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Late-night AA talk from Custance

Andreas Athanasiou has every right to examine his contractual options as they pertain to the Red Wings and other possible employers, but when I start reading what The Athletic's Craig Custance reports #72 is considering in order to gain leverage over the Wings in his contractual dispute, well...

KHL teams don't usually wipe out second years of deals if you want to go home before the end of April, show up for dry-land training after mid-May, or you're...not getting paid. In post-Soviet Russia, if team loses sponsors, you keep playing and sue for your salary.

It's one thing to sign with the Ak Bars Kazan for one season. They're swimming in Tatarstan's petro-Rubles. But after the "name" teams are gone though, things get sketchy in terms of finances, and I hope Athansiou knows that:

This year, the potential absence of young winger Andreas Athanasiou is threatening to become the story of training camp.

Contract negotiations with the Red Wings continue, as do talks with KHL teams in Russia. Athanasiou, according to his agent Darren Ferris, now has offers beyond the initial one-year deal with Ak Bars Kazan.

“We are going through what the offers are,” Ferris told The Athletic on Wednesday.

Ferris said that the winger won’t be in training camp without a contract, regardless of whether or not there’s a deal with the KHL. Restricted or not, Athanasiou is still a free agent and there’s no reason to risk injury in a show of good faith.

Athanasiou has also spoken with former Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk to get a feel for what life playing in the KHL might be like.

Custance continues (paywall), and he offers a superb assessment of how the situation came to be...

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Red Wings to give pro try-out to PA Parenteau

Might as well...


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Little Caesars Arena’s historical artifacts will change over time

Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea was among the many media members who attended a tour of Little Caesars Arena today, and he offers an intriguing note regarding the history-honoring aspect of the facility:

It has taken a specialized staff to create the displays. Marcel Parent was hired by Olympia two years ago as director of curation and content activation. He has two full-time assistants and shares a third with the rest of Olympia. With him, their job is handle what's displayed in the arena and catalog what may be up to 10,000 more items still in storage.

"The goal was to have a place that is dripping with history," Parent said. Fans will be able to see equipment and jerseys from famous players, but also items that commemorate milestones and moments for the teams, individual players, the old venues, games and the city, including music. Some items are on loan from fans. A special private area above the retail store is devoted to such history.

There are also nearly floor-to-ceiling paintings of boxer Joe Louis and hockey legend Gordie Howe.

What's on display will change in the future, Parent said. Some fixtures are permanent, such as the huge letters from the Red Wings first Detroit home, Olympia Stadium.

"The place is set up to celebrate history," said Craig Turnbull, Olympia's senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Shea continues, and his tour digest is a very good read...

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THN’s Campbell weighs in on the Athanasiou situation

The Hockey News's Ken Campbell weighs in on the cases of Andreas Athanasiou and Sam Bennett, who are threatening to go to the KHL and hold out, respectively, because they have no arbitration rights, and want to earn much more than their teams are offering:

In one case, that of Detroit Red Wings winger Andreas Athanasiou, the possibility of bolting to the KHL has come up. Now you have to understand that this is all part of the process. There is still plenty of time for both sides to get a deal done and while things look dire at the moment, that can change pretty quickly and dramatically. Neither the Red Wings nor Athanasiou’s camp have blinked yet. It’s one thing to hold the hammer of the KHL over a team’s head. It’s a completely different ball of wax to actually go ahead and use it.

That’s why it’s probably a little early to start taking sides on this one. Chances are, Athanasiou will be in uniform for the Red Wings this season on a bridge deal, and even if he is not, it simply means the team loses him during a year when it probably won’t make the playoffs anyway and retains his contract rights. So if Athanasiou thinks he can make a boatload of money in the KHL, which is entirely within his rights, he should probably go and do it. And if he thinks he’s worth more than $3 million a year with just 43 career points, that’s also within his rights to ask for it. But it’s doubtful that Wings GM Ken Holland is going to get into a bidding war against the KHL. Because if he does that, then next summer Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha will do the same thing. (It has been suggested that Holland should be fired if Athanasiou jumps to the KHL, which is actually an absurd notion. Has he made some questionable decisions with veteran players? Absolutely. But the Athanasiou situation as it stands now is not a firing offense, because the Red Wings still have him over a barrel contractually if he bolts.)


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Detroit’s Dressing Room

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Moving into Little Caesars Arena, the Red Wings are skating into a state-of-the-art facility that puts them on par or better than the rest of the league.

The locker room is bigger, there’s a massive weight room, and there will be no more driving to Grosse Pointe or Taylor or Troy for practice if there is a concert at Little Caesars Arena. The Wings now have their own practice rink on-site.

“You never have to leave,” Tom Wilson, president and chief executive officer of Olympia Entertainment, said Wednesday during a media tour of Little Caesars Arena. “Turn left (out of the locker room) and you go to the practice rink. Turn right and you go the real rink.

“Everything is here.”

read on

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press with her impression of the dressing room too.

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also penned an article about the locker room...

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Grand Rapids Griffins’ single-game tickets go on sale Friday, September 8th at 10 AM

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday announced that single-game tickets for all 38 regular season home games at Van Andel Arena will go on sale to the general public this Friday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m.

Grand Rapids and third-year head coach Todd Nelson will raise their 2017 Calder Cup championship banner on Friday, Oct. 6 at Van Andel Arena against Manitoba when the puck drops on the 2017-18 season with Opening Night presented by Huntington Bank. The Griffins’ home schedule features 25 games on either Friday or Saturday nights.

Griffins tickets can be purchased through the following methods (all purchases subject to a convenience charge):

  •     In person at The Zone at Van Andel Arena (open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday);
  •     In person at Star Tickets outlets;
  •     Online through http://griffinshockey.com/buytickets;
  •     On the Griffins app, available for iPhone and Android;
  •     By phone through Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737.

Continue Reading »

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Going Underground At Little Caesars Arena

from Hasan Dudar of the Detroit Free Press,

A whole subterranean village of sorts exists beneath the $863 million arena, which opens for public tours on Sept. 9 and will host a Kid Rock concert on Sept. 12.

Olympia Entertainment President and CEO Tom Wilson described the efforts that went into the arena project as a “labor of love,” and said that Ilitch Holdings President and CEO Chris Ilitch’s instructions were to “meet with everybody who’s gonna interact here,” including artists, managers, agents, and NHL officials.

“Our hope is that by cultivating the best ideas around the country, by bringing in innovations throughout this facility, that Detroit is gonna be home to the finest arena in the country,” Wilson said before a Wednesday tour of the new home of the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings.

Here are some highlights from the underbelly of Little Caesars Arena:

• Fit for the “Stones”: The Artist Compounds are underground digs for the different acts that will come through the arena. There are five rooms, each with their own private entrances, but Wilson said most of the rooms will be able to connect, in case, somebody wanted “an enormous space.”

“Literally you have your own world here,” Wilson said.

read on plus watch a one hour, 33 minute tour video of the LCA...

Update: The Free Press's Perry A. Farrell has more on the rink's amenities...

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Now This Says Detroit

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Bob McKenzie On Andreas Athanasiou

Bob McKenzie was asked about AA on Twitter,

Last I heard, but don't quote me LOL, is DET offered 2 x $1.9M. I get player feels he's worth more but no leverage

Which is to say even if he goes to KHL this season, he never really gets out of RFA with no arb rights status. Tough spot to be in.

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Afternoon news: Tweets of note, a Saarijarvi profile and fundraising

As Dylan Larkin makes the rounds in New York, and the Red Wings show off their arena to the local media...

MLive's Brendan Savage penned a profile of Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi:

Continue Reading »

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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.


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