Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: ‘tidbits,’ Stralman, words of caution and draft talk

This time of year isn't exactly delightful for those of us who are "on watch" for actual news. Depending on the day, mid-June's feast-or-famine, and over the course of the last 24 hours, I've accumulated a significant amount of disparate "tidbits," but that's all I can really call them.

The audience has spoken--or not spoken--about interest in the brewing war of words between Slava Fetisov and Vladislav Tretiak ahead of the Russian Hockey Federation's elections on June 18th, but the usual level of arguing in the comments section's increased, so that suggests that y'all need something to chew on. As such:

For the record, the Rangers' win on Wednesday did allow the Wings to hold on to a Stanley Cup Final record, per from the Sports Network's Dan Di Scullo:

After watching two goals hit off his own players before beating him on Monday, Lundqvist and the Rangers had the bounces on their side in Game 4. As a result, the Detroit Red Wings remain the last NHL team to a earn a sweep in the Stanley Cup Finals with their four-game win over Washington in 1998.

Ditto for ratings, according to the Los Angeles Times' Lance Pugmire:

By drawing 3.383 million viewers to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports Network announced it broadcasted the most-watched Stanley Cup playoffs in 17 years.

An average of 1.098 million viewers watched the 77 playoff games on NBCSN, a rise of 10% from last year's viewership. The ESPN-televised playoffs in 1997, won by the Detroit Red Wings, drew a 1.211-million average.

Average viewership for this season's final is 4.652 million, the highest since the 2002 Detroit-Carolina final (4.726-million average).

 

 

Regarding players that the Wings might be interested in--especially in terms of free agents on defense--I will readily admit that Anton Stralman's Cup Final performance prior to his goal-line save has proven that he's not exactly "overrated" (though I still don't believe that the 27-year-old, who earned all of $1.8 million this past season, per Capgeek, is exactly a top-pair offensive defenseman). According to Sportsnet's Tyler Delow, Stralman's "Fenwick" and "Corsi" numbers are fantastic, but that's not necessarily good news for his availability come July 1st...

It will be interesting to see how Stralman’s career progresses from this point. He seems to have come into his own over the past year and a half in New York, although it’s gone under the radar. He’s enjoyed a very good final, in keeping with his season but continues to be basically unnoticed. It will be fascinating to see where he ends up this summer and the impact he has next season. If he continues to have a similar impact on games, he won’t go unmentioned the next time he’s on a team that goes deep in the playoffs.

As NHL.com's Corey Masisak agrees:

Stralman's next contract will be something of a litmus test of where analytics are in hockey. He had one goal and eight points this season, no goals and five points in the playoffs.

Dig a little deeper and Stralman's value becomes more apparent. There are checks in all the boxes that get checked for someone who could be undervalued.

The Rangers had a low shooting percentage while he was on the ice, helping depress his traditional numbers. He starts more shifts in the defensive zone, which can depress goals and points. All of his advanced statistics are better relative to New York's team average, and the Rangers were a borderline-elite team in the regular season based on those metrics.

Stralman has other advantages in what doesn't appear to be a deep class of unrestricted free-agent defensemen. He is 27 years old, and fewer potential impact players are hitting the open market at that age because of long-term contracts signed by restricted free agents that buy out UFA seasons.

He also is a right-handed defenseman, which is a little like being a left-handed pitcher. There aren't as many of them, so demand often outreaches supply.

A player with Stralman's profile could be undervalued, but given the proliferation of teams giving more credence to analytics, it is a good bet a bidding war is coming if the Rangers do not sign him before the market opens.

"I did think about it earlier this season, but there's still a week left in this season," Stralman said. "Whatever comes after that, I'll deal with it. There's no real reason to think about it right now. We've got plenty to think about. It's fun, and I just try to enjoy it as much as I can."

Here's my problem with Stralman: I still believe that he's at best a second-pair guy, a very reliable defenseman who will take care of his own end, but he's not exactly an elite puck-mover. Given the thinness of this summer's free agent crop, if Stralman gets to market, I wouldn't be surprised if someone pays him $5 million, and I would suggest that such a significant chunk of cap space might be better-invested in an honest-to-goodness offensive defenseman.

