The Malik Report
Despite the Red Wings and NHL’s insistence that an announcement to be made at Comerica Park at 10:30 AM this morning—which NHL.com and the Wings will happen to stream online—and a parallel announcement to be made at Michigan Stadium at 1:15 may or may not have to do anything with slate of outdoor games to be played at Comerica Park and Michigan Stadium, the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents approved a $3 million rental (not including some sort of donation to the U’s scholarship fund) of the Big House by the NHL on Wednesday, and we all know that the NHL is going to confirm that the Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013 Winter Classic when this mysterious “major announcement” is made.
The Detroit News’s Joanne C. Gerstner gets down to brass tacks regarding the event’s details as conveniently discussed by University of Michigan athletic director David Brandon (and I’ve added some known details in parentheses)...
It is expected that an outdoor rink will be built at Comerica Park, and games and events would take place there leading up to the Jan. 1 Wings game. The only event at Michigan Stadium would be the Wings game; Brandon said the game would begin at noon.
A source told The Detroit News that the Comerica Park schedule would include:
Thursday, Dec. 27: AHL game [between the Toronto Marlies and Grand Rapids Griffins]
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29: Great Lakes Invitational games [between the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University]
Sunday, Dec. 30: OHL game[s between the Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit, and the Plymouth Whalers and London Knights]
Monday, Dec. 31: Wings-Maple Leafs alumni game
For some mysterious reason which has something to do with parallel announcements at Comerica Park (which will be streamed online at NHL.com and DetroitRedWings.com) at 10:30 AM on Thursday and Michigan Stadium at 1:15 PM on Thursday, the Detroit Red Wings won’t practice on Thursday, but they earned the day off to promote the 2013 Winter Clas…I mean engage in a “major announcement” via a slightly sloppy but no less effective 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
By holding off Sam Gagner and the Oilers, the Red Wings reclaimed a 3-point lead over the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference standings and 5-point leads over the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues, they extended their home-ice winning streak to 18 games, and, mostly, they overcame heavy legs and heavy brains in a gritty effort which allowed the Wings to shake off their 5-game road swing while snapping a two-game losing streak.
Of very important charitable Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins-related note over the next few weeks:
The Grand Rapids Griffins are hosting a special game to benefit cancer research on February 16th:
Nothing rhymes with “purple,” but nearly everything at Van Andel Arena will be in sync with the color associated with cancer survivors on Saturday, Feb. 18, when the Grand Rapids Griffins host their first-ever “Purple Game” to benefit the Van Andel Institute (VAI).
When fans arrive for the 7 p.m. contest against the Peoria Rivermen, they’ll notice a host of purple touches that will create awareness and unique experiences throughout the night, including:
Updated with lots of evening reading at 11:13 PM: The Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers was anything but pretty, at least in terms of the mistakes made by both teams.
Perhaps it was a case of heavy road legs and slightly distracted brains given tomorrow’s “important announcements” at Comerica Park and Michigan Stadium, but the Wings managed to take seven penalties, blow a 2-0 lead, lose Danny Cleary to a lower-body injury (Mike Babcock said Cleary will have his cortisone shot tomorrow to alleviate the issues in his left knee, and Jan Mursak will play on Friday: edit/update MLive’s Ansar Khan is confirming this as well) on a hit by Ben Eager which so preoccupied the Wings that the Oilers were able to score on the resulting play…
But at home, anyway, when the Wings stagger, they dust themselves off, get right back up and slowly but steadily right their ship, and they earned their 18th straight home win because, as the gentleman in a commercial most of you are too young to remember used to say, “They earned it.”
This is pretty spiffy: ESPN’s Craig Custance (story link via RedWingsFeed delved into the rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks in a multi-page picture spread in the February 20th issue of ESPN the Magazine:
ON NOV. 24, 1926, Detroit beat Chicago 1-0 for its first-ever win—and the Blackhawks’ first loss. Since then, the two clubs have played each other more often (718 regular-season games) than any other NHL pairing. The Wings are up 92 games and have lifted 11 Cups to Chicago’s four, but the Blackhawks hold the playoff series lead 8-7. On Jan. 14, we spent a Saturday in Detroit documenting the passion of the rivalry. If they meet in this year’s playoffs, expect a fresh set of heroes, fights and hits. As their fans know, there’s history between these two.
THE HEROS: A true rivalry isn’t great without great players, and the Blackhawks and Red Wings have featured some of the best to ever don a hockey sweater. Gordie Howe retired with 801 career goals—166 of which came against the Hawks. Bobby Hull scored 610 times, including 97 on the Wings. Every era has its superstars: Lindsay. Mikita. Yzerman. Savard. Lidstrom. Toews. But often it’s been the lunch-pail guys who have created the most lasting memories. It’s winger Mush March clinching Chicago’s first Stanley Cup with the only goal in a double-overtime win over the Wings in 1934. Or Darren Helm’s series winner over the Hawks in Game 5 of the 2009 Western Conference finals, the last time the two met in the playoffs. You don’t need a big name to impact the rivalry—but you can definitely make one.
continue reading and viewing…
Updated 8x with charitable donut news at 7:14 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to tangle with the Edmonton Oilers tonight (7 PM EST, FSD Plus, not FSD/TSN/71.1 FM), MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that Joey MacDonald will get the nod in goal…
Everyone is skating at Wings practice: 93-13-44, 51-40-26, 20-43-11, 48-8-96 (39); 5-18, 55-23, 52-4/22; 31-29 (35)
MacDonald is starting for Wings tonight. Mursak and Commodore scratched.
