Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings Sunday afternoon news: on trade and/or free agent rumors, the Hall of Fame, etc.

I hate playing "quash the trade rumor" at all, but it's that time of year so:

John Thornton, the agent for San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, told TVA Sports' Louis-André Larivière on Sunday that despite all of the reported interested in his client from around the NHL "San Jose is the only team on his list."

The agent also hinted at what he's recently said, that Joe Thornton - who holds a full no-movement clause in his contract - would consider leaving if he felt the fans of San Jose didn't want him there.

The translated article reiterates that point, and again, I don't believe that the Wings were doing anything more than kicking tires given that Thornton is not a right-shooting defenseman...

  • As Paul noted, the Denver Post's Adrian Dater reports that the Avalanche may join the 12-plus-team race for Matt Niskanen and/or Dan Boyle's services. I'm starting to wonder whether Tom Gilbert's ticketed for Detroit at this point, or whether the Wings will make a free agency move on defense at all;

 

  • If you're interested in the Wings adding some "toughness up front," Blues GM Doug Armstrong made a telling comment regarding one Steve Ott. It sounds like Armstrong believes that Ott's put on some Daniel Cleary-style hard miles on his body:

Ott, 31, who was acquired from Buffalo last season, is wrapping up a four-year, $11.8 million contract.

“We had initial conversations, but that’s gone quiet,” Armstrong said.

In 23 games with the Blues, Ott had no goals and three assists, along with a plus-minus rating of minus-13.

“He’s a really good sort of jack of all trades,” Armstrong said. “He can go up and down in your lineup. Obviously I don’t think there’s any more expanded growth in Steve Ott’s game — he is what he is. We want to do fair contracts, but we don’t want to be anybody’s retirement package.”

 

  • In a more general vein, via RedWingsFeed, USA Today's Kevin Allen updated his free agent prospectus...

1. Defenseman Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh Penguins): The defenseman pool is shallow, and Niskanen, 27, is coming off a breakthrough season. He's a puck mover and has improved his defensive play. With the Philadelphia Flyers' Andrew MacDonald signing for $5 million a season, Niskanen's expectations might start at $5.5 million and move upward. The Penguins want to re-sign him, and he likes it in Pittsburgh. He'll have to decide whether he wants to swing with all of his might or take slightly less to stay with the Penguins.

...

5. Defenseman Andrei Markov (Montreal Canadiens): He's a veteran defenseman, power-play quarterback, smart and effective. The only worries are his age (35) and durability. He has had bad injury luck in recent years.

...

10. Defenseman Dan Boyle (New York Islanders): The Islanders acquired his rights so they could talk to him before he becomes a free agent, but he is expected to enter the market. Many teams are looking for puck-handling defensemen, including the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers.

Oh good, the Panthers want to "add, not subtract"...

16. Defenseman Anton Stralman (Rangers): This would be a tough loss for the Rangers because he played well during the playoffs. He is a dependable performer and he won't break your budget. He could have a strong collection of interested teams.

Again, the New York Post's Larry Brooks suggested that the Rangers will have $4 million to re-sign Stralman to a longer-term deal, and if he wants stability for himself and his family, that's a very reasonable deal. I'm not sold on paying a #4/5 defenseman $5 million...

 

The theory that a Tatar, Nyquist, Jurco or Mantha AND a first-round pick AND a top-four defenseman (Smith) would "get the deal done" is nice in theory, but the reality of the situation is this: Yandle led the Coyotes in scoring with 53 points this past season, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had 44 points, but a blueline consisting of OEL, Zbynek Michalek, Connor Murphy, David Schlemko, Michael Stone, Brandon Gormley and Chris Summers behind Yandle is not world-beating, and the Coyotes' prospects haven't made the jump from "Hockey's Future says Gormley and Murphy could be really, really good" to "Gormely and Murphy are really, really good at the NHL level" yet.

Phoenix has a consistent 30-to-50-point-scorer on the books for 2 more years at a cap hit of $5.25 million. Why the hell would they want to get rid of Yandle unless they have a successor in waiting--or the Wings provide them with a successor in-the-making?

It's an intriguing idea, but I just don't see Phoenix having any need to trade Yandle, and as such, I find it hard to believe that the Wings would have to do anything than throw the team's top prospects on forward and defense, as well as a bona-fide NHL defenseman with 30-to-50-point upside (anyone? Bueller?) and a first-round pick Phoenix's way...And I still see Phoenix turning down the deal.

