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The Malik Report

Welcome to the ownership club, Mr. Gores

Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch’s bid for the Detroit Pistons, the Palace of Auburn Hills and Palace Sports & Entertainment didn’t take, so Platinum Equity chairman Tom Gores purchased the team today. Ilitch issued a press release that’s a bit of a concession speech:

The following statement is attributable to Michael Ilitch, chairman of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and owner, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers:

“I would like to congratulate Tom Gores on the announcement of his agreement to purchase the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Davidson family on the pending sale of their businesses.  We are very pleased that the Pistons will continue to call the Detroit area home.  Even though we were only engaged in the sale process for a short period of time last year, I was truly amazed by all of the kind words and tremendous support we received from fans and the entire community. We are extremely fortunate to be part of one of the greatest sports towns in the world.”

Well said.

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Ted Lindsay Foundation for autism research to benefit from Red Wings’ “Hockeyfest’

From the Detroit Red Wings: On Saturday, the Ted Lindsay foundation for autism research will benefit from a significant event taking place at Kroger in Southgate, MI:

Customers attending Hockey Fest at the Southgate Kroger on Saturday, April 9 can meet hockey great Ted Lindsay and support autism research. Hockey Fest, held during National Autism Awareness Month, will feature the Hockey Hall of Fame traveling exhibit and interactive games, iincluding a mini hockey rink, foam puck shooting range and a fast shot radar cage.

Ted Lindsay will be present at the Southgate Kroger store between 12-2 p.m. EDT, with Hockey Fest running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eddie Mio (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and John Ogrodnick (2 p.m.-4 p.m.) will also be present. The Southgate Kroger is located at 13333 Eureka Road in Southgate, Mich.

As part of the event, MAGIC 105.1 FM (WMGC) will hold a raffle for tickets to a 2011-12 Red Wings regular-season game, Hockeytown Authentics gift cards, Detroit Zoo tickets, Kroger Gift Cards, Detroit Tigers tickets and more. Guests will rub shoulders with other former Red Wings players and can purchase a family meal deal, with all proceeds from food and raffle sales benefiting The Ted Lindsay Foundation.

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Red Wings-Blackhawks game-day updates: Cue the hype machine (and Kronwall/Osgood stuff)

Last update at 6:29 PM: Chris Osgood says he’s coming back next season: As the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks prepare to face off tonight in a game that has all sorts of playoff implications (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Chicago/Versus/WXYT), it’s appropriate that Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Hawks captain Jonathan Toews are the finalists for the fan-voting portion of the Mark Messier Leadership Award (so go vote for Nick), and at least for the present moment, this morning’s/afternoon’s practice updates surround the status of Niklas Kronwall, as noted by Yahoo Sports’ Nicjolas J. Cotsonika..

Red Wings D Niklas Kronwall said he has an upper-body injury. Out last two games. “Absolutely” will return for playoffs.

NHL.com’s Dan Rosen...

Nik Kronwall (upper body) will not play for the Wings in either of the next 2 games. He says he will be ready for the playoffs.
...
Babcock said he’s not at all concerned about Kronwall being ready for the playoffs despite missing the final 5 games of the regular season.

And the Wings’ Twitter account, which included some quips from Wings coach Mike Babcock:

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Red Wings-Blackhawks set-up: combat math

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Chicago/Versus/WXYT, and as the Tigers are playing at Comerica park today, expect parking to be expensive) hoping to extinguish the defending champs’ playoff hopes minus the services of Henrik Zetterberg, whose “lower-body injury” has taken on a life of its own, and Niklas Kronwall, whose “upper-body injury” is at least severe enough that the Wings are keeping him out of the mix for this weekend’s games.

At this time of year, it’s all about math, and as the Western Conference standings and the fact that the Hawks are coming off a controversial 4-3 OT win over St. Louis on Wednesday don’t add much context, I’ll let the Chicago Daily Herald’s Tim Sassone explain the Blackhawks’ situation:

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Midnight Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg injury info run

I tend to literally lose sleep around this time of night because I’m vacillating between, “I desperately need a break from hockey” and, “Dammit, I’m sitting on stories that should be out there, but if I post ‘em now they’ll get buried on the second or third page by the middle of the morning.” Between that and the fact that Detroit’s newspapers don’t update their websites until 2-4 AM, I’ve found an hour of restless sleep at least makes the five hours between finishing up a game preview and rousing myself from bed for the Wings’ morning skate a little more tolerable.

That being said, a few evening stories popped up regarding the status of Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg, who’s out with a supposed “lower-body injury” (ankle? knee? Charley horse? All three?) for this weekend’s back-to-back games against Chicago, and these stories offer different perspectives on Zetterberg and Wings coach Mike Babcock’s exchanges with the press that are worth posting here and now—and MLive’s Ansar Khan kicks off the proceedings by noting that Zetterberg wasn’t quite sure whether he’d play when the playoffs begin:

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University of Michigan, University of Minnesota-Duluth to square off for NCAA title

On Saturday at 7 PM EDT, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota-Duluth will battle for the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championship (and the game will air on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com) in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Michigan advanced via a 2-0 victory over the University of North Dakota. Shawn Hunwick stopped 40 shots for Michigan. North Dakota lost forward Brock Nelson, who was stretchered off the ice after losing his footing while being checked by Luke Glendening, who was not penalized on the play.

