The Malik Report
Updated 2x at 10:08 PM: Things you miss out on because you’re sitting in the stands: the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan reports that the Red Wings have decided upon the assistant coaches who will flank Mike Babcock’s shoulders sometime on Friday:
The Red Wings will name coach Mike Babcock’s two assistants Friday. General manager Ken Holland said Babcock went through an extensive interview process with candidates from the junior to pro levels.
Paul MacLean and Brad McCrimmon were Babcock’s assistants in 2010-11. MacLean took the head coaching job with the Ottawa Senators and McCrimmon left to become a head coach in Russia.
“The guys we’ll announce will bring energy and some new ideas,” Holland said. “You want guys with communication skills, some ideas on specialty teams and some new ideas.”
Continued with some tidbits from the Wings’ summer development camp.
Update: The Detroit Free Press’s George Sipple confirms:
Updated 3x at 6:54 PM: Sproul and Macek are participating, Jurco’s wearing #28 and RWC’s Sarah Lindenau was spot-on about the try-outs: From my greedy little hands to you, here’s the Wings’ prospect development camp roster, try-outs included, for those of you who are interested as the youngsters—who didn’t arrive in Traverse City until this morning—get their feet wet with a pretty spirited practice:
Per Sport-Express’s Slava Malamud on Twitter:
KHL & NHL have signed a cooperation agreement. Not to be confused with a transfer agreement. Reinforcing the commitment to respect contracts
The KHL’s website posted the details thereof, and it’s a very long list...Which might have something to do with the fact that top prospect Mikhail Grigorenko might choose to leave Russia to play Major Junior hockey.
In any case, here’s the raw translation thereof:
Update 8:53 PM: Deadspin likes the idea, too: New Red Wings defenseman Mike Commodore suggested that he’s open to honoring a 1980’s relic of computer technology by wearing #64 with Detroit, and while younger Wings fans may not remember the clunky computer whose “blue screen” did not mean that your computer was about to crash, Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski’s starting a very formal public campaign to ask Commodore to don #64, offering at least four reasons why Commodore should do so:
1. The chance to make a pop culture reference on the back of one’s sweater doesn’t come around very often. It’s been roughly eight years since we saw “Heinze 57” skating around.
2. The Red Wings have never had a No. 64, nor have they had a player wear a number in the 60s.
3. Look at the list of all-time No. 64s. Unless Jamie McGinn(notes) or Nikita Nikitin(notes) have masterful careers, Commodore would be the best player to ever wear No. 64, with due respect to Jason Bonsignore and Sven Butenschon. And how many guys can say they’re the all-time best at a certain sweater number besides Ales Hemsky?
I hope it happens.
Updated 2x at 1:08 PM: Well, he’s neither big nor strong, but the Red Wings have at least added a depth forward who should help the Grand Rapids Griffins in former Pittsburgh Penguin Chris Conner:
CHRIS CONNER TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
… Former Michigan Tech Star and Westland Native has Skated in 139 Career NHL Games with Pittsburgh and Dallas …
Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the club has signed free agent forward Chris Conner to a one-year contract. In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
Conner has registered 16G-24A-40P in 139 career NHL games as a member of the Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins. The 27-year-old native of Westland , Mich. originally began his professional hockey career in 2006 with the Iowa Stars (AHL) after spending four seasons with the Michigan Tech Huskies (WCHA) during which he tallied 69G-60A-129P in 151 games played. Conner has recorded 72G-102A-174P in 218 appearances at the AHL level with Iowa , Peoria and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
For both the Red Wings’ prospects, the media corps covering them and some random blogger who’s spending the next week in Traverse City, the Red Wings’ decision to avoid the classic power outages that occur due to the aging infrastructure downtown (which forced the Wings to scramble for the latter half of last summer’s development camp), what has become a familiar trip down to Joe Louis Arena for a seven-day-long, closed-to-the-public prospect camp has been turned on its head. This afternoon, the Red Wings’ first summer development camp to be held in Traverse City kicks off with a slate of afternoon skates before engaging in a brutal six-day stretch of on and off-ice workouts which begin at 8:30 in the morning and don’t finish up till 4:45 in the afternoon (these tend to grind the players down, and then some).
While for the Wings’ prospects, there’s no Tigers game to head to as a, “Welcome to the organization” carrot, the Wings’ management clearly believes that a little “geographical cure” and placing them in a training-camp-like atmosphere, literally and figuratively, will help the prospects be better prepared for the prospect tournament and main camp in September…
Reporting from beautiful Traverse City, Michigan, where the Wings’ summer prospect camp gets underway at 2:30 PM EDT tomorrow…
As the Red Wings’ goaltending situation waits upon Chris Osgood’s return from Scotland to have an in-person interview with GM Ken Holland, the Wings have gotten down to the nitty gritty of determining which assistant coaches will flank Mike Babcock’s shoulders, and Kalamazoo Gazette’s Graham Couch reveals that Western Michigan University coach Jeff Blashill is one of the finalists:
Blashill, who led the Broncos this past winter to their first NCAA tournament in 15 seasons and the CCHA tournament championship game for the first time in a quarter-century, confirmed Wednesday that he’s interviewed for one of the Red Wings’ vacant assistant coaching positions.
“I am interviewing, but they have not made a decision and I have not made a decision yet,” Blashill said Wednesday afternoon. “I do expect to know at some point by the end of the week. ... I think they are narrowing in to make a decision. And, at that point, I will make a decision.”
Big Update at 1:45 PM: Here’s Ken Holland speaking to RedWingsTV about the Wings’ additions (via RedWingsFeed on Twitter):
Before I head out the door: Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on WDFN on Tuesday to discuss the team’s re-signing of Jonathan Ericsson, goaltending situation and Mike Commodore’s addition to the team, and MLive’s Phil Zaroo posted some of the highlights thereof...
As free agency slows down and the players remaining on the market begin to scramble to find a home, Twitter-based rumors and speculation have begun to take over because both we and the free agents are left guessing where their hockey futures will take them.
The rumor-mongers got one right and one sort-of-wrong on Tuesday, accurately predicting that the Wings would sign Garnet Exelby and Logan Pyett to strengthen the Grand Rapids Griffins’ roster (the Griffins also lost captain Jamie Tardif to the Boston Bruins) but not accurately assessing the state of the Wings’ search for a back-up goaltender…
This issue’s started to become a mobius strip’s worth of confusing in terms of trying to sort it out: on Tuesday afternoon, MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness reported that Red Wings GM Ken Holland had essentially called off his search for a back-up goaltender until Chris Osgood returns from a golfing trip with several Red Wings teammates in Scotland, with Holland wishing to speak with Osgood in person before deciding whether the team would either retain Osgood, who struggled to recover from sports hernia and reconstructive surgery on his groin during the second half of the 2010-2011 season, or whether the team might choose to pursue a back-up goaltender with a lesser resume.
All things being equal, Holland sounded genuinely torn as to whether the Wings would part ways with a 400-game-winning goaltender who was also a fantastic mentor for Jimmy Howard, but this morning, Khan’s reporting that the team is already talking to Ty Conklin’s agent and may bring him back to Detroit instead of hoping that Osgood’s groin holds up during training camp:
The club is negotiating with Conklin’s agent, hoping to sign the 35-year-old as its backup goaltender. A source said Tuesday that Detroit has “a pretty good chance” to sign Conklin.
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.