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The Malik Report

If there was a switch, I’d have flipped it already

While I was overwhelmed by the support so many of you offered when I stated my health issues in plain terms, I’m not expecting the same here, especially because it starts with a crappy simile:

I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety for my entire life, and just as there’s no instruction manual for how one should properly recover from a the literal blows to the head that we suffer in the forms of concussions—and I had a major concussion that took six months to recover from, so I know the whole, “Go to the hospital, get a CT scan, get a pamphlet that says, ‘Hello! So you have a concussion!’” and the indignity that comes with having done it by slipping on ice and landing on my ass (and smacking my head on cement)—the neurochemical imbalances that cause mental illnesses don’t come in prescribed doses or offer quantifiable recovery times.

In other words, I’m not going to be able to hold up my end of the bargain—I’m still in the clearing-up stages of recovering from my serious-ass depressive episode, and I’m optimistically hoping to return to work on Monday at the earliest—and the long story short is that as I continue to struggle to shake this episode off, I can’t do my job here, much less attempt to head up to Traverse City to catch the last three days of training camp.

I don’t have anything eloquent or particularly observant to say other than it’s been tremendously disappointing to come to this conclusion, and that Paul will handle any refunds via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I don’t expect any sympathy for a health issue that’s forcing me to not do work I was essentially paid to do on your part, so do what you need to do. I’ve gotta get healthy and get my head on crooked again and you’ve got to do what’s best for you.

I’m terribly sorry and I hope that this is the last entry I write about my health for a long, long time. If there was a switch to flick I would have done it, and if there was a way to push through and just shake off any issues, I would’ve done it. I’ve been quite literally dreaming about establishing a presence at training camp for a long, long time, and having to bow out after one appearance due to the same old, same old…it sucks like nobody’s business, especially when I know I’m letting down the best audience a blogger could hope for, and it is, for lack of a better term, a real bummer.

Update: Here’s the best way I can put it, eight sleepless hours after I wrote the above entry: the difference between being a content-reflector, which is more or less what I am now, and a content provider, which is where I want to be, is the ability to go out there and attend events so that I’m backing up the stuff you and I can both see with the kind of stuff that you can’t.

In video form, Alyonka Larionov posted this clip of Igor Larionov and his client, Wings prospect tournament try-out Artem Sergeev, having a conversation when Sergeev was a healthy scratch, and the most immediate thing I could think of while watching this was, “Hell, that’s my favorite spot to stand when the bleachers are full!”

So all the reference observations, interviews, and chance occurrences that happen when you’re down at ice level or up in the press box didn’t happen and won’t get to happen, what would have been at least a hundred pages’ worth of observations and tons of interviews, all of that promised content and future material for backing up statements made, that’s gone…

And more than anything, I feel like a shill and an *#$%@& for having asked you to help me get to a place that I didn’t travel to this morning. I’m not particularly talented at anything in life other than being a compulsive reader, searcher of information and someone who observes stuff with all the compulsiveness that yielded, “How many five-subject notebooks did you fill this term? One? Yeah, I go through one of those in each class every six weeks…” remarks in college, and I can convey that level of observation in a manner that’s cogent and apparently somewhat readable despite my major flaws as a writer.

That’s it. That’s what I’ve got to off-set the health stuff and the utter absence of talent or any other level of skill which the average human being innately possesses (English and Philosophy degree-holders seem to be similar in this regard as we’re the most likely candidates to be overqualified for what we our degrees quantifiably train us for—entry-level jobs), and instead of being up there learning, I’m struggling to get my damn head back on crooked (the sideways-looking Facebook/Twitter photo I use is appropriately-chosen) and talking to you about how much it sucks to take your money. That’s embarrassing, frustrating and probably a waste of bandwidth, but I don’t know how to otherwise tell you how much it sucks to not do what might be the only job I’ve ever truly wanted to do.

But that’s what life does. Life is harsh, existence ensures that we define it as difficult, and people help get us through. That and it’s not polite to air one’s skeletons so publicly, and trust me, you’ve more or less seen all my laundry. At this point, I might as well apologize for being otherwise bland, too…But there are more important things going on and much more interesting things going on in the world, and given what’s going to unfold today, mostly off the ice, I don’t think sympathy for one depressed blogger’s even relevant, much less appropriate.

Two more as I continue to overthink things:

1. I believe I have a theme song in addition to a logo now:

2. And, yeah, this pretty much says it all, albeit in German.

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We totally support you, looking forward to your amazing humor when you return.


