The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/11/11 at 01:47 PM ET
As noted on Saturday, the Red Wings and equipment manager Paul Boyer are completely fine with new defenseman Mike Commodore, a.k.a. @commie22 on Twitter, may wear the number 64 in tribute to the late 80’s computing…erm, kind-of-sort-of-decent machine…if he wishes. Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski has been championing the idea via a charitable drive, and he offers a superb update this morning:
Along with our request for a “COMMODORE 64” jersey came a plea: We’d donate $64 to the charity of Mike’s choosing if he wore that sweater with the Wings next season. We mentioned the possibility of Puck Daddy readers matching that pledge, and it’s been an honor to witness the response.
(We’d also like to thank the Detroit News and others for giving this story some spotlight. And yes, thanks to The Chief at Abel To Yzerman for his coverage too, the myopic dissent that it was.)
Yeah, about that…
I’m not gonna go all Ryan Lambert on you (quite the rant from him today about how much he hates A2Y and how awful Bill is and all of that stuff), but I have to admit the truth as I see it:
The Red Wings are a team which allows its players to wear high numbers. Valtteri Filppula asked for and got #51 just because he wanted it. Johan Franzen swapped #39 for #93 when Dominik Hasek came to town. Even when Scotty Bowman was coaching the team—and the old-school guys tend to believe that you have to “earn” a number higher than 20—he allowed Tomas Holmstrom to wear #96.
It’s my dissenting opinion that does not matter one lick if Mike Commodore chooses to wear #64. He won’t be a “gimmick” and he won’t be expected to perform any better or any worse than he is already because of the number he wears on his back. The Red Wings are about what you do to help the team whose crest you wear, and if he wants to be Commodore 64 or Commodore 69 or if the Wings allowed a “Commodore 128” or “256” (there’s a computer joke in there), it would have nothing to do with the way the team values him as a player.
Commodore is a #6/7 defenseman who will have to fight for ice time and battle Jakub Kindl for a spot on the roster. What he wears on his back will have no impact on whether he wins a spot. Whether he can shake his reputation as something of a loose cannon and whether he can get his career back on track…Won’t be determined by the number he wears.
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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.