The Malik Report
Updated 3x with more scrimmage news at 2:43 PM: For the record, part 1: As previously posted, the Red Wings let the hat out of the bag in that equipment manager Paul Boyer will call Mike Commodore and inform him that @commie22 can wear #64 if he wishes…
For the record, part 2: It’s too quiet today, too quiet at the rink (the National Cherry Festival has parades and that kind of stuff going on) and too quiet on the hockey front. A day after the Wings named a pair of new (emphasis on new) assistant coaches, Ken Holland is probably engaging in conversations which may determine whether Chris Osgood and/or Kris Draper’s careers are over, and we probably won’t be privy to the details thereof until sometime early next week.
For the record, part 3: If you’re heading to the Wings’ development camp tomorrow, the Wings are going to hold their usual morning session of skill development and team drills from 8:30-10:30, but instead of holding an afternoon session, there’s going to be an intrasquad scrimmage at 3 PM.
Both myself and Alanah mentioned the document authored by the KHL to supposedly achieve a better measure of “understanding” between the leagues who fight hockey’s version of the Cold War, but the reality of the situation remains the same—Jiri Hudler-like poaching of restricted free agents may or may not continue, and, as Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov notes (in a fantastic and lengthy analysis of the “Memorandum of Understanding”), this agreement has more to do with the KHL’s desire to establish a player transfer market that delivers high-dollar monetary compensation for any top prospect who plans on leaving Russia to play either Major Junior Hockey or the NHL as the KHL’s still furious that it didn’t earn “millions” in compensation for Alex Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin.
The KHL’s also attempting to close any loopholes in terms of losing talented players it’s already witnessed disappear (Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov are good examples) by mandatorily drafting them into the KHL, and in the long run, what it wants is both money and the kind of prestige that comes with forcing a rival hockey league to pay tens of millions of dollars for the right to negotiate with a superstar in-the-making:
In conclusion, player poaching is not what this agreement is targeting. From the KHL perspective, it is more geared towards retaining their young talent. Only recently the news emerged that Mikhail Grigorenko, a highly touted Russian prospect who was chosen second overall in the CHL draft, is set to leave Russia to play in North America. The KHL may consider him to be under contract. And next year, if drafted in the NHL and willing to come and play in North America, the KHL may block this move citing the most recent MOU.
Continued, and it’s worth your time.
After the morning session at today’s summer development camp wrapped up, the Free Press’s George Sipple asked if he could interview Wings equipment manager Paul Updated at 2:10 PM: Boyer about the groundswell of support (courtesy in no small part due to Puck Daddy) for Mike Commodore choosing to wear #64 for the Red Wings, and Boyer’s response was simple, as noted by the Wings’ Twitter account:
Equipment Manager Paul Boyer says that if @commie22 wants to wear 64, it’s all his.
Boyer said that the coolest accommodation he made for a player involved Brett Hull wearing #80 [edit: for a pre-season slate of games] when Herb Brooks passed away, but this is pretty darn close. And, sadly, Boyer has never played, “Law of the West,” so he’s not a Commodore 64 fan (the computer)...
Update: Here’s the Free Press’s George Sipple’s story:
A for the record update at 9:27 AM: FYI if you are in Traverse City: Per the rink, the Wings’ prospects will conduct an intra-squad scrimmage at 3 PM on Sunday.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made an unorthodox move in choosing to hire Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill, who’s all of 37, and Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters, who can boast the only pro experience among both coaches—to the tune of three years as an AHL head coach—but Babcock told the Wings’ press corps that, to some extent, anyway, he very specifically chose to go with “younger legs” behind the bench instead of tapping into the half-a-dozen or so former NHL head coaches or assistant coaches without a job.
Babcock told the Windsor Star’s Jim Parker that an extensive search which included consultations with the game’s power brokers yielded his surprising decision:
“I’m looking for new ideas, new thoughts,” said the 48-year-old Babcock, who is entering his seventh season as head coach in Detroit. “We’re trying to evolve our game, get better. The way to do that is change. (The players have) heard the same voice for a long time.”
Windsor Spitfires president Bob Boughner, who was an assistant coach in Columbus last season, was rumoured to be a candidate for the job. Babcock would not say what other candidates he interviewed and Boughner did not respond to a request for comment.
