The Malik Report
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
To Wings GM Ken Holland, there is a simple reason why players such as Brunner go undiscovered for so long: The NHL is the best men’s league in the world, and players become men at different ages. Some are men at 18. Most grow into men later – some much later, some in out-of-the-way places.
Brunner is listed at 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds. Now. How much smaller was he at draft age? And how many scouts saw him playing in Switzerland? And who could project how he would develop in the Swiss league, let alone how he would play in the NHL one day?
Consider how all this came together. The Wings didn’t know about Brunner until Holland received a tip over email.
He went way back with a guy named Stacy Roest. Holland knew him from the Medicine Hat Tigers, when Roest was playing in junior and Holland was scouting in western Canada. He had signed Roest to his first pro contract and later promoted him to the NHL. They live on the same British Columbia lake in the offseason.
Paul here for George as he waits for his laptop to be fixed. Maybe later today or tomorrow is the estimated time.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Every visit to a doctor keeps yielding the same information: Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm just needs time to heal from his back injury.
Helm hasn't played hockey in a month, hasn't even skated in that time, hasn't so much as worked out. He went to see another specialist Monday in New York, and the diagnosis remains the same.
"It's a strained ligament," general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press today. "Darren is very frustrated, and we are, too. It's not healing as fast as we'd hoped, but we have to make sure we're conservative. It was important to get another opinion.
"Every test has been negative; there's no damage. So we just have to be patient. The doctor gave him some different pain medication to help speed the healing process, but it's a slow process."
continue for Bettuzzi, Franzen, Smith and other updates...
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Darren Helm saw a back specialist in New York on Monday, who thinks he may have seen something different on the MRI.
“He gave him some medication,” Holland said. “We’re going to see where he’s at 4-5 days. When we’re back in town we’ll see how he’s responded to the medication, Friday or Saturday.”
continue for more on Helm's health issues...
Detroit, MI…Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President/General Manager Ken Holland today announced that defensemen Brian Lashoff has been re-signed to a three-year contract through the 2015-16 season. In keeping with club policy, additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Lashoff, 22, has appeared in 15 games for Detroit and 36 games for the Wings American Hockey League affiliate Grand Rapids this season. Lashoff’s Detroit totals include his first career goal in his first NHL game during Detroit’s season-opener at St. Louis on Jan. 19, 2013 along with two assists for three points and four PIMs. In Grand Rapids this season, he tallied six points (2G-4A) in addition to 23 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of +4.
I'm going to start an entry I wouldn't normally write with a set of announcements I normally wouldn't state:
1. I may or may not split up recaps and overnight reports from now on, depending on your feedback. I've done so for the Wings-Predators and now the Wings-Canucks games simply because there's so much going on during the weekends in terms of notes, quotes and prospect news that I run out of room, especially on back-to-back nights, so this seems a little less unwieldy;
2. And I may or may not take part or all of Monday off. I'd been planning on taking half of Monday off because my trusty laptop's left monitor joint fell victim to a loose screw that disappeared, and I need to get that replaced. The laptop's hard drive is also starting to sound a little unhappy, however, and as all I've got at present is this laptop, if there's an issue with the hard drive that involves more than me simply applying too much pressure to steady the off-balance laptop with my left hand, then Paul may have to fill in with short-form stuff for all of Monday.
The Wings don't practice today; they'll fly out West on Red Bird III to face the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday and the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. The team then heads back to the Joe to tangle with Chicago, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose notes in his "This Week in Hockeytown" article...
The Detroit Red Wings' consecutive wins over Nashville and Vancouver this past weekend broke an 0-3-and-2 slump--with the Wings' 8-3 trouncing--and comeback win--over the Canucks serving as something of an exclamation point...
