Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

The brightest star in the Red Wings’ prospect pipeline?

The Detroit Red Wings' best defensive prospects, like Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mattias Backman and the still-too-skinny Adam Almqvist, are still a few years away from being ready for prime time, but the Red Wings' prospect pipeline is deep and strong in terms of assets in players like Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Riley Sheahan (and, down the line, Tomas Jurco, who's having a rough time adjusting to playing against men after dominating against 16-to-20-year-olds; obviously, Petr Mrazek gives the Wings tons of hope in terms of having a "goalie of the future" a year or two away from being ready to challenge Jimmy Howard) and especially the pair of players that the team hopes have some Datsyuk-and-Zetterberg-like potential in Jokerit Helsinki sniper Teemu Pulkkinen and Brynas IF center Calle Jarnkrok.

Over the past two or three seasons, the Wings' brass has insisted that it would allow Pulkkinen and Jarnkrok to remain in Europe until they're ready to begin NHL internships, not AHL ones, and while penning his mid-season ranking of the Top 20 Red Wings Prospects, RedWingsCentral's Matthew Wuest reports that Jarnkrok may make the jump to the NHL next season--if he receives Wings' director of European Scouting and member of the Frolunda Indians' board of directors Hakan Andersson's blessing:

In large part, that will depend on how well he performs at the IIHF world championship in May, assuming he makes Team Sweden.

“We’ll see how he finishes,” said Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson. “We all feel he’s a top-six forward in the long run. He’s a smart player, he works really hard, he’s got good hands, good hockey sense. Adapting to the game, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

Jarnkrok, compared by the Red Wings to Henrik Zetterberg, tied for 14th in Elite League scoring last season with 39 points in 50 games and helped Brynas win a championship. This season, Brynas has struggled with the losses of several key players, including Jarnkrok’s linemate, Jakob Silfverberg.

The 5-foot-11 174-pounder worked with a personal trainer this summer and got stronger. He leads Brynas in scoring with 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points in 46 games and sits 10th on the league’s points list.

“I feel when I see him, he’s the same kind of player (as last season) and he looks stronger,” Andersson said. “He’s done fine scoring-wise, but the team is struggling and I know that’s very frustrating for him.”

Continued, and while Teemu Pulkkinen's hands may be NHL-level, his ups and downs with Jokerit Helsinki leave him in the 12th spot on Wuest's list...

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Comments

MoreShoot's avatar

Great. Now (assuming he makes the jump in the fall)  if we can do two things
  1. Convince Datsyuk to stay more than one more year so the boy can learn from the best.
  2. Convince KH to shed some of the dead weight on the NHL club that is keeping players like Jarnkrok/Nyquist/Andersson/Tatar from getting a chance.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/06/13 at 03:45 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Convince Datsyuk to stay more than one more year

Kenny is going to have to do something to entice Pavel to stay. I’m kinda thinking he will finish up the current contract and that’ll be that. I really hope I am way off here.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 02/06/13 at 04:00 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Seriously?

So we have Nyquist and Tatar who’re locks for the team next year, Tatar’s out of options after this year right?  Ferraro about to be knocking on the door.  Shaehan and Andersson knocking on the door.  Jarnkrok evidently knocking on the door for next season now.  What’s that 5 forwards?

Do you see us honestly clearing anywhere near enough space to make room for that many younger players?  potentially 3?  Think they want 3 rookie F’s on the team?  Seems like a little shotty asset management to get a wave of young talent.  Thought they liked easing them into the NHL? 

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 04:02 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Thought they liked easing them into the NHL? 

Yeah, but is that model not fitting as well now?  Or was that model a product of incredible years of talent and salary luxury, when we were so talent rich (like Homer on the 4th line with Lucky Luke and Iggy)? 

Or put it this way: is it better to ripen Tatar/Sheahan/Ferraro more so long as Miller and Cleary are playing regular minutes?  And Abelkader is playing center. 

I don’t know.  I know we are missing Helm and D is banged up.  But I struggle to believe anymore in Miller and especially Cleary.

 

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/06/13 at 04:14 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I think if the talent upside of a player is better than a player on the team and the player is also currently capable of playing an NHL caliber game, then bring them up.  All winning teams or deep teams are getting production from younger talent.  We shouldn’t be waiting for options to run out for players before graduating them, you’re not taking advantage of having them all these years except for call-ups and they’ll never be as good as call ups as when they get into a flow and can adjust their game to accommodate it.

