Acknowledging an annoyingly persistent, quiet little rumor

I’ve heard this rumor very quietly but very persistently proffered by both Wings scribes and others, and it’s worth noting not so much to make you or I dream of an unrealistic scenario, but as to note that it continues to make the rounds.

Newsday’s Andrew Gross penned an article handicapping the sweepstakes for New York Islanders captain John Tavares, should he not re-sign with the Isles, and Gross mentions a familiar destination as a possible landing spot:

Put another way, which team wouldn’t want Tavares? However, Tavares’ salary cap hit, his presumed preference for being as low key as possible and his stated desire to play for a winner would seem to eliminate some destinations. The Sharks, always in the playoff hunt, seem like a logical landing spot as a Joe Thornton replacement. The chance to play with Vladimir Tarasenko with the Blues may also be very attractive. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights are doing pretty well so far but, based on how far they get in the playoffs, could envision Tavares as a final piece to a Stanley Cup team. The Red Wings are likely to be active bidders as well and the Canucks, losing Henrik and Daniel Sedin to retirement may try to woo Tavares also.

Gross continues

And I would suggest that the Red Wings are a long shot in terms of landing Tavares, both cap-wise (the Wings have some cap space, but when you add up the costs of re-signing Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, signing a back-up goalie, and the high probability of the Wings retaining Mike Green, and that cap space disappears in a hurry) and in terms of what the Wings have to offer…

But this rumor has stuck around, as an undercurrent of sorts, prior to last July, and I’ve learned to discount lesser persistent rumors (see: Mike Green, Frans Nielsen, Stephen Weiss and even Luke Witkowski coming to Detroit) at my peril.

You should know by now that I don’t like to stir shit up to stir shit up, and I don’t want you to start dreaming of “JT” having to change his number come July 1st, but this is a legitimate possibility, as improbable as it might be.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

7 thoughts on “Acknowledging an annoyingly persistent, quiet little rumor”

  1. Anyone want to find a way to make Kenny to go into a more aggressive rebuild?

    Tavares having serious interest in coming here would do that. It would come at the expense of AA/Frk probably. But it would also come at the expense of a Helm/bad d-man contract, probably more.

    You’d have 4 centers for the top 3 lines, but maybe Z can benefit from playing the wing?

    Indeed, Tavares is a long shot. But this would spring board the Wings into *playoff* contention, even with average to below average Jimmy and a very porous defense.

  2. All true, but he’ll be 28 this September & possibly only 3-4 years from a downward slope.
    Also “getting into playoff contention” [6-8 position] means lower draft choices and probably more early exits—Conference and SC finals should be the goal.
    A 7 year commitment might not be wise.

    1. I agree about the goal being deep runs in the playoffs.

      The unfortunate thing about sports is owners want team control. They generally have it until late. So they have to pay for the first few years of prime, and suffer the consequences later on. Risk/reward.

  3. I’d LOVE Tavares coming here, he’s one of my favorite non-Wings NHLers. But, if he wants to be a part of a painful rebuild, he can just stay on Long Island.

  4. this would be foolhardy for a rebuilding team. So it is right up Kenny’s alley. It MIGHT lead to a couple of first round playoff exits, but no real compete for the cup. It also would set back the rebuild by probably 5 years.

  5. Seeing Tavares in the winged wheel with the #91 on his back would answer all of the Fedorov questions real quick.

    Putting salary cap issues aside, I’m trying to work out the line combos.

    Line 1 would be Tavares with Nyquist and Bertuzzi
    Line 2 Larkin centering Z and Mantha
    Line 3 you’d have Nielsen with AA and Abby

    So now you have Glendening Helm Frk Svechnikov doing 4th line duties with a possibility of having to make room for Rasmussen and/or Turgeon.

    Depending on what KH signs the crop of RFA’s for, we may not have the cap space to sign Tavares unless Helm’s $3.8 mil. goes buh-bye and they do something drastic like buy-out Ericsson’s contract (gawd please).

    Signing Tavares no question makes us stronger up front but, does a UFA signing like that fit into the rebuild formula ? What does signing Tavares say to Larkin about the teams expectations of him etc. ?

    Seeing what the Wings’ brain trust does at the Entry Draft should give us a better idea of which way they are leaning.

    If Tavares calls Holland and tells him he really wants to be a Red Wing I suppose they’d make it work cap-wise but, considering the rebuild strategy, I just don’t see it happening.

  6. If…..If Detroit even gets to talks with Tavares it will be because of Ken Holland’s reputation. There really is no reason for Tavares to be looking at Detroit other than reputation (which starts with Holland). Other, better teams, have as much and more cap space, have proven players for him to play with, and have a better chance at winning the cup before he reaches retirement.

    So, IMO, if you are dreaming of Tavares being in the Winged Wheel it all comes down to supporting Ken Holland.

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