The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings never had a “Russian problem” when Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov were helping the team win Stanley Cups in the 90’s, or when Pavel Datsyuk joined the fray in the early 2000’s, and in light of the shenanigans involving Predators forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn, Larionov, who now represents some of the NHL’s best Russian prospects—prospects that Larionov very consciously prefers to place with North American Major Junior hockey franchises for their formative years’ worth of hockey—spoke to the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek about the lingering cultural divide, offering a blunt assessment of the reasons why the Alex Galchenyuks and Nail Yakupovs of the world still battle the same biases and predispositions that Larionov had to tangle with some 20 years ago:
“Obviously, I’m concerned about that,” Larionov said. “To me, sometimes, before you judge a person, you have to do your homework, see the guy and talk to the kid and talk to the parents and follow him for quite a while to form an impression and make a decision. To me, it’s a lack of communication, and stereotyping. It’s like a bad stereotype of the Russians – doesn’t care about the Stanley Cup, doesn’t respect the fans, doesn’t respect the teammates, doesn’t respect the club. You can’t judge one or two Russian players and talk about everybody. Canadians, Americans, Swedes, Czechs, you can always find a bad apple in the bunch.”
Sigh. Whether New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise will hit the open market as a free agent this summer is up for debate, but what is not is the fact that the NHL’s press corps is even more excited about the prospect of Parise signing with a team other than the Devils than the teams that would happily line up with Brinks trucks in tow to court Parise’s services already are. The Toronto Sun’s Mike Zeisberger continues to connect supposed dots between Parise and the Red Wings, among other teams, and while I’d love to see him come to Detroit, I’ll also readily admit that other teams would pay him more, with those “other teams” quite possibly, if not probably, including Parise’s current employer, the New Jersey Devils:
The ice isn’t the only place where Zach Parise is being shadowed consistently these days. While the Philadelphia Flyers continue to be frazzled and frustrated in their failed efforts to contain the diminutive, skilled captain of the New Jersey Devils, a pair of Hall of Fame eyes have been glued to Parise’s every spectacular move from way up in a press box.
Those professional peepers belong to Mark Howe, now the Detroit Red Wings director of pro scouting, who told QMI Agency he probably has seen Parise play “about 60, 61 times” over the past two years. And while Parise’s God-given skills make him one of the most talented forwards in the game, it is his will to succeed that impresses Howe the most.
Updated 5x at 7:03 PM: The final two games of the first day of the World Championships are in the books, and the vast majority of the Red Wings’ players taking part in the the “nightcaps” acquitted themselves very well (and yes, as you and I find more non-Geo-blocked live streams of games, they’ll mysteriously appear in the comments section so that you and I can watch as many of these games as possible):
Updated 4x at 2:04 PM: Recaps are coming in slowly as the first day of the World Championships remains an in-progress event (Finland faces Belarus at 1:15 PM EDT and Sweden faces Norway at 2:15 PM EDT), but in addition to expanding upon Jimmy Howard’s 21-save performance against France in the Americans’ Worlds opener, TSN reports that Tomas Tatar scored a goal in 14:56 of ice time as the Slovaks fell to Canada by a 3-1 tally.
It took a few days to do so, but Fox Sports Detroit has rendered Art Regner’s almost hour-long “Lunch with Art” interview with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock into five parts. Here’s Part 1 (after the jump cut as Silverlight is a pain in the butt):
Very briefly: Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 21 of 23 shots and Justin Abdeklader played pretty darn well in terms of physicality from what I watched of Team USA’s 7-2 win over France in the team’s World Championship opener (via the NBC Sports Network). The game was, however, much closer than the score indicates.
Updated 3x with a Kyle Quincey story at 7:11 AM: The Red Wings’ players begin their participation in the World Championships at 5:15 AM EDT today, when team USA faces off against France (on NBC Sports), and after Jimmy Howard and Justin Abdelkader get their feet wet, the rest of the Wings’ participant—with the exception of Pavel Datsyuk (who you can continue to vote for in EA Sports’ NHL 13 Cover Vote until May 10th)—will be in action at various times today.
As IIHF.com’s John Sanful suggests in his Team USA preview, while Abdelkader will play a supporting role on the third line, the team’s expecting Howard to carry the mail in the crease:
Red Wings fans might be more apt to suggest, or at least hope, that their team might somehow find a way to honor the contributions made by Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, Chris Osgood and, assuming his playing days are done, Tomas Holmstrom to the team’s 4 Stanley Cup championships—some sort of banner honoring the quartet, if not the opening of a Tigers-style “Hall of Fame” in which players like Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios’s contributions might also be recognized by the organization without raising their jersey numbers to the rafters…But Inside Toronto’s Norm Nelson reports that Red Wings executive and long-time player Kris Draper’s #33 was retired by his high school, Toronto’s De Le Salle College, recently, and Draper was floored by the honor:
“When I think about coming down to De La Salle, I lived in Scarborough. What I had to do, I had to jump on the GO Train, I had to jump on the subway, I had to jump on a bus - and there were many mornings when I had my hockey bag with me. I think I brought my hockey bag more than I brought my school books.”
Although Scarborough born and raised, Draper, who this year spent his first full year in Detroit’s front office after a stellar National Hockey League career that spanned 20 years, the last 17 of them with the Detroit Red Wings, attended De La Salle for his first three years of high school (Grades 9, 10 and 11). And on Thursday, May 3, before plenty of family, students and teachers, he was acknowledged by his former school with a modest but moving ‘retirement ceremony’ that featured a banner which will be hung in their arena, as well as a replica of his old school jersey that was presented to him.
Shortly after the highlight clip was played, Draper took to the stage and quipped, “I think the video captured all my goals in the National Hockey League.”
Draper (who finished high school in Ottawa as he played for the OHL’s 67’s) also spoke to Nelson about his present role with the Wings, bluntly admitting that he’d rather be playing…
When last I left you, the boss kinda sorta worried you about the Captain when in fact, it was me that would return after my internet service provider, which just got “bought out,” decided that it would easily and simply “migrate” its servers to the new company’s hardware and software over the course of four hours on Tuesday morning. That didn’t happen, and somewhere around 32 hours after my net went out and six or seven hours were spent listening to the the equivalent of physiological warfare by the worst “on hold” music ever (I’ll post it online when I figure out how to do so), my internet was eventually, slowly and painfully restored.
On Tuesday morning, when everything went down, we were talking about the possibility of the Wings and Hurricanes duking it out for Zach Parise, and on Twitter, Mike Comodore was, and is, trying to trade his flat screen TV in Detroit for something special, and the Wings bafflingly sent their fan most likely to burn and/or auction off Red Wings stuff…A bunch of Red Wings stuff. For free.
From the Red Wings’ PR department, it’s time to rock the “EA Sports NHL 13 Cover Vote” for Pavel Datsyuk:
RED WINGS FORWARD PAVEL DATSYUK BATTLING FOR COVER OF EA SPORTS’ NHL 13
… Detroit Sports Fans can Score a Hat Trick by Casting Their Votes and Having All-Star Center join Verlander and Johnson on High-Profile Video Game Covers This Year …
Detroit, MI… All-Star Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is currently in the running to have his likeness adorn the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 13 – the most popular hockey video game on the planet. The last time a Red Wing made an appearance on the cover of the long-running franchise was in 1996 when Steve Yzerman earned the distinction.
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.