The Malik Report
Updated 8x with one more interview at 6:13 PM: ESPN’s Craig Custance offered intriguing takes from Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the “seeds” for potential draft day trades possibly planted during the NHL’s general managers’ meetings in New York on Wednesday in an Insider-only blog...
But Custance’s main thrust involves the fact that it is incredibly likely that the teams which hope to sign Ryan Suter or Zach Parise will have to pony up draft picks, and perhaps pretty damn good ones, to acquire the players’ rights at or before the draft if said players are unable to come to terms with their current rights-holders. I can’t quote much of the paywall-protected article, but let’s just say that you and I know this already:
With the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings need a new franchise defenseman and have the cap space to make a huge splash in free agency. They also have a GM in Ken Holland willing to do whatever it takes to get that chance. He said trading for free agent negotiating rights is something the Red Wings will pursue.
“If they’re available. You can’t force things,” Holland said on Thursday. “I’m back to planning, sitting here with our people and making our plan, putting things on our board. Are we prepared to acquire somebody’s [negotiating] rights at the draft? Yeah, absolutely. If the price is right and it’s a player we’re interested in.”
As Custance notes, the Red Wings will be holding their organizational meetings starting during tomorrow’s Tigers game, and Holland, Jim Nill, Ryan Martin, Jimmy Devellano, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper, Mike Babcock and the team’s pro scouts will formulate their off-season strategy and move forward after the meetings wrap up on the 5th. I can’t imagine the Wings being anything other than the most aggressive we’ve seen the front office operate since the 2001-2002 off-season, when Dominik Hasek, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille were brought in. Those kinds of players aren’t available on the free agent market this time around, but the Wings will probably add at least three pieces (top-pair defenseman, top-six forward, possible second top-four defenseman, probably a back-up goalie and possibly a fourth-line winger with size and snarl).
Update: Hell with it, consider this your “afternoon news” thread. The Hockey News’s Adam Proteau weighed in on the Wings’ potential status as “in trouble” via a mailbag question:
Updated 2x at 12:23 PM: The Red Wings news cycle never stops, it seems, and as the Free Press’s Mike Thompson wonders whether Al the Octopus pointed to the rafters to remind Nicklas Lidstrom where he will see his jersey next, and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness offers a Lidstrom career timeline, and, via RedWingsFeed, Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner recalls what he believes was Lidstrom’s arrival as a superstar in playing over 50 minutes during the team’s Triple Overtime victory over the Hurricanes back in 2002…
Updated 2x at 12:08 PM: Red Wings prospect Max Nicastro was kicked out of Boston University and more or less became a non-entity when he was charged with rape earlier this year, but having seen his college hockey and academic hopes disappear, and perhaps having placed his professional career in great jeopardy, the Boston Herald’s Matt Stout reports that Nicastro can at least breathe a sigh of relief as the criminal charges against him have been dropped:
Prosecutors have dropped rape charges against a former Boston University hockey player, saying during a brief hearing today in Brighton District Court they are no longer pursuing the case — without detailing their reasons. Flanked by his mother and lawyer, Max NiCastro, 22, said he is “relieved” to move on from the case and called the months since his Feb. 19 arrest a “hard road.”
“I’m just happy it’s done,” the Thousand Oaks, Calif., native said. “My friends and family have been with me the whole time.”
His attorney, Hugh Curran, said NiCastro maintained his innocence throughout the case, but noted “there are no winners” in difficult cases like these.
“I asked everybody to keep an open mind and let the experts do a thorough investigation,” Curran said in a brief interview outside the courthouse. “And that’s what they did. They spent four months, interviewed witnesses, examined all the evidence and declined to prosecute, which speaks volumes.”
