Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

St. James: Vanek still an option for Wings

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

The Detroit Red Wings remain in contact with Thomas Vanek.

Nearly two weeks into free agency, Vanek, 33, is still unsigned, even though he is coming off a good season. A few teams have kicked tires on him, but the sense is he would prefer to come back to Detroit if possible. His agent and the Red Wings are keeping in contact, even as a comeback has hurdles to clear.

For starters, the Red Wings don’t have much in salary cap space, with $5 million earmarked for resigning Tomas Tatar and another million earmarked for resigning Andreas Athanasiou. Vegas taking Tomas Nosek in the expansion draft provided the Wings no salary cap relief, as it would have done had the Golden Knights taken Riley Sheahan, or Darren Helm.

Beyond that, the Red Wings want some of their younger players – especially big forward Anthony Mantha - to play a bigger role.

Also weighed in the balance, though, is just what an impact Vanek made last season with the Wings. He had chemistry with everyone he played with – at the start of the season, the team’s hottest line had Vanek with Helm and Gustav Nyquist. When Vanek suffered an injury, those two got very quiet, production-wise.

Continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Shanny_Fan's avatar

I really liked Vanek last year, another 1 year deal that you could flip at the deadline would be nice. Its too bad Kenny has handcuffed this team so tight up against the cap and seems to be incapable of making a trade to dump some longer term contracts.

Posted by Shanny_Fan on 07/12/17 at 12:24 PM ET

Avatar

Does anybody know what Vanek is looking for? Will he even consider a 1 year deal again? Although he is not signed yet, so probably he is not getting the offers he wants.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/12/17 at 12:27 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

No thanks.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/12/17 at 12:39 PM ET

Avatar

Maybe we should sign Vanek now…in preparation for a big trade where we send 1 or 2 surplus forwards to add a top 2 d-man, I mean top 3, I mean top 4. But that way, our forward ranks won’t be depleted after that trade.

Wait, what year is this again?

Posted by fatsavage on 07/12/17 at 01:00 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

The guys who are ready to make the jump to the NHL from GR I’m sure are happy about this. I thought there was only one spot up for grabs. They want to give it to Vanek?? Good lord.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 07/12/17 at 01:34 PM ET

Avatar

The guys who are ready to make the jump to the NHL from GR I’m sure are happy about this

There is only 1 guy who will probably make the team next year and that is Bert and he will play on a 4th line. I do not think Vanek is such an obstacle. It’s not like we are talking Svech or Vanek. We are probably talking Abby or Helm or Vanek in the top 9.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/12/17 at 01:38 PM ET

Avatar

another million earmarked for resigning Andreas Athanasiou

Am I the only one that thinks it’s going to take more than $1mil/yr?

Posted by Steve1306 on 07/12/17 at 04:19 PM ET

Avatar

another million earmarked for resigning Andreas Athanasiou

Am I the only one that thinks it’s going to take more than $1mil/yr?

Posted by Steve1306 on 07/12/17 at 04:19 PM ET

Kenny’s strategy in recent years is to sign the useless players first and then leave your best players for last. When negotiations get tough he can simply claim that this is all the cap space I have left to work with. We’d love to pay you more but the math doesn’t work out.

I mean look at last year…

First he takes care of Glendening, 12 months before it was necessary.
Next came Miller 3 days before free agency. URGENT!
Free agent frenzy delivered Helm, Marchenko, Nielsen, Vanek, and Ott. Let’s call them the Fab Five. What a day!!
Then with cap space dwindling he gets around to negotiating with Dekeyser, and then finally Mrazek comes last. Sorry Petr. This is all I have left.
That’s his MO. He did the same with Hossa. Signed everyone else, then offered an embarassingly low amount because we didn’t have any more money.

 

Posted by fatsavage on 07/12/17 at 04:31 PM ET

Avatar

Am I the only one that thinks it’s going to take more than $1mil/yr?

No, you are not.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/12/17 at 04:34 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by fatsavage on 07/12/17 at 04:31 PM ET

I am not even sure your biggest critics on this forum can argue on this post. KH priorities are indeed totally screwed up. Of course, there is a difference between UFAs and RFAs, but still logically you would want to lock more important players first.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/12/17 at 04:37 PM ET

Avatar

I’m not sure where they would even get the cap space to sign Vanek unless someone like Kronwall goes and stays on LTIR.

