Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings evening rambling: Lidstrom, Jagr and respecting one’s fellow reader

Updated at 9:20 PM with Ken Kal and Bob McNamara on WBBL: Given the wars of words in the main Lidstrom post, I must politely and respectfully ask my readers to please give the arguments about the Red Wings’ captain supposedly harming his team by taking his full $6.2 million salary a damn rest. As NHL.com’s Brian Hedger noted via Twitter, the Wings aren’t exactly in cap trouble because their best player still expects to be paid like their best player at 41 years of age:

#Redwings in good shape heading into free agency on July 1. W/Lidstrom back @ $6.2M, they have 17 signed for $48M. New cap $64M
...
That means Ken Holland will have about $15M in cap space to fill out roster w/6 players. #Redwings in market for 1-2 top D and maybe Jagr.

Those players include a back-up goalie, Patrick Eaves and/or Drew Miller, possibly Jonathan Ericsson, that #1 defenseman and either Jagr or another top-six forward. Lidstrom is not slighting his team, nor is he proving that he’s not as good a captain as the gentleman who took a lesser salary when he was a 3rd-line player in his last season, when the salary cap was down by the cap floor.*

As the Wings’ press corps and many out-of-town experts noted, Lidstrom remains supremely motivated to play at his present, Norris Trophy-finalist level, and play on a team which will contend for the Stanley Cup, and nothing less.

Lidstrom made sure to tell the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff that even with Brian Rafalski retiring, he would not have returned to half-ass his way along…

“Coming off (the previous) season, I thought I could’ve played better,” Lidstrom said. “I wanted to prove I could still play at a high level and be an impact player. It was important. If I’d taken another step back last season, it could’ve been a difficult decision for me.”

It now appears the deciding factor, outside of family approval, is his ability to handle the demands of the off-season workout program he puts himself through. He started training a week after the season ended.

“The reason it’s taken so long is I wanted to make sure I found the motivation to make the commitment to work out all summer to be ready for next season,” Lidstrom said. “Preparing for a long year, you have to start in June. As I get older, it gets even harder. I’ve learned you can’t cut corners. You have to be ready to play in October and you have to be ready to keep doing it in April and May
...
“I knew Ken and Mike (Babcock) really wanted me back with Brian leaving, but my motivation was the most important factor,” Lidstrom said. “We’ve talked about future plans. I’ve never had any doubt Ken and Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch would put the best product on the ice.”

Lidstrom knows there’ll some personnel changes, but feels the team has room for improvement beyond changing players.

“Our goals against can be better,” Lidstrom said. “Special teams, especially in the playoffs, has to step up. These things have to improve. That might not be personnel issues. It might be playing our system better.”

And as Lidstrom spoke like a wise captain, Holland openly suggested that the Wings are ready to wheel and/or deal, as MLive’s Ansar Khan noted…

“Today’s announcement is a big step towards building a defense that allows us to be competitive,’’ Holland said.

The Red Wings have four NHL defensemen under contract: Lidstrom, Brad Stuart, Niklas Kronwall and Jakub Kindl. Holland is continuing contract talks with Jonathan Ericsson, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He said a decision on whether to offer veteran Ruslan Salei a contract will come in the next 10 days.

The club is counting on top prospect Brendan Smith to make the team next season after one year with the Grand Rapids Griffins. And veteran Doug Janik, who has a one-way contract for 2011-12, could make the roster as the seventh or eighth defenseman. Holland said they’re considering carrying 13 forwards and eight defensemen instead of the usual 14 forwards and seven defensemen.

The Red Wings will look to acquire a top-four defenseman through free agency.

“We got some cap money,’’ Holland said. “We plan to be aggressive on July 1 and sign a defenseman or two. But we’re not going out there to spend a bunch of money just to have a press conference. We’re going to find players that fit our team, fit our system.’‘

Holland also expects trade talks to heat up Friday and Saturday at the entry draft in St. Paul, Minn.

“Teams know we have a need on defense and we have cap space,’’ Holland said. “I received a few calls last week. We’re going to explore ways, either on the trade front or free agency.’‘

And Holland has this to say about Jonathan Ericsson to the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell:

“We’re going to make a decision on him in the next 10 days,” Holland said of Ericsson, who is free to shop his services to the highest bidder come July 1.

Holland talked excitedly of the potential of former first-round pick and American Hockey League all-rookie team member Brendan Smith.

“We’re going to give him every opportunity to make the team in training camp,” he said of Smith.

Journeyman Doug Janik, who downed a cup of coffee in Detroit last season, could fit into the mix as the seventh defender.

