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All about Angela Ruggiero

Angela Ruggiero is one of my hockey heros, and as a rugged, gritty defenseman for Team USA, she won 4 Olympic medals (one gold) and numerous World Championships while blazing a trail for female hockey players. The Free Press's Jo-Ann Barnas spoke with Ruggiero about her hockey career and post-hockey life:

She was in the middle of preparing for it when her cell phone rang. The speech.

It was shortly after 6 p.m. on a recent Thursday, and Angela Ruggiero was about to pursue an enormous challenge, somehow condensing a lifetime of gratitude into a 5-minute speech for Monday night's Hockey Hall of Fame induction in Toronto.

"I've been kind of skimming the different speeches, like Chris Chelios (2013), Mark Messier (2007) and Peter Forsberg (2014)," said Ruggiero, a four-time Olympic medalist for Team USA, who will become the fourth woman inducted. "When Cammi Granato got inducted a few years ago (2010), I was sad that I missed that historical dinner for her. But I've been able to read her speech, and Angela James' and Geraldine Heaney's — the three women who came before me."

A California native raised in Harper Woods, Ruggiero, 35, spent more than 15 years as the top defender on the U.S. women's national team. She helped the U.S. win the first gold medal in women's hockey at the 1998 Olympics.

Her success in hockey gave her confidence to succeed in academics as well: She graduated cum laude from Harvard and later completed a master's degree in sports management at Minnesota. In May 2014 — three years after she retired from the national team — she earned her MBA at Harvard.


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A Hockey Hall of Famer video roundtable

Hockey Night in Canada's George Strombolopoulos spoke with Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Pronger about a whole bunch of topics over the course of a nearly 9-minute-long roundtable, discussing what it felt like to be called by the Hockey Hall of Fame, at the other end, the draft (for Pronger), the Soviet era (for Fedorov), playing against Pronger, career highlights (mostly winning the Stanley Cup), etc.:

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Highlights from the Hockey Hall of Fame’s fan forum

The Hockey Hall of Fame held its Fan Forum today, and Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski, NHL.com's Dan Rosen, the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa and the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno listend to the players' answers.

From NHL.com's Rosen...

What is the role of a captain in the NHL?

"You have to back up your words from the locker room," Lidstrom said. "If you say we are expected to do things out there, you have to lead by example. You have to rally the troops. You have to get everyone on the same page. And you have to have good communication with the coaches to get a feel for how the group is doing."

The question, and Lidstrom's answer, gave master of ceremonies Gord Stellick the window to ask the inductees about the best leader they ever played with.


Fedorov's answer should have been obvious.

"I think Nick would agree, it's Steve Yzerman," Fedorov said.

And Krupa...

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Datsyuk’s and his sense of humor are ‘getting closer’ to returning

When Pavel Datsyuk becomes a little playful, it's a good sign, and Datsyuk spoke rather playfully regarding his health (it's assumed that he'll return by the end of this upcoming week), per the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...

“Not bad,” Datsyuk said of how he’s feeling. “Think positive.”

Datsyuk believes he’s on pace to meet his original prognosis of a mid-November return to action.

“We’ll see,” Datsyuk said. “But it’s probably another week. It’s coming slowly, but at a good pace.”


Datsyuk playfully declined to reveal what aspects of his game were still lacking.

“You think I just tell you my secrets?” he asked, while admitting his anxiety to suit up for real grows with each day he’s absent.

And MLive's Brendan Savage:

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Video- On An Off Night For The Detroit Red Wings

awood40 has you covered with 40 minutes of Henrik Zetterberg goals...


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Practice articles: Green to return Sunday, Datsyuk a week away

Updated at 4:09 PM: The Red Wings held an afternoon practice and delayed media availability on Saturday, but good news was to be had from all the beat writers: according to Ted Kulfan, Brendan Savage and George Sipple, Mike Green will return to the Wings' lineup for Sunday's matinee game vs. the 11-and-3 Dallas Stars, and Pavel Datsyuk "is about a week away" from returning.

MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Green and assistant coach Tony Granato regarding #25's return from an "upper-body" (shoulder) injury:

"Although it's been two weeks, it feels like it's been a month," Green said. "I can't wait to get back out there. I'm hoping it's going to be easy. There's always that first period trying to get the speed back. We've been working hard here, doing our skates and making sure I do whatever I can to prepare for that."


Assistant coach Tony Granato, who spoke to the media while coach Jeff Blashill tended to a family commitment, said he thought Green was coming into his own with the Red Wings when he got hurt.

"When you come into an organization, you got new players, you got new systems, a lot of things that are probably just a little bit different and I thought he handled it well," Granato said. "As the games progressed and he got a little more ice time I thought he felt more comfortable. I thought his last game was the best. Everybody that's watched Mike Green over the years knows that he has offensive instincts and skills ... not many defensemen have. So it's something that will help all of our defense. I think we can all become a little more aggressive offensively and he's certainly a guy that knows how to do that."

