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The Tootoo tale takes a twist: Red Wings will keep him in Detroit if he clears waivers?

When Brendan Smith and Jonathan Ericsson return from their respective injuries, Capgeek estimates that the Red Wings have already placed players on the Long-Term Injured Reserve list for enough time that they've cleared the cap overage caused by the team's decision to bring Daniel Cleary back into the fold...

But the team will have 24 players on its roster when Smith and Ericsson are healthy, so it was assumed, and I assumed, that the Red Wings were waiving Jordin Tootoo for the purposes of sending him to Grand Rapids. Mike Babcock certainly intimated as much when he spoke with the media on Wednesday, but the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness suggests that the Wings will keep Tootoo around if he clears waivers--at least for the present moment:

At some point--again, when Smith and Ericsson are healthy--the Wings have to move a body off the roster (and the Free Press's Helene St. James, MLive's Ansar Khan, Pleiness and the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa all noted that Ericsson's LTIR status means that he cannot return until the Wings' November 15th game against Washington).

That player will probably be Tootoo (I believe he can be moved for 10 games or 30 days without being waived again), assuming he's not claimed or traded, and assuming that the team does not waive Patrick Eaves or Mikael Samuelsson (Samuelsson's no-trade clause means that he can submit a list of teams to which he will not accept a trade, and his over-35 status limits or eliminates his cap relief if assigned to the AHL, depending on how you read the CBA, but he *can be waived and demoted without consent*).

Just as importantly, for those of you keeping score at home, that whole having "24 men on the roster" thing means that the Red Wings would have to move two players, not one, to accommodate recalling Gustav Nyquist from "bodies on the team" as well as "cap" perspectives.

Here's what Babcock had to say to the media, per the Free Press's Helene St. James:

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Comments

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I think Holland is going to have to come up with a creative trade if its going to be this hard to move bodies the standard way.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 11/06/13 at 03:36 PM ET

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Love it. Keep delaying and waiting.

But the first day Clearly can sign that extension, 4 years 3.5 mil per. Bam!

Posted by lancer on 11/06/13 at 03:48 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Welcome to the world of the salary cap. Teams with players they don’t have roster/salary space for whom they can’t move. Virtually no trades ( other than for draft picks ) because everybody else is in the exact same position. The only teams with cap space, the usual suspects who won’t spend money,more than happy to be swept along with the rest of the pack hoping to grab a wildcard spot with no intention of Ever competing for the Cup. Teams who do their homework and draft astutely unable to keep teams together for more than a season or two at most.  sick

Posted by Down River Dan on 11/06/13 at 03:54 PM ET

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Welcome to the world of the salary cap.

This isn’t the fault of the salary cap it’s the fault of a GM giving a stupid, stupid contract to someone he shouldn’t have signed at all.

Posted by Garth on 11/06/13 at 03:57 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

This is the world of the salary cap going down from $70.2 to $64.3 million. As the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman noted, there are 20 teams within $2 million of the “upper limit,” and the vast majority of the rest of the teams are at or over their ownership-mandated budgets.

There are no trades right now because no one has any room to make deals unless it’s dollar-in-for-dollar out stuff, and that’s not happening.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/06/13 at 04:04 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

I realize it’s simplistic thinking, but for some reason it just dawned on me how insane it is that the Red Wings cannot call up their best young player because by doing so it would mean that they couldn’t send him down.

In other words, they can’t play Gustav Nyquist because that would mean they can’t NOT play Gustav Nyquist.

In other, other words, they are not playing a player just so they can reserve the right NOT to play him.

Again, I understand it’s more complicated than that, but damn.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/06/13 at 04:05 PM ET

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This is the world of giving out three horrendoustly bad contracts in one off-season.

Posted by Garth on 11/06/13 at 04:10 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Welcome to the world of the salary cap.

exactly. To make matters worse, the cap is so punitiive that the team cannot cut a player that can’t make the team in order to clear cap space or roster spots for players that do make the team. Ridiculous.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 11/06/13 at 04:19 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Nyquist won’t play his first full season in the NHL until he’s 25.

