The Malik Report
I'm not sure how many of you plan on attending the draft in Philadelphia in late June (Friday June 27th and Saturday June 28th at the Wells Fargo Center), but the Sports Agent Blog posted an intriguing press release regarding on hell of a pre-draft sports conference, and Red Wings GM Ken Holland has contributed and probably will contribute to said conference. Here's the press release from D'Bria Bradshaw...
The Sports Management Worldwide (SMWW) NHL Draft Hockey Career Conference makes its way to the City of Brotherly Love for the 2014 NHL Draft as Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of the Philadelphia Flyers, becomes the center of the hockey universe June 26-28, 2014. The conference will take place at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel.
The SMWW Career Conference is an opportunity to gain insight into a variety of careers from top executives in hockey. The 2 day event offers unique panel discussions that will include panels on sports business, athlete representation, scouting, league management, and sports business strategies. Previous panel members have included: Ken Holland, Detroit Red Wings GM & EVP, Pat Brisson, NHLPA Agent CAA, Bill Robertson Minnesota Wild Vice President, Gordie Roberts, HOF & Pro Scout, etc.
I know that some of you needed to have a good bout of sports-related arguing (I've learned that some sports fans, for better or worse, have more fun debating their opinions as to what a team ought to do than they have watching the team perform; there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a good sports-related argument, but my brain doesn't thrive upon it), and TSN's Scott Cullen's Red Wings off-season game plan allowed you to vent...
But I'm a little more intrigued by the draft combine and the 119 players in attendance (including Claude Lemieux's son) at present. I make it a rule to not get too attached to the concept of the Red Wings drafting any particular prospect given that there's a 1-in-30 chance that the Wings will actually draft them, but the Wings are in a particularly unique position this spring.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will hold a special equipment and memorabilia sale at Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (1845 E. Big Beaver Rd.) on Saturday, May 31, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase game-worn jerseys from the team’s recently-completed 2013-14 campaign. The jerseys were also worn during Nick Lidstrom Retirement Night and come with a commemorative “No. 5” Nick Lidstrom patch. In addition, various game-worn jerseys from previous seasons will be available at a discounted price. This one-day-only sale includes game-used hockey equipment such as sticks, skates, gloves and helmet visors. Autographed items, including pucks, photos, skates and sticks, will also be available for fans to add to their collections. Quantities are limited for all of these one-of-a-kind items.
Red Wings season ticket holders will have one hour of exclusive access to the equipment and memorabilia sale on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The sale will then open to the general public from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and will be run on a first-come, first-served basis. Those fans who cannot attend Saturday’s sale can still make a purchase by calling Hockeytown Authentics at 248-680-0965. Phone orders will be taken starting at 1:00 p.m.
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel,
The Panthers are talking to 5-to-7 coaching candidates, including former Rangers coach Tom Renney, according to a source close to the team.
Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon is back from Belarus where he watched and scouted the IIHF World Championship won by Russia last week. The coaching search will intensify in the coming weeks with a coach expected in place before the NHL Entry Draft on June 27 in Philadelphia where the Panthers have the No. 1 pick.
Renney certainly has the experience that Tallon has made clear is a priority, especially after his last three coaches, including Horachek, Kevin Dineen and Pete DeBoer, were all first-timers. Renney, 59, has coached parts of nine seasons in the NHL with stops in Vancouver, New York and Edmonton where he compiled a 590-260-255-9 record with 68 overtime losses.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
The Detroit Red Wings were bounced from the playoffs in the first round by the Boston Bruins, but they have also made the postseason every year since 1990.
Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Wings team that has been rejuvenated with youth, but has a small window of time to capitalize on the talent of team leaders Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
The Wings have a bit of an interesting mix, with aging vets combined with young players who were thrust into bigger roles when those older players got hurt last year.
While the Wings can be, at times, too patient with their prospects, those that were called upon last year -- including Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco, among others -- were ready to play and contribute and that does provide reason for optimism going forward.
"I think there's this perception that July 1 free agents, there's this hockey store, there's this fantasy hockey league that I'm running, playing in, and that we can go get superstars," GM Ken Holland told Detroit's CBS Affiliate. "Those days are over. That was a bit of the league prior to 2005. Those days are over. This is a league now where you've got to draft, you've got to develop, we've got to make people better."
Beware, an auto-play highlight clip lurks within!
