The Malik Report
After August 15th, "It's quiet" takes on a very different meaning. On Monday, MSU's Pro Camp kicks off in East Lansing, when my appointment-filled week takes me to Sterling Heights on Thursday, I'm going to stop by the Troy Sports Center to see whether the Wings who are already "in town" are skating there (I'll probably stop by Hockeytown Authentics to see what summer development camp gear's on sale, too), and next weekend's Joe Kocur Foundation softball games are a high point of the summer--and a training-camp-is-close-reminder--for many, many Wings fans.
Two weeks from Tuesday, the Wings will begin their "informal" practices at Joe Louis Arena, and we're four full weeks removed from the start of the Wings' prospect tournament, and five removed from training camp (a training camp that precedes the exhibition season by exactly three days). It's not going to remain "quiet" or "slow" for much longer, and
Today it remains "slow," however, and this afternoon's Wings news mostly consists of a slightly late-to-the-party critique of the Red Wings' recently re-signed GM from the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo. After scratching his head at the Wings' most recent trade (David Legwand) and Holland's most money-heavy free agent signing (Stephen Weiss), he offers the followng commentary:
I try to be as honest as humanly possible with my readers, so I'm going to start this entry with the slightly-less-directly-Red-Wings-related story for honesty's sake.
I happened to enjoy the commute to the Red Wings' summer development camp a wee bit better when it was held at Joe Louis Arena, and my attendance at said camp really opened my eyes to the reason I'm so baffled about the slowness of the follow-on rink's construction.
While I happen to believe that the Joe has the best sightlines of any rink, it's an uncomfortable place to watch a game and it's certainly a spartan place to work in (perhaps you have heard of the true stories of the press box occasionally springing leaks after heavy rain, sometimes disturbingly close to broadcasters), and if you witnessed the amount of maintenance put into the 37-year-old rink when completely empty, to simply keep its state up to "dilapidated" standards, it would shock you.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spends a signifcant portion of his "free time" advocating for pediatric cancer charities like the Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation, he hosts a family battling cancer at every home game, and it's rumored that Babcock tends to show up unannounced at Children's Hospital in Detroit and the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor to visit kids and parents, so it's no surprise that Babcock took up the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness of and funds for ALS research in the U.S. and Canada:
The video quality isn't particularly good, but Babcock's muscle definition is:
Red Wings overnight report: On Kocur’s charity softball game, ‘Show, don’t tell’ and Pulkkinen goals
After two days' worth of Ken Holland chatter and a Friday spent chasing down Holland interviews, I'd feel guilty to lead off with Sportsnet's posting of Holland's interview on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast--that'll be posted shortly--let's get away from GM-speak and Ice Bucket Challenge overload (again, going to http://www.alsa.org/donate in the U.S. or http://www.als.ca/en/donate in Canada and learning about the illness and helping the cause is far more important than any of these flights of fancy) to talk about charitable endeavors of the more direct kind for a moment.
Today, the Plymouth Whalers will hold an alumni game at Compuware Arena, with the 4 PM-faceoff game benefiting the Children's Miracle Network, and a week from today, the Joe Kocur Foundation's annual charity softball game(s) in Highland, MI brings together a cavalcade of Wings' alums and celebrities to benefit seven local charities (as well as the police and fire departments that provide opposition to Kocur's star-studded lineups).
I have a suspicious feeling that the Red Wing in the following video ended up spraining his back and having to be hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to ice and bad hypothermia, but that's just me (and high production values on this one here, look at Daniel Cleary walking without a limp, and only an ice bag on his head, must be summer! )...
Seriously, good on Cleary for sharing the Canadian ALS Society's website: http://www.als.ca/en/donate and in the U.S. it's http://www.alsa.org/donate This .challenge has gone off the rails in terms of its charitable initiative, and the whole dang point is to raise awareness of ALS (a.k.a. "Lou Gerhig's Disease," which so many people battle that it's scary--and not everybody has the kind of access to medical care that Stephen Hawking does).
It'll be interesting to see if Henrik Zetterberg does his challenge in a snappy suit like Henrik Lundqvist did. I'm sure the ice will be afraid of Kris Draper.
