Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: the exciting stuff is going on behind the scenes…For now

Updated with Drew Miller talk at 7:07 AM: After doing this blogging thing for six-plus years, I can tell you for an observed fact that the two "deadest" periods of the Red Wings news cycle year involve the first week to two weeks after the Wings' season ends and early August. It's particularly understandable this year as the Wings' press corps suddenly found themselves caught up in a 48-games-in-99-nights demolition derby and then two seven-game playoff series, including one that involved as much time spent flying commercial as it did covering Red Wings stories.

So this week and this month are the busiest of the Red Wings' off-season, with each and every one of the Red Wings' players not still playing for the AHL's Western Conference Champion Grand Rapids Griffins  taking part in exit interviews with the team's coaching, training staff and management, the coaches and management reviewing the Wings' regular season and playoff performances, and the management preparing for its annual pre-draft and pre-free-agency powwow, which will include the team's amateur scouts, pro scouts, prospect mentors and everyone from Jimmy Devellano to (possibly) Al Sobotka.

Okay, maybe not Al, but close.

As such, people like me are finding themselves taking deep breaths and catching up on five full months' lack of sleep (okay, minus the norovirus fun, but that was actually horrific) whether we want to or not, and many of you are passionately arguing about the worth of Johan Franzen and obsessively building potential Wings rosters on Capgeek.

So while the press coverage takes a brief pause, you can be assured that the front office will be putting in hundreds, if not thousands of hours into the next couple weeks' worth of negotiations with player agents (based upon those exit interviews), probably dozens of mock drafts, free agency scenarios as the cap compliance buy-out market plays out, extensive reviews of the team's play over the past season and reports from the Grand Rapids Griffins' Calder Cup Final, as well as the NHL's Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final.

All of the front office's hours of work will, regrettably, boil down to seven educated guesses at the draft, attempts to convince UFA's-to-be Damien Brunner, Drew Miller, Daniel Cleary and Valtteri Filppula and their agents to take less than market value to remain in Detroit, to sign RFA's-to-be Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson before there's a remote possibility of any of them receiving offer sheets on July 5th, possibly flipping a free agent-to-be's rights at the draft, moving a body or two up front and/or on defense to account for Nyquist, Andersson and Tomas Tatar being full-time Wings and Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi returning to health (via cap compliance buy-outs, hello Mikael Samuelsson, and/or trades, i.e. bye bye, Carlo Colaiacovo), assuming that the team doesn't just deal with a bloated roster and exceeding the cap until the last day of the exhibition season to let players decide who stays and who goes for themselves...

And of course making bids for a couple of free agent forwards and defensemen on and after noon on July 5th. And preparing for the summer development camp. And accounting for the playoff performances of the Griffins. And then rebuilding the Griffins' roster because some of the veterans will leave and some of the prospects won't be re-signed(see: what to do about AHL-only-signed Luke Glendening and Chad Billins, UFA-to-be Francis Pare and RFA's Tom McCollum, Jordan Pearce and Brent Raedeke, who may not be re-signed, as well as the AHL-only-signed Triston Grant, Jeff Hoggan, Nathan Paetsch, Brennan Evans and Brett Skinner).

In terms of what we learned over the last 24 hours while the behind-the-scenes work goes on in private, Jimmy Devellano dropped quite the bomb regarding Johan Franzen's contract to Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner...

“Every contract we do isn’t going to be perfect,” said Jimmy Devellano, Red Wings senior vice president. “We have Franzen on a long-term contract. We’ve made a commitment to him, so he’s somebody we have to live with. But at least once in a while he scores a few goals. That he does do.”

Holland spoke to the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness about Damien Brunner...

“It's a hard league to score goals in,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He scored a lot of goals early and then he went through a stretch where he didn't score very much and then he seemed to get a second wind. I think he got five playoff goals in 14 games which is a lot of goals. Again, meet with the coaches. My initial reaction is we probably want to re-sign him but I've got to go through the process.”

As well as the incredibly high likelihood that the team will retain Jonas Gustavsson's services...

