The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/12/13 at 12:29 PM ET
Updated 5x at 3:53 PM: The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation's holding an Olympic orientation camp in Stockholm today and Tuesday, and Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Gustav Nyquist, Johan Franzen and Jonathan Ericsson are all taking part in the event (so none of the players can take part in Pavel Datsyuk's mushroom hunt today).
Aftonbladet posted a slate of Swedish-language video interviews which include a few quips from "Carl Henrik," and Aftonbladet's Linus Norberg transcribed some of Zetterberg's comments (and what follows is roughly-translated Swedish):
The quest for Olympic gold begins here
Zetterberg: "It's been a while since I saw them all."
About half a year from now, the Olympic flame will be ignited. The journey's beginning now.
Sportbladet was there when the hockye stars gathered for the first time.
"It's fun to spend this time together," said Henrik Zetterberg to Sportbladet.
They arrived one by one at the Scandic Sergel Plaza in Stockholm.
Henrik Lundqvist, Henrk Zetterberg, Nilkas Kronwall and the rest of the stars of the Swedish Olympic team are flying to Sochi in February. Only Nicklas Backstrom, Stanley Cup champion Johnny Oduya and the Sedin brothers were missing when the team gathered in Stockholm on Monday afternoon.
"It's been a while since I saw them all, so it's going to be fun to get to spend some time together," says Henrik Zetterberg to Sportbladet.
"We'll see whether all of Detroit's Swedes earn spots"
The Detroit star had three teammates with him at the camp, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Gustav Nyquist.
"This is the first step, we'll see whether all of us are on the final roster. We'll hope for a good start to the NHL season and then we'll see what happens," says Zata.
He'll also have a new Swedish teammate for the upcoming NHL season, Daniel Alfredsson, who's leaving Ottawa for Detroit.
"Surprised when we got him"
He may also be on the Olympic roster, even though he wasn't included on the preliminary team.
"He will bolster our team. I was surprised when we had the chance to get him on our team. But it's cool that it worked out, I spoke to him before he signed with us."
Otherwise, ESPN's Sarah Goldstein's asking fans to weigh in as to which team will dominate the Eastern Conference...
Realignment is going to take a minute to get used to. There is still an Atlantic Division, but it is actually the former Northeast Division with the Wings, Bolts and Panthers added in. And the Metropolitan Division is the old Atlantic Division plus the Caps, Canes and Jackets.
Will these changes make any difference come playoff time?
The Red Wings exceeded all expectations in the postseason after fighting their way into a playoff spot. Less travel combined with more time for the veterans to jell with the young players could make Detroit a contender in the East. And Daniel Alfredsson certainly didn't change teams so he could help the city's economy.
The Boston Bruins aren't going to give up their standing as the conference champion too easily, but they could be sluggish to start the season after a short offseason. And the Pittsburgh Penguins do still have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
How will the old Southeast Division teams do without one free ticket into the playoffs? I wouldn't be surprised to see Alex Ovechkin and company start summer vacation early, especially since the Olympics could take a lot of focus and energy away from the NHL season.
Maybe more interesting than who finishes on top is where the wild cards will go. Looking at last season, you could foresee the Atlantic Division producing five playoff teams. But it is never that easy, and a shortened season may not be the best barometer of future success.
So it is time for you to make the call: Who will reign supreme in the Eastern Conference?
Also in the participatory news department, the Red Wings have advanced to the "elite eight" of the Free Press's "Best Sports Logo in Michigan" bracket...
And in the programming department, "Detroit Sports 105.1 FM" begins programming today. They have a Twitter account up and running, and the Free Press's B.J. Hammerstein posted some notes regarding 105.1 FM's programming:
The Joe Kocur Foundation for Children is proud to announce its 5th Annual Charity Softball Series on Saturday, August 24, 2013 in north Oakland County. Duck Lake Pines Park, located at 1241 N. Duck Lake RD, Highland, MI will again serve as the event venue. Gates open at 10:30 AM for parking.
The day will consist of four games featuring The Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association and MetroDetroit area celebrities. Games are at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM and will also include the Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters from Milford, Highland Township, White Lake and Oakland County. The opening ceremonies will feature singing of the National Anthem, the United States Color Guard, introduction of the celebrities and local law/fire enforcement teams and acknowledgement of the charity organizations.
All proceeds will benefit multiple local children’s charities, comprising of Team Kendal Kidz, Wings of Mercy East Michigan, F.A.R. Conservatory, The Huron Valley Special Olympics and the Shannon Gaber Silverthorn-Lakeland High School Public Service Scholarship (for a student going into Law Enforcement or Fire Fighting). The JKFC is also proud to honor the young life of Fenton student Jackson Gangwer during the program. His loving family will receive a portion of the raised money through ticket sales, auction items and sponsorships in the establishment of a hardship fund and to raise awareness for other families who suffer from devastating losses.
Special alumni hockey and sports guests include Joe Kocur, Chris Osgood, Dino Ciccarelli, Darren McCarty, Manny Legace, Mickey Redmond, Eddie Mio, Wayne Presley, Petr Klima, Brian Smolinski, Jason Woolley, Steve Avery, John Ogrodnick, Dave Lewis, Dave Rozema, Eric Hipple and many more. Due to the overwhelming support of the participants at previous fundraisers, all are attending the event again to lend their time to the causes they hold in the highest regard.
And the Joe Kocur Foundation's Twitter account posted a "teaser Tweet" while I was writing this article:
At the other end of the spectrum, I'm not going to comment on the statements Eugene Melnyk made to the Ottawa Citizen's James Gordon regarding his team's financial situation (via Paul)...
The Red Wings posted a pair of Tweets, and Bill Roose added one to the mix...
And the Wings added a highlight clip spotlighting Jakub Kindl's 2013 season performance to accompany Roose's "By the Numbers" breakdown of Kindl's season:
And, if you missed it, I am starting the less-than-charitable drive to help get my butt up to Traverse City for the prospect tournament and main camp, too.
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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.