The Malik Report
Red Wings mid-day news: on the inevitability of Colaiacovo, waiver and alumni news and a Kindl video
by George Malik on 09/13/12 at 11:53 AM ET
Updated at 2:05 PM: Today reminds me of the Parise/Suter Watch days: we're all essentially in, "Wait-and-siege" mode until the NHLPA's player meetings are breaking up presently, and the NHL's Board of Governors rubber-stamp an impending lockout later this afternoon, pondering the respective culpabilities of both sides (Sportsnet's Stephen Brunt and Yahoo Sports' Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski offer more on that subject this afternoon), there is some Red Wings-related news trickling in.
First and foremost, MLive's Ansar Khan spoke to WDFN's Matt Sheppard this morning, speaking of the potential signing of Carlo Colaiacovo as if it was just as inevitable as the Wings' eventual re-signing of Justin Abdelakder to a 4-year contract extension (see: the overnight report).
Khan also touches upon the Wings' potential ability to predate upon teams that may find themselves in personnel and cap trouble if there's an across-the-board salary cap rollback, the lockout's potential damaging effects and the state of the Wings' defense in a 12-minute interview...
Secondly, there is personnel news to report, of a sort, and it's intriguing in its own way. Per RDS's Renaud Lavoie:
This season more or less Pare's last chance to try to "stick" with the Wings, but in terms of Pearce? With Petr Mrazek and Thomas McCollum splitting duties in Grand Rapids, at least to start, Pearce is ticketed for the ECHL's Toledo Walleye, and I'm not sure whether he's got a spot in the organization at all once the season finally gets underway because Joey MacDonald's one-way contract can still be buried in the AHL if he's waived...If and only if an NHL season is about to get underway.
For now, MacDonald will be in limbo, and I do wonder whether he's one of those low-risk, middling-reward players who can cash in in the kind of lower to mid-tier player mobility touched upon earlier this morning, perhaps heading to Europe for a short jaunt.
And if you're wondering how rules apply to players on entry-level and two-way deals, ESPN's Craig Custance provided the lowdown on "how the system works" in an Insider-only blog entry:
Players who are waiver exempt (typically those on an entry-level deal who have played less than 160 NHL games) have to be assigned to the AHL before Sept. 15 to be eligible to play in the American League during the lockout. It gets interesting for players who aren't waiver exempt. Those players have to clear waivers before Saturday in order to be eligible to play in the AHL, and NHL general managers will be watching the waiver wire closely in the next couple days to see if there are any players worth grabbing.
"A lion's share of them will be the usual suspects. Guys that nobody is going to claim," said an NHL source. "But it'll be interesting to see if somebody is asleep at the wheel."
In the alumni department, TSN is replaying games from the 1987 Canada Cup final between Russia and Canada, and if you do get TSN or know of a quasi-legal way to access it, two Wings alums who took part in the series will be discussing the historic "summit" this evening:
To mark the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest hockey tournaments of all time, TSN is delivering re-broadcasts of all the Final games from the 1987 Canada Cup.
The games are all digitally re-mastered with each game featuring a marquee panel of Team Canada coach Mike Keenan, Team Canada defenceman and Hockey Hall of Fame member Larry Murphy and Team Soviet Union centre and Hockey Hall of Fame member Igor Larionov.
Coverage concludes with Game 3 tonight on TSN at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. You can also chat live with Larry Murphy on TSN.ca's In-Game blog during the broadcast.
In the alumni department, kinda sorta, Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano spoke to the Utica (New York) Post-Observer's Don Laible about, um, very little yesterday, and Laible offers more substantial content in the second part of what will be a 3-installment interview, via RedWingsFeed:
Devellano, to this day, remains amazed at, in eight seasons, the Islanders went from being so bad to capturing their first of four straight Stanley Cups. In contrast to Jimmy's work as GM of the Red Wings after arriving in '82, it took him 15 years to bring the Cup back to the 'Motor City'. "Thank God, they ( Detroit Owners Mike & Marian Ilitch ) gave me time", Jimmy recalls.
When addressing my concerns on how has drafting players changed from when the Blues joined the NHL to having 30 teams, Devellano labels the annual process of selecting players as being 'spread out'. "When I was with the Islanders, the draft was a different bird", Jimmy tells " Getting one top notch selection was possible, however, by the time you get a second selection, with today's draft, team's really have to do their homework. But when clubs win the Cup, it all appears well worth whatever sacrifices were called for.
"The Islanders won four straight Cups, and should have captured a fifth", according to Devellano. In the 2009 Cup finals, Detroit lost the series in seven games. This was the Wings 24th appearance in the Finals, and were defending Stanley Cup champions, having won it all in 2008. The Wings were up two games to nothing. The thinking of many was, it would be hard for Pittsburgh to win four out of the next five games. However, the Penguins would go onto win their fourth Stanley Cup in their franchise history. "When we ( Red Wings ) lost 2-1 in game seven, that will stick with me forever", Devellano remembers. "I'm greedy and don't mind telling so. That championship would have been my eighth Stanley Cup ring".