The Wings have (and have to extend) Danny DeKeyser already, a healthy Jonathan Ericsson will help the two-way cause, and the Wings aren't going to jettison Jakub Kindl or Brian Lashoff to simply make room for Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mattias Backman, Alexey Marchenko, Nick Jensen or possibly Adam Almquist--they're going to have to steal jobs, just as Tatar, Nyquist and Sheahan bumped Bertuzzi, Cleary and Eaves from the lineup.

From there, we're looking at one, maybe two moves on the blueline, and I really don't know if the Wings need to spend the kind of money Kyle Quincey is going to get elsewhere to replace him instead of looking to meaningfully reinforce the team's puck possession system of play (again, I'd look toward Matt Niskanen, Dan Boyle or Tom Gilbert in that department).

If anything does help improve the middling free agent crop, it will involve cap-compliance buy-outs, and Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon let us all know when we should start to see teams making difficult decisions as to whether they want to keep under-performing players:

The buyout period begins 48 hours after the end of the Stanley Cup Final or June 15, whichever comes first, and ends June 30. The Sabres owe Leino $11 million and a buyout would cost them $7.3 million (two-thirds of the amount owed). The Sabres signed Leino to a six-year, $27 million deal in the summer of 2011.

The Wings may or may not use their one remaining get-out-of-jail-free card to buy out Jordin Tootoo, but no, Ken Holland repeatedly said that he's not getting rid of Johan Franzen, so don't get your hopes up.

Regarding a restricted free agent, Yerdon also burst a bubble regarding restricted free agent-to-be Adam Larsson, who the Swedish press reported was headed to Skelleftea AIK.

The Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti reports that the most reliable source possible, Larsson's agent, says that his client will be playing for the Devils next year:

“We’re talking to Lou [Lamoirello] and just trying to figure out what his role would be for next year and what’s best for him developmentally,” [J.P.] Barry said. “I don’t know where that (the talk of him going to Sweden) came from.”

Barry repeated what Larsson said after the Devils’ season ended, which is that he wants to play in North America for the Devils in 2014-15.

“We’ve started talking to Lou already and we’ll keep talking,” Barry said. “I just talked to Adam this week, so I expect to make progress here.”

 

 

 

Regarding the draft in Philadelphia, which takes place on June 27th and 28th, especially in terms of "Getting One's Hopes Up," I want to posit a word of warning: people with absolutely no connection to players, player agents, NHL teams or anything or anyone else are getting into the rumor-mongering business, big time.

You and I have both heard that we should expect to see a significant amount of draft-day trades, and I hate to give this guy any press at all, but this gentleman from the Calgary Journal made a massive claim...

And then his assertion fell apart:

The Red Wings do NOT need Ryan Kesler. IF they make a trade, they need another defenseman, not another center, and every indication from the Canucks' media corps suggests that new general manager Jim Benning and team president Trevor Linden plan on "winning" a Kesler trade by demanding an established, young NHL center in return, two or three prospects, and a first-round draft pick--not a Sheahan + a 1st + goodbye Kesler-type deal.

That's honestly where I went, "Uh, no"--my understanding from reading the Canucks' press corps as opposed to hunches is that the team doesn't want to engage in another situation where they let a Corey Schneider go for all of a first-round pick, so as unrealistic as Kesler coming here might be, the kind of package this guy's talking about is...Incorrect. You'd better *#$%@& believe that Nyquist and/or Mantha would have to be involved.

Just as importantly, everything I've read from Vancouver suggests that the Anaheim Ducks, Philadelphia Flyers and the cap-strapped Pittsburgh Penguins are the players we're talking about here.

Long story long, if you're on Twitter, you're going to see a TON of these so-called experts get oodles of retweets regarding "hunches" over the next two weeks. Unless they're beat writers, the Pierre LeBruns, Renaud Lavoies and Bob McKenzies of the world, or they're player agents, DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

People keep trying to trade players to teams that don't fit, and as Kesler is 1. from Metro Detroit and 2. The Wings had some level of interest in Kesler at the deadline, everybody and their monkey's brother's uncle assumes that Kesler's a "fit" here.

He's not. Especially with an unknown in Stephen Weiss taking up $4.9 million (if it makes you feel any better, the Wings' initial target, Vincent Lecavalier, has been a bust with Philadelphia), with the Wings having Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Sheahan, Helm, (for better or worse) Glendening and something of a spare part in Joakim Andersson all in the lineup, and Landon Ferraro likely to battle for a spot in training camp--and with that damn hole on defense--there's no real "fit."

