Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: multiple theories persist regarding Brendan Shanahan’s HHOF snub

By Malik Report standards, five entries in a day is downright delinquent, this sniffly blogger had laid down for an afternoon nap simply because I assumed Brendan Shanahan would obviously be named one of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2012 inductees, only to wake and find out that Adam Oates, Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin were named to the Hall, but not Shanahan on Tuesday afternoon.

So while other Wings news popped up over the course of Tuesday in some intriguing takes on the Wings’ pursuit of Justin Schultz, the team’s coaching candidates and the team’s release of its summer development camp roster, I’d like to focus on Shanahan’s omission…

But not before noting, as MLive’s Ansar Khan pointed out, that Oates, who was also named the Washington Capitals’ coach, began his career as a Red Wing:

Absolutely fantastic day,’’ Oates said. “I got to go out and play the Lotto, I think.’‘

Oates ranks sixth on the NHL’s career list with 1,079 assists. He racked up 341 goals and 1,420 points in 19 seasons with seven clubs between 1985-2004, finishing his career in Edmonton. He added 114 assists and 156 points in 163 playoff games, but he didn’t win a Stanley Cup. He reached the finals once, in 1998 with the Capitals, who were swept by the Red Wings.It is a tremendous resume for a player who wasn’t drafted. He spent three seasons at RPI before signing as a free agent with the Red Wings in 1985.

“I was kind of a late bloomer,’’ Oates said. “Scouts look at big kids, fast kids. I slipped through the cracks. It allowed me to go to college. Going to RPI was an important time for me. The second wave of players (college free agents) came. I got to play 19 years in the league, very fortunate. I could have gone in another direction.’‘

Oates spent four seasons in Detroit. He established himself as a budding star in 1988-89 by collecting 78 points (including 62 assists) in 69 games. But, the Red Wings, wanting a shake-up after a first-round playoff loss to Chicago, traded Oates and Paul MacLean to the Blues after the season for aging forwards Bernie Federko and Tony McKegney. It was one of the worst trades in franchise history.

“I was really upset,’’ Oates said. “Detroit was my first team. You’re sentimental. You don’t think you’re ever going to leave. Mr. Ilitch (owner Mike) was fantastic, the way he treated the team. It was heartbreaking. But it gave me the chance to go to St. Louis and play with Brett and really establish myself in the league.’‘

Oates put up 102 points his first season in St. Louis. Then he tallied 115 points, including 90 assists, in just 61 games in 1990-91. Hull scored 86 goals that year, which was sandwiched between seasons of 72 and 70 goals. Most came from passes by Oates.

“Brett and I took off,’’ Oates said. “The year he scored 86 was just magical. Every single night wherever we went he scored a goal, two goals, a hat trick. We hit it off as buddies and understood each other. The chemistry was just excellent.’‘

Khan took note of the stunned reaction from the media to Shanahan’s omission, and perhaps just as tellingly, while Chris Chelios was more than willing to chat up Justin Schultz’s qualities and speak about his desire to be an assistant coach one day, he clammed up like nobody’s business when the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness asked him about Shanahan’s snubbing:

“I don’t answer to any surprise questions because all those guys are obviously deserving of getting into the Hall of Fame,” Chelios said when asked if he was surprised Shanahan was not voted in.

Oates, who was also hired as head coach of the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, had 341 goals and 1,079 assists in 1,337 games with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim, and Edmonton.

“When I got traded I was really upset,” Oates said about the Wings dealing him to St. Louis. “Detroit was my first team. It was heartbreaking. But it gave me the chance to go to St. Louis and play with Brett (Hull) and really establish myself in the league.”

Oates has been eligible since 2007 to get added to the HOF.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t,” Oates said when asked if he looks forward to election day since being passed over so many times. “Maybe not as much as previous years, but I knew it was coming around and today was the day.”

Many thought Shanahan, who won three Stanley Cups with the Wings, was a shoo-in this year. He had 656 goals (13th all-time) and 1,354 points in 1,524 games over 21 seasons.

“You can only put so many in during a year,” Chelios said. “I don’t know how they pick them to be honest with you.”

