The Malik Report
For better or worse, the Red Wings and Maple Leafs will be making their HBO 24/7 debut tomorrow night at 10 PM EST (there are alternate showings over the following week, and the program will air on Sportsnet on Sunday evening), and while I don't plan on dissecting the program (the Wings happen to be playing tomorrow night, on Saturday the 21st and on Saturday the 28th, so writing up "recaps" of both the games and super-detailed breakdowns of the programs...Other people do the latter, I do the former), I'm certainly going to be as "glued to the screen" as most of you will be tomorrow evening.
As the Wings possess a 2-2-and-2 December record and have witnessed the return of Pavel Datsyuk from a concussion and the losses of Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard and Stephen Weiss to injuries, whatever narrative HBO concocts for tomorrow's hour-long program will probably seem a little too familiar to Wings fans, and DetroitRedWings.com's Andrea Nelson spoke with several of the team's "protagonists" (as it were) about living under HBOs' prying eyes:
The Red Wings are and will be very busy pursuing charitable endeavors both today and over the next week or two. Today, Wings will be ringing bells for the Salvation Army at three Metro Detroit locations;
On Monday, the Wings will be revealing a significant investment toward renovating and maintaining Detroit's Clark Park rink;
And this morning, the Wings' community relations department revealed that hockey-playing military vets will break in the ice at Comerica Park on Monday:
WOUNDED U.S. AND CANADIAN MILITARY VETERANS TO FACE OFF AT COMERICA PARK ON MONDAY
… Game to Take Place on Dec. 16 During SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™ …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) sponsored USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program as the team faces off against members of the Canadian Armed Forces Soldier On Hockey Team on Monday, Dec. 16, at 8:30 a.m. in their first international outdoor matchup at the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™ at Comerica Park. Major General Michael J. Terry, who is the Commanding General of the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command in Warren, will participate in a ceremonial puck drop prior to the game.
The Red Wings flew back home to Detroit ahead of an "off day" in which the coach, GM and several players will fan out across Metro Detroit to ring bells for the Salvation Army today, Jimmy Howard and Stephen Weiss will have tests to determine the extent of their injuries, all ahead of a 4-game home stand (the Wings host the Penguins on Saturday the 14th, the Lightning on Sunday the 15th, the Ducks on Tuesday the 17th and the Flames on Thursday the 19th) and a six-game pre-Christmas schedule that will include one trip to Toronto (on the 21st) and a total of five of six games played at Joe Louis Arena--as well as two airings of HBO 24/7 episodes this and next Saturday at 10 PM EST...
But the 15-9-and-9 Red Wings have struggled so very mightily to score in shootouts, as illustrated by their 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday evening, that I almost hope at least some of those of you who will greet the Wings' charitable bell-ringers ask whether the gents can put the money in the kettle for you, or whether they might miss the opening (awful, I know).
Okay, so the Free Press's John Gallagher reported that the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation's Downtown Development Authority and Olympia Entertainment were going to get down to brass tacks regarding the arena agreement which will govern the lease between the Ilitches and the organization that will ultimately build, own and lease the follow-on rink to the Wings--because that agreement needs to be hashed out before Detroit's City Council will approve an expansion of the DDA's footprint to help fund the rink's construction...
But WXYZ's Julie Banovic (via RedWingsFeed) reports that the agreement between the DDA and Olympia won't come without some negotiations with the residents of the Cass Corridor and the Foxtown area:
The Detroit Red Wings have earned a "result" for the 24th time in 33 games--as in they earned a point--but the Wings' sterling record now stands at 15-9-and-9 (15 and 18) after the team seemed to lurk in the weeds during the first, sneak out of the period with a goal, surrender a game-tying marker and then do nothing on the power play, fritter away time and lose their ELEVENTH STRAIGHT SHOOTOUT WHAT THE HELL.
I mean they lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Jeebus Monkey Pants, this is unbelievable.
Since the Wings defeated Ottawa on December 1st, they've gone 1-1-and-2, and will head home to the Joe to host the Penguins on Saturday, the Lightning on Sunday, the Ducks on Tuesday and the Flames on Thursday before heading to Toronto on the 21st and then hosting the Islanders on Monday the 23rd to close out the pre-Chrismtas schedule...And I'm sure things have gone fine at the Joe, right?
Especially now that Howard and Weiss are gonna be out or a little bit, right?
When the Red Wings used the second-round pick they acquired in their "drop down" draft deal with the San Jose Sharks (who picked Mirco Mueller 18th; the Wings picked Anthony Mantha with the 20th pick) to draft Tyler Bertuzzi 45th overall, the reaction from both hockey fans and draft experts was, to put it indelicately, "What the hell?"
When the 6,' 178-pound left winger and nephew of Todd Bertuzzi made his unofficial Red Wings debut at the team's summer development camp by breaking the team's one summer development camp rule--"don't fight to try to impress us, because somebody might get hurt"--and his battle with Nick Jensen resulted in shoulder surgery for Jensen, the, "What the hell?" line of thinking seemed to prove itself.
Given the way Stephen Weiss's tenure with the Red Wings has gone thus far, it's particularly frustrating for Wings fans to hear that yet another player that chose to sign elsewhere for very similar money to the Wings were offering him in one Valtteri Filppula's having so much success with the Tampa Bay Lightning (following in the footsteps of Tomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler, Marian Hossa, and when he was in Los Angeles, Kyle Quincey)...
But it certainly appears that Filppula's another player who's "graduated from the Harvard of Hockey" and has found so much success after making a new start. NHL.com's Lonnie Herman noted that the Lightning feel incredibly fortunate to have Filppula on their side...
Signed as a free agent in the offseason, the Finnish-born center already has 10 goals and 10 assists, exceeding his point total from last season, when he appeared in only 41 games because of injuries. Filppula is considered an essential part of the Lightning, especially with Steven Stamkos out indefinitely because of a broken tibia.
"I can't say enough about what he has done for us," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We'd be in big trouble without him."
According to the Free Press's John Gallagher, the organizations which will help fund, build and eventually own-and-lease the Red Wings' follow-on rink to Ilitch Holdings and Olympia Entertainment plan on having a chat with the Ilitches to ensure that Detroit's City Council approves an expansion of Detroit's "downtown" footprint to make the proposed arena district eligible to receive Downtown Development Authority funding:
The Detroit Downtown Development Authority will meet in a special session Friday afternoon and could deal with final details of a deal with the Ilitch family for a new hockey arena.
The Detroit City Council won’t vote on legislation to finalize the proposed $650-million project until it sees the details of a concessions-management agreement that spells out how the project will benefit Detroit. The project financing could include up to $45 million in city dollars, according to council staff. The council is to take up the issue at a special meeting Dec. 17.
Representatives from the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., which is involved in talks to reach the concessions-management agreement, told council members that negotiations are ongoing and a deal will be ready for their review in about two weeks.
Again, the Ilitches' representatives finally made some public comments yesterday regarding the use of public funds to help subsidize the project.
From the Red Wings' PR department:
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE AND DETROIT RED WINGS TO UNVEIL 2014 BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC® LEGACY INITIATIVE
Clark Park’s Outdoor Rink Undergoes Renovations, Including Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Upgrades
Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock and Players to Lead Outdoor Hockey Clinic
NEW YORK (Dec. 12, 2013) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and Detroit Red Wings will unveil their donation to the Clark Park Coalition recreation center’s outdoor rink as a legacy for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1.
Updated substantially with articles and videos at 6:20 PM: via Mlive,
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.