The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/23/11 at 05:06 PM ET
Updated 4x at 7:59 PM: Hello, earthquake survivors! The Hockey News’s Rory Boylen offers a somewhat typical late-August discussion-maker in questioning what defines a “dynasty” in the modern-day NHL, suggesting that the Wings may or may not qualify as such…
[D]oes the NHL have a current dynasty? The first team to look at would certainly be the Detroit Red Wings. From 1992 until now, the Wings have 14 division titles, reached eight conference finals, won the Cup four times and lost in the final twice. Dynasty?
Type “Sports Dynasty Definition” into Google and the first response you get is: “A sports dynasty is a team that dominates their sport or league for multiple seasons or years.” That would pretty much sum up the Wings, wouldn’t it?
Usually we don’t recognize a dynasty until it’s passed, but if the Wings finished 30th in the NHL this season it’s clear their resume is written. Pittsburgh and Chicago are a far, far cry from what Detroit has accomplished, but the next most logical team to look at would also be the most contentious: the San Jose Sharks.
With six division titles in nine years, a Presidents’ Trophy and three conference final appearances, the Sharks are a dominant team, but they aren’t a dynasty. Would one championship get them there? The vast majority would likely say “no” if for no other reason than the fear of assigning the tag too frequently. But what if the Sharks won one and continued to be a force in the West for another couple of years?
Continued, and I’m going to just say that I’m rolling my eyes…
• Back in the late 90’s and early 00’s, Meijer sold bobbleheads of every Red Wings player that won the Cup with the team, but as bobbleheads are no longer produced at that rate, DetroitRedWings.com’s Rick Bouwness offers the following update regarding the “Operation Bobblehead” vote on both Facebook and the Wings’ website:
The final round of voting in the Red Wings’ Operation: Bobblehead gets underway later today, with three current members of the team set to battle it out for the chance to be immortalized in the form of a collectable 6½ inch polyresin figurine. By virtue of their having finished amongst the Top 3 in last week’s vote, Hockeytown fan favorites Todd Bertuzzi, Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall are all on the final ballot and will now go head-to-head-to-head for the next six days with the player receiving the most votes between now and Monday, August 29 set to join teammates Pavel Datsyuk (Oct. 13), Henrik Zetterberg (Nov. 3), Johan Franzen (Dec. 8), Daniel Cleary (Jan. 12) and Nicklas Lidstrom (Apr. 5) as players to be featured in the Red Wings’ season-long Bobblehead Thursday promotion.
Fans are invited to cast their ballots online at Facebook.com/DetroitRedWings and DetroitRedWings.com all this week to determine the victor in the final round of Operation: Bobblehead voting. The winner of this week’s vote will have their likeness emblazoned upon the bobblehead set to be handed out to the first 7,500 fans in attendance for the Red Wings’ February 23 showdown with the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks. More information on the Operation: Bobblehead campaign can be obtained by visiting DetroitRedWings.com.
• The other big news story of the day involves the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, who announced three front office hires and the hiring of a new athletic trainer:
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday announced that the Detroit Red Wings have hired John Bernal (buhr-NAHL) as the Griffins’ new athletic trainer. In addition, the Griffins announced the hiring of four new members of their front office staff: public relations manager Kyle Kujawa (koo-JAH-wah), ticket operations manager Amanda Gillard (GIHL-uhrd), and group sales account executives Ashley Binning and Zack Krywyj (CRY-way).
A native of Pinckney, Mich., Bernal spent the past three seasons as the assistant athletic trainer for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, following a four-year stint as head athletic trainer for the club’s AHL affiliates in San Antonio (2005-08) and Utah (2004-05).
Bernal, who earned a sports medicine degree from Central Michigan University in 1999 and a master’s from Arizona State University in 2001, was also the athletic trainer for the ECHL’s Texas Wildcatters (2003-04) and Lake Superior State University’s Division I hockey team (2001-03).
Kujawa joins the Griffins’ full-time staff after serving as a public relations intern for the team in 2010-11. Originally from Plymouth, Mich., he graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in communications this past April. Kujawa will primarily be responsible for coordinating player and staff interviews with the media, writing news releases and features, and overseeing the day-to-day management of griffinshockey.com.
The Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema offers an analysis of the hires…
And I received an email a few days ago about Kujawa’s hiring, but I kept it under my vest till today—and it’s really remarkable that a fellow Wings blogger took only a year to go from an intern to the PR manager for a professional hockey team!
Also: RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau, writing on her Left Wing Lock blog, posted the roster of the sixth of eight teams taking part in the Wings’ prospect tournament in Traverse City.
The Columbus Blue Jackets join the Stars, Wings, Hurricanes, Rangers and Blues as teams which have released rosters for the tournament, so only the Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild have yet to confirm which players are participating in the tournament on their behalf;
“They have a lot of energy out there,” said former Detroit Red Wing Kris Draper, who is headlining the four-day hockey camp with his former teammates Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty. “My 9-year-old son slept well last night.”
