The Malik Report
I feel like the guy in the hot dog commercial, because “I’m 99.9% certain that there’s going to be a lockout.”
Given Thursday’s developments, given the honest-to-Gord fact that the NHL is unabashedly going for a cash grab that will do nothing to fundamentally address the problems plaguing its 30-team business model given the fact that this lockout will hurt the people who work at rinks on game nights, are part of NHL teams’ staff, and the restaurants, bars, hotels and local businesses which surround NHL teams (keep in mind, folks, that if you totally boycott NHL merchandise, you’re hurting the person who works at Fanatic U, too), this will truly be a senseless lockout.
Sorry about posting this late…I kinda barely slept for two days. Anyway, via RedWingsFeed, AnnArbor.com’s Jeff Arnold noted that University of Michigan athletic director David Brandon is well aware of the fact that the NHL can cancel the Winter Classic at any time up to January 1st with only a $100,000 (plus, after December 1st, any expenses incurred for setting up and tearing down the rink) penalty, and yes, the University will deal with it…But Guess who Arnold, writing for Puck Daddy, says the cancellation of the game would hurt?
The same people who haven’t yet been mentioned in the “game night rink” staff equation yet—the restaurants, bars, hotels, private parking lots, the usual—in Detroit and Ann Arbor, given the high likelihood that the “Hockeytown Winter Festival” would go the way of the dodo as well:
The local economy in Ann Arbor is also counting on an economic boost from an event that would draw as many as 115,000 fans. Ticket prices range between $79 and $279 with tickets being sold at seven different pricing levels.
Brandon said earlier this year that an average Michigan home game generates between $14 million and $15 million for local businesses, including hotels and restaurants. Brandon expects the Winter Classic could generate even more money, which has been evidenced in recent years. According to the league, the annual winter outdoor game generates between $30 million and $36 million for host cities.
In February at the official announcement of the Winter Classic’s 2013 destination, NHL chief operating officer John Collins estimated the economic impact for the weeklong hockey celebration could top the $75 million scale for southeast Michigan, taking both the Detroit and Ann Arbor venues into consideration.
Via RedWingsFeed, it appears that Red Wings GM Ken Holland isn’t going to wait until the increasingly likely lockout ends to begin shoring up his roster. According to MLive’s Brendan Savage and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, the Wings aren’t going to go into September without at least ensuring that the team’s made some sort of move to shore up their undermanned blueline:
The Detroit Red Wings could be close to signing free-agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. A source told MLive.com that the Red Wings have made a two-year offer for about $2.5 million a season.
Colaiacovo, 29, is a good skater and puck-mover with some offensive ability, having averaged 27 points a season the past four years with the St. Louis Blues. He shoots left and can play the point on the power play.
As noted yesterday evening, Red Wings executive Kris Draper both threw out the first pitch at Wednesday’s Great Lakes Loons game and spoke to the Saginaw News’s Erica Perdue about his experiences as a member of the front office and the “state of the Wings,” and he continued both conversations with the Midland Daily News…Erm, well, the artIcle’s uncredited…
“I don’t think anyone is going to sugar coat it when we lost Nicklas Lidstrom,” Draper said. “It was a huge loss. It’s a big blow to the team, but I truly believe that Niklas Kronwall is going to step up and evolve as one of the top defensemen in the game. I think Brendan Smith is ready to get an opportunity and now is his time. Kyle Quincey, who we just got in a trade and signed, we got him on a two-year deal. He played so well in Colorado and Los Angeles and that’s what we expect from him. Jonathan Ericsson, a big, strong defenseman, he was always kind of knocking on the door to be the top four defenseman, but our top four was so good, but he paid his dues and now his opportunity’s there. When you think about it, in the last three years losing Rafalski, Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, these young guys are coming up and that’s just the way it goes. The younger guys have to come in and produce and that’s what we expect.”
Updated 2x at 1:09 PM: From the Red Wings, the Winter Classic Alumni Showdown will include more blasts from the past:
CONFIRMED: Dallas Drake, Petr Klima, Garry Unger, and Paul Ysebaert to participate in 2012 Alumni Showdown festivities. twitter.com/DetroitRedWing…— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 23, 2012
Update: From the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle:
Leafs add Sundin, Nieuwendyk, Salming and Mahovlich to Winter Classic alumni roster.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) August 23, 2012
Update #2: NHL.com confirms the whole dealy-o:
SWE Elitserien sticks to its rules: players have to stay entire season. Not about to sign NHLers in event of lockout. bit.ly/R3AxO5— Puckarinen (@puckarinen) August 23, 2012
And if you don’t want the translated version of Hockeyligan.se’s announcement (monetary issues, pushing home-grown players out of jobs, etc. etc.), Marie makes a hugely important point about a fact of life that will make finding part-time European employment difficult for each and every one of the NHL’s players—insurance issues:
Whether it’s on this side of the Atlantic or over in Europe, the vast majority of the Red Wings’ players have started to skate for the first time since either the Wings’ playoff loss to Nashville or, in slightly under half the team’s case, the World Championships.
At this point, as the many Wings fans who took part in that Pure Michigan commercial on Tuesday will tell you, the ice hasn’t been placed on Joe Louis Arena’s concrete concert floor yet, so those without NHLPA and cupcake-related responsibilities (Henrik Zetterberg) or kids to move back to Metro Detroit and/or enroll in school (see: half the roster) are taking part in “pro camps,” either where they make their offseason homes or, well, whichever locale served as their hockey-playing alma mater.
Updated 2x at 10:52 PM: Given the CBA gloom and doom of late, let’s count this as a positive: this afternoon, the Free Press’s Sylvia Rector revealed that Henrik Zetterberg is bringing Swedish “Snowballs” to Just Baked‘s Cupcake shops, and, via RedWingsFeed, WWJ Newsradio 950 shows us what these damn things look like.
And I quote, from their press release:
Amongst today’s Red Wings-related news: In addition to the whole remaining in Metro Detroit as he’s a member of the NHLPA’s negotiating committee thing, the Detroit Free Press’s Sylvia Rector reports that Henrik Zetterberg will be bringing a Swedish desert treat to Metro Detroit:
Detroit Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg is helping bring a traditional European treat — Royal Swedish Snowballs — to the United States in a cooperative arrangement with Just Baked, a Livonia-based specialty cupcake company.
The treats — sold for more than 100 years in Sweden — consist of a center of marshmallow-like vanilla crème covered in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut so they resemble snowballs. Zetterberg says they were one of his favorite childhood desserts.
Updated 2x with St. James’ assessment of Jakub Kindl’s worth at 3:12 AM: Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg is part of the NHLPA’s negotiating committee, so he doesn’t have the option of returning to Sweden if there is a lockout, but that didn’t stop Expressen’s Mattias Eriksson from posting a somewhat sensationally-titled article suggesting that Zetterberg’s being something of a jerk for doing what he has to do (roughly translated):
Zetterberg snubs Eliteserien in lockout
There’s hardly [going to be] an invasion of stars in the Eliteserien if there’s a lockout. Henrik Zetterberg’s snubbed games at home—and more will follow.
“I think that many of the older players will stay in North America until at least Christmas,” says Zata.
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.