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The Malik Report

Things get complicated as Chris Osgood, Kris Draper want to remain with Red Wings

Updated 6x with video at 8 PM: The Red Wings’ organizational meetings on June 15th and 16th may determine whether Chris Osgood and Kris Draper have to play hockey somewhere other than Detroit if they wish to continue their careers. Wings GM Ken Holland has already stated that he’s not sure whether the team should bring back Osgood, and today, the Detroit Free Press’s Paula Pasche fired off several Twitter posts which suggest that the team faces quite a conundrum regarding keeping Draper at the expense of Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller and/or Jan Mursak:

Kris Draper at #Lions said Holland would sign him if he saw today’s workout. Expects to know in 7-10 days if he’ll rturn next season.
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Kris Draper at #Lions said won’t sign 2-way contract like Maltby did. Wants to play another year w/ #Wings.

As the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan suggests via an email-answering column, the Wings are in a bit of a pickle:

1)Yes, James, I do believe these negotiations with Chris Osgood will be a bit tricky. Ozzie is a long-time Red Wing who is a part of three Stanley Cup victories. He is a Red Wing through and through. You just don’t discard a guy like this, and what he’s done for the organization. But are there younger, better options on the free agent market? Could be. But maybe not. It’ll be fascinating to watch.

Assuming that Nicklas Lidstrom decides to continue his career, at this point, it appears that , via The Fourth Period and the Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey, James Wisniewski might be the most likely candidate to join the unrestricted free agent market and be courted by the Wings, perhaps this side of Joni Pitkanen, as the Canucks would obviously prefer to retain Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff if at all possible.

If Jonathan Ericsson chooses to test the open market, however, Kulfan does not believe that the Wings would ask Ruslan Salei to reprise his role as a third-pair defenseman:

3) No, winger14, I don’t see Ruslan Salei returning. You can do just as well, or better, on the free agent market. And it sounded as Salei wants to find a team closer to his family in southern California. That particular situation just didn’t work, working here and the family living thousands of miles away. I wouldn’t mind seeing Jakub Kindl getting more minutes in that spot.

There’s a long list of stay-at-home unrestricted free agents-to-be out there, so in that sense, the pool of free agents is actually deep, and as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon suggested in a column discussing Ty Conklin’s future and other points of Blues-related interest, the goaltending pool is relatively deep, with Brian Boucher, Johan Hedberg, Mike Smith, Marty Turco, Conklin and Alex Auld likely to hit the market—though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wings simply offer their back-up’s position to Joey MacDonald and let Jordan Pearce and Thomas McCollum “sink or swim” with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Also of Wings-related note this afternoon:

• If you missed it, the Sergei Fedorov Foundation did something very cool:

At the age of 9, Nick Torrance was diagnosed with a rare and devastating form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne.  This muscle deteriorating disease progressively weakens its victims for the rest of their lives.  There is no cure. 

At the age of 16, Nick is now confined to a wheelchair, requiring constant help with every facet of his life, including eating, grooming and all personal care.  While Nick sleeps, his family must physically turn him over every thirty minutes, because he doesn’t have the strength to move himself.  The nightly ritual is physically and mentally exhausting to his caring family as well as Nick himself. 

The solution was found in a bed that repositions its users automatically or by voice control. The Freedom Bed was developed by Vancouver, British Columbia’s ProBed Medical Technologies, Inc.  The only problem was the bed costs over $30,000 and Nick’s health insurance denied the claim. 

For months, the Torrance family has tried to raise the funds to pay for the bed, but only collected $5,000 in donations thus far.  The Sergei Fedorov Foundation, a charity established by Sergei Fedorov that assists children in need worldwide, heard of Nick’s plight and sought to offer assistance.

According to Marc Beginin, attorney and director of the Foundation, “While Nick’s case was compelling, the price tag was out of reach, but together with ProBed we worked it out.”  Beginin called ProBed and, at the Foundation’s request, ProBed waived half the payment with the Foundation picking up the rest of the tab. 

“Being hockey fans ourselves, and working with many clients with muscular dystrophy, we were very excited to work with Sergei Fedorov’s charity and to help out Nick and his family,” said Stephen Plummer, president of ProBed. 

