The Malik Report
Although a few minor wrinkles need to be ironed out, for all practical purposes the Convention and Arena Authority has a new lease with West Michigan Hockey Inc., which owns the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
The new agreement is a renewal of the original lease the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority negotiated with the hockey club in 1995, a year before Van Andel Arena opened. Under this contract, which is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2011, the Griffins will pay more to play in the only home the team has known.
“The team is very happy with the outcome. Chris (Machuta) and I are very happy with the outcome,” said Rich MacKeigan, SMG regional general manager and CAA executive director. Machuta is SMG’s finance director.
Red Wings mid-day news: more talk about overseas moves; Babcock’s lockout plans and business chatter
Updated 4x at 2:07 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news, as the Free Press's Helene St. James has just wrapped up a chat with readers on Freep.com:
- You're going to have to color me skeptical regarding European player news after the Pavel Datsyuk-to-Kazan report was nixed (Datsyuk did display some anticipatory smarts by not leaving his hometown of Yekaterinburg to skate with his teammates in Detroit), but Blick.ch and Sport.ch are claiming that Damien Brunner will be playing for EV Zug for the duration of the lockout, and not just until the Grand Rapids Griffins' training camp begins on October 1st. Cue the Detroit's Ted Kulfan on this one:
Via Championat and RIA Novosti, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's report that Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk's lockout trip to sunny Kazan was premature is an understatement. It turns out that Sport-Express's report was plain wrong, per the Ak Bars' website (roughly translated):
Because of the NHL lockout, many Russian media [sources] reported transactions of a number of players from North America to the Ak Bars.
Because there's no certainty in terms of the timing of the lockout, the Ak Bars is not negotiating and does not plan on entering into short term contracts with players from the NHL.
Update: Yahoo Sports' Dmitry Chesnokov is confirming:
Updated 2x with news about Jonathan Ericsson's playing plans at 3:07 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning: WXYZ's Brad Galli spoke to Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg about the post-Nicklas Lidstrom era of Red Wings hockey being placed "on hold" by the lockout, as well as the ramifications thereof, before the players left Joe Louis Arena on Friday, and while most of the interview's light in tone, the pair become very serious very quickly when talking about the lockout, with Kronwall saying, "The last few years, the people in th stands, it's just crazy, the whole state of Michigan just breathes hockey," and both expressing dismay with the current state of affairs
Zetterberg also spoke about the lockout during a Q and A with the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
Updated with a little Griffins talk at 5:53 PM: Pardon the repetition, because this afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related news includes a) swearing and b) more of the same in terms of the substance of news stories.
As previously noted, Pavel Datsyuk will play for the Ak Bars Kazan--his first pro team--during the lockout, but the Free Press's Helene St. James notes that the vast majority of the Wings' players don't plan on leaving Detroit,with the exceptions of Jakub Kindl, Cory Emmerton and probably Valtteri Filppula (Damien Brunner will head back to EV Zug in Switzerland for a week or two, but then he'll join the Griffins at the end of this month, and as St. James noted this morning, Jonathan Ericsson may end up playing for Vita Hasten in the Swedish first division, which would be the equivalent of an NHL player signing with a semi-pro team):
Pavel Datsyuk opted to stay in his native Russia and signed Sunday with his former club, AK Bars Kazan. Most of the veteran Wings are staying in town, reflecting hope a new accord will be reached before the end of November.
MLive's Ansar Khan stated that the Wings' players will take a week off before resuming skating in Troy or wherever else they can get ice time, and I believe Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg will state as much when WXYZ airs Brad Galli's interview with the pair (hopefully they'll post the video online as well) during tonight's Sunday Sports Update (and the lockout's gotten top billing on all our local newscasts over the past three or four days, with talk about its effects upon fans, local businesses and other hockey leagues all being discussed within the first five minutes of every broadcast).
Per the Free Press's Helene St. James, it didn't take long for Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk to sign with a KHL team (and sorry about being late on this one, I was very ill this morning)...
Which Yahoo Sports' Dmitry Chesnkov says comes from a report from Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov...
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness is confirming:
Updated 2x at 5:58 AM: From what we know at this point, the Red Wings' players who plan on remaining in Metro Detroit for the present moment will begin their lockout activities by taking a week off before resuming near-daily practices in Troy, and as the third lockout of Gary Bettman's tenure and the second over the past eight seasons takes effect, the Free Press's Helene St. James did an absolutely fantastic job of setting Wings fans on our unpleasant collective journey with the most information possible as to how both the players and management (kinda sorta on the latter front) feel about what's transpiring...
"I just think the league has really grown well, hockey has never been in a better place than it is now," Wings forward Danny Cleary said. "I think we owe it to ourselves not to have a full season wasted. We need to come to an agreement, and that's pretty much going to be up to Don [Fehr] to talk to the players to see where we want to go. But someone is going to have to move at some point, us or Gary [Bettman]. I hope that both sides can realize the longer we go, the uglier it's going to get. I think we're definitely optimistic that we're going to have some hockey this year. I mean, another full year, the implications would be -- I don't know what they'd be. I mean, I'd like to say catastrophic. Just devastating. But I mean, last time they weren't."
Updated 2x at 8:02 PM: This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related news involves a predictable subject. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke to Danny Cleary about the impending lockout on Friday...
Via RedWingsFeed, WXYZ posted a teaser as to Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall's thoughts on the impeding lockout, with a longer interview Brad Galli conducted with both players to come on the Sunday Sports Update:
The ice is gone from Joe Louis Arena's floor, where the Red Wings' players engaged in one final practice before packing up black equipment bags (I'm starting to wonder whether the players were handed NHLPA jerseys at the players' meetings in New York given Chris Stevenson's report that the Oilers had to surrender their practice jerseys at the end of their skate on Friday), and for now, the Wings' players, coaches, management and fans are all embarking on an unknown course.
The third lockout of Gary Bettman's regime will take effect tonight at 11:59 PM EDT, and it sounds like the Wings' players don't plan on starting their informal skates in Troy immediately, so news may tail off for a short period of time, but for this morning, I've got a combination of carryover news regarding the Wings' signings on Friday, the potential playing destinations of a pair of locked-out players and some sobering stats regarding the lockout's effects on businesses--including the business whose owners have chosen to rubber-stamp the lockout that's going to hurt people who depend on Red Wings games for a much more modest paycheck than Justin Abdelkader or Carlo Colaiacovo are giving up.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun posited a handy-dandy lockout rules primer, and I'm sticking it here in TMR as it might be useful for Wings fans:
- Players are barred from using any NHL team’s private facilities. So for most players that means having to get together and buy ice time elsewhere to continue their workouts.
- Players will not be paid their 2012-13 salaries during the lockout. The first of 14 paychecks was expected in mid-October. On the flip side, players will get escrow checks from the NHL in mid- to late October, which counts for 8 percent of their 2011-12 salaries (they paid 8.5 escrow last season, but are getting 8 percent of it back). That’s a nice chunk of change for the players to get at the start of a lockout.
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.