Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings evening news: And then things got weird

Updated 3x at 12:10 AM: With the Red Wings reeling and re-setting after losing out on Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, and

losing out on Matt Carle as well, what does the mainstream media in Detroit do? Dish doom and gloom, starting in “Tweet” form, from MLive’s Ansar Khan:

No power for 27 hours and counting. This is a good time to make some predictions because I can always blame it on the heat later (cont.)
I don’t think the Wings will sign Semin because they don’t want to make a long term commitment to someone whose commitment is questionable
I don’t think the Wings will sign Carle because he’s viewed as soft, not worth the $5 million or so a year for 5 yrs it’ll take to get him.


I just can’t see Shane Doan leaving Phoenix, despite his agent’s attempts to solicit offers. Maybe it’s a way of gaining leverage.
I can’t see Columbus trading Rick Nash to Detroit. Just doesn’t make sense to help a rival that way and anger your fanbase even more (cont.)
Plus, I just don’t think the Wings would be willing or able to put together the kind of package CBJ would demand.
I’d be shocked if any team tenders an offer sheet to Shea Weber because Nashville surely would match anything, especially after losing Suter
If you want Weber, it’s best to wait until he’s UFA in 13. Nash. likely will move him before the trade deadline if it can’t sign him, but
...he might end up being a rental biding his time until UFA. Like Hossa for Pitt in 2008.
These were my predictions before free agency: I thought Suter would stay in Nashville and Parise would go to Pittsburgh.
Bobby Ryan, my guess is winds up in Philly or with NYR (whichever team doesn’t get Nash). Or he stays in Anaheim. I wouldn’t trade him.
As for the Wings, Keith Yandle seems like a logical move. If Phoenix really is intent on dealing him.
OK, I’m burning up in here. I will step outside and charge this phone in my car.

I saw the Detroit News’s John Niyo poking around on Twitter during the “decision” process, so it’s not surprising that he chose to do what he does best—ride the line between pessimism and perspective-lending…

Still, the bottom line is this: The Wings are no longer the chosen ones in the NHL. They’re just one of 30 teams. Still a good team, mind you. Better than most. And still an Original Six team, for what that’s worth. (Sadly, not as much as it used to.) But for those who still carried delusions of a decade ago, when owner Mike Ilitch had the money and the motive and the marketplace to assemble a roster stacked with future Hall of Famers, well, where have you been the last few years?

Ilitch flew to Madison to make the Red Wings’ pitch to Suter on Tuesday flanked by general manager Ken Holland, head coach Mike Babcock and his ace in the hole, Chris Chelios, a longtime Suter family friend. They presented their new-and-improved offer — a 13-year contract worth nearly $90 million — and all the spit and shine their storied franchise and its still-talented roster could muster. But that doesn’t sell the way it used to, apparently. (And if you’re being honest, that Brian Rafalski signing we all lauded back in 2007? That was a homecoming just like Parise and Suter, wasn’t it?)

“There’s 30 teams, and it’s a cap world,” said Holland, who sounded disappointed — and maybe a bit frustrated — but not disconsolate on the phone Wednesday. “Players are going different places for different reasons.”

And for all the obvious reasons, plus a few more, that’s why he insists he’s not going to panic after striking out once, twice and … let’s just say there’ve been a few over the last couple years, shall we?

“You can say, ‘You have to’ and ‘You have to,’” Holland said, when I reminded him of the expectations they’ve brought upon themselves with 21 consecutive playoff trips and four Stanley Cups. “But in our mind we went after Suter and Parise hard. We didn’t get ‘em. At the end of the day, there’s 30 teams in the game now, and lots of teams went after these guys. One team gets them.”

As Niyo wisely points out, the Predators and Devils are the ones truly devastated by what happened, and the Penguins, Flyers, Blackhawks got kinda screwed, too.

Niyo also believes—as I do—that there’s no point in selling the stable and all the horses in it for Rick Nash, or that Shea Weber is going anywhere but Nashville, at least for one more season, so he assesses the Wings’ alternatives as follows:

As for free agency, the panic move would be to spend $6 million a year on a long-term deal for the Flyers’ Matt Carle, the next-best defenseman available after Suter. They’ll have to explore trade options — Keith Yandle? Jay Bouwmeester? — or settle for a serviceable part like Carlo Colaiacovo or Chris Campoli. And hope that Brendan Smith really is the talent they’ve billed him as the past few years. (They already tried, and failed, to land Sami Salo, who signed with Tampa this week.)