Today, The Sergei Fedorov Foundation will present a $10,000 check on Nick Torrance’s behalf for the bed.  With the payments already made by the family and ProBed’s generous donation, the bed will be bought and paid for.

• Oh dear, Stan Fischler actually praised the Red Wings today…

he Red Wings were named the league’s “Best Franchise” by The Hockey News. That Detroit has managed to stay on top of the league through difficult economic times in the Motor City is a testament to how well the organization is run.

“Last season,” says THN’s Ken Campbell, “we decided not to run anything on the Red Wings simply because we didn’t want to continuously pat them on the back. But the numbers don’t lie.”

• i won’t post it, but you can check out the Medicine Hat Tigers’ website to see a picture of Jim Nill as a strapping 18-year-old with no facial hair in a re-posting of the Hockey News’s Mark Malinowski’s Nill profile;

• And it’s reader survey day here at TMR regarding potential “player grades” and other content you’d like to see as I attempt to raise the rest of the $ I need to head to Traverse City for the Wings’ summer prospect camp from July 7-14.

Update: Here’s a Draper report from the Free Press’s Dave Birkett...

Detroit Red Wings forward Kris Draper, a regular workout partner of Lions linemen Dominic Raiola, Stephen Peterman and Rob Sims, showed up at the football team’s player-organized workout today at Birmingham Detroit Country Day.

He went through a heavy-rope and kettle-bell circuit, and at the end of the session, he even donned a Lions jersey and caught a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Draper said a final decision on his future is seven to 10 days away. He wants to play another season and already has met with Wings general manager Ken Holland twice. In one meeting, Holland raised the possibility of Draper taking another position with the team, but Draper said he cut short that talk until he decides about his on-ice future.

“I’ve played out a lot of different scenarios in my mind, to be honest with you,” he said. “For me to go and play hockey somewhere else for a year would be pretty selfish on my part. I know that my wife and my family would support anything that I do moving forward. You ask my 9-year-old son, there’s no way he thinks his dad’s finished playing hockey. So it’ll be a tough decision, no doubt.

“I love this organization, I want to play here. I told Kenny Holland that. I’ve been here so long, so it would—I guess you never say never in professional sports, but I couldn’t see myself playing for another team and wearing another team’s colors. To me, it just wouldn’t be right.”

And here’s the Detroit News’s Chris McCosky’s take:

“I just turned 40 (on May 24) and I felt great this past year, I really did,” he said. “That’s why I feel I can still play. That’s why I have been training as hard as I have been. I feel really good. I want to play. I think I can play. But I need Kenny Holland to believe in me.”

Draper, who has already met twice with Holland, the Wings general manager, expects to know his fate in seven to 10 days. One way or another, he said, he plans to be part of the organization — if not on the roster, then in some kind of front-office capacity. The one thing he won’t do is go through what his longtime teammate and friend Kirk Maltby went through last year. Holland offered Maltby a two-way contract and essentially told him he’d have to win a job in training camp. Maltby subsequently retired and worked as a scout last season.

“With what Malts went through last year, I said to myself, ‘I’m not doing that,’” Draper said. “It was tough for me to watch a good friend, a great hockey player and a great teammate go through something like that. To me, my decision will be made long before training camp starts.”
..
“I have played out a lot of different scenarios in my mind,” Draper said. “To be honest, for me to play hockey somewhere else for a year would be pretty selfish. I know my wife and my family would support anything I do, but I know that if you ask my 9-year-old son, there’s no way he thinks his dad is finished playing NHL hockey. But it would be a tough decision. I love this organization and I want to play here. I told Kenny that. You never say never, but I don’t see myself wearing another team’s colors. It wouldn’t be right.”

Draper said Holland has brought up the idea of him staying in the organization in some capacity after he retires.

“But I always just cut him off,” Draper said. “Right now I still want to play hockey. If I am not going to be given a contract then we can talk about what my future holds.”

