The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/01/14 at 01:05 PM ET
Updated 4x with more Purse-Gate at 2:46 PM: Okey dokey, so we've covered the status of Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk--not practicing this weekend per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and MLive's Ansar Khan (Daniel Cleary is sick, and I believe Khan stated that Mikael Samuelsson is hurt, too).
The rest of the Wings did practice, however, and here are the team's lines, per the Free Press's George Sipple (again, no game until Tuesday's road tilt kicks off a 5-games-in-8-nights slate = lines not set in stone)...
Datysuk isn't skating. Weiss and Andersson are rotating in place of Datsyuk
Weiss also skating with Jurco and Tatar.
MLive's Ansar Khan...
Wings on ice for practice. Datsyuk not skating. Holland said he's been given weekend off (to rest his knee). Cleary is sick and not skating.
Weiss is rotating with Andersson in place of Datsyuk on line with Franzen and Nyquist.
Other lines: Abdelkader-Helm-Alfredsson, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Miller-Glendening-Bertuzzi/Eaves.
On defense, Kindl is rotating in with Lashoff and Smith. Top four the same: Ericsson-Kronwall, Quincey-DeKeyser.
Now Weiss is rotating with Sheahan between Tatar and Jurco.
It also looks like the Wings are skating at City Sports Arena (which is crammed into an industrial park, bordering Elmwood Cemetery...
In the trade rumor category, Winging It in Motown's J.J. from Kansas looked at the possibility of the Wings going after Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler...
The 27-year old Edler is in the first year of a six-year deal paying a $5M AAV. He's a 6'3" left-shooting blueliner with just 15 points on the season. A no-trade clause could prevent him from moving, but there's a pretty good chance that Edler would waive a NTC to join a team he likes (like the Swedish national team in Detroit, maybe)
Edler's performance in Vancouver this year has not been up to the standard of a $5M guy. He's playing against tough competition, but is getting better chances at offensive zone starts than many of his teammates and is putting up worse results. If the possession metrics aren't bad enough, he's also seemingly getting pretty unlucky on the shots that do happen when he's on the ice, as Defending Big D points out, Edler's PDO is incredibly low. This might go a bit to explaining why his plus-minus is an astonishingly low -23.
Apparently, the Canucks are looking for a top-six forward in return for Edler. Just like with the Kesler rumor, the idea of getting away without dealing somebody the fans wouldn't want to give up is pure fantasy. Unlike Enroth and the chance that Detroit could give kids with much more room to grow, the Canucks have not committed to rebuilding as much as they apparently want to reload. Where Buffalo is apparently looking for every single pick in the 2015 draft, there's no indication Vancouver has this kind of patience.
The Sports Forecaster describes Edler as follows...
Assets: An excellent physical package, he owns an imposing frame, smooth fundamentals and all-round acumen. Can play on the power play, where he displays poise, composure and a heavy point shot. Excels in one-on-one situations.
Flaws: Is still a little inconsistent in his own zone, and prone to gaffes every now and then. His physical game has improved greatly, but it isn't consistent. Offensively, he's not as silky-smooth as a natural power-play quarterback.
Career Potential: All-round big-minute defenseman.
And MLive's Ansar Khan ponders whether the Wings adding Ryan Kelser is realistic in any way (I'm going with "no") while citing his own conversation with Ken Holland, which confirmed that the Wings won't move a 1st round pick or a top prospect in order to "rent" a player, or even for the sake of a "hockey deal":
[T]he price would be steep. The Canucks are battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, so chances are they would want a good, young player who could help them right away in addition to a top prospect and high pick.
It’s safe to assume clubs in trade talks with the Red Wings inquire about skilled young forwards Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar and defenseman Danny DeKeyser.
It’s unlikely the Red Wings would part with any of them.
Nyquist, 24, and Tatar, 23, are having breakout seasons. They are important players for a team whose top scorers are well into their 30s. And DeKeyser, 23, figures to be a cornerstone on Detroit’s blue line for many years.
Despite Zetterberg’s injury, the Red Wings are deep up front. Johan Franzen (three goals, two assists) has looked real good in two games since returning from a concussion. Youngsters Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco continue to impress with each game. And anything they get from Stephen Weiss, due back next week after sports hernia surgery, will be a bonus.
Holland seemed more intent on bolstering his defense. That’s why Kesler’s teammate, Alexander Edler, might be a more viable option.
Khan talks about Edler as well as a few other possible targets:
The Buffalo Sabres, who began their annual fire sale on Friday by unloading goaltender Ryan Miller and abrasive forward Steve Ott, are reportedly fielding offers for defensemen Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff, each of whom has many years left on his contract.
