The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/27/12 at 05:26 PM ET
Updated 9x at 5:53 PM: Lidstrom (ankle) probable for Tuesday, Quincey (groin) out: Per the Free Press’s Helene St. James on Twitter:
Gm Holland to Free Press: #redwings are done, no other moves today
And per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Red Wings inquired on Gaustad but didn’t have what Buffalo wanted: a 1st-round pick (dealt in Quincey deal).
I’ve done my best to cover the news regarding the Red Wings’ trade of Mike Commodore to the Tampa By Lightning and its return—a 7th-round pick and, internally, the opportunity for Brendan Smith to play tomorrow versus Columbus and perhaps steal Jakub Kindl’s spot as the team’s #7 defenseman going into the playoffs, but the Wings’ beat writers are also reporting that neither Kyle Quincey nor Nicklas Lidstrom, who MLive’s Ansar Khan reports was limping badly going into the Joe, practiced with the team. Here’s what Helene St. James reports about Lidstrom:
Holland to Free Press: Nicklas Lidstrom has “bruise, is day-to-day.” Came to Joe limping
More from Holland to Free Press: “Quincey has sore groin and is day to day.” See how Quincey and Lidstrom feel tomorrow morning
I will post the subsequent practice updates in this post, but let’s repeat what Holland had to say about Commodore to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose before I toss off a, “More to come” line:
DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose’s Commodore report follows:
“Once we got Kyle Quincey we really want Brendan Smith to play,” Wings general manager Ken Holland told DetroitRedWings.com. “He’s really played good in the American Hockey League, it’s kind of hard to keep Mike Commodore around here when Brendan Smith is ahead of him, so we made a decision.”
For the second time in the last week the Wings made a traded with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last week, the Wings acquired Quincey in a three-team deal involving the Lighting and Colorado Avalanche. Quincey was the Wings’ fourth-round pick in 2003.
Commodore, 32, had grown dissatisfied with his dwindling playing time – he last played in Phoenix on Feb. 6 – and the Lightning were looking for defensive help. In return, the Wings received a conditional seventh-round draft pick.
Though he played in just 17 games, Commodore was a solid contributor for the Wings, racking up three fights while logging 11:29 of ice-time, mainly to give breathers to legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
“The job that Mike was in, to really think that you’re going to sit for two months and go into the Stanley Cup playoffs and play, it’s really going to be someone from Grand Rapids, somebody that’s playing every day,” Holland said. “Stanley Cup playoffs are too hard to think that you’re going to play four games in a half a year and then go into the Stanley Cup playoffs, so to be fair to Mike Commodore we traded him.”
An injury to Jonathan Ericsson (fractured wrist) in the Wings’ last game is a problem, but it will provide an opportunity for Smith and Jakub Kindl heading down the stretch and into the playoffs.
It’s expected that Ericsson will miss a month.
“I know that we have an injury to Ericsson, but Kindl is going in now,” Holland said. “And we see Brenden Smith as the next on our depth chart because he’s young, and with addition of Quincey and the development of Smith, it really effected Mike Commodore’s position on our depth chart and I don’t think it’s fair to our team and it’s not fair to him to sit him day after day after day.”
Khan via text…
Update from the Detroit Red Wings’ practice today at Joe Louis Arena, which started at 2 p.m.:
Defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey are not skating, apparently those are the two players general manager Ken Holland said earlier today are hurting. One or both might not play in Columbus Tuesday.
Lidstrom was limping around pretty badly before practice. Will get an update after the skate.
Holland said they might have to recall another defenseman from Grand Rapids, in addition to Brendan Smith. Doug Janik would be next in the pecking order.
All 12 healthy forwards on ice. Franzen skating on third line. Clearly, they’re not happy with his performance of late
Holland to M-Live: Lidstrom and Quincey both day-to-day, will know tomorrow. Lidstrom, limping badly, has a “bruise.’‘
Somewhat ironically, Michigan Hockey posted an article about Brendan Smith having to bide his time in Grand Rapids, via Kyle Kujawa, today:
“The Red Wings have done it like this for so many years, and they are where they are today because they’ve kept to that model,” said Smith. “They have created great players through the AHL program with the Griffins.”