Since Jimmy's life story was published in 2008 ( http://www.wiley.com ), by his own count, Devellano remembers receiving on 20 occasions, letters from young people wanting to copy his avenue, as a voulnteer, to entering the NHL. Understanding the fans' sincerity, and not forgetting when he was in their shoes, Devellano didn't write a response, but instead he telephoned each. "They all seemed nice, but the more I delved into things, details, universally, when I told them just what I did, they seemed to have something else on their plate to go any further", Jimmy said. " I explained to all of them them how hard it would be to duplicate what I did. It's a different NHL than when I began. I caught a break and acted on it".
Obviously, when Jimmy Devellano drafted Steve Yzerman number one, foiurth overall, in the '83 draft, he had done his homework and had another plum to build the Wings' future on. Yzerman,now the GM in Tampa, for 22 seasons he played in Detroit. For more than 1,300 games, Stevie Y wore the 'C', as the Wings leader. Devellano brought the future hall of famer into the NHL, and he also played a role in mentoring him, to become the executive that he is today.
Oof, unnecessary comma splicing and prepositional phrasing ad nauseum...Says captain run-on sentence...
And finally, the Red Wings' players will probably take part in their last practice at Joe Louis Arena until the lockout ends on Friday (the Wings may or may not allow the players into the rink on Saturday as the lockout will officially start at 11:59 PM EDT on Saturday evening), and Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski noted NHL teams cannot promote players during said lockout, so it's a bit ironic that the Wings are wrapping up their "Day in the Life" series profiling one Jakub Kindl today:
Red Wings TV"s Will Posthumus did a bang-up job and a half on the series...and here's hoping that he and a good chunk of the Wings' web staff and front office won't be laid off until the lockout ends.
But the likelihood of th Wings' web staff, ticket sales staff and of course broadcasters and game-night employees avoiding, "Don't call us, we'll call you when we need you back" emails and interviews are as likely as the NHL and PA coming to a CBA agreement today.
Update: From the National Post's Bruce Arthur, irony in NHLPA meeting form, via Henrik Zetterberg:
- MLive's Brendan Savage is also confirming the Pearce/Pare moves...
Pearce, 25, had a 3-8-1 record, 3.68 goals-against average and .871 save percentage in 19 games for the Griffins last season. He also played two games in Toledo, going 1-1 with a 4.05 GAA and .879 save percentage.
Pare, 25, had 16 goals, 36 assists and 18 penalty minutes in 75 games for Grand Rapids last season.
They'll be joined in Grand Rapids by defenseman Brendan Smith and forwards Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner if NHL owners lock the players out at midnight Saturday as expected.
Smith, Nyquist and Brunner are exempt from waivers.
Brunner said he'll return to Switzerland and play a few games with his hometown team Zug before joining the Griffins.
- Via RedWingsFeed, very conveniently, Griffinshockey.com's Kyle Kujawa posited an article discussing new Griffins coach Jeff Blashill's hockey philosophies in terms of attempting to restore the Griffins' roar non Michigan Hockey's website:
“It’s a fresh start and guys change from year-to-year,” said Blashill. “I’ve had a lot of conversations to learn about them not just as players, but as people. At the end of the day, you make your own decisions based on what you see on a daily basis.”
A lockout would guarantee that Grand Rapids returns the top offensive talent that helped it finish second in the AHL in scoring one year ago. The team will benefit from Gustav Nyquist, who would likely start the season in the NHL, as well as Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar, who would get long looks during training camp and potentially serve as Detroit’s top injury call-ups.
“We want to make sure that all of those guys aren’t just putting up points but are complete players who are doing all the things that it takes to win hockey games,” he continued. “That’s certainly scoring and making plays, but it’s also winning puck battles, tracking back into your end, playing defense and blocking shots. We want to make sure everyone’s doing that.”“
The AHL presents unique challenges in itself, but there are a lot of similarities in terms of turnover and your team changing on a weekly basis,” explained Blashill.
“Chemistry is an important thing, and that’s something you don’t know until you get going. We have a number of quality, quality players. The important thing to understand for us is the difference in talent between the top and bottom teams is not very much. That’s why I truly believe we’ll dictate our own success.”
"We certainly need our goaltending to be great – it’s impossible to have success if you don’t have great goaltending,” said Blashill. “I know Thomas McCollum from coaching the United States World Junior team. I know Jordan Pearce from coaching against him while he was at Notre Dame. And I watched [Petr] Mrazek play and everyone has great things to say about where he’s at coming into his pro career. Those are all guys to be excited about.”
- And again, via RedWingsFeed, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the NHL is now promoting alumni, and Ken Daniels has narrated a profile of one Red Kelly:
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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.