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Red Wings quickies: on Franzen-Neil, Alfredsson’s future and the trade deadline

George here. I'll be back here a little today, but for the moment, here are a few Red Wings-related tidbits regarding the Wings' 6-1 rout of the Ottawa Senators:

1. Regarding Pavel Datsyuk, from MLive's Ansar Khan:

Pavel Datsyuk did not play in the third period for precautionary reasons. He’s still bothered by an inflamed knee. He had no points but posted a plus-3 rating. He and his teammates will have four days to rest. The Red Wings’ next game is Tuesday at New Jersey.

2. Regarding Chris Neil's decision to rip off Johan Franzen's helmet and attempt to fight a forward just recovering from a concussion like a cheap piece of *#$%@&...I mean as Neil is wont to do, from the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch...

“He tried to hit me and he couldn’t move me, so I think he got a little upset. I don’t know, I have no clue,” said Franzen. “He usually shows up when the game is over and tries to be the hero. You know, puts his cape on and goes and flies out there. He doesn’t like to take heat from fans and coaches. He usually steps up when the game is over, and shows everyone that he really fights hard.”

The Free Press's Carlos Monarrez...

When asked about his thoughts on the incident, Wings coach Mike Babcock had “no thoughts.”

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall said he didn’t see the penalized play but did say, “you could definitely feel something was going to happen.”

The referees didn’t let it get to that point, instead sending both players to the locker rooms.

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

“He tried to high stick off right off the draw, and came after me and stayed close,” Franzen said. “He was going to try and run me, rip my helmet, and hit me in the face. It’s probably not the best thing to do, get hit in the face. I don’t know, maybe the refs could have stop that before it happens, I don’t know. He hit me once, and then the ref came in.”

...

Aside from the confrontation, Franzen now has three goals and two assists in the two games since returning.

“The puck is coming to him regardless of where he is on the ice,” Kronwall said. “I’m just happy he’s playing.”

Here's an excellent video of the incident--and coach Tom Renney's upset reaction, as noted by Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels:


3. Kulfan points us toward an interview 41-year-old Daniel Alfredsson conducted with the Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan on Wednesday...

[Is] the greatest Senator of all-time gearing up for his last game ever in Ottawa?

"I'm going to wait until the end of the year and re-evaluate, especially how the body feels," said Alfredsson. "I had a couple of minor injuries where I missed some time, but if I feel I'm playing at a level where I'm not struggling too much, I still think it's fun, I'm contributing, I'll definitely consider playing another year, there's no question.

"But the moment, I don't have an answer and I haven't thought about it too much. I think that was my mindset, and it has been for a few years, that if the body feels it's not too much work to get prepared every day for practice and games, I'll continue."

But where? Judging by the comments of Red Wings GM Ken Holland Wednesday, it sounds like Detroit would like to re-sign him. But does Alfredsson want to shop himself around July 1?

"No," he said. "I think it will likely be that I stay here if I continue, for sure."

And Alfredsson added more to the mix in an interview Brennan posted after Thursday night's game:

Daniel Alfredsson has no interest in a mulligan. He's still happy he made the decision he did in jumping to the Detroit Red Wings last summer.

"No, I don't have any," the former Senators captain said Thursday morning to a reporter who asked if he had any regrets. "The only regret I have is maybe I should call my mom more often.

"It's been a great adventure for me, at this stage of my career, going to a different place, having to prove myself again. It's definitely increased my attention to what I do on the ice, and it's helped me."

5. And finally, I don't believe that the Red Wings are going to make a "big move" at the trade deadline in any way, shape or form.

I believe that, save possibly adding a second or more likely third-pair defenseman, the Wings will finally embrace their youth movement and see whether Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco can pick up the slack in Henrik Zetterberg's stead, with the team more likely to bring back Alfredsson/Gustavsson and then look for more meaningful free agent or trade addition on the blueline this summer.

The Oakland Press's Pat Caputo disagrees with that stance, and he feels that Zetterberg's absence requires the Wings to be all that more aggressive between now and next Wednesday despite Johan Franzen's performance of late, Pavel Datsyuk's status as at least still playing and the Wings' need to see whether Stephen Weiss is a "fit":

There are several players available, who can help the Red Wings. Three in particular stand out, although for different reasons. Each is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

There always seems to be concern about the Red Wings' grit. Buffalo's Steve Ott would bring that, and he will score his share of goals.

I'd love to see Ott come to Detroit, but I'd gather that the Sabres would double his asking price for a division rival.

