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Red Wings overnight report: rounding up Chelios/Shanahan Hall of Fame news, prospect talk and Homer!

Updated at 1:08 AM: I am delighted that former Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan were named part of the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2013 induction class today (ditto for the Bettman dig), but I sure as hell picked an awful travel day, because two players with long and storied careers being feted for their accomplishments = enough stories and tributes to keep someone who's "hitting the wall" up all night (and as it turned out, this post ended up taking two-and-a-half hours to create regardless of its format).

As such, I'm probably committing a disservice to the narrative that ought to be weaved by the stories I found regarding Chelios and Shanahan over the past two hours, but I kind of sort of need to do something that often makes my tummy turn given that I'm supposed to be embarking on covering the Wings' summer develompent camp later this morning: I'm going to posit a "digest" post, with some prospect-related news at the bottom.

In terms of the out-of-town press, at least in terms of what I can find (I'm sure there's more):

  • Yes indeedy, the Chicago Blackhawks had Bob Verdi pay tribute to Chelios, and the Canadiens did so with "10 reasons why Chelios is in the Hall of Fame" (technically, Chelios, Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney and the late Fred Shero will be inducted on Monday, November 11th, 2013);
  • The St. Louis Blues' website, the Rangers' website and the Devils' website all paid tribute to Shanahan;
  • The Chicago newspapers' websites and online outlets publish early, so:
  1. The Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc made sure to point out that Chelios identifies himself as a Chicagoan, and alongside some praise from Eddie Olczyk about the "greatest American player ever," Kuc also noted that Chelios's relationship with Chicago remains strained because he works for the Wings. The Tribune posted a photo gallery of Chelios, too;
  2. The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus noted Chelios's induction and his status as a...Red Wing...
  3. Comcast Sportsnet Chicago's Tracey Myers noted that Chelios and Shanahan go into the Hall as both competitors and teammates, and CSN Chicago posted a video which includes...Well, audio from the conference call, in which Chelios noted that he had a "crazy journey" from the restaurant business in Chicago to a hockey career;
  4. For the record, from the Chicago Daily Herald's Tim Sassone:

Chelios was home alone Tuesday packing for Red Wings prospects camp in Traverse City, Mich., when the Hockey Hall of Fame called.

"Everyone's either at hockey or lacrosse camps," said Chelios, whose son Jake is attending the Hawks' prospect camp this week. "Prior to the call, I didn't answer a few times because my cell doesn't work in the house. Prior to that I was getting calls from friends. I was getting nervous. Until it happens … the word surreal comes to mind. It's been a great day."

Too great to mention the name of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, with whom Chelios had more than a few run-ins during his career.

"Let's not mention that name on this call," Chelios said during a conference call with reporters. "This is a good day."

Chelios, a native of Evergreen Park, won three Stanley Cups (two with Detroit) and three Norris trophies in his 26-year career that started in Montreal and continued in Chicago after then-GM Mike Keenan traded Denis Savard to get the defenseman.

"I always said I'd go until the tank was empty, and I think I did," said Chelios, who was 48 when he finally retired.




In terms of stuff from the Red Wings and the "hometown press":

Here's the Red Wings' press release:

The Hockey Hall of Fame introduced its incoming induction class of 2013 on Tuesday afternoon, which includes former Red Wings Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan, as well as Scott Niedermayer.

“It’s a great honor to be selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame,” said Chelios in a statement released by the organization. “To have such a long career in the game has been fantastic for me, and being named to the Hall is a huge recognition for what I was able to accomplish.”

Chelios joined the Montreal Canadiens and was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 1984-85 and was runner-up as rookie of the year to Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux. Chelios was part of the 1986 Canadiens’ Stanley Cup winning team and won the James Norris Trophy as defenseman of the year in 1988-89.

Traded to Chicago in 1990, Chelios went on to play nine season with the Blackhawks and was a five-time first or second team All-Star and two-time Norris winner. He continued his career in 1999 with the Red Wings, winning Stanley Cups in 2002 and 2008.

Chelios finished his 26 year playing career at the age of 48 with the Atlanta Thrashers and Chicago Wolves in 2009-10

“I’ve always been fortunate to have great teammates and coaches throughout my career,” said Shanahan in a prepared statement. “At every level I have tried to learn and my key to success was having people around me that helped me improve my game.”.