The Canadian Press, USA Today’s Kevin Allen, the Gobe and Mail’s David Shoalts, Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun spoke about Shanahan’s omission in polite terms, trying not to take the spotlight away from the inductees…

And the CBC’s Tim Wharnsby and the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons more or less offered the, “Tough luck, boo hoo, we have players and builders we’ve been suggesting should have been inducted for years, so deal with it, and hell, isn’t it great that we get to have this kind of debate?” spiel…

But Sportsline’s Brian Stubits may have summarized the collective take on Shanahan’s omission—while eschewing the classic, “The Hall should only be for the very best of the very best, so deal with it!” spiel:

There is one name that is conspicuously missing from this class, though. That would be Brendan Shanahan, the league’s current discipline chief. I imagine that all of the voters were just suspended for a year and a day and he’ll take over the voting responsibilities for next season.

Terrible jokes aside, Shanahan’s absence is the surprise of the class. I saw plenty of handicapping stories before the vote was made and Shanahan was considered close to a mortal lock. The only person more certain than he to get into the Hall this year was Sakic.

Shanny gets remembered for a lot of different things when you look back at his career. He was a bit nomadic, he was aggressive and would drop the gloves. But he was also a damn good player. He finished his career with 656 goals and 698 assists while playing in an impressive 1,524 games. Only 12 players have scored more goals than Shanahan in their careers.

All the while he racked up 2,489 penalty minutes, clearly a prerequisite for knowing what’s a penalty and what’s not in hockey.

I was bothered a bit last year by Bure’s lack of inclusion but in all honesty, for my money, Shanahan’s “snub” is worse than Bure’s. I expected Bure to be put on hold another year with Shanahan on the ballot. Of course it’s not the biggest issue in the world, and it’s tough to take anybody out for him. Shanny will just get in on the second go-round instead of the first.

Some will say this is the problem with the system the way it is, only four players allowed in per year. We’ve got a bit of a backup like the 405 in rush hour of people waiting to get that phone call. Personally, that doesn’t bother me, the Hall should remain an exclusive club for the truly excellent. No doubt Shanahan will get voted in, most likely next year.

But TSN’s Mike Johnson and Steve Kouleas were stunned, and the Hockey News’s Ken Campbell is plain old pissed off about the concept that Mats Sundin—though, with Campbell being Campbell, he uses Shanahan’s omission as a sort of plot device, with his real thrust being trying to drive home his belief that the Selection Committee’s secret balloting process is fatally flawed, and that the Selection Committee is plain old out of touch:

I think I’ve finally got this group figured out. It’s made up of 18 NHL-establishment white guys, not a single one of whom is under the age of 50. And the ones who carry the most weight among them are the same people who had to be dragged into the 21st century to allow women to be inducted. Just listen to them when they call the inductees, basically congratulating them for becoming one of their little insular group. They’re not going to be dictated to by anyone and it’s almost as though they thumb their nose at people by making these bizarre selections, just to remind everyone it’s their group.

How any group of selectors could choose Sundin over Shanahan for the Hall of Fame is mind-boggling. As far as your trusty correspondent is concerned, Shanahan deserves to be inducted and Sundin does not. But I can also appreciate there is a sizeable contingent that believes Sundin is a Hall of Famer. Unlike a lot of people in the hockey world, I don’t have a problem with Shanahan not getting in, at least not yet. But to select Sundin at his expense really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Shanahan was an elite player who, unlike Sundin, benefitted from playing for a dynastic team. He combined skill and fractiousness like few other players in the history of the game, scoring 656 goals and accumulating 2,489 penalty minutes. Sundin, on the other hand, was the epitome of consistency and a player who had to be watched regularly to be fully appreciated. His on-ice leadership skills were without peer, but as a captain he also allowed the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room to become a fractured, spiteful place at times where fourth-liners and undeserving players had far too much negative influence. Sundin was a far more consistent points producer than Shanahan was – largely because he was much more productive than Shanahan at the beginning and the end of his career. But at the apex of their careers, Shanahan was a more impactful player. In terms of their international contributions, they were both integral parts of championship teams for their countries.

You could say that in terms of their Hall of Fame credentials, it was a saw-off. (Others will insist Shanahan’s career was far better, but they’re close.) So why induct Sundin ahead of Shanahan? Why not leave both of them out if there isn’t room for them? Well, just spit balling here, but the selection committee has always had a soft spot for anyone who spent the bulk of his career playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. And I don’t buy for a second that the selection committee might have seen Shanahan’s induction as a conflict of interest given his close ties to the NHL’s head office. This is not a group that has ever concerned itself with perception. After all, they inducted the co-chairman of the selection committee when they welcomed Jim Gregory as a builder five years ago. (Gregory was on hiatus from his position as co-chairman due to illness at the time of his induction.)

