Three things: Two jabs and a bit of hope

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. It takes a while for the Hockey News’s articles to pop up on the internet radar, so this lovely gem from the THN’s Matt Larkin, discussing “Stanley Cup windows” for Atlantic Division teams, splattered itself across the screen a day late:

WINDOW CLOSED: Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators

Here’s a depressing stat: the Red Wings, perceived as a bottom-dwelling rebuilder right now, have the highest salary cap number in the league. That’s how badly they’ve buried themselves with expensive veteran contracts, from Frans Nielsen’s to Darren Helm’s to Justin Abdelkader’s. Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha have developed into impact forwards, and Filip Zadina was an absolute steal at sixth overall in the draft, but the Wings’ veterans might continue to keep them a bit too competitive, robbing them of the lottery-ball count necessary to secure a franchise-altering superstar pick like Jack Hughes next summer. If Henrik Zetterberg’s bad back keeps him out all year, it might be a blessing. At this point, losses help the Wings more than wins. They are years away from competing in the Atlantic. Don’t forget who’s at the top of this division. Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman, Tavares, Matthews, Marner, Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak and company will bully the bottom teams black and blue.

The way the Red Wings will pry open their Stanley Cup window might take years of drafting and developing players and more years of drafting and developing players, but at this point, staring at a still-living body of players (competitive or not) and poking at them for a giggle’s sake is getting old.

I suppose that’s the Wings’ lot for the next couple of seasons, and one earns one’s way out of the franchise-as-a-punchline category, but as a partisan, the zingers still sting from time to time.

2. Speaking of which, the state of the Red Wings’ defense is not exactly elite, but I think THN’s Sam McCaig’s ranking of Mike Green’s status among the league’s #1 defensemen is a wee low (if only by a couple of spots)…

29. Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings: In reality, you want him on the second pairing and running the power play.

3. And in cheerier news, the London Free Press’s Ryan Pyette reports that Wings draft pick Alec Regula was named the London Knights’ Rookie of the Year at the team’s end-of-the-2017-18-season awards ceremony. Regula may not be a #1 defenseman in the making, but he’s “part of the solution.”

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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.

2 thoughts on “Three things: Two jabs and a bit of hope”

  1. concerning windows : im a holland basher , i dont think he is a good judge of talent . hes like a fan boy that thinks every nhler is great then proceeds to over contract them . and im guessing he gets too close to players then cant seperate friendship from business . but at the same time all these which the majority perceive to be bad contracts have created some stability for the rough years where wings going to be weak . as without the gators-helms-neilsens-etc you have journey men or young unknown prospects in those roles that are not going to be able to do as good a job mentoring . and to me the nhl is like that old time montreal great once said ” hockey is leadership , leadership , leadership . ” . so holland picked these guys like gator for dedication to the program that will rub off on the young guys , plus keeping the past connected to guys like lidstrom and datsyuk whom gator and helmer know and learned from . so theres some inflated contracts but in the long run it was probably the best way to utilize todays cap space while in a rebuild . and the ufa arent out there like they used to be anyway so we couldnt have gotten much better players in the first place with that cap space . one gripe i still have is i want another cop around during these kid years with guys like razz n zads coming up , i dont want mantha having to stand up to the cheap shot artist . for one i want wiski playing , but also another tough guy brought in . maybe a zac kassian a local guy . hes a decent skater and when he gets pissed off can go

  2. The Wings got some cap relief this past off season, and Holland immediately wasted it by bringing back Green and Vanek. It leads me to believe that any cap space they gain as contracts expire in the next few off seasons will be immediately wasted giving extensions to the players we should be saying good bye to. How much do you wanna bet that they resign Kronwall AND Ericsson when their current deals run out? I pray they don’t, but recent history says three years deals for each of them, with full no trade clauses to boot.

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