“He didn't work out because he didn't play,” Holland said. “I would say to you first off, over 82 games, there's a little more opportunity to try things when you get into a 48-game schedule, and you’re trying to stay afloat. Sometimes we get into a position, we can do trial balloons, we can try things out. We were trying to eke out a win every night to stay afloat.”

The Wings rode Jimmy Howard all season.

“We got hit with so many injuries and had so many things going on, I've heard many managers talk, it was a different year,” Holland said. “It was fast. It was 48 games in 99 nights. With the last 15 games, if you're the coach, you're going to the same guys over and over again. We couldn't afford to lose a game. It might have put us out. I think that has to factor into the evaluation and assessment of not only the team, but also of some individual players. It was a unique year. The longer the season, the more opportunities you have to try things. This was a sprint.”

And this morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James weighed in as to whether Brunner, Miller, Cleary and Filppula will stay or go:

The Wings have four forwards in that group: Damien Brunner, Daniel Cleary, Valtteri Filppula and Drew Miller. There are 11 forwards (including Tomas Tatar) already under contract for next season, and at some point, deals will be worked out with restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson. That brings the number to 13, one below the 14 the Wings plan to carry.

Add in Bertuzzi, Helm and Samuelsson, and the Wings have 17 forwards, which is...A problem.

Teams don’t have to worry about roster limits in the off-season, and the Wings do want to keep several of their UFAs. Brunner and Cleary are the top priorities. Miller is versatile and has done a very good job for the Wings, but given the scarcity of jobs, Miller may well want to test the market himself.

Miller is 29 and could very well earn twice to three times the $850,000 the Wings paid him as he can kill penalties, deliver 10-12 rock-solid defensive minutes on the 3rd line and occasionally sub as a second-line forward. It's really up to him. The fact that Andersson, Helm, Eaves and Emmerton all have regular spots on the current roster as defensive forwards, that Jordin Tootoo will be retained, and the fact that Tatar is going to join the mix (that's six of the 12 forwards who will dress every night, though Emmerton and Eaves may be deemed expendable depending on how the roster crunch shakes out) may help push Miller out the door.

Filppula certainly is headed in the same direction, unless he wants to take less to stay in Detroit. This is his first time as an unrestricted, and despite subpar numbers this season — or numbers that mirror all but his 2011-12 season, when he reached 66 points — some team will offer him financial largesse and long term. The Wings might go as high as $4.25 million a season, but Filppula and his camp knows he’ll get $5 million on the market.

I adored the USA Today quip about there being a league-wide and likely payday-ensuring romance regarding Filppula's talent as opposed to his results, and yesterday, I talked about Filppula's chance to cash in as a 29-year-old who made $3.5 million and could definitely earn $5 million from somebody who looks at his 66-point 2011-2012 season, ignores his point-per-every-other-game-max status for the balance of his career, and sees the crop of free agents and falls head-over-heels in love with the Flashy but Streaky and Frustrating Finn.

He made $3.5 million in real-world money this past season, and he's going to get a lot more from a team that's not Detroit.

G-o-n-e. Especially with Datsyuk likely to re-sign and even the Fourth Period's suggestion that discussions between the Wings and Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin, are underway as a probably accurate report. At best, Fil's flipped for a draft pick.

Holland said one of the areas in which the team wants to improve is in “scoring more goals,” and Brunner fits into that plan in spades. He cooled off in the second half but that was partly because of a sore hip flexor, plus he was adjusting to the hectic pace of an NHL lockout season after the leisurely pace of the Swiss league. Brunner rebounded with five goals in the playoffs, the most among his teammates.

Staying, probably at up to or around $3 million a season. Way more than the $1.4425 million he earned last season.

Cleary’s stock soared in the playoffs after topping the team with five points in the Chicago series and finishing second on the Wings with 10 points. He brings good size, net-front presence for power plays, and his intangibles include great leadership in the locker room.

I don't know what to think about Cleary. He obviously won't want to take less than the $3 million he earned this past season, he was fantastic in the playoffs and he clearly loves being a Red Wing, but he's 34, he's a point-every-other-game player who was invisible at times when the Wings really needed him to compliment Justin Abdelkader's skills, and the man has some incredibly, incredibly hard miles on his body.

His degenerative knee issues and chronic groin problems are scary, and while the Wings love their good soldiers...

