Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

In which the beat writers disagree about what happened to the Red Wings

Updated 8x at 6:23 PM, scroll to the bottom:

Update: From MLive's Ansar Khan and St. James:

Update #2: Either St. James' information is incorrect or there's something bad going on:

Update #3: Another one from Khan:

Update #4:

Update #5:

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

July 1, the busiest day of the NHL off-season because high noon marked the opening of the unrestricted free market. It was an utter dud for Detroit.

They got rejected by Dan Boyle, who signed with the New York Rangers for two years and $9 million, less than the two years and $10 million offered by the Wings. They got rejected by Stephane Robidas, who went to Toronto for three years and $9 million, an offer the Wings would have matched. They got rejected by Anton Stralman to the point that Stralman's agent, Marc Levine, when contacted by the Free Press to ask if Stralman was interested in Detroit, the answer was a succinct, "no."

Stralman ended up signing with Tampa Bay for five years and $22.5 milion. Matt Niskanen, the premier right-shooting defenseman on the market, didn't have Detroit on his short list, either.

St. James continues, and asks...

So what gives? It's not the metro area – while Detroit the city may not have the allure of Chicago or New York, players routinely rave about living here. Todd Bertuzzi has described it as awesome. Daniel Alfredsson and his family are living here next year, whether or not he plays. Owner Mike Ilitch and general manager Ken Holland are held in high regard for the way they treat players.

It's not the competitiveness of the team – the Wings still boast superstars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. It's hard to think Robidas went to Toronto eyeing the Leafs as Cup contenders over Detroit. Boyle joined the Rangers - but do the Rangers look viable to return to the Stanley Cup final? Tampa Bay does legitimately look like a contender after improving on defense the past few days.

Is it head coach Mike Babcock? Babcock is demanding, but that's considered a positive quality in a professional coach – the ones that let things slide don't win, and players care about winning.

The Wings did sign Kevin Porter as a replacement for David McIntyre in Grand Rapids, and they put out a press release stating as much...

DETROIT SIGNS FORWARD KEVIN PORTER
… Northville, Mich., Native Has Skated in 206 Career NHL Games with Phoenix, Colorado and Buffalo …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have signed left wing Kevin Porter to a one-year contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.

A native of Northville, Mich., Porter has split the last two seasons between the Buffalo Sabres and the AHL’s Rochester Americans. In 12 NHL games last season, he recorded one assist and two penalty minutes, adding 36 points (19-17-36) in 50 AHL contests. The 5-foot-9, 191-lb., forward has appeared in 206 NHL games since 2008-09, tallying 55 points (29-26-55) and 60 penalty minutes. He has also skated in 196 AHL games with the San Antonio Rampage, Lake Erie Monsters and Rochester Americans, totaling 156 points (63-93-156) and 109 penalty minutes. Porter was an AHL All-Star in 2012-13 when he served as Rochester’s captain.

Originally drafted by the Coyotes in the fourth round (119th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Porter enjoyed a standout career at the University of Michigan from 2004-08, notching 183 points (85-98-183) and 115 penalty minutes in 162 games and capping off his collegiate career with the CCHA Player of the Year Award and the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey. He also helped the Wolverines to two CCHA championships in 2005 and 2008. Porter has represented the United States at four international tournaments, posting 21 points (7-14-21) in 26 career games for his country and earning a silver medal at the 2004 Under-18 World Championships.

And they've inked Andy Miele for depth as well.

AT THIS POINT, given the $$ that Niskanen got, I'm glad the Wings didn't get him, and given the fact that Stephane Robidas got $9 million over 3 years and Willie Mitchell got $4.25 million per year for two years...

Holland could've made things worse. He didn't, and I can at least live unhappily with that.

 

Update #6: The quotes, from KH to St. James...

"We made pitches to a number of defensemen," general manager Ken Holland said. "For a variety of reasons, they opted to go elsewhere. I don't know why they're not coming here."

...

"We're still about two-and-a-half months away from camp," Holland said. "We'd like to add a defenseman. We'll look at our options."

There's trading, but the teams that have desirable additions, like Arizona with Keith Yandle or Buffalo with Tyler Myers, would ask for either of Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco or Antonthy Mantha in return, plus a high draft pick. Teams don't surrender top-four d-men for free.

The other option is to give a prospect a chance - Xavier Ouellet parachuted into the last game of the playoffs as an emergency measure; Ryan Sproul stands 6-foot-3 and shoots right. If they can't handle the NHL out of training camp, pull a deal in the fall.

...

It's not the metro area - while Detroit the city may not have the allure of Chicago or New York, players routinely rave about living here. Todd Bertuzzi has described it as awesome. Daniel Alfredsson and his family are living here next year, whether or not he plays. Owner Mike Ilitch and Holland are held in high regard for the way they treat players.