So there appears to be several non-rental options as the trade deadline approaches. But with more buyers than sellers, the cost could be prohibitive.
That's the truth, and that's why I don't believe that the Wings will do very much, if anything, save perhaps adding a 4/5/6 veteran defenseman.
In the alumni department, part 1:
(Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples posted a photo gallery from the game, too)
In the alumni department, part 2: DetroitRedWings.com's Andrea Nelson posited a write-up regarding Nicklas Lidstrom's induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame last night, but this part of her article might be more important:
The induction kicked off a historic week for the former defenseman, who will watch his No. 5 be lifted high into Joe Louis Arena’s rafters alongside Steve Yzerman, Terry Sawchuk, Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel and Gordie Howe at his Jersey Retirement Night next Thursday when the Wings host Colorado.
The ceremony will feature speeches by Mike Babcock, Ken Holland and Christopher Ilitch, and be attended by Wings legends Howe, Lindsay, Delvecchio, Yzerman, Scotty Bowman, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Tomas Holmstrom and Vladimir Konstantinov, among others.
Although Lidstrom was never one to lose his composure, he anticipates the event will be as emotional as his retirement press conference nearly two years ago.
“Well if you watched that press conference, that was very emotional trying to keep that together,” Lidstrom said. “I’m sure it will be the same thing on Thursday night. I think it’ll be very emotional going through everything and especially being on the ice in front of all the fans again and seeing all the former players and former coaches and the team that’s there now so it’ll be very emotional for me.”
LIDSTROM NIGHT: Doors to Joe Louis Arena will open at 5:30 p.m. for Lidstrom’s Jersey Retirement Night on March 6, and fans are encouraged to arrive early for the game, as the pre-game ceremony will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will conclude by 7:20 p.m., and the game against Colorado will begin at 8 p.m.
VIEWING PARTY: Although the game is sold out, fans can still enjoy the celebration by attending the official Nick Lidstrom Jersey Retirement Night viewing party at Detroit’s City Theatre.
The event will show the jersey retirement ceremony in its entirety and feature a private appearance by Lidstrom during the first intermission, and all ticketed guests will receive the same commemorative mini-banner and game day program distributed to fans at Joe Louis Arena.
Please click here for more news and information about Listrom’s Jersey Retirement Night.
This is pretty cool, too:
The Ilitches' development company gets naming rights in the complex deal to build the arena, but it could be months before a decision is made on what to call the building.
"We have not finalized that," [Christopher] Ilitch told WJR's Paul W. Smith. "We refer to it just as we've been referring to it externally, which is the Detroit event center. That's our working name for now. Of course we'll be working through all those details within the coming months."
Among the numerous steps still be taken before construction can begin is getting a commitment from the state to demolish the Red Wings' current home, Joe Louis Arena.
The governor's office has called the state a "supportive partner" in the project, but funding the demolition would require review, board approvals and determination of funding sources.
In the Player Appearance department, present-tense version, from the Rochester-Rochester Hills Patch's Beth Dalbey:
Detroit Red Wings fans will have the opportunity to meet four-time Stanley Cup champion defenseman Darren McCarty at a book signing he will conduct at Barnes & Noble, 2800 S Rochester Road in Rochester Hills at 7 p.m. Friday, March 7.
McCarty will be signing copies of his new autobiography “My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star.”
In the book, McCarty looks back on a memorable career and recounts his time as one of the most visible and beloved members of the Detroit Red Wings, as well as his personal struggles with addiction, finances, and women and his daily battles to overcome them.
As a member of four Red Wings’ Stanley Cup–winning teams, McCarty played the role of enforcer from 1993 to 2004 and returned again in 2008 and 2009.
McCarty played parts of 15 seasons in the NHL—all but two with the Detroit Red Wings. Known as an enforcer, his career totals include 127 goals and 1,477 penalty minutes. He was part of four Stanley Cup–championship teams, and in retirement he remains active with the Red Wings’ Alumni Association.
In the Player Appearance department, past-tense version, from the Kalamazoo Gazette's David Drew:
Former Western Michigan University hockey defenseman Danny DeKeyser returned to his old stomping grounds Saturday and said it brought back some fond memories.
DeKeyser, who signed with the Detroit Red Wings after his junior season last year, returned to Lawson Arena to not only see his college team in action in a new conference, but as a supporter of associate coach Rob Facca's son Louie and their Ice Duchenne fundraising weekend.
Drew: How different is the college hockey venue from the professional atmosphere?