Another crazy thing to think about.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/06/13 at 04:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Nyquist won’t play his first full season in the NHL until he’s 25.

[pulls gun barrel out of mouth]

Rafalski was 26.

[puts gun barrel back in mouth]

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/13 at 05:19 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

  Nyquist won’t play his first full season in the NHL until he’s 25.

[pulls gun barrel out of mouth]

Rafalski was 26.

[puts gun barrel back in mouth]

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/13 at 05:19 PM ET

Rafaski was undrafted and had no NHL prospects until after he played in Europe.

Not telling you to put the gun back in, just sayin’...

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/06/13 at 05:25 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

This is the world of giving out three horrendoustly bad contracts in one off-season.

Posted by Garth on 11/06/13 at 04:10 PM ET

Just think what they would have signed Tootoo, Sammi and Cleary for if the cap hadn’t gone down.

Holland is just stalling until he has a chance to make a move later, at which point he will do nothing

Posted by Hootinani on 11/06/13 at 05:56 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Nyquist won’t play his first full season in the NHL until he’s 25.

Well, he now has seven goals and 15 points in 11 games, so at least he’ll have a chance to win the AHL scoring title this year. I’m sure that means a lot more to Gus than playing in the NHL.  smirk

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/06/13 at 06:47 PM ET

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Who has a need for a player (besides Philadelphia) who decides to take the first five minutes off in the penalty box whenever he’s in the lineup? Certainly not the Griffins.

Posted by AZWinger on 11/06/13 at 06:47 PM ET

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Man, poor Nyquist.

I feel sorry for him in advance because after all the inflation his rep is getting here, when he comes up and fails to impress you’re going to turn on him pretty hard.  Well, maybe not.  Either that or you’re going to blame Babcock and/or Holland for Nyquist not being as good as you thought he was.

I’m fairly sure the guy is Filppula except slower, smaller, without the defense, and a winger rather than a center.  That’s what everyone is in such a rush to get up here and see.  I mean, Nyquist has the potential to be helpful somewhere in the middle six, maybe.  Maybe. There’s so little to his game that appears exceptional it’s not easy to see where he’s going to provide much benefit over other roster options.

It bears noting that in 58 total NHL games he has 6 goals and 12 assists.  It’s not like he pushed everyone out of the way when he’s gotten extended playing time before, you know.  Andersson’s put up 14 points in 59 games and he has absolutely no NHL offensive upside whatsoever.  4 points difference over 58-59 games?

Slow down.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/06/13 at 07:00 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I’m fairly sure the guy is Filppula except slower, smaller, without the defense, and a winger rather than a center.

Spoken like the “instigator” that you see yourself as. And spoken like someone who has seen very little of what Gus can do when given a chance to play with quality linemates.

It bears noting that in 58 total NHL games he has 6 goals and 12 assists.  It’s not like he pushed everyone out of the way when he’s gotten extended playing time before, you know.

Far too many of those 58 games were played on the 4th line, so those stats are virtually meaningless. He led the league in scoring at Maine and is over a point-per-game player in the AHL – both places where he played on the top lines.

One thing I know for an absolute fact is that Gus is a far better player (and scorer) than Cleary.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/06/13 at 07:39 PM ET

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I feel sorry for him

I feel sorry for you.

Posted by Garth on 11/06/13 at 08:11 PM ET

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I’m fairly sure the guy is Filppula except slower, smaller, without the defense, and a winger rather than a center. So you are sure that he isn’t anything like Filppula then. That’s amazing.

There’s so little to his game that appears exceptional it’s not easy to see where he’s going to provide much benefit over other roster options. It’s clear already that you do not watch the games at all - see you last post about Jimmy Howard. So, there is no way anyone could expect that you’ve watched a single GR game.

Andersson’s put up 14 points in 59 games and he has absolutely no NHL offensive upside whatsoever uhmmm, “no NHL offensive upside” would be zero points in 59 games. Try again?

