Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Evening news: On Helm, Tatar, a Griffins 3rd jersey and Larionov on wine (really)

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa not only spoke with Mike Green today, but he and the media attending today's informal skate also spoke with Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar about their summertime training.

Helm was very happy with the amount of training he was able to take part in this summer...

“Last two years, I’ve been doing a little bit of rehab and a little light lifting,” he said. “And this year I was able to do the heavy lifting and the training the way the other guys do, and at the same time being smart with what I need to do.

“I think I’m in better shape than I have been in previous years. The last couple were just getting to where I need to be to play, and this year I feel I’m in much better shape than that.”

And Tatar suggested that he's getting into his prime both physically and mentally:

“You’re just gaining more experience, every year,” the 24-year-old native of Slovakia. “Some of the parts of the season last year when I struggled. So, I know how hard it is at that time.

“Now, whenever it happens, hopefully I know how to react and just try to put it behind me and focus on the next game. That’s why those guys like Hank and Paver are so strong, they’ve been in the league so long and they do it right every day.”

Krupa continues.


In the FYI department, it looks like Griffins fans who wanted to see the Griffins' classic logo on their 20th anniversary jersey will be able to do so...sort of...per Icethetics:


Also in the FYI department, but in a very different vein, if you were not aware, one of the Grand Rapids Griffins' veterans will have to spend some time confined to his home as part of a plea bargain for unwittingly aiding a sports betting ring. This story comes from the Associated Press via the Detroit News:

Grand Rapids Griffins player Nathan Paetsch has sentenced to eight months of home confinement for being part of an illegal sports betting business that took wagers from other players.

Paetsch (paytch) also must perform 400 hours of community service and spend five years on probation following his sentencing Friday in federal court in Rochester.

The 32-year-old accepted a plea agreement in June which also requires him to forfeit $265,000.


If you are interested, you may read the Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek's article about former hockey players in the wine-making business, in no small part because we get an update on Igor Larionov's status as a mostly retired wine-maker...

For years, fellow Russian Igor Larionov was heavily involved in the wine trade, producing wines in both California and Australia. Although Larionov has switched his full-time focus to becoming a player agent, he still produces small batches of a high-end cab for his own consumption and to give to friends. As recently as this past February, visitors to Russia for the Sochi Olympics could drink the last of Larionov’s shiraz’s at Coffeemania, a Moscow airport restaurant.


“My exposure to wine came when I was 33 years old when I took a year off and went to Lugano, Switzerland, and started to appreciate that lifestyle, cuisine and red wine,” said Larionov, a player nicknamed the Professor, who often credited his longevity in the game (he played until he was 45) to drinking a glass of red wine every night. “Now, with the Internet and all the information that players can read, they know what wine’s all about – the quality of the product. To me, it’s normal – for the mature guys, 22, 25, 27, they’re making a lot of money and they want to drink some good wines too.

“It’s like the difference between a five-star hotel and a Motel 6,” Larionov added. “As soon as you start to realize there’s so much great wine, it’s hard to go back to drinking Two Buck Chuck.”


“I’d go to watch a Kings game and go upstairs to the press box and see Jimmy [Fox] and Bob Miller and all we’d talk about is the wine, not the hockey,” Larionov said. Nowadays, Larionov says he makes wines “for myself, but not for resale, because I’m heavily involved in hockey and it’s taking all my time. When you’re in the wine industry, you have to really be behind the project. I was heavily involved when you start your label – you have to go promote your product and go talk to the people at different functions.

“I really enjoyed it and I met a lot of different people – Jerry Bruckheimer, drinking a glass of wine with him three years ago at his movie premiere in Moscow. A few years back, I gave Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits one of my bottles. Mark was in town and we chatted for 45 minutes before a show and I gave him a bottle of my wine.”


And in the "Two Buck Chuck" socioeconomic bracket, I'm putting this up for the last time tonight. I've reached my goal and I'm incredibly grateful for your donations:

As you know, I am attempting to attend the Red Wings' fall prospect tournament and main training camp, but I can't do so without your help.

With a week separating us from now and September 11th, I've been able to raise $2,000 to ensure that I can spend two weeks in Traverse City and "camp out" in a hotel room while providing you with in-person coverage of the tournament and main camp. I'm almost there, literally as well as figuratively.

If there is any way that you'd be able to lend a fiscal hand, whether it's a small donation, a large one, or somewhere in between, it'd be kindly and gratefully appreciated.

I'm using Paypal as 1) every "fund me" website takes a chunk out of donations and 2) this sends $ to the most readily available source. If you can lend a hand, I will greatly, greatly appreciate it, and again, thank you for your readership.

Mostly, thank you for your readership.



Update: Here's Tom McCollum's 2015-16 mask, from HeadStrong Grafx:


Tommy McCullom - Detroit Redwings / Griffins @detroitredwings @griffinshockey

A photo posted by Jason Livery (@headstronggrafx) on


Tommy McCullom - Detroit Redwings / Griffins @detroitredwings @griffinshockey

A photo posted by Jason Livery (@headstronggrafx) on

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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.