The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/18/12 at 01:04 AM ET
Excellent news from the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness this evening: the Wings will avoid a nasty arbitration hearing with restricted free agent Kyle Quincey, and are likely to ink him to a contract extension soon:
“I know we’re close,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland, of the on-going negotiations with Kyle Quincey in a phone interview Tuesday. “We’re hoping to avoid the arbitration process.”
Quincey’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for July 25. Both sides need to have their briefs for the hearing by 9 a.m. Monday.
“It’s good motivation for us to work on this thing, but I’m optimistic we’ll find a solution prior to going to the hearing on Wednesday,” Holland said.
Pleiness suggests that the Wings will ink Quincey to a 1-2 deal at a Jonathan Ericsson-like $3.25-or-so million per season, essentially making him a “try-out” as much as a reclamation project going forward…
“We’ve talked a number of times over the last few of days,” Holland said. “I think based on the conversation we had earlier (Tuesday) that we’re making progress and we’ll see what happens over the next couple of days. Hopefully we’ll avoid arbitration. I’m certainly optimistic that we will.”
But the Wings do view Quincey as a part of the team’s long-term future, especially given the personnel losses the team’s sustained on the blueline:
“You lose Brian Rafalski in the summer of 2010,” Holland said. “Then you lose Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart in the summer of 2012, we can’t get those types of players. They’re special players. They’re unique. We certainly think in Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith we’ve got two NHL players, but our defense isn’t as deep as it has been,” Holland continued. “When you lose the types of players we’ve lost on defense those players are special for a reason, they’re better than everyone else.”
Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson and Kindl are the only others returning, which leaves no depth back there.
“I think we have six NHL defensemen,” Holland said. “I would like to make a move on our defense over the next six weeks, definitely. We went into the summertime, July 1, we put a lot of energy into pursing Ryan Suter and I think we got down to a short list of teams, maybe two or three. In the meantime a couple of defensemen we had interest in signed elsewhere. That was a risk at the time we were prepared to take. I’m not looking back on that decision because we were pursuing Ryan Suter and we knew it was going to require a lot of money and a lot of cap space.”
That comment suggests that the Wings will indeed look at a band-aid defenseman or two as asking prices go down in late July and early August.
There has yet to be any progress made on Justin Abdelkader’s new deal. He’s the other restricted free agent the Wings have, but he didn’t file for salary arbitration.
“We made an offer two and a half weeks ago,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I’m not worried. We’ll get it done.”
The Wings would like to get Abdelkader to sign a four-year deal at just under $2 million a season. He earned $825,000 last season.
– Holland has yet to talk to Tomas Holmstrom regarding his future with the team.
“I’ve got to call Homer,” Holland said. “I haven’t gotten any time set up but I certainly owe him a call.”
– The Wings continue to wait on word from unrestricted free agent Shane Doan, but it’s believed they’re on a short list of teams he would think of signing with if he doesn’t return to Phoenix. Doan, who made $4.5 million last season, has played his entire career for the organization, which moved from Winnipeg after the 1995-96 season.
Well I must say, that doesn’t seem like the most prudent strategy I’ve ever heard. It’s very tough for me to criticize the job of Ken Holland in Detroit, he is one of if not the very best GMs in the business, the franchise’s record run of consecutive playoff appearances is proof of that. But waiting on a player who most everybody believes won’t be leaving his current home in Phoenix despite the current uncertainties? Seems to be setting Detroit up for failure.
Then again it doesn’t appear like Semin is going to sign anywhere anytime soon. At this rate Doan could very easily make a decision before Semin does so the backup plan isn’t gone—if Semin is the backup plan, that is. But if Semin were to sign somewhere else before Doan the Wings are left at the alter all alone, having missed on all of their prime targets.
Of course, there always are other ways beyond free agency to get what you need. If the Wings don’t get Doan they could try going through the trade route to get what they need, which is a winger (and probably a defenseman). But you figured with the amount of cap space they had coming into the summer that the Wings would be spenders, even if they missed on the top guys.
Waiting on Doan is a risk, unless Holland doesn’t see anything else he could do in free agency to upgrade his team. It is entirely possible that he doesn’t think Semin would be a good signing (unless the money is absurd, I’d disagree), making this no risk at all. On the surface, though, doesn’t seem like the best decision I’ve seen the Wings make.
But I think that the Wings’ strategy is indeed “prudent” because Semin won’t sign anywhere until Doan does—we’re still in domino effect mode here in the middle of July—and as the Red Wings probably won’t make a trade until the season begins (the Wings simply aren’t in a position to create one hole on the roster to fill another, and asking prices for defensemen going to Detroit are probably higher than Mark Gandler’s salary demands for his client, Mr. Semin), right now there is no urgency whatsoever to move on to the other reclamation projects (think Petr Sykora, Carlo Colaiacovo, Pavel Kubina) until the biggest domino falls.
