The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/03/13 at 02:17 PM ET
Updated 8x with more Holland comments at 4:37 PM:
Updated 2x at 2:32 PM: No surprise whatsoever here, from the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Unwilling to pay the prices demanded, the Detroit Red Wings are leaning heavily toward letting the NHL's final sale of the 2013 season come and go.
I'll have more coverage after the 3 p.m. deadline, but from what I hear from the Wings' front office, the Wings aren't doing anything.
Players in whom the Wings had interest, such as defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, and by whom they were intrigued, such as Jaromir Jagr, went for way above what the Wings deemed reasonable -- Bouwmeester, especially. The St. Louis Blues gave a first-round pick to Calgary in return for Bouwmeester, and the Wings weren't relinquishing that for anybody. Not this year, not after using their 2012 first-rounder to acquire Kyle Quincey.
This is an unusual season for the Wings; post-Nicklas Lidstrom, they find themselves far more focused on rebuilding than reloading. Rebuilding comes from within -- with high draft picks and through the development of prospects. The Wings believe they have a lot of good players either just arriving in the pipeline or soon to do so, such as Danny DeKeyser, Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Brian Lashoff and Petr Mrazek.
There's also a realistic assessment that this 2013 team isn't a Stanley Cup contender and wasn't going to become one via what's available now. Management is much more comfortable making a move at the draft, if it comes down to that.
Update: At the same time, from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Wings forward Valtteri Filppula said he’s not let his pending unrestricted free agency become a distraction this season.
“You automatically think about it, but I’ve been trying to put little thought into it because it’s not going to do me any good,” Filppula said. “We’ll see what happens, but definitely interesting times. It’s been a great place to be, great team. Obviously you always want to be on a team like that.”
Filppula is in the final year of a contact that’s paying him $3 million.
“There’s nothing going on right now,” Filppula said.
He’s reportedly looking for a deal that will give him a $2 million increase per season.
“I don’t think it matters that much to me,” Filppula said when asked if he wished he was close to a deal. “I think the focus should be on playing right now. And then when the time comes to think about that stuff I will do that.”
Update #2: From Pleiness:
Update #3: The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a video of Wings coach Mike Babcock suggesting that the team would make no moves prior to the deadline:
Update #4: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan took note of Babcock's comments:
"Absolutely, 100 percent," said Babcock, when asked if he'd be comfortable with his roster going forward. "I've never felt like we were going to do anything (trades), to be honest with you. I kind of like what we have going and the direction we're going. We think we have kids that are really coming and we're trying to figure out which are the best kids to help us be successful. We have a few more kids in the minors — in particular (center Riley) Sheahan — I'd like to take a look at as well, and we're just going to keep doing what we can as players and coaches."
Forward Henrik Zetterberg (groin) said he's expecting to play Thursday night in Phoenix after missing two games.
Defenseman Kyle Quincey (fractured cheekbone) is tentatively scheduled to play Friday in Colorado, Babcock said.
Forwards Todd Bertuzzi (back, could return in a week) and Mikael Samuelsson (upper body, day to day) are expected to return soon. They've played in 11 games combined this season.
"All year we've had so many injuries, and getting some guys back, that's new bodies, new fresh blood and the same as getting players from other teams," Zetterberg said. "We have a good squad in here and looking forward to the playoffs."
As for his own physical condition, Zetterberg completed the entire practice Wednesday.
"I'm feeling better; it was nice to be skating again," said Zetterberg, who was optimistic he'll play Thursday. "We had a couple of good days of treatment and hoping to feel good today and that was achieved."
Forward Damien Brunner has an undisclosed injury and didn't practice Wednesday. General manager Ken Holland and Babcock both termed Brunner day to day. Babcock wouldn't rule Brunner out for the game in Phoenix. Either Zetterberg or Brunner would have to play, or the Red Wings would need to call up a forward from Grand Rapids to get to 12 healthy forwards.
Quoth Gregg Krupa:
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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.