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The Malik Report

Red Wings afternoon news: It’s Speculation Season

I guess it's speculation season, because I woke up to read the Tennessean's Josh Cooper wonder aloud whether the Nashville Predators should snag Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, or his playoff opponent...

The Texas Stars, coached by Willie Desjardins, take on the Grand Rapids Griffins, coached by Jeff Blashill. Texas is the top affiliate of the Dallas Stars, Grand Rapids the top affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.

Last season – Blashill's first as head coach with the Griffins – Grand Rapids won the Calder Cup. It cemented the former Red Wings assistant as a potential NHL coach.

Considering how much the Predators admire the Red Wings organization and how it operates, Blashill could merit some attention from Nashville, which is entering the fourth week of its coaching search.

And the Free Press posted a USA Today story in which Kevin Allen suggests that the Wings' assistant general manager is among the NHL's best GM-to-be candidates:

Ryan Martin: With Nill gone, Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Martin has more responsibility and visibility. The Red Wings are considered a first-rate organization, and Martin has an essential role.

MLive's Ansar Khan also weighed in on the Wings' free agent and trade options on defense, including three...different...candidates...

Shea Weber, Nashville (6-4, 233, age 28): Sounds like a pipe dream, and it probably is. But if the Predators look to move their franchise player, the Red Wings would be interested. He has 12 years and $82 million remaining on the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet the Flyers signed him to in 2012, which Nashville matched. That’s a cap hit of $7.85 million until 2025-26.

Tyler Myers: Buffalo (6-8, 227, age 24): His name surfaced in trade rumors at the deadline, but why would the Sabres want to move him? He hasn’t played as well as he did his rookie year of 2009-10, when he won the Calder Trophy, but he’s still a good all-around player. The Sabres already have paid him $18 million of the $38.5 million pact (for seven years) he inked in 2012. He has a $5.5 million cap hit for the next five seasons.

Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg (6-5, 265, age 29): Another big-bodied player whose name seems to always get tossed around in trade rumors. He moves well for a big man and has a terrific shot. He can play defense or forward and log a lot of minutes. He has three years left on his deal at a cap hit of $5.2 million.

Otherwise, RedWingsFeed noted that the Wings posted their "Playoff Open" video on their YouTube channel...

As the Dallas News's Mike Heika set up the second-round playoff series between the Texas Stars and Grand Rapids Griffins, I found out that while the Texas Stars' website has a busy Twitter account and a YouTube channel, the Austin American-Statesman...Is a subscriber-only website. Fun.

And you may read the tea leaves regarding this press release from Ilitch Holdings as you wish:

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Announces Doug Kuiper as Vice President of Corporate Communications

DETROIT, May 5, 2014 — Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. announced today that accomplished marketing and communications executive Doug Kuiper has been named Vice President of Corporate Communications at Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

Kuiper will oversee the organization’s communications function, with a high level of focus on the new Events Center District, a key corporate initiative and a symbol of the organization’s continued commitment to Detroit and the region. The position was recently vacated by John Hahn, a long-time employee, who is relocating with his family to Washington, D.C.

"Events Center District"...

Kuiper brings nearly 20 years of marketing, branding, and public relations experience to his role at the Ilitch companies.  He most recently was Chief Marketing Officer at Covisint in Detroit, where he executed campaigns that drove increased brand awareness and revenue for the publicly traded, $100 million enterprise. He was promoted to this role after spending 14 years in leadership roles within the Marketing and Communications function at Compuware, which purchased Covisint in 2004. Prior to Compuware, Kuiper served as the Director of Public Relations for the Psychiatry department at Wayne State University’s school of medicine.

“This is an exciting time for the community as the Ilitch companies look to add to the notable investments we’ve made in Detroit with the new Events Center District,” said Christopher Ilitch.  “Doug is a highly experienced communications and marketing professional who has successfully managed communications for a high-growth business with an increasing presence in Detroit. His experience and deep roots in Detroit’s business community align well with our future development work and other growth within our businesses, and we’re very pleased to add him to our team.”

Kuiper earned his undergrad and graduate degrees in English from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, respectively.

About Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
Ilitch Holdings, Inc. was established in 1999 to provide companies owned by Michael and/or Marian Ilitch with professional services. The Ilitch companies represent leading brands in the food, sports and entertainment industries and include Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Uptown Entertainment, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program and Olympia Development. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.

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SYF's avatar

Picking apart the Wings front office and coaching staff and spreading the Wings way across the NHL?  The Organ-I-zation does not hire interns.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 05/05/14 at 02:50 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Blashill for Weber RAWR! smile

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 05/05/14 at 03:20 PM ET


I was going to say Martin for Weber.

Posted by teldar on 05/05/14 at 03:26 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t get Martin being “in demand”.  He was the Wings cap guy, and has anyone payed attention to the Wings’ cap situation the last few years?  Ugh.  I just…. don’t see it.  Nill had a glowing resume.  What does Martin have?

I know Holland has flat-out stated he won’t give teams permission to talk w/ Blashill but…. does he have to?  How does that work?  I didn’t know he needed to give permission even, or is that a nicety that can be worked around.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/14 at 06:11 PM ET


Holland can prevent it as long as Blashill is under contract. Having lost three asst GMs (Nas, Dallas, TB) without compensation, I suspect Holland is going to wait on Blashill until his contract expires or he has Babs signed long term.

Posted by Malleus Maleficarum on 05/05/14 at 10:22 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.