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Red Wings mid-day news: 13 more minutes of Babcock; Samuelsson and arena and Mantha fun

Via the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa, it appears that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made the radio rounds, this time speaking with Calgary's The Fan 960's "Boomer and Rhett," and he was emphatic about his contract status and the rampant speculation about him jumping to Toronto (and he expanded upon last night's comments to RDS about one Anthony Mantha). You can listen to the interview here...

And here are "Boomer and Rhett's" Tweets:

Babcock in Quebec checking out Wings prospect Anthony Mantha: "I always like 6'5 guys who can score. We've never had a prospect like this."


Babcock on #MapleLeafs rumours: "That's not right for Randy Carlyle, and I'm real comfortable in my situation."


Babcock: "If you're thinking about moving, you'd better make sure the grass is greener on the other side - I've found it's usually not."

Here's Sportsnet's Jeff Simmons' annotation of the interview...

“Well, that’s not right for Randy Carlyle,” Babcock told Boomer & Rhett Wednesday on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. “So let’s get that straight. The second thing is, I’m real comfortable with my situation. I’ve been working for an owner and a general manager for nine years. We have a good relationship.”

The Red Wings bench boss does not have a deal beyond the 2014-15 season but does not appear to be concerned with his contract status.

“When I went to the media and they asked about my contract, I actually was a little surprised,” Babcock said. “And I just made it very clear. I said I’m real comfortable, and I am totally. When you’ve been there as long as I have, if they don’t want you, they shouldn’t employ you. I’m totally good with that. When you get a new job, you go in and you sign a four-year deal. I think it’s a lot easier for a team who you’re starting with to give you a four-year deal. When you’ve been there 10 years and you’re asking for a new four-year deal, I think that makes it hard on them.”

Despite the lack of long-term security, Babcock said he has a strong relationship with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and is fond of the hockey team they are building in Detroit.

“I love what we’ve got going on in Detroit. I think we’re really building a program,” he said. “I also think as a head coach, when you’re looking for opportunity out there and if you’re thinking of moving, you’d better make sure the grass is greener on the other side. What I’ve found in life is it usually is not.”

In the, "There's also very little that's new here" department, if you want to read the Windsor Star's Bob Duff talk about Mikael Samuelsson, enjoy...

Samuelsson felt by then that the Wings had given up on him, even though they didn’t put that sentiment into words.

“They talked to me for a little bit, but I didn’t expect or wanted them to talk,” Samuelsson said. “They talked through actions. That’s how they talked. It’s not like they said, ‘You’re still a good player.’ It’s the actions that spoke more than words.”

Samuelsson, 37, isn’t certain what his future in the game might be.

“That I don’t know,” Samuelsson said. “I need to take some time and do some good thinking about what I want to do. It’s not just me. I’ve got three kids too to take care of and what’s the best for them?

“I still think I can play hockey. That’s the bottom line. Whether it’s going to be here or somewhere else, today I don’t know what’s going on.”

Ditto for the Metro Times' Ryan Felton's cover story about the Ilitches' machinations regarding the follow-on rink...

Downtown Detroit is bustling with activity. Baseball fans across the region have flooded into town, packing portable grills, beer coolers, and happy faces. The Detroit Tigers are set to play the Kansas City Royals in the team’s home opener before a sold-out crowd at Comerica Park. After the winter that metro Detroit just went through, it’s a beautiful day for baseball.

Down the road, inside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones calmly acknowledges the festivities while calling a special council meeting to order. “It’s Opening Day,” she says, before adding, “It’s going to be a great day.”

A Detroit resident in the audience shouts at Jones. “It’s not gonna be a great day if you’re going to give away Joe Louis Arena!”

Though downtown may have been in a celebratory mood, Detroit City Council had an important task at hand. It was about to decide the fate of the Joe, a city-funded facility the Detroit Red Wings have called their home since 1979.

The irony that the decision coincided with Opening Day appeared lost on the room: It happened to be the last day before an agreement to construct a new hockey arena for Tigers owner Mike Ilitch’s other sports franchise, the Red Wings, would expire.

