The Malik Report
Updated with some miscellaneous stuff at 5:56 PM: As noted in the post about Valtteri Filppula signing with Jokerit Helsinki of the Finnish SM-Liiga, the Slovak press caused something of an uproar by announcing that Red Wings prosepct Tomas Tatar was about to sign a lockout contract with Dukla Trencin of the Slovak league.
According to the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, all reports suggesting that Tatar will be suspended or is otherwise in hot water for doing so are simply inaccurate as the Red Wings have given Tatar their blessing to play for Dukla Trencin or any other Slovak team until the AHL's regular season begins...
The Wings have been talking with Tatar’s agent about possibly assigning him to a club in, possibly HKm Zvolen where he played before joining the Grand Rapids Griffins for the 2009-10 season.
“He wants to play in Slovakia until the American League starts,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
Well, that iddn't take long,a nd you can consider training camp canceled. The Red Wings released the NHL's statement regarding canceling pre-season games...
NHL ANNOUNCES CANCELLATION OF PRESEASON SCHEDULE THROUGH SEPT. 30
NEW YORK (September 19, 2012) – The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012 preseason schedule through Sept. 30. In addition, the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville preseason game, scheduled for Oct. 3 in Belleville , Ontario, has been postponed to 2013.
The cancellation of the schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.
While the Kraft Hockeyville game has been postponed, many of the scheduled celebrations in the winning community of Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario, will proceed as planned beginning on September 30.
And MLive's Ansar Khan confirms that that four home games for the Red Wings, their ushers, concessions staffers, broadcasters, security personnel, etc. have been canceled as part of the equation:
Updated 3xx at 2:29 PM: According to Iltahleti, Helsingin Sanomat and Ilta Sanomat (which broke the news), Valtteri Filppula has been practicing with Jokerit Helsinki since this past weekend, and he'll sign a contract with them shortly.
Update: I find this incredibly hard to believe, but hokej.sk claims that Slovak team Dukla Trencin is trying to negotiate a lockout contract with Tomas Tatar, who has to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins...Hokejportal and Sport.sk are reporting this fluffernutter, too. If Tatar does choose to sign with a Slovak team, the Wings will suspend him.
Update #2: Via TDfrd on Twitter, SME.sk is reporting that Tatar would sign a short-term deal with Trencin, and would be required to return to North America on October 10th--or the start of the AHL's regular season--like Damien Brunner.
Update #3: Via RedWingsFeed, ESPN's Craig Custance confirms the Filppula signing...
Excellent news from the Free Press's Helene St. James, especially given the number of NHL teams that are laying waste to their front offices: the Red Wings will continue to employ their entire front office and hockey operations staff:
John Hahn, senior director of communications, said this morning that they "don't have any plans to lay anyone off."
Al Sobotka, the team's well-known Zamboni master, "will do what he does during the off-season," Hahn said. "He'll find some building projects to do."
Updated 2x at 12:19 PM: Per Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov and Sport-Express's Igor Larin, Red WIngs forward Pavel Datsyuk ended up signing a lockout deal with CSKA Moscow, and the Free Press's Helene St. James is both confirming Jakub Kindl's statement about playing for Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga and she rounds up the Wings' European signings--or the lack thereof...
Kindl sent out a tweet this morning saying, "Looks like deal is done for now going to play in Pardubice."
Pardubice is the hometown of Wings great Dominik Hasek.
Cory Emmerton also is trying to play overseas. Damien Brunner has a deal with EV Zug of the Swiss league, but he plans to come back and play in Grand Rapids next month, when the Griffins' season gets under way.
With Pavel Datsyuk's KHL destination a mystery, disinformation and rumors rampant about Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson's playing plans and Cory Emmerton's destination unknown, following the Wings players' European playing options has felt like tiptoeing through a minefield. Thankfully one player pressed the "easy button" as Jakub Kindl shared his employer's identity with everyone via Twitter:
This lockout sure as hell feels like a line Mel Brooks uttered while playing "Yogurt"--Spaceballs 2: the Quest for More Money!--but in that sense, the Red Wings don't have a horse in this dogfight, save perhaps in increasing their profit margins. As the National Post's Guy Spurrier poitns out, the Wings are making a very sizable operating profit from ticket sales, and as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan notes, the Wings have been able to convert their cachet (or prestgious reputation) into excellent sponsorship deals, including a $20 million-a-season broadcasting deal with Fox Sports Detroit, "presenting" sponsorships with Amway and Belle Tire, and as members of the NHL, chunks of the NBC and CBC broadcasting deals (to the tune of somewhere between $7-10 million).
Trying to figure out Pavel Datsyuk's lockout playing destination has involved more feints than a Datsyukian deke. First he was supposedly going to sign with the Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, and then he wasn't...On Tuesday, Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov reported that Datsyuk would end up playing for CSKA Moscow or Dynamo Moscow, and Lysenkof offered the following in Russian (roughly translated)...
Agent Gary Greenstin, who represents Datsyuk, let me know that he's negotiated and prepared a contract offer. Now the puck's on Pavel's side. And if he gives consent, then the deal will be announced.
Greenstin himeslf is now in Moscow, so it's logical to assume that Datsyuk will return to Dyanmo, which won the Russian championship in 2005.
"On the topic of Datsyuk, I won't comment!" said Dynamo GM Andrey Safronov. But there's no fire without smoke: so negotiations are underway.
Well that might not be the case after all, if we are to believe Allhockey.ru (again, roughly translated):
Three members of the Detroit Red Wings--and two who still remain in North America--can't practice with their teammates when the locked-out Wings resume practicing next week. Damien Brunner, who's headed back to Switzerland for a bit, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith have all been assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins, and thanks to the NHL's lockout policies, the gents have to find their own places to skate and train until the Griffins' camp opens on October 1st.
While Brunner's essentially a pro player who needs to find out whether he can hack the pace and intensity of North American hockey, and Smith defines the term "overripe," Nyquist may actually benefit from working on his strength, conditioning and shooting in the AHL, as he acknowledged to MLive's Ansar Khan:
“It’s a great place, and we’ll get (former Red Wings assistant coach) Jeff Blashill as the coach now,'' Nyquist said. “It worked for me last year, and it’s a great group of guys there, so I’m just excited to start playing.''
Nyquist is doubtlessly right up there with Teemu Pulkkinen and Calle Jarnkrok as the jewels in the "next generation of Red Wings star forwards" crown, but as he's undersized and still inexperienced, which has Wings GM Ken Holland both excited about his Nyquist's potential and is a little concerned about his
With Aftonbladet reporting that it'd cost Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Allsvenskan $730,000 a month to insure Niklas Kronwall's contract, and NT.se reporting that 1st division team Vita Hasten would be faced with a $500,000-per-month insurance premium on Jonathan Ericsson's contract, it would seem that the vast majority of the Red Wings' players are going to be staying in North America unless this lockout drags on for half a season or more...
But ESPN New York's Kate Strang, via RedWingsFeed, reports that the NHLPA is offering a very differnt kind of contract insurance--with the PA ensuring that the players and their families receive something Americans are arguing about as a right and/or privilege in basic health insurance:
The NHLPA has stepped in to cover the premiums for players during the lockout, a union source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. The measure was taken after the NHL asked insurers to cancel all coverage for players once the lockout began, according to several reports.
According to the union, the league's request was not a surprising one considering it made a similar one during the past two lockouts in 2004 and 1994. The players' association anticipated it would happen again when the current bargaining agreement expired last Saturday and has since made sure to devise a plan to suit its constituency.
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.