Draper, co-owner of CORE Sports, has hosted four hockey camps. This week’s camp is the first with his former teammates.
About 135 skaters, ages 6-13, attended the camp, which runs through Thursday. Campers learn about skating, passing, puck handling and shooting. The three former Red Wings are assisted by professional trainers.
Draper said Mark Cadotte and Andy Paquette are leading much of the instruction on the ice, which allows him and his former teammates to spend more time interacting with the skaters.
“Now that the three of us are retiried, there may be an opportunity to do clinics in the season as well,” he said.
There’s a photo gallery attached to the story as well.
• And I can only shake my head at the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff’s blog entry, which discusses the fact that so many people who’ve grown up within sight of Joe Louis Arena don’t root for the Red Wings…
Update #1: As an FYI, Wings prospect Brendan Smith will be taking part in a photo shoot held by the NHLPA later this month, per a press release I received via email:
MEDIA ADVISORY: 2011 NHLPA ROOKIE SHOWCASE
TORONTO, ON (August 23, 2011) – Twenty-seven of the top NHL rookie prospects will gather outside of Toronto at the MasterCard Centre on Tuesday, August 30th for the 2011 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. This unique event will provide Panini America and Upper Deck – the official trading card partners of the NHLPA and the NHL – with an exclusive opportunity to photograph many of the game’s top young prospects for the first time in their official NHL team uniforms, in shots that will be used for upcoming trading card and memorabilia launches.
The 27 NHL rookie prospects in attendance for the 2011 NHLPA Rookie Showcase will be available for media scrums prior to the event at approximately 9:00 AM.
WHAT: 2011 NHLPA Rookie Showcase Media Availability
WHO: NHL prospects scheduled to be in attendance include:
Jake Allen (STL), Carter Ashton (TB), Brett Connolly (TB), Simon Despres (PIT), Cody Eakin (WSH), Ryan Ellis (NSH), Tim Erixon (NYR), Justin Faulk (CAR), Jake Gardiner (TOR), Blake Geoffrion (NSH), Brandon Gormley (PHX), Adam Henrique (NJ), Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA), Zack Kassian (BUF), Carl Klingberg (WPG), Marcus Kruger (CHI), Gabriel Landeskog (COL), Adam Larsson (NJ), John Moore (CBJ), Greg Nemisz (CGY), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM), Aaron Palushaj (MTL), David Rundblad (OTT), Jussi Rynnas (TOR), Brendan Smith (DET), Ryan Strome (NYI), and Mika Zibanejad (OTT).
WHEN: Tuesday, August 30th from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
WHERE: MasterCard Centre Rink #1 400 Kipling Avenue Etobicoke, Ontario
Update #2: In case you missed it, the Flint Journal’s George Jaksa reiterates the fact that Tim Thomas will bring the Stanley Cup to Davison High School from 1-3 PM on Wednesday;
• Erm, uh…From Stan Fischler via the New England Hockey Journal:
Much has justifiably been said about Detroit having difficulty filling the space created by subdued-but-excellent Brian Rafalski’s trot away from a $6 million paycheck. But what about the Bruins having to compensate for the loss of Mark Recchi, without whom Boston never would have won The Cup, let alone made the finals?
Update #3: Sam Fels is an idiot. The Blackhawks blogger says this while writing about the fact that single-game tickets are now on sale to Blackhawks games on NBC Chicago’s website:
During the regular season, throw out the games against Detroit if you’ve only got the cash for a few games. They’re no fun, the bloodlust runs far too high, and you have to deal with Wings fans who keep waving four fingers in your face before asking if you can get their dad/brother/themselves a job. They’re not worth the time, which is why a lot of season ticket holders punt these for cash. Isn’t it strange how Red Wings fans always bemoan that they can’t sell out Joe Louis Arena because of the economny, yet they’re so eager to buy secondary market tickets here? It doesn’t add up.
Jerk. And spell “economy” correctly.
Update #4: Per RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau, writing on her Left Wing Lock blog, the Minnesota Wild have released their prospect tournament roster;
• The Red Wings have released the official schedule for said tournament;
• According to the Everett Herald’s Nick Patterson, one of the camp’s participants, Landon Ferraro, is working out with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips prior to taking part in the camp;
Update #4.5: Via Paul, NHL.com’s John Kreiser believes that the Red Wings have to answer the following question:
Can Nicklas Lidstrom do it again?
Lidstrom is hockey’s version of Mariano Rivera—a future Hall of Fame member who never seems to get old. Detroit’s captain added to his hardware collection last spring by winning his seventh Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman after a 16-goal, 62-point season. He opted to come back for another season at age 41, much to the relief of GM Ken Holland, who saw 37-year-old Brian Rafalski, the Wings’ second-best defenseman, retire with a year left on his contract. The Wings made few offseason moves and are counting on Lidstrom to continue to devour 20-plus minutes a night while playing at an elite level.
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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.