The Malik Report
Updated with a little Griffins talk at 5:53 PM: Pardon the repetition, because this afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related news includes a) swearing and b) more of the same in terms of the substance of news stories.
As previously noted, Pavel Datsyuk will play for the Ak Bars Kazan--his first pro team--during the lockout, but the Free Press's Helene St. James notes that the vast majority of the Wings' players don't plan on leaving Detroit,with the exceptions of Jakub Kindl, Cory Emmerton and probably Valtteri Filppula (Damien Brunner will head back to EV Zug in Switzerland for a week or two, but then he'll join the Griffins at the end of this month, and as St. James noted this morning, Jonathan Ericsson may end up playing for Vita Hasten in the Swedish first division, which would be the equivalent of an NHL player signing with a semi-pro team):
Pavel Datsyuk opted to stay in his native Russia and signed Sunday with his former club, AK Bars Kazan. Most of the veteran Wings are staying in town, reflecting hope a new accord will be reached before the end of November.
MLive's Ansar Khan stated that the Wings' players will take a week off before resuming skating in Troy or wherever else they can get ice time, and I believe Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg will state as much when WXYZ airs Brad Galli's interview with the pair (hopefully they'll post the video online as well) during tonight's Sunday Sports Update (and the lockout's gotten top billing on all our local newscasts over the past three or four days, with talk about its effects upon fans, local businesses and other hockey leagues all being discussed within the first five minutes of every broadcast).
Per the Free Press's Helene St. James, it didn't take long for Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk to sign with a KHL team (and sorry about being late on this one, I was very ill this morning)...
Which Yahoo Sports' Dmitry Chesnkov says comes from a report from Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov...
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness is confirming:
Updated 2x at 5:58 AM: From what we know at this point, the Red Wings' players who plan on remaining in Metro Detroit for the present moment will begin their lockout activities by taking a week off before resuming near-daily practices in Troy, and as the third lockout of Gary Bettman's tenure and the second over the past eight seasons takes effect, the Free Press's Helene St. James did an absolutely fantastic job of setting Wings fans on our unpleasant collective journey with the most information possible as to how both the players and management (kinda sorta on the latter front) feel about what's transpiring...
"I just think the league has really grown well, hockey has never been in a better place than it is now," Wings forward Danny Cleary said. "I think we owe it to ourselves not to have a full season wasted. We need to come to an agreement, and that's pretty much going to be up to Don [Fehr] to talk to the players to see where we want to go. But someone is going to have to move at some point, us or Gary [Bettman]. I hope that both sides can realize the longer we go, the uglier it's going to get. I think we're definitely optimistic that we're going to have some hockey this year. I mean, another full year, the implications would be -- I don't know what they'd be. I mean, I'd like to say catastrophic. Just devastating. But I mean, last time they weren't."
Updated 2x at 8:02 PM: This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related news involves a predictable subject. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke to Danny Cleary about the impending lockout on Friday...
Via RedWingsFeed, WXYZ posted a teaser as to Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall's thoughts on the impeding lockout, with a longer interview Brad Galli conducted with both players to come on the Sunday Sports Update:
The ice is gone from Joe Louis Arena's floor, where the Red Wings' players engaged in one final practice before packing up black equipment bags (I'm starting to wonder whether the players were handed NHLPA jerseys at the players' meetings in New York given Chris Stevenson's report that the Oilers had to surrender their practice jerseys at the end of their skate on Friday), and for now, the Wings' players, coaches, management and fans are all embarking on an unknown course.
