Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: on Swedes in GR, Datsyuk, Filppula, cap recapturing and rule changes

I've seen this happen, and it isn't pretty, but it's done without much fanfare:

The ice at Joe Louis Arena ends up going down the storm drains next to the Joe and, most likely, into the Detroit River, so it goes back to where it comes from (given that ye olde City of Detroit water is what's used to make it).

On the other side of the state...

As noted on Tuesday evening, the Grand Rapids Griffins suffered a serious setback in their attempt to make the AHL's Calder Cup Final, but...Well, let me put it this way:

If a Yooper and a West-Sider were to get into an argument as to which person was ignored by the other 2/3rds of the state of Michigan more, they would come to the same conclusion: nobody from Metro Detroit cares about them. This isn't completely inaccurate: depending on where you draw the boundaries of "Metro Detroit," is either slightly larger than Los Angeles or is bigger than Rhode Island. I tend to lean toward the latter, and Metro Detroit contains somewhere around half of the state's population, distributed over a relatively large geographic area. So we're a weeeeeeee bit worried about what happens around "here" first.

So the fact that the Detroit Free Press sent Aaron McMann to Grand Rapids to talk about Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist's contributions to the Griffins' playoff cause does indeed pay tribute to how far the Wings' AHL affiliate has come:

“This team has been good all year,” Andersson said. “We’ve found a way to win in different ways all year.”

The Griffins finished the American Hockey League regular season 42-26 with the Midwest Division title. But they were trailing Oklahoma City — one of the last teams into the playoffs — 2-1 in the Western Conference finals, with Games 4 and 5 on the road. They needed help. One day later, after the Wings were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, Nyquist — Grand Rapids’ point leader (60) before being recalled March 20 — and Andersson boarded a flight to Oklahoma City.

“I told my guys when they were sent down that they weren’t coming down as two saviors,” said Griffins coach Jeff Blashill. “They’re coming down as two real good pieces to the puzzle.”

And the move immediately paid off. Twelve minutes into the first period of Game 4 Saturday, a power-play goal by Andersson gave the Griffins a 1-0 lead. The assist? Nyquist. They went on to win, 4-0.

“We played a lot in the lockout together,” Andersson said. “We have some good chemistry and like playing with each other. It’s worked out well.”

Andersson, who had 27 points in 36 games before being recalled Feb. 8, tacked on two more assists in Sunday’s 3-0 Game 5 win — tilting the series in Grand Rapids’ favor, 3-2.

...

Tomas Tatar, who played 11 games with Detroit this year, was glad to see Andersson and Nyquist back. Tatar’s 15 postseason points have made him a target.

“The big difference is that (other teams) have to be careful about those two,” Tatar said.

Tuesday's game didn't go particularly well for any Griffins player, regrettably, and Game 7 will take place tonight at 7 PM EDT (at Van Andel Arena). But East-Siders will be in attendance and even the East-Sider press cares about 'em now. Stunning.

(Technically speaking, from a Metro Detroiter's point of view, "East Siders" live east of Woodward Avenue, and although I was born a block-and-a-half east of Woodward, I have always lived West of Woodward, so as far as this "East-Sider" is concerned, I'm a West-Sider. Who lives in Extreme Southwestern Oakland County now. As if that matters).

 

 

In news regarding current, possible future and soon-to-be-former members of the Red Wings' roster, one never knows about the Fourth Period's "reports" as they never cite their sources, but this is probably true:

Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk has already acknowledged his desire to play in Detroit for the next few years, and contract talks between the two sides are getting underway.

Datsyuk, 34, has one-year left on his contract, but recently told the local media that he "would love to stay" beyond next season.

It's believed contract negotiations have started between the Red Wings and Datsyuk's agent, albeit only preliminarily.

The two sides have at least one month to finalize a deal, as an extension cannot be formally signed and announced until July 5.

Datsyuk, who spent the lockout in the KHL, would eventually like to finish his playing career in Russia, but only after he's done at the NHL level. Datsyuk's seven-year, $46.9 million contract expires after next season. It's unclear what type of contract he's looking for, but could see his salary in and around the same $6.7 million he'll make next season.

Yes, yes he will. Pavel will get as much as he wants. And it will be fair.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings must also focus on signing impending unrestricted free agents Valtteri Filppula and Damien Brunner.

Filppula and Brunner are due for raises and could command significant interest on the open if they go unsigned by July 5.

Regarding Filppula, as I said yesterday, somebody will pay someone whose potential and skill set far exceeds his output and actual implementation of said skill set, but it's not going to be the Red Wings.

As MLive's Brendan Savage noted, between Filppula coming into training camp nursing a still-sprained MCL and battling his way through a shoulder injury, he posted a less-than-impressive 9 goals, 8 assists and 17 points over the course of 41 regular season games played and 2 goals, 4 assists and 6 points over 14 playoff games played--way less than the 23 goals and 66 points he posted in 2011-2012, even when pro-rated--and monetarily speaking, there's "no fit"...

After making $3.5 million this season, he's reportedly seeking more than $5 million and the Red Wings don't want to pay him that much. As a result, contract talks broke off months ago.

"I gotta go through the next month," said general manager Ken Holland. "I'm going to meet with the coaches, obviously prior to July 5th (and the start of free agency). I'm going to meet with the coaches (this) week and then shortly after try to get our pro scouts in and make a plan. Obviously some of them we want to re-sign. We've got some big decisions because there's a push from below.

Though Filppula was circumspect about his future while speaking with the press on locker room clean-out day--while wearing a "boot" to immobilize a sprained left ankle:

"I haven't thought about that too much," Filppula said after cleaning out his locker following the Game 7 playoff loss to Chicago. "Obviously, it's a possibility that could happen. It'd be tough. It's been a really great place to be. I've been so happy here. We'll see if we go ... if that's what's going to happen."

"I'm sure it would be (strange playing elsewhere). It would be different I'm sure. It would be weird at first. I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. To be honest I haven't given it too much thought yet. We'll start talking. We have to see what feels right for me. We'll see. But the season just finished so I haven't given it too much thought."

Filppula said he wasn't disappointed contract talks with the Red Wings broke off during the season. He was more concerned with this season than next season.

"To be honest I wasn't paying too much attention to it," he said. "I was just trying to focus on playing. Obviously when you negotiate you hope you get something done but that's not always going to happen. That's how it is."

...

Coach Mike Babcock was critical of Filppula at midseason but sounded like somebody who wanted the 29-year-old veteran back in a Red Wings uniform next season.

"You need good players," Babcock said. "If you don't keep the good players you have you got to acquire good players, so the devil you know is usually better than the devil you don't.''

I don't think that Filppula's agent will let his 29-year-old client (and he just turned 29) miss out on a once-in-a-career opportunity to earn a $20-25 million payday that will set Filppula up for both the rest of his career and the rest of his life for the sake of staying with the Wings...

And as Savage duly notes, with Tomas Tatar due to make the roster next seasnon and the aforementioned Andersson and Nyquist likely to form the balance of one hell of a third line, there isn't necessarily any room for Filppula, either.

