A lot has changed this summer for the Detroit Red Wings, but to the dismay of a number of their fans, they’ll still employ aging forward Dan Cleary.
Just to clarify: some robot didn’t auto-publish a PHT post from 2012. This contract is for the 2015-16 season, and HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that it’s worth $950K.
Here’s another statement that seems evident from the news alone: Ken Holland is still the Red Wings’ GM.
Cleary, 36, appeared in 17 games last season, collecting a goal and an assist.
Is there a chance it might not count against the cap if Cleary fails to make the team?
Beyond playing the experience/loyalty card, the best thing you can say about Cleary from 2014-15 is that his possession stats were decent, although much of that may be attributed to the fact that he began 61 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone.
That’s the nicest thing you can say. Here are some of the more amusing things that were said:
Question: Did Cleary ever make up a song about shampoo and conditioner bottles trash-talking each other?
The Detroit Red Wings are hoping to have veteran Johan Franzen in the lineup this season.
Franzen has not played since suffering his latest concussion on Jan. 6. The 35-year-old appeared in 33 games last season scoring seven goals and 15 assists.
Wings’ GM Ken Holland has been in contact with the Swede over the summer and is hoping Franzen is cleared for contact next month.
“My expectations and hopes are he’s going to be cleared when he takes his physical at camp,” Holland told MLive.com. “Ultimately, it’s in the hands of Dr. Kutcher.”
“Johan told me he’s gotten better over the course of the summer. He’s pushed himself hard to test it. So far, so good.”
As Ansar Khan notes, even if Franzen is cleared at camp, how he handles contact drills and preseason games will go a long way to determining whether he’ll suit up for his 11th NHL season.
“Obviously, there’s a history of concussions. I can’t read the future,” said Holland. “I expect he’ll take his physical and pass it and resume his career. As he skates and trains every day, if he has no setbacks — I don’t know why he would — I’m expecting his body is going to tell him.”
Franzen trained hard towards the end of the season for a return in the playoffs, but admitted in May that he suffered a setback.
Here’s an understatement for you: Mike Babcock is a tough act to follow.
In the hearts and minds of Red Wings fans, Jeff Blashill may very well face an impossible task in trying to supplant the scowl of Babs. It cannot be easy to jump from the AHL to replacing one of the most respected bench bosses in recent history.
That said, for all the well-earned hero worship Babcock often inspires, there’s an argument that Detroit needed a breath of fresh air.
The Red Wings were as dominant as ever from 2006-07 to 2008-09, making three conference finals, two Stanley Cup Final rounds and winning one ring. They’ve been solid-yet-mostly-unspectacular since then, however:
- Just one division title (in 2010-11).
- Three first-round exits in their last six postseason berths, including two straight years of one-and-done. The Red Wings haven’t made it beyond the second round in that span, either.
- They struggled to make the playoffs more than ever in recent years.
This is likely a case of oversimplifying, yet some may look at this situation in one of two ways:
A) Babcock squeezed every standings point possible out of a fading team.
B) Conversely, the franchise was begging for a jolt of energy.
It’s worth noting that the Red Wings remain a quality possession squad, although their exact rankings vary based on which specific metrics you use. The bottom line is that there’s a solid chance that Blashill has a decent group to work with, even if this obviously isn’t the stupidly dominant group many long associated with the Red Wings brand.
When your team is currently on a record 24-season playoff streak, expectations are inevitable, and Blashill faces a tall task. For all we know, setting the bar so high might not be such a bad thing.
With Jeff Blashill officially named the club’s 27th head coach in franchise history on Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings are now working on filling out his staff.
According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Blashill and GM Ken Holland will meet with Chris Chelios next week. Chelios, who has served as an advisor to hockey operations since retiring in 2010, has worked with Blashill in Grand Rapids.
The 53-year-old occasionally went on the ice during practice to work with the Griffins’ defensemen.
TSN’s Aaron Ward reported earlier in the week that Chelios was a likely candidate to join Blashill’s coaching staff.
Chelios spent parts of 10 seasons in Detroit as a player winning Stanley Cups in 2002 and 2008.
The Red Wings are also in talks with Tony Granato about a possible extension after he declined the option on his contract for next season.
“We’re still in the process of getting the right guys and putting the staff together,” Blashill said on Tuesday. “Within a week we’d like to have it settled. Put the best staff together and get to work.”
Related: Holland, Cleary will meet next week to decide future in Detroit
It sounds like the two sides won’t need to play coy much longer: MLive.com’s Ansar Khan reports that the Detroit Red Wings will announce Jeff Blashill as their new head coach sometime next week.
Khan believes that Blashill is set to receive a three-year contract, since that’s also the length of Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s current deal.
Blashill’s currently the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate. They were just eliminated from their postseason run, so this opens the door for a pending announcement. Khan explains the timing of the pending (but not yet confirmed) roll-out to the press and fans:
An announcement ordinarily might have come later this week but Holland has been in Buffalo for the NHL’s Scouting Combine and will attend the league’s general managers meetings in Chicago early next week during the Stanley Cup finals.
Blashill has scheduled exit interviews for players in Grand Rapids on Monday. So the earliest an announcement on his hiring can come is on Tuesday.
At 41, Blashill would be the second-youngest coach in the NHL, right behind 40-year-old newly minted New Jersey Devils bench boss John Hynes. In a way, Blashill’s ascent follows the way the Red Wings often nurse prospects, as he’s had a great run in the AHL while patiently awaiting the big call-up.
There’s always the chance that this will be refuted, yet all signs point to this being the likely decision. We’ll find out for sure next week, though.