The Malik Report
We went a whole day without name-calling, but that may change this morning. The Free Press's Helene St. James continues her series of surveys of Red Wings players with a take on Jonathan Ericsson's relative value to the team...
And as far as I'm concerned, Ericsson, who's entering the last year of a 3-year contract that pays him $3.25 million this upcoming season, has indeed (perhaps after too long an incubation period) established himself as at least a top-three defenseman. I'm not sure if St. James agrees with that, but I certainly agree with her suggestion that Ericsson is nothing less than a "cornerstone" going forward:
The Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen tries to shake things up on a quiet Friday afternoon by offering his takes as to whether past and present members of the Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers and Red Wings should have their numbers retired, and let's just say that Samuelssen doesn't believe that we'll see a banner-raising at Joe Louis Arena--or whatever they call the Wings' follow-on-rink--for a long time after Nicklas Lidstrom's #5 joins the list of retired Wings numbers next March:
Sergei Fedorov – He’s the last Red Wing to win the Hart Trophy. He was a Selke winner. Praise Yzerman all you want, but Fedorov was a vital performer on every one of those Red Wings Stanley Cup teams as well. The downside of Fedorov, of course, was that he signed the offer sheet with Carolina in 1998 and then bolted town for less money to sign with the Ducks in 2003. Some fans have never forgiven him for that. Those fans need to get over it. Fedorov is simply one of the greatest players ever to wear a Red Wings uniform. I think his number should be retired. But I doubt it ever will because of how he left town. VERDICT – NO
Fedorov is the Wings' fifth-leading scorer (surprisingly, Pavel Datsyuk's not that far behind Fedorov's 908 points with 779 of his own), and he was a dominant force for the vast majorit yof his tenure with the Wings...But between signing that $36 million deal with Carolina and the unbelievably acrimonious departure for the Ducks (the English-language media scuttlebutt was bad. Fedorov's dad spouting off at the mouth in the Russian media was far, far worse)...Let's just say that how things go down in terms of the Winter Classic Alumni game may let us know what's up going forward.
By the time I wrapped up my overnight report and tried to settle down, Finnish Twitter users were serenading me to sleep with news from the first SM-Liiga's open practices, and if ever you needed a reminder that NHL'ers preparations for the 2013-2014 season are in fact underway, IIHF.com's Symon Szemberg finds himself in Gothenburg, Sweden, where a certain new Wing was working out at the Frolunda Indians' training facility...
And ESPN's Paul Grant wrapped up his "summer wonder" series this morning by questioning the potential impact of the NHL's unrestricted free agent signings, including the Wings' additions of Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss:
On Thursday, the Red Wings announced that they will raise Nicklas Lidstrom's #5 to the rafters on March 6th, 2014, and this morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James published a short conversation that she had with Lidstrom after the announcement was made:
[H]ere's what Lidstrom told the Free Press about the big day ahead: "It's a tremendous honor to have my jersey retired next to Yzerman, Lindsay, Howe, Abel, Sawchuk and Delvecchio."
That would be Steve Yzerman (19), Ted Lindsay (7), Gordie Howe (9), Sid Abel (12), Terry Sawchuk (1) and Alex Delvecchio (10).
Lidstrom said his wife, their four sons and his parents will be at Joe Louis Arena that night.
"I'm looking forward to the ceremony and to have my family there," Lidstrom said. "And for them to experience the great atmosphere of the Joe once again!"
As I perused the foreign-language newspapers, I found a photo gallery of Slovan Bratislava playing Spartak Moscow in a KHL exhibition game.
This past week, Biosteel Sports has done its best to inform YouTube and Twitter that Gary Roberts and Matt Nichol are about to beat the shit out of a crop of NHL'ers whose ranks include star players and one Brendan Smith in Toronto.
Ken Kal stated on Twitter that he ran into Jimmy Howard at the Joe, presumably to either get fitted for new goalie equipment (thanks to the NHL's attempts to shrink thigh rises, now's the time for Howard to talk to Vaughn Custom Sports and order some Michigan-made gear) or work out.
Detroit, MI…Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice President Jim Devellano today announced that the Red Wings will officially retire Nicklas Lidstrom’s number “5” in a special pre-game ceremony on March 6, 2014, when the Red Wings host the Colorado Avalanche.
As an FYI, from the Plymouth Whalers:
PLYMOUTH WHALERS START PRESEASON on AUGUST 31 BY GIVING BACK
Proceeds from Whalers-Windsor exhibition opener in Livonia go to Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund
PLYMOUTH – When the Plymouth Whalers open the 2013 pre-season schedule on Saturday, August 31 at 7 pm against Windsor at Eddie Edgar Ice Arena in Livonia, a heartfelt and inspiring back story will take center stage in a big way.
One hundred percent of the proceeds generated in the game benefit the Livonia Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Larry Nehasil Park in Livonia.
Updated 2x at 3:47 PM: NHL.com's "30 in 30" series began today with a set of state-of-the-team articles about the Anaheim Ducks, and Pro Hockey Talk's kicking off a similar survey of the league's teams with "Detroit Red Wings Day on PHT." Ryan Dadoun begins a state-of-the-Wings articles by discussing the team's off-season moves...
Detroit tends to be conservative in the free agent market, but they did take a chance by signing forward Stephen Weiss to a five-year, $24.5 million contract despite the fact a wrist injury limited him to just 17 games last season.
The Wings also managed to surprise the hockey world by luring longtime Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson to their side.
This time of year is anything but quiet in terms of young players engaging in tournaments and national team selection camps--Under-18 players will take part in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament from August 5th-10th, for example, Team Canada's going to hold part of its World Junior selection camp in Brossard, Quebec starting in August 4th (Anthony Mantha and Jake Paterson are taking part), before joining Team USA, Team Sweden and Team Finland at their annual selection camp in Lake Placid, New York, with that co-selection camp starting on Saturday, August 3rd...
And at this point in the summer, NHL and Major Junior teams sometimes find themselves engaged in tugs of war regarding the futures of 20-year-olds.
The Red Wings have planned on bringing Marek Tvrdon into the fold after three injury-plagued seasons spent with the WHL's Vancouver Giants, but the Giants really, really, really, really want to bring Tvrdon back as an "overager," and as such, the Vancouver Province's Steve Ewen spoke with Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin about Tvrdon's status:
Assessing the state of the Grand Rapids Griffins, with an emphasis on foundational (veteran) players
The Grand Rapids Griffins made some superb moves to ensure that as many veteran players from the team's Calder Cup-winning playoff run will remain in tow for the upcoming season, re-signing captain Jeff Hogan, defenseman Nathan Paetsch, forward Triston Grant and defenseman Brennan Evans, and alleviating something of a logjam on the blueline by allowing Brett Skinner to walk while bolstering the forward lines with a classic, "He played well against us, so we want to snag him" signing in center David McIntyre.
The Griffins also retained Tom McCollum's services to help push Jared Coreau and/or serve as something of a security blanket, and they witnessed the Wings reward Luke Glendening's strong 2012-2013 season performance with a two-way contract.
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.