“We’re going to give him opportunity to fight for one of the spots on defence,” Holland said.

Otherwise…

“We’re going to explore ways either on the trade front or through July 1 free agency,” Holland said. “We want to be active, we want to make some additions to our team, and we’re open-minded going in.”
...
“We’re looking to be active, but at the same time, we’re not looking to spend a bunch of money and have press conferences,” Holland said. “We want to find players that fit our team, fit our system and with salaries we think will help us continue to be competitive in a cap world.”

As independent journalist Greg Eno states—regrettably, via Bleacher Report—Lidstrom’s presence makes Detroit that much more attractive a place to play for everyone from Ericsson to the player they plan on targeting on July 1st, and the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff made an intriguing comment about the Wings’ other assured target to hit the market aside from Jamews Wisniewski via a Twitter answer to a question by @bmaggiemay:

@bmaggiemay @georgemalik #redwings brass are not fans of [Joni] Pitkanen.

Barring Kevin Bieksa or Christian Ehrhoff hitting the market, the top of the thin heap is Wisniewski. He’s probably their main target right now.

As far as the rest of the Wings’ roster changes are concerned, coaching included, things got a little weird today. The Hockey News’s Ken Campbell reported that Ken Hitchcock turned down the Wings’ offer to join the team as an assistant coach, meaning that the favorites of those who remain available are still Bob Boughner and Pete DeBoer…

Sportsnet’s Mike Brophy confirmed via Twitter that, again, the Wings have not let Kris Draper know whether he’ll be brought back, and the same will be true of Chris Osgood as Holland told Khan, St. James and Kulfan that the Wings will look at the free agent marketplace on July 1st and determine whether there are better options before making their final decisions on Draper and Osgood…

And then there is Jaromir Jagr. Per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun...

Jaromir Jagr and his agent, Petr Svoboda, were scheduled to meet in their native Czech Republic on Monday to discuss the next plan of action.

Svoboda told ESPN.com before the meeting that Detroit and Pittsburgh remained in the mix, plus a few other NHL teams. The KHL, of course, also remains an option for Jagr.

Another source told ESPN.com on Monday that Detroit had coach Mike Babcock speak with Jagr over the weekend.

Jagr, 39, is an unrestricted free agent. He can make more money staying in the KHL, but told ESPN.com last Friday that a return to the NHL is very appealing to him.

It appears that Montreal’s dropping out of the mix, and as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi noted, Jagr’s chasing the Penguins, not the other way around—and the Free Press’s Helene St. James believes that Jagr’s talking to the Capitals, too.

As Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski suggests, if Jagr wants to earn more money, Avangard Omsk can definitely give him more than Detroit can (Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov said on Sunday evening that both Detroit and Omsk are offering him $2.5 million, but there are few, if any taxes on athletes’ salaries in Russia)...

But the whole concept of Jagr soliciting other offers kind of bothers me.

LeBrun also offers this up:

The agent for pending UFA blueliner Christian Ehrhoff, Rick Curran, told ESPN.com Monday he has had a conversation with the Vancouver Canucks since the Cup finals ended and the two sides plan on meeting in Minnesota this week to continue that conversation. Maybe it’s just me, but with the Detroit Red Wings openly flaunting their intention to be aggressive July 1 on the blue-line front, I’d be keeping all my options open if I were Ehrhoff, even though he does love playing in Vancouver.

Shifting focus back to the captain and the resulting possible roster moves, if you missed it, thanks to the Red Wings’ website’s Flash player and the Detroit News, you can listen to Lidstrom’s presser…


Via RedWingsFeed, NHL On The Fly distilled Lidstrom’s comments from the 26-minute presser into about five minutes worth of listening…

And Wings GM Ken Holland spoke about both Lidstrom and a “Red Wings kind of move” in possibly signing Jagr on The Fan 590 before Bob McCown begged Holland to suggest that it’s “unfair” that the cap’s so high:

 


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In the further reading department, if you’re interested, Scotty Bowman’s offering new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan some advice through the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts…

But the focus of this entry remains on a player who I believe has every right to earn every penny he wants to…

Actually, let’s not, not yet.

I should have said this a long time ago. I know that A2Y was a free-for-all comments-wise, but since I began working here, it’s been my assumption that I am writing to an audience of informed hockey fans who are just as smart as I am and whose opinions are just as valid as mine are, and that we’re talking at a big, round table, where there is a seat for everybody, and no opinion is “greater” or “lesser.”