Just as importantly, Ken Holland and Mike Babcock have repeatedly stated that the team is going to be looking for a right-shooting and/or top-pair defenseman, and whether we like it or not, they're relentlessly consistent in terms of what they say at the end of the season and what the Wings actually do in terms of player personnel decisions come June and July.

So this is the last time I'm going to address this kind of bullshit.

 

 

 

Regarding the draft in terms of actual draft picks, I've read mock draft after mock draft, including MLive's Brendan Savage's note that McKeen's Hockey has the Wings picking Dylan Larkin with the 15th overall pick (quite conveniently, Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples also posted a Q and A with Larkin on Thursday).

The best of what I've seen comes from the Buffalo Sabres, who are conducting something of a countdown-style draft interspersed with highlights and scouting reports. It's very easy to go back and forth from their articles to NHL.com's final rankings of North American and European skaters and the same split regarding goaltenders to read a little more about said players.

NHL.com's got a draft site up as well, and Yahoo Sports' Buzzing the Net blog includes articles about prospects penned by people who follow junior hockey almost exclusively; Hockey's Future's posting some profiles and interviews with players from the scouting combine as well.

We know that Ken Holland stated that he's going to pick "a skater," so that's where I'd suggest making yourselves familiar with the skaters' rankings over the goaltenders' rankings is a wise idea.

Regrettably, there's little to no consensus as to who goes where after the top five picks, so I'd be hard-pressed to guess who the Wings are interested in (though I'm assuming it's a forward).

Just as importantly (pardon the repetition of this phrase), if I were to look back at the Red Wings' draft record as opposed to making a "hunch," the team has regularly "traded down" if the players they're interested in have been picked, so I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Wings drop down to the final five picks of the first round to snag a second-round pick to replace the one they lost in the Legwand trade. The Wings have traded down in some form in 2009, 2011 and even last season, so my advice regarding your favorite potential Wings pick is this: don't get too attached to any particular prospect.

 

 

 

Otherwise...

The Wings asked fans what they thought about player-specific "goal songs" on Twitter, so JJ From Kansas penned quite the creative set of suggestions on Winging it in Motown;

On Twitter itself, Tomas Tatar engaged in an exchange with Gustav Nyquist after winning TSN's Play of the Year Award (the Slovak press is calling it, "The Most Beautiful Play Award," which is cute):

Tatar professed his loyalties for the World Cup of Soccer as well...

Is this a good sign?

The Red Wings sent out an email to fans on Thursday, and here was its highlight (a reference to a Bill Roose article about Anthony Mantha,which may or may not suggest that he's not heading to Vancouver any time soon):

I want to posit something of a "here's the facts" regarding this entry, the Lidstrom-Fetisov fandango and everything else I write on supposed "slow days" (they aren't slow for me): contrary to some opinions, I'm not particularly enamored with writing anything to "hear myself talk." I try to find stories that I find interesting and I try to start conversations among Wings fans.

I happen to find Fetisov's candidacy for the Russian Hockey Federation's chairmanship and the nuts and bolts of Lidstrom's involvement in a community-owned hockey organization to be fascinating. So I tried to explain that stuff. It bombed, but I'm cool with that.

 

 

 

Finally, you know what's coming. There's just no way that I can afford to get up to Traverse City on July 4th frickin' weekend (I'm starting to wonder if there's somebody in management who hates my Hawaiian shirts with a passion) on my own. If you can lend a hand, I'd be incredibly grateful.

Over the past three years that the Wings have held development camps in Traverse City, I've asked for your help in raising the finances to cover my hotel and gas bills, and you've been amazingly and remarkably kind in affording me the opportunity to "work for you"; due to my present financial circumstances, I'm afraid that I have to ask for your assistance again.

If there's any way that you can lend a financial hand in my attempts to get up to Traverse City for the summer development camp and/or eventually to attend the prospect tournament and main camp in the fall, I would be incredibly grateful for any help.

I'm sticking with Paypal as it's the most direct route (though I will also do the whole, "Give me your address and I'll send you a check or a few bucks in the mail" thing, too), and you have to use my email address, rtxg at yahoo dot com, as the recipient.

