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Svoboda’s Jagr dangles continue (and Red Wings free agency talk)

I’m finding this one hard to believe, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari:

Petr Svoboda, the agent who represents Jaromir Jagr, said late this afternoon that his client still has not received a contract offer from the Penguins. Svoboda did, however, confirm that he has spoken with Penguins general manager Ray Shero today. He added that he is engaged in ongoing discussions about Jagr, but declined to say with whom.

Detroit has publicly expressed an interest in signing Jagr, while the Penguins have been contemplating the possibility for more than a week. A third NHL club, believed to be Montreal, also is believed to be at least considering whether to try to sign him.

So he’s met with the Penguins, he’s talked to the Red Wings, and yet neither club has supposedly submitted a contract offer? Come on already…

Inline update: Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi:

Jagr agent: We’ve exchanged a few things, will talk again tonite. ... Tomorrow afternoon maybe something will be done #jagrwatch
...
Numbers have been discussed btwn #Pens and #jagrwatch, but not final offer from #Pens. Talks to continue tonite. #tribpens

Update 5:05 PM: Also, with Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen off the market, MLive’s Ansar Khan looks at the Wings’ remaining free agent options on defense...

Who’s left for the Red Wings, who are seeking a top-four defenseman, a good puck-mover who can play the point on the power play, essentially replaced the retired Brian Rafalski?

The three-most prominent defensemen still available are Vancouver’s Christian Ehrhoff, Montreal’s James Wisniewski, Boston’s Tomas Kaberle and Washington’s Scott Hannan, who is more of a stay-at-home defender. These players will surely be seeking long-term deals north of $4 million per season.

Lesser-priced alternatives include Ian White (San Jose), Anton Babchuk (Calgary), Andy Greene (New Jersey), Steve Montador (Buffalo), Jan Hejda (Columbus) and Shane O’Brien (Nashville).

If the Red Wings opt to sign an older player to a shorter-term deal, the pool includes Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix), Roman Hamrlik (Montreal), Sammy Salo (Vancouver), Bryan McCabe (Rangers) and Brent Sopel (Montreal).

While the Sporting News’s Craig Custance offers this take on the top 25 free agents available, throwing a bit of a wrench into things:

1. Brad Richards, C, Dallas Stars

Refused to waive his no-trade clause to give a prospective buyer an early crack at signing him. He is, by-far, the best option available on July 1.

Potential destinations: Toronto, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia.
...
3. Christian Ehrhoff, D, Vancouver Canucks

Even with Bieksa’s deal, there might still be room in Vancouver if general manager Mike Gillis can unload Keith Ballard’s contract.

Potential destinations: Detroit, Buffalo, Vancouver.
...
6. James Wisniewski, D, Montreal Canadiens

Can produce offensively and plays with more of an edge than other offensive defenseman in this group.

Potential destinations: Detroit, Montreal, Columbus, Boston.
...
11. Radim Vrbata, F, Phoenix Coyotes

It would be in the best interests of both the Coyotes and Vrbata to get a deal done in the desert. He immediately helps any power play.

Potential destinations: Phoenix, Detroit, Los Angeles.
12. Ian White, San Jose Sharks

Played well for San Jose after being acquired from Carolina, but the Brent Burns trade might send him to the market.

Potential destinations: Detroit, San Jose, Toronto, Minnesota.
...
21. Ed Jovanovski, D, Phoenix Coyotes

According to a source, he won’t be signing with the Coyotes before July 1.

Potential destinations: Detroit, Colorado, Florida, Toronto.
...
24. Jonathan Ericsson, D, Detroit Red Wings

Regressed a bit following a breakout performance in the 2009 playoffs. The 6-foot-5 defenseman is just 27 years old, leaving room for development. As of Tuesday, he will still in negotiations with Detroit.

Potential destinations: Florida, Detroit, Minnesota.

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Baroque, something you and other likeminded Wings fans should read.

http://redwingscentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15514&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=f1d6907014fd3ffe3e8e60b1a2070f03

Here is a topic I found on google about the “I’m pissed” remarks made by Babcock concerning the Brent Burns trade. There are a couple Wings fans there who know as I do how good a player Brent Burns is, and you can see posts there where they lament the Wings not getting him, and they question Ken Holland. His most recent failure to do… anything… even got one of them to question when the last time he made a real trade was (like moving a roster player for a roster player), and it turns out not for 7-8 years.

Why I’m posting this, you will see that when these Wings fans say how good Burns is, and how Ken Holland failed in not getting him, and now the Sharks are even stronger and the Wings are worse after losing Rafalski, all that stuff, they are met with the same reactions you guys. “How many Sharks do the Cups have?” As if that has any relevance on whether or not Brent Burns is a good player and whether he would have helped Detroit. I believe the concussion thing was mentioned, even though past concussions do not increase the potential for further concussions in the future. Basically, all the typical excuses you guys are making about why it’s okay that Holland hasn’t improved his team, they are making to these few Wings fans. It’s basically a carbon copy.

