TSN’s Seravalli: Red Wings to sign Calvin Pickard to 2-year deal

Sorry I’m late with this one:

Sounds like Calvin Pickard is joining the #RedWings on a two-year deal. He’s expected to compete with Jonathan Bernier in training camp to back up Jimmy Howard.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 30, 2019

Pickard is still 27, and I’m gathering that he’ll start for the Griffins. Per TSN:

The 27-year-old split the 2018-19 season between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Arizona Coyotes.

In 17 games with the two teams, he posted a 4-6-2 record with a 3.86 goals against average and .875 save percentage.

The Moncton, New Brunswick native has spent time with the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs over the course of his five-year NHL career.

As The Athletic’s Max Bultman reports, Filip Larsson knew this past week that he was going to have competition in GR:

Top Detroit goalie prospect Filip Larsson was asked this week about his goals for the upcoming season w/rt how many games he hopes to play if he is indeed in Grand Rapids. His answer: pic.twitter.com/c9K21UDz5f— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) June 30, 2019

Hockeybuzz’s Duff suggests Hainsey, Perry as possible UFA pick-ups

The Red Wings’ beat writers have weighed in as to what the team might want to do as the Wings approach free agency tomorrow, and Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff makes some bold UFA suggestions this afternoon:

There are some players who figure to interest the Wings that aren’t going to be settling for short-term pacts. That includes former Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist. Others like forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brett Connolly and defenseman Anton Stralman are likely to garner longer term from other teams.

A possibility could be journeyman defenseman Ron Hainsey. He’s 38, and played in Ann Arbor with USA Hockey’s NTDP, so he’s familiar with the area. He’s a reliable, stay-at-home type who’s won a Stanley Cup.

Hanisey averaged 20 minutes a game with Toronto last season and played 81 games. Hainsey could also be a guy the Wings would be able to flip to a contender at the NHL trade deadline.

Longtime Wings antagonist Corey Perry is also a free agent after being bought out by Anaheim. He could add abrasiveness in a bottom-six forward role and would be another that might interest a contender at the deadline.

An intriguing possibility is forward Joonas Donskoi. He’s another bottom-six forward type who can put the puck in the net, with back-to-back 14 goal seasons on his resume. But at 27, he’s not likely to get a longer-term pact from some team.


Bultman’s development camp observations include a summary as to why the camp was deliberately ‘uncomfortable’

The Athletic’s Max Bultman offers his observations regarding the Red Wings’ summer development camp this afternoon, and Bultman’s introduction may serve as the best summary of what the summer development camp is about:

“We’re working on a lot of things that are uncomfortable for these guys,” said Detroit’s director of player development Shawn Horcoff. “We’re trying to work on skills that are going to help them in the future, skills they’re going to need to develop in order to play in the NHL, and they’re not there yet. That’s just how it works. They’re kids. And so, if they’re worried about evaluation, they won’t try the necessary things. They’re scared to make mistakes, so to (speak), so we make that very clear.”

That’s the eternal ethos of development camp. Horcoff’s job is to develop the players, and evaluation, by necessity, plays a part in that. But he’s not worried about picking the opening-night lineup in a few months. He won’t have to.

What’s inevitable, though, is that impressions are made over the course of a week. Even if they’re pretty low consequence, they’re there. Steve Yzerman and Jeff Blashill were in a Little Caesars Arena suite Saturday for the annual Red & White game, a reminder that, in just over three months, one or two of the prospects playing in front of this late-June crowd could also be on the ice for the home-opener against Dallas.

Continued (paywall)…

Pop quiz, hot shot

Sports Illustrated’s hockey staff compiled a list of pressing off-season questions for each and every one of the NHL’s 31 teams. As the Red Wings prepare for free agency, SI’s staff suggests that Steve Yzerman’s free agency and summer trade season plans serve as the Wings‘ biggest unknown:

Detroit Red Wings: What will Steve Yzerman do? 