It’s too bad, because the Hall of Fame finally did the right thing by inducting Pavel Bure and Adam Oates. Bure had to wait six years for his induction and Oates had to wait five. It would not have been a travesty to make Sundin wait a year or two.

And there’s still no place for Pat Burns or Fred Shero in the builders’ category. And after finally agreeing to induct women in 2010, there have not been any worthy female inductees the past two years. A little curious, isn’t it? But we’ll never find out the real feelings of the committee or if there were any dissenting views because its members are sworn to secrecy over every aspect of their selection process. So we’ll also never know why they decided to pick Sundin over Shanahan this year.

Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner offers a different kind of conspiracy theory, and it’s an unflattering one:

Brendan Shanahan is a Hall of Fame hockey player. What he was able to accomplish on the ice ranks with the all-time greats of the game. But hockey is rooted in strong traditions and has a code of conduct that one is expected to uphold. Hockey players might be brutish on the ice, but the off-the-ice code calls for them to be gentlemen first and foremost.

Combining talent, personality and good looks, Shanahan became the poster boy of the NHL. He was the big, strapping Canadian lad that Don Cherry worships. So you have to wonder if his relationship and then marriage to the wife (eventually ex-wife) of former St. Louis Blues teammate Craig Janney caught up with Shanahan on Tuesday, when he was denied first-ballot admission into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Even though the Shanahans have been married for 14 years now and have three children, how else can you explain this jarring snub? 

Shanahan has always marched to a different drummer. Although he was respected by his Red Wings teammates for his play, he wasn’t the most popular guy in the room. Many thought that it was too much Brendan Shanahan and not enough Detroit Red Wings. This frustrated his Detroit teammates because — despite his bravado and the Janney thing — when they were all on the ice together, they became champions.

Don’t be too surprised if Shanahan gets elected to the Hall next year — in my book a year too late. His statistics — i.e. the only NHL player to score more than 600 goals and spend more than 2,000 minutes in the penalty box — say so.

However, those who selected the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2012 apparently had their say so Tuesday: The game might forgive, but it never forgets.

Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano offered a slightly different take to the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa, though it should be noted that Devellano had an axe to grind as well:

“I thought that Shanahan would have been a slam dunk, really,” said Jimmy Devellano, senior vice president of the Red Wings and an architect of much of the success of the franchise, especially in the 1990s. “He’s the second highest scoring left winger in the history of the National Hockey League. He’s got over 600 goals. I would say this, they will not be able to keep him out for long.”

Pressed on whether Shanahan’s current role as the chief disciplinarian of the NHL, an inherently unpopular position, may have swayed the committee, Devellano simply said, “Could be.”

“Three people that are in are automatics: Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin and [Pavel] Bure are inarguable,” Devellano said. “I just thought Shanahan really should have been the fourth guy.”
“I don’t want to diss anybody,” Devellano said. “But I’ll just leave it up to anybody to compare the two, Shanahan and Oates. And there really is not a comparison.”

The Red Wings traded Oates and Paul MacLean, now coach of the Senators, to the Blues for Bernie Federko and Tony McKegney.

“We traded Adam Oates, and it’s not a trade that I’m very proud of,” Devellano said. “In fact, it was maybe the worst move I made in my time in Detroit. But he went on to get traded a number of times. He played with seven teams. So it was not like I was the only person who traded him.”

Devellano continued along that tack while speaking to the Free Press’s George Sipple:

“It’s not a trade that I particularly am fond of, for sure,” Devellano said Tuesday, after Oates was announced as part of the latest class entering the Hockey Hall of Fame. Oates also was named head coach of the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Credit must be given to Devellano and the Wings for giving Oates a shot at pro hockey, signing him as an undrafted free agent out of RPI in 1985.

“We were the team that had the moxie to sign him,” Devellano said. “We were a team that wasn’t very good, and we were looking for a way to try and upgrade our skill level. We signed a bunch of free agents out of college that particular year, and Adam Oates (was) the best of those college free agents.”

Oates had 16 goals and 62 assists in 69 games in his final season with the Wings, then was shipped to the Blues and teamed with Brett Hull as one of the top duos in the NHL. Oates said Tuesday during a call with media that he was “heartbroken” at the time for being traded from the Wings. He went on to play for the Blues, Bruins, Capitals, Flyers, Ducks and Oilers, finishing with 341 goals and 1,079 assists for 1,420 points in 1,337 games.

“The trade was made because I felt that we needed somebody to play harder,” Devellano said. “You have to understand (Oates) was 23 years of age at the time (he signed). ... The player we got in return had been a great player, but by the time we got him he was pretty much finished. That was Bernie Federko. I’ll take the blame for it. In all my time in Detroit that was the worst trade I made.”

