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The Malik Report

Red Wings mid-day quickies: good news on Abdelkader’s contract, ‘a day in the life’ and multimedia

Updated 2x at 4:14 PM: Of brief Red Wings-related note from the land of fevers and lockout worries: MLive's Ansar Khan offers good news about Justin Abdelkader's status as a restricted free agent, and kinda good news if you're one for NHLPA solidarity:

 


The Freee Press's Helene St. James confirms the Abdelkader news...

And I'm not sure if this makes up for placing Jonathan Ericsson in Nicklas Lidstrom's former locker, or Corry Emmerton getting to wear #25 with little more than a shout-out to Darren McCarty (kidding), but this seems likely to precede the banner, statue, etc.:

In multimedia news of a different sort, as Yahoo Sports' Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski noted, NHL teams are forbidden from promoting NHLPA members during lockouts, so it will be very interesting to see how the Wings approach the Grand Rapids Griffins' October 7th preseason tilt at Yost Ice Arena if Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist and damien Brunner are playing for the Griffins at that time, but for the moment, the ever-industrious Will Posthumus and Red Wings TV offer us a bang-up job in the player promotion department via parts one and two of, "Day in the Life" features focusing upon one Jakub Kindl:

 

 

I believe that Posthumus and crew followed Kindl, Drew Miller and Abdelkader's activities at Michigan State University's pro camp, so I hope the Wings allow Red Wings TV to provide something of a deluge of multimedia before things go south at 11:59 PM on Saturday evening...

While I'm catching up (it'll take a week, even though it's "slow"), Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples posted a spiffy feature on Jonas Gustavsson's new gear (the Wings already unveiled his mask art), and all I can say to this Tweet from Bill Roose is, "Holy thigh rise, Batman!"

 

I know, I know, the last stand-up goalie who thinks that 33+1" inch pads are "tall" for his six-foot frame needs to get with the times and understand that Gustavsson's 6'3" and a butterfly netminder, but man, those things are stiff as boards...

And I guess I can add a question to this picture: in addition to having to find their own place to skate if and/or when a lockout happens, will the Wings have to hire their own trainers and medical staffs to look after their bumps and bruises? Here's Gustavsson working out with the Wings' staff, from the Wings:

In news regarding figurative Wings in multimedia form, this is something of a bummer: Yahoo Sports' Sean Leahy reports that several Red Wings "legends" have been taken out of EA Sports' NHL 13 to make room for Dominik Hasek and a few other super-duper alums thanks to $pon$or$hip i$$ue$:

The addition of five new Legends, including female stars Angela Ruggiero and Hayley Wickenheiser, is great until you realize Ray Bourque, Chris Chelios, Steve Yzerman, Borje Salming, Patrick Roy and Gordie Howe are gone. Licensing agreements change every year, but it was still disappointing to see the number of Legends decrease in NHL 13.

If you were wondering whether having "former Red Wings prospect" on your resume matters, a less than legendary figure in Julien Cayer has signed with the ECHL's Reading Royals;

I haven't been able to keep up with very much during my hiatus, but I continue to read Stevie Roxelle's Biscuit Fox, and I suggest that you might want to do so as well;

And via RedWingsFeed, the Utica (New York) Observer-Dispatch's Don Laible conducted a two-part interview with Wings VP Jimmy Devellano, who will likely be the one who rubber-stamps a lockout vote tomorrow, but the first part of his interview includes one quote...

You know what kind of a pro Jimmy is?  Last Saturday, our conversation lasted just shy of one hour; Devellano speaking from his condo in his hometown of  Toronto,Canada ( Jimmy has 3 condos - Sarasota,Detroit, and Toronto ),  In most, if not all, instances during an interview, one of the writer or reporter's main responsibility is to make the guest feel comfortable - right from the start, from hello.  Well, in the case of my talk with Devellano,69, senior vice-president and alternate governor of the Detroit Red Wings, quite the opposite took place.  Jimmy had much to say about his connection to the Mohawk Valley.

"I took in a couple games in Utica, when the Devils played in the AHL ( American Hockey League ) ", Devellano tells.  "Also, when I was with the Islanders, since I was based in Toronto, I would make a couple trips during the season to Long Island.  I didn't want to make the trip in one day, so I'd stop over for the night in Utica."

