The Malik Report
This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related news is scattershot in nature.
The Red Wings are apparently bringing their bouncy castle to the Belle Isle Grand Prix this weekend, and you're interested, the Red Wings posted a video of their "season ticket-holder Happy Hours" they're holding at Cheli's Chili as well, but Larry Murphy riding in an Indy Car is much more entertaining:
The Red Wings are also holding their season's-end equipment and memorabilia sale at Hockeytown Authentics on Saturday, and if you want to take part in the Play On street hockey tournament in Toronto this weekend, you might end up playing against a Red Wings prospect:
The Gentleman who's purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers (from that weird nutbag) has Detroit ties...
And Paul happened to remember that Ballmer and SUN Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy (who now works for a social media company called Wayin) happened to engage in a press conference a full decade ago, announcing a business partnership which also revealed that both men are quite proud to be Detroit Red Wings fans:
Red Wings afternoon news: Ken Holland on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM; Mantha talks defense; Cup memories
Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery today, and while his cell phone connection was a little fuzzy, Holland dished quite a bit of dirt while attending the NHL's Draft combine in Toronto.
Amongst Holland's points of emphasis (the draft, Anthony Mantha, Mike Babcock's contract extension and free agency chit-chat):
1. He plans on taking a "skater" with the 15th overall draft pick (i.e. not a goaltender), though the Wings may move up or down a few spots depending on where players rank on the team's post-scouting-meetings draft list. He does feel that the combine's interview process can change the team's master list, but he also pointed out that players are much more mature thanks to under-18, under-17 and under-16 programs, so when the Wings' ten scouts have a chat with said players, they speak to more finished prospects;
Via the Red Wings' Twitter account, TSN's trying to break a 3-way tie in its Play of the Year bracket. Gustav Nyquist's goal against Tampa Bay has advanced to one of the semifinals, but TSN chose to split the other semifinal into a 3-way race between T.J. Oshie, Tomas Hertl and Tatar (and you can vote here):
Today's semifinal match-up features St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie taking on Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar and Thomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks.
Oshie - as he proved at the Sochi Olympics this year - is comfortable going it alone.
I'm not necessarily thrilled with the start of, "Look through 40+ foreign-language news websites for news" season starting, but it's that time of year.
The local news sources' stories are starting to blend together--DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose profiled Xavier Ouellet yesterday, Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji profiled Mattias Backman on Wednesday afternoon, and this morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James discusses Ouellet, and St. James' article is where we'll start...
This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related news falls into the "scattershot" category, but the first story's particularly pertinent. Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill told WOOD TV8's Larry Figurski that he believes the Red Wings have a significant number of potential top-four defensemen in Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Alexey Marchenko, Nick Jensen, Adam Almquist and Mattias Backman (though Blashill did not name the players he felt were top-four material, perhaps out of professional courtesy).
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose profiled Ouellet overnight, RedWingsCentral discussed the aforementioned players and Adam Almquist earlier this month, and this afternoon, Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji profiles Backman:
The Grand Rapids Griffins posted two press releases today. The first highlights the Griffins Youth Foundation's annual golf classic, and the second offers official registration forms for the Griffins' youth hockey camp, which takes place from July 28th until August 1st.
Here's the golf classic presser:
I'm not sure how many of you plan on attending the draft in Philadelphia in late June (Friday June 27th and Saturday June 28th at the Wells Fargo Center), but the Sports Agent Blog posted an intriguing press release regarding on hell of a pre-draft sports conference, and Red Wings GM Ken Holland has contributed and probably will contribute to said conference. Here's the press release from D'Bria Bradshaw...
The Sports Management Worldwide (SMWW) NHL Draft Hockey Career Conference makes its way to the City of Brotherly Love for the 2014 NHL Draft as Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of the Philadelphia Flyers, becomes the center of the hockey universe June 26-28, 2014. The conference will take place at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel.
The SMWW Career Conference is an opportunity to gain insight into a variety of careers from top executives in hockey. The 2 day event offers unique panel discussions that will include panels on sports business, athlete representation, scouting, league management, and sports business strategies. Previous panel members have included: Ken Holland, Detroit Red Wings GM & EVP, Pat Brisson, NHLPA Agent CAA, Bill Robertson Minnesota Wild Vice President, Gordie Roberts, HOF & Pro Scout, etc.
I know that some of you needed to have a good bout of sports-related arguing (I've learned that some sports fans, for better or worse, have more fun debating their opinions as to what a team ought to do than they have watching the team perform; there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a good sports-related argument, but my brain doesn't thrive upon it), and TSN's Scott Cullen's Red Wings off-season game plan allowed you to vent...
But I'm a little more intrigued by the draft combine and the 119 players in attendance (including Claude Lemieux's son) at present. I make it a rule to not get too attached to the concept of the Red Wings drafting any particular prospect given that there's a 1-in-30 chance that the Wings will actually draft them, but the Wings are in a particularly unique position this spring.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will hold a special equipment and memorabilia sale at Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (1845 E. Big Beaver Rd.) on Saturday, May 31, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase game-worn jerseys from the team’s recently-completed 2013-14 campaign. The jerseys were also worn during Nick Lidstrom Retirement Night and come with a commemorative “No. 5” Nick Lidstrom patch. In addition, various game-worn jerseys from previous seasons will be available at a discounted price. This one-day-only sale includes game-used hockey equipment such as sticks, skates, gloves and helmet visors. Autographed items, including pucks, photos, skates and sticks, will also be available for fans to add to their collections. Quantities are limited for all of these one-of-a-kind items.
Red Wings season ticket holders will have one hour of exclusive access to the equipment and memorabilia sale on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The sale will then open to the general public from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and will be run on a first-come, first-served basis. Those fans who cannot attend Saturday’s sale can still make a purchase by calling Hockeytown Authentics at 248-680-0965. Phone orders will be taken starting at 1:00 p.m.
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.