The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/28/13 at 12:43 PM ET
Updated 4x with a prospect tourney invite at 3:52 PM: Amongst today's Red Wings-related news stories:
The Wings are slowly but surely heading back to the Joe...
And I don't want to make a stand-alone entry out of this, but it is big news as the Wings have replaced Amway with a different "Official Partner" sponsor in Flagstar Bank:
FLAGSTAR BANK NAMED AN OFFICIAL PARTNER OF THE DETROIT RED WINGS
… Fans to Benefit from Co-Branded Accounts, New Hockeytown Experiences …
DETROIT, MI…The Detroit Red Wings today 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.
"Like the Red Wings, Flagstar is Michigan born and Michigan based,” says Thomas Pitkin, senior vice president of Marketing for Flagstar. “We’re proud of our local roots and excited to align with a beloved and storied team like the Red Wings. With our co-branded products, Wings fans will be able to carry in their pocket a symbol of their amazing team loyalty that runs deep and crosses generations. It’s something they can get only at Flagstar.”
Here comes the photo op:
In promotional news of a different kind, from the Plymouth Whalers:
The Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers are in the middle of training camp and will scrimmage on Thursday and Friday from 9-11 am and 2-4 pm at Compuware Arena.
The scrimmages are open to the public and media.
The Whalers play their first pre-season game on Saturday at 7 pm against Windsor at Eddie Edgar Ice Arena in Livonia.
The game is being played for charity. 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 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).
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.
“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. “The game between the Whalers and Spitfires is going to stimulate growth for the park and the monument – all through donations. No city or taxpayer funds will be used. An event like this game is critical for the success of the park.”
Hockey's Future's Adam Schnepp's look at the Wings' top 20 post-2013 draft prospects, the Free Press's Helene St. James' profiles of Drew Miller and Gustav Nyquist, Michigan Hockey's Steve Klein's U.S. Olympic orientation camp report and the Free Press's George Sipple's profile of Wings statistician Greg Innis are the highlights, as is the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau's MASSIVE list of prospects to watch at the Wings' prospect tournament.
1. Babcock is smart: Mike Babcock is widely considered the best coach in the NHL and he'll be in charge of Team Canada in Sochi for a reason — he's smart. Genius is a word thrown around far too often in sports. The Detroit Red Wings' coach isn't Albert Einstein, but his idea to have players go through ball-hockey walkthroughs because insurance issues kept them from skating was brilliant. He called Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo and Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach Todd Downing to get the ideas down and executed it so that players had a good idea of spacing and systems on the bigger rink and had a blast while learning.
4. Babcock is coy: During two days of ball-hockey walkthroughs, the 40 position players were split up into lines and pairings that Babcock insisted no one should read anything into. He said the lines were put together intentionally to be misleading. So is it a coincidence that the magic pair of Toews and Nash were together? The lefty-righty defensive pairs of Weber and Keith, Doughty and Marc Staal and Jay Bouwmeester and P.K. Subban made too much sense, as did putting Crosby on a line with Penguins teammate Chris Kunitz and Blackhawks do-everything forward Patrick Sharp.
At the other end of the spectrum, this is hard to read, but it ought to be mentioned:
It's essential for anyone who feels like harming themselves to ASK FOR HELP. No one will think that you're "weak" for doing so.
Huge subject-changing swing 2: Pavel Datsyuk engaged in an interview with Sportbox.ru's Maria Komandna, and, well, even through Google-translated Russian, he sounds kind of annoyed--and this looks like yet another interview taken from last Thursday:
- I want to talk to you about the Olympics in Sochi. So many scandals around her, so much money spent ...
- It is important that the Olympics will be in our country. On the other hand, we must not forget that the motto "The main thing is not to win but to participate" is not for us. Still, we will try to win. The main objective is still to come, and not the fact that we will have the Olympics and all. The main thing - to perform well for the athletes and fans.
- How do you feel about the unofficial medal standings? What place in the standings will take our team?
- Do not feel like my hat to throw the competition. Each medal will be worth its weight in gold.
- Do not you think that on the contrary - it is possible to lay a straw?
- I have my own work, I have to execute it. I understand where you're going, you are all interesting questions, sharp.
- How many questions about Sochi recently asked you journalists? Probably hundreds.
- Ask questions, lots of interesting questions.
- Do not even bothered with these issues? It is about how the act's ice hockey team.