They need Keith Yandle helming their defense. They don't need a blueline without him.

 

 

 

As we wait for tomorrow's Hockey Hall of Fame announcement, the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno duly noted that Dominik Hasek will "headline" the class...

"For me it's a no-brainer," former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said earlier this year.

Hasek, a six-time Vezina Trophy winner, won one Stanley Cup as a starter with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002, then split time with Chris Osgood and became the backup in the playoffs for the 2008 title. He came close to the Cup in 1999 with Buffalo, only to be beaten by the Dallas Stars on Brett Hull's overtime goal.

Hasek's best years came with the Sabres, when he had seven straight seasons with a save percentage of .930 or higher. He finished with 234 regular-season victories.

Veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun "knew all along" Hasek would be great from watching him play in their native Czech Republic.

"It took him a little bit just because of his style and all that to convince people here," Vokoun said in a phone interview with the Canadian Press. "I definitely consider him, if he's not the best, one of the top three to ever play. ... He definitely deserves to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer."

...

"I appreciate it, it's very nice to be among all these big players," Hasek said recently when asked about impeding election to the Hall of Fame. "I appreciate to be one day, maybe, in the Hockey Hall of Fame, however ... it was never my goal when I was playing hockey."

The Dallas News's Mike Heika spoke with Mike Modano regarding several impending events..

Mike Modano has been on the edge of anticipation lately. His wife Allison is due to give birth to twins in about a month, and oh yeah, there’s this little Hockey Hall of Fame announcement that’s schedule to come out Monday.

“It’s the last one, and it’s the biggest,” Modano said of the honors at the end of his career. “Yeah, it’s a little nerve-wracking.”

Many believe Modano has nothing to fret, listing him as a sure-fire first ballot Hall-of-Famer. But it’s not easy for the guy who’s being assessed, having to wonder if he’s good enough to make the cut on the first try.

...

Modano ranks 23rd all-time in scoring with 1,374 points and also is the all-time leading American-born scorer. He won the 1999 Stanley Cup, but major individual awards eluded him at a time when Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman were dominating the center position. Modano was the second team All-Star center in 1999-2000 behind Yzerman and finished second in rookie of the year voting in 1990.

The first pick in the 1988 entry draft by the Minnesota North Stars, Modano played all but one season with the Stars and leads the organization in almost every offensive category. His No. 9 was retired last season by the organization and he already has been inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Still, to be one of the players in the big “Hall” in Toronto would be a dream come true.

“You definitely think about it growing up and everything, but then it just seems too big to think about when you get here,” Modano said. “I think winning a Cup is different because it’s such a team thing, and winning an individual award is great, but it’s for one season. This is for your entire career, so it’s a lot to think about.”

And while MLive's Brendan Savage noted the following...

Modano had no impact during his brief tenure with the Red Wings.

He suffered a severed tendon and nerve damage in his right wrist 20 games into his only season with the Red Wings, underwent surgery the next day and missed three months before returning for the final 20 games of the season.

Modano finished with career-low totals for goals (4) and assists (11) in 40 games. He was a healthy scratch in nine of Detroit's 11 playoff games, drawing just one assist in the two games he played.

How forgettable was Modano's stint with the Red Wings? Well, consider this: Nowhere on his personal website is his one year in Detroit mentioned.

The website says Modano is "a retired American professional ice hockey player, who most notably played for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise" without mentioning the Red Wings.

1. Modano's website isn't spectacular;

2. Modano told the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan this about his time in Detroit:

Obviously, Modano will forever be linked to the Stars, making hockey a viable sport in a non-traditional market.

But getting an opportunity to play his final season with the Red Wings was special.

“I had a ball,” Modano said. “I really did, until I got hurt. Just the response I received around town from people, getting the opportunity to play in front of family, it was special. Had I not gotten hurt, I really believe I could have played there another season or two.”

I hate having to post this, but Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski duly noted that Chris Osgood won't receive the call tomorrow while posting "odds" for the Hockey Hall of Fame-eligible crowd:

Chris Osgood 10/1: Ah yes, the great Chris Osgood case.