Smith is familiar with being brought along slowly, having spent three years with the University of Wisconsin. The Badgers have established themselves as arguably the top defensive factory in the NCAA over the past 10 years, producing a stream of NHL defensemen, like Ryan Suter, Tom Gilbert, Jamie McBain, Ryan McDonagh and Jake Gardiner.
“I think it’s a testament to Wisconsin hockey, and the players they’ve brought in and created such great defensemen out of,” said Smith, noting that Badger defenseman Justin Schultz (an Anaheim draft pick) appears to be next in line, with 40 points (13-27—40) through 30 games. “It’s such a cool feeling for me to be a part of that and be amongst those names.”
Because of the depth on the blue line, Smith was not given an offensive role early in his collegiate career. As a freshman, he scored just two goals, while learning the Badgers’ defensive system. Once he honed his skills in his own end, he was given more offensive freedom – eventually leading all NCAA defenseman in scoring as a junior in 2009-10 with 52 points (15-37—52) in 42 contests.
“We learned how to play the right way at an earlier age, which is going to help us become better pro players,” said the Mimico, Ontario, native. “We were very fortunate to have the coaching that we did. When I was there, it was Coach Mike Eaves, Mark Osiecki (currently the head coach of Ohio State University) and Kevin Patrick. That has really helped us out, and from here on, they’re just going to keep getting better.”
The collegiate experience readied Smith for his professional hockey career. While many NHL teams would be tempted to rush a 52-point defenseman and Hobey Baker nominee into the NHL line-up, Detroit’s depth allowed them to give the second-year pro some defensive seasoning.
“There’s a lot of little things that will make you that much better of a player,” said Smith. “Blocking shots, having a good pivot, having an [active] stick.””
Update #1: Strange: per the Grand Rapids Griffins:
The Detroit Red Wings on Monday reassigned goaltender Jordan Pearce to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye and reassigned goaltender Tom McCollum to the Walleye from Grand Rapids. In addition, the Griffins today announced that goaltender Dustin Carlson has been released from his professional tryout.
Pearce, 25, has appeared in 17 games for the Griffins this season, posting a 3-7-1 record with a 3.53 goals against average, a 0.874 save percentage and one shutout. He played two games for Toledo last week, going 1-1-0 with a 4.05 GAA and a 0.879 save percentage.
McCollum, 22, has played 15 contests for Grand Rapids, going 6-8-0 with a 3.59 GAA and a 0.883 save percentage. He’s also logged 13 games with the Walleye, showing a 5-6-1 mark with a 2.68 GAA and a 0.905 save percentage.
The Griffins are gonna ride Conklin for the rest of the season, so I guess they’re swapping out McCollum as he needs to play.
• CBS Detroit’s Roster Report makes a good point:
–LW Jiri Hudler scored two goals in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Colorado, giving him 20 for the season. That’s second on the team to Johan Franzen’s 23. It’s been a huge bounce-back year for Hudler, who had only 10 goals last season. He is playing with more determination, driving to the net and staying there.
• This one confuses me. 97.1 the Ticket’s Mike Stone makes an odd observation:
2. I can’t believe there are actually people in the world who believe the Wings would have been better off playing Joey McDonald instead of Jimmy Howard the last three games. If you just looked at the goal totals in the three losses you might come to that conclusion. But, if you watched the game you would realize that Howard played very well and it was his defense that was it faults.
Update #2: From the Wings:
Brad Stuart called Brendan Smith a ‘good athlete who can skate well and will add a lot to the locker room.’
Cory Emmerton said he’s happy that his buddy @commie22 is going to get a chance to play in Tampa, but will miss having him in the room
Kronwall: It’s always tough to see a teammate go, but it is exciting when a new one arrives.
Kroner on Smith: I thought it worked well in the few games he was up here the last time. Hopefully he can take advantage of the opportunity.
