The Malik Report
Impressions from day five of the Red Wings’ develompent camp, mid-day news & Datsyuk, watch salesman
Update #2 at 4:24 PM: According to Jim Nill, Teemu Pulkkinen’s training with Jokerit Helsinki: At 8:05 this morning, I arrived at Centre Ice Arena and read a message that was eerily similar to something that happened a year ago—the Red Wings’ prospects’ on-iace activities had been canceled for the day due to issues with the ice. Give or take a day, the same thing happened at Joe Louis Arena thanks to an utterly all-too-predictable Detroit Water and Power line blowing out, necessitating a shift to Detroit’s City Sports Arena as the Joe’s ice turned to slush.
Here at Centre Ice Arena, they apparently suffered some sort of failure in the cooling system, and while the Red Wings are the Red Wings, the fact that Huntington Rink got goopy and David’s Rink was working just fine did not give the Wings precedence regarding the use of a rink that’s being used to host girls’ hockey tournaments all day long.
So the Wings’ staff improvised and chose to do some off-ice sessions, forcing a bleary-eyed blogger to make a decision: do I stay at the rink and hope for something to happen, or do I just go back to the hotel and catch up on some desperately-needed sleep?
As noted on Saturday, the Red Wings and equipment manager Paul Boyer are completely fine with new defenseman Mike Commodore, a.k.a. @commie22 on Twitter, may wear the number 64 in tribute to the late 80’s computing…erm, kind-of-sort-of-decent machine…if he wishes. Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski has been championing the idea via a charitable drive, and he offers a superb update this morning:
Along with our request for a “COMMODORE 64” jersey came a plea: We’d donate $64 to the charity of Mike’s choosing if he wore that sweater with the Wings next season. We mentioned the possibility of Puck Daddy readers matching that pledge, and it’s been an honor to witness the response.
(We’d also like to thank the Detroit News and others for giving this story some spotlight. And yes, thanks to The Chief at Abel To Yzerman for his coverage too, the myopic dissent that it was.)
Yeah, about that…
Updated 5x at 12:11 PM: St. James confirms that it’s a 2-way deal for $550,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the AHL and I quote from Jim Nill, who walked by at 11:30 AM: “Just a little insurance policy.”
Per the Detroit Red Wings’ Twitter account:
The Red Wings have agreed to terms with goaltender Joey MacDonald on a two-year deal.
MacDonald appeared in 15 games in 2010-11, posting a 5-5-3 record with a career-best 2.58 GAA and a .917 SV%.
I’m guessing that the Wings have signed him to be their #2B goaltender and help Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce in Grand Rapids, but we’ll see…wouldn’t you know it, I just saw Jim Nill prior to reading these “Tweets”...
Update: Here’s the Wings’ press release…
Update: As of noon, I’m sittin’ here at the rink, and there’s a forest of sticks and gloves around me as the players are in the gym and will then engage in some “golf ball” hockey: A biggy note from Centre Ice Arena: If you were planning on attending today’s abbreviated sessions at the Red Wings’ summer development camp at Centre Ice Arena, I arrived at the rink to see a big white board state that the on-ice portions of the camp had been canceled as Ryan Martin informed me that, technically speaking, “The ice went out,” and the Wings are hoping that it will recover this afternoon.
Update/edit: The Red Wings confirm:
DRW SCHEDULE UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties at the rink, there is no on-ice activity today.
On ice activity at Centre Ice is expected to resume on Tuesday at 8:30 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. Admission is $5.
The skates were scheduled to take place from 9:30-11:30 and 12-2 PM today, but they should get back to their 8:30-10:30 AM and 2:30-4:30 PM schedule tomorrow and Wednesday, should the coolant in the rink respond, and then there will be a scrimmage from 8:30-10:30 AM on Thursday…
This marks the second camp in a row where ice issues have shelved a day of skating, so my question to you is simple: as the gents do their plyometrics and work out in the gym, which I don’t have access to, do you want an overweight blogger to take notes on their techniques and wait for questions from the players in the middle of the day, or should I take the MSM’s hint and head back to the hotel? The guys are going to be in the gym until 11:30, and you paid for me to come up here, so let me know what you want me to do.
Updated at 10 AM with a really cool interview with Brendan Smith: Red Wings try-out turned prospect Trevor Parkes starred during Sunday’s intra-squad scrimmage at the Red Wings’ summer development camp, scoring a hat trick as he led “Team Lidstrom” to a 5-3 victory over Team Zetterberg, and Grand Rapids Griffins coach Curt Fraser told the Free Press’s George Sipple that Parkes (who played on a fantastic line alongside Brent Raedeke and Gustav Nyquist on Sunday) has taken several steps forward in terms of his development:
“He’s bigger, faster, stronger,” Fraser said. “We were kind of excited about him (last summer). But this year now you see what he can do. He’s a lot more confident on the ice. He knows what he’s doing. He follows the structure that we play very well. He’s done a great job so far, and he got rewarded for it today by doing things properly and getting out there and working hard.”
I guess we’ll start at the end: after helping point out where a certain Igor Larionov had to go to speak to his client, Red Wings summer development try-out Artem Sergeev—Sergeev mentioned to me that his agent spotted him a pair of $1,000 MLX skates, and when Larionov showed up for the scrimmage, I put two and two together, asked Wings capologist Ryan Martin if Larionov, who tends to place Russian players in Major Junior Hockey, if the Val-d’Or Foreurs’ defenseman’s agent happened to be the gentleman who looks like he can still play, and pretty much walked up to Larionov and told him he needed to follow me to speak to Artem—I walked down toward the players’ locker rooms at Centre Ice Arena, and Red Wings GM Ken Holland was speaking to the media.
