The Malik Report
Things get complicated in the neutral zone, and that's what Friday's practices (despite its Bertuzzi-Nyquist-Tatar tales and quips and quotes) were about, though I do need to note this comment that Wings coach Mike Babcock made to the Free Press's Helene St. James, because it's essential:
Mike Babcock said he reassembled his lines just based on “who has a chance to play in the NHL, and try to put them in good spots.” He reiterated that he may still put Cleary with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, which would bump Justin Abdelkader.
Babcock happened to toss Daniel Cleary on the Andersson-Nyquist line, and as Trevor Parkes apparently got dinged, that worked out pretty nicely.
“We have eight exhibition games to figure all this out,” Babcock said. “These are walk-throughs for me. I make that very clear every year. They have four or five opportunities in exhibition to grab their chunk of the ice time. We give everyone an opportunity on the power play, we give everyone an opportunity on the penalty kill. So when you leave here, you know you were given an opportunity - the ball is in your court.”
There's some truth to that and there's some oversimplification there as well.
I am not an avid fisherperson, but I come from a family of very avid fishermen and fisherwomen, including those who tie their own flies, can tell you what kind of waders to wear, who can tell you why Ernest Hemmingway was lying when he wrote about the "Big Two-Hearted River" (it was the West Branch of the Fox River and the Sucker River instead), and who go ga-ga over carbon fiber fishing rods and Cabela's catalogs the way I get googley-eyed when I enter Perani's.
As such, Pavel Datsyuk's fish tales from Thursday were one thing...But on Friday, he had competition, and that yielded enough fish that I believe there's a restraining order out against the Inuk and the Russian who stole Grandpa Donny from the trout stream:
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff offers a slightly different angle on the team's decision to re-sign Daniel Cleary, suggesting that Justin Abdelkader and Cleary may be the only players the team has who can fill a "gritty" offensive role:
Some fans of the team point to Cleary’s wonky knees and his underwhelming 9-6-15 numbers of a season ago and see the 34-year-old holding back the development of some of Detroit’s younger forwards.
Instead, the naysayers should focus on Cleary’s playoff performance last spring – four goals and six assists during the 14 most important games of the season – and recognize the value he brings to a team that while deep in forward talent, is shy in forward grit.
The tickets are sold out at present, but if you can find a way to snag a ducat for the Red Wings' alumni and charity game at Centre Ice Arena tomorrow night (the game starts at 7), I'd sure as heck suggest that you attempt to snag one. The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau posted the roster and the game's circustances (to benefit Centre Ice Arena), and this may be the only time you ever see the Wings' front office and coaches tangle on an ice rink:
Sad news from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
For four decades, Wheatley’s Glen Skov held forth as the holder of a unique honour. He’d been the last NHL player from Essex County to win the Stanley Cup.
Skov, who died Tuesday in Palm Harbour, Fla. at the age of 82, won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings – in 1951-52, 1953-54 and 1954-55. Following his third win, another locally-born player wouldn’t earn a Stanley Cup inscription until Windsor-born Ken Daneyko won with the 1994-95 New Jersey Devils.
Skov was one-third of a dominating Detroit checking line, skating alongside Marty Pavelich and Tony Leswick. They were to the Wings of the 1950s what the Grind Line was to Detroit’s playoff success in the 1990s.
“Guys like Skov and Pavelich and Leswick were great checkers,” recalled former Wings forward Bill Dineen.
Updated 5x at 7:48 PM: The Red Wings' second day of training camp seemed to and did in fact involve more dump-and-retrieval drills, some power play work (which involved Mikael Samuelsson donning a black defenseman's jersey), neutral zone drills and the kind-of-sort-of-re-debut of Daniel Cleary, who was wearing #71 temporarily as the #11 jersey he's going to wear needed to be sewn up--thus one more day for Daniel Alfredsson to wear #11. Cleary said as much while walking past the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and myself:
Audio from day 2 of the Red Wings’ training camp: DeKeyser, Kindl, Howard, Nyquist, Babcock & Ber2zi
The Red Wings' didn't sign anyone today, and Daniel Cleary made his training camp debut--wearing #71, the "extra" jersey, until Paul Boyer could get a #11 jersey sewn up (when Mikael Samuelsson played on the point on the power play, he wore a black #71 jersey, so I'm guessing that the Wings made up red, white and black extras with that number)--and Team Howe beat Team Lindsay 2-0 in the scrimmage thanks to late goals from Max Nicastro and an "unassisted" Daniel Alfredsson, top-shelft goal on Jake Paterson that came courtesy of Stephen Weiss's pass.
The media availability was very staggered today. The Grand Rapids Griffins were in town to speak to their players, Henrik Zetterberg gave an interview elsewhere, Todd Bertuzzi spent all of a minute answering questions about his nephew, Tyler...
I guess we'll start here: As noted yesterday, the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau conducted a very blunt and candid interview with Tomas Tatar, who was not thrilled to hear that the Wings had re-signed Daniel Cleary--which all but assures that the Wings will move 2 of their 17 forwards until Darren Helm's healthy and ready to play, and a third forward whenever Helm is finally healthy--and Tatar pulled the, "If the Wings don't want me, they can trade me or I'll play in the KHL" card out of his hat again:
Follow along if you will as I posit a post of "whimsy" after a very long day...Uh, make that eight days...
I think that my and other folks' reactions to a wrinklethat transpired regarding Daniel Alfredsson's first official day as a Red Wing may have summarized why Daniel Alfredsson chose to join Detroit, other than the whole wanting to win the Stanley Cup thing:
TSN and the Toronto Sun sent people here just to cover Daniel Alfredsson? All this way?
TSN's Matthew Scianitti and a camera crew were at Centre Ice Arena to shoot a nearly 4-minute-long feature about Alfredsson's first day as a Red Wing, a 46-second note about Alfredsson's number and the reason he's surrendering #11 to, well, #11...
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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.