The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/14/14 at 12:54 PM ET
For the first time in five days, this afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related stories kicks off with something not involving the Wings' free agency signings or performance.
WWJ posted an interview with White Construction founder W. Bernard White, and W. Bernard offered a peek behind the curtain--if only a quick peek--regarding the follow-on rink's construction:
“We worked on Comerica Park, we worked on Ford Field and now we are slated to work on the hockey arena,” White said. “We’ve achieved the hat trick.”
White’s company is even lined up to build the 20 stations planned for the M-1 rail project in Detroit.
“The shovel is not in the dirt, but it will definitely be going in the dirt. That’s going to be one of the nicest hockey arenas, if not the nicest arena in the United States in my opinion,” White said. “I’m so excited to be working on that.”
We return to the inevitable, however, as CBS Sports' Brian Stubits reviewed the "offseasons" of Atlantic Division teams. Stubits points out that even after the free agency strikeout, the Wings' front office has some loose ends to tie up:
Detroit Red Wings
IN: F Andy Miele (1 year, 2 way), F Kevin Porter (1 year, 2 way)
OUT: F Todd Bertuzzi (UFA), F David Legwand (UFA), F Mikael Samuelsson, F Jordin Tootoo (buyout)
Biggest acquisition: The Red Wings biggest signing was that of their own player in handing Kyle Quincey a two-year, $8.5 million deal. The team reportedly struck out on all other free agents they targeted leading to a rich deal for Quincey. It's not the kind of thing Red Wings fans wanted to see, but that's the reality of today's NHL. There's a lot of competition for top players.
Biggest tasks remaining: There are three big things the Red Wings have to do. Daniel Alfredsson is still mulling a return. He is still an unrestricted free agent, but it is believed he will sign with the Red Wings if he returns. Outside of that, the Wings have to lock up both Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser on new contracts. Both are restricted free agents and both should figure in largely in the future of this franchise.
I get the feeling that the Tatar and DeKeyser contracts will follow the Riley Sheahan form, i.e. a 2-year deal with a slightly lower cap hit than anticipated to "bridge" the way between entry-level deals and "You've-proved-yourself" money. With the 14-15 cap coming in $2 million under estimates, the Wings carrying Daniel Alfredsson's bonuses and a Capgeek-estimated $3.017 million in total bonus overages on this year's cap and both Cleary re-signed and Alfredsson's future in limbo, it seems like a take-less-now-get-more-later kind of summer.
Wise points alert:
Review: The Red Wings offseason hasn't been much to write home about. There were no significant losses from last year's roster, but no additions either. The Red Wings have been reluctant to hand big roles to younger players, but they're going to have to. The inability to attract free agents didn't seem like an anomaly as the organization does not seem to be the hot spot it once was for attracting NHL talent on the open market. The good news is that the Red Wings need to give more space for Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist to grow into the high-end NHLers they look like they can be. That said, the Red Wings have an uphill battle in keeping up with some of the younger teams in the league as well-established veterans begin the downsides of their careers in Detroit.
The look-on-the-bright-side message from just about everyone who's not enveloped in gloom-and-doom involves Stubits' concept that the team can't really afford to do anything less than give Tatar, Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Danny DeKeyser and Brendan Smith ice time given that it didn't make any meaningful signings to support or supplant said players.
In a different kind of, "The Kids Are the Future" vein, Winging it in Motown's Slapshotgoal and Kyle McIlmurray penned an article about James De Haas and Mike McKee. The pair paid their own way up to Traverse City as college hockey playing-prospects, but the big De Haas (6'3" and 210-ish pounds) and bigger McKee (6'5," 250) felt that the investment was worth it:
As with McKee and the rest of the college players (Ben Marshall, Dylan Larkin, David Pope, and a large chunk of the camp invitees) NCAA rules don't allow deHaas to come back for the tournament, nor training camp. It gives the college guys a little different perspective, as deHaas explained...
"[I'm] A little sore, it's been a bit of a grind these past few days but we knew this was our last chance to make an impression and we just wanted to leave a good one. I thought that we did a good job of that today."... "We only get this week, while some of the guys get the tournament and then main camp, so for sure it's huge for the college guys."
The NCAA rules suck, and they're very strict, and I respect the extra effort, expenses, and dedication ti takes for the college prospects to come to camp every year. Do McKee and deHaas think it's worth it?
McKee- "[without hesitation] Oh, 100%. They can't pay for anything so that kind of stinks, but we come up here and spend our own money and it's not a problem for us because this is a great camp, a great experience, and we learned a lot"
deHaas: "Oh, for sure [it’s worth it]. Hopefully one day we’ll have million dollar contracts and a couple hundred bucks for a flight will seem like not too much."
The article continues at length, and it appears that Michigan Hockey's Nick Barnowski's preparing a summer camp photo gallery...
While the Grand Rapids Griffins are reminding us that they posted a slew of summer camp interviews on their YouTube channel:
Otherwise...WDIV's Rob Parker penned a column about the early days of WDFN AM 1130, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary...
And this might be a good "slow day's" viewing, from Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski:
What makes a classic hockey announcer call?
Talk Hockey has attempted to define it in its top 30 hockey announcer calls of all-time, and there are a few common themes.
It has to involve a goal. It has to involve some level of championship competition. The best ones have some amazing quotable moment that lingers on through history – “MAY DAY MAY DAY” or “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?” make the list, to the surprise of no one.
And according to this list, it should involve the baritone of Gary Thorne, the former voice of the NHL in the U.S. during its ESPN/ABC contract. He makes the list seven times; more than Bob Cole (four) and Doc Emrick (two). Some of Thorne’s goal calls are so emphatic that they shake your soul; others stick in your brain long after the games have faded for their ingenuity.
Clear out 13 minutes and watch this countdown. What did they get right, and what did they miss?
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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.