The Malik Report
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.
Updated 3x with more scrimmage news at 2:43 PM: For the record, part 1: As previously posted, the Red Wings let the hat out of the bag in that equipment manager Paul Boyer will call Mike Commodore and inform him that @commie22 can wear #64 if he wishes…
For the record, part 2: It’s too quiet today, too quiet at the rink (the National Cherry Festival has parades and that kind of stuff going on) and too quiet on the hockey front. A day after the Wings named a pair of new (emphasis on new) assistant coaches, Ken Holland is probably engaging in conversations which may determine whether Chris Osgood and/or Kris Draper’s careers are over, and we probably won’t be privy to the details thereof until sometime early next week.
For the record, part 3: If you’re heading to the Wings’ development camp tomorrow, the Wings are going to hold their usual morning session of skill development and team drills from 8:30-10:30, but instead of holding an afternoon session, there’s going to be an intrasquad scrimmage at 3 PM.
Both myself and Alanah mentioned the document authored by the KHL to supposedly achieve a better measure of “understanding” between the leagues who fight hockey’s version of the Cold War, but the reality of the situation remains the same—Jiri Hudler-like poaching of restricted free agents may or may not continue, and, as Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov notes (in a fantastic and lengthy analysis of the “Memorandum of Understanding”), this agreement has more to do with the KHL’s desire to establish a player transfer market that delivers high-dollar monetary compensation for any top prospect who plans on leaving Russia to play either Major Junior Hockey or the NHL as the KHL’s still furious that it didn’t earn “millions” in compensation for Alex Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin.
The KHL’s also attempting to close any loopholes in terms of losing talented players it’s already witnessed disappear (Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov are good examples) by mandatorily drafting them into the KHL, and in the long run, what it wants is both money and the kind of prestige that comes with forcing a rival hockey league to pay tens of millions of dollars for the right to negotiate with a superstar in-the-making:
In conclusion, player poaching is not what this agreement is targeting. From the KHL perspective, it is more geared towards retaining their young talent. Only recently the news emerged that Mikhail Grigorenko, a highly touted Russian prospect who was chosen second overall in the CHL draft, is set to leave Russia to play in North America. The KHL may consider him to be under contract. And next year, if drafted in the NHL and willing to come and play in North America, the KHL may block this move citing the most recent MOU.
Continued, and it’s worth your time.
After the morning session at today’s summer development camp wrapped up, the Free Press’s George Sipple asked if he could interview Wings equipment manager Paul Updated at 2:10 PM: Boyer about the groundswell of support (courtesy in no small part due to Puck Daddy) for Mike Commodore choosing to wear #64 for the Red Wings, and Boyer’s response was simple, as noted by the Wings’ Twitter account:
Equipment Manager Paul Boyer says that if @commie22 wants to wear 64, it’s all his.
Boyer said that the coolest accommodation he made for a player involved Brett Hull wearing #80 [edit: for a pre-season slate of games] when Herb Brooks passed away, but this is pretty darn close. And, sadly, Boyer has never played, “Law of the West,” so he’s not a Commodore 64 fan (the computer)...
Update: Here’s the Free Press’s George Sipple’s story:
A for the record update at 9:27 AM: FYI if you are in Traverse City: Per the rink, the Wings’ prospects will conduct an intra-squad scrimmage at 3 PM on Sunday.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made an unorthodox move in choosing to hire Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill, who’s all of 37, and Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters, who can boast the only pro experience among both coaches—to the tune of three years as an AHL head coach—but Babcock told the Wings’ press corps that, to some extent, anyway, he very specifically chose to go with “younger legs” behind the bench instead of tapping into the half-a-dozen or so former NHL head coaches or assistant coaches without a job.
Babcock told the Windsor Star’s Jim Parker that an extensive search which included consultations with the game’s power brokers yielded his surprising decision:
“I’m looking for new ideas, new thoughts,” said the 48-year-old Babcock, who is entering his seventh season as head coach in Detroit. “We’re trying to evolve our game, get better. The way to do that is change. (The players have) heard the same voice for a long time.”
Windsor Spitfires president Bob Boughner, who was an assistant coach in Columbus last season, was rumoured to be a candidate for the job. Babcock would not say what other candidates he interviewed and Boughner did not respond to a request for comment.
“I went through a long process, talked to a lot of people, went back and forth,” Babcock said. “I talked to the heads of the OHL, Quebec (Major Junior Hockey) League, the Western (Hockey) League. I looked at college, looked at U.S. juniors. I tried to find guys who’ve won and made a difference everywhere they’ve been.”
Updated 2x at 9:32 PM: The second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp concluded after a spirited workout by “Team Lidstrom,” which engaged in the same drills Team Zetterberg took part in this morning. Again, for reference purposes, here are the participants…
Updated with a video interview with Blashill at 8:06 PM: The Detroit Red Wings raised more than a few eyebrows when the team announced that Mike Babcock chose Western Michigan University coach Jeff Blashill and Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters to flank his shoulders for the next three seasons. Neither of the Wings’ new assistant coaches have any coaching experience at the NHL level, and Peters is the only coach with any professional experience whatsoever—to the tune of three years behind the IceHogs’ bench.
According to Babcock himself, however, given that he’s been the Red Wings’ coach for over half a decade, fresh perspectives were necessary to keep both his and his players engaged and exposed to new perspectives, as he told MLive’s Ansar Khan:
“I’ve been in Detroit six years and after a while you start to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher—womp, womp, womp!” Babcock said. “I’m looking for new ideas, new thoughts. We’re trying to evolve our game. The way to do that is change. (Players) have heard the same voice for a long time.”
“I’m looking for young, excited workers are are willing to challenge the head coach,” Babcock said.
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.