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Does the NHL still ‘owe’ Henrik Zetterberg an apology for Jamie Benn’s face-punches?

The NHL doesn't deliver formal "apologies" to players, but Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave believes that the league ought to do the same thing that Erik Cole did during Tuesday's practice--apologize for Jamie Benn's unpunished indiscretion that probably concussed Henrik Zetterberg:

Zetterberg has missed the last four games after he was punched repeatedly in the head by Benn in a scrum surrounded by four officials. Zetterberg left the game and did not return for the third period, when the Wings overcame two two-goal deficits in the third period of a wild, 7-6 Detroit victory. And what did we hear from the NHL about that? Crickets.

Imagine how league officials would have responded if Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby or Washington's Alexander Ovechkin had been sucker-punched like that. Or anybody in Toronto or New York. Oh, the outrage!

Such hypocrisy. For a league that insists it's doing everything possible to protect its players from head injuries -- especially when caused by such gratuitous violence -- the unthinkable decision not to slap Benn with some form of supplemental discipline is inexcusable.

Zetterberg missed four games with headaches. He skated hard Monday and again on Tuesday, and hoped to be cleared for contact afterward. He remains questionable for Wednesday's game against the visiting New York Rangers.

If he does play, he'll likely be flanked by Cole, a speedy and acerbic 6-foot-2, 210-pound on one wing, and Justin Abdelkader, 6-1 and 220 pounds, on the other. Not since Steve Yzerman had Bob Probert on one wing and Gerard Gallant on the other has a top-line center been surrounded by such a combination of size, speed, grit and goal-scoring ability

Gave continues, and while I wouldn't go as far as to compare Abdelkader and Cole to Gallant and Probert...Do you think the NHL still owes Zetterberg an apology it won't give him? Should the NHL apologize when players who injure others go unpunished?

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Red Wings collecting school supplies for ‘Operation: Kid Equip’ on Friday

Here's an important FYI from the Red Wings' PR department:

Wings collect supplies for Operation: Kid Equip
Fans encouraged to bring new school supplies for children in low-income households to Friday’s game at Joe Louis Arena

DETROIT – The Red Wings are hosting a school supply item collection on Friday to provide children in low-income households with the necessary supplies to learn and participate in the classroom. Fans are encouraged to bring new school supplies to the collection drive set for the Red Wings home game on Friday, March 6 when Detroit takes on the Calgary Flames at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.

All donations will benefit Operation: Kid Equip, which has the capacity to serve 70,000 Metro Detroit students, with more than 6,000 of these students currently homeless. Operation: Kid Equip provides free school supplies, books, hygiene and food items for local children in need.

The items most in need are pencils, markers, crayons and glue sticks. Volunteers from Operation: Kid Equip will be on hand at each entrance of Joe Louis Arena when the doors open at 6:00 p.m. to collect donations.

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LeBrun discusses why Wings-Leafs Phaneuf negotiations fell apart

Reading this post-deadline "Almost" from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, regarding the purported Dion Phaneuf deal, is a relief:

The reality is once Detroit and Toronto really laid their cards on the table, both front offices realized they were talking about a completely different deal.

The Red Wings would have wanted the Leafs to eat part of Phaneuf's $7 million-a-year salary, and the parts coming back weren't going to be Grade A stuff. The Leafs wanted a high-end return, and I'm not real sure just how much they would have wanted to eat of the Phaneuf salary.

As one source involved in the talks told ESPN.com, once both sides realized they were talking about a completely different deal than what the other side had in mind, it was time to move on.

Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 this morning, and he stated that the Leafs wanted a Larkin or Mantha and the Wings' 1st round pick to make a "hockey deal" out of something the Wings did not want to make anything less than a salary-for-salary situation, and as the Wings aren't moving Larkin, Mantha or a 1st-rounder, that was the end of that.

