The Malik Report
Updated 4x at 4:48 PM: The Red Wings officially announced the hiring of new assistant coach Tony Granato just before noon today, and We All Bleed Redd on YouTube noted that the Wings' assistant coach and head coach introduced themselves some time ago, when Granato was an assistant coach in Colorado:
Granato coached the Avs for two seasons, he's served as an assistant to Dan Bylsma in both Pittsburgh and on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, and Granato addressed his status as a one-time Wings and Babcock rival in a conversation with the Free Press's Helene St. James.
Friends? Granato tells St. James that they are now:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have hired Tony Granato as an assistant coach.
Granato, 49, has served as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins for the past five seasons (2009-14), guiding the team’s defense (2.49 goals against per game, 10th) and penalty killing (85.0 percent, fifth) to top-10 finishes in the NHL during the 2013-14 campaign. Granato also served on Dan Bylsma’s Team USA coaching staff at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Prior to his time in Pittsburgh, Granato had two stints as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche (2002-04, 2008-09), compiling a 104-78-17-16 regular-season record over 215 games as a head coach, with two postseason appearances and one Northwest Division title. He also served as an assistant coach for the Avalanche for parts of four seasons (2002-03, 2005-08).
Red Wings morning news: Babcock discusses past/future assistant coaches, prospect talk & Brownov III
Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made an eyebrow-raising comment to the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan regarding his contract status and his desire to either wrap up an extension prior to the regular season or to wait until the conclusion of the 2014-2015 campaign to talk contract turkey:
"By that time (regular season), it’s hockey,” Babcock said. “It’s about the team. It’s not about Mike Babcock.”
Babcock doesn’t expect any extension until general manager Ken Holland, who also has one year left on his deal, works out his own contract.
“I’m not concerned,” Babcock said. “I’ve always been of the belief that if you do your job, do your job well, people want you.”
And Babcock shared a very positive assessment of the departing assistant coaches in Tom Renney (who will be named Hockey Canada's president today) and Bill Peters (who's heading to Carolina to coach the Hurricanes)...
From the Toledo Free Press:
Tickets for the Toledo Walleye Winterfest will go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 18.
More than 10,000 tickets have already been sold to season ticket-holders for the 10-day outdoor hockey fest to be held at a rink built inside Fifth Third Field will be held Dec. 26-Jan. 4. Two Walleye games will be among the featured events.
On July 18, 500 game packages will be made available. For $85, a package includes:
- A game ticket to both Toledo Walleye games (versus the Kalamazoo Wings on Dec. 27 and versus the Fort Wayne Komets on Jan. 3)
- Game ticket to Adrian College versus the U.S. National U-18 Team on Dec. 31
- Ticket to two-day community-wide Fanfest event at the Huntington Center
- Open Skate Pass
Also available July 18 will be 1,000 lower-level, limited-view seats for $25. These tickets put fans closest to the ice and all the action, but limit some views of the puck during play, although the action will be visible on two videoboards in the ballpark, according to a news release.
The Walleye's website has more info...
Red Wings evening news: weighing in on the coaching shuffle, a Griffins re-signing and prospect talk
Upated 3x at 11:45 PM: I was out this afternoon, so I managed to post this afternoon's coaching news but not follow up on it. As such:
1. I liked Tom Renney, despite his inability to turn the power play around (it's been iffy since Todd McLellan left in 2008), and despite the Wings' offseason moves, I got the sense that Renney's experience coaching the youthful Oilers helped Babcock come around to giving "the kids" a fair shot--and he seemed to play a very strong "good cop" to Babcock's "aggressive cop," too. I hope that Renney does well with Hockey Canada.
2. I like the Tony Granato hiring (though it's not official), too, because it essentially forces Babcock to go out of his way to find a "players' coach" to replace Renney. The equally-aggressive Granato has head coaching experience in Colorado and assistant coaching experience with both Colorado and Pittsburgh, and while the team has a "meh" track record in terms of bringing back alumni, the team's player personnel has always seemed to find missing ingredients by assimilating "enemy" players or coaches. Might as well bring some of that Pittsburgh puck possession know-how into the fold.
Babcock told the Free Press's Helene St. James (who reports that the Wings are securing Granato's release from Pittsburgh) and MLive's Brendan Savage that he's happy with the hiring, and Savage pointed out that Babcock and Granato have butted heads before (video via Savage):
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock wants an extension done by fall, or else he'll wait for spring. Winter is not a time to talk — which makes sense.
Babcock has been busy looking for assistants — he just got word that Tony Granato will be joining him with the Wings. There has been less work done regarding Babcock's own future in Detroit, as he enters the last year of his contract.
The 2014-15 season will be Babcock's 10th season behind the bench in Detroit. Such anniversaries usually are a cause to give something made of tin. Or in pro sports, a raise.
Babcock reiterated today that he doesn't anticipate talking about his own future, so long as general manager Ken Holland also is in the last year of his contract. (Holland, however, has one year plus an option year that, thought a club option, can become vested depending on what happens this season.)
Babcock also made one thing clear: "We get it done by fall, or I won't bother. I'm not doing it during the season."
Hockey Fest offers family action and chance to help beat Autism
Fans can meet Detroit Red Wings Alumni, play interactive games and enter to win prizes at Michigan Avenue Canton Kroger store, Saturday, July 19
NOVI, Michigan – Kids and adults can experience the thrills of a fast-paced hockey game and help support autism research and local treatment programs during the sixth annual Hockey Fest scheduled for Saturday, July 19 at the Canton Kroger store parking lot. The event, sponsored by Kroger, WNIC 100.3 FM, and WDIV/Local 4 ClickOnDetroit, kicks off at 11 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m.
Detroit Red Wings’ own Ted Lindsay will sign autographs between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., with other Red Wings alumni attending. Event proceeds from food, memorabilia and raffle will benefit The Ted Lindsay Foundation. Jay Towers from WNIC’s Jay Towers in the Morning will greet guests and sell raffle tickets from 1-3 p.m.
Admission to Hockey Fest is free, with the event featuring the following:
Updated 3x at 5:27 PM: Well this escalated quickly. First, TSN's Darren Dreger reported that Tom Renney's officially leaving the Red Wings to become Hockey Canada's president, and now he's reporting that former Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato will join the Wings as one of Mike Babcock's assistants:
The Pittsburgh Penguins had a handy-dandy bio of Granato up prior to his firing, and he possesses a very solid resume:
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and MLive's Ansar Khan reported that the Red Wings expect to lose associate coach Tom Renney's services to Hockey Canada, and TSN's Darren Dreger reports that Hockey Canada will officially announce that Renney will president Bob Nicholson in short order:
Update: Make it Tuesday...
Update #2: In text form:
For the first time in five days, this afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related stories kicks off with something not involving the Wings' free agency signings or performance.
WWJ posted an interview with White Construction founder W. Bernard White, and W. Bernard offered a peek behind the curtain--if only a quick peek--regarding the follow-on rink's construction:
“We worked on Comerica Park, we worked on Ford Field and now we are slated to work on the hockey arena,” White said. “We’ve achieved the hat trick.”
White’s company is even lined up to build the 20 stations planned for the M-1 rail project in Detroit.
“The shovel is not in the dirt, but it will definitely be going in the dirt. That’s going to be one of the nicest hockey arenas, if not the nicest arena in the United States in my opinion,” White said. “I’m so excited to be working on that.”
We return to the inevitable, however, as CBS Sports' Brian Stubits reviewed the "offseasons" of Atlantic Division teams. Stubits points out that even after the free agency strikeout, the Wings' front office has some loose ends to tie up:
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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.