The Malik Report
This might be one of Jon Stewart's more difficult interviews, per the Detroit News's David Guralnick:
Viacheslav Fetisov is a retired Russian professional ice hockey player who appears in the documentary "Red Army" (2014). During his hockey career, he played defense for HC CSKA Moscow, the New Jersey Devils and the Detroit Wings. He won two back-to-back Stanley Cups and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
Oh boy, Wednesday night’s a ‘Rivalry Night’ Wings-Rangers game, and Sunday’s B’s game’s on NBC, too!
In case you thought that the trade deadline yielded time to un-clench your rear end, NBC Sports wants to remind you that not one but
RANGERS-RED WINGS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY, RED WINGS-BRUINS ON NBC’S GAME OF THE WEEK HIGHLIGHT NBC SPORTS GROUP’S NHL COVERAGE THIS WEEK
Rick Nash and Rangers Visit Pavel Datsyuk and Red Wings on NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry at 8 p.m. ET
Milan Lucic and Bruins Host Red Wings on NBC’s NHL Game of the Week Sunday at Noon ET
Jonathan Toews and Blackhawks Host Rangers Sunday Night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Coverage Begins Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN – Steven Stamkos and Lightning Host Sabres
STAMFORD, Conn. – March 2, 2015 – This week’s NHL coverage on NBC and NBCSN features three Original Six matchups with teams jockeying for playoff positioning, beginning with a Wednesday Night Rivalry showdown at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN between Rick Nash and the New York Rangers, and Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings will be featured on the NHL Game of the Week on NBC at Noon ET on Sunday, when they travel to Boston to face Milan Lucic and the Bruins. Sunday’s coverage also features an interconference Original Six contest at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, when the Rangers visit Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will call NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup between the Rangers and Red Wings. Emrick and McGuire will be on the call for Red Wings-Bruins on the NHL Game of the Week on Sunday.
Very interesting stuff...Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos says that the Red Wings didn't trade for Dion Phaneuf because the Maple Leafs wanted Anthony Mantha:
Update: And at the other end of the spectrum, from the Newark Star-Ledger's Rich Chere:
Updated 19x at 8:35 PM: For what it's worth, Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported that the Wings weren't able to consummate a deal for Dion Phaneuf because the Maple Leafs wanted Anthony Mantha in whatever package was being contemplated.
As such, the Free Press's Evil Drew Sharp has a point in suggesting that not "going big," and instead adding Marek Zidlicky and Erik Cole for modest prices, behooved Ken Holland and company:
The moves didn't dazzle. It didn't flutter hearts. But they were wise additions, done within a NHL economic framework that places the highest priority on first round draft picks and top drawer minor league prospects. It was a good day that the Wings got Cole and Zidlicky, but it was an even better day because Ken Holland came away from his shopping excursion with prime prospects Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha and this year's first round draft pick still in his cart.
That's the way it is in hockey. Overly cherishing high level prospects becomes a source of discontent in baseball where there are no limits to what teams can spend. But they're premium currency in hockey. Holland understands that and it's to his credit that he's resisted the temptation the last couple seasons to satisfy the still strong craving for big names regardless of the accompanying big financial risks.
Cole and Zidlicky are two month rentals. So what?
Phaneuf has six years at $7 million annually remaining on his contract. If the Wings could've gotten Toronto to accept the salary cap albatross that's become Stephen Weiss, it would've been nice. But the Maple Leafs are in full rebuilding mode and certainly would've demanded either Larkin, Mantha or future Wings' starting goalie Petr Mrazek and at least one first round draft pick.
The Wings did well with what they got.
Toronto apparently did demand Mantha, and I'd heard rumors of a 1st round pick or Brendan Smith as well, just as you did, while Kypreos suggested that a Kindl-Weiss combo should have gotten the deal done. I would imagine that the Wings and Leafs will talk again at the draft, but the Wings sure as hell aren't giving Mantha or Larkin to Toronto to ensure that Phaneuf doesn't become the next Larry Murphy-style acquisitrion.
