The Malik Report
Tomorrow's games will help determine quarterfinal spots, and Team USA plays Slovakia at 5:15 AM EDT, Russia plays Sweden at 1:15 PM EDT and Finland battles Canada at 1:15 PM EDT.
Update: Here are the game highlights:
Ansar Khan answers some questions...
Q: Die-hard Wings fan but saw this coming two or three years ago. Was fooled by (Tomas) Tatar and Nyquist into thinking they could be the cogs of an ongoing Wings' Cup contention, but their true colors showed in the past playoff and finally in the regular season. One or both can go. Package one with (Jimmy) Howard. Calgary could be a good trade partner, maybe get (T.J.) Brodie or (Dougie) Hamilton. ... If Pav (Datsyuk) leaves as expected, what do you think of the prospect of Z also retiring?
A: Zetterberg isn't retiring this year. But I don't think he'll finish out his contract, which has five years remaining at a cap hit of $6.083 million. He'll be 36 on Oct. 9 and has a lot of hard miles on him and a history of back trouble, though he played all 82 games this past season.
I think he'll play two more years for sure (his salary is $7.5 million and $7 million). Might be retire before 2018-19, when his salary dips to $3.5 million? I'd be surprised if he plays the final two years, when he'll earn just $1 million per season.
Calgary might have interest in Howard, though there will be other options, through free agency (Cam Ward, James Reimer, Chad Johnson, Al Montoya, to name a few) and trade (Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi, Jaroslav Halak, others). But I can't imagine why in the world the Flames would consider dealing one of those defensemen in the package you proposed. Dennis Wideman would be a more realistic return.
Also, I wouldn't dismiss Tatar and Nyquist's ability to bounce back next season. Almost every Red Wing experienced a decline in production.
Q: Since the Flames don't have a goaltender signed for next year, what do you think the chances are of us being able to trade Howard to them for a good defenseman? Also, who would you think we would acquire from them; I know they have big names like Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, and Dougie Hamilton.
A: See above regarding unrealistic trade proposals involving the Calgary Flames.
more including Khan thinking Todd Richards will be joining the coaching staff in Detroit...
The Journal de Montreal's Francois Chaumont spoke with Pavel Datsyuk at the World Championship. Here's a rough translation of his interview, which doesn't necessarily venture into new territory, but most certainly reinforces the struggle Datsyuk faces in deciding whether to return home or play for the Red Wings for one more season:
Datsyuk's heart is in Russia
"I will speak with Ken Holland after the World Championship," he says.
Moscow: Pavel Datsyuk has probably played his last game for the Detroit Red Wings, but he's keeping the door open. In an interview with the Journal de Montreal, the 37-year-old refuses to describe his World Championship as a farewell tour in Russia, and he never uses the word "retirement" in his answers.
It's 10:45 in Moscow on a Saturday night. Minutes earlier, Russia defeated Switzerland 5-1. It was the first game for Alexander Ovechkin, the expected savior of the national team. Datsyuk, the captain, goes unnoticed.
Of Red Wings-related note this morning, in a real mishmash of an entry:
1. Looking toward the past, the Free Press's Lev Facher profiled the Red Wings Alumni Association, discussing the group's dedication to raising funds for charitable causes:
It doesn’t matter if they played together, or even if they knew each other during their professional careers. Red Wings alumni are a particularly organized bunch, and they’re happy to lend their time and talent to a good cause.
Sunday in Fraser was no exception, as roughly a dozen former Red Wings and professional hockey players came together to support the Ford division of the United Auto Workers Union in a charity game benefiting the American Cancer Society.
All it took, according to many of the alumni, was an e-mail from George Bowman, the Red Wings Alumni Association’s secretary. That’s the case for a majority of the group’s gatherings, in which many of the alumni — especially those who played for the team in the 1980s and 1990s — participate frequently.
“There’s a lot of great charities out there,” Ogrodnick said. “Unfortunately, you can’t help them all. But this is one way that a lot of the Red Wing alumni and/or NHL alumni try and give back. We play in these games, and they’re fun. We don’t play a lot, about 18 or 19 games a year. The guys have fun. It’s great, and they’re some good causes.”
2. Looking toward the future, also in the alumni vein, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Dylan St. Cyr, son of Manon Rheaume, and Cayden Primeau, son of Keith Primeau, as both players attended Warren Strelow's hockey camp in Windsor:
"Two Things" of Grand Rapids Griffins-related note:
1. The Griffins posted a 3:09 video in which defenseman Nathan Paetsch describes the anatomy of Saturday's 6-1 Griffins win...