So the Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema got about six minutes with Holland, and then I had six of my own, speaking mostly about the prospects, try-outs, how they Wings assess them in terms of the summer camp versus the prospect tournament in the fall, the new coaching staff and then the important part: Chris Osgood’s future. According to Holland, Osgood doesn’t return from the golfing trip he, Kris Draper and several other teammates are taking part in over in Scotland until tomorrow, and as such, Holland has not had “the talk” with Osgood, but this week that’s going to happen, so I’m leading off with a 12-minute interview whose conclusion involves the future of two long-serving members of the organization:
Mid-day news from day four of the Red Wings’ prospect camp: (golf) ball hockey and sleeping machines
Don’t forget that the teams scrimmage today at 3 PM: Today marks the third day of “split sessions” at the Red Wings’ summer development camp, which means that the players have three more days in which they get to the rink a little before I do, around 7:45 AM, and leave a little for the day a little after I do, around 5:15 PM. In between, they’ve been subjected to an incredibly taxing day, even by the standards of young men who are in Traverse City very specifically for a “business vacation”:
One of “Team Lidstrom” or “Team Zetterberg” spends between 8:30 and 11:30 working out with Wings trainer Piet Van Zant, Griffins strength and conditioning coach Aaron Downey and the Wings’ trainers doing plyometric exercises, engaging in strenuous workouts designed to build core strength while teaching the “Red Wings way” of training and also taking part in dry-land training outdoors on the track behind Cherry Knoll Elementary School…
As far as the New York Post’s Larry Brooks is concerned, the NHL very happily witnessed its small-market teams spending money like it was on fire this summer very specifically because it plans to use “small-market insanity” as evidence to bolster its case that the salary cap should be rolled back, front-loaded contracts should be all but banned and the players’ share of revenues are “getting out of hand” and must be reduced (never mind that it’s Gary Bettman’s high cap floor and narrow payroll range that’s thrown the wrench into the sanity proceedings) during the next round of CBA negotiations:
The league opened the door with every intention of slamming it shut next time around and of hoisting the front-loaders on their own gold-plated petards. Bettman and his canny legal team, with aid from unwitting allies or dupes in the NHL Players’ Association office who never once consulted with Kovalchuk before authorizing a collective bargaining agreement amendment in his name, created a perfect storm in which small-minded small-marketers, their uninformed mouthpieces in the media and the GM of the Maple Leafs spent the week throwing around the term, “circumvention,” contrary to the facts.
Forget the nine-year deals both Richards and Bryzgalov signed. The Kovalchuk Amendment not only allows, but encourages an 18-year front-loaded deal for a 21-year-old coming off Entry Level, under which nearly all of the money is packed into the first 10 years as long as the final nine seasons are established at $1M apiece.
That’s the formula that would get Steven Stamkos on an offer sheet. That’s the formula that would get Drew Doughty. That’s the formula (though adjusted for a 13-year deal running through age 40) that most assuredly would have gotten Zach Parise, which is exactly why the Devils filed for salary arbitration and thus removed the winger from the market.
Updated 3x with some morning tidbits at 8:25 AM on Sunday: The Red Wings’ prospects earned themselves an afternoon, intra-squad scrimmage on Sunday, but they may have done so by necessity as much as anything else. Today marked the second of a marathon six-day stretch of split sessions in which one of the “teams” engaged in a spirited set of on-ice drills, and the other spends the same two-and-a-half to three-hour stretch working out with Wings trainer Piet Van Zant, Grand Rapids Griffins strength and conditioning coach Aaron Downey (Chris Chelios was here today, too, tanned and trim as ever).
What do they do while I’m at the rink, watching the on-ice workouts? Well I know that they start by engaging in the kinds of plyometrics exercises that look like bunny-hops and skipping from the rink side of the hallway which separates David’s and Huntington Rinks at Centre Ice Arena, and then they disappear into the workout facility for a while before, so I’m told by the players, anyway, doing dry-land training in “a track” that happens to belong to Traverse City’s Cherry Knoll Elementary School…
Bill Peters was named one of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s assistants on Friday, but the San Antonio Express-News’s Tony Uminski has very different memories of a former rink rat in Texas:
Former Crystal Ice Palace zamboni driver and chief bottle washer, Bill Peters, inked a three-year deal to be an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. Peters, who worked at the CIP while finishing his studies here in San Antonio, has been a successful juniors coach, winning the Memorial Cup in 2008. Peters worked with Detroit head coach, Mike Babcock in Spokane in 1999, and that connection, along with his success in Washington and as head coach of the Rockford Ice Hogs, punched his ticket to the Show.
I always hold this one over Peter’s head when he came in with the IceHogs to play the Rampage — made a nifty glove save on the one-hit Iguana wonder at the CIP dropin one night. Of course he scored about six other times, but that glove save was a beauty!
Peters played in only one professional game — with the Iguanas. San Antonio was shorthanded because of injuries and suspensions and needed an emergency player. John Torchetti signed Peters to an emergency contract, had him sit the bench in the first period, have Peters serve penalties in the second but gave the kid a shot in the third. Peters scored a goal and added two assists in the Iggies 12-4 win over the Dallas Freeze.
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.