The Malik Report
This afternoon's Red Wings-related stories are "ecclectic"--not exactly Mike Babcock's "analytics"-based chat with NHL.com's Dan Rosen--but there's enough here to keep you occupied.
Detroit is celebrating its 313rd birthday today, and as the Detroit Free Press led off its 53-image gallery of "Detroit's 10 Greatest Sports Figures" with Steve Yzerman (Gordie Howe and Nicklas Lidstrom also make their list, and the 97 and 2002 Wings are listed among the Freep's best Detroit sports teams), MLive's Brendan Savage asked readers to weign in as to what might constitute the Wings' all-time best starting lineup:
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
A basic element of the analytics movement happening in the NHL is possession-based stats featuring shot attempts-for versus shot attempts-against in 5-on-5 situations. Understanding the positive effects of possession and shooting the puck is not new to the hockey community, but stats found through possession metrics such as Corsi and Fenwick are relatively new and still are being examined for their usefulness and effectiveness.
Babcock said a key to using stats-based analytics, whether it's Corsi, Fenwick or another form, is making sure the numbers are accurate.
"The best analytic groups are getting the best information, so you have to make sure the stats you're using are correct," Babcock said. "When a guy tells you how good this player is stat-wise and you and your general manager don't agree with him, well, we better go back and assess it. Just because the analytics like the player and we don't, well, then we don't. We'll make the decision. But if you're wrong, go back and take a look at it so you know why."
I didn't really comment on it on Wednesday morning, but Jim Paek leaving the Grand Rapids Griffins to coach the South Korean national hockey team--as the team attempts to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea--dashed my hope that the long-standing Griffins assistant coach would finally be chosen to flank one of Mike Babcock's shoulders.
Paek has been with the Grand Rapids Griffins for nine years, and he was part of the Wings' summer development camps since 2007. I've interacted with him every summer since 2008 and over the course of two prospect tournaments/training camps, and off the ice, he was a kind and patient and sincere a human being as you could ever hope to meet, never mind ever hope to serve as the steady hand helping develop the Red Wings' top prospects.
Updated 2x at 12:33 AM--I wrote this a little early and the later articles kind of screw with the narrative, but you're a smart bunch, and I'm crossing my fingers that you'll be OK with the way that the later stories influence the earlier "take":
I took a roundabout way to doing what I do for a living, and my trip involved a failed attempt to pursue an engineering degree because I couldn't keep up with Calc III and two attempts to complete a far-too-advanced "statistics and probability" class that ended in failure.
I tend to cringe involuntarily when people start talking about "advanced stats." Strangely enough, however, I've also tended to keep track of shot attempts on a period-by-period basis, noticing on my own that the stat's a superb indicator of who's controlling puck possession...And ExtraSkater's summary of the terms "Corsi" and "Fenwick" both explain that shot attempts are the basis of said numbers, and, unlike those who get into wars insisting that you can't predict a game's results without "seeing it" versus those who suggest that a close look at the scoresheet makes "gut feeling" observations irrelevant:
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday signed forward Alden Hirschfeld to a one-year contract.
Hirschfeld, 26, spent the majority of the 2013-14 season with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye and picked up 29 points (9-20—29) in 49 games. The 6-foot, 203-pound forward ranked second on the Walleye in assists and sixth overall in scoring. He also made 13 appearances with the Griffins last season, notching a goal, an assist and a plus-three rating. A native of Sylvania, Ohio, Hirschfeld has accumulated 10 points (5-5—10) in 51 career AHL games between the Griffins, Providence Bruins and Portland Pirates.
Prior to turning pro, Hirschfeld spent four seasons at Miami University (2008-12), where he tallied 70 points (35-35—70) in 134 games.
Updated at 3:30 PM: Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment CEO Chris Ilitch gave a long interview to WDFN's Matt Sheppard this morning, discussing the Wings' arena project and Ilitch Holdings' plans for the surrounding economic development at significant length:
The most important part of the interview for me as a Wings fan? Chris states that his father is the one who's still quite active in the workings of the Tigers and Red Wings, and that Chris deals with other matters. That certainly changes the, "Why things are the way they are" equation.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The message to him from the Red Wings is that he has an opportunity in training camp to make the team, a rarity for a club that rarely skips a step in the developmental cycle.
