The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/15/14 at 02:17 AM ET
The Red Wings' media corps and out-of-town media both did a fine job of covering the stories regarding Ken Holland's signing of a four-year contract extension on Thursday, but in light of Holland's evening remarks to MLive's Ansar Khan and the Windsor Star's Jim Parker, I'd figured that I wouldn't find anything else of note overnight.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Holland actually addressed the team's youth movement (though he didn't explain how exactly a youth movement and re-signing Daniel Cleary, giving him a $1 million bonus for playing 10 games and a $250,000 bonus for signing a promise-keeping contract and giving Kyle Quincey a half-million-dollar raise over the course of 2 more years in July jibes with the team's willingness to play "the kids" to the point that Luke Glendening is out of waiver options) over the course of an interview with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
“With the injuries we’ve suffered over the last couple of years, it’s been the depth of the organization that’s allowed us to stay in the race,” Holland continued. “It gives me optimism that we’ve got the depth in the organization we need. You’ve got to draft and develop in order to get that push from players. We have a lot of young players that look like they have a chance of being good players.”
Holland also suggested that "the kids" might help remedy the team's status as a one-playoff-round-and-done team...
“We want to continue to be a playoff team, but we want to make noise in the playoffs,” Holland said. “That’s what motivates me.”
Detroit has won just one playoff round over the last three seasons.
“We want to go on a longer playoff run and compete for a Stanley Cup,” said Holland, who is 58 years old. “Our goal is we want to compete for our division and at the same time push some of our younger players and hope they play their way into the organization.”
And after issuing his now-customary, "We'll wait to camp where we can sit down face to face" explanation as to why he hasn't signed Mike Babcock to an extension yet, despite the fact that the coach says he won't negotiate contract turkey during the regular season, he praised Babcock's bench management:
"I want him back behind the bench,” Holland said. “I respect the job he does for us. I respect his work ethic. I respect the job he did putting the young players into our system and sticking with them. I think if you write down a list of the best coaches in the National Hockey League he’s on that short list. I think many would have him on the top of that list.”
Something something then why did Cory Emmerton, Jordin Tootoo, Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi and Cleary win jobs by default last fall something something and Gustav Nyquist remained in Grand Rapids until December something something playing Glendening into non-waiver-exempt status at the expense of Tomas Jurco most likely grumble mumble let's hope the annual summertime bring-the-vets-back mentality changes come September when people might win and lose jobs based upon merit something something.
Not that I've become suspicious of the coach and GM's words given their annual summertime actions or anything.
But hey, Twitter "Art Time With George" is such a hit that I celebrated Holland's extension by actually having Little Caesars' deep dish pizza (at the behest of the mom and aunt, too) and doodling a few MS Paint doodles:
(It's worth noting that Holland's contract extension begins this season, so he's not going to "play out" the final year of his previous contract at previous pay, too)
While the Red Wings attempt to counter their coaching and front office brain-drain with a little stability, former Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek is embarking upon a journey to help the Korean national ice hocey team get up to IIHF snuff to earn a spot in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang (IIHF president Rene Fasel has suggested that the Koreans need to move up from 23rd to 18th place in the IIHF rankings to be handed a by-default spot in the 12-team Olympic tournament).
Paek spoke with the New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein regarding his tasks at hand, and he's certainly employing a Babcockian mentality:
“I believe in the process,” Paek said by phone from his home in Grand Rapids, Mich. “It’d be great to say, ‘Yeah, we’d like to move up into the top 16 in the world first, and hopefully make the Olympics.’ But if it’s not the Olympics, so be it. What’s important is that we’re competitive and improve every day.”
Paek is starting almost from scratch. There are only 2,100 registered hockey players in South Korea, including just 120 adult males. (The United States has 138,000 adult male players.)
Although South Korea has had impressive success at recent Winter Games — 26 gold medals since 1992, 21 in short-track speedskating — it has never qualified for Olympic hockey.
“The 2018 Olympics is only one part of my job,” Paek said. “A big part is to build hockey in Korea from the grass roots up, to look 10, 20 years down the road, where we can develop and grow as a hockey nation. About 1,400 of our players are kids — how do we develop those kids?”
Paek also shed some light as to why his family emigrated from Korea to Canada when he was a child (yes, I looked it up at 2 AM, emigrate = to leave a country to live in another, immigrate = to move to a country to live permanently; it's been a stressful week family-wise, so my prose is a little loose right now), and Paek discussed his desire to recruit the only other Korean-born NHL'er as a member of his coaching staff, as did said potential coach:
[Richard] Park, 38, said he was deciding whether to continue his playing career in Europe or North America, take an off-ice position with an N.H.L. organization, or join the South Korea staff. He will accompany Paek to Seoul this week.
“Jim was a huge role model for me growing up,” said Park, who was 13 or 14 when he first met Paek and later played alongside him for a season in the old International Hockey League. “We always will share that bond, the fact that we came up in a sport that’s not very prominent in our culture, and we both kind of made it, right? I would like to think that we’ve been a source of inspiration to the Korean people.”
However inspiring Paek may be, he must still get results.
“It would be nice to set up something like the junior system in Canada and the United States in Korea, but we’ll have to see if we have the resources,” he said. “In the meantime, maybe short track is a great option. You see these young kids, their skating ability, the aggressiveness they have. Transfer that to hockey — why not?”
It's worth mentioning that, as of yet, Jeff Blashill and the Griffins have yet to replace Paek or now-University of Lethbridge coach Spiros Anastas with new assistant coaches.