- About how to perform hockey team, no questions asked, and asked about the Olympics - Are the objects, what does that mean for Russia. They are interesting to answer.
- When was the last time you were in Sochi?
- There was not a single time.
- The whole country is hoping you perform well in Sochi, with bookmakers Russian team did not consider the main favorite. As far as this interferes with the goods, emotional fatigue that accumulates the Olympics?
- Fatigue will not be a lot of pressure. The closer to the Olympics, so it will be more heated. What will be the closer, the less we will read and think about it.
- The last two weeks in connection with the World Cup in Athletics actively discussing a boycott of the Olympics athletes in connection with that law, which we have already spoken.
- I think one of the athletes will not waste your time in such a wonderful event, go to the policy and to boycott the Olympics.
- The loudest theme of this hockey summer - a move Kovalchuk to the KHL. Kovalchuk unofficially became the highest paid hockey player in the world. How much money are important for a person, when they are already making a good deal? How much is the value of the conditional couple million when you have earned and so dozens?
- This is a personal issue for everyone. Everything is relative. I find it hard to answer. For myself, I can't say that money is not important in life. They just help. They give some freedom of action, but it is not the most important.
- What is most important?
- Friendship, for example, trust.
- We all know that the only thing that the league now has to offer in comparison to the NHL - it's money. Someday CHL players will be able to offer something other than money?
- It is hard to talk about it now. In the future, if the league will grow at least by the fact that good players will buy, probably, the level change. People will look at this league, not as a good earnings.
- What level in the KHL over the NHL right now?
- Not so bad.
- Tell us about your hockey school in Yekaterinburg.
- We miss the 160 children for 10 days.
- No, it's for kids is expensive. With that, we just fight, we must find sponsors and to reduce the costs of children to school could get every child, not just from rich families.
- Do I understand what you're after ending his career in Yekaterinburg want to go back?
- This is one of the options.
- And what are other options?
- Staying in America or move to another location.
- Two of the Stanley Cup. What do you think will win the third?
- Of course, I believe in it. If I did not believe, I would not extend my contract and play hockey. This, I think, is not the limit.
Via another team's Twitter account, in case you were wondering, no, the games from Traverse City won't be streamed online. The Rangers may air some of their prospects' games on MSG Network, but that's only scuttlebutt.
This is "old news," but it yielded a raised eyebrow from me. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford reports that the St. Louis Blues won't be selling single-game tickets to Blackhawks games--or Red Wings games...
“Keep the red out.”
That’s what some fans are dubbing the new policy of at least two NHL teams, including the Blues, regarding the sale of single-game tickets to matchups against their rivals.
Individual game tickets for the Blues’ 2013-14 season will be available starting at 10 a.m. today, but if fans want to attend the club’s three meetings against Chicago or Detroit, or even the season opener Oct. 3, they must purchase a larger ticket package.
For fans who aren’t already Blues’ season-ticket holders, to see the Blackhawks on Oct. 9 or Dec. 28, or the Red Wings on Apr. 13, they will need to buy one of the following: full-season tickets, half-season tickets, a 12-game plan or a hat-trick (three-game) plan. A perk for season-ticket holders, which is part of the club’s plan, is allowing them to buy additional tickets for those specific single games.
Nashville introduced a similar ticket-buying policy earlier this month, specifically involving games against Chicago, and now the Blues are the NHL’s second club to implement such a system.
“Basically, we see too many red jerseys,” said Blues chief operating officer Bruce Affleck, referring to the color of the sweaters for both the Blackhawks and the Red Wings. “We’d like our fans to have an opportunity to buy them before the people in Chicago and Detroit, so that’s what we’re doing. It’s no secret.”
In the "other stuff" vein....
- The Score's Justin Bourne figures that Jimmy Howard and Ryan Miller will be duking it out for Team USA's back-up spot on the 2014 Olympic team;
- According to the Sarnia Observer's Shaun Bisson, Igor Larionov's eagerly watching the OHL's Sarnia Sting's training camp as three of his clients play for the Sting;
- If you missed it, the Toledo Blade confirms that the Toledo Walleye redesigned their website, and the Toledo Blade's Dan Patton added a charitable note to a story about the firm behind the redesign:
The Walleye players and coaches will participate in a golf charity event on Sept. 21. The second annual Fellowship Matters golf outing will take place at Giant Oak Golf Course in Temperance, Mich.
