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St. James: As expected, the Red Wings will stand pat

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.

Update #5:

Quoth Gregg Krupa:

Update #6: Here's more from the Macomb Daily's Pleiness:

"I never ever felt like we were going to do anything to be honest with you,” Babcock said. “I kind of like what we’ve got going and the direction we’re heading in. We’ve got some kids that are really coming. We’re trying to figure out which kids that will help us be successful. There are a few more kids in the minors, particularly (Riley) Sheahan I’d like to have a look at as well. We’re going to keep doing what we can as will the players.”

The Wings’ lineup has been decimated with injuries all season, along the blue line and at forward.

They’ve yet to play with the lineup they thought they would have once the season began.

“I think for us all year we’ve had so many injuries,” Zetterberg said. “I think getting some guys back that’s some new bodies, getting some new, fresh blood in. That’s the same as getting a player from another team. I think we have a good squad in here and looking forward to the postseason.”

The Wings are currently seventh in the Western Conference, three points up on St. Louis, heading into play Wednesday.

“I’ve been satisfied lots of years,” Babcock said. “But they’re different each and every year. This year has been invigorating for me because there are so many kids and every day there are so many projects. There’s way more individual video, way more meetings to help kids get better quickly. Our strength coach has done a fantastic job this year and it’s all been a part of us getting better and I think that’s been more important than ever this year.”

Update #7: About time! Here's Holland via St. James...

"There were a couple of players we had interest in," general manager Ken Holland said. "Didn't get it done. We made offers. At the end of the day, maybe somebody likes somebody else's players better."

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.

"We haven't had a top-10 pick since 1993," Holland said. "We traded eight or nine first-round picks from 1995 to 2003. Those players are in the NHL. They were picked by somebody, and those players are in the NHL. Since '05, for the most part, we've tried to be conservative. I think it's part of the reason why we've got some younger players on the roster, some younger players coming through the system."

Holland was only looking to add an impact skater, such as Bouwmeester or Jagr, who went from Dallas to Boston.

"We didn't need depth players," he said. "We've got lots of depth. We've got lots of kids we think can come up and play. We were looking for a top-four D-man; we were looking for a top-six forward. Ultimately, we didn't get it done."

Part of what influenced the Wings was the belief that no trade could be better than getting back even just some of their players currently injured: forwards Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson, and Quincey.

"Hopefully, we get some of our injured players back," Holland said. "In the meantime, there's been real good opportunity for our kids. I think they've done a good job."

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 #8: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's Holland story:

“We played (Monday) and there wasn’t (Henrik) Zetterberg, Samuelsson, Bertuzzi, Helm, (Kyle) Quincey,'' Holland said. “If we can get those five guys in the lineup (within) two weeks, I couldn’t do any better moves than (that). And if they don’t come back, it probably doesn’t matter what moves you make.''

He said he's not concerned about what competing clubs did to improve themselves.

“We’re trying to compete, we’re trying to rebuild, reload,'' Holland said. “You look at the moment in time. I can’t look at the moment in time. I have to look at what we’ve got and where I think we can go over the next few years, the age of the roster, who’s going to be here for a while.''

They are pleased with the progress of their young roster players and some of their prospects.

“You need your players,'' Holland said. “We’re happy with Jakub Kindl, we’re happy with Brian Lashoff, we’re happy with Brendan Smith. We’re happy with the way the kids have played. We don’t want to trade them away.''

...

“If we need forwards, Riley Sheahan deserves a chance, Landon Ferraro, we’ve got Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Damien Brunner, certainly on defense with the signing of Danny DeKeyser and the play of Lashoff and Kindl we think the young kids could be real good depth players for us.''

Chicago and Anaheim have separated from the pack in the Western Conference. The Red Wings, currently seventh with 41 points, are just three points behind No. 3 Minnesota. But, they're also just four points up on 11th place Columbus.

“We’re trying to compete. We’re on the bubble,'' Holland said. “Would I have liked to do a deal? Yeah, I would have liked to do a deal.''

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Comments

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PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I see a lot of complaints, but not a lot of well-thought out, specific ideas.

Pomminville’s current numbers would put him tied for third in points on the Wings.

jus’ sayin’

 

and my bad for my earlier comment on Pomminville…not sure why I thought he’s a dman…

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 02:53 PM ET

Avatar

What specific potential deal are you suggesting?  I see a lot of complaints, but not a lot of well-thought out, specific ideas.

Not my job, OR my point.

Just because he made a stupid, stupid, awful trade last year doesn’t mean he shouldn’t make any trade at all this year.

THAT was the point.

And even though I wasn’t on the “Get Bouwmeester” train, spending a first for him would still be a much, much, much, much, much better trade than spending a first for Quincey.

Posted by Garth on 04/03/13 at 03:05 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Filppula and White still on the team = disappointed.

White still on the team = very disappointed.

White was an asset that could be moved at the deadline on a team that is 7 deep and not expecting a long playoff run.

I had no problem with not acquiring pieces (as unfair as it is to Pav and Z) as the team clearly isn’t in the win-now mode of Lidstrom’s last year (with the impressive home winning streak).

Posted by d ca on 04/03/13 at 03:06 PM ET

gusoline's avatar

Have you read Holland’s comments?  I’m pretty sure he just trolling KK and WIIM members now….