And what about the top-six winger they’ve needed for some time now? Yes, they’ll be in the bidding for Shane Doan if the Phoenix ownership situation takes a turn for the worse — or at least the uncertain, again — next week. (Don’t count on it.) They’d better inquire about Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan again. They’ll kick some other tires — one of them, Olli Jokinen, already signed with Winnipeg — and they’ll keep an eye on next year’s free agent crop that includes Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, among others.

And yes, did I mention they’d love to land Nash? Of course they would. But that still seems like a pipe dream.

Sort of like that half-baked Sports Illustrated idea back in 2007, when the magazine made news — and quite a few enemies here in Detroit — by anointing St. Paul, Minn., “America’s new Hockeytown.” Well, five years later — on our nation’s birthday, no less — it was, at least for one day.

“This is the NHL of today,” Holland said. “I keep telling people and they don’t want to believe it: It’s a level playing field.”

But Niyo also went trolling after the Lightning signed Carle:

Wings started prepping for post-lockout reality by holding onto draft picks starting in 2005. Problem is ... (cont.)
... its a painfully slow process, esp. picking late in first round, where the misses are easier to find.
05 draft started with Kindl, who isn’t going to pan out. Also included Abdelkader and Helm.
Next 1st rounder they picked was B. Smith (07), who they’re counting on big-time now. In 08, it was T. McCollum (bust) but Nyquist in Rd 4.
‘09 draft looks like they let Mo Cheese pick, but in ‘10 the top two look like they’ll make it. Last two, who’s to say yet.
Call Fedorov and see if he’d mind playing D now? RT @FSDwakiji So put on your GM hat, John. What would you do now if you were Ken Holland?

Look, you don’t implode the machine and take it apart. That’s too damn dangerous. You can very easily “miss” with those high picks, too, and you may not be able to put the machine back together…

And let’s not kid ourselves here. We’re Detroit Red Wings fans. We’re not going to accept paying the kind of money the Red Wings charge us to watch games to watch Detroit stink after 21 straight years of playoff appearances. Any suggestion to the contrary is ludicrous.

As the Chief already eviscerated Jeff Seidel’s column, I’ll stick with his only mildly bipolar analysis…

There was a time when future Hall of Famers tripped over themselves to play in Hockeytown. Players like Suter and Parise sprinted to Detroit.

But now, it’s just bad news after bad news. First, the Red Wings lost in the first round of the playoffs. Then, Nicklas Lidstrom retired. Then Brad Stuart left, followed by Jiri Hudler.

At the start of free agency, Holland acknowledged there is growing frustration among Red Wings fans.

“The mood out there seems to be we are slipping, which we are slipping a little bit, with the loss of Lidstrom,” Holland said last week.

You have to give him credit for his honesty. But more than anything, you have to acknowledge that he tried to change it. Holland has a solid, patient vision on how to build a contender in the age of free agency: Build the core through the draft, develop homegrown talent and top it off with free agency or trades.

The Red Wings went after the top two free agents on the market. The Wings had about $17 million in salary-cap space to remake their team on the fly. It is the most money the Red Wings have ever had during the salary-cap era. They were set up perfectly to make a big splash. But it turned into a nasty belly flop, and right now it stings like crazy. Yep, that’s gonna leave a mark.

If there is any solace, it is this: Holland has built champions before and after free agency. He is one of the best GMs in the business, and there is no way he is done. The Red Wings have a solid core with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. And they have several young players and a great owner. “We are trying to evolve,” Holland said last week.

But what if you can’t land anybody that you want in free agency? Will they burn through their money and have to overpay just to bring in a second choice? Are we at the start of a horrible downward spiral?

That remains to be seen. The available free agents’ out there aren’t pretty—I’ll try to build a list of players I don’t think completely suck for the overnight report, but there are no princes here, only frogs and reclamation projects—but the worst thing the Wings can do is nothing. They desperately need a top-four defenseman and a forward who can score goals, and the Wings cannot simply fold their tent and say, “Well, we went at ‘em as best we could, and now we’ll see what the kids do.”

The Wings may have to chip and chase without Nick, but they’re gonna have to have people who can chip and have people who can chase that puck down and put it in the back of the damn net.

