The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/18/12 at 08:14 PM ET
My theory about the Red Wings’ roster machinations to come is a simple one: given that the Wings have re-signed Kyle Quincey to a 2-year deal which will probably look downright reasonable a year from now, and that the team’s going to re-sign Justin Abdelkader shortly and then more or less wait for Shane Doan to make up his mind while Ken Holland comes back to Detroit to have that sit-down talk with Tomas Holmstrom:
I’d gather that the Wings will wait out the free agent market to determine whether Doan or Alex Semin are interested in coming to Detroit and/or can be had for reasonable wages, they’ll move on to looking at the “c” market regarding adding a goal-scoring forward, they’ll decide which band-aid defenseman or two may be the best “fit”...
And now that the team’s struck out on Rick Nash, I’d imagine that the team will definitely kick the tires on Bobby Ryan and whichever defensemen may be available via trade, but I don’t see the Wings moving with any urgency there.
Instead, with Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson in the fold, and if I’m reading the tea leaves right, Tomas Holmstrom possibly going the tryout route, the Wings may just sit things out until the new CBA’s settled, maybe hoping that either some teams will have to shed salary, or that, more simply, as training camp and the exhibition season get underway, some teams might find themselves with the same kinds of gluts on the blueline that the Wings find themselves in with 16 forwards under contract.
Maybe, as RikPrimis suggested on Twitter, by fiddling around with Capgeek’s depth charts to determine which teams have too many defensemen on one-way contracts and a little bit of phone-working, Ken Holland and co. can find a way to more meaningfully address the Wings’ lack of depth on the blueline via a trade once the Wings’ 16 forwards have had the training camp and the exhibition season to compete for jobs, and potential trade partners’ teams have determined their “winners” and “losers” as well.
Otherwise, I’m assuming that the Wings feel a little urgency to figure out which players they want to add to the Grand Rapids Griffins’ roster to serve as NHL-ready call-ups, and after that…
And in a “slow” environment, one never knows what to believe regarding Mr. Doan, especially given that Doan’s agent was talking to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s rather tabloid-esque Josh Yohe today:
Shane Doan’s agent, Terry Bross: “We are still hoping this thing in Phoenix is going to work out.”— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) July 18, 2012
Doan’s agent: “It would be premature to say Pittsburgh is definitely a possibility. We plan to narrow it to 4-6 teams by the weekend.”— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) July 18, 2012
Doan’s agent on the possibility of signing a short term deal: “I don’t see that happening.”— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) July 18, 2012
It’s worth noting, however, that Fox Sports Detroit’s Ken Daniels spoke to The Fan 590‘s Greg Brady this morning, and he discussed the dismissed Rick Nash deal, the challenges facing the post-Nicklas Lidstrom Wings and his belief that the Wings will indeed make a trade to add a top-pair defenseman. Daniels believes that the Wings’ defensive corps is solid, but at the same time, he believes that it’s absolutely imperative that the Wings make a move in addition to signing a free agent to stabilize the blueline:
In terms of actual as opposed to theoretical “future Wings” the Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindenau wrapped up her coverage of the Wings’ summer development camp with a profile of Brian Lashoff, who will all but inevitably graduate to the Red Wings’ blueline over the next two or three years:
“I try to make the right play at the right time with a physical edge,” Lashoff said. “I think my style of play doesn’t get as much press as a guy like Brendan Smith, but that’s fine with me. Smitty is an exciting player with great offensive skills, but I like to play solid in my own end and focus more on the defensive game.”
The 6-foot-3, 212 pound defenseman is coming off his second season with Grand Rapids. In 76 games last season for the Griffins, Lashoff scored 8 goals and 19 points while playing in all situations.
“I found a role for myself last year,” He said. “I played every game and I was on one of the top penalty killing units while also getting some power play time. I was able to contribute on both ends of the ice so I was pretty happy with how things went.”
Lashoff, who signed as a free agent with the Red Wings in 2008, is entering the final year of his three-year entry-level contract. He has a lot on the line this season and wants to show he can be counted on to step into Detroit’s line-up if needed.
“Every year there is a little more pressure, but going into this year I want to make an impression that I am ready to take the next step,” he said. “I played a lot last year so going into camp this year I want to be as strong as possible. Hopefully I can get a couple games in Detroit. I feel like I can be a guy who can be used as depth this year and I can step in and play reliably if needed.”
“I’d like to be a guy who’s counted on every night [in Grand Rapids],” Lashoff said. “I want to be a top two pairing guy and I would like to take a leadership role. I think I am ready for that and that is something the coaching staff wanted me to do last year.”
And regrettably shifting toward gray areas of an entirely different and darker variety, I have no idea whatsoever as to what I’m supposed to make of Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski, NBC Sports’ Jason Brough or, via RedWingsFeed, the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater’s take on Mile High Hockey’s Jeff Shumway’s two-part conversation with former Avalanche enforcer Scott Parker, or his attempts to rationalize the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident.
All I know is that enforcers who give exclusive interviews in July seem to be in the shift-disturbing business in more ways than one, and that, put bluntly:
Todd Bertuzzi has never been anything other than a model, if grumpy, citizen as a Red Wing, and that the Wings’ players, coaches and management laud the kind of grown-up Bertuzzi has become during his two tenures in Detroit. He’s had a very hard road and has become a better person because of it…
But I think that I speak for every Red Wings fan in suggesting that no matter how one attempts to reconcile what Bertuzzi did, we all believe that he should pay a substantial portion of his earnings to Steve Moore.
What happened happened, and the sooner Tim Danson allows Moore to collect his pay-out and end eight years of waiting to move on with his life, the better.
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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.