Devellano, part of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010, said he planned to pen Oates a letter: “I’ll send him a letter of congratulations, No. 1 on the Hockey Hall of Fame, and No. 2 on being named coach of the Washington Capitals.”

Devellano said he was “shocked” that another former Wing, Brendan Shanahan, was not voted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

“You can’t keep Shanahan out of the Hockey Hall of Fame,” he said. “He’s the second-highest left winger in the history of the league for godsakes. Oh, I thought he was going in for sure. I was shocked.”

The Free Press also posited a list of the worst trades in Detroit sports history, with only one of Jack Adams’ moves making the list (speaking of for God’s sake, did that man destroy the Wings’ Cup-winning dynasty), but I suppose that’s a discussion for a different day.


Let’s stick with the alumni department for a moment: While the Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman’s conversation with former Wing and Coyote Dallas Drake is less than scintillating, DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose spoke to Kris Draper about the Wings-Leafs rivalry given that Draper grew up in Toronto, as a Leaf fan, and asked Draper about his expectations for the Winter Classic alumni showdown and main event:

Question. What are your thoughts on the whole Winter Classic events planned for next year?

Draper: “I’ve been to the football games when they get 115,000 people there, and what a building that’s absolutely amazing. You started hearing some rumors about it and you think, ‘Man, this is going to be something special.’ To me, my Chicago Winter Classic was awesome, I had that much fun playing in it and being able to skate outdoors with my family on that free-skate. Everything about that Winter Classic was a big highlight of my career. And now that it’s Detroit-Toronto, it’s going to take the Winter Classic to a whole new level. Obviously playing at the Big House with as many people as we’re going to get is going to be absolutely amazing. It’s hockey, certainly, but I think you can almost term this as an event, this is bigger than just a hockey game. I know the people that want to be a part of it will have an amazing time.

“I’ve joked around with Kenny (Holland) about our lineup for the alumni game and the players that we can have. I mean, there are 50,000 seats at Comerica and you’re going to have 50,000. People are going to want to see Detroit and Toronto. We were kind of talking about it with friends and family and that whole deal after Christmas is going to be like Christmas Day for an extra week with all of the stuff going on with all of the alumni events and it sounds like the Great Lakes Invitational is going to be there, sounds like Grand Rapids is going to play there and the OHL is going to be there, and I’m lobbying hard to have Little Caesars have a day there so I can take my son’s team down there.

“For us as alumni to be involved on the 31st in that game is going to be fun, and I’ve already talked to Malts and Ozzie, and your face just lights up with a big smile. It’s like you’re reborn and a kid again because you have this opportunity that’s going to be great. And of course Malts and Ozzie are kidding around that I’m going to be holding the training camp to make sure that everybody is going to be ready to go.

“Every time I play Toronto I have to beat Toronto, even this year when we when there and I wasn’t playing, people were giving it to me because we lost. They still consider me part of the rivalry, and my dad liked it even less because he and my father-in-law still live in Toronto and have to take the brunt of it all.

“It’s one of the greatest rivalries in professional sports and it’s one of those things where people get excited about. And it’s not just people in the city of Detroit or the city of Toronto, we have fans in Windsor and we have fans in London and they have the same thing throughout and that’s what makes it special because it’s passed down from generation to generation. People grew-up in Toronto liking the Red Wings because of Gordie Howe and because of Ted Lindsay, because of Terry Sawchuk, and other people grew-up liking the Toronto Maple Leafs – I’m not quite sure why – but they did. That’s the beauty of professional sports when fans rally around their team and rally around their organization and I certainly don’t think there’s anything better than Toronto and Detroit.”

• And in Sweden, VLT.se’s Emelie Nilsson reports that Nicklas Lidstrom will make his first public appearance since moving back to Vasteras at their CityFest on Friday, alongside his long-time coach and friend Curre Lundmark


I must inevitably shift focus to free agent talk, and we’ll start that jibbajabba with a note from TSN’s Bob McKenzie regarding the high likelihood that Ken Holland and some of the Wings’ brass will be heading to Toronto to join the teams lining up meetings with Justin Schultz and his representatives:

Interesting day for Oilers tomorrow. Will announce Ralph Krueger as new coach at 9 am MT, meet with UFA Justin Schultz in TOR in afternoon.
Some NHL teams believe Schultz is destined to end up with his home province Canucks. We should know more in next few days if not sooner.