DeKeyser: There’s a different atmosphere because college arenas are a lot smaller and a lot noisier than NHL arenas. That’s something that I miss about playing in college. You have so many college kids screaming their lungs out cheering for you. I guess I just miss it a lot.
Drew: You’ve had a nice role with the Red Wings since you signed. What’s the experience been like?
DeKeyser: It’s been a good experience for me. I’m just trying to learn on the job and get better every game. I’m just going to try to keep doing that and on the other side of things hopefully we start winning more games and picking up more points and get in the playoffs and make some noise there.
And in the prospect-catchy-uppy department, this didn't make it into last night's uber-catch-up post: Octopus Thrower's Peter Fish noted that Tyler Bertuzzi is "done for the year" due to chronic neck issues, and while the Guelph Mercury's Tony Saxon reported the following in late January...
There is finally some light at the end of the tunnel for injured Guelph Storm forward Tyler Bertuzzi. Guelph Storm general manager Mike Kelly said it is hoped Bertuzzi will be back in the lineup somewhere within two to six weeks.
The injury has not been diagnosed as a concussion. It involves head and neck issues with some concussion-like symptoms. He has missed 15 games to date.
Last year he missed 25 games with similar symptoms. Both injuries occurred during fights.
"He's making very good progress, but there is no exact return date at this point," Kelly said Wednesday. "He's still receiving therapy, both with the team and off-site."
Last year when Bertuzzi was hurt he got relief from some chiropractic help back in his hometown of Sudbury, where his stepmom is a chiropractor. He got similar treatment over the Christmas break this year and has been working with the team's doctors and physiotherapy staff as well as some health-care professionals not related to the team.
And more recently, Saxon Tweeted the following...
As DRW Prospects on Twitter noted this:
Bertuzzi's a scrappy little instigator, but he's also a superb skater and has very good hands in terms of passing and playmaking for a very young high school senior. He's got loads of potential as a 3rd or 4th-line forechecking forward, but his chronic neck issues are very worrisome.
I had a solid-enough plan of attack to try and post all of the above-listed stories in some sort of coherent form instead of throwing stuff against a wall (which, in all honesty, I try to avoid doing), so I managed to get that stuff done just as post-practice quips and quotes started rolling in, first from the Free Press's George Sipple...
Babcock said Daniel Cleary had a maintenance day.
Datsyuk didn't skate. Babcock said he was going to meet to talk with him ina few minutes.
Kindl said he's getting stronger and stronger each day.
(Yeah, me too, but I'm still concussed...Isn't this a version of the patented, "I'm getting/we're getting better and better" Wings cliche?)
Kindl said he's ready to play if team needs him but doubts they'll make lineup change on Tuesday.
Weiss said he's chomping at the bit to play, but hasn't officially been cleared. Babcock said now he needs to earn a spot in the lineup.
The Wings can't "amnesty" Weiss because, as The Production Line so wisely pointed out, he was signed after the lockout, but I can easily see the Wings eating part of Weiss's 2014-2015 salary to pawn him off this summer and go with Riley Sheahan, Darren Helm and Luke Glendening as their centers behind the Datsyuk/Zetterberg line if Weiss doesn't "work out" over the next seven weeks.
Weiss's tenure with the Wings depends upon how well he plays once he's good to go...
As Sipple duly noted (and the term is "champing at the bit," but hey, Twitter isn't exactly a formal setting)...
Weiss has to earn his spot in the lineup, according to Babcock. Weiss said he's chomping at bit to return.
And Sipple also noted this:
Johan Franzen said he doesn't care what Chris Neil said about him.
Ditto for the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
Franzen shrugs off remarks from Neil about carrying a purse and the yellow streak down the back...says he does not believe in fighting.
No word as to where Johan Franzen's purse might be...
Nor his lipstick...
But if I may tread upon old ground:
1. I don't believe that the Wings need to, as someone suggested on Twitter last night, call up Jordin Tootoo to worry about some punk going after a contributing player with 6 minutes left in the game--especially in the steads of Jurco, Sheahan or Glendening...
2. And the best thing Franzen and his teammates did on Thursday night involved not fighting Mr. Neil. When you're up 6-1 and some dick is trying to "send a message" and "spark his team" during your last regular-season meeting, you don't give into some moron's desire to try and deliberately injure the hat-trick-scorer recovering from a head injury.
There was absolutely no reason for someone who's had a subdural hematoma in the past and has battled and battled and battled against a concussion to fight some dickfor (cue my dad, when I was 12: "Hey, you've got a dickfor on your shirt. WHAT'S A DICK FOR, HA HA HA!") because he got his cup in a bunch.