 

 

If the Wings are to target free agents, I think one player priced himself out of Detroit's budget on Tuesday, and ESPN's Craig Custance offered more insight into the Wings' thought process in what may be a, "Do we add a goal-scoring forward OR a top-four defenseman" situation given the Wings' salary cap and roster crunches:

Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford and Sportsnet reported that New York Islanders captain Mark Streit turned down a 3-year, $14-plus million contract offer from the Islanders as the 35-year-old defenseman (he'll turn 36 in December) is looking for, well...

$5-6 million per season for 4 or 5 seasons.

Per Halford:

It’s easy to see why Streit would want to test free agent waters.

He’s primed to hit the market at a time where defensemen are at a premium — he, along with Sergei Gonchar, Ron Hainsey, Ryan Whitney and Marek Zidlicky figure to headline the class, which gives a pretty good idea of how shallow the class is.

What’s more, this group of UFA blueliners actually thinned out last week when Los Angeles re-signed Robyn Regehr to a two-year, $6 million deal.

And per Sportnet's Tom Ruminski:

The 35-year-old Streit is believed to be looking for an annual salary north of $5.5-million per season, while the Isles reportedly made a three-year offer for $4.75-million per season.

In a weak free agent market for defenceman, the Islanders’ captain could be in line to receive a four-year deal that could pay him up to $6 million annually.

After missing 2010-11 with a shoulder injury, Streit returned to the Isles in 2011-12 and led the team’s defencemen in scoring with 47 points. This past season, the native of Englisberg, Switzerland, registered six goals and 21 assists in a lockout-shortened campaign, and five points in a first-round playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In his career, Streit has notched 288 points — 65 goals and 223 assists — in 491 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens and Islanders.

$5.5-6 million would take half of the Wings' $11.957 million of cap space away, and given that the team will probably spend at least a million bucks re-signing RFA's Brendan Smith, Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist and Jakub Kindl, given that Damien Brunner might command $3 million and given that the team at least wants to make a stab at re-signing Daniel Cleary (unlikely) and Drew Miller (possible), the team wouldn't have any more wiggle room, and given that Holland's interview with Bill Simonson yielded a higher probability that we'll see Kronwall-Ericsson, DeKeyser-Kindl, Quincey-Smith and Lashoff as the team's seven "starting" defensemen next season...

I get the feeling that things will shake out as ESPN's Craig Custance suggested in an ESPN.com chat on Tuesday:

GBK (Lincoln Park): Craig, what do you think the Red Wings will do this summer? I'd like to see them add a veteran defenseman, and let go of guys like Bertuzzi, Samuelsson and maybe even Tootoo, who is fine in the regular season but not in the playoffs. What big free agents are out there and how will the cap shrinking change how teams approach free agency?

Craig Custance: GBK - Interesting off-season ahead for Detroit. If they let Filppula, which is a possibility, they have some money to spend in free agency. They want to keep some spots open for their good young talent, but they could really use a scorer on the wing. I like Nathan Horton as an option for Detroit. A guy like Bickell would appeal to Babcock too. Big body, banger, who can score.

(cue Babcock telling Mitch Albom that he wants his team to get "bigger and heavier")

 

 

The Wings' free agency outlook could change dramatically depending on who's bought out on the salary cap compliance buy-out market, and the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran explained how the buy-outs work...

The NHL’s new collective bargaining calls for the restrictive salary cap to drop to $64.3 million from $70.2 million. It’s the first time since the cap was introduced in 2005-06 that it will drop, and it will put the squeeze on teams whose current signings already have them over or near the cap.

To help bridge the gap, the NHL and the NHL Players Association agreed to compliance buyouts. Like a regular buyout, a player gets a portion of the money he signed for (two-thirds of salary owed for players 26 and older; one-third for those under 26). Unlike a regular buyout, the money does not apply to the cap. Darcy Tucker and Colby Armstrong, for example, will cost the Maple Leafs $1 million next year.

Teams get two compliance buyouts.

Montreal (Scott Gomez) and the Rangers (Wade Redden) have already used one each at the beginning of the season. Players can be bought out starting this summer for a short period and again next summer (starting 48 hours after the awarding of the Stanley Cup to one day before free agency period kicks in.)

Bought-out players become unrestricted free agents, albeit with two provisos: they may not re-sign with the team that bought them out, and they cannot be traded back to that team for one season.

Further complicating matters are new stringent rules that apply to teams that signed players for longer than seven years: if the player retires before the end of his contract, the team won’t get any salary cap relief. This might actually be a benefit to teams trying to get to the floor — not having to pay salary but still having a retired players’ salary count towards cap.

Teams cannot buy out a player who is injured. If they are on the fence with a player this year and bring him back next, they run the risk of having him recovering from an injury during the 2014-15 buyout period.

Signing-bonus dollars are not subject to the buyout.

ESPN's Custance, penning an insider-only entry, noted that teams may attempt to trade some of their buy-out candidates instead of facing the embarrassment that is paying a player a lot of money to play for someone else, especially given that teams can retain up to 50% of traded players' salaries in trades--and Custance says that 48 hours after the Stanley Cup final ends, each and every team not named the Rangers and Candiens gets 2 "get out of cap jail free" cards...

The hard part is convincing ownership that it's a great idea to pay a player to play elsewhere, because in some cases these are going to be very useful players. If a guy like Brad Richards is cut loose by the compliance buyout, there will be a lineup of teams interested in the center. Richards isn't the only buyout candidate who will draw interest. That's not an easy conversation.

"Clearly, there are some teams that have to. Just looking at their cap situations, they have to," Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said. "It's one thing to say you can buy somebody out and they're off your cap but still have to write a check to them. Not every owner has the same world view of that matter. It's still real dollars. Clearly, that's an option some teams will look at strongly. Your preference is to always make hockey moves, if you can."

And that's part of the secrecy. General managers aren't going to tip their hands on buyout candidates just in case they can trade them without paying the money to cut them loose. Another highlight of the new CBA is the ability to conduct retained salary transactions, which allow teams to trade a player while retaining up to 50 percent of that player's salary on their books. Teams can have up to three players on their roster who have their salaries paid by other teams, as long as the aggregate amount of retained salary doesn't exceed $9.645 million this coming season. So the new CBA leaves other outs besides compliance buyouts, something GMs much prefer.

"If they want to do a buyout, I'm sure they'd be thrilled to do a trade before they'll do the buyout," [Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo] Kekalainen said. "Now that you can eat the money, that brings money to the picture … the economics of the cap. That's the benefit some teams can afford."

And then there is the complicated issue that is the "cap recapture" mechanism to recoup teams' savings earned via signing players to lifetime contracts. I wanted to try to explain this as Custance spends the rest of his entry discussing it...

