The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/30/13 at 11:52 AM ET
Updated 2x at 3:08 PM: Once again, the Red Wings' players took part in an informal skate at Joe Louis Arena this morning...
#11 appears to have shorn his locks, too:
The Wings' beat writers are still emptying their notebooks from yesterday's skate, so the Windsor Star's Bob Duff penned an article about Valtteri Filppula's either last or next-to-last skate with the Wings...
Filppula found it more difficult to skate with guys he called teammates for so many years than to be still garbed in a Detroit uniform.
“I think it’s more weird to be at the rink,” Filppula said. “I skated here this week. That’s more weird than wearing the gear. But I’m looking forward to getting some new gear.”
Heading into an entirely new environment after only knowing life as a Red Wing as a NHLer, Filppula acknowledges the uncertainty in front of him as he readies to leave for Florida.
“I don’t know what it’s going to be like yet,” he said. “I’ve only been there a couple times when the Red Wings used to pay there. I haven’t seen it that much. I don’t know what to expect that much except warmer weather.”
Filppula expects the emotional turmoil swirling inside of him will begin to subside once he’s imbedded with his new Tampa Bay teammates at training camp.
“It’s bittersweet,” Filppula said. “I’m really excited. I can’t wait to get there and get started and hopefully do well and do as much as I can to help the team but at the same time, I’ve been here a long time and it’s always tough to leave that way, leaving a bunch of good friends behind. All the guys have become really close to me. We were teammates for a long time. We always had a great group of guys, always a really good team. We made it to the playoffs every year and winning the Stanley Cup here is one thing that’s always going to stand out. I’m definitely going to miss the whole team. That’s tough. But mostly it’s a really positive feeling and I’m happy to be moving on.”
"We always had a great group of guys, always a really good team," said Filppula, 29. "We made it to the playoffs every year and winning the Stanley Cup here is one thing that's always going to stand out. All the guys have become really close to me. We were teammates for a long time. I'm definitely going to miss the whole team."
Although the Red Wings are the only NHL team Filppula has ever played for, the sides were never really close in contract negotiations last season. Filppula wanted $5 million per season and the Red Wings weren't willing to pay him that much. Was Filppula surprised he wasn't able to strike a deal to stay in Detroit?
"I don't know if surprised is the right word," he said. "We were working on it for a long time. It didn't happen. Sometimes it goes like that. Pretty much it was 50-50, 'we'll see what happens.' You never know."
Filppula struggled offensively last season after enjoying a career year in 2011-12, when he had 23 goals and 43 assists in 81 games. Last season, he slumped to nine goals and eight assists in 41 game before getting two goals and four assists in 14 playoff games.
"Losing Fil, of course, is big," Frazen said. "He's been a great player for us for a long time. He'll be tough to replace. He wants to try his wings somewhere else so I wish him the best of luck. We'll try to do the best with what we have here."
With the Red Wings moving to the Eastern Conference, they'll see Filppula and the Lighting four times during the regular season. Filppula will make his return to Joe Louis Arena Nov. 9, the Lighting will host the Red Wings Dec. 12 and Feb. 8 in Tampa and the teams will meet for the final time in the regular season March 30 in Detroit.
"I don't know what it's going to be like yet," Filppula said of Tampa. "I've only been there a couple times when the Red Wings used to play there. I haven't seen it that much. I don't know what to expect that much except warmer weather."
The Wings' prospects offered a few Tweets as well...
Don't forget that the Plymouth Whalers are playing a charitable exhibition game tomorrow in Livonia...
When the Plymouth Whalers open the 2013 pre-season schedule on Saturday, August 31 at 7 pm against Windsor at Eddie Edgar Ice Arena in Livonia, a heartfelt and inspiring back story will take center stage in a big way.
One hundred percent of the proceeds generated in the game benefit the Livonia Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Larry Nehasil Park in Livonia.
Eddie Edgar Arena is located at 33841 Lyndon in Livonia. Tickets for the game go on sale August 1 and run $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Livonia Police Department (734-466-2470), Eddie Edgar Ice Arena (734-427-1280), Compuware Arena (734-453-8400), Livonia Chamber of Commerce (734-427-2122) and the Livonia Community Recreation Center (734-466-2900).
“We’re very excited here, not only with the (Livonia) police department, but the fire department and the entire city organization,” said Livonia Police Chief Curtis Caid. “We really appreciate the support of the Plymouth Whalers and their organization in bringing the game to Eddie Edgar Arena for our benefit. We’re truly honored that the Whalers and the Spitfires are willing to play a game here in Livonia and for this cause.”
The Larry Nehasil Park and the Livonia Fallen Heroes Memorial were created as a memorial to the service of late police officers Larry Nehasil, Ervin Johnston, James Kelley and Sidney Dethloff and fireman Gary Kreski. Ground breaking for the project happened on July 17, with the anticipated completion some time during the summer of 2014.
