“He just didn’t earn a spot,” Babcock said of Pulkkinen. “I’m just in the winning business. Can you help us or not.
“All players think they need more ice time to play better,” Babcock continued. “Coach thinks play better and you get more ice time.”
Sometimes I love Mike Babcock. More accurately, I love how Mike Babcock gets the team to win. Sometimes I see a quote like this, and Weiss on the 4th line. Then I go, "Uh huh... sure, Mike. I believe you."
I think it's more like, "Play the EXACT way I want, and I play you. If you're realgud and heavy on the puck... you make a mistake, maybe I turn the other way. If I don't like parts of your game, you'll make one mistake and ride the pine. Realgud bench warmer."
Also, I don't get why Pulkkinen is the guy everyone is throwing in trade scenarios. I get that we have a ton of other guys coming but he should be one of the last guys we consider trading at this point in my opinion.
He should be, but how likely are one of those other guys to be moved? It's not Holland's style to move people unless he absolutely has to, and when some of those other guys are Mule, Weiss and Helm, there are some obstacles in the way. With next season in mind, my must/should keep around guys up front are:
One of those question marks is Mule, one is Helm/Weiss and one is Cleary/Andersson. For me, they're assets worth looking into moving because they're not playing their role as other could, or because they're a bit redundant, IMO.
Believe me, I think Mule should be the expendable winger, because the wingers on the team now are younger, faster, etc. and I'd rather his spot be filled than theirs. With Weiss/Helm, I think it makes sense to keep one, not both. We've got Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Sheahan down the middle, so we really only need one who can shift to center from wing when the need arises. When Datsyuk leaves, we'll definitely need someone to help with the transition. That leaves Andersson and Cleary... I think it's clear what Holland should do with those two.
I guess my point is, it's easy to see which other guys should be traded, but how likely is it? Factor in their contracts (Mule, Weiss) and what they mean to this team beyond statistics (Helm). How likely is it that Holland wants to stick with "proven commodities", as opposed to making a spot for Pulkkinen, Mantha, etc.
As I said before this, I truly believe Pulkkinen's spot next year is as 13th/14th forward, based on what Holland decides to do with Andersson. Technically, Holland doesn't have to make any real decisions until next off-season, when Helm, Abdelkader and Miller are UFA. By then, I'm sure we'll all be going bonkers for Mantha and AA. The reality is, I'd like Holland to be progressive, instead of letting the team hit training camp, and reacting to who looks best... but he certainly doesn't have to be.
Absolutely! Imagine if we would have had Gus on our roster last year all the way from training camp. It's f@cking ludicrous that Cleary and Andersson are taking up roster spots over Teemu right now. I could see it if he was struggling down there or this was his first year in the AHL but he's leading his fricking league in goals! He also fits a niche need that we have right now for a right handed shot (HARD, ACCURATE right handed shot no less). I realize Kenny wants the prospects to be over-ripe before we bring them up but there's also a point where you have to bring them up if they're better players than what you have on your roster. It killed me last year to see some of the scrubs we were trying to recycle rather than giving Gus and Tatar a chance.
They're not, though. They're riding the pine. You can waive either guy, and Teemu simply takes their spot on the bench. In order for him to get any real ice time, someone else has to go. If he's up, who out in this team's top 9 sits? Putting him on the 4th line wouldn't do much good, IMO.
I want to see Pulkkinen on this team as much as the next guy, but right now it wouldn't do him or the team much good. Maybe if Jurco goes on IR, he gets a look, but I still doubt Babcock will bump Helm down to the 4th line.
I just thought of something, so I thought I'd put it here.
Disclaimer: This is fantasy and I am, in no way, advocating for it to happen now.
Should you ever think that Ken Holland is not doing a good job, think about these forward lines built entirely out of Red Wings organizational talent. Jesus.
And when Dats and Z are too old, Larkin and Athanasiou won't be.
That really is impressive. Crazy to see it put in perspective like that.
As far as Quincey wanting to keep things simple and play defensive hockey... please keep it up KQ. Even if his play is a microcosm of the team's, he's doing right by Kyle Quincey. I'm having flashbacks to last season when he was 2nd in shots among Detroit defenders. Let Danny do the shooting.
While we're on the topic, stop shooting Ericsson. Just stop. Big Rig... smash. No shoot. Smash.
Really liked that play by Hicketts in the last minute. Just a smart little play, but he held onto the puck on the delayed offside. The Canadians were jumpy all game - was nice to see someone calm things down a bit at an important time in the game.
