The Malik Report
I was driving to Grand Rapids this afternoon, so I wasn't able to watch the second or third periods of Team USA's 1-0 win over Denmark, but Dylan Larkin was absolutely dominant in the first period, and Larkin ended up with 16:47 in ice time and 3 shots, though he didn't fare in the scoring.
I've been incredibly impressed with his poise and apparent readiness to play at the World Championship level thus far; Ken Holland and Mike Babcock are going to like what they see in person next week.
Strange timing for this one, but the Free Press's George Sipple chose Friday afternoon to pen an "emptying the notebook" article about one Jonas Gustavsson and the incredibly likely end of his tenure with the Red Wings:
"My shoulder injury kept me out of long time," Gustavsson said. "I didn't know if I was going to come back or if I needed surgery. I did pretty much everything I could rehab-wise to try and come back. I managed to get back and play a few games, then I got the concussion. Obviously, I never got in a rhythm. Then at the end of the season, we had two other goalies. Mrazek came up and played great. It wasn't much room for me, and I understood that.
"Tried to work on my game in the shadows, tried to keep pushing myself. Tried to be a good teammate. Hopefully that's going to help me in the future."
Gustavsson said he enjoyed playing for the Wings over the past three seasons.
"In one way I'm happy with my health this year, although it sound funny," he said. "My groin has felt good from the start. I haven't felt anything whatsoever. Actually health-wise, I think I'm in better shape than ever. Obviously the shoulder injury and then the concussion kind of prevented me from showing that."
Sipple continues, and the 30-year-old Gustavsson believes that he still has a future in the NHL...
Updated 7x at 3:11 PM: One more time, I guess: TSN has reported that the Red Wings are going to give Mike Babcock a window to speak with other teams to gauge their interest and bring offers back to Ken Holland to match--assuming that Babcock doesn't just skidaddle--and the media is going absolutely apeshit right now.
I'm not going to cover every Toronto, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Buffalo, etc. report about how their team is supposedly the best option for Babcock; I will tell you this much, however:
1. I do think that this is a "good idea" in that Ken Holland's allowing Babcock to play the market while Babs is still under contract, yielding at least a 3rd-round draft pick if Babcock chooses to leave;
2. It makes far more sense for Babcock to gauge his market value and the parameters of possible employment elsewhere (ex. say in personnel decisions) now and to bring these competitive offers back to Holland;
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The Red Wings granted Babcock permission to speak to interested parties beginning at noon on Friday, the team announced. His negotiation window with interested parties will extend through May 25.
Babcock, 52, is hockey's most sought-after free agent this summer - including players. His contract with Detroit expires on June 30. The Red Wings would be due compensation of one 3rd-round draft pick between 2015-17 should Babcock decide to leave before that date.
The Flyers are on the long list of potential suitors, including Toronto, Buffalo, Edmonton, New Jersey and San Jose. Other teams, like Boston, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, who still retain their current coaches, might also be interested in making a change solely in an attempt to nab Babcock.
According to sources close to him, Babcock is interested in an offer from the Flyers. He is also Ron Hextall's No. 1 target. But that doesn't mean Babcock will ultimately be leaving Detroit.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Here’s why, the top seven reasons Babcock will choose the Oilers if he doesn’t choose Detroit:
1. Daryl Katz is wealthy and willing to spend
Money won’t be an issue, neither in how much Babcock is offered, nor in the team being able to spend to the cap.
2. Bob Nicholson is in charge — fully in charge
Nicholson was the Hockey Canada executive who put together each Team Canada. He’s now the businessman in charge of the Oilers. The hockey ops folks will report to him, not directly to Katz, which should lead to far more accountability in all areas of Oilers hockey, a welcome sign to anyone considering joining this group.
Nicholson and Babcock won two Olympic gold medals together in 2010 and 2014. Why not try to replicate such success in Edmonton?
So TSN's Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger reported that the Wings are allowing other teams to speak with Mike Babcock. Ken Holland held a conference call to discuss the decision...Here's what DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose, the Free Press's Helene St. James, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Detroit News's John Niyo and Ted Kulfan had to report:
In the middle of all this Babcock chatter, ESPN's prospect guru, Cory Pronman, issued two intriguing Tweets about Dylan Larkin:
This doesn't mean he's leaving, but it means that he's playing the field.
Tomas Jurco dealt with some serious hiccups during a difficult sophomore campaign, registering 3 goals, 15 assists and 18 points in 63 games played, and as such, MLive's Ansar Khan asked Ken Holland to weigh in on Jurco's need to rebound going forward:
"He's probably lost his confidence a little bit," general manager Ken Holland said. "He's been used to scoring. He was the eighth-leading scorer in the AHL when we called him up (midway through 2013-14). A year later he has two goals. He did a good job a year ago. He could have gone to the AHL this year. We talked about it and made the decision to keep him up."
I've been a little quiet in terms of content for a simple reasons, including familial obligations, a modicum of spread-out content and plain old feeling a little grieved about the Wings' now week-long absence from the playoffs.
Things should pick up as the World Championships' pace picks up (Team USA plays Denmark today at 2:15 PM EDT, on NBCSN), the Griffins-IceHogs series continues (I'll be attending tonight's game in Grand Rapids) and players slowly begin to reflect upon the season that was in the media, but the pace may remain...clunky...And this morning's crop of Wings news is...short.
The only "new news" comes from WXYZ's Brad Galli, who spoke with Petr Mrazek after a signing at DC Sports--as part of a teaser for a longer interview set to air on Sunday's 7 Sports Cave--but the minute's worth of content might be as good as you can get from the affable Mrazek, who simply isn't a man of many word:
The Toledo Walleye have had Martin Frk back in their lineup for two games now, and Frk took 4 of the Walleye's 30 shots, but the Walleye emerged from Game 4 against the Fort Wayne Komets tied 2-2 because the Walleye are falling into some bad regular-season habits, and Toledo both surrendered 39 shots and were only able to score 1 goal en roue to a 2-1 OT loss to Fort Wayne on Thursday.
Jeff Lerg was up to the challenge in the net, stopping 36 shots, but the Walleye couldn't give him the "run support, as the Walleye's website's recap notes:
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.