The Malik Report
Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill's filled one of the holes caused by Jim Paek and Spiros Anastas' departures, and the Griffins' website reports that Blashill leaned upon an old colleague to do so:
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday announced the addition of Pat Ferschweiler to their hockey operations staff as an assistant coach. He replaces Jim Paek, who served as the Griffins' assistant coach for nine seasons (2005-14) before being named director of hockey for the Korea Ice Hockey Association (KIHA) and head coach of the Korean Men’s National Team in July.
Ferschweiler, 44, recently concluded his fourth season behind the bench at Western Michigan University, where he helped the team to a 19-16-5 record. The Rochester, Minn., native served as an assistant coach with the Broncos from 2010-13 before being promoted to associate head coach for the 2013-14 season.
Updated with some Datsyuk stuff at 6:19 AM: I don't stare at the overnight report's batch of stories and wonder how to put them together but that's the case this morning, so:
Let's start with a reminder. Michigan State University's "Pro Camp" begins today at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing and continues until Friday, and every 10 AM-to-12 PM skating session is open to the public. The Free Press's George Sipple listed some of the camp's more prominent participants, and he revealed that two more non-MSU alums and a Wings alumnus will attend the camp as well:
Former Spartans Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller will join 18 other former Michigan State players in a pro hockey camp that runs today through Friday at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. The players will skate from 10 a.m. to noon each day. The camp is free and open to spectators.
Abdelkader, 27, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 70 games last season for the Red Wings. Miller, 30, had seven goals and eight assists in 82 games last season for the Wings.
After August 15th, "It's quiet" takes on a very different meaning. On Monday, MSU's Pro Camp kicks off in East Lansing, when my appointment-filled week takes me to Sterling Heights on Thursday, I'm going to stop by the Troy Sports Center to see whether the Wings who are already "in town" are skating there (I'll probably stop by Hockeytown Authentics to see what summer development camp gear's on sale, too), and next weekend's Joe Kocur Foundation softball games are a high point of the summer--and a training-camp-is-close-reminder--for many, many Wings fans.
Two weeks from Tuesday, the Wings will begin their "informal" practices at Joe Louis Arena, and we're four full weeks removed from the start of the Wings' prospect tournament, and five removed from training camp (a training camp that precedes the exhibition season by exactly three days). It's not going to remain "quiet" or "slow" for much longer, and
Today it remains "slow," however, and this afternoon's Wings news mostly consists of a slightly late-to-the-party critique of the Red Wings' recently re-signed GM from the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo. After scratching his head at the Wings' most recent trade (David Legwand) and Holland's most money-heavy free agent signing (Stephen Weiss), he offers the followng commentary:
I try to be as honest as humanly possible with my readers, so I'm going to start this entry with the slightly-less-directly-Red-Wings-related story for honesty's sake.
I happened to enjoy the commute to the Red Wings' summer development camp a wee bit better when it was held at Joe Louis Arena, and my attendance at said camp really opened my eyes to the reason I'm so baffled about the slowness of the follow-on rink's construction.
While I happen to believe that the Joe has the best sightlines of any rink, it's an uncomfortable place to watch a game and it's certainly a spartan place to work in (perhaps you have heard of the true stories of the press box occasionally springing leaks after heavy rain, sometimes disturbingly close to broadcasters), and if you witnessed the amount of maintenance put into the 37-year-old rink when completely empty, to simply keep its state up to "dilapidated" standards, it would shock you.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spends a signifcant portion of his "free time" advocating for pediatric cancer charities like the Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation, he hosts a family battling cancer at every home game, and it's rumored that Babcock tends to show up unannounced at Children's Hospital in Detroit and the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor to visit kids and parents, so it's no surprise that Babcock took up the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness of and funds for ALS research in the U.S. and Canada:
The video quality isn't particularly good, but Babcock's muscle definition is:
Red Wings overnight report: On Kocur’s charity softball game, ‘Show, don’t tell’ and Pulkkinen goals
After two days' worth of Ken Holland chatter and a Friday spent chasing down Holland interviews, I'd feel guilty to lead off with Sportsnet's posting of Holland's interview on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast--that'll be posted shortly--let's get away from GM-speak and Ice Bucket Challenge overload (again, going to http://www.alsa.org/donate in the U.S. or http://www.als.ca/en/donate in Canada and learning about the illness and helping the cause is far more important than any of these flights of fancy) to talk about charitable endeavors of the more direct kind for a moment.
