The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/05/11 at 01:42 PM ET
The Hockey News has chosen to staff its every-Friday “Ask Adam” column/mailbag feature with other THN contributors as Proteau’s on vacation, and while the staffers’ answers regarding James Reimer’s staying power, the Islanders’ long-term future in Nassau County (which the Hockey News’s Ryan Kennedy also tackles in a separate column) and questions regarding the Los Angeles Kings’ blueline highlight this week’s wide-ranging breadth, I’m a Red Wings fan, so the Typing Monkey in charge of KK for most of the day (why Paul agreed to this, I do not know) would prefer to focus on a Red Wings-related question:
I’m a Detroit fan and with Lidstrom probably retiring after this season, I was wondering if you think the Wings could re-sign Niklas Kronwall (he’s a UFA this summer)? And if they do, will he be able to take that next step and soften the blow from Lidstrom’s departure?
Brett Vandermuren, Amherstburg, Ont.
Hi Brett, Assuming Nicklas Lidstrom retires at the conclusion of next season, you have to believe the Wings will do everything in their power to retain Niklas Kronwall.
Saying Kronwall is no Lidstrom is no insult because, well, nobody is Lidstrom. The hallmark of Lidstrom’s play is his super-human panic threshold. Kronwall is a different beast. He impacts games with a thud, whether it is via a big shot or a crushing hit. He’s an upper-tier defenseman in the league, though probably not truly elite. He’ll also be 31 in January, so I’m not sure how much better he’ll get.
Detroit is always a team with a plan so who knows what the Wings might do in the wake of Lidstrom’s inevitable retirement. From where we stand, though, expect Kronwall to be a huge part of the Detroit ‘D’ for the foreseeable future. - [Ryan Dixon]
The Wings will have to pay more than “Ericsson money” to retain Kronwall and Brad Stuart, but even given the facts that Ericsson and Ian White are signed for multiple seasons, that Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff represent the team’s future and that the Wings are highly likely to bring in a high-priced free agent when Lidstrom does eventually retire, Kronwall and Stuart are now the heart of the Wings’ defense, and there is no doubt in my mind that they will remain Red Wings for the balances of their respective careers.
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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.