Now we’re sitting with all of this talent beating on the door and small window to get them on the team which will ultimately end up to waiving players we may not want to, a la Quincey.

We were good in the post-cap era because Z and Pav had cut their teeth already in the NHL and had time to translate their game before being relied on in top roles and we still had the right leadership to ease them in.  Smith would’ve GREATLY benefitted from being on the team as a regular last year instead of signing Mike Commodore and rotating Kindl in and out.  I don’t get it.  Also never really gave him a chance to get up to speed being in and out so much.  LIsten to how much other players talk about missing just a couple games, getting back to speed.  How’s Kindl supposed to jump right in?

A little irritating for sure given our performance the past 2 seasons.  If you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward and we’ve been moving backwards a couple years now yet still unwilling to trade assets, at the same time we’re not using them either and will ultimately end up forced to let some go for nothing unless we can convince them they still aren’t ready *cough Tatar cough* when looking at other young plyaers in the league, they clearly are., other players on OUR team for than matter.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 04:26 PM ET

Sneetch's avatar

Wait, these kids can’t up yet! They aren’t “seasoned” and KH still has to make a boneheaded trade to get Hudler back in Detroit. hmmm

If a lot of these guys actually get to play, I’m looking forward to next year. This shortened year? Not so much.

Posted by Sneetch on 02/06/13 at 04:32 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

There are two phrases that have become like nails on a chalkboard for me when it comes to discussing Wings prospects.

One is “surplus of forwards” and the other is “NHL ready.”

The “surplus of forwards” have one f***ing point through 9 games. And none of the “NHL ready” players are actually playing in the NHL.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 02/06/13 at 04:36 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think if the talent upside of a player is better than a player on the team and the player is also currently capable of playing an NHL caliber game, then bring them up.

Precisely.  Especially in a shortened season, I’d say.  I think Kenny is stuck in a model that worked when you could both honor loyalty and let younger players mature without rushing them.  But if we are going to be in the conversation for Seth Jones this year, then I want to do it with the young ones cutting their teeth for next year.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/06/13 at 04:40 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

The “surplus of forwards” have one f***ing point through 9 games. And none of the “NHL ready” players are actually playing in the NHL.

This.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 02/06/13 at 04:54 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

The part that bothers me isnt the fact that they have a number of high caliber forwards possibly ready for a chance in the NHL.  Its that Holland is not leveraging that asset when they had only 1, count em, 1 signed defensemen in the minors to call up when the injuries started to occur.  That is embarrassing in the least, borderling negligent management at worst.  To have to scrounge for players like Huskins is shameful, almost as much as not giving your “defensmen of the future” a chance to play and learn from the greatest defensemen to ever play the game.  And right now, its that lack of NHL level puck moving forwards that is making this team look Maple Leaf style bad.

Posted by Hootinani on 02/06/13 at 04:56 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I think the talk of Holland’s “failure” misses a huge fact. Basically, Wings brass, knowing Lids was on the way out, spent probably three seasons managing assets, contracts, and cap space so they could get Suter or Weber, knowing one of them was on the way out. Illitch tried to help seal the deal and it just didn’t work. We’d be a different team with Parise and Suter. Yes, this was a “failure” by any definition, but it wasn’t because of anything Holland did. In fact, as I’ve stated before, the true failure would have been if he had made poor signings or trades the season before tying his hands from even bidding for those guys. But he did exactly what he needed to do and we were able to offer BOTH Suter and Parise top dollar. They chose home for personal reasons. And now we are a worse team because of it. 

People say Holland had no “plan b”, well, there is no real plan B. It’s not like there were other top-2 dmen. Sure there are other guys we could have signed on July 1st who would be nice to have now, but Holland thought the Wings actually had a good chance to land Suter and so he waited. It was a calculated gamble. According to Suter himself the Wings were in the hunt till the end. So now you’re looking at plan B. Drafting and UFA’s are the easiest and often only realistic way to get a top 2 d-man.