Fans attending the game will have a direct effect on the completion of the project. Livonia businesses are also stepping up to support the game. Livonia Dermatology – located on Farmington Road, across from the Livonia Police station – is the presenting sponsor for the game.
“The game between the Whalers and Spitfires is going to stimulate growth for the park and the monument – all through donations,” said Caid. “No city or taxpayer funds will be used. An event like this game is critical for the success of the park.”
The Alumni and Celebrity game, slated for September 14th at 7:00 pm, will give fans a chance to bid on custom game worn jerseys by the alumni and celebrity squad. The game, which is comprised of two twenty minute periods, will feature game worn jerseys from Chris Osgood, Dallas Drake, Ken Holland, Mike Babcock, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper, Jiri Fischer, Kirk Maltby, and Mickey Redmond among others. Fans in attendance will be able to bid on the autographed jerseys during a silent auction that will be held before the game and run through the first period. Winning bidders must be present and will have a chance to meet the player and have their jersey autographed following the game.
The players will wear custom jerseys designed exclusively for the event by Red Wings Equipment Manager Paul Boyer. All game worn jerseys will be registered with the Detroit Red Wings for authentication purposes. A final design will be displayed at Centre I.C.E. Arena prior to the event.
All proceeds will benefit Centre I.C.E. Arena and its many community events and programs. The event was created by the Red Wings as a way to help Centre I.C.E. make up for lost revenue due to the lockout last season. All players and participants are graciously donating their time to help offset the lost revenue.
Former Windsor Spitfires right-winger Jordan Maletta will skate for the Detroit Red Wings in the club’s annual NHL Prospects Tournament, Sept, 5-9 at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich. Maletta, 18, who now plays for the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, will attend the event on an amateur tryout basis and will wear sweater No. 64.
Centre Riley Sheahan, who played for the Wings last season, will also participate in the tournament, as will top Detroit prospects such as centre Calle Jarnkrok, left-winger Tomas Jurco, defencemen Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul and right-wingers Martin Frk and Anthony Mantha, the latter Detroit’s top pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft.
Other teams slated to participate in the tournament include the Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers.
In non-charitable news, if you missed it, the Wings will no longer be "presented by Amway" (per a press release)...
he Detroit Red Wings announced that Flagstar Bank has signed a three-year contract to be an Official Partner of the team. The agreement covers a wide range of branding, media, and hospitality opportunities, as well as special incentives for fans.
As part of the agreement, Flagstar will be the official Red Wings credit and debit card provider, checking and savings account provider, and mortgage partner. Flagstar will have exclusive use of Red Wings logo/marks to develop a variety of co-branded consumer and business banking products. The agreement also includes Flagstar branding on practice jerseys and pucks, and Flagstar ATMs throughout Joe Louis Arena.
"This partnership brings together two local organizations-an iconic Detroit sports team and the largest bank headquartered in Michigan," says Olympia Entertainment President Tom Wilson. "We think fans will like it too, with lots of ways to show their team loyalty."
As part of the partnership, fans will have opportunities for "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences at the Joe, as well as the opportunity to participate in Twitterview, a new social media program. Twitterview lets fans take over the Red Wings twitter account and interact directly with a player or Wings executive for 30 minutes every other week during hockey season.
You can't make this shit up: the Deaborn Daniel Lai reports that the former Cheli's Chili Bar in Dearborn's undergoing renovations by its new owners, and it will be called...
Najib Rizk, owner of Le Cigar Emporium purchased the building in February, according to the city's Commercial Services Division.
Talking with Patch.com, Rizk said he plans to renovate the building into a sports/cigar bar.
"It will be similar to Cheli's except we will be adding a cigar lounge," he said.
If all goes to plan, Cheli's will be renamed Nar Bar and will include 30 TVs, and a sports bar menu featuring hamburgers and sandwiches.
Rizk said he hopes to have the business open by the end of the year.
NAR BAR? Seriously?
And finally, I'm still singing for my supper. I need to keep the, "I need to eat and get gas but hopefully not at the same time" portion of the prospect tournament/training camp fund-raiser going for a wee bit longer as I'm definitely not at the break-even mark yet, and that's all I want to do (FTR: no tablet for George; the five-subject notebook is making its triumphant return when there's no place to sit with the laptop).
If you can donate anything--at this point, I'm looking to raise a few hundred bucks and then to call it a day--I'd greatly appreciate it.
I'm sticking with PayPal as folks are familiar with it, and the email address that you use as my "recipient" ID is my personal email address, email@example.com.
Update #0.5: Andreas Lilja spoke with Kvallsposten's Alf Karlsson about playing in the Swedish Allsvenskan as Rogle BK's captain, and the 38-year-old is very happy about playing "at home."
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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.