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Red Wings Sunday gnus: more Howard stuff, international/rookie news and another ‘Detoilet’ comment

I shook off my "sleeper" antidepressant to watch Manchester United tangle with Liverpool this morning (think the Wings, circa 2003, versus Boston, circa 2010),so I figured that I may as well put some work in, and here are the results thereof.

MLive's Brendan Savage penned an article about Jimmy Howard which ties nicely into the Free Press's Helene St. James' overnight-report-mentioned discussion of Howard's Olympic hopes.

Howard told St. James that he plans on doing his best to prove that he's a U.S. Olympic-caliber netminder over the course of the first three months of the 2013-2014 season, and Howard also told Savage that he's well aware of the fact that this early-starting and particularly long NHL season will provide non-Olympic challenges as well:

"We've got a lot going on, don't we?" the Red Wings veteran goaltender said. "Winter Classic. A lot of guys here are trying for Olympic spots. 'HBO 24-7.' It's going to be pretty hectic around here."

As St. James and Savage cover similar territory, I'll let you read Howard's Olympic-related comments to Savage on your own as I'd prefer to focus on Howard's take on the Wings moving to the Eastern Conference...

"It's a little bit of a transition," Howard admitted. "You know who the stars are. New conference, there's going to definitely be a transition of learning everyone's tendency, especially the role guys. Learning teams, how they play. Having (Daniel Alfredsson) around and some of the other guys who have played in the East is really good."

And his take on the Winter Classic, too:

Then there's the Winter Classic Jan. 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, where a world record crowd of 115,000 is expected to be on hand. The Red Wings will also be the subject of HBO's popular "24/7" program leading up to the game. Add it all up and Howard is expecting perhaps the most exciting season of his career.

"I think it will be," he said. "It's one of those things where you'll be able to look back and it will be pretty neat."

Savage notes that we're not too-far-removed from the start of the regular season, and that the Wings will play in their first preseason games in a little over two weeks:

The Red Wings begin training camp Sept. 12 in Traverse City, their first preseason game is Sept. 16 at Pittsburgh and they open the regular season Oct. 2 against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena.

Savage also posted a video interview with Howard:




For what it's worth, Yahoo Sports' slate of fantasy hockey previews (Puck Daddy's bloggers have already posited a top-100 players list and takes on the best forwards and defensemen available to poolies) concludes with Dobber Hockey's Michael Amato suggesting that Jimmy Howard's near the top of the "second tier" of NHL goalies...

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings: Detroit goalies have a reputation for being overrated and just being along for the ride while collecting wins, but Howard seems to be doing a good job of dispelling that theory. In three of the last four campaigns he has posted a SV% of at least .920 and he made the sixth most saves among starters in 2013.

And the story's accompanied with a lovely "glamor picture" of Howard taken at the U.S. Olympic orientation camp (showing some ink?). Getty Images actually has a treasure trove's worth of awkward posed and profile pictures available if you're interested in looking at train-wrecks, like Danny DeKeyser, soul eater.

Bruce Bennet's charming Danny DeKeyser profile picture.




In international news, Mattias Janmark-Nylen didn't play and Sweden was shut out 5-0 by Finland in the Czech Games today. Finland won the tournament;

And R-Sport reports that one of Sweden's players, Staffan (brother of Niklas) Kronwall, signed a 2-year contract extension with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl today.

Several Wings fans have asked me why Staffan hasn't attempted to make a second stab at earning NHL employment, and the answer's relatively simple: he's 30 years old and he's making more money as a top-pair KHL defenseman than he would as a player who'd have to take a 2-way deal and ride buses in the AHL to earn another opportunity to play in the best league in the world.

At this point in his career, he's earning an excellent living and he's finding stability in Yaroslavl, so there's no reason for him to give up the gains he's made monetarily or in terms of his role on his pro team.



In the prospect department, preseason games are underway in the Canadian Hockey League (the OHL, QMJHL and WHL), and I greeted this Tweet from DRW Prospects on Twitter with a raised eyebrow:

The Red Wings wanted Marek Tvrdon to turn pro with the Grand Rapids Griffins this season, and perhaps he will indeed do so after the prospect tournament, but the Vancouver Giants were lobbying very aggresively to keep Tvrdon in the WHL as an "over-ager" (a 20-year-old forward), and it's entirely possible that they convinced the Wings to leave Tvrdon with Vancouver given that the Griffins' roster's overflowing with prospects both up front and on defense.




In prospect news of a different kind, from Twitter...




Paul already mentioned this, but I...I kind of have to address it. The Boston Globe's Kevin Dupont made a bizarre comment about Daniel Alfredsson's decision to sign with the Red Wings over the Bruins, and it reminds me of the Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan's lambasting of "Detoilet":

The Red Wings on Friday tweeted the first pictures of newcomer Daniel Alfredsson on the ice, wearing his bright red Winged Wheel sweater. Painful for most onlookers from Ottawa, and a few here in the Hub of Hockey. The Bruins made an aggressive attempt to land Alfie as an unrestricted free agent, but he opted for the Wings, just a matter of days before Motown went into bankruptcy.

