The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/10/11 at 02:07 PM ET
Updated with mid-day tidbits and very cool video at 1:40 PM: The Detroit Red Wings have more than some difficult roster decisions to make in deciding whether to bring back Chris Osgood and/or Kris Draper for possible farewell seasons, and Wings GM Ken Holland readily admits to MLive’s Ansar Khan that Detroit’s organizational powwow on June 15th and 16th will indeed involve a potential shift in philosophy:
“I believe they got some hockey left in them, both want to play,” general manager Ken Holland said Thursday. “But we have an obligation to go through a process to make sure we’re putting the best team on the ice, also to bring some young people along. They’re tough decisions. We don’t want to race into a decision. We got until the end of June.”
Holland said no decision will be made on either player until after the team’s pro scouting meetings, at the earliest. The front office and scouts will meet Tuesday and Wednesday to analyze the roster and discuss potential trade and free-agent targets.
As Khan suggests, if the Wings are able to retain the services of Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, there’s essentially no spot for Draper, especially given that Jan Mursak (who will make the team) and Cory Emmerton (who may or may not do so) have to clear waivers…And that being said, it doesn’t sound like coach Mike Babcock’s going to have his request for a top-six forward fulfilled:
“Our top six to nine forwards are in place,” Holland said. “We’d like to keep Eaves and Miller. Emmerton has a chance to make the team. Mursak is on the team. There’s not a lot of room for forwards.”
And again, in Osgood’s case, the Wings are genuinely and rightfully concerned about the fact that the team won’t know whether he’s truly healthy until they’ve invested a training camp and exhibition season’s worth of hockey in a goaltender who wasn’t able to recover from extensive groin surgery this past season:
“The concern about Osgood is he hasn’t played a lot of hockey the last couple of years,” Holland said. “His mind is willing, he wants to play again. But we got to make sure that’s the best way to go. There’s going to be backup goalies available July 1 we’ll have some interest in.”
Khan also states Nicklas Lidstrom’s time frame in terms of letting Ken Holland know whether he wishes to return for a 20th season and 21st year in the NHL will fit into either the NHL Awards (on June 22nd) or NHL Entry Draft (on June 24h and 25th in Minnesota) time frame, and as for the coaching search…
Holland and coach Mike Babcock have spoken to a few candidates and met with one whom Holland said intrigued them. Former NHL head coaches Todd Richards (Minnesota) and Pete DeBoer (Florida) as well as Bob Boughner, the former coach of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, are possible candidates.
The Red Wings will have another assistant coaching vacancy if Paul MacLean is hired as a head coach. MacLean interviewed last week for the Ottawa Senators job. Holland said another team was granted permission to speak to him. Minnesota, New Jersey and Dallas are the other clubs seeking a head coach.
MacLean’s all but certain to head to Ottawa at this point, and in that vein, many thanks to Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski for calling me a “venerable” blogger while dropping a TMR plug this morning. I’d go with “blathery” instead, but the compliment’s greatly appreciated.
Update: Stating the obvious, from the Sports Exchange:
After Chris Osgood was idled for the second half of the season following surgery for a sports hernia, veteran journeyman Joey MacDonald stepped in and played well as the Red Wings’ backup goaltender. Now the club must decide by July 1 whether to re-sign MacDonald as the backup to Jimmy Howard. The other options are to re-sign Osgood or seek a veteran free agent.
MacDonald, 31, went 5-5-3, with a 2.58 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. He spent the first half of the season with Grand Rapids (AHL), where he went 10-9-1 with a 2.78 GAA.
“I think Joey would like to be a candidate for that position,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He did a great job for us in the short time he was here.”
If the Wings don’t sign MacDonald to be their backup, they might offer him a two-way contract to be the starter in Grand Rapids and serve as the No. 3 goalie in the organization, getting called up when there is an injury.
Some of the backup goalies slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 include former Red Wing Ty Conklin (St. Louis), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Toronto), Marty Turco (Chicago) and Alex Auld (Montreal).
• Somewhat puzzlingly, as noted by the Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema, the Manitoba Moose will be moving to St. John’s, Newfoundland this upcoming season, yielding, um, uncertainty as to how the AHL will realign;
• I’m pretty sure that I mentioned this before, but the LA Times’ Lauren Beale reports that Brad Stuart solid his LA-area home for $2.1 million;
• And the Red Wings’ Facebook page posted “raw” footage of Chris Osgood, Dallas Drake, MIke Babcock and Chris Chelios celebrating the Wings’ 2008 Stanley Cup win in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ visitors’ locker room.
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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.