The fact is YOU CAN’T JUST TRADE FOR A NUMBER ONE DMAN SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU NEED ONE. That’s just not how trades work. There’s literally 2 or 3 top-2 dmen in the league that could POTENTIALLY be traded and there are probably 15 teams that would be willing to trade for them if the price was even moderately fair. Clearly, up till now, it hasn’t been. You criticize Holland’s “shameful” management for NOT making trades, but if you woke up to find out we traded Datsyuk, Nyquist and a first rounder for Keith Yandle, then we’d be talking about shamefully desperate management. I know it’s painful to watch our current roster, but the fact is, there’s just not much you can do to bolster it. I mean, do you want Holland to trade a Nyquist/Tatar/Sheahan for a 5 or 6 dman that’s barely a Huskins upgrade. Especially seeing that Huskins has been the least of our problems this season. Not landing Suter and Parise hurt, plain and simple. We had a lot riding on that and, unlike so many times in the past, Holland’s calculated gamble didn’t work out. Was it worth the gamble? Of course it was. It would have changed our team if we landed those two. Now we need to wait until the next opportunity. Hopefully it’s trade deadline. If not, hopefully offseason. We obviously have to do something at some point, but there’s literally only so much that can be done at this point. It sucks but it’s a far cry from negligent management.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 05:28 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I think the talk of Holland’s “failure” misses a huge fact. Basically, Wings brass, knowing Lids was on the way out, spent probably three seasons managing assets, contracts, and cap space so they could get Suter or Weber, knowing one of them was on the way out. Illitch tried to help seal the deal and it just didn’t work. We’d be a different team with Parise and Suter. Yes, this was a “failure” by any definition, but it wasn’t because of anything Holland did. In fact, as I’ve stated before, the true failure would have been if he had made poor signings or trades the season before tying his hands from even bidding for those guys. But he did exactly what he needed to do and we were able to offer BOTH Suter and Parise top dollar. They chose home for personal reasons. And now we are a worse team because of it. 

So the same guy who says you have to develop players from within to be successful put all his eggs in the FA basket when we’re sitting on Smith with the opportunity to play with Lidas.  But instead let him miss any Draper/Helm Larionov-Hull/Datsyuk type mentoring with the greatest D of all time.  Brendan Smith’s upside is just as high if not higher than Suters. 

Have a hard time buying Holland was going to use FA to make up for 3 of your top 4 Dmen.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 05:34 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 02/06/13 at 04:36 PM ET

spot on.
I would go further and say the Wing’s system is wasting talent right now.
Guys like Nyquist and especially Tatar (4th season?)have seen all the AHL has to offer, there is no challange for them playing there. And one gets better with challange, that’s a freaking evolutionary fact. As I remember they were forced to use Howard and it turned out that he stood up to the challange.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 02/06/13 at 05:37 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

It was a calculated gamble.
Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 05:28 PM ET

If that would be true, this guy has to be fired immediately, the risk of losing the gamble is what we are seeing now, a Red Wings team that belongs to the bottom of the league because it only has a hand full of good+ players. The rest is interchangeable as one can see in recent events…

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 02/06/13 at 05:45 PM ET

perfection's avatar

What you all seem to be overlooking is nearly all of the teams who are so much better than us on paper had to SUCK for years to get that way. They nearly ALL received top five draft picks and many, like Chi and Pit, got SEVERAL. We don’t have the luxury to tank enough to get one of these draft picks. Hell, look at how all of you freak out when we’re simply fighting for a playoff spot. I can’t even imagine the vitriol if we were in dead last though we would surely get a great player because of it.

With no top draft picks there are THREE ways to get star players. You develop the hell out of players who aren’t supposed to be stars, which the Wings have done MASTERFULLY. You sign a UFA, which we obviously tried extremely hard to do, or you trade, which as far as I’ve seen, NOBODY is doing as of now (aside from some minor deals… I’m talking number one dmen here). That’s it. Smith is looking good and it can be debated whether practicing with Lids every day or playing top minutes in every situation would have been more valuable, but in EITHER case, he’s still a few years off from being a true NHL number one dman. Nobody seems to want to make a trade with us, so signing an UFA was the ONLY way to get a player of that caliber for this season. We tried and it didn’t work.

I’m not really sure how on earth Holland should be fired for attempting to snag the top UFA available? There’s only one of the guy and a whole bunch of great teams with competent management and plenty of cap space trying to get him. It’s a calculated gamble that most good teams made. We just happen to need him more than most of them did because we just lost a perennial Norris candidate.

Everyone’s panicking now but the fact is, the Wings have the cap space and assets to do something at the deadline if there’s a willing partner. All they really have to do is make the playoffs and then pretty much everyone has at least a shot at the cup. If we do make the playoffs, I’d consider this season a relative success seeing that we lost Lids, Stuie AND failed to get Suter. And then we keep looking for the next opportunity to find that number one dman via trade or UFA while hoping Smith gets there sooner than later.