As much as I'd like to see Pulu up with the Wings, I don't think moving Jurco to another team is the solution. I think he's got an edge to his game that you're not going to find with some of the other prospects/players in the organization. Even if his skill game doesn't meet expectation, he can serve as a net presence/puck retrieval type guy. I was all for Jurco starting the year in the AHL (if Alfie was going to return) and I still kind of feel as if he might have been better served down there. He could be dominating on a line with Pulkkinen. It may be against "lesser" competition, but I think it would have done him some good - he's still only 22, and he never got a full season of dominating play in the AHL.
Either way, there are about 2-3 guys I'd move before Jurco in order to open a spot for someone else.
If I was Ken Holland I'd call her office right now and ask "what the f*** Helene"? Why would you speculate about a players' trade value, and fuel subsequent rumors, while he's playing the best hockey of anyone on the team?
I've always thought Helene St. James was stupid. But this is seriously next level stupidity. It's like if stupidity went super saiyan.
Like... Stupor Saiyan?
HockeyyInsiderr = NHLSourcesSay, at least in terms of being click bait on a smaller scale. People would cite NSS during the off-season. I'm pretty sure they had something about Green coming here for Tatar, as well. I'm all for adding on to the back-end, but giving away your leading goal scorer for a project? Yikes.
Helene writing about it, on the other hand, is just plain idiotic. I'm starting to feel like Ansar Khan is the only legitimate source for Red Wings material. He rarely speculates, and when he does, it's generally very reasonable.
Posted by Jesusberg
on 22 December 2014 - 07:17 PM
I agree - AHL veterans are important. I think guys like Paestch, Hoggan, Miele (even though he's only 26, he strikes me as a career AHL guy) and Porter have their place on this team, 100%. Those guys provide leadership, chip in offensively and make their line mates better. I understand the defense core is pretty young, but I feel like Ouellet and Marchenko are fairly stable in their own right, and I'd even trust Jensen to a lesser extent.
If the argument is that Backman's the low man on the totem pole, and he's irrelevant because the other prospects are better than he is, then what is Evans? All of the vets I mentioned provide more than Evans does. Again, if we're going to take one "lesser" player, I'd rather take the guy who's going to potentially be a member of the Red Wings in the future. Heck, I'd be all for Nedomlel playing over Backman if he deserved it - at least he's considered a prospect and could play for the Wings down the road, doubtful as it may be.
I get we're kind of spinning our wheels here - there's not much middle ground on this one. I just feel as if this team moving Kindl is long overdue, and Evans on this the Griffins is redundant with the existing veterans. Either guy being gone would have assuaged the situation. For me, it just comes down to a guy we know is as good as done with this team and an AHL vet with minimal contributions being kept over someone who could make a difference down the road.
Posted by Jesusberg
on 20 December 2014 - 01:17 PM
So he should have earned his playing time, but he should have been given playing time even if he wasn't earning it, while Evans, who despite his lack of an NHL future who has been doing his job, should have been benched.
The bottom line is that Backman didn't do enough to prove he was good enough to play in the AHL. End of story.
So Evans' job in the AHL > Backman's job in the AHL + his potential job at the NHL level.
Perhaps I'm underestimating the importance of a plug, who's scored zero points at the AHL. It's fantastic that Blashill feels he's got more intangibles, or brings leadership to the team, or whatever... but I think it's a very short-sighted strategy. Grand Rapids is what... 10th or 11th in the West? What exactly are they winning, and how is Brennan Evans helping? How does Backman playing in his spot hinder their "success" this season?
I admit, Backman leaving is a short-sighted move on his part. As much as he's responsible for his development, management is just as responsible, if not more. He's a suck for leaving, but I truly believe this is an example of mismanagement as well. To say that the onus is on a 22 year-old kid for leaving, what he feels to be a situation that is hindering his potential, is kind of ridiculous, IMO.
Backman's playing in the SEL and likely not coming back - that's partially on him, but there's more to it in my view. This team can't or won't move Kindl, and won't sit Brennan Evans. Both contributed to this situation.
Posted by Jesusberg
on 20 December 2014 - 11:30 AM
But at the same time you need to EARN it.
Let's say that Backman wasn't performing up to snuff in practices, and the 13 games he played in. That's fine - he wasn't doing enough to stay in the line-up on a consistent basis. My issue with the situation right now is that Evans has played in 20 games, and has contributed nothing on offense. I understand his role on the team, but Backman was essentially sitting while Evans has been racking up PIM's.
Earning it or not, I just can't understand the logic behind letting a player who could potentially contribute to your team in the future sit over an AHL veteran who's got zero points and no future in the organization.
I'm sure Backman played his role in the situation - perhaps a poor attitude, sense of entitlement, being homesick, etc., but now a player this team was pretty high on going into the season is back in Sweden, and I can't see him coming back to GR. The chances he makes the Red Wings out of camp, from the SEL are pretty much slim to none. It's a situation that could have been avoided, IMO.