But I'm going with bold text for a reason here: even Capgeek.com had to edit its cap recapture calculator because it didn't get the numbers completely right. With the final CBA having yet to be completed, we still don't totally understand how the "cap recapture" mechanism works, and things get really really *#$%@& complicated really really *#$%@& quickly depending on when a player who has a lifetime contract retires, as Custance noted:

[Marian] Hossa's actual salary drops to $1 million in the 2017-18 season, when Hossa will be 39. Which would make the conclusion of the 2016-17 an ideal time to retire. If he does, that means the Blackhawks would have earned a cap benefit of $17.1 million over the course of this deal. So from 2017-18 through 2020-21 Chicago would be dinged with a $4.275 million penalty each of those seasons against the salary cap. That's the cost of a top-six forward.

So, long story short, and as far as we "get it" right now, if a player retires X years before his deal ends, the rights-holder is charged the ENTIRE "cap savings" spread out over the course of those X years. I think. Because this shit's confusing Capgeek, and that's a terrifying statement to make.

But Custance believes that it's entirely possible that some of these players may be traded to teams who can more easily accommodate the "cap recapture" penalties, because a trade would spread those penalties out between the player's previous and current employer:

Now, for a player of Hossa's caliber, a trade seems much more reasonable than a compliance buyout. So let's say the Ottawa Senators come calling and want to bring Hossa back to end his career where it began. If the Senators trade for Hossa this summer and he retires after that 2016-17 season, the penalties are much more reasonable.

The Blackhawks would have received a $10.5 million benefit and would be hit with an annual cap penalty of $2.625 million and the Senators would be hit with an annual penalty of $1.65 million from 2017-18 through 2020-21, a much more manageable number when it's shared.

Now I happen to believe that the Red Wings signed Henrik Zetterberg assuming that, barring injuries, he would fulfill the vast majority of his contract, which doesn't expire until the 2020-2021 season (that's 8 more seasons for a 32-year-old), and between the fact that he's the team's captain and that he's one of the few Swedes that's at least expressed some statements regarding being happier in Detroit than enjoying David and Victoria Beckham treatment from the press in Sweden due to Mrs. Zetterberg's celebrity status....

I don't see him going anywhere regardless of when he retires.

But Franzen? I think the Free Press's Evil Drew Sharp of all people hit the nail on the head, Chicago-style, in suggesting that it is entirely possible that Franzen may not finish his career in Detroit. With seven seasons remaining on his deal and at 33 to Zetterberg's 32...And being fantastically and frustratingly inconsistent...It is entirely possible that the Wings may move him or buy him out a summer from now.

Speaking of Sharp, he'll be engaging in a chat on Freep.com at 11 AM EDT today, spending two or three questions talking about the Wings choking because that's what he believes they did before talking about whatever else has captured his short attention span.

 

 

From the CBC's Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts column...

3. Nathan Horton has 34 points in 35 playoff games. At even strength in those games, Boston is outscoring opponents 38-12 with him on the ice. The Bruins have some tough calls to make -- Patrice Bergeron will get taken care of -- but I wouldn't want to fool around with the chemistry of those forward lines.

4. Bryan Bickell's current salary is $600,000. It sounds like the Blackhawks wanted to keep him somewhere between $1.5-$2 million. Let's see: big guy who can finish in a weak free-agent year, proving he can play with good players ... yeah, it's going to go higher than that.

5. One coach before the Western final began: "Chicago: two series with almost zero travel. Minnesota did not bruise them. Detroit battled, but they don't beat you up. Los Angeles: one long travel series, two opponents who take a lot out of you. A four-hour flight on short rest leading to a back-to-back. The Blackhawks need to own those games." I called him to tell him how smart he looked so far. His reply: "It will be different in L.A."

Henrik Zetterberg's stick and Jonathan Toews' pork chop-faced sideburns would disagree.

7. It would be a surprise if the Dallas Stars hired a new guy before Grand Rapids is eliminated from the AHL playoffs. Stars general manager Jim Nill and Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill have a history and a mutual respect. It doesn't mean Blashill is the favourite, but it would be a surprise if there wasn't a conversation over coffee and bonbons. Grand Rapids leads the Western Conference Final 3-2 over Oklahoma City.

Me no likey. Nill did tell NHL.com's Steve Hunt that he "won't rush" his coaching-hiring decision while attending the NHL's draft combine.

29. About two months ago, one GM made a prediction that Detroit will go to Pavel Datsyuk and say, "Pavel, one year from now, you'll be 36. You're in great shape. You can play in Russia at 38. Or 40. You'll regret it if you leave here too soon." Sounds like he was right.

Or 40. Or 42. Or never.

 

 

In terms of what Ken Holland spent Tuesday discussing...

The NHL's competition committee decided to:

1. Grandfather in visor usage for players who begin playing in the NHL in the 2013-2014 season and beyond--though players with visors will no longer be penalized for starting fights;

2. To at least give hybrid icing a trial run during the 2013-2014 season's training camps and exhibition games;

3. To shrink the depth of the bottom of nets by 4 inches;

4. To review all 4-minute high-sticking penalties by video from the "War Room" in Toronto;

5. They're nixing the, "Well, that pass could have been touched, so it's no icing" discretionary call from the linesmen's rulebook;

6. And goaltending equipment is going to be both tweaked and goaltending equipment cheaters may be publicly named and fined--and Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reports that both skaters and goalies' equipment will be reviewed and "standardized" by a to-be-established review committee;

The Canadian Press, the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle, the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby (with lots of waffling from Colin Campbell), the Associated Press, NHL.com's Mike Brophy, Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney and the Sporting News's Sean Gentile all weigh in...And Sportsline's Adam Gretz and Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford point us toward InGoal Magazine's Kevin Woodley, who reports that--at least initially, anyway--the competition committee made a pretty radical proposal (emphasis on *proposal*):

InGoal Magazine has learned the NHL plans to present more than one option to reduce the height of the pads, but both are expected to include a significant downsizing:

1. Continued use of the individual sizing chart, but with a reduction in the thigh rise from 55 per cent of each goalie’s measurement from the knee to hip, down to 40 per cent. The NHL targeted a 50 per cent maximum eight years ago, but it was negotiated up to 55 per cent by the NHLPA. Given the average total measurement in the League is around 20 inches, a 15 per cent reduction would equate to three lost inches in pad height. Of course that is three inches per pad, and given most goalies use the top of these pads to close the 5-hole when they are down on the ice, that could mean an additional six-inch opening.

2. A fixed maximum for every goalie above the knee, likely between seven and eight inches. This would eliminate the sizing chart for thigh rise, and instead fix a maximum height for every goalie’s pad above the knee. Using the average 20-inch knee-to-hip measurement, an eight-inch maximum would be the same as a 40 per cent maximum.

While abandoning even a portion of a sizing chart the NHL fought so hard to get may surprise some, the reality is establishing pad height based on a standing goaltender has little to do with how it is used on the ice. Goaltenders don’t use extra height above the knee to protect their thighs while standing, they use it to wrap around in front of them when they drop into the butterfly, protecting the knees and closing the 5-hole.

How much extra pad each individual goalie needs to establish that seal depends more on the width, or flare, of their butterfly – in other words, how wide they can spread their legs to the side when on their knees – than their standing height. If a goalie can flare their legs out wide, it won’t take much extra thigh rise to close the 5-hole. Those with a narrower butterfly sometimes need longer pads above the knee to wrap around and close it off.