Update #2: Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, here’s some ratings talk…

According to Nielsen, the company famous for supplying television ratings, this season, the Detroit Red Wings suited up two of the top players in the National Hockey League in terms of public awareness, according to the Nielsen Sports/E-pool N-Scores, which evaluates name, image awareness, appeal and attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence, all designed to determine a player’s endorsement potential.

Topping the list among current players was Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who posed an N-score of 26. Surprisingly, Red Wings centre Mike Modano (20) rated second, followed by Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (16). Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom tied with Chicago captain Jonathan Toews for fourth overall, each with an N-score of 14.

Among retired players, Wayne Gretzky was the runaway leader with an astonishing N-score of 203. Next was Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, who scored a 45. Former Wings captain and current Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman polled sixth (20) and ex-Wing and former Windsor Spitfires captain Adam Graves came home 10th overall with an N-score of seven.

And the full text of Tim Thomas’s complimentary comments regarding Tomas Holmstrom:

Talking about net-front presence, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas offered an interesting assessment of the work of Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom, comparing him to Neo, the character portrayed by Canadian actor (and former goalie) Keanu Reeves in the film trilogy The Matrix. “Tomas Holmstrom, he’s very good at actually getting out of the way of the puck,” Thomas said. “He gets right in that lane. If you watch him, he’s like the guy in Matrix. If it’s a high shot, he rolls out of the way. That’s one of the talents that he has, is getting out of the way. That’s what makes him so good. And he’s willing to just stand there and take any punishment whatsoever that you’re willing to dish out.”

Update #3: Draper also spoke to the Associated Press, via RedWingsFeed on Twitter….

“No decision has been made,” Holland wrote in a text message Wednesday from the NHL general managers meeting.

Hernia surgery led to Draper playing just 47 games last season—the final year of his three-year contract—and he scored six goals and had 11 assists.

If Holland doesn’t offer Draper a contract to return as a player, he probably won’t look to play elsewhere because that would be a burden on his wife and kids, who have developed roots in the Detroit area.

“I have played out a lot of different scenarios in my mind,” Draper said. “To be honest with you, for me to play hockey somewhere else for a year would be pretty selfish on my part. ... But it would be a tough decision. I love this organization and I want to play here. I told Kenny Holland that. I’ve been here so long. You never say never, but I don’t see myself wearing another team’s colours. It wouldn’t be right.”

And WXYT’s Jeff Riger took note of Draper’s comments:

“I just turned 40 a couple weeks ago and I have felt great this year, that’s why I feel I can still play.” Draper was asked if the Wings did not want him back would he consider playing for another team and the forward all but said no. “For me to go play hockey somewhere else would be pretty selfish on my part” said Draper.

“I guess you never say never in professional sports but I couldn’t see myself playing for another team and wearing another teams colors, for me it just would not be right” Draper continued.

The longtime Wing expects to know his future for certain in the next 7 to 10 days and admitted that he has talked to General Manager Ken Holland a couple of times and has made it clear that he would love to return to Hockey Town for at least one more season. In the meantime, while Draper waits on his long term future, his short term future was catching a pass from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Draper threw on his number 33 Lions jersey and ran a single route where he corralled a tight Stafford spiral.

Draper also made his feelings clear on the NFL lockout clear saying “I couldn’t even imagine not playing hockey and then to not even have my NFL Sundays, I mean, my wife wouldn’t like me one bit. I need both those things to get resolved real fast.”

 

Update #4: Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji sums things up perfectly:

“I hope to know within a week to 10 days on what’s going to come about with my future,” Draper said. “If Kenny (Holland, Wings vice president and general manager) could have seen me working out here, I think he would have made his decision right away. I think they wanted you guys out (media asked to leave during football drills). I wanted you guys to stay, I’ll be honest with you. I wanted Kenny to see exactly what I was doing.”
...
“To be honest with you, for me to go and play hockey somewhere else for a year would be pretty selfish on my part,” Draper said. “I know that my wife and my family would support anything that I do moving forward. You ask my 9-year-old son, there’s no way he thinks his dad is finished playing hockey. It’ll be a tough decision, no doubt. I love this organization. I want to play here.”

