The Malik Report
The Toledo Blade's Rachel Lenzi recently revealed that the Red Wings' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, is considering ending its status as having dual affiliations with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks because the lack of roster continuity (the Wings and Hawks can assign as many as 6 players from their respective AHL affiliates to Toledo) have absolutely wreaked havoc upon the team's ability to ice any sort of consistent roster.
The Walleye sit at the very bottom of the ECHL's Eastern Conference with a 16-31-3-and-1 record, and their 36 points are six better than the bottom-feeding Las Vegas Wranglers.
Between the Red Wings, Grand Rapids Griffins, Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs' respective injury issues, the team has all but literally needed to install a revolving door outside its locker room, but when you're 16-and-35, heads are going to roll. As a result, the following press release came as no surprise:
I've spent the past two days basically hibernating after two weeks' of 2-to-4-AM wake-up calls and Olympic work, absolutely exhausted by the time change and grind. The Nicklas Lidstrom of blogging (Paul) has kept at it, however, so I'm not necessarily surprised to find that, ahead of the Wings' back-to-back games in Montreal tomorrow and Ottawa on Thursday:
- Johan Franzen won't be sure whether he's bested his post-concussive headaches until he's played in a game, which is worrisome;
- Neither Jakub Kindl (knee) nor Stephen Weiss (abdominal issue) are quite ready to play (so Ryan Sproul will make his NHL debut);
- Pavel Datsyuk came back from the Olympics with his knee feeling just as badly as it did when he left;
- And we won't know whether Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Jonas Gustavsson, Niklas Kronwall or Gustav Nyquist came back from Sochi any worse for wear until Wednesday's morning skate.
- On top of all of that, Ken Holland informed Detroit Sports 105.1 FM that he's not going to move what might become a draft-lottery-eligible 1st round pick, nor any of the team's top prospects, in order to bolster his Henrik Zetterberg-less roster with the trade deadline a little less than eight days away (and you can be most certain that the first words that come out of his managerial counterparts' mouths when talking trade turkey involve Anthony and Mantha).
From the Red Wings' PR department:
RED WINGS FAN DAY AT THE JOE SET FOR MARCH 11
… Fun-Filled, Free Event Presented in Partnership with Coca-Cola …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings and Coca-Cola have teamed up to present the 2014 edition of Coke Zero Fan Day at Joe Louis Arena, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 11 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland reflected upon his Olympic experience and briefly addressed the Red Wings' trade deadline plans while appearing on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM today:
Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News was at practice today and had this to report after practice...
Datsyuk wasn’t sure whether he would be able to play Wednesday in Montreal.
“It’s similar,” Datsyuk said of how he is feeling compared to when he left. “I’m hoping one day the pain (would go away). Now, it’s still the same.”
Datsyuk arrived in Detroit on Monday after spending a few days in Russia, following the national team’s disappointing early exit in the Olympics.
It was an opportunity, said Datsyuk, to gather his thoughts and get some rest, and “move forward.”
Datsyuk said the loss of Henrik Zetterberg (disc surgery) for the remainder of the regular season will be a tough loss.
“It hurts a lot,” Datsyuk said. “You’re missing the captain. He’s a leader. It’s a big miss. We need to stick together (as a team).”
more on the Wings including the lineup for tomorrow is still up in the air...
Ansar Khan with his update...
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Wings on ice for practice. Datsyuk is skating. Kindl, Weiss and Franzen practicing too. Ryan Sproul up from GR for practice.
Howard and Gustavsson back from Sochi and in the nets. Babcock back and running practice.
Looks like everyone who is supposed to be practicing is on the ice. Olympic Swedes Kronwall, Ericsson, Alfredsson, Nyquist given day off.
added 12:57pm, Another Khan tweet,
Kindl said he's not expecting to play next 2 games. Right knee still weaker than left. Needs more practice time.
added 1:09pm, Beat writers all say Weiss will not play next two games, will skate with the team and will not play in Grand Rapids.
added 1:16pm, Khan once more...
Babcock said Franzen has been cleared but he hasn't decided if he'll play tomorrow. Said all lineup decisions will be made tomorrow.
Ansar Khan with an update on some of the injured and some of the Olympians...
“It appears Weiss is not ready to go; he felt some soreness, trainers decided to hold him back,” Holland said. “We wanted to get him a couple of games in Grand Rapids. Not sure if he’ll play in Montreal or play in Milwaukee with Grand Rapids on Wednesday.”
Kindl suffered a sprained MCL on Feb. 3 vs. Vancouver. He practiced during the break.
“Kindl is very questionable for Wednesday,” Holland said. “If he doesn’t play Wednesday, then he won’t play Thursday (at Ottawa).”...
Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, as well as forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Gustav Nyquist, were given the day off Tuesday after playing in the gold medal game for Sweden on Sunday (3-0 loss to Canada). But they will be ready to play Wednesday....
Holland had no update on Johan Franzen, who was hoping to be cleared on Monday after missing 22 of the past 23 games with a concussion.
Pavel Datsyuk was scheduled to land in Detroit on Monday and practice Tuesday after being given a few days off to spend in Russia after the Olympics. Datsyuk played in all five games for Russia, after appearing in two games for the Red Wings before the break, but it’s not a given that he’ll be ready for Wednesday.
“He wasn’t 100 percent before the Olympics,” Holland said. “I want to see how Pav is feeling.”
from Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal,
At age 84, Ilitch is as emotionally and financially vested in his teams as ever, but he has begun to maintain a lower profile. He rarely gives interviews these days, and some of his children have assumed part of the leadership responsibilities of the teams. But on a recent morning in Boca Raton, Fla., Ilitch and his wife, Marian, welcomed a reporter into their winter home. Over the course of 90 minutes, Mike shared his memories of building the family pizza business, realizing a dream by owning the Red Wings and then the Tigers, and keeping a civic commitment to his beloved Detroit.
Marian, who first met Mike 60 years ago on a blind date and married him a year later, also participated in the conversation. It was easy to see how they have enjoyed a true partnership across family and business for so long. Here are their thoughts on the life and career of Mike Ilitch …
Detroit, his home
MIKE: I look at me and Detroit as one. The city is like a family member to me. I got sick and tired of people saying to me that Detroit wasn’t special. When I’d tell people that I was from Detroit, they’d look at me like they felt sorry for me. I decided I was going to do everything possible so that one day everyone would view Detroit as a great city.
Today's Red Wings practice involved a surprisingly Tweet-free status until MLive's Ansar Khan posted the following:
Franzen was playing some of the best all-round hockey of his career prior to suffering that concussion in December...Here's hoping he gets the OK to go. The Wings will need him, and Stephen Weiss, too.
This is adorable, via Corey Tufts on Twitter:
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.