Here's the button:

If you can aid the cause, I'd be incredibly grateful; if you can't, I understand, and as usual, literally any amount helps. You'd be surprised how many $5, $10 and $20 donations end up paying my way. Thanks.

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Comments

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As far as I’m concerned, Kindl and Lashoff lost their jobs during the playoffs when ouellet was called up. Babcock showed he was done with the shit show. Holland has to keep up his side of the deal and find a way to get Babcock some players he would like to put out on the ice.

Posted by teldar on 06/13/14 at 07:06 AM ET

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Yeah teldar. I think being healthy scratches in the playoffs and being replaced by a 20 year old rookie with 3 games under his belt is a sign that you are in Babcocks doghouse. And we know that doghouse is a sad and dark place that is very hard to get out of.

I understand why Kindle and Lash will still be with the team when we get to training camp. The wings always do this. Have more than you need in case of injury or just to make [some] players have to earn their spot. But I also always feel like they are missing out on picking up extra draft picks by not dumping players they know are not in their plans at the deadline or draft. I know, I know, you need a partner for a trade. But I would think Kindle could get you a mid round pick. Right?

Posted by lancer on 06/13/14 at 07:14 AM ET

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And Strahlman. I would be very happy with a right handed defenceman who makes his partner better. Pair him with Smith and watch the fireworks. Pair him with DDK and let the Kaiser gain some offensive legs. Bring him in, dump Kindl and Lashoff and bring up the kids add injury replacements. Make it so, Kenny.
Obviously what they really NEED is a true #1. But I done see that unless one of the kids explodes this summer.
My only issue with Strahlman is he’d going to want more than 2 years which is all the wings should be signing someone for. Kenny has no interest in getting a return on spare pieces and it pisses me off he’s most likely getting for almquist for what he got for Quincey. What a load of shit.if he signs someone from outside for 5 years, I can see him keeping Lashoff and Kindl and pissing off everyone in gr.

Posted by teldar on 06/13/14 at 07:26 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’d happily dump Kindl and Lashoff. If the Wings bring in only one new defenseman, that leaves one spot in the lineup every night for one of the kids and one spot for one to be the backup guy. They can have a healthy rotation for that #6 playing spot all season long and have more than enough prospects to back them up when guys need to sit for injury/other reasons.

Jakub Kindl is two months younger than Matt Niskanen and six months younger than Stralman. Simply put, he’s reached the end of the chain where he should be considered a growing prospect and he’s at the point now where he should essentially be viewed as a reclamation project. Detroit isn’t in the position defensively where they should be using reclamation projects. Kindl has more value on a defense doesn’t need him to be as good as Detroit needs.

Lashoff is a bit tougher because at 23, there’s a lot more to grow about his game, but I’m not sure he ever really had a ceiling as high as the kids seem to promise. I like Lashoff as a seventh defenseman who can perform well for short stretches, but again, that’s not the role I think the Wings should be using that #7 d-man spot for anymore.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/13/14 at 07:51 AM ET

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I haven’t dug into the waiver statuses of the dmen prospects yet, but with Quincey gone Detroit will only have 6 dmen signed and one of those is Lashoff, who can be waived with almost no cap impact and who has a 0% chance of being picked up.

I don’t think this year is the pressing year to make a bunch of decisions on these guys.  If one of them breaks down the door, there’s at least one spot for them.  If they don’t, they don’t.

Also, I’m not entirely sure it’s a fait accompli that Legwand’s gone.  I can see him getting a one year offer from Holland at around 2.5 just to see if he’d take it, and I’d not mind at all if he did.  Right now Detroit has 13 forwards likely for the roster… but two of those are Jurco (who’s not ready) and Andersson (who may suck).  I’d rather have Legwand on my 2014-2015 roster at 2.5 than either of those two guys.

Kenny has no interest in getting a return on spare pieces and it pisses me off he’s most likely getting for almquist for what he got for Quincey.