Three Stanley Cups, and the backstop for two of them with the Detroit Red Wings. A postseason GAA of 2.09 and a regular season GAA of 2.49. A postseason save percentage of .916, and a regular season one of .905. He won two Jennings and led the NHL in wins in 1995-96, and is 10th all time in that category.

The only thing we know is that it won’t be this season. But Chris Osgood’s Hall of Fame debate is second only to Lindros’ for stoking fan passions.

 

 

 

Paul and I received a release regarding the NHL Awards and their media availabilities, and we noticed this about Monday's scheduled chats:

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Nominee Media Availability The Country Club, Wynn Las Vegas-- 2014 NHL Awards credential required for entry –

**Hart and Ted Lindsay Nominee Sidney Crosby; Selke, NHL Foundation Player Nominee and EA NHL 15 Cover Vote Finalist Patrice Bergeron; Norris Nominee Shea Weber; and Jack Adams Nominee Mike Babcock will not be available at this time. Please see note on Red Carpet availability.

Babcock will be available on the "red carpet," but we were...surprised given the rumors swirling around Babcock. At least until Vancouver's Team 1040's Jeff Paterson explained that Babcock will be busy on Monday raising funds for Hockey Canada:

 

 

Also from teh Twitterz:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

 1 2 >       Next »

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m not sold on paying a #4/5 defenseman $5 million…

I’m wondering how you convinced yourself that Stralman is a #4/5? 

By pure ice time in New York he was a 3. By usage he was a 4. Hell, even by even-strength scoring he was a 3 on New York (He’s a 5 if you take pure scoring, but that’s because he’s also a 7 when you look at time spend on the power play… a whopping 22.5 minutes last season.)

Anton Stralman is not a #4/5 defenseman.  In Detroit he’s potentially a #2/3 and more-realistically a #3/4. A bonafide 2nd-pairing guy in today’s NHL is a $5M defenseman, especially if it’s possible he can handle top-pairing minutes.

http://www.mc79hockey.com/2014/05/anton-stralman-secret-star/

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/14 at 03:34 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

My concern with Stralman is that he’s somebody who can play as a “safe” guy on a top pairing, but I’m not sure that he’s going to help the passing and puck-moving game as such. I’ve seen the stats, I know he’s just fantastic defensively, but offensively, there’s a cap on his production that may or may not justify *the Wings* going out and spending that kind of money on someone who’s going to be the safe, steady partner to a more offensively-minded defenseman.

This is just my gut talking, but I don’t think he’s going to leave New York, either.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/14 at 03:40 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s not that I dislike Stralman or am not aware of his superb defensive play: I’m wary of the concept that a team’s going to pay him at least $5 million to “empower” an offensive defenseman to make rushes. I don’t know if that’s the kind of player the Wings are looking to spend their $ on. If they do, I certainly won’t complain.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/14 at 03:44 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

I don’t see Holland making any moves besides something low risk like signing Sami Salo when no other team was interested.  We’ll re-sign Cleary for some reason and go with what we have. 

I’m just concerned Holland will again waste the last good years of his elite players.  He did it with Yzerman, but we still had Lidstrom.  Then he did it with Lidstrom.  Signing Modano was not ‘going for it’ like he tried to spin it.

Posted by Heaton on 06/22/14 at 03:51 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t know if that’s the kind of player the Wings are looking to spend their $ on

.
They shouldn’t. If they want defensive help, I would prefer Matt Greene who will cost less. But we need an offensive dman who can run a PP.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/22/14 at 03:56 PM ET

Avatar

I’m just concerned Holland will again waste the last good years of his elite players

.
I read in Russian press (and they referenced Toronto Sun as a source) that LA Kings offered (or are going to offer) Gaborik 3 years at $5 mil each. That’s a lot less money and term I was expecting.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/22/14 at 03:58 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I like Stralman. There are no elite D Men on the market (UFA) so I would just wait until next year and see how the kids and maybe a Stralman work out.

Yandle talk every freakin year is driving me crazy. No Jumbo Blow and rid the curse of Cleary

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/22/14 at 04:33 PM ET

Avatar

I would suggest the Wings save their money until the season when the teams that are not going to make the playoffs, and are offering Dmen.  Pick up a Dman then.  In the mean time find a couple of good Dmen from Grand Rapids.  Just a thought.  I don’t think signing a Dman is that critical.

Posted by guy on 06/22/14 at 06:01 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t think signing a Dman is that critical.

