The Malik Report
The Red Wings and Vili Saarijarvi are preparing for the Finnish prospect to turn pro with Karpat Oulu of the FInnish Liiga, but if he changes his mind, MLive's Aaron McMann reports that the Flint Firebirds would like to convince him to play in the U.S.:
Vili Saarijarvi, a 5-foot-10, 163-pound defenseman selected by the Red Wings in the third round of last weekend's NHL Draft, was picked ninth overall by Flint in Tuesday's Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
Saarijarvi, of Rovaniemi, Finland, told the media over the weekend he has plans to play junior hockey in his native Finland next season, but the Firebirds are hoping to use their close locale to keep in Michigan following Red Wings development camp in Traverse City July 3-7.
"It's not up to us as to where the boy plays, it's up to the Red Wings," Flint general manager Terry Christensen said. "And I'm sure they'll make a decision as to where they want him and hope that he'll reap the benefit of playing in the Ontario Hockey League."
Christensen had a chance to watch Saarijarvi, 18, play in the U-18 World Hockey Championships in Switzerland in April, where he was named Most Valuable Defenseman and assistant captain for runner-up Finland, and considers him an offensive defenseman with good leadership skills.
"The one thing I really liked about him is that he played in all the tough situations for Finland," Christensen said. "This guy anchored their power play, and of course in a tournament like that you get so many opportunities against great teams. He was always one of the first guys to put others over the boards and quarterback their power play."
"We're hopeful that everything gets worked out and he'll be playing in Flint next year," Christensen said. "I did talk to Vili and we expressed to him how excited we were to have been able to draft him. He was very, very excited that we did draft him. He wants to be in Michigan. He wants to be as close as he possibly can to the Detroit situation."
Updated 5x at 4:54 PM:
Here's the Red Wings' press release:
I don't see a "fit" here, but the Free Press's Helene St. James does:
Should the Detroit Red Wings take a chance on a just-discarded big Russian who shoots right-handed?
The Carolina Hurricanes used the last chance possible this year to affect a buyout, putting Alexander Semin on waivers Tuesday, the first step toward a buyout. The Wings had considered doing so with underperforming Stephen Weiss but opted not to, especially after weekend news of surgery to Pavel Datsyuk.
Semin, 31, has his assets -- he's 6-foot-2 and 200-pound right-shooting right wing, which, in and of itself, appeals to the Wings, a stable full of lefties. He'd make them heavier, which is something they lack especially with Johan Franzen's future iffy. Semin is a former 40-goal scorer who had 22 goals as recently as 2013-14. But he's spotty, too -- last season saw him produce just 19 points in 57 games.
Some team will take a chance on him when he becomes a UFA, and it'd make sense for the Wings to get into the mix if Semin can be had as a reclamation project (say, one year and $2 million). Semin would be crazy not to want to come play in Detroit with Datsyuk, even though that might not happen till November.
She also addresses the Weiss buyout, or the lack thereof:
Updated 2x at 12:34 PM: The Red Wings didn't waive Stephen Weiss today, so he's going to remain a Wing unless the team can find a trade partner.
Edit: The Wings have until 5 PM to buy him out, but the practice of putting players on waivers almost always happens at noon EDT.
Update: Here's the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness on Weiss:
Is there a lawyer in the house? Paul just received this email from DirecTV regarding the antitrust case against the NHL's Center Ice/GameCenter Live package, and it sounds like the result = fans will be able to purchase individual team packages for 20% less than the entire Center Ice package. There's a whole bunch of legal gobbledeygook in here, however, so we're both asking for someone to translate this into plain English if that is at all possible:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NOTICE TO PERSONS WHO PURCHASED GAME CENTER LIVE FROM THE NHL OR PURCHASED NHL CENTER ICE FROM COMCAST OR DIRECTV
You Have an Opportunity to Subscribe to Discounted Individual Team Packages through NHL GameCenter LIVE and You May Have Access to Free NHL Center Ice Programming through Comcast or DIRECTV
A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
Updated 4x at 11:16 AM: Among this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:
Regarding the Wings' "Hall of Fame Team," ESPN is asking whether the 2001-02 Red Wings were the "best of this generation," with ESPN's Kenneth Woolums (via RedWingsFeed) breaking down the team's statsticial claims to fame:
With nine players in the Hockey Hall of Fame, it’s no surprise that the Red Wings were the best team in the NHL in the 2001-02 season. They scored 251 goals, allowed 187, and their plus-64 goal differential in the regular season was the best in the league. The Red Wings captured the true essence of a "team" as only one of their players finished in the top 10 in voting for the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP).