Slow down. Is that what Sammy asks you to do? How is Sammy’s “shot”? Does he get it through your “5 hole”?

Far too many of those 58 games were played on the 4th line, Watch out! hihd will be giving you some cooked up stats about how Sammy’s goal percentage while playing on the forth line is astronomical.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/06/13 at 08:14 PM ET

Crater's avatar

...and a winger rather than a center. 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/06/13 at 07:00 PM ET

Heh, so you think he IS Filppula.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 11/06/13 at 11:48 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

We don’t need Toots. We have Abdelkader to fight all the time and plenty of good pest like Holmstrom, Maltby and D-Mac still, oh wait no we don’t.
Philly will probably claim Toots and hope they do or someone else does because he’s rotting here on our team sadly underused.
Kenny forgets a team needs grit to win the SC instead of roster full of skilled guys that come playoff time will get crushed.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 11/07/13 at 08:05 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I feel sorry for him in advance because after all the inflation his rep is getting here, when he comes up and fails to impress you’re going to turn on him pretty hard.  Well, maybe not.  Either that or you’re going to blame Babcock and/or Holland for Nyquist not being as good as you thought he was.

I’m fairly sure the guy is Filppula except slower, smaller, without the defense, and a winger rather than a center.  That’s what everyone is in such a rush to get up here and see.  I mean, Nyquist has the potential to be helpful somewhere in the middle six, maybe.  Maybe. There’s so little to his game that appears exceptional it’s not easy to see where he’s going to provide much benefit over other roster options.

It bears noting that in 58 total NHL games he has 6 goals and 12 assists.  It’s not like he pushed everyone out of the way when he’s gotten extended playing time before, you know.  Andersson’s put up 14 points in 59 games and he has absolutely no NHL offensive upside whatsoever.  4 points difference over 58-59 games?

Slow down.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/06/13 at 07:00 PM ET

I was with you on the first paragraph. Most fans are really overvaluing what Nyquist is truly likely to be. We can’t help ourselves given the success stories of Pav and Z, and even lesser lights like Franzen and Hudler. We have a warped sense of what a smallish but highly skilled European forward should be as an NHL player.

I gotta say though, in the second paragraph, I think you fell off your rocker. I think it’s clear as day that Gus is a much faster skater than Filppula ever was. It’s also clear that he has a much better sense for when to shoot the puck and how to score goals. That said, there’s no doubt Filppula, from day one, showed superior overall vision than what little we’ve seen from Gus, and that vision makes him a better passer and truly a top-tier defensive center.

All that said, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect Nyquist to be a more consistent scorer than Filppula once he gets a full season under his belt and learns from guys like Pav and Z how to be strong on the puck in spite of his smaller frame. I kind of look at Nyquist as likely to be a hybrid of Filppula and Hudler—not as good on D as Flip, but much more consistent at scoring, and not as natural of a shooter as Huds, but a much better skater with more willingness to go anywhere on the ice to get it done.

You’re certainly right that his NHL numbers aren’t anything special, but we have to take those with a grain of salt given how Babcock used him last season. If you put the stat sheet away for a moment and use the old eyeball test on Gus from the middle of last season through the end of the playoffs, there’s a whole lot to be excited about. And if you take the stat sheet back out, it all comes back to SSS—small sample size.

It isn’t easy to score at the top of the AHL like he has, and it isn’t easy to be dominant in the NCAA either. One thing in his corner for projecting well as a top six scorer in the NHL is that while his development has been somewhat slow, it has also been steady—each step Gus has taken, he’s grown into the game and come to dominate it. I don’t expect domination at the NHL level (who can really dominate any given NHL game on any night? Crosby and Pav?), but I don’t think using his speed to ride shotgun with a Pav, Z, or even Weiss to pot 30 goals a season or two from now is unrealistic at all.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/07/13 at 08:56 AM ET

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Kenny forgets a team needs grit to win the SC instead of roster full of skilled guys that come playoff time will get crushed.

Good point.  Keeping Tootoo ensures the Wings of a Stanley Cup.