Trades are hard…

Posted by AZWinger on 07/12/17 at 04:47 PM ET

Avatar

I am not even sure your biggest critics on this forum can argue on this post. KH priorities are indeed totally screwed up. Of course, there is a difference between UFAs and RFAs, but still logically you would want to lock more important players first.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/12/17 at 04:37 PM ET

He should have started discussions with Tatar months ago. If he didn’t like the demands, then it helps form a decision on other parts of the roster.

1) We don’t like Tatar’s demands. Let’s actively shop him prior to the draft and let another team negotiate with him. Exactly what Yzerman did with Drouin. He learned about Drouin’s asking price in advance, decided it was too steep for his structure, so moved him for a cheap young asset. And then used that cap space to address other assets. And magically Montreal had a contract for Drouin finalized the next day.

2) Or maybe you get the sense Tatar’s demands are reasonable. The player wants to make a long-term committment to the franchise. Hey this is good news. But that means I have to move Nyquist before his NTC kicks in.

But when you leave Tatar to the end then you paint yourself in a corner. Now cue the apologists saying that maybe Kenny DID have these discussions months ago. Whatever.

Posted by fatsavage on 07/12/17 at 04:53 PM ET

Avatar

But that means I have to move Nyquist before his NTC kicks in.

I think KH overvalues him and never liked the return he was getting. One thing for sure Nyquist was not getting us Trouba or Fowler and I guess KH did not want to settle for anything less. Would be nice to know what were the offers though.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/12/17 at 05:01 PM ET

Avatar

I think KH overvalues him and never liked the return he was getting. One thing for sure Nyquist was not getting us Trouba or Fowler and I guess KH did not want to settle for anything less. Would be nice to know what were the offers though.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/12/17 at 05:01 PM ET

You wouldn’t even get Trouba or Fowler straight up for a Mantha or Larkin. Kenny doesn’t get this. He doesn’t get the premium for young top pair d-men. Even this summer he still says the only way he would trade a young forward (ie Larkin, Mantha, AA) is if he gets a top d-man in the same age group in return.

Sorry Kenny. You are wasting your time. Nobody is trading Trouba or Fowler or Vatanen straight up for any of our forwards. You might want to consider assuming a sliver of risk in this and targetting a top prospect who has to establish himself. Like Yzerman did trading a sure thing in Drouin for the promise of Sergachev. So maybe the trade is something like Mantha for Sanheim. But you aren’t getting a young, established top 3 d-man for Mantha or AA or Larkin, let alone Nyquist.

Trades are hard because he has no clue about value.

Posted by fatsavage on 07/12/17 at 05:31 PM ET

Avatar

You wouldn’t even get Trouba or Fowler straight up for a Mantha or Larkin.

Very true. The D is not getting fixed this season or probably even next season.

Posted by AZWinger on 07/12/17 at 06:40 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I’m not sure where they would even get the cap space to sign Vanek unless someone like Kronwall goes and stays on LTIR.

That’s a big possibility. Also a goal tender may be moved. I know, trades are hard. LOL

Posted by bigfrog on 07/12/17 at 08:23 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

Kenny’s strategy in recent years is to sign the useless players first and then leave your best players for last. When negotiations get tough he can simply claim that this is all the cap space I have left to work with. We’d love to pay you more but the math doesn’t work out.

I mean look at last year…

First he takes care of Glendening, 12 months before it was necessary.
Next came Miller 3 days before free agency. URGENT!
Free agent frenzy delivered Helm, Marchenko, Nielsen, Vanek, and Ott. Let’s call them the Fab Five. What a day!!
Then with cap space dwindling he gets around to negotiating with Dekeyser, and then finally Mrazek comes last. Sorry Petr. This is all I have left.
That’s his MO. He did the same with Hossa. Signed everyone else, then offered an embarassingly low amount because we didn’t have any more money.

 

Posted by fatsavage on 07/12/17 at 04:31 PM ET

This is gold. This is why we need a thumbs up button.

Posted by Bradley97 on 07/13/17 at 09:26 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by Bradley97 on 07/13/17 at 09:26 AM ET

It’s good but filled with half truths and no context.

For example, Mrazek was an RFA. Usually RFAs come last. And what were we supposed to do, pay him more money or a longer contract when he hasn’t proven to be a quality starter? lol. And after the season he had, it’s good that Mrazek wasn’t paid more. And that’s not hindsight, thats legitimately up and down Mrazek. Same deal for DDK. Did we really want to pay him more for a 2nd pair guy?

