The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/27/12 at 02:54 PM ET
Well, it appears that the pre-pre-season preview news cycle's going to involve fantasy hockey projections. Following this morning's Predators vs. Red Wings take from the Tennessean's Josh Cooper (now being promoted on USA Today's hockey page), ESPN's Robert Vollman and Craig custance offered a "Summer Skate" take on the Red Wings' fantasy hockey values (and it's an Insider-only article, sorry).
Vollman suggsts that Niklas Kronwall will shine without Nicklas Lidstrom, but Ian White won't repeate his 11-12 performance sans Lidstrom as his defensive partner, but the most important part of the entry may be its introduction...
Finishing third in their division for the first time since Sergei Fedorov's rookie season over 20 years ago, one can excuse fans who hold the unfounded fear the Wings aging lineup will finally slide out of the postseason.
Though they aren't the division title threat they recently were, the Wings still have superstars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and remain one of the league's most disciplined and possession-oriented teams.
Failing to replace Nicklas Lidstrom, not to mention Brad Stuart, will indeed make it more difficult to remain as competitive while their enviable pool of prospects develop, but not so difficult that they'll be competing for early tee times with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Though Custance's take on Damien Brunner's possible presence as an x-factor of sorts is intriguing, too:
After impressing the Red Wings at the World Championships, Detroit beat a long list of interested teams to land the Swiss-A league standout. He'll get every chance to play with the Red Wings up front in the top six, adding speed to a forward group that can use it. He also gets points within the organization for being one of the few right-handed shots among their high-end forwards.
He turned 26 in March so the time is now to prove that the numbers he put up in Switzerland can translate to the NHL. Last season with Zug, he had 60 points in 45 games, scoring 24 goals. He's not particularly big (5-foot-10) and will have to deal with the transition to North American ice in what could be a shortened training camp.
In other fantasy hockey news--or something like that--The Hockey News rounded out its 2012-2013 Confrence Standings predictions by suggesting that the St. Louis Blues will win the West and the Pittsburgh Penguins will take the East, with the Wings finishing 7th in the West (hey, at least it's better than the Sports Forecaster's 9th in the West, 17th overall prediction)...
And Yahoo Sports' Sean Leahy revealed Yahoo's Top 100 fantasy hockey player rankings. Prepared to be confused, as will become usual this season:
18. Jimmy Howard
37. Henrik Zetterberg
75. Johan Franzen
Where's Pavel Datsyuk? Good question. He didn't make the list, period. Nor did Niklas Kronwall.
I'm also guessing that as SI's Al Muir posted his Eastern Conference offseason grades today, and as Muir generally doesn't like the Red Wings, but tends to throw them a bone, expect him to repeat his summer split personality when it comes to the Wings, suggesting that the Wings were the biggest draft loser before the Wings' signing of Jonas Gustavsson.
In news from the peanut gallery, I will only suggest that you read MLive's Brendan Savage's survey of fan takes on the Wings' interest in Carlo Colaiacovo (Scarily injury prone? Yup. Affordably-priced given the current CBA's going rates for defensemen of the Ian White variety? Yup.) or that certain stalker Wings fan's take on Kyle Quincey's comments to the Denver Post on your own...
I'm just guessing that neither you nor I will get much out of the CoverItLive replay of Magnus Nystrom and Expressen readers' co-interview of Wings prospect Calle Jarnkrok...
And in real-life news, from the Wings...
Despite the rain, the Ilitch Charities golf outing did take place today, and last night, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that all went well at Ilitch Charities' charity gala dinner:
Ilitch Charities’ fifth annual One Team, One Community Gala featured a veritable who’s who of celebrities on hand Sunday night. The star-studded guest list was topped by a couple of Detroit Tigers – Major League Baseball’s reigning MVP Justin Verlander and all-star third baseman Miguel Cabrera – along with actors Tim Busfield and Thorsten Kaye, and comedian Dave Coulier.
Whether they were stars or simply generous donors, everyone in attendance were there for a good cause, supporting local charitable organizations in the community.
Since 2008, Ilitch Charities has hosted the gala to give metro Detroiters the opportunity to mix and mingle with celebrities while also giving back to organizations in need. The event highlights charity partners for the One Team, One Community Gala that are recognized as outstanding organizations in the local community.
