Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

On banners and a very brief update from the Red Wings’ prospects’ morning skate

Well, now.  Three KK readers have offered up a superb slate of banners for the Malik Report, and I’m not quite sure which one’s the coolest, so please take a look at the following images and let me know what you think:

The first comes from Craig Wicks:

The second comes from Clark Rasmussen of DetroitHockey.net:

And the third comes from Jenn “Jenemy of the Skate” Schwab:

Which one do you like the best?    Please leave your comments below, send me an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or fire me a Tweet.

Regarding the Wings’ prospects: The Red Wings took to the ice at 11:29 AM and were off a little more than 35 minute later, with the exception of Jordan Pearce, Thomas McCollum, and a few other prospects who took shots at the north net—as did McCollum on Pearce (kick save!) and Pearce on McCollum (blockered away!).  Curt Fraser put the prospects through an incredibly high-paced practice focusing upon what have now become the basics—rushing the puck up ice in odd-man situations, with two defensemen firing pucks toward two forwards at the far blueline, who then attack the defensemen with a forward standing at centre ice folding into the drill; puck retrieval, where either the goalie or a defenseman either “wheels” the puck around the boards to a defender as forwards swivel toward the net, or “reverses” the puck by going against the grain; that odd, odd drill where the forwards have to essentially rotate through a full circle’s revolution, with the forward who initiates play, this time halfway between the boards and goalpost on the red line, has to eventually swivel toward the net and screen a goaltender after first skating out toward the half boards parallel to the faceoff circle, then slide toward the slot and ultimately end up at the net, with each forward touch-passing the puck as they swivel; and more “basic” three-on-twos or two-on-ones took place where a classic Red Wings rule was in play—the forwards or defensemen had to make at least three passes before firing the puck at the net.  The four centers also did faceoff drills where the one of the players hesitantly dropped the puck with his bare hand, hoping to not get it hacked off, and I can tell you this much: Brent Raedeke and Landon Ferraro turn their bottom hands over and attempt to sweep the puck back, while Louis-Marc Aubry and Joakim Andersson use their tremendous size to pull the puck diagonally to their forehand or backhand, with their sticks almost perpendicular to the faceoff circle

Tonight’s probable lineup looks like it’s going to shake out thusly, though it could change:


Andrej Nestrasil-Joakim Andersson-Mitchell Callahan

Tomas Tatar-Landon Ferraro-Trevor Parkes

Darren Archibald-Louis-Marc Aubry-Brooks Macek

Stephen Johnston-Brent Raedeke-Mitchell Callahan


Brendan Smith-Travis Ehrhardt

Brian Lashoff-Gleason Fournier

Alex Cord-Brenden Kitchton

Probable starting goalie: Petr Mrazek, who was first off the ice

Fraser was quite vocal today as this practice was classically “game-day short” with a chance at winning the tournament on the line tonight vs. the St. Louis Blues—assuming that the Minnesota Wild lose to the New York Rangers—telling the defenders to hustle up the ice, and, I quote, “You’ve got a game to play later today, get into the game, move the hell up!”  Fraser and Paek were also the only coaches on the ice; Keith McKittrick, Jiri Fischer and Chris Chelios were conspicuously absent, as were any of the Wings’ scouts or management, capologist Ryan Martin excluded.

Individually speaking, I noticed that Mrazek makes most of his stand-up and butterfly saves with his knees or tightly-strapped thigh rises (he wears a “Turco Break”-style set of Reebok leg pads); Marc Zanetti continues to put in a very solid showing playing as a speedy offensive defenseman; Antonin Honejsek is just beginning to establish some sort of comfort level while offering solid playmaking skills and decent speed, and if there ever was a player who engages in practices like he knows he’s prepared to play, and win, in clutch situations, it’s Tomas Tatar, who hammed it up after every goal and goofed around at the right moments to break up a little bit of tension now and then via showboating.  Given how hard he works on and off the ice, he’s earned the right to play Mr. Comic Relief every once in a while.

In terms of my own little “journey,” I’m learning the hard way that if I want to interview players, I have to be a much bigger jerk than I am in real life.  I see tired, dehydrated, sweaty hockey players walking by to get a Gatorade or a bottle of water, take a post-practice or post-game bike ride or plain old hustle by to speak to somebody, averting their eyes as is the hockey player’s custom when someone with a sound recorder is present, and I think, “I really shouldn’t bother him.”  Sometimes you have to bother people to get a quote out of them, regrettably, and it makes me incredibly uncomfortable doing so.