And the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Danny Cleary will indeed play for the Wings tonight:
Updated 9x at 7:04 PM: The NHL and Red Wings will stream both pressers:
Oh, NHL, you’re such a tease:
The National Hockey League will make a major announcement in Detroit on Thursday, Feb. 9.
The press conference will take place at Comerica Park in Detroit, beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET. It will be carried live on NHL Network and NHL.com. The event will continue at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Updated 2x at 12:12 PM: the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that pressers are scheduled for 10:30 AM on Thursday at Comerica Park and 1 PM at Michigan Stadium: Excellent news out of Ann Arbor regarding the centerpiece of the Winter Classic, per the Detroit News’s Angelique S. Changelis:
The University of Michigan Regents have approved leasing Michigan Stadium to the NHL for the league’s Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2013, that will feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Regents held a special meeting Wednesday morning to address the leasing, which would draw $3 million from the NHL.
A liquor license would be obtained — liquor is not served on campus at Michigan — and the NHL will have advertising and other sponsorship agreements throughout the stadium. There is no advertising at Michigan Stadium for football games.
President Mary Sue Coleman ran the special meeting that most regents attended via conference call. Interestingly, regent Denise Ilitch, whose father, Mike Ilitch, owns the Red Wings and Tigers, chose to abstain from voting, saying that while she has no direct interest in the NHL, she has family ties to the league and this situation.
After the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents engages in a little power play to determine the parameters of what will become the hardest 110,000-seat “rink’s” tickets to land in sports history (see: season-ticket holders, sponsors and bigwigs receiving the right to buy dozens of tickets before the general public gets the opportunity to land what will probably be $100-plus-on-average bleacher seats), the Detroit Red Wings will attempt to break a two-game losing streak and avenge Saturday night’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
With their lead over the Canucks, Predators and Blues trimmed to one, two and two points, respectively via a 4-3 Canucks shootout win over said Predators, the Red Wings will attempt to keep the good home-ice times rolling against Edmonton as the teams tangle at Joe Louis Arena tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/TSN/97.1 FM, with Stoney and Wojo reunited and on-site at the Joe prior to the game).
Here’s a middle-of-the-night update worth sharing: According to the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James, Red Wings GM Ken Holland stated on Tuesday evening that Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard—who the press continues to incorrectly report as either having a broken pinky or as being out for 4-6 weeks—could start practicing with the team after he visits a hand specialist today, but the team might lose Danny Cleary’s services when he sees an orthopedist to address the buildup of fluid in his left knee, depending on the treatment he receives:
Goalie Jimmy Howard will visit a hand specialist today, general manager Ken Holland said. Howard suffered a small fracture to his right index finger Thursday at Vancouver when he was hit by a puck, but the injury never was considered serious, and Holland didn’t rule out Howard returning by Friday (vs. Ducks) or Sunday (vs. Flyers).
“If the doctor tells him today he can practice, and he can get his equipment worked out, we think he’ll be ready to play very soon,” Holland said.
For Howard, it’s all about pain tolerance: he can’t re-injure his index finger, which yes, will take 4-6 weeks to heal, but as soon as he can deal with the “thud” of pucks hitting his goal stick and the vibrations and reverberations involved when he shoots pucks, and as soon as he gets a few practices in, he will be able to play (which means that the Wings don’t necessarily have to panic on the trade front).
And Danny Cleary? Well, St. James reports that if his left knee’s drained and he gets an OK from his doctor, he could play tonight against Edmonton, but he could also miss a week if he needs cortisone and/or Synvisc injections to battle arthritis. As Cleary’s also had to deal with some particularly gruesome groin injuries, he needs to have that knee drained as quickly as possible lest it starts to pull upon his groin muscles:
Update #3 at 9:27 PM: ESPN’s Craig Custance reports that there will be two pressers:
Sounding like 2 Winter Classic announcements on Thursday. Morning in Detroit and afternoon in Ann Arbor. Plus GLI and OHL games at Comerica.
Update #2: The Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that next Monday and Wednesday are alternate announcement dates in case U of M doesn’t sign off on the event on Wednesday: Via RedWingsFeed, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL will announce that the Wings are hosting the 2013 Winter Classic in short order:
Just a reminder, 2013 NHL Winter Classic (TOR vs. DET at U of Michigan Big House) will be made official at Thursday news conference(s).
Update: The Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa reports that there’s a reason Thursday is the day (did somebody say alcohol-selling license?):
Plans by the NHL to play the 2013 Winter Classic in Michigan Stadium, where it almost certainly would draw the largest crowd ever to watch an NHL game, are proceeding, with the University of Michigan Board of Regents scheduling a special meeting at 10 a.m., Wednesday to approve the use.
“The public meeting is regarding authorization to enter into a facility-use lease for the NHL Winter Classic,” the University News Service said in a release.
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.