The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/08/13 at 07:49 PM ET
Most of this evening's Red Wings-related news (and given my travel commitments, this may be the overnight report, folks) touches upon topics that you and I've discussed during the mid-day post and overnight report (as well as the releasing of the Wings' summer development camp roster), but I had to laugh when I read the Wall Street Journal's Mike Sielski suggest that the Wings are going back to an, "Old tricks are the best tricks" model of free agent recruitment:
By signing free-agent forward Daniel Alfredsson to a one-year contract last week, the Detroit Red Wings continued a long-running franchise tradition: acquiring old guys. Alfredsson, who spent 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators and turned 40 in December, will be the ninth 40-something to play for the Wings since 2000. In fact, Detroit could put a pretty fair team on the ice with all those geezers. They include perhaps the greatest goaltender of his generation (Dominik Hasek), three defensemen who either have been or will be inducted into the Hall of Fame (Chris Chelios, Larry Murphy, Nicklas Lidstrom) and a group of All-Star-caliber forwards (Steve Yzerman, Mike Modano, Igor Larionov and Steve Thomas).
If the cardiovascular demands of playing ice hockey at its highest level make it seem unlikely that so many aging players would thrive, think again. The NHL had seven players age 40 or older appear in a game last season, more than the NBA (four) and the NFL (two) combined.
With 10 such players this year, Major League Baseball, thanks to designated hitters and specialized relief pitchers, is still the best place to see old-timers. New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who said he will retire at the end of the baseball season, is the only active player in the four major sports that was born in the 1960s.
Players in the NHL are lasting longer in the league as more coaches use structured and rigorous systems of play that make the experience that older players offer more valuable to teams, according to New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello. "You're able to do things because of your hockey sense and hockey intelligence and be in the right position at the right time," he said.
Does Sielski present a list of 40-and-up NHL'ers? Why yes, yes he does.
In the Hall of Fame discussion, this feels like a repeat: the Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its 2013 induction class at 3 PM EDT tomorrow (on TSN2), and as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, the Free Press's Helene St. James, MLive's Brendan Savage and of course DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose have suggested, it is incredibly, incredibly likely that Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan will be named inductees.
But the Hall of Fame's selection committee's decision to make induction harder, not easier, over the past half-dozen years (up to four players can be inducted during a given year), has yielded a back-log of worthy candidates, and if you're interested in debating whether Scott Niedermayer, Rob Blake, Keith Tkachuk, Rob Blake, Paul Kariya, Eric Lindros, Jeremy Roenick, Sergei Markarov or others should join Chelios and Shanahan (who was passed over last year), the Toronto Star's Jeff Green and NHL.com's Dan Rosen provide fodder for said discussion...
And again, unlike other sports, players enter the Hockey Hall of Fame as *players* whose teams are listed on their plaques, not representatives of a particular organization.
If players *wish* to bring jerseys with them to their induction, they may do so--Larry Murphy chose to have Penguins and Wings jerseys on a nearby dais when he was inducted, Igor Larionov went in on his own, some players try to represent every team, and Chelios has long been on record as stating that he's going to bring his Team USA jersey along instead of stepping on the toes of Canadiens, Blackhawks or Wings fans.
Regarding the Wings' summer development camp and its roster, it should be noted that Dean Chelios is back in attendance after spending last summer at the Hawks' camp, but, as the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane points out, Jake is taking in the Blackhawks experience for the second year in a row:
Jake Chelios knows he brings name recognition with him to the ice as the son of 26-year NHL veteran and former Blackhawks defenseman Chris Chelios.This week, he’s trying to make his own name in Chicago at the Blackhawks prospect camp at Johnny’s IceHouse West. The 22-year-old defenseman from Michigan State was one of 51 prospects invited to the camp, which runs Monday through Friday.
“Growing up here, I don’t think I realized how big of a name it was, but coming back 10 years later, you realize everybody knows the last name,” Chelios said Monday after a morning session. “Chicago’s still a great city to have in our family, so it’s nice to come back.”