• I’d rather not take a gander at Sportsnet’s Ryan Porth’s re-hyping of the supposed Pittsburgh run at both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, and I’ll only briefly note that Pro Hockey Talk posited profiles of Shane Doan, who’s considering testing the market, and Bryce Salvador, who’s more of a complimentary player…

Because, at least occasionally, some context-free free agent talk is a bit of a relief. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen tossed off a list of the top 12 free agents available on the market…

Zach Parise, New Jersey: The Devils captain said two days after losing in the Stanley Cup Final that he would like to return to New Jersey, but the closer it gets to Sunday, the more likely it appears that Parise will at least test his market value in free agency. He is sure to like what he hears from various teams because he would be the most coveted free agent forward available and perhaps in line to secure an average annual salary of $7 million or more.

Even with Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin Brodeur on the team, he became the face of the Devils. He was given the captaincy at the start of the 2011-12 season and by all accounts lived up to it in every way possible. Other than New Jersey, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and the Rangers are reportedly interested. Parise, though, said he would never cross the Hudson River to play for the Rangers.

Ryan Suter, Nashville: He’s been living in the shadows of Predators captain Shea Weber, so you can understand why Suter has informed Nashville general manager David Poile that he plans to see what is out there for him starting Sunday. However, Suter is not ruling out a return to Nashville and Poile remains optimistic the team can offer him everything he wants, including a lucrative long-term contract.

Suter, though, will be pursued heavily by several teams. He’s been linked to Detroit for the simple reason Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement created a gaping hole on the Red Wings’ blue line and roughly $7 million in cap space. The Wild are also reportedly going to take a hard run at Suter, but he still may discover his best option is to return to Nashville. Time will tell.

Alexander Semin, Washington: The word “enigmatic” has been used in front of Semin’s name for years now, but it is usually followed by talented. Nobody denies how good Semin has been and still can be if he puts his mind to it, but the problem is for far too long he has been looked at as a player that only gets it going when he wants to and doesn’t produce in the clutch.

The Capitals were worried enough about Semin that they signed him only to a one-year extension that took him through the 2011-12 season. It appears he will make it to Sunday and become an unrestricted free agent. A team like the New York Rangers, which needs a goal scorer especially since Marian Gaborik won’t start the season, may take a flier on Semin, who might have to settle for big money in a short-term contract.

Jason Garrison, Florida: Among experienced blueliners available, Garrison seems like the silver medal behind Suter. That’s not a knock on him by any means. In fact, it’s a compliment for what Garrison was able to accomplish in the final year of his deal with Florida.

Garrison was third behind Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson and runner-up Shea Weber for goals by a defenseman with 16. He also had 17 assists and was a plus-6 while averaging nearly 24 minutes per game. He scored nine power-play goals and three game-winning goals. If, for instance, the Red Wings strike out on Suter, they may turn their focus to Garrison.

And while these are perhaps “lesser lights,” the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan looked at the rest of the field in positing a top 15 free agent list:

4. P. A. Parenteau

Position: Forward

Team: N.Y. Islanders

Stats: 18 goals, 49 assists

2011-12 cap hit: $1.25 million

Comment: One player about to get a substantial raise. The Islanders will work hard to keep him, but Parenteau is likely capable of getting a better offer somewhere else. Would be a nice offensive upgrade for any team, a nice setup guy who didn’t get attention with the Islanders.

In the hunt: N.Y. Islanders, Chicago, Detroit, N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
6. Jaromir Jagr

Position: Forward

Team: Philadelphia

Stats: 19 goals, 35 assists

2011-12 cap hit: $3.3 million

Comment: The Red Wings and Penguins were interested last summer, but you wonder whether either is this time with Jagr hitting 40. He did surprise people with his production and commitment in Philadelphia, and the Flyers wouldn’t mind bringing him back at the right price.

In the hunt: Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit, Montreal, N.Y. Rangers

7. Dennis Wideman

Position: Defenseman

Team: Washington

Stats: 11 goals, 35 assists

2011-12 cap hit: $3.875 million

Comment: An underrated offensive defenseman who has done a nice job. The Capitals wouldn’t mind keeping him, but Wideman could find better offers somewhere else.

In the hunt: Washington, Anaheim, Dallas, Detroit

8. Pavel Kubina

Position: Defenseman

Team: Philadelphia

Stats: 3 goals, 12 assists

2011-12 cap hit: $3.85 million

Comment: A late-season trade acquisition acquitted himself well in Philadelphia. Don’t be surprised if the Flyers make an effort to re-sign this steady veteran.

