Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: videos about Cleary, Mantha & Larkin, Kronwall stats & ‘time to relax?’

Warning, warning, this entry includes a video which may or may not auto-play!

Red Wings fans have been gloomier than a Kristen Stewart Tribute Artist convention of late, so let's try and flip the script for five sec...

Oh, wait, it turns out that 97.1 the Ticket/the Detroit News's Bob Wojnowski, 97.1 the Ticket/the Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen and Fox 2's Woody Woodriffe summarized the whole Cleary signing phenomenon perfectly, and they also discussed the Red Wings' free agency swings and misses (as if they regularly watch hockey games, what a concept!) while appearing on Fox 2's Sportsworks on Sunday evening:

Wojnowski and Samuelssen do point out that the Red Wings have a solid core of young players, they address the probability of the Wings trading to upgrade their defense, and they generally discuss the Wings in a realistic manner, but Wojnowski's suggestion that the Red Wings simply cannot display the kind of loyalty they have previously in the cap era is spot-on--as is the concept that the team might need to get a little ruthless--and Samuelssen's suggestion that we could very well see Cleary taking opportunities away from younger players is what we're all afraid of.

Ditto for Wojnowski's point that the Wings appear to be panicking in free agency (and overpaying alumni as a result), which seems to happen every other year.

You have to press "pause" on the video or it will cycle into the next one, which is also the case for our next video.

Wood TV8's Larry Figurski and Casey Jones profiled both Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha on TV8's Sports OT:

Figurski's profile of Mantha includes accompanying text:

The 19-year-old was Detroit’s No. 1 draft pick in 2013. He was a highly regarded star in the juniors with the Ontario Val-d’Or Foreurs. He scored 57 goals and put up 120 points in just 57 games last season. He was named the MVP of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year.

“Maybe it was just the group of guys around me,” Mantha said of his strong showing last season. “We had a great team. The players were great. The coaches were, also. We just had a lot of un last year, and that’s where the success started.”

It was an impressive enough season to give Mantha a legitimate chance of jumping straight from the juniors to Detroit. The last Red Wings player to do that was Steve Yzerman in the early 1980s.

But to make that happen, Mantha would likely have to win a top six forward spot. If he doesn’t, he’ll open the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Mantha said he was comfortable in his second pro camp.

“Last year, I wanted to come here and impress as many people as I could, and really come here and try to make the team. Then they talked to me and sent me back down. I got a huge year last year,” he said. “Coming back this year, I think it’s the same mentality. I want to make the team this year. I’ll do everything it takes this summer to be ready for camp.”

MLive's Brendan Savage profiled Mantha on Sunday morning, and I'm sure you read Mantha's statement that he's going into training camp hoping to make the Wings...

Mantha is ready to play for the Red Wings now.

"If you ask me, I think I am," Mantha said during last week' s development camp in Traverse City. "At the end of the summer, I'll be a few pounds heavier. I think I can play there. But as I mentioned, it's (about) coming to camp, being ready and we'll see.

"I need to keep working, keep getting stronger – on the ice, off the ice. At main camp, I need to be ready mentally so if they give me a chance I need to take it right away. I'll come over here with the best thinking and we'll build off that. The skill level is there. I'm a tall, big guy. I think I can play there but obviously I need to be ready next year."

But it needs to be said that Andreas Athanasiou (who's turning pro this season), Zach Nastasiuk (who's slated to head back to the OHL's Owen Sound Attack, and he's an NHL-or-Major Junior prospect), Alexey Marchenko, every player with any sort of chance to make the NHL roster has told me that going into training camp, they can't imagine preparing for the season with any goal short of making the NHL.

Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill delivered some wise words regarding Mantha's potential...

"Anytime a prospect is real heralded you always have to make sure everybody calms themselves down," said Grand Rapids coach Jeff Blashill, who conducted the development camp. "There's still going to be a learning process in making the adjustment (to pro hockey). That's just the reality of every prospect.

"Some guys make the jump real quick but there's still a learning curve. How quickly guys make the jump you just can't predict. But am I excited if Mantha is down playing with us? I absolutely would be in the sense that I love to help great players become even better and he's certainly a great player who I think has a real bright future.

"I've seen good leadership qualities from him (since last year). I just think it's an overall maturity level and part of your progression as player. He looks like he's taken a big step."