The third lockout of Gary Bettman's regime will take effect tonight at 11:59 PM EDT, and it sounds like the Wings' players don't plan on starting their informal skates in Troy immediately, so news may tail off for a short period of time, but for this morning, I've got a combination of carryover news regarding the Wings' signings on Friday, the potential playing destinations of a pair of locked-out players and some sobering stats regarding the lockout's effects on businesses--including the business whose owners have chosen to rubber-stamp the lockout that's going to hurt people who depend on Red Wings games for a much more modest paycheck than Justin Abdelkader or Carlo Colaiacovo are giving up.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun posited a handy-dandy lockout rules primer, and I'm sticking it here in TMR as it might be useful for Wings fans:
- Players are barred from using any NHL team’s private facilities. So for most players that means having to get together and buy ice time elsewhere to continue their workouts.
- Players will not be paid their 2012-13 salaries during the lockout. The first of 14 paychecks was expected in mid-October. On the flip side, players will get escrow checks from the NHL in mid- to late October, which counts for 8 percent of their 2011-12 salaries (they paid 8.5 escrow last season, but are getting 8 percent of it back). That’s a nice chunk of change for the players to get at the start of a lockout.
This was coming, from the Grand Rapids Griffins:
The Detroit Red Wings on Friday assigned 22 players to the Grand Rapids Griffins, their American Hockey League affiliate: goaltenders Tom McCollum, Petr Mrazek and Jordan Pearce; defensemen Adam Almquist, Gleason Fournier, Brian Lashoff, Max Nicastro and Brendan Smith; and forwards Joakim Andersson, Louis-Marc Aubry, Damien Brunner, Mitch Callahan, Willie Coetzee, Landon Ferraro, Tomas Jurco, Andrej Nestrasil, Gustav Nyquist, Francis Pare, Trevor Parkes, Brent Raedeke, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar.
The group joins five players who signed AHL contracts with the Griffins this summer: defensemen Chad Billins, Brennan Evans and Nathan Paetsch and forwards Luke Glendening and Triston Grant.
The Griffins also announced some of the details regarding their training camp, which will begin on October 1st in Grand Rapids:
Updated 5x at 6:31 PM: It's definitely a strange day for the Red Wings' players. Carlo Colaiacovo made his first visit to Detroit to sign his contract, Justin Abdelkader was signed to a contract extension, and then the Wings' palyers engaged in their last practice at Joe Louis Arena before packing up their ice, watching or at least hearing the ice disappear and then packing up their gear, with 60% of the team likely to start skating in Troy tomorrow or Monday.
I'm not sure who's going to be doing their laundry, sharpening their skates, lugging their gear or attending to their bumps or bruises, but Jimmy Howard told the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan that it bizarrely felt like the last day of school before the semester really begins as he stuffed his Vaughn gear into bags today...
"I feel like I should be going to my exit interview with Kenny (general manager Ken Holland)," goalie Jimmy Howard said.
But, instead, Howard and the rest of the Wings are preparing for time without hockey.
"It'll be weird," Howard said. "I don't know if I've wrapped my head around it. It's just one of those things you have to take day by day.
And Howard and Zetterberg were sounding NHLPA party lines regarding the fight that is to come:
The Free Press's Helene St. James is a fantastic writer and journalist, but she's captured more in a picture than words could ever say with a picture that summarizes exactly what this lockout means to the Red Wings and their fans:
Update: Quite frankly, it's almost equally heartbreaking to hear Justin Abdelkader gush about Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch, the management and coaches and the opportunity he's been given to play for the Red Wings for four more years, via the Wings' website:
This isn't necessarily surprising: the Macomb Daily's Diana Dillaber Murray took note that the Red Wings' "School Assembly Program," a charitable initiative, is continuing to roll along despite the looming lockout. The only difference that's involved in conducting the program is that the Wings will be relying upon alumni and front office personnel to get the ambassadorial job done, with Kris Draper subbing for active players earlier this week:
Former Red Wing hockey player Kris Draper jogged with Holy Name Catholic School students in Birmingham this week as part of the kickoff to the Red Wings School Assembly Program.
Children from 115 Detroit Metropolitan Area elementary schools, including almost 30 in Oakland County, can expect players, past and present, from the hockey team to visit this fall thanks to the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Kroger Company of Michigan.
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