Shanahan was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the first round (2nd overall) in 1987. A member of the Devils for four seasons, before signing as a free agent by the St. Louis Blues in 1991. He player four seasons with the Blues and had back-to-back 50 goal seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Shanahan went on to play two seasons in Hartford before being traded to the Red Wings in 1996, where he played nine seasons winning the Stanley Cup on three occasions (1997, 1998 and 2002). He left Hockeytown to play two seasons with the New York Rangers.

Shanahan also represented Canada internationally on numerous occasions, and he was a member of Canada’s 2002 gold medal winning team.

The Wings' website posted a video tribute to Shanahan and Chelios...

What we'll call a unique Chelios goal...

Chelios scoring his 700th career point--against the Red Wings, as a member of the Blackhawks...

A look at Chelios's "Cup lifts"...

What's that, you say, a gratuitous Pavel Datsyuk appearance? We can do that:

In the "Shanahan Moments" category, there's a video of his 2002 Cup-winning goal and the empty-netter which resulted in a broken nose...

Shanahan scoring his 1,000th point...

Shanahan's "Cup lifts"...

And a four-goal game:

I'm not embedding the NHL Network's EJ Hradek's praise for Chelios. I like Hradek, but his voice is more annoying than mine, and I think that I sound like a duck.

Holy crap, I'm writing a digest and I've spent ninety minutes on this. Okay, so the digesting continues, regrettably...

The Detroit Free Press...

  • Posted Shanahan and Chelios photo galleries;
  • The Free Press's Helene St. James duly noted that hockey players DO NOT HAVE TO PICK A TEAM TO REPRESENT--and yes, that bears all-caps empahsis. Players go in as themselves, and they don't have to bring any team's jersey with them. Chelios has always said that he'll just have his Team USA jersey with him so as to not offend anybody.
  • And Ryan Ford noted that at least Dominik Hasek, Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov should get the Hockey Hall of Fame's call one day, and maybe that Datsyuk guy if he keeps things up for the next four years, too.
  • While I was writing this, St. James penned a full story for the Wednesday edition of the Free Press, and she spoke with Scotty Bowman regarding Chelios and talked to Chelios about his role with the team;

The Detroit News...

  • Posted Shanahan and Chelios galleries;
  • And Gregg Krupa recalled some of Chelios's more devious moments as a Wing in an excellent story (remember, folks, before Claude Lemieux, Red Wings fans' most hated opponent was Chris Chelios, and he didn't win some fans over until he won the Cup as a Wing in 2002).


The Macomb Daily...

Fox Sports Detroit...

And Michigan Hockey...

  • Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples wrote fitting tributes to both Chelios and Shanahan.



In other news:


Daniel Alfredsson's decision to leave Ottawa for Detroit was a cold lesson in dealing with professional hockey players, even for the owner of the Senators.

"It was tough for me to learn this as an owner that, how can you do this sort of thing? But it's sort of the way they conduct themselves and it's accepted," Eugene Melnyk said Tuesday at Ottawa City Hall.

Melnyk shot down suggestions that team management didn't act fast enough to lock up their captain before other teams started sniffing around.

"That's just not correct. We moved at (Alfredsson's) pace. We always said we're not going to push it. You decide whenever you're ready and we're prepared to talk anytime you wish to talk," Melnyk said "If he's made a decision that he believes that he can win a Stanley Cup in Detroit and the likelihood is greater than in Ottawa, that's his decision. I don't agree with it, but it is his decision. I think we have a great team this year and all I can do is wish him and his family all the best."

  • The "teams" for the summer development camp were announced on Tuesday, but it turns out that one of the Wings' 2013 draft picks won't be attending.

That's Hampus Melen. Lindenau has amended the camp roster to note that Mitchell Wheaton and Jared Coreau are both attending camp but won't take part in the on-ice portion as they're both recovering from shoulder surgeries.