In the hunt: Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit, Montreal, Pittsburgh

• And I’d like to offer a word of caution regarding Jagr from the Courier-Post’s Randy Miller:

The NHL free agent signing period begins Sunday and Jaromir Jagr is sounding like he still doesn’t have an idea if he’s going to return for a second season with the Flyers or play elsewhere next season.

“It’s up to my agent,” the future Hall of Fame right wing told Denik Sport, a Czech Republic newspaper, last weekend. “We will see what happens. You never know. Last year I thought there were three possibilities - Detroit, Pittsburgh and Montreal. And then, because (Flyers right wing) Jakub Voracek has the same agent as me (Petr Svoboda), my agent was asked by the Flyers, ‘What about Jagr?’ And you see, finally, I went to Philly. So you never know.”

Jagr was interviewed by Denik Sport reporter Zdenek Janda last Saturday during a ceremony in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, in which he was named runner-up for Czech hockey player of the year to New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias. Janda translated Jagr’s quotes into English on Tuesday and emailed to the Courier-Post.

In case the 2012-13 season doesn’t start on time due to a lockout, Jagr told Janda that he would play for the Czech Extraliga League team that he owns and is based in his hometown, HC Kladno. He played for the team during the 2004-05 lockout. Jagr has been doing on-ice training in Kladno this summer, Janda said.


In the prospect department, the Wings released the roster for their summer prospect camp to be held from July 7-14 in Traverse City, MI, and while the team won’t have Calle Jarnkrok, Alexei Marchenko or Mattias Backman in the fold, MLive’s Ansar Khan points out that the roster’s still pretty stacked:

Forwards: Andreas Athanasiou, Louis-Marc Aubry, Michael Babcock, Rasmus Bodin, Mitch Callahan, Julien Cayer, Dean Chelios, Willie Coetzee, Landon Ferraro, Martin Frk, Luke Glendening, Philippe Hudon, Tomas Jurco, Kellan Lain, Andrej Nestrasil, Travis Novak, Trevor Parkes, Ted Pletsch, Teemu Pulkkinen, Alan Quine, Brent Raedeke, Vladislav Shalimov, Riley Sheahan, Marek Tvrdon,

Defensemen: Adam Almqvist, Jake Chelios, James De Haas, Gleason Fournier, Nick Jensen, Brian Lashoff, Gleb Koryagin, Ben Marshall, Mike McKee, Richard Nedomlel, Max Nicastro, Xavier Ouellet, Brendan Smith, Ryan Sproul,

Goaltenders: Thomas McCollum, Parker Milner, Petr Mrazek, Jake Paterson.

The Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindenau has penned a superb set of profiles of the Wings’ camp invitees, and I like her roster better than the one the Wings put out, at least in terms of formatting and ease of reading;

• Regarding Backman’s absence, he told Corren.se’s Per Bergsten that he’s needed to his nose fixed after suffering a break that’s caused him breathing problems, and because the team he currently plays for, Linkopings HC, begins its training camp in August, he consulted with the Wings and they gave him the OK to have his surgery now so that he doesn’t miss his team’s training camp;

• My Czech is terrible, so I’ll summarize this one, too: Hockej.cz’s Vaclav Jachim spoke to Martin Frk about his draft day activities, and Frk says he mostly hung out with Jiri Fischer as the Wings’ brass took their draft haul to a Tigers-Pirates game. He’s thrilled about joining the Wings—though he knew he’d slip into the second round—and he’s looking forward to the summer prospect camp and especially the opportunity to play with Pavel Datsyuk this fall.

Frk says that the 2012-2013 season will be his last with the Halfiax Mooseheads, which indicates that the Wings will probably sign him in 2013 and bring him into the fold as a member of the Grand Rapids Griffins two years from now;

• My English is pretty good, but so is the Windsor Star’s Robbie Benneian, and he engaged in an intriguing conversation with rough-and-tumble prospect Mike McKee for Detroit Sports Nation. McKee doesn’t shy away from the fact that, well, he doesn’t shy away from the rough stuff:

“Growing up in the Canadian minor hockey system, coaches helped me develop a toughness and take on a role that is hard to do, and that other kids kind of shy away from,” the Red Wings 2012 fifth round pick told Detroit Sports Nation. “I accepted it and took off from there.”

The 6’4”, 230 pound McKee, who said his toughness is his biggest asset, said he has worked with Mark Joslin, a high performance trainer for many professional hockey players, since he was 13 years old. Joslin has helped McKee develop the parts of his game that involve keeping his gloves on.

