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A bit more about Jeff Lerg’s decision to head to Denmark

Toledo Walleye goaltender Jeff Lerg has decided to leave the ECHL in order to pursue his pro hockey dreams in Denmark, and Lerg spoke with the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe regarding his decision:

Jeff Lerg, who holds nearly every goaltending record in Toledo Walleye franchise history, has left the organization with a heavy heart but an eye on his future.

Lerg, who will play next season with a team in Denmark, continues to fight for an opportunity to play at the highest level. He signed with the team based in Rungsted, a suburb of Copenhagen.

“I loved Toledo. I enjoyed playing at home with all the fans. Everything about it was great,” Lerg said. “It’s just one of those things where I still want to play at the highest pro level. I’ve done as much as I can in the ECHL. I wanted to get rewarded for the high caliber of play. But I think it was proven I was not going to get one in the top leagues in North America.”

Lerg, a 30-year-old from Livonia, Mich., had played a prominent role in transforming the Walleye into championship-caliber organization the last two seasons.

Lerg backstopped Toledo to a Brabham Cup title for the best record in the ECHL during the 2014-15 regular season. He also led the Walleye  to back-to-back Eastern Conference championships.


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Darren McCarty speaks with NHL.com regarding his hockey and post-career achievements

From NHL.com's Cutler Klein:

Darren McCarty's most famous battle on the ice might have been with Claude Lemieux in 1997, but his biggest fight in retirement has been with himself.

The former Detroit Red Wings forward battled addiction and alcoholism his entire NHL career and beyond but is eight months sober and said he feels better than he ever has, thanks to the support of his wife, Sheryl, Red Wings executives and former teammates, including Kris Draper, Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

"I've gotten support from the top from [Red Wings owners] Mr. [Mike] and Mrs. [Marian] Ilitch to [Red Wings general manger] Ken Holland, [Draper], who's been my boy through it all, [Yzerman] and guys like Paul Coffey, [Shanahan] and Nick Lidstrom," McCarty said this month.

"We're a brotherhood. They're like your brothers and they're happy that you finally found some peace of mind and you're not suffering as much anymore. They've been a great support system. The biggest one is my wife. Without my wife, I probably wouldn't be alive. She was a godsend to me after I retired and pretty much saved my life. Life is good now."


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Video- They Call Him The ‘Magic Man’

awood40 has put together a two-part highlight package on Pavel Datsyuk.  The first video is just south of 58 minutes and part two is almost 52 minutes in length.

Watch part 2 below...

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The Wings’ practice rink continues to take shape at Little Caesars Arena

From WXYZ's Kacie Hollins:

Little Caesars Arena is starting to take shape, but a lot of the progress being made is happening underground.

Red Wings Director or Minor Hockey Operations Darren Eliot took 7 Action Sports reporter Kacie Hollins 40 feet below street level to what will be the new practice facility for the Wings and the home of Little Caesars Triple A hockey.

Having a designated practice rink in their new home means the Red Wings don’t have to share nearly as much.

“Last year even they were displaced because of concerts and stuff at The Joe. [It’s a] very busy venue,” explained Eliot.

Superintendent Chris Clark explained that to get the practice ice perfect, and evenly frozen, they’re using a system of pipes laid under the playing surface. In total, there will be 12 miles of pipes under the ice.

Continued, and it appears that a video report will be up soon...

Update: Here's the video:

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Interviewing the director of a documentary on the Russian 5

I've recently started a blog on Gold Star Hockey's website, and I spoke with Joshua Riehl, the director of a documentary about the Russian 5 regarding his film. Here's part of the interview:

I asked Joshua to share the story of Vladimir Konstantinov's departure from Russia, or at least a part of it. The part where the Red Wings had to bribe Russian doctors into giving Konstantinov a fake cancer diagnosis with sacks of money and a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice was understood as “part of the process”:

“In the fall of 1989, the Red Wings tell Vladdie and Sergei, 'Hey, you've been drafted.' Sergei comes over next summer [of 1990], in July, and Vladdie comes over with the Russian Red Army team in December of that year for the Super Series.”