Moreover, I don’t mind one bit if you call me out, tell me that I’m misinformed or plain dumb, and I appreciate constructive criticism, even if it’s harsh, but I’m just not cool with the concept of people ripping into each other and having pissing contests to mark territory or engage in testosterone wars. Even if somebody says something that you or I might think is downright stupid, as long as it doesn’t include a personal insult toward another commenter or involves obscene language, I’d ask that you disagree politely.

The Chief is a better blogger and better writer than I am and he’s a fantastic pied piper. I’m just the Tomas Holmstrom of the blogging world, trying to bat down stories as they roar in, trying to make following the Wings easier in the process and hoping to start discussions amongst Wings and hockey fans whose opinions I value greatly. I don’t have charm or aplomb, and I’m a verbose and sometimes awkward writer (I am also, like Homer, a little grumpy, a little over-emotional and, perhaps only as I can be, a bit high-maintenance; Paul’s the Nick Lidstrom of blogging, trust me). But I expect that you treat each other as you would want to be treated, and I’d ask that you leave the verbal hacking and whacking to my ankles as it’s my job to take them.

Okay, back to hockey: Lidstrom spoke to Aftonbladet’s Per Bjurman at length about his return, and here’s a rough translation of his article…

Lidstrom Continues

Will play in his 20th season

Palm Springs: If someone had told him that he would still be playing NHL hockey at the age of 42 ten years ago, Nicklas Lidstrom would have laughed. But now he stands as the oldest Swedish player ever to play in the world’s best league.

“It’s still tremendously exciting to play hockey, and I still believe that we can win the Stanley Cup in Detroit,” says Lidas to Sportbladet.

On Monday news came that allowed all of Detroit to exhale. Nicklas Lidstrom will continue to play. The legendary defenseman has agreed with the Red Wings upon a new one-year contract, worth as much as the last one—[$6.2 million (over 40 million Swedish Kronor)]. But it took him a while to decide to play in his 20th season in the NHL.

“Yes, I took my time. At first I was tremendously disappointed that we’d been knocked out of the playoffs, and then I wondered whether I still had the motivation to play at this level,” he says.

Still so much fun

So why did you?

“Hockey’s still so much fun that it’s worth another summer of dry-land training.”

Is that what’s the boring part, the dry-land training?

“It’s difficult. It can be enjoyable in itself at times, but you have to work very hard, and the older you get, the more important it is. You can’t cheat. I’ve already been training for a while, I began doing so at the endof May, actually. You can’t do otherwise.”

You’re going to be 42 at the end of the next season. Did you ever think that you could play at that age?

“Absolutely not. If someone said so ten years ago, I would have just laughed at them.”

But a few years ago you said that you’d never play for as long as your friend, Chris Chelios, but now you’re getting closer to his age…

“Ha ha, well, I’m grateful that he was able to do what he could until he was 48, it gives [all of us] hope. But at 48, I won’t still be playing, I promise you.”

Don’t say that we’re going to have this discussion again in a year…

“Ha ha, yes, the reporters in Detroit believe that, too. We’ll see. I signed for one year, and then I’ll decide [again] depending on how I feel. But now I’m focusing on this year.”

You’re already the oldest Swede to play in the NHL. Only Tommy Albelin was in the same territory.

“Is that so? I hadn’t thought of it. But, as I said before, it’s still fun to play.”

Did the fact that things went so well last season play a role in your decision?

“Yes, to some extent. Most importantly, I was disappointed in my game the previous season, and I wanted to prove, especially to myself, that I can still perform at this level. In that sense I managed to do so and it feels good.”

And the team’s still competitive. How important is that?

“It’s very important. We have two superstars in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, and a great team overall, which makes it easier to continue playing. When you realize how small the margin for error is, you could suggest that we might have made the finals again this year. If you look at Vancouver, they were forced to play in overtime in Game 7 of their first round. But we simply didn’t play well enough in our series against San Jose.

Huge relief

Did your family play a part in your decision?

“Yes, Annika and I talked continually about this during the season, and my children have also been involved in our discussions.”

And did they encourage you to continue playing?

“Yes, they still think it’s fun to go watch hockey at Joe Louis Arena.”

There are many who think that it’s exciting to see them, too.

Relief among “Lidas’s” teammates is huge.

“Yes, I’d say that all of Michigan can exhale now,” says defenseman Niklas Kronwall. “I didn’t even want to think about the concept that he could have retired, and believed all along that he would decided to do this, especially considering the season he had. But I thought about it again a while ago…What happens if he retires? You can’t really imagine the Red Wings without Lidas.”

Kronwall says that his captain is a unique player.

