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Red Wings Monday practice post: mixed bag of injury news as Smith good to go, Alfredsson still iffy

Updated 7x at 4:14 PM: The Red Wings returned to practice at Joe Louis Arena after having dropped consecutive shootout decisions on Friday and Saturday, and MLive's Ansar Khan reported good news on the injury front...

Wings on ice for practice. Everybody is skating, including Weiss and Smith, who've been out with injuries.

Mostly...

Correction, Alfredsson is not skating.

...

Wings skating with these lines: 49-13-44, 93-43-21, 71-18-37. 20-8, Weiss skating with top 6, they're short a player on bottom six.

And bad news in the hype department...

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The Winter Classic hopes to come in, go out with a ‘bang’

Via RedWingsFeed, the Detroit Free Press's Mark Snyder reports that the University of Michigan's Board of Regents have what I'll suggest is a "unique" Athletic Department proposal to vote upon at the Board's upcoming meeting:

One is a “close proximity fireworks display” for the NHL’s Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, to be held Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium.

From the regents’ agenda posted today: “Fireworks would be displayed at various points during the playing of the national anthems of Canada and the United States, and during player introductions. They may also be displayed during musical performances during the first or second intermission. Immediately following the game, the event would close out with fireworks for approximately one minute. The brief pregame and intermission displays will be performed from the field and rooftops and the postgame display from the rooftops of the east and west towers of the stadium.”

NHL Enterprises would contract with ACE Pyro for the display.

Update: Via Paul, MLive's Kellie Woodhouse offers some economic context for the event:

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Red Wings will reveal details of Hockeytown Winter Festival’s ‘Coke Zero Fan Zone’ on Wednesday

The Red Wings emailed a press release about a press conference (scheduled for Wednesday morning) to their "media" email list this morning, and I am intrigued to find out what the "Coke Zero Fan Zone" will involve:

DETROIT RED WINGS/OLYMPIA ENTERTAINMENT TO ANNOUNCE COKE ZERO™FAN ZONE TO TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE COMERICA PARK™DEC. 27 - 31

WHAT: Major announcement detailing the Coke Zero™Fan Zone which will be a prominent feature of the 2013 SiriusXM®Hockeytown Winter Festival™and will take place outside of Comerica Park™.

Detroit Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment representatives join Red Wings Alumni to share details about the five-day celebration which will provide a festive backdrop with hockey and winter-themed activities all ages can enjoy.

Hockey activities, food offerings and a special live music performance preview that will be part of the Fan Zone will also be showcased.

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Griffins issue ‘Tip a Griffin’ reminder, post Jurco’s hat trick and play ‘Spelling Bee’

The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a Tweet reminding fans that their annual "Tip a Griffin" charitable event is taking place tomorrow, and Tuesday's charitable event very literally has the players engaging in community service:

Update: FYI:

TIP-A-GRIFFIN RETURNS NOV. 18

(The Griffins revised their lineups via email: Jordin Tootoo's now taking part and the 3 remaining locations will now include those who were supposed to take part in the Ucello's event in Caledonia, MI):

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins usually look for tips near the net, but on Monday, Nov. 18 from 6-8 p.m., they’ll exchange their jerseys for aprons in an evening of serving appetizers, entrees and beverages to patrons at Uccello’s Ristorante, in the return of the team’s popular Tip-A-Griffin fundraiser.

Griffins players, coaches and hockey staff will visit all four Uccello’s locations in West Michigan to serve and wait tables, with donations and raffle proceeds benefiting the Griffins Youth Foundation. In its previous seven editions, Tip-A-Griffin raised nearly $70,000 for various local charities.

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Former Red Wings alum Reg Sinclair’s passing yields loss of a legend for Mike Babcock’s alma mater

Sometimes obituaries of hockey players offer little context. On Friday, the NHL reported that Reg Sinclair, who played in 69 regular season and 3 playoff games for the Red Wings back in the 1952-1953 season, had passed away at age 88.

It turns out that Mr. Sinclair has more than 69 games' worth of a connection to the Red Wings, and, when Mike Babcock receives his honorary doctorate from McGill University next Monday, the CBC News reports that Babcock's likely to pay tribute to one of the McGill Redmen's most legendary players:

Born on March 6, 1925 in Lachine, Que., Sinclair served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1943 to 1945. After the war, he enrolled at McGill, where he was an all-star with the Redmen from 1945 to 1949, and earned a commerce degree in 1949.

During his senior year, Sinclair served as captain of the Redmen and was voted MVP of the Senior Intercollegiate Hockey League after winning the conference scoring title with 21 goals and 14 assists in 12 games.

A prolific scorer, he tied a McGill single-game —recordwhich still stands—scoring 10 points, including seven assists, against the University of Montreal Carabins on Feb. 25, 1949.

Sinclair also established a number of other McGill records, including: most assists in a period, most assists in a game, fastest five points and assists in a game, fastest four points and assists in a game, and fastest three points and assists in a game.