Closer to home, "Business of hockey and hockey-related business" version: According to the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar, some of the historic buildings in the footprint of the "District Detroit" project will survive the process, but one Albert Kahn-designed building (and most of Detroit's most historic edifaces are Albert Kahn-designed) probably won't make it:
One year after the former Charlevoix Hotel near Grand Circus Park was demolished, the city is taking legal steps to tear down the empty historic building next door: the Albert Kahn-designed Park Avenue Building.
The building is in one of the five new “neighborhoods” planned in a $650 million, 45-block district that would be anchored by the new home ice for the Detroit Red Wings as well as create hundreds of new apartments, offices and other mixed-use retail.
The 12-story Park Avenue Building is on the northwest corner of West Adams Avenue and Park. It has been empty since at least the late ’90s. The building was designed by famed architect Kahn in 1922, according to the city of Detroit planning department.
Last week, the city of Detroit Law Department described the condition of the building as “open, vacant and dangerous,” in a court filing in Wayne County Circuit Court. “It is the very definition of irreparable harm to the public,” the court filing said.
The building has a crumbling brick veneer, a damaged fire escape that could potentially fall off, and periodic open doors on the ground floor, the city attorneys said in the court filing.
The city wants Wayne Court Circuit Court Judge Robert Colombo Jr. to declare the site a public danger and issue a preliminary injunction against the private owner and order immediate demolition. Court records identify the owner as Ralph Sachs, doing business as Triangle Management.
Aguilar continues, explaining that the Park Avenue Building stands in the way of the "Columbia Park" neighborhood, and he reminds us that the groundbreaking ceremony for the project should occur sometime in September, too:
Olympia Development hopes to break ground on the $450 million arena along with another $200 million in development as soon as possible. Some construction could begin next month. The 650,000-square-foot sports and events center and much of the development are slated to open in the summer of 2017.
I'm pretty sure that I'm distantly related to Judge Colombo via my mom's Italian roots, too, but that's just me rambling.
Closer to home, "Ice Bucket Challenge" version: Tyler Bertuzzi got a haircut and a shower...
And Justin Abdelkader got in on the fun, too.
Again, it would be swell if you actually visited http://www.alsa.org to find out more about ALS and to possibly donate to the cause, and if you didn't see it, Chairman Mao took the plunge. It's not exactly my dream of encouraging Bettman to step in a bucket of cement shoes during a nighttime walk along the Detroit River, but again, rambling.
Speaking of "strange stuff," CSKA Moscow happens to be taking part in a series of exhibition games in Finland, and the team apparently visited the "World-Famous Santa Claus Holiday Village" outside the town of Rovaniemi (more famous than the Mystery Spot?), because Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov went there, and he found CSKA GM and former Wing Sergei Fedorov, along with deputy GM Alexander Kharlamov, visting Santa.
The Santa Claus Village has a roller coaster-style "previous vistor" video feed, and Lysenkov found this:
Image via Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov
[Edit/update: For what it's worth, Sport-Express found that Fedorov was working on the ice with CSKA's coaches during the team's practice in Switzerland today. Fedorov says he's not getting into coaching, but he's practiced with the youth team and occasionally takes to the ice in general, so he's staying fit. Good for him!
Image from CSKA-Hockey.ru
In slightly more serious news, Wings prospect Hampus Melen says that he's going to play in his first game in 11 months today...
("First game in 11 months today, and if that's not enough, then I'll make my debut in the Vaxjo [Lakers'] sweater")
If you aren't able to take in the Plymouth Whalers' alumni game this weekend or the Joe Kocur Foundation's charity softball game ont the 23rd because you happen to be on the West Coast, KGW's Graham Kendrick reports that you might want to take in a few Portland Winterhawks preseason games to watch Dylan Turgeon at work:
The 2014-15 hockey season will officially get underway on Wednesday, August 20 when over 80 players report to training camp. Players will undergo fitness testing that day, with on-ice sessions beginning at Winterhawks Skating Center the following day - Thursday, August 21.
Fans will be able to enjoy the annual intrasquad Neely Cup Tournament from Aug. 21 – 24 at Winterhawks Skating Center. After the Hawks had four American-born players taken in this year's NHL Draft (Dominic Turgeon, Alex Schoenborn, Keegan Iverson and Chase De Leo), the four teams in the Neely Cup will be named after American-born Winterhawks alumni who went on to the NHL: Brandon Dubinsky, Paul Gaustad, Seth Jones and Michael Sauer.
As the popularity of the Neely Cup has grown with each year, the games will be ticketed this year in order to ensure the organization is in compliance with fire codes. There will be 100 four-day passes available for $20 that will allow access to all games, and 50 additional daily passes for $5 which will allow entry to both games on a particular day.
Given the Wings' decision to stock the Grand Rapids Griffins with a bunch of slightly undersized-by-pro-hockey-standards NCAA forwards this summer, there isn't much room left on the farm, and I don't expect the team to land former first-round draft pick Kevin Hayes--other teams, like the Calgary Flames, can offer the unrestricted free agent-as-of-midnight-tonight forward and 6'4," 216-pound Boston College graduate both a boatload of money and guaranteed playing time--but you can sure as hell bet that the Wings will work hard to successfully bid for his services.
And finally, I apologize for the rambling, but sometimes even I have to remove the pretend-professional veil and be myself when things get "real," and the last couple days have been a familial health adventure. That's all I can tell you, but I'm doing my best to cope with stress.
Oh, I'm gonna get to the community stuff, too, but at a later date. Paypal button also retrning shortly due to necessity as well. Sorry about door #2.
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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.