The camp does begin today, and here's the schedule from the Left Wing Lock:

July 10

12:00 pm – 12:50 pm  Team Lidstrom practice  (Admission Free)

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm Team Yzerman practice

July 11
8:00 am – 9:50 am   Team Lidstrom Practice (Admission $5)

8:00 am – 9:45 am Team Yzerman off-ice workouts

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm Team Lidstrom off-ice workouts

2:00 pm – 3:50 pm Team Yzerman practice

July 12
5:00 pm intra-squad scrimmage (Admission $5)

July 13
8:30 am   Training Camp Ticket Sale (no on-ice activities)

July 14
8:00 am – 9:45 am Team Lidstrom off-ice workout  (Admission $5)

8:00 am – 9:50 am Team Yzerman practice

2:00 pm – 3:50 Team Lidstrom practice

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm Team Yzerman off-ice workout

July 15
8:30 am – 10:15 am Team Lidstrom practice (Admission $5)

8:30 am – 9:45 am Team Yzerman off-ice workout

10:30 am – 12:15 pm Team Yzerman practice

10:45 am – 12:00 pm Team Lidstrom off-ice practice


  • Perhaps appropriately, Hockey's Future's Adam Schnepp posited a review of the Wings' 2013 draft haul on Tuesday afternoon.


  • Not every prospect "makes it to the show," and while Trevor Nill took part in four prospect camps, he was drafted by the St. Louis Blues and played four seasons at Michigan State University, he ended up playing this past season for the ECHL's Toledo Walleye. The Grand Rapids Press's Mark Opfermann reports that Jim Nill's son will begin life as a hockey executive as an assistant coach for the USHL's Muskegon Lumberjacks this upcoming season;


  • In the literal alumni category, former Wing Chris Conner's bounced around quite a bit as a journeyman, and Upper Michigan's Source notes that he's signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second time;


  • In the Twitter department:


And as I am both exhausted and starting to get terrified about what I'm going to do later today--being here is kind of a relief because I know I've gotta do what I've gotta do (I got so nervous Monday night that I got an upset stomach)--and as I can't promise the best coverage in the world, interviews with EVERYbody, or the kind of polish that a bigger operation might have (see: TMR budget = a wee point-and-shoot camera and a decent sound recorder, not a fancy professional camera or someone without an anxiety disorder), but just the best that I can do to give you your money's worth--especially given that the vast majority of this summer's campers are "new faces," both on the ice, on the bench and in the front office...

It's nice to know that I'm not the only person who feels some pre-camp jitters...

AND HOLY HALLELUJAH YUMPIN YELLY BEANS YAY.  The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings have FINALLY hired Tomas Holmstrom to teach what he did so well to the Red Wings' prospects:

Holmstrom will teach net-front skills to the Wings’ up-and-comers, providing everything from classroom demonstrations to on-ice examples. The job was borne last month after Holmstrom ran it by general manager Ken Holland, who responded with immediate enthusiasm.

“I’ve been watching lots of games, and seriously, nobody knows how to be in front of net,” Holmstrom said Tuesday. “They go there, but then they move. They don’t screen, they don’t want to pay the price, because it’s not glamorous. And you need a big heart.”

Holmstrom, 40, made his living in front of the net, frustrating opposing goaltenders and defensemen while rarely losing his cool. That, he emphasized, is a big part of being effective.

“The hardest part is that somebody is always hitting you,” he said, “and they keep hitting you, and maybe you fall down and you get beat up, but you have to get up and keep doing it, keep standing there, screening, never taking your eye off the puck. But you know who did it. So you get them back later on.”

There are a handful of guys Holmstrom wishes he’d gotten back more; like Chris Pronger and Rob Blake. But all the abuse Holmstrom absorbed was offset by all the winning he helped the Wings to do. Starting with Scotty Bowman, Holmstrom won over coach after coach by excelling at one of the dirtiest jobs — screening goalies and creating havoc.

Holmstrom has spent time in his retirement coaching his two boys, Max, 12, and Isak, 9. Holmstrom and his wife, Annelie, their two sons and daughter, Isabel, 8, plan to remain in the metro Detroit area at least one more year before possibly returning to live in their native Sweden. For now, Holmstrom has no plans to take up consulting as a net-front expert full-time, though he’d likely be inundated with offers. He’s mostly worried how his first pupils will respond.

“I just hope they listen,” Holmstrom said, laughing. “Who knows, maybe they’ll just be rolling their eyes.”

Please please please please please please PLEASE make this a full-time-part-time gig, Mr. Holland, because the Wings desperately, desperately need Tomas Holmstrom to teach both the Wings' prospects and their current players how to corral rebounds and screen goaltenders like nobody but Homer did.

Goodnight, folks. See you later today.


Update: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spoke with Ken Holland about his participation in the prospect camp to come...

Several Red Wings prospects are among 38 players participating in the Red Wings Development Camp at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, which runs today through Monday.

