The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/24/12 at 01:06 PM ET
Given the readers’ reactions to the last couple of posts, this isn’t going to go over particularly well, but especially in light of the Shane Doan grand tour taking a more serious tone, MLive’s Ansar Khan offers a necessary review of the Red Wings’ action plan given the front office’s inability to land Ryan Suter or Zach Parise (for family reasons), Shea Weber (didn’t want to sign with a Central Division Rival) or Rick Nash, noting that Ken Holland & Company will proceed cautiously but aggressively as they exhaustively investigate every opportunity to improve their team:
If the Red Wings don’t land Doan, they might make a pitch for free-agent right wing Alexander Semin on a short-term deal (one or two years). Teams are hesitant to ink the talented forward to a long-term pact, since his commitment is often question.
Khan believes that Bobby Ryan’s asking price makes it highly unlikely that the Wings will attempt to trade to acquire a goal-scorer with other options (including Petr Sykora) available for only the price of their contracts. Otherwise…
Defense is a more pressing concern for the Red Wings. They must trade to acquire a top-pair defenseman since there are no remaining high-end free-agent options. Perhaps some players who aren’t available today will be on the move if the $70.2 million salary cap is reduced in the new CBA because several teams might be over the ceiling.
If nothing else, the Red Wings will add a second or third-pair defenseman from a shallow pool of remaining free agents that includes Carlo Colaiacovo, Pavel Kubina, Michal Rozsival, Scott Hannan and Milan Jurcina.
The Red Wings, despite losing Jiri Hudler to Calgary, feel they’ve improved their forward depth by signing Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Swiss scoring star Damien Brunner on July 1. They believe they’ve significantly upgraded their backup goaltending by signing Jonas Gustavsson.
Of course, they had hoped to do much more by late July.
“We had a game plan heading into the summer,’’ Holland said. “Part of it was July 1, and we accomplished a lot of things on July 1. We tried to make additional moves. They haven’t happened. I still believe we got good depth in goal and good depth up front. The team is younger than it was two years ago. We got a lot of players that can grow into bigger roles.’‘
Some fans don’t want to hear this. They are accustomed to success (21 consecutive playoff appearances, 12 100-point seasons in a row, four Stanley Cups, etc.) and anticipate an annual press conference introducing a star player. But, no one can question Holland’s efforts to add an impact player.
“We tried to add high-profile names. It didn’t happen,’’ Holland said. “We’ll continue to talk, explore.’‘
Quickie update: Also of Wings-related note:
• The Grand Rapids Griffins are looking for a community relations intern;
• And via RedWingsFeed and Jim Delaney:
You can read the job description here on Hockeyjobs.nhl.com.
Update Mike Stone is an idiot:
5. Hmm. Rick Nash gets traded to the Rangers and Shea Webber signs a massive offer sheet with Philadelphia. Are there any good players that want to play for the Red Wings? Unless something happens in a trade, I don’t see this off-season as anything other than horrific for Detroit. Ken Holland can spin it any way he wants, but Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo, Jonas Gustavsson, and the re-signing of Kyle Qunicey do not exude much excitement for Red Wing fans. With lots of loot to spend, the Wings have done very little. Can you say Hey Hey Schlockeytown?
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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.