The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/28/11 at 10:03 PM ET
Anyway, aside from the fact that the Swedish media still needs a bit of a refresher regarding the NHL’s CBA (Expressen’s Tomas Bjorklund makes it sound like Calle Jarnkrok’s agent’s polite declining of the Wings’ qualifying offer to retain Jarnkrok’s rights—and the fact that teams have to submit qualifying offers to prospects they have yet to sign to retain their rights is news to many people in hockey, including Hakan Andersson—was choosing to “say no” to Detroit and stay with Brynas), it’s been a quiet day…
But the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan cranks up the Sunday columnist machine by discussing the fact that Detroit remains a place where free agents want to play, which is very important given the retirement of Brian Rafalski and the possible conclusions of Chris Osgood and Kris Draper’s careers:
“The Red Wings are important to Detroit and to Michigan,” [Red Wings GM Ken] Holland said. “I saw that in the San Jose series (this season), the energy in our building (when the Wings rallied in the series). Wherever you went, people were engaged in our team. We’re an attractive place for free agents to come. Our forwards are in their prime. Over the next two of three years, we’ll have to rebuild our back end. As a player out there making a decision, we’re an attractive place to come because of the history and tradition and because of some of the pieces we’ve got in place. Because of the commitment of our ownership. Because of the fan base.”
The Red Wings figure to be more active in the free agent market than they’ve been the last two of three summers. Rafalski’s retirement annoucement last week ensured that. They’ll need one quality defenseman, maybe two if Lidstrom retires or free agent Jonathan Ericsson leaves.
But the Wings won’t have trouble wooing players to Detroit, like the Lions, Pistons or Tigers would. The total package that is the Wings organization makes it much easier. This organization is still capable of winning a Stanley Cup.
“As an athlete out there deciding where you want to go, you want to go where you have a chance to win and were the game is important,” Holland said. “We’ve made the playoffs 20 straight years. We want to make it 21.”
Despite the derision of some morons out there, the City of Detroit’s just the tip of an iceberg. Around 5 million of Michigan’s 9-and-change million people live in the greater Metro Detroit area, and while the City of Detroit remains much-maligned, a near-stunning number of NHL alumni choose to make Metro Detroit their post-carer home, to the point that the Red Wings’ Alumni Association is both teeming with former Wings and players who never played for the Wings.
The self-proclaimed Hockeytown sells players on winning, and the players who come here tend to stay.
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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.