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Irina Konstantinov talks about her husband, as a Red Wings defenseman and the man he is today

As MLive’s Ansar Khan noted this morning, tonight marks the fifteenth anniversary of the limo crash which left Red Wings masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov paralyzed below the waist and partially paralyzed on the left side of his body, and, of course, Vladimir Konstantinov cognitively impaired all of seven days after the Red Wings celebrated their 1997 Stanley Cup championship.

While Khan’s article focused on the recollections of Konstantinov’s teammates, Yahoo Sports’ Eric Adelson spoke to Vladimir’s wife, Irina, about a player who was, at the time of the accident, a 30-year-old defenseman who was the viciously physical but no less-skilled foil to Nicklas Lidstrom:

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There will be beer in the Big House as Michigan legislature approves Winter Classic liquor license

From the Associated Press:

The Michigan Legislature has approved sale of alcohol at Michigan Stadium on New Year’s Day when the home of Wolverines’ football arena hosts a game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Senate passed the proposal Wednesday, following up on the House’s action of May 24.

The league made alcohol sales a condition for holding the outdoor NHL Winter Classic game at the Ann Arbor stadium Jan. 1, 2013. AnnArbor.com (http://bit.ly/KVs4Qy ) says the NHL is paying the university $3 million for the stadium’s use.

Officials say the game could break a Guinness World Record as the most-attended hockey game ever. The record was set at Michigan Stadium in 2010 when 104,173 attended a Michigan State-Michigan game.

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Red Wings afternoon news: What did you think Parise would say, “Pack my bags for Motown?”

Updated 3x with exciting Parise video at 6:26 PM: I was out of the office for an intolerable period of time today, so I’m not exactly surprised that New Jersey Devils forward and captain Zach Parise did not in fact tell reporters, as Red Wings fans had perhaps dreamed, that his skates were out the door and that he was packing his bags to go to Motown.

During his locker room clean-out day comments, he told the Newark Star-Ledger’s Tom Gulitti and NHL.com’s Dan Rosen that he wants to remain a Devil, and I’m not sure what else he could have possibly said. Does that mean he’ll stay in New Jersey? Not necessarily. It’s June 13th, and he, Ryan Suter and all the players who have yet to sign with their current rights-holders tend to at least find out what other teams might offer them after 11:59 AM EDT on July 1st appealing, but it’s a coin flip, statistically speaking, and it’s up to him.

Per Gulitti:

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Red Wings release preseason schedule

Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, here’s the Red Wings’ 2012 preseason schedule, with the home games in bold:

Septempber 26 Wed Pittsburgh Penguins Consol Energy Center 7 p.m.
September. 28 Fri Chicago Blackhawks United Center 8:30 p.m.
September 29 Sat Chicago Blackhawks Joe Louis Arena 7 p.m.
September 30 Sun Washington Capitals Joe Louis Arena 5 p.m.
October 3 Wed Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Louis Arena 7:30 p.m.
October 5 Fri Toronto Maple Leafs Joe Louis Arena 7:30 p.m.

October 6 Sat Toronto Maple Leafs Air Canada Centre 7 p.m.
October 7 Sun Washington Capitals Verizon Center 5 p.m.

MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Detroit Free Press’s James Jahnke are confirming.

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Out the door Red Wings and NHL quickies

I’m about to embark upon a “three hour tour” of Metro Detroit’s freeways thanks to the fact that the trip between South Lyon and my mother’s doctor’s office in Sterling Heights is 95-mile round trip, so I’m heading out of the office for a couple of hours. Paul will cover anything that’s particularly important, but before I go, here are some mid-day “quickie” stories:

• First and foremost, MLive’s Ansar Khan, via RedWingsFeed, profiled the Red Wings’ “Plan B” if they don’t land Ryan Suter in Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle:

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The accident which nearly claimed Vladimir Konstantinov’s life was a hockey tragedy, too

As the 15th anniversary of the Red Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup win gives way to the Free Press positing a Mitch Albom story recalling the tenth anniversary of the Cup the Wings won in 2002, MLive’s Ansar Khan reminds us that, fifteen years ago today, a tragic event occurred that the franchise has never really recovered from.

On a muggy June night, Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov had done the right thing in choosing to take a limousine ride home from a golf outing, but their driver fell asleep at the wheel and collided with a tree. The crash paralyzed Mnatsakanov below his waist and left him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body, and it left Konstantinov permanently cognitively impaired.

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Red Wings overnight report: In which we are all free agent palm-readers

On a day when, in theory, anyway, Red Wings fans received more than enough substantiated, source-cited and credible news to sustain a day’s worth of discussion in Detroit’s front office’s show a little loyalty to Tomas Holmstrom by delaying their decision on his future to July—a courtesy the Wings have only extended to Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby since the salary cap was introduced—and perhaps offering an understated cheer that Chris Conner’s European agent told Jnytt.se that his client wants to remain in North America…

Morning, noonish and in the afternoon/evening, we speculated about free agent possibilities.

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Red Wings evening news: the Suter report, on Parise, Garrison and Holmstrom

Updated 2x at 9:12 PM: Sorry I’m slow on this one, gang. I’ve been plain old sick today. Anyway, this evening’s crop of Red Wings-related news revisits the topics discussed in the overnight report and mid-day news thread, with one exception:

The Chief sends us to the Detroit Sports Site’s Chris Burke, who sends us further to this Tweet from the Fourth Period’s Dennis Bernstein:

League exec told us last night he expects Preds to deal Suter rights around draft, ‘just like they did with Hamhuis, Hartnell and Timonen’

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Red Wings GM Ken Holland explains why the team will wait until July to decide Tomas Holmstrom’s fate

Updated at 1:52 PM: This morning, the Free Press’s Helene St. James reported that the Red Wings have chosen to delay their decision as to whether they will bring Tomas Holmstrom back for one more season until after the team’s explored the free agent marketplace, offering Holmstrom’s side of the story, and this afternoon, MLive’s Ansar Khan shares Wings GM Ken Holland’s reasoning regarding offering an exception to the, “If you haven’t re-signed by July 1st, we’ll move forward without you” rule:

“He wants to make sure he’s got the energy and passion – all the things Nick Lidstrom talked about before he retired,’’ Holland said. “Right now he’s leaning towards playing. We both want to see what goes on in early July.’‘

The Red Wings want to see what transpires over the next three weeks regarding potential trades or free-agent signings on or after July 1 before making a commitment to Holmstrom.

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Red Wings mid-day news: in which we may or may not be talking about free agency

Updated 3x at 2:42 PM: With Tomas Holmstrom’s future on hold, Red Wings fans have eleven days to wait until the team begins its attempts to reload and re-stock the cupboard to address Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement, the departure of Brad Stuart, the likely bolting of Jiri Hudler and Holmstrom’s probable retirement.

Ken Holland and the Wings brass’s moves over the course of the latter half of June and early July—with approximately $26 million in cap space available, per Capgeek.com—will obviously determine whether the Wings can maintain their standard of excellence going forward, so it’s less than surprising that this morning and early afternoon’s crop of Red Wings news almost entirely involves the team’s free agent plans, starting with NESN’s Douglas Flynn’s suggestion that the Red Wings may very well serve as the fulcrum upon which the free agent marketplace pivots:

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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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