And that's certainly true regarding the gentleman who appeared on WXYZ's 7 Sports Cave on Sunday. I can't emphasize enough that Dylan Larkin is only 17 and just graduated high school:

Throughout the summer development camp, Larkin repeatedly had to parlay the, "When are you turning pro? When are you going to be with the Red Wings? This fall? Next year?" questions, and he held his own, but you worry about that kind of stuff going to his head.

I can certainly tell you that Larkin looked like a fantastic all-round player, but he also looked like he'd get knocked on his ass in a hurry if he was able to take part in the prospect tournament (per NCAA rules, he can't do so, and given that the tournament starts on September 12th, Larkin will be doing something called "attending classes" at that time).

The Detroit Free Press's Brian Manzullo took note of Larkin's comments during his 7 Sports Cave grilling:

[T}he Red Wings selected the center with the No. 15 overall pick in June, giving him the chance to play at home in front of family and friends.

With that, and playing for the University of Michigan starting this fall, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind for Larkin.

“That’s been probably the coolest part ... the people that have been there all the way and family and friends, and seeing little kids ask for my autograph. That’s pretty cool,” Larkin said. “You have to be respectable in public now, because you’re representing the Red Wings now.”

Larkin won a gold medal with the U.S. at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championships, tallying two goals and two assists in six games. He also scored 17 goals and added nine assists in 26 games with the national Under-18 team in the USHL.

Larkin is excited to join a Red Wings squad with a handful of up-and-coming players, including forwards Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. “Those are good players. They’re going to find their way in the NHL,” Larkin said.

Larkin may very well be a good NHL player in a couple of years, but the emphasis is on in a couple of years. He needs to grow into his body, he needs to prove that he can produce points at the NCAA Division I level, and after three or four years at Michigan, he may need seasoning in the AHL.

He can accelerate that timeline based upon his play, but he finished 5th in scoring on the U.S. National Team Development Program squad, so he didn't blow his peer competition away.

Larkin needs to be given the one thing he's never going to be afforded in terms of expectations in order to develop properly--time.

 

 

 

Let's stick with the not-so-happy ---> transition to happier news theme by noting that TSN's "Franchise Faceoff" includes exactly zero Red Wings players with whom TSN suggests one might want to utilize as the cornerstones of NHL franchises, and Pro Hockey Talk's Ryan Dadoun kindly annotated a 12-minute video in which Matt Niskanen made his media debut as a member of the Washington Capitals. It certainly sounds like Niskanen was as determined to play for the Capitals as Dan Boyle was to ride the Rangers-or-nobody-else train:

“Really my whole career, I’ve always kind of kept an eye on the Caps, because of (Alex) Ovechkin, so it’s just a fun team to watch and has been for a long time. So I’ve been pretty familiar with the people here and how they play,” Niskanen said, per the Monumental Network.

The Capitals’ core of forwards is a big part of what convinced him that this team was capable of competing for the Stanley Cup despite their previous shortcomings.

The fact that they hired head coach Barry Trotz and assistant coach Todd Reirden also peaked his interest. He already had experience working with Reirden in Pittsburgh and Niskanen felt continuing that relationship would be the best way for him to continue his growth after recording 46 points last season.

“That was a big factor, familiarity with (Reirden) … what he’s done for my career, building my confidence, helping me become a better player,” Niskanen said.

At this point, I'll take any, "I was fascinated by this team for a long time" and/or, "Well so-and-so recruited me" talk that I can get from the Niskanens, Boyles, Stralmans, etc.

The Wings were apparently in the ballpark with everyone by Tom "Go get your money" Gilbert money-wise and term-wise (save that 5th year for Stralman), so I keep coming back to wondering aloud whether the team's recruitment process needs refining. After three years of not landing a "name" free agent and two summers' worth of very hard whiffs in terms of improving the team's defense (2012, the Summer of Suter, and this one), I can't help but think that the team's not doing "good enough" in terms of convincing free agents that the Wings "aren't that far off."

The Wings wined-and-dined Suter at the expense of other UFA targets in 2012, the NHL officially opened up a pre-July 1st wining-and-dining period last year, and the team did bring in Daniel Alfredsson (which worked out quite well), but in terms of attempting to improve the blueline, the team still hasn't found a player to fill Brian Rafalski's skates, and for the present moment, Niklas Kronwall's attempting to step into some of Nicklas Lidstrom's shadow, but the Wings haven't found the right committee to replace Lidstrom in the by-committee approach.

