Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

A point of clarification

So I assumed that I'd made it clear that I was working for Gold Star Hockey in addition to Kukla's Korner way back when I shared the interview with Joshua Riehl, the director of the Russian 5 film. As such, I didn't make it clear that my interview with Pavel Datsyuk's agent, Dan Milstein, was part of my "other job."

I both apologize for not making things clearer and for posting the second interview on TMR. I was unaware that the public relations aspect of the interview would be so negatively received; I simply wanted to share Dan's take as to why Datsyuk made his decision.
I knew it would be controversial, and I knew that many of you would disagree with it. I hoped that posting the interview would allow you to share your opinions, positive and negative.

I remain committed to TMR first and foremost, and I remain committed to my readers. I have taken a blogging position with Gold Star Hockey for the doors it will open, and sometimes PR is part of my other job, but if you don't want to deal with that, I'll keep that aspect of my job separate from KK and TMR.

If you have any problems with my work, I would appreciate it if you share your concerns with me directly, via comments, Twitter or email. If you have any problems with my priorities, I would appreciate the same direct discussion. It is simply unnecessary to engage in character assassination via alternate means when you can do so "to my face."

Thank you for your time and your readership. I understand that I've lost some readers today, and that sucks.

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Discussing Danny DeKeyser’s pluses and minuses

From the Free Press's Helene St. James, here's an examination of Danny DeKeyser's pluses and minuses:

Looking back: Reached a career high with eight goals, but his 20 points were well below the 31 he contributed in 2014-15. Makes good, safe plays with the puck, and has nurtured his offensive game since entering the NHL in the spring of 2013. Led the team with 107 blocked shots.

Looking ahead: The six-year, $30 million deal he signed this summer makes DeKeyser the second-highest paid defenseman on the team, behind Mike Green. With Niklas Kronwall in his mid-30s and dealing with a bad knee, DeKeyser is poised to take over as the team’s top workhorse – he is trustworthy in any situation, and can play both special teams. At 26, DeKeyser is just nearing the prime years of his career, and it will be interesting to see how he develops further under new assistant coach Doug Houda, himself a former NHL defenseman.

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Krupa: Wings have no issues selling season tix, earn customer service honor

From the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

The Red Wings are in first place in customer service satisfaction by their season-ticket holders, who have renewed for the last season in Joe Louis Arena at a rate of at least 95 percent.

“It’s closer to 96 now,” Tom Wilson, the president of Olympia Entertainment said, two days after the team released news of the top award in the NHL for customer service in a survey of season-ticket holders by Turnkey Intelligence.

“We’re very happy with that. We’re happy with both.

“Being recognized for customer service in a building that is very old and very tired and has one concourse and all of the challenges that come with everything from traffic to long lines, and yet to still have people respond favorably to all the things you try to do, it’s quite a compliment.”


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The Outlook For Drew Miller

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: Two major injuries for the usually durable Miller resulted in what he described as a "write-off year." But he began skating late in the season and expects to be 100 percent, with a more stable knee, to start training camp.

Miller has been a fourth-line fixture, one of the team's top penalty-killing forwards and shot-blockers for several seasons. But he faces increased competition for a regular spot in the lineup due to a glut of forwards.
Miller's experience, work ethic and penalty-killing ability might give him an upper hand.

Key question: Does Miller's penalty-killing ability give him an edge over others competing for a regular spot in the lineup?


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Discussing Ken Holland’s interview with the Hockey News

It's a little late, but you'll have to forgive me for spending Monday and Tuesday taking in both the Tragically Hip's show in London and then a healthily heavy family visit.

In any case, I was asked to weigh in on the Hockey News's Matt Larkin's interview with Red Wings GM Ken Holland. I think that it's a little easier to compare and contrast it with Kris Draper's 20-minute interview with Sirius XM's NHL radio crew, because Draper spoke with the gents at length regarding the team's youngsters, and in that sense, discussing the yin and yang of the team's over-commitment to signing too many veterans every summer after the Wings' youngsters show promise...

