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The Malik Report

Red Wings mid-day mish-mash: questions, trade climatology, co-MVP’s, Happy Hudler and more McCrimmon

The Canucks are practicing right now in Vancouver, and the Red Wings won’t even hit the ice until 3 or 3:30 PM EST, so we’re looking at some very late-afternoon off-day updates, but that’s no excuse for sitting on Wings news till this evening for the sake of comprehensiveness’s sake.

Given the Wings’ gritty 3-1 win over the Flames, Calgary’s moving tribute to Brad McCrimmon and Art Regner’s insistence that the Wings must target one of Tuomo Ruutu or Ales Hemsky to succeed come playoff time, we’ve got more than enough to tide us over till we learn how goalie coach Jim Bedard fared in practice during Jimmy Howard’s Day Off, and we’ll start this afternoon’s discussion with a slate of question regarding the Wings from Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski:

Detroit Red Wings:

The Big Question: Can they win on the road? The Wings are a stellar 20-2-1 at home, accounting for 41 of their 69 points. On the road they’re 14-14-0 and bit more human. Last night’s win in Calgary was a good start.

The Most Intriguing Player Near the Deadline: No one, really. Unless the Red Wings get oddly aggressive with Brad Stuart before free agency, this roster shouldn’t see much movement out the door. Movement in the door, with $25 million in cap space, is another matter …

On said trade deadline front, RedWingsFeed provides a gem of obviousness from Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika...

Read and hear about lots of teams with lots of cap room looking to add. That means high prices. They better hope more teams fall out soon.

As I said regarding Regner’s column, the fact that the standings are so tightly packed in the West and that few teams have truly dropped out of the race in the East should yield far fewer early February trades, and as the “sellers” finally choose to maximize returns for their assets, Cotsonika hits the nail on the head—from what we’ve all heard via Paul and TSN and anybody who’s keeping track of trade rumors from substantiated media sources, everybody and their brother wants a top-six forward and Tuomo Ruutu might be the most-coveted under-performing forward since Bobby Ryan two months ago, which tends to yield a buying climate that people like Ken Holland are loath to enter.


Shifting gears, let’s just say that I’m not surprised at this bit of news from the Flint Journal’s Brendan Savage:

The people have spoken and the Detroit Red Wings’ mid-season Most Valuable Player is …Goaltender Jimmy Howard.

In the closest voting in history — this is the first time we’ve done this here at Mlive.com — Howard nipped teammate Pavel Datsyuk in a campaign between the Red Wings’ All-Star Game representatives. Of the 402 votes cast, Howard received 198 to Datsyuk’s 193. (That’s 49 percent to 48 percent; it can’t get much closer than that.) The third choice on the ballot — “other’’ — was selected by 11 readers.

We received votes from 20 countries. In addition to the U.S. and Canada, voters weighed in from places like Thailand, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Italy, Ireland and Sweden.

Sounds about right. Co-MVP’s, most definitely,

 

As Rant Sports’ Daniel Gutsky notes, the identity of the Wings’ Januuary MVP might surprise you:

Jiri Hudler’s season, at least in terms of goal scoring, got off to an incredibly slow start.  The Red Wings center scored just two goals in October and November, the lowest of his career.

The calendar turned to December, and something changed.  Hudler recorded 14 goals in December and January, capped off with his go-ahead (and eventual game winner) goal against the Flames Tuesday night in Calgary.  The last two months has put Hudler into 5th on the Wings in total points, and is second in goals behind only Johan Franzen.  The 28-year-old Czech is on pace for a 27-goal season, which would be a career high.

 

In news related to “Hockey Ink,” In the Game signed Gordie Howe to an autograph-signing contract, and today, Panini America also announced that they’ve brought Mr. Hockey into the signing fold. I don’t know if Howe’s agreement with Upper Deck (which is the NHL’s main trading cards rights-holder, with something like a dozen brands rolling off the printing presses all year long) lapsed or whether Marty and Gordie’s grandson Travis are simply marketing their dad’s services more aggressively, but a better chance of pulling a Gordie Howe autograph out of a pack of cards (oh, new hockey card smell! My *one* big superstition involves buying a pack or two cards after the Wings lose in an attempt to change their luck) is never a bad thing;


And if you missed it, the Calgary Herald’s Ted Rhodes posted some poignant pictures from the Flames’ ceremony honoring Brad McCrimmon, as well as a few pictures from last night’s game. Here was the in-arena version of the video tribute…

As well as some “sights and sounds” from the warm-ups, where the Flames wore McCrimmon’s #4 on their backs, the ceremony and the game:

 

 

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Comments

mrfluffy's avatar

I’m going to get laughed out here (and I’m thinking this is all but impossible)...what about Jeff Carter?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 02/01/12 at 05:16 PM ET

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Thank you for the updates!