And the second consists of the following, for now, anyway:

Check back later today for part two of our conversation with 30-year employee of the Detroit Red Wings Jimmy Devellano.  He fills us in on how and who gave him his first break to be part of the NHL, how he was fired for the first and only time in his  40-plus year career, what it feels like to win your first Stanley Cup championship, and how his expertise in sports management was requested and granted to help out a struggling major league baseball team.  Jimmy has a million stories and later today we will pass along a sampling.  Thank you again for your continued support of this blog.

Rock on, Don, keep 'em coming at your own pace (not that I'm complaining...I've been too sick to attend the few Wings practices that've taken place, and again, I'm sorry for falling down on the job, but at least the receptionist at my doctor's office says that "everybody" has the bug that's got me).

Regrettably, we may have time on our hands as soon as tomorrow afternoon. And again, I'm really sorry about my absence. Thus far, I seem to have dodged September depression, but this virus I've been battling has laid the whole family out for the last three weeks, and as seems to be typical, I'm taking the longest to recover, so I will remain at under 50% for the next couple of days.

Update: Here's more on Justin Abdelkader's contract situation, from the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Justin Abdelkader said he's closing in on a new contract with the Detroit Red Wings. He wants it done before Saturday's expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the players' association. The owners are expected to lock out the players Sunday.

"Hopefully, it's going to be in the next day," Abdelkader said after working out at Joe Louis Arena today. He was among nearly a dozen Wings headed to New York to meet with the union.

Abdelkader, a restricted free agent forward, wants a longer-term deal.

"We're hoping to get something done before the 15th," he said.

Abdelkader, 25, isn't sure whether he'll go to Europe to play, unless the labor dispute goes on for months and months.

"When you go over there, you've got to insure your contract, too," the Michigan State alumnus said. "You can't just go over there, and something happens. We'll see."

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan is also confirming:

Update #1.5:

Update #2: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted that Oxford and Lake Orion's high school teams will tangle at the Hockeytown Winter Festival (per Dan Shriner), and he also pondered which player might take flight along Henrik Zetterberg's wing now that Jiri Hudler is gone. Mikael Samuelsson and Damien Brunner are the current candidates...

"I think management has done a good job to address that and we have Sammy and we have Brunner, two new guys who are really good at shooting the puck,” said Zetterberg, of possible replacements to play opposite Valtteri Filppula.

...

Even though Brunner is new to the North American game and smaller rink sizes, he has shown improvement over the last few seasons in Switzerland. The 26-year-old spent the last four seasons with Zug in the Swiss League, producing 78 goals and 112 assists in 167 games. And he recorded a league-best 60 points and 36 assists in 45 games last season.

Brunner drew high-praise from Wings coach Mike Babcock at the World Championship in Finland. The Wings signed the undrafted free agent to a one-year, two-way contract in July, and though he isn’t big (5-foot-8, 180-pounds) he is fast and deceptive, which made an impression on Zetterberg this week.

“I don’t know much about him,” Zetterberg said. “He played against a lot of my friends back in Switzerland, and they said he’s really good. Now that I’m skating with him I see that he’s real slippery and can really fire the puck.”

On the flip side, the Wings already know what to expect from Samuelsson, who played four seasons in Detroit and helped the Wings win the 2008 Stanley Cup.

“The good thing with him is that you can put him anywhere and he will be good,” Zetterberg said. “When he was here last time he went from the third line to the first line to the second line and third line, so you can always put him where he is needed. He will always be on the power play because he has a great shot and good vision. We just have to see how it all falls out because we’re going to have three good lines, four good lines this year.”

Samuelsson’s diversity and familiarity with the way the Wings play should be a huge asset for any line that he plays on this season. His presence in the Wings’ dressing room that features several fellow Swedes – whom he’s quite close to – like Zetterberg, Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, will also help him transition back onto the team.

“It may sound cocky, or whatever, but I think – I played against them – and I know how they play and I know how I play,” Samuelsson said. “I wanted to come here because I believe it’s a fun way to play the game. In my mind, I think this is the way you should play the game, and that’s what I like. So I don’t think I’ll have any problems to adjust to that. I don’t think it should take too much time either.”

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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.