The question now is whether they believe that 5-hole seal is needed for safety?

Woodley continues at significant length, no pun intended, and let's just say that if goalies ain't cheatin,' they ain't tryin,' and they're cheatin' like mad.

 

 

Also of Red Wings-related note:

Update: If you find yourself in Malmo, Sweden in August, Expressen's Alf Karlsson reports that Gustav Nyquist, Phoenix's Mikkel Boedeker, Dallas's Christopher Nihlstorp, Edmonton's Magnus Paajarvi and Boston's Carl Sodeberg will train with the Malmo Redhawks.

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Comments

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Bugsy's avatar

NBC noted Bickell’s shooting percentage career is under 13%, playoffs 25%, so is this a trend or a blip? 3 mill at least at age 27?
Horton has missed a number of games 3 of the last 5 years, looking at his profile and that he earned 5.5 mill THIS year. How much is too high? 28 y/o
Reading some of the Jersey fans’ comments, most want Clarkson to stay, but same worry about overpaying him. He was paid 3 mill this year. 29 y/o.
Ryan Clowe’s struggles worth the risk? $4 mill. at 30 y/o

Do you suppose whether Blashill leaves is related to how much further the Griffins advance?

Posted by Bugsy on 06/05/13 at 05:52 AM ET

Bugsy's avatar

The more I think about it, George, do you think they’ll have to shell out 5 million/year to get one of the top power forwards??

Posted by Bugsy on 06/05/13 at 06:20 AM ET

Avatar

If Detroit wants a legit top line player, 5 mil a year is the LEAST they’d possibly have to pay.

If one presumes for the moment that Fil is gone, Tatar will come up, and both Sammy and Bert will be healthy (er) next year, I’m not certain forward is where I’d focus my cap dollars on.

That said, I think Detroit would be best off looking at a Cleary-esque reclamation project rather than trying to buy high in a thinnish UFA forward market.

My pick?  Throw a 2-3 year 3 mil per season offer at Dustin Penner.  I don’t think he’s going to get offers much bigger than that, and the price isn’t so bad that if he flames completely out he’s a total waste as a 3rd line guy to throw out there for sheer size on a line with Bert.

Considering Helm may be on IR forever, that 2.1ish mil deal negates most of what Penner would make.  That’s the kind of deal Holland and Babcock would have to suss out up close, though.  If the think Penner’s a cancer or a quitter, they’ll (rightly) stay far away.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/05/13 at 07:40 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

But Franzen? I think the Free Press’s Evil Drew Sharp of all people hit the nail on the head, Chicago-style, in suggesting that it is entirely possible that Franzen may not finish his career in Detroit. With seven seasons remaining on his deal and at 33 to Zetterberg’s 32…And being fantastically and frustratingly inconsistent…It is entirely possible that the Wings may move him or buy him out a summer from now.

The thought of this makes me really happy. Like I’ve said many times before and will say many times more: I like his cap hit but hate the length.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/05/13 at 08:07 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

They’ll “test” hybrid icing in the preseason, sigh. They’ll not penalize those that start fights for now on wearing a visor though it is quite easy to mangle your knuckles and fingers and thumb punching a visor. How many more players going for a icing need to be injured before they install hybrid icing since any kind of holding of the opposing player by the defenseman’s partner will be called so instead he stands and watches his defensive partner get crushed by a player that skated about the whole length of the ice in an attempt to “negate a icing, pfft.
GREAT news about the war room reviewing those all important 4 minute penalties!!!!!
Hate to see those “intent to blow” goals reviewed and for the war room to actually overturn a refs call allowing a goal because that would be insane. Can’t have those refs or linesman look bad, lol.
The Sabres are a mess. Maybe Holland can wheel a deal to aquire one of their players or sign someone decent. Figure that org is in such bad shape they’ll be willing to make some moves.
Enjoying watching Livonia’s Krug shine for the Bruins against the hated pens

cool smile

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 06/05/13 at 08:31 AM ET

Avatar

These people who talk about buying out Franzen… I mean, come on.  He’s not even underperforming on the dollars of his deal, much less the cap hit of his deal.  It not only isn’t “entirely possible that the Wings may move him or buy him out a summer from now”, it’s such a vanishingly remote chance it’s silly to even mention it.

Seriously, this past year Franzen was 28 goal, 60+ point pace player as a 6’3” forward who can also play a little center.  Why people feel like they have to hate a guy like that I’ll never quite figure out, considering that same person would do a freaking cartwheel if Detroit spent 5 mil a year to bring in… a 28 goal 60+ point a year big-bodied forward.

The past 5 years Franzen has put up 115 goals and 107 assists in 292 games, which is roughly 32 goals and 32 assists every 82 games played.  It’s not like he hasn’t produced, and produced a lot, when he’s been out there.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/05/13 at 08:33 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/05/13 at 08:33 AM ET

Ummm…. he’s signed through 2020

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/05/13 at 08:52 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/05/13 at 08:33 AM ET

I agree with you here HD.  People get frustrated with Franzen because he’s streaky.  I’m one of them.  But the numbers bear him out.  There’s only been two years since 2009 that Hossa out performed Franzen, throw some injuries in there… and you see pretty quick that the Wings are getting similar bang for a lot less buck.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/05/13 at 09:00 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Hossa out performed Franzen, throw some injuries in there… and you see pretty quick that the Wings are getting similar bang for a lot less buck.

Its when he provides the bang for said buck that irritates me. So he can score left and right against the Dive in January or some other less than meaningful regular season game. If he was dumping the puck in the net during the playoffs like the Mule of old, it’d be easier to deal with.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 06/05/13 at 09:03 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Enjoying watching Livonia’s Krug shine for the Bruins against the hated pens

He hasn’t made a single mistake yet.  Let’s see how his game holds up once he makes that first crucial mistake.  Not that I"m looking for it; it’s just that he is a rookie.

RE: Blashill.  I thought the Wings were grooming him to take over Babcock’s spot when Mike calls it quits in a few years?

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/05/13 at 09:28 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Well George, don’t forget that aside from east-siders and west-siders, there’s that whole central section of the state too.  wink  To be brutally honest, the Red Wings org often doesn’t seem to remember that, or that they are supported the way they are because of the whole state (and then some), not just a small metro area.


RE: Fil… I don’t think “potential” is a thing with him anymore.  He’s 29 and will be 30 before the end of next season.  “Potential” passed by some time ago, I’m afraid… I realize every so often 1 out of every what 100 guys is a late enough bloomer to apply, but… Fil is what he is at this point..

Its when he provides the bang for said buck that irritates me. So he can score left and right against the Dive in January or some other less than meaningful regular season game. If he was dumping the puck in the net during the playoffs like the Mule of old, it’d be easier to deal with.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 06/05/13 at 09:03 AM ET

Franzen finished tied for second on the team in playoff goal-scoring (4), tied with Z who people were raving about) and Cleary (!!!).  I did some quick, dirty math and I came up with his playoff scoring pace projected over 82 games as being about 24 Goals.  Down from his reliably-floating-around-30/year reg. season pace?  Yes, but not a ton.