Posted by Luc from Vankleek Hill, Ontario on 09/17/11 at 12:51 AM ET

Chet's avatar

yeah, man, don’t stress. many people are affected by these disorders and we always patiently await your return.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 09/17/11 at 01:10 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Humor? That’s scary wink All I can say is this: I think that Paul is the Nicklas Lidstrom of bloggers. He’s the best at what he does because he makes things look so easy. He anticipates stories popping up, keeps everything organized, and as he juggles what’s happening with what’s coming, his almost dispassionate approach allows him to make the simple play.

Me? I’m the Tomas Holmstrom of blogging. I’m a specialist, I get knocked around sometimes because I’m a fan on the emotional ride, too, and to me, blogging feels like trying to knock down pucks and retrieve rebounds while dealing with ornery defensemen who don’t speak the same language and goalies I want to out-position. I learn the hard way and I get grumpy, complain about my bumps and bruises and probably offer attempts at humor and wit that are as easy to understand as Homer’s Swenglish, but I do know how to get knocked over and get back up again. The key is always getting back up, even if it takes a while. :/

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/17/11 at 01:13 AM ET

Andy from FightNight's avatar

Just get better and take care of yourself, George. We’ll be here when you get back wink And, consider my donation for TC to be earmarked for getting your laptop to work properly again.

Posted by Andy from FightNight on 09/17/11 at 01:20 AM ET


George I wish you all the best.  I’ve had OCD and Clinical depression since I was a child and know the ups and downs.  The fact that you were able to start blogging here and be so successful tells me that no matter how low you get, no matter how many times you have a setback, you’ll not only bounce back, but you’ll be stronger.  I understand the stigma of depression and in my opinion if you can do what you’ve done with what you go through every waking hour you have nothing to prove.  Good luck!

Posted by Devils Fan from NY on 09/17/11 at 01:33 AM ET


We’re here with ya George, take your time, come back when you’re ready.  Just, you know, try to be here for the start of the season. wink

Posted by Jacob Russell from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/17/11 at 01:37 AM ET


I agree. Please don’t stress yourself over it. Just take care of yourself and get better. Your audience understands (I’m on leave at the moment as well), we’re rooting for you and we will be here when you return.

Posted by Sheryl from Vancouver on 09/17/11 at 01:43 AM ET


there’s no such thing as good or bad, only better and worse.

dont feel bad for failing to live up to your own expectations, only move in the proper direction. life is too complicated otherwise.

Posted by / from \ on 09/17/11 at 02:34 AM ET


George…do what you need to do. The great game of hockey and your supporters will be here when you’re ready.

Posted by godblender on 09/17/11 at 05:13 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m glad that Paul stepped up to make sure that whatever happens is anonymous, as it should be…

And thanks again, everybody. I really wish that I felt better…Not covering hockey for a living sucks when it’s what you are as much as what you do. :/ I didn’t want to bring things up again, but I had to let you know what was going on.

Mostly, my meds got straightened out (long story of asshattery by people other than me for once) and I’m just trying to cut losses in attempting to get back as soon as possible without doing more harm. If I thought I could hack going to TC even as an observer, I would have gone and taken notes for future use.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/17/11 at 05:30 AM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

we’re all with you, George.

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 09/17/11 at 06:21 AM ET


Feel better, George.  Hopefully sooner, rather than later.

Posted by Forlorn in VA @ a friends on 09/17/11 at 08:27 AM ET

bezukov's avatar


Nothing is more frustrating for me than an illness or injury keeping me from working.  So, I feel for you man.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’re all pulling for you.  What you do on KK is simply amazing and the site is diminished without you.  That said, please don’t rush back, there is plenty of time before the season starts so rest up and take care.  We’ll be here when you get back.  I’ll keep you in my thoughts.  Get well soon!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 09/17/11 at 08:40 AM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

“I can convey that level of observation in a manner that’s cogent and apparently somewhat readable despite my major flaws as a writer.”

that is well said!      Is it despite or in spite of?

Hang in there brother, you are not just another blogger, but part of our daily appetite and agenda. More like a friend than anything else, and most of us have had episodes similar in our lives where the will was there , but the capacity to do was disabled. So we empathize.

Looking forward to your recovery.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 09/17/11 at 09:38 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m going with despite because “in spite of” both has a secondary meaning that is literal as well as unintended and because “despite” suggests more systemic flaws as opposed to a mere sense of inadequacy.

And don’t bait the wounded but very live bear with donuts wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/17/11 at 09:45 AM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Take care.

Posted by joedaiceman on 09/17/11 at 10:27 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

This Mortal Enemy, Pens Fan is with you & all Red Wings fans supporting you

Posted by Evilpens on 09/17/11 at 10:35 AM ET

Sunday's avatar

George:  we support you.  We support you because you’ve earned it over and over again.  We know you’ll earn it again.  Please take the time to get better; we’ll be here when you get back. 