Though they only had one top-10 Hart finisher, the Red Wings had at least one player in the top 10 in voting for the Vezina, Norris, Calder, Lady Byng and Selke trophies that season, including the top two finishers for the Norris Trophy: winner Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios. Five members of the team were selected to the All-Star game in the regular season.
While they now have nine players in the Hockey Hall of Fame, they're due for another shortly down the road. Pavel Datsyuk was a rookie in the 2001-02 season, finishing with 35 points in 70 games and finishing fourth in Calder Trophy voting. In his career, The Magic Man has 298 goals and 869 points in 13 seasons.
WDIV's David Bartkowiak Jr. makes the case for retiring #91...
You're supposed to start these sorts of reports with the juicy stuff, but I'm not sure if this is a juicy rumor as much as it's the utterance of a puzzled, "Huh? What?" given that Ken Holland has stated that he's not interested in screwing up the Wings' cap situation going forward by spending big in the free agent market.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson listed 10 free agents and their possible suitors, and he's going with the Red Wings as participants in the...Mike Green sweepstakes?
1. Mike Green, Washington Capitals: He made $6.08 million last year and was Washington’s No. 5 defenceman. The Caps would bring him back for about half that price, but Green, 29, is moving on. The Detroit Red Wings will make the biggest push because he could play with Niklas Kronwall and they sorely need a power play guy.
Because the free agent pool is about as deep as a dry puddle, Green could get $7 or $8 million from somebody out there on a 6+ year contract, and I can't see the Wings paying that kind of money or term to anybody. If he comes to Detroit, he's going to be leaving money and term on the table, and I don't see any reason for Green to do so, either.
In matters of greater certainty, the Red Wings unveiled their summer development camp roster, and the Windsor Star's Bob Duff asked a certain Nicklas Lidstrom about the fact that his sons are going to participate in the camp as try-outs:
Angela Ruggiero happens to be one of my heroes, so the fact that she was named a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee on Monday was an absolute delight for me as a fan as much as anything--and for Ruggiero, it was the fulfillment of a childhood dream of a sort, as noted by the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott:
Ruggiero, a member of the International Olympic Committee, was a rarity as a female hockey player as a child. "To be honest, I wanted to play for the L.A. Kings. I showed up to career day in the second grade with my hockey gear on," she said during a conference call with reporters. "I knew I wanted to play hockey, just didn't know where it would take me. However many years later I got to play in four Olympics and travel around the world and now here today be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Definitely something I couldn't have ever imagined."
The Free Press's Jeff Seidel penned a superb article about Ruggiero, who's still advocating for women in "sport" and women's hockey:
Updated 6x at 12:08 AM:
There's so much coming out regarding Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov's naming to the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2015 Induction Class that I can only apply the "digest entry" treatment to the stories popping up on the news wire, starting with this from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun...
You could argue that three and a half defensemen got the call from the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Blueliners Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger and Phil Housley were joined by forward Sergei Fedorov in the men’s player category getting the Hockey Hall of Fame nod, the latter taking a whirl on defense for Scotty Bowman years ago when injuries hit the Red Wings.
"One year we had injuries on the blue line for about six weeks, so we decided to put [Fedorov] back there. He didn’t miss a beat," Bowman, the legendary former coach of the Red Wings, told ESPN.com on Monday. "He could play as well as any of them. He was a good skater backwards and forwards. Wayne Gretzky told me a long time ago, 'I couldn’t play defense, I don’t think Mario [Lemieux] could, I don’t think [Jaromir] Jagr could, but this guy can.' So that tells you what kind of player Fedorov was."
Lidstrom was there when Fedorov took a turn on defense for a few weeks.
"It shows first of all [how] great of a skater he was," Lidstrom said on Monday’s media call when asked about it. "It’s not easy for a forward going back playing defense, but Sergei did it in an excellent way. It showed just how talented he was, moving from one position to another."
And continuing with the Canadian Press's summary of comments made on the post-announcement conference call...
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