Sorry, I know everyone is so used to Red Wing dominance that’s it’s unfathomable we couldn’t seamlessly replace Lidstrom with no stress or snags, but reality is obviously quite a bit more complicated. You simply can’t lose a guy like him and not take a significant step backward. In true Red Wing fashion though, while this is obviously the closest thing to a “rebuilding” year we have seen in two decades, we all STILL expect them to compete for the cup. And so be it. I’m fine holding Holland and Co. to this standard as it is what makes being a Red Wings fan so great. But in this day and age, making the playoffs IS competing for the cup. Let’s see how we do the rest of this year before we start calling for the greatest GM of his generation to be fired.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 06:06 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

The firing assumption was made upon your theory that the pursuing of Parise and Suter was a calculated gamble. Which I highly doubt it was.

The team I watched so far this season simply won’t have a say in the playoffs race. I love the Wings for more reasons than success, but the team structure right now is not able to be successful.

Holland has made various mistakes in the past 4 years, starting with signing Franzen instead of Hossa and ending with taking Quincey for a first round pick.

I really dig your optimism regarding the Wings success, but seeing the team play and being not only out-willed and out-worked but also seriously out-skilled, I can’t share that optimism.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 02/06/13 at 06:23 PM ET

perfection's avatar

wait, I’m confused a bit… how was pursuing Suter and Parise NOT a “calculated gamble”? I didn’t really think it was a theory. Seems more like a fact to me. 

But we obviously have different definitions of what that means. It was a “gamble” in the sense that it was obviously not a sure thing. There were a lot of other teams trying to get them too. It was “calculated” in the sense that they pretty obviously conserved cap space for two previous seasons in order to be in the position to take the gamble. Also, I’d say the other element that makes it “calculated” is that it seems we had a really good chance to pull it off. If it were more of a longshot, perhaps the gamble would have been ill advised, but by all accounts, the Wings were in the hunt till the final hours. They knew it wasn’t a sure thing, but they also knew they had as good of a chance as anyone. They had to go for it. A calculated gamble.

And I’m NOT all that optimistic by the way. I HOPE we make the playoffs… that’s pretty much where I’m at. I just don’t see how we could expect all that much more once Suter and Parise chose the Wild. I hope we continue to rebuild while maintaining the playoff streak. That’s not easy and MOST teams fail at it. We’ve done it before, but we’ve also never had a hole like Lids since Yzerman was drafted.

I think we all would rather have Hossa than Franzen at this point, but if my memory serves me, Holland offered the same contract to both and said he’d sign whoever took it. Hossa wanted more money. Perhaps he actually deserved the additional mil or whatever it was, but don’t forget, Franzen (who we drafted) was also coming off of some record breaking playoff scoring streaks while Hossa (who was a mercenary) had just done nothing in the playoffs and lost the cup yet again. I guess you could classify it as a “mistake”, but again, it just seems more complex than that to me. I mean “success” is never 100%. Even in Holland and the team’s prime, certain trades/signing’s just didn’t really work out while others worked out better than expected. If you’re going to criticize Holland for trading for Quincey than I guess we should shower him with praise for signing Brunner. The fact is, both were also gambles of sorts. Brunner’s panning out, Quincey not so much yet. I feel like success and failure should be judged on a longer term, organizational standpoint and not so much player by player… but that’s just my opinion.

In any case, I am hopeful that if there’s a deal to be made at the deadline that Holland will make it. 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 06:42 PM ET

Crater's avatar

So the same guy who says you have to develop players from within to be successful put all his eggs in the FA basket when we’re sitting on Smith with the opportunity to play with Lidas.  But instead let him miss any Draper/Helm Larionov-Hull/Datsyuk type mentoring with the greatest D of all time.  Brendan Smith’s upside is just as high if not higher than Suters.

Have a hard time buying Holland was going to use FA to make up for 3 of your top 4 Dmen.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 05:34 PM ET

You do have to take into account all the great wings players who were not home grown.