While I'm not sold on the concept of the team needing to make a mid-July trade to snag a right-shooting defenseman right damn now, I do believe that we're going to see the team make a trade at some point during the regular season, though it might not be until sometime in 2015.

 

 

 

Speaking of Kronwall, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose looked at Kronwall's 2013-2014 season "By the Numbers"...

49: Was two points shy of tying his single-season career record for points, which he established in 2008-09 with the Red Wings. He’s just the second defensemen to finish among the team’s top two scorers in the past 16 seasons. Nicklas Lidstrom did it three times (1997-98, 2000-01 and 2010-11).

25: Led the team and set a new personal best for power-play points that included five goals as well as a career-high 20 assists. He finished with eight goals in the regular season with 62.5 percent coming on the power play.

41: The fifth defensemen to lead the Red Wings in assists in a single season, and just the second in past 12 years, joining Reed Larson, Brad Park, Paul Coffey and Lidstrom. Kronwall had eight multi-assist games, including a three-assist outing at Ottawa on Feb. 27.

Regardless of the method that the team employs to aid its absence of consistent point-producers behind Kronwall--whether the team makes a trade, whether Brendan Smith steps up, whether Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mattias Backman or Alexey Marchenko "steal a job," whether Danny DeKeyser displays scoring aplomb that we never knew he possessed, whether Jakub Kindl rises from the near-prospect-scrap-heap, whatever--I hope that Kronwall's contributions aren't singular in nature this upcoming season.

 

 

 

And finally, Paul and I will try to take a more relaxed pace over the next week or two. My "offseason" hasn't really begun yet, but it will in a couple of days, and I'm hoping that the surprisingly busy July news cycle slows down soon.

It's hard to believe, but in the KHL, players are taking their physicals today and tomorrow, and training camps will soon begin. Most other European hockey leagues begin training camps during the last week of July or the first week of August, preceding a full month's worth of exhibition games and "tournaments," and around the first week of the NFL and/or college football season, the KHL gets underway, with the Swedish SHL, Finnish Liiga, Czech Extraliga, etc. starting up around the same time or a little earlier than the start of the Wings' prospect tournament on September 12th.

Pavel Datsyuk's hockey school in Yekaterinburg will kick off on Tuesday, too, I'm expecting that the foreign-language Wings stories will crank up now that the World Cup's over, and by the end of this month, at least half of the Wings' NHL players will have resumed on-ice training.

We're all of seven weeks from the start of those "informal practices" at Troy Sports Center and the Joe, too...

Long story short, the Wings haven't played hockey since April 26th, but those of us who work "in the industry" get all of a month "off"--with the time between the NHL Awards and the end of the summer development camp yielding nearly a month of 12-to-16-hour days--so if I slow down ahead of my first family vacation in 2 years on August 2nd, it's not going to be due to a lack of looking around on a daily basis, but I might be taking a break and actually venturing outside to see friends now and then.

 

 

 

Update: Oh boy, it's time to Ask Ansar! MLive's Ansar Khan posits a mailbag column this morning, but as of 6:09 AM, it's just a dead URL! Discuss!

6:10: Oh good, we're back to trade talk:

Q. With all this talk about trade activity picking up and big-name players available, what assets are the Wings going to be willing to part with? If Gustav Nyquist is untouchable and (Tomas) Tatar nearly so, what can they give up to get something decent in return?
--Ben

A. I think Nyquist is close to untouchable; they'd need to get a bona fide star in return to consider it. I don't think Tatar is untouchable, but they'd need an enticing return to part with a player with his offensive skills. I think they'd be less inclined to move Tomas Jurco than Tatar because Jurco provides a different dimension with his size and ability to play physical. Forget about dealing Anthony Mantha; that's not happening.

I don't see them relinquishing their 2015 first-round pick as long as there's a chance they could miss the playoffs and be in the draft lottery.

What does that leave as a trading chip? They have several promising defense prospects and won't have room for all of them in a couple of years, when their waiver exemptions expire. One could be packaged in a deal. I think any forward prospect, except Mantha, could be moved. And they'd probably be willing to part with their second-round pick.