Pavels playoff scoring projected over 82 games was about 18 goals. Z’s was same as Franzen’s:  about 24.  Kronwall’s was 0 for 82 games of course.  Fil’s was 12 goals.

Again:  perspective.  If we want to say most of the entire team didn’t score enough, I’d agree with you.  You can’t really single out Franzen for it though, and the only guys who shouldn’t get any of the blame for lack of production are probably Brunner, Cleary, and Abdelkader.  If we’re being brutally honest here though, you’ve got to look at Pavel, Z, and Kronwall first and foremost.

Posted by Primis on 06/05/13 at 09:45 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

if you don’t understand why people want Franzen gone, then maybe you should…I don’t know….watch the games instead of relying on stats.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/05/13 at 09:49 AM ET

Avatar

Franzen is a second line forward playing on the first line. That’s the frustrating part for me. His best season came while on the second line on a very deep team that was scoring up and down the roster. The following season looked like he had a confidence boost and was on pace to have an even better year…but something has changed.

I agree that he is frustrating to watch and have, at times, felt the team is better without him….unless, he can be moved back to the second line with the addition of a legit scoring threat on the first line to take the pressure off him.

He is not Hossa by a long shot. Hossa, though injury prone, has put up equal or better numbers than Franzen in fewer games each season since Franzen’s “breakout”.

I’m with Vlad..16 on this issue. It’s a long term question. His cap hit will soon become larger than it feels when he’s 38-40, especially if he isn’t producing consistently. Maybe his late start joining the NHL will help lengthen his career and we all will feel stupid second guessing him, but how many NHL players have succeeded that late in their career….I can think of only a handfull out of thousands of players.

Best case scenario is that Franzen would be producing like Bertuzzi is now. Would you be happy with an almost $4 mil. cap hit on 35-40 points per season? or, extrapolating Bert’s point this season, 26 point? That doesn’t make me excited about his future on the team. Of course, he could be traded in the future, but under what circumstances?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 06/05/13 at 09:52 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I’m with Vlad..16 on this issue. It’s a long term question. His cap hit will soon become larger than it feels when he’s 38-40, especially if he isn’t producing consistently. Maybe his late start joining the NHL will help lengthen his career and we all will feel stupid second guessing him, but how many NHL players have succeeded that late in their career….I can think of only a handfull out of thousands of players.

Every time I bring up the fact that I hate the length and not the hit people just ignore that and start dropping his stats and talk aboot how awesome his cap hit is. Yeah, it’s awesome for the next couple years but after that? Not so much and there’s a lot of “after that”.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/05/13 at 10:16 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

If a Yooper and a West-Sider were to get into an argument as to which person was ignored by the other 2/3rds of the state of Michigan more, they would come to the same conclusion: nobody from Metro Detroit cares about them.

As someone who has lived his entire life in either Grand Rapids or Kalamaoo, I can assure you that no one on this side of the state cares about Detroit either. LOL

As for Franzen, doesn’t he have a no-trade clause? If he does, he might okay a trade to a top-tier team, but I can’t see him ever okaying a trade to the kind of bottom-tier team that might want to take advantage of the cap recapture feature in order to get to the cap floor.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/05/13 at 10:50 AM ET

Avatar

I know it could be a big ‘if’, but if the cap continues to go up at anything near he rate it has, at the end of his contract Franzen STILL won’t be crazy overpaid. 

More than that, barring a giant meltdown this coming season, we will again probably score 25-30 goals, and how can one possibly justify buying that out, and paying him $11m or whatever it is to play against them simply because he might no longer be a bargain when he’s 39?

As for Franzen, doesn’t he have a no-trade clause?

Cap geek has nothing about an NTC?

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 11:21 AM ET

awould's avatar

1. Streit’s plus-minus has taken a nosedive since his injury. On the best Islanders team in a decade, he posted a -14 in a shortened season. Not the only measure of a D-man, especially one w/ offensive skills, but compared to this career, it is noticeable. I wouldn’t pay that much for a guy his age with that plus-minus. And I hope Holland agrees.

2. Franzen. Ugh. In my opinion, there is no valid argument against the fact that his stats justify his salary and cap hit. His numbers are fine compared to the league for his money. They’re not super great but they’re ok. Compared to his potential, they suck. His streakiness bothers me, and everybody else. The length of the contract bothers me now because the cap hit won’t go away if he retires. Before it didn’t matter so I didn’t care, assumed he’d retire before it became a problem. However, arguing that his cap hit in 4 years will be out of whack with his production is ignoring the probability that salaries will be up across the board so maybe $3.5MM per for Bertuzzi numbers won’t be so terrible. Still, I’d be ok w/ a compliance buyout, or better yet a trade.

Posted by awould on 06/05/13 at 11:22 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Every time I bring up the fact that I hate the length and not the hit people just ignore that and start dropping his stats and talk aboot how awesome his cap hit is. Yeah, it’s awesome for the next couple years but after that? Not so much and there’s a lot of “after that”.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/05/13 at 10:16 AM ET

Because you guys are complaining about him and what he does/did NOW… The “contract length” argument has then become a fallback crutch for when you complain about what he does or is doing *now* and anyone challenges that.

Complaining about the Now and then citing that it’s not *really* about the now but “the future” is stupid.  You’re not complaining about him scoring next season or playoffs, you’re complaining about him not scoring enough NOW to your liking.

I don’t have any clue if he’ll be worth it years down the road, honestly.  I do know that at the caphit he has now, for his production, he’s a bargain and the Wings would be totally and completely f*cked without his scoring because it’s not like anyone else on the roster is apparently capable of magically scoring more.  But when it comes down to it, that’s not what people are complaining about when they cite “contract length”.

If you don’t like stats not bearing out your current gripe, that’s fine, but at least have the balls to stop trying to repackage the Franzen hatred *now* as some sort of future-thing bullsh*t.


And re: the long contract again, none of you have any gripe with the length if you don’t then also have a gripe with Z’s, which runs one year longer than Franzen’s and otherwise tapers off in the exact same fashion at the end as Franzen’s.

What’s that you say?  Franzen makes $5m/yr actual salary in the front?  Yes, he does.  Do you know what Z is making now actual salary?  $7.75m/yr.  In both Franzen and Z’s cases, the wage tapers off at the end.

Franzen lowers from $5m to $3.5m in 16-17, $2m in 17-18, and $1m in 18-19 and 19-20.

Zetterberg’s lowers from $7.75m to $3.35m in 18-19, then $1m in 19-20 and 20-21.

Yes boys and girls, Z is getting paid $7.75m/yr actual wage right now for being a 20-goal scorer.  Z is being paid $7.75m/yr for scoring in one playoff series and then not scoring in the next.  Oh but wait it’s Z and we like him, and he wears the “C” so, we can’t possibly bring him up or criticize him even though his offensive production doesn’t at all justify *his* long-term, high-dollar contract.  And we can’t ever possibly lay any of the blame for DET’s lack of goal-scoring at his apparently-holy feet.

if you don’t understand why people want Franzen gone, then maybe you should…I don’t know….watch the games instead of relying on stats.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/05/13 at 09:49 AM ET

And maybe you should try watching games sober, because there’s a hell of a lot more going on out there that makes me scratch my head than Franzen.