“He’s helped me with every part of my game,” McKee said. “I work with him in the summer all the time. Skating, shooting, passing, stickhandling, everything.”

After the 2008-09 season that saw him total 14 points and 74 penalty minutes in 25 games with the South Central (Ont.) Coyotes, McKee was drafted in the 6th round, 116th overall by the Ottawa 67s of the OHL. However, instead of heading to the NHL’s number one development league, McKee opted for a different route: prep school in the United States.

“My mom was always big on me getting an education,” McKee said. “After I got drafted into the OHL, she wanted me to explore the college route. I hooked up with a prep school in Connecticut and then I played a year in Lincoln, Nebraska. I had a choice to finish my senior year at Kent, or go to Lincoln. I felt it was time to step up the skill level of hockey, and it ended up turning out pretty good.”

McKee’s heading to Western Michigan University this fall, and he believes that he won’t be hampered by the lack of fighting in college hockey:

“That’s one of the others reasons I wanted to get into college hockey,” said McKee. “I’ll spend a lot more time playing the game. I can play the game fine, but (in college) I won’t have the choice to drop the gloves. If I’m having a bad game, I’ll have to find a way to play the game with skill and I think that will help me in the long run.”

• And it’s worth noting that the Hockey News’s Ryan Kennedy, the website’s prospect guru, thinks that the Wings have an ace up their sleeve in Rasmus Bodin, the team’s last selection this past Saturday:

Rasmus Bodin, LW – Ostersunds (Swe.): At 6-foot-6 and 207 pounds already, it’s no surprise why a team would be interested in young Bodin. The fact he pairs his frame with a big shot doesn’t hurt, either. While Ostersunds plays in Sweden’s third-best circuit, Bodin will move up the ranks to HV71’s program next year, where Niklas Hjalmarsson and Mattias Tedenby developed recently. Drafted 200th overall by Detroit in 2012.


Also of Red Wings-related note this morning:

• The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan penned a blog entry on Tuesday evening, asking the NHL to put its awards show “out of its misery”;

• The Toledo Walleye have announced that they’ll hold a goalie camp led by Walleye coach Nick Vitucci, a former minor pro goaltender;

• And regrettably, I’m going to have to continue going at 50% by TMR standards as I’ve got a plain old cold, or what most people would call “the flu.” I’ve got a high fever, chills, body aches and pains, I’m having a hard time concentrating and I plain old feel terrible. Repeated doses of cowbell have not helped my fever, so I simply need to rest up and do the best I can to get healthy for next week.

I’ll also be out of the office for a chunk of Thursday to take the mom to a doctor’s appointment, and I’ll be gone on Friday afternoon to attend a doctor’s appointment of my own.

Anyway, I am a week and a half away from heading to Traverse City for the summer prospect camp, and I’ve been more or less stuck at the 60% funding mark for the past three or four days, so if you can lend a hand in helping me defer the cost of staying in a hotel for nine days, I’d greatly appreciate it.

You’ll have to use my personal email address, rtxg at yahoo dot com, to donate, and if you want to aid the cause by some other manner or means, fire me an email at that address or at georgemalik at kuklaskorner dot com.


Update: Oh, the Triple Deke….


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



One more time, George, your 50% is plenty. We want you for the weekend.
thanks again.

Posted by Bugsy on 06/27/12 at 05:57 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, you may see five blog entries in a day to be “delinquent,” but remember, as much as we love reading your stuff, there are only so many hours in a day to read!  (Just kidding - but seriously, REST!  Sunday will be nuts.)

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/27/12 at 10:22 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I’m digging this McKee kid, love his attitude.
Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 04:24 AM ET

This ^^^^

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/27/12 at 11:08 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Triple Deke - outstanding work.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 11:49 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Curious that there has been no mention since Helm signed about the status of Abdelkader offers or signing.  Somebody should know something, or is everything silent?  Did I miss something?

Posted by RWBill on 06/27/12 at 11:56 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Shane Doan would be a very good pick up for the Wings, depending what other balance of players they could pick up.  He isn’t the young, fast highly skilled player they want to add, but would add a physical edge, accomplished scoring, and unselfish leadership coveted by the traditional Wings lockerroom.  Difficult to imagine him leaving the Coyotes franchise, but this is his last chance to place himself on a team with a reasonable chance at a Cup run.

Posted by RWBill on 06/27/12 at 12:08 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

The fact that Jagr says where he ends up is “up to my agent” absolutely disgusts me. Shows he has absolutely zero loyalty and is only out to play for one thing - the almighty dollar. I’ll be sick if the Wings actually make him an offer.

