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Well that’s that…The Red Wings will sign Max Nicastro shortly

Five days after

he was

acquitted on

charges of rape against him were dropped by Boston prosecutors, the Red Wings are placing a significant amount of faith in former Boston University defenseman Max Nicastro’s ability to rebound from six months’ worth of incredibly difficult personal circumstances.

MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that the Wings will sign Nicastro to an entry-level deal and give the two-way defenseman the opportunity to begin his professional career while doing what the Wings do with every player who joins their organization—allowing them to check their baggage at the locker room door:

The Detroit Red Wings anticipate signing the defenseman from Boston University, their third-round pick in the 2008 entry draft (91st overall), after July 1 and assigning him to the Grand Rapids Griffins, assistant general manager Jim Nill said. The 22-year-old Nicastro is a big, stay-at-home defenseman (6-foot-3, 215).

“He has good size, a big, strong guy, physical,’’ Nill said. “He can shoot the puck. He’s a strong skater.’‘

Authorities last week dropped rape charges against Nicastro. The native of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was arrested Feb. 19 after he was accused of assaulting a female student on campus. He had pleaded not guilty, was suspended from the team and withdrew from school.

“We got no comment on what happened,’’ Nill said. “Whatever is in the past, he’s been cleared of. We move forward.’‘

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Red Wings overnight report: on accountability, the Wings’ future, lockout talk, Shanny and Iron Hook

Updated 3x at 9:04 AM: On a strange day of radical ups and downs, from the Red Wings’ release of its Winter Classic lead-up events’ schedule to discussions of Todd Bertuzzi’s legal woes and a story I plain old refuse to cover because it’s far too bizarre (click at your own risk, my friends, click at your own risk), and then Bryan Rufenach‘s passing…

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Early St. James: Red Wings’ organizational meetings not team’s last pre-draft discussion

From the Detroit Free Press (early edition), Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings’ organizational meetings did indeed wrap up today at Joe Louis Arena…

But Wings GM Ken Holland, assistant GM Jim Nill, VP Jimmy Devellano, capologist Ryan Martin, the pro scouts (like Kirk Maltby and Mark Howe), coach Mike Babcock and executives Chris Chelios and Kris Draper have decided that the team’s simply got too much to lose—and too much can change between now and the draft on June 22nd, never mind free agency’s start on July 1st, based upon which free agents-to-be re-sign with their teams and based upon what the early CBA negotiations reveal regarding the rules the Wings will play under come September—for the front office to shake hands and say, “See you at the draft!”

“I would categorize it as a whole lot of philosophical conversation,” Holland said. “We talked about what the rules are going to be, our team, and what direction are we going to go in? “

Every player eligible to become an unrestricted free agent was rated and ranked, but that’ll be revisited later in June, because several of those players are expected to re-sign with their current teams.

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Oh my goodness…Former Wings prospect Bryan Rufenach passes away

Updated 4x at 9:15 AM on Wednesday: Terrible, terrible news from TSN...

Former Detroit Red Wings draft pick Bryan Rufenach has died.The ECHL said Tuesday that Rufenach, 23, died this week while traveling in Switzerland. It gave no further details.

Rufenach, a defenseman, played in 60 games with the Toledo Walleye over the previous two seasons and scored 14 goals with 21 assists. He also played 13 games for Grand Rapids of the AHL. He was taken in the seventh round with the 208th overall pick by the Red Wings in 2007 after four seasons at Clarkson University.

And, via RedWingsFeed, MLive’s Ansar Khan:

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Sigh…Bertuzzi legal news

Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi’s legal issues remain part of his baggage, so, per the CBC’s Michael Drapak...

Lawyers for Todd Bertuzzi and Orca Bay, the company that owns the Vancouver Canucks, have lost an appeal to keep secret the details of an agreement that shares costs between them should they lose a $38 million lawsuit brought against them by Steve Moore.

Moore’s lawyer, Tim Danson, learned of the agreement earlier this year and won a decision to have it released to him, but not for public disclosure.

Justice Paul Perell, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, upheld that decision, writing “since the structure of the settlement agreement has already been disclosed, the non-disclosure of the details of the proportional sharing is more harmful than the complete disclosure”.

Continued, and as I keep saying, I with that Moore’s lawyer, Tim Danson, would cut this, “Let’s sue everyone for half a billion dollars!” strategy and instead take a significant chunk of Bertuzzi’s career earnings, a significant settlement from the league and Canucks and simply let Steve Moore move on with his life. Moore’s a brilliant, articulate and thoughtful young man and he’s been forced to remain a victim for the better part of a decade, and he deserves to get his paycheck and no longer have to live as, “The guy whose neck Bertuzzi broke.”