In the other semifinal, the University of Minnesota-Duluth rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to defeat the University of Notre Dame 4-3, scoring a remarkable three goals on the power play while killing all five of Notre Dame’s man advantages.

Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan did not fare in the scoring for Notre Dame, registering 3 shots but also taking an interference penalty which gave Minnesota-Duluth the opportunity to score it 4-2 goal.

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Custance: if the Red Wings reach the Cup finals, Mike Modano’s done

Red Wings forward Mike Modano has sounded like a man who’s uncertain of his hockey-playing future, and he confirmed as much to the Sporting News’s Craig Custance, suggesting that a long playoff run will be good enough for him even if the Wings don’t win the Cup:

f the Red Wings advance to the Stanley Cup Final this spring, regardless of the outcome, Modano will retire this summer.

“If we got there and we won or lost, I’m done,” Modano told Sporting News. “That’s my feeling on the whole deal. Hopefully it ends that way one way or another.”

There’s a cloud hanging over the upcoming NHL playoffs: this may be the last chance the hockey world gets to witness some of the best players of their era, playing at the highest level. As a player, there isn’t a more ideal way to end a career. Lift the Stanley Cup, do a lap around the rink and skate into the arms of your family after your final game. It has to be a consideration for more than just Modano and [Boston Bruins defenseman Mark] Recchi. Future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has been quiet on plans beyond this season, and as a Norris Trophy candidate, continues to play at a high level. But if the Red Wings win the Cup, is there really another reason for him to return next season?

Modano agrees with Ken Holland’s theory that playoff experience is practically currency at this time of year…

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Red Wings enforcer Bob Probert to be remembered via charity motorcycle ride on June 26th

I don’t want this to get lost in the Zetterberg injury update thread because it’s a reality check of the first order: the Windsor Star’s Sonja Puzic reports that family members and friends of late Red Wings enforcer Bob Probert will hold a charity motorcycle ride almost a year after Probert’s passing to raise funds for a very worthy cause:

In memory of hockey legend Bob Probert, Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital and [Canadian Auto Workers] locals 444 and 2458 are organizing a fundraising motorcycle ride this June to benefit the local angioplasty program. The June 26 inaugural Bob Probert Memorial Ride will be led by former Detroit Red Wing and Chicago Blackhawk Chris Chelios and will start at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, then wind through Windsor and Essex County.

The ride will raise funds for the expansion of Hotel-Dieu’s angioplasty program. The hospital has only one cardiac catheterization lab and is looking to build a second one as part of a major expansion project. Probert, 45, a former Detroit Red Wing and NHL all-star who lived in Lakeshore, died suddenly of heart failure last July after collapsing on a boat in Lake St. Clair.

His wife, Dani Probert, said Thursday her family is honoured to raise money for a worthy cause in his memory. For more information visit probertride.com.

Perhaps appropriately, the Sault Star’s Mike Verdone spoke to Danny Gare, Rick Vaive and Mike Krushelnyski about Probert’s absence from the NHL’s Alumni Tour. Probert’s greatly missed by just about everyone who knew him.

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On Frozen Four semifinal Thursday, HF posts a Q and A with Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan

Update: If you missed it, the South Bend Tribune’s Jim Meenan spoke to Sheahan on Tuesday, too: Red Wings prospect and University of Notre Dame forward Riley Sheahan and his teammates will tangle with the University of Minnesota-Duluth in one of the Frozen Four semifinals today (5 PM EDT, ESPN2, ESPN3.com; the University of Michigan and University of North Dakota face off in the other semifinal at 8:30 PM), and Hockey’s Future’s DJ Powers engaged in a Q and A session with Sheahan, discussing his evolution into a forward who can be relied upon in every situation…

Hockey’s Future: Having watched you play this season, one thing I’ve noticed is that you seem to have rounded out your game more and have really improved your defensive play. Can you talk a little about that and how that has enabled you to contribute to your team’s success this season?

Riley Sheahan: When I came to Notre Dame last year, I was coming from a league that wasn’t the most talented, but I did put up a lot of points there. Now being here at Notre Dame, I’ve really focused on becoming a more-rounded player. It’s just kind of gone from there. Coach Jackson is really strict with his systems and he teaches us how to play the game not only in the offensive zone but in the defensive zone as well. I haven’t really gotten too caught up in my point production. I think in the second half of the season, it’s been coming along better. I just try to focus on being effective in all zones and hopefully the (added) numbers will come.

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Dreger: NHL will tweak the net to try to avoid O’Halloran situations

Per TSN’s Darren Dreger, the NHL’s at least going to make some tweaks so that notorious goal-deciding referee Dan O’Halloran and the rest of the NHL’s refs have better, ahem, visual data when making calls as to whether a puck actually crosses the line:

The NHL requires conclusive evidence to overrule the call on the ice and since the video support wasn’t there to do that, the call by O’Halloran on the ice was the determining factor. Camera angles, poor video quality and obstructed views have always plagued video review.

There have multiple proposals considered to improve this process, but the league seems focused on the nets and changes that can be introduced to increase visibility.

In addition to testing a thinner mesh on the top of the nets, the National Hockey League will also be changing the ribbon that essentially protects skates from hitting the base of the net. The existing ribbon that wraps around the base is white, but will be replaced this summer at the research and development camp by a clear band which will extend three feet back of the goal line from each post.

Reconfiguring the nets isn’t going to eliminate goal line controversies in the NHL, but the league hopes these subtle tweaks will help limit them.

Continued.

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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.

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