And in the "new news" department, with the World Championships beginning tomorrow Friday, IIHF.com's Andy Potts' Czech Republic team breakdown suggests that Jakub Kindl will be able to open some eyes...

Defence: It’s an almost entirely new-look defence for the Czechs in Minsk, with only Roman Polak arriving with prior World Championship experience. A hard-hitting fixture for the St. Louis Blues, he and fellow NHLer Jakub Kindl (Red Wings) will bear much of the responsibility in front of the Czech net.

Lev’s success this season sees two of its players, Ondrej Nemec and Martin Sevc, called into the roster as well, while fellow KHL man Jan Kolar has made himself a fixture at Donbass Donetsk. While all of these men are noted for an uncompromising style, they lack big scoring contributions, a potential weakness which may hamper the Czechs against top opposition.

And RedWingsCentral reacted to Mantha's 2-goal, 1-assist performance last night in Val-d'Or and Babcock's trip to see Mantha (the RDS interview's a must-watch) as follows:

1/4: Mike Babcock spoke to RDS while watching Anthony Mantha score two goals and one assists in the QMJHL playoffs on Tuesday. Quotes ...


2/4: "We haven't had many kids ever step into our lineup. I don't know that he can. He probably ends up in Grand Rapids like most kids do."


3/4: "But good for him if he's even in the equation. Each kid is different. We've never had anybody with that size that scores like that."


4/4: "Does that make his track quicker, I don't know the answer to that question. It's just a matter of time. We'll see what happens."


The very fact that Babcock travelled six hours north of Montreal just to watch Mantha play tells you he's very much "in the equation."


Here's our Anthony Mantha prospect profile. It's pretty beefy and loaded with quotes, including Babcock's. http://www.redwingscentral.com/prospects/anthony-mantha/

Oh yeah, by the way, per Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford:

Montreal’s front office is none too pleased about another alleged spearing incident involving Milan Lucic and Alexei Emelin, according to Sportsnet.

Lucic, who was fined $5,000 earlier this postseason for spearing Detroit’s Danny DeKeyser, appeared to jab Emelin in the stomach with about 12 minutes remaining in last night’s 4-2 loss — but wasn’t penalized on the play.

Here’s video of the incident:

Wheee, testicular cancer, it's a real issue, folks:

Meanwhile, in Boston...

Update: Do you think that Gustav Nyquist is one of 10 players "to watch" at the World Championships? Yes, the Canadian Press, you might have a point:

Gustav Nyquist, Sweden

Nyquist was the NHL's hottest scorer for a stretch following the Olympic break, then had zero points in the Detroit Red Wings' five-game first-round playoff loss to the Boston Bruins. He also had zero points in six games in Sochi. But this time, there's more of an expectation for Nyquist to put up numbers as one of just two Swedish returnees.

Nyquist happened to play about 3-6 minutes as Sweden's 13th forward, too...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



DJ_Bean is a tool. Just because he’s done worse, doesn’t make this any less of a spear.
So this time, he tried re-arrange someone’s intestines instead of nuts.

Posted by George0211 on 05/07/14 at 12:17 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Finally saw video of what is being called a spear from Lucic. Wasn’t a spear. He’s done far worse.
— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) May 7, 2014

on this (bold) he is correct. it should have been classified as a slash due the swinging of the stick, but it was an upward motion so i suppose everyone wants to call it a spear. ok, still a low blow

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 05/07/14 at 12:40 PM ET


“Samuelsson felt by then that the Wings had given up on him”

Duh? How’d he figure that out?

“Whether it’s going to be here or somewhere else, today I don’t know what’s going on.”

Here? I can buy into the don’t know what’s going on part though.

My guess is he figures it out by January and gives them the date he’d like to have his number retired.


Posted by leftwing on 05/07/14 at 02:47 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I get the feeling that Samuelsson will do what Andreas Lilja did—he’ll go back to Sweden and he’ll play for another three to five years.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/07/14 at 02:49 PM ET

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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.