still does not see that Dats and Franzen have no chemistry together. The lines could have been constructed very easy:

Legwand/Franzen/Nyquist - it was just a good line, why separate them.
Jurco/Sheahan/Tatar - the real kid line that was our best down the stretch, why separate.
Dats-Alfredsson-Abby - I do not like Abby with Dats, but as long as Babs is the coach he will be there, so at least play Alfy there as they have chemistry with Dats.
Helm-Glen-Miller.

When Z comes back, he takes Abby place and Abby takes Glen’s place.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 01:48 PM ET

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question to ask is Dats and Zett going to be the only vets guiding these kids???

There is also Kronwall.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 01:49 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Seriously torn on Legwand

 

Torn? Cut the cord and run like hell.

NO MORE DAVID LEGWAND!!! 

I’m sorry, but Legwand was a pathetic excuse for a hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings. The trade rejuv’ed him for a bit, but he quickly regressed to the washed up shell of a player he once was.  People kick and scream about Franzen already, Legwand is essentially a washed up slower Franzen with worse hands and no shot. 

You would think trade deadline acquisition, returning home, being a UFA would like some fire under this guy, be a hard and an abrasive playoff veteran, pushing through, showing the rooks what it takes, instead he looked more like Charlie White then an NHL hockey player, curling around the outside boards after a d moved the puck vs. finishing his checks with the grace that would have made an impression on the judges in Sochi, but made my stomach turn.

And 11 points, paaaleease, he picked up 3 of those in the New Jersey route, and a handful of others were dishes before the blue line that Nyquist then carried up and finished.  2nd line my hairy hind end, he should’ve been planted firmly on the bench, while Jurco or Bertuzzi played in his place.

You wanna sign him, sign him to the Aquafina ice team with a big white shovel.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/02/14 at 02:02 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

LOL.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/02/14 at 02:13 PM ET

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Of course Babs is gonna wait to sign a contract with the Wings. He needs to find out if they will be getting a bunch of all stars and future hall of fame players that he can “coach” to a winning season and make himself look good, or if they will continue to go with the young guys all the fans want on the team. If they stick with the young guys Babs is gone. Babs needs a team full of all stars and future hall of fame players who don’t really need coaching in order to make himself look like the great coach so much of the media likes to think he is. Oh wait, I forgot. He coached two Canadian Olympic teams full of young guys and players no one has heard of to gold medal victories, and a Red Wings team with a bunch of guys who had never had playoff success to a cup victory in 2008, right?

What’s that hon? You say that Olympic team was full of all stars and future hall of fame players, and the “best player in the world” Cindy Crosby (at least according to the same media who tells us Babs is great), and the ‘08 Red Wings were led by Lidstrom and a bunch of players who had won the cup before while coached by Scotty Bowman? Oh. My bad. I guess Babs is the greatest then, isn’t he? It’s not like there are any other coaches out there who could have coached those teams packed full of all stars and future hall of fame players to victories. Only a “good” or “great” coach like Babs’ could have accomplished those feats. Yeah. Bab’s is the greatest then, isn’t he?

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 05/02/14 at 02:15 PM ET

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The trade rejuv’ed him for a bit, but he quickly regressed to the washed up shell of a player he once was

Very emotional post:). Why was he washed up? He was nashville’s leading scorer playing 20 minutes per game on their first line. Yes, I know it’s Nashville, but still it’s an NHL team. He was contrubuting some offense here (until he was put on a line with players with zero skill) and was solid defensively. As to hitting, it was never his game to begin with. I think he did good enough job and is a solid veteran to consider signing him, but obviously depends on the term and money and more importantly on how Babcock is planning to use him. Let me say this, I liked a lot more of what I saw from Legwand playing with Franzen and Nyquist than I saw from Weiss in any of the 28 games he played here. Unfortunately we have no choice between the two as we are stuck with Weiss.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 02:16 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 05/02/14 at 02:15 PM ET

Why do you keep posting the same nonsense over and over?  If you don’t like him, cheer for the Hawks.  They love their fair weather fans.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/02/14 at 02:22 PM ET

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The trade rejuv’ed him for a bit, but he quickly regressed to the washed up shell of a player he once was