Watch how many times a guy like Z shoots completely wide of the net like he’s been taking lessons from Samuelsson (Z’s shooting percentage is abysmal for the ones he gets on-net too)... or that he carries the puck into the zone, cuts towards the net, and then goes behind trying to wrap-around (which is exactly what defenses predict from him now and have a plan to generally shut down—it’s become his one and only move anymore for whatever reason and if often results in a turnover).  Watch the number of weak, hopeless shots Z takes on the goalie from the blueline that result in a usually-needless stoppage.

Watch the times when Pavel could take a good shot but makes the extra pass for what COULD be an even-higher percentage chance save for the fact the pass recipient is likely to bungle it and scoring chance is lost.  Watch the scoring chances he *does* get that he used to sneak over or through that for some reason he now rarely does.

Watch Kronwall (who normally would love to cheat down into the slot or circles for shots) have to hang back and basically not provide any offense at all because he has 4830489324 defensive responsibilities he’s now having to worry about because there’s basically nobody on the DET blueline with any experience or clue what they’re doing.

Watch all of that and then maybe have a better idea why DET has struggled to score.


All of you trying to somehow distill the Wings’ failures into blame for one Johan Franzen really need to just give it up already.  This isn’t Robert Lang who had proven he was capable of *far* more production and was just plain old and lazy, or Jiri Hudler who should have been a 20-goal guy from the get-go but couldn’t get over his own mental hurdles.


If you guys don’t like facts, stats, numbers, whatever not backing up your arguments, maybe you need to re-assess your argument.  That’s what you’d be told in absolutely any other arena in life.  Just sayin’...

 

ASIDE: Is there some particular reason that the U or UNDERLINE tags no longer work on here and only result in Italicizing?  U emphasizes, and so does EM and I it seems…

Posted by Primis on 06/05/13 at 11:30 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by Primis on 06/05/13 at 11:30 AM ET

Hey! Calm the *#$%@& down.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/05/13 at 11:42 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

The “contract length” argument has then become a fallback crutch

Posted by Primis on 06/05/13 at 11:30 AM ET

Not for me it hasn’t. That’s been my main argument all along. Franzen is absolutely worth what he’s making now. He’s probably outperforming his hit. He’ll probably outperform his hit next year too. I’ve never, ever denied that.

But as someone said above, I hope you’re OK with essentially paying Todd Bertuzzi, version 37/38, $4 million a year for 5 years, because that’s pretty much how Franzen is trending.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 06/05/13 at 11:49 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I would kindly like to ask all involved in discussion to please take a chill pill. Disagreements do not reflect the size of one’s genitals or the lack thereof, nor do dissenting opinions indicate the inability of one side to perceive reality as it “really is.”

I know that we are dealing with a period of time in which not very much is actually going to happen for at least another 2-3 weeks, and in the interim, we are stuck feeling rather powerless as fans, more or less having to sit upon the spiked fence posts that are Babcock and Holland’s end-of-season remarks (with Babcock preaching change and Holland insisting that staying the course and sticking with what he’s got is how he’s gonna roll, as we hear them suggest each and every spring)...

But our spirited disagreements as to the worth, value and/or merit of players taking up spots on the Red Wings’ roster need not dissolve into name-calling or out-and-out arguing. Passionate debate is not devoid of respect for the other side’s point of view, even if we think that the other side’s point of view is a little loony.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/05/13 at 11:51 AM ET

Avatar

Yes boys and girls, Z is getting paid $7.75m/yr actual wage right now for being a 20-goal scorer.  Z is being paid $7.75m/yr for scoring in one playoff series and then not scoring in the next.  Oh but wait it’s Z and we like him, and he wears the “C” so, we can’t possibly bring him up or criticize him even though his offensive production doesn’t at all justify *his* long-term, high-dollar contract.  And we can’t ever possibly lay any of the blame for DET’s lack of goal-scoring at his apparently-holy feet.

And this is where YOUR argument falls apart.  If you would shut the f*ck up about Z, you might be able to make your point better.  This is where you look like an idiot for comparing what Franzen does to what Zetterberg does. 

Yes, he made $7.75M (and seriously, why the f*ck does anyone care about the actual dollars coming out of Mr Illitch’s pockets when the only thing that matters against the cap is his cap hit) and all he did was score more than a point per game in the regular season and follow that up by leading his team in points during the playoffs while shutting down Anaheim’s best players and then shutting down Chicago’s best player.

And hell, if you want to bitch about his real salary, then he had the 17th highest salary in the NHL and tied for the 13th most points in the regular season, never mind his defensive play and nevermind the intangibles he brings as the captain.  What a loser, right?

Yes boys and girls, Z is getting paid $7.75m/yr actual wage right now for being a 20-goal scorer.  Z is being paid $7.75m/yr for scoring in one playoff series and then not scoring in the next.  Oh but wait it’s Z and we like him, and he wears the “C” so, we can’t possibly bring him up or criticize him even though his offensive production doesn’t at all justify *his* long-term, high-dollar contract.  And we can’t ever possibly lay any of the blame for DET’s lack of goal-scoring at his apparently-holy feet.

And this is where YOUR argument falls apart.  If you would shut the f*ck up about Z, you might be able to make your point better.  This is where you look like an idiot for comparing what Franzen does to what Zetterberg does. 

Yes, he made $7.75M (and seriously, why the f*ck does anyone care about the actual dollars coming out of Mr Illitch’s pockets when the only thing that matters against the cap is his cap hit) and all he did was score more than a point per game in the regular season and follow that up by leading his team in points during the playoffs while shutting down Anaheim’s best players and then shutting down Chicago’s best player.

And hell, if you want to bitch about his real salary, then he had the 17th highest salary in the NHL and tied for the 13th most points in the regular season, never mind his defensive play and nevermind the intangibles he brings as the captain.  What a loser, right?

The problem with that argument is you’re making the assumption that a $4M cap hit this year is anything like what it will be in 2020.  If something happens to the league financially and the cap starts (organically) going down then there’s going to be a lot more to worry about than just Franzen’s cap hit whereas if it continues to go up at any kind of rate like we’ve seen, his $4M cap hit in 2019 could be a bargain compared to what Detroit paid Sammy or Bert his year.

And if they are/were ever going to buy him out, why not wait until his production does stop and then you can buy him out for less than they’re buying him out for now and have a smaller cap hit than they would if he retires when he’s 38?

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 11:55 AM ET

Avatar

What the hell happened with my quotes?  Ah hell…

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 11:56 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Something weird is going on with the HTML tags. I blame Franzen.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 06/05/13 at 11:59 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

But our spirited disagreements as to the worth, value and/or merit of players taking up spots on the Red Wings’ roster need not dissolve into name-calling or out-and-out arguing. Passionate debate is not devoid of respect for the other side’s point of view, even if we think that the other side’s point of view is a little loony.
Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/05/13 at 11:51 AM ET

Exactly. There’s too many tough guys on the interwebs. They’s not so tough in person tongue wink

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/05/13 at 12:00 PM ET

Avatar

Something weird is going on with the HTML tags. I blame Franzen.

