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Mike Commodore made a spur-of-the-moment decision to sign with the Red Wings

This was mentioned by the Red Wings’ press corps regarding the team’s signing of Mike Commodore to a 1-year, $1 million contract, but given that somewhere around 40 players of note found new homes today, ESPN’s Scott Burnside posits a story worth repeating: Commodore received a call from his agent, informing Commodore that the Red Wings would give him fifteen minutes to decide whether he wished to join the team:

“I was like, oh my God,” Commodore told ESPN.com Friday night.
...
“I was just kind of sitting there in my truck,” Commodore said. “It happened fast.”

About a minute later, he came up with his answer. Heck yeah, he’s going to Detroit.

“Obviously, it was a no-brainer,” said Commodore, who earlier in the day was bought out of the final two years of his contract by the Blue Jackets.

Given that Commodore spent the latter part of the 2010-2011 season in the AHL, he’s quite happy to be a good soldier…

“My mindset is that whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do,” Commodore said. “Obviously it’s exciting. It’s a very unexpected surprise. A very unexpected, pleasant surprise.”

And just as Commodore told the Free Press’s Helene St. James that he was well aware of the fact that he’d said some bad things about Mike Babcock...

Commodore, 31, has a history with Wings coach Mike Babcock that dates back to when Babcock coached Anaheim’s AHL affiliate and had Commodore as a player.

Babcock spurred Commodore being traded to the Calgary Flames. Back in ’09, Commodore publicly accused Babcock of having being an obstacle in Commodore’s career. The memory of those remarks prompted Commodore to call Babcock this afternoon.

“I talked to him today for a few minutes,” Commodore said. “In all honesty, that was the only thing that - I don’t want to say it was an issue, but it was concern. I was assured by Mike that it wasn’t a big deal. For me, it’s water under the bridge. I just wanted to make sure I’d get a fair shot, and that was assured. I’m looking forward to playing for him. I want to be a good soldier. I’m really excited about this opportunity, and want to make the best of it.”

The Wings’ coach told MLive’s Ansar Khan that he’s excited about his new player:

“We had him earmarked for two weeks,’’ Babcock said. “We like his size and he’s physical. He’s a perfect fit for our team. He’ll support his teammates, he’ll work hard on people. If he’s paired with (young) Jakub Kindl, he’ll help him.’‘

Commodore, who played regularly on Carolina’s Stanley-Cup winning team in 2006 and the Flames team that lost to Tampa Bay in the 2004 Cup finals, said he’s excited to play for a talented puck-possession team.

“I’m not a rushing defenseman but can hold my own moving the puck. I look forward to getting the puck to (the forwards), kill penalties, block shots,’’ Commodore said. “That’s one thing Ken and Babs said the Wings needed—someone to be hard to play against.’‘

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Comments

calquake's avatar

So we may see: Lidstrom-Ericsson
                  Kronwall-Stuart
                  Commodore-Kindl
And Smith/Janik as seventh D-man.  That’s assuming nothing else happens on the Free Agent/Trade front.  It could work out.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Posted by calquake on 07/01/11 at 09:28 PM ET

Avatar

Trading Rafalski for Commodore is a huge step downward.  This guy is now just an AHL body.

Posted by Thorntonfan from San Jose on 07/01/11 at 09:32 PM ET

cementslinger's avatar

The guy sounds like he knows he was just given a second chance at life and is going to live it up and earn it.  I hope he does.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 07/01/11 at 09:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The Wings didn’t trade Rafalski for Commodore.

They traded Salei for Commodore.

Right now they traded Rafalski for Ericsson… that should make everybody feel better.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/01/11 at 09:36 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Posted by calquake on 07/01/11 at 08:28 PM ET

And with cap space for the first time in years, the Wings can actually make a good deadline deal if necessary to shore up the defense.

Posted by SK77 on 07/01/11 at 09:38 PM ET

Avatar

And with cap space for the first time in years, the Wings can actually make a good deadline deal if necessary to shore up the defense.

Only if they deal out first rounders because there’s not a lot of tradeable assets that the Wings are willing to trade.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 09:39 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 08:39 PM ET

Good point ... probably not going to get a whole lot for a package of Hudler and Commodore now that you mention it.