Signing (or trading for) a defenseman is the critical need the Wings have failed to address in several years.

It is absolutely critical.

Posted by Garth on 06/22/14 at 06:35 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t think they can gamble with the first half of the season that the GR kids will be good enough to put them in a buyer’s position around the deadline.  I think if they can get a cornerstone signing, they can take more chances to see whether or not they should add a decently-priced additional piece, but the way the blueline corps is built right now, standing pat is suicide.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/14 at 06:54 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

We have gifted offensive dmen and others that are showing more offense than thought.  What were lacking are steady d dmen.  How much better would smith or kron be with a rock steady d man back there.  He’s only got to worry about a shirt pass to a close dman.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/22/14 at 07:02 PM ET

Avatar

I’m wondering how you convinced yourself that Stralman is a #4/5?

By pure ice time in New York he was a 3. By usage he was a 4.

... and that was on the Rangers blue line.

Look, Strakman’s ok… but Detroit has a bunch of ok defensemen already.  They don’t need another ok defenseman.  There’s nothing about Stralman to separate him from Dekeyser or E overall, and the middle 4 is already a confused jumble of largely interchangeable parts.

If we’re going to add a dman, add a lead dman and spend some of the prospect blueliners who are going to have a heck of a time unseating E or Kronwall or Dekeyser for I.  Or even Smith, realistically.  Detroit’s got depth coming out of their ears at that position, the sensible plays are to a) just employ it and call a bunch of those guys up and do a full rebuild (which they won’t do), or b) move a couple of them to land a top pairing/lead dman, or c) save these moves for the deadline because it’s not inconceivable that one of these young kids might answer some of the questions on the blue line between now and then… making the whole issue moot.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/14 at 08:07 PM ET

awould's avatar

a) just employ it and call a bunch of those guys up and do a full rebuild (which they won’t do), or b) move a couple of them to land a top pairing/lead dman, or c) save these moves for the deadline because it’s not inconceivable that one of these young kids might answer some of the questions on the blue line between now and then… making the whole issue moot.

I tend to agree w/ this. I prefer option B. Option A sounds painful. Option C sounds unlikely.

Posted by awould on 06/22/14 at 08:14 PM ET

Avatar

Tom Gilbert would have been a great signing LAST YEAR, or whenever he was available. He’s earned a raise, now.
I think I’d prefer Marchenko to Gilbert or Boyle or Stralman. And i don’t want any part of paying Niskanen for 6-7 years when we’ve got so much young talent coming up, and already have Kronwall/Ericsson locked up forever.

And Keith Yandle—- I’ve never seen a supposedly “top line” D get abused the way Datsyuk has abused this guy. He can’t play good defense. No thanks.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 08:14 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’ve never seen a supposedly “top line” D get abused the way Datsyuk has abused this guy.

Yeah, that should be the measuring stick. Nyquist undressed Chara, that guy must really suck.

Posted by awould on 06/22/14 at 08:18 PM ET

Avatar

I’m just concerned Holland will again waste the last good years of his elite players.  He did it with Yzerman, but we still had Lidstrom.  Then he did it with Lidstrom.  Signing Modano was not ‘going for it’ like he tried to spin it.

Would you rather go for it once and have to recover from it for 3-5 years or take a more consistent approach and be better over a longer term?  In a hard-capped league you can’t have both. 

IMO I’d rather the team be consistent and then try and hit homeruns with surprise picks in the draft.  That’s a strategy with far, far less downside than loading up in any one particular year, especially considering the vast majority of deadline/short term moves don’t tend to pan out.

And not for nothing, but Holland did sign Weiss to a big deal and then Alfredsson to a large (if short term) deal.  Asking him to go hard after UFAs like that again while trying to say he doesn’t do it when the taste of both of those ought to still be lingering about the gums… that’s a confusing series of suggestions.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/14 at 08:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

And Keith Yandle—- I’ve never seen a supposedly “top line” D get abused the way Datsyuk has abused this guy.

People calling Yandle a top line D aren’t paying attention to how Tippett deploys his blueliners.

... and that was on the Rangers blue line.

Which was much better than the Red Wings’ blue line.

There’s nothing about Stralman to separate him from Dekeyser or E overall, and the middle 4 is already a confused jumble of largely interchangeable parts.

