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Disappointed, sad, and angry that the Red Wings have canceled their prospect tournament

Updated 2x at 5:52 PM: I’m so disgusted, angry and disappointed…As Paul just posted, the Detroit Red Wings have canceled their prospect tournament due to worries about a lockout. The Detroit News and MLive’s Brendan Savage are confirming DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose’s story, as is the Free Press’s Helene St. James, who reports that training camp may still take place in Traverse City…

General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that, “we had a conference call with all the teams involved. Due to the uncertainty of CBA negotiations and teams having to make commitments for hotel rooms and travel plans—the biggest thing is the hotel rooms. The people Up North needed to know if the rooms would be used or not. So we made the decision to cancel for 2012. We plan to be back next year.”

Games among prospects for the Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues were to have run Sept. 15-19 at Centre Ice Arena.

The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the players’ association expires Sept. 15. The sides held talks again this week, but most people in hockey believe there’ll be a lockout that will shorten the 2012-13 season to around 60 games.

For now, though, training camp for the main Wings group remains on schedule to start Sept. 20.

“We’ve got our training booked in Traverse City, and we’ll leave it as is,” Holland said. “But we’ll be in touch with the hotels up there, and at some point in time, we’ll have to make a decision.”

And, most importantly, the Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindenau, who is the PR point person for Centre Ice Arena and the Red Wings’ summer development camp, prospect tournament and main camp, is also confirming via Twitter…

And as Lindenau suggests on her personal Twitter account, this is most difficult to take from the perspective of players who have parlayed strong tournament performances into contracts (think Brian Lashoff, Trevor Parkes), and just as importantly, fans like you and me:

 

This is devastating for Centre Ice Arena monetarily…

This is devastating for the players, who gain invaluable experience and get their feet wet before taking part in the main camp—they won’t do that this season, and so many Wings prospects have told me that the combination of tournament and especially taking part in the main camp and exhibition games are so very important for the ones who go back to junior teams or back overseas…

Along those lines, this hurts players like Teemu Pulkkinen and Calle Jarnkrok in huge ways as Pulkkinen saw North American ice for the first time in July, and Jarnkrok stayed home to prepare for the fall tournament and main camp, and neither player gets the chance to make a push for a roster spot. The Wings’ top prospects don’t get to jockey for call-up time, either, there will be no try-outs who could deepen the team’s impressive crop of prospects, and…

I mean, for people like you and me, who absolutely adore this stuff, this is horrible. Truly horrible. I don’t know what the hell to think about the fundraising part as I can’t afford to go up to camp on my own, either, but f#ck, that’s not the point. This is a wonderful, remarkable opportunity for fans to watch and get to know the next generation of Red Wings players, and now it’s all gone thanks to CBA uncertainty.

I don’t know whether to be angry at Gary Bettman, to be angry at the Wings or other teams for getting cold feet and not being courageous enough to spend the money and time each and every one of their prospects deserve in terms of engaging them in a competitive tournament, but as much as I am incredibly disappointed from a fan’s perspective, from a pretend reporter’s perspective and from the perspective of someone who has gotten to know and roots for the really solid citizens and good people who want to become Red Wings some day, I am just…Just furious at this development.

It sucks and blows at the same time. And it’s disgusting.

 

 

Update: More from Lindenau:

 

Here’s her article:

The Red Wings have officially announced the cancellation of the 2012 NHL Prospect tournament which was set to kick off on September 15th. This years tournament would have included teams from Detroit, Columbus, Dallas, St. Louis, Buffalo, New York, Minnesota and Carolina. With the uncertainty around the ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations, this was a decision that was inevitable.

The tournament has been in existence since 1998 and has seen 351 players see at least one game of NHL action. Tournament alumni have played in an astonishing 53,593 total NHL games since its inception. The top ten all time point producing Alumni include:

Name Points NHL

Games
1. Ilya Kovalchuk (ATL 2001) 785 779
2. Dany Heatley (ATL 2001) 742 751
3. Pavel Datsyuk (DET 2001) 718 731
4. Henrik Zetterberg (DET 2002) 624 668
5. J.P. Dumont (CHI, 1998) 523 822
6. David Legwand (NSH, 1998) 501 846
7. Scott Hartnall (NSH, 2000) 474 843
8. Martin Erat (NSH, 2000 / 2001) 460 687
9. Alexander Semin (WSH, 2003) 408 468
10. Dan Cleary (CHI, 1998) 362 821

This will be the first year since 1998 that Traverse City has not hosted the tournament. During the 2004 NHL lockout a four team tournament took place despite the lack of a Red Wings training camp that year. The Red Wings have committed to return to Centre I.C.E. for the 2013 tournament.

Via RedWingsFeed, the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness and the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff.

Update #2: Take this for what you will, from USA Today’s Kevin Allen:

An early indication of the likelihood of an NHL lockout came Thursday when the Detroit Red Wings canceled their annual Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich, which was scheduled to be played in early September.

The announcement came a day after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said there is a “wide gap” between owners and players as they attempt to negotiate a new collective-bargaining agreement.

Bettman has said the NHL will lock out players if no agreement is reached before the current CBA expires Sept. 15.

The popular Traverse City tournament, which always features some of the league’s top prospects, has been played for many years. This year, the Red Wings were going to be joined by the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues.

“Due to the uncertainty surrounding the collective-bargaining agreement and the advance commitments required from the various parties including hotels, airlines, teams, players and their families,” Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said, “we have determined that it is in everyone’s best interest to cancel this year’s tournament.

“The Red Wings and the seven other NHL teams that were scheduled to participate are committed to returning to Traverse City in 2013 and continuing with this tremendous tournament.”