Posted by SK77 on 07/01/11 at 09:41 PM ET

Chet's avatar

hope he’s in the gym right now.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/01/11 at 09:45 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Well, he’s saying all the right things and that makes me feel better. Hopefully the legendary Wings work ethic rubs off on him and takes care of all the issues Babs had with him in the past.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/01/11 at 09:48 PM ET

Gumby's avatar

The thing that could work out well here is that Commodore will punish anyone standing in front of Howard.  I just hope he doesn’t get too careless and take stupid penalties.

Posted by Gumby from the city with more ruins than Rome on 07/01/11 at 09:55 PM ET

SK77's avatar

I just hope he doesn’t get too careless and take stupid penalties.

It’s cool, Big E will just shut them down on the penalty kill.

Posted by SK77 on 07/01/11 at 09:56 PM ET

Krononymous's avatar

“He’s got 15 minutes to decide or the Wings will move on.”

That’s just all kinds of funny!

Posted by Krononymous on 07/01/11 at 09:56 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

Am I the only one who really likes this signing? This is a guy who once was a solid part of a cup winning team and he’s an upgrade over Salei, with a similar financial risk (which is very small). If Ericsson and Kindl step up, they can start to replace what we had with Rafalski, and hopefully there’ll be a good fit at the trade deadline.

Posted by EDJ on 07/01/11 at 09:59 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

Well, he’s saying all the right things and that makes me feel better. Hopefully the legendary Wings work ethic rubs off on him and takes care of all the issues Babs had with him in the past.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/01/11 at 08:48 PM ET

He’s also a bit older now. Most people are bright enough to grow up eventually - and he isn’t a brick.

I think they should force him to change his number to 64, though. It’s an older team - they should understand the joke. Tell him that his preferred number is cursed - the Curse of Lebda or something. LOL

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 07/01/11 at 10:01 PM ET

Gumby's avatar

Am I the only one who really likes this signing?

I see a lot of upside to this signing.  There are too many veterans in the Wings locker room to tolerate any grumblings that Commodore will make; he’s also getting a second (and his last) chance; he’s thrilled to be here.  It could pay off well for Detroit.

Posted by Gumby from the city with more ruins than Rome on 07/01/11 at 10:07 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

We’re always clamoring for a big, mean, physical Dman that is reliable defensively. I personally love this signing. 1 mil? Almost zero risk in that contract. After today’s madness, I don’t feel so bad about Big E at 3.25, but it still sucks nonetheless..

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 07/01/11 at 10:20 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

He has always been tough to play against and has a record of having lots left at the end of the regular season.  A career (-10) after 4 seasons with pretty crappy teams.  A Journeyman (32 yrs old) with a cup ring for 1 Mil…who sticks up for teammates.  Will likely wind up on the ‘Holland Successful Retread’ list.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 07/01/11 at 10:37 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Right now they traded Rafalski for Ericsson… that should make everybody feel better.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/01/11 at 08:36 PM ET

I feel nauseous every time I think of that.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 07/01/11 at 11:13 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by Gumby from the city with more ruins than Rome on 07/01/11 at 08:55 PM ET

I’ve missed seeing those marching hammers.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/01/11 at 11:36 PM ET

Sunday's avatar

I think they should force him to change his number to 64, though. It’s an older team - they should understand the joke. Tell him that his preferred number is cursed - the Curse of Lebda or something. LOL

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 07/01/11 at 09:01 PM ET

Okay, I don’t get that one.  A little backstory, please?

Posted by Sunday from somewhere else on 07/01/11 at 11:45 PM ET

Gumby's avatar

I’ve missed seeing those marching hammers.

Posted by RWBill from Imported from Detroit, Land of Todd-Ber-Tuz-zi !! on 07/01/11 at 10:36 PM ET

Thanks a lot!  I’ve been here all along; I just haven’t been posting very much.

Posted by Gumby from the city with more ruins than Rome on 07/02/11 at 12:37 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Okay, I don’t get that one.  A little backstory, please?

Familiar with the Commodore 64? One of the first widely used home computers. Popular back in the early 80’s along side the Apple IIe.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/02/11 at 12:58 AM ET

Sunday's avatar

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/01/11 at 11:58 PM ET

Well, duh.  I’m certainly old enough to remember the Commodore 64, but I just didn’t think in that direction.  Thanks, Nate!

Posted by Sunday from somewhere else on 07/02/11 at 09:52 AM ET

Stevis's avatar

At 1 yr/$1M, you can kick him to the curb the minute he becomes a liability.  I’m not gaga over this signing, but the risk is pretty minimal.

Posted by Stevis on 07/02/11 at 01:03 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.