I’ve changed my mind.  Buy him out.

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 12:04 PM ET

awould's avatar

Something weird is going on with the HTML tags. I blame Franzen.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 06/05/13 at 11:59 AM ET

I blame George. For his cap hit, his words per page is great. But his actual salary? Not so much. Plus, he’s prone to posting auto-play videos and then misses out on some great tweets in the playoffs.

Posted by awould on 06/05/13 at 12:06 PM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

The reason why stats don’t always tell the whole story: players contribute in different ways other than lighting the lamp.  Case in point: there’s been some comparison between Mule and Z. Sure, Z didn’t exactly wear holes in the back of the net, but he did damn near everything else perfectly, while facing tough competition. His defense was crucial and there is no denying his extrastatistical contributions.

Mule, on the other hand? Basically just a liability. When he’s not scoring, crashing the net, retrieving pucks, and generating chances - he’s usually standing around waiting for his shift to be over so he can listlessly meander back to the bench. Consider the series with the Hawks. They double teamed Pasha to no end. Theoretically, that should open up a bit of space for Mule to get in there and make something happen. Instead, it basically just led to the top lines cancelling each other out.

When Mule is on - the Wings click. It’s the best argument for why we need another top 6 scoring forward. When he’s scoring, we have one. All too often, however, he’s not and we don’t.

He may be a decent value now, but he won’t be forever. For now, the best argument to shedding his contract is the future liability, and the fact that he may take up space for more consistent/more reliable players. The latter only really plays out if there’s someone else to be had. I don’t think that’s the case with 2013 UFAs, but the 2014 class is a different story.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 06/05/13 at 12:11 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

but the 2014 class is a different story.
Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 06/05/13 at 12:11 PM ET

Here’s hoping Vanek doesn’t re-sign beofre then and Holland scoops him up. That would be the cat’s pajamas

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/05/13 at 12:19 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

And maybe you should try watching games sober, because there’s a hell of a lot more going on out there that makes me scratch my head than Franzen.

and what do ANY of those things have to do with Franzen, Primis?  seems to me like this is nothing more than a deflection, as it did not address my point and just gave you a way to go on talking about other things - which is fine, but irrelevant.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/05/13 at 12:25 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

  I do know that at the caphit he has now, for his production, he’s a bargain

if all we care about is the regular season, sure.

and the Wings would be totally and completely f*cked without his scoring because it’s not like anyone else on the roster is apparently capable of magically scoring more

really?  whose spot is Franzen taking that you know wouldn’t produce more, for less money?  everyone said Abdelkader didn’t belong on the first line, getting first line minutes, playing with the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg.  yet what happened?  it worked and he produced and was one of our top players.  I wonder what would happen if someone like Nyquist or Brunner were given the kind of minutes Franzen gets…

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/05/13 at 12:27 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Yes boys and girls, Z is getting paid $7.75m/yr actual wage right now for being a 20-goal scorer. 

and now we’re back to my original point…if you think goal scoring is all anyone here is talking about with respect to Franzen, then you have no clue what we’re talking about.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/05/13 at 12:29 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Watch how many times a guy like Z shoots completely wide of the net like he’s been taking lessons from Samuelsson (Z’s shooting percentage is abysmal for the ones he gets on-net too)... or that he carries the puck into the zone, cuts towards the net, and then goes behind trying to wrap-around (which is exactly what defenses predict from him now and have a plan to generally shut down—it’s become his one and only move anymore for whatever reason and if often results in a turnover).  Watch the number of weak, hopeless shots Z takes on the goalie from the blueline that result in a usually-needless stoppage.

Posted by Primis on 06/05/13 at 11:30 AM ET

Don’t forget about his signature off-angle-shot-from-the-goal line…

I’m glad to see someone else saying this.  I can’t question Z’s work ethic, but without the services of Val Filpulla, Z would be the most predictable puck handler on the team.  More often than not when Z has the puck going into the zone the team is contained along the boards, back pedaling to get back onside, or back on defense.  Not to mention any defender will let Z shoot from his favorite spots all day, because they usually end up as turnovers.  I find those habits far more agitating than any aspect of Franzen’s game.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/05/13 at 12:30 PM ET

Avatar

These people who talk about buying out Franzen… I mean, come on.  He’s not even underperforming on the dollars of his deal, much less the cap hit of his deal.  It not only isn’t “entirely possible that the Wings may move him or buy him out a summer from now”, it’s such a vanishingly remote chance it’s silly to even mention it.

Seriously, this past year Franzen was 28 goal, 60+ point pace player as a 6’3” forward who can also play a little center.  Why people feel like they have to hate a guy like that I’ll never quite figure out, considering that same person would do a freaking cartwheel if Detroit spent 5 mil a year to bring in… a 28 goal 60+ point a year big-bodied forward.

Because a big bodied forward actually can play, you know, big.  Franzen is invisible.  If Franzen was a physical force, hitting and stirring up bad intentions I would have no issues with either his contract or his scoring, he doesn’t.  Franzen might as well be Jiri Hudler for all he uses his size for.  So assuming that when you sign a guy who has the same measurements as Franzen, yes you expect that they bring some nasty and attitude with it.

Posted by bababooey on 06/05/13 at 12:32 PM ET

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So assuming that when you sign a guy who has the same measurements as Franzen, yes you expect that they bring some nasty and attitude with it.

If you expect him to be nasty just because he’s big then you’re a pretty awful scout.

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 12:39 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

If you expect him to be nasty just because he’s big then you’re a pretty awful scout.

I don’t know if the word nasty is appropriate, but the point was made that he might as well be Hudler’s size because Franzen doesn’t use his size at all.  he has turned into a loafer.  this has been the complaint for the last 2-3 seasons.  like Filpulla he had ONE brilliant “look at my potential” season/playoffs…and since then he has been mediocre.

he has the size, there is nothing wrong with expecting him to USE IT.  that is, after all, how he got the nickname MULE.  from one season of using his size.  since then?  he hasn’t.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 06/05/13 at 12:48 PM ET

Avatar

he has the size, there is nothing wrong with expecting him to USE IT.  that is, after all, how he got the nickname MULE.  from one season of using his size.  since then?  he hasn’t.

But if he doesn’t use it an consistently doesn’t use it then there MIGHT BE something wrong with expecting him to use it.

If he only used it for one season then maybe, like Filppula’s 11-12 season, it’s time to realize that was an aberration.

As for his hockey skills though, he’s still a 25-30 goal scorer and $4M is not a lot at all to pay for that, whether or not he’s physical or consistent.

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 01:01 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Not for me it hasn’t. That’s been my main argument all along. Franzen is absolutely worth what he’s making now. He’s probably outperforming his hit. He’ll probably outperform his hit next year too. I’ve never, ever denied that.