Draper, Maltby, Chelios, Shanny, Larinov, Stuart, Rafalski, Ciccarelli, Hull just to name a few. I think you’re reading too much into the Developing players thing. Yes, you will not succeed with some sort of solid drafting and developing, but you have to fill the holes, and sometimes even aquire and add them to your core. Sometimes the drafting and developing doesn’t work out(Victims of their own success as the wings have been) and sometimes it does payoff but people either leave or unfortunate things like Jiri Ficher happen… who would have been a great #1 dman in his prime right now.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 02/06/13 at 06:50 PM ET

Crater's avatar

Jiri Ficher
Posted by Crater from SoCal on 02/06/13 at 06:50 PM ET

Fischer** Hated myself for typoing that.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 02/06/13 at 06:56 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand

Thanks for the posts. Was nice to read something not bat$hit crazy for once.

Posted by SK77 on 02/06/13 at 07:03 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
          Crater
     
    from SoCal on 02/06/13 at 06:50 PM ET

All players we got pre-cap era.  Holland has stated repeatedly to compete in today’s NHL with all the parity you have to be a home grown team.  With us sitting Smith, who out of all the Wisconsin D to come out recently (McDunaugh, Shultz, Smith, Suter etc..) many people feel could be the best of the group, why do we sit him last year and not play with Lidas so he’s not a rookie this season?  So you can see how quickly he can become useful and how useful and determine whether or not you need to put all your eggs in the Suter basket or can we be successful with another legit top 4 like Garrison or Carle or Souray or Salo.  I’d say with Smith’s play he’s a bonified top 4 and arguably our best D man as far as all-around game.  Already find him more responsible than Kronwall or at least better at reading the play. 

Guess my point was, if we aren’t going out for big free-agents because we need to develop from within, which is talked about incessantly, then keep NHL ready players down for-sake signing UFA’s on the downside of their careers.  Miller and Eaves were waiver wire pick-ups and Tatar and Nyquist are sitting the minors.  I like both players but why are we signing Sammuelsson or resigning Abby for a couple hundred thousand less than Helm who us evidently the engine that makes this team run.

I’ll take this team the way it is and I like all the players personalities, on ice results are different and I guess, given the past 3 years, that I was expecting KH’s master-plan of signing the players we have and losing the players we have and keeping the players in the AHL that we have, I just expected more of an effort from management to make the team better and the team to be better.

If you look at Yzerman’s short tenure so far he’s putting an identity to the team and it’s showing finally.  You can see where’s he’s going and where the logic is.  I can’t tell what the identity of the Wings are based on personnel.  All we keep hearing about is plugging holes and liking the team the way it is.

But I’m all for Suck for Seth.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 07:45 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

All are overall unless state otherwise

Adam Henrique-82nd
Travis Zajac-20th
PK Subban-43rd
The Sedins-2nd round
Kesler-23rd
Patrick Sharp-95th
Claude Giroux-22nd
Jamie Benn-129th
Keith Yandl-105th
Shea Weber-49th
Corey Perry-28th
Milan Lucic-50th
Ryan ORiely-33rd
etc…

These are all impact players on their team and fairly young.  I get tired of the argument that we don’t get the good draft picks.  A lot is up to chance, but a lot of these guys wouldn’t have got a whiff coming up through the Wings regardless of what the team needs were or the talent level was.  Have to keep the cupboards full. 

We have impact players who’re home grown, we just don’t use them when we should.  They’re either Helm types that’re called up because of emergency or Emmerton types that run out of options.  I can’t remember the last time the Wings had a prospect that played his ass off at camp and made the team over a player already signed, regardless of results.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 08:08 PM ET

SK77's avatar

why do we sit him last year and not play with Lidas so he’s not a rookie this season?

I’d say with Smith’s play he’s a bonified top 4 and arguably our best D man as far as all-around game.  Already find him more responsible than Kronwall or at least better at reading the play. 

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 07:45 PM ET

They didn’t sit Smith last year. He played #1 time in the AHL because he needed more experience which he wasn’t going to get with the WIngs. If they would have had him up last year he would have rotated in and out of the lineup as a 5-6 defensemen. No way was he cracking the top 4 last year with Lidstrom, Kronwall, Stuart, and White, on the roster.

And while Smith was doing great and getting that much-needed experience in the AHL, Ericsson got more time in the Wings rotation instead of being shown the door as so many armchair observers demanded.

Smith is obviously top 4, and will only get better and better given the right grooming. As for being arguably the Wings D man with the best all-around game? No way, at least not this season. Give him Kronwall’s assignments, time on ice, and alternate captain responsibility, and then let’s see how he compares.

