The Malik Report
The Red Wings hope to extend their winning streak to 5 games against the Florida Panthers tonight (7:30 PM, FSD Plus/Fox Sports Florida/97.1 FM; Roberto Luongo's returning to the Panthers' lineup tonight), and I'd suggest that this is less of a "trap game" than an opportunity to "make hay while the sun shines."
The Panthers dropped a 2-1 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, and while there's talk of something of a fire sale happening in Florida, taking them less than seriously would be quite dangerous for the Wings. The Panthers have actually won 2 of their past 3 games and rebounded from a December-opening 3-game losing streak with a solid 5-3-and-2 record.
Chris Chelios's book tour for his memoir, Made in America, has resumed and will wind its way through Chicago and then Metro Detroit this and next, and he spoke with Comcast Sportsnet Chicago about his "only regret":
Chris Chelios had a pretty decorated career as an NHL player.
He's an 11-time All-Star, won three Norris Trophies, and hoisted the Stanley Cup three times on two teams (Montreal Canadiens in 1986 and Detroit Red Wings in 2002 and 2008).
His only regret?
"The only regret is not winning the Cup as a player with the Blackhawks. That would've been too perfect or too good to be true in a career that ended like mine did," said Chelios. "But, it's not easy. At least I get to enjoy watching them win the Cup. I went to the parade. And as a Chicago Blackhawks fan growing up, to see what it's done over the last 10 years for the youth hockey and for the city, there's no loyaler fan than a Chicago Blackhawks fan."
Chelios spoke to CSN Chicago's SportsTalk Live for nearly 8 minutes, and hey, he made up for the lack of Cups in Chicago by winning two in Detroit Chelios doesn't talk to the media very often, so I'd suggest that you enjoy this very glib interview:
I'm trying to keep the Daniel Alfredsson retirement stuff to a minimum because, for lack of a better term, it's Senators fans' moment, not Wings fans' moment.
I'm also trying to keep myself out of the political stuff that's going to get played up, like the Eugene Melnyk-Daniel Alfredsson-warm-fuzzy-feelings news, but that's because I cannot deny that I believe Melnyk to be a pompus ass and a bit of a di...I mean an eccentric gentleman of great self-importance.
Alfredsson is going to make his retirement official on Thursday, prior to the Senators' game against the New York Islanders, and again, I'm going to steer clear of it as much as possible, but I can't deny that this report from the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch is pretty dang cool:
Daniel Alfredsson will likely wear the No. 11 one last time before hanging up his skates for good.
While the plans are being finalized and nothing is written in stone, league sources confirmed to the Sun Monday the plan is for the 41-year-old Alfredsson to skate in the warmup Thursday.
That means when the Senators take the ice in their final skate before facing the New York Islanders at the Canadian Tire Centre, the former Senators' captain will be with his old teammates.
Since a player who isn't signed to a contract isn't allowed in the warmup, it's believed the Senators had to get special permission from the NHL office in New York, but it was no problem.
Garrioch continues, and if I may make a special request: Dear Ken Holland: find a position for the man who enjoys living in Birmingham with his four kids playing in the Little Caesars program and HIRE HIM before the Senators can snag him as an unrestricted front office free agent!
Prospect news: On Hicketts’ inclusion on Canada’s WJC roster and the Griffins’ visit to Glen’s Falls
Today, USA Hockey's going to name its preliminary World Junior roster, and there's little doubt that Dylan Larkin's going to be named to said roster (though Dominic Turgeon's chances aren't so great). Larkin's registered 2 goals and 10 assists over the course of his first 13 NCAA games, and he (and Turgeon) took part in Team USA's summer orientation camp, so he's pretty much a lock.
I will readily admit that I was in fact surprised about Team Canada's announcement on Monday. Joe Hicketts' inclusion wasn't a surprise at all--the Victoria Royals defenseman's 5th in WHL scoring (i.e. among all players, not just defensemen) with 7 goals, 29 assists and 36 points over the course of 28 games played, so the whole, "Oh, he's 5'8" and isn't as smooth as Dan Ellis" stuff yielded an immediate eye-roll from yours truly.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The NHL Guide and Record Book is full of players who excelled one season and were hardly heard from again, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock often points out.
That's his way of telling young players to not let success get to their heads and to bring it every season.
The Red Wings' young players are doing just that, led once again by Gustav Nyquist. After scoring a team-high 28 goals in just 57 games during his breakout 2013-14 season, Nyquist is showing he's not a one-year wonder.
He leads the club with 11 goals, giving him 39 goals in 82 games since the start of last season.
Updated 6x at 5:24 PM with this:
As Paul noted:
1. Somewhat surprisingly, Joe Hicketts was the only Red Wings prospect named to Team Canada's World Junior Selection Camp roster. Neither Tyler Bertuzzi nor Zach Nastasiuk made the cut;
2. And Justin Abdelkader didn't practice for the Wings today, and is out for tomorrow's game against Florida (the Panthers are playing in Columbus tonight, and the Miami Herald's George Richards reports that Al Montoya is starting for Florida this evening).
MLive's Ansar Khan Tweeted out the Wings' lines...
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland joins Hockey Central @ Noon to discuss his club's recipe for success thus far in a season that many thought would see the perennial contenders struggle.
I listened to the 12 1/2 minute interview and Holland talked the start by the Wings, praised Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Kronwall. Then discussed Joe Hicketts, Stephen Weiss and Babcock contract..
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Victoria's Joe Hicketts is the only defenceman invited to this camp who wasn't invited to the summer camp. At 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, he's not blessed with extraordinary size or speed, and the 1996-born blueliner wasn't drafted by an NHL team last summer.
But after attending Detroit's summer prospect camp, and then getting invited to the Wings' rookie tournament team in Traverse City, the undrafted free agent sufficiently impressed the Wings to get an NHL contract. He's been an offensive dynamo in the WHL this season.
With seven goals and 36 points in 28 games, he leads all WHL defencemen in scoring, but he's fifth amongst all players in the WHL. It doesn't hurt that Lowry, who will handle the defencemen for Groulx, is Hicketts' head coach in Victoria.
For a defenceman of that stature in the WJC, Hicketts doesn't have the same dynamic qualities to his game as, say, Ryan Ellis in 2009 and 2010, but he has a scrappy get-things-done mentality and puts up points.
more on Canada's roster...
via Chuck Pleiness tweet,
Justin Abdelkader the lone player missing from practice today. He injured his shoulder late in the second period Sunday.
This post will be udated as needed.
added 11:25am, via Ansar Khan tweets,
added 12:12pm, Khan tweet,
Babcock had no update on Abdelkader other than he is out tomorrow and is day to day. Hurt shoulder on hit from Sbisa.
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.