The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/15/14 at 02:27 PM ET
Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related stories:
Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner penned a column about Ken Holland's 4-year contract extension this morning, and Renger was also filling in for WDFN's Matt Sheppard today, so he spoke with Holland for 26 minutes (Holland appeared on this afternoon's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast; when that audio appears, I'll and post it):
As for Regner's article, Art believes that Holland has earned every penny of his new contract and/or extension, despite the team's free agency hiccups of late:
It's no secret that the Wings wake-up call to the new NHL came when defenseman Ryan Suter declined their long-term, multimillion dollar offer to sign instead with the Minnesota Wild in July 2012. Feeling that type of rejection sent the Wings scrambling. For years, they had been counting down the days until Suter became an unrestricted free agent, and when it didn't pan out, Detroit wasn't prepared.
Since that time, Holland has had to recast the direction of the Wings, realizing that the key to success is developing the core of your team through the draft.
"No doubt, prior to '05 we had a money advantage, but we made good decisions spending money," Holland said. "We've had no top-10 picks since 1991. We've had to draft, develop."I'm proud of what the pro scouts, the amateur scouts and the coaching staffs have done."
Yet, the expectation level in Detroit isn't about making the playoffs. It's about competing for the Stanley Cup, and Holland realizes that the organization needs to do a better job."We've only won one playoff round in the last three years," he said. "It's hard to win a playoff round in the league today, but we believe we have some pieces. We want to go on a longer playoff run, want to compete for a Stanley Cup.
"As a manager, it's about trying to build something that lasts for a while."Holland has earned the opportunity to try and guide the Wings back to where the fans believe they should be -- perennial Stanley Cup contenders. And if he can't get the job done, he'll walk away. For Holland, loyalty goes both ways.
Regner continues, of course, and I'd cough and say, "Daniel Cleary" regarding the whole loyalty-goes-both-ways thing, but my late-night ramble very intentionally played upon the, "The management has broken the fans' trust and until we see merit-based player personnel decisions during training camp and the exhibition season, nobody 'earning' jobs by default come October and not a delightful amount of trade-related inaction" theme.
2014-15 outlook: After seemingly establishing himself as a key member of the defense for years to come in 2013, Kindl took a big step back in 2013-14. He seemed to lose confidence and wasn't as competitive as the year before. He is capable of playing with a physical edge but one of the knocks against him is his reluctance to take a hit to make a play. Despite being a healthy scratch in Game 5 of the playoffs against Boston (he was replaced by rookie Xavier Ouellet), Kindl should be able to beat out Brian Lashoff for the sixth spot on defense. But his chances with the organization are dwindling. If the Red Wings are able to acquire the right-handed shooting, power-play quarterback they've been seeking, Kindl would be the one most likely to be dealt.
Kindl does some wonderful things from time to time because he can skate well, he can carry the puck up the ice, can lob particularly hard shots at the net on the power play and he can use his size effectively, but here's the reason he's going to be trade fodder:...
And here's the reason he's going to be so hard to trade:
Contract status: Three years remaining at a salary-cap hit of $2.4 million.
Speaking of which, from the Griffins:
1. Tomorrow, the Plymouth Whalers are holding their annual alumni game at Compuware Arena, and if you missed the press release...
PLYMOUTH WHALERS ALUMNI PLAY FOR CHILDREN’S MIRACLE NETWORK, BEAUMONT HOSPITAL
Whalers Alumni Give a Miracle on Ice on Saturday at 4 pm at Compuware Arena
PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Whalers start their 25th season in the Ontario Hockey League with an event that will prompt more smiles then goals in hosting its Fourth Alumni Game this Saturday, August 16 at 4 pm at Compuware Arena.
Billed “Whalers Alumni Give a Miracle on Ice," proceeds of the game – in the form of a $10 donation – will go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Beaumont Children’s Hospital. For the $10 donation, Whalers Alumni will participate in Meet-and-Greet Autograph Session with fans from 2-3:30 pm. Fans can have two items signed by the Alumni. The game will start promptly at 4 pm.
Tickets for the game can be purchased online at http://www.plymouthwhalers.com or at the Compuware Arena box office. Please call the box office at (734) 453-8400.
Players from all eras of the Whalers’ 25-year-history are expected to play, including Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars), David Legwand (Ottawa Senators), Brett Bellemore (Carolina Hurricanes), Alex Aleardi, Robbie Czarnik, Jamie Devane, John Vigilante, Damian Surma, Chris Terry, among others. Matt Hackett (Buffalo Sabres) is injured and cannot play, but will attend.
The game will be broadcast live on 88.1FM WSDP The Park beginning at 4:00 pm. Pete Krupsky and Sean Balgian have the call of the game.
Adding to the event is radio station 96.3 WDVD with morning hosts Blaine & Allyson in the Morning, who are long-time supporters of the Plymouth Whalers and events at Compuware Arena.