Yes, there is no doubt that, as Holland has previously said, if the team the Wings already have doesn’t step up its game, they won’t be able to rebound from Nick Lidstrom’s retirement, but reinforcements are required here, and while it’s great that Holland offered some words of solace to himself and the rest of us via MLive’s Khan…

“At the end of the day, we feel good about our offers,’’ Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “It was in the ball park of what they signed for.’‘

The Red Wings offered Suter, their primary target, a 13-year deal for $90 million. Holland said they made Parise a similar offer. Owner Mike Ilitch, coach Mike Babcock, advisor Chris Chelios and Holland flew to Madison, Wis., Tuesday to make a presentation to Suter.

“We feel good we had an opportunity to fly over and lay out our plan for the team and the for the future going forward, what we’re all about, what we’re trying to build,’’ Holland said. “Obviously, he decided to go to Minnesota for a variety of reasons, some professional and some personal.’‘
“I’m disappointed we didn’t get Suter,’’ Holland said. “Certainly, when you offer someone the amount of money we offered him you feel you’re a legitimate player. We made an offer to Parise on July 1, it was legitimate. We were told a couple of times that we were on a short list of teams he was considering.’‘

Even if the Red Wings had matched Minnesota’s offers to both, it probably wouldn’t have mattered.

“You read today where they’re happy to be going as a pair and they’re both going home,’’ Holland said. “Those are some of the things we couldn’t compete against because we’re not (their) home.’‘

But you’ll have to excuse me for saying that I just don’t want to believe that Holland is as comfortable as he seemed while speaking to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness...

“There are no more Suters or Parises on the market,” Holland said. “Those were the last big guys on the market of any major, major impact. I think now it’s going to go slow,” Holland continued. “We’ll explore what’s left on the market. We’ll talk to some teams to see if there are any players available. When things like this happen there seems to be a domino effect.”

Holland did confirm that the Wings did get to make a face-to-face pitch to Suter on Tuesday.

“We feel good we had an opportunity to fly over Tuesday, Mr. Ilitch, Chris Chelios, Mike Babcock and I, and lay out our plan for the team and for the future going forward,” Holland said. “We talked about what we’re all about and what we’re trying to build. Obviously he decided to go to Minnesota for a variety of reasons, some professional and some personal.”

Over half of the Wild’s $70.2 million salary-cap space is tied up in five players: Suter ($7,538,462), Parise ($7,538,462), Dany Heatley ($7,500,000), Mikko Koivu ($6,750,000) and goalie Niklas Backstrom ($6,000,000). During his time in the business Holland admitted to never being confident about much that goes on.

“I’ve been in the game for 30 years and I don’t feel confident about anything,” Holland said. “I don’t feel confident going to the rink that we’re going to win. I don’t feel confident I’m going to get a deal done. That’s not a feeling that you get in this industry.”
“We’re happy with the moves we made on July 1,” Holland said. “Now it’s an opportunity for some younger people to play. We’ll see what happens in the next few months.”

Or the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:

“You take a step back and explore what is available,” said Holland, who doesn’t expect to rush into either market. “We’ve got all summer now. The market has been combed over pretty good. There is the odd guy in the market that we have interest in. We’ll explore trades. We’re happy that we got the guys that we did on July 1. There was a small list of players out there and a lot of teams in the market.”

WXYZ’s Brad Galli reinforces the blow, if you will (and Dave LewAllen did the same via a column that’s already outdated)...

And St. James popped up after the Carle signing to offer the following:

#RedWings will look at trade possibilities for upgrading defense if it comes to that.
#RedWings weren’t about to give D Matt Carle the 6Y, $33 M he got from Tampa Bay.
No great FA D-men options out there. #RedWings won’t panic & overpay. Maybe scour for cheaper vet on a 1-year deal.

And now we have to endure an incredibly painful waiting period as the Wings’ brass tries to recover and reload with signings we’re probably not going to think very much of, which sucks big fat hairy donkey balls, but either you’re the kind of fan who believes that faith in your team is allowed to accommodate doubts, or you’re like those who are serving the Red Wings for dinner tonight, passing out forks to everyone, insisting that they are finally “done like dinner.”

Your call.

Update: Here’s Pleiness’s take on what’s out there:

Defense: Phoenix’s Keith Yandle and Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester have been rumored to be on the trading block, or the Wings could send restricted free agent Shea Weber (Nashville) an offer sheet.

