The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/27/14 at 04:47 PM ET
Updated 8x at 7:37 PM:
Update: Here's more from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
Holland confirmed via text message that they’ll wait until August before deciding on whether Alfredsson will return for another season in Detroit or retire.
However, Alfredsson and his family will remain in Detroit next season no matter what the final decision is on his career.
Update #2: Zing:
Update #3: More from Khan:
Update #4: St. James in text form:
"He told us he really wants to play for us in Detroit, or else he's not going to play," general manager Ken Holland said. "He feels good, but he'd like to feel a little bit better. We agreed that we'll wait till he gets to Detroit in August, he's going to skate every day in September, and then we'll sit down and have a talk right before training camp and see what he's thinking.
"He really would like to play again. He'd like to take one more chance to try to be a playoff team and go on a longer playoff run than we did. A long, long playoff run."
Alfredsson, 41, had 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points in 68 games last season. The ones he missed stemmed from back issues, which is what is holding up doing a deal now. The Wings would love to have Alfredsson back - he provided offense, a right-handed shot, and leadership - and that's why they're willing to wait on him.
"He's a real good player," coach Mike Babcock said. "But just like all players, when they're not healthy, when they can't skate - especially with back issues, that kills you. He's got to get healthy. You've got to be healthy for your life, first. There's nothing worse than when your back is killing you each and every day. So we need him to get healthy and then I'm sure him and Kenny will work something out."
Update #5: More St. James:
Babcock needs to replace assistant coach Bill Peters, who was hired as head coach in Carolina.
"I've been kicking lots of tires trying to come up with the right guy," Babcock said Friday. "I want new ideas. Is that a veteran coach that's going to challenge you every day, is that a new young serial winner who just comes in, has got a hundred ideas? I don't know, but it's an important hire for me."
Babcock said he isn't looking within the organization, though he called recently retired defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
"I phoned Nick Lidstrom, I offered him the job," Babcock said. "I told him that his wife was happier in Detroit. He wasn't too much into that."
Asked about his own future in Detroit - Babcock is in the last year of his contract - Babcock noted usual protocol is for general managers (Holland is also in last year) to be extended first, then work on the coach.
Alfredsson tied for the team lead with 49 points (18 goals, 31 assists) in 68 games, doing what was expected of him after signing a one-year $5.5 million contract last summer.
But he missed nine games during the regular season with a back issue and sat out two more in the first round playoff series against the Boston Bruins.
"We can't have him not be able to practice," Babcock said. "We need him to be able to help the team. Otherwise what you're doing is taking a kid's ice time.
"We got kids, but they are kids. In this league you win with (veteran) players. So all these (young players) that came and got started, it's not like they came and secured a spot in the NHL forever. It's a big summer for our kids. We'll see what happens."
The Red Wings are expected to be roughly $9-10 million under the $69 million salary cap after inking restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan.
If they sign Alfredsson, mostly likely it'll be a relatively low base salary (possibly in the $2 million range) with a games played bonus that can be applied to the following season's cap.
Update #7: Ladies and gentlemen, Bob Duff:
Update #8: Khan on Babs' assistant coaching search:
"I phoned Nick Lidstrom, I offered him the job," Babcock said. "Told him that his wife was happier in Detroit (than in Sweden). He wasn't too much into that. He's helping (coach) with one of the boys teams."
Another former Red Wings defenseman, Chris Chelios, also isn't a candidate.
"Cheli helps out on the farm (with the Grand Rapids Griffins)," Babcock said. "Cheli's not interested in being a coach full-time. He's got a ton going on in his life. So to be at the rink every day at 6 a.m. probably isn't a priority for him. We're looking all over and we're going to find a guy."
Peters was hired as the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, leaving the Red Wings with just one assistant, Tom Renney. Babcock said Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, an assistant for the Red Wings in 2011-12, will remain in Grand Rapids.
"Bill Peters is a big personality and Blash is on the farm and Blash is a great coach, too, but we don't want Blash to do that (assist in Detroit), we want him to develop kids," Babcock said.
"I want new ideas," Babcock said. "Is that a veteran coach that's going to challenge you every day? Is that a new, young serial winner who just comes in and has a hundred ideas? I don't know, but it's an important hire for me.
"We just got in the playoffs two years in a row (with little room to spare), we got a bunch of kids," Babcock said. "We can't do an average job as coaches. We got to do a really good job, so we got to make sure we hire the right person. When we find that guy we'll know. But right now I'm talking to everybody I possibly can and I'm not talking about talking to the coaches, I'm talking to managers and players about details.
"I just asked one of the guys that works in the head office about a guy that used to coach there. It's amazing how you can get information on people. I'm not interested in the best interview; I'm interested in the best coach. But it's hard to interview people and make sure. You get to November and you don't want to be disappointed, you want to hire a good man."
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