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Matheson provides updates on Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson

I just posted the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's slate of Hockey World columns in KK Hockey, but I want to steal this very, very significant injury news for TMR:

The Detroit Red Wings are hoping to get Henrik Zetterberg from back surgery back by late in Round 1 of the playoffs or, more realistically, the start of Round 2 if they get that far. “He’ll be cleared for contact April 24 but what does that mean — Bumping into (wife) Emma in the kitchen?” Red Wings GM Ken Holland said jokingly. “Does it mean practice or games?” If it were regular-season, they could rough the captain up a bit in practice but teams hardly ever practise in the post-season. Could he step in and play a playoff game with no games since early in the Olympics? Defenceman Jonathan Ericsson should be ready the same time as Zetterberg. “He had cartilage detached in his finger,” Holland said of his second- or third-best D-man after Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser.

Also, from Matheson's "Short Shifts":

Jeff Blashill is the hottest coaching item outside the NHL for his work in with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, but don’t expect the Red Wings to grant permission to other NHL teams with job openings quite yet. Detroit head man Mike Babcock has one year left on his contract, and they want to get him tied up first, but if Babcock’s price tag’s, say, too rich, they need a fallback. The Wings conceivably would move Blashill up to take Babcock’s spot. Blashill worked one year on Babcock’s staff.

Blashill is happy in the AHL and in Western Michigan, he's got young children and...The suggestions that Babcock might leave Detroit are a little ludicrous. Babcock can coach here for as long as he wants to, and he's revamped his philosophy to be more of a "teaching" coach with the team's younger players, he's allowed Tom Renney to serve as a "good cop" and his team is competitive.

There will be a significant amount of chatter about Babcock moving on to the University of Michigan to succeed Red Berenson or going to, say, Toronto to tackle "bigger and better things" from the media types who are convinced that the NHL has only one team, existing in Toronto, but he's not going anywhere.

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MoreShoot's avatar

Well, maybe, just maybe, if the Wings can split the first 4, we might get Hank for G5?  That would be quite a boost, tho still a long shot.

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/14/14 at 08:53 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

but if Babcock’s price tag’s, say, too rich, they need a fallback.

The Wings will pay whatever they want to pay to keep Babcock, and I don’t think either party will be unreasonable in their negotiations. 

And that’s a great point GM about Blas wanting to stay in Western MI - I remember when they hired him to coach in Detroit he seemed a bit concerned even just coaching on the East side of the state.  As the family grows up, maybe he’ll be more open for a move, but as of now I don’t think he will go anywhere.


Posted by TreKronor on 04/14/14 at 11:10 AM 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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