Draper said watching what happened with good friend Kirk Maltby last season was a wake-up call for him. He doesn’t want to have to decide whether to go to Grand Rapids, the Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate, or retire, as Maltby chose to do.

“With what Malts went through last year, I said to myself, ‘I’m not doing that,’” Draper said. “It was tough for me to watch a good friend, a great hockey player and a great teammate go through something like that. And to me, my decision will be made long before training camp starts.”

Draper is a realist. He knows the Wings have several young forwards—Jan Mursak, Cory Emmerton and Tomas Tatar among them—who will be pushing to make the team. If Holland tells Draper the Wings don’t have a spot for him, Draper won’t be at all bitter.

“When I got traded here for a dollar, if somebody said that you’d win four Stanley Cups, you’d play over 1,000 games as a Detroit Red Wing, come on,” Draper said. “So I know that this game’s been really good to me. So now we’ll wait and see. I want to continue to play. I feel I can continue to play. I’ve had little self talks with myself to prepare for what can happen. Honestly, I’ll accept either way this goes out.”

Update #5: Fox 2’s Woody Woodriffe took note of Draper’s presence at the Lions’ players’ unofficial workout:

It’s usually tough times that reveal the true character of a person and that view is evident in the Detroit sports community. How else to explain seeing athletes where they’re not usually seen?? Case in point, Kris Draper. Draper was at Detroit Country Day for the Detroit Lions player workout, where he took his turns going thru the reps that the football guys were doing. Now let’s be clear, Draper is trying to avoid a “forced” retirement from the Red Wings and the only way to do that is to be in shape and ready for next year, so it benefits him to be in front of a little positive publicity- but Draper is the kind of guy that would show up anyhow…. and that’s the point—many Detroit athletes will show up at other sporting events not only to enjoy the games, but to show support for other players too- and that mindset has created a “brotherhood” that I’ve seen get closer and closer during my time in this town.

I think it’s also allowed for players to see what other players are dealing with on the business side of sports. Draper went through a lockout with the NHL, and he’s a great sound board for those who might have a question or a concern that would be embarassing to take to union leadership. There’s also a “city comraderie” that’s being built up, and I like the idea that guys like Matthew Stafford might hang out with Ben Gordon or that Justin Verlander could be close friends with Henrik Zetterberg… The idea that the Detroit sports world is a close knit one where guys will support each other- is a great scenario, and just serves to bring the city closer together.

• For the record, the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau named Paul MacLean the tenth-best Jet ever;

• WDIV took note of the Sergei Fedorov Foundation’s attempt to help a young man suffering from Duchene’s Disease;

• And to finish on a more positive note, via the Associated Press:

Leopard print patterns may not dance around the Detroit Renaissance Center’s towers, but city officials are looking into revamping a zoning ordinance to allow tiger stripes and local sports logos to shimmy and shimmer atop the downtown building.

Detroit City Council Planner Gregory Moots says the Planning Commission and RenCen’s property manager are looking at amending the city code so that themed, multi-colored bands can join the recently added solid rings of green, blue and red.

General Motors Co. owns the towers, which also serve as its world headquarters.

Moots says GM wants to use the display and huge electronic signs to highlight city events. Logos of the Detroit Tigers baseball team and hockey’s Detroit Red Wings have been featured but aren’t part of the zoning agreement with the city.

Update #6: From WXYZ’s story about Draper (nice throwback jersey):

Update 6.5: The Fedorov story has an accompanying video now, via RedWingsFeed again.

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Comments

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Osgood back? Babcock is going to pull his hair out! And if he doesn’t, I will! As for Draper…listen, if we can sign Eaves and Miller and that somehow we have money left and IF Drapes takes a pay cut, then yes..

Posted by Meg on 06/08/11 at 02:53 PM ET

Jordan_NOHS's avatar

I’d love to see the Wings go after Josh Harding or Alex Auld. They are both still young and both have the potential to push Howard. I am 100% against giving McDonald the backup spot. If Osgood comes back healthy and at 500k then im in.

Posted by Jordan_NOHS from Detroit, MI on 06/08/11 at 03:37 PM ET

Michiru Kaioh's avatar

To be honest, I’d much sooner bring back Ozzie than Drapes at this point. We aren’t overflowing with internal options to replace him, and between his relationship with Jimmy and his experience, I doubt the Wings would find anyone more productive for the cap hit you’ll get him at.

