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Griffins’ Bob Kaser earns ‘Broadcast Excellence Award’ from Michigan Association of Broadcasters

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins hockey on Newsradio WOOD 106.9 FM & 1300 AM was honored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) during its 2016 Broadcast Excellence Awards, held Wednesday night in Lansing.

Bob Kaser’s call of the Griffins’ incredible playoff win over the Lake Erie Monsters in Game 4 of the Central Division Finals on May 10 – when Grand Rapids trailed 4-1 late in the second period before roaring back for a 5-4 victory – was named “Best” in the Play-By-Play Sports category for Commercial Radio Market 2, which includes radio stations in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Tri-Cities. The award is based on the criteria of presentation and production values.

For Kaser, the Griffins’ vice president of community relations and broadcasting, this marks the eighth time in the last 16 years that his broadcasts have been recognized by the MAB. Griffins hockey on WOOD also won “best” awards for 2015, 2012, 2006, 2003, 2002 and 2001, along with a “merit” award for 2004.

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‘Two Things’: Khan on Blashll’s fate and St. James on mistake-prone Wings

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. Among MLive's Ansar Khan's "Ask Ansar" questions and answers:

Q: Clearly the Wings need a change. Will (general manager Ken) Holland give (coach Jeff) Blashill another year? Or could J.B. be done at the end of the season? Is Blashill too much like (Mike) Babcock? It is sad to see how many players have regressed over this season and last. – Brian

A: I think Holland will evaluate after the season, but it doesn’t look good for Blashill, who has two years remaining on his contract.

Too many players have regressed, a list that includes Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar for the second year in a row as well as Riley Sheahan, Danny DeKeyser, Justin Abdelkader, Luke Glendening, Dylan Larkin and Petr Mrazek.

Some players are going to take a step back every year on every team, but this list is too long. And the list of players who’ve improved from last season is too short (Henrik Zetterberg, Anthony Mantha, Jimmy Howard).

The players should take much of the blame, but coaching also is a factor. And most of these players, for a variety of reasons (contract, low trade value) will be back. So, given a third season, could Blashill get the most out of them next year? That is one thing Holland and ownership will consider when deciding what direction to take this team.

A historically bad power play, difficulty scoring, poor starts and blown leads also don’t bode well for Blashill.

Khan continues...

2. Of note from the Free Press's Helene St. James' off-day column:

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Crain’s Detroit Business’ Shea: Waiting on the Joe’s ‘equipment and fixures’ auction

Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea reports that it won't be an "slam dunk" that Joe Louis Arena's seats might be sold to the public:

Nearly six months after Crain's first reported that the Red Wings want to see equipment and fixtures at city-owned Joe Louis auctioned to the public — including the highly sought original seats — nothing has happened.

Why? Olympia Development, which runs the Red Wings' business operations, says it's still in the process of inventorying everything inside the arena, and it doesn't expect to formalize a deal with the city until this summer. Olympia and the team also have been busy finishing the new $635 million arena scheduled to open in September, a spokeswoman said.

As for the Palace of Auburn Hills, there are no plans to sell anything because the building's fate hasn't been decided. Joe Louis Arena, on the other hand, is set to be demolished and the waterfront land used for commercial development.

Olympia since last year has been cataloging everything inside Joe Louis, which the city built for $57 million and opened in 1979. The inventory is to determine what will be moved to the new arena, what must be replaced, what can be sold, what can be donated, and what belongs to the city. The new arena is expected to include heritage displays from both teams.

Any sale is expected to use a third-party auction service that specializes in such work.

Shea continues...

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On the life of Riley Sheahan, goal-less wonder

As the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa noted this morning, Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan took possession of an inauspcioius record last night...

Riley Sheahan set an NHL record for futility Wednesday, firing three shots on goal without scoring, bringing his total to 86 on the season.

That is two more than the old record of set by Craig Adams in 2009-10 for the Penguins.

Sheahan has plenty of time to avoid removing Adams from the record book for another bit of historic ineffectiveness. Adams did not score that season, in 82 games played.

There are 17 remaining in the Red Wings season.

And the Hockey News's Jared Clinton weighed in on Sheahan's ineptitude:

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‘It’s his first day’

Fox Sports Detroit's "The 313" offers a video of the Red Wings recalling Brendan Shanahan's first day as a Red Wing:

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Krupa on the unforgiving NHL learning curve

In the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's off-day notebook, Krupa takes note of the play of the Wings' new line of Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, which had a bumpy night against the Bruins last night...

Larkin was minus two, and visibly frustrated by relinquishing the puck in front of goalie Petr Mrazek on David Krejci’s second goal of the night for the Bruins. But Larkin also provided the only point for the trio, an assist on Niklas Kronwall’s first goal of the season. He also won 60 percent of his faceoffs and had one takeaway.

