The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/28/14 at 08:40 AM ET
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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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.