This is all of course, assuming that he’s healthy. But I thought Ozzie was really playing well this year when he was on the ice…he was amazing against Colorado for his 400th, which was sadly the last game he played.

Draper on the other hand, especially if he won’t accept a 2-way contract, would be taking up a roster spot that a younger player might well earn and deserve while positioning us better for the future. I’m not saying I’d stiff him, but since we have skaters that might be better options and no goalies ready to bring, I’d sooner sign Ozzie than Drapes.

Posted by Michiru Kaioh on 06/08/11 at 03:43 PM ET

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The whole Osgood thing seems like a simple situation to me.  If he is healthy enough to play, there is simply no better option as a backup.  He will come back for at or near league minimum, he gets along with everyone on the team, he knows the system, and he seems to at least be a significant mentor to young James.

I understand the health issue is a big what if, but the gamble is probably worth it if it appears that he is ready to go at the start of the season.  Worst case scenario is that he re-injures himself, and they have to bring in some other cheap backup.  JoeyMac, anyone?  Howard is young, he can handle the few extra games, and clearly the strain of a long regular season isn’t too taxing on the young man (as this year’s playoffs seemed to prove). 

It is nothing but upside if Ozzie stays healthy.  He can play, he can win (I thought he was starting to turn the season around right before his injury this year), and he knows the way the guys in front of him play.

If, heaven forbid, Howie gets injured, that is a risk you’ll take on any backup goaltender.  Would you rather have a 600k unknown taking the reigns, or a 600k Ozzie?

Sure, maybe they both get injured.  Then you can make the case that a younger backup would have been a better option than Osgood.  The fact of the matter is, though, if Jimmy is hurt, then our goaltending situation is up in the air no matter who is in there, whether it be Ozzie or unknown backup #1.  If Ozzie’s injured, then you’ve got GR kid #1 or unknown backup #1.

Seems like a wash.  Take the chance on Ozzie.  My $0.02

Posted by Ha Hockey on 06/08/11 at 03:46 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Osgood back? Babcock is going to pull his hair out! And if he doesn’t, I will! As for Draper…listen, if we can sign Eaves and Miller and that somehow we have money left and IF Drapes takes a pay cut, then yes..

Posted by Meg on 06/08/11 at 01:53 PM ET

Meg, this is exactly what I was going to say!  All I’ll add is that I want Mursak too.  Really, it is time to get some of these young guys on the team.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/08/11 at 04:35 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

I gotta wonder if and when all this turnover happens, what Lidstrom is gonna do. There are many reasons to his wait and see approach.

Posted by TheFreak on 06/08/11 at 05:24 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Man, I freakin’ love that generic Chuck Norris.  He’s got fire.  Anyways it ends up I’m ok with.  If I see him back I’m not going to be mad, he swayed me with his comments today.

As for the back-up position, I have this to say about it being a lock they bring back Joey Mac.  If Howie goes down, what do we have?  I like the guy but I would be devistated if we had to play with his known quantity for any duration of the season so by signing him and shoeing him in as back-up we’re saying, Jimmy, you can’t get hurt.

Conklin on the other hand, has been in those positions before and flourished.  He’s been a Wing before and got along GREAT with the team and gave us a chance to win everynight he played give or take a game or two.

Healthy Ozzie backed up the Wings to their most recent Stanley Cup,  Dwayne Roloson is 41 and Tim Thomas is an old man too.  Ozzie is the best option but only if he’s really healthy and only if he really wants to come back.

But, short of signing ozzy, I’m 100% for Conklin provided he doesn’t want a big payout.  If his cost is reasonable I think it’s the best choice.


And for the record, Salei has said he’d be open to another season with the Wings, but if he did, he’d move his family here to Michigan, last year was rough.  His words.  If they don’t bring back Ericsson then I’m fine with keeping Salei and giving Kindl the minutes and letting Smith get his chops wet here and there

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/08/11 at 05:24 PM ET

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RE: Osgood, the question is his health and I don’t think anyone will really know how his body is going to react until he starts playing at training camp. Offer him a two-way deal like Maltby; if he’s healthy he makes the team, if not he can a) retire or b) mentor the young’uns in GR. The same with MacDonald.

