The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/16/12 at 07:41 PM ET
A ridiculous amount of lockout crap, the cancellation of the Red Wings’ prospect tournament, family and friends dealing with chronic illnesses, a friend entering the military, this week’s been peachy keen for yours truly, so I’m going to try to get through this evening’s crop of Red Wings news without biting anyone’s head off.
• First, in The multimedia department, part 1:
Justin Abdelkader is joining the twitter beat down..— Mike Modano (@9modano) August 16, 2012
@justinabss. Be patient he doesn’t have much game..
• In the media department, part 3, and in the alumni department, part 2:
At least this is amusing, from the Wings…
• And finally, is there some irony in the fact that the Wings are selling 10 and 20-game season-ticket packages?
Which makes me wonder whether this Tweet from the Wings will involve participation in a commercial that will never air:
Want to be in a commercial? Clear your Tuesday at 3:00 PM- the Red Wings need you! Stay tuned for more info in the next couple of days.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 15, 2012
• Regarding Red Wings defensemen, past tense version:
THROWBACK THURSDAY: Today, we honor the newest member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, Marcel Pronovost! twitter.com/DetroitRedWing…— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 16, 2012
• Regarding Red Wings defensemen, present-tense version, NHL.com’s John Kreiser offers a no-brainer regarding which Red Wings player is facing the most pressure this year as he surveys Western Conference players “on the hot seat”:
Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings—With Nicklas Lidstrom retired and Brad Stuart now with the San Jose Sharks, Kronwall becomes the Red Wings’ No. 1 defenseman—meaning he’s likely to see more minutes and be forced to handle more responsibility. Like a Broadway understudy who suddenly finds himself forced to step in for the star, Kronwall will have to elevate his game on a team that finds itself having to retool its defense while trying to stay among the NHL’s elite.
• And regarding Red Wings defensemen, possible future tense version, the Port Huron Times-Herald’s Paul Costanzo spoke to Western Michigan University graduate and incoming Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Chad Billins, who the Wings signed to an AHL-only deal, about any positives that might come out of a lockout given that Billins hopes to earn an NHL deal with Detroit:
“(A lockout) will make every league below the NHL stronger,” he said.
It would also change the day he has to report to camp. Since the Griffins are an affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, he would attend the Wings’ rookie camp Sept. 15 in Traverse City. If there is a lockout, however, he won’t have to report to Grand Rapids until Sept. 28. None of the lockout talk has tempered Billins’ excitement for the season.
“(Signing with the Griffins) was a very exciting time for myself and my family,” he said. “It was a feeling, I guess, of relief, and it was just so exciting to be wanted by a team. I got a taste of it last year (practicing with the Griffins at the end of the season), so I got to kind of see how things were at that level and it gave me a few days of experience. But the one thing is, once you do sign a contract, the hard work doesn’t stop. That’s when the hard work starts. You still have to get ready for the season. All the hard work pays off, but you can’t let off the gas pedal.”
Billins, who finished an All-American career at Ferris State this year, said he had other offers and lots of interest from ECHL teams.
“(The AHL) is where everyone wants to play,” he said. “Because of the potential lockout, I didn’t know if my chances were going to be as good. It’s a great league, and Grand Rapids is a great organization. I couldn’t be happier.”
• And in the inevitable “Dragon’s Breath” category, I find it ironic that someone who claims that fans shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about the lockout is starting to get huffy about possibly ghostwritten Tweets offering propaganda from NHLPA members going toward a lockout…
• And I happen to think that Sportsnet’s Michael Grange is nothing less than insightful, well-spoken and a brilliant, brilliant writer, but his preface to a “how to fix the CBA” article absolutely infuriated me:
The fans are always the victims in any sports labour dispute, although suckers might be a better description. Recent history has shown that when owners and players fight over how to share your hard-earned money, the consequences of their take-ball-and-go-home negotiating tactics are minimal. Robbed of our testosterone-flavoured methadone, when the games come back, so do we, marching right over the cliff with our credit cards in hand. It sucks to be a sucker, but short of a mass migration to knitting or board games, it appears it will ever be thus.
Don’t you dare call me or my fellow fans a *#$%@& methadone addict, nor a “sucker.” The fact that we love our game, our teams and our players so much that we’re going to stick with them despite Gary Bettman’s machinations and what is likely to be a second lockout in eight seasons and a third lockout in eighteen, that makes me someone who is a mother *#$%@& dedicated and passionate supporter of the God-damned game that pays the players, owners and media’s salaries.
These kinds of characterizations of and “looking down one’s nose-toward” attitudes regarding fans are nothing less than completely unacceptable, and members of the MSM and online media should sure as shit take *#$%@& note of the fact that they’re mocking the God-damned people who are the reasons they have *#$%@& jobs. Don’t *#$%@& pander to me or any of us who have partisan passion and are getting jerked around like a Blue Angels pilot’s lunch in his stomach during an aerobatic routine because Chairman Mao can’t stomach anything less than scorched-earth policies and victory at the cost of prospect tournament, preseason and regular season games played.
*#$%@& him and *#$%@& anyone who suggests that fans are nothing more than junkies, suckers and patsies because they’re viewed as walking dollar signs by an NHL that knows it can abuse our loyalty.
Grange’s article is still brilliant, as is he, but Jesus *#$%@& Christ, if he does that again…Swearing is the least of the appropriate responses to take should he repeat said rhetorical tack.
I’ve spent the last two weeks being completely powerless to affect change for family members and close friends who have been in pain, I’ve spent the last two months covering a CBA war that is *#$%@& with my emotions and holding my time, energy, emotions and discretionary income hostage because the sides battling over my money can’t agree how to divvy it up, and as someone who is sometimes so damn *#$%@& disabled by anxiety and depression that blogging is the only thing I can do during the day, is my only coping mechanism at times and is sometimes the only way I can battle back against my illnesses, I am absolutely furious and incredibly frustrated with and by the fact that the people I believe I have a responsibility to serve, the community of Red Wings fans who I believe I can at least be useful to despite my status as a *#$%@&-up individual, are going to get jerked around with, treated like shit and, worst of all, told what idiots, maggots, addicts and parasites they must be to so deeply care about the players and teams that help them feel part of something bigger than themselves and provide them with a community of like-minded and different-minded individuals who can become their lifelong friends and de-facto family members.
That is nothing to be ashamed of. That identity and being part of the community we are a part of is something to be proud of, to be God-damned proud of, and while it’s my job to deal with people telling me I’m an idiot, an *#$%@&, a moron and a *#$%@&-up because I really do blog from my mother’s basement (and I’m not ashamed of my living situation for a millisecond), and do a fine *#$%@& job of behaving like a professional 95% of the time…
If someone *#$%@& with my readers, *#$%@& with the community I am beholden to, the community that’s given me the opportunity to get by, I will *#$%@& protect them and I will go on a relentless attack on their behalf.
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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.