Kulfan speaks with Shawn Horcoff regarding the Wings’ loaning of 9 prospects to European teams

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan spoke with Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff regarding the team’s decision to loan 9 prospects out to European teams this season:

The Wings, Horcoff said, stay in contact with the different coaches and work in unison with them. There are no favors expected, or given, and Horcoff and his stable of assistants in player development (including Dan Cleary and Niklas Kronwall) are able to help in whatever way, if asked.

“We make certain that the same message is being replayed to the player,” Horcoff said. “If we’re telling them to do something, and the coach is saying completely different, you’re spinning your tires and getting nowhere. The good news is, we’ve always had good relationships with coaches, and they’ve welcomed our input. It’s always been important for us to establish relationships, first and foremost, with the coaches. I find when you do that, and gain their trust, they’re a lot more willing to have you involved.”

The matter of playing time is rarely, if ever, discussed. Horcoff trusts the different coaching staffs to utilize their rosters accordingly.

“We’re honest with our players,” Horcoff said. “If they’re not playing good, they’re going to know it. We’re not going to sugarcoat it. That’s not going to make them better. We don’t expect favors as an organization. We just expect the players to be treated well and equally as everyone else.

“And listen, it’s a business, and these coaches want to win. They will put the players out there who will help them win the most. If the coaches aren’t putting them out there, or putting them in situations, a lot of the reasons why is because they can’t do it at that level. What makes them think they’ll be able to do it in the NHL?”


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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.