Quincey failed a physical.  Back issues, IIRC.  Makes a difference when it comes to trade value.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/13/14 at 07:51 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Posted by teldar on 06/13/14 at 08:26 AM ET

I could be ok with Stralman as a bridge guy, and only for 2 years.  I’m ok with moving Kindl.  Lashoff you might want to keep for depth cuz he’s not expensive.  I could see promoting Ouellet and Marchenko as a final pair, but I won’t be surprised if Backman figures into the promotion decision.  He’s had a lot of experience against very good professionals.  I’d give Marchenko the first nod, tho, cuz he shoots right and Jiri Fischer said he’s the most dependable D in GR.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/13/14 at 08:19 AM ET

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Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/13/14 at 08:51 AM ET

Absolutely, and I would add that as the 7th defenseman Lashoff played 75 games this year.  He’d be fine if Detroit’s 7th defenseman role was similar to the role a few years ago, when Derek Meech was playing 7th D and 14th forward in 50 games, but there’s no way that Lashoff should be playing almost every day.

Imagine the possibility this season of, instead of having Kindl play 66 games and Lashoff playing 75 the Wings had Oullet playing 66 and Marchenko playing 75 (or maybe even better, Ouellet and Marchenko playing about 45 each with Sproul and Backman playing 25 each).  At the very least Detroit would have a firmer handle on whether their apparently excellent roster of defense prospects is as good as advertised.

I don’t think this year is the pressing year to make a bunch of decisions on these guys.

I agree.  I think we’re a year past that.

Lashoff you might want to keep for depth cuz he’s not expensive.

Why is he good for depth?  What is the point of having someone who sucks around because it is important to have someone to fill out a sweater?

Posted by Garth on 06/13/14 at 08:45 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

*insert “Stralman Argument” joke here*

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/13/14 at 09:47 AM ET

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Stralman’s only 27.  I don’t have a problem with signing him for 3 or 4 years.  I understand the “roadblock” concerns, but that only becomes an issue when you sign guys who’re too old, injury-prone, or expensive to trade. 

If we absolutely have to have three of Ouellet, Sproul, Marchenko, and Backman on the team in three seasons, and we’ve got Kronwall and Ericsson who’re essentially Wings-for-life, that just means we can consider trading Smith or DeKeyser or whomever we sign this season—unless we give one of them an albatross contract. 

I guess what I’m saying is that the “roadblock” issue is really an argument against overpaying vets, not against adding talent on the right side of 30.

And I completely agree that Lashoff-is-good-because-depth is a crappy argument.  Call up the winner of the Ouellet/Marchenko/Sproul/Backman/Almqvist derby—they’ll get plenty of time.  It’s just as important to break these guys in gradually as it is to avoid “roadblocking” them.  We’re not the Buffalo Sabres—we won’t put up with a 30-win season because we have 60 minutes a night from guys who’re learning how to play NHL defense.

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/13/14 at 09:58 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Why is he good for depth?  What is the point of having someone who sucks around because it is important to have someone to fill out a sweater?

Posted by Garth on 06/13/14 at 09:45 AM ET

Injuries?

I don’t think Lashoff “sucks”.  I think he got pressed into too much, too early.  He’s always been a very long-term project for the Wings.  He’s pretty physical and does some stuff well.  But he was supposed to play spot duty this year, not 75 games.  And in fairness to Lashoff, who the freak did he ever play with that resembled and NHL d-man for support?

I’m fine with throwing in the towel on Kindl, and I know it drives JJ nuts but I’m kinda’ done with Smith too and would not be sorry to see him go.  I’m not done with Lashoff.  I’d like to see what he could do with support, I think he deserves another year with help.

Posted by Primis on 06/13/14 at 10:05 AM ET

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Posted by captaineclectic on 06/13/14 at 10:58 AM ET

Agreed.  There’s no reason to have a “bridge” between the present and the future.  They already tried that once when Rafalski retired and it blew up after one year.

Sign someone who is good and young because a) who really knows if any of the prospects will develop into top four defensemen, and even if they do who knows if it will be in two years, and b) wouldn’t it be better for everyone if those young players actually beat someone out for a job rather than having it gifted to him the way that Kindl, Smith and Lashoff were gifted their jobs?

I, for one, would love it if they brought in a Stralman or a Niskanen and would love it even more if one of those guys, or even a DeKeyser or someone else, were traded in a couple years because they legitimately lost their job to one of the youngsters.