And the Wings did, making an excellent deal for pending unrestricted free agent Marek Zidlicky instead, paying a modest price of a conditional third-round pick. Now, the fact that Zidlicky had a full no-move clause (and thus limited the New Jersey Devils' trade options severely) also helped keep that price modest. (The Wings tried on the Edmonton Oilers' Jeff Petry as well, but the weekend price on him was too high, so the Wings moved on. It's believed the Canadiens got Petry for less on Monday -- a second-round pick and a conditional fifth -- than what the Oilers were asking for over the weekend.)

LeBrun continues, discussing Lupul, the Bruins, Lightning and the Anthony Stewart deal.

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Ken Holland explains trade deadline moves, talks about the ‘next generation’ on Detroit Sports 105.1

Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke to Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery for about 18-and-a-half minutes on Tuesday afternoon, delivering nothing less than a fascinating interview:

1. Regarding the thought processes surrounding adding Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky, the "state of the team" as he and Mike Babcock view it;

2. The reasons why the team's demoted Teemu Pulkkinen (Babcock told Holland Pulkkinen wouldn't be in the lineup on Wednesday) and Petr Mrazek--so that they play and don't sit [edit: and Holland said it's Babcock's decision as to whether Marchenko will remain in Detroit when he heals from his oblique muscle injury /end edit];

3. Holland both acknowledged that the team feels that the Zetterbergs, Datsyuks and Kronwalls won't get many more chances at making a deep run and/or Cup run, which the team hopes to do this year;

4. And Holland also suggested that some of the non-starters trade-wise were the Wings' next generation in Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, [edit: and I believe it was implied that the following players were among them Pulkkinen, Xavier Ouellet /end edit], Alexey Marchenko, Ryan Sproul and Mrazek. This is really great stuff:

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Post-practice articles/Tweets: Cole ferries apology to Zetterberg; Howard starts Wed + articles

Updated 9x at 5:19 PM: As Paul noted, the Red Wings practiced at Joe Louis Arena with Marek Zidlicky and Erik Cole in tow, and there was quite the push of media at the Joe to cover the "new guys" as well as the new lines.

We'll lead off our survey of post-practice Tweets and articles with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's videos:

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Pulkkinen officially assigned to Grand Rapids

For the record:

… Winger Led AHL in Goals and Points at Time of Recall …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned right wing Teemu Pulkkinen to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Pulkkinen has skated in 12 games with the Red Wings this season, scoring two goals and tallying 27 shots on goal. When he was recalled by Detroit on Feb. 17, he was leading the AHL in both goals (30) and points (57) and still sits first and second in those categories, respectively. The 23-year-old winger also leads the Griffins with 10 power-play goals and six game-winning goals. A native of Vantaa, Finland, Pulkkinen has totaled 117 points (61-56-117) and 64 penalty minutes in 117 career AHL games since 2012-13. Prior to coming to North America, the former fourth-round pick (111th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft) registered 128 points (48-79-128) in 185 professional games with Jokerit of Finland’s SM-Liiga from 2009-13 and was honored as the league’s rookie of the year in 2010-11.

Update: As a result, from the Griffins:

The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday assigned right wing Teemu Pulkkinen to the Grand Rapids Griffins. In addition, Detroit reassigned goaltender Jared Coreau and right wing Martin Frk from Grand Rapids to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

Detroit’s fourth choice (111th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Pulkkinen currently ranks second in scoring in the AHL with 57 points (30-27—57) in 44 games with Grand Rapids. Pulkkinen also ranks among league leaders with 30 goals (1st), 10 power play goals (T2nd) and 178 shots (4th). Prior to his recall to Detroit on Feb. 17, Pulkkinen notched his 30th goal of the season to become the first player in Griffins history to record back-to-back 30-goal seasons (31 in 2013-14), and he is only the second Griffin to log multiple 30-goal seasons. Michel Picard scored 46 in 1996-97, 33 in 1999-2000, and 32 in 2002-03.

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The Detroit Red Wings Are Skating At The Joe

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky on ice for first practice with new team.

