The Malik Report
The Red Wings officially officially announced that the team has hired Tony Granato as one of Mike Babcock's new assistant coaches (Bill Peters leaving for Carolina + Tom Renney's departure to take the reins as Hockey Canada's president = one assistant coach down, one to go; Granato signed for "1 year plus an option") yielded a predictable amount of, "I'm happy to join the Red Wings" comments and a suitable number of jokes about the Babcock-Granato yell-fest back in 2008.
At this point, this Wings fan was more than happy to read somebody discuss the reasons that he felt Detroit was the place to be. Granted, Granato wears a suit these days, not a jersey, but he told the Macomb Daily's George Pohly that he believes the Wings aren't "that far off"...
Absolutely,” Granato said Tuesday when asked if the Red Wings can make a deep playoff run.
“I think it’s a great lineup, and I think it’s a lineup that can win,” Granato added. “The Detroit Red Wings play a system and brand of hockey … that’s tough to play against every night. They know how to develop players. They know how to win.”
And Granato told Pohly exactly the words we'd hoped a younger "new member of the family" might say on July 1st...
This took about five minutes. Yesterday, Red Wings coach MIke Babcock discussed his contract status with the Free Press's Helene St. James and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, explaining that he neither wants to talk contract turkey during the regular season, nor does he want to sign until Ken Holland's inked, but less than 24 hours later, The Fan 590 poured fire on the, "Babcock to Toronto" spiel:
"He loves the media!" Um, no, not so much.
Meanwhile, as Hockey Canada formally announced that Tom Renney would succeed Bob Nicholson as the organization's presidnent...
Amongst this afternoon's non-coaching-related Red Wings stories:
A fun and free family-friendly hockey event for charity is [taking place at Kroger on] July 19 in Canton.
Hockey Fest will benefit the Ted Lindsay Foundation, which aims at raising money for autism research and education.
- “Face Off” in the Top Shot inflatable gallery
- Play the ultimate hockey game in the mini rink
- Be the goalie and stop the foam puck in the shooting range
- Take your fastest shot in the puck radar cage
- Experience hockey history in the Legends of Hockey exhibit
- Meet Red Wings Alumni
- Enter for a chance to win great prizes including tickets for a Red Wings game
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kroger at 45540 Michigan Avenue, Canton.
In a very different vein, the Hockey News's Darryl Dobbs looks at the Red Wings' "outlook" for the upcoming season from an angle we have yet to really examine, in terms of the team's fantasy hockey appeal:
Per the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno:
The Hockey News's Ken Campbell did a superb job of summarizing why Renney's job won't be easy:
The Production Line's Michael Petrella informed Winging it in Motown's JJ From Kansas, DetroitHockey.net's Clark Rasmussen and myself that TPL was working on an investigative article discussing Detroit's hockey media atmosphere.
In light of the Daniel Cleary signing, Petrella believed that perusing inside-the-market and outside-the-market sources might provide a better understanding of the peramaters under which the Wings' media corps operate.
We agreed to publish whatever Michael wrote as-is and to publish it as closely-timed as possible to reach as many of you as we can.
What follows is presented without comment, and what follows encourages you to reach your own conclusions. As they say in the TV business, the following article does not necessarily reflect those of this blogger or The Malik Report (regarding the first subject in particular, I've had the opposite experience, but, "It is what it is").
Updated 4x at 4:48 PM: The Red Wings officially announced the hiring of new assistant coach Tony Granato just before noon today, and We All Bleed Redd on YouTube noted that the Wings' assistant coach and head coach introduced themselves some time ago, when Granato was an assistant coach in Colorado:
Granato coached the Avs for two seasons, he's served as an assistant to Dan Bylsma in both Pittsburgh and on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, and Granato addressed his status as a one-time Wings and Babcock rival in a conversation with the Free Press's Helene St. James.
Friends? Granato tells St. James that they are now:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have hired Tony Granato as an assistant coach.
Granato, 49, has served as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins for the past five seasons (2009-14), guiding the team’s defense (2.49 goals against per game, 10th) and penalty killing (85.0 percent, fifth) to top-10 finishes in the NHL during the 2013-14 campaign. Granato also served on Dan Bylsma’s Team USA coaching staff at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Prior to his time in Pittsburgh, Granato had two stints as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche (2002-04, 2008-09), compiling a 104-78-17-16 regular-season record over 215 games as a head coach, with two postseason appearances and one Northwest Division title. He also served as an assistant coach for the Avalanche for parts of four seasons (2002-03, 2005-08).
Red Wings morning news: Babcock discusses past/future assistant coaches, prospect talk & Brownov III
Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made an eyebrow-raising comment to the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan regarding his contract status and his desire to either wrap up an extension prior to the regular season or to wait until the conclusion of the 2014-2015 campaign to talk contract turkey:
"By that time (regular season), it’s hockey,” Babcock said. “It’s about the team. It’s not about Mike Babcock.”
Babcock doesn’t expect any extension until general manager Ken Holland, who also has one year left on his deal, works out his own contract.
“I’m not concerned,” Babcock said. “I’ve always been of the belief that if you do your job, do your job well, people want you.”
And Babcock shared a very positive assessment of the departing assistant coaches in Tom Renney (who will be named Hockey Canada's president today) and Bill Peters (who's heading to Carolina to coach the Hurricanes)...
From the Toledo Free Press:
Tickets for the Toledo Walleye Winterfest will go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 18.
More than 10,000 tickets have already been sold to season ticket-holders for the 10-day outdoor hockey fest to be held at a rink built inside Fifth Third Field will be held Dec. 26-Jan. 4. Two Walleye games will be among the featured events.
On July 18, 500 game packages will be made available. For $85, a package includes:
- A game ticket to both Toledo Walleye games (versus the Kalamazoo Wings on Dec. 27 and versus the Fort Wayne Komets on Jan. 3)
- Game ticket to Adrian College versus the U.S. National U-18 Team on Dec. 31
- Ticket to two-day community-wide Fanfest event at the Huntington Center
- Open Skate Pass
Also available July 18 will be 1,000 lower-level, limited-view seats for $25. These tickets put fans closest to the ice and all the action, but limit some views of the puck during play, although the action will be visible on two videoboards in the ballpark, according to a news release.
The Walleye's website has more info...
Red Wings evening news: weighing in on the coaching shuffle, a Griffins re-signing and prospect talk
Upated 3x at 11:45 PM: I was out this afternoon, so I managed to post this afternoon's coaching news but not follow up on it. As such:
1. I liked Tom Renney, despite his inability to turn the power play around (it's been iffy since Todd McLellan left in 2008), and despite the Wings' offseason moves, I got the sense that Renney's experience coaching the youthful Oilers helped Babcock come around to giving "the kids" a fair shot--and he seemed to play a very strong "good cop" to Babcock's "aggressive cop," too. I hope that Renney does well with Hockey Canada.
2. I like the Tony Granato hiring (though it's not official), too, because it essentially forces Babcock to go out of his way to find a "players' coach" to replace Renney. The equally-aggressive Granato has head coaching experience in Colorado and assistant coaching experience with both Colorado and Pittsburgh, and while the team has a "meh" track record in terms of bringing back alumni, the team's player personnel has always seemed to find missing ingredients by assimilating "enemy" players or coaches. Might as well bring some of that Pittsburgh puck possession know-how into the fold.
Babcock told the Free Press's Helene St. James (who reports that the Wings are securing Granato's release from Pittsburgh) and MLive's Brendan Savage that he's happy with the hiring, and Savage pointed out that Babcock and Granato have butted heads before (video via Savage):
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