Except he’s better in pretty much every facet of the game. Other than that, not much.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/14 at 08:30 PM ET

Avatar

Yeah, that should be the measuring stick. Nyquist undressed Chara, that guy must really suck.

I’m not talking about one play. I’m talking about every shift for an entire playoff series. Absolutely terrorizing the Coyotes.

Recent Yandle stats that stand out.
22 hits (soft as butter)
65 giveaways (15 more than Kronwall)
190 pounds—looks so small out there.
-23—- 13 worse than the next worst Yote defender.
63PIM—How?
Even strength points - 22 Same as OEL, six more than Derek Morris, who only played 63 games.

A quick look at advanced stats backs up my belief that Yandle is a D who benefits from his PP role and his usage at ES.
He’s an offensive defenseman who should probably be used on the 2nd pairing. And in such a role, you’d see his stats drop a lot.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 08:35 PM ET

Avatar

I tend to agree w/ this. I prefer option B. Option A sounds painful. Option C sounds unlikely.

Honestly, they’re all pretty unlikely.  There’s never been a hint Holland will throw a season (because if he ever was last year was the one to throw).  Getting a team to trade an in-prime lead dman is a nearly impossible ask without some major extenuating off-ice circumstances.  Expecting a kid fresh off the bus to start bombing shots from the point and playing 20 a night is a stretch, too.

My best guess is that it’ll be a little of column a, a little of b, and a little of c.

Holland will work in a couple kids on the blue line and phase out some of the less effective players over time, doing a rebuild the way people develop tolerances to poison… bit by bit.  Holland will kick the tires on anything even vaguely plausible and make sure he’s in the best possible position to leap on an opportunity to land a big name if one develops.  Holland (but mostly Babcock) will move kids up into as large a role as they can safely (and competently) handle… like he did with E and Kronwall and Dekeyser.

And Keith Yandle—- I’ve never seen a supposedly “top line” D get abused the way Datsyuk has abused this guy. He can’t play good defense.

Detroit’s problem isn’t defense on the blue line.  It’s a complete absence of offense:

-Their leading blue line goalscorer was tied for 33rd.

-Their whole blue line scored 26 goals on the year.  That’s a) pathetic, b) barely any more than individual dmen are scoring (Weber had 23, two others had 20), and c) an amount that’s positively fallen off the table since Lidstrom’s last year even though Lidstrom only scored 11 that season.  They had 41 and 44 Lidstrom;s last two years… now they are getting 26 in 82 games?  After being on pace for 27.3 in 82 during the short season?

-I’m not saying Yandle, specifically, is the answer to that problem… but I am saying an offensive player is, in fact, the answer to that problem… and sometimes an offensive player isn’t always a locked up defensive player.  That’s okay, sometimes.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/14 at 08:41 PM ET

awould's avatar

Yandle is a D who benefits from his PP role

I guess my confusion is I think it would be a good thing to get a puck moving defenseman who can score on the PP.

Posted by awould on 06/22/14 at 08:44 PM ET

Avatar

Which was much better than the Red Wings’ blue line.

Healthier, yes.  Better, no.  Much better, stop it.

Except he’s better in pretty much every facet of the game.

Oh good grief, there goes the hyperbole express.  Not only is there nothing substantive to suggest he’s ‘better in pretty much every facet of the game’ than E or Dekeyser, there’s almost nothing to suggest he’s better than either of those two in ANY facet of the game.  Heck, you can’t even honestly say he’s more reliably healthy than E or Dekeyser, and that’s his best opportunity to demonstrate a win in a category.

This isn’t Ericsson and Dekeyser puffery.  Both of those guys are limited offensive players who have effective ceilings as #3’s as a result of that lack of offense.  The ‘problem’ is that’s at or beyond Stralman’s ceiling, too.  Heck, at least E and Dekeyser have some size and reach.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/14 at 08:53 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Not only is there nothing substantive to suggest he’s ‘better in pretty much every facet of the game’ than E or Dekeyser, there’s almost nothing to suggest he’s better than either of those two in ANY facet of the game.

Have a ball:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=41&s=34&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f7=30-&c=0+1+3+5+2+4+6+7+10+8+11+12+13+14+15+16+17+18+19+20+21+22+23+24+25+26+27+28+32+33+34+29+30+31+35+36+37+38+39+40+47+48+49+50+51+52+53+54+55+56+63+67+57+58+59+60+61+62+64+65+66+41+42+43+44+45+46#snip=f

Corsi rate, Corsi rel, penalty taken rate, penalty drawn rate (better than Ericsson only), defensive zone starts, PDO disadvantage, On ice scoring rate.

