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Dennis Cholowski on being drafted by the Wings: ‘The hard work is not over, it is just starting’

From the Langley Times' Gary Ahuja:

Just because Dennis Cholowski has been drafted — by one of the premier National Hockey League franchises no less — does not mean he will rest on his laurels.

The Detroit Red Wings selected the 18-year-old from Langley in the first round, 20th overall, during the NHL entry draft on Friday at Buffalo’s First Niagara Centre.

“It is very exciting thing to get drafted in the first round but what it really means is the hard work starts now,” Cholowski said on Monday, the day after returning from Buffalo. “I have to get in the gym and get bigger and stronger and continually working on my game and be better on the ice. The hard work is not over, it is just starting.”

...

At the NHL Combine earlier this month, 29 of the 30 NHL clubs — all except Pittsburgh — spoke to Cholowski.

But he had no idea who might draft him — or when — but he said [coach Jason] Tatarnic suspected the Wings were interested. And after they acquired the 20th pick, the Chiefs coach came and sat beside Cholowski and his family.

“That kind of gave me suspicion and sure enough, it turns out to be them,” Cholowski said.“It was a blur. Just so exciting for me and my family. Jumping around and screaming. It was a surreal experience for sure.”

Continued

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On Ozzie and Rogie

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa penned a lengthy article discussing the Hall of Fame credentials of one Chris Osgood...

For a third year, the selection committee for the Hockey Hall of Fame passed over Chris Osgood.

It is only a matter of time.

Osgood’s career, measured by statistics, places him firmly within the pack of every goalie inducted since 2000.

There is a troublesome lack of buzz about him in the media this time of year, including the prognostications of inductees that crop up annually in late June. So many of them list goaltender like Miikka Kiprusoff, Nikolai Khabibulin and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, whose careers fall short of Osgood’s.

Curtis Joseph is more in the neighborhood, and he gets a lot more mentions in the media.

As for what the 19-member selection committee of the Hockey Hall of Fame discussed, whether they mentioned Osgood this year or last year, how they evaluate him, how many votes he got and what might be holding him back, we are unlikely ever to know.

And as Krupa continues, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose spoke with a short-time Red Wing who spent a long time waiting for a call from the Hall in Rogie Vachon:

Rogie Vachon – who played two of his 16 NHL seasons in Detroit – got the call that eluded him for more than three decades.

Vachon, along with former players Eric Lindros and Sergei Makarov, and the family Pat Quinn, the late coach and general manager, received the good news from hall chairman Lanny McDonald, who called each inductee Monday afternoon.

“I sort of resigned myself that I don’t think it’s gonna happen after all those years,” said Vachon, who posted a 30-57-19 record with the Red Wings from 1978-80. “When Lanny called I was at home with my son Nicholas and I was in total surprise because I didn’t even know that I was going to be on the list. But you know, looking back, it was really worth the wait.”

The new inductees will be enshrined during a ceremony at the hall in Toronto on Nov. 14.

Roose also continues...

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Aaron Ward: Datsyuk to sign with SKA St. Petersburg this week

From Aaron Ward:

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Evening news: On kicking UFA tires, the anti-Stamkos sentiment, Miller and draft talk

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings' front office is taking advantage of the free agent interview period to "wine and dine" unrestricted free agents-to-be:

"Talked to lots of players today letting them know we have interest,” [Red Wings GM Ken] Holland told the Free Press. “I'll double back with the agents later in the week and see what the player or agent is thinking.”

As of this afternoon, there were no plans to bring a player to Detroit, partly because it isn't really realistic. The window to interview players ahead of Friday's noon start of free agency opened this past Saturday, but that was taken up by the draft. Lots of players have interest from lots of teams, so talking over the phone makes the most sense.

The Wings have prime interest in 26-year-old, 312-goal scorer Steven Stamkos, who so far has rebuffed offers to stay in Tampa Bay. Other big-name forwards are Milan Lucic, Loui Eriksson Andrew Ladd and Troy Brouwer. The Wings badly need scoring help. They have about $19 million in spending power.

“We're going to sign some players,” Holland said. “We're looking at higher profile ones, but also looking to see if somebody lesser can have impact. That's part of the cap - they can't all be about big money.”

St. James continues, and notes the following:

Continue Reading »

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Helm off to market?

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose slid this tidbit about Darren Helm into an article discussing Drew Miller's re-signing:

The Red Wings have three other players who can become unrestricted free agents this week. Defenseman Kyle Quincey and center Brad Richards will not be brought back to Detroit. However, Darren Helm has been offered a contract, but the speedy forward has chosen to hit the open market when the bell rings Friday.

Detroit must also re-sign their restricted players, beginning with goalie Petr Mrazek. Forward Teemu Pulkkinen and defenseman Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko are also signing priorities this summer.