Kenny operates under a push for the playoffs. He felt that by signing Nielsen and Vanek, he could do that. Ott was for grit. Vanek was a good signing Nielsen, the jury is still out. Ott at least got us a 6th pick and didn’t really hurt in the end. I didn’t agree with signing him, but Kenny operates the team differently.

Marchenko was signed to be a bottom pair guy, that’s fine. It didn’t work out. Would like to have known that before signing him, but how many of us wanted to just let Marchenko walk?

Glenny and Helm are LOL contracts, no doubt about it. I’ll add Miller in here just because he was coming off of knee surgery. So FS nailed 3/9 here, a solid 33%.

Not too shabby, actually.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/13/17 at 12:41 PM ET

Avatar

It’s good but filled with half truths and no context.

Must really eat you up when someone else shows appreciation for my posts. Thanks for your score of 3 for 9. That means a lot to me. It made my day actually. So I guess Kenny went 6 for 9 last summer? A passing grade huh? Carry on then…

Posted by fatsavage on 07/13/17 at 01:57 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Grading Kenny for a rebuild when he’s not rebuilding is like testing a kid on math when he studied for Science.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/13/17 at 02:41 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

So, in the context of Kenny trying to build a playoff team,

he got the 2nd best center on the FA market.
added grit in Ott and flipped him for a pick.
Vanek was our best scorer and flipped him for a pick
marchenko was signed for cheap, waived and toronto got him off of our books (thanks, Babs!)
Kenny got a prove it deal done for Mrazek, and certainly showed he didnt deserve more.
And DDK…meh, jury is out I guess.

As you said, Glenny was signed too early (and too much)
Helm contract is AWFUL
Miller is very replaceable but, LOYALTY!

So yeah, in the context of he wanted to build a winner, he graded out fair. Although the team turned out to be bottom five, I don’t think it’s because of the Mrazek, DDK, Vanek, Nielsen, Ott signings.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/13/17 at 02:48 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

I really am trying to be moderate and meet you in the middle, but you absolutely refuse, as others have mentioned, to budge from your position even just a little. The world does not often live in the two extremes. It’s not always black and white. The truth is probably in the middle somewhere, but you seem to refuse to come out of your dark, shadowy corner into objective, contextual reality.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/13/17 at 02:56 PM ET

Avatar

So, in the context of Kenny trying to build a playoff team,

he got the 2nd best center on the FA market.

And gave way too much term. $3.5M x 3 years for Eric Staal beats $5.25 x 6 years of Frans Nielsen. Another alternative is to just play Larkin at center and and then add some cheap top 9 wingers like a Vanek, Vrbata, etc…

added grit in Ott and flipped him for a pick.

So we’re celebrating this now? Could have also just used Nosek last year. Would have given us more time to evaluate him and see if he was worth of protection.

Vanek was our best scorer and flipped him for a pick

Agreed. Nice value move.

marchenko was signed for cheap, waived and toronto got him off of our books (thanks, Babs!)

$1.45M x 2 years was no exactly cheap. Jensen was cheap. Ouellet was cheap. Did we really need more evidence to conclude that Marchenko was a 6/7 at best?

Blah, blah, blah…OK. So the Illitch’s told him he can’t rebuild and has to shoot for the playoffs. And then he does NOTHING to improve our defence. NOTHING. He even loaded up on forwards with some far-fetched plan to trade some of them for a d-man…maybe at the draft, or maybe in Spetember, or maybe at Thanksgiving, or maybe at the next trade deadline. Great execution Kenny. No trades. No help. And no surprise…

Posted by fatsavage on 07/13/17 at 03:32 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

Glenny and Helm are LOL contracts, no doubt about it. I’ll add Miller in here just because he was coming off of knee surgery. So FS nailed 3/9 here, a solid 33%.

Not too shabby, actually.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/13/17 at 12:41 PM ET

What’s funny about the Glendening and Helm contracts which together equal $5.65 MM/year against the cap for the next four seasons is that is about what the Wings need to sign Tatar.

As for why the Wings needed to bring back Helm at all when they were:

- Planning to sign Nielsen as the second line center

- Planning to move Larking to center full time

- Had Sheahan who came in as a center

- Had Athanasiou who plays center

- Had Zetterberg who plays center but they wanted to move to wing but who never sticks there

- Had Nosek who plays center knocking on the door

I have no idea. Helm is at best a 3rd line center on a team full of centers who can anchor the 3rd line.

Posted by Bradley97 on 07/13/17 at 08:32 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.

 

Recommended Sportsbook
MyBookie.ag