“It has been humbling to see the amount of support we’ve gotten from both the local community and nationally,” Ilitch Charities Chairman and Ilitch Holdings CEO Christopher Ilitch said. “We are so proud that celebrities and sponsors see the value that these events bring to our community. But mostly, we’re proud that we were able to raise a significant amount of money to support local organizations committed to making southeastern Michigan a better place for all.”
Sunday night’s event held at the MotorCity Casino’s Sound Board was chock-full of entertainment that resulted in a fun-filled evening. In addition to a variety of delicious foods and an open bar, both a silent auction and a live auction took place. The auctions featured once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be won, like a road trip with the Red Wings or a personal voice message from Eminem, the latter of which fetched over $50,000. The evening ended on a high note when local country-rock band Annabelle Road performed.
Former Wings Kris Draper, Darren McCarty and Larry Murphy also attended, and acknowledged the importance of the event.
“It’s so nice to be involved in this; it feels nice to help out,” Draper said. “It’s no surprise that when the Ilitches do something like this, they do it first-class.”
McCarty echoed Draper’s sentiments, saying, “The Ilitch family and their charities have given so much back to the community and to us, but we’re all a big family. Not only is it for a great cause, but we also get to reminisce with a lot of great friends, and see the entertainment and the music. We look forward to this every year.”
This year, Ilitch Charities supported the following organizations to which a portion of the proceeds will be donated: Alternatives For Girls, a non-profit based in Detroit, helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence and teen pregnancy; Reading Works, a foundation dedicated to raising the level of adult literacy in metro Detroit; and College for Creative Studies, an art education institution based in Detroit.
And finally, this kind-of-sort-of reality-meets-fantasy news serves as a reminder for those of you who live in or will find yourself in suburban Toronto tomorrow: the NHLPA will be hosting its Rookie Showcase photo shoot tomorrow morning, and I believe that Tomas Jurco is already there:
2012 NHLPA ROOKIE SHOWCASE
TORONTO, ON (August 27, 2012) – Twenty-nine of the top NHL rookie prospects will gather outside of Toronto at the MasterCard Centre on Tuesday, August 28th for the 2012 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. Now in its fourth year, this unique event will provide Panini America and Upper Deck – the two official trading card partners of the NHLPA and the NHL – with an exclusive opportunity to photograph many of the game’s top young prospects for the first time in their official NHL team uniforms, in shots that will be used for upcoming trading card and memorabilia launches.
The 29 NHL rookie prospects in attendance for the 2012 NHLPA Rookie Showcase will be available for media scrums tomorrow prior to the event at approximately 9:00 AM.
WHAT: 2012 NHLPA Rookie Showcase Media Availability
WHO: NHL prospects scheduled to be in attendance include:
Tyson Barrie (Avalanche), Nathan Beaulieu (Canadiens), Beau Bennett (Penguins), Jack Campbell (Stars), Charlie Coyle (Wild), Emerson Etem (Ducks), Alex Galchenyuk (Canadiens), Dougie Hamilton (Bruins), Quinton Howden (Panthers), Tomas Jurco (Red Wings), Jared Knight (Bruins), Chris Kreider (Rangers), Scott Laughton (Flyers), Joe Morrow (Penguins), Ryan Murphy (Hurricanes), Ryan Murray (Blue Jackets), Brock Nelson (Islanders), Jamie Oleksiak (Stars), Griffin Reinhart (Islanders), Morgan Rielly (Maple Leafs), Justin Schultz (Oilers), Jaden Schwartz (Blues), Reilly Smith (Stars), Ryan Spooner (Bruins), Jarred Tinordi (Canadiens), Tyler Toffoli (Kings), Mark Visentin (Coyotes), Austin Watson (Predators) and Nail Yakupov (Oilers).
WHEN: Tuesday, August 28th from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
WHERE: MasterCard Centre, Rink 1
400 Kipling Avenue
Etobicoke, ON M8V 3L1
Sorry this is so late...I feel pretty sick today thanks to the waiting room flu the mom brought home last week. The whole house is still sniffly.
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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.