The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/01/11 at 09:20 PM ET
This was mentioned by the Red Wings’ press corps regarding the team’s signing of Mike Commodore to a 1-year, $1 million contract, but given that somewhere around 40 players of note found new homes today, ESPN’s Scott Burnside posits a story worth repeating: Commodore received a call from his agent, informing Commodore that the Red Wings would give him fifteen minutes to decide whether he wished to join the team:
“I was like, oh my God,” Commodore told ESPN.com Friday night.
“I was just kind of sitting there in my truck,” Commodore said. “It happened fast.”
About a minute later, he came up with his answer. Heck yeah, he’s going to Detroit.
“Obviously, it was a no-brainer,” said Commodore, who earlier in the day was bought out of the final two years of his contract by the Blue Jackets.
Given that Commodore spent the latter part of the 2010-2011 season in the AHL, he’s quite happy to be a good soldier…
“My mindset is that whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do,” Commodore said. “Obviously it’s exciting. It’s a very unexpected surprise. A very unexpected, pleasant surprise.”
And just as Commodore told the Free Press’s Helene St. James that he was well aware of the fact that he’d said some bad things about Mike Babcock...
Commodore, 31, has a history with Wings coach Mike Babcock that dates back to when Babcock coached Anaheim’s AHL affiliate and had Commodore as a player.
Babcock spurred Commodore being traded to the Calgary Flames. Back in ’09, Commodore publicly accused Babcock of having being an obstacle in Commodore’s career. The memory of those remarks prompted Commodore to call Babcock this afternoon.
“I talked to him today for a few minutes,” Commodore said. “In all honesty, that was the only thing that - I don’t want to say it was an issue, but it was concern. I was assured by Mike that it wasn’t a big deal. For me, it’s water under the bridge. I just wanted to make sure I’d get a fair shot, and that was assured. I’m looking forward to playing for him. I want to be a good soldier. I’m really excited about this opportunity, and want to make the best of it.”
The Wings’ coach told MLive’s Ansar Khan that he’s excited about his new player:
“We had him earmarked for two weeks,’’ Babcock said. “We like his size and he’s physical. He’s a perfect fit for our team. He’ll support his teammates, he’ll work hard on people. If he’s paired with (young) Jakub Kindl, he’ll help him.’‘
Commodore, who played regularly on Carolina’s Stanley-Cup winning team in 2006 and the Flames team that lost to Tampa Bay in the 2004 Cup finals, said he’s excited to play for a talented puck-possession team.
“I’m not a rushing defenseman but can hold my own moving the puck. I look forward to getting the puck to (the forwards), kill penalties, block shots,’’ Commodore said. “That’s one thing Ken and Babs said the Wings needed—someone to be hard to play against.’‘
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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.