Green told Savage that there's been exactly one bonus to being out with an injury:

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Practice Tweets: Dallas practices in Taylor, Wings skate in Grosse Pointe Woods

Update from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

Mike Green (upper body) said he's playing tomorrow....Landon Ferraro (lower body) out for Sunday..Datsyuk maybe next week at some point

MLive's Brendan Savage confirms:

#RedWings Mike Green says he'll play Sunday vs. Dallas. Pavel Datsyuk says he's about a week away

Update #2: The Free Press's George Sipple weighed in, too:

Landon Ferraro (lower body) won't play Sunday against Stars. #wings


Ericsson missed practice, but Tony Granato said it was just maintenance day. #wings


Pavel Datsyuk (ankle) said he's at least a week away from returning to play for the #wings

On Saturday afternoon, the Red Wings got back to work after Friday's 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and ahead of tomorrow's matinee tilt (3 PM EST start) against the Dallas Stars.

With a Big Sean back-to-back concert at Joe Louis Arena, the Stars practiced in Taylor, as noted by the Dallas News's Mike Heika (see also: this is why the Wings are building a practice rink at their follow-on rink)...

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Wyshynski posits a superb piece on Lidstrom and Pronger’s differences and similarities

From Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski:

Imagine oil and water being inducted in the same Hall of Fame class.

OK, strike that: Imagine oil and a bag of rusty nails that will make you bleed if you even look at them the wrong way being inducted in the same Hall of Fame class ...

That’s essentially defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, medium build machine-like hockey deity who spent 1,564 games with the Detroit Red Wings; and fellow defenseman Chris Pronger, 6-foot-6 blunt instrument of destruction who intimidated the NHL in 1,167 games with five franchises – six if you count the fact that he’s not yet retired and the Arizona Coyotes control hold his contract.

Yet there they were, under the stained glass dome of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, accepting their Class of 2015 rings, having reached this unmatched level of individual achievement in the NHL through two divergent very paths.

Wyshynski continues at extended length...

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Morning news: Fedorov/Lidstrom Hall of Fame discussion

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

In the Hockey Hall of Fame category, NHL.com's Dan Rosen tells the tale of how the Wings "found" Nicklas Lidstrom...

[Christer] Rockstrom discovered Lidstrom through contacts in Vasteras. He mentioned his discovery to Neil Smith, then Red Wings chief amateur scout. They made a pact not to say anything to anyone outside their inner circle, which included general manager Jim Devallano and Holland. They even had to ward off agent Don Meehan, one of the top power brokers in the game, from talking about Lidstrom to other teams.

"Donnie said to me, 'Do you know a kid in Sweden named Lidster?'" Smith said. "And I said, 'Lidster? I don't know Lidster. Doug Lidster?' He said, 'No, no, Lidstrom.' I go, 'No, I don't know any kid named Lidstrom.' Well, I've known Donnie forever and he goes, 'Neil, come on.' So I said, 'OK Donnie, but don't you tell anybody about him.'"

Smith said he told Meehan not to bring Lidstrom to the draft in Minneapolis out of fear someone would see him, figure out who he was, and get curious.

"Christer wanted it to be a secret that I had a lot of potential," Lidstrom said.

Word never got out. How could it?

And Rosen continues, also discussing this particular Hall of Fame class's status as including international trailblazers...

Continue Reading »

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Swedes On Lidstrom

from NHL.com,

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (Sweden): "For a goalie to have a defenseman that's so calm and mentally in the right place, it calms you down. He's always making good decisions, good reads, and then you got to know him off the ice and it all made sense. He always seemed to be focused, but relaxed. He's a smart guy, and very humble. I think it struck me just how calm he is."

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden): "I understand why they call him 'The Perfect Human,' because that's what he is. Such a pro. Smooth at everything. Nick is unbelievable."

Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (Sweden): "My main memory from him is probably the '06 Olympics, when he scored the game-winning goal in the final. When I was young, it's not that long ago, but the coverage wasn't the same. We didn't get the same info and coverage of games throughout the year, so for me I didn't really watch that much hockey other than Swedish hockey. It was more when I came over here that I realized how good he was and how good he'd been for a long time. I think not only the stats show that, but I think if you ask pretty much anyone who's played with him or against him, they would all say the same thing: He did a lot for the game and he did a lot for Swedish hockey players growing up. Kids like me. That's the reason why people start playing hockey."

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman: "He never looked down, always had his head up. He was moving the blue line with his head up. He never looked down at the puck. That's hard, way harder than it looks. Just to be able to control the puck, walk the blue line, find a lane, take a slapper, and rarely get a shot blocked. He just made everything look so easy. Smooth."

many more in the hockey world on Nick Lidstrom...

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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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