The Malik Report
via the Florida Everblades,
Florida Everblades president and general manager Craig Brush, along with head coach Greg Poss, announced Thursday that the team has come to contract terms with long-time NHL defenseman and former Olympian Brian Rafalski.
Rafalski, 40, notched 515 points in 11 NHL seasons, split between the New Jersey Devils and the Detroit Red Wings.
The Dearborn, Mich., native won three Stanley Cups: 2000 and 2003 with the Devils and 2008 with the Red Wings. He was also on the blue line for Team USA at the last three Winter Olympic Games, taking the Silver Medal in 2002 and 2010.
“I’m just excited to get back on the ice again and see where God takes me on this journey,” added Rafalski, who had retired from professional hockey following the Red Wings’ exit from the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Thanks to a Josh Rimmer tweet for the heads-up
added 7:10pm, via the Detroit Free Press,
“He played in the Winter Classic alumni game and got the bug,” Everblades coach Greg Poss said. “He wants to play in the NHL again.”
from Ansar Khan,
Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen has skated with his teammates the past two days but said he is having difficulty “processing the information that goes on” around him on the ice.
“Just everything; being out with 20 guys and the coach explaining stuff and the sound of pucks hitting sticks, it was just a big blur,” Franzen said Thursday after the morning skate the SAP Center.
That doesn’t sound encouraging, but Franzen said he is making progress, he’s headache-free and that didn’t rule out playing this weekend.
continued including updates on Helm and Datsyuk...
San Jose head coach Todd McLellan gives an update on his team, then talks Wings...
The Wings have hit the ice for their skate before tonight's game...
Wings morning skate at SAP Center. Datsyuk is skating, even though Babcock has ruled him out for tonight. Helm (possible) also skating.
More updates to come...
added 2:40pm, Khan again,
Helm not taking part in line rushes, so it looks like he won't be ready tonight but no official word yet.
added 2:42pm, Khan tweets,
Lines practicing with: Nyquist-Zetterberg-Alfredsson, Miller-Abdelkader-Bertuzzi, Tatar-Andersson-Samuelsson, Cleary-Glendening-Eaves.
added 3:02pm, Khan...
Babcock confirms Helm is not playing tonight. DeKeyser in for Marchenko. Who will stay with team for the trip.
Ansar Khan of Mlive with some Babcock talk after practice today...
“With all the injuries we have it didn’t hurt us to have a break,” Babcock said. “Now we got to get right back at it and continue to try to get traction.
“Obviously, we’re hoping to get people back but we had lots of good players last game (5-1 win at Dallas Saturday), in particular our goaltender (Jimmy Howard) was outstanding and allowed us to settle in and play. We’re going to need him tomorrow; the first 10 minutes is always survival in this building.”
The Red Wings (19-14-10, 48 points) are tied for fifth in points in the Eastern Conference; they in the first wild-card position.
“All you got to do is look at the standings; we have no separation,” Babcock said. “We have more separation from the teams ahead of us than the teams behind us.”
read on for injury and line status for tomorrow...
St. James tweets,
Beat writers report everyone on the ice for practice except Ericsson and Gustvavsson.
Franzen in the group that is skating and Babcock is there too.
This post will be updated as needed.
Waiting for news on Helm, DeKeyser and Datsyuk.
added 3:13pm, Khan tweets...
Based on the way they're skating it looks like they expect Helm to be ready Thursday but not Datsyuk. But that can change.
Wings skating with these lines: Nyquist-Zetterberg-Alfredsson, Abdelkader-Helm-Bertuzzi, Miller-Andersson-Tatar, Cleary-Glendening-Eaves.
Datsyuk, Franzen and Samuelsson substituting in.
added 3:21pm, more Khan...
On defense, Kronwall and Smith remain together. Looks like Lashoff, Kindl, Quincey, DeKeyser and Marchenko are all alternating.
added 3:26pm, again Khan,
Datsyuk not practicing power play. First unit has Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Eaves up front, Kronwall and Alfredsson at points.
Second power play unit has Cleary, Tatar and Nyquist up front, Kindl and DeKeyser at points.
from Sport Bladet (rough translation),
You changed the club after eighteen seasons in the summer and went from Ottawa to Detroit, and has now played half the regular season there. How do you think it went?
- There was some difficulty at first, but then it got better and better.And it was important to know that I played me to a place in this squad, I do not only with the old credentials and it feels, I've been in the competition and took a seat.
They (Sweden) talked a lot at the press conference that you may have a specific role, especially in the power play, and maybe not as much ice time as you are used to. How do you feel about that?
- We have not talked in great depth about it, but yes, I play a lot of powerplay with "Zata" and Kronwall here in Detroit, and it has gone well.What I then get the role and ice time in general ... it's a bit like that, I can assert myself in the competition and will do my best to get to play as much as possible. I do not go there and just pleased to be in place.
You have been in the Olympics both gone really well and when it became less successful and should know what it takes to achieve success?
- It is clearly to be at its best at the right times. We have to be on top in finals matches, then just. And I have high hopes of this team, we have many players who are both talented and have experience at the highest level .. Such as "Zata" and Kronwall comes in with superb leadership.
more (not translated)
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
“I’m good to go, so if (the coach) puts me back in there, I’ll be fine,” DeKeyser said.
Helm felt good after skating Tuesday.
“I’ll skate (Wednesday), I’ll push it a little harder, take the pregame skate (Thursday) and take it from there,” Helm said.
He was disappointed to miss the Winter Classic.
“I was planning on (playing) but after the practice (the day before) I kind of felt something,” Helm said. “It didn’t feel bad, it was just a little something, so I got off the ice quick. I thought I was going to be fine and the next morning I woke up it wasn’t good enough to play.
“I wanted to make sure I was smart about it. It was a tough one to take (missing the outdoor game). It was probably one of the harder (decisions), but it was probably a smart one.”
Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body injury) also practiced Tuesday, but his status is more questionable, he said.
One of the more solid teams to be announced within the last few days for the Olympics; Team Sweden has a mix of veteran leadership and youthful energy.
With six Detroit Red Wings named to the roster, including Henrik Zetterberg named as the Swedish captain it is fellow Red Wing Daniel Alfredsson at age 41 whom worked his way onto the team to and brings experience from four previous Olympic Tournaments.
Mlive's Ansar Khan takes a look at what the 41 year old Swede means to Sweden and what playing for Sweden means to him:
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