The Malik Report
Updated at 3:17 PM: The Red Wings practiced on Monday ahead of Tuesday's tilt against Washington (7:30 PM on FSD/CSN Washington/TVA Sports/97.1 FM; Mrazek starts), and while Pavel Datsyuk isn't returning tomorrow, he skated on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin. The beat writers also told us that Brad Richards and Landon Ferraro didn't skate with the team, nor did Brendan Smith, who was feeling ill.
MLive's Ansar Khan filed a practice report...
[W]hen [Datsyuk] does ]return], coach Jeff Blashill indicated that Datsyuk likely will be paired with Henrik Zetterberg, at least initially. The other winger on that line hasn't been determined. Dylan Larkin skated with Datsyuk and Zetterberg during Monday's practice, as slumping Justin Abdelkader was moved to the third line.
"We haven't done anything yet for tomorrow; that was for practice today," Blashill said. He added, "At some point when (Datsyuk) gets back, my plan is to play him with Zetterberg, at least to start. Those plans can change. That's our thought right now. We wanted to get him on a line with just three guys by themselves. Who plays with them, we'll see."
From the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
MLive's Ansar Khan...
LeBrun speaks with Fedorov regarding the Russian 5, roadblocks to current Russian immigration to NHL
From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee anecdote blog:
Inductee Sergei Fedorov is proud of his role in the fab Russian Five in which legendary coach Scotty Bowman made him part of along with defensemen Vyacheslav Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov and forwards Igor Larionov and Slava Kozlov in the mid- to late-1990s in Detroit.
"It’s hard even now to analyze how much we did that kind of a job and influence and impact the whole NHL and the hockey world," Fedorov said of the Russian Five. "What we did is enjoy each other’s company on the ice, went through a lot of ups and downs, played together as a group. We learned that style of hockey from Soviet Union and Russia under great coaches too; and we were able to put that together for North American fans. Thank you, Scotty Bowman. He gave us the opportunity and the chance to play together."
Among ESPN's Craig Custance's 10 takeaways from this weekend and Monday, in an Insider-only entry: Custance didn't know that Nicklas Lidstrom nearly left the Red Wings in the summer of 1999 to have his oldest son Kevin go to school in Sweden. Lidstrom told Custance that it really nearly happened:
“Our oldest son was about to start school,” Lidstrom said. “My wife and I talked about what we wanted to do. That was the only time [leaving Detroit] came into play. Besides that, I never tested free agency. Never felt like I wanted to play anywhere else [in the NHL] than Detroit. That never came up in decisions.”
So had he left, he would have missed out on two Stanley Cups in Detroit?
“Yup,” he said.
“I do recall that,” said Lidstrom’s agent Don Meehan. “ I can remember having a discussion with Nick and Annika about being with their children and their education in Sweden and North America. I remember talking about it. It was a consideration from their end what they were going to do.”
Had he left, the Red Wings might not win those championships and every single one of Lidstrom’s Norris Trophies came after that decision to stay. So that’s seven Norris Trophies off his record and up for grabs among the other great defensemen of his era. Crazy.
Continued, with talk of the New York Rangers' unsuccessful attempts to trade for Lidstrom, and the joke at the time--I'm pretty sure it was the summer of 1999--was that Mike Ilitch could bring a Swedish school to Detroit.
Instead, Metro Detroit landed an IKEA.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
NASTASIUK AND NEDOMLEL REASSIGNED TO GRIFFINS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned right wing Zach Nastasiuk and defenseman Richard Nedomlel from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Nastasiuk, 20, made his ECHL debut with the Walleye on Oct. 30 and has recorded one goal and one assist in five games with the team. Detroit’s second choice (48th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Nastasiuk has also appeared in one game with Grand Rapids this season. The Barrie, Ontario, native has played in a total of 12 regular season games for the Griffins since 2013-14, also tacking on one assist in 11 games between the 2014 and 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Updated with a Kris Draper interview at 1:42 PM: Of very interesting Hockey Hall of Fame note this afternoon:
Kirk Maltby spoke with The Fan 590's Jeff Blair Show regarding Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom this morning (and there's a Kris Draper Fan 590 interview coming)
Updated 3x at 1:27 PM: Datsyuk won't play on Tuesday, Mrazek will start, Smith was "sick" today.
#redwings goalies Howard and Mrazek working with goalie coach Jim Bedard on the ice prior to practice.
Smith not practicing. Will find out after practice if he's hurt. Ferraro (knee) and Richards (back) not on ice.
As expected, Athanasiou still here and Ericsson skating.
The Free Press's George Sipple asked Red Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin about the reported player revolt on the OHL's Flint Firebirds as it applies to Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi:
Saarijarvi is averaging a point a game for the the Firebirds -- three goals and 14 assists in 17 games. Nilson has no points in five games.
"I don't know anything about it," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin told the Free Press this morning. "I was traveling and didn't get home last night until a little bit after 11. I contacted Vili's agent."
Martin called back a few minutes later and said that the agent hadn't yet spoken to Saarijarvi.
Martin said he never has heard of an entire team walking out after a coach was fired.
Is he concerned about how this will affect Saarijarvi?
"Well, not right now, because it's 8:15 on a Monday morning, and it just happened last night," Martin said. "I'd like to gather some information and see what's going on. At the end of the day, I'm sure the commissioner of the (Ontario Hockey League) will be involved today, working with the owners of that team, trying to come to some type of agreement with the players."
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. Sportsnet posted a video highlighting Nicklas Lidstrom's career...
2. And MLive's Brendan Savage provided more quotes from the NHL's Legends Classic:
This is just crazy enough to be believable. According to ESPN's John Buccigross, the OHL's Flint Firebirds' owner chose to fire his entire coaching staff, after which the players "quit" on the team.
Flint's ABC 12's Ryan Slocum is corroborating the story, it's being reported by Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager, TSN, Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray and OHL Insiders, and now Sportsnet's Jeff Marek, Yahoo Sports' Sunaya Sapurji and Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples:
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