Posted by SK77 on 02/06/13 at 08:23 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

If they would have had him up last year he would have rotated in and out of the lineup as a 5-6 defensemen

I don’t believe that given what he’s brought to the table this year (he wasn’t lighting up the AHL by any means) and I don’t believe Kindl and Commodore would’ve stayed above him on the depth chart this year.  Shit, Huskins and Lashoff are both playing over Kindl this year and we traded Commie at the deadline last year for Q.  Smith would’ve got plenty of playing time and if he played anywhere near what he’s brought this year he’d have been comfy over Q, Kindl and Commie.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 08:29 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Give him Kronwall’s assignments, time on ice, and alternate captain responsibility, and then let’s see how he compares.

I see Kronwall who’s adjust himself to top tier duty and he was used to getting what Smiths getting now on the second pair.  I personally feel Smith does better in Kronwalls role last year given Kronwall really hit his stride when we got Stuey for him, meanwhile Smith has Quincey.

I’m positive Smith would have an easier time upping his game as I think his overall skill level, specifically on-ice vision is much better than Kronwalls.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 08:31 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Not to mention Smith excelled during his call-up last year after we traded Commie and Lidas went down.  6 points in 13 games, was reading the play well and has yet to make any turnovers as dangerous as some I’ve seen Kronwall make in his own zone or on the point.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/06/13 at 08:35 PM ET

SK77's avatar

And to address your list of impact players ... the Sedins were the 2nd and 3rd PICKS in 1999, not 2nd round. Furthermore, all of the players you listed? 29 out of 30 teams didn’t pick each and every single one of those. Not saying it wouldn’t have been great to draft Shea Weber or Keith Yandl, but 96.7% of the teams in the NHL also missed on these players.

Anyway ... I agree that Smith is a stud and is only going to get better, but your examples of him being good this season & good during last year’s call up, both came after he spent considerable amounts of time being the #1 guy in the AHL. Which translates to experience, experience, experience. You don’t develop that ability to make plays in your own zone or on the point nearly as fast when you’re at the NHL level playing 10 minutes a night when you’re not in the press box.

Posted by SK77 on 02/06/13 at 08:44 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Furthermore, all of the players you listed? 29 out of 30 teams didn’t pick each and every single one of those. Not saying it wouldn’t have been great to draft Shea Weber or Keith Yandl, but 96.7% of the teams in the NHL also missed on these players.

to add to that, the Wings know more about mining all-star talent out of low draft picks than pretty much any other team.

HockeytownOverhaul, while you may be “tired” of the low draft pick argument, take a look at the list below. These are in order of the current Western Conference standings and list every team’s top 20 pick now on their roster. While obviously all of them aren’t stars, not all were drafted by the team they’re on and some are even kind of comical under the current circumstances (hello Wade Redden), there is still a pretty clear and consistant pattern. Every team currently above is in the standings have more top 20 picks than us other than Nashville. And it’s for this reason Nashville has one of the longest coach/GM tenures in the league. But what’s more, EVERY team above us, including Nashville, has AT LEAST one top 5 pick on their roster and most have two or more. And you can even take it further… the fact is, every single Western Conference team other than the Detroit Red Wings has a top 5 pick on their roster. Every one of them. You can be tired of it, but it’s a fact. 

Chicago

Patrick Kane - 1st overall
Jonathan Toews - 3rd overall
Cam Barker - 3rd overall
Olesz, Rostislav - 7th overall
Michael Frolik - 10th overall
Marian Hossa - 12th overall
Brent Seabrook - 14th overall
Nick Leddy - 16th overall


San Jose -

Joe Thornton - 1st overall
Patrick Marlowe - 2nd overall
Brad Stuart - 3rd overall (aaaawwwww….)
Logan Couture - 9th overall
James Sheppard - 9th overall

Vancouver -

Daniel Sedin - 2nd overall
Henrik Sedin - 3rd overall
Cam Barker - 3rd overall
Roberto Luongo - 4th overall
Manny Malhotra - 7th overall
Keith Ballard - 11th overall
Dan Hamhuis - 12th overall
Chris Higgins - 14th overall
Zack Kassian - 13th overall

Anaheim -

Bobby Ryan - 2nd overall
Bryan Allen - 4th overall
Teemu Salanne - 10th overall
Cam Fowler - 12th overall
Ryan Getzlaf - 19th overall
Luca Sbisa - 19th overall