So, per Khan:
Franzen responded to Neil's purse, lipstick and yellow streak comment by saying asking him (Franzen) to fight is like asking Neil to (cont.)
Franzen (cont.) .... To show good hands and hockey sense.
Amen to that. And if Franzen doesn't want to fight, he doesn't have to. In this day and age you're no purse-wearer (and I might add to my LGBT friends that there is nothing wrong with carrying a purse--my mom says I look wonderful when she's busy grocery shopping [the Wal-Mart Incursion of 2014 will take place today] and I have to hold hers, though I think it makes me look a little hefty) if you don't want to fight.
*#$%@& Neil. Make him watch this (VERY NSFW):
Update #1: More from Khan:
One more from Franzen: “Maybe they (NHL) should actually try to protect the players (cont.) ...
"a play like that when he just drops his gloves and punch me in the head, if he doesn’t get anything for that I don’t know what’s going on.”
Update #2: Actually throwing stuff against a wall in a haphazard fashion:
1. At the Olympics, yes, as the Free Press's Steve Schrader noted, musician Mike Posner was in attendance. As was Pavel Datsyuk's financial manager, Dan Millstein;
2. At the Olympics, yes, as CBS Sports' Brian Stubits noted, the Canadians drank champania, I mean champagne, after they won gold...
3. After the Olympics, as the Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan noted, Mike Babcock was asked about his Lucky McGill University Tie;
4. After the Olympics, on Thursday...
5. And After the Olympics, as noted by CBS Detroit:
The Detroit Red Wings and Coca-Cola have teamed up to present the 2014 edition of Coke Zero Fan Day at Joe Louis Arena, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 11 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
In order to obtain tickets to this fun-filled, free event, citizens of Hockeytown must attend an upcoming Detroit Red Wings Experience Day, presented by Coke Zero, which gives fans a chance to test their skills at various interactive hockey games and take photos with player cut-outs. Red Wings Alumni Association members Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty will be in attendance to sign autographs at upcoming Detroit Red Wings Experience Days.
This year’s Coke Zero Fan Day provides a behind-the-scenes look at Joe Louis Arena with several unique photo opportunities for fans, such as a chance to take a photo with Steve Yzerman’s retired jersey banner and Al Sobotka’s famed zamboni. The Hockey Hall of Fame will also be in attendance with Red Wings hockey memorabilia and several of the NHL’s premier trophies.
Members of the Red Wings Alumni Association will also be on hand to sign autographs, including Brent Fedyk, Darren McCarty, Larry Murphy, John Ogrodnick, Jason Woolley and Paul Ysebaert. In addition, hockey fans who bring their ice skates will have an opportunity to skate on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, as well as enjoy multiple interactive hockey zones and a wide variety of prizes and promotions for fans of all ages.
The dates and locations for upcoming DRW Experience Days can be found below:Sunday, March 2 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Troy Sports Center
1819 East Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48083
*Kirk Maltby will sign autographs from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 5 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Kensington Valley Ice House
10540 Citation Drive, Brighton, MI 48116
*Darren McCarty will sign autographs from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
Update #3: Detroit Sports 105.1 FM posted a 17-minute interview with Nicklas Lidstrom last night, too.
Update #4: Your purse, sir? Per MLive's Ansar Khan:
“He thinks I’m not tough because I’m not fighting him; what does he have, like 30 fights a year? And he’s been doing that his whole career,” Franzen said. “I’ve never had a fight in my whole life.
“It’s like me asking him to get hockey sense and good hands or something. I’ve never been fighting, didn’t grow up fighting. For me it’s not a part of the game. I’m not going to fight. I’ve had enough concussions. I’m definitely not going to risk one doing something stupid like that.”
Franzen disputed Neil’s claim that he was speared in the groin area during the Red Wings' 6-1 victory at the Canadian Tire Centre, a game in which Franzen scored three goals. He said he put his stick between Neil’s legs and could hear Neil “crying to the refs that ‘he’s spearing me!’ ”
The NHL did not punish Neil for dropping his gloves and taking a swing at Franzen’s head with 5:55 remaining in the third period. Neil received minor penalties for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct and both were given 10-minute misconducts.
“I’ve been getting head shots pretty much every year and I don’t think it’s ever been punishment for any of the hits I’ve gotten to the head,” Franzen said. “This was the third one, targeting the head. He just sucker-punched me. Maybe (the NHL) should actually try to protect the players … a play like that when he just drops his gloves and punch me in the head, if he doesn’t get anything for that I don’t know, seriously, what’s going on.”
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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.