And besides—we respect and honor Lidstrom as The Perfect Human, but we love Homer because of his rough edges.

Posted by Sunday from somewhere else on 09/17/11 at 12:25 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Take care of yourself, George. That’s priority one. We all support you.

Posted by Ajax19 on 09/17/11 at 12:30 PM ET


what an ass clown this blogger is.  first he goes on an on about his stupid laptop problems and now its his friggen mental problems.  how annoying….GET OVER IT ALREADY!

Posted by Eric on 09/17/11 at 12:35 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

That’s the plan, Eric, that’s the plan.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/17/11 at 12:47 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Again, Eric the Troll:  GO AWAY!  (George, ignore this cyber goon.)

And George Homer Malik - we love you, we’re with you, we miss you and we’ll be here when you get that head on crooked again.  Take care of yourself, don’t feel guilty, and keep my small donation for laptop issues or future trips to camp, OK?

Glad you checked in because I was thinking about you and hoping you were OK.

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 09/17/11 at 01:57 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

Praying you find relief ... hope you are feeling better right quick

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 09/17/11 at 02:24 PM ET


Hey George,

You’re great at what you do.  We’re behind you and will wait for your thorough coverage.  It’s only September and the regular season hasn’t even started yet so no rush coming back.

Posted by loojay on 09/17/11 at 02:31 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

short term DL

Posted by Rdwings28 on 09/17/11 at 02:52 PM ET


Let me add one more to the pile.  Feeling better comes first.  Anything else comes second.  We’ll all still be here when you’re back at ‘er.

Posted by BobTheZee on 09/17/11 at 03:11 PM ET


If it were play off time we’d call this a lower body injury.  I reallly enjoy your work.  Take your time, get well, we’ll be here when you return.  Wishing you all the best!

Posted by Steve on 09/17/11 at 04:11 PM ET

Wings_Fan_In_KC's avatar

Eric = Dickface

Posted by Wings_Fan_In_KC from ...somewhere southwest of The Motor City... on 09/17/11 at 04:18 PM ET


George, you bring a lot to the Redwings family, man. Your struggles don’t change that.  Do what ya gotta do, find the pace you need and be at ease with it. We understand & more than that, we’re here for ya. The Red Wings family that you belong to ain’t no bandwagon thang!

Posted by JMac on 09/17/11 at 04:57 PM ET


Eric = Dickface

Posted by Wings_Fan_In_KC from ...The Motor City - This is what we do… on 09/17/11 at 02:18 PM ET


Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 09/17/11 at 05:00 PM ET


Lmao *bloggers .. how does, my autofill not know the term blogger.. that’s sad

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 09/17/11 at 11:54 AM ET

I hate autocomplete. It wrecks 100 words for every one it fixes.

Posted by steviesteve on 09/17/11 at 05:12 PM ET

TeamDub's avatar

Eric, you epitomize douchebag.


Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 09/17/11 at 05:48 PM ET

calquake's avatar

George, I want my money back…. that way I can buy dickface, er… I mean eric, a personality.  rolleyes

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 09/17/11 at 06:27 PM ET

christpuncher's avatar

Eric = St. Louis Blues fan…

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 09/17/11 at 08:46 PM ET


Yeah I’m the “douchebag, troll dickface”...and this for calling it like it is?

Posted by Eric on 09/17/11 at 09:07 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Yeah I’m the “douchebag, troll dickface”

Are you being ironic or merely redundant?

...and this for calling it like it is?

Oops, in that case, I’m guessing redundant.  Thanks for calling it like it is…dickface.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 09/17/11 at 09:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m only going to say two things:

1. I don’t plan on telling the world about my health issues on a regular basis;

2. And I can’t imagine why anyone would want to make this stuff public. I’m only doing so because I owe my readers an explanation as to why I’m gone and why I’m not providing a return on their very real investments in coverage. I am well aware of the fact that this is a “too much information” situation here, and I’m not asking for sympathy from anyone.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/17/11 at 09:43 PM ET

calquake's avatar

That’s right George… and only a person like eric who “Can’t Understand Normal Thinking” would say something as stupid as he has.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 09/17/11 at 10:06 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

George. We are here for you if and/or when you need us. Just come back when you feel up to it. I believe depression is kinda like a concussion. If you come back too early, it can be a setback that just delays the recovery time. Take your time George. We arn’t goin anywheres.

Posted by cigar_nurse from On The mend for next season Greenville Pylons on 09/17/11 at 10:22 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Don’t worry about the negative comments, folks. Eric has a valid point and he’s made it. I’m still floored by your support but I understand that this is TMI as well. Let’s move on.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/17/11 at 10:33 PM ET

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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.