But even if the Wings buy out Samuelsson and end up with more than their $11.95 million in cap space (Samuelsson is owed $3 million for the 2013-2014 season), you've got to figure that the 4 RFA's will cost a little over $1 million apiece to retain, Brunner could earn $3 million (4x1 + 3 = $7 million), and if you add Miller and/or Cleary to the mix, the Wings might be taking themselves out of the running both roster and cap-space-wise in terms of bidding for a Bryan Bickell, Nathan Horton or a top-four defenseman, depending on which direction they want to go in this summer.

What are the Wings going to do?

I don't really know. I'm glad they're paid much more than we are to put in what will end up being thousands of man-hours into making a little over a dozen player personnel decisions at the NHL level and half-a-dozen more in terms of rounding out the Grand Rapids Griffins' 2013-2014 season roster.

 

 

Regarding those Griffins, as noted last night, the Griffins defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 5-4 in a wild and woolly Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, and they've advanced to kick off what will be a Northeast-ish Division rivalry with Steve Yzerman's Tampa Bay Lightning by battling the AHL's Syracuse Crunch for the Calder Cup.

The Crunch's roster is largely made up of players from the 2012 Calder Cup-winning Norfolk Admirals, and the series will begin with back-to-back games in Syracuse, NY on Friday and Saturday. Games 3-5 will take place at Van Andel Arena, on Wednesday, June 12th, Friday, June 14th and Saturday, June 15th.

The Griffins website's highlight clip is worth re-posting...

And a very late-breaking recap from the New Holland Sentinel's Lee Lamberts adds a few more quips and quotes to the mix:

[Tomas] Jurco's goal, with 6 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the game, lifted the Griffins to a 5-4 win over the Barons and moved the Detroit Red Wings' farm affiliate into the American Hockey League championship series for the first time in team history.

"I got the puck in our zone and I saw their defenseman didn't have any speed," Jurco said of his seventh postseason goal. "Frankie (Pare) was skating on my right side and I tried to fake a pass to him and I kind of went in the middle of the ice between the two (defenseman), and I shot low under (Danis') blocker. There's no time to think, you just do whatever you feel like. I guess it was lucky it went in."

For his effort, Jurco got a shaving-cream facial from teammate Triston Grant.

"It tastes horrible," Jurco said. "But it's worth it."

Jurco's goal snapped the fourth tie of the game and touched off a wild celebration in front of the Grand Rapids net with goalie Petr Mrazek buried in the middle. Mrazek stopped 35 of the Barons' 39 shots, but Jurco's goal was the difference.

"I think this was my biggest goal ever," Jurco said. "I got a couple of big ones in the Memorial Cup (a trophy awarded for a junior program of the Canadian Hockey League), but I think this is bigger. It's a man league, not kid's hockey like Tomas Tatar says."

Lamberts continues, but Jurco's game-winner is the thrust of his narrative.

And in Swedish, Gustav Nyquist told Expressen's Gunnar Nordstrom that the Griffins are well aware of the fact that most of the Crunch's roster is attempting to repeat its Calder Cup-winning performance.

 

 

In other news, this quip from Penguins GM Ray Shero, made to the National Post's Bruce Arthur, made me cringe:

“What if Lidstrom scores?” asks Ray Shero, the general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a quiet moment last week. He remembers asking Billy Guerin that question, maybe a year ago or something — what if Lidstrom scored? What then? “He said, ‘don’t tell me that. I don’t want to think about it,’” says Shero. “Who knows?”

Instead, the Penguins won a Stanley Cup. Sidney Crosby won a Stanley Cup. Evgeni Malkin won a Stanley Cup. Guys like those, generational guys, are supposed to fulfill that prophecy. And because Nicklas Lidstrom didn’t score in the final seconds of Game 7, because Marc-André Fleury threw his body at the puck like he was shielding a President from an assassin, they did.

Ditto for these quips from Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill, made to the Dallas News's Mike Heika:

On the coaching search

“Sometimes names pop up you don’t think about. It’s been good.”

...

