Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings mid-day news: European possibilities and Zetterberg hard at PR work

Amongst this afternoon's somewhat sparse crop of Red Wings-related news, I believe we still have to take this rumor of a Datsyukian European playing option with salt...


And I would suggest the same regarding NT.se's Ulf Strahle's reiteration that Jonathan Ericsson wants to play with his brother Jimmie on Skelleftea AIK, a Swedish Eliteserien team that can't sign NHL players at this point. Strahle reports that Ericsson's option to play with vita Hasten of the Swedish first division, two steps below the Eliteserien, would also be prohibitively expensive given the cost of insuring his salary:

[T]he insurance cost would be a huge cost for Vita Hasten. It would cost an estimated half million dollars a month for a player of Jonathan's age and contract length.

One other Wings player made the "news" today, but only because he was hard at work promoting his sponsor, Warrior Hockey. Presumptive Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was working out at the 2SP Athletic gym in Madison Heights, MI (Wings fan/artist Josh Howard has a family tie to the gym), as noted by their Twitter account...

As noted by Michigan Hockey Now...

And, of course, as noted by Warrior Hockey, which posted Twitter links to photos on their Facebook page:

Their Facebook page also posted a video of Zetterberg doing push-ups while pulling a weighted sled toward himself!



I found one more picture of a Red Wing in action today...




But the balance of this entry involves Wings prospects, thanks to a Saginaw Spirit season preview from Michigan Hockey (no specific author named) which suggests that goalie Jake Paterson will play a significant role in determining the Spirit's fortunes...

MVP: This has to be [Jake] Paterson, doesn’t it? He’ll get lots of hype being a Red Wings’ prospect and with the stellar season he had a year ago, the Spirit will be counting on even more this season. Paterson is a humble person, but needs to play with a chip on his shoulder on the ice, something he has shown at times. Confidence for a team starts with its goalie and if Paterson can be a leader from the crease and post similar or better numbers to his 18 wins, 3.42 goals-against average and .904 save percentage, Saginaw will win many games and be a consistent team all season long.

As well as a QMJHL preview from Sportsnet's Patrick King, who believes that the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada have a not-so-secret weapon powering their blueline in top prospect Xavier Ouellet:

Any conversation on the top teams this season includes four teams: the Mooseheads, Wildcats, Quebec Remparts and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. There's a lot to like about the Armada, who won the Telus West Division last season. For starters, this team should be extremely hungry after nearly advancing to the third round of the playoffs.

Blainville-Boisbriand positioned itself to contend this season with a flurry of off-season activity. Though they traded many players away, the draft picks acquired should be useful around the Christmas trading period. Their biggest acquisitions were defenceman Samuel Carrier, an overager who should provide plenty of offence, and New Jersey Devils first-rounder Stefan Matteau.

Fourth-year defenceman Xavier Ouellet is viewed by many as the top player at his position. The Armada's captain averaged nearly a point per game last season and could lead all defencemen in scoring this season.

The Armada are solid from the top on down with a management team including Joel Bouchard as general manager, an up-and-coming coach in Jean-Francois Houle and former NHLer Stephane Matteau as an assistant. This team has the potential to bring a championship to the Montreal suburbs.


Regarding the big club in very general terms, I can only hope that this link from Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon proves to be true: if all goes well, the College Hockey News's Adam Wodon reports that the Wings' regular season schedule has thrown a wrench into the CCHA's championship game plans...

The final season of the CCHA will be a unique one in more ways than one. The CCHA Tournament, played each year at Joe Louis Arena, will move to Saturday-Sunday instead of the usual Friday-Saturday. This raises issues with the NCAA Tournament selection process, and forced the league to have discussions with the NCAA and ESPN (which airs the Selection Show) to get it approved.

The change was forced because of a scheduling "oversight" at Joe Louis Arena. The Detroit Red Wings — assuming there's ever an NHL season — were scheduled for a home game on Friday, March 23. The arena tried to get the Red Wings' game moved, but it was too difficult given the dynamics of the NHL schedule.

"To move one team, it impacts so many other teams and scenarios," CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch said.

So the league talked to the NCAA about getting its games moved up a day. Consequently, the NCAA Tournament selections are unable to be announced until after the CCHA championship game is over.

"We worked with (NCAA Dir. of Championships) Kristin Fasbender and the (Men's Ice Hockey) Committee, and the committee worked with ESPN and recognized it was a one-time only situation," Pletsch said. "We were in a tough situation. We're really fortunate that they were able to do what they did for us."

Atlantic Hockey briefly held a championship game on a Sunday, but in that case, it was all but certain that only the champion would make the NCAA Tournament, and make it as the lowest seed. In the case of the CCHA, one game can have numerous ramifications on selection, seeding and placement in the NCAA Tournament, and so the selections cannot be made until after the game is over. As a result, all eyes will be on that CCHA Tournament final.

"That's a spin off benefit, but we didn't plan it that way at all," Pletsch said. "But it's the 42nd and final year of the conference, and it's tough to argue that the conference hasn't been a major player on the D-I scene, so it will be nice that the CCHA's final game ever will be in the spotlight."

It's worth noting that, as MLive's Brendan Savage points out, the Wings' players will have some change in their pockets soon, which strikes me as important given all the issues I'm hearing players have had either renting ice time from their NHL teams' practice facilities or simply because the players who are still practicing haven't hired anyone to sharpen their skates, do their laundry or serve as training staffs:

The Denver Post reported that  "on Oct. 15, all players will receive roughly 8 percent of their 2011-12 salaries back in a lump-sum payment. It will be the return of their escrow money, the amount deducted by owners in case overall player salaries exceed 57 percent of hockey-related revenue. Players had 8.5 percent of their pay withheld in escrow last season, but will get most all of it back in five weeks.

If I was one of the Wings' players, I'd spend that kind of money on equipment and training staffs paid on a month-by-month basis so that practices in Troy didn't involve laundry runs...

And yes, as Savage suggests, the Red Wings' announcement that they're holding a youth hockey camp in Traverse City this weekend is all but a death knell for training camp, as is this:


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Be the first to comment.

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.