Kronwall said (and rightfully so) that trade deadline day ‘changes peoples lives,’ but that it is a part of playing at this level
Lidstrom (ankle), Quincey (groin), questionable for tomorrow. Kindl and Smith will play in Columbus.
Babcock on tomorrow’s game vs. CBJ: We haven’t won in what seems like forever. We’ve got to start playing with more energy.
Babcock on the trade deadline: Depth is what everyone is looking for.
Emmerton on Commodore: He’s such a good guy, such a good guy in the locker room and everyone enjoyed having him around.
Stuart on Smith: “He’s definitely got all of the raw tools to be a real good player in this league.”
Update #3: per St. James:
Per Babcock: Lidstrom hit in ankle with puck, think he’ll play Tuesday
MLive’s Ansar Khan…
Babcock said wings are done dealing. price for depth forward too high.
Babcock said Lidstrom hit in ankle with puck last game. X-rays showed no break. He’s day to day. Quicney has groin injury
Babcock says lidstrom took puck in foot saturday game and quincey is groin
And Bob Duff:
#redwings Lidstrom took shot off ankle Saturday vs. #Avs; Quincey groin INJ. Both questionable for Tuesday at #CBJ.
Update #3: Per St. James...
Holland says Quincey unlikely to play Tuesday
Here’s the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness’s report:
Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle) and Kyle Quincey (groin) are both questionable for Tuesday’s game in Columbus.
“He got hit in the ankle with the puck last game,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said of Lidstrom’s injury. “It rimmed around the boards and he put his foot up. I think he’ll be ready tomorrow, we’re not certain.
“We sent (Quincey) out for tests there was nothing,” Babcock added. “I never know with those things. (Brendan) Smith is playing for sure. (Jakub) Kindl and Smith are playing for sure. Then we’ll see on the other guys. If we need another guy, we’ll go to (Doug) Janik.
More from Khan:
Babcock said Lidstrom hit in ankle with puck last game. X-rays showed no break. He’s day to day. Quicney has groin injury.
Quincey out for tuesday. hopes to return friday. no tears in groin.
Lidstrom making trip to columbus. day to day. if he cant play janik likely will be recalled
Holland said he wasnt really close to deal. Had interest in about 4 players who were moved. prices too high
More St. James:
Holland says Quincey unlikely to play Tuesday
Quincey also says he’s out tomorrow, hopeful for Friday (groin)
Holland says ultimately there wasn’t right fit for #RedWings to make trade- other teams had higher picks to give away
Quincey’s gear bag not packed for trip to Columbus. Lidstrom’s is.
#redwings Babcock on Lidstrom: “He got hit in the ankle with the puck last game. It rimmed around the boards and he put his foot up.
Update #4: Via RedWingsFeed, here’s Niklas Kronwall speaking to the Windsor Star….
And Ian White speaking to DetroitRedWings.com:
Jakub Kindl spoke to the Wings as well…
And here’s an interesting one from Pierre LeBrun:
Red Wings inquired on Gaustad but didn’t have what Buffalo wanted: a 1st-round pick (dealt in Quincey deal).
Update #6: Here’s more from Khan regarding LIdstrom:
Lidstrom said ankle was swollen after being hit with puck. See how it is on Tuesday but said it’s day to day, no concrern. X-rayed twice.
Here’s more on Lidstrom and Quincey from St. James, who adds in deadline talk:
Smith has been called up from Grand Rapids and will play Tuesday when the Wings are at Columbus, to offset the loss of defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who is out a month with a wrist injury. General manager told the Free Press defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is “bruised, and is day-to-day” and that Kyle Quincey “has a sore groin, also day-to-day.
“We’ll see how Nick and Kyle feel in the morning.”
If one can’t go, Jakub Kindl will take his place. If neither can play, the Wings will need to call up another defenseman, probably Doug Janik, from the minors.
Holland said he had several conversations with colleagues around the NHL leading up to the 3 p.m. trade deadline regarding a forward, but the Wings ultimately opted to go with what they have up front, as their depth extends to Gustav Nyquist in the minors.
