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Red Wings mid-day news: on Rufenach day, Prust potential and other tidbits

Updated 2x at 2:55 PM: Amongst this afternoon’s relatively sparse crop of Red Wings news:

• First and foremost, I dig the probable signing of Damien Brunner. Yes, he’s an undersized 26-year-old who’s been playing in Switzerland, but the Swiss league has become one of Europe’s best over the past couple of seasons, and this is an ultimate no-risk deal for a classically undersized but speedy sniper (if it happens, which it probably will); the player wants to come to Detroit, and if he shows his stuff in training camp, awesome, and if not, he heads to Grand Rapids to adjust to the North American game, hopefully earning a call-up at some point. If he can’t adapt, he goes back to Switzerland with that, “Well, I tried to make it happen in North America” feather in his cap.

• In more serious news, via RedWingsFeed, the Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindenau reports that the Red Wings will pay tribute to fallen prospect Bryan Rufenach at this summer’s prospect camp in Traverse City:

Bryan Rufenach’s tragic death hit the hockey world hard. When news surfaced about his accidental death while traveling Europe, his teammates, friends and fans throughout the Red Wings organization offered help and support to his grieving family. The 23 year-old was selected by Detroit in 2007 and signed a contract last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Rufenach spent most of the season with Toledo of the ECHL where he notched 13 goals and 33 points in 54 games.

Prior to turning pro, the offensive defenseman spent four season with Clarkson University where he piled up 21 goals and 55 points over four seasons. Rufenach also attended the 2011 Detroit development cams in Traverse City, MI and also participated in the 2011 NHL prospects tournament and Red Wings training camp.

To honor the Lindsay, Ontario native’s memory, organizers of the development camp in conjunction with the Detroit Red Wings, Grand Rapids Griffins, and Toledo Walleye have designated July 10th as Bryan Rufenach day. The days events will kick off at 4 pm with food, beverages,  and entertainment outside Centre I.C.E. Arena. The puck will drop on an intrasquad scrimmage at 7 pm at Centre I.C.E. A brief ceremony to honor Bryan’s memory will be held prior to the start of the scrimmage.

Tickets for the July 10th match-up will be available at the door for $5. A portion of all proceeds from ticket sales, merchandise, and concessions will benefit the memorial fund set up to help fund the operation of the Bryan Rufenach Memorial Skills Camp. Additionally donation cans will be available throughout the arena for fans who would like to make direct contributions to the fund and a raffle for Red Wings related prizes will also benefit the fund. For the complete schedule of development camps events click here.

• In prospect news of a different sort, the Grand Rapids Griffins’ YouTube channel posted an extensive interview with new Griffins signing and East Grand Rapids native Luke Glendening:

• In charitable news, the Courier Post’s Randy Miller reports that if you find yourself in Philadelphia next Tuesday, you can take part in a charity golf tournament whose roster is heavily laden with Flyers alums, including Wings director of pro scouting Mark Howe;

• Also in the scouting news category, Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski spoke to draft guru Kyle Woodlief, and here’s what Woodlief had to say about the best amateur scouts in the game:

Question: Finally: Which team’s scouting operation impresses you the most?

Kyle Woodlief: I’ve always admired Gord Clark, who is now working for the Rangers. If you look at the drafts he orchestrated with the Islanders, that would have been a great team — if it hadn’t been for Mike Milbury.

Detroit’s machine … they’re all on the same page, and that’s the key with Detroit. They don’t always have a first-round pick, but they always know what they’re looking for and they don’t waste any time on squabbling.

Montreal has a done a good job, too, in the time Trevor Timmins has been there.

• And finally, MLive’s Ansar Khan points his “Free Agent Focus” toward 28-year-old New York Rangers winger Brandon Prust, whose asking price might be too high for the Wings to accommodate:

2011-12 stats: 82 games, five goals, 12 assists, 17 points, minus-1 rating, 156 penalty minutes, averaged 11:56 in ice time.

Career stats: 279 games, 24 goals, 39 assists, 63 points, plus-3 rating, 612 penalty minutes.

2011-2012 salary: $800,000.

Strengths: A fiery, energetic team player who gets under opponents’ skin and doesn’t back down from anyone, despite his average size. He had 20 fighting majors last season. He’s a solid penalty killer. He didn’t miss a game the past two seasons, despite his rugged style.

Weaknesses: He’s not very skilled and won’t provide much offense, though he did have 13 goals and 29 points in 2010-11.

Notable: He has averaged 20 fighting majors a season over the past four years, according to hockeyfights.com.

Why he would interest the Red Wings: They need to be harder to play against, particularly in the playoffs. They could use an agitator who riles up opponents, as long as he doesn’t take bad penalties. And having a fighter would take that burden off Todd Bertuzzi and Justin Abdelkader.