Community Choice Credit Union is also lending support to the event.
“Not only is the Alumni Game a fun event for our fans and everyone else, but we’ve also helped out great causes over the years,” said Denise Ronayne, Plymouth Whalers’ Marketing Director. “Two years ago, the alumni donated their time and effort towards Gleaners Community Food Bank in a ‘Hunger Free Summer Campaign’. In 2010, we helped raise awareness towards autism.
“Supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Beaumont Children’s Hospital this year is a win-win for everyone. Blaine and Allyson and our friends at 96.3 WDVD add to the excitement and help make this event memorable.”
"We are so grateful to the Plymouth Whalers and 96.3 WDVD for their generous support of Beaumont Children's Hospital,” says Dr. Brian Berman, pediatrician-in-chief of Beaumont Children’s Hospital. “The funds they raise are instrumental in helping to provide comfort and compassionate care to the many children and families that we serve."
"Once again we've brought together two of our favorite teams: the Children's Miracle Network Team and the Plymouth Whalers Team,” said Blaine Fowler of Blaine & Allyson in the Morning on 96.3 WDVD. “All of us at 96.3 have big love for both of these amazing partners and are excited to make this event a can't miss for our community."
Beaumont Children's Hospital is a proud member of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The non-profit organization is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals across North America.
The Whalers are also holding a charity exhibition game on August 30th:
Plymouth Whalers, Windsor Spitfires Play It Forward for Bieniewicz on August 30
In soccer, the term “friendly” refers to a game between two teams that is an exhibition game. A “friendly” is a match that generally has no impact in the standings.
“Friendly” is not usually used in the same sentence with the Plymouth Whalers and Windsor Spitfires. The two bitter Ontario Hockey League rivals have battled through 206 regular season games since 1990 and several memorable playoff series.
Need proof? Check the video the last time Plymouth and Windsor met on March 15, 2014 at Compuware Arena.
That's going to change on Saturday, August 30 at 2 pm at Compuware Arena. The Whalers and Spitfires hook up in a “friendly” to start the preseason in a benefit for John Bieniewicz, the Livonia soccer referee who passed away while working a game.
Called “Play it Forward for Bieniewicz”, 100 percent of the proceeds in the game benefit the John Bieniewicz Foundation and C.O.P.S. MI (Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors) Chapter.
Tickets run $10 in advance (general admission) and $12 at the door and can be purchased online on http://www.plymouthwhalers.com. Tickets are also available at the Livonia Police Department (734-466-2470).
Admission to the game includes a Meet-and-Greet session with the Whalers after the game.
The game provides the backdrop for the hockey and soccer community to rally around a good cause for good people.
John Bieniewicz died after being assaulted while working a soccer game on June 29 at Mies Park in Livonia. Bassel Saad is charged with second-degree murder in his death. The trial is ongoing.
The local community has taken a pro-active approach towards the John Bieniewicz Foundation, with various fundraisers held over the summer and more events on the way – including the Whalers/Spitfires game on Aug. 30.
“The support from everyone is amazing,” said Kristen Bieniewicz, John’s wife. “When I saw that the Whalers were looking to do a game, I wondered, ‘How would hockey even get involved?’ But then I found out it was through the Livonia Police Department and they had been involved a game before (in 2013).”
There is a hockey connection with the Bieniewicz family. Son Josh, 9, plays for the 2005 Farmington Fire.
“With everything that has been going on, it’s proven to me that there’s still more good out there than bad, “said Bieniewicz. “It’s impossible for me to thank everyone for everything that they are doing. I can’t express my gratitude enough.”
Livonia Chief of Police Curtis Caid deals with his share of serious, real-world issues every day. He’s happy to lend support to the game and the heartfelt cause of helping people.
“This game is a great opportunity for the city of Livonia, our citizens and everyone else to get involved with a worthwhile cause,” said Chief Caid. “It gives the community an opportunity to see great hockey while helping a local family help overcome a tragedy. There are some parallels in hockey, soccer and police work. All three will work together for one day to assist the Bieniewicz family.”
Fans on both sides of the border can lend their support by attending the game.
On Aug. 31, 2013, Plymouth and Windsor opened the preseason in at Eddie Edgar Arena in Livonia, playing a 5-5 draw before a sellout crowd of 1,000 fans. 100 percent of the proceeds of the game (estimated at more than $35,000) went to the Livonia Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Larry Nehasil Park in Livonia.
2. We're a week away from the Joe Kocur Foundation's annual charity softball game in Highland, MI, and I cannot emphazise enough that many of my "hockey pals" who also go up to training camp suggest that the level of interaction with Kocur, Mickey Redmond and the rest of the alumni taking part is on par with or even better than the training camp experience:
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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.