The Malik Report
Three members of the Detroit Red Wings--and two who still remain in North America--can't practice with their teammates when the locked-out Wings resume practicing next week. Damien Brunner, who's headed back to Switzerland for a bit, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith have all been assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins, and thanks to the NHL's lockout policies, the gents have to find their own places to skate and train until the Griffins' camp opens on October 1st.
While Brunner's essentially a pro player who needs to find out whether he can hack the pace and intensity of North American hockey, and Smith defines the term "overripe," Nyquist may actually benefit from working on his strength, conditioning and shooting in the AHL, as he acknowledged to MLive's Ansar Khan:
“It’s a great place, and we’ll get (former Red Wings assistant coach) Jeff Blashill as the coach now,'' Nyquist said. “It worked for me last year, and it’s a great group of guys there, so I’m just excited to start playing.''
Nyquist is doubtlessly right up there with Teemu Pulkkinen and Calle Jarnkrok as the jewels in the "next generation of Red Wings star forwards" crown, but as he's undersized and still inexperienced, which has Wings GM Ken Holland both excited about his Nyquist's potential and is a little concerned about his
With Aftonbladet reporting that it'd cost Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Allsvenskan $730,000 a month to insure Niklas Kronwall's contract, and NT.se reporting that 1st division team Vita Hasten would be faced with a $500,000-per-month insurance premium on Jonathan Ericsson's contract, it would seem that the vast majority of the Red Wings' players are going to be staying in North America unless this lockout drags on for half a season or more...
But ESPN New York's Kate Strang, via RedWingsFeed, reports that the NHLPA is offering a very differnt kind of contract insurance--with the PA ensuring that the players and their families receive something Americans are arguing about as a right and/or privilege in basic health insurance:
The NHLPA has stepped in to cover the premiums for players during the lockout, a union source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. The measure was taken after the NHL asked insurers to cancel all coverage for players once the lockout began, according to several reports.
According to the union, the league's request was not a surprising one considering it made a similar one during the past two lockouts in 2004 and 1994. The players' association anticipated it would happen again when the current bargaining agreement expired last Saturday and has since made sure to devise a plan to suit its constituency.
Amongst this afternoon's somewhat sparse crop of Red Wings-related news, I believe we still have to take this rumor of a Datsyukian European playing option with salt...
And I would suggest the same regarding NT.se's Ulf Strahle's reiteration that Jonathan Ericsson wants to play with his brother Jimmie on Skelleftea AIK, a Swedish Eliteserien team that can't sign NHL players at this point. Strahle reports that Ericsson's option to play with vita Hasten of the Swedish first division, two steps below the Eliteserien, would also be prohibitively expensive given the cost of insuring his salary:
Via RedWingsCamps on Twitter, and per the Red Wings' website, the Wings are all but certain to cancel training camp over the course of the next day or two, but they plan on at least holding a youth hockey camp at Centre Ice Arena this weekend, and assistant coach Bill Peters, former Wings Chris Chelios and Chris Osgood, video coach Keith McKittrick and goalie coach Jim Bedard will be taking part in said camp:
The Detroit Red Wings will hold a free youth hockey clinic presented by ITC this Saturday, Sept. 22, at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich., as part of the Detroit Red Wings' ongoing ‘Hockeytown Thanks' initiative. More than 200 young hockey players between the ages of seven and 14 will have the chance to take hockey instruction from members of the Red Wings' coaching staff and former Red Wings players.
"The Centre ICE management and staff is very excited the Detroit Red Wings organization and ITC are offering this free youth hockey clinic to our hockey association and the Grand Traverse area," Centre ICE Executive Director Terry Marchand said. "After sending out the word of this free clinic, we filled it within hours."
Updated 2x at 4:42 AM: I've been saying this for a while now, and I'm sticking to it: while a good third to 40% of the Red Wings' roster probably plans on playing overseas at some point during the lockout, the younger, more interchangeable and most importantly cheaper-to-insure are the only ones who will find gainful employment, at least with a Datsyukian KHL exception. Jakub Kindl kind of let it slip that he's heading over to play for Oclari Trinec of the Czech Extraliga on Twitter...
Though he had quite the adventure on the flight over...
But ESPN's Pierre LeBrun offered a fine example as to why the same recession that has the NHL demanding a "retrenching" makes it prohibitively expensive for players on long-term contracts to find work:
Via Centre Ice Arena's Anne Reeves (on Facebook), Traverse City's 9&10 News reports that the Wings haven't canceled training camp...Yet...
Uncertainty is weighing on the minds of organizers at Centre Ice Arena. Everything depends on a new collective bargaining agreement to settle the labor strife. Organizers are waiting on a phone call to confirm the Wings visit to Traverse City; but, that hasn't happened yet, and there's a chance it won't.
The potential loss has a far-reaching financial impact on not only the arena and the fans in the stands, but the community; hundreds of hotel room reservations now in limbo.
The camp draws thousands of spectators, boosting sales at everything from gas stations to restaurants. Even still, organizers are staying optimistic that the camp will happen.
There's a video following the jump:
Updated with news about Martin Frk and Jan Mursak at 6:47 PM: The Detroit Red Wings' players didn't practice on Monday--they probably won't reassemble in Troy for another week--and instead, they went golfing, but not for the hell of it: they were taking part in the Ted Lindsay Foundation's celebrity golf outing to raise funds for autism research, as Lindsay's official Twitter account noted (Tweets after a jump cut due to embedded photos)...
From the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
The Red Wings will inform season-ticket holders later this week regarding refund policies for any potential canceled games.
The NHL locked out its players Saturday when no new collective bargaining agreement was agreed on.
Training camps — the Red Wings were scheduled to begin Friday — will likely be cancelled around the league within the next couple days.
Although a few minor wrinkles need to be ironed out, for all practical purposes the Convention and Arena Authority has a new lease with West Michigan Hockey Inc., which owns the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
The new agreement is a renewal of the original lease the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority negotiated with the hockey club in 1995, a year before Van Andel Arena opened. Under this contract, which is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2011, the Griffins will pay more to play in the only home the team has known.
“The team is very happy with the outcome. Chris (Machuta) and I are very happy with the outcome,” said Rich MacKeigan, SMG regional general manager and CAA executive director. Machuta is SMG’s finance director.
Red Wings mid-day news: more talk about overseas moves; Babcock’s lockout plans and business chatter
Updated 4x at 2:07 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news, as the Free Press's Helene St. James has just wrapped up a chat with readers on Freep.com:
- You're going to have to color me skeptical regarding European player news after the Pavel Datsyuk-to-Kazan report was nixed (Datsyuk did display some anticipatory smarts by not leaving his hometown of Yekaterinburg to skate with his teammates in Detroit), but Blick.ch and Sport.ch are claiming that Damien Brunner will be playing for EV Zug for the duration of the lockout, and not just until the Grand Rapids Griffins' training camp begins on October 1st. Cue the Detroit's Ted Kulfan on this one:
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.