This is indeed "Friday Night Fluff," so I will give props to Dylan Larkin for donning a diving mask while engaging in the challenge...
Sometimes you find out important dates via the "side door" route. The Red Wings' preseason-game tickets are on sale today, and they went on sale at 10 AM, but I'd been wondering when the Wings would announce that their regular-season single-game tickets are going on sale (right now you can buy full or partial season-ticket packages, including 10 and 20-game mini-packs, but you can't buy single-game tix).
So just prior to heading to the laundromat to finally make the annual Great Grand Marais Sand Deposit (and the laundromat has no WiFi, which makes it some sort of savage, Wild West location--even the grocery store in Grand Marais had WiFi!), RedWingsFeed Tweeted this little press release/promo from 97.1 the Ticket:
Listen to Stoney and Bill for your chance to win a four pack of tickets to see the Detroit Red Wings.
Red Wings single game tickets go on sale Friday, August 22 at 10 a.m. Get tickets to the biggest matchups of the year like the annual Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve games or Original Six clashes with the Leafs and Hawks.
Drive to the Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, August 23rd and get select Red Wings tickets for just $9. Limited quantities available at the Joe Louis Arena box office only while supplies last.
Well now we know. August 22nd, with the $9 seat-filler seats being sold only on an in-person basis at the Joe on the 23rd.
Updated with KH on Marek vs. Wyshynski at the 21-minute mark at 5:19 PM: I'm trying to follow the trail of Red Wings GM Ken Holland's Friday radio appearances. Thus far I've found him speaking with WDFN's Art Regner and TSN Montreal's Morning Show, but I've got more to find, apparently, per The Score's Chris Battaglia:
That's very possible, that's a safe, sound and fiscally smart move, and it should've been the case for Daniel Cleary as well. I will look for the interview now.
Update: Here it is, from TSN 1200:
Holland also told TSN 690 Montreal's Morning Show that he feels Anthony Mantha can crack the lineup if he makes the "top 9," not just the "top 6"...
Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related stories:
Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner penned a column about Ken Holland's 4-year contract extension this morning, and Renger was also filling in for WDFN's Matt Sheppard today, so he spoke with Holland for 26 minutes (Holland appeared on this afternoon's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast; when that audio appears, I'll and post it):
As for Regner's article, Art believes that Holland has earned every penny of his new contract and/or extension, despite the team's free agency hiccups of late:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
2014-15 outlook: After seemingly establishing himself as a key member of the defense for years to come in 2013, Kindl took a big step back in 2013-14. He seemed to lose confidence and wasn't as competitive as the year before. He is capable of playing with a physical edge but one of the knocks against him is his reluctance to take a hit to make a play.
Despite being a healthy scratch in Game 5 of the playoffs against Boston (he was replaced by rookie Xavier Ouellet), Kindl should be able to beat out Brian Lashoff for the sixth spot on defense. But his chances with the organization are dwindling.
If the Red Wings are able to acquire the right-handed shooting, power-play quarterback they've been seeking, Kindl would be the one most likely to be dealt.
Key question: Do you think Kindl still has some upside, or is he destined to be traded?
The Red Wings' media corps and out-of-town media both did a fine job of covering the stories regarding Ken Holland's signing of a four-year contract extension on Thursday, but in light of Holland's evening remarks to MLive's Ansar Khan and the Windsor Star's Jim Parker, I'd figured that I wouldn't find anything else of note overnight.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Holland actually addressed the team's youth movement (though he didn't explain how exactly a youth movement and re-signing Daniel Cleary, giving him a $1 million bonus for playing 10 games and a $250,000 bonus for signing a promise-keeping contract and giving Kyle Quincey a half-million-dollar raise over the course of 2 more years in July jibes with the team's willingness to play "the kids" to the point that Luke Glendening is out of waiver options) over the course of an interview with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
“With the injuries we’ve suffered over the last couple of years, it’s been the depth of the organization that’s allowed us to stay in the race,” Holland continued. “It gives me optimism that we’ve got the depth in the organization we need. You’ve got to draft and develop in order to get that push from players. We have a lot of young players that look like they have a chance of being good players.”
Holland also suggested that "the kids" might help remedy the team's status as a one-playoff-round-and-done team...
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.