On if there are guys who are still coaching right now they’re considering

“Yeah, there are some guys still and there are some guys, teams have finished up and they’re still going through the process of exit interviews. So, we’re just taking our time and waiting for things to happen.”

On if hiring a veteran coach is a prerequisite

“It’s not a prerequisite. A great example is Mike Babcock. He had to come from somewhere. They just don’t fall out of the sky. So, you want to be careful. Yes, you want experience. It’s important but there are some coaches who have been in the minors who have gained experience maybe doing better jobs coaching in the minors than up top sometimes, so we’re looking at all different angles of coaches and all different types of personalities.”

...

On if there is a huge line between experienced and inexperienced coaches

“No, there’s not. I kind of was talking with a bunch of reporters and where did Mike Babcock come from? He just didn’t fall from the sky and end up behind Detroit’s bench. There’s some great coaches in the minors. Experience is important, yes. But these guys in the minors have gained a lot of experience too, maybe more than some NHL coaches. You start riding those busses and playing four games in five nights, how do you motivate a team? How do you prepare them? There’s some great young coaches in the minors too, so I’m not going to say I’ve got to have experience because those guys they’re experienced also. You’ve got to keep an open mind.”

And again, I really don't understand why the Wings allowed Nill to take an active role in the Stars' draft as he's spent the last 12 months scouting players for the Wings and serving as the nexus for the Red Wings amateur scouts' impressions and reports regarding this year's draft class:

On if he has a good feel for the draft       

“We know who we’re looking at. We’ve narrowed it down to three or four players and we have that extra pick in the first, which we can do a lot of different scenarios with that. So, we’re excited about it.”

On what their biggest needs are

“You look at our roster and it’s no secret we need some help down the middle and we need some help in the back end. So, those are probably the positions we’re looking at. Now, if a player comes along that is just so good at some other position, we’ll also look at that.”

On how deep this draft is

“This is a very strong talent pool. This draft reminds me a lot of the draft where [Ryan] Getzlaf and all of those guys, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, the 2003 Draft. That was a strong draft. This reminds me of that. In the end, there’s going to be some guys picked in the second round that are as good as a lot of guys picked in the first.”

In the GM's meetings rule-changing department, there is no news as to whether Niklas Kronwall visor-as-a-sun-shield-wearing will be illegal for new NHL players (Landon Ferraro does a really good Kronwall impersonation visor-wise), but it should come as no surprise that the Associated Press found that there will be some serious give and take between the NHL, NHLPA and equipment manufacturers as to what constitutes legal visor-wearing before the rule's instituted, and as you might imagine, enforcers are more worried about denting their fingers on young whipper-snappers wearing visors than they are about people protecting their eyes...

And, as Sportsnet's Mark Spector noted, the NHL and NHLPA have decided to form a committee to regulate both player and goaltending equipment, and let's just say that the by-committee approach doesn't work very well in terms of instituting real changes:

The same process has bogged down the downsizing of goalie equipment, even though it has been plainly obvious for most of two decades that the inflated gear is intended to stop pucks rather than protect the person underneath all the paraphernalia.

It has been nearly 20 years after Patrick Roy debuted his clown pants and a jersey purchased at Tent City; since Garth Snow and J.S. Giguere and Glenn Healy and every other goalie in the ’90s laughed quietly at the poor fellows sent to measure their gear on behalf of another neutered NHL equipment committee.

And on Wednesday morning, behind the stock visual of a ridiculously tall goalie pad, we heard the TV commentator’s voice warned cheating goalies to “Watch out, you cheating goalies.”

Yes, some two decades after the crime was perpetrated, the hockey police have showed up on the scene, looking for evidence the rest of the hockey world has been examining for most of two decades.

They’ll form a sub-committee that will be tasked with making future decisions on equipment – everything from goalie pads to shoulder pads and helmets. We can’t wait.

Because we’d all agree: The NHL and NHLPA need another joint committee.

Long story long, it may take a couple of years, with the emphasis being on "a couple," before things get sorted out. And I believe the rule is that any player who's played in more than 27 regular season and/or playoff games before the 2013-2014 season begins is exempt from visor-grandfathering, so even Tomas Tatar can choose to doff a visor if he wishes.