But as someone said above, I hope you’re OK with essentially paying Todd Bertuzzi, version 37/38, $4 million a year for 5 years, because that’s pretty much how Franzen is trending.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 06/05/13 at 11:49 AM ET

Not EVERYONE is even bashing Franzen, or for the same reasons.  Some are only questioning the length, and I can totally understand that.  I’m not wrong though, the battle cry this season especially has been “God I hate how Franzen isn’t scoring 3 times a game, but I’m going to then say it’s his contract length if anyone calls me on it”.

I don’t know who posted it above (I can’t find it) but said Franzen is basically a 2nd line scorer, getting paid like a good second line scorer, having to play top line situaitons, minutes, and time because for some reason Ken Holland hasn’t found another top-liner.  That’s bang-on, and that’s not Franzen’s fault, that’s Holland’s.

If Franzen were making Datsyuk or Z money, it’d be TOTALLY different.  Holland did not ink him as a 40 goal guy, or else he’d have gotten more money.  He’s not.  Z *was* signed after a 40-goal campaign, thus his price.

And this is where YOUR argument falls apart.  If you would shut the f*ck up about Z, you might be able to make your point better.  This is where you look like an idiot for comparing what Franzen does to what Zetterberg does.

Yes, he made $7.75M (and seriously, why the f*ck does anyone care about the actual dollars coming out of Mr Illitch’s pockets when the only thing that matters against the cap is his cap hit) and all he did was score more than a point per game in the regular season and follow that up by leading his team in points during the playoffs while shutting down Anaheim’s best players and then shutting down Chicago’s best player.

And hell, if you want to bitch about his real salary, then he had the 17th highest salary in the NHL and tied for the 13th most points in the regular season, never mind his defensive play and nevermind the intangibles he brings as the captain.  What a loser, right?

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 11:55 AM ET

Z still *has* to score.  Has to.  There is no amount of checking he can do on this team that can make up for that.  You guys all laugh when Doan gets $6-7m/yr for not scoring and being a checker.  Well guess what:  the Wings are doing the same for Z.  Let that sink in.  You win by scoring goals.  20 goals does not, and will not, cut it.

And I’m not the one who has been also falling to the “actual salary” argument.  Every time Franzen’s low cap hit gets brought up, someone brings up that his actual salary is more.  That’s the only reason I’ve brought it all up, to squash it and show how similar Z and Franzen’s contracts are.

People say “Franzen scored in the ANA series, but not in the CHI and DET lost”.  Guess what, so did Z.  It sucks, but it’s the truth.

The problem with that argument is you’re making the assumption that a $4M cap hit this year is anything like what it will be in 2020.  If something happens to the league financially and the cap starts (organically) going down then there’s going to be a lot more to worry about than just Franzen’s cap hit whereas if it continues to go up at any kind of rate like we’ve seen, his $4M cap hit in 2019 could be a bargain compared to what Detroit paid Sammy or Bert his year.

And pray-tell, under your scenario what exactly happens with Z’s contract?  Franzen is the least of DET’s problems then, right?

Exactly.  Again, you want to separate Z and Franzen’s contracts even though they’re basically the same.  If you want to know why Z and Franzen are brought up together, that’s why.  It’s the elephant (or giant squid, ala Family Guy) in the room.

What the hell happened with my quotes?  Ah hell…

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 11:56 AM ET

As I pointed out, something is really weird /broken with the posting tags.  I’ts been a little weird for a while but now seems to be getting worse.  I think an update to the site’s back-end CMS at some point may have screwed up the BB and HTML tags, because they at one point were working fine.  I’ve even seen some cross-posting happen form time-to-time, which should never, ever happen given the SQL DB’s (assuming KK still runs on ExpressionEngine or a derivative of it).

The reason why stats don’t always tell the whole story: players contribute in different ways other than lighting the lamp.  Case in point: there’s been some comparison between Mule and Z. Sure, Z didn’t exactly wear holes in the back of the net, but he did damn near everything else perfectly, while facing tough competition. His defense was crucial and there is no denying his extrastatistical contributions.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 06/05/13 at 12:11 PM ET

No doubt he does a lot in both ends.

You win by scoring goals though, and Z, aside from the last few games of reg. season and ANA series, didn’t and doesn’t for some reason.  DET did a decent job not allowing goals against (most of that is Jimmy honestly), but was terrible scoring goals themselves.  In that kind of scenario, defensive prowess isn’t as valuable.  Someone needs to put the puck in the back of the net.

As I stated, it’s not all on Z either.  There are others not producing enough, probably including Pavel.  But as I said, Z is the one with a Franzen-length contract structured basically the exact same way. and still has a higher cap hit.  Comparisons are inevitable.

He may be a decent value now, but he won’t be forever. For now, the best argument to shedding his contract is the future liability, and the fact that he may take up space for more consistent/more reliable players.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 06/05/13 at 12:11 PM ET

Again, as I told Garth, what does that mean for Z then?  Z’s contract is on the books a year after Franzen’s expires even?  Why is one contract of such critical concern that we have to act and buy it out NOW, but the other is no biggie?  Makes no sense does it?  What If’s don’t just apply to one player in a bubble…

I *know* you guys hate the Z comparison, and that’s kinda’ my whole point in doing it.  There’s a lot of thinking with your heart and not with your head when it comes to Franzen.  People aren’t willing to apply the same success/failure criteria to Z as they are Franzen, and it results in Franzen getting shafted in opinion usually and Z being mostly-unscathed, and it runs counter to the logic of the usual argument you should expect more for more money.

I don’t want to get rid of Z.  I like Z.  The Wings cannot and will not win without him scoring more though, plain and simple.  Otherwise the Z-Dats-Mule is nothing more than Datsyuk, a set-up man (which kinda’ duplicates Pavel’s skillset already if you subscribe to the “Z Is a Setup Man Now” theory) checker, and a 2nd line scorer on the 1st line.

But our spirited disagreements as to the worth, value and/or merit of players taking up spots on the Red Wings’ roster need not dissolve into name-calling or out-and-out arguing. Passionate debate is not devoid of respect for the other side’s point of view, even if we think that the other side’s point of view is a little loony.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/05/13 at 11:51 AM ET

You know what, you’re right.  I’m grumpy today.  Not a good day so far, and it started way too early to boot.  So yes, I’m probably being a bit harsher than laid-back.  We only have two 30-goal guys on the team though right now (and no 40 or 50), and it sometimes boils my blood when people constantly talk about buying out one of them when we spent all playoffs struggling to score as it was.

My only consolation is that Ken Holland, when asked about buying out Franzen, seemed surprised as if the very idea never even occurred to him.  Holland doesn’t need to buy out Franzen, he needs to get another scorer.  Unfortunately, there are no worthy UFA scorers on the upcoming market.  Lots of 2nd and 3rd line scorers, and that’s it.

Posted by Primis on 06/05/13 at 01:05 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Jesus that last post ended up as a wall of text.  Didn’t realize it had gotten that big.

Posted by Primis on 06/05/13 at 01:09 PM ET

Avatar

I *know* you guys hate the Z comparison

Yeah, because there IS NO COMPARISON.

Posted by Garth on 06/05/13 at 01:14 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.