And in seriously bizarre legal news, i’m not even touching the Free Press’s story about the gentleman who mailed body parts to Canadian political party offices being a Fedorov fan. That’s just f***ed up...

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, the Toronto Star’s Rick Westhead confirms the Bertuzzi news.

Update #2: the Canadian Press has more if you’re interested.

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Red Wings mid-day news: Cheli on Clode, Parise rumblings and a social media meet-up

Updated 3x with Niklas Kronwall talking about Jarnkrok at 4:37 PM: Amongst this morning’s addendums to the overnight report:

• Red Wings executive Chris Chelios has spent the past three-and-a-half days taking part in the team’s organizational powwow at Joe Louis Arena, but before he headed into the Wings’ de-facto bunker with Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Ryan Martin, Kris Draper, Jimmy Devellano, Mark Howe and pro scouts like Kirk Maltby and Mark Howe, he spoke to MLive’s Brendan Savage about his of subbing in goal to play to play hockey with a certain “perfect human’s” offspring as opposed to a former teammate’s trying to knock his block off when Chelios volunteered to play goal in Montreal:

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Red Wings announce schedule of events leading up to Winter Classic

From the Red Wings’ PR department and the Wings’ website:

PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE FOR DECEMBER’S HOCKEYTOWN WINTER FESTIVAL™ ANNOUNCED

… Two Weeks of Hockey Excitement Will Descend Upon Detroit in December …

Detroit, MI… Olympia Entertainment has unveiled a preliminary schedule for the 2012 Hockeytown Winter Festival™, set to take place at downtown Detroit’s Comerica Park™ during the final two weeks of December. Kicking off mid-month and wrapping up on New Year’s Eve, this multi-faceted celebration of the sport of hockey will feature a wide variety of fun-filled activities and exhibitions for fans of all ages. A full listing of dates and events comprising the Hockeytown Winter Festival™ can be found below:

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Red Wings overnight report: answers and insights about moves to come aren’t supposed to satisfy us

While Don Cherry’s spent the past three Coach’s Corners completely ignoring Nicklas Lidstrom, and Sports Illustrated of all places countered by positing an absolutely glorious photo gallery commemorating the career of someone SI’s Stu Hackel describes as the “MVP of his era” (it’s pretty hard for me to stop tossing off superlatives here…I’m going to miss it)...

Days have passed, the news cycle has shifted, and on Monday night, Red Wings GM Ken Holland dropped the first couple of hints as to what the team’s plans regarding their own unrestricted and restricted free agents-to-be, as well as the whole having to attempt to fill Lidstrom’s skates, maybe add another top-four defenseman, definitely snag a top-six forward who can score goals, and maybe add a back-up goalie and fourth-line forward with grit so as to “reload” instead of engaging in a “rebuilding year” thing…

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The Cherry snub of Nicklas Lidstrom continues

You’ll have to excuse this very partisan Red Wings fan for espousing “sour grapes,” but Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Chery mused upon what has become quite the lop-sided series, broke in a black version of his, “Technicolor flowers you’d see on an acid trip” suit pattern, and spent much of Coach’s Corner comparing Drew Doughty to Bobby Orr…

But over the course of three Stanley Cup Final games, Cherry has issues nary a peep about the player he complained about so regularly during Wings playoff runs for “never hitting!” in one Nicklas Lidstrom. Something tells me that we won’t hear Cherry mention Lidstrom’s retirement or legacy on Wednesday, either.

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Red Wings GM Ken Holland tells Waddell that he knows his team must reload—fast—and avoid a rebuild

I’ve been hammering it like a nail: after tomorrow, we Red Wings fans will begin to find out about the shape of the Wings to come as GM Ken Holland, assistant GM Jim Nill, capologist (from having met him, folks, trust me, he’s basically the team’s third general manager) Ryan Martin, VP Jimmy Devellano, the team’s pro scouts (Mark Howe, Kirk Maltby, etc.), special assistants Chris Chelios and Kris Drone Nicklas Lidstrom (okay, everybody take a deep breath, that’s a long sentence)...

Will emerge from their organizational meetings, having decided what the team plans on doing with their own unrestricted free agents-to-be in Jiri Hudler (unlikely to return), Joey MacDonald (likely to be replaced), Tomas Holmstrom (likely to retire) and Brad Stuart (likely out the door), the shape of the negotiations to come with their restricted free agents in Darren Helm, Justin Abdelakder and Kyle Quincey, and—most importantly for you and me—what the team plans on doing in terms of targeting free agents to attempt to fill the gaping hole left in the team’s blueline in Lidstrom’s departure, starting with draft-day rights trades, continuing into free agency, and, if the market doesn’t pan out, working the trade market.

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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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