The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/09/13 at 02:39 PM ET
I spend a significant amount of time reading foreign-language news websites in the summer, and finding ST.nu's Kenneth Fahlberg's interview with Henrik Zetterberg was the start of a two-parter of sorts:
At the other end of the "importance to the Red Wings going forward" spectrum: Sportbox points us toward a report from Arena55.ru which states that Avangard Omsk was negotiating with former Wing Ian White, but opted to sign KHL'er Ivan Baranka instead because Baranka was willing to sign for $1 million, which was much more palatable to the slightly cash-strapped Omsk team.
The salary cap's drop from $70.2 to $64.3 million seems to have sent quite the bushelful of NHL'ers who experienced difficult 2013 seasons to Europe, and it's not surprising that White's seeking gainful employment wherever he can find it at this point.
- Via RedWingsFeed, Fox Sports Detroit's Darren Eliot, penning a column for Michigan Hockey, offers "10 reasons for hockey hype in Michigan," and five of his reasons are Red Wings-related:
1. Winter Olympic Games: Hockey on the world stage is as good as it gets. The NHL will shut down in February to accommodate player participation in Sochi, Russia. Locally, we have so many rooting interests, with Team Sweden filled with Red Wings, Pavel Datsyuk playing at home, Jimmy Howard and Justin Abdelkader as Team USA hopefuls (along with all the Michigan natives invited to Team USA’s camp) and Mike Babcock behind the bench for Team Canada trying to repeat as a gold medalist. We have the added bonus of catching former Red Wing and Hall-of-Famer Chris Chelios on the new Fox Sports 1 network (which launches nationally August 17) as an Olympic analyst.
3. Hockeytown Winter Festival: There are games scheduled to be played outdoors at Comerica Park that cover the spectrum of all the levels of hockey in our great state. Kids of all ages will get to participate outdoors – from pee wees to pros – with the college hockey holiday tradition of the Great Lakes Invitational carried outdoors. The Hockeytown Winter Festival is the byproduct of the Winter Classic, but for most, it should be the focus as a fantastic unifying celebration of hockey right here in Detroit.
4. Stephen Weiss as a Red Wing: Here is a player that played junior hockey locally for the Plymouth Whalers and grew up professionally in obscurity as a Florida Panther. He developed into a solid player in an unstable hockey environment. I look for Weiss to flourish in the Red Wings’ winning culture and become an integral player for coach Mike Babcock. The best is yet to come for Weiss.
5. Wings in Eastern Conference: Speaking of which, the Red Wings competing in the Eastern Conference is enticing on a number of levels. First, they match up regularly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, as only the Chicago Blackhawks now reside on the Western side of the Original Six franchises. Add in seeing the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals more regularly and the season sets up to be rife with rivalries. The added bonus is time-zone related, with fans and players sharing smiles over dismissed travel and fewer late nights!
6. Winter Classic: Maybe the NHL has turned the Winter Classic into the “Winter Cash In” by adding multiple outdoor games across the league, but locally the branding still hold true. A Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs match-up at the Big House has all the appeal of, well, a classic – with Original Six trappings and all. It is also pretty cool that the match-up comes in the Red Wings’ rightful return to the Eastern Conference.
- Sticking with the Olympic theme, Sportsnet's Jamie Neugebauer believes that Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard can, at best, hope to vie for the job of backing up one Jonathan Quick in Sochi:
Goaltenders: Jonathan Quick is one of the best goaltenders in the world, and there is little doubt he will carry the load for Team USA at Sochi. His backup is far less predictable, though the Detroit Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard has made many fans the last few years. Cory Schneider’s prospects are unknown. The Ottawa Senators’ Craig Anderson has earned every consideration, especially if he can stay healthy. Leaving veteran Ryan Miller off the roster completely after his remarkable performance in 2010 would be a real slap to his face, but the USA’s goaltending depth has become as impressive as that of any nation in the world.
- And treading into "Michigan sports" territory, the Red Wings face off against the Saginaw Spirit in the latest round of the Free Press's "best sports logo in Michigan" vote-contest-fan-participation-y-type-thing;
- In the "would'a could'a" vein, the Hockey News's Lyle Richardson notes that, at one point, the Wings were believed to be quite interested in adding Linus Omark to the mix. The impressive play of Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar kind of nixed the following scenario:
Linus Omark told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet the Edmonton Oilers could soon trade his NHL rights.
Omark, 26, last played in the NHL in 2011-12 and split his time between the Oilers and their farm team in Oklahoma City.
He spent last season with EV Zug of Switzerland's National League A, leading the circuit in scoring. Half of that season was spent with Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner on his line, which sparked speculation the Detroit Red Wings would try to acquire him after the NHL lockout.
That deal never materialized, but Omark could attract some interest from other NHL clubs seeking an affordable scoring winger.
However, it could take some time to find a suitable trade partner. The Edmonton Journal's David Staples cited a report from the Oilers' Bob Stauffer claiming the club wasn't close to moving Omark's rights.
The Wings don't need him. They've got better prospects of their own.
- As today marks the 25th anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade, NHL.com's Tal Pinchevsky spoke to former Wing Jimmy Carson about his status as the centerpiece of the trade package heading back to Edmonton--or at least the non-monetary portion of the trade:
Carson and [Martin] Gelinas were expected to play large roles on a youthful core in Los Angeles that included scoring wing Luc Robitaille, playmaking centers Bernie Nicholls and Bobby Carpenter, and talented defenseman Steve Duchesne. But with one headline-making transaction, Carson and Gelinas were starting over on a veteran-heavy championship team with few available roster spots.
Gelinas immediately felt the intense media glare of being involved in the colossal trade, not to mention the outrage of a city, and to a large extent, a country that felt it had been robbed of a national treasure. Despite his inexperience, Gelinas was given a spot on Edmonton's roster before being returned to his junior team in Hull. Carson, on the other hand, faced more pressure. He responded with 49 goals and 100 points in his first season with the Oilers, but the intense scrutiny was a shock to the system.
"The city was in mourning, the country was in mourning. Everyone was in mourning, Wayne Gretzky had just been traded. Unfortunately, rightly or wrongly, I was kind of the symbol of the trade. It was just one of those things," Carson said. "You'd go to the [Northlands] Coliseum and you'd see [Oilers owner] Peter Pocklington hanging in effigy. And the fact that I'm American, it just kind of added to it. Not that they were anti-American or anti-me. It was just the symbolism of Gretzky being gone."
At the start of his second season in Edmonton, Carson was traded to his hometown Detroit Red Wings, where he enjoyed four fruitful seasons before being traded back to the Kings, whom he helped lead to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final.
Now working as a financial advisor in Michigan, Carson finished his NHL career with 275 goals. More than anything, he's embraced his role, involuntary as it was, in the Gretzky trade.
"I'm the kind of guy who always tries to be positive and look forward. When it's all said and done, just be happy and not wishing things had been different," Carson said. "It was very unique. I remember telling my parents, 'I can't believe it, I'm in the biggest trade in the history of sports.' No sooner had I said that, the phones started ringing and people were knocking at the door."
- Also in the alumni department, from the Wings:
- And finally, thanks to SI's Allan Muir for giving me a "shout out" in his Top Line collation of links. I read his column every day (seriously).
Update: ST.nu's Kenneth Fahlberg asked Zetterberg to pick his "dream team," and he picked Chris Osgood, Nicklas Lidstrom, Lenart Svedberg, Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman;
And here's a warm fuzzy:
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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.