There also are unrestricted free agents: Carlo Colaiacovo (St. Louis), Michal Rozsival (Phoenix), Kurtis Foster (Minnesota) and Cam Barker (Edmonton).

Forwards: The top two unrestricted forwards left are Alexander Semin (Washington) and Phoenix’s Shane Doan.

Semin has been raked over the coals from experts for his lack of consistent play, but he averages close to a point a game. Pavel Datsyuk could be what Semin needs to prove those experts wrong.

Doan’s agent has called Detroit several times the last few days seeking an offer, which the Wings really couldn’t make until they knew if they were in or out of the Parise sweepstakes. Doan, however, won’t decide until Monday if he’ll leave Phoenix, where he has played since 1996.

Columbus’ Rick Nash and Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan both may be dealt for the right asking price.

The Wings have inquired what it would take to get Nash and it seems like it’ll be a lot. Plus, it’s hard seeing the Blue Jackets dealing him to a division rival.
Ryan, 25, makes far less than Nash ($5.1 million for each of the next three seasons), but just like Columbus’ top forward it’ll cost the Wings a lot.

Update #2: From RedWingsFeed, here’s the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell’s take:

“I don’t know if I have a priority,” said Holland of his next move. “We tried to get into the market for the top two free agents and it didn’t work out. There were only two of those guys available.”

In assessing what’s left in the free-agent market, Holland wants to avoid paying a lot more money for players that aren’t appreciably better than what the Wings have.

“If you look at the players we have, other than just paying more . . . . ,” Holland said before cutting himself off. “There’s also got to be an opportunity for some of our kids and the guys we’ve just signed to play. It’s not a high profile, big-star team that we’ve had in the past. We made our pitch the last three days and it didn’t fall in our favour.”

Holland said he’s not going to panic into rash moves and believes the Wings still are a playoff contender as is. He said he’ll use all summer to build his team if need be. Regardless of whatever signings or trades he makes, Holland said part of the solution has to be internal growth.

“We’re looking at Quincey, Ericsson, Smith, Nyquist developing,” Holland said. “We have to have internal growth and development. That has to be part of the solution. Any team that has Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Filppula, Franzen, Kronwall, Howard, Helm on it isn’t a bad team. We have also added Tootoo, Samuelsson, Brunner and Gustavsson. They’re not sexy signings, but they’re good fits for our team.”

However, on a day of disappointing news for Detroit, Holland is hardly going to tip his hand on Plan B. Hknows he’s working in a market used to having stars. Spoiled as Wings’ fans have been, they aren’t nearly as demanding in terms of expectations as owner Mike Ilitch. Knowing that, it would be surprising if the Wings entered training camp with just the 14 forwards, six defencemen and two goalies currently listed on their NHL roster knowing they had immense salary cap space sitting unused. It would also go against Holland’s own philosophy of doing the bulk of your team building in the summer, especially these next few weeks.

“We’re going a little younger,” Holland said. “Will we be younger in October, I don’t know. I’ll work the phone and see where it goes. We have the makings of a good team. I’d like to improve it. We need one defenceman, we’d like to have a veteran. Up front, we’ll have be offence by committee.”
“I think regardless of what happens here the next couple of weeks, we’ll go into camp as a work in progress,” Holland said. “That’s a lot different than the past 15 years around here.”

Update #3: Let’s all be surprised, via RedWingsFeed, that the Hockey News considers the Wings to be “big losers” in free agency, and that Ken Campbell believes the team is old and busted. He’s so excited that he believes the Wings will finally fall off the face of the earth that it’s stupid.

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Ducksworth's avatar

This has been such a strange off-season….

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 07/05/12 at 12:23 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

As long as the Wing’s don’t panic and overpay or over-trade, all will be good.

Tick-Tock’s Mantra (7/31/08-present)

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/05/12 at 12:26 AM ET


I’m not saying that the team needs to be blown up, but I would say that there are very few untouchables if a trade comes along that makes sense.

Posted by RyanVM on 07/05/12 at 12:30 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Or the Wings will be getting someone who will run our special teams like it’s supposed to be run and that just might be the one thing that ties all of the seemingly disparate parts on this team.  If that somebody manages to find that formula for what we have available, then all this angst is forgotten.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 07/05/12 at 12:32 AM ET


But for those who still carried delusions of a decade ago, when owner Mike Ilitch had the money and the motive and the marketplace to assemble a roster stacked with future Hall of Famers, well, where have you been the last few years?