In what seems like ironic-in-that-light news, the Grand Rapids Griffins will give away 200 bicycle helmets to kids on June 10th and June 12th at 2 Grand Rapids-area locations;

And I can only react to this picture by saying, "Dear Gord, man, don't hurt yourself!"


 

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan noted that Miller may or may not stay due to roster and cap crunches, though Miller has a high-profile supporter:

“I'm a huge fan of Millsie,'' Babcock said. “Millsie's an important part of this team. When he was out, we missed him. Let's just watch it all play out.''

Miller theoretically wants to remain a Wing:

"I would like to stay,'' Miller said. “I got to talk to Babs and to (general manager) Kenny Holland, figure out what their approach is to coming back. But, being in a position to have options is something that could possibly be looked at, but my first choice would be to stay."

...

"I think I found a role that I can play here and they count on me to do that night in, night out,'' Miller said. “You just never know, got to wait and see."

Miller likes the direction the club is headed.

“In our locker room and with our coaching staff and everyone that's involved, I think everyone believed we had the team to do it,'' Miller said. “We beat Anaheim, which had the third-best record (in the NHL) and took Chicago to Game 7, and they had the best record during the regular season. We know we were right there. It's a tough loss, but we know that we can hang with the teams that were the best all season."

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Pavel probably scored a hat trick while at the same time posting a shutout.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 06/06/13 at 08:00 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

What are the Wings going to do?

I dont know, maybe try making a trade or two, not resign every player who ever wore the Winged Wheel, buyout a couple of underachieveing schlubs.

You know, the stuff GMs are supposed to do to earn their paycheck.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/06/13 at 09:10 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I dont know, maybe try making a trade or two, not resign every player who ever wore the Winged Wheel, buyout a couple of underachieveing schlubs.
You know, the stuff GMs are supposed to do to earn their paycheck.
Posted by Hootinani on 06/06/13 at 09:10 AM ET

My best guess is they’ll do a whole lot of nothing.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/06/13 at 09:11 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

My best guess is they’ll do a whole lot of nothing.

Given the log jam and numbers of bodies, something has to happen one way or another.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 06/06/13 at 09:27 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Given the log jam and numbers of bodies, something has to happen one way or another.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 06/06/13 at 09:27 AM ET

True. I probably should have crarified that a bit. I don’t think the’ll do anything until the bitter end:

assuming that the team doesn’t just deal with a bloated roster and exceeding the cap until the last day of the exhibition season to let players decide who stays and who goes for themselves…

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/06/13 at 09:54 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t know how or if I can do it, but I want to get up to GR for one of the games of the Calder Finals.


The Wings need Miller.  I keep saying it, and Babcock saying it is right:  when he came back from injury they were instantly a better team in the neutral zone and on the PK.  He’s too frigging smart, you can’t find guys like that just anywhere.

I really hate the idea of the Wings losing Eaves too but, if it came down to it I’s choose Miller first in a heartbeat.

Posted by Primis on 06/06/13 at 10:49 AM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Maybe it’s the hangover this morning, but I actually laughed at the comment by JD regarding the Mule. Something so defeatist about it:

“Every contract we do isn’t going to be perfect,” said Jimmy Devellano, Red Wings senior vice president. “We have Franzen on a long-term contract. We’ve made a commitment to him, so he’s somebody we have to live with. But at least once in a while he scores a few goals. That he does do.”

 

Posted by SandysWingingit on 06/06/13 at 10:56 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

He obviously won’t want to take less than the $3 million he earned this past season

Why? Until his great series against Chicago, I thought we had all decided he was a league minimum player for the Wings next year or a retiree?  He may be only 34, but I don’t see the Wings paying him more than a buck and change.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/06/13 at 11:11 AM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

Miller- Completely agree that he needs to come back. His skill set is important and rare, normally that means its also expensive, in this case he’s also cheap. He also has way more offensive upside than people seem to give him credit for.

Cleary- He did have a really tough regular season, until the last four or five games. When he suddenly found the offensively gritty determined puck hound Danny Cleary that we remembered from before his injury. If he can sustain that level of play he’s worth 3M, if not. . .