Quick questions…How much would it cost us to get Tuomo Ruutu or Ales Hemsky? Since Hudler is actually doing well now…do you still trade him? And what’s up with Z? Is this just a bad year? I mean..Hudler has more goals than Z!!!!!!


Go WINGS

Posted by Nathalie from MTL on 02/01/12 at 05:21 PM ET

SK77's avatar

I’m going to get laughed out here (and I’m thinking this is all but impossible)...what about Jeff Carter?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/01/12 at 03:16 PM ET

The dude with the 10-year contract?

And what’s up with Z? Is this just a bad year? I mean..Hudler has more goals than Z!!!!!!

Posted by Nathalie from MTL on 02/01/12 at 03:21 PM ET

There are a lot of nights I can’t help but watch him and wonder how bad his back really is.

Posted by SK77 on 02/01/12 at 05:23 PM ET

tkfergy's avatar

I’m going to get laughed out here (and I’m thinking this is all but impossible)...what about Jeff Carter?

Don’t think KH would want to take on that contract right before a new CBA…

Posted by tkfergy on 02/01/12 at 05:25 PM ET

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Mursak seemed to be skating hard last night, very good to see since it almost seems like the Wings let teams back off and gain defensive position.

Posted by Jasper on 02/01/12 at 05:37 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha….catch some air….Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Posted by joedaiceman on 02/01/12 at 05:40 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Stu wants to be back in Cali near his family. Unfortunately, Francois Beauchemin and Brent Burns have been signed to new deals. Willie Mitchell is a UFA after the season. He is a couple of years older than Stu. How about Stuart for Mitchell and a prospect or draft pick. I doubt that SJ would go Stu straight up for Boyle, but it never hurts to ask, right?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/01/12 at 05:46 PM ET

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Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 02/01/12 at 03:46 PM ET

I don’t think Stuart’s getting traded at all.  Holland will ride it out through the playoffs and hope he can convince Stuart to stay.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 05:59 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

Stu wants to be back in Cali near his family. Unfortunately, Francois Beauchemin and Brent Burns have been signed to new deals. Willie Mitchell is a UFA after the season. He is a couple of years older than Stu. How about Stuart for Mitchell and a prospect or draft pick. I doubt that SJ would go Stu straight up for Boyle, but it never hurts to ask, right?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 02/01/12 at 03:46 PM ET

One of the last people I’d ever want to see in a Red Wings uniform is that piece of shit, Dan Boyle.  I don’t care how good he supposedly is.

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 02/01/12 at 06:04 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Carter is a 10-contract at a fairly reasonable hit for 70 points a season. Look, it’s a pipe dream for sure, but how is it any more unreasonable than Sutter or Parise?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 02/01/12 at 06:05 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Z can’t score but he’s playing very, very well. Not worried about him other than his decision to stick with those Warrior sticks…

And no, no way would the Wings ever trade someone as important as Stuart in the middle of the season. They’ll need him come playoff time, and that gives KH a longer period of time to offer Stuart flights on Mike Ilitch’s plane to ferry his family to Detroit a little more regularly.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/01/12 at 06:13 PM ET

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but how is it any more unreasonable than Sutter or Parise?

Because Detroit could negotiate the money and terms of any future contract and if Suter or Parise were acquired and didn’t end up fitting into the system Detroit could simply not re-sign them rather than being saddled with 10 more seasons of him.

And while the word of him having an attitude problem in Columbus could just be as a result of the shittiness of having signed a long term contract with the idea that he would retire with his teeam and then being dumped to one of the worst teams in the league, I also wouldn’t be ten years on it…

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 06:16 PM ET

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Z can’t score but he’s playing very, very well.