“Every player wants to rush the process,” Mantha said when we chatted after the camp. “It would be a lie telling you I want to play in Grand Rapids next year. For sure, I want to start in Detroit.”
And then there was 22-year-old Russian defenseman Alexey Marchenko, not on the ice but continuing his progress from the ankle injury that ended his AHL season. Detroit whiffed on adding a right-handed shot defensemen in free agency, with Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen picking the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals over Detroit.
Unless Ken Holland pulls off a trade, which doesn’t happen often during Holland’s summers, Marchenko has a chance to take advantage of the lack of right-handed shots in the Detroit defense corps. He has the approval of Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, who ran the camp. Marchenko isn’t a great skater but he’s smart and makes good decisions.
“Before he got injured, I thought he was one of our best D, night in and night out in Grand Rapids,” said Blashill, who said he projected as a potential top-four NHL defenseman. “He’s an extremely efficient defenseman. He defends great, moves the puck great, creates offense without a lot of risk and to me those are the best kind of defensemen.”
more and you will be able to read for free the information on the Wings, but for the rest of the Atlantic Division, you will need to be an ESPN Insider...
As Paul noted, long-time Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek has been named the head coach of the Korean National Team this morning, and Paek spoke with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about the move:
Paek will remain with Grand Rapids through next week, and serve as lead instructor for the Griffins’ annual youth hockey camp at Griff’s IceHouse.
“It was a really hard decision,” said Paek, who was in Seoul for three days last week. “Detroit and Grand Rapids, that’s been pretty much my whole career. Nine years. My family is here and it has been everything to me here.”
The Detroit organization and Griffins coach Jeff Blashill will begin a search for a new lead assistant. The Griffins are also still looking to replace second assistant Spiros Anastas, who left after the season to become coach at University of Lethbridge.
Wallner continues, and I really mean this when I say that it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Via RedWingsFeed, I've never understood the hubbub about the Pistons moving back downtown to join the Red Wings in their new arena--without a separate practice facility for both teams in the offing (and there are no practice facility plans on the table), you've got all sorts of complications in terms of scheduling sporting events, never mind handicapping the rink's ability to host entertainment events--but the post-"District Detroit"-unveiling chatter included a significant amount of, "The teams will share the same facility!" chatter.
According to the Detroit News's Vincent Goodwill, the improbable and nearly logistically-impossible will remain that:
Mark Barnhill, senior partner at Platinum Equity, issued a statement Tuesday reflecting the sentiments of Pistons owner Tom Gores, in light of the Ilitch family unveiling plans for a $650 million entertainment district downtown.
The Pistons are the lone pro sports team in Detroit that isn't downtown, and they are not currently weighing the possibility of moving from The Palace of Auburn Hills, Barnhill said.
"We have a beautiful arena, and we have invested tens of millions of dollars over the past three years to modernize and improve that facility," said Barnhill in the statement. "At the same time, we would never close the door on alternatives if they made good sense for our fans, for our team, for our business and for Michigan."
That's a no.
Red Wings early overnight report: Zengerle unofficially signed; TV talk & development camp leftovers
Updated 2x at 8:43 AM:
It's not the possibly imminent and possibly not imminent re-signing of Tomas Tatar, but the University of Wisconsin's made official a signing I'd mentioned last Friday--the Griffins' signing of a speedy playmaking forward named Mark Zengerle--and I quote from the University of Wisconsin Badgers' press release:
Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) will be gainfully employed come this fall as Wisconsin hockey’s top assist man from the last four seasons has signed a one-year contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. Grand Rapids is the top minor-league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.
It ends an illustrious collegiate career for Zengerle, whose 162 career points are the most at UW since head coach Mike Eaves took over the program in 2002. The point total also ranks 24th in Wisconsin history. His 125 assists are the seventh-most in program history.
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.