Continued

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Red Wings overnight report: on injuries, shootouts and first-quarter grades

Updated by an insomnia-battling blogger at 6:44 AM: The Detroit Red Wings will get back to practice today ahead of a busy two weeks--the team hosts the Predators on Tuedsay the 19th, the Hurricanes on Thursday the 21st (many Wings players, coaches, front office and alums will take part in a fundraiser for paraplegic Catholic Central player Matt Sorisho [a former teammate of coach Mike Babcock's son] at Compuware Arena on Wednesday the 20th, so a few Canes players may chat with the Wings before they tangle the next day)--the Wings will attempt to assuage their 6-1 loss to Ottawa when they host Daniel Alfredsson's former employer on Saturday the 23rd, and they're going to head to Buffalo for a 5 PM-starting Sunday game on the 24th, all before hosting the Bruins on Thanksgiving Eve and playing a 4 PM matinee on Long Island on Black Friday...

And as you know by now, the Wings boast a lovely 0-1-2-and-3 record over the past six games, including last Friday's 4-3 shootout loss to Washington and Saturday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Islanders.

The Free Press's Larry Fleischer reports that Brendan Smith is highly likely to return to the lineup on Tuesday as his injured shoulder's healed, but he doesn't believe that Daniel Alfredsson will return until Thursday or Saturday given the "Mike Babcock rule" regarding groin injuries. Smith could've played on Saturday, but the trainers held him out of the game:

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Red Wings prospect news: Walleye lose; Super Series on the way

Sunday's crop of prospect news, save Andreas Athanasiou's signing, isn't particularly deep, but I'm sticking with the, "Prospect news in one place, Wings in the other" split.

The ECHL's Toledo Walleye are having an up-and-down season, but Red Wings prospects are doing their part to aid the Walleye's cause. Martin Frk scored 2 goals, Trevor Parkes had a goal and an assist (and now has 8 goals, 6 assists and 14 points registered over the course of 12 games played), Max Nicastro was a -2 and Jared Coreau stopped 21 of 26 shots in the Walleye's 5-4 loss to the Reading Royals on Sunday evening.

The Walleye's website recounts the game's events...

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Red Wings Sunday news: Wings sign Athanasiou; NHL removes CoPa grass; Wings-Isles stuff; Alums lose

Amongst the day-after-the-Red Wings-lost again news stories found by this still-sleepless blogger:

Via Paul, TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie reports that Red Wings have inked their third prospect of the fall to an entry-level deal, following up the team's signings of 2013 draft picks Anthony Mantha and Zach Nastasiuk by signing 2012 4th rounder Andreas Athanasiou to a 3-year deal on either Saturday night or Sunday morning:

Athanasiou probably not-so-coincidentally registered 3 assists and was named the 1st star in his Barrie Colts' 8-2 win over the Niagara IceDogs on Saturday evening.

In news of a very different kind of investment made to secure the use of one sports team's facility at the "expense" of another: Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea reports that Comerica Park no longer has grass on its playing surface, and that's because the NHL's had the grass removed to accommodate the Winter Classic's Hockeytown Winter Festival:

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Scotiabank and Gordie Howe begin season-long Pro-Am tournaments to raise funds for Alzheimers

If you were wondering why Gordie Howe was attending the Sharks-Canucks game on Thursday, he was highly likely to be attending the game as a guest of the Vancouver Giants' ownership (Howe was once a part-owner of the team), and the Vancouver Province's Ian Austin reports that Vancouver happens to be hosting a ScotiaBank Pro-Am to help raise funds for Alzheimers' research:

Hockey fans are always quick to point out when one of those NHL wingers blows a scoring chance — in their minds, of course, they woulda buried it. So Saturday, thanks to the Scotiabank Hockey for Alzheimer’s Tournament, I got to find out just how it feels to get one of those great National Hockey League passes — actually, two, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The teams in the tourney get to draft bonafide NHL stars, and with the fifth pick The Province Sports “Go Big” team landed Dave Babych — a member of hockey’s royalty of yesteryear as the No. 2 overall pick back in 1980.

Along with NHL fourth-rounder Larry Melnyk, it gave the hard-partying Province team a fighting chance in an early-morning game.

“No puking on the ice — there’s a bucket at the end of the bench,” said one helpful team member.

“Does anyone have a morphine drip for my headache?” moaned another.

Continued, and the tournament's website is here. Scotiabank happens to hold Pro-Ams across Canada--in Vancouver, in Calgary (this year; it alternates between Calgary and Edmonton from year to year) and in Toronto--from November to April, and Howe and Alzheimer's research are its cruxes. He was a passionate advocate for Alzheimers research when he was better, and he remains inolved in the tournaments despite battling dementia himself. I don't know what to add to that but it's pretty special.

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Red Wings-Islanders wrap-up and overnight report: some good, some bad, some ‘earned’ luck?

The Red Wings headed back to Metro Detroit ahead of a windy, stormy Sunday, having dropped their sixth straight game, a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders, and I have good news for Red Wings fans everywhere:

The team won't play for two days.

I also have some bad news: starting on Tuesday, the Wings will play 4 games over the course of six nights--with three straight scheduled to take place at Joe Louis Arena--and they play seven more times this month, with 4 of 7 taking place at the Joe.

With 21 games down, sporting a 9-5-and-7 record (9-and-13? Really?), having not won in 2 weeks and owning an 0-1-2 (OT losses) and 3 (shootout losses) record of late, I can't deny that the results have either become borderline comical...

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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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