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The Malik Report

Now that the lockout’s over, the people who really make their living from hockey commerce are ‘back’

The #hockeyisback hashtag is a little condescending given that every hockey league save the NHL has been in action since last September or October, but the lockout's greatest casualties in terms of collateral damage were not owners, players or teams.

The fans bore the brunt of trying to stick with their favorite teams through over half a year's worth of collective bargaining Kabuki theatre, and those who truly could not afford to pay the bills without NHL games being played--those who work at rinks in broadcasting, as ushers, concessions workers, security, janitors, you name it, and the folks who own and work at restaurants, bars, hotels, parking garages and merchandise shops--very literally either did not work ,were laid off, orweren't able to pay the bills due to significant downturns in business.

Here in Metro Detroit, as ClickonDetroit.com notes (via RedWingsFeed), the return of the NHL is a Godsend for downtown businesspeople and their employees:

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Welcome aboard Red Bird III

I think the Griffins are just showing off now! After posting a wonderful video chronicling Landon Ferraro's participation in the Red vs. White game, the Grand Rapids Griffins take us aboard Red Bird III:

 

Update: While we're at videos chronicling the next generation of Red Wings, Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji and Art Regner interviewed director of player development Jiri Fischer this morning, and here's the video. FoxSportsDetroit.com will stream tomorrow's 12 PM practice (again, open to the public, free parking, free admission) as well, and will hold some interviews afterward:

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Red Wings’ organization loses another member of the family in video coordinator Joe Ducharme

After losing Budd Lynch last fall, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff reports that the Red Wings' organization will say its final farewells to  another beloved member of their organization:

Windsor’s Joe Ducharme was a cult hero to hockey fight tape junkies.

Back in the mid-1980s when working with video was something new to NHL teams, Ducharme served as video coordinator for the Detroit Red Wings, making him the only person with access to VHS footage of Joe Kocur and Windsor’s Bob Probert when the Bruise Brothers were the heavyweight champions of hockey.

Ducharme, who died Sunday at the age of 90, worked for the Red Wings from 1970-2004 and during his work as video coordinator for the club received Stanley Cup rings from the team for his work with Detroit’s championship squads in 1996-97, 1997-98 and 2001-02, and the father of six children suggested that was one ring for each of his three sons.

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Early evening Red Wings news: AHL and ECHL All-Stars, tales of injuries, woe and multimedia stuffins

Updated 6x at 8:29 PM:

Revised starting "blurb": Awesome, per the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

Also part of the update: You can check out the AHL's ASG rosters here. It takes place on January 7th and 8th in Providence, Rhode Island, and the NHL Network and Fox Sports Detroit usually air the game...

The Detroit Red Wings will take to the ice at Joe Louis Arena tonight at 7 PM for a one-hour practice that will precede an open skate for fans from 8-10 PM, and we're probably going to get a second round of injury news to follow this morning's slate of bump-and-bruise updates; we'll also hear more about the team's decision to not pursue Wade Redden and Tomas Holmstrom's retirement presser on Tuesday.

Tomorrow, Fox Sports Detroit will stream Friday's 12 PM practice on their website (that practice is free and open to the public as well), and $9 tickets go on sale this Saturday at the JLA box office.

In terms of this afternoon/evening's pre-second-skate news...

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St. James: Red Wings’ Tomas Holmstrom will retire on Tuesday, @ 4:30 PM presser

Updated 2x at 5:56 PM: The timing fits, per the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Beloved net-front expert Tomas Holmstrom has told the Red Wings he's done playing in the NHL after 15 seasons, and naturally for a guy who helped them win four Stanley Cups, the Wings want to give Holmstrom a proper farewell.

That's been a bit tricky, what with a rushed training camp which started at Compuware because Joe Louis Arena was occupied by Ford Motor Company, and the possibility that Mike and Marian Ilitch want to be on hand for the event.

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No Redden For The Wings

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings aren't going to make a play for unrestricted free agent defenseman Wade Redden.

There had been internal discussions about whether Redden, 35, would help bolster the blue line in the wake of losing Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement and Brad Stuart via trade, but ultimately, management decided to stick with what's already on the roster.

The pairings shape up to feature Niklas Kronwall with Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith with Kyle Quincey, and Ian White with Carlo Colaiacovo. Jakub Kindl is the seventh man. Kindl has a bit of a pulled groin and is day-to-day, but Colaiacovo has healed enough from a sore shoulder that he will play Saturday at St. Louis.

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Red Wings offer details of opening night ‘Thanks for Sticking with Us” promotions

As an FYI, from the Detroit Red Wings' PR department:

Wings ramp up efforts to 'thank' fans; Giveaways and prizes await fans at Joe Louis Arena this season

DETROIT – The Red Wings are back! And as a way to say ‘Thanks for Sticking with Us’ the Original Six franchise plans to celebrate the extraordinary passion and support of their loyal fans.

At the opener on Tuesday, January 22, fans at The Joe, along with fans who follow the club via traditional and online media, will have a chance to win prizes including a trip to a Red Wings’ road game, autographed Wings merchandise, televisions, tablets courtesy of AT&T, $200 gift cards from Kroger, and much more.

On opening night, fans will be treated with 50 percent discounts on sodas and draft beers, and 30 percent off Red Wings merchandise for three games in January.

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Retired Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom to appear at The Ticket’s SportsFest in Feb.

I don't want the Thursday practice post to get buried by today's waiver news--I'm still updating it with mid-day news stories as there are changes in the respective statuses of Mikael Samuelsson (probably good to go Saturday), Darren Helm (is improving), Joey MacDonald (confusing situation) and Jakub Kindl (sore groin, out for the weekend)--nor do I want the Griffins' wonderful video chronicling Tuesday' Red vs. White game to be forgotten, but this bit of news most certainly merits its own post:

According to 97.1 the Ticket, their annual SportsFest will take place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi on Sunday, February 16th, from 10 AM until 6 PM, and two very important Red Wings will make appearances at the event:

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Grand Rapids Griffins produce a must-watch video chronicling the Red vs. White game

Via Michigan Hockey Now's Michael Caples, the Grand Rapids Griffins produced an absolutely fantastic video of the Griffins' perspectives from the Red and White Game, focusing on Landon Ferraro's experiences and offering some absolutely wonderful coaches' commentary and GoPro footage from the referees working the game:

 

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Red Wings’ Thursday practice post in progress: Samuelsson in, Helm out, Kindl’s groin sore

Updated 9x with video at 2:03 PM: Let's kick this off with a wee bit of fan interaction:

For those of you who are interested, Fox Sports Detroit's website will stream the Red Wings' 10:30 AM practice today and the12 PM practice tomorrow, with Dana Wakiji and Art Regner speaking to players afterward.

Edit/update: it's streaming already, and as of 10:24 AM, goalies are on the ice....

Also of Wings-related note, albeit briefly:

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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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