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Comments

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Two words:  SH!T SANDWICH

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 08/16/12 at 07:25 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 08/16/12 at 07:33 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, it really sucks, but I blame Bettman. This is just what he wants - upset fans creating pressure on the players to cave in. Thanks, Gary.Ass.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 08/16/12 at 07:37 PM ET

DocF's avatar

There will be NO pressure from this disgusted fan on the players.  I blame solely the ego of the Evil Garden Gnome for this.  He will not be fulfilled until he causes another lockout of the players.  This will do two things for him:  give him a great orgasm and convince him that he is a great leader.

I blame the owners for tolerating that little twerp.

Doc

PS:  It looks like I am getting closer to never again watching, listening to or reading about a hockey game.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 08/16/12 at 08:16 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

So we made the decision to cancel for 2012. We plan to be back next year.

Wow. Kenny has a lot of faith in Bettman actually allowing hockey to be played anytime in the next five years. Tthe longer that little prick keeps the players locked out, the more he gets to enjoy his $8M salary without getting booed at some hockey game. A long-term lockout truly would be a win-win for Gary.Ass.

PS:  It looks like I am getting closer to never again watching, listening to or reading about a hockey game.

With all due respect, Doc, you’re as big a liar as Tick Tock is. You know darn well that the instant play begins again you’ll be be glued to the TV screaming and yelling at Big E’s 5th turnover of the game just like the rest of us. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/16/12 at 08:27 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Quoting Older than Chelios: “With all due respect, Doc, you’re as big a liar as Tick Tock is. You know darn well that the instant play begins again you’ll be be glued to the TV screaming and yelling at Big E’s 5th turnover of the game just like the rest of us. “

Never happen.  If even one game is lost to a lockout, I am gone.  I was a fairly rabid baseball fan until the World Series was lost to greed.  I have not paid one bit of attention to that game since.

I can follow and will follow that policy with hockey given Buttman’s likely lockout.  I do not understand why the owners do not get it and realize that he has done them nothing but harm and can destroy the league with this tight-assed attitude of his.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 08/16/12 at 08:50 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I do not understand why the owners do not get it and realize that he has done them nothing but harm and can destroy the league with this tight-assed attitude of his.

Well, don’t let a bunch of a-holes (okay, mostly just one a-hole with the initials G.B.), deprive you of whatever there is of this great game to enjoy. Afterall, the game is played by the players, not the owners. Why miss out on what the players (will eventually) have to offer because Gray.Ass’s faction of the owners value greed above the game?

Any fan, like yourself, Doc, who’s posting in a hockey blog in the middle of August is the kind of fan the game needs – whether the owners recognize that or not.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/16/12 at 09:36 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I am no longer angry about this.  Actually I’m becoming indifferent to all of it.  And that you stupid a$$holes (owners and players) is what you’d better start worrying about.  If fans no longer care than it makes no difference what you decide to do.  Good luck with that. raspberry

Posted by calquake on 08/16/12 at 09:40 PM ET

Avatar

I was a fairly rabid baseball fan until the World Series was lost to greed.  I have not paid one bit of attention to that game since.

Wow, so for baseball it took the cancellation of the World Series but for hockey all it will take is the cancellation of game 1 of the regular season?

Posted by Garth on 08/16/12 at 10:00 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Garth, your statement stands with the level of idiocy I see on the MLive boards. 

I have had it up to my squinty eyeballs with the NHL.  It will take very little to push me out of a lifelong passion for the game.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 08/17/12 at 12:59 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I have had it up to my squinty eyeballs with the NHL.  It will take very little to push me out of a lifelong passion for the game.

Once again, with all due respect, forget about the game, Doc. Take your frustration and your anger and move on to a really exciting game like, um, er, ah, well, gosh I don’t know what it would be.

They only play football once a week. Basketball is a “sport” filled with narcissistic assholes. And baseball, well, it’s about as exciting as paint drying.

So, good luck with filling up your time once you abandon hockey. On the other hand, I’ll bet the wifey has a to-do list that’ll keep you occupied for at least the next year or two. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/17/12 at 03:02 AM ET

Avatar

Garth, your statement stands with the level of idiocy I see on the MLive boards. 

I could say the same about yours.

Posted by Garth on 08/17/12 at 09:36 AM ET

Avatar

move on to a really exciting game like, um, er, ah, well, gosh I don’t know what it would be.

KHL hockey, eh? Pasha will be playing there soon. Real soon.

Posted by Alex on 08/17/12 at 10:56 AM ET

DocF's avatar

As one of my favorite automotive writers, Brock “The Assassin” Yates used to call the sports page hacks, “the whores of the stick and ball games”, never cover real sports.  I will simply go back to another early love - open wheel racing.  Who needs teams and owners and garden gnomes, not to mention idiot fans who do not get it one little bit (Garth and OlderThanChelios)?  I don’t.  I may not make it to a lockout as my level of disdain for the whole pack is growing by the hour.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 08/17/12 at 11:15 AM ET

Avatar

No surprise.  Nothing to see here. Nothing to be upset about.  Threats from fans won’t work.  Everyone knows (players, owners, gary, other fans) Doc and all other hardcore fans will be back with the drop of the puck.  Good work calling him out on it, Garth.  Lost an entire season and he was back, the game was better than ever, revenues were better than ever.  All the evidence points to it.  Hockey will be back and when it is, I’ll be watching the first available preseason game.

Posted by jkm2011 on 08/17/12 at 02:28 PM ET

Avatar

the game was better than ever

Posted by jkm2011 on 08/17/12 at 12:28 PM ET

Man, where do they sell whatever it is that makes you so h… pollyannic?

Posted by Alex on 08/17/12 at 03:21 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.