The Malik Report
Scary stuff from Oklahoma City, per the Grand Rapids Griffins:
Tonight’s Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Oklahoma City Barons has been postponed and rescheduled for Sunday due to severe weather conditions in downtown Oklahoma City.
Game 4 of the series will be held on Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT, and Game 5 will now take place on Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT. Both games will be held at the Cox Convention Center, before the series turns back to Grand Rapids for a potential Game 6 on Tuesday.
I'll have more later, but WOOD TV's Larry Figurski and Fox 17's Steve Amorose reported that EVERYBODY--the Griffins, the Barons, their fans, the media, the rink staff--was evacuated from the rink, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that there's been significant flooding in the building.
Red Wings locker room clean-out day post 2: free agents-to-be want to stay, coach and GM not so sure
Updated at 10:04 PM: Despite the fact that the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers on Friday afternoon, we received good news in terms of the franchise's future in the form of Pavel Datsyuk informing the Wings' beat writers and everyone else that he plans on remaining with the Red Wings past the expiry of his current contract in the summer of 2014, and that, as he told Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji, he plans on remaining a Wing for "years to come":
"I hope we agree and I sign more after my year," Datsyuk said after the Wings cleaned out their lockers Friday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. "I would love to stay."
Datsyuk enjoyed playing in Russia's KHL during the lockout, which fueled speculation that he would return there after his contract expires after next season.
"It's fun to be home, but one home to another home, it's when you play too much here, it's nice to come back home," Datsyuk said.
On the heels of the locker room clean-out day news that Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk would like to sign a multi-year contract extension with the Wings, he posted one helluva Tweet:
Updated 4x at 3:57 PM: If there is any "good news" about the fact that the Detroit Red Wings took their team picture and cleaned out their lockers today, facing the media for the last formal "locker stall scrum" time this season and looking toward the future, it is this:
The Red Wings summer will be incredibly short for both a roster of largely banged-up players and the team's management (see: the draft takes place on June 28th and free agency begins on July 5th), and 21 years after the 1991-92 Chicago Blackhawks sent Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov's Wings a message about how far the promising team had come--and how far the team had to go in terms of reinforcing its youthul core to build a perennial Stanley Cup contender--by sweeping Detroit, this younger, less star-studded team took a Hawks team as stacked as it was in '92 to 7 games...
The Red Wings sent Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist to Oklahoma City, OK in an attempt to bolster the Grand Rapids Griffins' roster as they face a 2 games-to-1 deficit in their AHL Western Conference Final series against the Oklahoma City Barons (the teams play games and 5 tonight and tomorrow in OKC), and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Danny DeKeyser will be joining them:
Update: MLive's Brendan Savage reports that DeKeyser is heading to OKC in less than top form...
"My thumb isn't completely healed yet," DeKeyser said Friday at Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers. I'll probably do a little bit more rehab on it and get some of the muscles and joints going."
DeKeyser, who broke his thumb in Game 2 vs. Anaheim and missed Detroit's final 12 playoff games, was hoping to return in the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings if the Red Wings would have beaten the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday in Game 7 of that series.
"I would have been ready to go this round, maybe not right away but maybe game 3 or 4 I was thinking," DeKeyser said. "It's a bummer knowing I was that close to making a comeback but that's just how it goes sometimes."
Red Wings overnight report: today, the Wings will clean out their lockers and look toward the future
Under 48 hours removed from a crushing Game 7 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings will assemble for the last time in their 2013 season incarnation at Joe Louis Arena on Friday morning. They'll take their team picture, peel off their uniforms, and both the players and coaches will address the media before for the last formal time.
The players, coach and GM will still give interviews over the next week or so--the post-playoff "news cycle" will last for at least the next 10 days, radio interviews included--but this is a "short" off-season, with the draft slated for June 28th (the Wings' amateur scouts are attenging the NHL's draft combine this week in Toronto, and director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell told NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale that he believes the Wings will find a solid player with the 18th overall pick) and free agency to hit on July 5th, so the players will probably engage in exit meetings with the coaches and management on an accelerated basis, they'll receive treatment for their injuries, off-season workout prescriptions and in some cases, book surgery time...
Pretty remarkable stuff, from WOOD TV's Larry Figurski:
On Thursday, staff members with the Grand Rapids Griffins helped clean up debris in the wake of the deadly tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area on May 20.
The Griffins are in Oklahoma for the AHL Western Conference series.
24 Hour News 8's Larry Figurski is traveling with the team and was with the Griffins staffers as they helped sort through the rubble in Moore, Okla.
Of the three games the Griffins have played against the Oklahoma City Barons in the series, the Barons have won two.
The Griffins next game is Friday night at 8 p.m for Game 4 of the AHL Western Conference in Oklahoma City.
A video follows the jump cut:
Via Paul, from NBC Sports:
BLACKHAWKS-RED WINGS GAME 7 POSTS 2.07 RATING, HIGHEST-RATED NHL GAME EVER ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK
3.354 Million Viewers Surpasses All Previous NHL Regular-Season and Non- Stanley Cup Final Games on NBC Sports Network
Chicago Sets Record with 17.21 Local Rating; Detroit Posts 14.96
Conference Semifinals Average 1.5 Million Viewers, Most-Watched Semifinals Ever Across Broadcast and Cable (Since 1994)
NEW YORK – May 30, 2013 – Last night’s Western Conference Semifinal Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings posted a 2.07 rating and averaged 3.354 million viewers, making it the highest-rated NHL game ever on NBC Sports Network, and the most-watched Semifinal game ever on cable (data available since 1994).
MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula will miss 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain and that Mikael Samuelsson may need surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, and as we talk about possible roster moves and Wings GM Ken Holland talks about sticking to his plan (which would mean very few roster moves), Holland also dished playoff injury dirt to the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Holland also said today that Jimmy Howard played with a pulled hamstring at the end of the Anaheim series.
Other than that, both forward Daniel Cleary and defenseman Niklas Kronwall were banged up, each dealing with the effects of monstrous hits. Kronwall got clotheslined in Game 5 by Chicago forward Bryan Bickell and "was playing with an injured shoulder," Holland said. "He hurt his hand in the Anaheim series."
Cleary suffered a second-degree separated left shoulder and a fractured left finger after he was slammed into the boards by Anaheim's Daniel Winnik in Game 5.
St. James continues, and offers the following:
While you, I and the media ponder what the Red Wings' management, pro and amateur scouts, coaches and player leadership will decide to do in terms of the team's roster going forward based upon its salary cap situation, a pair of possible cap-compliance buy-outs, trades, injuries and how the team will accommodate the signings of its prospects and promotions of prospects from Grand Rapids...
The management's decisions to stand pat over the past 11-or-so months has shown that the team tends to believe in the concept that prospect development plus a free agent signing or two = the way to go while "rebuilding on the fly," and Ken Holland basically confirmed that strategy while speaking to the Free Press's Jeff Seidel, who suggests that the Wings' playoff run has made him a "believer" in the Wings' organizational philosophy:
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