Most fans are really overvaluing what Nyquist is truly likely to be.

Bull.  Most fans want to see him in a Red Wings jersey.  Period.  We saw him for half the season last year and we know he isn’t Pavel Datsyuk, just that he’s a solid player who deserves not to get shafted like he currently is.  We all know that when he does make it to the Wings he’ll be on the third or fourth line to start.

He led the Griffins in scoring last year and was 13th in the AHL despite only playing 58 games.  He was a part of the Griffins best line in the playoffs.  He has earned a shot, he should be in the NHL so that he can further his development.  That’s what people want.  That is all that people want.

Nobody expected that he was going to win the Calder Trophy this year (that was the pressure on Tatar), we just want him to play in his rightful spot on the Red Wings roster.

Anyone pretending that isn’t what most people think is simply being disingenuous.

Posted by Garth on 11/07/13 at 09:05 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

We all know that when he does make it to the Wings he’ll be on the third or fourth line to start.

If Babcock is even thinking about using Gus on the fourth line, he might as well leave him in GR. But I wouldn’t mind, at all, seeing him on the third line with Andy and Tatar. They tore it up as a unit in the Calder Cup series, and they obviously have some “chemistry” with one another.

However, once Helm has his stamina back, I’d like to see him take Andy’s role on the third line – at least for a few games to see how it goes. If they can work together as a unit, I would think that would be a truly scary line for the opposition to play against.

But as Garth says, we just want to see the kid get a chance to play. It has to work out better than the “Cleary experiment” has (16 games, 1 goal,  2 assists, and 3 points).

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/07/13 at 11:41 AM ET

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Spoken like the “instigator” that you see yourself as. And spoken like someone who has seen very little of what Gus can do when given a chance to play with quality linemates

It’s not instigation, it’s evaluation.  Fil put up a smidge less than a point per game as a 21-22 year old literally off the boat from Finland.

Nyquist puts up a smidge over a point per game at ages 23 and 24, and was in the USA far longer.

I see you’re already padding the excuse bus for Gus with the ‘quality linemates’ line, too.

When Nyquist comes up he’s going to be playing in the middle 6 (at best)  That means he’s not gong to be getting a bunch of D and Z time until he produces.

He led the league in scoring at Maine

... and slipped all the way to the end of the 4th round.

One thing I know for an absolute fact is that Gus is a far better player (and scorer) than Cleary.

Scorer, maybe.  Player, doubtful.  Cleary’s at least a above average NHL defensive forward.  Nyquist hasn’t even demonstrated that level of defensive ability at the AHL level, much less he NHL.

I think it’s clear as day that Gus is a much faster skater than Filppula ever was. It’s also clear that he has a much better sense for when to shoot the puck and how to score goals.

And Jiri Fischer won a fastest Wing lap contest, too.  The thing with Nyquist is that while he may or may not be straight line faster than Fil was, he’s so small he has to skate farther to get o the spot since he can’t absorb contact without losing pace.

You’re certainly right that his NHL numbers aren’t anything special, but we have to take those with a grain of salt given how Babcock used him last season.

That’s why I pointed out Andersson. as a comparable.

It isn’t easy to score at the top of the AHL like he has, and it isn’t easy to be dominant in the NCAA either. One thing in his corner for projecting well as a top six scorer in the NHL is that while his development has been somewhat slow, it has also been steady—each step Gus has taken, he’s grown into the game and come to dominate it. I don’t expect domination at the NHL level (who can really dominate any given NHL game on any night? Crosby and Pav?), but I don’t think using his speed to ride shotgun with a Pav, Z, or even Weiss to pot 30 goals a season or two from now is unrealistic at all.

But that’s the problem, Nathan: there are only so many seats next to Pav and/or Z. Sure, if you put Nyquist (or Tatar, or Jurco or Pulkinnen or Frk or maybe even Ferraro) on a line with Z and/or Pav they’ll likely be pretty productive.  The thing fans ought to be thinking about is whether or not any, many most or all of those prospects can be effective NHL point producers either on their own or with less than elite linemates. That’s the indication whether or not a kid will have a long career as a Wing.

