The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/29/11 at 07:24 PM ET
Updated with evening tidbits at 6:30 PM: As we all wait for the Jaromir Jagr saga to end, the Red Wings are well aware of the fact that free agents James Wisniewski, whose rights were traded to a Columbus Blue Jackets team that sounds all too happy to toss money at him, are disappearing fast, and that pre-UFA-day signings like Tomas Kopecky’s $3 million-per-season payday from the Florida Panthers are already throwing the marketplace out of whack.
That being said, Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill tells the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell that the Wings won’t keep pace with their compatriots’ insanity for the sake of spending money, though they’re admittedly stunned to see Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Brian Campbell’s gigantic contracts tossed from team to team:
“I don’t think anyone saw that coming,” Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said. “Teams have to spend more, while that can be good and bad, they have more money and space under the cap. With more teams able to afford it, there are places to go.”
“They (no-trades) don’t mean much now,” Nill said.“Why stay? You can at least control where you’re traded. How can you come back into a dressing room when you know they don’t want you to be part of the landscape. It would be a very difficult place.”
The Wings simply don’t plan on doing anything of the sort…
“Philadelphia wanted to change the core of their team,” Nill said. “We’d never do that with this team. “We like our core. We plan to build around it.”
And aside from adding a top-four defenseman and keeping Jonathan Ericsson—Waddell believes that the Wings are close to keeping him—the Wings just won’t do much other than probably signing a back-up goaltender:
“We need a defenceman or two depending on where their salary is at,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Our nucleus is really set up front. We got to make some decisions with the 10th through the 14th forwards, we have to make a decision on our backup goalie.”
“We won’t be spending money just for the sake of having press conferences,” Holland said. “A player will have to fit our team.”
Holland also says that there’s no way in heck that the Wings would toss money at a restricted free agent:
“It’s not philosophical,” Holland said of his reluctance to sign a RFA. “I think it’s a bit of an effort in futility because if you sign an offer sheet to a restricted at the going rate, the team is going to match. The only way you get these players is if you pay them way beyond what they’re worth. That’s really not what the cap world is all about. The cap world is about finding players that play beyond what you pay them.”
And that’s what the Wings will sell the players who are available on July 1st upon—taking less money to win regularly on a team whose ownership treats its players like kings, not bucketfuls of money.
Also of Red Wings-related note: Per the Red Wings’ Twitter account, extra tickets are now available to the team’s Social Media meet-up at the MotorCity Casino tomorrow. The Wings posted a press release about the event:
For the second straight year the 11-time Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings will be taking part in one of southeast Michigan ’s most preeminent social media networking events. On Thursday, June 30, the Red Wings will participate in Social Media Day Detroit – an annual gathering of the region’s most esteemed viral internet devotees.
Officially-sanctioned by highly-regarded web culture news outlet Mashable.com, the 2011 edition of Social Media Day Detroit will be staged at the MotorCity Casino’s Sound Board Lounge tomorrow evening from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m (age restriction: 21 & older). With the theme of ‘ Detroit Rock City ’ in tow, this year’s event features several exciting elements such as a make-your-own video contest (via Youtube), a live DJ and communal tweeting galore. More information on Social Media Day Detroit can be obtained by visiting http://smdaydet2011.eventbrite.com/
“We’re thrilled to be taking part in this first-class event again this year,” says Red Wings Social Networking Manager Jake Duhaime. “Social media has provided new and exciting opportunities for fans to connect with their favorite team and we’re proud to serve them on these emerging platforms. Our efforts on social media have grown by leaps and bounds over the last year and we hope to continue building an innovative, interactive experience for our fans.”
The Red Wings’ convergent participatory online presence has expanded exponentially since last year’s Social Media Day Detroit. At the beginning of the 2010-11 NHL campaign, the team had just over 200,000 followers on Facebook; that number has nearly tripled since then thanks to a variety of integrated promotions with companies such as AT&T, DTE Energy, DMC, TGI Friday’s and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as well as innovative endeavors such as the successful ‘Create Your Moment’ viral video campaign that ran during Detroit’s 2011 post-season.
Five Hockeytown fan favorites were also a worldwide trending topic on Twitter this past season – forwards Darren Helm (3/28/11), Mike Modano (3/21/11), Johan Franzen (2/2/11) and Pavel Datsyuk (10/8/10) in addition to goaltender Chris Osgood (12/27/10). The Red Wings’ official Twitter feed currently has nearly 60,000 subscribers, making it by far the most popular account of any of the Motor City ’s four major professional sports franchises.
Furthermore, the Red Wings’ official Facebook page was recently named one of the top 30 such pages in professional sports by influential PR firm Activ8Social; Detroit was the highest-rated American-based NHL club on the list. Overall, more than 300 million impressions were generated from Red Wings social media channels over the course of the previous NHL season.
• We don’t need the Score’s Kent Wilson to tell us that the Wings might be willing to get a pittance back for dumping Jiri Hudler’s salary;
• As Sportsline’s Brian Stubits suggests, just about everybody in the know believes that, should Christian Ehrhoff reach the market on Friday, the Wings will try very hard to sign him;
• And the Saginaw News’s Kyle Austin reports the following:
Saginaw Spirit defenseman Brad Walch has been invited to attend the Detroit Red Wings developmental camp, giving the Thomas Township native the chance to skate for the team he rooted for growing up.
“I was always a big fan growing up, I would watch every game,” Walch said. “I was just really excited about getting invited there. They’re known as the best organization in the NHL.”
The Red Wings developmental camp is scheduled for July 7-14 at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City.
Walch is an undrafted NHL free agent. He said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to get a taste of professional hockey and tune up for his overage season in Saginaw.
“It’s definitely a big benefit to go and see how hard you’ve got to work and prepare yourself for next season in Saginaw,” Walch said.
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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.