The Malik Report
Ansar Khan of Mlive answered some questions from readers...
Q: With all the trade talks, why is Monster (Jonas Gustavsson) never mentioned? With (Petr Mrazek's) emergence and Jimmy Howard back I can't understand why the Wings don't try to move him. There has to be some team in need of a goalie to make a playoff push and I would think Monster would jump at the chance to showcase himself for this summer's free-agent market. A prospect or draft pick should do the trick.
A: I don't think they would get anything more than a sixth- or seventh-round pick for a backup goalie who hasn't started an NHL game since Nov. 5.
If that's the case, why not keep Gustavsson for insurance, in case Howard is injured during or right before the playoffs and Mrazek falters? I'd rather have Mrazek playing regularly in Grand Rapids and getting some more valuable playoff experience there than watching games from Detroit's bench.
Q: I was wondering if Johan Franzen has to retire due to concussion issues, does his salary still count against the salary cap for the entire duration of his contract or would it not count if he retires? If it does count against the cap, could they just keep him on LTIR indefinitely instead of formally retiring so that they could save some cap space?
A: If Franzen retires, the Red Wings would face a cap recapture penalty based on his salary for each of the remaining five years. The exact figure would depend on when he retires, but I believe it would be in the range of $1.5 million per season, according to the cap recapture calculator on capgeek.com, before the site closed down.
If they kept him on long-term IR for the duration of the contract they would get cap relief, much like the Flyers are doing with Chris Pronger and Boston with Marc Savard.
But it's far too soon to speculate about his career possibly being over.
more Q & A....
Mike Babcock post-game said the Wings/Stars game reminded him of a game from the 1980's.
Below watch Jacub Kindl and Nick Kronwall after the game...
added 10:13am, Watch Lindy Ruff post-game below...
The Detroit Red Wings' 7-6 win over the Dallas Stars was wild, woolly, insanely bipolar and completely, totally unnecessary should the Wings have even marginally showed up mentally.
In a game where the winning goalie pitches a 2-save shutout, Jakub Kindl has 2 goals, Detroit goes down 10, 4-2, and 6-4 but wins--despite three incidents in which Dallas scored goals with Stars players impeding Jimmy Howard, and Detroit ties the game with Justin Abdelkader shoving Kari Lehtonen...
This game was baffling, infuriating, a 4-point effort for Pavel Datsyuk, a ridiculous farce by the officiating crew, an astonishing display of the Stars' courage, and in terms of the recap, I wrote most of the 3rd period stuff while the Wings were down, but I'm not editing a word or taking any of it back, because it's how I felt, it's how crazily the game went, and it speaks to what an insane experience this was.
During a game in which the Dallas Stars have mashed, crashed and otherwise impeded the Red Wings' goaltender, the Red Wings have also lost their captain, most likely to the punches and shoves of Jamie Benn:
Update: Rut roh:
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Pro scouts for the Detroit Red Wings are putting in the last few days worth of evaluations as the NHL trade deadline approaches. But unlike two of their Atlantic Division rivals, there's no desperation around the Wings.
The team begins a five-game road trip with a date tonight against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center, fresh off having beaten, for the second time this season, the Chicago Blackhawks, a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Wings have solid footing as a playoff-bound team, and that's why general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that if he does anything before March 2, it'll be an upgrade. He doesn't need depth.
via the Detroit Red Wings YouTube page,
Featuring - Ken Kal, Coach Babcock, Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar, and Jakub Kindl.
We haven't broached this subject, but several former Red Wings and members of the Wings' alumni association are part of the class-action concussion lawsuit against the NHL, and former Wings captain Reed Larson penned an op-ed letter for the Detroit News on Friday night, explaining why he's joined the cause despite not having been afflicted with post-concussive symptoms himself:
As I see my fellow teammates suffering from unexpected neurological issues, I live with the reality that my time with the NHL came with a greater cost than I or my teammates could have ever imagined.
During my NHL career, I remember numerous hits that left me feeling dizzy and disoriented, and some that even knocked me out cold. Concussions were treated no different from standard shoulder injuries. If you could skate, you could get back on the ice.
As the captain of the Red Wings, I was always eager to return to the game and my team as quickly as possible, and the NHL was more than willing to encourage this by never treating or acknowledging the head hits.
