The Malik Report
Those of us who have spent significant chunks of our life in Ann Arbor have one regret about the Winter Classic's timing: while January 1st may be a fine date in terms of a "crowd control" perspective because A2 will be absent about 60,000 University of Michigan faculty and students who will mostly be out of town on a holiday break, the city's visitors won't receive a full sense of what a bustling, dynamic and energetic city Ann Arbor really is.
The city is planning on holdling a "puck drop" on New Year's Eve to give those who will be spending the new year in Ann Arbor a downtown celebration, but the Hockeytown Winter Festival's taking place 45 minutes away in Detroit, so I was wondering whether the NHL would do anything to make a partially empty city feel a little less empty.
This morning, the NHL informed the public that it's "filling in the blank" on its exam with at least a game-day effort's worth of fan-friendly activities:
The Detroit Red Wings hope to avenge Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers as the Wings' slate of games against Floridian teams continues (the Wings will also play the Lightning on Thursday and Sunday) tonight in Sunrise (7:30 PM EST, FSD/FS Florida/AM 1270)...
And all I can tell you is that I'm glad I ended up watching the replay of Saturday's game just before I started cobbling this entry together. I think I have at least some explanation as to why the Wings stopped shooting on Saturday night (the Wings were ultimately out-shot 37-23) and ended up giving the puck away seventeen times, if not some inkling as to why both the high-minded and shin-slash-aiming pundits aside have been wondering what the fark is going on with Stephen Weiss:
Even under a trio of Kevin Dineen replacements in John Madden, Brian Skrudland and Peter Horacek in tow, the Panthers play upside down hockey as compared to both the Wings themselves and any opponent they've encountered over the past two seasons.
I like to watch him squirm, so I guess this ought to go in my blog and not KK Hockey.
Per NHL.com's Dan Rosen, "The system works"...
The salary cap for the 2014-15 season is projected to be approximately $71 million, a growth of more than 10 percent, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at the League's Board of Governors meeting on Monday. The salary cap for this season is $64.3 million after growing to $70.2 million during the 2012-13 season.
In addition, the Board ratified the League's 12-year, $5.2 billion Canadian national television and multimedia rights agreement with Rogers Communications during the first session of the two-day meeting. The agreement with Rogers, the largest media-rights deal in League history, begins next season and money from that deal impacts the League's projection for next season's salary cap.
The meetings conclude Tuesday afternoon.
"We're looking at a cap in the $71 million range as an estimate," Commissioner Bettman said. "It's subject to change. It's very preliminary."
"I said to the Board there shouldn't be any issue or consternation, if [$71 million] is the cap level it's because revenues have gone up, and that's a good thing," Commissioner Bettman said. "When the cap goes up, revenue sharing goes up, and the system works the way it's supposed to."
Oh, how I've missed the Real Life Bettman Bobblehead, though I hate to admit that he looks more and more like the cat who ate the canary now that revenues are split evenly between owners and players...
With all the hubbub surrounding the lead-up to the Winter Classic, live Michigan Stadium webcam included...
I hate to suggest that the Maple Leafs are doing anything "better" than the Red Wings, scale and intensity of the coverage in Canada's largest city excluded (and I'd rather have the Detroit media environment any day of the week), but the Leafs do have the Social Media high ground, as it were.
As the NHL prepares to move its ice-making truck from Toronto to Ann Arbor, Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner's offered no less than eleven player profiles(!) and a chat with Keith Gave about the Russian 5, Sport-Express's Slava Malamud's tossing off quips and quotes about Datsyukian Q and A's, a likely bland 24/7 experience over the next three Saturdays and is trading Babcockian jabs, the Red Wings and their beleagured goalie headed to Florida for a 2-game swing through Miami and Tampa Bay...
Leaving behind a Comerica Park that's somewhere between halfway and two thirds of the way toward being ready for the Hockeytown Winter Festival's "open skates" and status as the home of this year's Great Lakes Invitational, a slate of high school games, a pair of OHL games, a game between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs' AHL teams (the Griffins and Marlies) and a pair of "Alumni Showdowns."