But Hockeytown's approval is fleeting these days, and there was a sense online, anyway, that as much fun as the Wings had watching the Wings rally from a 3-2 1st period deficit, the Wings' wins have essentially allowed them to claw back into the thick of things in the Western Conference, where they sit in 5th place, but 5 points out of 12th place, and the prevailing theory seems to be that if the Wings don't build upon their superb weekend, both Detroit and its jittery fans could be back in a whole lot of trouble very soon.
Thankfully, the Wings don't have to worry about that sort of thing--they're too busy playing, and won't skate today but will board Red Bird II to fly out to Los Angeles, where they'll play the Kings on Wednesday and then head to San Jose to play the Sharks on Thursday, all before heading home to play the unbeaten-in-regulation Blackhawks on Sunday, March 3rd.
Consider this issue 1B to the 1A that is realignment in terms of the kinds of stories that get hockey fans and hockey scribes talking. The Globe and Mail's David Shoalts reports that many NHL executives and several GM's are actually interested in discussing the nuts and bolts of a "challenge flag" three years after Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon unsuccessfully lobbied for in 2010.
When the NHL's general managers meet on March 21st--and Shoalts says that they're meeting in Toronto instead of Palm Beach this time around--a general manager who's particularly interested but has yet to make specific comments about the Wings' possible move to the East told Shoalts that he'll seriously consider the concept of a "challenge flag," but only under certain circumstances:
“I’m more open than I was when Dale Tallon brought it up,” Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said Sunday. “The big thing in our game is goals, so we have to try to make sure goals are right, that we’re not scoring goals on offsides or maybe goalie interference.”
Tallon, who made his proposal shortly after his team lost a game to the Toronto Maple Leafs when forward Colton Orr knocked down Panthers’ goaltender Scott Clemmensen and put the puck in off his skate, saw his argument boosted last week by Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. He was offside by a metre when he scored to help the Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators.
According to Aftonbladet's Stefan Holm and Johannes Hagglund, HV71 Jonkoping coach Ulf Dahlen asked former Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom whether he'd be interested in making an abbreviated comeback in the Swedish Eliteserien. HV71's assistant coach, Thomas Ljungbergh, made a sales pitch to Lidstrom after HV suffered a slate of injuries to their best defensemen, but Lidstrom turned them down, just as he (theoretically) turned down the Wings when they asked him if he'd be willing to return for the 2013 season.
What follows is roughly translated from Swedish:
"He's the best defenseman. Every team would want him. Had we'd gotten him, we would have been thrilled, but he said he didn't have the hunger," said Ljungbergh.
For Lidstrom, it was never realistic to consider a comeback.
"I miss the driving force [necessary to play], and said that it's going really well in terms of what I'm doing now," he said.
Nicklas Lidstrom's going to be a World Championship ambassador, and is coaching one of the boys' teams for Vasteras IK, where his son Samuel plays. He's also been busy with building a house that will be ready in a few weeks.
Updated w/ stats and videos at 8:40 PM: On Saturday afternoon, Red Wings fans were nervous...Or at least I was. The Wings were heading into a Saturday night tilt against Nashville in a must-must-win situation, having gone 0-3-and-2 over their past five games.
Saturday night, the Wings smoked Nashville 4-0, and we all felt a little better.
After the first period of today's game against Vancouver, Wings fans were pissed...Or at least I was. Jimmy Howard, who wasn't supposed to start but did because Jonas Gustavsson's groin is wonky again, hadn't had the best outing, and gave up a 3rd goal on a wraparound that was just awful, but he'd received absolutely no help from defensemen who'd simply stood around and watched the Sedins work their magic, and at the other end of the ice, the Wings had more missed attempts than shots, and Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg were still afflicated with passitonitis.
I don't know what was said or imbibed between periods 1 and 2, but my Gord, was it the right thing to say and/or spike the Gatorade with. The Wings scored SIX consecutive goals, defeating Vancouver 8-3, despite refereeing that was bizarrely inconsistent (and blew off one good Wings goal and one illegal one), with the Wings killing off 2 Canucks power plays and going 3-for-5 on their own PP's...
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.