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Red Wings afternoon news: Filppula signs with Jokerit; Centre Ice financially stressed; Q and Babs

Updated 2x at 5:17 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news:

  • If you missed it, Valtteri Filppula signed a lockout contract with Jokerit Helsinki of the Finnish SM-Liiga;
  • And in case you haven't already figured it out, the NHL's cancelation of preseason games yielded an indefinite "delay" in the holding of training camps, and the Free Presss (no author cited) reports that the losses in terms of revenues from both the Red Wings' 8-team prospect tournament and their main camp have yielded immediate consequences for Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, MI:

We’ll get through it,” Centre Ice executive director Terry Marchand said. “It’s going to be a tough year for us, but we’re got a lot of great support within our different organizations and the community.”

Marchand said the rink has raised ice time rates by $10 an hour to help compensate for some for the lost business. Rates are $230 an hour, or $140 an hour for times Monday through Friday before 3 p.m.

Little progress has been reported in labor negotiations, so Red Wings training camp remains in limbo.

“It’s all going to depend on what’s decided, if and when they sign a new agreement, that will dictate what the Wings do,” Marchand said. “I know that if they sign one soon and if they’re able to, the Wings would love to be able to come up here. They’re a great supporter of ours.”

  • In "front office" news of a different kind, while Wings VP Jimmy Devellano was spitting venom toward both players and fans this morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that Red Wings GM Ken Holland simply planned on becoming something of a full-time amateur scout during the lockout, and NHL.com's Dan Rosen engaged in a Q and A with another de-facto scout in Wings coach Mike Babcock. Amongst Babcock's comments (and Rosen ignores the whole lockout thing, as the NHL and NHL team's employees are forced to do):

How difficult is it to thrive under the intense expectations and scrutiny in Detroit?

"Pressure usually means you have a chance. If you go to the Olympics and you're not expected to do anything, there is no pressure. Do you want to be that one or do you want to be the team with the pressure on them because you're supposed to win, because you have a chance to win? That's an easy one.

"Now, the pressure in Detroit to keep doing what we're doing is there, and I relish that. There's no question, though, that it has become harder and harder and harder as the team has changed. I'm telling you, we have had to play harder and harder to get our 100 points and be more efficient than we did when I first arrived there. Parity in the League, for sure, no question about it. But the other thing is just go through our group since I have been in Detroit:

"My first year, Steve Yzerman retired and Brendan Shanahan decided it was time for him to go, as well. So there are two players not back. (Dominik) Hasek, (Chris) Chelios, (Chris) Osgood, (Kris) Draper, (Kirk) Maltby -- Cup winners, all retired. (Brian) Rafalski, (Brad) Stuart, (Jiri) Fischer goes down. And now Nicklas Lidstrom is gone.Then, from a management perspective, Scotty Bowman went to Chicago, Steve Yzerman went to Tampa and Pat Verbeek went with him. Paul MacLean went to Ottawa and Todd McLellan went to San Jose. And yet it's all about winning. I think it's fantastic, but now we've got to find a way to reload and do it in the new world, and it's tighter and tighter."




The Rockford IceHogs on Friday signed veteran defenseman Brett Lebda to a professional tryout contract.

The IceHogs also announced the team’s training camp roster, which includes 34 players. Training camp opens on Sunday, Sept. 30 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

Lebda, 30, has appeared in 397 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets, totaling 20 goals and 56 assists for 76 points. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native was a member of the 2008 Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, skating in 78 regular-season and 19 postseason contests.

The blueliner has also participated in 137 AHL tilts with the Grand Rapids Griffins and Springfield Falcons, amassing seven goals and 52 assists. Last season, Lebda recorded one goal and nine assists in 26 AHL games with Springfield, along with one goal and three assists in 30 games with Columbus.

Update: The Free Press's story about Centre Ice Arena comes from the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook, who discussed the various financial issues Centre Ice Arena is attempting to navigate through. The rink lost the NAHL's Traverse City North Stars during the spring, and their successors folded, so it's a bit of a mess up there:

Centre ICE has taken a few hits this year to its bottom line, but hopes several new programs will help offset some lost funding. A series of financial setbacks have reared their head this year:

-  The hockey facility lost one of its biggest tenants when the Traverse City North Stars were sold to a group in Sault Ste. Marie. The Stars contributed more than $40,000 a season to Centre ICE in ice time alone.

-  Then the facility lost the NHL Prospects Tournament — scheduled for Sept. 15-19 — when uncertainty about the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement caused teams to pull out. The CBA wasn't renewed when it expired on Sept. 15.

-  The Northwest Warriors high school hockey team disbanded.

-  The team that was supposed to replace the North Stars — the Traverse City Cohos — went dormant several weeks ago, just before the start of the Midwest Junior Hockey League season. Cohos owner Scott Gardiner said the team wasn't able to secure enough player contracts early enough to be assured of fielding a full time, but is hopeful the team will resurface next year.

-  And now with the lockout still looming, the status of the Detroit Red Wings training camp is in doubt. Training camp is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 22-27.

"We'll get through it," Centre ICE executive director Terry Marchand said. "It's going to be a tough year for us, but we're got a lot of great support within our different organizations and the community."

Update #2: MTV3.fi quotes Jokerit Helsinki GM Jarmo Kekalainen as stating that Valtteri Filppula has a good attitude and is a hard worker, paraphrasing Jokerit's official press release;

  • Jakub Kindl posted a Tweet directing fans to read a story about his first practice with HC Pardubice by Jan Hrabal,, in which Kindl says that he's going to wear #4, that he feels all right in terms of jet lag, that he's excited about playing while there's a lull in negotiations between the NHL and PA, and that he'll make his Czech Extraliga debut against Ceske Budejovice on Sunday;
  • Amd Tomas Tatar Tweeted the following:

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wingsluver4ever's avatar

RE Centre Ice…and we lost our hockey team when it was sold earlier this year.

Posted by wingsluver4ever on 09/21/12 at 06:03 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.