The Malik Report
Updated 15x at 6:04 PM:
Update: the Sporting News's Sean Gentille says it's a good deal:
From ESPN's Craig Custance...
Wings/Griffins press release:
From TSN's Frank Seravalli:
1-way = he'll be paid an NHl salary if he plays in GR.
Take this for what you will:
Also: Is this suggestion from the Free Press's Helene St. James, regarding Gustav Nyquist's "ask," remotely logical?
The Nyquist factor: Nearly $15 million to play with sounds great - but the Wings have several restricted free agents left to sign, starting with Gustav Nyquist, He's scored nearly 30 goals each of the past two seasons, so expect him to want in the $5 million annually range. That's a lot of money for a guy who has been snuffed out in the playoffs the past two springs, but that's the way it goes. Other RFAs are Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen and Landon Ferraro.
Updated 2x at 12:26 PM: Two Things:
1. The Red Wings posted a "Behind the Scenes" video from last weekend's draft...
2. And, via RedWingsFeed, Nicklas Lidstrom gave an interview to 97.1 The Ticket this morning, and he supported Chris Osgood's Hall-of-Fame candidacy:
Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave and the rest of Fox Sports' editorial content staff have been cut from the Fox Sports team, which is a real damn shame given how passionately Gave, Dana Wakiji and Art Regner covered the Red Wings--and it's a damn shame that so many good journalists are getting cut loose this evening.
As such, I'm giving Gave's column about the Stephen Weiss buy-out, Brendan Smith's contract and the shape of the roster under Jeff Blashill an "Evening Line" status:
Holland still faces one more unwanted holdover headache from Babcock's tenure: What to do with Dan Cleary, to whom Babcock made promises about a position with the team this season? Yet again, Holland had some serious misgivings, considering how Cleary's play had tailed off. But at Babcock's urging, Holland signed Cleary to $1.5 million contract last July after he scored just four goals and eight points, with a minus-11 rating, in 52 games and missed the final 2 1/2 months with a knee injury.
As one Wings' official bluntly put it after Babcock bolted for a fat contract to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs: "Mike Babcock is gone, and we're still stuck with Weiss and Cleary."
Now one's gone and the other is unlikely to be a factor in the Detroit lineup under new coach Jeff Blashill. Buying out Weiss is a clear signal that Holland is more committed to the future than the past as he prepares to sign several younger players who will form the nucleus of the team for years to come.
Gave continues...I hope he, Wakiji, Regner and all the Fox Sports Detroit writers land on their feet.
If you ask me, and you didn't, I think the Red Wings' front office might be waffling a little bit.
Despite having purportedly bought out Stephen Weiss to ensure that the Wings can re-sign next summer's restricted and unrestricted free agents-to-be, and despite having committed to the youth movement, Ken Holland told MLive's Ansar Khan, who penned an article about free agency targets (as did the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan), that the Wings are still at least going to monitor the market, if not make a few bids here and there:
"A lot of what we're doing is going to be with the kids, but if there's something out there that makes us a better club, that's what we're looking at," Holland said. "You have to factor in the cap and all the players we have to sign (on their own team over the next couple of years). There's a small group of players that complement what we're trying to do, but there's 30 teams exploring the free-agent market."
The Red Wings could use a right-shooting defenseman with offensive skills, since they don't generate much offense from the back end. They will make a pitch for Green, who is at the head of the free-agent class. But they hesitate to get into a bidding war for him, especially if he's seeking five or six years in the $6 million-a-year range. There are concerns about his attention to detail defensively.
"I'd love to get a top-four defenseman," Holland said. "There's not many top-four defensemen around and probably a number of teams in the bidding."
"We would we like a right-shot defenseman, but if I can't have a right-shot defenseman we have (them) in Marchenko and Jensen," Holland said. "We've got good depth. Are we looking to upgrade? Whether it's on defense or forward, yeah, if the upgrade fits in."
"We probably have interest on the market in guys that are shorter term rather than longer term, depending who they are," Holland said. "Our young players are going to be our future and are going to work their way into the lineup and allow us to be competitive. If we don't do anything I'm satisfied heading into the season."
Khan and Holland continue, and I understand that the balance between "letting the kids play" and trying to build a contending team is an incredibly delicate one, but at a time like this, on the night before things get crazy and hundreds of millions are committed to players who generally don't work out--and especially given that this is the day the team bought out Stephen Weiss--I wish we were hearing a more consistent message.
Update: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff also spoke with Holland, and Duff believes Holland's going to bid for Mike Green:
Updated with more Weiss talk and some Smith talk at 7:38 PM:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
General manager Ken Holland said concerns about cap space next summer, more than anything prompted the move.
"We didn't have cap issues for '15-16," Holland said. "We debated retaining him, given the (Pavel) Datsyuk injury. Over the last couple of days we talked about it. At the end of the day, because of 2016 and the people we got coming up (Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan, Peter Mrazek will need new contracts), people we want to keep, a year from now this (buyout) was going to be inevitable."
He added, "We're going to give younger players an opportunity to play. We got 14 forwards on board."
The move clears up cap space. The Red Wings are expected to make a pitch for offensive-minded defenseman Mike Green, the right-handed shooter they have been seeking. But they won't get into a bidding war for him. He could be seeking a five-year deal worth around $6 million a season.
"On defense, I'm kicking some tires," Holland said. "We got some cap space, certainly. We're positioned to do something if we so choose."
Update: Here's more from the Free Press's Helene St. James...
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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.