The Wings get a conditional seventh-round pick for Commodore. Commodore became extraneous last week when the Wings acquired Quincey. Commodore was signed last summer to a one-year, $1 million deal last summer for his size, but he never was able to become a regular in the lineup. He played just 17 games, registering two points.
The Wings are, on the other hand, very high on Smith, their 23-year-old, first-round pick from ‘07. He has two assists in the three games he’s played for them this season.
“I was in Grand Rapids a couple of times this week,” Holland said. “Brendan Smith was on the all-rookie team last year in the American league. He’s got 10 goals. Obviously a tremendous college career. To think that Mike Commodore can play 20 games in the NHL - he’s played 17 - and then go into the Stanley Cup playoffs? That’s pretty hard. So, Smith is playing. Kindl is a 25-year-old. They’ve got younger legs.”
Aside from trading defensemen Mike Commodore to Tampa Bay for a conditional seventh-round pick, the Red Wings stood pat as the trade deadline passed.
They weren’t able to acquire the depth forward they were seeking, but feel good about what they have. Holland said there were about four players who were traded today that they had interest in but they weren’t close to a deal.
“I don’t know if the prices were high, at the end of the day there just wasn’t a fit,’’ Holland said. “Tried to make a couple of moves. Sometimes our picks weren’t high enough because our team’s too high in the standings, sometimes we didn’t have the young players.
“There wasn’t a lot of rentals today. It has a lot to do with how many teams are in the hunt for a playoff spot.’‘
They were interested in Buffalo center Paul Gaustad, but the price was too high. He was traded to Nashville for a first-round pick.
And a fourth-rounder….
And here’s 5:38 of Ken Holland speaking to the media on the Wings’ website…
As well as a 4-minute interview with Mike Babcock
Update #7: Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff:
#redwings Holland: “I don’t know if the prices were high, but at the end of the day there just wasn’t a fit.”
#redwings Holland: “Sometimes our picks weren’t high enough because our team’s too high in the standings.
#redwings Lidstrom: “I took a puck to the ankle the last game and it was very swollen yesterday, but it’s gotten a little better today.”
#redwings Holland: “We made a move five days ago. Would we have liked to do something? Yes. But there wasn’t a fit.’‘
#redwings Holland: “We like our team, I like our depth. So we’ll see.’‘
#redwings Holland: “Some teams are bigger, they don’t have our skill. Let’s play.”
#redwings Holland: ” I don’t know that there was a move today that we could have made that could have gotten us bigger.”
#redwings Holland: “There was 3-4 players we would have liked to added . . . (con’d)
Holland (con’d) “. . . but ultimately, we either didn’t offer enough or they didn’t like what we were offering.’‘
And more from the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
#RedWings Babcock on deadline: It’s like going shopping - when the coat you want is 3,000 bucks, I’m too tight for that. (continued)
(continued) #RedWings Babcock: “That’s just the way I am. Pretty tight. So, I’ll keep wearing what I got.”
Update #8: Here’s the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan’s practice report...
Kyle Quincey (sore groin) is likely out and Nicklas Lidstrom (sore ankle) is “day-to-day,” with his status to be updated at the Tuesday morning skate.
Lidstrom said his ankle was struck on a hard rim-around in the second period against Colorado on Saturday.
“The puck kind of skipped and it hit me right in the ankle,” said Lidstrom, who had X-rays after the game and Monday. Both times, no break was indicated. “I like to untie my skates between periods but I didn’t do it because I knew it swell up. It got real sore after the game. It was very swollen yesterday and it got better today, but it’s not good enough to skate.”
Quincey said he might have tweaked his groin during the first period of Saturday’s game.
“I played with a broken left skate blade almost the entire first period and that probably didn’t help,” said Quincey, who has been all but ruled out against the Blue Jackets. “It gradually got worse, but it felt pretty good in the third period.”
Quincey didn’t go on the ice for Monday’s practice.
“We just decided to play it safe and smart,” said Quincey, who was acquired in a trade last week. “It’s very frustrating. I want to get back in the swing of things.”