That's Dupont's last hockey-related comment in what he says is his last Sunday notebook, and it's an ignorant one.

I'm just baffled as to so many hockey writers' beliefs that Detroit hovers on an island separated from its suburbs and at least 3.5-4.5 million other people who live in the wide and vastly spread-out six thousand square miles of suburban sprawl, as well as their intimations that the Wings must surely somehow force their players to huddle in a razor-wire-rimmed compound reminiscent of downtown Baghdad with their families when not dashing through dangerous Detroit to skate at the Joe.

Hell, you'd think that some of the dingbats who've suggested that the Red Wings are owned by the city (they are not) or that the team will have to move because Joe Louis Arena is owned by the city (It is, but why the hell would the City stop operating a facility that brings in millions of dollars in revenue, even if it is an aged facility? And who the *#$%@& would buy it if the City was in fact in Chapter 11 ["everything must go!"] instead of Chapter 9 ["We'll pay our creditors what we can, but dude, we're not exactly selling the Spirit of Detroit for scrap copper here"] bankruptcy?).

I try to avoid bagging on journalists these days, but for *#$%@&'s sake, if that's the last thing you want to resonate with your readers after what you claim to be 25 years' worth of Sunday notebooks...

Detroit is a troubled city. Detroit is, in many places, a blighted and dangerous city. But as someone who is the son of a probation officer who worked in Detroit during the 70's, 80's and early 90's, and as someone who was born in Detroit 35-and-a-half years ago, and has spent his entire life in Southeastern Michigan, Downtown Detroit is at its safest and most vibrantly-populated with suburbanites and city natives alike, well, perhaps ever since the 60's, and even though the police and fire departments are unbelievably overworked and underfunded, the crime rates, high as they may be, are lower than they've ever been during my lifetime.

For that matter, the "wastelands" of suburban Detroit are anything but a poor imitation of the "Hub of Hockey." Minnesota may make its claim to be the "State of Hockey," and New York and Massachusetts are hockey powerhouses, but kids come from all over the world to play for AAA teams like Little Caesars, Compuware, Detroit Honeybaked, high school programs like Cranbrook-Kingswood and Catholic Central, the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, the OHL and NCAA teams, and when they grow up, AHL and IHL teams, as well as the NHL team that is anything but  struggling financially.

Mean-spirited is as mean-spirited does.




Update: Well, this is a much better note to end upon:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


DocF's avatar

I came from western Michigan (Grand Rapids and Grand Haven) yet I still believe there is a future for Detroit.  I remember the great days before the riots and before Coleman Young.  Driving in Grand River and seeing The Olympia always sent shivers up my spine.

I loved Belle Isle and I loved the Detroit River.  I loved the Empress Burlesque theater.  I loved sitting in the bleachers at Tiger Stadium. 

What has injured Detroit so severely is not just the economic decline, but a combination of thieving politicians and the go to hell attitude held by most outstate policians.

This current governor is determined to personally drive the nails into the coffin lid for the once great city.  How sad.


Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 09/01/13 at 12:33 PM ET


I’m just baffled as to so many hockey writers’ beliefs that Detroit hovers on an island separated from its suburbs and at least 3.5-4.5 million other people who live in the wide and vastly spread-out six thousand square miles of suburban sprawl,

That’s a rather simplistic and seemingly intentionally disingenuous position though, George.

The name of the team isn’t the ‘Greater Suburban Detroit Area Red Wings.’ 

Their games are not played in Southfield, or Farmington Hills, or Royal Oak, or Novi.

Detroit’s their name, Detroit is where they play, and Detroit is one of the worst big cities in the country, if not the worst.  That’s not idle bashing, it is a statement of fact by almost any rational metric one might seek to apply in any sensible assessment of city viability.

Trying to pass off criticism of the city by saying something as inane as ‘but hey, Bloomfield Hills is like totally bitchin’ ’ simultaneously proves the point of the criticism and makes Detroiters and/or Michiganders and/or Red Wings fans look like head in the ground imbeciles.

Right now, Detroit really, really sucks.  It’s sucked to one degree or another for a couple decades, but right now, today, the city is at the absolute Zenith of Suck (tm).  It sucks so much it can’t even pay its bills and people have fled it as though it was quite literally on fire.

So, naturally, columnists in other cities who are division rivals of said sucky city will make oblique, direct, offhanded and even occasionally offbase or outright fallacious remarks regarding Detroit.  This drives interest in their column both locally from fans who like to see opponents insulted and from the fans of the insulted city who demonstrate various degrees of affront in their response.

This type of internecine digital sniping is specific neither to Detroit, nor Michigan, nor hockey, nor sports.

I mean, while Dupont’s comment was a bit of a non sequitur, it was also completely accurate.  He could have thrown in a bit about 20+ billion in unfunded pension liabilities or a 15% unemployment rate, or how a borderline illiterate dude who had a thing about pleasuring himself in his office was a Detroit School Board President.

All true, all rather less than complimentary about the state of the city, but all true.

