The Malik Report
Sergei Fedorov will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame this evening, and he's made something of a radio tour over the past couple of days, which is good given that Derek Jeter and Tom Izzo will steal the spotlight tonight.
First, Sergei appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 yesterday, discussing his status as a Metro Detroit resident during the offseason, his job as CSKA Moscow's GM and the boos he faced when he first left the Wings...
Edit/update: Well this solves it: it was OR.
According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, #Sabres GM Tim Murry had an offer placed on the table that Ken Holland of the #RedWings was pondering. Murray was waiting for his response before going forward with anything else.
The offer was Tyler Myers in exchange for top prospects Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha.
Holland finally rejected the deal, which allowed for the trade we know to take place. #NHL
As already reported, and per The Score's Justin Cuthbert, last night, TSN's McKenzie told NBCSN's Liam McHugh that the offer was for Larkin OR Mantha...
The Detroit Red Wings were apparently reluctant to give up a prized prospect to land Tyler Myers.
The team's long-rumored flirtation with the towering defenseman - who was traded from Buffalo to Winnipeg on Wednesday - hit a snag when the Sabres requested either Dylan Larkin or Anthony Mantha in return, Bob McKenzie reported on NBC on Wednesday.
McKenzie suggested the Red Wings' hesitation to part with prospects and picks will make it difficult to land experience on defense before the March 2 trade deadline.
from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,
Petr Mrazek, who has been with the Detroit Red Wings since November, is expected to rejoin the Griffins at some point to join a congested but effective goalie situation in Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids already has Jared Coreau, who has emerged as a steady starter with three shutouts in 17 games, and veteran Tom McCollum (who spent two-plus weeks in Detroit himself), with a team-high 22 games played.
Detroit could keep three goalies, but the organization will likely have Mrazek return to Grand Rapids and play regularly with the long-range plan to have him back up Jimmy Howard next season.
However, the Red Wings don't have to hurry, either. They have an extra roster spot because Johan Franzen (concussion symptoms) is on injured reserve.
Ryan Martin, Red Wings assistant general manager, said Thursday morning "no changes are planned as of now."
The Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins may involve a score that flattered the defeated team, and when the Wings boarded a midnight flight back to Detroit, I have little doubt that the Wings did so with their figurative tails tucked between their legs.
The Wings got their asses kicked, and while the Wings sit only 2 points behind the Montreal Canadiens (with the same number of games played, 53) and 3 points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (with 3 games in hand), the Wings' schedule gets incredibly harder for the balance of the month--including Saturday and Monday's home games against the Winnipeg Jets and Canadiens, respectively, and then road games in Chicago, Dallas, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose and Nashville...
So the fact that the Wings blew their first "big test" game since they played Tampa Bay (and lost 5-1) has placed more than a sunflower seed's worth of doubt in the minds of Wings fans who fear that Detroit's 9 wins over the past 11 games are more a result of capitalizing on weak competition and an "easy" schedule as opposed to signs that the Big Red Machine is slowly reassembling itself.
I've had three severe concussions in my life, and the most recent one was bad enough that, even as someone who's got health insurance again--and has been told by my doctor to get healthy, dammit--I'm afraid that if I buy a bike, I'll fall and scramble the rest of the egg (even if I'm wearing a helmet), that if I buy a pair of skates, I'll take a header, or if I play a contact sport, I'll end up with Eric Lindros noodle brain.
You and I have both been worried about the status of Johan Franzen, or more realistically speaking, the total lack thereof, since he suffered a concussion of some sort on January 6th against Edmonton, and so the Detroit News's John Niyo asked Ken Holland about #93's murky future. According to Niyo and Holland, the team can only "wait, see and hope":
"He's got a wife, he's got kids, he's got a life to lead," Holland said. "So he needs to get better. He needs to get healthy."
And then he can worry about the rest — the practicing, the playing, maybe even the playoffs.