RE: Draper; we’re still short on centers, especially during the penalty kill (and no, I don’t count Filppula…) Sign him and figure out someplace that will take Hudler off our hands…maybe Florida for a 3rd or 4th round draft pick?

And I think I read somewhere that we should sign Wisniewski…
http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/tmr/comments/red_wings_confirm_that_brian_rafalskis_retiring/

smile

Posted by AZWinger on 06/08/11 at 06:26 PM ET

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Healthy Ozzie backed up the Wings to their most recent Stanley Cup,

Healthy Ozzie won the Wings their most recent Stanley Cup in 2008 getting two shutouts in games one and two. He could have easily been the Conn Smythe winner. I’m not going to back and check all the records, but I’m pretty sure all the other goalies with 2 shutouts in a single SCF series won the Conn Smythe. Not to take anything away from Z, but he won it for a single 5 on 3 PK shift.

Posted by Plymouth Rocks from Toronto in the HHOF waiting for Ozzie on 06/08/11 at 08:08 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I hear ya PM

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/08/11 at 09:10 PM ET

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If he is healthy enough to play, there is simply no better option as a backup.  He will come back for at or near league minimum, he gets along with everyone on the team, he knows the system, and he seems to at least be a significant mentor to young James.

No better option?  Having watched his play over the past two years I might argue that there’s no WORSE option.  He’s been AWFUL.


Healthy Ozzie won the Wings their most recent Stanley Cup in 2008 and a healthy Ozzie subsequently lost the starting job in two consecutive seasons.

If Howie goes down, what do we have?

Why is this a question mark regarding Joey Mac but not a question mark regarding Ozzie?  Joey was a better backup this year than Ozzie has been, and I’m not even in favour of bringing Joey back.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to want a season, consistent, reliable back-up for once in Jmmy’s short career.

Ozzie wants back?  Give him a coaches jacket with his name embroidered on his sleeve.

And as for Drapes, I love him and if either Miller or Eaves can’t be re-signed, then I can justify signing him.

But he’s not willing to take a two-way deal?  Sorry then, enjoy your retirement.  I’d suggest a training camp invite, but even if he can still compete (and I think he probably can), I don’t want the brass to choose him over Mursak or Emmerton, because as much as Holland isn’t willing to mortgage his future by trading picks he sure doesn’t have a problem letting young talent go…

Posted by Garth on 06/08/11 at 09:41 PM ET

thethirdcoast's avatar

I was going to say something, but Garth pretty much nailed most of my sentiments.

Recent trends regarding Ozzie’s health are simply not encouraging, particularly in light of the fact that his recent injuries have affected key portions of a goalie’s anatomy. At his age that is going to lower the ceiling on the peak of his physical abilities that have already seemed to be in decline.

As for Drapes, he has far less upside than the guys we would lose to retain him for a year. Invite him to camp to compete for a spot, but that’s all. The coaches should pass if he can’t bury the younger guys by a clear margin.

I would prefer that the Wings take a chance on some of the younger guys and see if they can find a place on the bottom two lines this season. If it doesn’t work out halfway into the season, rentals are always available for the playoffs.

I also find Draper’s lobbying in the media a little unseemly. 4 SC rings and he wants to hang on for another year and ask the organization to put the future on hold? Come on. If Draper hadn’t landed in Detroit he’d be lucky to have scored one SC ring in TB or Carolina.

Posted by thethirdcoast from Algiers, DZ on 06/08/11 at 09:57 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Meg, this is exactly what I was going to say!  All I’ll add is that I want Mursak too.  Really, it is time to get some of these young guys on the team.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, wishin’ I was back in the Mitten on 06/08/11 at 03:35 PM ET

Well that’s the rub.  We can’t fit all of Eaves Miller Draper AND Mursak.  Mursak impressed pretty well I think, and not to mention Cory Emmerton on the bubble with Mursak.