Seriously, exactly how many writers around here do you think wouldn’t take a couple cheap(er) shots at a rival city were it to present as many juicy targets replete with vast stores of issues with which to snark about as Detroit bestows?

Come on.

As an aside:

This current governor is determined to personally drive the nails into the coffin lid for the once great city.  How sad.


Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/01/13 at 10:03 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

So we’re giving them a free pass because there are nuggets of truth in their cheap shots and/or plucking of the low-hanging fruit?

Because we totally should never take umbrage at any insult that may have a basis in an ignorant oversimplification of shit that actually be goin’ down?

Okey dokey…

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/01/13 at 10:11 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

As an aside, I sure hope your job involves working to discredit others’ observations as beneath your supposedly superior point of view on everything, because you sure spend a crapton of time being a professional troll.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/01/13 at 10:13 PM ET

Temo's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/01/13 at 11:13 PM ET

I’m fairly sure he’s unemployed, George.  Someone who spends most of their time trying to start arguments obviously has way too much time on their hands.  You can only “flog the bishop” so many times in a day.

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 09/01/13 at 10:22 PM ET

Primis's avatar

This current governor is determined to personally drive the nails into the coffin lid for the once great city.  How sad.


Posted by DocF on 09/01/13 at 01:33 PM ET

Based on what?

As to Dupont… people will say what they need to in order to feel better about themselves and their own crappy city/area.

Detroit gets hate because, unlike a Pittsburgh or a Cleveland, or even a Chicago, Detroit was the center of a universe.  “Detroit” is a synonym for an entire industry.  When people talk about the auto industry, they often say “Detroit” as a synonym of that.  Other cities will never have that.  “Hollywood” is literally the only comparable I can come up with.

And so it burns them, these people in other cities.  So they take shots, and take shots, and take shots.  And they do so knowing that soon enough they maybe won’t be able to take shots anymore, so get them in now.

And especially in hockey they do it, because there basically is nothing assailable with the Red Wings org.  Nothing.  They have good ownership, have more classy players that stay out of trouble than any other org, and they have decades on non-stop on-ice success.

Detroit’s “down year” last year is a year a decent number of teams would LOVE to have had.

Dupont knows that in a few more years, Boston will probably slip back into mediocrity, and the bandwagon fans will rapidly abandon them just like they did before.  And when they do, in all likelihood, Detroit will still be having success.

Posted by Primis on 09/01/13 at 10:23 PM ET

calquake's avatar

You can only “flog the bishop” so many times in a day.

Oh, I don’t know… I’m up to four and am working really hard on number five. cheese

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 09/01/13 at 11:01 PM ET

DocF's avatar

How do I suspect the current Governor of Michigan would love to drive the nails into the coffin?  I have watched his actions over the last couple of years.  He has done more to aggravate the dire situation of the residents and employees of Detroit than is imaginable to those of us who are rational.

Primus and HockeyinHD, I note that you provide no personal information in your profile.  I can only assume that you reside in a rather conservative part of the state of Michigan.  That would explain why I perceive a strong bias against the beleaguered city in your writings.

Folks, most people from other parts of the country think of Detroit as being the whole of Michigan.  Actions taken for political gain that affect Detroit have the effect of putting Michigan in a bad light.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 09/01/13 at 11:56 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

This current governor is determined to personally drive the nails into the coffin lid for the once great city.  How sad.


Posted by DocF on 09/01/13 at 01:33 PM ET

Based on what?

You funny.  Snyder’s first major policy accomplishment was to kill the corporate tax to with it all the municipal revenue sharing, including $200 million annual for Detroit alone.  And it’s not because he thinks this makes Michigan more competitive for jobs.  Detroit was in a financial fix even before that.  Snyder just applied the coup de grace.

Try this for some sanity on Detroit’s financial state, which is the most prominent problem of recent issue:http://www.freep.com/article/20130804/OPINION05/308040048/Robert-Kleine-How-State-Michigan-helped-bankrupt-Detroit

To DocF.  You don’t have to hide from Detroit’s real issues.  True, reactionaries from the woods harp on it’s dysfunction first last and always because they hate the city and don’t want to compliment it in any way, but folks from both sides of the spectrum need to see it for what troubles it and be resolved to fix it.  Sadly, no sports team success or failure can really help.  It’s way beyond that.

Posted by MoreShoot on 09/02/13 at 07:57 AM ET


Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/01/13 at 11:03 PM ET

All that puke and blow from a self proclaimer of doing nothing more to help improve the city’s situation other than drive into the city, watch a game and get out as humanly fast as possible.

For all those folks happily piss all over Detroit from the safety of their pull out couches parked in their mother’s living room - give it a rest. If you aren’t willing to lift a finger beyond your own self serving needs to help out people trying to make a go at living and working in the city you moniker your favorite hockey team after don’t do any favors by taking up someone else’s seat at the Joe. Stay away, please.

It’s like constantly defending Sammy as a significant player on the redwings when the guy is only taking up space and wasting money.

Doc, I think you are misreading Primis.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 09/03/13 at 02:55 PM ET

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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.


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