The Malik Report
From the American Hockey League:
The American Hockey League announced today that Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Mar. 1, 2015.
Mrazek made three road starts last week and turned aside 83 of 85 shots, going 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average, a .976 save percentage and two shutouts as the Griffins held on to their lead atop the Midwest Division.
On Tuesday, Mrazek finished with 31 saves as Grand Rapids defeated Iowa, 6-2, in Des Moines. Then on Friday evening, Mrazek made 25 stops as the Griffins shut out Milwaukee, 4-0. Finally, Mrazek stopped 27 shots on Saturday night to earn his third shutout in his last four outings, a 5-0 victory at Chicago that allowed Grand Rapids to tie a franchise record with its seventh consecutive road win. Mrazek enters the new week with a shutout streak of 144:28.
A fifth-round selection by Detroit in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Mrazek has split the 2014-15 season between Grand Rapids and the parent Red Wings. In 11 AHL appearances with the Griffins, Mrazek has a record of 8-2-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and three shutouts; he has also gone 13-5-1 (2.55, .909, 1 SO) in 20 NHL contests with Detroit. The 23-year-old native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, backstopped the Griffins to a Calder Cup championship as a rookie in 2013, playing every minute of their 24-game postseason run, and was voted a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2013-14.
In recognition of his achievement, Mrazek will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Griffins home game.
Updatged 8x @ 1:56 PM: From The Hockey News's Ken Campbell:
[edit: commentary: So that's Cole and Zidlicky for 2 draft picks, Janmark and Backman. OK.
Zidlicky is a 4th-through-6th defenseman who will probably replace Alexey Marchenko for the present moment. He's a little slow but he'll be OK on the Wings /end edit]
This morning, with Jeff Petry off the board, the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings may end up targeting Marek Zidlicky...Or Phaneuf:
The most high-profile defenseman whose name has been discussed internally is that of Toronto's Dion Phaneuf. He's big (6-feet-3, 214 pounds), in the prime of his career (turns 30 in April) and provides offense (117 goals and 277 assists in 731 career games with Toronto and Calgary).
It's always about the price, of course, and Toronto surely would want a starting payment of a first-round pick, something that Wings general manager Ken Holland has said he's not surrendering. Then again, add Phaneuf, gamble on going deep into the playoffs, and that first-round pick would be near the end of the round.
The Wings have scouted New Jersey Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky very heavily for the past few weeks. He just turned 38, shoots right-handed (Phaneuf shoots left) and had 12 goals and a 30 assists in 81 games for the Devils last season. He has four goals and 19 assists in 63 games this season.
Update: Via Paul, the Hockey News's Ken Campbell claims that the Maple Leafs want Brendan Smith in exchange for Phaneuf:
Erik Cole is known to be a player that needs to be comfortable, so it will be interesting to see how he interacts with tough-guy coach Mike Babcock on the Red Wings.
Updated 9x at 1:07 AM...This sort of turned into an overnight report: Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave provides a post-Erik Cole trade update from Red Wings GM Ken Holland, and let's just say that the probability of the Wings making another trade seems a little diminished...
"I've been on the phone, talking with a number of teams," Holland said. "We'd feel good about adding one more piece, but prices seem to be kind of set, and they're relatively steep in terms of futures."
By futures he means draft picks and young prospects -- the kind of players he sent to Dallas: defenseman Mattias Backman, Detroit's fifth-round pick (146th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft; and center Mattias Janmark, the Wings third-round pick (79th overall) in 2013. Holland compared the final day before the trade deadline to July 1 -- the opening day of the NHL's free-agent season -- when unrestricted players are free to sign with any club of their choosing.
"There are a lot of players we'd like to add that would be good fits for our team," Holland said. "I'm gauging the price."
Holland also told Gave that he's very happy with the play of Alexey Marchenko, and that he believes the worries over the Wings' size have...been blown out of proportion...
"I'm hoping that the experience of the Boston series last year is going to benefit us," he said. "And we've added some bigger guys since then, too. Marchenko is bigger. Riley Sheahan (6-3, 220 pounds) is a man. And Luke Glendening (5-11, 200) isn't big, but he plays heavy. We've played in some pretty tough places recently -- Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose and Nashville -- and our skill players keep going through the process of getting to the hard areas where they need to be to succeed."
And Gave had assumed that Jonas Gustavsson would be traded, but he's found that Holland doesn't plan on parting ways with the Monster:
Updated 20x at 9:50 PM:
Cole is 36 and is a 6'2," 210-pound forward who has registered 18 goals, 15 assists and 33 points in 57 games played for Jim Nill's Dallas Stars thus far. He's in the last year of a 4-year, $18 million contract, so his cap hit is $4.5 million this season.