How he could fit in with the Red Wings: He would play on the fourth line and the penalty kill.

What it might take to get him: A three-year deal in the range of $1.75 million per season.

Something in me fears that Prust could get $3 million-plus on the open market. He’d be a fantastic depth signing as that big, heavy and mean fourth line forward the Wings covet, but he might be too expensive to sign, especially given the dearth of instigators without defensive flaws on the market:

Here’s the Sports Forecaster’s assessment of the 6’0,” 192-pound forward’s pluses and minuses:

Assets: Works hard and loves to get in the face of his opponents. Has solid defensive instincts, is an aggressive forechecker and excellent penalty killer. An outstanding team guy that leads by example, he’ll rumble with anyone.

Flaws: Won’t score a lot of points at the National Hockey League level, since he lacks above-average speed and overall natural skill. Takes on all comers, so he tends to play hurt a lot.

Career Potential: Physical agitating defensive winger.

Update: According to “Totally Driven TV,” Gordie Howe will be signing autographs at Carl’s Cards in Havertown, Pennsylvania tomorrow.

Update #2: Interesting, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

Suddenly, this is a market with defensemen available. The Chicago Blackhawks are shopping Niklas Hjalmarsson, and there was chatter Friday that the Flames were listening on Jay Bouwmeester.

Add the fact that Matt Carle of the Flyers and Jason Garrison of the Florida Panthers are unsigned and are UFA July 1, and you’ve got five notable top-tier blueliners on the market.

“We continue to talk to the Flyers,” Carle’s agent Kurt Overhardt told ESPN.com Friday. “We’ll see what happens.’’

Garrison’s agent, Matt Oates, was slated to meet with Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Friday. If the sides can’t close the gap in contract talks, don’t be surprised if the Panthers trade Garrison’s rights this weekend.

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Comments

Vladimir16's avatar

whose asking price might be too high for the Wings to accommodate:

I’m afraid we’re gonna be hearing a whole lot of this^^^

They need to be harder to play against, particularly in the playoffs. They could use an agitator who riles up opponents, as long as he doesn’t take bad penalties. And having a fighter would take that burden off Todd Bertuzzi and Justin Abdelkader.

Even though we’re in dire need of this ^^^^^

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/22/12 at 03:34 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Even though we’re in dire need of this ^^^^^
Posted by Vladimir16 on 06/22/12 at 01:34 PM ET

Yes it may be tough to satisfy “need more offense” and “need more physicality and size” in the same year, which will frustrate us all.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 06/22/12 at 03:52 PM ET

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i wish there was a young Darren McCarty waiting in the wings.

Posted by letsmakeit12 on 06/22/12 at 03:58 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

There was a time, not long ago but a time people seem to forget, when the Wings had skill AND toughness. It lasted about 18yrs but it’s been about 4 yrs since those days. Time to get back to that!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/22/12 at 04:01 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Mitchel Callahan?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/22/12 at 04:05 PM ET

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i hope kenny realizes that to get the guys you want, and in our case need, sometimes you have to overpay, even if only slightly. i dont necessarily mean this for prust, but definitely for our coveted UFAs in Nashville and Jersey. it kills me to hear “at the right price”, usually means settling for last resorts.

Posted by letsmakeit12 on 06/22/12 at 04:13 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Mitchel Callahan?
Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 06/22/12 at 02:05 PM ET

Tough fealess kid but, in a typical Red Wing way, a bit small.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/22/12 at 04:24 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t think that the Wings will overpay for the sake of overpaying, but if they have to get into a bidding war, they will leap in feet first…

And I hate to say it, but pin your hopes on Mitchell Callahan, folks. That little booger is wonderfully scrappy and enthusiastic about being a pain in the ass.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/12 at 04:24 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

And I hate to say it, but pin your hopes on Mitchell Callahan, folks. That little booger is wonderfully scrappy and enthusiastic about being a pain in the ass.
Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/12 at 02:24 PM ET

Don’t get me wrong, I’d take him on this team in a heart beat but I’m so damn pessimistic when it comes to Holland and his sense of how “nice” this team is. I’m pretty sure Babcock realizes we’re not mean enough but Holland?....
I sure hope I’m wrong on this. If I have to live through one more season where guys take complete liberties with Datsyuk and Zetterberg and our answer is Bertuzzi and Abdelkader then I may just jump off a feckin’ bridge.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/22/12 at 04:35 PM ET

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Wings should move up with columbus’ pick to #2 and send a emmerton type to Columbus with 2nd rouder to get a new star smile

Posted by Steve on 06/22/12 at 04:54 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I gotta agree with you Vlad16

And George, who in the world overpays for the sake of doing it??????????