Today, the Plymouth Whalers will hold an alumni game at Compuware Arena, with the 4 PM-faceoff game benefiting the Children's Miracle Network, and a week from today, the Joe Kocur Foundation's annual charity softball game(s) in Highland, MI brings together a cavalcade of Wings' alums and celebrities to benefit seven local charities (as well as the police and fire departments that provide opposition to Kocur's star-studded lineups).
I have a suspicious feeling that the Red Wing in the following video ended up spraining his back and having to be hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to ice and bad hypothermia, but that's just me (and high production values on this one here, look at Daniel Cleary walking without a limp, and only an ice bag on his head, must be summer! )...
Seriously, good on Cleary for sharing the Canadian ALS Society's website: http://www.als.ca/en/donate and in the U.S. it's http://www.alsa.org/donate This .challenge has gone off the rails in terms of its charitable initiative, and the whole dang point is to raise awareness of ALS (a.k.a. "Lou Gerhig's Disease," which so many people battle that it's scary--and not everybody has the kind of access to medical care that Stephen Hawking does).
It'll be interesting to see if Henrik Zetterberg does his challenge in a snappy suit like Henrik Lundqvist did. I'm sure the ice will be afraid of Kris Draper.
This is indeed "Friday Night Fluff," so I will give props to Dylan Larkin for donning a diving mask while engaging in the challenge...
Sometimes you find out important dates via the "side door" route. The Red Wings' preseason-game tickets are on sale today, and they went on sale at 10 AM, but I'd been wondering when the Wings would announce that their regular-season single-game tickets are going on sale (right now you can buy full or partial season-ticket packages, including 10 and 20-game mini-packs, but you can't buy single-game tix).
So just prior to heading to the laundromat to finally make the annual Great Grand Marais Sand Deposit (and the laundromat has no WiFi, which makes it some sort of savage, Wild West location--even the grocery store in Grand Marais had WiFi!), RedWingsFeed Tweeted this little press release/promo from 97.1 the Ticket:
Listen to Stoney and Bill for your chance to win a four pack of tickets to see the Detroit Red Wings.
Red Wings single game tickets go on sale Friday, August 22 at 10 a.m. Get tickets to the biggest matchups of the year like the annual Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve games or Original Six clashes with the Leafs and Hawks.
Drive to the Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, August 23rd and get select Red Wings tickets for just $9. Limited quantities available at the Joe Louis Arena box office only while supplies last.
Well now we know. August 22nd, with the $9 seat-filler seats being sold only on an in-person basis at the Joe on the 23rd.
Updated with KH on Marek vs. Wyshynski at the 21-minute mark at 5:19 PM: I'm trying to follow the trail of Red Wings GM Ken Holland's Friday radio appearances. Thus far I've found him speaking with WDFN's Art Regner and TSN Montreal's Morning Show, but I've got more to find, apparently, per The Score's Chris Battaglia:
That's very possible, that's a safe, sound and fiscally smart move, and it should've been the case for Daniel Cleary as well. I will look for the interview now.
Update: Here it is, from TSN 1200:
Holland also told TSN 690 Montreal's Morning Show that he feels Anthony Mantha can crack the lineup if he makes the "top 9," not just the "top 6"...
Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related stories:
Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner penned a column about Ken Holland's 4-year contract extension this morning, and Renger was also filling in for WDFN's Matt Sheppard today, so he spoke with Holland for 26 minutes (Holland appeared on this afternoon's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast; when that audio appears, I'll and post it):
As for Regner's article, Art believes that Holland has earned every penny of his new contract and/or extension, despite the team's free agency hiccups of late:
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.