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Red Wings overnight duality: A wonderful Gordie Howe story and worrisome labor talk

The Red Wings news seems to have reached an ebb with the Wings’ brass and amateur scouts occupied at the NHL’s draft combine in Toronto, but between the Stanley Cup Final cranking up with what might be the last Satellite Hotstove on Hockey Night in Canada and a Sunday’s worth of rumors and innuendo, things will crank up again as Ken Holland gets back to business working on contracts for the Wings’ free agents-to-be and tries to find out the status of Nicklas Lidstrom’s playing future ahead of the team’s organizational meetings in a little over a week from now.

In other words, welcome to the first intermission of the spring/summer. The last few days, Nicklas Lidstrom’s no-comment aside, have been relatively quiet, but it’s gonna get “interesting” real fast, and while there will be some lulls here and there, I don’t expect things to really “get quiet” until the middle of July, my hopes for a little excursion to prospect camp included…

So the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa delivers a really wonderful story about a family which chose to donate Gordie Howe’s 700th goal puck to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the “good news” portion of this entry:

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Red Wings evening quickies and the TC trip fund

Of brief Red Wings-related note this evening:

• Alanah posted this earlier this afternoon, and I didn’t exactly take offense when Daniel Sedin told the Sporting news’s Nicklas Lidstrom that if Lidstrom were to retire, it wouldn’t surprise him because Lidstrom’s “old.” Lidstrom is 41—that’s not old in life terms by any stretch of the imagination, but yes, if you’re a professional athlete, 41 is “old”—and the only person who knows whether Lidstrom will retire is Lidstrom himself;

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Jakub Kindl wins Red Wings’ ‘rookie of the year’ honors, kind of by default (and other tidbits)

Updated 2x at 2:47 PM: Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Rick Bouwness, um…the Red Wings’ only full-time rookie this past season received an obvious honor today:

Red Wings defenseman Jakub Kindl has been named the team’s 2010-11 Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association (DSBA). Kindl skated in 48 games for the Central Division champions this past season, registering four points (2G-2A) in addition to 44 hits and 36 blocked shots.

A native of Sumperk, Czech Republic, Kindl was originally selected by the Red Wings in the opening round (19th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenseman tallied 13 goals, 76 assists and 225 penalty minutes in 237 games with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins following a standout junior career with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers.

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Red Wings overnight report: Uncertainty regarding Nicklas Lidstrom’s future remains the bottom line

Thursday was a pretty good day to be a Red Wings fan. The Hockey News named the Red Wings the league’s best franchise, Mickey Redmond found out that he’ll join the Hockey Hall of Fame thanks to his bingo-bango work as a broadcaster, and it at least sounds like Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller and even Joey MacDonald will reprise their roles next season.

Perhaps the biggest news of the day regarding the team’s future, however, came in the form of continued uncertainty as Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom paddle-boarded to Belle Isle alongside Chris Chelios and Kid Rock, hopped onto shore and revealed why he’s got to be the team’s best poker player, addressing his playing future with a steely gaze, as noted by the Free Press’s George Sipple:

“I still haven’t made a decision yet,” Lidstrom said.

Chelios, executive adviser to Wings general manager Ken Holland, had invited Kid Rock to go stand-up paddle surfing with him and Lidstrom. Kid Rock decided to incorporate the activity into his Comerica Park announcement.

“To actually be a part of the announcement kind of took me and Nick by surprise,” Chelios told the Free Press. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day to paddleboard right up to the beach. I thought it went great ... beautiful shot of the city in the background. For paddleboarding, you’re not going to get a better situation on the river, that’s for sure.”

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Red Wings evening stuff: Matrix Homer, MacLean news and keeping Big E just got tougher

Oh, this is delightful: Zdeno Chara and the Sedins’ tendencies to either stand in front of shots and/or jump out of the way produced a fantastic comment about the league’s best goaltender who knows how to get out of the way of the puck, one Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom, as noted by the Vancouver Province’s Mike Halford:

Question. What are the things that those guys like Holmstrom, Smyth and Byfuglien do that make them the elite, down-low, goalie-screening players?

Tim Thomas: Well, I think I haven’t had that much experience playing against some of those guys because I’m in the Eastern Conference. Having played against Ryan Smyth quite a bit, he’s good at getting his stick in front of your face by accident. It’s kind of like garage hockey, my uncles used to do it to me when I was a kid.

But Tomas Holmstrom, he’s very good at actually getting out of the way of the puck. He gets right in that lane. If you watch him, he’s like the guy in Matrix, if it’s a high shot, he rolls out of the way.

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Red Wings broadcaster Mickey Redmond reflects on Hockey hall of Fame induction

This afternoon, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced that Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones and Detroit Red Wings color commentator Mickey Redmond would join the Hockey Hall of Fame this November, with Redmond earning the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his work as a broadcaster. Redmond is, of course, both humbled and thrilled by the news, as he told the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan...

“This completely surprised me,” Redmond said Thursday afternoon from Traverse City. “It’s quite an honor. I’ve been blessed.”