“We’re so spoiled to have him here year after year. He’s the best player on the team 82 games out of 82 in the regular season. He’s at his best in every game in the playoffs, too. There just aren’t players like him,” [Kronwall] says.

By tomorrow morning, I’m sure that Mitch Albom (he asked a question on the conference call) and other talking heads will weigh in upon Lidstrom’s return, but I’d argue that the best beat writer without a Red Wings beat is former Free Press writer Nicholas J. Cotsonika (he’s tied with Craig Custance and USA Today’s Kevin Allen of course!) in this instance, so let’s give Yahoo Sports’ resident NHL guru the last word for now:

I’m sure Lidstrom wouldn’t approach being a sixth or seventh defenseman. He’s a No. 1 defenseman, period. Lidstrom at, say, 75 percent of his prime might be better than much of the NHL, but might not be good enough for him.

Who knows how long Lidstrom can keep playing at a level high enough to satisfy him? Who knows how long the Wings can keep contending for the Cup? Logic says both should have fallen off a long time ago. But Lidstrom is still playing as well as he ever has, and the Wings still have a core that includes Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in their primes.

Holland now has rare flexibility to make off-season moves and will explore trades and free agency. He has Rafalski’s $6 million to spend, and Lidstrom accepted the same salary he made last season – $6.2 million – which is actually a smaller piece of the pie now because the cap is increasing to about $64 million.

So Lidstrom will train, Holland will make his moves and we’ll see what happens next season.

“When it’s over,” Lidstrom said, “you re-evaluate how you played, how your body feels, how your mind feels, and then you kind of set your sights [on] if you’re ready to do it again.”

One day, he won’t be ready, and neither will we.

Now that he’s back, this Red Wings fan is ready to watch his favorite team reload instead of rebuild.

As usual.

Update: WBBL‘s “Huge Show’s” Bill Simonson spoke to Ken Kal…


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And Grand Rapids Griffins GM Bob McNamara:


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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Rdwings28's avatar

“Blessed are the peacemakers….”
thanks Georgie boy

Posted by Rdwings28 on 06/20/11 at 11:02 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Aside from admitting that I have a big, fat ego about my ability to write—at least half of the college credits I earned toward my English degree involved writing classes, and I’ve been writing about hockey on message boards and blathering on since 1996, so I’d like to believe that I can write decently, and am confident in saying that—I don’t think I’m special. I think hockey is special and that Wings fans are special, and it pisses me off when we treat each other like s*** because we disagree.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/20/11 at 11:12 PM ET

Avatar

That’s 6.2 million Lidstrom has earned, 6.2 million he deserves, and 6.2 million well spent.  Frankly, given how much money we’ve got right now, I’d toss Nick an extra 800K.  Make it a nice even 7.0.  Get him something nice under the table as well.

Posted by Alyeska from Manhattan on 06/20/11 at 11:19 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, I’m glad you said what you said about people having pissing contests on here.  it’s not interesting.  it’s not helpful.  It’s not fun to read.  And I’ll bet it really doesn’t make the people engaged in the arguments feel good.

One comment I’ll make about Nick Lidstrom and his salary…  Usually, when we talk of a player “taking a discount” to play in Detroit, we assume the player is not at the top of his game for one reason or another.  What I read today is Nick Lidstrom saying he wants to play 20-25 minutes a game, wants to play against the other teams’ top lines, wants to play on the power play and the penalty kill, and adding that, if he were to be a #6 defenseman, he would not continue to play - that would not be fun for him.  This is a guy who sets a high bar for himself and he would not be coming back if he and the Wings’ management did not believe he is still at, or damned near, the top of his game.  So I don’t get the concept that he should take a pay cut.  Don’t get it at all.

That said, I don’t intend to argue about it.  The decision has been made.  Let’s just savor the fact that we have this extraordinary player and human being on our team for another year.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/20/11 at 11:42 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Hey George,

Keep up the excellent work.  This is the best place on the web to get Wings news so don’t sell yourself short.  Those guys at PuckDaddy (I’m considering making those two words (when coupled together) a curse word in my household) can’t hold a candle to what you do.  Now that I have enough brown on my nose hahaha…

GLAD TO SEE THE CAPTAIN IS BACK!!!!!!!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/20/11 at 11:48 PM ET

tkfergy's avatar

This is the best place for Red Wing information because you do all the heavy lifting and I don’t have to go to all of the other sites instead… 

THANK YOU!