Anyway, MLive’s Ansar Khan also offered a Quincey/Abdelkader update...
“We’re close,’’ Holland said on Tuesday.
The sides are required to submit their contract figures by 9 a.m. Monday. Both would like to avoid what can be an unpleasant process.
“It’s good motivation for us to work on this thing, but I’m optimistic we’ll find a solution prior to going to the hearing,’’ Holland said. “We’ve talked a number of times over the last few days. Based on the conversation we had today, I think we’re making progress. See what happens over the next couple of days. I’m certainly optimistic.’‘
They have been discussing one- and two-year deals. A one-year contract would enable Quincey, 26, to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Quincey earned $3.125 million in 2011-12.
After Quincey is signed, Holland will shift his attention to forward Justin Abdelkader, a restricted free agent who did not file for arbitration. The Red Wings offered him a four-year deal in June but Holland hasn’t talked much to his agent since then. Abdelkader earned $825,000 last season.
“We had free agency and everyone was busy,’’ Holland said. “We’ll get it done.’‘
And in the also of Red Wings-related note category:
• DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose filed the following Tweet…
As a reaction to the following from the Wings:
Why the hell is Jordin Tootoo coming down from sunny Nunavut to Detroit on a 90-degree day in mid-July? The same reason that Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson visited Detroit in the first couple of days after free agency began, and the same reason that Mikael Samuelsson will have to come to Detroit sometime this summer—players must pass a basic physical for their contracts to officially take effect, so Tootoo has to come to Detroit to be poked, prodded and x-rayed to ensure that he is indeed fit and ready to go.
His visit to the Joe might be a little strange as Ken Holland, Mike Babcock and the Wings’ coaches and front office have relocated to their summer homes, but I’d imagine that Jim Nill will still be around and will give him the grand tour.
• I was surprised as you are to learn that, per the Puck Stops Here, the Wings had the best “team Corsi” ranking this past season;
• Michigan Hockey’s Michael Caples, also via RWF, provides an update on the Michigan team that took part in the Brick Super Novice tournament in Edmonton this past week:
The Detroit Jr. Red Wings recently competed in the 23rd annual Brick hockey invitational tournament in Edmonton, Alberta – a prestigious annual Squirt Major tournament that features a field of 14 teams from all over North America.
The Jr. Red Wings squad was selected and coached by former Detroit Red Wings forward Kris Draper, and assisted by Steve Dickinson and Mark Estapa. The team was selected from over 150 hopefuls back in April and skated in three major tournaments to gear up for the Brick.
Detroit started out by tying Boston 3-3 after leading 3-1 after two periods. The comeback mounted by Boston seemed to inspire the boys, as they dominated the remaining games in the third period. The Jr. Wings defeated Toronto Pro Hockey 3-1, tied Minnesota 2-2, beat Atlantic (Canada) 7-2 and beat Saskatchewan 5-1 in their next round-robin games. The team needed a win or tie in their final round-robin game against Chicago to lock up the No. 1 seed headed into weekend play. A game-tying goal with less than a minute remaining meant a 2-2 tie, and the Wings accomplishing their goal of holding a top seed.
A strong Winnipeg team was waiting for the Red Wings in the semifinals, yet Detroit delivered a 3-2 victory, cementing the first trip to the finals for a Detroit team at this tournament since 1994. The Jr. Wings came up just short in the finals, as they fell to the Toronto Bulldogs.
Every player contributed to the success of the team over the week of play, displaying tremendous effort and tenacity. The scoring punch was led by Mark Estapa, Garrett Szydlowski, Tiernan Shoudy, Tanner Dickinson, DJ Dixon, Owen Michaels, Ben Schoen, Kienan Draper and Carter Mazur. Peyton Grainer and Xavier Medina were very strong between the pipes and supported defensively by Jacob Bauer, Nick O’Hanasain Travis Shoudy, Jase Sofo, Jake McCatty and Jacob Truscott.
Mark Estapa and Xavier Medina were named 2nd team tournament all-stars by the tournament committee.
• And I will be out of the office for a good chunk of tomorrow due to my first post-trip errands. I’m still recovering from last week’s hockey-fest but I have to haul the mom to Sterling Heights for a doctor’s appointment at 11 and we won’t even be back in Southwestern Oakland County until 2, and we have to do a grocery shopping run as Mr. Grocery Shopper’s absence = lots of stuff to pick up, so I may very well be gone from 11-4. I’ve let Paul know and if there are any breaking news stories, he’ll post ‘em.
Otherwise, I’m having a hard time getting out of bed and getting back into the swing of things…And I should let you know that I will be gone from July 28th to August 4th as the mom and I will be going up to Grand Marais, MI for our family vacation.
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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.