Does Niyo realize that there’s this limiting factor called the “salary cap” that prevents Mr. Ilitch from throwing gobs of cash at every top free agent?

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 07/05/12 at 12:50 AM ET


I see 6 current wings capable of 20+ (25?) goals.  Add 30+ from theD, and you have a decent team.  Howy has a good year and we’re back in the mix.

Posted by T Bird from Micigan/Indiana on 07/05/12 at 12:57 AM ET

perfection's avatar

I actually agree with most of Kahn’s assessments.

I’d take Semin if it was 2 years max. I think Carle was incredibly overpaid and would absolutely not have been good signing. Everyone else pretty much sucks and Yandle is the best option. If we can get him…

I don’t think we can land either Ryan or Nash, though I think we’d have a better chance with Ryan. Other teams will simply offer more though most likely. The Red Wings lore means NOTHING to the other teams who actually have to ACCEPT our trades. A lot of people around here seem to think this is a video game and if we just throw out a “fair” amount of players and picks, we automatically get them. There are real people on the other end and it’s probable that CBJ would want more from us than say the Rangers because we are in the division. It also could come down to one GM not liking another or simply another team offers a better package. Whatever, you keep throwing darts and hope one hits. Not panicking or overpaying is key. I know some more nearsighted fans don’t get that, but think of it this way… if we had overpaid last year for some of those crappy dmen on the market, we wouldn’t even have been in on Suter in the first place. If we land a Weber or someone equivalent in the next couple seasons, we will be glad we didn’t pay Matt Carle nearly 6mil a year (for 6 years no less!). On the other hand Steve Yzerman KNOWS he’s not getting Weber and can overpay for a guy like Carle. 

It’s weird for us Wings’ fans to not get our man, but it’s something we may need to get used to. It’s part of the parity thing. There are more than a handful of appealing destinations now and all these guys grew up somewhere and they all have friends around the league and they all have different things swaying their decisions. Holland has to just be smart and wait for the next Red Wings worthy deal. If it’s Yandle, that’s great. But even then, if they want Smith… NO DEAL. Period.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/05/12 at 01:06 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

That comment by Kenny that “we’ve got all Summer” really bothered me.

He’s gotta move fast on these remaining free agents and trade bait, or we’re going to have to rename this month the Winter of Ken.

Redeem our trust, sir.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/05/12 at 01:16 AM ET


Kenny should just bide his time. He added some decent players that wil fill some holes. Next year’s FA crop is much better. Why trade good assets for Yandle when Edler will be available in a year? And Getzlav is the big C they could really use, allowing Hank to stay at wing. I’d even be happy with them signing Clowe rather than empty the cupboards for Nash. If they can land Doan, and make a trade for a decent #3 D they will have a very good season. But keep the contracts short, and aim for the big haul next year, where the amount of top players available will bring down the insane bidding wars.

Posted by Mike Ormerod on 07/05/12 at 01:18 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

@perfection - agreed on most points.  Don’t trade Smith.  At this point we have to trade for Yandle.  I’d prefer we get Ryan but if we have to spend players on Yandle then go get Semin on a short term deal and see how he works out.  Otherwise lets see what the kids can do.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/05/12 at 01:18 AM ET


My take:  This is a good thing.  It gives the highly touted kids on the farm a shot.  It’s there for the taking.  If I were KH, I’d just keep looking for a #1 Dman, but if I can’t get it, sign a lesser talent, and plan for a huge pitch to Weber in ‘13.  Then look for a Top 6 forward from a seller at the deadline where the price should be lower.

The Sky is NOT falling.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 07/05/12 at 01:23 AM ET

DetroitHockey's avatar

There’s also got to be an opportunity for some of our kids and the guys we’ve just signed to play.

So we’re looking at this?

Kronwall - Quincey
White - Smith
Ericsson - Kindl

‘Cause if we’ve “got” to let those guys play, there’s no need to add anyone else.

Posted by DetroitHockey on 07/05/12 at 01:26 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

The Sky is NOT falling.

no, but the floor dropped out.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/05/12 at 01:26 AM ET

socalwingnut's avatar

This is why I don’t believe the “diggers” in Detroit about their take on the Nash situation.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/04/12 at 10:51 PM ET

HTO, I think Khan’s referring to Weber in this context. Nash. is short for Nashville. Remember, it was a tweet so he has only so many characters available!

