The Malik Report
Nicklas Lidstrom actually did this a year ago, but it makes for interesting reading, per the Free Press's Steve Schrader:
It sounds like a plot on "The Big Bang Theory."
Two really smart science-type guys decided to study whether you can apply intelligence and learn to make up for physical limitations to excel in sports.
So Swedish researchers Jan Lennartsson and Carl Lindberg went to the man who seemed to be the smartest hockey player on the planet, former Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
Not that Lidstrom wasn't physically talented, but he always seemed to know what was going to happen before it did.
And it turned out he agreed with their theories, that he learned how to analyze situations and put himself in the best position to succeed, often not going by the book.
Lidstrom was so much help to the research, he was listed as a co-author on the paper that backed up the research, "Game Intelligence in Team Sports," published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
Updated 6x at 6:01 PM: TSN's Aaron Ward called it:
Here's the press release:
RED WINGS AGREE TO TERMS WITH DYLAN LARKIN ON ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT
… Former First Round Pick Will Join Griffins for AHL’s Conference Finals …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have agreed to terms with center Dylan Larkin on a three-year entry-level contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
Ken Holland appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery show, discussing Mike Babcock's departure, and Holland revealed more of the timeline and the process by which he tried to keep up with the offers other teams made than he has in any previous interview. He also discussed Jeff Blashill's future, and it certainly sounds like Blashill will be #1 on Holland's list of Babcock replacements:
This is a pleasant surprise:
ATO = Amateur Try-Out. Larkin will be able to play for the Griffins despite not being on their AHL playoff roster.
Update #4: Here's St. James in text form:
The Free Press's Tresa Baldas reports huge news for Sergei Fedorov, who witnessed a crooked financial advisor wipe out the vast majority of his hockey earnings:
With the help of a federal appeals court, former Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov just checked his ex-financial manager — a Grosse Pointe Shores man who allegedly swindled the hockey star out of $43 million.
The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled against that manager — Joseph Zada — concluding he has to pay $112 million for selling fake investments in Saudi Arabian oil to dozens of unsuspecting victims — including Federov, a horse trainer, a plastic surgeon and several firefighters.
The ruling comes six years after the Free Press first disclosed Fedorov's claims that Zada had embezzled millions from him during an 11-year period.
Zada was counting on the 6th Circuit to overturn a lower court decision, which ordered him to pay $56 million in damages and an additional $56 million civil penalty for running a Ponzi scheme that caught the attention of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.
Mike Babcock did thank the Red Wings and praise his relationship with Ken Holland and Mike Ilitch during his opening presser as the coach of the Maple Leafs:
Babcock also stated that he also needed to bring out a box of Kleenex when he finally told Ken Holland that he was leaving.
Update: As was noted by CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak:
Babcock declined to re-sign with the Red Wings, opting instead to accept a reported eight-year, $50 million offer from the Maple Leafs. Detroit’s final offer was reported to be $20 million over five years.
“This was a hard decision,” Babcock said.
The coach met with Holland one more time Wednesday, and Babcock described the encounter as difficult.
“It was very emotional,” Babcock said. “I had to get the Kleenex box out when I sat in his office.”
Update #2: Here's a bit more from MLive's Ansar Khan:
Updated 3x with 2 videos at 1:16 PM: This is probably worth its own entry, yes?
Update: WOOD TV8 posted a video of Blashill's comments:
Update: No foolin':
It's all but as sure as an empty-net goal that Jeff Blashill will be replacing Mike Babcock as the next coach of the Detroit Red Wings, but Blashill is going to be very busy trying to beat the Utica Comets in the AHL's Eastern Conference Final starting on Sunday, and as such, Blashill discussed his dual focus--or really, his singular focus--with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner this morning:
"To be honest, my focus this morning is everything it is going to take to get ready for Sunday," he said Thursday, a day after Mike Babcock's decision to leave the Red Wings for Toronto. "Ken knows me and I know Ken and when we sit down, it will be good to talk. But, right now, my focus is on trying to get this team ready for Utica."
How does Blashill separate one duty from the other?
"I guess in some ways I can do that because I live in such a day-to-day world," he said. "The day I sit down and talk to Ken is the day I will be thinking about the Detroit job. Today, I'm thinking about practice and travel and what it's going to take to win Game One against Utica. That's just the reality of the way I look at it."
Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski handed out "Winner" and "Loser" tags in the Mike Babcock sweepstakes (via RedWingsFeed), and I think he's spot-on regarding the Red Wings' status as embracing a Team Underdog status:
WINNER: DETROIT RED WINGS: The Wings reaffirm two important tenets of their franchise in seeing Babcock leave for bluer pastures.
First, that no man is above the Winged Wheel. Not Mike Babcock, not Scotty Bowman, not anyone. If Babs gets eight years and $50 million, he’s a demigod on a franchise that works best as a balanced machine.
The Wings were great before he arrived. They’ll be great after he’s gone.
Second, that the Wings look best when they’re the spurned, disrespected, chip-on-the-shoulder team, despite being an Original Six glamor franchise. Babcock leaving for the Leafs firmly establishes Detroit as the rejected underdog. They wear it well.
WINNER: JEFF BLASHILL: The 41-year-old AHL coach is expected to take over a playoff-worthy roster from Mike Babcock as the next Red Wings coach. His bargaining position couldn’t be stronger, having been framed as the ace in the hole in case Babs left. Which he did.
Updated 2x at 11:47 AM: WDFN's Matt Sheppard show was all about Mike Babcock this morning, and while you may most certainly listen to The Fan 590's Greg Brady or TSN's Jonas Siegel isue the Leafs' perspective on your own, Chris Osgood's take is worth your time:
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