The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/16/14 at 01:56 PM ET
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spends a signifcant portion of his "free time" advocating for pediatric cancer charities like the Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation, he hosts a family battling cancer at every home game, and it's rumored that Babcock tends to show up unannounced at Children's Hospital in Detroit and the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor to visit kids and parents, so it's no surprise that Babcock took up the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness of and funds for ALS research in the U.S. and Canada:
The video quality isn't particularly good, but Babcock's muscle definition is:
I will readily admit, however, that the challenge has gone off the rails big time. Lansing's WILX filed a report in which Michigan's ALS Association weighs in on the issue--as does Michigan Hockey's Nick Barnowski, who lost his dad to ALS two years ago (the video's embed code is a little funky, but you can watch it here):
"This has just absolutely gone berserk," said Paula Morning, who works with the ALS Association's Michigan chapter. "We have dates planned into late September that are doing it at family reunions, back to school events."
ALSA says it's only heard positive reviews from patients who suffer from ALS and their caregivers.
And the money is rolling in. The $9.5 million dollars raised since July 29 towers over the $1.6 million normally raised. Those donations have come from more than 184,000 new donors.
That's a wonderful amount of money, but ALS--"Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis"--is an absolutely horrific disease, a degeneration of motor neurons that first robs people of the ability to move around, then to walk, talk, eat, and eventually breathe, and the fact that we can only very "paliatively" treat what is almost inevitably a fatal illness (unless you're Stephen Hawking) featuring rapid physical degeneration...
It ain't right.
"This represents so much hope, so much positive input," said Morning. "People are learning and I think that that is a valuable part of it. Of course the money will help research, advocacy and patient care, but people seem to generally be doing it out of care."
Nick Barnowski took the challenge for his dad, Don, who lost his battle with ALS in 2012.
"In honor of my dad I'd be willing to do anything, so dumping a bucket of ice water on my head isn't that big of a deal at all," he said. "It may be something as silly as dumping water on your head but it's much more of a deeper meaning to it."
For his mom, Maggie, it's a promising weapon in the fight against a disease that has no cure.
"It gives me hope that it's raising awareness," she said. "Maybe down the line because of the awareness it's raising, there will be a cure."
Hampus Melen took part in the Vaxjo Lakers' under-20 team's 6-4 loss to Rogle; Alexander Kadeykin and Atlant Mytischchi lost 3-1 to SKA St. Petersburg.
In the "For Further Reading" department, Octopus Thrower's Peter Fish wonders whether plus-minus is an effective or useful statistical metric, and while it's not Wings-related per se, it's good to read MLive's Ryan Zuke report that Detroit's sports bars are doing so very well this summer--and how excited they are about the Wings, Tigers and Lions playing in the same geographical area within the next four years--given how hard the last lockout hit them.
That's what I've got for now...As Paul's been suggesting, this is probably the last "slow weekend" of the summer, so I'm subbing for him to try and give him the weekend off.
Update: This certainly explains why Johan Franzen's ability to take passes that don't bounce off his stick and his shot are so bloody inconsistent:
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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.