As far as roster players, I think they'd move Brendan Smith if the right deal came along. I question the future of Jakub Kindl and Joakim Andersson in Detroit, but they'd have to be included with other assets to get a decent return.

Q. Who do you think the Red Wings consider untouchable? I would guess Tatar, Nyquist, (Niklas) Kronwall, (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk.
--Mike

A. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Mantha for sure. Perhaps Nyquist. That's all. But others have no-trade clauses (either full or modified): Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Ericsson, Cleary and Weiss.

Khan continues and talks about the Wings' free agency strikeouts, RFA offer sheets and "physicality" issues or the lack thereof...

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Comments

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Why not go the offer sheet route with RFA Justin Schultz, a right shooting, puck moving d-man that the Wings had great interest in when he was coming out of college?!

Maybe it’s time for Holland to get over his “I don’t do offer sheets hang ups” and do something out of character to make the team better.  If it’s permitted under the CBA, it’s a tool he needs to explore.  Clearly, the UFAs aren’t lining up to sign in Det.  Holland has no problem “circumventing” the CBA (e.g. Franzen and Z deals and Cleary’s verbal agmt. for a 2nd yr. plus now a $1M bonus for playing 10 (gasp) games sure smells fishy) so how about doing something that’s permitted under the CBA!

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 09:14 AM ET

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From Stan Fischler of The Fischler Report,

* Unobtrusively—and without any fuss and fanfare—Steve Yzerman is constructing an impressive, playoff-guaranteed roster.

Ken Holland didn’t get a mention.  The problems started for the Wings when Holland refused to move up to a more braod executive role in the organization to make room for Yzerman who was ready to become GM.  It was extremely selfish by Holland and he must have forgot that Jimmy D got out of the way in 1997 after wining a cup so Holland could move up.  Boo on Holland.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 09:22 AM ET

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I like Jamie and Wojo’s take, probably the only two guys on 97.1 i will listen too when it comes to hockey(Ken Kal doesn’t count because he is FSD property but he is always worth a listen).  Neither of the signings is going to kill the wings.  Statistically speaking getting full seasons of Nyquist and Tatar and Sheahan should be a huge increase over what we got out of Sammy Bert Tootoo and Cleary.  So good on them for not taking the low hanging fruit while still being able to objectively critique what are not really great moves, but not really franchise killers either.

Something i do not get about one of the Kahn questions.  Who honestly wants Brad Stuart on this team.  He played less games, put up less shots and scored less points then Quincey on a far superior team, the only statistical category that Stuart Beat out Quincey in was +/-, why on earth would anyone give a 2nd round draft picks for that let alone a 2nd and a 6th?  When all you need to do is Sign Quincey to get more points more games and not lose a pick in a what is said to be a very deep draft. Don’t get me wrong, Stuart was a soldier when he was here, and greatly helped this team when we needed him.  But he isn’t 2008 Brad Stuart, hell I doubt he is 2012 Brad Stuart who went -5 in the playoffs against Nashville and had people wishing he was never born. 

Either way i hope we all calm down and take Wojo’s advice and wait to see what happens in the beginning of the season.  And hope for the best when it comes to KH pulling off some trades.  he at some point will have to when DDK and Tatar resign and if we can get Alfie back.

Posted by 3rdshift on 07/14/14 at 09:25 AM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

I’m still very excited to see how a healthy Weiss can affect this team. I thought he was great in FL. If you watch the series between them and NJ a few years ago, he clearly stood out as a significant player. Panthers may not have been awesome, but he ran the show. Not even including the kids, a healthy Datsyuk-Weiss-Helm could be very dangerous. I really do like the chances the forwards have competing against any team, even with Cleary. The defense is just too many question marks.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 07/14/14 at 09:36 AM ET

SK77's avatar

From Stan Fischler of The Fischler Report,

* Unobtrusively—and without any fuss and fanfare—Steve Yzerman is constructing an impressive, playoff-guaranteed roster.

Ken Holland didn’t get a mention.  The problems started for the Wings when Holland refused to move up to a more braod executive role in the organization to make room for Yzerman who was ready to become GM.  It was extremely selfish by Holland and he must have forgot that Jimmy D got out of the way in 1997 after wining a cup so Holland could move up.  Boo on Holland.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 10:22 AM ET

Ken Holland didn’t get a mention? I just checked and you’re right. KH sucks so bad that you can lump him in with the 29 GMs that didn’t get a mention – including Nill. Yeesh, way to cherry pick.

