The Malik Report
Updated substantially at 3:25 PM: This afternoon's selection of Red Wings-related news isn't as interesting as the Paul-posted, "Jimmy Devellano's first words to the media since the draft" article in which the Hockey News's Ken Campbell discussed Ken Holland and Mike Babcock's shelf lives, but I've found enough tidbits to cobble together a respectable mid-July entry.
The first bit of Wings-related news comes from the ECHL, and it involves a somewhat surprising signing made by the Toledo Walleye:
Goaltender Jeff Lerg has agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2014-15 season.
The Walleye are the ECHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
These are interesting times for the Detroit Red Wings. They’re coming off a season in which they just made the playoffs after moving to the far inferior Eastern Conference, went 0-for-everyone in free agency and have a mix of wobbly veterans and kids that could well see their run of 23 straight seasons in the playoffs come to an end.
Head coach Mike Babcock, who has one year left on his contract and would be the biggest free agent on the market next summer if he got there, said recently that he won’t negotiate a contract extension during the 2014-15 season.
Adding another layer to the intrigue is the status of GM Ken Holland. Both he and Babcock are inextricably linked. In fact, Babcock has said in the past he wants to wait to see what Holland’s status will be before addressing his own.
Like Babcock, Holland has one year left on his contract with the Red Wings. But there is also an option year on the contract, one which Red Wings senior vice-president Jim Devellano recently told me is essentially Holland’s. There is some dispute about this, since it has been reported it is a team option. But I’ll go with Devellano on this one.
Devellano said he and Holland have been talking about an extension for Holland for some time now, most recently as early as last Sunday night. And while talks have been exploratory, Devellano is confident the Red Wings will get Holland under contract. “One thing is sure,” Devellano said. “We’ll do what’s best for Ken Holland.”
The Red Wings officially officially announced that the team has hired Tony Granato as one of Mike Babcock's new assistant coaches (Bill Peters leaving for Carolina + Tom Renney's departure to take the reins as Hockey Canada's president = one assistant coach down, one to go; Granato signed for "1 year plus an option") yielded a predictable amount of, "I'm happy to join the Red Wings" comments and a suitable number of jokes about the Babcock-Granato yell-fest back in 2008.
At this point, this Wings fan was more than happy to read somebody discuss the reasons that he felt Detroit was the place to be. Granted, Granato wears a suit these days, not a jersey, but he told the Macomb Daily's George Pohly that he believes the Wings aren't "that far off"...
Absolutely,” Granato said Tuesday when asked if the Red Wings can make a deep playoff run.
“I think it’s a great lineup, and I think it’s a lineup that can win,” Granato added. “The Detroit Red Wings play a system and brand of hockey … that’s tough to play against every night. They know how to develop players. They know how to win.”
And Granato told Pohly exactly the words we'd hoped a younger "new member of the family" might say on July 1st...
This took about five minutes. Yesterday, Red Wings coach MIke Babcock discussed his contract status with the Free Press's Helene St. James and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, explaining that he neither wants to talk contract turkey during the regular season, nor does he want to sign until Ken Holland's inked, but less than 24 hours later, The Fan 590 poured fire on the, "Babcock to Toronto" spiel:
"He loves the media!" Um, no, not so much.
Meanwhile, as Hockey Canada formally announced that Tom Renney would succeed Bob Nicholson as the organization's presidnent...
Amongst this afternoon's non-coaching-related Red Wings stories:
A fun and free family-friendly hockey event for charity is [taking place at Kroger on] July 19 in Canton.
Hockey Fest will benefit the Ted Lindsay Foundation, which aims at raising money for autism research and education.
- “Face Off” in the Top Shot inflatable gallery
- Play the ultimate hockey game in the mini rink
- Be the goalie and stop the foam puck in the shooting range
- Take your fastest shot in the puck radar cage
- Experience hockey history in the Legends of Hockey exhibit
- Meet Red Wings Alumni
- Enter for a chance to win great prizes including tickets for a Red Wings game
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kroger at 45540 Michigan Avenue, Canton.
In a very different vein, the Hockey News's Darryl Dobbs looks at the Red Wings' "outlook" for the upcoming season from an angle we have yet to really examine, in terms of the team's fantasy hockey appeal:
Per the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno:
The Hockey News's Ken Campbell did a superb job of summarizing why Renney's job won't be easy:
The Production Line's Michael Petrella informed Winging it in Motown's JJ From Kansas, DetroitHockey.net's Clark Rasmussen and myself that TPL was working on an investigative article discussing Detroit's hockey media atmosphere.
In light of the Daniel Cleary signing, Petrella believed that perusing inside-the-market and outside-the-market sources might provide a better understanding of the peramaters under which the Wings' media corps operate.
We agreed to publish whatever Michael wrote as-is and to publish it as closely-timed as possible to reach as many of you as we can.
What follows is presented without comment, and what follows encourages you to reach your own conclusions. As they say in the TV business, the following article does not necessarily reflect those of this blogger or The Malik Report (regarding the first subject in particular, I've had the opposite experience, but, "It is what it is").
Updated 4x at 4:48 PM: The Red Wings officially announced the hiring of new assistant coach Tony Granato just before noon today, and We All Bleed Redd on YouTube noted that the Wings' assistant coach and head coach introduced themselves some time ago, when Granato was an assistant coach in Colorado:
Granato coached the Avs for two seasons, he's served as an assistant to Dan Bylsma in both Pittsburgh and on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, and Granato addressed his status as a one-time Wings and Babcock rival in a conversation with the Free Press's Helene St. James.
Friends? Granato tells St. James that they are now:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have hired Tony Granato as an assistant coach.
Granato, 49, has served as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins for the past five seasons (2009-14), guiding the team’s defense (2.49 goals against per game, 10th) and penalty killing (85.0 percent, fifth) to top-10 finishes in the NHL during the 2013-14 campaign. Granato also served on Dan Bylsma’s Team USA coaching staff at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Prior to his time in Pittsburgh, Granato had two stints as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche (2002-04, 2008-09), compiling a 104-78-17-16 regular-season record over 215 games as a head coach, with two postseason appearances and one Northwest Division title. He also served as an assistant coach for the Avalanche for parts of four seasons (2002-03, 2005-08).
Red Wings morning news: Babcock discusses past/future assistant coaches, prospect talk & Brownov III
Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made an eyebrow-raising comment to the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan regarding his contract status and his desire to either wrap up an extension prior to the regular season or to wait until the conclusion of the 2014-2015 campaign to talk contract turkey:
"By that time (regular season), it’s hockey,” Babcock said. “It’s about the team. It’s not about Mike Babcock.”
Babcock doesn’t expect any extension until general manager Ken Holland, who also has one year left on his deal, works out his own contract.
“I’m not concerned,” Babcock said. “I’ve always been of the belief that if you do your job, do your job well, people want you.”
And Babcock shared a very positive assessment of the departing assistant coaches in Tom Renney (who will be named Hockey Canada's president today) and Bill Peters (who's heading to Carolina to coach the Hurricanes)...
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.