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Red Wings morning tidbits: On Lidstrom, Nill and Draper

The Red Wings won’t practice till 12 or 1 PM PDT today, so we’re kind of in a holding pattern in terms of learning whether the Wings will be able to “dig out “of the hole they’ve dug for themselves while employing Pavel Datsyuk’s services against the San Jose Sharks, but a few stories/videos popped up which are worth noting this morning:

RedWingsFeed directs us toward We All Bleed Red on YouTube, who posted a chunk of Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s interview with Ken Daniels and Larry Murphy during the Wings-Ducks game:

  • For the record, the Griffins made the Wings’ recall of Jordan Pearce official today;

• For the record, MLive found that Wings fans would love to see Detroit begin the playoffs by playing against the Avs instead of the Predators;

• And while Paul posted this just a few minutes ago, it’s important to post in this Wings blog, too: USA Today’s Kevin Allen proffered a list of potential general manager candidates, and he listed Brendan Shanahan, Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill and Wings “Special Assistant to Ken Holland” Kris Draper as headliners:

1. Jim Nill (Detroit assistant GM): At 53, Nill probably is at the crossroads of his management career. He has been the most qualified GM candidate for several years, but he has chosen to stay with the Red Wings for family reasons. Plus, Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch treat him well financially and otherwise. As a talent evaluator and GM Ken Holland’s most trusted advisor, Nill has been crucial to Detroit’s success for many, many years. He is highly respected around the NHL. He could get an interview for any job he wants. But he will have to decide quickly whether he wants to move up because the window could close on him.
14. Kris Draper (Detroit special assistant to GM Ken Holland): Count on him following the same path that Yzerman took. He’ll study under Holland and Nill, learning how the Red Wings manage their cap and evaluate players. Anyone who knows Draper knows he will work at this. He is a born leader with four championship rings. It will take him some time, but he will be a GM candidate.

Here’s what I know about Jim Nill: while he certainly wouldn’t mind helming his own team one day, he’s incredibly comfortable as Ken Holland’s right-hand man (capologist Ryan Martin is the left-hand man), the person who runs the Wings’ draft and plays the largest role on the team in terms of drafting and developing prospects as he’s also the Grand Rapids Griffins’ de-facto GM, he’s very comfortable with the concept that team players sometimes play supporting roles and he and his family are very, very comfortable in Metro Detroit, where Nill’s well-paid, has strong community ties and just enjoys his present role as the NHL’s best managerial “team player.” I don’t know if he’ll eventually leave Detroit, but I tink there’s no character flaw in Nill should he choose to remain exactly where he is, because the grass isn’t nearly as lush, green or self-sustaining away from his current position.

Quickie update: Here’s an awesome wallpaper from CBS Detroit. Tomas Holmstrom mucking it up in the corner in LA with tons of snow hitting the glass.

&bll; And no, Oilers fans, I don’t think Nill will leave Detroit to helm the Oilers.

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MsRedWinger's avatar

George, thanks so much for that Homer wallpaper!  Got it on my desktop!

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 03/16/12 at 01:03 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Just caught up on all the comments in the last few threads.

I’m with OTC, as far as blaming the coaching for the majority of the problems.
I’ve been watching a lot of hockey, a lot of good teams and one thing you notice
right off is their net presence.  Always 3 forwards digging around the crease for
rebounds, yet watch the Wings and you only see that happen with the 3rd and 4th lines.
I listened to Babs comment on the Wings going 0/4 on the PP, saying we didn’t play hard enough.  BS, the hockey rocket scientists, coaches, and media are going way too easy on the Wings casually mentioning 0/4 on the PP, but failing to mention 2 of them were 5 on 3’s.  Our PP and PK sucked before the injuries, and have been nothing to brag about for 3 years.  35 passes and one SOG during a 5 on 3 PP….WTF.

Yes, deep bone bruises are very unpredictable, but it would be insane to predict anything better than the worse when it is a 41 yr old bone that is bruised.  Lidstrom will return, but he will be playing over a lot of pain right through the playoffs.  This will have a major influence on his retirement decision.

There are a lot of things that can be corrected with the Wings, but watch a couple of games with the top teams and if you are hockeywise you will marvel at the overall skill of the entire team at receiving passes.  That is one of the toughest things to teach, but comes naturally to the talented players.  The current Wings team with or without the injuries are just a micro short of talent.

I am also pretty damn tired of watching a forward cross the blue line, skate into the deep slot and then pass to the sideboards, so he can head into the corner.  The
D, never has to be worried about being challenged from the deep slot in, the scouting reports tell them don’t worry about that….they will pass it off.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/16/12 at 01:08 PM ET


Next GM of the Leafs : Jim Nill.

GM of the Oilers (2015) Kris Draper

GM of the Canadiens (2016) Chris Chelios

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 03/17/12 at 03:19 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I always saw Drapes as more coach material.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 03/17/12 at 03:49 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.


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