So I asked McCollum and Smith about their relationship with the media, and whether we really are the last people they want to see when they need to get hydrated, take a bike ride, shower, or plain old get the hell out of the rink.  Thomas suggested that it’s more a personality thing than anything else, that people like himself and Brendan Smith don’t mind talking to the media, but others might be a bit more shy or approach things differently; Smith suggested that the Red Wings’ players, like Nicklas Lidstrom, are the ones who set an example for younger players, and that while yes, they do want to just get on with their post-game routine, talking to “us” is part of the bargain.  When I asked him whether it mattered that I had sympathy for the fact that we’re imposing on their territory and want to get on with their post-game routines, he said that yes, it does matter when somebody is polite and asks you a few questions before letting you go on your way, and I broached what I thought was a touchy subject in asking him whether it mattered that I was a Wings fan, and that when I wasn’t wearing my dress shirt, holding a sound recorder and being a pain in the ass, that I rooted for them.

At least from Brendan’s perspective—and as he’s probably the most outgoing player there, I can’t say whether he speaks for the team—he suggested that he’d rather speak to someone who’s cheering them on.  So I’ll take that feather and put it in my goatee. 

Tonight’s game is big and the house will be packed.  I’m heading to the rink after a very short nap and will update as phone service is available (this is not Sprint Country).  Cross your fingers, folks, because the Wings haven’t won this tournament 13 years in, and they need a little help from the hockey gods and a big win tonight to do so.


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Mandingo's avatar

The first one. I like the minimalist approach.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 09/14/10 at 05:50 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar


Posted by Leo_Racicot on 09/14/10 at 05:56 PM ET


Three’s Company!

Posted by NathanBC on 09/14/10 at 06:00 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I like the Red Wings font of number two replacing the font in number three with the wing background.  The subtext on the right could either be dropped or kept, depending on your personal desire to make a statement or not.

Posted by RWBill on 09/14/10 at 06:01 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

Even though I created the first one, I really like Jenn’s banner.

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Roanoke, VA on 09/14/10 at 06:02 PM ET

VooX's avatar

I like the Red Wings font of number two replacing the font in number three with the wing background.  The subtext on the right could either be dropped or kept, depending on your personal desire to make a statement or not.
Posted by RWBill from back in God’s steambath. on 09/14/10 at 04:01 PM ET

I agree with Bill.  Hybrid banner, FTW.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 09/14/10 at 06:06 PM ET

DetroitHockey's avatar

I’m with Cwix, I like Jenn’s banner even though I created the second.

I’m also with RWBill and may try to put something like that together when I get a chance.

Posted by DetroitHockey on 09/14/10 at 06:06 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar


Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/14/10 at 06:10 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

I like number 3. 

The background makes it.  Now you can get some fine polo shirts made up and replace the “dress shirt”.  (and put a copyright “c” on that bad boy.)

Of course, I am saddened that TDTyler’s suggestion did not make the cut.

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, Czech out my recliner..... on 09/14/10 at 06:18 PM ET

Puck's avatar

#2’s font, #3’s background/layout

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 09/14/10 at 06:26 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

#3 is nice, but I’ve got a soft spot for the CCCP style lettering in #1 as well.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 09/14/10 at 06:33 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

I really like the background of #3 and the traditional Red Wing Jersey font on #1…..so maybe a combination thereof?

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 09/14/10 at 06:35 PM ET

edillac's avatar

number 3 offcourse

Posted by edillac from isolation on 09/14/10 at 06:37 PM ET

perfection's avatar

totally one. it’s the back of a wings jersey. that’s awesome. way better than ironic cheesy font or busy background imo… no offense to any creators of course

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/14/10 at 06:41 PM ET

chloefpuff's avatar

Like ‘em all.

Really like the DRW font of #2.

Posted by chloefpuff on 09/14/10 at 06:48 PM ET

Jennemy of the Skate's avatar

Sorry, I don’t have the Red Wing’s font.

Posted by Jennemy of the Skate from the bar car on the stress train on 09/14/10 at 06:50 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

#1. It’s unpretentious and bold. If it’s gonna be simple, it better be simple down to the bone.

#2 looks like Santa’s coming to town, I know it’s a font used by the Red Wings but it still looks like Christmas.

If you’re not looking closely at #3 it’s hard to tell it’s the wings logo anyway and just looks messy. There’s too much going on and although I like the phrase at the side, it makes it look like an advertisement.

Go with #1, or see how the original idea with the goalie pads works out.