Posted by socalwingnut on 07/05/12 at 01:28 AM ET

perfection's avatar

As George has pointed out, it’s safe to assume most of the UFA’s for next year will be resigned by their own teams. So we can’t really depend on that per se. WIth that said, I totally agree with the bide our time/sky is not falling sentiment. If we can get Yandle for something palatable then I’m for it… if not, then we bide our time and wait for our next shot. That’s how it works. If we start piling on bad contracts we will no longer be rebuilding “on the fly” but will have to rebuild for REAL. You look at Pitt and Chi and what they had to go through to be respectable. We’re talking multiple number one picks. We’re talking basement of the league for multiple years. NOT WORTH IT.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/05/12 at 01:31 AM ET


Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/04/12 at 11:06 PM ET

Excellent assessment. I like what you’re saying.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 07/05/12 at 01:33 AM ET


We have the makings of a good team.

Inspiring words if ever there were any.

Yeah, you have the makings of a good team.  All you need now is a few more top-six forwards and a few more top four defensemen.  Then they’ll be a good team.

But yeah, we know, Ericsson is developing into a hybrid of Nick Lidstrom, Bobby Orr, Raymond Bourque and Jesus Christ himself if he were born into a hockey-loving society.  And yeah, Justin Abdelkader’s going to be Wayne Gretzky if Gretzky ever played up to his full potential instead of half-assing it for all those years.

Makings of a good team?  The Wings almost have the makings of a team right now.  Period.

It gives the highly touted kids on the farm a shot.

Yeah, except that is already happening with Nyquist and Smith, who are the most highly touted kids we have right now. 

*Note: Don’t mind me, I’m just getting all the frustration out tonight before I go to sleep so I can wake up tomorrow and realize that there are going to be some absolutely doable moves that Mr Holland will make that would force me to eat my words if I wasn’t so god damn stubborn.

Posted by Garth on 07/05/12 at 01:38 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

“I think regardless of what happens here the next couple of weeks, we’ll go into camp as a work in progress,” Holland said. “That’s a lot different than the past 15 years around here.”


I sure hope Mr. Illitch is staying up tonight thinking about something other than the Tigers box score.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/05/12 at 01:40 AM ET


Sorry Kenny but over the last couple of years too much loyalty to aging vets and too complacent a lockerroom bring us to our current situation.  The organIzation keeps bringing back “fits” aka former Wings instead of breaking some glass and shaking up the culture a bit.  This current team will slide into the playoffs but are no threat to do any damage.  Curious times indeed and with a new arena being built it would strike me as highly likely the Wings will have to start breaking glass and creating a buzz.  Morale is low for Wings fans and apathy is creeping in, not good for ticket sales.

Posted by booyah! on 07/05/12 at 02:03 AM ET


I will always be a Wings fan—lifelong.

I still think they can make the playoffs.

I still believe in Ken and Mike (and the other Mike). If Ken Holland has had the same “insecurity” when the Wings won the Cups, I’m not about to second-guess that now. Insecuity, when used properly, prevents arrogance and can help you work harder.

However, if there was any doubt left that the salary cap world has evened the playing field, this week was it. As Ken Holland said earlier I believe, this is now an era of 5-6 stellar players, and surround them with lesser players that fit. If you see the shorter sustained runs of excellence in football and basketball (which have caps), the more realistic hope for now is make the playoffs playing well (like the New York Giants and Los Angeles Kings, who both barely made the playoffs and won it all this year).

I haven’t given up hope, just dialing down the expectations (if that’s allowed) for the season. I think I can have my doubts and yet still believe they can do something next post-season (assuming there is a season).

I’m exhausted, too. Good night, fellow Wings fans.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/12 at 02:05 AM ET


“‘09 draft looks like they let Mo Cheese pick”


Posted by dca from in Mich on 07/05/12 at 02:15 AM ET

EDJ's avatar

We complain all these years that we have too many old veterans preventing our young kids from proving themselves… now that they have the chance we complain more. Currently we actually have seven possible top-six players: Franzen - Datsyuk - Brunner
Filppula - Zetterberg - Samuelsson and Nyquist, and although we don’t have an elite top line like we might have, either Nyquist or Brunner could turn out to be a lot more dangerous than we supposed. Filppula also might get better, although we wouldn’t want to count on that after all the years he let us down.