Redmond had his playing career abruptly cut short because of a back surgery. Then he began a career as one of the best hockey color analysts in the business. Redmond, 63, has been a broadcaster since 1979, beginning with ON Detroit, doing Red Wings games. He then went to Hockey Night In Canada (1980-85), and has been with the Red Wings since 1986 (with brief stints on ESPN early during that span).

“All these years, I’ve never met a bad person,” Redmond said. “I’ve been so fortunate to work with some of the best ever (Dick Irvin, Danny Gallavin, Bob Cole, Dan Kelly, Mike Emerick). (The broadcasting) just came about because of the injury.”

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Consensus might separate Brendan Shanahan from Colin Campbell

As everyone from the Boston Globe’s Kevin Dupont and the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox (who suggests that it’s Colin Campbell, and not Shanahan, who “saved the game” back in 2005) to uncle Fred from Bent Elbow weighs in on Brendan Shanahan’s new status as the man who will don the NHL’s black hat when he succeeds Colin Campbell as the NHL’s disciplinarian, most pundits believe that, should Shanahan wish to separate himself from Cammpbell’s “Wheel of Justice”-style random rulings, he must establish a committee of experts who dole out supplementary discipline, as suggested by the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau...

They say you don’t make friends with salad and you certainly don’t make them by accepting Campbell’s now-former duties. Fairly or not, Shanahan will now have his motives examined, questioned and conspiracy-theorized about. You’d wish him luck, but he’d be better off being wished man-sized earplugs and a full Kevlar leotard.

The smarter thing to do would have been to set up a supplementary discipline panel of industry people. Former veteran referee Kerry Fraser and others have suggested that a three-person panel consisting of one league representative, one NHLPA official and a neutral third party. I love that idea. If you adopted it, you would remove the notion of individual bias in the decision-making process behind suspensions and fines. No one man would have the word “boogey” in front of his designation, because it would take two others to agree with the logic.

USA Today’s Kevin Allen agrees,—while suggesting that Shanahan should spend as little time as possible as the league’s disciplinarian should he wish to keep his reputation intact…

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The Hockey News names the Red Wings the league’s best franchise

According to The Hockey News’s Ken Campbell, in THN’s latest issue (which you can purchase/download/read via Zinio), the Hockey News’s experts have chosen the Detroit Red Wings as the NHL’s model franchise. Here’s an excerpt from his article:

Franchise Rankings: The more things change, the more they stay the same as Detroit reigns in our look at the top organizations in the NHL

Imagine a brand new arena in downtown Detroit. It would have been an outrageous proposition a year ago, but in case you haven’t noticed, the newspapers in Detroit aren’t running an endless parade of gloomy stories about hardworking people losing their jobs anymore.* In fact, it’s more difficult to find work in Miami than the Motor City these days.

Michigan will be lucky to get half the jobs back it lost during the great meltdown of the automotive industry, but things are looking good enough that multiple sources say Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch has quietly been lobbying the State of Michigan and City of Detroit to help him build a new facility to replace the Joe Louis Arena. You can probably expect an announcement within the next year.

Believe it or not, things are beginning to look up in Detroit. The Big Three are making money again and increased their market share for the first time in 15 years. The State of Michigan is expected to add about 60,000 jobs each year for the next three, which would bring the unemployment rate down from a shocking 14.5% to somewhere in the range of 9% by 2012. This year, the state coffers will have more than $400 million in unanticipated revenue. That’s about like finding $20 bucks in an old winter jacket, but it’s a start

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Winnipeg NHL team uses team name as a carrot in ‘drive to 13,000’

This seems kind of bass ackwards to me, but the CBC reports that True North Sports and Entertainment is fine with asking fans to plunk down multi-year commitments to buy season tickets to watch Winnipeg’s NHL team, but won’t tell fans who they’re rooting for until they reach the 13,000 season ticket-holder mark:

The name of Winnipeg’s new NHL team won’t be unveiled until the season ticket drive is done, CBC News has learned.

There’s been plenty of speculation about when the name will be announced and what it will be. Scott Brown, communications director at True North Sports and Entertainment, said the organization is discussing that but won’t make any announcement until the 13,000 season ticket benchmark is reached.

“We want people to stay focused on the process of getting the 13,000 and getting the franchise secured because if we don’t get to the 13,000, then the signal that sends to the larger hockey community is not necessarily a positive one,” he said.

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Mickey Redmond’s a Hall-of-Famer!

Very cool Red Wings news from the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau:

Terry Jones and Mickey Redmond announced as this year’s media inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Congrats to both.

Update: Per Fox Sports Detroit:

Bill Hay, chairman and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced Thursday that Detroit Red Wings television analyst Mickey Redmond will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

Redmond will receive the award at a luncheon presentation on Nov. 14 as part of this year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Toronto.

Redmond started entertaining Red Wings viewers in 1979 and has served as analyst on FOX Sports Detroit’s telecasts since the network’s inception in 1997. His 32-year hockey broadcasting career includes five seasons (1980-85) with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, working with broadcast legends and fellow Foster Hewitt award winners Bob Cole, Dick Irvin and the late Danny Gallivan.

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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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