Posted by Garth on 06/13/14 at 10:08 AM ET

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Re: HiHD,

One year @ 2.5 for a legitimate 2C? I think Legwand would have to be crazy to take that from the Wings, especially given the whole demoted-to-the-fourth-line thing. As for Jurco and Andersson, I like the former on next season’s roster. He’s “not ready” in the sense that he’s not going to score 30 goals and look like Marian Hossa, but I think 15 goals - on a dominant third line - is realistic. Or let him be the muscle on the first line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg. He’s making peanuts, so it’d almost certainly be a good value. It’d also free up some funds that we could pump into our blue line, which is the real area of concern.

Posted by Dont Toews Me Bro on 06/13/14 at 10:18 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I know it drives JJ nuts but I’m kinda’ done with Smith too and would not be sorry to see him go.

I’m not wholly against dropping Smith; I’m wholly against dropping Smith for the purpose of giving a prospect those minutes.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/13/14 at 10:21 AM ET

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Injuries?

Yeah, and he played 75 games because of injuries last year.

Do you think he was a major factor in winning a single game that the Wings won?  Did he really help the team by scoring one goal -into an empty net- all year?  Do you think there was an upside to having him playing 75 games rather than having Ouellet and Almquist split that time?

Again, what’s the point of having someone who doesn’t have great hockey sense, isn’t a great defender and doesn’t have much offensive upside?

Why is simply having a warm body good?

For what they pay Lashoff and Kindl they could’ve theoretically had any two of Paul Ranger, Tom Gilbert, Hal Gill, Mike Costka, Joe Corvo, Francois Boullion, Scott Hanna and Douglas Murray, with money left over.  None of them are great, but would anyone of them not be a better option than 75 games from Brian Lashoff?

Having Brian Lashoff around for injuries meant that Almquist, Ouellet, Marchenko and Sproul combined to play 8 games (and by the way, combined to score as many goals in eight games as Lashoff did in 75).

Posted by Garth on 06/13/14 at 10:22 AM ET

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Posted by Dont Toews Me Bro on 06/13/14 at 11:18 AM ET

I agree about Jurco.  Unless Mantha steals his job I want him on the team to start the season.

And even if Mantha steals his job, I want him on the team barring a surprising development of some kind.  By which I mean that unless something surprising happens I think Jurco is one of the 14 guys who should be in Detroit even if Mantha is too.

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/13/14 at 10:24 AM ET

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FWIW Lashoff’s “point share” was 1.5, suggesting he was worth between a win and a OTL in standings points.  He’s an offensive black hole but had the 6th highest defensive point share on the team at 2.1 (6th among all Detroit players and 6th among Detroit defensemen—ahead of Kindl—albeit Kindl would’ve passed him if he’d played the same number of games). 

This is part of where Stralman or another defensive-defenseman would help us, because we are forced to use Lashoff, who is not very good, on the PK, on crucial faceoffs in the defensive zone and the like, especially when Ericsson was hurt.

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/13/14 at 10:30 AM ET

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I’d try to move Kindl. He’s signed for, what, three more years? At something like $2.4M a pop? And we’re talking about using him as a borderline #6? If he can’t hold down a spot on the second pairing (and apparently he can’t), he should be moved. As JJ said, he’d be valuable to a team that wouldn’t need him to be what we need him to be. A team like the Flyers. As for Lashoff - we’re not going to get anything for him, unless it’s a really stupid club like the Oilers or Leafs, so we might as well keep him in the system (though, not necessarily on the Wings roster).

Posted by Dont Toews Me Bro on 06/13/14 at 10:39 AM ET

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Posted by Dont Toews Me Bro on 06/13/14 at 11:39 AM ET

He also has value to teams tanking for McDavid that still need to hit the new, higher cap floor.

{cough]Buffalo[cough]

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/13/14 at 10:41 AM ET

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Actually, I take that back, kinda. The Flyers would probably need him the same way we do, more or less. But you know what I mean. I’m sure there are teams that would be interested.

Posted by Dont Toews Me Bro on 06/13/14 at 10:46 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Kindl has to go for many reasons but for me his body language looked like he doesn’t want to be a Wing. I think Marchenko is the 1st to make the Wing D if he has a good camp, he is the most NHL ready according to most talking heads. And that beloved RH shot won’t hurt.

As for UFA D I don’t see anything great or that the Wings can afford (Niskanen).

Hopefully, the “every UFA goes to Leafs” will apply to Boyle.

