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Red Wings fans get wish McCrimmon departs; Nill talks about Griffins’ changes; summer camp in TC

Updated 3x at 9:59 PM: I hope that Red Wings fans who’ve been calling for the man’s head enjoyed today’s announcement that Wings assistant coach Brad McCrimmon has chosen to part ways with the organization. The Free Press’s George Sipple and Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan confirm…

Brad McCrimmon will not return as a Red Wings assistant coach next season. The Wings said he decided to pursue other career opportunities. TSN of Canada, attributing its information to a source, says McCrimmon and head coach Mike Babcock mutually agreed it was time to make a change.

McCrimmon, a defenseman who played for the Wings from 1990-93 in his 18-year NHL career, had been Babcock’s assistant in Detroit for the past three seasons. He also was an assistant for the Islanders (1997-98), Calgary (2000-03) and Atlanta (2003-07).

As does MLive’s Ansar Khan:

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Red Wings overnight report: on Miller, Ericsson, Axelsson, Mac and Claude and Ilari goes home

Updated: Ilari Filppula has re-signed with Jokerit Helsinki: Amongst the Red Wings’ unrestricted free agents-to-be, the best in terms of his willingness to be a “good solider” and fill whatever role the team asks him to, including sitting out games on occasion, has to be Drew Miller. The Free Press’s Helene St. James believes that Miller’s status as a “glue guy” who contributes whenever he plays merits re-signing, even with a bit of a roster glut in the making thanks to the likely re-signing of the indispensable penalty-killer that is Patrick Eaves and Jan Mursak’s graduation from the AHL:

Miller, 27, fits into the Wings’ plans for next year, though as always it comes down to price, and the Wings want to keep Patrick Eaves, another valuable role player. Jan Mursak, who impressed while called up from the minors this past season, is penned in as a regular in Detroit next season. There already are 10 forwards under contract, but the Wings are likely to move at least one as they seek to improve.

Miller’s the guy every team needs in the salary-cap era, a utility man who fits in on most lines. The Wings acquired him in November 2009, claiming him off waivers from Tampa Bay. A sixth-round pick of Anaheim’s in the 2003 NHL draft, Miller spent part of two seasons with the Ducks before playing 14 games for the Lightning in fall of ‘09.

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Can you score a goal by beaning a goaltender? Yes, sort of

Former referee Kerry Fraser’s mailbag columns for TSN haven’t necessarily revealed the sort of, “We make mistakes all the time, just like anybody else!” comments that one might expect, but Fraser’s at least willing to admit that referees have to interpret sometimes contradictory clauses in the rulebook on a split-second basis, as was the case when the Tampa Bay Lighting scored a goal off Tim Thomas’s left eyebrow on Tuesday:

We got a whole lot of net and goalie crease questions regarding Tim Thomas having his mask knocked off when his own defenceman (Adam McQuaid) fell directly on his head.  The fact that Tim’s own player’s actions caused him to lose his mask is immaterial as to if or when the referee should stop play.
Here are some of your questions and the answer. First, let me assure you that the referee absolutely made the correct decision to allow play to continue in this case.  While stopping play when a goalie loses his mask is designed to provide safety the rule is very clear in when the whistle must be blown by the referee.

Rule 9.5 Protective Equipment states that all players shall wear an approved helmet but allows a player that has had his helmet knocked off to continue to participate in play until he goes to his players’ bench.  At that point he is not allowed to return to the game without a helmet. Pertaining to the goalie losing his mask this is what the rule clearly states:

“When a goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask and his team has possession of the puck, the play shall be stopped immediately to allow the goalkeeper the opportunity to regain his helmet and/or face mask.”

Now comes the portion of the rule that is pertinent to last night:

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Krunk won’t save the Thrashers, but don’t doubt their fans’ tenacity

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore, Krunk can’t save the Thrashers…

The AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri spoke to Lil Jon for another story this weekend. While she was at it, Melissa asked about Lil Jon’s rumored interest in buying the Thrashers. Here is what he had to say:

“I love the Thrashers, but I’m not investing in them. The one good thing about that rumor is that it’s stirring up a lot of people talking and saying we gotta keep them here, it brings awareness to it. But I’m not investing. That’s a lot of money to buy a professional hockey team! I’ll help then out with some awareness, though.”

But as the vultures circle, the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen, who was dispatched to Phoenix to write a Coyotes epitaph but refused to do so, tells fans in Winnipeg and everywhere else that it’s not Thrashers fans’ passion that should be questioned—it’s their ownership that’s left a tenacious fan base’s team in the lurch:

 

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Red Wings mid-day talk: ‘No’ on Kaberle, a Howard interview and ‘top 11’ stragglers

This admittedly fanciful musing from the Hockey News’s Ryan Dixon, suggesting that the Red Wings might want to sign current Boston Bruins defenseman and unrestricted free agent-to-be Tomas Kaberle has me downright confused as the Red Wings don’t seem to have the salary cap space nor the inclination to bring another finesse-based, puck-moving defenseman into the fold…

t’s difficult to see how Kaberle, who’ll be a 33-year-old free agent July 1, will be wearing a spoked ‘B’ next year; so how about a winged wheel? To be clear, this is nothing more than my own wheels spinning well in advance of the annual off-season musical chairs session. But for a number of reasons, I can’t shake the feeling Kaberle would be a nice fit in Detroit. First off, when Eric Clapton (among others) sang “Nobody knows you/when you’re down and out,” he obviously forgot about the Red Wings. Todd Bertuzzi, Danny Cleary, Patrick Eaves and Brad Stuart are just the most recent examples of guys who the Wings claimed, cleaned up and got back to making the most of their abilities.