Franzen- hehe

 

Posted by Yzersyuk on 06/06/13 at 11:23 AM ET

Avatar

Miller and Cleary should not be re-signed, there are just too may kids pushing for spots.  If Miller wants to tale the $850k he was signed for, fine, and if Clearly wants to take a huge paycut, fine.  But there are too many young guys pushing for jobs, and a few others who are knocking on the door.  I know it’s hard for Wings fans to say goodbye, but sometimes it’s necessary to say thanks for the effort or memories.

Posted by bababooey on 06/06/13 at 11:26 AM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

Which prospect replaces Miller’s pk abilities? Which prospect is as defensively sound? You need guys like Miller to be the backbone of your lower lines as you find out which prospects are up to snuff. So I respectfully disagree.

Posted by Yzersyuk on 06/06/13 at 11:43 AM ET

Avatar

You have guys like Sheahan, Ferraro even guys like Callahan that are pushing for jobs, all play on the PK as well and will start on the lower lines, so why pay Miller a big contract when he’ll be obsolete in the next year or so?  will he take a 1yr deal?  Smart cap management means knowing when to cut ties and bring in the younger players to replace them.

Posted by bababooey on 06/06/13 at 11:54 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Which prospect replaces Miller’s pk abilities? Which prospect is as defensively sound?

Joakim Andersson

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/06/13 at 12:02 PM ET

Avatar

I guess we’ll never give anyone a chance to find out who will.  Maybe we should give Miller a ranzen type of contract, sounds like he’s that valuable, irreplaceable.

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

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I’m no pharmacist nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but Jimmy D’s refreshingly honest assessment of Mule and his contract tells me the Brain Trust is at least considering using a cap compliance buy out on him.

Use the two buy outs on Sammy and Mule.

Offer Buckets a front office job.

They have to hedge their bets on Helm. I think they will keep the roster over the limit for as long as possible to give him the best chance to recover. I love Helm. I have a Helm jersey. However, I am seriously concerned about whether or not he will play again.

Why even bother to offer Flip a contract? Get 14-63-24 all under contract and keep them together. There’s your number 2 line. Re-unite the Circus for the number 1 line with Abby.

Sit down with Babs and find out if he ever intends to play Toots again. The Wings could certainly use a player of his abrasive nature in the East next season, but if Babs has lost confidence in him then trade him. $1.9mil sitting in the press box doesn’t do Toots or the Wings any good at all.

Not having Mule, Sammy, Toots, Flip and Buckets around leaves 8 under contract, 2 RFA’s to retain and 2 UFA’s retain. Assuming those 4 FA’s are retained that’s 12 forwards (including Tots) and leaves room for a couple of kids (Sheahan, Frk, etc.) or UFA’s from other teams.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 06/06/13 at 12:13 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I guess we’ll never give anyone a chance to find out who will.  Maybe we should give Miller a ranzen type of contract, sounds like he’s that valuable, irreplaceable.

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

Then I see no need to keep Howard because hey, MAYBE Mrazek might have a small chance of being ready and Howard might be in his way.  And hey, let’s get rid of Kronwall too and let Lashoff sink or swim for a full season, because Nik is just standing in his way.

Let’s buy out Franzen, let Cleary, Sammy, and Bert all go, and Pav and Z’s wingers can be Brunner, Abdelkader, Nyquist, and Tatar.  What could possibly go wrong there?  After all, those guys all have to play and get their chance sometime, right?  So sink or swim…

I’m not a fan of the Wings leaving guys in the minors or healthy-scratched for so long, but I’m also not a fan of the polar opposite.  That’s exactly what Edmonton has tried to do since their glory years, for decades now, and it has yet to ever work.

I think the playoff experience has skewed some expectations with some of you.  Some of these young guys still have potential to fall off and completely fail.  Andersson in particular is going to have trouble making himself stand out.  Smith and Kindl have answered a few questions, but the answers aren’t all great either.

Posted by Primis on 06/06/13 at 01:18 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I think the playoff experience has skewed some expectations with some of you. 

I don’t know why you’d say that… oh. 

Why even bother to offer Flip a contract? Get 14-63-24 all under contract and keep them together. There’s your number 2 line. Re-unite the Circus for the number 1 line with Abby.