Posted by gusoline on 04/03/13 at 03:07 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

If Holland resigns Filppula for a long term contract above $4M or flips him at the draft for a late late pick he should be fired.  This is getting ridiculous.  Why was Cleary not moved for a pick, any pick?  He adds nothing to this team.  If Cleary is resigned or let go for nothing at seasons end Holland should be given his walking papers.  Why was White not moved at the deadline?  The Wings have 10 dmen and White probably is not going to stay.  If White leaves for nothing at seasons end Holland should be canned.  The defense could consist of Kindl, Dekeyser, E, Kronwall, Q, Smith, Lashoff, and Cola next year.  Why would White come back, where would he fit, and why is Holland asleep at the wheel?

The Wings are not contenders for Stanley this year so why did Holland NOT do anything to get something for these soon to be goners before seasons end, when he will get next to nothing for them?  I wish Holland could be fired and the remainder of the staff would remain (i.e. scouting).  Enough of nothing.  I’m done defending him.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/03/13 at 03:13 PM ET

Avatar

Holland talking to media now. Stressing that our 5 coming back from IR in the next few weeks are as good as anyone available in trade market

Alright now he’s just trolling.  Detroit will be lucky if three of those five play more than five games the rest of this season.

Pomminville is only miss that annoys me as he’s under contract next season at 5M, which is what Holland is now going to have to commit to Filpulla and he’s a better player than Filpulla. 

This team is as good as it was yesterday which isn’t nearly good enough.  Given how much players like Roy and Clowe fetched, they should have moved him for picks.  And it’s inexplicable that they have nine defensemen on this roster given the position this team is in.

Posted by Django on 04/03/13 at 03:17 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

  This is a serious question. I’m not mad, I just don’t get it.

I’ve explained this in detail before, so rather than going into the whole thing in detail again, here’s the Cliffs notes:

1) It is more asset-intensive to make deadline trade improvements than it is to make draft and/or FA improvements.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/03/13 at 03:27 PM ET

I should’ve been more clear.

I’m not talking about a buyer scenario, I’m talking about a seller scenario.

The Wings aren’t going to challenge for the Cup. We know that. The team knows that.

What sense does it make to not move the players you know aren’t in your future plans now rather than at the draft?

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/03/13 at 03:21 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Also, anybody else get the sneaking feeling that Anibal Sanchez is going to get absolutely shelled today?

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/03/13 at 03:22 PM ET

Primis's avatar

If management is truly pleased with what’s in the pipeline, someone needs to get Babcock on the same page.  He’s clearly not pleased enough.

Posted by Primis on 04/03/13 at 03:41 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

What sense does it make to not move the players you know aren’t in your future plans now rather than at the draft?

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/03/13 at 04:21 PM ET

This is what I’ve been asking for a while now. Good luck getting an answer.

Posted by gt500x on 04/03/13 at 04:46 PM ET

Avatar

Exactly what I have been asking and no one has an answer for, if prices were so high and this team is not competing for a Cup in 2013 as currently constructed why not sell?????  Especially with all the prospects coming up and all the ufa’s that will be leaving.

Posted by bababooey on 04/03/13 at 05:00 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Barry Mulletrose speaking to the NHL Network was really surprised that the Wings didn’t make any moves.

Hey, let’s hope for the best:  Bert and Helm actually come back before the end of the year and don’t re-injure themselves. Cola somehow doesn’t get hurt again. Some sick, dying kid gets Franzen to promise to score 30 goals in the Play-offs for him. Cleary and Fil each put up 20 points in the Play-offs and Sammy and White each put up 10.  Play-Off power play clicks at 42% with Sammy back on the point.  Long Play-off run ends with a Cup. Holland gets hailed as a hero for not making any moves.

That can happen, right?

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/03/13 at 05:56 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes completely baffled by the lack of moves.  He even brought up all of our misses over the last few off-seasons.  Points to him for calling us “Notown” as opposed to Motown.  It made me chuckle.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/03/13 at 06:24 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Barry Mulletrose speaking to the NHL Network was really surprised that the Wings didn’t make any moves.

We know we’re in trouble when Mullet Melrose starts making sense

Posted by Hootinani on 04/03/13 at 07:41 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes completely baffled by the lack of moves.  He even brought up all of our misses over the last few off-seasons.  Points to him for calling us “Notown” as opposed to Motown.  It made me chuckle.
   
    Posted by
     
    Figaro
     
    from Los Alamos, NM on 04/03/13 at 07:24 PM ET

It’s starting. The talking heads, the very same ones who think Holland is a genius, are starting to question what the hell he’s been doing. Or should I say not doing. I was a big fan of him… BUT since the summer of ‘08 (ya know the year he didn’t lock up Hossa because he was busy locking up Franzen. FOR LIFE!) my opinion of him has been changing. Him not moving White and Filppula just blows me away. I have yet to hear an argument as to why White wasn’t moved. Makes absolutely no sense.
There can be only three reasons for Holland’s job performance free fall:
1. The powers that be, Mr. Illitch, are keeping him from spending to the cap.
2. He’s got some master-feckin plan and eventually we will see the results of said plan. e will be amazed!
3. He’s completely jumped the shark. He likes his team, literally, and has gotten soft. Worried about their families. Wants to be the nice guy. Etc. The death knell of any successful businessman let alone one of the most powerful GMs in the NHL.

Our run as may be over, boys and girls.
Go Griffins!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/03/13 at 07:59 PM ET

Avatar

1. The powers that be, Mr. Illitch, are keeping him from spending to the cap.

Which we absolutely know is not true because Holland went all out for Suter & Parise, which would’ve put us near the cap.

Posted by Garth on 04/03/13 at 10:18 PM ET

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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.