Posted by tkfergy on 06/21/11 at 12:04 AM ET

Avatar

Couple things

1. but there are few, if any taxes on athletes’ salaries in Russia

They’re tax-free (at least, the Russian gov doesn’t take a cut), actually, but this is actually sort of misleading as
a) the contracts aren’t guaranteed. The team can pull shenanigans and fire the players
b) some teams ask for kickbacks from stars to “help the guys who make less,” which then go into the coach/owner/GM’s pockets
c) teams sometimes skip pay periods due to cash-flow problems
d) your money might get stolen by a pack of wild dogs just like Kyle Wellwood’s groceries were


2. the arguments about the Red Wings’ captain supposedly harming his team by taking his full $6.2 million salary a damn rest

I’m surprised anybody would argue that. The only guy in the Norris conversations from the last few years who isn’t on an entry-level contract and doesn’t make more than that is Kris Letang. Maybe Erhoff, if I really wanted to stretch the group, but he’s a FA right now, anyway.


3. I’m not a wings fan and, thus, generally am not interested if Johnny Ericsson wants {thing that Ericsson wants} or that Tomas Tatar might be ready to play whatever position he plays on the next level,

but

Whenever something in the header of one of these ‘Malik Report’ blogs catches my eye, I can’t help but be impressed at how meticulously researched and comprehensive the work is. It’s no crime to have thought the Jagr reports were bunk. I still don’t understand how he’s a fit in the eyes of either of the teams he’s talking to or how he’s not a fit in the eyes of the Habs GM.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/21/11 at 01:05 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

The salaries aren’t guaranteed and the KHL now pays you 2/3rds of your wages for the regular season and 1/3 for any playoff performance. If you don’t make the playoffs, you don’t get paid that chunk of change.

And yes, if the sponsors go belly-up, you’re expected to show up to play and then sue your team after the season for money (good luck!), and the hockey gods forbid if you don’t play well, because your salary might go bye bye…but Jags gets his money.

Thanks for the Jagr support, too. It was hard to believe. It’s still hard to believe.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/21/11 at 01:14 AM ET

TheRealYooper's avatar

TPH is a bargain at 40 million Swedish Kronor

Posted by TheRealYooper from within sight of the edge of the Earth. on 06/21/11 at 01:36 AM ET

Avatar

You know, Lidstrom is giving my beloved Red Wings a hometown discount.  He could easily get 9 - 10 million elsewhere, even in the cap era.  He is that much better than anyone else.  The deal is done, I with 65 years as a Red Wings fan am pleased and relieved. 

An awful lot of younger fans do not realize how special some of the Red Wings players are.  We old geezers have seen so many fabulous Red Wings that we understand the place of many of the current players.

Thank you, George, for returning things to civilized discourse.

Living in North Carolina, I see a lot of Joni Pitkanen, he is just too inconsistent and not nearly an offensive force.  Of the potential free agents, Wisniewski and no one else makes my thighs quiver.  Ian White intrigues me, but he would have to come at a better price than what he will be looking for.

At this point in the off season, it is very easy to speculate, but I can see Salei back again as #6 defenseman if Ericsson seeks employment elsewhere and a good puck moving defenseman is not signed.  My beloved Red Wings could do much worse.  That being said, I am more than comfortable with Kindl.  I also know what Doug Janik brings to the ice.  He is a classic stand up defenseman and we can use that skill as can everyone else.

Enough for now.
Doc

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 06/21/11 at 01:38 AM ET

Avatar

Thank God for Lidas and Thanks George for being so damn good at what you do.

Posted by DMN on 06/21/11 at 01:44 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Well said, George.


...

Get him something nice under the table as well.

Hey now, this is a family-friendly blog.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/21/11 at 03:01 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Let’s just savor the fact that we have this extraordinary player and human being on our team for another year.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, wishin’ I was back in the Mitten on 06/20/11 at 09:42 PM ET

And really, beyond that, is there anything else that needs to be said?

A Norris trophy finalist who plays against the other team’s top players night in and night out, yet also averages just a shade under a point per game—a player who epitomizes class, leadership and professionalism and provides intangibles beyond intangibles.

A little perspective people.  Keep in mind that the Canucks are paying Luongo $10 million, the Sharks and the Canadiens are shelling out $8 million apiece for Dany Heatley and Scott Gomez respectively.  Among defensemen, both Dion Phaneuf and Brian Campbell will make roughly a million more than the greatest all-around defenseman to ever play the game. 

Even at age 41, I’d take Lidstrom on my team over any of the players mentioned above and it would be the biggest no-brainer ever.  To get him at $6.2 million is not only a fair contract, it’s an outright bargain in the context of the current market value. 