It's not the competitiveness of the team - the Wings still boast superstars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

Is it head coach Mike Babcock? Babcock is demanding, but that's considered a positive quality in a professional coach - the ones that let things slide don't win, and players care about winning. Holland downplayed any chatter Babcock is a reason, saying, "I've never heard those rumors. I think that we've got one of the best coaches in the NHL and he's been a reason why some people have come here."

Update #7: Via RedWingsFeed:

Update #8:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

« Previous        < 1 2     

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Almost seems like they’ve balanced the profits of winning the cup once in a window and missing some years vs. Making every year just barely and getting a round hopefully two in playoff revenue EVERY year?  KH seems to be the biggest drum beater about the streak while our aging stars are talking about the cup and getting tired of being JUST good enough to squeak in

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/14 at 07:11 PM ET

Avatar

Anybody think that players don’t want to come to Detroit because of Babcock.  I think part of the reason guys like Franzen, who become lazy, are tired of him as well.  I mean Babcock wanted Cleary back so bad that Nyquist had to start in Grand Rapids last season.  Holland can take the blame for not overruling Babcock on the Cleary ordeal.

But overall it seems many players are not a fan of Babcock, and its possible that word has gotten out to the free agents about him.

Posted by Drifter of Dreams on 07/01/14 at 07:13 PM ET

awould's avatar

@AnsarKhanMLive: Wings didn’t get a right-hand shooting defenseman, but still need someone. They’ve made offer to Kyle Quincey (left). Waiting to hear back.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/01/14 at 07:09 PM ET

This would be an admission of failure by KH, in my opinion. Signing Quincey should get him fired.

Posted by awould on 07/01/14 at 07:13 PM ET

Avatar

I know I am going to take a lot of flak for the above statement ^, but that is how I see things at the moment.

Posted by Drifter of Dreams on 07/01/14 at 07:14 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

They tried to grab one the few guys that would have made us marginally better. Those guys chose elsewhere. Don’t forget, these 3 or 4 guys we wanted were pursued by 15 other teams. It doesn’t mean all that much in a larger sense. and while it’s kind of a bummer, it’s not all that surprising..

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand

But please don’t forget that it would appear that all of them rejected the Wings even when they offered them more money and longer term. I would argure that that does mean something “in a larger sense.”

It indicates that there’s something so wrong with the Wings right now that top players think of them in the same way they think of the Preds or the Islanders. Detroit simply is not a “destination” any more.

Hell, between Marchenko, Oulette and Sproul, I’m kind of excited to see what they can do before we think about dumping Tats or the equivalent in a trade.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand

At this point, I think that’s the best possible approach. Having said that, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Holland “prove himself” by making some ridiculous trade that costs us some of the best young talent. But, of course, that would only come after resigning Cleary and Quincey – just to make sure we all understand what a “great” GM he really is.  tongue rolleye

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/01/14 at 07:14 PM ET

perfection's avatar

We whiffed on Suter and yeah it hurt. The fact is when you go from one of the oldest teams to the youngest it’s rebuilding. When you dont get top draft picks and continue to make the playoffs it’s rebuilding on the fly.

It is what it is. The team has continued to draft and develop beyond most other teams and even with the strikeouts in the last couple of UFA seasons we continue to get pleasant surprises. DeKeyser just dropped in our laps from the heavens and is already overachieving and we have a line of kids on their way. Frankly, Suter was the only guy that’s been available since Lids retired that was worth going all in for. These free agents are nothing in comparison. And while maybe you could sell off a top prospect for a top-2 dman, thats the kind of move made by desperate GMs and teams in their primes that feel they are that one guy away from the cup. We arent there. We had a prime around our last cup win and are due for another when these kids enter their primes. Then maybe sell the farm to go for it. but this just isnt the year for that by any rational measure.

I just don’t think we are any one of these guys away from being all that better, therefore, other than making today kind of boring, I just don’t see the sky falling like most of you do. Kind of a bummer. Nothing more

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/01/14 at 07:14 PM ET

awould's avatar

But overall it seems many players are not a fan of Babcock, and its possible that word has gotten out to the free agents about him.

Posted by Drifter of Dreams on 07/01/14 at 07:13 PM ET

I’ve never heard anything like this from players. It’d be weird that every hockey pundit that is alive pretty much says Babcock is the best coach in the NHL and also that nobody wants to play for him. Like so weird it’s probably not true at all.