St. Louis

Wade Redden - 2nd overall
Alex Pietrangelo - 4th overall
Jaden Schwartz - 13th overall
Kevin Shattenkirk - 14th overall
Vladimir Tarasenko - 16th overall
Barret Jackman - 17th overall
Ian Cole - 18th overall
Chris Stewart - 18th overall

Nashville

David Legwand - 2nd overall
Colin Wilson - 7th overall
Ryan Ellis - 11th overall

Edmonton -

Nail Yakupov -1st overall
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - 1st overall
Taylor Hall -1st overall
Ryan Whitney - 5th overall
Sam Gagner - 6th overall
Ryan Smyth - 6th overall
Ladislav Smid - 9th overall
Magnus Paajarvi - 10th overal
Ales Hemsky - 13th overall
Devan Dubnyk - 14th overall

Pheonix

Rostislav Klesla - 4th overall
Raffi Torres - 5th overall
Oliver Ekman-Laarson - 6th overall
Shane Doan - 7th overall
Mikkel Boedker - 8th overall
Derek Morris - 13th overall
Martin Hanzal - 17th overall
Boyd Gordon - 17th overall
Kyle Chipchura - 18th overall
Lauri Korpikoski - 19th overall

Minnesota

Dany Heatley - 2nd overall
Miko Koivu - 6th overall
Ryan Suter - 7th overall
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - 8th overall
Devin Setoguchi - 9th overall
Mikael Granlund - 9th overall
Jonas Brodin - 10th overall
Zach Parise - 17th overall

Detroit

Dan Cleary - 13th overall
Carlo Colaiacovo - 17th overall
Jakub Kindl - 19th overall

 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 10:20 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Fair assessment & good list there, except for this part:

Detroit

Dan Cleary - 13th overall
Carlo Colaiacovo - 17th overall
Jakub Kindl - 19th overall

Ouch.

Posted by SK77 on 02/06/13 at 10:38 PM ET

Avatar

It’s not like there were other top-2 dmen.

There were other, better options than Carlo Colaiacovo.

Posted by Garth on 02/06/13 at 10:56 PM ET

SK77's avatar

It’s not like there were other top-2 dmen.

There were other, better options than Carlo Colaiacovo.

Posted by Garth on 02/06/13 at 10:56 PM ET

Both of those comments are true.

Posted by SK77 on 02/06/13 at 11:12 PM ET

perfection's avatar

perhaps, but weren’t most signed before Suter made his mind up? That was the gamble. Holland knew he would miss out on the next few best dmen if he waited for Suter but they obviously thought they had a good chance and went for it. It sucks, but more often than not Mike Illitch gets his guy. This one really hurt our team. Obviously if Suter had said no early on the 1st or if KH had a good idea he wanted to go home to Minni, he may have approached July 1st quite differently.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 11:15 PM ET

perfection's avatar

hah… i was just looking through that list I compiled and noticed I have Cam Barker listed on both Chicago and Vancouver. Obviously he’s not on Chi anymore. Not sure how I screwed that up? Anyway, premise doesn’t change.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 11:19 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/06/13 at 06:42 PM ET

Maybe I didn’t express myself very good, I beg your pardon, English is my 3rd language.

My definitions:
A gamble is expecting a high reward with the downside of a big loss if you fail to succeed.
A calculated gamble is a lower reward with a lower risk in case of failure.

If Holland believed he took a calculated gamble, he was delusional in my book, because saving cap space for two seasons, while knowing that the backbone of your team is going to hang ‘em up sooner than later, adding the fact that all other teams are getting better by trading with each other and so on. You are going all-in without a safety-net? that’s borderline casino gamble, not a calculated one.

Long story short, Holland gambled for sure. In my opinion it was big time and not calculated. And he knew that and he was doing it in full consciousnesses. Regarding success Holland has failed to deliver since 2009. Don’t get me wrong I’m not calling for his head, I simply hope he will change his approach to fixing the problems at hand. Every team has to deal with the same stuff and other GMs are simply doing a better job.

I also disagree with your pick argument. Let’s take Chicago for example:

Patrick Kane - 1st overall
Jonathan Toews - 3rd overall
Brent Seabrook - 14th overall

Marian Hossa - 12th overall - UFA aquisition, no CHI pick
Olesz, Rostislav - 7th overall - AHL Player, FLA pick
Michael Frolik - 10th overall - FLA pick
Nick Leddy - 16th overall - MIN pick

Can you see the pattern there? CHI was actually able to make trades for good players, or able to sign good players.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 02/07/13 at 02:58 AM ET

perfection's avatar

alright, I’m not trying to overemphasize the importance of this too much, but I find it interesting none the less. Just following up on my list above, I found a minute to glance through every eastern conference team as well and the Detroit Red Wings are literally THE ONLY team in the NHL without a top 5 draft pick on the roster. That obviously is only as of this season seeing we had #3 overall Brad Stuart on our team until now. Again, it’s not that all that big of a deal, but a fun fact none the less.

