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Panning the DeKeyser deal

TSN's Travis Yost argues that the Red Wings shouldn't have signed Danny DeKeyser to a 6-year, $30 million contract:

One of the key decisions every general manager has to make is knowing when it makes sense to play hardball with a pending free agent and when it’s time to lock a player in on a long-term deal.

The Detroit Red Wings decided the latter was the optimal route with defenceman Danny DeKeyser, avoiding  arbitration and securing the Western Michigan graduate to a six-year, $30-million deal this week.

I think they made the wrong choice.

Like many of my grievances with player valuations on the defensive side, I can’t reconcile the term or dollar amount of the contract with the DeKeyser we know – a defender who doesn’t belong on a first pairing and who has struggled to move the needle in any meaningful way since becoming a full-time player in the 2013-14 season.

Yost continues

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‘Roughly Translated’: Mrazek’s arbitration hearing ‘turned out beautifully’

Petr Mrazek spoke with iSport.cz's Miroslav Horak on Wednesday night, and here's a rough translationt thereof:

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Evening news: On Mrazek’s contract negotiations, criticism of Holland, drinking and softball

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa spoke with Ken Holland regarding Petr Mrazek's contract negotiations...

A two-hour breakfast meeting with Mrazek’s agent in Toronto that began before a 9 a.m. arbitration hearing helped the Wings avoid what would have been their second arbitration in 21 years. The hearings, at which both sides assess the performance and comparative worth of the player while asserting their conflicting positions, sometimes cause fissures. Breakfast is nicer than potential irritation.

“Obviously, it’s good any time you can negotiate a settlement versus going through arbitration, where it’s never a great process in building relationships with your players,” GM Ken Holland said. “It’s not something that’s motivating for the player and motivating for the club.”

Holland said he texted Mrazek’s agent Don Meehan Monday night and the two agreed to meet at 8 a.m.

Mrazek, who was not available for comment, also was on hand. Two hours into the meal, the deal was done.

“The arbitration was supposed to start at nine, but we were engaged in back-and-forths,” Holland said. “We made an offer. We had more back-and-forths, and a little after 10 o’clock, we finally came to the solution.”

And the Wings' cap situation...

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‘Two things’: On the Wings’ cap situation and ‘ice at the Joe’

After the Red Wings signed Petr Mrazek to a 2-year contract extension, Wings fans were quite concerned about the team's status as over the salary cap, but Wings GM Ken Holland tells MLive's Brendan Savage that LTIR space will allow the team to get back below the salary cap's upper limit before the regular season begins:

Holland doesn't expect Johan Franzen and Joe Vitale to play this season because both are dealing with concussion issues. Franzen is slated to make $3.9 million and Vitale $1.16 million.

Teemu Pulkkinen – who re-signed for $812,500 – won't be ready to start the season after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery.

So when the Red Wings place all three on long-term injured reserve to start the season, they'll be close to reaching the salary cap.

"Certainly we have no expectations that Franzen and Vitale are playing hockey this year," Holland told MLive Wednesday. "I talked to Vitale after we traded (for) him. He's having on-going issues with concussion. He certainly not expecting to be in camp. I'm not expecting to see Johan Franzen on the ice.

"I think realistically, when it's all said and done, we're probably a little over the cap. What's a little? Probably a million dollars or just a little bit less over the cap if you don't count Vitale and Franzen."

Savage continues, and this is good news as well:

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Thomas Vanek among NHL’ers playing in Minnesota’s ‘Da Beauty League’

All of a sudden, this story is marginally Red Wings-related. From the Minnesota Daily's Jack White:

Team workouts have begun for collegiate hockey teams across the country, but many [University of Minnesota Golden] Gophers hockey players are finding offseason training from a different kind of practice.

Seven current Gophers players are lacing it up in Da Beauty League, which is composed of six teams with college, amateur and professional hockey players, this summer. The teams play two games a week, each on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, at Braemar Arena in Edina, Minn.

“You are playing against NHL guys who are obviously more talented than some NCAA guys,” said rising junior defenseman Steve Johnson. “You know the skill out there and the talent is definitely really good, so whenever you get to skate against these guys, it’s an opportunity you don’t really want to miss out on.”

Da Beauty League is a 4-on-4 hockey league with two 30-minute halves. The game is fast-paced and rarely features checking. Many players utilize the league to stay in shape during the offseason.

