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Red Wings roundup: Brad McCrimmon’s scooting; Chelios, Boughner won’t replace him +TC prospect stuff

When fellow Red Wings fans ask me about Brad McCrimmon and why I’ve been somewhat defensive regarding the Wings’ now-departing assistant coach, I’ve never really explained my reasoning, but I’ll admit two reasons now that the Red Wings and McCrimmon have mutually agreed to part ways so McCrimmon may pursue other opportunities:

1. First and foremost, McCrimmon was set up to fail in fans’ eyes. Unless the Red Wings brought in someone who could adequately replace both Todd McLellan’s coaching chops and Jay Woodcroft’s acumen as the team’s video coordinator, he was consigned to Alain Johannes/Jason Newsted bassist territory—how exactly do you replace someone with truly unique musical, vocal and charismatic chops while garnering adequate fan support? You don’t, and McCrimmon become something of a scapegoat almost immediately. In terms of fans’ perspective, the Wings were replacing Mike Babcock’s right-hand man with someone possessing Niklas Kronwall-sized shoes (size 6). He never had a chance, even if the Wings’ penalty-kill roared along at 99% throughout his tenure.

2. He was Nicklas Lidstrom’s first partner on defense, along with Brad Marsh. Lidstrom turned pro back in 1991, and that was the first year I followed the Wings (I was a late-bloomer), so I’ve got warm fuzzies for the McCrimmons, Burrs, Ysebaerts and Cheveldaes of the hockey world.

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Thrashers to Winnipeg: it’s a done deal???

Wow, per the Globe and Mail’s Stephen Brunt:

An agreement to sell the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers to a Winnipeg group which plans to relocate the franchise to the Manitoba capital is done.

Sources confirmed tonight that preparations are being made for an announcement Tuesday, confirming the sale and transfer of the Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League and the MTS Centre arena, which would become the NHL team’s new home.

Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the National Hockey League, is expected to travel to Winnipeg to make the news official.

As far as I know, the “Moose” would remain in the Eastern Conference for the upcoming season….

Update: TSN’s Darren Dreger says otherwise:

There are still significant issues being negotiated according to Wpg and Atlanta sources. Working on it…but deal is not done. More ahead.

Update #2, at 2:52 AM: The Hockey News’s Ken Campbell says that the NHL and the Thrashers’ owner, Bruce Levenson, are still hung up on who gets what out of the $110 million Thrashers’ asking price and the $60 million relocation fee. Campbell believes that the NHL wants to snag all of the $60 million as essentially a “cash grab” that will negate the $15 million the league is losing on the Coyotes this season.

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McCrimmon out, Boughner in for the Red Wings?

Things have gotten interesting and interesting fast regarding the Red Wings’ decision to allow assistant coach Brad McCrimmon to pursue a head coaching job with another NHL team: the PostMedia news (a.k.a. the Canada.com network), in an as-yet uncredited quip likely originating from the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff or Dave Waddell, reports that the Red Wings may pursue Windsor Spitfires owner Bob Boughner, who just left the Columbus Blue Jackets’ coaching staff to stay closer to home:

“Bob Boughner is a young coach that would likely have to be a candidate,” Wings GM Ken Holland said. “Obviously, he’s accomplished a lot as a junior coach. I think he’d have to be a name on our list.”

Boughner became available after he resigned as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday after just one season, citing his desire to be home with his family and be able to tend to his main business interest in the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. On the surface, the Wings assistant’s job would seem to be a good fit for Boughner. He’d get to continue to coach in the NHL, grooming himself for the head coaching job he covets, while still being able to live at home.

“Mike (Babcock) has to put a list of names together first,” Holland said of whether he had started to contact any candidates. “Once Mike knows in his own mind what he wants and nails it down to three or four people we’ll get going. I think that’ll probably be next week.”

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Red Wings’ summer prospect camp shifts to Traverse City

File this one under incredibly short notice, via MLive’s Ansar Khan: the Red Wings have shifted the venue for this summer’s strength and conditioning prospect camp to Traverse City, MI, leaving this blogger in a bit of a financial lurch:

The team’s annual summer prospects camp will shift from Joe Louis Arena to Centre I.C.E. in Traverse City. It will run from July 7-14 and is open to the public.

[Tomas] Tatar, [Cory] Emmerton, Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Landon Ferraro and Riley Sheahan are among the top prospects who will attend. Nill said 2010 draft picks Calle Jarnkrok (51st overall) and Teemu Pulkkinen (111th) might be there as well.

Oh boy…

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Red Wings GM Ken Holland outlines his off-season plans on WDFN

Updated with a full transcript at 6:55: Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on WDFN’s Sean, Terp and Killer show this afternoon, and he outlined his off-season plans in great detail. A transcript is forthcoming:

Download file

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Red Wings fans get wish McCrimmon departs; Nill talks about Griffins’ changes; summer camp in TC

Updated 3x at 9:59 PM: I hope that Red Wings fans who’ve been calling for the man’s head enjoyed today’s announcement that Wings assistant coach Brad McCrimmon has chosen to part ways with the organization. The Free Press’s George Sipple and Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan confirm…

Brad McCrimmon will not return as a Red Wings assistant coach next season. The Wings said he decided to pursue other career opportunities. TSN of Canada, attributing its information to a source, says McCrimmon and head coach Mike Babcock mutually agreed it was time to make a change.

