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Red Wings-Stars set-up and overnight report: Wings hope to right home-ice record vs. Nill’s Stars

The storylines for the next two games and couple of days have already been written ahead of tonight's tilt against the Dallas Stars (7:30 PM EST, FSD/FS Southwest/97.1 FM; tonight is Henrik Zetterberg bobblehead night). The four main storylines read as follows:

1. Tonight, the Red Wings battle Jim Nill's Dallas Stars, who are 7-6-and-2 and are wrapping up a 3-game road trip in which they've posted a pair of shootout wins over Ottawa on Sunday (a 4-3 shootout win) and Boston on Tuesday (a 3-2 shootout win over Tyler Seguin's former employer). Nill told the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan that he still has strong ties to the Wings and Metro Detroit, so this game is one where managerial bragging rights are on the table.

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Vladdie, Slava, Scotty, Stevie, Nick And Shanny

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

There are no sweaters or sticks or pucks on display in his office. There are no mementos hanging up. But because of requests related to the Hall of Fame, Shanahan dug through the attic at his place in Cape Cod and enjoyed what he found. Now there are framed items on the floor leaning against the base of the walls – the front page of the Detroit Free Press when the Red Wings won the Cup in 1997, a team picture from the 2000 All-Star Game in Toronto, a picture of him playing for Team Canada in 2002 … There is a pile of photos on his desk – his first fight, his 50th goal, his 500th goal …

He pulled out a photo of the Wings visiting the set of “Friends” and laughed. “There’s Chandler,” he chuckled. He pulled out photo after photo of his real friends. “I like the dressing room stuff,” he said. He held another photo. Here were the Wings after winning the Cup in 1998, not posing for the camera, delirious on the ice, Vladimir Konstantinov in his wheelchair surrounded by Slava Fetisov, Scotty Bowman, Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom …

“Vladdie, Slava, Scotty, Stevie, Nick, me …”

He might put up some stuff in his office, after all.

“Enough time has passed,” he said.

much more

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Grand Rapids Griffins get ‘early’ jump on IceHogs, take matinee game

The Grand Rapids Griffins may have had to rise very early from their beds to take on the Rockford IceHogs during an 11 AM-starting matinee aimed to entertain Grand Rapids-area schoolchildren, but the Griffins experienced no struggles in focusing on their tasks at hand, defeating Rockford 6-2. The Griffins' website recounts the game's details...

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The Tootoo tale takes a twist: Red Wings will keep him in Detroit if he clears waivers?

When Brendan Smith and Jonathan Ericsson return from their respective injuries, Capgeek estimates that the Red Wings have already placed players on the Long-Term Injured Reserve list for enough time that they've cleared the cap overage caused by the team's decision to bring Daniel Cleary back into the fold...

But the team will have 24 players on its roster when Smith and Ericsson are healthy, so it was assumed, and I assumed, that the Red Wings were waiving Jordin Tootoo for the purposes of sending him to Grand Rapids. Mike Babcock certainly intimated as much when he spoke with the media on Wednesday, but the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness suggests that the Wings will keep Tootoo around if he clears waivers--at least for the present moment:

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Red Wings Wednesday practice post: Gustavsson, Ericsson practice, Franzen out, Tootoo waived

Updated 10x at 2:52 PM: The Red Wings got back to work after an "off day" on Tuesday, hoping to build upon their solid road trip as the team prepares to host the Dallas Stars on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and, after a short trip to Toronto to attend Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan's Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, the Winnipeg Jets next Tuesday.

MLive's Ansar Khan delivered a predictably mixed set of injury news from the Wings' practice...

Wings' Franzen skating today, like he did on Monday, but working with bottom two lines, possible indication that he's not ready for Thurs.

...

Ericsson has returned to practice but not eligible to come off long-term IR until the end of next week. Smith (shoulder) not skating.

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Custance tells sometimes tall tales regarding Red Wings HHOF’er-to-be Chris Chelios

Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned quite the pair of stories about former Red Wings defenseman and Hockey Hall of Famer-to-be Chris Chelios on Monday, and today, ESPN's Craig Custance relates no-less-than-legendary tales about Chelios, as told by his former teammates, opponents and friends:

For fellow American players of his generation, so many of those stories surround international play. Mike Modano remembers one exhibition game leading up to a World Cup when Team USA was facing a team from Europe, the opponent a hazy memory. One opposing player was being particularly aggressive against the Americans.

