The Malik Report
Slow night = overnight napkin notes:
- The World Championships' quarterfinals begin with Dylan Larkin and Team USA battling Switzerland today in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The game starts at 9:15 AM EDT, and it will air on NBCSN;
- USA Today's Kevin Allen offered a set of "most attractive" coaching destinations for Mike Babcock, Todd McLellan etc;
- And if you missed it, as Paul noted, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman told The Fan 590's Brady and Walker that it's more likely than not that the Edmonton Oilers will be signing McLellan;
- As a result, the Free Press's Helene St. James posited this about the Wings' potential "Plan B" if Babcock bolts:
It was a case of excellent news, moderately disconcerting news for the Red Wings' prospects on Wednesday evenng.
The excellent news comes at the ECHL level, where Martin Frk registered an assist in the Toledo Walleye's 5-2 win over the Fort Wayne Komets, securing the Walleye a hard-fought seven-game series win over Fort Wayne and setting up an Eastern Conference Final match-up against the South Carolina Stingrays.
The Walleye's website posted a recap and a highlight clip:
The Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Rockford IceHogs tonight at 8 PM EDT, and the game will air on Wood Radio and the AHL Live (legally). If you want to discuss the Griffins-IceHogs affair, here's an open thread to suit your needs...
And hopefully some streams that don't cost $45 for a few playoff games will magically appear in the comments section.
My apologies for the repetition as Paul already posted part of the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' article discussing the Babcock-vs-Hitchcock-appeal debate.
I do think, however, that Simmons is either reading the Wings fans who have looked at Babcock's most recent playoff record and issued a, "Good riddance," or he's not paid attention to what's become the cult of Babcock's personality as carefully crafted in no small part by Babcock himself, in suggesting the following:
One is the flavour of the month. The other appears to be an acquired taste. The truth likely is somewhere in between.
Babcock is thought of as a winner.
Hitchcock is thought of as a regular-season winner. The facts don’t exactly back up those notions.
In three of his four seasons in St. Louis, Hitchcock’s teams scored more goals, allowed fewer goals against, won more games than Babcock’s Red Wings managed. In four years, Hitchcock’s teams won 185 games — including playoffs — while Babcock’s teams won 166 games.
So why, the general manager and others want to know, does everyone want a piece of Babcock while Hitchcock waits and wonders?
Good question. It’s a case of perception being the reality here — with no real answer.
I'm in no mood to pad the resume of the coach who's considering leaving the Red Wings--I'm getting damn tired of the reality show that's become the Beatles-like Babcockian media frenzy--but while I certainly agree that Ken Hitchcock's resume is nearly as good as Babcock's, and better-established...
Updated 3x at 1:10 PM: Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:
According to ESPN's Craig Custance, Dylan Larkin may be the key to Mike Babcock's decision to stay with the Wings or go to another team (and this is via an Insider-only entry; also, I wouldn't go quite that far)...
The timing of Larkin’s NHL arrival is part of the motivation behind Babcock’s visit to the World Championships. The Red Wings have never rushed their prospects and have no intentions of rushing Larkin, who is still just 18 years old.
But there’s a big difference between giving him a year in the AHL next season, then a shot in the NHL compared to, say, the Gustav Nyquist plan. Nyquist didn’t play a full NHL season until he was 25.
“We know he’s a real good player,” said Babcock of Larkin, who coincidentally had a good meeting with Datsyuk shortly before leaving for the Czech Republic. “He transports the puck. He’s competitive. He wants to be good. He was a dominant college hockey player. Is he ready to go pro? That’s all I’m looking at. Is he ready to play in the American League?”
And after asking scouts about Larkin (and receiving glowing responses), Custance finishes with this:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings must decide over the next four-to-six weeks whether Stephen Weiss fits into their plans for 2015-16.
Weiss was a healthy scratch for the final five playoff games. If the Red Wings think Weiss, with his $4.9 million salary-cap figure, will be watching more games than he'll be playing, then they might look to part ways.
They could attempt to trade him, but that would surely require retaining a portion of his salary (three years remaining at $16 million in actual money). The other option is a buyout....
Asked if he believes he has a role on the team, Weiss said, "After how things ended this year? No. Not really. I have to earn a spot, there's no doubt about it. Similar as last season (2014-15). I knew coming in last season I had to earn a spot. I feel the same way next year."...
The buyout period is June 15-30. Teams can buy out a player for two-thirds the remaining value of his contract spread out over twice the remaining length of the deal. They would incur a cap penalty, depending on the player's annual salary.
In Weiss' case, the Red Wings would be on the hook for $1.067 million in each of the next two seasons, $2.567 million in 2017-18 and $1.667 million per season from 2018-19 through 2020-21.
This evening/morning's crop of Red Wings-related news involves news items on three fronts, and we're going to start with the annoying one:
TSN's Darren Dreger (in a geo-blocked video) suggests that the Edmonton Oilers are pursuing Todd McLellan presently, and Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan offer us the hard-boiled take from Buffalo, and over the last couple of days, "experts" from all over the damn place have weighed in on Mike Babcock's coaching future.
On Monday, Manny Legace and Nick Kypreos gave their takes, and Tuesday brought Jacques Demers and Elliotte Friedman's takes on Babcock's future. Tonight, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan speaks with both Legace and a certain ESPN's Barry Melrose to handicap what Babcock's course of action might involve.
After suggesting that Babcock is superb at motivating the Wings to pull in a unified direction, Melrose suggests that the hype about Babcock is justified:
For those of you who need body language to go along with your audio, Sportsnet's Jeff Marek, Scott Morrison and Doug MacLean discussed Mike Babcock's future on HockeyCentral at Noon, and there's a lot of divining going on here, but very few answers:
And on the "other network," TSN's James Duthie suggested that Babcock's going to Edmonton.
[sarcasm] Fun times [/sarcasm]
Amongst this afternoons Red Wings-related news stories:
1. From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
2. CBS Detroits Ashley Dunkak also recalled several comments made by Ken Holland on locker room clean-out day, regarding his desire to keep Jeff Blashill in the fold at least until Babcock's coaching future is settled:
The Grand Rapids Griffins posited the latest of their "Between the Benches" videos chronicling their first-round win over the Toronto Marlies, this time focusing upon Game 4 of the 5-game first-round series...
And episodes 1 and 2 are already available on the Griffins' YouTube channel:
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.