Every important factor about how a defenseman actually does his job well? Stralman does better.

He’s even better on the PK numbers.

And you’re crying about hyperbole? Grow up.

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/14 at 09:00 PM ET

Avatar

Healthier, yes.  Better, no.  Much better, stop it.

There is absolutely no question that New York’s D was better than Detroit’s.

Posted by Garth on 06/22/14 at 09:04 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

To be clear, I like DeKeyser and Ericsson.  I think Ericsson has made some huge strides and he’s got the potential to hang with Stralman.  I think DeKeyser has a very good shot of overtaking him in the future as he continues to grow his game, but this chest-puffing crybaby asshattery over suggesting that a guy who outperforms them in the thing they’re supposed to be better at is uncharacteristic.

If the Wings don’t end up with Stralman, it’s probably not going to hurt them. The Wings need a bigger impact player on the blue line and the only way Stralman makes sense is if they end up having to move some of their depth to get that impact player and then back-fill at that position with Stralman.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/14 at 09:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Oh, the next two weeks are going to be delightful, aren’t they?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/14 at 09:09 PM ET

awould's avatar


Oh, the next two weeks are going to be delightful, aren’t they?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/14 at 09:09 PM ET

I love this time of year. Thanks for covering it well.

Posted by awould on 06/22/14 at 09:17 PM ET

Avatar
I guess my confusion is I think it would be a good thing to get a puck moving defenseman who can score on the PP

To replace Kronwall? Because there’s only room for one LHD on the PP?
Kronwall and Yandle are both undersized, firstpairing offensive D.

Kronner vs Yandle
Kronwall 8-41-49 +0 25PP points 44 PIM 93 hits, 154 Blocks 50 giveaways
Yandle 8-45-53 -23 31PP Points, 63PIM 22 hits 105 blocks 65 giveaways

If you have both guys, one guy will become the 2nd pairing, 2nd PP unit guy and see his production sliced considerably.

I’d prefer giving Smith/Kindl the job as 2nd Unit PP LD, 2nd UNit LD and not wasting $5M and considerable assets for a defenseman we already have.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 09:29 PM ET

Avatar

Detroit’s problem isn’t defense on the blue line.  It’s a complete absence of offense:

I disagree. Our problem is two-fold. Our skilled defensemen haven’t shown much skill, sure. But we completely lack toughness, combativeness on D.
We’re too easy to play against. We’re using a rookie and KQ as our shutdown pairing?
I think our poor defensive scoring is partially due to the fact that a) we only used one D on the first unit b) our second unit is treated like an afterthought.

Also, our coach clamped down on the team’s playing style, like he did the previous year, employing an off-the-glass-and-out mentality that isn’t conducive to even strength goal scoring.

Coach also gives too much time to forwards who can not hold/possess/make plays with the puck. When Abdelkader, Glendening, Miller get the puck, they’re black holes.

I’ve done a look at Kindl’s plus/minus when used with Miller vs Tatar, and it’s ridiculous. I’d love to see what kind of production per 60 Kindl has with possession guys vs muckers.

I don’t think think the Wings have the weapons to be a contender. But I think the Wings have the weapons to be better than they are. We’re underemploying skill guys like Tatar/Nyquist and overemploying scrubs like Lashoff/Miller/Glendening/Abdelkader.

The general consensus among Wings fans is that D makes the offense go. I think it’s a street that goes both ways.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 09:54 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 09:29 PM ET

You’re probably the first guy to make the claim that Yandle and Kronwall are the same player. They’re not. Kronwall is better when he’s not relied on to score or carry the PP. He’s a better defensive player than Yandle. Yandle isn’t a defensive stalwart, but that’s not what Detroit needs and not what Yandle brings. What he brings is an ability to move the puck and help out offensively. His talents are wasted in Phoenix because they, well, kind of suck.

Which brings me to my next point, pulling stats without context conveniently ignores the fact that Yandle plays for the Coyotes. My guess is he’d play better on a better team that plays a system that he’s suited for.