Then that leaves me in the “Holland will have to trade” for a top 2 D Man.  i like Holland but the word trade scares me mostly because of the Quincey blunder.

If Alfie doesn’t sign I would take a shot at Semin with the hope Pavel can teach him how to be a consistent all round player. Not a big Franzen fan but he is going no where and has a good cap hit.

In the end, I wouldn’t be unhappy if all the Wingsdo is unload most UFAs and fill in from GR for next year and of course get rid of Kindl, please!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/13/14 at 11:01 AM ET

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Posted by captaineclectic on 06/13/14 at 11:41 AM ET

This is one year I wouldn’t mind finishing dead last. I mean, I would. But McDavid? He’s for real. McDavid + Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Nyquist, Tatar, Jurco, Mantha et al.? Holy crap. But I feel like there’s no way it’d happen, even if we finished dead last and the lottery system gave us the best chance at first overall. I don’t believe there’s this big anti-Wings conspiracy or whatever, but I don’t think “The Hockey Gods” would let the Detroit Red Wings get Connor McDavid. There’d be some kind of divine intervention or something, like what we saw in Game 4 a couple nights ago. (That puck should’ve crossed the line, both times.)

Kindl - I just don’t think we can justify giving Kindl close to three million a year for three more years unless he, well, y’know, deserves it. This season he bombed terribly, couldn’t even stick on our third pairing. Now, granted, our whole team was a mess for long stretches of time this season. But, like JJ said, the guy’s 27. He’s put together one impressive season, and that wasn’t even a full season. He got his extension, and then he proceeded to bomb terribly the very next season. I don’t like it. I feel like Smith has supplanted him as The Late Bloomer. Thing is, Smith on the first pairing is ok. We can do that and not want to shoot ourselves in the face 82+ nights a season. Kindl’s a couple years older and he can’t even hold a spot on the roster. That’s wack.

Posted by Dont Toews Me Bro on 06/13/14 at 11:07 AM ET

awould's avatar

I like how the guy floating the Kesler to Detroit rumor is asked why Detroit would be a good fit for Kesler ....i.e. why Detroit would want Kesler…. and his response is because the Vancouver GM would like to deal with Detroit. Apparently whether Detroit wants/needs Kesler doesn’t factor in. Benning will use some svengali voodoo on Holland. So stupid.

Posted by awould on 06/13/14 at 11:12 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Great discussion men. The lashoff to the other kids called up stat is quite remarkable Garth. I agree with much of the discussion. Just an outside the box thought, what about possibly moving Ericsson? His value is high and I feel we could receive a better return?

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 06/13/14 at 11:24 AM ET

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I like Stralman. He’s steady, he’s good with the puck, he’s thrown at least three monster hits against the Kings, he’s Swedish. I agree with George about him not being ideal; ideally, we find an outstanding puck-moving point-producer who may not be A First-Pairing Defenseman but could own the spot on Kronwall’s right side. But I wouldn’t mind Stralman on a good, short-term deal.

Not that it’s UFA or bust. We have ore than enough assets to bring in a high-end top-four defenseman, IMHO. Not a Shea Weber, but we don’t really need a Shea Weber. A Byfuglien or Yandle would be just fine. I really like John Carlson, but the asking price would probably be too high for him. But Holland should at least kick the tires. Kick them all, aggressively.

Posted by Dont Toews Me Bro on 06/13/14 at 11:24 AM ET

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As for UFA D I don’t see anything great or that the Wings can afford (Niskanen).

Why can’t Detroit afford Niskanen?  They have so much space they could afford to sign Subban to a ridiculous offer sheet if they wanted to.

Not to mention that with the way the cap goes up, unless Holland has a head injury and offers him double what the next best offer is, in two years it’s going to be a great deal.

Posted by Garth on 06/13/14 at 12:51 PM ET

awould's avatar

Why can’t Detroit afford Niskanen?

Exactly. Detroit can easily afford Niskanen, and should go after him hard. Losing him to a team willing to pay $8MM+ may be easy to stomach, but he’ll probably get north of $7MM and the Wings should be willing to pay that. Stralman? I admit I’ve never heard of the guy beyond a name on a jersey that’s popped up here and there this past month. So, no opinion. Boyle? Two years max. Nobody else, barring a trade for a Yandle-esque player, or Yandle himself.