Dallas can have Backman....
Update #3: MLive's Ansar Khan is confirming...
Here's your evening Red Wings trade deadline eve update from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, who spoke with Ken Holland this evening:
“There’s a small list of players we have some interest in that we think would be a good fit for our team, but I understand there’s other teams in the buyers category and sometimes the price is too high,” Holland said. “But sometimes the price is the same, but the other team’s pick might be higher or they like the other team’s prospect over ours.”
The player they would bring in has to provide an important element and dimension to the roster. A top four defenseman that shoots right handed or a winger that can provide offense could fit that bill.
It appears the asking price for any of the players Detroit, which has close to $9 million in cap space, has on its list is a prospect and second-round pick in return.
“I would love to make a deal to make us a little bit better, to upgrade us a little bit, but I also feel with the way, not only with the way our players are playing here in Detroit, but the development of our young players in Grand Rapids I feel good about the depth,” Holland said. “I understand they’re young players and when we get into the Stanley Cup playoffs that you’re not sure how they’re going to react, but as you look at other teams out there, the league is younger. Because of the cap there are lots of good young players. We might have a lot of young players on our team, but do the other teams.”
Pleiness continues, and, well...
“If we can make a move, I would love to, but if we have some conversations and some of the teams choose to go in a different direction and we don’t make a move I’m comfortable when three o’clock rolls around and we don’t make a move,” Holland continued. “Would I like to make a move? Yes, if it’s for a player we think, at a price that we can live with.”
MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James at least issued neutral reports about Darren Helm's health after getting smeared into the boards by Seth Jones yesterday. The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that as of Sunday evening, Helm's prognosis is not quite as rosy:
Darren Helm’s injury free life appears to be no more. Helm was injured in the first period of Saturday’s over the Nashville Predators.
“It appears he’s out for a bit of time,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I have no idea until we know the severity of the injury.”
Helm is scheduled to have an MRI performed Monday.
The Wings don't play again until they host the Rangers on Wednesday, but they then embark upon a stretch of 4 games in 6 nights and 7 in 12 nights.
I'm not in the, "Go after Phaneuf" camp, even after the New York Rangers acquired Keith Yandle today, but the Hockey News's Ken Campbell believes that, should the Red Wings acquire Mr. Phaneuf, they may end up acquiring a Larry Murphy-style ace in the hole:
This much we know: the Leafs are exploring the possibilities of trading Phaneuf and the Red Wings are looking for a defenseman. Detroit GM Ken Holland and Toronto GM David Nonis have spoken leading up to the trade deadline and the Red Wings will almost certainly be adding a defenseman tomorrow. With Keith Yandle just about off the market, that leaves one fewer defensemen for Detroit to pursue.
One person close to the situation called the chance Phaneuf becomes a Red Wing by Monday afternoon remote. The more likely situation is the deal gets done in the summer, but with a limited no-trade clause, it’s almost certain that Phaneuf’s days in Toronto are coming to an end, either by tomorrow or after this season. But the Wings are looking and the Leafs have a defenseman, so you never know what can happen between now and Monday afternoon.
If the Red Wings are going to add a body on their blueline by tomorrow, why not Phaneuf? As maligned as he is, Phaneuf in the right situation with the right team could be a useful addition. The biggest impediment in acquiring Phaneuf is that he has a salary cap hit of $7 million per year for each of the next six seasons. That means either the Leafs are going to have to eat some of that salary or take a less-than-stellar contract back. Stephen Weiss – who just happens to be the nephew of Leafs assistant coach Steve Spott – and his $4.9 million for the next three seasons comes to mind, and the Leafs might be able to get a player such as Jakub Kindl in the deal.
“We’re exploring if there’s players out there that would make our team better,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re not looking for a lateral moves. If there’s only lateral moves or the price is higher than we’re prepared to pay, we won’t do anything.”
(Lateral moves are bad during the trade deadline but OK during the summer. Hm.)
Prior to the start of the season, members of the Detroit brass quietly acknowledged that if Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk regained their health and enjoyed big years, if goalie Jimmy Howard rebounded from a poor 2013-14 season, if depth players like Helm again became factors and the Wings’ younger players took another step forward in their progress and the club was a legitimate contender in the East, then they would look to do something dramatic prior to the trade deadline.
In past seasons, when they were certain that they had a chance to win it all and they’ve been afforded the opportunity to make a major move to acquire a difference maker, the Wings haven’t hesitated to pull the trigger – think Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Robert Lang, Brendan Shanahan.
“If we can find a player to upgrade us, to give us another dimension, we’ll do it,” Holland said.
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.