Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan provides ‘before, during and after’ Tweets

Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan posted a rather infamous "selfie" after taking a puck to the mouth some six weeks ago, suffering a broken jaw and losing eight teeth after taking a Ryan Sproul slap shot to the face. I'm posting the Tweet minus piture here, and you have been warned as to its graphic nature--lots of blood and guts follow, and it's gross.

Callahan had to have surgery to repair his jaw, and he did return to the Grand Rapids Griffins' lineup for their playoff run while wearing a full shield and between dental appointments. His mom came to Michigan to help him deal with the wires in his jaw and the soft-food (and probably liquid painkillers, which taste just dreadful) diet:

At one point, Callahan made a joke about his lisp...

And after praising his roommate--the same guy who took out his teeth accidentally...

He confirmed something we all know all too well:

He got back into the lineup...

Managed to take some so-smiling socialization pictures...

And after expressing hope that the Texas Stars would find themselves in a boatload of trouble...

He found himself busy doing something else entirely after the Griffins were eliminated and given an off-day in Austin:

After even more dental work...

Thursday, he revealed the finished result:

To his great credit, Callahan's retained a positive attitude throughout his experience, and during the Griffins' locker room clean-out day, telling Fox 17's Steve Amorose and Red Wings TV that he's got no problems whatsoever with being waived and sent to Grand Rapids again. He just wants to remain with the organization and to earn his way onto the Wings' roster, and I think that's an incredibly mature--and brave--thing for an agitating forward to say.

I took Mitch's injury kind of personally. I've spoken to him at summer prospect camps and fall prospect tournaments since he was drafted five years ago, and when my interviewing skills were far less polished, Callahan was always willing to talk as my fall-back option, or just to talk, period.

I may not be a close associate, but I've always felt that he was one of "my" prospects, and because we were fellow hockey players (me, a former one due to injuries and a lack of health insurance) "talking shop," Mitchell Callahan (as I tend to call him) served as one of the people who helped me learn to be at ease talking to professional hockey players, of the present and aspiring varieties.

Mitch is the kind of player you want to have on your team and the kind of guy who once volunteered to man the dunk tank at a chartiable event in mid-July, getting dunked for an hour in freezing-cold water to raise funds for Bryan Rufenach's charity. He's gritty and competitive as hell on the ice and self-effacingly funny and personable off the ice.

I wish him all the best, and I will readily admit that this Mitch Callahan fan hopes that "Cally" earns a spot on the Wings while wearing his Tomas Holmstrom set of teeth.

Holmstrom will tell you that there's nothing wrong with having a second (or third) set of choppers. They get better every time. wink

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

RW19's avatar

Have to agree on your feelings about Mitch. How can you not root for a player like this that is all heart? Nothing against Glendening, he too is a hard worker, but you need some kind of “hands” around the net to play in the NHL and he’s got zero, none. I can see Callahan making the team as the 13/14 forward to start and eventually getting enough time to show what he has got. I certainly hope they don’t lose him on waivers. They need more gritty players, not less.

Posted by RW19 on 05/23/14 at 04:41 AM ET

Avatar

I would rather see Callahan play with the Wings than Ferraro. It does seem like Callahan has a personality of doing whatever it takes to get better and to win. He also seems like he will make any sacrifice necessary to win. I can see him, minus cage, dropping down in the closing moments of a game to block an opponent shot, even if he took it in the face. And then getting up, blood, missing teeth, broken nose/jaw and all and declaring he’d do it again and again in order to win.

I remember reading the scouting report on him when he was drafted. Never dreamed he’d ever get a crack at the NHL. His report was basically, undersized fighter/agitator. Somewhere along the lines, he rounded his game out at the pro level in the AHL and became a serious asset to some very good Griffins teams. I do hope he becomes a Detroit Red Wing, and I hope he becomes a regular contributor to the team.

I am most definitely rooting for him and his success.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 05/23/14 at 10:21 AM ET

Avatar

How the Wings treat Callahan will either prove or disprove my theory on Red Wings mgmt.‘s attitude towards character, gritty types of players.  Every trade deadline they always give their usual response about the need to get gritty players but always balk at the price, now they have one (a few actually) in their system ready to play so we’ll see what happens.

Posted by bababooey on 05/23/14 at 11:29 AM ET

damndog's avatar

Mitch has been one of my favorites also. It was nice to see him have such a great year up until the injury. His type of play IMHO is a big missing element on the Wings. They need a guy like him to play gritty, physical, score dirty goals and standup for teammates when needed. This kid is an inspiration with the way he plays!

Posted by damndog on 05/23/14 at 12:31 PM ET

Avatar

Wings (Holland) have made quite a few personnel gaffs the last couple years. Some of the moves and decisions defy reason, but ofcourse Holland is the expert.

Not making Callahan a fourth line Redwing next year would be another personnel mistake for Detroit.  He has a wider set of skills than Glendening, Miller, and Andersson.  Wings need more grit and attitude and its nice he has the offensive upside to bury some big goals on occasion. Plays good two way hockey.  I would like to see the Wings add UFA Dustin Penner and keep Callahan on the fourth line.  This would give them the physical presence they truly need as a team.  Its important to pass on our own UFA forwards,  most of which are hasbeens,  and add more new talent to be successful.

Posted by karlander on 05/24/14 at 07:12 AM ET

damndog's avatar

I wanted Penner before he went to LA and before he went to the Ducks. The guy comes alive in the playoffs. And like Karlander said; “This would give them the physical presence they truly need as a team.” He would come cheap and effective.

Posted by damndog on 05/24/14 at 10:47 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.