The Malik Report
Updated 9x with video and Conklin/Conner talk at 2:13 PM: According to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, more than a few Red Wings took part in an informal skate this morning…
Players at #RedWings informal skate include Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Cleary, Miller, Conklin, Chris Conner, Janik, Eaves.
Also skating this morning with #RedWings are #Oilers forward Shawn Horcoff and former #NHL goalie Manny Legace.
Joining the #RedWings informal skate at City Arena are Jakub Kindl and Jan Mursak.
After four hours’ worth of blue screens of death, checkdisk failures, trying to restore my computer’s last known system configuration, troubleshooting start-up freezes and plain old praying to the computer gods, I’ve come to the conclusion that my laptop’s hard drive is indeed corrupt and needs to be wiped, so I may be unavailable for chunks of today and tomorrow as I turn my computer over to professionals to save my files and reinstall my operating system. I kinda need the laptop to work to provide reports from Traverse City, so whether it’s today, Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ve got to swallow hard and spend a few hundred bucks to get this thing fixed.
So here’s a quick primer of what you can expect in the way of Wings news if I am indeed absent due to computer issues:
The Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo delivers a Sunday night treat in an in-depth article about Red Wings color commentator and soon to be Hockey Hall of Fame honoree Mickey Redmond, whose premature retirement due to a back injury yielded a career in broadcasting which has yielded living legend’s status for perhaps the conscience of Hockeytown:
“I had a ruptured disk,” Redmond said. “In those days, those weren’t taken care of like they are today. I played with it. A lot of damage was done. When I was done playing, it was tough. I went home for awhile and lived with my mom and dad and did some soul-searching. But I also knew that it was just the way it was. There was nothing I could do about it, and that I would have to find something else to do with my life.”
How did Redmond start broadcasting?
“Totally by accident,” he said. “I tried to come back as a player and was in Glens Falls (N.Y.) for training camp (where the Red Wings had their minor league team at the time) in 1979. The comeback didn’t go well. I couldn’t play. But I was contacted about doing hockey games for ON-TV — 15 games. It went well.”
Monday, we go back to “school” as at least half a dozen Red Wings’ players (and probably the media) will show up at Joe Louis Arena to take part in an “informal” practice, so the last day of hockey summer provides a commensurate amount of tidbit-style news.
First and foremost, don’t forget that “Operation Bobblehead” ends tomorrow, and at present, Niklas Kronwall’s leading Todd Bertuzzi in the race for plastic immortality and/or infamy, though Bertuzzi fans have brought out the heavy artillery in an attempt to close the gap…
And the Free Press’s sports staff more or less provides a summary of the events to come:
As we prepare for the summer news cycle’s inevitable end, Red Wings fans found out that the team will hold their first Red and White Game in Grand Rapids since 2007, that the Wings are still hoping that try-out Fabian Brunnstrom will present the team with a pleasant problem in another viable NHL player to sign, and I can’t say that the news that Mike Modano won’t decide whether to retire until mid-September seems like anything more than par for the course anymore…
But Friday night did produce a substantial bit of news, and it involves Red Wings fans and our tendency to exist everywhere on the planet, much to the chagrin of everyone who’s unfortunate enough to not be a Red Wings fan. According to Wings social media coordinator Jake Duhaime, the Wings’ Facebook page hit the one million “Likes” mark on Friday, which is either a massive glitch or something really, really cool. Duhaime still isn’t quite sure how it happened:
ESPN Dallas’s Richard Durrett reports that Dallas Stars legend and former Red Wings forward Mike Modano plans on deciding whether he will retire or attempt to continue playing by the middle of September, but in the interim, Modano’s availing himself of his post-career options:
“It’s tough to think about letting go because it’s been a part of your life since you were a kid,” Modano said Friday. “You have to see how you feel and how much you want to do it. I’m still on the fence.”
Modano said he’s talked with several of the league’s television broadcast partners about the possibility of working on the air but isn’t sure what might be available. That includes Fox Sports Southwest, which broadcasts most of the Stars’ regular-season games.
“I’ve filled in a few times doing some analysis and enjoyed it,” Modano said. “Talking about the game is easy, but it’s a matter of getting the TV time under your belt where you feel comfortable with your delivery.”
Via RedWingsFeed, it’s not exactly what you’d expect on a Friday night in August, but the Sporting News’s Craig Custance had a conversation with Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill about try-out Fabian Brunnstrom, who rebuffed several offers to play in the Swedish Eliteserien for the opportunity to either steal a job from one of the Wings’ 14 forwards already under contract—or impress another potential employer—over the course of training camp and the exhibition season:
“I think he’s comfortable with our style of hockey, our players,” Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill told Sporting News. “These guys come over and they have a couple years to make it—it’s like the clock is ticking and all of a sudden you’re like ‘Oh, my time is up.’”
That time is closing in for Brunnstrom. He’s coming off a season in which he played in 72 AHL games with the Texas Stars and Toronto Marlies. He had 15 goals and 20 assists.
According to the Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema, a Red Wings tradition will return after a four-year absence this fall as the team engaged in a “Red and White” scrimmage at Van Andel Arena…
The Detroit Red Wings are returning to Van Andel Arena. The NHL parent club of the Grand Rapids Griffins are set to hold an intrasquad Red-White game Sept. 27, according to an email sent to Griffins season ticket holders on Friday afternoon.
The Red Wings last visited West Michigan on Sept. 19, 2007, when they drew more than 3,000 fans for a 75-minute practice at Van Andel Arena. The Red Wings came to Grand Rapids for a Red-White intrasquad game on Sept. 18, 2003, and also played at Van Andel Arena in 2000 and 2002.
A “Hockeytown West Pack” will be available to the general public and include tickets to the Red-White game and the Griffins’ Oct. 14 home opener. Tickets for season ticket holders for the Red-White game will be available for $17 or $20.
Two weeks from today, I’ll be heading up to Traverse City to cover the Red Wings’ prospect tournament and training camp. Most of the Red Wings’ major junior-playing prospects, junior hockey graduates and European prospects are either taking part in their teams’ training camps or, in the case of European pro leagues, playing in exhibition games, and according to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, via RedWingsFeed, the Red Wings themselves will begin to gather at Joe Louis Arena for informal practices next week:
#RedWings players have begun to return to Hockeytown this week. Their first informal team skate is set for Monday morning.
Boston Bruins goaltender and Davison, MI native Tim Thomas brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown on Wednesday, and the New York Times’ Jeff Z. Klein, the Sporting News’s Craig Custance, NHL.com’s Dan Rosen (via an article as well as blog entries and videos), the Free Press’s Perry A. Farrell and of course the Flint Journal’s Brendan Savage (with multiple video offerings from Thomas’s trip to Davison High School) all covered the blue-collar goalie’s journey back to his blue-collar roots in tremendous detail…
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.