Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings prospect talk: on Callahan, Mantha, Jarnkrok, Nyquist and ‘the process’

This is an entry about several current and several former Red Wings prospects, including one who's contributing to the NHL roster. I'm not quite sure whether it will mesh together, but I'm gonna give it a go.

If you missed the earlier Mitchell Callahan post, the Grand Rapids Griffins made an announcement regarding the young man's surgery for a broken jaw and somewhere between 10 and 12 missing teeth (as Fox 17's Steve Amorose noted, it's not certain whether the physicians who operated on Callahan knew that he'd lost his two front teeth long ago)...

Griffins coach Jeff Blashill also told the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner that Callahan was no longer in the "selfie" doghouse, and Luke Glendening told Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji that his former roommate was "okay."

According to Wallner, Callahan's remaining roommate in Grand Rapids is the man whose slapshot mauled Callahan's face--defenseman Ryan Sproul--and Sproul knows how Callahan is feeling given that he suffered a broken jaw due to blocking a shot when he was with the Soo Greyhounds, but that didn't ease the pain of hurting a friend:

The on-ice image of Callahan bent over just outside the goalmouth for a few seconds before blood began to spill onto the ice and play halted was disturbing to Sproul, who lives with Callahan.

“I pretty much almost broke down right there,” Sproul said after practice Thursday. “I was scared for him, and went right over to make sure he was all right because, like I said, he’s one of my best friends.”

Callahan, the Griffins’ third-year forward, had surgery Thursday to repair his fractured jaw. He lost up to 10 teeth, some of which Sproul picked up off the ice, as well.

“I picked up four, but I think there was probably more out there,” he said. “I know he lost nine or 10 … It was definitely tough. I could barely pick them up my hands were shaking so much and in shock of what happened."

Sproul said Callahan understands that his injury is part of the game and that both are moving on from the first period incident in the Griffins 6-1 win over Iowa.

According to Wallner, Sproul and Trevor Parkes are going to help Callahan adjust to what I'm sure is a soft-food-and-liquid-painkillers diet--there are more surgeries to come to implant new teeth, to be sure--and I can at least tell you that I have been informed that a real, actual adult will join the roomies to supervise Callahan's care.

Two Red Wings prospects are playing playoff hockey this evening--Marek Tvrdon and Mitchell Wheaton's Kelowna Rockets begin their second-round WHL playoff series against Seattle at 10 PM EDT--but some comments made by the QMJHL's MVP and leading scorer, who begins his second-round play when his Val-d'Or Foreurs (I love that the team name translates to "The Valley of Gold 'Diggers'") battle the Drummondville Voltigeurs tomorrow.

Yahoo Sports Buzzing the Net's Mike Sanderson broke down the Val-d'Or-vs-Drummondville series with some words that might be taken as unflattering to Mantha's abilities, but also quite accurate in terms of the fact that we forget he's got a long way to go to replicate his junior successes at the NHL level:

Why the Foreurs should win: League MVP Anthony Mantha didn’t score a ton in Val-d’Or’s first round win over Acadie-Bathurst, but he didn’t have to as the Foreurs toppled the Titan in four. He will be better in this second round series.

The Foreurs have other offensive options as well, in Samuel Henley, Louick Marcotte and Pierre-Maxime Poudrier, as well as Randy Gazzola and Guillaume Gélinas on the blueline. No junior team in the league can boast what the Foreurs have: a bona-fide top two pairing with major offensive talent. They can have all five players run all-out attack with ease throughout a game unlike any other QMJHL team.

Val-d’Or dramatically outshot their opponents in the first round, a 157-74, including a 55-19 run in the first period. The Foreurs gave up only one goal in the first frame, and none in the second one. They start games fast and quick, and hope the other team can’t catch up.

However...

How the Voltigeurs could win: Keep in mind that Mantha is a sniper, and snipers are hot and cold. If Mantha is on a cold streak, the best goal scorer in the QMJHL is a non-factor. Drummondville can score too, as the five-game win over Victoriaville proved. They had seven players at a point-a-game or above.

I don't believe that Mantha's going to experience the kind of struggles that Martin Frk has adjusting to pro hockey--after all, Frk was jamming home passes from Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon last year at this time, and Frk's 3 goals, 9 assists and 12 points in 49 AHL games and 5 goals, 8 assists and 13 points in 15 ECHL games belie the fact that Frk still has 20-25-goal potential if he picks up his game...

