It’s been an interesting day for Red Wings Fans. When most thought that Derek Meech would be suiting up in another NHL uniform, we come to find that the youngster has cleared waivers. It will be interesting to see what Ken Holland’s next move is. He did promise that if Meech wasn’t part of the top six defenseman, that he would try and move him (Even though he has tried and not succeeded). On the other hand, veteran Kirk Maltby will rejoin the squad as expected as a two way player.
I’ll share my thoughts a little bit later on the subject that is Kirk Maltby. It’s definitely an interesting situation. Maltby has in a sense earned the right to be an everyday player, but as we all in this day and age of hockey, earning and talent are two different pieces of pie.
Training camp is right around the corner and a lot of buzz is surrounding the upcoming season. Let’s take a look at some links of interest this evening.
Kirk Maltby Should Call it a Career – Bleacher Report featured Red Wings columnist Matt Hutter shares his thoughts on the Kirk Maltby saga. Hutter makes some good points on the subject, before the actual signing:
Even though the Wings’ depth, again, more youthful than Maltby, has essentially pushed him out of a heretofore guaranteed roster spot, Kirk Maltby isn’t really an AHL player.
I couldn’t agree more with Matt, but at the same time Maltby has earned the right to make his own decision. Quite frankly, as a fan – I am also happy he is coming back because we could sure use the depth in the middle of the season. Plus if Maltby realizes riding the bus isn’t for him, he can always hang it up at any point in the season. The one thing that keeps him going though is that he is a grinder who believes in his ability. The Red Wings have been his family for most of his career. Throw in the fact that there is nobody better in the organization to give the young talent in Grand Rapids direction than Maltby. He will cherish that and take it with him throughout the season. I don’t see this man going anywhere, and he will definitely be contributing at some point this season. There’s nobody better to light the fire under some under-performing talent at the parent level, because this man could permanently steal your job.
The Ken Holland Botch – Matt Hutter also has posted an interesting piece on what he calls one of Ken Holland’s rare blunders. All Red Wings fans remember the hype that circled around Kyle Quincey when he was fighting to make the squad before the 2008 season. Now a no. 2 defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche, Quincey was waived for the favored Derek Meech. This is a rather interesting situation considering the waiving and clearing of Meech and the obvious value of Quincey.
Rink Side Rants – Make sure you head on over to Too Many Men on the Site to catch last night’s airing of The Rinkside Rants. Tim and Frank talk about blogger credentials and more. As always an interesting discussion before the start of the season. With October right around the corner, get ready for the gang to expand the show completely in preperation for HOCKEY!
Only Two Western Conference Contenders – Tony Gallagher at The Province believes that there are only two contenders in the Western Conference to battle for the Stanley cup. Banking on the fact that the Blackhawks have cut salary and the Sharks lost their best defenseman and their top notch goalie, Gallagher argues that the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings are the only true dangerous teams in the West.
But when their scanning eye hits upon Detroit, fear enters their mind knowing this just might be the best team in the west.
Johan Franzen, who is quickly turning into one of the most prolific points per game playoff scorers in history with his 18 points in 12 games last season despite no power in his legs, will be healthy after missing most of the regular season last year.
He’s slated to play with Todd Bertuzzi and Valtteri Filppula which frees up Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk to play together, these two virtually guaranteeing them a playoff spot before they drop the puck.
They’ll see Jiri Hudler returning to the lineup and he adds another goal scorer, something they probably could have used last season.
Gallagher goes on to break down the Modano factor and the top six for Detroit. He also notes that the age factor has something to do with the Wings advantage:
Canuck fans clearly have to hope that age or injury related issues will get to these guys, particularly after a full season and perhaps a playoff round or two.
In Detroit of course they’ll be using age as a rallying cry—these veterans saying ‘this will be our last year together’ and that they need to make it memorable.
Add in a mix of younger, developing talent and I couldn’t agree more. There is a lot of hype for this team, which is refreshing after last season.
The Young Talent – Motown Wings breaks down some of the new young talent that Wings fans should get accustomed to seeing sooner rather than later.
Lidstrom/Rafalski Preview – Casey Richey at Winging it in Motown breaks down the top defensive pairing with the preview of what’s to come from Nick Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski. There is no doubt the top line will be asked to take the ice in many key situations and Casey breaks down what to expect from our most depended on defensive skaters.
Loss of Niemi Reminiscent – Jeff over at Blackhawk Up writes about how the loss of goalie Antti Niemi reminds him of last summer when Chicago lost veterans Martin Havlat and Nikolai Khabibulin. It will definitely be an interesting season for the Hawks. Coming up later this month, We will have Jeff break down the Chicago off-season and spill his expectations in a pre-season preview. In other Hawk news, they have signed forward Ryan Potulny to a one-year, 500,000 dollar contract.
New Player in Columbus – Fire That Cannon is ecstatic with the fact that the Blue Jackets have locked up 2010 fourth overall draft pick Ryan Johansen with a three year entry level deal.
Preds Sign Franson – Amanda DiPaolo over at PredLines discusses the last defensive pairing battle with the recent signing of Cody Franson.