Our defense worries me most, since we have only Kronwall who is not really a true number one dman and a bunch of guys that really slot in to the third or fourth or fifth slots in Ericsson, Quincey and White. We really need one more top two defenseman or Smith needs to amaze us with his mature nhl-ready play. Then again, with good coaching and chemistry anything can happen, as we saw with the NJ defense.

I’m really confused as to what Holland is planning after signing so many forwards. Maybe it’s insurance in case Eaves isn’t ready for the season or something. Helm and Abdelkader will definitely play, and I don’t see why we signed Tootoo if he’s not playing. Then we have Bertuzzi and Cleary who are definitely playing, and then we have Miller, Emmerton, Eaves and Mursak fighting for one spot. And that’s if Brunner gets sent down to the minors. I don’t see Brunner ending up in a Fabian Brunnstrom situation with his contract, even if it is two-way, and also because I doubt he’d pass through waivers. So that gives us extra top six players and extra bottom six players. I can see Holland pulling a trade or just waiting until training camp to decide which players to keep and which to send down to the minors or trade away.

All the same, assuming Doan re-signs in Phoenix or signs elsewhere and Detroit really doesn’t like Semin as the rumors state, I only see Holland signing one defenseman, unless he surprises us by making a real trade for a top defenseman like Yandle.

Posted by EDJ on 07/05/12 at 02:30 AM ET

EDJ's avatar

Secretly, I hope we sign Semin and he is inspired by Datsyuk and Zetterberg into getting a work ethic. We all know how much talent he’s wasting. That’d basically be a free top-six forward: no need to trade away any promising prospects.

Posted by EDJ on 07/05/12 at 02:35 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar


Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 07/05/12 at 02:45 AM ET

Chet's avatar

Nash will command too much in a trade.

Suter and Parise were arguably overpaid.

Not since Hossa in 08 have the Wings landed a monster FA, but I think them and the league at large are realizing you gotta win w mostly homegrown talent. What’s the corollary to that? First you gotta lose to get it, by and large.

I don’t care that we missed out on those two, I really don’t. And I hope we don’t overpay for anyone else, either.

Does anyone think Suter and Parise will win a Cup in MN in the next 13 years? Seems hard to believe as we sit here in 2012…

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/05/12 at 02:47 AM ET

Chet's avatar

another thing: if I was them I’d have no problem moving abdelkader. None.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/05/12 at 02:49 AM ET


Hockeytown Overhaul, I can’t sleep, so let me put in a quick note.Bufyglien is intriguing. I’d have to think on that one. The trend seems to be more defense, but you’ve got me thinking maybe aiming more offense isn’t necessarily a bad thing, with size.

I wasn’t saying Ken Holland was responsible for all of the Cups, just making a general statement about him and his overall demeanor. Everyone’s strength can be a weakness in the wrong situation/if the results look bad, was my point. His patience may have been a weakness, I can understand what you’re saying, in changing the team to get stronger, and I understand it’s a judgment call on when to change, especially if you’ve been able to afford always going for skill first for years. I wasn’t as eager to make big changes two-three years ago as you and others, but last year I was starting to wonder.

Part of it may have been also expecting the draft picks to pan out better than they did. Now that they hit a lull (although hoping for Smith), having Kronwall, Franzen, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg all on the wrong side of 30 is a concern (I definitely agree with you there). As you and EDJ suggested, though, Holland still has some room to make moves, so let’s hope he can pull something out of the hat. I’m going to try to sleep again. Thanks.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/12 at 03:03 AM ET


By the way, HTO and co., most of you I think know your hockey better than me, honestly, so I try to chip in where I think I might have a reasonable opinion.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/12 at 03:06 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but find it to be completely f*cked up that we have been put in a position where we are considering making Shane Doan and Shea Weber (both players who Wings fan have absolutely despised for many, many years) part of the squad. I understand their skill sets, but it more or less makes me sick.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 07/05/12 at 03:59 AM ET


@drewbehr Apparently you are a new Wings fan as names such as Dino, Stu, Wendell, Ulf, And Chelios don’t register with you as one time enemies…

Posted by dca from in Mich on 07/05/12 at 04:18 AM ET


There are some world class players in Europe and the KHL.  IIHF 2012, team Russia fielded 2 world class defencemen.  Don’t tell me about NHL and KHL having no transfer agreement.  You can acquire certain players by paying off their clubs and then signing them here.  Same way Yu Darvish went to the Rangers. Only difference with KHL is the payoff is done under the table.  I don’t think many people know but Mike Ilitch and Scotty Bowman are legends in Russian hockey-for the Russian 5.  It’s time to poach.