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Red Wings overnight report: Bertuzzi’s still concussed; more discussion about changes to come

It’s good news/bad news on the Red Wings’ injury front from the Free Press’s Helene St. James this morning, and as bad news should come first, St. James reports that Todd Bertuzzi has yet to recover from the concussion he incurred five days ago when his jaw smacked into Dany Heatley’s helmet in San Jose. The good news is that Danny Cleary’s apparently recovered from the biggest hit Jiri Hudler delivered over the course of the 2010-2011 season. Cleary apparently passed his baseline neurological test prior to his exit interview with Wings GM Ken Holland on Tuesday:

“I met with Dan for an hour this morning—he looks great, feels great,” general manager Ken Holland said Tuesday. “If we were playing today, he could play.”

Cleary suffered the concussion last Thursday during a collision with teammate Jiri Hudler, who caught Cleary in the face with an elbow. Bertuzzi was hurt during a collision with Sharks forward Dany Heatley.

“Todd is getting better every day, but he’s not quite over the effects of it yet,” Holland said.

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Red Wings evening report: saying goodbye, non-competition and other stuff

The Red Wings’ website posted its “farewell” video for the 2010-2011 season today, emphasizing the Wings’ comments from their locker room clean-out on Saturday:

And I can tell you the saddest part of that video involves the ice. After the Wings are done using the ice sheet, the two Zambonis come onto the ice and scrape it up, dumping about two Zamboni-sized piles of shavings and paint across from the loading dock at Joe Louis Arena’s riverfront entrance, some of the ice “steaming” into water vapor as it melts. It’s near-tragic to watch.

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Steve Yzerman’s success with the Lightning isn’t exactly beginner’s luck

Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Chicago Blackhawks adivsor Scotty Bowman and a certain Tampa Bay Lightning GM named Steve Yzerman about his ability to seemingly make every right move, including signing Sean Bergenheim to a bargain-basement $700,000 contract, and Yzerman’s former employers simply aren’t surprised that Yzerman’s made so many “right” moves that it’s scary:

“You’ve got to be lucky,” said Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, Yzerman’s old boss and mentor. All GMs do. That said, Holland added: “I mean, the guy is sitting out there for anybody to sign, and he signed him.”

And the signing of Bergenheim was just one of a series of successful moves – from hiring rookie coach Guy Boucher, to resigning Martin St. Louis, to acquiring veterans Dwayne Roloson and Eric Brewer during the season. It’s not just that Yzerman hit the jackpot with Bergenheim. It’s that he never really went bust with anyone else.

“I don’t think any of his moves backfired,” said Chicago Blackhawks senior advisor Scotty Bowman, who coached Yzerman in Detroit and worked with him in the Wings’ front office. “Steve’s moves are paying off.”

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Red Wings mid-day stuff: more realignment talk, on Wings tweaks and the Dick Axelsson derby

I’m still not buying the talk suggesting that the Red Wings will move to the Eastern Conference, if only eventually, should the Atlanta Thrashers move to Winnipeg, but that hasn’t stopped Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner from providing a piranha’s worth of steak on fishhook via quotes from Wings VP Jimmy Devellano‘s belief that, at some point in the future, the Wings will indeed head East:

“I don’t think so, certainly not anything next year, the schedules under way now,” Devellano said. “I can only tell you what will happen next year, and we’re probably going to be where we’ve been for a long, long time.”

Devellano also added that, contrary to popular belief, the Red Wings do not have the power to demand that they move to the Eastern Conference.

“We have no say whatsoever; it’s a league decision,” he said. “Those kinds of things have to be voted on by the owners of the league.”

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Is Sharks forward Ryane Clowe sitll banged-up from Kronwall hit?

While speaking about the lack of impact in the literal sense provided by Sharks forwards Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture and Dany Heatley against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, the San Jose Mercury News’s Mark Purdy speculates that Clowe in particular may still be suffering from the after-effects of being “Kronwalled” during the Detroit-San Jose series:

Clowe entered Game 1 against the Canucks as the Sharks’ leading playoff scorer, with 13 points in 12 games. But on Sunday, he took just one shot, which was blocked. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Clowe is also the physical conscience of the Sharks’ forwards. But on Sunday, he delivered just one barely noticeable hit during his 18-plus minutes of ice time. Meanwhile, fourth-line scrappers Jamal Mayers and Scott Nichol each had three hits in less than six minutes of action.

Every hockey team has a barometer player or two. When those players are hot, the team is hot. When those players are cold with occluded fronts and fog, so is the team. Clowe is definitely one of the Sharks’ barometer players. Which makes you wonder if the barometer has a hairline crack in it, or something similar. Clowe’s unspecified ailment—perhaps a sternum or ribs issue—probably was caused by a crushing collision with Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall during the last series.

The Sharks’ official spin is that the Kronwall hit had nothing to do with the problem. Monday, Clowe said only that the mystery injury is healing day by day. Also, he felt better Sunday than he did in last Thursday’s game.

“I think from a physical standpoint, yes,” Clowe said. “But my legs felt better against Detroit in Game 7, for some reason.”

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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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