That’s the most inaccurate comment I’ve seen in a while. The reason Legwand was “rejuv’ed for a bit” but “quickly regressed” is because of the coach. Did you not see any of the games? Legwand started on the top line with the top players on the team who were available at the time and got plenty of ice time. That’s when he was “rejuv’ed”. He then “regressed” when Babs decided to “punish” him for not scoring every game by moving him down to the 2nd, then 3rd, then 4th line which of course meant less and less ice time, and less time playing with the top players. In that same time Babs kept one of his favorite players (Franzen) on those top two lines and made sure he kept giving Franzen a lot of ice time so Franzen could continue to do nothing. But of course it’s all Legwand’s fault and has nothing to do with being demoted to the 2nd, 3rd, and then 4th line for no reason other than he wasn’t one of Bab’s favorites who Babs’ was going to stick with thru thick and thin like he did with Cleary and etc.

Your comments about Legwand are unjustified and completely inaccurate.

 

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 05/02/14 at 02:23 PM ET

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Yeah. Bab’s is the greatest then, isn’t he?

Looking at his track record, I actually think his best work comes with less talented roster. 2003 Ducks made Babcock famous and in demand. Any time our team misses star players, it actually plays better or at least plays better than expected. The best run of the season (9-4-2 stretch after the break) came without Dats and Z in the lineup.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 02:26 PM ET

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To those who get their panties bunched up when I say something bad about Babs….as Gordon Ramsey always says, I’m not here to blow smoke up anyone’s ass. If you think I’m going to post comments in favor of Babs or not post comments against him just because some of the media and vocal fans and bloggers and other people commenting think Babs is the greatest coach around despite the fact he has done nothing when his teams aren’t full of all stars and future hall of fame players (other than the one year he coached for the Ducks and led them to the finals), you’re crazy, and seem to be looking at Babs the same way a lot of Fox “news” viewers look at the president - with blinders on. Wake up people. As I’ve said, Babs is good, but not great. Put your unquestioning love for Babs aside and look at him and what he has done with your reality glasses on.

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 05/02/14 at 02:32 PM ET

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Put your unquestioning love for Babs aside and look at him and what he has done with your reality glasses on.

Ok.

I see a guy who’s won the Cup, won some gold medals, who’s the third-fastest coach all-time to 400 wins, who’s the Red Wings all-time leader in wins, who’s 7th all-time in points percentage (minimum 200 games coached), 9th all-time in playoff wins and playoff win percentage, and who’s going to win his 500th game next season, joining only 17 other guys—and who’ll do it at age 51.  He’s had some excellent teams, of course, but so have the other guys around him on those lists.

In other words I see an imperfect but unquestionably elite coach who is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

Posted by captaineclectic on 05/02/14 at 02:41 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

As to hitting, it was never his game to begin with

Hitting is hockey, especially in the playoffs you finish your checks. I’m not asking for him to be Steve Ott, but Pav hit, Tatar hit, even Hank returnign from injury hit, even whipping boy Johan made a check or two, whereas I watched Glass Leg skip every opportunity to finish a check or forecheck that he had. I lose respect for a player who lacks the desire to play win or go home hockey with everything he has.

He was slow, he didn’t take the puck into any hard areas, and mostly took the puck up the ice until he was presented with Danger Danger (i.e.) a big bad B gonna hit him,  so he wheeled it back south to the D to give it to someone else willing to push the puck.

He was reliable defensively, hey if he wants to see for Drew Miller money and take his spot, sure, bring’em back, but he’s not a top center in this league anymore.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/02/14 at 02:48 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Posted by captaineclectic on 05/02/14 at 02:41 PM ET

I fully agree and all, but I’m afraid you are being too logical for this discussion.  Statistics?  Howdy doesn’t want to see those!

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

RWBill's avatar

Posted by AZWinger on 05/02/14 at 01:34 PM ET

Are those actual lines or just listing out the forwards?  Curious whether you’re considering scratching one of the most effective players in the Boston series.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/02/14 at 03:06 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

You wonder if some of these people who cluelessly rant can even figure out how to get their pants on in the morning.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/02/14 at 03:08 PM ET

perfection's avatar

To those who get their panties bunched up when I say something bad about Babs

I think at this point just about everyone reading your post has their undies bunched because not only is it simply angry, aggressive rhetoric with no evidence to support it, but more importantly you have repeated it about 3 times a day since the Wings lost their last game. It’s odd and obsessive.

