The Malik Report
For the vast majority of the summer, no news regarding one Darren Helm's status has been good news, but as we're approximately a little over a month from the beginning of NHL training camps, fans (myself included) have begun to get a little antsy about Helm's status.
The Free Press's George Sipple happened to ask Red Wings GM Ken Holland about Helm's recovery from persistent back issues, and he received good news--albeit good news with a caveat given that Helm hasn't been engaging in physical "battling" yet:
“Everything’s good,” Holland said. “He feels good. He’s training. I know he trained very hard last week. He’s in Detroit. He’s very happy where he’s at. He has no issues. Obviously, the challenge is physical play. I’m cautiously optimistic.”
The ECHL is a professional sports league that pays a living wage ($30,000-40,000), but it isn't necessarily a sports league whose primary purpose involves developing players for NHL affiliates. The Toledo Walleye, for example, take up to six players from the Red Wings' pipeline and six from the Chicago Blackhawks' pipeline, but they tend to carry fewer players, and as such, usually a third-or-so of their roster is made up of NHL prospects, and the rest are Walleye-contracted players.
And as players can earn more money in the AHL or in Europe, leagues like the ECHL, the currently-constructed IHL and the Central Hockey League have to find different ways of finding "diamonds in the rough." The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe notes that the Walleye are holding a camp for any and all try-outs that pay a registration fee, and the Walleye have some local hopefuls in attendance:
Paul noted that Daniel Alfredsson told the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch that he will in fact hold some sort of press conference this week, but the balance of Garrioch's article involves Senators owner Eugene Melnyk repeating his talking points from his Friday conversation with the Ottawa Citizen's James Gordon, though Garrioch paraphrases much of it.
By now, it's the official story: Alfredsson wanted too much money for the Senators to both re-sign him and acquire Bobby Ryan, the team has a budget and no player's above it (intonation: not even a "franchise player" in the twilight of his career), and hopefully the Senators are a "better" team than the Wings. Cue the, "Well, I've moved on, and you should too" pandering...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Alfredsson, who returned to Ottawa Monday to get his affairs in order before heading to Detroit at the end of the week, said in a text message to the Sun Saturday he would give his side of the story during a press conference this week.
“Will talk sometime next week,” wrote Alfredsson. “Will let you know.”...
People are waiting with bated breath to hear what Alfredsson has to say. He hasn’t spoken publicly since July 5 when he signed the one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Wings. Melnyk said he had a tough time with the departure and knows some fans aren’t happy.
more, mostly from Eugene Melnyk...
The Red Wings' front office is still most likely rebounding from the mostly expected loss of long-time assistant GM Jim Nill and the surprising losses of director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell and eastern Canada scout Mark Leach to Dallas.
The team knew that Nill would eventually leave, and they promoted McDonnell to essentially the director of their draft operations and co-assistant GM, along with capologist Ryan Martin, but the day that McDonnell jumped ship to join the man he'd been reporting to for all those years with Detroit seemed to stun and ultimately annoy Ken Holland, who ended up hiring Tyler Wright to helm the amateur scouting department, and McDonnell's defection at least temporarily forced the Wings' GM to take on some of Nill's roles during the development camp.
Winging it in Motown's JJ from Kansas posited the Detroit Red Wings version of Puck Daddy's "National Hockey League of Nations" article, attempting to pick the best Red Wings player from each and every one of the countries which have produced Red Wings players, and if we're going with "most naturally talented," I can't disagree with his pick for Russia:
Russia: Sergei Fedorov: Oh boy, here we go.
While Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov, and Vladimir Konstantinov deserve to be mentioned here, the best player designation is always going to come down between two players and the way they're viewed among Red Wings fans could not be more divided. One had more raw talent, the other worked harder to hone his natural gifts. One was flashier, the other better-grounded. One is the prototypical great teammate, the other left the minute he was free to go.
This past week has been quite busy from a Red Wings news perspective, so while I certainly understand that some of you feel like this is a quiet time of year, it sure doesn't feel that way to me.
We remain in the herky-jerky summertime news cycle, however, and the early posting of what I can only describe as a...Unique...Interview with Senators owner Eugene Melnyk regarding Daniel Alfredsson's departure has yielded a slate of hockey game reminders instead of an overnight report.
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk spoke with the Ottawa Citizen's James Gordon regarding Daniel Alfredsson's departure for Detroit, and the Barbados-based pharmaceutical businessman/business mogul essentially suggests that Alfredsson was too greedy both personally and personnel-wise in his negotiations with a team that literally could not afford to meet the current Red Wings player's demands:
In an exclusive interview with the Citizen, Melnyk said the team wouldn’t have been able to afford a player the calibre of Bobby Ryan — the Anaheim Ducks’ star forward the team dealt for hours after learning Alfredsson would sign elsewhere — and meet the numbers put forward by Alfredsson’s camp.
“You can’t have it both ways and say, ‘Well I want this for me, but I want you to do this with me and the team.’ It’s ‘which one do you want?’” Melnyk says he eventually told general manager Bryan Murray: “We won’t be able to spend that kind of money, so don’t promise that we’re going to bring anybody else in other than filling a hole that was there.”
This entry's essentially brought to you by RedWingsFeed as I wasn't on Twitter when DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose offered a trio of "teasers" for an upcoming conversation with Nicklas Lidstrom...
The Detroit Free Press's George Sipple reports that Red Wings radio broadcaster Ken Kal attempted to get some, "Just in case" play-by-play practice in should he ever have to relieve one of the Detroit Tigers' broadcasters, and Kal decided that...Well, he needs some more practice...
“It was alright,” Kal said of his mock run. “I need a little polish. Baseball is a different than broadcasting hockey. You gotta learn to let it breathe a little bit. In hockey, you’re always describing action. The tempo is going all the time.”
And Kal touched upon what he's looking forward to in terms of the Wings' upcoming season:
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.