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The Malik Report

Wings Loaded With Homegrown Talent

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

There is something vaguely unfair about the Detroit Red Wings.

The lineup they iced for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series against Chicago on Monday had 15 players who were either their own draft picks or who were Red Wings property before anyone else got them.

That's 15 out of 20, and if forward Darren Helm and defenceman Danny DeKeyser were healthy, the number would be higher.

This, despite having not had a top-10 pick in the draft since 1991 (Marty Lapointe), and only two inside the top 20 in the 22 seasons since then - in each of which, by the way, the Red Wings have made the playoffs.

Oh, and just to rub it in a little, the Wings' system includes the NCAA college defence-men of the year in the CCHA (DeKeyser) and WCHA (Nick Jensen), the top defenceman in the Canadian Hockey League (Ryan Sproule) and one of the QMJHL's two or three best rearguards, Xavier Ouellet.

continued

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Comments

Avatar

Good thing Holland landed DeKeyser.  Otherwise we’d have had to fire him.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/23/13 at 09:03 AM ET

Primis's avatar

They indeed are loaded with homegrown talent.

The question still is whether or not many of them are good enough, even after seasons of “seasoning” in the minors.  The Wings are in the awkward position where they don’t necessarily have huge busts like a Cam Barker, but that there’s still questions on guys like Kindl, Emmerton, Tatar, etc…

Posted by Primis on 05/23/13 at 09:14 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

15 players who were either their own draft picks or who were Red Wings property before anyone else got them.

Also, in the roster are Bertuzzi and Samuelsson, former Wings. I don’t know how he counted Quincey, who fits both categories. And Cleary is basically a “walk-on athlete”, Detroit made him a totally different player than he ever was.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/23/13 at 09:15 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Good thing Holland landed DeKeyser.  Otherwise we’d have had to fire him.

Cups aren’t won and lost comparing player’s CV’s, but are decided instead by how the roster on ice plays together against others.  Gathering the pieces is only part of the process. Assembling them matters as much. Holland is bold in drafting, but timid in working new players in or moving them for needed assets.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/23/13 at 09:26 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Having worked in Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver over the past three decades, during which the locals’ draft picks have generally ranged from not quite mediocre to abysmal, it is frankly an eye-opening experience for a writer to sit down with Holland for a half-hour and listen to how the grownups do it.

ZING!

And we traded a first and somebody else for Mathieu Schneider.”

LOL That’s hilarious. I think it was Kuznetsov

 

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/23/13 at 09:31 AM ET

Avatar

I love the homegrown talent on this team and the stocked prospect pool. But a roster is only so big…

Would love the Wings to find their own James Neil trade. I know its better to wait on something like that till you are within striking distance of a cup, but this post season has shown that the Wings are closer than I thought to that. Curious what our stockpile of drafted players could get us.

Posted by lancer on 05/23/13 at 09:52 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

when I read “something unfair about the Red Wings” I had to check and make sure this wasn’t from NBC….

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 05/23/13 at 10:29 AM ET

socalwingnut's avatar

That’s hilarious. I think it was Kuznetsov

And Sean Avery.

Posted by socalwingnut on 05/23/13 at 10:36 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

And Sean Avery.
Posted by socalwingnut on 05/23/13 at 11:36 AM ET

LA got fleeced

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/23/13 at 10:53 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

But he’s always been GM of a good team.  Didn’t come in, to rebuild.  Easy to be a “Genius” GM when the Captains of your teams are Yzerman and Lidstrom.

No BM, because he hasn’t let it fall in disarray.  I think it’s easier to GM when you have Steve Yzerman in the prime of his career Captaining Lidstrom, Federov, Shannahan

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/20/13 at 05:41 PM ET

“I’m lucky. We’re lucky. Most people when they become a manager, they take over bad teams. I got to take over the Stanley Cup champs. I took over the team of Steve Yzerman, of Sergei Fedorov, of Nick Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan ...”

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Wings+embrace+skill+shaping+winners/8423362/story.html#ixzz2U8Heaebm


I retract any doubt I had in Kenny Holland, great minds think alike.

At least he’s self-aware

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/23/13 at 11:08 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

  And Sean Avery.
  Posted by socalwingnut on 05/23/13 at 11:36 AM ET

LA got fleeced

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley

It was Kuznetzov and Avery – plus a 2nd in addition to the 1st. LA traded away the 2nd (not sure for what) and used the 1st to pick Jeff Tambellini (who did virtually nothing in the NHL and now plays in the Swiss Elite League).

So, yeah, LA definitely got fleeced.  grin

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/23/13 at 11:23 AM ET

Avatar

Gathering the pieces is only part of the process.

Yeah.  The GM part.

Holland is bold in drafting, but timid in working new players in or moving them for needed assets.

Because the salary cap makes such things pretty stupid.  I will cite as examples pretty much every team that does what you’re hitting Holland for not doing.  That aside, is it your contention that Holland was ‘timid’ in those regards pre-cap?  I hope not, because that would be a profoundly stupid opinion.  IIRC, Holland was regularly criticized by fans for being overly aggressive in his acquisitions.

It’s not a question of Holland being timid, it’s the reality that the situation on the ground has substantially changed.  Pre-cap it made a lot more sense to dump prospects and picks for vets.  Post-cap it makes almost zero sense to do that unless you’re going to hit a home run, and you know you’re going to hit a home run, and the odds of that are about as long as it gets.

All that leaves is offering contracts to UFAs.  Is it your opinion that Holland was ‘timid’ in offering a huge deal to Hossa?  To Suter?  To Parise?  Was it ‘timidity’ that prevented him from offering a huge deal to Luongo, or Richards, or Wisniewski, or pretty much 95% of the names you’re going to list as guys he should have gotten?

I mean, come on.  In a capped league you can’t be paying Lidstrom, D and Z all 6-7+ mil a year and then be expected to spend a bunch of money on other UFAs.  That’s stupid.  Once Lidstrom’s deal came off the books Holland planned to spend right to the freaking ceiling.  Guys wanted to play elsewhere for as much, or more.

C’est la vie.  Welcome to a capped league.  Pre 2006 it would at least make a little sense to chide Holland for not landing FA targets because of the spending disparity.  Post 2006 it really, really does not.

At least he’s self-aware

Of course he had a short-term advantage by starting off with a great team.  What cracks me up about guys like you that just don’t get how great Holland is, is the complete absence of understanding about how abnormal it is for any team to stay good for as long as Detroit has stayed good.

I mean, good Lord, in the span of Holland’s tenure Pittsburgh was a decent team for a few years, the worst team in the NHL for a few years, a decent team for a few years, a great team for a few years, and then back to a decent team for a few years, and now (maybe) a great team again.

Colorado, Dallas, Carolina, New Jersey… all of those teams were pretty much elite for periods of time amidst Detroit’s constancy, and they all fell spectacularly by the wayside.

All the teams who made the playoffs this year with the exception of SJ have missed the playoffs at least once just since the bleeping lockout, many twice and quite a few 3+ times, while Detroit is sitting on a 22 year streak of which 14 have come on Holland’s watch.

And you’re shading him because he inherited a good team.  Yeesh.

Just a tiny bit of historical awareness wouldn’t be amiss before you judge the competency of a GM, HO.  Just a smidge.  It won’t hurt.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/23/13 at 11:59 AM ET

SYF's avatar

I can pretty much imagine Cam Cole crossing his legs and squeezing his balls in this interview and thinking, “Why?  Why isn’t this happening in VAN?  Whyyyyyyy???”

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/23/13 at 12:06 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.