Draper is such a gamer and great locker room guy, but do you bring him back for one year and lose Miller and or Mursak and or Emmerton?

.... one of the sucky decisions, but as someone else said, we’re deeper there than at goal, good for Osgood.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/08/11 at 10:08 PM ET

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.... one of the sucky decisions, but as someone else said, we’re deeper there than at goal, good for Osgood.

Yeah, good for Osgood but not good for the organization.

If it were possible to bring one of them back I would prefer Draper, because I still think he’s capable of playing at an NHL level.  I don’t think the drop-off for him over the past couple years is much.  Of course, we have Eaves, Miller & Helm, who all do much the same job that he does, and they all do it better than he does.  We’re also going to have Abdelkader and maybe both Mursak and Emmerton and, well, how many bottom 6 players do we want/need?

As for Osgood?  I can see no reason whatsoever to keep him, unless NOBODY will sign a reasonable contract as a backup.  Even then, I’d rather have Joey Mac, or Pearce or McCollum, probably.  But I honestly don’t know that there’s a single goalie available who would be a drop-off from Osgood.

I understand the loyalty factor but to me, if they keep Osgood then they’re simply not serious about goaltending.

Posted by Garth on 06/08/11 at 10:46 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

If there wasn’t a salary cap or a 23-man roster limit, even if it was 24 instead of 23, as it was prior to the second lockout, we wouldn’t be having these issues, but given the way the league is structured and the way the Wings have built throught he draft…

One gets the feeling that the Wings never expected Draper, Maltby and Osgood to go this long, and neither did we. If you want to be incredibly technical, the Wings have two guys who could at least play on a poor NHL team if they wished in Maltby and Chelios—yes, even at his age—and with the push-back from younger players and the new waiver rules preventing the Wings from keeping kids like Emmerton or Mursak in Grand Rapids for that “extra extra year”...

It’s a bit of a cluster-you-know-what. I wouldn’t want to have to make those kinds of decisions.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/08/11 at 11:10 PM ET

Chet's avatar

we all know what i think. thanks to those guys for all their years of selfless, classy service to the organization as players, but change is inevitable.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 06/09/11 at 02:00 AM ET

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There is a reason to sign Draper, as Garth said, if Eaves and/or Miller leave.  But only if that.  As for the Wings being “short” on centers, I think most teams in the league would love to be “short” with Pav, Hank, Fil, Abby, Helm.  BTW: Draper hasn’t played center in 3 seasons.

As for Ozzie, good-bye, old friend.  KH needs to go get Larsson while he still can.  The arguement that Ozzie can mentor Jimmy is just ridiculous.  Jimmy is not young any more; he’s actually in his prime.  Larsson pushed Jimmy in GR (pushed him right out of the lineup many nights).  He can do it again.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/09/11 at 09:59 AM ET

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It’s time to move on.  Let Draper and Osgood ride off into the sunset, or wherever their travels take them. They were a HUGE part of the Wings past success, but Holland needs to let go of his loyalty issues and make this team younger and tougher to play against. Don’t go after any of the Canuck finesse defensemen either (well, maybe Bieksa); sign a player that’s tough to play against , like James Wisniewski and/or Eric Brewer.  Kindl and Smith are ready to step up and make an impact. The goalie situation is set with Howard and MacDonald, imho, as long as they change the defensive scheme in our own zone, quit chasing the puck back to the blueline and hanging the goalies out to dry. This would leave plenty of money for a top 6 forward, like Brooks Laich or Scottie Upshall, that can play both ends and score.  Holland could pursue a trade for a pure goal scorer that can fill the net with all of Datsyuk’s passes (ala Brett Hull). It will be an interesting off season, for sure.

Posted by mkow99 on 06/09/11 at 01:48 PM ET

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Chelios couldn’t crack the Thrashers lineup 2 seasons ago and then gave up the AHL cup-winning goal (after THE THRASHERS sent him down for a 3rd time) on a terrible defensive effort, what makes you think he could play anywhere in the NHL now?  He might even be scratched in Toledo right now.  Time for a reality check.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/09/11 at 10:40 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.