Posted by SK77 on 07/14/14 at 10:11 AM ET

calquake's avatar

The problems started for the Wings when Holland refused to move up to a more braod executive role in the organization to make room for Yzerman who was ready to become GM.  It was extremely selfish by Holland and he must have forgot that Jimmy D got out of the way in 1997 after wining a cup so Holland could move up.  Boo on Holland.

I have read this myth in the comments section for a while now.  Would you be so kind as to provide sources for this claim?  I won’t be so bold as to say it’s a falsehood but rather ask you to prove that it is true.  I have never read anything in any publication suggesting this is a reality.

Posted by calquake on 07/14/14 at 10:29 AM ET

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I have read this myth in the comments section for a while now.  Would you be so kind as to provide sources for this claim?  I won’t be so bold as to say it’s a falsehood but rather ask you to prove that it is true.  I have never read anything in any publication suggesting this is a reality.

Here you go, what else do you need.  Holland declined to become team president to make way for Yzerman…

“Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch told 97.1 The Ticket’s Morning Show on Thursday that he asked general manager Ken Holland to become team president to make way for vice president Steve Yzerman to become the club’s GM, but Holland declined.”

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2010/05/red_wings_owner_mike_ilitch_gm.html

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 11:05 AM ET

SK77's avatar

BOOM.

Uncle Rico backing it up with fact. I dig that.

Posted by SK77 on 07/14/14 at 11:13 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

And why the heck would Holland step down in 2010? He had a decent track record and Detroit had stumbled in 2009-2010 but in no means had the outlook the team currently does. Way to dig back 4 years and try to place blame on things that happened 4 years ago. Grasping at pathetic straws, you are.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/14/14 at 11:16 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I Woodriffe’s line: “When you give out second chances, you take a first chance from someone else.” That should be in bold letters on a giant poster in Ken Holland’s office.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/14/14 at 11:24 AM ET

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And why the heck would Holland step down in 2010? He had a decent track record and Detroit had stumbled in 2009-2010 but in no means had the outlook the team currently does. Way to dig back 4 years and try to place blame on things that happened 4 years ago. Grasping at pathetic straws, you are.

Jimmy D stepped down/moved up/aside for Holland after the ‘97 Cup win.

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

OlderThanChelios's avatar

That should be: “I *love* Woodriffe’s line…”

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/14/14 at 11:26 AM ET

SK77's avatar

Way to dig back 4 years and try to place blame on things that happened 4 years ago. Grasping at pathetic straws, you are.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/14/14 at 12:16 PM ET

Well, it IS kind of hard to find a quote about Holland not stepping aside for Yzerman in the last year or two ...

Posted by SK77 on 07/14/14 at 11:29 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Here’s what I know: the emphasis from Holland, Nill, etc. (Yzerman was not press-friendly, and we’ll get to that) is that Yzerman was going to run his own team.

There was always a sense that the media spotlight would shine so very brightly upon every Yzerman decision that it was a bad idea for him to get his “start” running a team in Detroit, and Yzerman’s non-interaction with the media (he was “off limits”) certainly aided credence to the concept that Stevie Y wasn’t comfortable with the concept of being a legendary player turned legendary GM. Through my few interactions with Yzerman, he really seems like someone who feels that he’s been “played” by the Detroit media, and he is super-suspicious of their agendas. It’s just my gut feeling, but I always felt like he really wanted to go somewhere else and get out of the spotlight a bit.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/14/14 at 11:29 AM ET

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The ticket sales conversation from the other thread probably isn’t 100% accurate, but there is probably some truth to it.  The Wings go through STH staff like water.  They have raised prices each of the last three years while offering an inferior product.  The changes started when they brought in Tom Wilson from the Pistons.  I am on my 5th STH exec in 11 years.  There was a waiting list when I got mine.  There isn’t any more.  Part of that is the economy, lack of jobs, and the general state of Michigan.  The bigger part is the Wings haven’t done anything to change.  This is a money game plain and simple.  Have teams just good enough to make the playoffs.  Why you ask, because they make STH renew for the next season prior to the playoffs.  I have to renew in March or 2014 for the 2014-15 season.  People will forget about free agency, and off season issues if they make moves at the deadline(legwand) and appear to make the playoffs.  Because we have been sold on the “anything can happen if we get in” story.  I can tell you this, a year ago I lost my job, Yes Michigan, so I called my season ticket rep, to tell them I needed to cancel my account, so I could get my money back.  I was told there were no refunds, regardless of reason, sorry but those funds would be forfeited, or they could apply them to the next season, so if I did get a job I could renew again.  Either way I would be out the cash.  So while I don’t believe the other story, completely, it is not that far fetched.