McCrimmon, a defenseman who played for the Wings from 1990-93 in his 18-year NHL career, had been Babcock’s assistant in Detroit for the past three seasons. He also was an assistant for the Islanders (1997-98), Calgary (2000-03) and Atlanta (2003-07).

As does MLive’s Ansar Khan:

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Red Wings overnight report: on Miller, Ericsson, Axelsson, Mac and Claude and Ilari goes home

Updated: Ilari Filppula has re-signed with Jokerit Helsinki: Amongst the Red Wings’ unrestricted free agents-to-be, the best in terms of his willingness to be a “good solider” and fill whatever role the team asks him to, including sitting out games on occasion, has to be Drew Miller. The Free Press’s Helene St. James believes that Miller’s status as a “glue guy” who contributes whenever he plays merits re-signing, even with a bit of a roster glut in the making thanks to the likely re-signing of the indispensable penalty-killer that is Patrick Eaves and Jan Mursak’s graduation from the AHL:

Miller, 27, fits into the Wings’ plans for next year, though as always it comes down to price, and the Wings want to keep Patrick Eaves, another valuable role player. Jan Mursak, who impressed while called up from the minors this past season, is penned in as a regular in Detroit next season. There already are 10 forwards under contract, but the Wings are likely to move at least one as they seek to improve.

Miller’s the guy every team needs in the salary-cap era, a utility man who fits in on most lines. The Wings acquired him in November 2009, claiming him off waivers from Tampa Bay. A sixth-round pick of Anaheim’s in the 2003 NHL draft, Miller spent part of two seasons with the Ducks before playing 14 games for the Lightning in fall of ‘09.

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Can you score a goal by beaning a goaltender? Yes, sort of

Former referee Kerry Fraser’s mailbag columns for TSN haven’t necessarily revealed the sort of, “We make mistakes all the time, just like anybody else!” comments that one might expect, but Fraser’s at least willing to admit that referees have to interpret sometimes contradictory clauses in the rulebook on a split-second basis, as was the case when the Tampa Bay Lighting scored a goal off Tim Thomas’s left eyebrow on Tuesday:

We got a whole lot of net and goalie crease questions regarding Tim Thomas having his mask knocked off when his own defenceman (Adam McQuaid) fell directly on his head.  The fact that Tim’s own player’s actions caused him to lose his mask is immaterial as to if or when the referee should stop play.
Here are some of your questions and the answer. First, let me assure you that the referee absolutely made the correct decision to allow play to continue in this case.  While stopping play when a goalie loses his mask is designed to provide safety the rule is very clear in when the whistle must be blown by the referee.

Rule 9.5 Protective Equipment states that all players shall wear an approved helmet but allows a player that has had his helmet knocked off to continue to participate in play until he goes to his players’ bench.  At that point he is not allowed to return to the game without a helmet. Pertaining to the goalie losing his mask this is what the rule clearly states:

“When a goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask and his team has possession of the puck, the play shall be stopped immediately to allow the goalkeeper the opportunity to regain his helmet and/or face mask.”

Now comes the portion of the rule that is pertinent to last night:

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Krunk won’t save the Thrashers, but don’t doubt their fans’ tenacity

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore, Krunk can’t save the Thrashers…

The AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri spoke to Lil Jon for another story this weekend. While she was at it, Melissa asked about Lil Jon’s rumored interest in buying the Thrashers. Here is what he had to say:

“I love the Thrashers, but I’m not investing in them. The one good thing about that rumor is that it’s stirring up a lot of people talking and saying we gotta keep them here, it brings awareness to it. But I’m not investing. That’s a lot of money to buy a professional hockey team! I’ll help then out with some awareness, though.”

But as the vultures circle, the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen, who was dispatched to Phoenix to write a Coyotes epitaph but refused to do so, tells fans in Winnipeg and everywhere else that it’s not Thrashers fans’ passion that should be questioned—it’s their ownership that’s left a tenacious fan base’s team in the lurch:


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Red Wings mid-day talk: ‘No’ on Kaberle, a Howard interview and ‘top 11’ stragglers

This admittedly fanciful musing from the Hockey News’s Ryan Dixon, suggesting that the Red Wings might want to sign current Boston Bruins defenseman and unrestricted free agent-to-be Tomas Kaberle has me downright confused as the Red Wings don’t seem to have the salary cap space nor the inclination to bring another finesse-based, puck-moving defenseman into the fold…

t’s difficult to see how Kaberle, who’ll be a 33-year-old free agent July 1, will be wearing a spoked ‘B’ next year; so how about a winged wheel? To be clear, this is nothing more than my own wheels spinning well in advance of the annual off-season musical chairs session. But for a number of reasons, I can’t shake the feeling Kaberle would be a nice fit in Detroit. First off, when Eric Clapton (among others) sang “Nobody knows you/when you’re down and out,” he obviously forgot about the Red Wings. Todd Bertuzzi, Danny Cleary, Patrick Eaves and Brad Stuart are just the most recent examples of guys who the Wings claimed, cleaned up and got back to making the most of their abilities.

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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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