And rest up George! Next week will be a whirlwind.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 06/27/12 at 01:54 PM ET


My guess is Pat Quinn is the poison on the HHOF induction committee. He’s the guy that hated Burns (for God knows what from 20 years ago). And he’s the guy who’d be most likely to make a hard push for Mats Sundin over other guys with better cases. Add his Sundin advocacy to a bunch of members who are pissed off over one of their guys getting suspended or one of someone else’s guy’s not getting suspended and you have the anatomy of a snub.

Though Campbell’s pretty stupid as well.

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/27/12 at 02:50 PM ET


Oh, and someone should explain to Ted Kulfan that, though not retired, Pavel Kubina stopped playing hockey years ago and isn’t likely to be signed by anyone..

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/27/12 at 02:53 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Man, that McKee kiddo is really getting on my nerves. LOL

He’s gonna be a really great find by the Wings’ collegiate scouts.  Might be the next DMac.  If he stays focused on his ambitions in college, he just might be the steal in this draft.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/27/12 at 03:05 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

The fact that Jagr says where he ends up is “up to my agent” absolutely disgusts me.
Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 06/27/12 at 11:54 AM ET

It’s disturbing when any hockey player says this.  I’m probably disturbed for slightly different reasons than you,  but it seems that some players have no control over their own destiny.  Possibly some use their agents as a buffer for not wanting to say anything controversial publicly, which is okay with me.

Posted by RWBill on 06/27/12 at 03:31 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Shane Doan would be a very good pick up for the Wings
Posted by RWBill from missing the Tiki Bar at The Shores, Daytona Beach. on 06/27/12 at 10:08 AM ET

Couldn’t agree more, I think he’d be an ideal fit - works hard, is respected in the locker room, has cup hunger and Babs loves him.  The only issue is that they’ve got a logjam at RW with Bert, Cleary, Eaves and Abs (provided he returns).

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 03:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I am feeling very sick and am staying in bed today. Sorry.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/27/12 at 03:43 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

George, ok , get some rest.  I hope you don’t read this for 18 hours.

Posted by RWBill on 06/27/12 at 03:48 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Triple Deke - simply awesome, man.

Get well George!

Re: McKee - I hope to have another Jersey that starts with Mc or Mac some day soon.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/27/12 at 06:22 PM ET


Don’t steal Doan from us!  Kidding, Wings all the way.  Malik, you are a beast.  You probably have more news on the Red Wings than most Red Wing upper management could have.  On top of that, you write about 30 pages of commentary daily.  I’m pretty sure everyone can live with just 5.

Posted by neffernin from Phoenix on 06/27/12 at 07:07 PM ET


Dennis Wideman is off the table, signed by Calgary to a five-year contract worth $26.25 million. The deal has an average annual value of $5.25 million.

Here’s your measuring stick for FA.

Posted by Alex on 06/27/12 at 11:58 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Dennis Wideman is off the table, signed by Calgary to a five-year contract worth $26.25 million. The deal has an average annual value of $5.25 million.

Here’s your measuring stick for FA.

Posted by Alex on 06/27/12 at 09:58 PM ET

Great time to stock and re-stock the fridge with Guinness.  It’s gonna be a car wreck of a free agent summer.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/28/12 at 12:07 AM ET


$5.25 million?!?! Forget about waking me up when it hits July 1. Wake me up when the prospect camp starts,... or please get me a bottle of Pepto Bismol (or 3). Ugh.

Posted by Bugsy on 06/28/12 at 12:40 AM ET


Sigh. From TSN: (boldface I added)
“Wideman, 29, has been a very productive puck-moving defenceman. Over the last five years, he ranks 10th among NHL defencemen with 53 goals and 15th with 201 points and in four of those five seasons, Wideman registered at least 20 points on the power play.

Factor in that Wideman ranks sixth among all NHL defencemen in ice time over that period, 24:15 per game while missing an average of 3.4 games per season, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Wideman was both sought-after as a free agent and well-compensated once he signed with the Flames.

Upon acquiring Wideman’s rights, the Flames signed him to a five-year, $26.25-million contract, which sounds like a lot but, given Wideman’s credentials, the lack of depth on the free agent market and that he was just paid $4.5-million for the 2011-2012 season, there isn’t really anything surprising about his new financial stratosphere.

Posted by Bugsy on 06/28/12 at 12:45 AM ET

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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.


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