Posted by awould on 07/01/14 at 07:15 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

We need a healthy Ericsson and a new third pair.  I’m not mad with going with the kids of they’re slotted right and I think Smith on the third would give him time to handle the D learning curve so a top four D would’ve been significant in that regard.  But I’m more miffed that even tier two guys are snubbing KH and the Wings..  For less money they’ll go somewhere else to play.  Stralman isn’t a future hall of famer.  AND he’s a swede.  Something doesn’t smell right

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/14 at 07:15 PM ET

awould's avatar

The fact is when you go from one of the oldest teams to the youngest it’s rebuilding. When you dont get top draft picks and continue to make the playoffs it’s rebuilding on the fly.

It is what it is.

That sounds like it’s all just a matter of luck. It’s a choice. You commit to one thing or the other. The lack of improving this team, beyond young talent falling into our laps from the heavens, is contrary to their admitted plan of rebuilding on the fly. Clearly that plan is not being executed well. That is the fault of Kenny Holland.

So, tear down and rebuild. This entails giving up any hope of winning a Cup or even making the playoffs as you trade Datsyuk for a boatload of future potential and you suffer through 3-4 years of bad team.

Or, rebuild on the fly. This entails bringing up developed talent from Grand Rapids and plugging holes where needed. The plugging holes where needed part is a big fat failure. The last success was Hossa, then he left. Since then, suck.

Posted by awould on 07/01/14 at 07:20 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Niskanen said he spoke with @ICEHockeyAgent Neil Sheehy a good 15-16 times today before landing deal

I smell a rat. Wasn’t Sheehy behind Suter and Parise going to the Wild rather than Detroit? Does Sheehy have an axe to grind with anyone associated with the Wings?

KK won’t let me post a link to a story that indicated Sheehy was on the Wild’s owners jet during the FA period.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/01/14 at 07:23 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Youre talking about like four guys. Is it really that mathematically improbable that they each had personal reasons whether tax free income, bigger cup window, city they want to live in, etc to go elsewhere? This idea that it automatically means the team can’t draw players is absurd. It’s not like guys on our team are demanding trades which they sure are on other teams - teams that signed players today too. So would singing just one of these four mean we are definitely a good draw for UFAs or could it just mean it was the right fit for whatever reason?

Man, it’s one thing to criticize things like the Weiss signing or the Jarnkrok trade, but all this criticism over things that DONT happen, like you have any idea what happened behind the scenes, is nonsensical. These guys chose other teams by no fault of the wings or their ailing city. It is what it is.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/01/14 at 07:24 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Youre talking about like four guys.

This goes back a few years starting with Hossa, then Suter and Parise. I forget who spurned them last year, but it’s not just four guys.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/01/14 at 07:29 PM ET

Avatar

This goes back a few years starting with Hossa, then Suter and Parise. I forget who spurned them last year, but it’s not just four guys.

Before that.  It goes back to the class of UFA defensemen who were better than Ian White who decided not to come to replace Rafalski.

Posted by captaineclectic on 07/01/14 at 08:44 PM ET

Curley's avatar

Hell, the Oil in that God-forsaken place attracted more talent than DET. Team and fans possibly have a higher opinion of their “tradition” than today’s players do.  Sad, really.

Posted by Curley on 07/01/14 at 08:52 PM ET

@TheJimP19's avatar

Obviously something is going on within the front office of the Wings…

Its not the city, it was bad during the Cup runs….

Money isnt the issue, they lost out to teams offering less today… 

Resigning Kyle Quincey was probably the worst thing Holland could have done today, could have bit the bullet and played a young kid and let him get his feet wet…

Posted by @TheJimP19 from transplanted in Nashville on 07/01/14 at 08:57 PM ET

Avatar

Hell, between Marchenko, Oulette and Sproul, I’m kind of excited to see what they can do before we think about dumping Tats or the equivalent in a trade.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/01/14 at 06:45 PM ET

Amen to the above.  And I would guess all the FA’s had read the comments on this blog and decided there would be nothing they could do to satisfy those fans in Detroit.  grin

Posted by guy on 07/01/14 at 09:56 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

We made pitches to a number of defensemen,” general manager Ken Holland said. “For a variety of reasons, they opted to go elsewhere. I don’t know why they’re not coming here.”

Who knows the reason why they won’t come to Detroit, but Holland had to sign Quincy to an already thin defense. Apparently Holland offered more than the teams the other players signed with, so Holland had to take a desperate move. There could be a trade later, but do keep in mind Quincey was one of the better defense men during the last half of the season. A silver lining I suppose.

Posted by bigfrog on 07/01/14 at 09:57 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by DetroitCity on 07/01/14 at 05:56 PM ET

You’re out of touch, Rumpelstiltskin.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/01/14 at 09:59 PM ET

« Previous        < 1 2     

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.