Although my playing days are decades behind me, my former teammates and rivals remain close friends.
Unfortunately, during these almost-daily interactions it becomes clear that many are affected by headaches, depression and memory loss, or worse. I know of men who suffer from debilitating neurological diseases and are unable to afford the care they deserve.
The letter continues, and it's certainly moving.
I'm still updating the "morning skate" post, but MLive's Aaron McMann noted that the Red Wings alums who took part in last night's Wings Alums vs. Flint Generals Alumni tilt had incredibly positive things to say about the Red Wings' prospect development pipeline:
"They all bring different elements to the game and that's what's made them so successful," [Dino] Ciccarelli said. "(Tomas) Tatar and (Gus) Nyquist have certainly created a spark offensively, some of the defenseman, (Riley) Sheahan, you need these guys and the guys that play the roles. (Petr) Mrazek stepped up when Jimmy Howard was injured. That's what you need in the playoffs to have success, you've got to be healthy and need everyone to step up."
McCarty credits second-year players Sheahan and Luke Glendening, two of the eight players 25 years of age or younger on the Detroit roster, for the spark they provide.
"Because obviously I like the third and fourth-line guys," McCarty said. "It just goes to show you that the product -- the formula for success -- of the Detroit Red Wigs organization the past 25 years hasn't changed. And that's a tribute to the Illitchs, Kenny Holland and Mike Babcock. They are breeding champions."
Red Wings broadcaster Mickey Redmond, who still plays in 11 to 12 alumni games a year, called this year's Detroit team fun to watch because you never know what you'll get. Years ago, he said, Detroit's lineup was star-studded and you knew they would win.
"That's not the business anymore," Redmond said. "Anybody can win and I think we have as decent a chance as anybody with the personnel we have."(The young guys) came up a little bit earlier than they wanted them to. But they've handled it very well, they've matured very quickly. And they've handled it, that's the important thing. And this year they have continued to grow."
Red Wings-Stars morning skate Tweets and articles: Lehtonen starts for Dallas; Quincey out for Wings
Updated 12x at 2:53 PM: The Detroit Red Wings begin a set of 3 games in 4 nights and 5 in 8 via a "trap game" against the Dallas Stars this evening (8 PM EST on FSD/FS SW/97.1 FM).
As the probably Kyle Quincey-less Wings begin the "dog days" of the NHL season, we can only hope that the Wings don't look at the Stars' status as 11th place in the West or absent Tyler Seguin and simply overlook the Stars given Monday and Tuesday's games against the Ducks and Kings.
I skipped an overnight report because I earned a blogging-related injury on Friday (frostbite), so I'm starting what's usually a Tweet-filled post with a game preview:
The Dallas News's Mike Heika reports that Ales Hemsky will likely return to the lineup of a Stars team that hasn't given up hope of earning a Wild Card spot, and the Stars most recently dropped a 4-2 decision to San Jose, but they've won 4 of their past 6 games:
The Red Wings will continue their six-game road trip with a "trap game" in Dallas on Saturday. As tonight's tilt precedes a particularly nasty stretch of 4 games in 6 nights against Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose and Nashville, I'd suggest that the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's list of 5 reasons why the Wings are "sitting pretty" = one of the reasons I'll be totally satisfied if the Wings win 3 of five in less-than-convincing fashion:
It is the dog days of the NHL season. The Red Wings have surpassed seemingly everyone's expectations — except, perhaps, their own.
Are they tired, as in "fatigued?" Could be.
But the ability of some teams to "skate them" recently, despite the fact that speed is among the Wings' best weapons, may well be evidence of playing in games 50 through 60 in a long season.
If it is fatigue, Mike Babcock almost certainly knows and will try to help, by adjusting the schedule.
And, in the scheme of things, a second wind is likely on the way. It often refreshes teams around the start of March.
The Wings looked to be over their heads at times against Chicago, but the win counted regardless of style points, and if the Wings can even less-than-convincingly earn six or more points over the next week's 5 games in 8 nights, these are the dog days. If you've gotta win ugly, this is the time of year when points matter over precision.
Krupa continues, but I'm going to be resting my frostbitten fingers (it's a long story), and I'll see you in the morning (and yes, a prospect catch-up post is in the offing).
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.