Joe, you can’t deny that teams with top five picks benefit greatly can you? While I do see the pattern you’re pointing out (which by the way, some of which were gotten by trading their own other low draft picks), do you notice the pattern above that? a 1st, 3rd AND 14th overall draft pick of their own. Our top draft pick of our own on our roster is #19 overall Jakub Kindl, a healthy scratch currently. If the Hawks don’t get Toews and Kane, they don’t win the cup. Period. It’s hard to just trade for guys that make that kind of impact. We’re talking likely hall of famers. The Wings have been producing hall of famers out of late round draft picks for over a decade. We just gotta have some faith that some of these over ripening prospects are going to overachieve like those that came before.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/07/13 at 03:25 AM ET

Avatar

but 96.7% of the teams in the NHL also missed on these players.

So?  I don’t care about what the other 29 teams in the league do.  It’s great to be able to pick someone in the 6th or 7th rounds because your European scouts are (or used to be) ahead of the curve on that talent pool, but what about being able to convert first and second round picks?

That was the gamble.

OK, but where was the calculated part?  Every team that made a pitch for Suter and/or Parise took the same gamble.

The calculated risk would’ve been making a big push for Suter (who filled a need) and forgoing making a pitch for Parise (who would’ve been nice, but not neccesary because we have good offensive players and a handful of AHLers who could be brought up) and if he doesn’t agree you make one last push with an ultimatum, and if he doesn’t sign then you cut bait and go after another one.

And besides, how is “get this one guy or beg a decent, injury-prone to sign a two-year contract hat nobody else was willing to give him” an acceptable plan when you lose three of your top four defensemen over the course of two years?

There’s nothing calculated about offering the big fish a big contract and then hanging on for dear life in hopes that he signs.

Posted by Garth on 02/07/13 at 10:30 AM ET

perfection's avatar

unless of course you have good reason to believe that he will choose your team over those others. that’s what makes the risk calculated in my opinion. it wasn’t blind chance. it wasn’t like we were simply one of 30 teams throwing identical contract offers. the Wings thought they could get him and thought, based on the extremely average pool of other dmen, that it was worth going for. I think they HAD to go for Parise too because it was starting to become obvious they were communicating and likely were going to the same team. Being able to sign both greatly upped our chances of landing them. And of course it was worth the try! So now you have to watch them struggle for part of a season because it didn’t work… boo friggin hoo! I hope Ken Holland goes for it next time too. Whether that’s a blockbuster trade or a big fish UFA. Fact is, we’ve had cap space for years and we lost our longtime #1 dman. This “replace by committee” is a temporary solution. Slight upgrades do nothing long term. They HAD to go balls out for Suter and now that didn’t work, they HAVE to go balls out for the next guy. Unless of course Smith magically matures much quicker than everyone anticipates. Then our need for the big fish decreases. But for now, we have to at least pursue any opportunity to replace Lidstrom with at least something resembling a top-2 NHL Dman. I love how some of you just pretend like that’s easy and only incompetence could fail at achieving that over night. Welcome to the real world, sometimes things don’t work out and you roll with the punches. Not everything is in the team’s control.   

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/07/13 at 11:02 AM ET

Avatar

and while Teemu Pulkkinen’s hands may be NHL-level, his ups and downs with Jokerit Helsinki leave him in the 12th spot on Wuest’s list…

Didn’t you call him a “budding NHL superstar” last summer?  Would be nice, but he’s a long, long way from that moniker.

Posted by jkm2011 on 02/07/13 at 11:54 AM ET

Crater's avatar

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/07/13 at 11:02 AM ET

People are mad that Holland made a move. I think it was 2009(Keeping Mule instead of Hossa) and 10 that they were pissed he didn’t try to make any real big moves.  Some people will be upset regardless of outcome and even more so if the team is loosing.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 02/07/13 at 12:46 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Whoa. Cleary scores.
I still think seeing a #34 in net again is strange.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 02/07/13 at 08:16 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.