Posted by murph1jj on 07/14/14 at 11:34 AM ET

awould's avatar

Way to dig back 4 years and try to place blame on things that happened 4 years ago.

Well, the problem, as he apparently sees it, is Holland not stepping aside to allow Yzerman to move up to GM. This happened 4 years ago and the actions the caused it, coincidentally, happened 4 years ago. Not sure what you’re complaining about. Seems like an entirely valid point. Disagree with the point, I guess, but acting as if 4 years ago is ancient history and not relevant today is wrong. It’d be like acting like Lidstrom’s retirement is irrelevant to the defensive woes of today because it’s been 2 whole seasons, even though the 3 off-seasons since, specifically the failure to shore up the D, is the underpinning of the anti-Holland argument.

Posted by awould on 07/14/14 at 11:48 AM ET

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Jimmy D stepped down/moved up/aside for Holland after the ‘97 Cup win.

Get your facts strait.
KH replaced Bowman as GM, not Jimmy D.
Scotty Bowman at the time occupied both: GM and head coach positions.

Posted by wings8 on 07/14/14 at 12:04 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I think these two comments mirror the problem in Detroit….

After three years of not landing a “name” free agent and two summers’ worth of very hard whiffs in terms of improving the team’s defense (2012, the Summer of Suter, and this one), I can’t help but think that the team’s not doing “good enough” in terms of convincing free agents that the Wings “aren’t that far off.”

Q. Who do you think the Red Wings consider untouchable? I would guess Tatar, Nyquist, (Niklas) Kronwall, (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk.
—Mike

A. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Mantha for sure. Perhaps Nyquist. That’s all. But others have no-trade clauses (either full or modified): Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Ericsson, Cleary and Weiss.

The rest of the league sees what the Brass, the Detroit Media and 75% of this fanbase can’t, the 2010 generation of the Red Wings IS NOT NOR WILL NOT be a contender, and now is the time to trade Pavel and/or Hank to acquire the pieces to make the upcoming generation one. Not in 2 years when Pavel has 1/4 season left in him and we get a piddly 2nd round pick, or when Z’s back issues + age scare every NHL team off.  Let the team bottom out already, get high end picks, start over. Let it happen, let it go, be a contender around year 2-3 of the new arena.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/14/14 at 12:16 PM ET

calquake's avatar

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2010/05/red_wings_owner_mike_ilitch_gm.html

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 12:05 PM ET

Thanks for providing that.  However your placement of blame is wrong.  Mr. Ilitch called the shots back then and should have let Kenny go if he truly believed Stevie was ready to take over.  I don’t believe he did.  So blame Mr Ilitch if you have to blame someone.

Posted by calquake on 07/14/14 at 12:21 PM ET

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KH replaced Bowman as GM, not Jimmy D.

Nope.

Posted by Garth on 07/14/14 at 12:21 PM ET

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Get your facts strait.
KH replaced Bowman as GM, not Jimmy D.
Scotty Bowman at the time occupied both: GM and head coach positions.

I was under the impression that Jimmy D and Bowman served as co-GMs (1994- 1997) before making way for AGM Ken Holland to move up to GM.  That’s what Wikipedia supports (always right, correct?)...

From wikipedia:

Devellano served as the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings from 1982–1990, and again from 1994-1997. He remained in the Red Wings front office as a vice president during Bryan Murray’s tenure as GM from 1990-1994. During his second stint as GM, Devellano served alongside Red Wings head coach Scotty Bowman, who also held the title of Director of Player Personnel. Both Devellano and Bowman were replaced by Assistant General Manager Ken Holland after the Stanley Cup Championship 1997 season. Devellano was named Senior Vice President and Alternate Governor, Bowman remained as head coach, and Holland was named General Manager.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 12:22 PM ET

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Thanks for providing that.  However your placement of blame is wrong.  Mr. Ilitch called the shots back then and should have let Kenny go if he truly believed Stevie was ready to take over.  I don’t believe he did.  So blame Mr Ilitch if you have to blame someone.