As Red Wing fans what more could we have possibly hoped for???

Our worst fears have been quelled.  Now it’s up to KH and company to do their thing.  This is going to be a very intersting summer.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 06/21/11 at 03:30 AM ET

perfection's avatar

am i considered one of the ones having a pissing contest? i’m just curious. i’ve noticed this salary discount subject has come up in past seasons and people took similar offense. besides the initial reactions to the subject being brought up (by immediately labeling the poster a “douche”), I thought it was a good conversation with good points. I don’t actually think Lidstrom should have taken less money, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons he could have or situations he would have. It’s just a topic for discussion and it’s the off season so there’s not much else to discuss. I don’t really get this cry for “peace”. What the hell is the point of these discussion threads if we’re just expected to coddle those we agree with and antagonize those we don’t until they stop posting? I for one enjoyed that thread. It’s a nice change from the usual off season posts on your blog of a handful of people thanking you yet again for your tireless compiling of other’s writing. While it’s appreciated and this is coming from someone who was also a daily visitor to your MLive blog, the whole reason why KK is the only hockey site on the internet that I am actually registered and participate in is because of the back and forth debates and discussion between generally intelligent hockey fans. It’s a shame to see you discourage it. 

And also George, Lidstrom doesn’t have to do anything to prove he isn’t as good of a captain as Yzerman because it’s simply an obvious fact. Yzerman is the greatest captain in the history of professional sports. Lidstrom, while being the first European to win the cup (which is considered an actual feat only because of Canadian racism), has only been the captain for a few years and has been a very good one. But you went and compared him to the greatest ever. It has NOTHING to do with salary. I mean Brian Rafalski was a damn good defenseman and had a damn good career but lets face it… he’s sure no Nick Lidstrom.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 06/21/11 at 03:31 AM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

thanks George!

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 06/21/11 at 04:42 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Perfection, no, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong at all with your opinion—that’s the point, I may disagree, but I respect what you’re saying and where you’re coming from!

I want good debates, not coddling and cuddling and cozy stuff, but when the attacks get personal and it degenerates into, “No, YOU’RE wrong, and how can you be so stupid to even think that?” I can’t stand for that.

Debate good. Serious-ass conversations and heated discussion fine. When it gets to 90 comments because it’s degenerated into a back-and-forth war, then I’ve got a problem with it.

I’m not asking you to refrain from sharing your opinion—I’m asking everybody to restrain themselves a little bit when it comes to separating disagreement with an opinion and a person with placing a value judgment upon a poster by telling them that they’re idiots and getting into a shouting match. THAT is what is unacceptable to me.

I’m not gonna go into who’s a better captain. Stevie stands alone and there never was and never will be a captain like he was. He literally sacrificed the ability to run and skate for his team and neither Nick nor anyone else will ever be able to match that. I just believe that Nick shouldn’t be considered a second-rate captain because he’s in second place, and sometimes I get the feeling that he’s considered second-rate instead of second or third or whatever place behind Yzerman, Lindsay, Howe, et. al.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/21/11 at 04:50 AM ET

Avatar

George, while he didn’t include a personal insult to another commenter, he came very close when he called Lidstrom “douchey”.  I think that is what set off a lot of the fire storm among the 19.

On another note, while reading through those three pages of posts this morning, one thought kept popping into my head and I finally found you as the only person to point it out until now.  Lidstrom took a pay cut when he dropped from 7.5 mil to 6.2 mil while he could have easily commanded 9+ mil elsewhere.  That was all the proof of Lidstrom’s commitment that I’ve personally ever needed (not that there aren’t dozens upon dozens of other shining examples).

Posted by Dahrken from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/21/11 at 11:20 AM ET

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Perfection, the poster got labeled a “douche” after he called Lidstrom’s actions “douchey”.  By using insulting words instead of just argument he basically labeled himself.  I think you missed that he’d said that the first time around.  In all honesty, I had expected to see Lidstrom drop down to $6 mil just because it’s a nice round number, but wasn’t really suprised when it stayed at $6.2 mil.

Posted by Dahrken from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/21/11 at 11:28 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m trying to figure out the distinction between calling a commenter a douche here and saying that a commenter has left a “cracker-ass comment” on Twittter.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 11:40 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

I’m trying to figure out the distinction between calling a commenter a douche here and saying that a commenter has left a “cracker-ass comment” on Twittter.
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 09:40 AM ET

Well, a “douche” is a sexist remark and a “cracker-ass” is a racist gay-bashing remark.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 11:48 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Did I miss something in slang class?  When did “cracker-ass” take on a homophobic quality?

