The Malik Report
Updated at 10:37 PM: I don’t know about you, but even from Traverse City, even having seen Ken Holland, Ryan Martin, Jim Nill and Mike Babcock focus their energies on watching the Red Wings’ prospect development camp, and even knowing that the free agent market has ground down to a slow crawl...
I can’t help but feel that the other shoe has yet to drop, at least for the Red Wings. The market is so stagnant right now that we could very well be waiting until August to see what the vats majority of this year’s remaining players are—players who have, in previous years, had to wait until late July or August to sign on with teams for less than they’d hoped as they’re either reclamation projects or come all but tattooed with red flags—and in that sense, part of me feels like the clock’s ticking toward an alarm call whose time we don’t yet know (though the guessing game seems fruitless at best and tiresome at worst).
But this afternoon’s session of on-ice activities at the Red Wings’ development camp was one for the teaching coach in attendance, for a very simple reason: while its structure all but mirrored the morning session, its tone was completely different.
Via RedWingsFeed, I was wondering why MLive’s Brendan Savage was furiously writing away on his laptop, and here’s the reason: Savage has the scoop as to why free agent defenseman and Western Univeristy of Michigan junior Danny DeKeyser isn’t at the Red Wings’ summer development camp, and he clarifies why Calle Jarnkrok (took part in the World Championships) and Gustav Nyquist aren’t here as well:
He wasn’t going to go to any camps this year,” assistant general manager Jim Nill said this morning. “Every team is after him. He decided not to go into any camps. He wanted to focus on training. He was here last year.”
DeKeyser decided to remain at WMU, where he’s played the last two years, and hone his skills for at least one more season rather than giving the NHL a shot.
On a suspiciously quiet day in Traverse City—it may be Sunday, but during the Cherry Festival, I’d expect both rinks at Centre Ice Arena to be hopping with activity, not with one rink darkened, the rink the Red Wings’ prospects use “blocked off” from concourse view via what are essentially tarps, and certainly not with the concession stand closed—the Detroit Red Wings’ prospects got down to the business of learning how to train and play like professional hockey players today.
From what I heard, yesterday’s scrimmage was more of a “getting to know you” event to shake the rust off than anything else—and there’s lots of “getting to know” for the 15 new draft picks or try-outs—so the start of split morning and afternoon sessions marked the return of the same old, same old for players like Brendan Smith, Brian Lashoff, Mitchell Callahan and Thomas McCollum, but there’s always something to be said for the looks of utter shock on draft pick and first-timers’ faces when they see Tomas Storm’s stick drills or Andy Weidenbach’s power skating drills in action.
This is what happens when you sit in the stands instead of spending your time at the north end of the rink, where players and front office types come and go: MLive’s Brendan Savage is confirming the news from Aftonbladet that the Red Wings have indeed agreed to bring Nicklas Lidstrom into the fold as an amateur scout:
Assistant general manager Jim Nill confirmed this morning that Lidstrom will remain with the Red Wings as a scout, most likely overseas near his native Sweden.
“We haven’t really sat down (and determined) to what extent but he’ll be in the organization and do everything he can to help us out,” Nill said today during the morning session of the Red Wings prospects camp at Centre Ice Arena. “We might bring him back here. It depends on the situation. His terms. We wanted to keep him in the organization.”
On a morning where Hockeysverige’s Uffe Bodin and Hokejportal.net’s Andrej Cicman are wondering aloud whether the Red Wings have finally reached the end of their 21-year streak of playoff appearances, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons offers an English-language version thereof:
Before I lay my head down for a few hours and then prepare for that awful 6 AM alarm, here’s a brief summary of the Red Wings news I missed over the past 36 hours. Done a little quickly and on a no-particular order source-by-source basis…
Well, okay, except for the beginning. ESPN’s Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun had a chat about the Red Wings as potential suitors for Rick Nash, just as the Score’s Chris Lund wondered aloud whether the wings would be interested in Jay Bouwmeester and his gigantor $6.68 million cap hit, and just as Sportsline’s Brian Stubits’ suggestion that the Red Wings are a free agent “loser” got talked up by the Free Press and MLive for doing just that.
I just got in to Traverse City, so I’ll have more on this later, but, via NHL Gossip on Twitter, here is former Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom speaking to Aftonbladet’s Angelica Lundberg about the one exception he will make to the, “I just want to be a hockey dad” rule:
Question: What will you do to occupy yourself?
Nicklas Lidstrom: “I will work for the Red Wings. The idea’s that I’ll look around at some players that the team’s drafted here in Sweden. It’ll be a kind of amateur scouting, but I will also go back to the States a few times a year and meet sponsors. When I’m there, I’ll also attend various events with the team. I’ll also keep following Detroit because the - team wants me to know what’s happening and be able to come up with my views on the game.
Thank you for both your concerns and criticism regarding my decision to not attend the first day of the Wings’ development camp. As it turns out, had I gotten an earlier start today, I would have made the one skate the gents took in the afternoon, but after some much-needed rest on Friday and Saturday morning, I got my errands and shopping done and chose to drive up here.
I am sorry about not fulfilling the entirety of my bargain, but both your kind words and critiques were the reason I chose to not wait until Monday to come up: you have asked me to provide a service, and have donated to the cause, and as such, it is my responsibility to deliver what I have promised. So here I am in Traverse City, and I will take a quick look-see to add what I can before going to bed early as 6 AM comes far too early for this night owl.
Not super news, gang. I’m getting a very late start and will have to head up to Traverse city either later tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m excited about going and raring to go mentally, but I’m still exhausted from UFA shenanigans and don’t have the energy to get on the road right away. I’m not bailing, not depressed, none of that stuff, but I just don’t have the juice to get on the road this afternoon. I’m very sorry. S*** happens.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland suggested that his team would step back and reevaluate its plans after being spurned by Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, so I cannot deny that I was more than a bit surprised by all the hubbub about Rick Nash on Thursday.
The media very understandably skewered Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson for demanding the sun, moon and stars for Nash’s services, but at the same time, hockey pundits acted as if combining said criticism with enough hyping of the suggestion that the Parise/Suter sweepstakes’ “losers” would surely almost immediately turn to Columbus and overpay for Nash—or at least scramble like a bunch of eighth-graders chasing down the third-prettiest girl to ask to homecoming after their class’s two prettiest girls decided to go “stag,” roaring down a figurative middle school hallway to beat down Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray’s door, ready and wiling to out-bid each other to acquire the services of the reasonably-priced Bobby Ryan.
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.