Like I said, I think these expectations of Nyquist you guys are brewing are going to come back and generate anger when they aren’t met.  I mean, 30 goals?  Detroit hasn’t had a 30 goal scorer in a season since they had 4 back in 2008-9, and since 2004 the only people other than D or Z to do it were Hossa, Franzen, Shanny and Homer, each once.. and you think it’s not unrealistic for Nyquist to step off a bleeping bus and do it? 

If he comes up and scores 15-18 you should all poop your pants from sheer exhilaration.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/07/13 at 01:20 PM ET

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he’s so small he has to skate farther to get o the spot Ha Ha Ha. General trigonometry says you are wrong, wrong wrong.

You are incredibly funny though. I haven’t last this hard in quite a while….since your last post.

The thing fans ought to be thinking about is whether or not any, many most or all of those prospects can be effective NHL point producers

Uhm, this is exactly the thing that you complain most about people’s posts. Why are you so contradictory?

That’s the indication whether or not a kid will have a long career as a Wing.

That’s the indication that anyone will be successful at anything. Wow, could you be more of a generalist?

Detroit hasn’t had a 30 goal scorer in a season since they had 4 back in 2008-9

Not many other teams have either - 30 plus goal scores has been declining since that season, what’s your point? I guess if Sammy would get playing time or hadn’t been injured last season he would already have 30 goals now and had 30 plus goals last year, right? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

If he comes up and scores 15-18 you should all poop your pants from sheer exhilaration. If he scores 30 in a season or two I’ll poop in my underwear and you eat it, okay? Unless that turns you on.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/07/13 at 02:16 PM ET

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and use the old eyeball test on Gus

Nathan, hihd is incapable of watching players. hihd just sits on conjecture and modified stats to make points.

I remember a game against Chicago when Nyquist had the puck behind the net for several seconds while the entire Hawk defense was searching around for it in their feet. That’s something I’ve only SEEN Datysuk, Wayne and Stevie do.

small sample size

Yet hihd still loves him some Sammy.

who can really dominate any given NHL game on any night? Crosby and Pav?

Not even every game for those two. I do bet that if Sammy had a shot, he’d probably dominate every game. He’s the awesomest.

We saw him for half the season last year and we know he isn’t Pavel Datsyuk

Apparently, he is Filpulla.

Nobody expected that he was going to win the Calder Trophy this year

Of course not, Sammy will.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/07/13 at 02:34 PM ET

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If Babcock is even thinking about using Gus on the fourth line, he might as well leave him in GR.

I only said third or fourth because some people got so offended when I suggested that Andersson would be the third line centre and Helm would be fourth.  Theoretically, when Helm is back in stride and if/when Nyquist finally gets recalled the Wings should have a 3a and 3b rather than true third and fourth lines.

Posted by Garth on 11/07/13 at 03:27 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Theoretically, when Helm is back in stride and if/when Nyquist finally gets recalled the Wings should have a 3a and 3b rather than true third and fourth lines.

Agreed. And whichever lines Helm and Andy center, having Tatar-Nyquist and/or Miller/Eaves/Cleary as their wings, it will definitely cause other teams some major match-up problems.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/07/13 at 04:09 PM ET

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General trigonometry says you are wrong, wrong wrong.

You don’t understand my point.

Uhm, this is exactly the thing that you complain most about people’s posts. Why are you so contradictory?

I don’t think you know what ‘contradictory’ means.

Not many other teams have either - 30 plus goal scores has been declining since that season, what’s your point?

That expecting it of Nyqust is poor expectation setting, obviously.  That’s why I said “Detroit hasn’t had a 30 goal scorer in a season since they had 4 back in 2008-9, and since 2004 the only people other than D or Z to do it were Hossa, Franzen, Shanny and Homer, each once.. and you think it’s not unrealistic for Nyquist to step off a bleeping bus and do it? “

I wasn’t aware the point was swathed in mystery.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/08/13 at 06:12 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.