David Legwand is from Grosse Pointe. Although he is 33 and one of Nashville's all-time great players, the former second overall NHL Draft pick still has a lot of jump. Legwand can help the Red Wings both on the power play and penalty kill, areas they need shoring up because Zetterberg is such a key component to their special team units. He’d have to waive a no-trade clause, but did grow up here.

To me, Legwand is Stephen Weiss II...

Ales Hemsky has excellent offensive skill and could be had for a defensemen. Edmonton has a lot of high-end offensive talent taken at the very top of the NHL Draft in recent years, but is woeful along the blue line. The Red Wings do have some depth in their system defensively and there might be a match there.

Hemsky's speedy and can score elegantly, but he's also prone to Franzen-and-Bertuzzi-and-Cleary-like streakiness and droughts in scoring...

There is some other higher-end talent scheduled for free agency in 2014 – the New York Islanders’ Thomas Vanek and Buffalo’s Matt Moulson, who were traded for each other earlier in the season, come to mind. But the cost in regard to draft picks and players might be prohibitive.

I'll agree with Caputo on that point. The Wings won't move their first round draft pick in case they fall short of the playoffs and that pick becomes draft lottery-eligible; you can bet that Jurco, Sheahan, Ouellet and Pulkkinen aren't going to be moved for starters, and on top of that, I have no doubt that the first words that come out of rival GM's mouths regarding potential prospect compensation are "Anthony" and "Mantha."

In my opinion, the Wings will do their best to make due with what they've got, but that's just my gut feeling talking.

See you later today.

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Comments

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I don’t see any forward moves coming, unless it’s a deal for someone they just can’t pass up, but I highly doubt that.

If anything they’ll look for D, if the price is right. One rumor last night was Kesler going home which will not happen. They have no need for him.

Posted by tmoore4075 on 02/28/14 at 09:45 AM ET

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I am actually fine with the Wings not making any trades this year. The players I wouldn’t mind seeing traded away I am sure do not appeal to anyone. I doubt there is anyone out there to trade for that would be worth the prices being talked about. If a #1 were out there sure, give up some of our kids. But I think they have a better chance making that kind of trade after the season is over.

Posted by lancer on 02/28/14 at 10:30 AM ET

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save possibly adding a second or more likely third-pair defenseman

Fantastic.  A third pairing defenseman?  Can’t have too many mediocre defensemen…  I hope they bring in a couple more fourth liners too, and maybe another backup goalie…

Posted by Garth on 02/28/14 at 10:30 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Aren’t there some of you think it is a good idea to trade for Neil? Those of us that were/are against the idea hope you saw last night’s game and have come around to our style of thinking.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 02/28/14 at 10:37 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Aren’t there some of you think it is a good idea to trade for Neil?

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 02/28/14 at 09:37 AM ET

Back in 2006 maybe.

Posted by Primis on 02/28/14 at 10:42 AM ET

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Regarding any trade, all I pray is that Jurco, Sheahan, Mantha, Tats and Nyquist are considered untouchable.

Speaking of the “kids,” I haven’t seen too many HiHD posts lately. Especially regarding Nyquist. Wonder why….


Anyways, these guys most definitely need some seasoning still, but it looks like we’ve got some absolutely outstanding players just starting out. Tatar and Nyquist are two of the most puck-hungry and tenacious players I’ve seen. As their confidence has bloomed, they have gotten better and better. They are frequently dangerous. I believe Babcock never really liked Hudler because I think in his mind, a guy has to be big enough to play that heavy style and keep the puck. I believe Babcock thought Tatar and maybe Nyquist were maybe better-skating versions of Hudler and that might go a long way to explain why it was so difficult for them to break in. But their tenacity, hockey IQ, and skating ability has allowed them to overcome this limitation and I think Babcock knows it.

Sheahan and Jurco are a little more green. But I bet they don’t see Grand Rapids again. When Weiss returns, Glendening goes. When Z returns, I bet the next casualty is Andersson….

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/28/14 at 10:45 AM ET

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Spot on, Garth. Trading for a third-pair defenseman doesn’t help at all. It’s a trade for the sake of making a trade.

Andrew McDonald on the second pair with DeKeyser would be fine. But I really think we need a big-time guy on the top pair and Ericsson needs to be on the second pair. I don’t see anyone expected to be available who fits that description and the cost will be high. Make the move when the market conditions are best.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/28/14 at 11:13 AM ET

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Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/28/14 at 10:13 AM ET

A first-pairing defenseman would be ideal, but I do think that improving the second pairing would also improve the top pair by allowing their load to be lightened a little.