I'm running on fumes after covering a full month's worth of post-playoff-elimination hockey, but I was looking around yesterday afternoon wondering, "Okay, what comes next for the Red Wings?" when I found an article in which the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran discussed the Toronto Maple Leafs' strategy for the NHL's draft combine.
Now that the Memorial Cup and World Championship have concluded, the Red Wings and every other team's front office is spending this week in Toronto, watching fitness testing (cue the barf bucket footage, soon!) and interviewing at least a ten of over 100 potential draftees at what's become an annual pre-draft event. NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale sets the stage for the combine...
I've been covering 2-to-5 hockey games every day for the past five weeks, so I'm supposed to be resting, but enough Wings-related news has popped up that I'd feel guilty, and wouldn't rest very well, if I didn't put up some sort of digest-style entry summarizing the news I've found.
I didn't post all that much from the Guelph Storm's 6-3 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings in Sunday's Memorial Cup Final, but if you're interested in highlights, the Edmonton Oilers website's superb recap posted a non-geo-blocked highlight clip...
The NHL Play of the Year Showdown resumes today with an incredible goal and an incredible save. The latest quarterfinal match-up features Detroit Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist taking on Colorado Avalanche netminder Reto Berra.
Nyquist breaks in one-on-one against Matt Carle and the Lightning defender appears initially to do enough to prevent a goal, drawing a penalty in the process. However, Nyquist shakes Carle's grip and pounces on the puck he just lost. From behind the goal line, he still has the presence of mind to corral the puck and toss it under a recovering Ben Bishop.
Berra, meanwhile, easily gets top marks for distance.
Ansar Khan of Mlive answered some questions regarding the Wings' prospects...
Q. How likely is Anthony Mantha to see NHL games next season? What is Andreas Athanasiou's ceiling? Are we more likely to see more of Ryan Sproul or Alexei Marchenko as an NHL defenseman next year? Is Brian Lashoff destined to be a journeyman? Could Petr Mrazek replace Jimmy (Howard) as a starter in the near future? What do you think Calle Jarnkrok's ceiling will be after his solid half-season in Nashville?
A. The Mantha question comes up a lot, not surprisingly. I think he'll spend most or all of next season in Grand Rapids, getting accustomed to playing against professionals. How he fares there will determine when he is called up. I think he'll end up playing some games with the Red Wings.
Athanasiou is a promising prospect with a good combination of speed, skill and size. By many accounts, he has a high ceiling.
More of Sproul or Marchenko? It depends on who's playing better in Grand Rapids and what type of defenseman the Red Wings need when it's time for a recall. Marchenko was higher than Sproul in the pecking order before his season-ending ankle injury in late February. I think that's because he's further along defensively (General manager Ken Holland likened him to Brad Stuart). But I'm sure many fans would like to see what Sproul could do at the point on the second power-play unit with his booming right-handed shot.
Xavier Ouellet appears to be the next defenseman ready to make the jump from the AHL on a permanent basis. I expect that to happen next season....
Q. What are the chances that they only look within for their defensive needs and promote (Sproul) to the big club? Otherwise, I am afraid that they will spend excessive amounts of cap space on a free agent.
A. They'll look outside first, either free agency or a trade, for a right-handed shooting defenseman. Not sure of your definition of "excessive amounts of money," but I don't think they'll go there. I don't think they'll get into a bidding war for Matt Niskanen, who'll command the biggest contract among UFA defensemen. A lower-cost, shorter-term option like Dan Boyle is more realistic. Sproul, I believe, will spend another season in Grand Rapids.
The way the announcers and press played up the rest-vs-exhaustion theme prior to the Edmonton Oil Kings' Memorial Cup-clinching 6-3 win over Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm, you'd think that the Oil Kings would have no chance given that they defeated Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs via a 3-OT decision on Friday, while the Storm, who won three five-game series while capturing their OHL Championship, hadn't played since this past Tuesday...
But the reality of the situation regarding the Memorial Cup is that it's a single-game elimination situation, and Henrik Samuelsson (2 goals and 3 assists) and the Oil Kings out-skated, out-worked, out-hustled and ground down a Guelph Storm team whose coach, Scott Walker, seemed to believe that the best way to utilize his team's leading tournament goal-scorer in Tyler Bertuzzi was to demote Bertuzzi and his linemates to very, very limited action as a 4th line.
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.