But we do need to remember that Mantha's had all the time in the world to wind up for one-timers and that he's a 6'4," 209-pound behemoth skating through 16-to-20-year-olds in the QMJHL. His 57 goals, 63 assists and 120 points registered over the course of 57 games played speak to nothing less than honest-to-goodness 30-goal potential, but he's not going to step into the Wings' lineup and dominate.

He'll need time in the AHL to round out his game and ensure that he's "a factor" when he's not scoring goals, and he'll need to learn how to defend and protect the puck against men, not kids. It may take some time for Mantha to mature, and while I fully believe that he is "the real deal" and then some, we have to be careful to not expect immediate NHL results.

Shifting that narrative on its head, sometimes "immediate results" don't necessarily portend long-term succes--or at least I hope that's the case in the following instance.

My reaction to the fact that the "David Legwand-for-Calle Jarnkrok, Patrick Eaves and a 3rd round pick that becomes a 2nd rounder if the Wings make the playoffs" trade was consummated at 2:59 PM was this: "Dear Gord, why couldn't Holland have been late?"

Legwand's played pretty well for the Wings (he's posted 3 goals, 7 assists and 10 points in 15 games, though he's a -7) and between Mike Babcock's Fan 590 interview and the whispers that the team wants to re-sign Legwand already (the same beat writers suggesting as much were the ones who told us that the Wings were going after Stephen Weiss in February of 2013), I think the Wings' coaches and management will make the same justification for paying a stiff price for Legwand that they did for acquiring Robert Lang in 2004--and if you happen to recall, that trade cost the Wings Tomas Fleischmann and the first-round pick that became Mike Green.

The Wings will end up arguing that, without Legwand, they wouldn't have made the playoffs, especially given that Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan and Cory Emmerton were the team's healthy centers at the time of the trade, and given the team's sudden depth at center, one can understand why Jarnkrok may have bolted for Sweden (see also: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Helm, Weiss, Sheahan, Glendening, Andersson and the no-longer-waiver-exempt Landon Ferraro next fall)...

But Jarnkrok's taken off with the Predators, posting 1 goal, 4 assists and 5 points in 6 games (ahead of tonight's Predators-Ducks tilt), and he's earned rave reviews from the Predators' players, coach, GM and press corps.

The Tennessean's John Glennon reports that Nashville's actually playing better without Legwand, who the Predators weren't going to offer a contract extension to anyway...

The Predators expected to take a short-term loss after the trade, considering Legwand had been their top center — and leading scorer — through 62 games.

But they are actually doing better in some regards since the trade.

The Predators were 26-26-10 (.419 win percentage) prior to the trade and have posted a 7-6-1 record (.500) since then.

They were averaging 2.44 goals per game before the trade and — thanks to their best offensive surge of the season over the last six contests — have averaged 2.79 goals in the 14 games since the trade.

On the other side of the ice, the Predators have been a bit stingier as well. They were allowing 3.05 goals per game in the 62 contests prior to the trade, and they’ve allowed 2.86 since then.

And the Predators are happy with both Jarnkrok and another player for whom Legwand's departure opened up a roster spot:

Legwand’s departure figured to bring more offensive opportunities for former first-round pick Colin Wilson, who is playing center this season for the first time in his NHL career.

But Wilson has posted only four points (one goal, three assists) and a minus-four rating in the 14 games since Legwand was traded. He saw more than 15 minutes ice time in each of the first eight games following the trade, but has only topped that mark once since Jarnkrok was called up six games ago.

As for Jarnkrok, he’s off to a very good start. He produced five points (one goal, five assists) and a plus-five rating in his first six games with the Predators. He has also contributed on the penalty kill and earned regular praise from coach Barry Trotz for his all-round play — promising signs for the future.

Now there's no guarantee that the 22-year-old Jarnkrok can keep up the pace, especially that his NHL-listed stats of 5'11" and 156 pounds are a little more realistic than his Wings-or-Griffins-reported 175-to-185 pounds (he'll probably max out at 170), but he could develop into a 50-point-producer, too.

The problem with this kind of trade is that "early trends" don't look super in terms of the Wings surrendering one of their top prospects, who could have relatively easily switched to playing on the wing if necessary, for the sake of adding a veteran center who's still 33 and an unrestricted free agent-to-be, but making any judgments at this point...

