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No guarantees, but Red Wings hope Nicklas Lidstrom will return; Hitchcock’s not coming to Detroit

Per MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Red Wings are not, in fact, offering guarantees as to Nicklas Lidstrom’s future with the team, but the Wings’ brass finally sat down and spoke to Lidstrom during the team’s organizational meetings, and they believe that Lidstrom’s strong season, the fact that he could play in his 20th season in Detroit and the fact that the Wings will be a contending team after their summer makeover all point to a relatively certain bet that Lidstrom will return:

Holland met with Lidstrom on Tuesday, following the first day of the club’s pro scouting meetings, but said he doesn’t know yet whether the team captain will play next season or retire. Holland said they will talk again at the NHL Awards Show on June 22 in Las Vegas.

Babcock is convinced that Lidstrom will return, though he hasn’t heard it from him.

“I’m 100 percent optimistic,” Babcock said Tuesday.  Asked why, Babcock said, “Why not? He’s too good. And our team is too good for him to quit.”

Khan also reports that Ken Hitchcock is simply not in the running to replace Paul MacLean and Brad McCrimmon as an assistant coach:

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Red Wings mid-day news: MacLean joins Sens; on organizational meetings and UFA targets (Wisniewski)

Updated 2x with Ilitch Holdings news at 3:09 PM: The Ottawa Senators officially introduced former Red Wings assistant coach Paul MacLean as their new coach this morning, first issuing Ye Olde Presse Release prior to MacLean’s presser…

“Paul brings a weath of experience as both a coach and teacher of the game,” said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. “He has been a winner during his coaching career and comes to Ottawa from an organization that has a history of both success on the ice and in developing players. He is a competitive person and we expect that our teams will display that same trait night-in and night-out.”

Prior to joining Detroit, MacLean was hired in 2002 by Murray, who was then the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim’s general manager. MacLean spent two seasons as an assistant to Babcock, the Mighty Ducks’ head coach at that time. In his first season in Anaheim, the club made its first Stanley Cup final appearance and posted a 69-62-19-14 record (.521) during MacLean’s two seasons behind the bench. In his last eight seasons of coaching, MacLean has been part of a team that has reached the Stanley Cup final on three occasions.

“Paul represents a big part of the change we needed to bring to our hockey club,” said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. “The fact is we are a very different looking hockey team compared to a year ago. Bryan and I agreed it was important for him to bring in someone who is a solid communicator, can easily build a strong rapport with our players and has a proven track record of winning NHL games and Stanley Cups. Paul represents all of this, and I’m pleased to welcome him to Ottawa and the Senators organization.”

And MacLean emphasized the need for his Senators to get on the same page as their coach while speaking at his presser, as noted by the Canadian Press…

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Red Wings begin organizational meetings with replacing Paul MacLean on the agenda

As reported on Monday afternoon, the Red Wings will officially have to replace two assistant coaches as the Ottawa Senators have hired Paul MacLean as their head coach.

According to both the Ottawa Citizen’s Allen Panzeri and the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, MacLean may be introduced as the Sens’ coach today with one or both of his assistant coaches in place, and one of Garrioch’s favorite conversation partners, a “league source,” had this to say about MacLean and his surprisingly long resume:

“Paul MacLean deserves the chance,” said a league executive Monday. “He’s paid his dues. He’s won at every level. Now, it’s time to find out whether he can coach at this level. He’s won everywhere — including as an assistant. He’s very knowledgeable and he’s very well respected,” added another league executive. He took his time before looking for a head coaching job. He’ll be able to relate to the players. I’m not sure whether he can be the hard guy, but this is probably what they need right now: A teacher and a more patient guy.”

MacLean has difficult tasks ahead of him…

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Farewell, Paul MacLean: Red Wings’ assistant coach to become Ottawa’s bench boss

Update #2: Via Twitter, the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline says Ken Hitchcock might be heading to Detroit to replace MacLean: Not exactly staggering news from Ottawa, via the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek...

If, as expected, the Ottawa Senators name Paul MacLean as the ninth coach in franchise history tomorrow, his hiring will represent a sound choice - and a bit of a departure for an organization that last handed the reins to the untried Cory Clouston three years back.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun...

The Ottawa Senators have hired Detroit Red Wings assistant Paul MacLean as their new coach, sources told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun.

The Senators are expected to announce the hiring as early as Tuesday, sources said.

And TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

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Red Wings overnight report: coaching search begins to take shape; yes, Dick’s staying in Sweden

Updated 2x with 13 minutes of McCarty-with-Lemieux video at 9:55 AM: We’ve known for several days now that it’s all but certain that the Red Wings have vacancies to fill on both sides of coach Mike Babcock’s shoulders as one assistant coach, Brad McCrimmon, left the team to helm Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL, and it’s becoming more and more certain that Paul MacLean will become the Ottawa Senators’ next head coach.

