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The Malik Report

Red Wings players weigh in on the effort necessary to ensure fans stick with them

This morning, 97.1 the Ticket's Jeff Riger wonders aloud whether free access to training camp and a 36-hour window of tickets available for purchase minus Tickemaster fees, starting on Thursday, will give Red Wings fans enough reasons to forgive the NHL's lockout trespasses and "stick with" the team. He asked several Wings players about their thoughts on the uphill battle that is healing the damage done to their relationsihp with Detroit die-hard hockey fans, and here are their thoughts on the subject:

Dan Cleary- “I don’t know, probably not! We’ve upset a lot of fans, we’ve extremely P.O’ed the fickle fan and we really annoyed the huge fan. Our job as players is to put a good product on the ice, sign an extra autograph, more autographs if you can, whatever… I don’t know! With the shortened season it’s going to be hard to do a lot of appearances. All I know is that our team will work hard represent the jersey proudly and our fans will come back and support us.”

Jimmy Howard felt for the fans during the lockout-“Whenever you get a chance to sign an autograph for someone or take a photo you definitely should. They have been stuck in the middle here throughout the whole lockout process and if you ask anybody in here we feel really bad about what we did to the fans. We definitely need them, that’s what drives the Joe every time we play there, that’s what makes it so much fun.”

Niklas Kronwall-“Any way we can, we would like to help out and try to bring the fans back because we know that it has been a frustrating time for them. No one really wanted it to happen but unfortunately that was the situation that we were in and we were trying to do what we believed in. We can’t wait to get back to the Joe and have the fans come back as well. Anything that needs to be done, obviously we will go the extra mile to get them back, for sure!”

Henrik Zetterberg-“It’s been a tough time for the fans when the league locked us out. It went way too far and we are going to do everything we can to show gratitude that they are sticking with us. We are looking forward to that first game and hopefully we will give them a good show and we will win the game.”

Mike Babcock-“The best way to do anything for fans is to put a product on the ice and win. That’s what I think! I’m a big believer in that! Obviously when you reach out and sign an autograph, you got time to do it, you had 8 months off. You’ve got time to do it. There are lots of things you can do that way but to me still the best way is to just win baby!

You have heard what the players and Babcock think, now what about you? Have the Wings done enough to get you back?

You can give Riger your answer in the comments section of his article and via his Twitter account, but I'm curious about your thoughts on the subject, too.

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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.