The Malik Report
by Paul on 11/05/13 at 03:29 PM ET
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
“If you wanted to use him with ‘Pav’ and ‘Z,’ he’d have no problem fitting in,” Holland says. “But he also can play on our third and fourth lines because he does a great job managing the puck and he plays hard.
“We like him a lot. We think he’s going to be a real good pro.”
A sliver of that is likely based on Tatar’s recent production—two goals and three points during a four-game swing through western Canada—but it’s mostly rooted in the 265 games he spent marinating with the Wings’ farm team from age 19. Detroit’s unwavering insistence on bringing players along slowly is an organizational ethic built on necessity. The Wings famously haven’t missed the playoffs since the 1989-90 campaign, winning four championships along the way. They also haven’t drafted higher than 19th overall during that entire span and their only top-10 pick in that time came in 1991, when they nabbed Martin Lapointe after nine teams had selected.
“Where we pick in the draft, we don’t get those players who are ready to come out of junior,” Holland said. “The players we pick, we think can develop into NHL players, but there’s a reason they go deeper in the draft.”
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