Thanks to a set of Twitter updates and reports from this morning, however, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of who might replace McCrimmon and MacLean. Via RedWingsFeed, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons posted the following…

Mike Babcock is interviewing asst coaches because he wants “new ideas” next season. RonWilson, 3 yrs out of playoffs. not changing his staff
...
Among those Babcock has interviewed: Former Windsor coach Bob Boughner. Word continues that Wing asst Paul MacLean will end up in Ottawa.

And TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the Wings might complete a junior hockey circuit (Boughner coached the Windsor Spitfires prior to his year spent as Columbus’s assistant coach) by tapping someone who’s helmed the Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers’ benches:

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NHLPA finally replaces retired competition committee members

Good news from the NHLPA: the PA’s filled Mathieu Schneider’s spot on the competition committee and swapped out the AHL-playing Mike Commodore for a current NHL player ahead of Monday’s meetings to agree to or amend the GM’s proposal to tweak Rule 48 to cover more than blind-side hits:

The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that two new members will be representing the Players as members of the Competition Committee.

Following their recent selection by the NHLPA’s Executive Board, Mike Cammalleri (Montreal Canadiens) and Chris Campoli (Chicago Blackhawks) will join current members David Backes (St. Louis Blues), Chris Clark (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres) on the Competition Committee. Cammalleri and Campoli replace Mike Commodore and Mathieu Schneider as voting members of the Committee. Schneider will remain on the Committee as the NHLPA’s non-voting member.

The full NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee will meet on Monday, June 13th at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Boylston room on the first floor. Please note that media availability will be held at the conclusion of the meetings. The listed time is an approximate end time.

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Zdeno Chara and the ‘boom stick’

Not Wings-related but worth a thousand words and then some: Per the Associated Press’s Winslow Townson, when faced with the media crush that is the Stanley Cup Final, intrepid media-types have learned that one should walk softly and carry a hockey stick:

No word as to whether Easton will make a commemorative “boom stick” for Zdeno Chara.

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Red Wings overnight report: Sunday columnist quips and prospect talk

If all goes well, after a weekend’s worth of covering a Stanley Cup Final in which both teams seem to have a hard time swallowing the concept that when you get to be the last two teams standing, more people will probably dislike you than like you, maybe this morning’s crop of Red Wings-related news and notes will provoke a little more head-nodding (or shaking) and some plain old enjoyment of the fact that the skate’s not on the Wings’ foot today.

The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson provides the head-nodding part via comments about the Wings’ possible retirees and a probable former assistant coach…

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Winnipeg team plans on keeping Dan Snyder in their thoughts

From a wistful observer’s perspective, it’s been nothing less than fascinating to watch the NHL’s return to Winnipeg play out as its as-yet-unnamed NHL franchise’s fans and media scribes ask 15 years of questions in one fell swoop.

As the team’s fans and scribes ponder whether the franchise should stick with the Jets moniker or start afresh, you wouldn’t necessarily expect to read a column suggesting that you can learn everything about the Jets name’s resonance to the city via, according to the Winnipeg Free Press’s Tom Oleson, hearing about the methods the winner of the Queen of Winnipeg’s Exotic Dancers contest used to earn her title, but that’s Winnipeg for you (not the nudity part), but hey, it’s been a long time, and it’s hard to explain to people who haven’t spent time in the “Green Bay of the NHL” how absolutely central the NHL team was and will be to the city’s identity and sense of pride, regardless of its name.

That being said, as the Phoenix Coyotes technically are the Jets and remain the holders of the team’s franchise records and retired numbers, you might wonder how the team plans on handling the fact that there are some no-goes in terms of Atlanta-related tradition-breaking. According to the Winnipeg Free Press’s Ed Tait, via Pro Hockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon, the Winnipeg team will continue to honor Dan Snyder’s memory…

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Red Wings overnight report: penciling in Paul MacLean as the Sens’ next coach

It’s not exactly time to bring out the Sharpie that one might bring to the Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor to get Darren McCarty and Claude Lemieux’s respective signatures (among others) today, nor is it time to use one of my beloved Pilot G2 pens, but I think it’s at least safe to use a good-old #2 pencil to fill in Paul MacLean’s name in as Ottawa Senators’ next head coach.

On Thursday, both the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan and Sportsnet’s Ian Mendes suggested that the current Red Wings assistant coach is the favorite for the Senators’ job, and this morning, the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren frames the candidacy of the man who just won the AHL’s Calder Cup, Binghamton Senators coach Kurt Kleindorst, in, “Well maybe MacLean will have to hire him on as an assistant” terms:

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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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