The Malik Report
As September begins and the Red Wings prepare for the prospect tournament (which begins on Thursday in Traverse City) and their main training camp (from Thursday, September 12th to Tuesday, September 17th), there's a fly in the ointment in terms of the Wings' status as over the cap by about $638,000 (per Capgeek) and over the 23-man roster limit by 2 players.
If the Wings were to somehow find a way to convince an NHL team to take even half of Mikael Samuelsson's $3 million salary onto their books, and to find a way to convince #37 to waive his no-trade clause, the team might not have to consider moving two of Cory Emmerton, Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo (listed from most-likely-to-move to least-likely-to-move) to get back under the $64.3-million upper limit and the 23-man roster limit by 5 PM on September 29th (the day after the exhibition season ends).
I shook off my "sleeper" antidepressant to watch Manchester United tangle with Liverpool this morning (think the Wings, circa 2003, versus Boston, circa 2010),so I figured that I may as well put some work in, and here are the results thereof.
Howard told St. James that he plans on doing his best to prove that he's a U.S. Olympic-caliber netminder over the course of the first three months of the 2013-2014 season, and Howard also told Savage that he's well aware of the fact that this early-starting and particularly long NHL season will provide non-Olympic challenges as well:
Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard's new mask mostly pays tribute to the City of Detroit, but WXYZ's Brad Galli duly noted that its backplate's American flag-themed background wouldn't be out of place atop a Team USA jersey.
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Howard about his uphill battle in terms of out-dueling Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller, Craig Anderson and Cory Schneider for one of three available spots on Team USA's 2014 Olympic roster (depending on the "expert," Howard's either expected to back up Quick, duke it out with Anderson for the #3 spot or not make the team at all).
Howard told St. James that he understands the first three-or-so months of the regular season will determine whether he'll book a ticket to sunny Sochi...
Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington has been doing an Eastern Conference preview over the summer. Today he takes a look at the Wings.
Our take: The Red Wings will trade in their bitter rivalries with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues for new ones with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. And that’s a good thing.
The Red Wings barely got into the playoffs last season, but they’ll tighten the Eastern Conference playoff race and that could be a bad thing for a handful of bubble teams. Detroit will miss the playmaking abilities of Valtteri Filppula, but they’ll get a boost of offense from second-line center Stephen Weiss and veteran winger Daniel Alfredsson, who is hoping to win his first Stanley Cup after 18 years without one in Ottawa.
Strong up front and average on the blue line, the Red Wings will rely heavily on U.S. Olympic team candidate Jimmy Howard between the pipes.
Overall, the Red Wings will benefit from playing most of their games in the Eastern time zone and would make for an interesting first-round playoff opponent in their new conference. But it won’t be easy getting there.
The Red Wings' prospect tournament starts next Thursday in Traverse City, preceding the main camp on September 12th, and even though the Wings' roster contains half the players that took part in the summer development camp, jamming eight teams' worth of rosters into one rink = as it turns out, the rental semitruck becomes the equipment room.
NHL.com kindly shared the top 50 player ratings for EA Sports’ upcoming NHL 14 title on Friday, so that naturally opens the door for outrage and excitement.
Obviously, the first few guys represent familiar faces, with Sidney Crosby and Pavel Datsyuk tied for the highest (active) player ratings at 95 each. Here’s a screenshot of each players ratings, so you can dispute someone’s speed or hand-eye coordination in the comments:
Here's Datsyuk (click to "embiggen"), listed 2nd behind Crosby...
Daniel Alfredsson made his first "official" (at least media-viewed) appearance at Joe Louis Arena on Friday, and after taking part in an informal skate with the Wings, he spoke with Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner about his acclimatization process...
“It felt good to finally come here and skate,” Alfredsson said. “It’s been a few months since I signed, and the only thing that has happened is moving the family. We arrived yesterday, and coming here, skating with the guys, almost makes it feel that it’s real now. I’m excited to be here, and I’m really looking forward to this challenge and what I can do for the team. Hopefully, I can have a good year.”
Updated 2x at 3:08 PM: Once again, the Red Wings' players took part in an informal skate at Joe Louis Arena this morning...
#11 appears to have shorn his locks, too:
Goalie mask-painting maestro Ray Bishop revealed Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard's 2013-2014 season goalie mask this morning, and Howard's lid has a very specifically Detroit-related theme:
So the Shelby Mustang's gone, and instead, the Spirit of Detroit's raising Detroit's skyline. Very, very cool stuff, especially given what the city's going through and the rest of his gallery's available on Facebook (and yes, I know that SI's Allan Muir posted the mask art at the same time, but I had the thing bookmarked after an inadvertent quick-look leak last night).
I spoke with former Michigan State University goaltender Jeff Lerg during the Red Wings' summer development camp, but between the workload and the nutso summer, the story got away from me. This is quite belated, but especially given that the Red Wings just released their prospect tournament roster with no goalie under Jake Paterson's 6'1" on their roster, and given that Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples recently reported that a similarly-diminutive goalie in U of M's Matt Hunwick just retired...
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.