The Malik Report
from a Bill Roose update on the Wings today at their website,
Babcock said he expects that Daniel Alfredsson will make his home debut for the Red Wings in Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Penguins.
“He’s got to play eventually here, like anything, I’d like to get him going,” Babcock said, referring to Alfredsson. “I’d like to play him (Wednesday) and then on Friday (vs. Toronto) and get going from there.”...
“They’ve got to get to work and get playing. That’s what training camp is for,” Babcock said. “You have to start feeling good and be going in at a high level and if you do that you have a better chance of getting started on time.”...
Alfredsson was less alarmed, and said he’ll play against the Pens if he feels good.
“We have more than a week here to get used to each other. There’s still plenty of time,” he said. “Everyone would love to be healthy all of training camp and go full all the time, but at the same time this is the time where you have to make sure if you do have something to look after it, because once the season starts there’s no time.
“I’m happy with how I feel right now, but you never want to jinx yourself and say you feel great so we’ll see how it feels this afternoon. This was the first time I’ve really pushed myself hard in a while.”
more on the Wings, most of it covered by George earlier today
Red Wings fans noticed that the Amway patches are slowly working their way off of Detroit's practice jerseys, and when I attended last Saturday's Wings-Bruins game at the Joe, the Amway signage had been replaced by big Kroger banners. As such, the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar asked the team, which is now, "Presented by AT&T" on its website, if their deal with Amway had indeed lapsed:
“It has ended. It led its course,” said John Hahn, senior director of communications for the Red Wings. Amway representatives also confirmed the partnership has ended. Red Wings and Amway officials said they would release official statements Tuesday afternoon.
First announced in November 2010, the multi-platform deal was the first time in Wings history that the team agreed to a “presenting sponsor.” Details were never disclosed, but analysts speculated it was a seven-figure deal and some predicted the new Wings’ home ice, which is planned to be built soon, could be named Amway arena.
Last year, Amway’s logo was placed on the team’s practice jerseys and practice pucks. Its logo was on the ice of Joe Louis Arena, on the scoreboards, on game tickets and on a variety of advertising and marketing ventures. But not this year.
Per the Red Wings' community relations department:
JUSTIN ABDELKADER CONTINUES SECOND ANNUAL “RED WINGS FOR READING” PROGRAM
… Michigan Elementary Students can win Tickets to Red Wings Games by Reading Abdelkader’s Favorite Children’s Books …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings and forward Justin Abdelkader announced today the second annual Red Wings for Reading program to encourage Michigan elementary school students to read this school year. Abdelkader will donate a pair of Red Wings tickets to each home game during the 2013-14 regular season to incentivize kids to read for fun. Students who win the chance to attend a Red Wings game will receive two tickets, a pair of meal vouchers, a goody bag with promotional items and an autographed Abdelkader photo. Winning students will be recognized at the game as Abby’s All Stars.
Updated 8x at 3:19 PM: The Detroit Red Wings returned to practice after a full day off on Monday, preparing for a three-games-in-four-nights slate of games to conclude their exhibition season (Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh on FSD Plus/NHL Net U.S., Friday vs. Toronto, Saturday at Toronto on the CBC and NHL Net U.S.), and the Wings' beat writers delivered a familiar slate of, "Good news and bad news on the injury front" while watching practice:
I know that some of you had a spirited discussion regarding the Red Wings' high likelihood of starting the season utilizing players placed on long-term injured reserve to alleviate the team's $2.387 million (Capgeek-estimated) cap overage and its roster crunch (27 players on the roster, Wings need to get down to 23 by Monday), perhaps suggesting that Red Wings GM Ken Holland's acumen in trading players for a significant return has diminished, or wondering why the Wings are so very regularly beset by injuries...
But the pre-season trade marketplace isn't exactly booming at present, and as teams are still evaluating their own pools of talent, they've tended to address injury issues not involving fisticuffs or high sticks from within the organization.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Until he has a better handle on the status of the injured players — likely later this week — general manager Ken Holland isn't making any decisions.
"I'm waiting to get a feel for how long some of these people are out," Holland said. "Maybe injuries sort some of these problems out, short term. I've had the odd conversation with other general managers, but we don't really know where we're at. I'm waiting till I know more specifics."
Updated 3x at 6:17 PM: As I annoy the Safelite folks in Livonia because they've finished my windshield ahead of schedule and I'm still doing work...
Following up this morning's news about Wings cuts and the Grand Rapids Griffins' training camp opening in GR, the Red Wings made a paper transaction that allows the team to temporarily reduce its roster size--though the player demoted will have to be recalled to serve the final game of his suspension...
As noted earlier today, the Free Press's James Jahnke revealed that the Red Wings (and their "ultimate octopus smuggler") finished 13th overall in ESPN the Magazine's "Ultimate Standings" rankings of sports franchises, and you'll like how I found out that ESPN's "Ultimate Standings" have "gone live" online: the CBC Ottawa's Dan Seguin happened to re-Tweet a note from some guy named Melnyk, whose Senators somehow finished 4 places ahead of the Wings.
Why did Detroit finish behind Ottawa? Detroit's ranked as having the second-best ownership of all professionial sports teams, 5th in terms of "fan relations," 8th in terms of player (likeability), 11th in coaching and 5th in terms of their "title track," but the Senators' artificially low ticket prices gave them a higher "bang for their buck" and "affordability," and the Joe's...Eccentricities...knocked the Wings down significantly.
Here's what ESPN's Hallie Grossman has to say about the Wings (and the Tigers finished 21st, the Pistons 84th and the Lions 111th out of 122):
Updated with some trite cliches at 1:51 PM: I'm posting this story in TMR because ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's article about the already-apparent effects of the NHL's decision to realign its franchises for the upcoming season includes Red Wings-related content...
But LeBrun astutely notes that realignment will yield positives for teams like Dallas, Detroit and Minnesota, but "more of the same" for most teams, including San Jose, and there'salso no doubt that teams like the Panthers and Lightning got "dinged" and then some.
For the Wings, less travel is absolutely huge, as are the returns of Original Six rivalries with the Canadiens, Bruins and Maple Leafs, but the "Flortheast"/"Atlantic" division will make the Wings' road to the playoffs more difficult, but Jimmy Howard believes that the Wings will acclimate to their new surroundings in short order...
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