2. And Fox Sports Ohio posted the ticket sale details regarding a potential Game 7 in Columbus on Wednesday. The game will apparently be broadcast in Cleveland and Columbus on Fox Sports Ohio:
But I noticed that #56 was absent from Finland's roster, and I'm not surprised. Pulkkinen has posted 2 assists in 5 games, with 10 shots on goal and a +2 over the course of those games, and he played around 6 minutes last game, earning fourth-line minutes.
Pavel Datsyuk lost a tooth in yesterday's win over Switzerland, and Sovetsky Sport's Dmitry Hristich reports that Datsyuk lost the same tooth that was knocked out by Victor Hedman a month ago. What follows is roughly translated:
Russia forward Pavel Datsyuk talked about his injury in the round robin game against Switzerland:
"I accidentally got a stick in the teeth. It's okay, no concussion. Grossman was a nice guy--he apologized after the game, so it's clear that he didn't do it on purpose."
Was it the same tooth that was knocked out a month ago in the NHL?
"It wasn't the same, but yes, in the same place. Maybe it's time to start collecting them."
Updated with higlights @ 1:07 PM: Dylan Larkin had a pretty good game against Germany, but his teammates did not, and as a result, the Americans are in real trouble of losing a spot in the quarterfinals, having been leaped over in the standings via Germany's 3-2 regulation win. The Americans now need to win over Slovakia on Tuesday (5:15 AM EDT start) to advance to the quarterfinals.
Korbinian Holzer scored with 33 seconds in regulation to snap a tie, and Larkin lost the draw on the play, but he was otherwise a difference-maker in the positive sense, taking 4 shots and finishing -1 in 16:11, playing on the PP, PK and even-strength and using his speed to blaze up the middle and generate time and space for his teammates.
Larkin and his teammates were just "off" against Thomas Greiss and Germany, however, and they had to rally from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to simply put themselves in position to earn an OT point, and they blew that chance late in the game.
I'll post the IIHF's recap and highlights as they become available.
Update: Here's the gamer from the IIHF's Twitter account:
The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Lake Erie Monsters 6-1 last night despite the absence of Eric Tangradi due to an upper-body injury. Evgeny Svechnikov stepped into Tangradi's place and played superbly, registering an assist, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Griffins coach Todd Nelson and Svechnikov himself about #29's pro debut:
"I kept my eye on him and I liked what I saw," Nelson said of Svechnikov, inserted as a replacement for the injured Eric Tangradi (upper body). "In the first period I thought there was a bit of nerves. But as the game went on, I thought he got better and better and played a really strong third period for us."
Svechnikov, the 19th overall pick in last year's NHL draft, was told Thursday of the decision so he had time to prepare. That didn't lessen the nerves, he said.
"It was exciting; first game as a pro and good win for the team and I thought personally I played well," said Svechnikov, who was on Tomas Nosek's line with Mitch Callahan and saw time on the power play. "It took a couple periods as I got more time with the puck to get comfortable."
Grand Rapids Griffins broadcaster Bob Kaser hinted at it, and the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline explains why, should the Griffins defeat the Lake Erie Monsters at Van Andel Arena on Monday, the teams might, just might, play a 7th game in Columbus and not Cleveland:
The Lake Erie Monsters hope this never comes to pass. But if their second-round American Hockey League series against Grand Rapids goes the distance, Game 7 could be played in Nationwide Arena due to scheduling conflicts at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
News leaked via social media on Wednesday when a computer-generated message appeared on Nationwide Arena’s Facebook page, announcing a Ticketmaster event – Lake Erie vs. Grand Rapids – scheduled for May 18.
A Blue Jackets spokesman confirmed that there have been discussions between the two clubs, that the game -- if it is necessary -- could be staged in Nationwide.
As it stands, Game 7 between the Monsters and Griffins is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17. The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, however, now have an Eastern Conference game scheduled for that day, no matter who they play.
If the Toronto – Miami series ends in six games – the Raptors lead that series 3-2, heading into Friday’s Game 6 – the Cavs would play Game 2 on May 17. If Miami stays alive on Friday and forces a seventh game, Game 1 of the ECF would be played on May 17.
Why not play Game 7 between the Monsters and Griffins on May 18 in Cleveland? Carrie Underwood has a concert in the Q that evening.
Update: It's official:
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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.