At best, any guesses we can make are just that: guesses, even if they're educated ones. I watched how much time, energy and effort the Wings placed into making Jarnkrok as happy as possible by allowing him to stay home to train in the summers after he took part in his first prospect camp, and then witnessing him step right in and look so very good this past fall was so encouraging that seeing the Wings "bail" on his potential is a little baffling, if not frustrating, from my perspective.

But it's early yet, and neither you nor I know what stories the players in question have to author for us on the ice over the course of the Wings' remaining schedule.

For what it's worth, the Hockey News's Brian Costello penned a blog entry that reminds us the pressure under which Ken Holland, Kris Draper, Ryan Martin and the Wings' management group are operating under in terms of attempting to extend the Wings' playoff streak by any means necessary:

Detroit’s come-from-behind victory over the pace-setting Boston Bruins last night all but secured a playoff spot for the Red Wings. Sportsclubstats.com has Detroit’s playoff chances at 93.7 percent after the win.

If and when the Red Wings lock down a playoff position, they’ll have extended their consecutive season playoff streak to 23 years. That’s the best active streak in the NHL and fifth longest of all-time. The Bruins (1967 to 1996) are the gold standard at 29 seasons, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks (1969 to 1997) at 28 seasons, St. Louis Blues (1978-2004) at 25 seasons and Montreal Canadiens (1970 to 1994) at 24 seasons.

The oldest current Detroit player, 39-year-old Todd Bertuzzi, was a 14-year-old bantam player in Sudbury, Ont., the last time the Red Wings missed the playoffs.

The longest active streak after Detroit is San Jose, now at 10 seasons. Pittsburgh is next at eight seasons followed by Boston and Chicago at six seasons. If the Washington Capitals can rally and make the playoffs, they’ll also be at six seasons.

While I was writing this, by the way, Columbus defeated Philadelphia 2-0, and all of a sudden, a team that ends its season with 7 games in 11 nights is breathing down the Wings' necks again:

In terms of a prospect who came and went, the Red Wings made sure to invite Dean and Jake Chelios to as many prospect camps as the brothers would attend. The pair are turning pro after completing their senior seasons at Michigan State University: Dean and Jake joined the Toledo Walleye, and now, the Walleye reports that Jake's heading up to the AHL to play for the St. Louis Blues' AHL affiliate:

Defenseman Joe Gleason has been reassigned to Toledo from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. Defenseman Jake Chelios has been loaned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

Gleason has appeared in 7 total games this year with the IceHogs with one assist. He has 18 points (3G, 15A) in 48 games played with Toledo.

Chelios has collected one goal and one assist in seven games since signing with Toledo on March 22. The son of former NHL defenseman Chris Chelios scored his first professional goal on March 30 against Kalamazoo.

And finally, there are cases in which the Red Wings are patient, the prospects they draft are equally patient in terms of accepting the ups, downs and demotions involved along the way to earning a permanent NHL spot, and their physical maturity, mental maturity and hockey maturity processes intersect at just the right time.

Gustav Nyquist, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa reminded us, came over from Sweden to play college hockey at the University of Maine. When he did so, he was basically Jarnrkok's listed size--5'10" and maybe 150 pounds soaking wet--but Nyquist got matured on the ice, he got good grades in school and he patiently built up his strength to the point that the Wings' 5'11" and 185-pound-listed stats aren't that far from the truth.

He also patiently put in his time at the AHL level when he turned pro, and as we all know, he didn't demand a trade when he got stuck with the Griffins after the Wings re-signed Daniel Cleary.

Now, people are talking about Nyquist's goal-scoring expolits like he's going to be the next Pavel Bure because...Well, the AP's Larry Lage explains why:

The Detroit Red Wings forward has scored 23 goals in 28 games after having just 63 NHL games of experience.

''I don't know how many players in the history of the game have done that,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

Not many: Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin and former NHL star Pavel Bure are the only two other players who have pulled off that feat since the 1989-90 season, according to STATS. Nyquist said the only thing that matters to him is helping the Red Wings make the playoffs.

Nyquist harbors absolutely no ill will toward the Wings for sending him down to accommodate Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Cory Emmerton...

''They just said the facts that I was going down, play hard and you'll get your chance,'' Nyquist recalled earlier week. ''I said I was going to be ready when I got a chance. And, it finally came.''

While he was hitting his stride before the Olympic break, Holland believes that Nyquist really kicked 'er into gear after skating as Sweden's 13th forward:

Nyquist scored nine times in a nine-game stretch just before the Olympic break, earning a spot on Sweden's team at the Sochi Games to replace injured Red Wings teammate Johan Franzen.