Holland, meanwhile, says he won't bother worrying about the fiscal concerns associated with one of his veteran players' uncertain future. He'll deal with the salary-cap maneuvering when the time comes, possibly in a few weeks at the trade deadline, if necessary. But he won't address the issues that could come along if Franzen can't return — retirement, recapture fees and the rest — until all this plays out. Franzen, 35, hasn't played — hasn't skated, actually — in more than a month, and there is no timetable yet for when he will, or when he might, as he follows the day-to-day recovery protocol after another concussion.
"Right now, he obviously doesn't feel good enough," Holland said Tuesday, before the Red Wings boarded a flight for Pittsburgh without Franzen. "So he's not here."
Niyo continues, telling us that 1. Franzen's updating trainer Piet Van Zant and his teammates, and 2. Franzen's working with a physician from the University of Michigan (I'm guessing it's the same specialist the Wings referred Tyler Bertuzzi to about a year ago at this time), and as for the whole concept of placing Franzen on a retirement-based Long-Term Injured Reserve Exemption?
Several Red Wings prospects engaged in games on Wednesday, and one feature story involved a prospect who was recently traded, so here goes:
In the SHL, Mattias Backman played 18:30 and took 2 shots, but finished at -2, in Linkopings HC's 3-2 loss to Farjestads BK;
In the KHL, again, Alexander Kadeikin is injured, but SKA St. Petersburg continues its playoff-bound trajectory, defeating Dynamo Riga 3-1;
In the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi scored 2 goals, registered an assist and finished at +3 in the Guelph Storm's 6-3 win over Erie;
These are the games that make us all worry. The Detroit Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins could very well simply be "one of those games," a tilt where the Wings' quality of competition (or lack thereof) and sporadic schedule were going to catch up with a team that had won 9 of 10 games...
But we've watched the Wings lay eggs against their toughest opponents all season long, and after losing to Tampa Bay (at least the Wings still have 3 games in hand on the Bolts) and Pittsburgh, with games against Montreal, Chicago, Anaheim, LA, San Jose and Nashville all on the February schedule, this one is cause for "Rut roh, Raggy, were the Wings just feasting on 'lesser lights' for the last 10 games?" questions among the fan base.
Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery spoke with NBC's Mike Emrick this afternoon, and Emrick discussed the Wings-Penguins match-up and rivalry, the Wings' younger players stepping up and the "state of the Wings" in terms of their likely regular-season finish in the top half of the Eastern Conference:
Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika discussed the present wave of young players who happen to be blossomig on the Red Wings' roster presently in Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist,; as we all know, Petr Mrazek, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet and Teemu Pulkkinen, the AHL's leading scorer, aren't far off, either...
And as such, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner suggests that Pulkkinen's campaign with the Grand Rapids Griffins may be MVP-worthy:
The right winger has seven goals and 14 points in eight games with the Griffins following his first extended stay with the Red Wings, when he scored his first NHL goal. He's a strong candidate to become the Griffins' first MVP since Don MacLean in 2005-06. Despite missing six games, Pulkkinen leads the AHL in scoring with 53 points in 41 games, and his 27 goals is five more than his nearest competitor, Paul Thompson of Albany.
Coach Jeff Blashill is in his corner.
"Certainly we look at those individual honors as secondary to team success," Blashill said. "But I want our players to get any honors they deserve, and I can't imagine there too many players in the league making a bigger statement than Teemu Pulkkinen."
Wallner continues, discussing Pulkkinen's one minus in his plus-minus, as well as the possibility that Pulkkinen might hit 40+ goals and 85+ points if he remains with the Griffins. He also speaks with Pulkkinen himself about his campaign, and "Pulkky" is a practical fellow in that department:
"Sure I do. I think every player knows how many goals they have," he said. "But I don't pay much attention to that. I know how the team is doing, and I just try and go out and enjoy each day because everyone knows in a couple months it will be summer, and then you don't play hockey."
Updated 6x at 4:29 PM: The "Morning Skate Tweet" post is actually jam-packed full of information, but in terms of post-skate articles and commentary, here's what you need to know about tonight's Red Wings-Penguins tilt (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM).
The Penguins' Twitter account posted the Penguins' lines during the morning skate (and Marc-Andre Fleury will oppose Petr Mrazek tonight)...
Today’s #Pens line rushes:
Defensive pairings at skate:
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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.