The Malik Report
Ken Holland appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery show, discussing Mike Babcock's departure, and Holland revealed more of the timeline and the process by which he tried to keep up with the offers other teams made than he has in any previous interview. He also discussed Jeff Blashill's future, and it certainly sounds like Blashill will be #1 on Holland's list of Babcock replacements:
This is a pleasant surprise:
ATO = Amateur Try-Out. Larkin will be able to play for the Griffins despite not being on their AHL playoff roster.
Update #4: Here's St. James in text form:
The Free Press's Tresa Baldas reports huge news for Sergei Fedorov, who witnessed a crooked financial advisor wipe out the vast majority of his hockey earnings:
With the help of a federal appeals court, former Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov just checked his ex-financial manager — a Grosse Pointe Shores man who allegedly swindled the hockey star out of $43 million.
The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled against that manager — Joseph Zada — concluding he has to pay $112 million for selling fake investments in Saudi Arabian oil to dozens of unsuspecting victims — including Federov, a horse trainer, a plastic surgeon and several firefighters.
The ruling comes six years after the Free Press first disclosed Fedorov's claims that Zada had embezzled millions from him during an 11-year period.
Zada was counting on the 6th Circuit to overturn a lower court decision, which ordered him to pay $56 million in damages and an additional $56 million civil penalty for running a Ponzi scheme that caught the attention of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.
Mike Babcock did thank the Red Wings and praise his relationship with Ken Holland and Mike Ilitch during his opening presser as the coach of the Maple Leafs:
Babcock also stated that he also needed to bring out a box of Kleenex when he finally told Ken Holland that he was leaving.
Update: As was noted by CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak:
Babcock declined to re-sign with the Red Wings, opting instead to accept a reported eight-year, $50 million offer from the Maple Leafs. Detroit’s final offer was reported to be $20 million over five years.
“This was a hard decision,” Babcock said.
The coach met with Holland one more time Wednesday, and Babcock described the encounter as difficult.
“It was very emotional,” Babcock said. “I had to get the Kleenex box out when I sat in his office.”
Update #2: Here's a bit more from MLive's Ansar Khan:
Updated 3x with 2 videos at 1:16 PM: This is probably worth its own entry, yes?
Update: WOOD TV8 posted a video of Blashill's comments:
Update: No foolin':
It's all but as sure as an empty-net goal that Jeff Blashill will be replacing Mike Babcock as the next coach of the Detroit Red Wings, but Blashill is going to be very busy trying to beat the Utica Comets in the AHL's Eastern Conference Final starting on Sunday, and as such, Blashill discussed his dual focus--or really, his singular focus--with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner this morning:
"To be honest, my focus this morning is everything it is going to take to get ready for Sunday," he said Thursday, a day after Mike Babcock's decision to leave the Red Wings for Toronto. "Ken knows me and I know Ken and when we sit down, it will be good to talk. But, right now, my focus is on trying to get this team ready for Utica."
How does Blashill separate one duty from the other?
"I guess in some ways I can do that because I live in such a day-to-day world," he said. "The day I sit down and talk to Ken is the day I will be thinking about the Detroit job. Today, I'm thinking about practice and travel and what it's going to take to win Game One against Utica. That's just the reality of the way I look at it."
Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski handed out "Winner" and "Loser" tags in the Mike Babcock sweepstakes (via RedWingsFeed), and I think he's spot-on regarding the Red Wings' status as embracing a Team Underdog status:
WINNER: DETROIT RED WINGS: The Wings reaffirm two important tenets of their franchise in seeing Babcock leave for bluer pastures.
First, that no man is above the Winged Wheel. Not Mike Babcock, not Scotty Bowman, not anyone. If Babs gets eight years and $50 million, he’s a demigod on a franchise that works best as a balanced machine.
The Wings were great before he arrived. They’ll be great after he’s gone.
Second, that the Wings look best when they’re the spurned, disrespected, chip-on-the-shoulder team, despite being an Original Six glamor franchise. Babcock leaving for the Leafs firmly establishes Detroit as the rejected underdog. They wear it well.
WINNER: JEFF BLASHILL: The 41-year-old AHL coach is expected to take over a playoff-worthy roster from Mike Babcock as the next Red Wings coach. His bargaining position couldn’t be stronger, having been framed as the ace in the hole in case Babs left. Which he did.
Updated 2x at 11:47 AM: WDFN's Matt Sheppard show was all about Mike Babcock this morning, and while you may most certainly listen to The Fan 590's Greg Brady or TSN's Jonas Siegel isue the Leafs' perspective on your own, Chris Osgood's take is worth your time:
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
"He's a great coach," said Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar, who spent one season with Blashill in Grand Rapids. "He's a good talker. He can motivate the players. I feel like the system and how he's willing to play with the players is really good.
"Players feel like they can talk to him. He's somebody who they can trust and feel good. He's really good with the players. I feel like the players can trust him. He's a really good coach."
"I love Blash," Jurco said. "He just understands the game really well. He's a really good guy and you can talk to him and he understands you a person. Great guy, great coach, and I only have great memories of him."
Blashill communicates well with players, according to Jurco.
"Yeah, he's a really good talker and that's one of the best things about him," Jurco said. "Every time he showed me something it was like 'You are right. I can do it differently.' He just understands it so well. He knows what the players can do a little differently.
"He's a great coach."
Wednesday, May 20th, was one of the longer days of my life. I knew it would be--that's part of the job of covering hockey news, and the Babcock sweepstakes, all 13 months of it, was going to have to end as bizarrely and with as thoroughly frenzied an ending as it did.
In terms of Mike Babcock's decision, I certainly cannot harbor ill will toward someone taking a $50 million offer (even though, as Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond pointed out in separate radio appearances, Canadian income taxes and the cost of living might very well wash out what Babcock's taking in probably-U.S.-dollar salary from Toronto), and I can't harbor too much ill will at Babcock for moving on after ten years...
But I had always believed, perhaps naively, that what Babcock wanted to do was to be a "lifetime coach," the kind of singular figure who would prove that in pro sports, you can remain relevant and successful during a collegiate-coach-length tenure.
Instead, the man who' climbed the Triple Gold Club's worth of the Seven Summits of coaching is going to Toronto for his moon shot, thinking that he can be the next Werner Von Braun.
I can't say that I wish him lots of luck given my natural dislike for the franchise whose name is an anagram for Ample Fleas, but I fear that his encounters with the corporate ownership and management of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will end up dooming his rocket the way Sergei Korolev's N1 turned out, and there is something to be said for the fact that the rocket not exploding on the pad might be the hardest accomplishment to achieve in one's attempt to guide a Maple Leafs team to a Stanley Cup championship.
We'll find out whether Babcock can land a team on the moon in eight years, or less.
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.