The Malik Report
Updated with a Kris Draper interview at 1:42 PM: Of very interesting Hockey Hall of Fame note this afternoon:
Kirk Maltby spoke with The Fan 590's Jeff Blair Show regarding Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom this morning (and there's a Kris Draper Fan 590 interview coming)
Updated 3x at 1:27 PM: Datsyuk won't play on Tuesday, Mrazek will start, Smith was "sick" today.
#redwings goalies Howard and Mrazek working with goalie coach Jim Bedard on the ice prior to practice.
Smith not practicing. Will find out after practice if he's hurt. Ferraro (knee) and Richards (back) not on ice.
As expected, Athanasiou still here and Ericsson skating.
The Free Press's George Sipple asked Red Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin about the reported player revolt on the OHL's Flint Firebirds as it applies to Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi:
Saarijarvi is averaging a point a game for the the Firebirds -- three goals and 14 assists in 17 games. Nilson has no points in five games.
"I don't know anything about it," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin told the Free Press this morning. "I was traveling and didn't get home last night until a little bit after 11. I contacted Vili's agent."
Martin called back a few minutes later and said that the agent hadn't yet spoken to Saarijarvi.
Martin said he never has heard of an entire team walking out after a coach was fired.
Is he concerned about how this will affect Saarijarvi?
"Well, not right now, because it's 8:15 on a Monday morning, and it just happened last night," Martin said. "I'd like to gather some information and see what's going on. At the end of the day, I'm sure the commissioner of the (Ontario Hockey League) will be involved today, working with the owners of that team, trying to come to some type of agreement with the players."
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. Sportsnet posted a video highlighting Nicklas Lidstrom's career...
2. And MLive's Brendan Savage provided more quotes from the NHL's Legends Classic:
This is just crazy enough to be believable. According to ESPN's John Buccigross, the OHL's Flint Firebirds' owner chose to fire his entire coaching staff, after which the players "quit" on the team.
Flint's ABC 12's Ryan Slocum is corroborating the story, it's being reported by Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager, TSN, Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray and OHL Insiders, and now Sportsnet's Jeff Marek, Yahoo Sports' Sunaya Sapurji and Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples:
This evening, we take a winding road through Hockey Hall of Fame stories, starting with Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski discussing Sergei Fedorov's role in the Legends' Classic:
Sergei Fedorov had left the ice at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Sunday afternoon when one of the arena workers told him the news.
“One of the helpers told me I was first star, and said ‘how’s that for a weekend?’”
Fedorov will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, as part of the Class of 2015. But on Sunday, he scored two goals for Team Pavel Bure in its Legends Classic exhibition game against Team Doug Gilmour – a game that ended 5-5 in regulation, and saw the Canadian side win in a shootout.
The game featured several of Fedorov’s old teammates from the Detroit Red Wings: Fellow Class of 2015 inductee Nicklas Lidstrom; center Kris Draper; defenseman Paul Coffey; forward Dino Ciccarelli; and defenseman Larry Muprhy.
Fedorov, who joined the game during its first half after receiving his Hall of Fame blazer before puck drop, looked like he could step into the NHL tomorrow.
“Fitting. It’s Sergei,” said Draper.
Wyshynski continues with what was a revelation to Fedorov; NHL.com's Dan Rosen offers us Kris Draper's take on participating in a game alongside his hockey idols:
From the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle:
The early returns are in, and the NHL’s new 3-on-3 format is doing what it was supposed to do. Getting rid of the shootout.
Including the Washington Capitals’ come-from-behind win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, there were only 13 of the skills competitions through the first 210 games of the season.
The drop-off has been so dramatic that, before Sunday’s games, 14 teams had yet to have a shootout. Only five have had more than one.
On the whole, only 6 per cent of NHL games are ending in shootouts this season, which is down more than half from the average over the first 10 years of its existence: 13.4 per cent.
Many influential voices around the league like what they see, including Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who has likely become 3-on-3 hockey’s strongest proponent the past several years.
“I think it’s been fabulous,” Holland said on Sunday, two days after his team beat the Leafs in a wild 3-on-3 session that ended with defenceman Jakub Kindl roofing the winner. “Very exciting hockey, lots of chances and highlight goals. What am I missing?”
Continued with some dissenting voices
The Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars looks worse than it is on paper--and perhaps better than it was on paper, too.
Detroit played in a game where this was legal "incidental contact"...
And this was a roughing penalty on Jonathan Ericsson...
Of prospect-related note:
In the QMJHL, Evgeny Svechnikov had 3 assists in the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles' 10-6 loss to Quebec;
In the OHL, Vili Saarijarvi scored a goal on 4 shots as the Flint Firebirds took a 4-3 shootout decision over Oshawa;
And in the USHL, Chase Pearson registered 2 assists as his Youngstown Phantoms won 5-2 over the Green Bay Gamblers.
I'm trying to keep the Hockey Hall of Fame inductee articles to a bare minimum, but I absolutely love one of the answers Sergei Fedorov gave to the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran as to "where they were when they got the call from the Hall," and it's too good to not share in its own entry:
First Russian to play 1,000 games and record 1,000 points . . . Retired as the highest-scoring Russian with 438 goals and 1,179 points . . . Won the Stanley Cup three times with the Red Wings.
Where were you when you got the call? “I was at a friend’s house. We were having a few beers. The phone rang, it was a 416 area code. I didn’t really believe it. Then someone said: ‘Stay on the line, we’re going to have a national media conference call.’ ”
What do you miss most about playing? “I know it’s not the correct answer. I can still do it. See kids play and know you’re better than them.”
What do you miss least? “Concussions, injuries, late flights, hotels.”
And I still believe that Fedorov, Lidstrom and Kris Draper could totally be playing the game today if there weren't 23-man rosters or salary caps--and if they wanted to play. Fedorov's accumulation of back issues and the fact that he's become CSKA Moscow's GM are really the only reasons that he's not playing now.
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.