I want you guys to think a little bit as to why that is.

Ken Holland has not made a legitimate trade for 7 years. That’s the definition of sitting on his laurels. A few days ago, he let a legitimate #1 defenseman get traded to his biggest rival without making a big effort to get him himself. He let the team who has beaten the Wings two years in a row get him instead. Even the coach, Mike Babcock, is fed up with Holland’s inactivity, saying publicly that he is “pissed.”
In essence, the offseason has gotten off to the worst possible start, this on the heels of two passive, inactive, awful seasons for the Wings.

In light of all this, a few Wings fans go on the forum there to express their disappointment with how things are going, and they are met with derision, and everything is fine, and Ken Holland is the best GM ever, and San Jose hasn’t won any Cups hahahahha. I believe when one of the Wings fans who was disappointed brought up how you can’t win the Cup without making it out of your Conference, and the Sharks have dominated the Wings in the postseason, one poster went so far as to go back 20 years, saying the Wings were actually 4-2 against the Sharks (haven’t the Sharks beaten us 3 times, not 2?), as if what happened 20 years ago has any bearing, or is any excuse, for what’s happening now,

But that’s the thing. A lot of Wings fans are so desperate for excuses, they will even go 20 years back to defend Ken Holland. And that might be what you’d called Red Wings fan syndrome nowadays, making excuses for management when there are none, and above all, living off the past instead of the future. Ken Holland has been all to happy to live pretty off of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Lidstrom, who were drafted ages ago, and not bring in anyone new to help them. That is precisely what those Wings fans on that forum, and me here, are complaining about, but the majority of the Wings fans, you guys, are so desperate not to admit anything is wrong, you meet us with derision. Those are Wings fans same as you over there just expressing their disappointment with bad management of the team in recent years, and instead of being met with kindness from the other Wings fans - we’re all on the same team here after all - they get met with derision. Why? Because no fanbase ever wants to admit their GM has made a mistake, or that their team is getting worse, or anything negative about the team. When the Brent Burns trade happened for San Jose, I looked for any reason I could to be happy about it, to think San Jose maybe got worse. And how do I know it was an absolute steal for them? Because I couldn’t come up with much at all. But that’s what separates me, and those fans on the other forum, from the majority of sports fans, I guess. The majority ALWAYS finds a way to find something, some excuse for their team. The team that eliminated the Red Wings just filled their biggest weakness without giving up any of their top 6 forwards or top 4 defenseman (Setoguchi was their 7th guy), and somehow this is inconsequential to the Red Wings? Come on. You guys are so much better than this. What was it someone said on the other forum, let me find it…

“A guy arguing against the people who were saying the same things as me:
Who says SJ wis better?

A guy saying the same things as me:
They beat Detroit 2 years in a row in the playoffs that means they’re better. Winning=better.

A guy arguing against:
You’re wrong, as usual.”

Is this what we’ve sunk to? Winning = better. No!

It can’t get any more blatant than that. Fans are stretching themselves so far to defend their team, even winning is not better anymore. If the Sharks swept us, and then swept the Cup, they still wouldn’t be better than us. People would point to how we’ve still won more Cups, total, than them.

I’m not judging. Fans of all teams can be like this sometimes. All I’m asking is you guys look at yourselves, and at least understand this is what you’re doing. You are looking, and you’re having to look hard, for reasons to agree with what Ken Holland is doing, instead of just accepting the truth, whatever it is, even if it’s not favorable for the Red Wings. Whether it’s Burns concussions, some line in a random article by a random author that says he doesn’t process the game well (who is this master scout exactly?), or the most ridiculous “what if the cap goes down?” , you guys are just reaching for any excuse you can find to convince yourselves that Ken Holland made the right decision in letting Brent Burns go to the Sharks instead of trading for him himself, even when the freaking coach disagrees! And when even the coach is being more honest about the Wings messing up than the fanbase, you know it’s getting a little ridiculous.

Just be honest with yourselves, please, and open to someone who is being honest, like me, instead of treating me with derision.