Chelios, who totaled five goals and five assists in 42 games as a junior at Michigan State this season, is becoming reacquainted with the city of Chicago for the second year in a row after attending the Hawks camp last year.
“You feel a little bit more comfortable,” Chelios said. “I know a few more people this time coming into it. It’s a little more fun, knowing what to do, not always being lost on the street and wondering where the team bus is."
“It’s awesome to come in here and be with the best team in the world this year and get a little piece of what they got this year.”
Jake said the Hawks-Red Wings playoffs series this year was “awesome” to watch, though he wouldn’t claim a favorite team because of dual allegiances.
“You can’t really ask for a better series, especially the last time they’re going to be in the same division,” he said. “Going into Game 7, there really wasn’t a team I wanted to win or lose.”
Regarding the Wings' prospects, in terms of both those attending the summer camp and those who aren't in attendance, DetroitHockey.net's Clark Rasmussen engaged in a little numerical dissection:
With today's release of the jersey numbers for Detroit's 2013 Development Camp, we can get a look at some of the changes soon to come. Last year we were told that development camp numbers meant nothing but only Luke Glendening (who was on a tryout at the time of the development camp) switched between camp and the Red & White Game in January, so I think it's safe to use these numbers as indicators.
Of immediate note, the recently-signed Glendening has moved from the #72 he wore in camp and the #65 he wore in the Red & White Game (now taken by Danny DeKeyser) to #21. That number had been assigned to [Tomas Tatar], so the fact that Glendening has it now seems to validate the report that he'd requested a switch to #90.
Similarly, Phillippe Hudon has been given #63 (he wore #61 last year), which wouldn't be available if Joakim Andersson were not switching. I'd been expecting Andersson to take #18 as soon as it became available, which is the case with Ian White no longer on the team.
It's worth noting that no number changes were expected for goalies Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum but Mrazek's #34 was assigned to free agent Andrew D'Agostini and McCollum's #38 went to tryout Toni Eskelinen.
He continues at some length and offers a chart of number changes, too.
In the "rankings and assessments" department, via RedWingsFeed, Hockey Prospectus's Corey Pronman penned a ranking of the NHL's 30 teams in terms of their respective pools of prospects, and the Wings come in at #7:
7. Detroit Red Wings: Brendan Smith graduated, and Detroit lacks a truly elite prospect, but the amount of good to very good prospects in this organization is among hockey's best. Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Danny DeKeyser, and Calle Jarnkrok lead the pack, but there are many other names that possess upside beyond them.
And you can guess who penned this slightly sarcastic "grading" of the Wings' free agency moves, among a 30-team list (:
Detroit Red Wings: The Wings missed on Ryan Suter last summer, then entered into a “transition year” that saw them transition right into the conference semifinal. So GM Ken Holland went into the off-season ready to spend – little did he know what opportunity would arise.
Daniel Alfredsson at $5.5 million for one season is a classic “hired gun wants to win Cup” scenario, but this gun has more than a few bullets left. He’s a perfect addition to the top six for this team. So is Stephen Weiss (5 years, $4.9 million) who costs less and might even be a shade better than Valtteri Filppula. Much like Nathan Horton when he left Florida, Weiss has been waiting years for this chance.
The Wings are losing Damien Brunner (bummer) and potentially Dan Cleary.
They still need to address the blue line, but adding two top-six forwards makes Detroit a lot closer to that Cup Alfie’s chasing. Hey, remember when Marian Hossa went to Detroit to chase one? Good times …
And finally, I don't know if this is going to be my overnight report or not. It'll depend on what's posted this evening and how I'm feeling after packing. I'm heading up to Traverse City tomorrow and again, if you want me to focus on certain prospects or go after certain interviews, please let me know via the comments, via email at georgemalik at kuklaskorner dot com or on Twitter. I'm actually a little faster at answering emails and Tweets than comments, but I'm an old fart in terms of preferring email over everything else.
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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.