The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/19/12 at 04:24 PM ET
Updated with some miscellaneous stuff at 5:56 PM: As noted in the post about Valtteri Filppula signing with Jokerit Helsinki of the Finnish SM-Liiga, the Slovak press caused something of an uproar by announcing that Red Wings prosepct Tomas Tatar was about to sign a lockout contract with Dukla Trencin of the Slovak league.
According to the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, all reports suggesting that Tatar will be suspended or is otherwise in hot water for doing so are simply inaccurate as the Red Wings have given Tatar their blessing to play for Dukla Trencin or any other Slovak team until the AHL's regular season begins...
The Wings have been talking with Tatar’s agent about possibly assigning him to a club in, possibly HKm Zvolen where he played before joining the Grand Rapids Griffins for the 2009-10 season.
“He wants to play in Slovakia until the American League starts,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
“Rather than going to an American League training camp he wants to play in Slovakia and make some money. We’re going to let him,” Holland added. “He can go and play in Slovakia now instead of doing nothing. Grand Rapids doesn’t even start training camp until the 30th of September so basically we can assign him there, he’ll be there for three weeks and then we’ll re-evaluate it in three weeks. The plan is when the American League season starts he’ll come back."
The Wings could also do the same with Gustav Nyquist, assigning him to a club in Sweden until the AHL season starts.
Neither player would be subjected to waivers.
“The American League is probably going to be a similar situation as in 2004,” Holland said. “You look at Jeff Skinner in the American League, (Jordan) Eberle, (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins and a whole lot of others so it’s going to be a great league.”
Pleiness says that the same's true for Damien Brunner, who's skating with EV Zug right now:
Valtteri Filppula is going back to where he came from before joining the Wings organization.
According to a report out of Finland, Filppula, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Wings, has signed with Jokerit.
He joins Pavel Datsyuk and Jakub Kindl to leave for Europe to play while the lockout continues.
All three will rejoin the Wings if there is a season.
Damien Brunner also went back to his team in Switzerland, but will come back to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins when their season begins.
"Rather than going to an (AHL) training camp he wants to play in Slovakia and make some money,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
Tatar, who has two years remaining on his contract, needed the Red Wings' permission. He also needed to be exempt from waivers, which he is for one more season. He will play for HK Dukla Trencin of the Slovak Extraliga.
"You can always assign contracted players to Europe, and he doesn’t have to clear waivers,'' Holland said. "He can play in Slovakia now instead of doing nothing. Grand Rapids doesn’t even start training camp until Sept. 30.''
Holland said the organization will re-evaluate the situation in three weeks.
"The plan is, when the American League season starts, he’ll come back,'' Holland said.
The small but skilled Tatar, the club's second-round pick in 2009 (60th overall), had 24 goals and 58 points in 76 games for the Griffins in 2011-12. He has 64 goals and 147 points in 204 games in three seasons with Grand Rapids.
- I would also like to add that CSKA Moscow's official website is confirming the Datsyuk signing;
- MLive's Ansar Khan is confirming that Valtteri Filppula's plan was to play for Jokerit Helsinki all along;
- The Red Wings' website reports that Ted Lindsay took part in the dedication of a sports walk of fame outside the Detroit Historical Society's museum today;
- And Michigan Hockey Now's Michael Caples posted an article and photo gallery from Henrik Zetterberg's recent photo shoot with Warrior Hockey in Sterling Heights, MI. Zetterberg suggested that he's still trying to get ready for the season:
“I think it’s a normal day,” Zetterberg said afterwards. “This is what we do when we do stuff – we have fun, it goes quick, and you know, I have a lot of fun.”
The Wings’ assistant captain – he is expected to take over the ‘C’ when the season begins – spent roughly four hours with the Warrior group, laughing and sharing stories between video segments. Zetterberg appeared to enjoy the entire experience, which was no surprise to Christine Knight, brand manager for Warrior Hockey.
“This is not our first time working with him, and he’s always been a really accommodating, friendly, outgoing guy any time that we’ve requested time with him,” Knight said. “You can tell he comes from kind of humble beginnings in Sweden and he comes from a small town. I think that’s the really impressive thing about him in person, really just how humble he is, not only about being one of the most recognizable NHL athletes and how he handles that, but how he plays the game, too. He really takes pride in being a two-way player, he’s not a flashy guy; on the ice he gets it done, game after game, that’s what he really takes pride in his game, which is why for us, he’s such an amazing athlete, in our hometown, and such a great match for our brand.”
As far as hockey goes, Zetterberg and the rest of the Wings decided to take a week off from working out collectively.
“Basically we took this week off, and then next week we’re back at it again,” Zetterberg said. “We’re going to skate up in Troy for a bit, and then just see what happens.”
The native of Njurunda, Sweden, said he is still considering returning to his homeland during the lockout with wife Emma Andersson, however.
“I’m staying home, we’ll see how long we’re going to stay,” Zetterberg said. “Hopefully we can find a fair deal soon, and get the season started. If not, we might go over to Europe somewhere and play.”
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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.