Back in Detroit, Yzerman has the keys to the team that Ken Holland built. Yzerman made his first mark on the rebuild at the draft, selecting German defenseman Moritz Seider earlier than anyone anticipated. The undertaking is similar to his time in Tampa Bay: Find the pieces to supplement the team’s core. Yzerman is stocked with nine picks in the first three rounds of the 2020 and 2021 drafts. Bonfide No. 1 center Dylan Larkin headlines a forward group flush with talent, including Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. The defense, though, is shaky at best and needs some attention.

I’m just not sure whether the Red Wings need to address their defense via free agency. If they’re not going the “veteran route” (think Dion Phaneuf or Anton Stralman), the names out there (per CapFriendly) are going to be Joel Edmunson, Ben Hutton, Jake Gardiner, Patrik Nemeth, Joe Morrow or Ben Chariot (among others).

Aside from Gardiner, the long story shot for the 20-somethings is that they’ve either got a limited offensive upside or they have to answer serious questions about their consistency and form.

We’ll see what the Yzerplan is for both the Red Wings and Griffins over the course of the next 7 days. I am hoping that Yzerman sits on the sidelines and allows as much of that $12 million in cap space to sit fallow as possible, but that’s just me.

Dear GM Steve,

Please let this be your Monday.


George pic.twitter.com/WUZcRSwarc— George Malik (@georgemalik) June 30, 2019

HSJ’s notebook: On Taro Hirose’s learning curve

This morning, the Free Press’s Helene St. James posted a notebook article which reflects upon the Red Wings’ summer development camp. Among her notes is this snippet regarding Taro Hirose’s high “ceiling”:

It’s a small sample size, but since the Wings signed Taro Hirose (Michigan State) in mid-March, he’s done nothing but impress — seven points his first 10 NHL games. He’s also easy to play with. 

“My coach at Union always says you can’t teach hockey sense and a guy like that, it’s evident,” Jack Adams, a sixth-round pick in 2017, said after playing with Hirose in Friday’s 3-on-3 tourney (it was after that event Adams noted that Yzerman was watching everything). 

Hirose is a front-runner to secure a spot on next season’s team. When he isn’t studying video, he’s hitting up guys like Larkin and Thomas Vanek for tips.

“I’m trying to be a student of the game, watch what the best players in the world are doing, because those guys see things like that,” Hirose said. “Being able to pick their brains, guys on the team, to what they’re seeing on plays and seeing things that I maybe don’t see. I’m trying to learn all the time and that’s a big part for me.”

St. James continues, discussing Mortiz Seider, Albin Grewe, Otto Kivenmaki and Malte Setkov…

Wakiji’s Red and White game notebook: He’s not little, he’s Otto lot of talent

Among DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji’s summer development camp Red and White game notes is this general summary from director of player development Shawn Horcoff, which includes some praise for Otto Kivenmaki:

It was a fitting finish to a competitive development camp for Detroit Red Wings prospects at Little Caesars Arena Saturday afternoon.

It started out as a blowout for Team Howe, who took a 3-0 lead, turned into a 4-4 tie at the end of regulation and was decided in a shootout.

“I liked the pace of the scrimmage,” said Shawn Horcoff, Detroit’s director of player development. “A lot stood out this week. They practice all week, they don’t get in that many game situations and we ask them to go out there and play a game, which they haven’t done in a while, it makes it tough on the kids. It’s a nice ending to the week. The guys we drafted this week, those are the guys I don’t really know that well, so it was nice seeing them play in a game situation. I saw a lot of talent, a lot of skill out there, and we’re excited.”

Otto Kivenmaki (7th round, 191st overall, 2018) scored the only goal of the shootout, lifting Team Lindsay to a 5-4 victory.

Kivenmaki, 5-foot-8, 154 pounds, also scored for Team Lindsay during their second-period comeback.