Ken Holland has not made a major beneficial trade in 7 or 8 years… the Wings have lost in the second round two years in a row, to the same team… the Wings #2 defenseman just retired and Lidstrom is nearing the end of his career… the UFA crop is as slim as it’s ever been… the Wings top free agent defenseman target, James Wisniewski, it’s been reported that he has a grudge against the Red Wings because they fired his uncle, and he may not be interested in signing the same as other free agents would… the team that eliminated the Red Wings just added the best defenseman to be moved in the NHL since Dan Boyle was traded, also to the Sharks…

... It’s been a really bad run for the Red Wings, if we’re being honest. And that’s what we all should be. Honest conversation about the team is the only way to go. So please, just look at the facts I just posted in the paragraph right above with all the ellipsis, and stop all the denial and excuses. I am your peer. I am a fan who loves the team just like you. Those guys on that other forum, they love the team too I’m sure. They’re just disappointed in it recently. And I bet they were just made to feel even worse after everyone treated them so poorly over there just for giving their opinions, the most honest and truthful ones of the whole lot. It’s not fair to them, or good for anyone, making excuses like this and berating anyone who is willing to admit the disappointing the truth about the Wings recent history. I hope you guys can see that. Maybe I’m not the best messenger for this type of thing given that I’m the one people have been berating, but I’m trying here. I wish George would post something like this because maybe you all might listen to him better, but the problem is George does it too, probably worse than most of you. He doesn’t get involved in the comments and berate and troll, which is good for him, but in terms of what he thinks, some of his tweets on twitter, he’s always looking to let the Wings, and Holland, off the hook too, always making excuses, so I doubt he realizes what he’s doing enough to let you all know about it. I’m hoping me as the messenger will be good enough.

I’ll talk to you all later.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/29/11 at 05:46 AM ET

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George,

I appreciate and agree with what you’re saying, but as twice now you’ve written a post like this directly following one of my posts, and not one of the people attacking me, I am confused. I think it would be very helpful if you specified who you want to stop making personal attacks, and what personal attacks you are referring to. I feel very condescended too here whenever I posted, ridiculed, people making statements like ‘Yeah because Brent Burns is the most amazing player ever, and the Sharks have already won the Cup,” and obvious insults like that aiming to make fun of my posts, when I’ve never said any of those things. There are worse examples I’m sure than that but I don’t know where to look for comment sections from months ago.

Additionally, what about ignorance? Is that as much a “sin” or whatever you want to call it as anything else? If I’m trying to have a real conversation about the Wings, and I’m putting effort into writing thought-out posts, and giving clear opinions, and even explaining things to people when they ask stupid devils-advocate questions like “What if the cap goes down?”, do I not have the right to get a little annoyed when, after I and someone else has already explained it, they keep harkening on about it when they’re ignoring the facts me and others have just laid out for them? I don’t believe you are referring to me with the “personal attacks” statement because I always try to refrain from name-calling or swearing or anything of that nature, but if someone is displacing ignorance post after post, while actually condescending to me despite their ignorance, I will get a little bit annoyed, which I think is only natural. I still keep within the rules and like I said, no name calling or anything like that, but one can’t help but get annoyed in situations like that. I’m here trying to have intelligent conversations, even taking time to explain some things to people when they ask, and in return I get condescension towards me, derision, ignorance, and all of that ilk, and it IS annoying, there’s no doubt, and I believe it would be for anyone.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/29/11 at 05:56 AM ET

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“I guess all I am saying is the track record of Holland says that he has a plan, the price was to high, or there is a hole of some type in Burns.  The track record of Wilson says he is overreacting, has no plan, and is blind to any hole. I will hold off on saying Holland has “lost it” at least until july 2nd of next year.”

Fair enough for sure. And you make a good point about Wilson. I disagree that Holland has a track record when Wilson has bested him the last two seasons. People were saying that about Holland last offseason and the offseason before and we all know how that turned out. Regardless, good points, and thank you for the respectful, intelligent response.

George, see, this is a normal response, what he just wrote. This is adults talking the team. There is no condescension or ignorance or anything like that. We have varying levels of faith in Holland after the last two seasons, but that’s so subjective and no one knows what will happen come July 1. It’s certainly not ignorant on his part for him to disagree about that, like it really is in some of the other instances with at least one other poster about the cap going down and all that. Anyway, this is a good example of how people should be responding to each other, and an even better example of how some the other posters have NOT been responding. I wish you would say something to them.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/29/11 at 06:01 AM ET

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who has been berated it’s supposed to say, not who has been berating.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/29/11 at 06:08 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s not you! I’m not tossing off that suggestion toward any one person. I’m just posting it belatedly.

It’s difficult to call people out and say, “Okay, you to the penalty box, you here, you there” when I’ve been getting nearly 250 to 300 email alerts of comments per day (!!!), half of them inflammatory, and I’m just…I don’t know, I’m frustrated at the level of frustration. I don’t want to call out one person over another and I’m not admonishing you specifically, Johnson22, I’m just asking for more civility.

It’s been very hard to play referee here given the busy-ness going on elsewhere—and I don’t mean this as a cop-out—because while it might seem intolerably slow for everybody else, I’m not just posting Wings stuff but also cranking out other stuff while on watch for Paul, so there’s been hardly a minute to sleep, never mind try to rein things in when grinding out the usual 14-hour work day. It’s hard to follow all of this and I can only ask for some sanity and admit that I’m getting to the point where I’ve considered closing commenting.

I’ll post something about this in an hour or two. I’m working on it right now.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/29/11 at 06:19 AM 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.