“The organization top to bottom is great,” Miller said. “I think we’ve got some good young kids who I know are gonna be aggressive here. With free agency I think the team they’re gonna put together, as they do every year, is gonna be fighting for a chance at the Cup. I want to be a part of that and I think I’ve made my role here and it’s one that I play and take pride in. I just want to get better at it every year.”

Roose continues at length...

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Not Ozzie’s year, again…

Updated 2x at 8:21 PM: Congrats to all the inductees...

I guess we wait another year or three for Chris Osgood to get his due. So it is.

Update: As the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan notes, Osgood may be a borderline case, but there's a case to be made:

Continue Reading »

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I took part in a podcast for Winged Octopus

I took part in a podcast at WingedOctopus.com yesterday, and as you might expect, blabby George went over the half-hour limit by two times as we discussed free agency, the draft and prospects:

I do make reference to the donation page but am at goal for the summer camp, so I'm raising funds for the fall. I promise not to annoy you with the Paypal button for a month or so.

Many thanks to the gang at Winged Octopus for having me!

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On Stamkos sales pitches

As TSN's Frank Seravalli and MLive's Brendan Savage survey the rumor mill, CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfeld wonders what exactly the Red Wings will have to offer Steven Stamkos to successfully court this year's marquee unrestricted free agent. I've always assumed that the Wings will offer less than a cap-max deal, offering something in the range of $8-10 million to entice Stamkos to be the centerpiece of a more thorough rebuild, but Burtchfield wonders if the Wings will have to offer more to sweeten the package:

Let’s be honest: the dollar signs reign supreme here. According to numerous reports, the Lighting have offered Stamkos a seven- to eight-year deal, worth somewhere from $8 to $8.5 million per season. He will undoubtedly command more on the open market – and we’ll get to that number in a moment – and thus the question is whether that gap in potential earnings is enough to draw Stamkos away from an ideal competitive situation. What’s the Stanley Cup – or the chance to win one, anyway – worth in his eyes?

That’s a question only he can answer, and his decision will spell out his guiding desires as a professional athlete. It will also speak to Stamkos’ level of self-belief, the strength of his conviction, one way or another, that he is capable of pushing a lesser team into serious Cup contention. The Wings, in that sense, are an interesting contrast to Buffalo and Toronto. They’ll likely be the most competitive of the three in the immediate future, but it’s hard to project where this team will be four or five years from now. The Sabres and Leafs, on the other hand, seem well-situated for continued success as their young players come of age. And though Stamkos certainly doesn’t want to waste a precious season or two of his prime, he’s not exactly motivated by a sense of professional mortality.

I don't think that the Wings are going to offer Stamkos a $12 million contract, but their sales pitch is at least a relatively strong one (including from the geographical advantages of being "close to home without having to deal with the Toronto media maelstrom on a direct basis):

Continue Reading »

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Bob Probert Ride ‘a wonderful way to celebrate Bob’

The Windsor Star's Doug Schmidt reports that the sixth annual Bob Probert Ride to benefit Windsor's Hotel Dieu-Grace Hospital was a roaring (literally) success:

Led by [Ryan] VandenBussche and assorted others of Probert’s NHL fraternity, a record 1,200 motorcycles roared out of the chrome-packed Thunder Road Harley Davidson parking lot and through Windsor and Essex County on a warm and sunny Sunday.

“It’s awesome seeing our hockey family together — what a wonderful day to celebrate Bob,” said the local hockey legend’s widow, Dani Probert. “Icing on the cake,” she added, was how, after six annual rides, more than $600,000 has been raised for local heart health and rehabilitation services and facilities.

“It’s a real cool thing that happens here,” Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare president and CEO Janice Kaffer said before strapping on a helmet to join the ride as a passenger. “Once the acute care hospital does its incredibly important job, people have to get back to their lives,” she said.

The Probert family’s efforts helped fund a full expansion of the Hotel-Dieu’s cardiac wellness centre “with no government funding,” said Kaffer.

Continued, and you can read a bit more about the ride from CKLW...

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Givani Smith’s a very happy Red Wing

From Guelph Today's Tony Saxon:

[Givani] Smith had plenty of support at the draft, with a large contingent of family and friends sitting with him in the stands when the Red Wings announced his name.

“I had a pretty good feeling I was going to get taken in the second round, but I was still pretty surprised to be taken that early in the second,” said Smith, who was expected to go anywhere from the mid-second round to late in the third round.

Smith had 24 goals and 19 assists last season, along with 146 penalty minutes.

“I knew Detroit was pretty interested and the interview during the (NHL) combine went pretty well. I knew they were one of the teams that had a lot of interest with me. You can tell by the interviews and the questions they ask you.”

Smith was interviewed by 23 teams at the combine.

“It felt really nice. We went Friday and sat there for four hours, watching all the guys get picked. I thought ‘wow, I want to hear my name called now.’ But I went pretty early on the Saturday.”

Continued

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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.

 

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