''The experience of playing with and against the best players in the world in Russia has only added to his confidence,'' Holland said.

Now...

Nyquist has scored 12 times in his last 10 games - the most by any player this season in a 10-game stretch - and has a league-high 23 goals since Jan. 20.

But Nyquist, at 24, has dealt with the spotlight as a seasoned Wings Swede, as he tells Lage (I can't quote all of Lage's article, and I strongly encourage you to read it in its entirety), and Lage also found that Nyquist's teammates are taking note of #14's calm demeanor and team-first attitude:

''He's been great about all of this,'' [Luke] Glendenning said before a swarm of reporters engulfed Nyquist. ''He is keeping his humble attitude and the great work ethic that got him here.''

The Red Wings' decision to place Jiri Fischer in charge of player development, to hire a strength and conditioning coach, first for the Griffins and then to serve as both the Griffins' and Wings' fitness coach (in Peter Renzetti), the team's decision to allow Fischer to serve as a hands-on mentor, and then to surround him with former Wings to serve as player mentors in Chris Chelios and now-assistant-GM Kris Draper, the team's use of Jim Bedard and sometimes Chris Osgood to mentor the goalies, and of course the Wings' tradition of bringing in strong coaches in Curt Fraser, Jeff Blashill, and the guy who's stuck around through all the Griffins' coaching changes in Jim Paek, as well as instituting the skill development camps to teach players how to train, how to eat and to attempt to instill the "you must want to self-improve" mantra...

All of those things have transformed what was a herky-jerky prospect pipeline into something of an assembly line, but in my interactions with prospects--from Callahan, who I feel so fondly towards that witnessing him get hurt has been heartbreaking, and I'm not afraid to admit it, to Jarnkrok, Nyquist, the Chelioses, Mantha and everybody in between--has taught me that the players themselves are ultimately responsible for their development into professional hockey players...

And it's just not an exact science, and the odds are stacked against the youngsters thanks to the new CBA. Once the prospects sign pro contracts, they've got 3-5 years to try to mentally mature, physically mature, hone their games, to learn how to prepare for the game like professionals, to take care of themselves like adults (which is very hard for junior players, who live with billet families), to not do stupid things with the large amounts of free time they suddenly find themselves holding (please see: Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm for lessons in, "Maturity doesn't happen all at once") and to end up ensuring that all of those phsyical, mental, emotional, on-ice and off-ice intangibles intersect at the same time.

The harsh reality of the situation is that if we were to look at the Wings' blueline prospects, and list their names--Adam Almquist, Ryan Sproul, Mattias Backman, Xavier Ouellet, Richard Nedomlel, Max Nicastro, Nick Jensen, Gleason Fournier and Alexei Marchenko are all pros, and Mitchell Wheaton, Marc McNulty, James de Haas, Ben Marshall and, depending on whether you define him as a defensemanor forward, Mike McKee are all playing either Major Junior or NCAA hockey--realistically speaking, if the Wings can get ONE star player and two to four more contributing players out of that fourteen, that's fantastic.

If the Wings get an entire blueline out of that group over the next ten years, they're batting into the stratosphere.

Not everybody develops. Not everybody works out. For all the time, energy, effort and money the Wings put into their pool of 30-something current prospects, if the Wings get half a team out of that within the next decade, that's effing remarkable and nothing less than that.

If they get another Nyquist and another Helm up front, another Kronwall and Ericsson on defense and Petr Mrazek developing into the goalie we all believe he can become, then the team's going to be doing very well for years to come.

Here's hoping.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Down River Dan's avatar

Not trying to project future succession Mantha, but I will offer this as food for thought.


McKinnon has enjoyed success in his rookie year and will most likely win the Calder trophy in his first year out of the QMJHL.

McKinnon is 6 ft 180lbs.
Mantha is 6 ft 5 200 + lbs

McKinnon stats in his 2 years ( 2011/12 & 2013) in the Q : 102 games, 63 g , 90 a

Mantha stats in his 2 years ( 2013 & 2014) the Q:  125 games, 107 g , 102 a

Why couldn’t Mantha have similar success in the bigs ???

Just asking.

 

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/03/14 at 11:50 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

It says Gleason is going to Rockford.  I thought the ice wolves were Chicago’s as I remember one of the chelios Bros going to Chicago summer camp

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/04/14 at 12:31 AM ET

Avatar

That was great George.  I appreciate your thoughts and perspectives on our future Wings.  You are right on and I thank you.

