The Malik Report
As the news stories come in from Philly and Buffalo as well as around the NHL attempting to handicap exactly what Mike Babcock and Ken Holland meant as they spoke to TSN's Darren Dreger--for, as it turns out, 24 minutes (and I pretty much transcribed the damn thing)--I've been amused as all hell get out with this, "It's a suspension-worthy hit!"-style assertions as to what Babcock is or is not thinking.
I've been equally amused by the fact that people didn't think the man's ego was big enough to speak about himself in the third person, but when you spend time with Mike Babcock (and I respect the man to no end), well I'd like to welcome you to the weird world of not being able to ask certain questions, not being able to walk in certain places and generally dealing with a man who can manage a locker room of millionaires because he has a higher opinion of himself than they do.
The Toledo Walleye did two things they're unaccustomed to as the Eastern Conference Final opened on Friday night: they held the South Carolina Stingrays to under 30 shots, and they also lost, dropping a 2-1 decision (in which Martin Frk finished at -1 with 3 shots) in the series opener.
The Walleye's website posted a recap and highlight clip:
Updated 2x at 6:58 PM with a Bob McKenzie interview added: So, as noted earlier, we learned this today...
TSN's Darren Dreger did indeed engage in an interview with Red Wings GM Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock, and the preview hinted that Babcock would be considering the opportunity to win, his family and his time in Detroit, and whether change is important to invigorate him, and he's "done enough thinking," so he feels that it's time to make a decision, and as Babcock is an "immediate gratitude guy" who likes winning, one wonders if Buffalo is that kind of team...
Here are the highlights of the main interview:
Take these for what you will:
Next Friday = May 22nd.
Niklas Kronwall spoke to Visat Sport's Linus Hugosson recently, and here's a rough translation of the interview:
A heavy loss always takes a while to digest. Athletes know this, but it's more universal than that. Right now, Niklas Kronwall's on vacation, and he's trying to lick the wounds of a bitter conclusion to the 2014-15 season.
"It was the longest two days of my life, I think," says Kronwall about the verdict from the NHL head office yielding the veteran defenseman missing Game 7 against Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup quarterfinal.
The reason for the suspension was a tough hit Niklas dealt to Nikita Kucherov in the sixth game, a patented "Kronwalled" hit that's become his trademark in the NHL. The referees didn't punish Kronwall for the hit, but the NHL's equivalent of a disciplinary committee looked differently at the situation.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings and training camp event organizers in Traverse City announced today that the trophy awarded to the champion of the NHL Prospect Tournament has been renamed the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.
Matthew Wuest (pronounced WEEST) was best known for developing the website CapGeek.com, which tracked salary cap data for all 30 NHL teams in real time. The site was widely-used by scouts, general managers, media and fans before it ceased operations in January 2015.
Along with his work on CapGeek, Wuest also developed and maintained RedWingsCentral.com (RWC) which provided rankings, scouting profiles and features focused on Detroit Red Wings prospects. Launched in 2001, RWC became widely-read by scouts and fans alike before it shut down operations in 2014.
Here's a 15-Tweet set of unsolicited advice that Don Cherry gave to Mike Babcock:
The AHL's establishment of a Pacific Division will drastically reduce the time and travel involved in recalling players for the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks, whose AHL affiliates were located on the East Coast, but the travel costs involved in playing in the Western Conference will hit AHL teams hard.
According to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner, the Grand Rapids Griffins, who generally travel by bus to games, will face a $75,000-to-$100,000 increase in their travel budget because they play in the Western Conference:
The Grand Rapids Griffins face increased travel costs as much as 29 percent next season following a major AHL realignment plan announced earlier this week.
Tim Gortsema, the Griffins' senior vice president of business operations, said no matter what schedule grid is ultimately approved by the league, the team will see its travel budget rise from $350,000 to $425,000 following a host of location changes and creation of a new seven-team Pacific Division.
"That's with everything else being equal as far as hotel, air fares, etc.," he said. "We could easily see that grow to $450,000 next year."
Wallner continues, noting that the AHL is holding meetings regarding next year's schedule. AHL teams don't play every other team twice--or once--and they don't use a computer to create their schedule, so there's a ton of lobbying involved in determining teams' schedules.
You already know this, but the Hockey News's Ken Campbell spoke to Mark Howe about his father's stem cell treatment, discussing the fact that the Howe family believes that Gordie was on his deathbed prior to the treatment:
In Mark’s mind, there’s no doubt his father would have died by now had he not undergone the stem cell transplant.
“He was basically on his death bed, so every day we have now is a blessing,” Mark said. “There’s no doubt in any of our minds that he wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t treated him. He had dropped 35 pounds in six weeks and he wasn’t going to live. It’s the first time I’ve seen my dad quit. He didn’t want anything to do with any speech therapy or anything like that and once that goes, you’re kind of toast.”
But since the stem cell therapy, Mark said his father has regained 40 pounds and is “holding his own.” He also said the fact his father is going for a second round of treatments should not be construed as a sign he is on the decline. When Howe got the first round of treatments, doctors recommended then that he have another one six months later, so they are following the medical protocol.
Campbell continues, and I know we've had conversations about the procedure, whether there was a massive placebo effect and whether it's "fair" that Howe had the treatment for free while others have to pay $30,000 for something that may or may not work...
The Grand Rapids Griffins took a commanding 3 games-to-1 lead over the Rockford IceHogs via a 2-1 OT win in which Tom McCollum's 27 saves and Tyler Bertuzzi's 2 goals--including an OT winner scored only 13 seconds into the extra session--and as a result, the Griffins have the opportunity to advance to the AHL's Western Conference Final by winning Sunday's 5 PM tilt.
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.