Posted by awould on 06/22/14 at 09:56 PM ET

awould's avatar

Also, our coach clamped down on the team’s playing style, like he did the previous year, employing an off-the-glass-and-out mentality that isn’t conducive to even strength goal scoring.

Because they do not have the talent in place to move the puck the way they want.

Posted by awould on 06/22/14 at 09:57 PM ET

Avatar

overemploying scrubs like Lashoff/Miller/Glendening/Abdelkader.

Abso-*#$%@&-lutely!

Unfortunately Detroit’s coach puts more stock in players who try hard but suck over those who try hard and are actually good.

Posted by Garth on 06/22/14 at 10:00 PM ET

Avatar

You’re probably the first guy to make the claim that Yandle and Kronwall are the same player. They’re not. Kronwall is better when he’s not relied on to score or carry the PP. He’s a better defensive player than Yandle. Yandle isn’t a defensive stalwart, but that’s not what Detroit needs and not what Yandle brings. What he brings is an ability to move the puck and help out offensively. His talents are wasted in Phoenix because they, well, kind of suck.

Detroit
39-28-15
Phx
37-30-15

Detroit -4
Phx -13

this idea that his talent is “wasted” in Phoenix is a joke.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 10:04 PM ET

Avatar

Because they do not have the talent in place to move the puck the way they want.

Because they use Brendan Smith, an offensive defenseman, on the PK instead of the PK.

WHY?
Because they trad for KQ, an offensive defenseman, and pretend he’s Craig Ludwig. WHY?

Because they have Jonathan Ericsson, an offensive minded player converted from forward to Defense, and pretend, because he’s 6’5, that he’s defensive-minded. WHY?

Because Abdelkader on Datsyuk’s line. Because Glendening playing way too many games with more minutes than Tatar.

Because David Legwand on line 4 LW.

We’ve got a coach whose natural inclination, at the first sign of adversity, is to go into a shell and pretend he’s the 2003 Mighty Ducks.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 10:08 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/22/14 at 10:04 PM ET

You use stats with no context.This post above is full of your own conclusions as though they’re some established fact.

For instance, KQ isn’t utilized in a capacity that doesn’t suit him, at least not for any reason other than injury depletion. He’s just not all that great of a player.

Ericsson isn’t waiting to burst out in an offensive role, held up only by the coach’s poor choices. He’s scored 68 pts in over 300 games.

And a team where the PP is run by Yandle and then Kronwall is imminently better than a team with Kronwall and Smith.

Also, comparing Detroit’s record last year, after the injuries and growing pains, and implying that they’re somehow equivalent to Phoenix is laughable.

Mostly though, your string of complaints makes me wonder what you actually like about Detroit’s team.

Posted by awould on 06/22/14 at 11:02 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

We’ve got a coach whose natural inclination, at the first sign of adversity, is to go into a shell and pretend he’s the 2003 Mighty Ducks.

Take a look at this lineup from March 11:
http://redwings.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020979

Granted, I picked a game that was lowest of low points this season, but most of the year wasn’t icing a whole lot better of a team. Even games when we had Pav and/or Z on the ice, neither one were anywhere close to healthy for most of it and simply dressing to give the team a fighting chance. That goes for Alfredsson, Franzen, and the better half of the defense as well.

I don’t always agree with Babcock’s strategery, and I fully agree the org has over-committed to bottom 6 players the past half dozen years or so, but what would you have him do? I know we all love the kids, but do you really expect that team to play like the Russian 5?

Getting a puck mover on the back end is key to getting back to those high-flying fast attack days. That guy doesn’t have to be superman on the power play, doesn’t have to have a cannon shot from the point. Hell I don’t even care if they’re right handed or not. They just have to be able to clear the zone with possession. Recover the puck and make smart passes to the forwards or skate it out themselves, especially under pressure. The team was fine in the defensive zone last season. But they spent so much time pinned in their own end or failing to get the puck past center ice that even the best defensive players in the world are going to be giving up goals eventually. That’s gotta change.

It all starts on the back end with the transition game. Fix that and even a retired Homer or broken Cleary will look like they’re flying through the neutral zone.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/22/14 at 11:27 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

It’s not that I dislike Stralman or am not aware of his superb defensive play: I’m wary of the concept that a team’s going to pay him at least $5 million to “empower” an offensive defenseman to make rushes.

They were paying Stuart 4.5 to do just that six years ago.

