September 3, 2009

Red Wings Season Preview: Kirk Maltby

Because nothing screams "cutting edge" quite like The Triple Deke, we'll be passing on the typical season preview for 2009-10. Instead, we will bring you this: a highly scientific forecast of each player's performance, which will be calculated by using an updated copy of a 13 year old video game -- Sega's NHL '97. Each statistical output will be treated as an irrefutable premonition, and anyone who challenges the accuracy of our system will be burned alive in front of their families


Kirk Maltby | #18 | Left Wing


* Fuck off.


* Used to be able to contribute somewhat offensively, but now all of his scoring is done purely by mistake.

* Isn't much of an agitator anymore. (And the Crosby thing is nothing to brag about. Anyone who is bothered by excessive hat throwing isn't worthy of mention in this category.)

* Good penalty killer, but much of that ice time is given to other players now.

Strengths, 2nd try:

* Really good at not having any strengths.

NHL '97 Season Recap: 2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points

Honestly I feel bad about saying this stuff. After all, I sort of defended Maltby a couple of weeks ago by saying that the team should either cut ties with him or keep playing him rather than leave him hanging. I think I said he earned it, or something, I don't really know. It was probably wrong and a cop-out to say something negative about Todd Bertuzzi again. The lesson here is that you should really never listen to anything I say when I put on the "serious voice" and the moment that I start babbling about an actual opinion is when you should go back to On The Wings.

Fact is, Maltby has one goal in his last fifty playoff games. I know it's not part of his responsibilities but good lord. There is no way that he can hold down a regular spot in the lineup anymore (this is me contradicting myself from that previous comment/changing my mind). He's been a mainstay on the Wings roster as one of "The Five Horsemen", an embarrassingly retarded nickname I just made up to describe the players who have won the Wings' last four Cups, but he's clearly knocking on the door to retirement *

His '97 Sega season was less than less than extraordinary. Oddly enough the only two goals he recorded were in the same game against the Bruins, but the celebration was cut short however as goalie Tim Thomas was so humiliated that he immediately traded himself to the Avalanche. Maltby spent the rest of the season rotating in and out of the lineup with Patrick Eaves and having Hot 'n Ready pizzas crammed down his throat up in the press box.

* Does he retire though, after this year? It's the final year of his contract. Let's say hypothetically that the Wings don't bring back two out of the three of Bertuzzi/Williams/Eaves for 2010-'11, but Abdelkader is re-signed and given a full time spot. We'll also say that they bring Homer back for one last hurrah before his body turns to sawdust, and obviously re-sign Helm. Not taking any future free agents into consideration, that leaves you with a lineup of:

Datsyuk - Zetterberg - Holmstrom

Cleary - Filppula - Franzen
Leino - Helm - (Bert/Will/Eaves)
____ - Draper - Abdelkader

It would seem to me, in my very un-expert opinion, that a number of things would have to fall correctly for Maltby to still have a career in Detroit after this year. Helm is due for a raise, but then with Lidstrom and Homer likely to take paycuts and the other one year deals coming off the books, there could be some wiggle room to make a free agent splash. The only way I see Maltby re-signing is if they're so up against the cap that only a league-minimum type of deal is all they're willing to spend.

But as for the retirement thing: Let's say the Wings don't bring him back; he's only 36 right now and is in good shape, he's still a decent skater, and....... oh right -- nothing after that. Forgot. Age/shape-wise he doesn't seem done, but judging by anytime that he's an annoyed healthy scratch, I can't picture him taking a role as a bit player on another team or as a minor leaguer. Maybe that's completely off the mark, I don't know. Just curious.


Chris said...

The italics are confusing. Like you are making a serious point. Stop it.

Poor Tim Thomas.

Osrt said...

I remember when we used to think as highly of Maltby as we do of Helm now. Seriously, he and Drapes got to stud together on Team Canada.

He played really well in the playoffs and found some chemistry with Helm (who wouldn't?). Nothing particularly eye catching but smart safe minutes even when handed suicide passes.

But he knows. He knows everything you just said and he has either accepted it (unlikely) or is working his ass off right now to pick up his stick skills (hopefully; he was a 50 goal guy in Junior and even did this once (#8):

I don't want to see him disappear after all those great years. Let's hope he gives Babbles a reason to play him regularly.

Animal Drew said...

I like the fact he's whacking someone upside the head with his stick...let's hope its Mark "faux hawk" Savard...that dude looks like he wears eye-linger...seriously.

Triple Deke Staff said...

Incredible eye, Drew, you nailed it.

And strangely enough, from the Twitter of redwingsbuzztap ...

- Tyler

Triple Deke Staff said...

@ Chris: thank you bringing "fuck me glances" into the Triple Deke lexicon yesterday. We're sending you a pretend hat.

@ Osrt: kudos for being 100 times less dick-ish about Malts than I was. Usually I just close my eyes and type but now I may consider proofreading. Ken Holland had these nice things to say about Maltby in that DetNews piece:

"I love 'em," Holland said. "I love character. I love people who know how to win. I believe in stability. Fans sometimes after watching guys for a long period of time grow tired of these people. You want to see the next fresh face come along. But you know what? It's hard to win. People don't realize how hard it is. When you have a winning program, I guess I am just real slow to change because these guys know how to win."

I started watching Red Wings hockey sometime during the 1992 season. So it's been a long, long time that I've been watching the "Horsemen" crew (seriously gay) play for this team, and the day that one of them finally leaves will be very strange, and there will certainly be a long tribute post to accommodate it.

- Tyler

Chris said...

Thanks for the hat.

John W. said...

Living in Lansing I somehow find it strange someone this funny lives here as well. You really crack me up. This blog has really made this summer a lot more tolerable.
I too enjoyed the fact that Maltby is slashing a guy in the head in hise pic, however it begs a very important question: what the hell is Tuzzi gonna be doing in his pic that's worse than that? On second thought, I don't even wanna think about it...