“They orchestrate a secret meeting at the Joe, they sneak him out of the Pontchartrain hotel, Jimmy D brings him into his office, and the way Jimmy D tells the story, Jimmy D has two bags of money, and he says, 'Vladdie, these are for you, next door, at the Riverfront, I've got you an apartment next to Sergei's, and we want you to leave your team and join the Red Wings.'”

“And Vladdie says, 'I want to, but I have a wife and daughter, and I cannot leave my family.' A couple months later, Jim Lites, Bryan Murray and Nick Polano are in Turku, Finland; they're orchestrating Nick Lidstrom's contract, to get all that situated, and they meet the guy who helped the defection with Sergei, they run into him, and he says, 'Do you want a meeting with Vladdie?'”

The story continues at the Gold Star Hockey website..

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NBC and NBCSN to air 14 Red Wings games

As Paul noted, NBCSN has released its broadcast schedule for the upcoming season, and in addition to airing the Centennial Classic between the Red WIngs and Maple Leafs, the league will air Red Wings games on the following 14 afternoons and evenings:

Date   Away   Home   Network Time (ET)

Wed., Oct. 19 Detroit N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 2 Detroit Philadelphia NBCSN 8 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 15 Tampa Bay Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 1 Detroit Toronto NBC 3 p.m.

Wed., Jan 18 Boston Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.

Sun., Jan 22  N.Y. Rangers  Detroit  12:30 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 12 Detroit Minnesota NBC 3 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 15 St. Louis Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 19 Detroit Pittsburgh NBC 3 p.m. on Hockey Day in America

Wed., Mar. 8 Detroit Boston NBCSN 8 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 12 N.Y. Rangers Detroit NBC 12:30 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 15 Detroit Colorado NBCSN 10 p.m.

Mon., Mar. 20 Buffalo Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 26 Minnesota Detroit NBCSN 7 p.m.

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Waiting on DeKeyser and Mrazek

I'm still all but literally on the edge of my seat regarding the Red Wings' unfinished summertime business: the team has to re-sign Danny DeKeyser and Petr Mrazek before their arbitration hearings, as CBS Sports' Chris Peters notes in an article discussing NHL teams' to-do lists:

Detroit Red Wings: Two big RFAs that the Red Wings have to get under contract are defenseman Danny DeKeyser and goalie Petr Mrazek. Both are going to be key players for the foreseeable future for the club, but finding a way to get reasonable deals done with both is going to be easier said than done. That's especially true if Mrazek wants to be paid like a No. 1 goalie on his next deal. Both have arbitration hearings set on consecutive days, July 27 for Mrazek and July 28 for DeKeyser.

The Red Wings haven't had to go through salary arbitration since Jiri Hudler filed the year he bolted for Moscow Dynamo, so it's highly likely that DeKeyser and Mrazek will be re-signed before next Wednesday and Thursday, but we neither know the salary range that they'll land (presumably in the $4-5 million range for both players) or when exactly they'll be re-signed.

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Red Wings re-sign Mitch Callahan

Good signing:

Here's the press release:

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Cotsonika dishes on Brad Richards’ retirement

Updated 3x at 3:30 PM: From NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika:

Here's a bit more from the Charlottetown Guardian:

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Jeff Lerg leaves Walleye for European opportunity

From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:

Jeff Lerg, who holds nearly every goaltending record in Toledo Walleye franchise history, has signed to play next season with a team in Denmark.

Lerg, 30, from Livonia, Mich., had played a prominent role the last two seasons with the Walleye. He signed today with a team based in Rungsted, a suburb of Copenhagen.

Lerg, who was named runner-up for ECHL goaltender of the year last season, posted a 28-11-3 record. He set single-season franchise records with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

Update: Here's more from the Toledo Walleye:

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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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