Exactly.  He’s not scoring, but they didn’t sign him to a lifetime contract because they thought he was going to be a perennial 50-goal scorer.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 06:17 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

And while the word of him having an attitude problem in Columbus could just be as a result of the shittiness of having signed a long term contract with the idea that he would retire with his teeam and then being dumped to one of the worst teams in the league, I also wouldn’t be ten years on it…

Additionnaly, I don’t think he had a great attitude in Philly either.  I think both Richards and Carter were seen as part of the problem and not the solution in Philly and that’s why they were shipped out.

Carter’s contract is far too long and worth too much money to take a risk on.

Posted by Ajax19 on 02/01/12 at 06:27 PM ET

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Thank you for all your responses smile

Posted by Nathalie from MTL on 02/01/12 at 06:29 PM ET

calquake's avatar

As much as I hate thinking this, much less typing it, if Dallas decides to be a seller at the deadline would us fans welcome a guy like Steve Ott?  Not a top six guy so the asking price wouldn’t be too high and he’s the kind of pest we all hate but he’s valuable in the role he plays.  Reminds me of how I first felt aboot Chelios coming to the Wings… hated the guy but appreciated his game.

Now excuse me… I have to go wash my mouth out with lye.

Posted by calquake on 02/01/12 at 06:30 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by calquake on 02/01/12 at 04:30 PM ET

If we’re cherry-picking guys off the Stars, give me Brenden Morrow, please. If they did trade for Ott, my very first question would be “what was the asking price for Morrow?”

I might get used to it, but I would hate it a lot.  Way too many dumb penalties.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/01/12 at 06:35 PM ET

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Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/01/12 at 04:35 PM ET

I wouldn’t complain about that, but I don’t think the Stars will be sellers.  They’re close enough right now that barring a pretty hard fall they’re at least going to still be in the hunt at the deadline.  And even if they do sell I don’t see them selling Morrow who, apaart from being their captain, still has a year left on his contract.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 06:42 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

If we’re cherry-picking guys off the Stars, give me Brenden Morrow, please

I second that.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 02/01/12 at 06:45 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Oh, I think the Stars would be batfuck stupid to trade away Morrow, but this is the same organization that gave Mikey Mo his walking papers.  If they fall apart, they may very well “give” the team to Jamie Benn by trading Morrow off.

I wouldn’t say it’s horribly likely and I’d back and Stars fan who wanted to throw molotov cocktails at the AA center (and therefore improve the ice surface), but if it’s a possibility, I’d take it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/01/12 at 06:45 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Players are assets. An asset that leaves with no value in return hurts the product on the ice as well as the bottom line.

I want to give Stuart the benefit of the doubt here. If the interview with Khan is any indication, he has no intention of re-signing with the Wings and he let the Wings know that well in advance. Would Kenny let an asset slip away like that without getting something for it?

It sounds from the outside like another Pronger situation, except that Stuart has infinitely more class than Pronger. Stuart’s wife absolutely will not move to Michigan and Stu misses his family. Mo money and private jet flights can’t change the facts.

I would hate to see Stu leave, but since he’s leaving anyway, you might as well get something for him.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/01/12 at 06:48 PM ET

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An asset that leaves with no value in return hurts the product on the ice as well as the bottom line.

And trading away a great physical shutdown defenseman for picks hurts the team now and lessens their ability to perform in the present.

There’s no way he nets anything tangible for the here and now in return.

Furthermore, Ken Holland isn’t afraid to let players walk in the off-season if they can help during the playoffs.

I would hate to see Stu leave, but since he’s leaving anyway, you might as well get something for him.

While pretty much crippling the team defensively in the present?

No thanks.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 06:54 PM ET

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If the interview with Khan is any indication, he has no intention of re-signing with the Wings and he let the Wings know that well in advance.

That’s a very interesting way to read it, because from what he said I got that he really wants to play in Detroit and has a tough decision ahead of him.  In fact, he said it won’t be completely a hockey decision but also “a little about family”.