<>Update: According to the Daily Free Press’s Emily Overholt, Nicastro will continue his education somewhere…
I couldn’t fit this into the overnight report, but it is the overnight report’s exclamation point. This is a not-so-rough translation of Lidstrom’s discussion with Aftonbladet’s Per Bjurman, and it will surprise you, and hopefully put a smile on your face:
Over the course of approximately 2,100 words, the Detroit Red Wings’ course as a franchise and a sports team whose players are beloved by millions of fans changed, and changed forever as Nicklas Lidstrom—who played the final games of his career on a broken ankle—thanked nearly fifty people as he officially retired from hockey.
The Detroit media and “out-of-towners” weighed in en masse, and many of them spoke to Lidstrom, over the course of Wednesday afternoon and evening, and while the Chairman’s feting and the comments made by Nicklas Lidstrom’s best friend, Tomas Holmstrom, were equally sincere, Thursday was still a sad day for Wings fans everywhere…
This was found and posted in an evening post about Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement, but on a day that marks the end of an era—and the beginning of a mourning period for Red Wings fans as Nicklas Lidstrom has chosen to retire—Tomas Holmstrom spoke to the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell and the Wings’ media corps for five minutes, and while he may be repeating Lidstrom’s presser in a few weeks, something tells me there will be tears…
And lots of laughter. Watch Homer and smile, folks, because Red Wings Nation’s faces have been too long today, my own included:
Update: Thankfully, the London Free Press’s Morris Dalla Costa was nearby:
Updated w/ Lidstrom’s pal/coach talking to Aftonbladet at 11:35 PM: As I look at the first couple of sites in my bookmarks and their level of Nicklas Lidstrom retirement coverage…All I can say is this: the local angle was hard enough to cover, and Lidstrom’s statement was much harder to read than the Chairman’s...
But by Nicklas Lidstrom’s slap shot, there is no way in hell that any one—or three—people could both cover and summarize all the tributes that are pouring in regarding the Red Wings’ captain. It’d take until Saturday (and no, I have no idea what I’m gonna do about the Swedish stuff…Please let me know what you need coverage-wise as it’s going to be equally “silly”).
I heard Ken Holland mention this in passing during several interviews I’m cobbling together at present, and, thankfully, MLive’s Ansar Khan is confirming it:
Ken Holland, incidentally, confirmed today that Lidstrom had a hairline fracture in his ankle, not just a deep bone bruise. (cont.)
But the injury had no bearing on Lidstrom’s decision. The ankle would have been fine if he wanted to play next season.
Updated at 6:46 PM: Via RedWingsFeed, NHL.com did post Lidstrom speaking on NHL Live: Here is what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has to say about Nicklas Lidstrom:
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN STATEMENT ON THE RETIREMENT OF NICKLAS LIDSTROM
NEW YORK (May 31, 2012) – Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement regarding the retirement of Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom:
“Nick Lidstrom’s trademarks were his respect for hockey, his humanity and his commitment to his craft—as well as his devotion to the highest standards of success. For so many seasons, Nick gave the very best to his team, his city and his League; as he moves on to the next stage of his life, we wish the very same for him and his family.”
I’m not sure whether Lidstrom’s appearance on NHL Live will be posted outside of its “podcast,” but here is Lidstrom speaking to NHL Live after his retirement:
After summarizing the local takes on Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement, many videos included, I was kinda staggered to find this from DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, and I’m thrilled in a way that this post literally could not fit in because I ran out of room:
Here is Lidstrom’s entire statement to the press, per DetroitRedWings.com’s Roose:
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming today, for coming down to the Joe Louis Arena for this announcement. Today, after 20 seasons as a player for the Detroit Red Wings, I am announcing my retirement. Before I get into thanking everyone, I’d like to make a few comments about retirement.
“At some point in time, it catches up to everyone, it diminishes their ability to perform some things you love and care about passionately. It comes to an end sooner than what you would have liked. The last few years, I waited until after the season was over to assess my ability to play another year. I need to let a few weeks go by to get a reading on my body’s ability to recover from the grind of an NHL season. Sadly, this year it’s painfully obvious to me that my strength and energy levels are not rebounding enough for me to continue to play. My drive and motivation are not where they need to be to play at this level. That’s why I feel like it’s time to retire.
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.