The Malik Report
I looked at the Red Wings' summer development camp schedule--which involves exactly one hour of on-ice instruction per "team" per day (previous summer development camps have dedicated anywhere from 90 minutes to 2-and-a-half hours of on-ice instruction and drills) and about three total hours of on or off-ice activities--and thought two things:
1. "Well how the hell do you expect to give these kids a leg up in an hour, especially when back-to-back ice times mean that the sixty minutes really is limited to sixty minutes?"
2. "How are two scrimmages--one on Saturday and one on Tuesday-going to make up for that?"
3. "Holy shit that's a lot of unstructured time to give to 17-to-24-year-olds on and around a Fourth of July weekend in Traverse City."
I'm sure I'll find out the answers to these questions soon enough, but I'm going up to Traverse City among a very crowded media field with a profoundly puzzled feeling about this whole thing's dynamic, and for good reason:
Updated 2x with way more Holland at 8:26 PM: Tomorrow, things get "real," and you and I have absolutely no control of the ride free agency's about to take us upon.
The Red Wings' website is taking things seriously, having posted a free agency blog page and having perhaps borrowed a page or three from Capgeek in posting a "contract chart" (the Wings also added fifth and sixth videos to their "draft experience," if you will); depending on the beat writer you believe, the Wings are either interested in Ed Jovanovski as a fall-back plan, or they're not, they either value Christian Ehrhoff as an option, or signing a left-shooting defenseman would be "insane"...
RED WINGS ANNOUNCE DEVELOPMENT CAMP SCHEDULE AND ROSTER
… Forty-Four Players Slated to Attend Traverse City Camp from July 4-8, Including Five Selections from 2014 NHL Entry Draft …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced a schedule and preliminary roster for their 2014 Development Camp, which will be held at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich., from July 4-8. The camp kicks off on Friday, July 4 and features on-ice and off-ice workouts each day, including scrimmages on Saturday, July 5 and Tuesday, July 8. The camp roster currently stands at 44 players: 26 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goaltenders.
I certainly haven't read any indications that the Red Wings Wings have seriously considered re-signing Kyle Quincey--there's a team loyalty factor, sure, but he's going to get paid elsewhere and the Wings want to upgrade their puck-moving--but this certainly received a raised eyebrow....and a bit of a smile.
Bye bye, Kyle!
As something of an addendum to the news regarding the Red Wings' qualifying offer fun, the team's decision to bring Tom McCollum back into the prospect fold, the free agent scuttlebutt and whatever massive news I'm sure to miss thanks to the mom needing a bridge glued back in, the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings' front office held one final pre-free-agency powwow, and here's what she's learned (it seems to back up Fox Sports Detroit's Art Renger's assertion that Niskanen, Boyle and Ehrhoff are plans "1A, 1B and 1C"):
Their options opened over the weekend, but the priority when NHL free agency kicks off Tuesday remains Dan Boyle. General manager Ken Holland spoke to both Boyle's camp and that of the premier defensemen who will be available, Matt Niskanen, during the weekend draft in Philadelphia, but the Wings aren't likely to be bidders for Niskanen because of what he'll command.
Boyle tops the list because he shoots right, but the Wings could double-dip in the market thanks to Buffalo's decision to buy out Christian Ehrhoff, an offensive defenseman who turns 32 on Sunday.
We can confirm #RedWings bonus overage is exactly $3,017,500. Alfredsson, $2M. DeKeyser, $637.5K. Tatar, $160K. Sheahan, $160K. Jurco, $60K.
So Capgeek estimates that the Wings have exactly $14.72 million in cap space, and after not qualifying several players, the team still needs to re-sign RFA's Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar.
Pro Hockey Talk's Jason Brough also reported what's probably bad news regarding the Wings' ability to go after Matt Niskanen, per a radio interview Niskanen's agent, Neil Sheehy, gave to Minnesota's KFAN 1003:
Updated 2x at 2:49 PM: Tom McCollum resucitated his career in Grand Rapids this past season, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that the Red Wings are rewaring his efforts:
Updated 3x at 7:23 PM, make it six videos: Via RedWingsFeed, the Red Wings' YouTube Channel posted a pair of interesting videos today, speaking with Jimmy Devellano regarding the Wings' draft philosophy...
And talking to Team Sweden GM Tommy Boustedt and national team assistant coach Rickard Gronberg about the Wings' "Swedish influences":
Update: Here's MLive's Khan in article form:
The hardest part of free agency for fans, as far as this person with an anxiety disorder is concerned, is that we know that the decisions made over the course of minutes on July 1st can drastically alter the course of a team, but we have absolutely no control over them.
July 1st feels like a playoff game for anyone whose team wants to improve itself via the unrestricted free agent marektplace, but we don't get to prepare for it in the same way we get to put on our lucky shirts or sit in our favorite places or have our "lucky" things nearby before our teams perform on the ice.
In the middle of the summer, on Canada Day, hockey fans have to process twenty to thirty-five signings over the course of a couple of hours, and especially as the second-lockout CBA has unfolded as it has, find that their teams strike out in terms of tapping a thinner and thinner crop of less and less game-changing players as the years go by.
Two years ago, we were talking about the Wings bidding on a "franchise player" in Ryan Suter; now Wings fans can hope, at best, that the team will land an up-and-comer in Matt Niskanen, someone who's just been bought out in Christian Ehrhoff or a soon-to-be-38-year-old in Christian Ehrhoff, if not a back-up plan in a Tom Gilbert or Anton Stralman--and the odds are still stacked against the Wings landing any of 'em, because at least ten to twelve teams are pursuing each player.
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.