Marchenko left ice at start of practice. Didn't see Helm (also oblique strain) out there.

via Chuck Pleiness tweets,

Early look at line combos at practice. Cole is with Zetterberg and Abdelkader; Weiss with Nyquist and Shehan; Datsyuk with Tatar and Jurco.

Fourth line is Glendening, Andersson and Miller.

added 12:16pm, via Khan,

Defense pairs:
Kindl rotating in

added 12:24pm, Ted Kulfan tweet,

Zidlicky getting looks with several different pairings

added 12:30pm, via Pleiness,

Power play units: Datsyuk, Nyquist, Sheahan, Tatar, Zidlicky -- Abdelkader, Zetterberg, Cole, Weiss, Kronwall


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The Tomas Tatar Line

Royal Oak, Michigan (PRWEB) March 03, 2015- PUCK HCKY, LLC have collaborated with Detroit Red Wing star, Tomáš Tatar, to launch the Tomáš Tatar Signature Series, a collection of custom-designed hockey fashion items, accessories, and more.

The Signature Series goes beyond your typical corporate-licensed hockey apparel to offer fans an exclusive and more personal connection to Tomáš Tatar. “We’ve co-developed high-end, designer hockey-wear that incorporates Tomáš’ personality, interests, and background,” said Matt Marini, CEO and co-founder of PUCK HCKY, a Michigan-based hockey brand development firm. “The Tatar Signature Series has a wide variety of designs, including a hand-drawn image of one of Tomáš’ tattoos and an abstract likeness of Tomáš that is already a fan favorite; each image was designed to reflect Tomáš’ fun-loving, charismatic personality and Slovak heritage.”

To view the entire Tomáš Tatar Signature Series collection, visit www.puckhcky.com


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Kris Draper delivers a superb interview on The Fan 590

This is worthy of stand-alone entry status: Red Wings executive Kris Draper spoke with The Fan 590's Sportsnet Tonight's Jeff Samut and Ben Ennis fourteen minutes, discussing the Red Wings' deadline moves, and around the 2-minute mark, he very delicately dances around any possible discussions regarding one Dion Phaneuf, suggesting that the Wings had to move a roster player and a top prospect to acquire...a certain left-shooting defenseman:

This is really fantastic stuff. Draper talks about the financial aspects of the Cole and Zidlicky trades, Marchenko's play and the Wings' blueline depth, the Wings' West Coast road trip as it determined the course of the Wings' trade decisions (as a statement to the locker room that the Wings' players merited reinforcements) and the thought processes involved in making trades. There's a cursory amount of praise for the passion of the Toronto market and fans as well.

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The overnight report: The Red Wings suitably improved themselves at the trade deadline. Now what?

Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos said that the Maple Leafs asked for Anthony Mantha and a 1st round pick, and that's why the Wings didn't make a trade for Dion Phaneuf.  Earlier this evening, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch said that the Leafs not only weren't willing to take on Stephen Weiss's salary, but that they also wanted a "core player off Detroit's roster" that wasn't Jakub Kindl (apparently part of the Wings' offer) to consummate the transaction.  Most recently, the Toronto Star's Rosie Dimanno suggested that the Wings were offering Brendan Smith as the key part of the trade, and that the Leafs weren't interested in Smith and whatever else Detroit was offering in exchange for eating part of Phaneuf's salary.

Whatever happened or did not happen, we know that the Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs were talking about bringing Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert to the Motor City, and we know that, as the National Post's Michael Traikos suggested, the Wings and Leafs will revisit their conversation at the NHL Entry Draft or at some point after both teams' seasons have ended (Toronto's hopefully much earlier than Detroit's), when the stakes for both teams aren't nearly as high as they are presently, and the Leafs don't have to save as much face while extricating themselves from 6 more years of a $7 million Phaneuf cap hit that the Wings seem willing to absorb if the price is right.

Instead, the Wings snagged Erik Cole from Dallas and picked up the slow-footed but slick Marek Zidlicky from New Jersey, both to robust approval.

Now what?

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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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