Posted by beelza on 07/05/12 at 05:05 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Secretly, I hope we sign Semin and he is inspired by Datsyuk and Zetterberg into getting a work ethic. We all know how much talent he’s wasting. That’d basically be a free top-six forward: no need to trade away any promising prospects.

Posted by EDJ on 07/05/12 at 12:35 AM ET

This a million times over.  I’m sure he will work his ass off.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 07/05/12 at 06:14 AM ET


Suter and Parise were arguably overpaid.

Yep, and that is EXACTLY what is going to bite Minnesota in the butt.

The player is supposed to take a sicount to come home.  But in this case both Suter and Parise took 8 more million to come “home”.

The Wings can now also sign Brunnstrom and give him another shot inexpensively.
Remember DeKeyser will be available next year too…and some unknown team will underacheive and have a fire sale prior to the deadline.

And lastly, the Wings farmhands are among the best and most experienced.  Getting Tatar, Andersson, Sheahan and maybe even Jurco time and experience IN THE NHL, should increase their trade value, if nothing else.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 07/05/12 at 07:29 AM ET


I’m sure he will work his ass off.

I would love to believe that, however there is zero evidence to support it, and if they can’t get their longtime teammate who was raised in the system to work his ass off, why would they be able to get Semin to?

Filppula and a pick/prospect or two for Bobby Ryan.
Abdelkader, some other roster player, pick/prospect for Keith Yandle.
Then get Semin and Doan on a conference call and tell them that we’ve got a one-year, $5M contract that’s completely filled out except the name at the top and the signature at the bottom.  Whoever says yes first gets it.

Posted by Garth on 07/05/12 at 09:20 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

It’s time for a risk. Semin is as talented as Parise. Don’t get me wrong, Parise is the two-way player with leadership, but on talent and scoring, Semin is his equal, and maybe even a little bit higher of a ceiling. If the AAV is under $6 million and the term is under 4 years, I’d do it. It’s time to try something. If Babcock and the leadership core of Dats, Z, and Kronwall can’t get Semin in line and show him how to be professional Red Wing, then we’re fuched anyways because that means we really need a full-on rebuild.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/05/12 at 11:32 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Kronwall - Quincey
White - Smith
Ericsson - Kindl

sorry, but if this is what we go into the season with, I expect we don’t make the playoffs.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 07/05/12 at 12:00 PM ET


If Babcock and the leadership core of Dats, Z, and Kronwall can’t get Semin in line and show him how to be professional Red Wing, then we’re fuched anyways because that means we really need a full-on rebuild.

Or we could simply look into trading for a guy that we don’t need the entire core to support and teach professionalism and work ethic to.

I’d sign him to a one-year, $5M deal.  No more money, no longer term than that.

Posted by Garth on 07/05/12 at 12:45 PM ET

TKShreve's avatar

A couple things:

1> Missing out on Suter and Parise is not our worst moment. Personally, I think we can get around it. Not sure who I liked better of the two to be honest. Prolly leaning towards Parise. At least the Tootoo deal is looking better every day.

2> I really like Yandle. Really. He would def replace the offense lost in Lids. Would be great on the PP. And would come at a discount compared to Suter. The right age as well. He’s like a Red Wing rookie more or less.

3> While I’ll take Doan, I would prefer Bobby Ryan. He shows a lot of potential, but was unable to reach his peak in Anaheim. Our players could in fact bring out the best in him.

4> We need more offense. Period. Goal scorers. It would shore up a shaky D and test Jimmy. Although the Caps were a litmus test for failure in that note, I still think we need to have a 40+ goal scorer come aboard in the next 2-3 years. We’re not getting it done when our top scorer pots < 30 in a season.

5> Sign some of these offensive could-be’s and hang on to a little stash for the deadline. Who knows who might become available.

6> Nash? I still like a Nash deal that includes the Mule. He’s trade bait in my book. A scorer, yes. But he’ll never be that 40+ guy I thought he could be with a full, healthy season. He’s more likely to net 40 in a postseason imo.

Posted by TKShreve from East Uptown on 07/05/12 at 01:27 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.