But this passage from Larkin works as well as any other:

“The philosophical question you’re asking me is, ‘Do we head in a direction where we make a determination that it’s all about five years from now? Or do we continue to try to be a playoff team?’” Holland said. “When you’ve got Mrazek, and you’ve got Larkin, and you’ve got Riley Sheahan, Justin Abdelkader, and you’ve got Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, and you’ve got DeKeyser, and you’ve got Nielsen… we’ve either got to have those people and we’re trying to win the division, we’re trying to qualify for the playoffs…or don’t sign Frans Nielsen. Don’t sign Thomas Vanek. Don’t bring in Ott. And just go with a bunch of kids. And let the chips fall where they may.

“If you’re going to do a massive rebuild – get a core of players that you think can carry your team for a decade – you’ve got to miss the playoffs five, six, seven years in a row. That’s what Pittsburgh did. That’s what Florida did. That’s what Chicago did. You can just go team after team. You don’t miss one year, and all of a sudden, ‘Boy, we’re back.’ ”

I've got no problem with the fact that Ken Holland and company don't want to drive the Wings into the ditch a year prior to opening a new rink. Nobody's going to spend more money to endure the "Farewell Season at the Joe" or take in Little Caesars Arena's first campaign if the Wings stink.

Continue Reading »

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‘Roughly Translated’: Datsyuk speaks with NHL.ru about his new adventure

Pavel Datsyuk spoke with NHL.ru's Pan Markkanen, and here's a rough translation of his interview:

Datsyuk: "Detroit has become an important part of my life"

New KHL star Pavel Datsyuk told NHL.com that he considers his decision to leave the Detroit Red Wings and return to Russia correct. These days the 38-year-old center is with his new team--SKA St. Petersburg--conducting a preseason camp in Finland, where he played in a series of exhibition games. Datsyuk played on a line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Sergei Plotkinov. All three were in the NHL at various times.

Do you think you made the right decision? NHL.com asks Datsyuk: "I made it with my heart. I don't know if it was correct or not, time will tell. Today it seems right to me. Now we're gathering and have exhibition games. We have to do more work. The atmosphere on the team is good."

How do you play the wide ice? "You have to skate more. But I wasn't so scared. On the contrary, it's so much fun."

Continue Reading »

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‘Roughly Translated’: Henrik Zetterberg discusses the World Cup

I'm a little late to the party here, but here's my translation of Henrik Zetterberg's interview with HockeySverige.se's Ronnie Ronnqvist:

Captain Zata thrives on responsibility: "Will have a similar role to Detroit"

His Olympic tournament was destroyed due to a back injury. Now the captain Zata is ready for revenge in the upcoming World Cup tournament.

"One of the keys is to accept one's role, what you get, because not everyone will be able to play as much as they do on their club team," said the team captain.

Continue Reading »

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Zetterberg will captain Team Sweden’s World Cup team

From NHL.com, via the Red Wings:

Forward Henrik Zetterberg was named captain of Team Sweden for the World Cup of Hockey 2016 on Wednesday.

Zetterberg, 36, will be making his 13th international appearance for Sweden and his second as captain. He was named captain of Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but left the team after one game because of a back injury.

"It's a very special thing to be the captain for this team," Zetterberg said at a Team Sweden event in Stockholm. "I'm honored. It's something I'll always remember."

Zetterberg, of the Detroit Red Wings, is the only player with World Cup experience, having played on Team Sweden in 2004. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers), and forwards Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin (Vancouver Canucks) were also on the 2004 roster for Sweden but never played in the tournament.

He took over as captain of the Red Wings in 2012 after defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who is an advisor for Team Sweden, retired. He has 836 points in 918 NHL games over 13 seasons with Detroit.

"There really is no other candidate than Zetterberg," Team Sweden and Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Kronwall said. "I know him from Detroit, and there's no better. He's the obvious choice."


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The Outlook For Andreas Athanasiou

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Looking ahead: Athanasiou, 22, has showed he belongs at the NHL level, his speed alone making him invaluable in today's game. He's vulnerable to being sent down, however, because he does not have to be exposed on waivers. It's up to Athanasiou, then, to force his bosses to make the same decision they made last year with Dylan Larkin: Too good to send down. Athanasiou looks like he could become a real threat in the NHL, because he's got hands that complement his feet, giving him the ability to back down opponents and score goals.


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AWood40 posts a set of OT goals galore

AWood40 posted quite the clip last night, chronicling every Red Wings overtime goal from the 2007 season to the 2016 season:

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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.


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