The Malik Report
Well, we still don't know about the fates of Tom McCollum or some of the Grand Rapids Griffins' restricted or unrestricted free agents-to-be, but the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings have made qualifying offers to all of their NHL RFAs, Landon Ferraro included:
So Smith's been qualified...
And now we wait on McCollum, Jared Coreau, Mitch Callahan, Louis-Mark Aubry and Nick Jensen. It already sounds like Andy Miele's fielding other teams' NHL offers, and Kevin Porter won't return.
1. MLive posted a set of videos helping fans "get to know" the Wings' draft haul;
2. And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa penned a novella-sized column discussing Nicklas Lidstrom's incredibly likely induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame today at 4 PM EDT, and Sergei Fedorov's probable induction to said institution:
Updated significantly at 9:33 AM:
DETROIT, MICH. – Olympia Entertainment and Olympia Development have opened a state-of-the-art Preview Center in the northeast corner of Comerica Park. The Preview Center features three dimensional-printed scaled animated models of The District Detroit and the new arena to provide a fully immersive experience of the transformative project.
“The new Detroit arena is going to offer one-of-a-kind fan experiences and reflect the excitement and energy associated with all that is going on in our hometown,” said Tom Wilson, President of Olympia Entertainment. “The Preview Center is equally amazing, redefining how experiences like this are shared prior to the opening of the arena.”
You may take this report from the Free Press's Helene St. James for what you will:
Off-season surgery for Pavel Datsyuk renders it further unlikely the Red Wings will buy out Stephen Weiss.
The window to do so closes Tuesday. Weiss hasn't performed as expected since joining the Wings on a five-year, $24.5-million deal in 2013, but the reasons to give him one more season expanded with weekend news that Datsyuk is doubtful for the start of the upcoming season.
He underwent an operation for ruptured ankle tendons Friday, and while his agent, Gary Greenstin, told the Free Press that Datsyuk will be ready for October, the Wings aren't expecting Datsyuk back before November. The doctor wants to evaluate Datsyuk after three months, which would be the end of September. The Wings open the season Oct. 9 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.
On Monday afternoon at 4 PM EDT, TSN and the Hockey Hall of Fame will be announcing its 2015 Induction Class, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that both Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov will be inducted, but TSN's Bob McKenzie thinks otherwise:
As you know by now, Scotty Bowman and Jimmy Devellano have weighed in on the HOF'ers-to-be, but as you might expect, Lidstrom himself has a different take on his legacy, as he told the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno:
Just being on the ice is what Nicklas Lidstrom cherished the most. The seven Norris Trophies as the best defenceman of his era and four Stanley Cups as a cornerstone of the Detroit Red Wings make him a mortal lock to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in his first year of eligibility. But when Lidstrom looks back on his career, the 1,564 regular-season and 263 playoff games stand out.
“People are asking you how many games you played and how many you missed, and that’s something I’m very proud of that I played in so many games,” Lidstrom said in a phone interview from his home in Sweden. “I haven’t missed many games.”
Lidstrom admits that he's very proud of his accomplishments, but the 4 Stanley Cup championship-winning teams are the "things" he's most proud of:
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
As Bowman sees it, Lidstrom and Fedorov are obvious first-balloters.
"Their records are right there to see," Bowman said. "I would be disappointed. They've won Cups, they've won individually. I mean, the Hall of Fame is controversial because some people say players that get in should win Cups, should win individual award. They qualify at everything."
The two would bring the number of members from the fabled 2002 Detroit Red Wings team in the Hall of Fame to 10, with Bowman, Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Igor Larionov, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull already inducted. Pavel Datsyuk is a future candidate....
"Wayne Gretzky told me once, about 10 years ago, how many guys could play forward or defense? He's analytical," Bowman said. "He said, 'I couldn't do it. Jagr couldn't do it. Mario couldn't do it.' Sergei could play forward or defense, because he was a great skater. He was a big man, Sergei, people don't realize. He could skate forwards and backwards with equal dexterity. I'm pretty sure if we didn't get him back in '98, we wouldn't have won the Cup. He was penalty killing, faceoffs, power play - what else is there to do for a center? And then the month or six weeks we put him back on defense, my god, he was perfect."
from Ansar Khan of Mive,
Jimmy Devellano states with supreme confidence that the Detroit Red Wings' 1989 draft was epic.
"That was the draft of the century," Devellano said. "A fabulous, fabulous draft."
What made the haul extraordinary wasn't the club's first two picks, it was their third- and fourth-round selections – Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov.
Lidstrom, widely regarded as one of the two greatest defensemen in NHL history, is a lock to be selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Fedorov, one of the game's premier two-way forwards in the 1990s, has a good chance to be named as well.
That draft set up the Red Wings for a run of success that includes four Stanley Cup championships and a playoff streak that has reached 24 seasons.
"That really was the nucleus of building the Red Wings teams that won Stanley Cups in 1997 and '98 and really put the foundation in place," general manager Ken Holland said.
Mike Babcock gave something of a summertime state-of-the-team address to the Toronto media at the NHL draft, and perhaps knowing what was coming,* the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger asked one Nicklas Lidstrom to weigh in on Babcock, who said this about his former employer:
“Let’s be honest. (Wings) GM Ken Holland is one of my best friends,” Babcock said on Saturday, minutes after the 2015 NHL draft had ended. “They were good to me and I was good to them. We got a lot of points. We won a lot of games. (Now) they hired a quality man in Jeff Blashill. They’re going to move ahead and I’ve come here. From the outside looking in, you might think we have a massive job. I think the same thing. (But) I’m excited for the challenge. If you think you can, you can.”
Lidstrom, who will *be named to the Hockey Hall of Fame's inductee class of 2015 on Monday at 4:30 PM EDT (with Sergei Fedorov probably joining him), told Zeisberger that he believes Babcock can turn the Leafs around:
Of course, after a pair of 12-hour days in the summer (with more to come), two foreign-language articles which require some translation popped up, and they're long ones.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill about his immediate plans now that the draft has ended, and he's going to be quite busy for the balance of the summer:
Next up is a few days at home, then being a part of what, if anything, the Wings do when free agency opens Wednesday. Then it's off to development camp in Traverse City, where Blashill will observe prospects such as Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. Evgeny Svechnikov, a big Russian forward the Wings drafted 19th overall Friday, also will be there.
"That's a little semi-vacation because my family lives there," Blashill said of Traverse City.
Having rounded out his assistant coaching staff last week by bringing back Tony Granato and bringing Pat Ferschweiler along from Grand Rapids, Blashill said those, along with Jim Bedard and Chris Chelios, "will get together as a staff in Detroit in a couple of weeks. It'll be kind of an orientation period a little bit in terms of a lot of different things, but also different planning sessions, so then we can go and spend the rest of the summer relaxing, but also start to plan for August."
St. James continues, reporting that Pavel Datsyuk will take part in but not skate at his annual mid-July summer camp in Russia...
And this article from the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald's Jim Leitner tells you a little bit about what one experiences when one's unexpectedly drafted by an NHL team:
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