The Malik Report
Detroit, MI... Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader and defenseman Danny DeKeyser are set to appear individually at six Meijer locations throughout the Metro Detroit area, signing autographs and interacting with the fans of Hockeytown. DeKeyser, a Clay Township, Mich., native and former Western Michigan Bronco, will kick off the campaign on Friday, Feb. 21 in Auburn Hills (800 Brown Rd.). Abdelkader, a Muskegon, Mich., native and former Michigan State Spartan, will follow suit with an appearance the next day on Saturday, Feb. 22 in Utica (15055 Hall Rd.). Abdelkader and DeKeyser will each make two additional stops throughout the months of February and March in Warren, Royal Oak, Detroit and Taylor. The complete season-long schedule can be found below:
I wasn't quite sure how to handle this story from a Red Wings perspective, so I'll turn it over to DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
The newly-formed Russian Hockey Hall of Fame used Monday’s off day in the Olympic hockey tournament to unveil the first 146 inductees, including four with ties to the Red Wings’ organization.
Although the museum is more than a year from being completed in Moscow, the hall’s committee used the Sochi Olympics to create interest in the inaugural class that features former Red Wings center Igor Larionov and defensemen Viacheslav Fetisov, Sergei Bautin and Dmitri Mironov.
All but Bautin were members of Stanley Cup-winning Wings’ teams.
The weird part? Roose continues, and notes the following:
There are a few obvious omissions to the first class of great Russian players, like the remaining members of the Wings’ Russian Five – Sergei Fedorov (three Stanley Cup titles), Vyacheslav Kozlov (two Stanley Cup titles) and Vladimir Konstantinov (one Stanley Cup title).
In post-Soviet Russia, fame haul you?
Updated 3x at 12:55 PM PM: The Russians and captain Pavel Datsyuk booked a trip to the Wednesday's quarterfinal against Finland (on Wednesday, on NBCSN, at 7:30 AM EST) via 4-0 victory, but it was anything but a laugher. The Russians didn't register their second goal until 37:11 of time had elapsed, and both prior to and after that point, they mostly played perimeter hockey and seemed all too content to attempt to pass the puck into the back of the net.
Datsyuk looked much, much more like himself, registering 3 assists on Alexander Radulov's bulldog-to-the-net goals, empty-netter included (shades of Justin Abdelkader? Make the ONE guy who goes to the net look like a superstar? Well, maybe, to some extent, though Radulov is a bit more talented, and a way bigger jerk), and making this dangle and deke move, as noted by Pete Blackburn on Twitter:
Red Wings overnight report: on Wings’ Olympians, injury issues, Callahan, Ouellet and prospect stuff
As I'm writing this, Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr and Rene Fasel have already given their, "Will the NHL participate in the 2018 Olympics" bluster presser, Slovenia is en route to a quarterfinal match-up with Sweden on Wednesday (at 3 AM EST), the Russians have inducted 146 former players and coaches into their Hockey Hall of Fame, and the teams that aren't skating in today's qualification round playoff games (as MLive's Brendan Savage noted, Norway will play Pavel Datsyuk's Russians at 7:30 AM on the CBC and NBCSN and Slovakia will battle the Czech Republic at 12 PM on NBCSN) are practicing or have already completed their practices.
The Free Press's Helene St. James reported that Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg won't return to Detroit until Thursday while allowing Ken Holland to weigh in on the sticky wicket that is Zetterberg (herniated disc in his back) and Pavel Datsyuk (Knee? Groin? Fallopian tube bruise?) skating in the Olympics.
Going into today's qualification games and tomorrow's quarterfinals, Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner took note of the Red Wings Olympic participants' performances thus far (and I'm going to skip Canada as Mike Babcock and Ken Holland do not play, and won't post the stats or the lack thereof of Jonas Gustavsson or Jimmy Howard, who haven't played a minute in these games)...
As an FYI, the Grand Rapids Griffins are skating in their annual "Sled Wings" game to raise funds for sledge hockey and the Griffins foundation this evening:
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner provides a few more details regarding tonight's event:
I was asked an interesting question by a TMR reader yesterday: why didn't the Red Wings' ownership simply charter a plane to bring Henrik Zetterberg, who needs to see a back specialist ASAP to address the herniated disc that ended his Olympics early, instead of making him "fly commercial?"
I'm about to find out whether Red Wings forward and Team Russia captain Pavel Datsyuk's willing to speak with the media today, but I can't do so without posting this fantastic story from the AP's Larry Lage--a Southeastern Michigan-based correspondent--who found proiling Datsyuk a wee bit difficult on Monday as Datsyuk didn't feel like engaging in any sort of chit-chat.
Lage still wrote a wonderful profile of the quiet Magic Man:
As Datsyuk's name was announced during pregame introductions before the Russians played Slovenia in their Sochi Games opener, the roar the Detroit Red Wings star received from the crowd rivaled the welcome for Ovechkin. Why?
"Everybody knows him," Russia coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov explained after Monday's practice. "Everybody likes him."
Lage noted that Datsyuk made a telling remark about his approach to the game after his two-goal-and-shootout-goal performance against the Americans this past Saturday, addressing his health as well as his team's health...
Red Wings prospect Andreas Athanasiou's not quite tearing things up at Anthony Mantha's 100-point level, but he sure is close, and the Ontario Hockey League took notice by naming the Barrie Colts forward their player of the week:
The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Detroit Red Wings prospect Andreas Athanasiou of the Barrie Colts is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 16 after leading the league with eight points in four games scoring six goals with two assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-4.
Here's today's barely-touched, Google-translated Russian tidbit of the day. R-Sport snagged this quip from Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, speaking about Red Wings forward and Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk:
"On the Russian team there are lots of strong players, and one of them--is, of course, Pavel Datsyuk," Bilyaletdinov told reporters. "I understand why he's loved by the team, and why all the fans love him. Datsyuk's a fantastic hockey player, a fantastic teammate, that's why he was chosen to be captain. Datsyuk--he's a player who needs no introduction, everyone knows him and everyone likes him."
This isn't necessarily Red Wings-related, but the Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article about the very obvious friendship between Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson, and I have most certainly wondered aloud whether Karlsson might be able to defect to the Red Wings at some point if only to hang out with Alfredsson during practices and off-days, because the pair's just adorable (and this is just part of a much longer and really superb article):
“He brings a lot of things to the table that helps me at this stage of my career,” Alfredsson said. “His enthusiasm and joy and a lot of things. We have a lot of fun together.”
The two have been friends since Alfredsson made the announcement June 20, 2008, that Karlsson would be the first-round, 15th overall, selection of the Ottawa Senators in the NHL draft. Alfredsson was captain of the Senators. When Karlsson was called up a month after being sent to the minors, he moved in with Alfredsson.
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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.