The Malik Report
from Dave Stubbs of NHL.com,
Alex Delvecchio, who played all of his 23-season NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings, vividly remembers the car he bought with his first hockey paycheck.
"Two-hundred-something dollars," Delvecchio recalled when asked about the cost of the antique Ford roadster he purchased in the early 1950s, when he was barely out of his teens. "I had to give it a little push and run beside it to get it going."
Six-plus decades later, the 83-year-old Red Wings icon is behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Silverado, a truck that comes with its own challenges.
"I don't have to push it to get it started," Delvecchio said with a laugh, "but it's got all kinds of stuff in it that I'm still trying to figure out."
Delvecchio was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Aug. 25, 1977, along with defenseman Tim Horton and builders John "Bunny" Ahearne, Harold Ballard and Joseph Cattarinich.
"How often do you get to be in the Hall of Fame, let alone just play in the NHL?" Delvecchio said Wednesday when reminded of the anniversary.
Ansar Khan of Mlive with the outlook for Teemu Pulkkinen this season....
He got off to a good start last season (six goals, 11 points in 21 games) but was set back by a shoulder injury and never regained form. He was a frequent healthy scratch the second half of the season.
He's strictly an offensive player and needs to play in the top-nine, with regular power-play duty and players who can get him the puck, to maximize his abilities.
A prolific goal-scorer in the AHL, Pulkkinen must continue working on creating space for himself in a tighter-checking NHL and getting the puck on net (he averaged more than one missed shot per game).
He's not due back until sometime between late October and early December, making it more difficult for him to crack the lineup on a team that has too many forwards.
Key question: Can Pulkkinen earn a spot in the lineup?
Niklas Kronwall won’t be playing in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. The Detroit Red Wings defenceman bowed out of Sweden’s lineup Wednesday due to continuing issues with his troublesome knees.
“I talked to him a week, 10 days ago and (Red Wings athletic therapist) Piet Van Zant talked to him in the last few days,” Detroit GM Ken Holland said. “He’s feeling better, but there’s still a little soreness in the knee. The hope is with another month to go he’ll be ready for the start of camp.”
As does MLive's Ansar Khan...
"He's feeling better, still a little soreness in the knee," Holland said. "To be fair to the Swedish team, his responsibility is to the Red Wings. The hope is with another month to go he'll be ready for the start of camp."
And the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that “it's a decision Kronner made. I talked to him a week to 10 days ago and he told me he was feeling better and that he wanted to represent his country, but he wanted to be 100% for Sweden and he wanted to be 100% for the Red Wings.
“Niklas does not feel his knee is 100%, and he'd rather go to camp with us in another month than with Sweden in a week. The Red Wings are his No. 1 priority, and another month of strength and conditioning will give him the best chance to be healthy for the upcoming season.”
Updated 3x at 5:19 PM: Not good not good, per MLive's Ansar Khan:
The Free Press's Helene St. James confirms Jurco's injury:
Of very disparate Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. ESPN's Rob Vollman penned an Insider-only entry suggesting that Petr Mrazek's contract with the Red Wings is one of the summer's best deals from an analytic perspective--per the views of 22 analytics community experts:
Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings
Contract: Two years, $4.0 million per year
Approval: 90.9 percent
Attraction: Signing the 12th-best goalie for the 26th-highest cap hit
Statistically, Mrazek is viewed as the NHL's 12th best goalie. Mrazek's .929 save percentage at even strength in his two NHL seasons is tied with Brian Elliott and Braden Holtby for 13th. Similarly, his 61.3 quality start percentage ranks 11th among those with at least 20 starts, per Hockey Reference.
NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog is posting a set of articles throughout "Red Wings day," and thus far, they've posted a general backgrounder, pondered whether moving Dylan Larkin to center is a good idea, they've suggested that Anthony Mantha is the player most likely to "make the leap" to the NHL, and PHT's Mike Halford has suggested that the person under the most pressure to perform in Detroit isn't a player or coach (edit: though PHT did address Jeff Blashill's situation /end edit):
There’s no denying Ken Holland’s been feeling the heat in Detroit for a while now.
But this season, the temperature could become unbearable.
There are three pressing concerns as the Red Wings look to make the playoffs for a 26th consecutive campaign, all of which fall directly into Holland’s lap:
1) Can the Wings survive without Pavel Datsyuk?
2) What will they do in goal?
3) How will they fix their defense?
Halford continues, summing up the Wings' issues in a logical conclusion:
Add it all up, and you’ve got a team with more questions than answers.
Update: While we're at it, Sportsnet's Rory Boylen offers "reasons for optimism" for all 30 teams:
The Red Wings have not missed the playoffs since 1990, so its supporters have been brought up on optimism. But we basically start each season now wondering if this is the one when the Wings’ streak ends, and where the next group of core players is coming from. We’re asking that again now that Pavel Datsyuk is retired. But in 54 games last season, Petr Mrazek looked magnificent in goal. Dylan Larkin lurked in the background of the Calder Trophy race. Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are in a bounce back spot after both had drop-off seasons in 2015-16. And keep an eye on Anthony Mantha. Lots to like here still.
Update #2: Pro Hockey Talk's Cam Tucker also discussed the Howard-Mrazek goaltending tandem.
From the Red Wings:
Single-game tickets for the “Farewell Season at The Joe” go on sale Monday, Aug. 29 at 10 A.M.
Limited ticket quantities remain for fans to celebrate final season at Joe Louis Arena
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that single-game tickets for all 2016-17 regular season home games go on sale Monday, Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. Limited ticket quantities remain for fans to celebrate the “Farewell Season at The Joe” and watch the team chase its 26th consecutive playoff appearance and 12th Stanley Cup® championship.
The Red Wings home schedule for the 2016-17 season features numerous marquee matchups, including the Home Opener on Monday, Oct. 17 against the Ottawa Senators; a clash against the defending Stanley Cup® champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, Jan. 14; the lone home matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, March 10; and the final regular-season game at The Joe on Sunday, April 9 against the New Jersey Devils.
Updated significantly at 5:09 PM: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James are confirming the news that Niklas Kronwall will miss the World Cup of Hockey, but they haven't received an answer yet as to why Kronwall's out.
St. James adds this to the mix...
Incidentally, the Ducks have yet to come to terms with Lindholm, who is a restricted free agent. That's why trade talks regarding defenseman Cam Fowler have cooled off -- the Ducks need Fowler if Lindholm ends up being a holdout. The Wings are very interested in Fowler, a Farmington Hills native, because he is an elite skater who'd upgrade their defense.
The teams discussed a trade prior to the draft in June, but the Ducks' asking price was in the range of Gustav Nyquist/Tomas Tatar and a second-round pick.
But in terms of Kronwall news, all I could find was this from Expressen's Mattias Ek:
First, Alexander Steen was forced to cancel his World Cup plans due to an injury. Now it's clear that Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall has to say no.
Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm will play for the Tre Kronor in the super tournament.
"Niklas has worked hard to have time to come back after his injury. Now it's not happening, and therefore he declined the games," said coach Rikard Gronborg in a statement.
The Tre Kronor has suffered two setbacks in the short time before the World Cup, which begins in Toronto on September 17th.
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan just added this:
TORONTO/NEW YORK (Aug. 24, 2016) – The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced today that Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm has been added to its 23-man roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2016, the best-on-best international hockey championship from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016. He replaces injured Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. Lindholm, 22, has registered 23 goals and 92 points in 236 career NHL games.
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