The league has six teams that feature seven current Gophers and 22 former Minnesota players, including Minnesota Wild players Mike Reilly and Jordan Schroeder and former Wild forward Thomas Vanek.

Continued

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Friedman: Mrazek re-signed for 2 years at $4 million AAV

Updated 10x at 3:21 PM:

From Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman:

That's a very solid figure for Petr...Very fair for a just-establishing-himself starting goalie.

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The Mrazek Watch Is On

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Barring a last-minute agreement, it appears as if the Detroit Red Wings are headed for their first true arbitration hearing in more than 20 years.

"So far we are going to arb," general manager Ken Holland said in a text to MLive Tuesday night after being asked if any progress had been made in contract negotiations with goaltender Petr Mrazek.

Mrazek's hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. today in Toronto but the sides can continue negotiating until it begins.

The Red Wings filed for arbitration with Mrazek July 5 and the sides were far apart when they exchanged briefs Monday morning. Mrazek is seeking $5 million per year for two seasons while the Red Wings are offering $5.85 million – $2.7 million this season and $3.15 in 2017-18.

continued

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TMR evening line: DeKeyser on Datsyuk’s departure

We might as well have an "evening line," so here is this evening's "hot take" from one Danny DeKeyser, via the Windsor Star's Jim Parker:

DeKeyser jumped right from college hockey to the Red Wings and has produced 14 goals and 75 points in 234 games. Despite the loss of Pavel Datsyuk, DeKeyser is excited about the team’s future.

“Losing Pavel hurts,” DeKeyser said. “There’s nobody that’s going to be able to replace him. There’s no single guy that can replace him. We’ve got some veteran forwards that have proven in the past they can score goals and help out teams. I’m really excited to see what these guys can do and help us out.

“We have some young guys that will be taking some bigger steps here as well. I think we’ll be fine. I think we have the potential to have a really good season.”

Update: I dig DeKeyser's take on being a Michigan-born Red Wing, too, via the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

“Anybody who’s from Michigan has, I’m sure, grown up a big Red Wings fan, just like myself. And it’s been great for me to play here,” DeKeyser said. “Sometimes I kind of catch myself every now and then, not really taking things for granted but, just like not really realizing how special it is to be able to play for your hometown and your home state. Today just makes me realize how lucky I am and how special an opportunity I have to be play here.”

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St. James: Arbitration hearing likely in Petr Mrazek’s case

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Barring an 11th hour agreement, the Detroit Red Wings will be making a rare appearance before an arbitrator.

As of Tuesday evening, there was still no accord between the Wings and restricted free agent goaltender Petr Mrazek.

“Ideally, I'd love to negotiate a deal with all our players,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said from Toronto, site of the Wednesday hearing. “We’ll see.”

The Wings were the ones filing for arbitration, in response to Mrazek’s demands for $5 million annually. Mrazek, 24, had the choice of requesting a one-year or two-year deal and opted for the latter. The Wings, in their brief, offered $2.7 million the first season and $3.15 million the second season.

In a hearing, each side gets to present its case. The arbitrator can rule entirely in the favor of either side – or settle on a number in between.

St. James continues...

The Wings have until 9 AM EDT on Wednesday to negotiate with Mrazek before going before the arbitrator, and if they don't reach an accord, the arbitrator will have 48 hours to issue a ruling.

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Evening news: A charitable video, an APB and playoff bubble talk

This is a strangely-grouped set of afternoon/evening news items, but they're going to be grouped together anyway:

1. The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a YouTube video explaining their Griffins Youth Foundation's purpose and mission, and it's a pretty cool video:

2. I'm putting out a Czech APB regarding an extended interview that Petr Mrazek gave iSport.cz's Miroslav Horak. The part about his arbitration hearing was posted yesterday, but the part about his goalie camp in the Czech Republic is new, and in the Google Translation, at least, there's a part where Mrazek suggests that the Red Wings' team isn't quite built as it should be going into the regular season. If anybody's willing to lend a hand with the translation, I'd appreciate it;

3. And I this theme will repeat itself ad nauseam as we make our way toward the regular season: today, the Hockey News's Matt Larkin is the one suggesting that the Red Wings are one of three teams that made the playoffs in 2015-16 who may not make the cut in 2016-17:

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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.

 

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