The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/12/13 at 10:19 PM ET
Updated at 10:14 PM: Good evening. How was your afternoon? Did you enjoy the weather if you live in Michigan? Or watch football? I tried to wait out the ridiculously appropriate delays in the passage of the "Memorandum of Understanding," the NHLPA's ratification of the CBA (I think that many of those abstentions were de-facto "no" votes), and then I took a nap.
A couple hours and two panic attacks later, it appears that the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's news regarding tomorrow's training camp session t Compuware Arena slated to start at
1:45 PM make that 12 PM with doors open at 11 M, parking free and concessions stands open are as certain as can be, it remains incredibly likely that DetroitHockeynet.'s Clark Rasmussen's 2012-2013 schedule is as right as rain, Pavel Datsyuk was himself at the KHL's All-Star Skills Competition, and the Wings have invited Mike Knuble to camp*...
And the Free Press's Helene St. James reports today's most important piece of information: while Darren Helm is banged-up, everybody passed their physicals. Given what happened with Greg Johnson a couple of years ago, that's great news.
Here's St. James' status report regarding the Wings' collective health and the fact that Pavel Datsyuk has to take a physical when he comes back to Detroit on Monday:
The Red Wings were able to get physicals out of the way today, an important first step of getting training camp under way.
A few guys are questionable, general manager Ken Holland said, including forward Darren Helm, who is nursing an undisclosed injury.
Holland said Helm would go for tests on Monday, but “we don’t think it’s anything serious. He’s day-to-day.”
Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has a sore shoulder, but he skated Friday and said he expected to be ready next weekend when the season started.
Forward Patrick Eaves remains sidelined by a concussion, and goaltender Joey MacDonald, who wouldn’t have been in Detroit anyway, has a back issue.
Even though a memorandum of understanding declaring the collective bargaining agreement official was still being drawn up by NHL and NHL Players Association lawyers on Saturday, the union told its members they voluntarily could proceed with physicals.
Holland said he thought the only Wings player who didn’t take a physical was Pavel Datsyuk, who is staying in Russia through the weekend to compete in the KHL All-Star Game weekend. Datsyuk won Saturday’s “penalty shot” competition with a backward backhand goal scored on Traktor Chelyabinsk’s Michael Garnett.
You can watch that here...
The players have voted to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL Players Association and the NHL.
But the lockout officially isn't quite over.
According to the PA, "while the players' vote ratifies the new CBA with the NHL owners, a written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) consistent with what the players voted on must be completed before the Agreement becomes final. The NHLPA and the NHL continue their work to finalize the MOU."
Once the MOU is completed, the league will release its 48-game schedule for the regular season.
The Red Wings are expected to open Jan. 19 in St. Louis (8 p.m. EST), followed by a game in Columbus on Jan. 21.
And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa wants to make sure that Datsyuk's comments about wanting to not leave Russian fans behind as something other than blasphemy:
And we know Pavel. We respect Pavel. We love Pavel.
The splendid offensive magician and one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL already has obtained permission from Red Wings general manager Ken Holland to report to Detroit two days after camp opens, in order to stay in Russia and play in the Kontinental Hockey League All-Start game, at 4 p.m. Sunday in Chelyabinsk.
That is 5 a.m. Motor City time, just in case any of you worrywarts wanting to deprive Datsyuk of the chance to play a big game in front of his countrymen, less than 200 miles from his home, Yekaterinburg, have your stop watches out timing his return to the Red Wings. He is supposed to fly in Monday night, by the way, if the planes run right.
But before the game, Datsyuk is quoted as saying, "I'd be delighted to stay here in Russia and play the season to the end. There's just enormous desire.
"But unfortunately, our desires don't always match our abilities."
Have you ever wanted to be in two places at once? Would it not be nice to play the rest of the season in the KHL with your new mates, in front of rabid fans in your native country, a short distance from your home, where extended family and childhood friends and neighbors can come see you live, for once, instead of watching you on television in the middle of the night, or your highlights on YouTube?
Would it not be nice to do that and prove to folks around the NHL that while your old pal Nicklas Lidstrom deserves all of the trappings of legend, the Red Wings were, are and always will be about more than one player?
It would be nice to do both, right?
Krupa goes on to make a Kovalchuk-vs-Datsyuk comparison before pointing out that the highly patriotic Datsyuk simply doesn't want to harm any feelings, especially given that he's going to play in Sochi, one way or another, but he does toss off the, "And maybe he'll end his career playing in the KHL, like he's suggested once or twice," which is omething I don't buy as I fully believe that the Wings want to give the present player who has the biggest chance of seeing his number retired one day every opportunity to play for an Igor Larionov-like period of into-his-40's brilliance. There is no reason not to continue offering Datsyuk big money and enjoying the rewards, and when Datsyuk's deal expires after next season, I think the Wings will have already been working very, very hard to hammer out a contract extension with Datsyuk and Gary Greenstin.
*See the Knuble post for edited thoughts on his invite.
Update: Ted Kulfan is re-stating Sunday's training camp details...
The Red Wings are expected to take the ice Sunday from noon to 1:45 p.m. at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, with doors opening at 11 a.m.
On Monday, they'll skate from noon to 1:45 p.m., with doors opening at 11 a.m., followed by an intrasquad scrimmage Tuesday at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5. There will be three 20-minute periods during the scrimmage.
That's all assuming a difficult memorandum of understanding was finished between the NHL and the Players Association. It wasn't as of 7 p.m. Saturday.
When Wings training camp opens, there will be free admission, on a first-come first-served basis, for the first 3,500 fans each day.
Tickets will be handed out once doors open.
Parking is free and concessions will be open. No autograph sessions are scheduled.
And Hooked on Hockey Magazine's Kevin Sporka spoke to Jordin Tootoo--and Justin Abdelkader and Johan Franzen--about the scrappy forward's probable impact, literally and figuratively, with the Wings:
Q: What was it like playing in Joe Louis for the away team, so many times each season?
A: Well there’s a lot of history in that arena. Just having that opportunity to now play on the real side and having that place as a home arena, for me, is gonna be a career high for me. There are a lot of arenas in this league that have a lot of history, but I think Detroit, the Joe, is one place where I get to call home for the next three years.
Q: What do you think it’ll be like playing for a former rival Central Division team?
A: I play to win every night, whatever team I’m on. Doesn’t matter whether I’m playing pickup hockey or for the Detroit Red Wings. I’m a Red Wing for the next three years, and I’m gonna make sure that every team knows that.
Q: Do you think it’ll be hard to jump into the season so quickly with a shortened training camp [and no preseason]?
A: Well we’ve had four months to prepare for this, so if you’re not ready, you’re not gonna play.
When asked if he was ready, he said “Physically I feel great, I’ve been in practices with the [Kelowna] Rockets the last four months. About ten of us in Kelowna are maybe a couple steps ahead of the guys who are coming back. But you can practice all you want; it’s about being in game shape. You know it might take two or three good hard practices with the big men.”
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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.