Holland seeking more draft picks
By the conclusion of Monday’s NHL trade deadline, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland hopes to be feeling a lot more drafty.
Stockpiling draft picks is Holland’s mission as the trade deadline nears and it was what drove Monday’s deal to ship goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Wings are guaranteed a 2018 pick that will fall anywhere between the second and fourth round, depending upon how well the Flyers perform with Mrazek between the pipes. They’ll add a 2019 third round pick to the bounty if the Flyers opt to re-sign impending free agent Mrazek.
“Given the rules of the CBA, it really is a draft pick league,” Holland explained to Mlive.com. “I’m trying to acquire more draft picks and give our scouting staff more opportunities, more picks to find the types of players that we need to be the team that we envision down the road.
“This was an opportunity to acquire futures.”
If you are thinking that this move is the tip of the iceberg, better think again. As is his usual routine, Holland offered three reasons not to make a deal for every reason why it would be a good idea.
“How open am I for business?” Holland asked rhetorically. “I’m open for business over the next year or two. Hopefully, we’ll continue to make moves that will impact this team down the road.
“Am I open for discussion? Yeah, I’ve been talking to lots of teams. I’m open to talking about lots of things, but the reality of it is most of it doesn’t happen. But over the next year or two, we need to acquire more futures and we need those futures to get better.”
Unlike last year, when Holland was able to move forwards Steve Ott, Thomas Vanek and Tomas Jurco and defenseman Brendan Smith for picks, the Wings don’t have as many pieces in play, although the one they do have - impending unrestricted free agent defenseman Mike Green - figures to bring a mighty return, perhaps even a first round draft pick.
“We’ve got one unrestricted free agent of significance on our team,” Holland said. “Obviously, everyone knows about Mike Green and you guys have talked about that. Beyond that, for the most part, all our players are under team control. It’s not like I feel like I’ve got to do a deal because I’ve got these unrestricted free agents.
“It appears to be more of a buyer’s market. There’s more teams that are selling. The standings are so close, there’s some teams that aren’t sure what they are going to do. There’s not enough teams that are really guaranteed a playoff spot. Those teams that look at the standings and say ‘We’re in the playoffs,’ they can spend assets because they know those assets are going to help their team and they’re going to be in a playoff spot.
“There’s lots of teams that I like to call on the bubble. And nobody wants to pay significant assets and all of a sudden you wake up and you don’t make the playoffs.”
Other than moving Green, who will miss his third game Tuesday when the Wings face the Nashville Predators due to an upper-body injury, it’s very feasible that Holland might not do any more dealing.
“I’m talking to lots of teams about other things,” Holland said. “It’s got to make sense to me. It’s got to make sense to my staff. I’ve obviously got people I bounce things off. They’re out on the beat.
“Ultimately, when we’ve got something that makes sense, we’re going to do it. Until that point in time, we’ll keep going the way we’re going.”
To no one’s surprise, Jared Coreau was summoned from AHL Grand Rapids to serve as Jimmy Howard’s back-up goalie beginning with Tuesday’s game at Little Caesars Arena against the Predators.
“It’s a huge opportunity,” Coreau said. “I still have to earn things, nothing’s given like we always say. But it’s exciting times.”
Coreau is riding a hot streak. He stopped all 66 shots he faced in the Griffins’ back-to-back shutout wins over the Western Conference-leading Manitoba Moose last week. Coreau ranks third in the AHL this season with 20 wins in 36 appearances, alongside a 2.47 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and two shutouts. He won a Calder Cup title last spring, and like Mrazek, the Wings must make a decision on whether Coreau has a future with the organization.
“It’s a chance now to evaluate him at the NHL level,” Holland said. “He’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. I think he’s coming up at a time in his season, in his career, when he’s as ready as he can be.”
Recalled to Detroit briefly earlier this season, Coreau saw no action. Last season, he led Detroit goalies with two shutouts, but also posted an .887 save percentage, 5-4-3 record and 3.46 GAA in the first NHL stint of his pro career.
Forward Martin Frk, a healthy scratch for Sunday's game against Toronto, was back in against the Predators. Frk has scored two goals in the last 24 games.
“I wanted to dress seven D and Marty, in my opinion, was the 12th guy so he came out,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think Marty has had moments of playing really good, moments of playing fine. He needs to make sure he’s playing really good so he’s not in that spot.
“That’s his job and my job is to make the decision on the lineup.”
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