I can’t see how that means he has no intention of re-signing.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 06:57 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

“a little about family”.
I can’t see how that means he has no intention of re-signing.
Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 04:57 PM ET

If you are going to quote, don’t cherry pick stuff out of context:

“It’s not going to be all based on hockey and what I want for my career. It’s going to be a little bit (about) family, which is important. Those are things I still have to kind of sort out, try to figure out what’s going to be best for everyone.”

Sounds like he’s leaving to me.

While pretty much crippling the team defensively in the present?
No thanks.
Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 04:54 PM ET

How is it crippling the team if you get Willie Mitchell or another d-man in return?  I never suggested he be traded for a bag of pucks.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/01/12 at 07:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

In 2009, news had gotten out that Mikael Samuelsson had sold his house in Novi and that he was planning on testing the market. Even though he was less integral to the team than Stuart, especially with Hossa on the roster, Holland was blunt when reporters confronted him about trading Samuelsson given that #37 had one foot out the door: Holland said that there was no way in hell that he would trade someone who could help the team in the playoffs simply because that player might walk away later.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/01/12 at 07:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Los Angeles gets: Brad Stuart, Detroit’s 1st round pick in 2012, Detroit’s 5th round pick in 2012.
Nashville gets: Jack Johnson, Detroit’s 1st round pick in 2012, Los Angeles’ 2nd round pick in 2012.
Detroit gets: Ryan Suter.

J.J. gets: A lobotomy for even thinking it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/01/12 at 07:22 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/01/12 at 05:22 PM ET

That is crazy enough to actually work. There have been some rumors out here that JJ could be trade bait, but I seriously doubt it. I’m sure Kenny would make that deal in a heartbeat if it were ever offered.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/01/12 at 07:35 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/01/12 at 05:22 PM ET

Why you crazy?  If that ever works out…

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 02/01/12 at 07:48 PM ET

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Sounds like he’s leaving to me.

Not a single bolded word suggests that he has no intention of signing.

You’re right, he did say it’s not all about hockey.  What does that change?  It doesn’t contradict the fact that he said it will be a little bit about family.

If it’s a little bit about family then that means it’s a lot about other things.

How is it crippling the team if you get Willie Mitchell or another d-man in return?

Because you’re not going to get Willie Mitchell, and even if you were why would you trade one of your best defensemen who is on an expiring contract for a lesser defenseman on an expiring contract?  You could keep Stuart, who in my opinion is better than Mitchell, and if Stuart tells you that he’s going to go elsewhere, then you can consider picking up Mitchell off the free agent wires.

What’s the point of making that trade?

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 09:03 PM ET

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Also, why would you want to trade Stuart to a potential playoff opponent?  If Stuart doesn’t sign with Detroit then he’s going to sign with someone in California, and why would Holland want to make any of those three teams stronger?  SJ and LA are currently in the playoffs and Anaheim is red hot, so the last thing I’d want to do is give any of those teams someone that can hurt us in the playoffs.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 09:11 PM ET

Chet's avatar

you know who’s been playing a ton better the last month or two? #52. nobody’s talking about moving him anymore…

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/01/12 at 09:13 PM ET

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Not mention that Willie Mitchell is insanely injury-prone.

Posted by RyanVM on 02/01/12 at 09:23 PM ET

@DaveDavisHockey's avatar

A Buffalo writer is making an issue out of the fact that Detroit scout Kirk Maltby has been seeing a lot of Sabres games in person.  If the Wings want a Gaustad or Boyes they can be acquired on the cheap.

Posted by @DaveDavisHockey from Buffalo, NY on 02/01/12 at 10:36 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

No Chet, E’s been playing with a Vet who’s finally recommitted himself to playing hockey.


I’ve been hearing we’re looking at Buffalo too DDH except I’ve been hearing Ville Leino…. but seriously, I heard they were interested in Roy.  What do you think, being from there?  What’s the real scoop

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/02/12 at 03:21 AM ET

@DaveDavisHockey's avatar

I think as typical sellers they’ll want a very good prospect for him as part of the deal.  They don’t seem to want to let the coach and GM go, so if other teams want to make offers for guys on the roster, this team will soon be open for business.  If you just want a rental for a draft pick, Hecht, Gaustad & Boyes are pending UFA’s.

Posted by @DaveDavisHockey from Buffalo, NY on 02/02/12 at 05:14 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.