A third pairing defenseman would be completely pointless.

Posted by Garth on 02/28/14 at 11:20 AM ET

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Speaking of the “kids,” I haven’t seen too many HiHD posts lately. Especially regarding Nyquist. Wonder why….

A) Olympics.

B) Because I’ve already stated my opinion.  Nyquist’s played great this year and is nearly goalscoring at a level higher than he has at either college or the AHL.  I don’t think he’s that accomplished a goalscorer and his current production will regress to the mean.

Throughout his NCAA and AHL time, over a period of 250-some games, Nyquist’s gotten 64% of his total points with assists.  This year he’s gotten 44% of his points that way.

He’s having a great year, and it’s an awesome thing for Detroit that he has… I just don’t think what he’s doing now is actually the kind of player he will end up being, and if I’m correct the same people lauding Nyquist now and strutting around are going to be carping next year about what a ‘disappointment’ he is and how he’s ‘regressed’, likely shortly before blaming the coaching staff for not using him properly.

That tends to be how it goes here.  Super high expectations are set, and sometimes meeting them even once is the worst possible outcome.  Then those outcomes never come down to a rational level and the player (or coach, or front office, or team in general) are forever judged against a bar set absurdly high.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/28/14 at 11:47 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Once an athlete shows what they are capable of, why should expectations drop?
The bar is set based off their performance. Yes, some time is needed to develop the body of work obviously, but seeing any given player excel for weeks & weeks at a time don’t mean expectations should be lowered. That just doesn’t make sense.
I see nothing wrong with giving the kids big props for showing what they’re capable of and possibly exceeding some peoples expectations. To expect a rookie like Nyquist to keep scoring at a pace of 10 goals in 11 games is unrealistic for very obvious reasons, but again he’s shown what he is capable of and the level of effort is what he should be held to not just results.
Hey.. my kiddo made honor roll last semester so if he gets all D’s this semester that’s rational, acceptable and to be expected, right? rolleyes

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 02/28/14 at 12:02 PM ET

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HiHD - again, I don’t think anyone has set sky-high expectations of him. All I care about is that he has been a major positive factor on this team, points aside. Imagine where this team would be with Cleary and Sammy instead of Tats and Nyquist…

They are earning their keep. Is it reasonable to expect these guys to produce 50+ points per year and be a positive force for the team? I think so. Is that a sky-high expectation? I don’t think so.

So please, let’s make sure we have a clear understanding of what my expectations are, so you can stop stating that these expectations are outrageously high. You can take issue if you think the 50+ points per year is sky-high. Otherwise, don’t keep coming back with the idea that we expect too much.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/28/14 at 12:18 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

“He tried to high stick off right off the draw, and came after me and stayed close,” Franzen said. “He was going to try and run me, rip my helmet, and hit me in the face. It’s probably not the best thing to do, get hit in the face. I don’t know, maybe the refs could have stop that before it happens, I don’t know. He hit me once, and then the ref came in.”

I am not a big Franzen fan but I love this quote. Big thumbs up, Mule.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/28/14 at 12:24 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Neil is a jerk.
He knows about Franzen’s head injury issues.

He DID run Franzen’s head into the glass, after pulling off his helmet.

If Franzen gets hit in the head, another concussion probably ends his season.

As for as Neil is concerned, all this talk about NHL players looking after each other is a load of crap.

Posted by w2j2 on 02/28/14 at 01:48 PM ET

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Neil was just trying to get us to that “best case scenario” when Franzen doesn’t play any more this season because he “looks lazy” and Detroit would be better off playing, I dunno, Landon Ferraro or someone.

Posted by captaineclectic on 02/28/14 at 02:11 PM ET

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Is Neil going to get disciplined for this?

Will the league come up with a rule to combat these scenarios (i.e., unnecessary rough stuff in a blowout game; targeting a player who has a history of head injuries without being prompted)?

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/28/14 at 02:12 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Will the league come up with a rule to combat these scenarios (i.e., unnecessary rough stuff in a blowout game; targeting a player who has a history of head injuries without being prompted)?

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/28/14 at 01:12 PM ET

Should have done that when Ryan Malone unloaded on Franzen who was just coming back from his first concussion.  Ryan fuching Malone also had a history of MGLs due to concussions himself.  Shit hasn’t changed even before Shanny took over as DPS and I don’t expect anything to be done in the future at all because these this dumb league doesn’t learn a damn anything.

And that’s how I feel.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 02/28/14 at 03:01 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.