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The Malik Report

This can’t be so impossibly complicated…

As things slowly work their way back towards “normal” here at TMR, I’ve promised myself to, if you’ll pardon the comparison, “Don’t be Ellen,” as in “don’t get preachy about mental health or anything else, just do your damn job” (her TV sitcom “jumped the Shark” when she came out because its focus became singular, I’m not going to turn into a chapter of NAMI here—this is just a hockey blog)...

But given all the talk we’ve already heard and will continue to hear about fighting and the role of enforcers as it pertains to the trio of passings this past summer, I’m lost as to why we can’t just state the obvious about the issues obviously facing the NHL, NHLPA and NHL Alumni in terms of investing as much in improving their behavioral health programs, mental health care programs and alumni support as they do keeping their athletes in tip-top physical shape.

To be brief (for once, and perhaps only once):

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Red Wings lose one of their biggest fans

Very sad news from DetroitRedWings.com’s John Hahn:

The Detroit Red Wings mourn the passing of their friend and honorary coach, Earl Cook. Earl was an amazing 23-year-old young man who was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma on January 25, 2007.  His journey has seen him battle through numerous rounds of chemotherapy, 9 surgeries, and learning to live with one leg.  He became friends with Head Coach Mike Babcock and the Red Wings players over the past several seasons, serving as an inspiration to the team and everyone who heard his story.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Earl and his family,” says Babcock.  “Earl had an unbelievable spirit that allowed him to battle through a long list of challenges that most of us are fortunate to never know.  He served as a fantastic role model for myself and our team.  He may have passed today, but with the way he lived his life, he never allowed this disease to beat him.”

I met Earl once and shook his hand because he was one of my heroes.

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If there was a switch, I’d have flipped it already

While I was overwhelmed by the support so many of you offered when I stated my health issues in plain terms, I’m not expecting the same here, especially because it starts with a crappy simile:

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Red Wings, FSD release 2011-2012 broadcast schedule

FYI, per the Detroit Red Wings and Fox Sports Detriot:

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings and FOX Sports Detroit today announced the 2011-12 Red Wings local television schedule.

FOX Sports Detroit (FSD) continues its award-winning production and carriage of Red Wings games by airing a total of 73 regular-season and pre-season contests with 61 games slated for FSD and 13 on FOX Sports Detroit Plus (FS PLUS).  Additionally, FOX Sports Detroit will carry all non-exclusive games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Wings advance.

Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond return as the Wings TV on-air broadcast crew with former Red Wing and Hockey Hall of Famer Larry Murphy filling in for Redmond during select road games and serving as a between-the-benches reporter for home games.  John Keating will serve as primary host of the RED WINGS LIVE pre-game shows which air 30 minutes prior to most game times.  RED WINGS LIVE postgame follows most FSD telecasts with live reaction, analysis and game highlights.

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Wings/Griffins make no-risk signings in inking Estcolet, Rufenach to AHL deals

If what I saw this past summer held true during the Red Wings’ prospect tournament, the team’s made two superb signings which present no risk whatsoever to the team as the now Red Wings-managed Grand Rapids Griffins signed two slightly undersized but highly-skilled prospects to AHL-only contracts, which means that neither player takes up a spot on the Wings’ NHL roster, that they can turn pro with the Griffins or Walleye, and if they don’t work out for the Wings over the course of this season, they can impress 29 other NHL teams’ GM’s:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday announced the signings of forward Adam Estoclet (EHST-oh-clay) and defenseman Bryan Rufenach (ROOF-uh-nahk) to standard AHL player’s contracts.

Estoclet, a 22-year old native of Orono, Minn., was second in scoring for Dartmouth College in 2010-11, recording 29 points and a team-high 16 goals in 34 games (16-13—29). After completing his senior year, he joined the Providence Bruins for a seven-game stint, registering two assists and seven penalty minutes. In 127 games over four years at Dartmouth, Estoclet picked up 104 points (39-65—104). He led Dartmouth in scoring as a sophomore in 2008-09 and tied for ninth in ECAC scoring after tallying 21 points (5-16—21) in 22 conference games and 32 points (8-24—32) in 31 total contests that season.

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Wings won’t scrimmage on Saturday to attend McCrimmon funeral

Per MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Red Wings will tweak their training camp schedule to pay farewell to a friend on Saturday:

Saturday’s camp schedule has changed. The team will not scrimmage. Each of the three groups will practice in the morning and then the main team will fly back to Detroit for the funeral of former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon.

McCrimmon, former defenseman Ruslan Salei and ex-goaltending prospect Stefan Liv were among 44 who died in the Sept. 7 plane crash in Russia involving KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

I know that the Red Wings will rally around the McCrimmon family, and I hope Wings fans will do the same, because when something like this happens to people that partisan fans treat like extended members of the family…We give the McCrimmons their space, privacy, and at the same time, some TLC.

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Regrettably doing things by halves

As you’ve probably surmised by now, I haven’t made it up to Traverse City for the Wings’ prospect tournament, and after some difficult decision-making on my part, I’ve decided that my health’s not recovered to the point that I could go up and do my job. My goal now is to attempt to head up for the main camp, but as many of you generously donated to specifically receive reports from the prospect tournament, I’ll be issuing refunds as necessary.

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On Hockeyfest, the Chill at the Joe and $9 seats on sale Saturday

If you weren’t already aware that the Red Wings have a superb slate of weekend activities on tap, here’s a little refresher and a note:

1. The Red Wings will be hosting HockeyFest at Joe Louis Arena from 11 AM till 6 PM on Saturday, and the majority of the Wings’ roster will be attending (the Wings’ Twitter account has added Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen to the mix, too) to engage in Q and A’s and autograph sessions (the Wings are lowering the 2008 Stanley Cup banner and making the Zamboni available for pictures as well);

2. On Sunday, the Wings will take the flooring off the Joe and allow fans to skate on the ice before witnessing an alumni game to benefit First Step:

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Update: Take note, Wings fans—the McCrimmon family makes its home in Metro Detroit. That means that the Wings, and those of us who live in Southeastern Michigan, are going to be the ones who rally around Mrs. McCrimmon and her son and daughter.

After dropping off my computer for further repairs this morning, I read the initial reports about the tragedy which befell a man who stood shoulder to shoulder with Mike Babcock in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl coach Brad McCrimmon, a tough defenseman and genuinely “sneaky funny” man who truly was just happy to be playing hockey for a living in Ruslan Salei, a Wings prospect who found fame, fortune and happiness in Stefan Liv and dozens of other special, truly good people who lost their lives today.

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Those Technical Issues

George asked me to post the statement below and I’d like to add George has also been “under the weather” the last few days too.

When it rains, it pours.

I am sure George will be back at as soon as his physical health improves and his computer issues are resolved.


“Well this isn’t good. Technical issues continue to persist on the “almost new” computer to the point that the technician at the computer repair shop wants to reinstall Windows, which may take a day given their backlog of other computer repairs. Given that it took me an additional ten hours to set up my system once I got it home on Saturday…It’s highly unlikely that I’ll be able to leave on Friday for Traverse City if the computer isn’t repaired in a timely fashion (and given this computer repair shop’s history, that seems to be par for the course).

I don’t know what to say other than that I’m incredibly sorry and that I’ll have to wait and see how long the computer issues take to work themselves out and how long it takes the repair shop to fix the computer before I can say for sure when I’ll be able to head up to TC to cover part of the prospect tournament or whether I won’t be able to go up till training camp, and if anyone wants me to refund their contributions I will do so.”



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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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