Posted by captaineclectic on 05/02/14 at 02:41 PM ET

you could also add to that list respect from peers because my guess is just about every single coach, player, or manager you asked would say he’s a great coach. I bet even a bunch of the guys who hate him personally like Commodore would grudgingly admit it.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/02/14 at 03:11 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I would have liked to see Pav and Legwand play together. I know it’ll never happen (I personally don’t see them resigning Legwand because of Weiss’ unmovable contract… unless Weiss seems like he’s going to start the year on IR), but I would kind of love to see a Pav/Legwand/Alfie line. Dangle, grit, and sniper with an ungodly combined hockey IQ. Could definitely prove to be too slow and old, but there’s still something appealing about it to me. You could follow it up with an all swedish Z/Franz/Gus line.

It’s funny because it seems like kids just can’t really handle playing with Pav. They defer to him too much.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/02/14 at 03:19 PM ET

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Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/02/14 at 03:11 PM ET

I can grudgingly admit it.

Posted by howeandhowe on 05/02/14 at 03:42 PM ET

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I would have liked to see Pav and Legwand play together… a Pav/Legwand/Alfie line. Dangle, grit, and sniper with an ungodly combined hockey IQ.

Yum yum yum. Let’s make it happen. I’ll try it out on my Franchise Hockey Manager team.

Posted by howeandhowe on 05/02/14 at 03:43 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I would have liked to see Pav and Legwand play together… a Pav/Legwand/Alfie line. Dangle, grit, and sniper with an ungodly combined hockey IQ. Yum yum yum. Let’s make it happen. I’ll try it out on my Franchise Hockey Manager team.

Ah yes, move your team’s best player from his lifelong center position to wing in favor of Dave Legwand.

And what grit? Pavs? Alfie’s? Or are we shoving a pack of Quaker Instant Grits down leggy’s leg? Who forechecks on that line, goes and digs out pucks? Forchecking force Alfie with his bad back? We want Pavel relgated to grunt work?

Watch teh game boys, quit reading names, Legwand is a just name, just like Lecavilier and Heatley, his time as a top line player on a team with talent is up.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/02/14 at 03:56 PM ET

perfection's avatar

You obviously don’t remember the fact that when Pav and Z played together Babs let them pick and Pav wanted Z at center. But whatever…

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/02/14 at 04:21 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Also that line was pure whimsy… chill

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/02/14 at 04:23 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

You obviously don’t remember the fact that when Pav and Z played together Babs let them pick and Pav wanted Z at center. But whatever…

Sure do but that was Zetterberg, not David Legwand.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 05/02/14 at 04:33 PM ET

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Didn’t Legwand play wing and Glendening played center?

Legwand can play wing on a line with Dats and Alfy, could have been much more effective line that Franzen/Dats/Abby. Chemistry between the players is most important IMO.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 06:20 PM ET

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Are those actual lines or just listing out the forwards?

Just a list; best guess outside of trades of what the roster would look like. I’m not so enamored with my line-creation abilities to worry about what they look like. smile

Posted by AZWinger on 05/02/14 at 06:21 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

In my opinion at least, it’s a bummer that Bertuzzi won’t finish his career here.

I am thinking the same. I really liked what Bert brought to the rink. I too had hoped he would be able to finish his career with the Wings.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/02/14 at 08:32 PM ET

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End of the season stats:

Pav playing winger 23 goals 77 assists
Legs @ center 41g 35a
Alfie 45g 28a.

Not too bad.

Oh. Pav and Alfie retire at end if the season. And the wings didn’t make the playoffs. Computer
Babs must be worse then everyone thinks living Babs is.

Posted by howeandhowe on 05/02/14 at 08:35 PM ET

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In my opinion at least, it’s a bummer that Bertuzzi won’t finish his career here.

Bert is a great guy, really love his personality and he is a great mentor for young players. He should not be resigned, but it will be sad to see him go.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/02/14 at 10:11 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Well that was fun!

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/02/14 at 10:12 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.