Nothing is for free and you’re not going to win a cup on discount players.  When have we EVER wona cup with a roster FULL of discount players?  seriously?  Bert, discount-Cleary, discount-White, discount-Eaves, discount-Miller, discount (2 top 6, a top 4 d who was a top pair d last year and half our third line.)  But you get magic powers when you don the Wing’d wheel so it’s all good.  Just sign with detroit, your career will magically come back.

We have several draft picks in there as well who’ve “taken less” because it’s assumed they’d have cost more down the road.. go *#$%@& figure with the cap going up every year.

Marquee players, Pav, Z, When his game is on, Franzen but not a consistant battler or competitor so I have a hard time saying he’s a player who’d bring in other FA’s.  ummmmmm I guess Kronners though his D skills seem to get worse and worse every year and he doesn’t hit as often as he used to.  After the Voracek hit this year he was invisible through the rest of the season physically.

So, Pav and Z… before we had Lidas too.  Waiting on Flip for 4 years to break 50pnts and he’s “coveted” 

You might have to pay a bit more now and then, but when you sit on 5mil in cap space for an entire year, you can’t tell me you couldn’t have upgraded a position or two each summer for an extra 500,000k here and there.  I’m all for loyalty but it seems Holland n Co’s MO anymore is, league is built around parity, anyone has a shot once you get in playoffs, anyone can get into the playoffs, what’s it matter, keep our guys on the cheap and hope they keep making the playoffs.  Regardless of what the team looks like, anyone has a shot.  Then he’d probably point out that the Kings didn’t even qualify til the final days of the season and were and 8th seed.  Completely glossing over the fact they made decisive moves to improve the areas where they were deficient, which seems to be the big difference anymore in Motown… haven’t seen a decisive move since Hossa, and Hossa was the one who came here, we didn’t swoon him.  He called Holland, not the other way around. 

I honestly think Holland gets a little too much credit for Jimmy D and Scotty Bowmans work and observations.  Won 2 cups with Jimmy’s roster, won another with the HOF team.  Only real effect he had on a cup winning team was aquiring stuart in 08.  Year after year, we like our team the way it is. 

I’m just ranting at this point, but the point is, Holland has something to prove, go *#$%@& prove it.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/22/12 at 05:12 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

sorry 1 cup with Jimmy’s roster, he was Asst GM for the first cup.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/22/12 at 05:17 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I honestly think Holland gets a little too much credit for Jimmy D and Scotty Bowmans work and observations.  Won 2 cups with Jimmy’s roster, won another with the HOF team.  Only real effect he had on a cup winning team was aquiring stuart in 08.  Year after year, we like our team the way it is. 
I’m just ranting at this point, but the point is, Holland has something to prove, go *#$%@& prove it.
Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/22/12 at 03:12 PM ET

I think Holland is a real good GM but I agree with all of this ^^^^
We shall see what he’s made of this summer, that’s fer sure.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/22/12 at 05:18 PM ET

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I am a complete Kenny loyalist, but I have found myself questioning his status, currently, as a star GM in this league. For years we were blessed with a roster that Kenny inherited, the Lidstroms, federovs, kozlovs, holmstroms, and ofcourse, Stevie, and many more that aren’t coming to mind currently. We need a trade like the one that brought Shanny in. To me, that is one of the best moves the wings have made post deadwing era. And I my memory serves me right, that trade was not made with Kenny as our GM, but I may be wrong I was 4 years old when the deal was made. I know that players like Pav, Z, Mule, Howard, and smith have been drafted with Kenny in charge, but I question just how responsible Kenny was for those picks? Has a tremendous scouting staff carried this team despite having low picks? I hate to admit it but we need a big move to re-energize this team.

Posted by letsmakeit12 on 06/22/12 at 05:49 PM ET

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“Devellano recalled that the one player he tried to acquire on several occasions was Ray Bourque; and that he recommended Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour over Mike Keenan as candidates to be the Wings coach in 1993. He said his best trade was probably in 1996, acquiring Brendan Shanahan and Brian Glynn from the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Keith Primeau, Paul Coffey, and a 1st round draft pick.”

Source: en (dot) wikipedia (dot) org/wiki/Jim_Devellano

Posted by Alex on 06/22/12 at 09:37 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

You got to give a fair chunk of that Shanahan trade credit to Steve Yzerman, who got to know him in Team Canada play and was pretty insistent they go get him, so I’ve read.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 06/22/12 at 10:07 PM ET

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we need that ambtion to land these game changers. our owners are more driven to acquire these players than kenny.

Posted by letsmakeit12 on 06/23/12 at 04:20 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.