The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/31/12 at 03:09 PM ET
Jeebus monkey, I never thought I’d post a blog post about this, but…I said this on Twitter this morning, and I was right: my father passed away suddenly, I’ve had two major surgeries, battled depression and anxiety all my life, and today…Ranks up there with the hardest days of my life. Nicklas Lidstrom was my favorite red Wing, someone who came into the league the same year I began following hockey, and to lose that presence, to know that he’s going back to Sweden in a few weeks, to stay…
The presser is available via this post, as are several comments made by Lidstrom and the Wings’ brass, and you can watch the entire presser here:
I may be a semi-professional blogger, but you’re reading a Wings fan’s words here, and instead of covering the news stories in an as-they-come-in basis for the next two hours?
This strapping 34-year-old bald, fat man with a Jamie Hyneman-meets-Nick Oliveri goatee and an ability to blog through almost anything needs to go and have a good cry. I’ll be back in an hour or two and on the Lidstrom retirement stories like white on rice, but every once in a while, a fan needs to grieve, too. One of my role models in life and hockey has chosen to end his career, and while he will continue to be a fantastic husband and father, and likely a Red Wings employee—and while I do not believe that the “championship window” has closed upon the Wings, assuming that Ken Holland and the team’s management aggressively pursues free agent and trade possibilities…
I’m f***ing speechless and don’t know what the hell to say to comfort anyone right now. This is…This is like losing a part of your heart and your soul. All I can say is this: what a remarkable, remarkable human being we have been privileged to watch play hockey and be a good, kind and decent man over the past 20 years. The team will not fade away because of the examples and lessons he taught them, and because the Wings will be more aggressive than we’ve ever seen them in terms of assuring that the drop-off in the post-Lidstrom era is as small as humanly possible, but things will always be different after today.
I liked the fact that Mike Babcock refused to suggest that the team will do anything other than wait until training camp to determine who the captain will be while speaking to Fox Sports Detroit, I liked the fact that Niklas Kronwall suggested that the players will try to hold some sort of meeting at the end of the month to see where they go from here, and I think that the Wings are handling this remarkably, remarkably well and professionally, to the point that I fully believe they will be proving legions of doubters wrong around this time next season, or two or three seasons from now…
But as a Wings fan, I can’t be that professionally composed, and I hope you understand, because I’m guessing that many of you feel the same way.
At least I got to tell the man, face to face, that he was and is my favorite Wing.
And I can at least promise that we will try to get through this together, this grieving process that will mirror the real thing, by being kind and considerate of the fact that some of us will in fact be angry and pissed off at times, which is completely OK (and we won’t make fun of the people who continue to spell his name LiNdstrom, even after all this time), and that this is going to take a long time for the Wings—and us—to come to terms with.
It’s as cheesy as f***ing hell, but here’s an e-hug from me to you. I’ve gotta take a break here, but I’ll be back when I can spell again.
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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.