Mantha was minus two, had two shots on goal and four attempts, one hit, two giveaways, one takeaway and a blocked shot.

Athanasiou was minus one, had two shots on goal and four attempts, four hits, a giveaway and a blocked shot.

Projected as potential offensive stars, however, the young, promising trio were unable to counteract the Bruins offense by producing goals. Asked to evaluate their performance, Blashill seemed to carefully consider his words.

“It’s amazing how hard it is, in this league,” he said. “I really put lots on their shoulders. Maybe I put too much on their shoulders. But the other young guys got maybe other vets to carry them around, a little bit. We’ve done that with our young guys,” Blashill said. And I wanted to see where they stacked up.”

Krupa continues, noting that Riley Sheahan has set a dubious record, and if you want to visit Sheahan tonight...

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Brendan Smith on the ‘Red Wing way’

CBS New York's Sean Hartnett took note of comments made by former Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith on an interview with WFAN in New York, and Smith talked about his time with the Red Wings...

“At the Red Wings, we breed excellence,” Smith told WFAN.com prior to the Blueshirts’ current road trip. “I think a lot of the Original Six teams try to do that. So, it’s the same thing here. I’ve only known the ‘Red Wing way.’ I think it was a great system because we went 25 years in a row with a playoff. Every day, you’re a pro. Become a pro and put everything out there. You kind of do the same routine every day, so that you don’t get away from it.

“When I came here, it’s the same thing,” he continued. “(The Rangers) just want me to play my game. I think that’s why they traded for me. They traded for me to help the D-core. If I can play my best hockey, I think I can help this team win and make a good push. Basically, they just have a lot of faith in me and that’s a good thing. It’s a little different, but it’s exciting.”

As well as playing alongside Niklas Kronwall and Nicklas Lidstrom:

Those are the best pros because they do the exact same thing day in and day out, on and off the ice,” Smith said. “The short stint I had with Lidstrom, I was just in awe of him. Kronwall was my partner off and on. I got to see first hand all the things that he does to be a good pro. He’s such a warrior that even when it looks like he shouldn’t be playing the next game, he’s there. He just took care of himself very well on and off the ice.”

Hartnett continues, and we'll see Smith on Sunday at 7 PM EDT.

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The egg and you

MLive's Brendan Savage offers a stark take on the Red Wings' 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins last night:

The last time [they played the Bruins], on Jan. 18 in Detroit, the Red Wings rallied for a 6-5 shootout win that left some observers thinking they might be on the verge of turning around their season and extending their playoff streak to 26 seasons.

Instead, they lost their next six games and have posted a 5-10-5 record in the 20 games since.

With 17 games to play, they're 28th in the overall standings and 12 points out of the playoff race with seven teams sitting between them the New York Islanders, who are holding down the final wild card berth.

Now, they're faced with playing two of the NHL's top teams - Chicago and the New York Rangers - Friday and Sunday, respectively, at Joe Louis Arena.

Consider the streak over.

"It's extremely frustrating," DeKeyser said. "I'm sure you guys are sick and tired of hearing the exact same thing over and over again. It's kind of the truth and so far not much has changed. I think you look at some things in the game and you flush other things out of it. The biggest thing is to just try and turn it around and shake most of it out of your head."

Savage continues, and as I said last night, I don't believe that the Wings are going to need any help getting a top-5 pick in the draft given the way they're playing.

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Bruins wrap-up—ugly from start to finish?

The Red Wings' 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins was an ugly affair at best, but the most concerning part about it was the way the Wings started the game--pretty darn well for nearly 11 minutes.

The Red Wings weren't so much dominated over the course of the game's 9 minutes as they were toyed with, to the tune of four goals  against and a goaltender pulled, and when the Bruins really pushed throughout the second and third periods, the Wings didn't relent at the pressure--they recoiled as if in terror, coughing up the puck on half the goals the Bruins scored and getting "walked around" on the other half.

The result was short periods of utter destruction by the Bruins and utter embarrassment for the Red Wings, perhaps to levels that even this year's Red Wings team hadn't yet endured.

As the Boston Herald's Steve Conroy noted, when the Bruins "got going," the Red Wings literally and figuratively got lost:

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Red Wings-Bruins quick take: ‘a new low’ or the ‘new normal?’

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up a five-game road trip in Boston, battling the playoff-hungry Bruins. Boston was 8-and-3 under coach Bruce Cassidy going into the game, and the Red Wings were hoping to snap a 3-game losing streak.

The Red Wings' losing streak hit 4 games in the most unpleasant way possible, in the form of a 6-1 loss. I know that many Red Wings fans think that this is a "new low," but my fear is that this is the "new normal" for more than this season. If the management, coaches and players haven't woken up by now, this won't wake them, but it sure as hell should make them sleep with sour stomachs tonight, because it was embarrassing.

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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.


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