Posted by EDJ on 09/14/10 at 06:55 PM ET

Matt Saler's avatar

Number 1 for the clean simplicity of it. Plus the font reminds me of something you might see in an English-language Soviet newspaper or something. You can ironically and preemptively embrace the accusations that the Report is Red Wings propaganda with that one.

Posted by Matt Saler from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/14/10 at 06:56 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

#3 here too.
Again, great job George. I for one like your style of writing what you’ve seen mixed in what what you feel and all that “stuff”. It’s like a stream of consciousness progression of words if that makes any sense.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 09/14/10 at 07:02 PM ET

steph's avatar

#3, keep goin’ George, a good read every single day so far.

Posted by steph from Bonn, Germany on 09/14/10 at 07:18 PM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar


Just wondering George if there was any video of the goaltenders practicing?  I’d love to see them and do a little critique if I may.  Hell, I’d even give you exclusive rights to it if you wanted. 


Chris from NOHS.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 09/14/10 at 07:22 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Another great write-up, George, Thanks

I like #3, I wouldn’t change the font or perspective, although you maybe should edit the subtext to read ‘[b]Biased, Unprofessional and Verbose’, or just replace it with your photo (headshot) wearing a Wings cap..

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 09/14/10 at 07:30 PM ET


#3 background looks like trying too hard.

Centre #2 and it’s perfect I say.

Posted by NathanBC on 09/14/10 at 07:30 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Posted by HockeyTownTodd

Second thought:
Maybe Paul’s KK avatar should replace the subtext.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 09/14/10 at 07:34 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

I’m loving number 3.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 09/14/10 at 07:35 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Issue brought up by Clark: Copyright problems???

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/14/10 at 07:36 PM ET

TeamDub's avatar

Like ‘em all, but #3 grabs me by the short and curlies. Maybe #3 with the ‘Wings font mixed in?

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 09/14/10 at 07:36 PM ET

Jennemy of the Skate's avatar

Issue brought up by Clark: Copyright problems???

Posted by George James Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/14/10 at 05:36 PM ET

I thought about that too. But then other banners on this site use team logos as well. Everyone would have to change ‘em.

Posted by Jennemy of the Skate from the bar car on the stress train on 09/14/10 at 07:41 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I prefer the color and texture of #3, it complements the font, rather than compete with it.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 09/14/10 at 07:43 PM ET

Jennemy of the Skate's avatar

So how about these instead? I went with the Russian Propaganda look since that seemed popular and I don’t have the Wings font.

Took off the tagline and changed the font:

Took off the tagline and Wings logo (if there’s copyright issues and added the tinfoil):

Posted by Jennemy of the Skate from the bar car on the stress train on 09/14/10 at 07:48 PM ET

perfection's avatar

love tin foil and russian vibe… now it’s getting more unique personality. although, i still probably prefer the first simple one.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/14/10 at 08:06 PM ET


I think they’re all awesome, seriously. But I dig Jenemy’s the most because of the bit of personalization. We all know that quote means Malik.

Posted by Michael Petrella on 09/14/10 at 08:09 PM ET

edillac's avatar

that quote rules,and please no tinfoil stuff, lets put that to sleep

Posted by edillac from isolation on 09/14/10 at 08:16 PM ET

chollis's avatar

Jennemy’s original #3. “The Malik Report” sounds so much better with a tag line attached and that tagline is all George.

I feel like George needs to shoot a teaser video where he sits behind a desk a la Peter Jennings and then the camera pans in with the music playing and the Walter Cronkite voiceover in the background.

I’m done.

Posted by chollis from Seattle. Seriously. on 09/14/10 at 08:18 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Ah the newer one with the nice font, jenn. That’s my vote. Otherwise I like #2 of the first three.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 09/14/10 at 08:20 PM ET

Andy from FightNight's avatar


Posted by Andy from FightNight on 09/14/10 at 08:22 PM ET

kcameron's avatar

go with number three

Posted by kcameron from Portland OR on 09/14/10 at 08:25 PM ET

DetroitHockey's avatar

A version based off of Jenn’s design.

Also, I agree that copyright/trademark probably won’t be an issue, just wanted to make sure it got brought up.

Posted by DetroitHockey on 09/14/10 at 08:27 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Dig the new layout Jenn. Malik’s head made to look like the statue of Lenin could be a good graphic too. Or stylized like this one

Heh, he’s got the goatee and everything.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 09/14/10 at 08:28 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

#3, but you are a Wings fan, so it really should say “biased.” Obviously the 19 of us will not read your blog if you even attempt to be unbiased. smile

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/14/10 at 08:28 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com