Posted by guy on 04/04/14 at 12:41 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Joe Gleason is not Wings property. Gleason Fournier is Wings property. The Walleye are ending their dual affiliation with Chicago and Detroit and will just be the Wings’ ECHL affiliate next season.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/04/14 at 12:56 AM ET

Avatar

More of the same old same old. Tears about the Legwand signing and orgasms for Jarnkrok. Maybe it’s time to start blogging for the Pred’s.

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 04/04/14 at 02:17 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Not tears, *caution* in suggesting that the deal is cut and dried. It’s NOT—Jarnkrok’s played in a handful of games for a team that’s not fighting for a playoff spot and the Wings are in the fight of their lives right now.

My whole damn point was to suggest that it is IMPOSSIBLE, if not DUMB to suggest that ANYONE “won” or “lost” the trade. I have *my reservations* about the deal’s long-term impact, but it’s going to play out over time.

Also: If you don’t like what you read, go start your own damn blog.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/04/14 at 02:23 AM ET

Avatar

I really appreciate your perspective on the Wings’ farm hands and system. 

It is far more information than one ever can see and deserves recognition.

Thanks for the hard work, George.  This is great stuff.

Posted by bobbo on 04/04/14 at 07:40 AM ET

BenjaminKGT500's avatar

and I can at least tell you that I have been informed that a real, actual adult will join the roomies to supervise Callahan’s care.

I bet Mom’s on the way to GR smile

Posted by BenjaminKGT500 on 04/04/14 at 08:10 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Tears about the Legwand signing

They didn’t sign Legwand, you idiot.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/04/14 at 08:52 AM ET

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If there’s anything to learn about the Legwand trade, it’s that Wings fans should take management with a grain of salt.  After pumping Jarnkok up for years in the media, they allowed the kid to get panned after the trade—Ryan Martin “I have never heard anything about Jarnkrok going back to Sweden” being the lone exception. 

The stories that Jarnrock doesn’t play defense, will never make the Wings lineup, that he’s not happy in GR, they were made up by bloggers and fans who support KH and company no matter the circumstance.  Even some legitimate media members, always in the Holland camp, ran with the story that he’s not good enough now and perhaps never will be.  It was disgusting to see how the organization allowed people to turn on the kid.

What they should have done is called him up instead of Emmerton for 10 days just to see if he could have been the next Jurco, who was also never expected to make an impact this season and only get his “cup of coffee” next year.

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/04/14 at 09:19 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I personally like Legwand.  Not going to be a big scorer but has a quiet (not Mule quiet) personality and will be a good Wing in the room and on the ice.

Lots of great kids but vets are needed. 

With Mule I can understand streaky offense but when he is not scoring he is just plain lazy.  Maybe try skating, checking and hitting.  Wings are stuck with him and he will only get worse, in my opinion.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/04/14 at 09:38 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on

Did not come close to answering question.  Just restated obvious

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/04/14 at 09:58 AM ET

Primis's avatar

  I thought the ice wolves were Chicago’s as I remember one of the chelios Bros going to Chicago summer camp

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/04/14 at 12:31 AM ET

Rockford is the Blackhawks AHL affiliate and have been for a number of years now.  The Chicago Wolves WERE Vancouver’s affiliate (and were Atlanta’s before they moved to Winnipeg—Chris Chelios played for the Wolves when he signed his last season with Atlanta) until this season, when St. Louis dropped Peoria and instead grabbed the Wolves, and Vancouver grabbed a new team in Utica to replace Peoria.

The Wolves and Blackhawks do NOT get along, dating back to the Wolves’ time in the original IHL in the 1990’s and early 2000’s when they basically marketed themselves directly against the Hawks as a cheaper (and even as a better) alternative because honestly the Hawks were so bad.  Wolves ownership would have to change for the Wolves and Hawks to do any business, so it was unsurprising the Wolves hooked up with St. Louis just to shoot the Hawks a big middle finger.

If that all sound confusing… welcome to North American minor pro hockey.  wink

Posted by Primis on 04/04/14 at 10:01 AM ET

Primis's avatar

RE: the Legwand trade… there are a number of different scenarios as I see it:

1.)  Legwand plays well enough in this playoff push and stretch that all debate stops as he finds his niche and role and produces.  Jarnkrok’s development, and performance, are then irrelevant.