“You can tell his hockey sense and his talent level is high,” Horcoff said. “He’s continued to get stronger. He’s put on 12-13 pounds since last year and just has to continue to do that. He really finished strong the second half of the season in Finland, 11 points in 11 games or something close to that, but he played a lot, first-line power play, top-six minutes, that’s the biggest thing. He believes and he knows the way last season finished how he can play and how he can produce. I think he’s looking forward to this year and having a really big year.”

Wakiji continues at length.

Impressions from the Red and White Game on the fifth and final day of the Wings’ summer development camp ’19

The Detroit Red Wings’ prospects engaged in a spirited, physical and sometimes nasty affair as Teams Howe and Lindsay took part in a full scrimmage on Saturday, with Team Lindsay winning 5-4 in a shootout.

The four nearly full lower-bowl sections represented a pretty dang intense fan presence for a summer game played on Saturday, June 29th, and Little Caesars Arena buzzed with energy, especially when defenseman Moritz Seider skated with the puck (there was a moment when Seider was actually applauded for making a savvy play).

Continue reading Impressions from the Red and White Game on the fifth and final day of the Wings’ summer development camp ’19

Grewe, baby, Grewe

Albin Grewe, pronounced “ALL-bin GREW-vay,” will most likely end up being called “AL-bin GROOVY” by North American broadcasters, and that’s OK, because the nasty little Djurgardens IF forward makes a hell of an impression during competitive play. Grewe both looked like a player who can score goals, distribute pucks, and plain old instigate during Saturday’s scrimmage, as the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan notes in his Red and White Game notebook:

Those comparisons between Boston’s Brad Marchand and Wings prospect Albin Grewe might be true.

Grewe showed his agitating side during Saturday’s scrimmage, getting into a shoving match with 6-foot-7 draft pick Elmer Soderblom, and delivering some crunching hits.

“You don’t see too many Swede-on-Swede altercations,” Horcoff said. “He’s a guy who you’re going to notice even more in games where his competitiveness sticks out.”

At 6-foot and 187 pounds, Grewe already has the strength and strong core to someday compete for an NHL job.

“Some kids are just naturally thick,” Horcoff said. “There’s no shortage of compete in the NHL, especially with the elite players. It’s something that comes natural with him.

“We knew he was that type of player when we talked to the amateur staff. They were excited to get that type of player with talent onto our club.”

Kulfan continues

Khan rounds out the free agency assessment chorus

The Free Press’s Helene St. James, Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan and The Athletic’s Max Bultman have all weighed in on the Red Wings’ potential free agency options. This afternoon, MLive’s Ansar Khan rounds out the chorus with an assessment of his own as to what the Wings should do, as well as a long list of players that the Wings might want to target come July 1st at 12 PM EDT.

What should the Wings do with their $12 million in cap space? Khan believes that signing players to short-term deals is the answer:

The Red Wings won’t be in the hunt for the elite players and probably not the next level of talent either, given their reluctance to dole out longer-term deals and their rebuilding status.

There are many lower-cost alternatives. It might take a few days after free agency opens to get those players, after they’ve explored options and concluded they won’t get the term they were seeking.

General manager Steve Yzerman will look to plug some holes.

Veteran winger Thomas Vanek has been informed he won’t be re-signed. Defenseman/winger Luke Witkowski could still be a low-cost option on a one-year deal for later in the summer. Yzerman has said he’d welcome back defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who is contemplating one more season or retirement.

The Red Wings also are in the market for an experienced goaltender to split the net with prospect Filip Larsson in Grand Rapids. They made a qualifying offer to Patrik Rybar but don’t expect him to return.

The Red Wings will have more money to spend next summer when several contracts are off the books (Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley and possibly Jimmy Howard). But some of their young restricted free agents will be due for new deals (Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi) as well.

Khan continues at length, and his list of players that could be possible targets is interesting, but I would barf in my mouth and barf in the toilet of the Wings ever signed someone like Corey Perry to a contract.