Oh, yeah.  That’s why you’d say that.  Andersson is not a second line center.  Not yet, potentially not ever.  Don’t let the way he played against 3rd line opposition in a limited number of playoff games trick you all.  Perspective, folks.  He’s probably much closer to being the regular season player he was than the playoff player.

 

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/06/13 at 02:24 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

George, any idea if the Calder cup finals will be aired or streamed anywhere?

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/06/13 at 02:45 PM ET

Avatar

Then I see no need to keep Howard because hey, MAYBE Mrazek might have a small chance of being ready and Howard might be in his way.  And hey, let’s get rid of Kronwall too and let Lashoff sink or swim for a full season, because Nik is just standing in his way.

Let’s buy out Franzen, let Cleary, Sammy, and Bert all go, and Pav and Z’s wingers can be Brunner, Abdelkader, Nyquist, and Tatar.  What could possibly go wrong there?  After all, those guys all have to play and get their chance sometime, right?  So sink or swim…

You comparing Cleary who is on the downside of his career to Howard who is on the upside?  Really?  And Kronwall you’re comparing to Lashoff?  your argument makes little sense with all due respect.  Lashoff will always be a bottom pairing defenseman, he will never be what Kronwall is.  And yes I agree let the guys you mention walk and in terms of sink or swim, it worked out pretty well for us this year, no?  or was that some other team I was watching?

Posted by bababooey on 06/06/13 at 03:00 PM ET

Avatar

think the playoff experience has skewed some expectations with some of you.  Some of these young guys still have potential to fall off and completely fail.  Andersson in particular is going to have trouble making himself stand out.  Smith and Kindl have answered a few questions, but the answers aren’t all great either.

What does a guy have to do to make the team?  The younger players have dominated in the AHL and when called up more than pulled their weight to where the team exceeded expectations.  I will take my chances with the younger players who have high ceilings than to rely on washed up re-treads like Samuelsson.  I think some of you are having a hard time letting go of the past.  Cleary has been one of my favorite players, but this season he was gassed and looked it. Yes he had a great playoff but does anyone really think he has more left?  Miller has been a good player for this team, but he is redundant (he and Eaves are interchangeable).  Besides, this team has at least 3 or 4 Miller types waiting for their chance, and for cheaper.

Posted by bababooey on 06/06/13 at 03:06 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Andersson is not a second line center.  Not yet, potentially not ever.

Seriously? Did you even watch the fourteen playoff games?

Here are the cliff’s notes, statistics wise for you:

He took the second most number of faceoffs after Pavel. That’s right. More than Z More than Flip.

He was number 1 in face off percentage. That’s right. Better than Pavel and Z. (There were actually 2 players ahead of him, but they only took 4 and 3 faceoffs, respectively as opposed to Pav, Neo, Z & Flip who all took over 125)

Babs (and I’m no fan of him) played Neo on the first PK unit.

+/- he finished +2, same as Pavel. Z was +3.

When Babs reunited the Circus at different times during the playoffs, 11-63-24 was your second line.

 

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 06/06/13 at 03:46 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Red Wings’ coaches and front office seem to be sold on the “youth movement,” but I do not believe that they’ll toss half-a-dozen veteran players off the roster to make room for two full lines’ worth of Griffins call-ups.

The team still believes that Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi will probably return to health and provide the team with forechecking aplomb and some size, strength and snarl, respectively, and as Andersson, Nyquist and Tatar have shown us, players like Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco will benefit from playing regularly and assuming leadership roles with the Griffins much more than they would bouncing in and out of the lineup as fourth-line players and 13th-and-14th forwards.

It is entirely possible that, in addition to letting Miller, Filppula and/or Cleary walk, the team may buy out Samuelsson and may very well move Emmerton or Eaves to ensure that Andersson, Nyquist and Tatar play every night, and that the fourth line consists of Bertuzzi, Helm and Tootoo (with the top two lines shaking out as Franzen-Datsyuk-Abdelkader and Free Agent Forward X-Zetterberg-Brunner; just about everybody assumes that Samuelsson will be bought out, but one never knows).