“This is the first step,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “This is a good opportunity for these players to understand what goes into being a professional, the work involved, and it’s a good opportunity for us to learn about them.”

While the roster includes players from the Griffins, new draftees, undrafted players and a few invitees, one player on the list stands out: Red Wings forward Darren Helm, who missed all but one game last season with lingering back problems. Holland said recent reports from Helm are encouraging.

“He’s an important part of our lineup,” Holland said. “He’s a big priority, a guy in the prime of his career, he’s 26 (years old). Having Helmer makes us a stronger team.”

Once camp begins, coaches have little opportunity to devote time to young players who aren’t going to be on the NHL roster. So the development camp is an opportunity to provide one-on-one instruction. Overall skill development, power skating, nutrition and proper off-ice conditioning are areas that are stressed.

“It’s also a good opportunity to bond with other players in the organization, players who will be teammates,” Holland said. “It’s a positive experience.”


And, for the record, I have no clue where Blick.ch is getting their information regarding a supposed "U.S. media" report that Damien Brunner's going to sign a deal with Dallas for $3.5 million per season. No frickin' clue. It's bunk as far as I'm concerned.

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Bugsy's avatar

desperately need Tomas Holmstrom to teach both the Wings’ prospects and their current players how to corral rebounds and screen goaltenders like nobody but Homer did.

Mr. Abdelkader, if you have any spare time,....

Posted by Bugsy on 07/10/13 at 02:23 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Lots of good memories there. Thanks, George. I really miss Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/10/13 at 06:50 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

The closest thing to a Shanny’s shot nowadays is Stamkos, and he doesn’t have half the heart or grit Shanny did.  Not a fan of his front office work, but the league could use a big infusion of players like him right about now.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 07/10/13 at 08:23 AM ET


Watching all the old clips of Shanny and Chelios and even Niedermayer makes me think that if young players today played like those guys they would have a lot of time to discuss it with Shanny in his office.

Posted by lancer on 07/10/13 at 08:33 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Enjoy, George.  Give us what you can, don’t sweat everything though.

You’re already our eyes and ears there and we know that’s going to be more than good enough.

Posted by Primis on 07/10/13 at 09:48 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

God Bless Holmstrom.  I miss that guy.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 07/10/13 at 10:27 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

I don’t know if it is the sweat evaporating after my morning jog/dog walk or not, but watching that Shanny/2002 clinching goals video… I got chills.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 07/10/13 at 10:28 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Holmstrom will teach net-front skills to the Wings’ up-and-comers, providing everything from classroom demonstrations to on-ice examples.

I don’t know what took them so long to do this. And I hope Drapes is doing some instruction on how to “legally” cheat on faceoffs as well.

They go there, but then they move. They don’t screen, they don’t want to pay the price, because it’s not glamorous.

I think Abby and Andersson both have what it takes to “pay the price” in front of the net. And if I was Sheahan or Callahan or Mini-Bert, I’d be begging Homer to show me how to turn “tenacity” and “puck tipping” into a lucrative NHL career.

“I just hope they listen,” Holmstrom said, laughing. “Who knows, maybe they’ll just be rolling their eyes.”

Well, Homer, if they’re rolling their eyes it won’t be because of what you say, it’ll be because of how you say it. Those sessions should be taped for all of us to enjoy.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/10/13 at 10:59 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Perhaps appropriately, Hockey’s Future’s Adam Schnepp posited a review of the Wings’ 2013 draft haul on Tuesday afternoon.

Marc McNulty, D, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

6th Round, 169th Overall
Height: 6’6 Weight: 185 <———————————————

The Red Wings added another behemoth defenseman in the sixth round with the selection of Marc McNulty. Though McNulty boasts basketball-esque height at 6’6, he is going to need to add significant weight to his frame to play at a higher level.

McNulty has an active stick that he uses well to break up plays in the defensive zone, and this helps compensate for his lack of physical play. Like Mantha, scouts knocked McNulty for his inconsistent effort. McNulty is a good skater and has even quarterbacked the power play at the junior level, though he projects as more of a defensive-defenseman in the future with some offensive upside.

That is one skinny fella.  He is Yzerman’s weight stretched to 6’6”.  He should make his way here to Vegas for the endless stream of buffets and a grueling workout with the SEALs in Coronado.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 07/10/13 at 12:14 PM ET

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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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