“I went through a long process, talked to a lot of people, went back and forth,” Babcock said. “I talked to the heads of the OHL, Quebec (Major Junior Hockey) League, the Western (Hockey) League. I looked at college, looked at U.S. juniors. I tried to find guys who’ve won and made a difference everywhere they’ve been.”
Updated 2x at 9:32 PM: The second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp concluded after a spirited workout by “Team Lidstrom,” which engaged in the same drills Team Zetterberg took part in this morning. Again, for reference purposes, here are the participants…
Updated with a video interview with Blashill at 8:06 PM: The Detroit Red Wings raised more than a few eyebrows when the team announced that Mike Babcock chose Western Michigan University coach Jeff Blashill and Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters to flank his shoulders for the next three seasons. Neither of the Wings’ new assistant coaches have any coaching experience at the NHL level, and Peters is the only coach with any professional experience whatsoever—to the tune of three years behind the IceHogs’ bench.
According to Babcock himself, however, given that he’s been the Red Wings’ coach for over half a decade, fresh perspectives were necessary to keep both his and his players engaged and exposed to new perspectives, as he told MLive’s Ansar Khan:
“I’ve been in Detroit six years and after a while you start to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher—womp, womp, womp!” Babcock said. “I’m looking for new ideas, new thoughts. We’re trying to evolve our game. The way to do that is change. (Players) have heard the same voice for a long time.”
“I’m looking for young, excited workers are are willing to challenge the head coach,” Babcock said.
ESPN Dallas’s Master Tefatsion spoke to former Red Wings forward and Dallas Stars legend Mike Modano about his status while Modano prepared for a celebrity-studded charity baseball game on Saturday in Frisco, Texas, and Modano still hasn’t decided whether he plans on continuing to play:
“I’ve just been taking it easy,” said Modano, the host of the event. “I’ve been on some vacations, kind of lying around playing some golf and not really in a rush to make a decision one way or the other about what’s going to happen.”
Modano, 41, played for the Red Wings last season after spending the previous 20 with the Stars in Minnesota and Dallas. Modano has talked about his decision to a few of his friends at the baseball event who have opposing stances on what Modano will ultimately choose:
“I think if the right opportunity came along for him I think he’d love to put the skates on for one more year because he was in was great shape this year before he got hurt up in Detroit,” said The Heroes Foundation founder Charlie McKinney, one of the charities that will benefit from the baseball game. “... I think he feels he’s got one more year in him.”
Between serious-ass internet troubles and the Wings’ slow but sure revealing of their Mike Babcock’s assistant coaches, this morning’s first full on-ice session at the Red Wings’ summer development camp involved observations made by a somewhat distracted blogger, but I can at least offer several impressions from the morning’s activities.
Once again, here are the rosters of the teams taking part in the camp…
Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji caught up with Red Wings director of pro scouting Mark Howe to discuss the fact that was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame’s induction class of 2011, as well as the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame’s induction class, and Howe is…still pretty darn amazed by what Wakiji suggests has been a “productive summer”:
“I found out about the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame about a month ago,” Howe said in a phone interview Thursday after a luncheon announcing the inductees. “There’s been a lot of good news coming my way.”
As Wakiji duly notes, Howe actually missed the Hockey Hall of Fame’s repeated attempts to reach him until the Wings asked him to answer the darn phone...
“I was on the road, been on vacation for a week and then was home for two and a half days before heading to Detroit for the July 1st free agency,” Howe said. “I was running around getting caught up and I had a couple calls that didn’t show up on the caller ID so I didn’t answer. About 15 minutes later I got an e-mail from the Red Wings office that someone in Toronto wanted to get a hold of me about an appearance. I wrote back and said if they called, I would answer.”
Updated 9x at 3:45 PM: For the record, here’s my initial take: Babcock suggested to various interviewers over the past two weeks that he was leaning toward younger and/or less proven coaches who would provide both new voices and the kind of drive that yielded promotions for McLellan, MacLean and McCrimon. As MLive’s Ansar Khan notes, Bill Peters has both pro experience in the AHL and familiarity with Babcockas he was one of Babs’ assistants with the Spokane Chiefs, and as for Blashill…He’s as young and unproven as they come at the NHL level, which is probably a good thing. Blashill’s also a former goalie!
The Red Wings have named Bill Peters and Jeff Blashill as Assistant coaches. Both coaches have signed three-year contracts.
Peters spent past three seasons as the Head Coach of Rockford (AHL), while Blashill was behind the bench at Western Michigan University.
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.