Also not sure that “douche” quite qualifies as sexist.  It’s just easier to say than “taint-rag”. 

To each his own, I guess.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 12:41 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

George, while he didn’t include a personal insult to another commenter, he came very close when he called Lidstrom “douchey”.  I think that is what set off a lot of the fire storm among the 19.

Posted by Dahrken from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/21/11 at 09:20 AM ET

Perfection, the poster got labeled a “douche” after he called Lidstrom’s actions “douchey”.  By using insulting words instead of just argument he basically labeled himself.  I think you missed that he’d said that the first time around.

Posted by Dahrken from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/21/11 at 09:28 AM ET

That’s what started it all right. If you read the reactions from a few responders the argument actually began and initially centered around the insult to Lidstrom for not taking a pay cut (though he did, both this season, and when he signed the 6.2 contract the first time around).

What continued to fuel it was the “troll” comments by both sides, in particular the instigator, and that’s why when I read through two pages of comments, as George was typing his post I was typing mine to provide the definition of “troll” to the person asking what it meant. That issue added tons of fuel to the fire as it always does in these arguments. Without providing a definition here, I’d go as far as to say claiming not to know what trolling is, and calling said person a troll without providing a definition when asked, can both be construed as flame baiting. I know George does not want the latter to occur here either, and when a good discussion devolves into a flame war then the author of the article and provider of the forum probably ask themselves “what’s the point?”

am i considered one of the ones having a pissing contest? i’m just curious. i’ve noticed this salary discount subject has come up in past seasons and people took similar offense. besides the initial reactions to the subject being brought up (by immediately labeling the poster a “douche”), I thought it was a good conversation with good points. I don’t actually think Lidstrom should have taken less money, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons he could have or situations he would have. It’s just a topic for discussion and it’s the off season so there’s not much else to discuss. I don’t really get this cry for “peace”. What the hell is the point of these discussion threads if we’re just expected to coddle those we agree with and antagonize those we don’t until they stop posting? I for one enjoyed that thread. It’s a nice change from the usual off season posts on your blog of a handful of people thanking you yet again for your tireless compiling of other’s writing. While it’s appreciated and this is coming from someone who was also a daily visitor to your MLive blog, the whole reason why KK is the only hockey site on the internet that I am actually registered and participate in is because of the back and forth debates and discussion between generally intelligent hockey fans. It’s a shame to see you discourage it.

Posted by perfection from Chicago on 06/21/11 at 01:31 AM ET

You raise a good point, and for the most part there was a good discussion, especially when you chimed in. No question you should never have been insulted the first time you discussed your point, but I doubt you spat an insult at Lidstrom in view of a piranha bowl of wonderful, rabid Wings fans, so calling you names should never have happened in the first place. It’s the posters like yourself, and perhaps sometimes myself who make respectable comments that sometimes go against the grain that George certainly does not want attacked on his forum. But then he doesn’t want anyone attacked, and we need to respect that, especially considering all he does to provide this information for us so we can discuss and debate to our hearts’ content.

-

George,

I only post this message here because part of your own post is concerning respect among posters. Normally I stay far away from this stuff.

-

(P.S. Did I get the apostrophes right this time? LOL)

Posted by Bradley97 on 06/21/11 at 12:49 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Did I miss something in slang class?

Probably not, but you might’ve missed that day in politically-correct class when we covered “How to stretch the most innocent of remark into a sexist/ethnic/racial/gender-biased offensive term.”

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 12:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Probably not, but you might’ve missed that day in politically-correct class when we covered “How to stretch the most innocent of remark into a sexist/ethnic/racial/gender-biased offensive term.”

Posted by SnLO from Meeesheegan on 06/21/11 at 10:50 AM ET

Oh yeah, I skipped that class a ton.  I got the feeling the teacher didn’t like me after I referred to her as a “chick”.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 12:57 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I agree with this, and feel they should go all out for a RH sniper who can win a few faceoffs.