The defense has a lot of problems in Detroit. It’s personnel doesn’t really match what they ask it to do, largely because they’re slotted wrong.  If you added a guy like Stralman he’d lower the pressure on whoever he’s paired with.  Brendan Smith with a reliable partner might be a salvageable player, not unlike the way Kronwall was able to play a bit more instinctive role with Stuart as his partner.  As for Kronwall, he’s a lot better player when Ericsson is his partner than he is otherwise because he’s able to play a more rounded all-around game.  I think the same will be true for DeKeyser.  Stralman gives you two defensive guys to help stabilize the others and let them open up and create more offense.  It doesn’t magically give Smith a brain, turn DeKeyser’s slapshot into a 2008 Nicklas Lidstrom clone, or help Ericsson stay on the ice… but it helps the situation overall and, in my opinion, might help turn the defense into one of those situations where the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Also, having a second reliable penalty killing pair will help the offense immensely.  Kronwall, Ericsson, and DeKeyser are all exhausted when penalties end.  Toss someone like Stralman out there and some of those guys carry less burden, or a guy like Smith has had two minutes to regroup, get his mind right, and go out with fresh legs when the penalty is killed off. 

I don’t know that Stralman is necessarily the answer; a mix of some Marchenko and a sixth pairing guy like Brad Stuart (as he is now) might accomplish the same.  One of the other young guys might, but they’re more of a gamble.  What we DO know is that Quincey-Kindl-Lashoff are not viable 5-7s.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/22/14 at 11:46 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I know the Wings were paying Stuart that amount—excellent point—to play as the stay-at-home guy on an offensive pairing.

Again, good point!

My concern is that given the $3+ million cap penalty, the restricted free agents the Wings have to re-sign (DeKeyser, Tatar and Sheahan), Datsyuk’s salary going up to $7.5 million and the cap going up to $69-70 million instead of $71…I don’t know if the Wings will have enough money to sign more than one defenseman, and admit that I’m *incredibly unsure* as to whether the team would be better-served snagging a more offensively-minded defenseman instead.

It’s an argument that we can spin our own ways, because we all know that the Wings have some theoretically good puck-movers on the cusp of contributing, and we all know that the Wings’ defense stank…But I dunno if Stralman is going to help the power play or the puck-moving game on his own. That’s all. I agree that Kindl and Lashoff have proven that they’re not up to snuff.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/23/14 at 12:17 AM ET

Avatar

It all starts on the back end with the transition game. Fix that and even a retired Homer or broken Cleary will look like they’re flying through the neutral zone.

You guys really don’t give much, if any credit, to how amazingly good the Red Wings centers have been in the puck possession game.

For 20 years, defensemen came to Detroit to finish their careers—long past their expiration date, because our forwards dominated the possession time and made life easy for guys like Schneider, Chelios, Duschesne, Murphy, Fetisov…a whole bunch of D who retired here, or should have retired here, because they got lit up (a la Brett Lebda and Andreas Lilja and Matthieu Schneider) when they left.

It doesn’t matter how good your D pass the puck, unless every pass is a breakaway pass, when you’ve got Justin TurnoverGator beside Datsyuk. You pull coverage off Abdelkader, focus on Pavel, and the play dies at the blueline unless Pavel does something sensational.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/23/14 at 12:21 AM ET

Avatar

They were paying Stuart 4.5 to do just that six years ago.

Facts:
Brad Stuart has never made more than $3.75M
Brad Stuart, when he came here, was a hard hitting, fast, two-way defenseman.
Brad Stuart regularly hit 20 points with little to no powerplay time.
Brad Stuart was our most physical defenseman, in front of the net and in the corners.
Brad Stuart was a good shot blocker.
Brad Stuart had the respect of the coach and teammates for his work ethic and willingness to sacrifice the body to make plays.

If we could get a 28 year old Brad Stuart today, I’d gladly pay $5 to $5.5M.
Anton Stralman—I don’t know exactly what he is… a steady RHD? Doesn’t put up points. Isn’t physical. He’s only 5’11.

If Stralman wasn’t Swedish, nobody would be talking about him as a Red Wing.

 

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/23/14 at 12:31 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Am I the only one that thinks Tom Gilbert isn’t a bad choice and is probably going to come a lot cheaper than all these other guys?

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/23/14 at 12:36 AM ET

 1 2 >       Next »

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.