On defense, it does appear that the Wings are more sold on the concept of going with Kronwall, Ericsson and then DeKeyser, Kindl, Smith, Quincey and Lashoff on defense as their “starting seven” (so fare thee well, Carlo Colaiacovo, you will be traded)...

And there’s no doubt that while the team’s sticking with Gustavsson as Howard’s back-up, Petr Mrazek will get some playing time, though, again, having Mrazek sit on the bench while Howard starts 50 times does not benefit Mrazek or the Red Wings going forward.

There is also no doubt that Andersson, Nyquist, Tatar, Brunner, Smith, Kindl, Lashoff and DeKeyser will all struggle with inconsistent play and mistakes as they continue to try to learn to play at the NHL level. Nobody looks like a polished, poised veteran after all of one season’s worth of experience, and if the Wings’ front office and coaches weren’t prepared for this, they wouldn’t be willing to let their prospects play.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/06/13 at 03:47 PM ET

Avatar

I’m no pharmacist nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but Jimmy D’s refreshingly honest assessment of Mule and his contract tells me the Brain Trust is at least considering using a cap compliance buy out on him.

Maybe, if Devellano’s retard outbursts were ever indicative of what the Brain Trust actually thinks…

Posted by Garth on 06/06/13 at 03:54 PM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

There is a reason why experience is so highly valued by the wings management and coaches. And that is simply because with it comes consistency. Consistency is exactly what young players have trouble with. Look at Brunner our best young offensive pick up this year. On-Off-Off-On. You cant build a team solely around that. Miller brings it everyday, he’s a gamer like Babcock would say. He also has plenty of unexplored upside and is a veteran of playing on the NHL level.

Cleary on the other hand just found his game again recently. He is getting older and I don’t know whether he can play on that level all season. They don’t want him for his youthful energy. They want him for his effort and leadership. Just look at the Pens, packed with talent, lacking in a leader who knows how to motivate. Once again you cant just build a team around young talent.

I feel like your just looking at one part of the equation. Also your taking the fact that we are most likely adding Nyquist, Brunner, Tatar, Lashoff, Andersson and Smith to our team to mean that we should rush along the rest of the prospects and just make our entire bottom two lines of forwards and D relatively untested players. Seems like an ill thought out plan to me. Also we already have a youth infusion happening. Its like you’re hitting your iv bag and saying you know i think I need another two of these hooked up to me, overkill.

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

Avatar

and that the fourth line consists of Bertuzzi, Helm and Tootoo

I like one third of that line.

And I really think it would be dumb to break up Andersson/Nyquist/Brunner.

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

Avatar

Consistency is exactly what young players have trouble with.

The arguments against that thought would be Franzen and Cleary.

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

Yzersyuk's avatar

Sure, you wont see me repping Franzen anytime soon.

But Cleary’s intangibles always show up (that was a fun sentence)

Posted by Yzersyuk on 06/06/13 at 04:20 PM ET

Avatar

But Cleary’s intangibles always show up

But the fact that they ‘show up’ speak to a lack of consistency.  He he played all the time like he does in the playoffs it would be great, but he doesn’t.

Posted by Garth on 06/06/13 at 07:24 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

We’ve made a commitment to him, so he’s somebody we have to live with. But at least once in a while he scores a few goals. That he does do.”

can we now put the “do the Wings think Franzen is a loafer” question away?  thanks.

 

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/06/13 at 07:52 PM ET

Avatar

can we now put the “do the Wings think Franzen is a loafer” question away?  thanks.

It’s funny how Jimmy D suddenly isn’t a stupid, loudmouthed idiot who should learn to shut his mouth or put a half-second worth of thought before he pipes up when suddenly the loud mouthed idiot agrees with you, eh?

Posted by Garth on 06/06/13 at 08:51 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

It’s funny how Jimmy D suddenly isn’t a stupid, loudmouthed idiot who should learn to shut his mouth or put a half-second worth of thought before he pipes up when suddenly the loud mouthed idiot agrees with you, eh?

when have I ever called Jimmy D a stupid, loudmouthed idiot?  ummmm, I haven’t.

maybe you should work on not thinking that when person A says something you can use it as an argument against person B as if they said it.  derp.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/07/13 at 08:57 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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