At this point in the off season, it is very easy to speculate, but I can see Salei back again as #6 defenseman if Ericsson seeks employment elsewhere and a good puck moving defenseman is not signed.  My beloved Red Wings could do much worse.  That being said, I am more than comfortable with Kindl.  I also know what Doug Janik brings to the ice.  He is a classic stand up defenseman and we can use that skill as can everyone else.
Enough for now.
Doc
Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC

I am pretty sure DocF called me a Geezer…

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 06/21/11 at 01:46 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

Back to hockey…

George,

McCown asked the same question I have regarding the cap floor being too high. Granted that’s not a question Holland can answer as he’s not managing a team struggling to meet the floor, he’s managing a team more often than not struggling to stay under the ceiling. Holland is correct to point out that having the floor where it is helps the parity and therefore the competition overall. But McCown has a point that even cutting the floor in half still likely leaves half a dozen teams in financial trouble. I think half is to low, but the current floor is too high as it is currently calculated, and that is something that must be addressed in the CBA. Lowering the floor won’t save all the troubled teams, but it should prevent some players from being overpaid to help a team meet the floor. I can’t imagine the PA thinks it’s good for the league to overpay a few so teams can meet the floor and qualify for financial assistance. And this paragraph doesn’t even begin to touch the iceberg of how complicated the issue actually is.

Yet I pose the following questions: Should the floor equal half the ceiling? Is that a better formula moving forward?

Posted by Bradley97 on 06/21/11 at 03:51 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Lowering the floor would be one of the best things they could do in the new CBA.

The gap between the ceiling and floor has always been $16M, but $23M:$39M::=/=::$48M:$64M

The relationship is totally screwed.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 04:27 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

Lowering the floor would be one of the best things they could do in the new CBA.

The gap between the ceiling and floor has always been $16M, but $23M:$39M::=/=::$48M:$64M

The relationship is totally screwed.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 02:27 PM ET

Yup. Looking at the first and last set of caps, if the floor was always equal to half the ceiling we’d be looking at this:

$19.5M:$39M::=::$32M:$64M

I guess you helped me answer my questions since it does look like having a floor equal to half the ceiling would make a lot of sense which ever way the cap goes in the coming years.

Posted by Bradley97 on 06/21/11 at 04:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I think so too.  I’ve struggled for a bit with what I thought would be a fair way to calculate the cap floor, but I think setting it at a strict percentage of the ceiling (although I’d probably go with 60%) would be the best way to do it.

Also fix revenue sharing.  Don’t screw with the cap, but make it so that 57% of revenues for every team goes to paying salaries.  Right now, the Leafs can spend to the cap without spending 57% of their revenues on players while the Panthers have to struggle to reach a floor that’s already at about 60% of what they pull in.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 04:46 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Should the floor equal half the ceiling? Is that a better formula moving forward?

If I may chime in, since the institution of the cap, I’ve felt the floor should be a percentage of the ceiling: something like 70%. That way the rise of each is proportionate to the other. If a cap must be in place, a percentage just seems more equitable.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 04:51 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 02:46 PM ET

Ahhh. Once again you beat me to the draw. I may need to begin refreshing my page before posting.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 04:58 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Ahhh. Once again you beat me to the draw. I may need to begin refreshing my page before posting.

Posted by SnLO from Meeesheegan on 06/21/11 at 02:58 PM ET

Hahaha.  I’m getting good at this.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 05:01 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

I think so too.  I’ve struggled for a bit with what I thought would be a fair way to calculate the cap floor, but I think setting it at a strict percentage of the ceiling (although I’d probably go with 60%) would be the best way to do it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 02:46 PM ET

60% works quite nicely. Doing the math it looks like this:

$23.4M:$39M::=::$38.4M:$64M

They could make it simpler and go with 57%, the same that they pay the players, but those numbers look messier (as opposed to Messiah, The - bad pun, bad).

As for revenue sharing, the fix is simple but the owners are divided because some of the money makers don’t want to share for the benefit of the league. The teams should make an escrow pool for salary payment. Each team that is not spending the full 57% to ice its team should pay whatever is left of the percentage into the league player salary pool. At the end of the season if the pool has more money than player salary paid the remaining money should be returned to the teams it came from, with each team receiving the same percentage back that they put in (i.e. if the Wings gave 10% of the total pool they should get back 10% of the remaining pool). In theory the pool should cover the 57% or whatever the max is if it goes up that the players get of the revenue pie. If this paragraph is fatally flawed please simply ignore it.

If I may chime in, since the institution of the cap, I’ve felt the floor should be a percentage of the ceiling: something like 70%. That way the rise of each is proportionate to the other. If a cap must be in place, a percentage just seems more equitable.

Posted by SnLO from Meeesheegan on 06/21/11 at 02:51 PM ET

70% is to high. The cap floor to ceiling for next season would look like this:

$44.8M:$64M

While it ties together based on percentage, it’s way too close to the new floor, and the new floor is still a problem. I think anything between 50% and 60% is the right number, but no higher or lower.

Posted by Bradley97 on 06/21/11 at 09:55 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

70% is to high.

Yeah. I was just throwing a number out there.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 10:47 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.