2.) Legwand continues to be spotty, but somehow re-signs in DET for next season (at a reasonable cap hit) and does so without logj-amming DET’s lineup like Holland did with Cleary last offseason,  Again in this scenario, what Jarnkrok does is irrelevant.

3.) Legwand has a spotty run, re-signs, but creates a huge logjam of a mess at center.  Jarnkrok again is irrelevant.

4.) Legwand doesn’t have a good run and then doesn’t re-sign, and ends up being an under-performing rental DET vastly overpaid for.

5.) Jarnkrok goes back to Sweden for next season.

Options 1 or 2 are ideal for DET, and in those cases that probably a DET “win” for the trade.  3 is probably not good and DET is probably a loser.  4 is a clear DET loss.  And 5, though highly unlikely, would be a DET win.

NAS can’t really “win” the trade until they know what they have and get w/ Jarnkrok.  And we may be looking at another season or 2 before they know that to be honest.

In any case, from DET’s side what Jarnkrok does really doesn’t matter.  It’s all on Legwand’s performance, and if he can re-sign in DET to avoid being an expensive rental.  Truthfully, DET is loaded enough with youth that if Legwand performs well, Jarnkrok was expendable I guess.

I still HATE the trade though.

Posted by Primis on 04/04/14 at 10:15 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Yes, thank you George for all the hard work!  It’s amazing to me how some people on here do not show enough respect for the job that you do.  We may not always agree on things (The Callahan pic) but I respect your opinion, and hope that any differing opinions I might have do not come off as rude or condescending.  Yours is the only Blog I read, and I always enjoy it.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/04/14 at 10:22 AM ET

Avatar

I wonder what it will take to resign Legwand? I know our Wpg Jets aren’t expected to resign Jokinnen, so will be the free agent market for a 2/3 centre next year. Theyd probably pay $4 to $4.5 m for Legwand. That’s what they’re paying Jokinen. If the Wings want to keep Legwand, they’ll have to set Alfredsson free, likely.

Posted by manitobaredwingfan on 04/04/14 at 10:53 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/04/14 at 10:22 AM E

What he/she said.

If you don’t like what you read, go start your own damn blog.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/04/14 at 02:23 AM ET

Best retort yet.

Posted by calquake on 04/04/14 at 11:06 AM ET

SYF's avatar

-has taught me that the players themselves are ultimately responsible for their development into professional hockey players…

The path Tricky Dick Axelsson found way too hard to take.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/04/14 at 12:05 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/04/14 at 10:22 AM ET

I agree 100%, great post!!

Thanks George for my Daily Red Wing fix!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/04/14 at 12:38 PM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/04/14 at 10:22 AM E

What he/she said.

She
but you can never be sure with names now a days wink

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/04/14 at 03:08 PM ET

Crater's avatar

It was disgusting to see how the organization allowed people to turn on the kid.

What they should have done is called him up instead of Emmerton for 10 days just to see if he could have been the next Jurco, who was also never expected to make an impact this season and only get his “cup of coffee” next year.

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/04/14 at 09:19 AM ET

There was clearly a reason they DIDN’T call him up. I don’t know the reason, I’m not in the coaching/management of the team, but clearly they didn’t have much faith in him, at least not this season.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 04/04/14 at 04:36 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It was disgusting to see how the organization allowed people to turn on the kid.

Yeah the organization OWES it to some rando minor leaguer to defend his honor after they’ve traded him to make sure those nasty bloggers don’t turn on him!

All this coming from a fan who is “able to examine situations without prejudice”

Paul, you need to add a dismissive wanking smiley. That would make things so much easier.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/04/14 at 04:41 PM ET

perfection's avatar

re. Jarnkrok returning to Sweden…

perhaps the rumblings from his agent were more of the “he needs to make the Wings next year OR he will return to Sweden… or you can always trade him to an NHL team he WILL make next year” variety?

we would never guarantee him a spot next year with our logjam at center. we also were BADLY in need of a veteran center. so even if he doesn’t go back to Sweden now and plays on the Preds next year, it surely doesn’t mean he necessarily wouldn’t have if we tried to assign him to the Griffs next year. 

the fact is, he’s not a fourth line center and that would have been the only spot he could have earned. I think within the organization there was probably a “he or Sheahan” is our 2nd line center of the near future and Sheahan clearly and emphatically won the race.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/04/14 at 04:46 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.