"Don't worry about this guy," Chelios said. "I'm going to get him."

Soon their paths crossed in front of the benches, and a quick stick to the mouth from Chelios shut the guy up the rest of the game.

"He knocked a whole row of teeth out," Modano said. "He was just one of those guys. One of the ultimate team guys."

Custance continues, and his article's more than worth your time.

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Red Wings waive Jordin Tootoo

Updated 6x at 2:01 PM: Per TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie, it appears that the Red Wings have chosen to waive Jordin Tootoo:

I don't expect there to be any takers for Tootoo, and if he clears waivers, the Wings would receive, per Capgeek, about $925,000 in cap relief given Tootoo's $1.9 million cap hit and the "Wade Redden rule" yielding cap relief = (player's cap hit - [NHL minimum salary of $550,000 + $375,000]).

TSN's Bob McKenzie confirms:

Ditto for the Free Press's Helene St. James:

The Wings need to clear a body off the roster when Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith return--they'd be at 24 players--and while Capgeek estimates that the team's cleared enough LTIR space to alleviate their pre-season cap overage, moving Tootoo gives the team some cap room and the possiblity of trading or waiving another player (Eaves? Samuelsson, for roster-space's sake?) if they want to bring Gustav Nyquist up.

Update: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness posted a video of Babcock discussing Tootoo's status...

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Adirondack Red Wings coach/AHL HOF’er Bill Dineen shares the story of bringing the Howes to the WHA

Bill Dineen will join the AHL's Hall of Fame next year, and he's being inducted largely on the basis of his contributions to the AHL as the coach of the Red Wings' AHL affiliate in Glens Falls, NY, but Dineen did much more than coach the Adirondack Red Wings to a pair of Calder Cups. He also won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, and he just happened to coach Mark, Marty and Gordie Howe as the coach of the WHA's Houston Aeros in the 70's.

Dineen shared his recollection of bringing the Howes to Houston with the Utica Observer-Dispatch's Don Laible...

As the WHA was preparing for its drafts ( the league conducted two drafts - amatuer and professional ), 'Foxy' Dineen, who gained his nickname, according to him,  due to during his Red Wings days of  finding ways around the on-ice opposition and not being caught after curfews, had his sight set on drafting Mark Howe.  Mark and his brother Marty Howe were playing for the Toronto Marlboros of  the Ontario Hockey Association.  Mark,17, and Marty,18, at the time were to young to play in the NHL.  But, then came the WHA draft day, a Friday - two days before the Memorial Cup Final.

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Red Wings overnight report: looking back at the Western Canadian Trip; Mark Howe and Shahahan quips

The Detroit Red Wings took Tuesday off after having played 4 games in 4 cities over the course of 6 nights, but they'll get back at 'er at Joe Louis Arena today, preparing to host the Dallas Stars on Thursday (the 7-6-and-2 Stars defeated Boston 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday) and the Tampa Bay Lightning  on Saturday (the 10-4-and-2 Lightning haven't played since a 4-2 win over St. Louis last Saturday, and they'll host the Oilers on Thursday).

The Wings promoted Tuesday birthday boy Jared Coreau to back up Howard for at least Wednesday's practice--mostly because the Grand Rapids Grifins play games today and on Friday, yielding playing opportunities for Petr Mrazek while the Wings will enjoy playing 7 of their next 8 games (and 8 of 10) at the Joe.

While we'll have to wait until later this morning to find out whether Coreau spends the weekend in Detroit or whether he'll end up flying south to Florida with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye, MLive's Ansar Khan suggested that Coreau's stay with the Wings will be a short one:

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Red Wings announce week-long program and partnership with DTE to help people in home heating trouble

The Red Wings didn't issue a press release regarding a charitable drive to be held during Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but this issue is just as important as the cancer initiatives, veterans' intiatives, smoke detector drives and childhood illness initiatives that the Wings engage in on a daily basis.

The State of Michigan's made significant cuts to aid for low-income Michiganders who can't afford to pay their heat or electric bills, eliminating aid before November and after March (if you've lived in this state or its northern regions, you know that it gets cold before November) the State's made massive cuts to the programs in general, and it's chosen to celebrate the end of stimulus funding by passing on their "savings" to those in need...

There are very literally many people all over the State of Michigan, Southeastern Michigan and the City of Detroit whose homes aren't heated, and that's not right.

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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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