Update #8.5: Here’s more from MLive’s Ansar Khan:
Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche took its toll on the Detroit Red Wings defense. In addition to losing Jonathan Ericsson for a month with a fractured wrist, captain Nicklas Lidstrom has a bruised foot and Kyle Quincey hurt his groin. Lidstrom and Quincey, however, both are day-to-day. Quincey did not travel with the team for Tuesday’s game at Columbus but hopes to return Friday at home against Minnesota. Lidstrom’s status for Tuesday will be determined in the morning.
“I took a puck to the ankle and it was very swollen yesterday, but it’s gotten a little better today,’’ Lidstrom said. “It’s still not good enough to skate on it.’‘
“It was sore the whole game,’’ Lidstrom said. “Usually I like to untie my skates between periods, but I know that I couldn’t do it because it would have swollen up right away so I kept it on and waited until after the game and then it got real sore.’‘
“It’s just a matter of the swelling going down and putting the skate on,’’ he said.
Quincey, meanwhile, tweaked his groin in the first period Saturday.
“I actually played with a broken skate blade on my left skate,’’ Quincey said. “I was almost skating on one leg, which didn’t help the groin any ... gradually got worse. I felt pretty good in the third. We decided to play it safe, play it smart and not skate today.’‘
“It’s day-to-day and just come in tomorrow and see how it is,’’ Quincey said. “I battled through the game Saturday. It happens a lot when you have pain and it usually eases and you’re good to go the next day, and it just didn’t. And again today you wake up, hopefully it’s gone, and it’s not. Hopefully it goes away sooner than later.”
Here are some gems from Fox 2’s Jennifer Hammond as well:
Mike Babcock called Lidstrom (ankle) and Quincey (groin) both questionable for tomorrow’s game at Columbus. Kindl and Smith Will play.
When told of the trade rumors that he was going to the Rangers - Brad Stuart calmly said “Really? .....For what?”
Ken Holland says #Wings are committed to retool and rebuild. That’s the idea behind the Commodore move and bringing Smith up.
Holland called both Lidstrom and Quincey “Day to day”. Quincey not playing tomorrow - Lidstrom doubtful.
As Only Mike Babcock can… Hear the #Wings Head Coach compare today’s trade deadline to shopping for a Coat! @fox2sports at 6.
Update #9: Here’s more from a Commodore via DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
“I played 17 games, was a healthy scratch for 30 games, that’s not going to cut it,” said Commodore, who was traded Monday to Tampa Bay for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013. “It would have been nice to see this thing through here. It’s a good team here, they got as good a chance to win as anybody else, but this is probably better for me. I get an opportunity. I never really got an opportunity here.”
Before Christmas, Commodore went to Wings general manager Ken Holland and voiced his displeasure about sitting out as a healthy scratch for 22 of 25 games. But he told Holland that he would sit tight and not cause a raucous.
“I had a meeting with Kenny, said I’ll see it through, ride it out,” Commodore said. “I didn’t ask for a trade. I’m fine either way. With me signing here the first day of free agency, I think that was a big reason why Ken decided to move me. There just was no opportunity here.”
Commodore had two assists with a plus-3 rating while getting into three heavyweight scraps. And while he didn’t log a lot of time-ice, Commodore still proved to be a valuable teammate in the Wings’ dressing, and become a close friend to rookie center Cory Emmerton as the two often teasingly sparred with one another on Twitter.
“It’s not like we hung out everyday, but he was awesome,” Emmerton said. “He’d take me out to dinner. I don’t think he made me pay for any dinner on the road. He’s a great guy like that. He treated everyone well. It’s sad to see a great guy like that leave.”
Commodore understands that he fell victim to a numbers game in the Wings’ system. The core defensemen is in place with Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart and Jonathan Ericsson. And with the depth in place in the minors, Commodore wasn’t going to play in front of youngsters Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey, who the team traded for last week.
“I enjoyed being in the dressing room, the guys, had a really good time, learned a lot even without playing,” Commodore said. “I’m fine. It just didn’t work out, it’s not the first team where it didn’t work out. … It’s time to move on.”
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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.