The Detroit News's David Goricki spoke with Rich Cubin, the man in charge of building and maintaining the Comerica Park rink, regarding the rink's status...
The Red Wings will engage in a little friendly competition to raise funds for the Salvation Army this Friday. Per the Wings' Community Relations department:
The Detroit Red Wings will compete for bragging rights on Friday, Dec. 13, to see which duo can raise the most money for The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, as four teams bell ring at different Metro Detroit retail locations. Fans are asked to make a $10 donation in exchange for an autograph at all four locations.
Head Coach Mike Babcock will join Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland, who is serving as Honorary Chairman of the 2013 Red Kettle Campaign for the eighth straight year, at Hiller’s Market in downtown Northville, Mich., from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Fans visiting Hockeytown Authentics in Troy, Mich., between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday can obtain an autograph from forwards Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm by making a $10 donation.
Defenseman Brendan Smith and forward Gustav Nyquist will bell ring at Kroger in Birmingham, Mich., from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., while goaltender Jonas Gustavsson and Stephen Weiss will represent the Red Wings at Kroger in Farmington Hills, Mich.
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 December 8 after scoring twice with five assists for seven points in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-4.
Athanasiou helped the Colts earn a pair of road wins in Belleville and in Ottawa over the weekend improving the club’s record to 16-11-1-2 where they rank second place in the Central Division. Athanasiou earned first star honours in both games recording three points including the shorthanded game-winner plus two assists on Saturday night in a 5-1 victory over the Bulls, then notched a goal and three assists on Sunday as part of a 7-2 victory over the 67’s.
Athanasiou, a 19-year-old from Woodbridge, ON, is playing in his fourth OHL season and second with the Colts after beginning his career with the London Knights. Recently signed to an entry-level contract by the Red Wings who selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft, Athanasiou is 21st in OHL scoring and leads the Colts with 39 points in 28 games after recording 67 points in 66 games last season.
Fox 2's Jason Carr reported on the Hockeytown Winter Festival preparations underway at Comerica Park on this morning's Fox 2 news broadcast, and here's a clip of his report:
The Wings' Winter Classic website has more info on the events taking place at Comercia Park, "Open Skates" included, but I was not aware of a Red Wings practice taking place on Wednesday, December 18th that would be open to the public...
Update: Here it is, per Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:
First, a free Detroit Red Wings open practice will take place at noon Dec. 18 on the ice rink inside Comerica Park, which will allow fans to watch the team prepare for the outdoor 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Updated 6x at 3:06 PM: The Detroit Red Wings got back to work at Joe Louis Arena after dropping a disappointing 2-1 decision to Florida on Saturday, and the Wings will need as many hands on deck as possible as the team will play eight games over the course of 14 nights, starting with tomorrow's rematch with the Panthers and Thursday's tilt in Tampa Bay, and continuing with back-to-backs against the Penguins and Bolts at home...
But the, "Good news, bad news" train regarding the Wings' injuries continued to roll along, as reported by the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Helm not at practice. He's missed last 2 games with a shoulder injury.
And MLive's Ansar Khan:
Helm (shoulder) not practicing today as Wings take the ice at JLA. Datsyuk, slated to return Tuesday, is skating.
Lines? Khan's got 'em:
Update: NHL.com posted "alternate viewing dates for Episode 1" at 3:11 PM: HBO just posted a press release regarding their installments of 24/7 coverage of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs:
HBO Sports' groundbreaking "24/7" reality franchise, which has captured 17 Sports Emmy® Awards, will again join forces with the National Hockey League for 24/7 RED WINGS/MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC.Taking viewers inside a historic NHL matchup between Original Six™ rivals Detroit Red Wings® and Toronto Maple Leafs®, this innovative four-episode, all-access reality series debuts SATURDAY, DEC. 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
MORE ABOUT 24/7 RED WINGS/MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC
The show follows the two clubs simultaneously, chronicling their highs and lows each week. The excitement surrounding the rivalry reaches its apex when the teams meet in the sixth edition of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at the University of Michigan football stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the stage will be set for more than 100,000 fans to attend the outdoor event.
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.