The Malik Report
John Kreiser of NHL.com lists one player from each Eastern Conference team in a column titled "Who's On The Hot Seat In The Eastern Conference".
The player from the Wings...
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings -- Detroit's four Stanley Cups from 1997-2008 were won without relying on a goaltender to stand on his head; the Red Wings' puck-possession game and deep roster were the keys to victory. But times have changed, and management has made a major financial commitment to Howard, who's the unquestioned starter and key to Detroit's success. He was among the NHL's best last season with a 2.13 goals-against average and a save percentage of .923, then helped Detroit upset the Anaheim Ducks and nearly do the same to the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs. He has to play to that level again for the Red Wings to get back to the postseason.
read on for the other players plus a link to the same type of article for Western Conference teams...
The Red Wings will depart for Traverse City this morning--with half of the NHL roster taking part in a community outreach tour throughout the State of Michigan, and the rest either busing or flying up--and the team will take its physicals (and deal with their "mugshots") and participate in a charity golf tournament on Wednesday, with the main camp opening up on Thursday.
At the present moment, the state of Darren Helm's back and groin and Daniel Cleary's departure for Philadelphia may be joined by tit-for-tat retorts when the Senators open up camp and open wounds flow, will likely be joined by discussions as to what the Wings can do to improve upon their OT-away-from-the-Western Conference-final status, the looming slate of Winter Classic, Olympic and Eastern Conference-acclimating storylines, and of course discussions about the Wings' new additions and roster/cap crunch...
But the Wings' prospect tournament team did something very special on Tuesday night: they captured the first championship they've ever won at a tournament the Red Wings established in 1998, and they did so while icing a team whose roster included all of 3 AHL "veterans," a bunch of turning-pro prospects and a significant number of first-year players taking prominent roles on a team that delivered a 4-and-0 record against stacked Stars, Blues and Sabres teams.
Updated 6x at 1:25 AM: Well now we know: Daniel Cleary will be a Philadelphia Flyer:
Update: Wonderful teammate, great leader, defnition of self-sacrifice, but his contract may out-live his knees. The Wings were offering 2 years at $2.5 million, presumably with the NTC, and yet we hear this...
This has become quite the soap opera...
Updated with audio at 12:04 AM: WIth none other than Gordie Howe in attendance, the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on the strength of 2 goals and an assist by Anthony Mantha, a pair of assists from Xavier Ouellet, a snipe from Zach Nastasiuk, an empty-netter from Tomas Jurco and a superb performance from Jared Coreau, who stopped 23 of 25 shots against.
The Wings had never won the prospect tournament, and lost in the final in 2010, but this time around, an incredibly strong team of players led by Jurco, Riley Sheahan, Max Nicastro and a single-minded coach in Jeff Blashill played like interchangeable parts all committed to the same cause, and it was just awesome to see the guys win--and go 4-and-0 in the process.
It's been an incredibly busy day around the NHL ahead of the opening of training camps, and the Red Wings were no exception. Regarding the statuses of Darren Helm's sore groin and Daniel Cleary's daliances with signing with Philadelphia, MLive's Ansar Khan posited a pair of Twitter updates...
And the Free Press's Helene St. James, who suggested that Mike Babcock wants Cleary back, reiterated Khan's point of emphasis:
Tocchet added the word 'idiot' in the next tweet.
Added at 5:15 PM via RedWingsFeed:
The Red Wings' prospects engaged in a light-hearted morning skate before tonight's prospect tournament championship game against the Buffalo Sabres (taking place at 7:30 PM at Centre Ice Arena), but the "optional" skate was anything but--18 of the 24 players on the roster took part in a practice ran by Jim Paek, Spiros Anastas, Jim Bedard and Chris Chelios (no Jurco, Athanasiou, Nedomlel, Tvrdon, Jarnkrok or Frk, but I can assure you that those I spotted in the hallway looked healthy and hale)-and tonight's starter, Jared Coreau, got in a solid amount of work.
I'll posit some short observations when I get back to the "home office," but for now, here are a pair of interviews for your listening pleasure:
Grand Rapids Griffins Sign Kevin Lynch
Kevin Lynch was drafted in the second round of the 2009 Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets and went on to play four years at the University of Michigan.
Before heading to Michigan, Kevin played for the USNTDP Under 18 Team and the U.S. National Under 18 Team. With those teams he showed the ability with the puck as a playmaker and goalscorer.
Kevin and the Blue Jackets were not able to work out a deal and Kevin became a free agent. He was not a free agent for long though, as the Grand Rapids Griffins came calling and signed him to a contract.
He will be the second Michigan captain (alternate) on the Griffins and will join his old Michigan teammate, Luke Glendening.
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose engaged in a long conversation with retired Wing Nicklas Lidstrom, and penned a fantastic article in which Lidstrom discusses his participation in the Winter Classic's preceding alumni games...
“I will be part of that game,” Lidstrom said early last month in a phone interview from his home in Sweden. “I’m really looking forward to the Winter Classic and being a part of something like that again, and to play with some of my former teammates when I played back in 90s and early 2000s. It’ll be exciting. I’m looking forward to the big game too when the Wings and the Leafs lace them up. I’m excited for the opportunity to play again.”
His number retirement ceremony on March 6th at the Joe (when the Wings host the Avs)...
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.