The Malik Report
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
This summer, Holland signed a four-year contract extension with the Red Wings clearing another obstacle for a new deal with the coach. The Holland extension has done little to move along Babcock’s, which takes us to a question that hasn’t been raised all too often during these months of non-negotiations: What goes into Babcock’s decision?
“You know? That’s a good question,” Babcock answered. “I guess as we talk, I’ll know more. There’s part of my life that is very, very public and there’s part that’s very, very private. How’s that?”
Not all that helpful.
“I’m not going there,” Babcock said. “What we’re doing is -- players negotiate every day. We’re not even negotiating, we haven’t got around to doing anything.”...
For Babcock, it could be the motivation to try and win in Detroit at time when outsiders suggest the pendulum is swinging the wrong way. Or it could be the motivation to cement a legacy elsewhere. Maybe, it’s as simple as being the league’s highest paid coach. Until it’s settled, that motivation stays with Babcock. And once the season starts, if there’s no deal, he says he’s done talking about it. If he’s asked in a scrum about his contract situation, he’s moving on to the next question.
“It’s going to be dead,” he said, shooting down the suggestion it could become a distraction.
“No chance,” he said.
For now, he’ll talk about it, but he’s not offering up much in the way of hints of where he’s leaning. Or what goes into the decision.
“Who knows? It doesn’t matter,” Babcock said. “I was fishing this morning. Now I’m watching hockey. If you think my life is any different, it’s not.”
more for ESPN Insiders...
As I prepare to head to Centre Ice Arena, the Red Wings are holding a Captain's Practice at Joe Louis Arena, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that someone's conspicuously absent...
While MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James report that another player's crossing his fingers about a last-minute deal:
Update: As I was heading to the rink, MLive's Brendan Savage discussed Martin Frk's opportunity to "re-set" his pro career as the prospect tournamnt continues (the Wings play Minnesota at 7 PM), as well as several other topics, over the cousre of a conversation with Ken Holland:
According to Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal, the team's taking part in its second-to-last charitable golf outing of the "summer" today...
Then it's "off to work" at trainnig camp, and just as Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson sounded optimistic tones at yesterday's HockeyFest at the Joe, the Free Press's Mike Brudenell reports that Niklas Kronwall feels that his team's poised to succeed this upcoming season:
Red Wings early overnight report: ‘HockeyFest,’ out-of-town observations & prospect touranment stuff
Updated with a take on prospect tournament talk at 11:03 PM: This week, things "get real," and they'll "get real' in a hurry.
In Traverse City, the Red Wings' prospects received Sunday off, but they'll take part in an 11:30 AM practice on Monday and will play the Minnesota Wild's prospects at 7 PM, hoping to put Saturday's disappointing loss to Columbus behind them and at least qualify for Tuesday's 3rd place game.
In Detroit, the Red Wings' NHL players and alums took part in "HockeyFest at the Joe," and Monday and Tuesday will mark the final "Captain's Practices"; on Tuesday and Wednesday, while taking part in the Wings' "Community Tour," the Wings' players will slowly but surely make their way to Traverse City for Thursday's physicals, charity golf outing and dinner, and on Friday, training camp begins.
Sunday's "HockeyFest" marks the start of the Wings' pre-camp promotional appearances, and the Free Press's Mike Brudenell reports that the Wings' goaltenders discussed the upcoming season in optimistic tones:
The Red Wings' prospects pause today, and have been given the day off by their coach as no matter how the prospect tournament unfolds, the team will be playing four games in 5 nights, and two days after the tournament ends (two days filled with physicals, team mugshots and charitable events), training camp begins.
[So if you're going to the HockeyFest at Joe Louis Arena, you're not going to be missing anything; I'll be missing what you'll see today instead]
Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill's tried to temper expectations and emphasize the process as the Wings have navigated their way through two rocky games, coming out on top of a bizarre but thrilling 6-5 OT win over St. Louis on Friday, and then strangely falling apart against the Blue Jackets, dropping a 5-3 decision on Saturday.
There's a reason I don't panic when I read these Tweets (and I'd like to try to speak to Babcock, but protocol is protocol):
Here's what I know, and here's what reassures me: The Red Wings' coach and the Red Wings' general manager have been among a crowded group of pro scouts, amateur scouts, developmental coaches and NHL assistants observing the Wings prospects' pair of games from Centre Ice Arena's one and only suite.
I don't usually post a placeholder entry, but the Red Wings' prospects blew another 2-goal lead on Saturday night, and it appears to have cost them the defense of the team's one and only tournament title.
The Wings dropped a 5-3 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and despite having played a far superior game to last night's 6-5 OT win over St. Louis, Oskar Dansk's spectacular goaltending for Columbus, very poor special teams play and three 3rd period goals against--registered in just over six minutes--means that the Blue Jackets have two regulation wins and 6 points, while the Wings' OT win and 2 points combined with Minnesota's 3-2 win over St. Louis this evening = the Howe Division will go to someone else this year.
ColumbusBlueJackets.com's Rob Mixer penned a game preview from the Blue Jackets' perspective:
Updated with game-day MSM stuff at 3:35 PM: Okay, again, the Red Wings' prospects are playing the Columbus Blue Jackets at the prospect tournament tonight at 7:30 PM, and the Wings hope to build upon last night's win over St. Louis before taking Sunday off to rest and recharge. Given that Columbus is coming off of a 6-4 win over Minnesota and that the Wings' OT win was only worth 2 points to Columbus' 3, Detroit needs to defeat Columbus to grab a commanding lead in the Howe Division standings.
Today's practice was short and sweet, and after practice, both teams posted their lines for tonight's affair:
Updated at 2:02 PM: The Red Wings' prospects took part in an incredibly intense but incredibly short practice at Centre Ice Arena today, preparing for tonight's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets (7:30 PM).
Based upon Rob Mixer's Tweets, Sonny Milano won't play for Columbus, but the Blue Jackets' lines, d-pairs and goaltender's assignments are pretty much set; for Detroit, Jake Paterson starts, and from Jeff Blashill's comments, Hayden Hodgson and Darby Llewellyn will play on Dominic Turgeon's wings, Ty Stanton will replace Mitch Wheaton alongside Marc McNulty, and Jake Paterson will start, but the lines the Wings employed in last night's win over St. Louis will otherwise remain the same;
And it's worth noting that the Wings won't be practicing on Sunday (the better for Wings fans in Southeastern Michigan to enjoy HockeyFest at the Joe without worrying about missing anything?)--the only day in which the prospect tournament holds no games--so that the players may be better-prepared for Monday and Tuesday's games and the main camp. Given that the Wings' prospects will have played 4 games in 5 nights as of Monday evening, energy management is absolutely essential.
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.