Coach Nick Vitucci and his wife Dawn have been involved with the local charity group that provides meals on a weekly basis for the homeless in downtown Toledo.
“My position as the coach has humbly allowed me to help and assist with different programs here in Toledo that are more important than just wins and losses,” Vitucci said. “[Fellowship Matters] is a great cause and is one that our players participate in during the course of the season.”
The golf outing features a shotgun, four-member team format. Cost is $60, which includes a cart and dinner. Hole sponsorships also are available.
- I hope that Octopus Thrower's Christina Roberts' Wings-themed cartoons will make you smile, and Stevie Roxelle's Biscuit Fox is back!
Perhaps ditto in the Twitter department as Jared Coreau is a master of Vine videos:
Welcome to college life in Upstate New York, James De Haas!
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff gets the zinger of the week, however:
And I've been meaning to ask...
In the "singing for my supper" department, you've been wonderful in assisting me in paying my hotel bill, but how I'll eat, I'm not sure. If you can spare some lunch money, I'd appreciate it:
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.
And finally, having taken all of your constructive criticism into account...
I will try to be "more professional" at times in my reporting, but I'm going to continue sharing my opinions regarding topics as I see fit, and if they rankle you or rile you, honestly, that's not intended, but disagreements will happen.
I am who I am, I work my ass off to do the best job that I can, and if you're not thrilled with the blog, you feel that I've jumped the shark or whatever else, there are other blogs you can go to to access Wings information, and you can always skim and just read the referenced articles if my commentary doesn't thrill you. It's not going anywhere.
I do think that an increased break now and then may help me get though a bit better. After the prospect tourney and main camp, I'm going to take two days off because my brain's going to be fried and my body's gonna be tired. I may try to take a day or a half-day here and there to try to minimize longer-term absences. I'm gonna play it by ear and see how things go.
And yes, I will try to slow down the, "Twelve Tweets saying the same thing" train this season.
I feel a little more refreshed, those of you who who told me that I make a positive difference reminded me why I do my job, those of you who feel that I make a negative difference reminded me that one cannot please everyone all the time, and I'm just going to keep on keepin' on as best as possible.
Update: The Sports Forecaster answered a fantasy hockey question...
Q: Which one of these three quality defensemen would you pick first this year: Montreal's Andrei Markov, Detroit's Niklas Kronwall or Toronto's Jake Gardiner? They're all in the same division this year!
Bruno D. (Brossard, QC)
FI: Well Bruno, they may all be in the same division but they are not at the same stage of their careers. Cross out Gardiner for now. He is an emerging talent with plenty of sleeper appeal heading into 2013-14. If we were talking about a keeper league, we would probably choose Gardiner first. However, for this coming season alone, it's down to Markov vs. Kronwall. Both play on teams that have fairly good offenses and power plays. Both are veterans who have had injury issues in the past, but both were healthy in 2013. Both should play on the No. 1 power play unit and see tons of ice time, but Kronwall is a little younger and might have a bit more gas left in the tank. Therefore, we would pick Kronwall over Markov for the 2013-14 season. We would choose Gardiner over Kronwall in a keeper league.
The Detroit Red Wings said today they have signed a three-year marketing deal with Troy-based Flagstar Bancorp Inc., which will become the hockey team's licensed provider for credit and debit cards, checking and savings accounts, and mortgages.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Flagstar (NYSE: FBC) will have exclusive use of the Red Wings logo/marks to develop a variety of co-branded consumer and business banking products, the team said in a statement.
The bank's name will appear on the team's practice jerseys and pucks, and there will be Flagstar ATMs inside Joe Louis Arena.
Flagstar also will sponsor a new social media program with the team, called "Twitterview," that allows fans take over the team's Twitter account and interact directly with a player or Wings executive for 30 minutes every other week during hockey season, the team said.
Last year, Flagstar inked a "seven-figure" deal to become a presenting sponsor for the University of Michigan's new student rewards and banking education program on a mobile app, and is the presenting sponsor for the university's athletics website, http://mgoblue.com.
The bank also had a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions in 2012 to sponsor a mobile phone app. It also was previously a title sponsor of the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
Other financial institutions with varying levels of sponsorships with the Red Wings, currently or in recent years, include Bank of America, Comerica Bank, PNC Bank and Fifth Third Bank.
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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.