Ready for Trade Tweets?
Updated at 2:36 PM: Trade deadline or no trade deadline, the Red Wings are holding a 2 PM EST practice today, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa notes:
@DetroitRedWings on ice at University Liggett School in one of the Grosse Pointes. Much news, but neither Cole nor Zidlicki will be here.
Stephen Weiss on ice for Wings practice. Zetterberg (head injury) is suiting up and will skate.
Well, at least I got it out of my system. CORRECTION: "Zidlicky."
2d graders from Liggett school, who just got off ice for gym class, here watching practice, with Ms. McCoy and Ms. Coyro.
Babcock not presiding at practice, 48 minutes before trade deadline.
Helm not skating, obviously. Datsyuk in repose, apparently. Zetterberg pushing it, here, in drills.
Marchenko not at practice. Roster space, for Zidlicky? Probably. Kindl skating here.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness is also reporting for duty...
From the American Hockey League:
The American Hockey League announced today that Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Mar. 1, 2015.
Mrazek made three road starts last week and turned aside 83 of 85 shots, going 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average, a .976 save percentage and two shutouts as the Griffins held on to their lead atop the Midwest Division.
On Tuesday, Mrazek finished with 31 saves as Grand Rapids defeated Iowa, 6-2, in Des Moines. Then on Friday evening, Mrazek made 25 stops as the Griffins shut out Milwaukee, 4-0. Finally, Mrazek stopped 27 shots on Saturday night to earn his third shutout in his last four outings, a 5-0 victory at Chicago that allowed Grand Rapids to tie a franchise record with its seventh consecutive road win. Mrazek enters the new week with a shutout streak of 144:28.
A fifth-round selection by Detroit in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Mrazek has split the 2014-15 season between Grand Rapids and the parent Red Wings. In 11 AHL appearances with the Griffins, Mrazek has a record of 8-2-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and three shutouts; he has also gone 13-5-1 (2.55, .909, 1 SO) in 20 NHL contests with Detroit. The 23-year-old native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, backstopped the Griffins to a Calder Cup championship as a rookie in 2013, playing every minute of their 24-game postseason run, and was voted a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2013-14.
In recognition of his achievement, Mrazek will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Griffins home game.
Updatged 8x @ 1:56 PM: From The Hockey News's Ken Campbell:
[edit: commentary: So that's Cole and Zidlicky for 2 draft picks, Janmark and Backman. OK.
Zidlicky is a 4th-through-6th defenseman who will probably replace Alexey Marchenko for the present moment. He's a little slow but he'll be OK on the Wings /end edit]
This morning, with Jeff Petry off the board, the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings may end up targeting Marek Zidlicky...Or Phaneuf:
The most high-profile defenseman whose name has been discussed internally is that of Toronto's Dion Phaneuf. He's big (6-feet-3, 214 pounds), in the prime of his career (turns 30 in April) and provides offense (117 goals and 277 assists in 731 career games with Toronto and Calgary).
It's always about the price, of course, and Toronto surely would want a starting payment of a first-round pick, something that Wings general manager Ken Holland has said he's not surrendering. Then again, add Phaneuf, gamble on going deep into the playoffs, and that first-round pick would be near the end of the round.
The Wings have scouted New Jersey Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky very heavily for the past few weeks. He just turned 38, shoots right-handed (Phaneuf shoots left) and had 12 goals and a 30 assists in 81 games for the Devils last season. He has four goals and 19 assists in 63 games this season.
Update: Via Paul, the Hockey News's Ken Campbell claims that the Maple Leafs want Brendan Smith in exchange for Phaneuf:
Erik Cole is known to be a player that needs to be comfortable, so it will be interesting to see how he interacts with tough-guy coach Mike Babcock on the Red Wings.
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.