Both are to blame.

In addition to saying that Holland should have moved to team president to make way for Yzerman, I agree with you, and have posted on this site many times, Illitch should have told Kenny it’s team president or nothing.  It’s the same theory that KH should be following now but he’s clearly not: better to trade or cut ties with a player one yr. too early rather than one yr. too late!

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 12:27 PM ET

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A few yrs. ago I launched JoshMcDanielsSucks.com when that clown was ruining the NFL team I support.  The site got a lot of traffic and notoriety… thinking about doing a similar site for KH…

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 12:31 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Both are to blame.

Only to a point.  You can’t fire your boss or give him an ultimatum (without consequences).  He however has the power to do both.  Not exactly an equal relationship.
Again, if KH is so horrible who is available right now to replace him? (other than the armchair GM’s)  Stevie may never come back and Nil is just starting his new job.  Is KH the best GM in hockey?  Hardly, but I’d rather have him than anyone else I can think of right now.  How about you?

Posted by calquake on 07/14/14 at 12:42 PM ET

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Outside of Yzerman - I don’t see him coming back for a while as he’s put a lot of energy and resources in his job in Tampa and things are just getting started there - I’d start by looking at Mike Futa in LA and Jason Botterill in Pittsburgh.  The Wings need a fresh perspective at the top of their Hockey Ops. dept.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/14/14 at 01:00 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Plus UR, Yzerman recently signed a four-year extension with the Bolts.  One year remaining on current contract, then the four year kicks in.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/14/14 at 01:09 PM ET

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I can totally understand why Yzerman’s first GM opportunity made more sense outside of Detroit, and maybe especially in a nontraditional market.

It would be great if he wanted to come back eventually, but one does get the sense that this is a man who wants to make his own way as an executive, on his own terms.

Holland should have been willing to move upstairs for Nill. It was obvious that they could only hand out higher salaries and additional titles and responsibilities for so long before Nill would find the right opportunity and want to move on.

I don’t know whether that was ever seriously discussed. But certainly we heard again and again in the press, including from Holland, what a loss Nill would be.

It’s fascinating comparing the development and decay of effective front offices. Columbus was in such bad shape for so long. And they’re a team I watched pretty closely as a contrast to the Wings best practices. Scott Howson actually made some solid moves over the years. But the overall management of talent and assets at times showed the near-panic and lack of a consistent, coherent plan you’d expect from someone who was overwhelmed and needed help. He had a guy below him—not really a “name” figure—who dealt with the AHL, and there was a business executive parallel to him, who had come from the majority owner’s business and who had no hockey background whatsoever. And that was it. Now, they have Davidson, Kekelainen and Bill Zito. Maybe some franchises still thrive with one dictatorial guy at the top. But many seem to be emulating the way the Wings used to do things. While, ironically, we are now seeing the loss of these other perspectives.

Posted by Lefty30 on 07/14/14 at 04:28 PM ET

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Yzerman’s first NHL GM opportunity, that is…

Posted by Lefty30 on 07/14/14 at 04:36 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Either way i hope we all calm down and take Wojo’s advice and wait to see what happens in the beginning of the season.  And hope for the best when it comes to KH pulling off some trades.  he at some point will have to when DDK and Tatar resign and if we can get Alfie back.

As the dust settles, I still expect Holland to trade for a defense-man. He knows the defense as presently constructed is not capable of a long playoff run, let alone making the playoffs. The question is what is he willing to give up without decimating the team in the process?

Posted by bigfrog on 07/14/14 at 09:01 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I am on my 5th STH exec in 11 years

Sorry to hear about the turnover with your Reps. I had my first Rep for two years, but she was let go when Tom Wilson took over. My second Rep I had for a year, but she left because her husband got a job in Boston. I have had my current Rep for over 6 years, and he is great. What I’m saying is there are various reasons why people are no longer employed by the Red Wings.

Posted by bigfrog on 07/14/14 at 09:08 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.