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The Malik Report

Red Wings off-day news: on the week ahead, Babcock passing Bowman and Nyquist

The Red Wings took today off to a) attend Opening Day and b) recover from a nasty stretch of 9 games played over the course of 15 nights, yesterday evening's 3-2 win over Tampa Bay included.

Aside from some prospect news (including Griffins additions), the beat writers revealing their Masterton pick (Daniel Alfredsson) and the final Joe Louis Arena lease being approved by Detroit's City Council, it's been relatively quiet, but the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that tomorrow's practice might yield news regarding Pavel Datsyuk's status...

The Wings didn't practice today, standard practice after back-to-back games. They return to play Wednesday, when they host the Boston Bruins, who have clinched the Atlantic Division.

Forward Pavel Datsyuk is expected to practice fully Tuesday, the next step in his comeback from an inflamed left knee. General manager Ken Holland said he didn't have any updates on injured players, because none came to Joe Louis Arena.

And as the Wings' Wild Card playoff spot hangs upon its outings against Boston on Wednesday, Buffalo on Friday and Montreal on Saturday (for starters; the following week the Wings head to Buffalo on Tuesday the 8th, Pittsburgh on Wednesday the 9th, they host Carolina on Friday the 11th and wrap up the schedule in St. Louis on Sunday the 13th), DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose and Andrea Nelson penned previews of this week's games in their "Look Ahead in Hockeytown"...

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Gordie Howe’s ‘still in there’ as the legend battles dementia

Earlier this morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James posited a story about Red Wings legend Gordie Howe on the occasion of his 86th birthday, and while Howe's memories of the stories that will constitute his upcoming memoir may be sharp, his cognitive abilities continue to diminish.

The Windsor Star's Bob Duff noted that the Howe family is celebrating Gordie's 86th birthday today in Detroit...

“The whole family is in town,” said Mark Howe, like his dad a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee who played for the Wings.

Mark’s brothers Marty (Connecticut) and Murray (Ohio) both trekked to Michigan for the big day, while their sister Cathy made the journey from Lubbock, Texas.

“We’re going to spend the day with him, try to have a little fun,” Mark said.

But Mark, the Wings' director of pro scouting, told Duff, St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan that the family--Murray lives in Toledo, Marty lives in Connecticut, Kathy lives in Texas, and Mark's based in New Jersey, and Howe spends parts of the year with each of his children--knows that Howe's short-term memory is kind of shot:

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Griffins add Nastasiuk, Paterson from junior ranks

As the Red Wings prospects' post-seasons have wound down, the Grand Rapids Griffins have slowly but surely added players to the fold. Last week, the Griffins brought Prince George Cougars defenseman Marc McNulty in on a pro try-out;

Today, the Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that the Wings have signed Owen Sound Attack captain Zach Nastasiuk to a similar deal, and the Griffins (via RedWingsFeed) stated that they've brought Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson into the mix as well:

The Detroit Red Wings on Monday reassigned goaltender Jake Paterson from the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Paterson, 19, appeared between the pipes in 45 regular season games with the Spirit this season, producing a 24-18-2 record, a 3.41 goals against average and a 0.906 save percentage. In five playoff contests with Saginaw, the 6-foot-1, 183-pound netminder yielded a 1-2-2 record, a 4.67 GAA and a 0.889 save percentage. The Mississauga, Ontario, native owns a 70-54-12 record with a 3.44 GAA and a 0.904 save percentage in 142 career OHL games.

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Red Wings’ beat writers nominate Daniel Alfredsson for Masterton Trophy

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that the Red Wings' beat writers have given Daniel Alfredsson the nod as their pick for the Masterton Trophy:

Daniel Alfredsson has been named the Detroit chapter of Professional Hockey Writers’ Association candidate for this season’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The annual award is given to the player that best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

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Starting to dig back into Red Wings prospect news via RWC’s scouting report of Colin Campbell

The vast majority of the Red Wings' prospects have been playing playoff hockey over the past two weeks, with only Ben Marshall (University of Minnesota), Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm; will remain with Guelph next year), Anthony Mantha (Val-d'Or Foreurs; will turn pro next fall), Mitchell Wheaton and Marek Tvrdon (Kelowna Rockets; Wheaton will remain with Kelwona, but Tvrdon will give pro hockey another try) and Andreas Athanasiou (Barrie Colts;will turn pro next year) still active in North America and Mattias Backman (Linkopings HC; status murky for next season) still active in Europe.

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Memoir of Gordie Howe, who turns 86 today, to be released in October

Especially in light of the Free Press's Helene St. James' report about Gordie Howe's battles with worsening dementia as he turns 86 today, this press release seems particularly well-timed:

Hockey great Gordie Howe has a book deal.

G.P. Putnam's Sons announced Monday that Howe's memoir, "Mr. Hockey," will come out Oct. 14. The publisher says the book will be "the definitive account" of Howe's life, starting with his birth in a farmhouse in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan and delving into his extraordinary five-decade career.

The 85-year-old Howe was a six-time winner of the Hart Trophy for the league's most valuable player and played on four championship teams with the Detroit Red Wings.

Putnam is an imprint of Penguin Random House. Last year it released Bobby Orr's memoir.

Update: the Globe and Mail posted more about the memoir-in-progress:

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Detroit’s City Council approves JLA lease, land transfer

Earlier this morning, the Detroit Free Press reported that Detroit's City Council wasn't thrilled with the terms of Joe Louis Arena's new lease--which had to be approved to complete the transfer of 39 blocks of land to the Downtown Development Authority, paving the way for the follow-on rink--but WDIV reports that the City Council approved a last-second vote to approve the new lease and the land transfer:

The Detroit City Council has voted to go ahead with a new lease for Joe Louis Arena, which is slated to be replaced as the venue for the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings.

The proposed lease with Olympia Entertainment would expire on June 30, 2015. It would be retroactive to 2010 -- when the old lease expired.

Olympia Entertainment and the Red Wings are part of Mike Ilitch's stable of companies.

The City Council has already approved the transfer of land just north of downtown and financing for a new hockey arena that could be built as early as 2016.

Update: Here's more from the Detroit News's Darren A. Nichols:

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Red Wings coach Mike Babcock reaches quite the milestone

Per Hooked on Hockey Magazine's Kevin Sporka and Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock passed Scotty Bowman on the Wings' all-time coaching wins list via Detroit's 3-2 win over Tampa Bay, and Babcock now only trails Jack Adams (413 wins) as the Wings' second-winningest coach:

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Glancing at the Wild Card Race

Here's what the Wild Card standings look like after Detroit defeated Tampa Bay 3-2 on Sunday evening:

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Red Wings-Lightning quick take: Wings close out a tough stretch with a strong effort

The Detroit Red Wings absolutely, positively HAD to win both of their weekend games, and despite the fact that the Wings gave up a predictably fan-terrifying 3rd period goal against to make the game very close, Detroit closed out Radko "All Elbows" Gudas, Valtteri Filppula, Ryan Callahan, Steven Stamkos and the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning via a 3-2 score, making the Bolts look at least human along the way--all during a game that really serves as a shining example of the shit-show that's become of the NHL's standard of officiating (or the lack thereof) since the Olympic break.

As you might expect, the Red Wings started with some slightly heavy legs and gave up the game's first goal, allowing Valtteri Filppula to steal the puck and flick a sneaky shot past Jonas Gustavsson (who, save the 3-2 goal, was excellent) 8:40 into the game...

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

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