Kindl? Good riddance, hopefully.

Posted by awould on 06/13/14 at 01:05 PM ET

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And I completely agree that Lashoff-is-good-because-depth is a crappy argument.

Well, go back and look at what Detroit had to do at forward this year.  If that won’t convince you you’re wrong…

The point is, if you have the opportunity to keep a marginal to below marginal player in your system, you do it.  I don’t think Lashoff is any good.  I think he’s a career 7th NHL dman.  I also think that it’s not impossible Detroit could have Kronwall or Ericsson or Dekeyser go down to injury (replace or with ‘and’ to the degree you wish), so if there’s no real reason to dump him, then why do it?

Yeah, I know, so PROSPECT can play in his place.  Believe it or not, that’s not always a very good reason.

One year @ 2.5 for a legitimate 2C? I think Legwand would have to be crazy to take that from the Wings, especially given the whole demoted-to-the-fourth-line thing.

Well, was he demoted to the fourth line just because, or just because he stunk?  If it’s the former then sure, if it’s the latter then maybe a 1 year reclamation deal isn’t a bad idea.

It’s not impossible Legwand gets a bigger offer from somewhere, heck it wouldn’t even be surprising.  I’m merely positing it’s not a foregone conclusion he’s out the door or that Holland has zero interest in retaining him.

I’m fine with throwing in the towel on Kindl, and I know it drives JJ nuts but I’m kinda’ done with Smith too and would not be sorry to see him go.  I’m not done with Lashoff.

The mind in which that series of conclusions is reached is truly indecipherable to me.  Kindl and Smith have played at vastly superior levels to Lashoff for huge stretches of the year.  At his absolute best Lashoff was never more than a guy who didn’t throw up all over himself.

I understand how someone could have seen enough of Kindl and Smith and Lashoff.  Evidence exists to support all of those opinions.  To have seen enough on the first two but not the third?  Wow.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/13/14 at 01:14 PM ET

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Lashoff is the worst defenseman to take a regular shift in Detroit in a long time. He was an average AHL defenseman. And he’s playing like an average AHL defenseman in the NHL.

Kindl must be a dog in practice, must roll his eyes at the coach, or something. Because Kindl is *#$%@& immensely better than Lashoff, but coach hates his guts.

I cannot comprehend sitting KIndl while Lashoff plays.

Personally, I’d play Kindl over Kronwall on the first unit PP. Kronwall is afraid to shoot the puck. He doesn’t have a slapshot. Kronner is more of a skater, sneak in from the point, kind of guy.

Assuming we pick up nobody (a better alternative to signing Markov or Boyle, which is what I think Holland will do), I’d go with
Kronwall-Smith
Kindl-Dekeyser
Ericsson-Marchenko
(Lashoff)

There’s a rumbling that RHD Johnny Boychuk is available in Boston. 30 years old. Hard hitter. Great shot. Playoff beast.
What about trading Brendan Smith for Boychuk?

Kronwall-Boychuk
Kindl-Dekeyser
Ericsson-Marchenko

Next year, you plug in Ouellet for Kindl. And then you make room for Sproul.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/13/14 at 01:44 PM ET

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Well, go back and look at what Detroit had to do at forward this year.  If that won’t convince you you’re wrong…

Well, go back and look at what Detroit had to do on defense this year, which was relying on Brian Lashoff to play in all but seven regular games.  If that won’t convince you you’re wrong…

Yeah, I know, so PROSPECT can play in his place.  Believe it or not, that’s not always a very good reason.

You’re right, it isn’t always a very good reason.  But when you’re talking Samuelsson versus Tatar, or you’re talking Almquist/Oullet/Marchenko/Sproul versus Lashoff, it actually is.

It would be almost literally impossible for either of them to have been less effective than Lashoff was.

Posted by Garth on 06/13/14 at 03:29 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

There’s a rumbling that RHD Johnny Boychuk is available in Boston. 30 years old. Hard hitter. Great shot. Playoff beast.
What about trading Brendan Smith for Boychuk?

I like the idea, but that would be Brendan Smith AND Player X AND 4thor5th Rounder for Boychuk.  Kenny can’t pull off a 1-for-1 like that anymore.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/14/14 at 12:20 AM ET

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