The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/24/12 at 06:02 PM ET
Amongst this afternoon’s Red Wings-related news:
As Paul posted this morning, ESPN’s “Uni Watch” blog released its top 25 rankings of sports uniforms this morning, and as the Free Press’s James Jahnke also noted, the Detroit Tigers came in 24th overall, and the Red Wings finished fifteenth, behind the New York Rangers (11th), Boston Bruins (5th) and Montreal Canadiens (1st). Per Paul Lukas:
15. Detroit Red Wings, NHL: Man, those Original Six teams got it right, didn’t they? If you want to understand the difference between designing by hand and designing by computer, take a close look at the Wings’ logo—you’d never come up with that on a Mac. Bonus points for the vertically arched lettering on the player names.
I’m incredibly biased because I’m both a Red Wings fan and can say that red’s been my favorite color for such a long period of time that I would get angry at the, “Blue is for boys, pink is for girls” argument when I was three years old because pink was close to red…But to me, seeing that solid wall of red and the Winged Wheel being worn on ice makes me think exactly what scientists claim the color red does: “Intimidating, winning force of nature coming your way!”
• In a different kind of incendiary news, Brendan Savage and Chuck Pleiness’s combined “sources’” reports regarding the Wings’ pursuit of Carlo Colaiacovo have produced a predictable level of reaction from Sportsnet’s Chris Nichols, who more or less quoted Savage’s report…
Colaiacovo, 29, is a good skater and puck-mover with some offensive ability, having averaged 27 points a season the past four years with the St. Louis Blues. He shoots left and can play the point on the power play. His biggest issue has been his health. He hasn’t played more than 67 games in any season.
Colaiacovo (6-1, 200) isn’t the top-pair defenseman the Red Wings were seeking after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (signed with San Jose), but he is one of the few viable options remaining in what was a weak free-agent market. MLive.com first reported the Red Wings’ interest in Colaiacovo on July 3. Detroit initially offered a one-year deal, but Colaiacovo was seeking a three-year pact.
The sides might compromise on a two-year deal. Colaicovo earned $2.5 million last season. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has been in constant contact with Colaicovo’s agent, Pat Morris, this week.
If the Red Wings sign Colaiacovo, they would likely would be done on defense since they would have seven NHL defensemen.
The Red Wings have explored the trade market after they were unable to sign free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter, who left Nashville for Minnesota.
They had conversations with Calgary about Jay Bouwmeester, but they aren’t willing to part with the assets it would take to acquire a top-pair defenseman.
And the Hockey News’s Lyle “Spector” Richardson, who figured that now was as good a time as any to repeat all the Wings-related trade rumors of late:
MLive.com’s Brendan Savage reported Thursday a source claimed the Wings made a two-year contract offer to unrestricted free agent blueliner Carlo Colaiacovo worth $2.5 million per season.
The Wings reportedly explored the trade market and expressed interest in Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester, but were unwilling to part with the assets needed to land a top-four defenseman.
One of those assets might have been center Valtteri Filppula. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press conducted an analysis of the 28-year-old pivot, noting his age and versatility make him “a prime-rate” trade asset.
However, St. James noted the Red Wings have to consider 34-year-old Pavel Datsyuk has two years remaining on his contract and it’s uncertain if he’ll stay or return to Russia. Should Datsyuk remain, he’ll soon be on the downside of his career. Filppula may never reach the elite level of Datsyuk, but he would still be in his prime in two years and perhaps move up in the lineup if the talented Russian’s skills fade.
St. James also suggested winger Johan Franzen as a trade candidate, claiming his affordable cap hit ($4 million) “gives him high value in a potential trade” for a top-four defenseman. She also believes a motivated, consistent Franzen would be of more value to the Wings. Despite his affordable cap hit, the 32-year-old Franzen still has eight seasons remaining on his contract. Combine that with his age and inconsistency and he could prove difficult to move.
Colaiacovo may be seen as a Band-Aid solution, but it could be a better one for the Wings than depleting their scoring to address blueline depth.
I’m not saying anything about the concept that Datsyuk’s “aging”...
And I might suggest that the Chief’s rather understatedly offering a certain level of skepticism regarding Savage and Pleiness’s latest “reports” from “sources.” I can’t deny that I feel the same way.
• Speaking of which, MLive’s Savage is engaging in something of a rhetorical war with the Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindneau:
Lindenau is the Red Wings’ developmental camp, prospect tournament and main training camp’s point person with the press. She knows EVERYONE who is involved in the process, and if she says there will be no tournament, period, she’s telling the truth. The rest of this stuff is just speculation, and it isn’t based in reality.
• In other Twitter-based news, from the Wings:
• Heading back to the world of rumors for a moment, via Savage and Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski, the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports that our favorite “He’s gonna sign with everybody!” free agent will make a decision about his future shortly…Probably…
Without a new collective-bargaining agreement, the NHL will lock out its players on Sept. 15 when the current deal expires. But that date also holds significance for Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who has been lingering in free agency for nearly two months as he waits for the team’s ownership situation to be resolved.
“Shane is going to sign a contract before the CBA expires on the 15th,” said Doan’s agent, Terry Bross. “(Ownership has to) be done before the 15th, otherwise we’re signing somewhere because we don’t know what the new CBA is going to look like, and I don’t know if it’s going to limit any scope of a contract, so we want to make sure we sign before then. I guess from that respect, time is ticking.”
Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney wasn’t available for comment, but a Coyotes representative said that Maloney continues to negotiate with Doan and his agent on a new contract.
But before a deal between Doan and the Coyotes can be completed, Doan’s camp maintains that an owner needs to be secured. Since becoming a free agent July 1, Doan has emerged as the last prized player available. He’s received interest from 16 teams with six issuing official offers.
Despite the attention, which is rumored to include a four-year deal worth $30 million from the Buffalo Sabres, the 35-year-old winger has waited to sign in an attempt to give potential buyer Greg Jamison more time to close a deal.
—After missing out on unrestricted free agent Ryan Suter, the Wings turned their attention to his former Nashville defense partner, restricted free agent Shea Weber, in their effort to fill a gaping hole on the blue line created by Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement on May 31. According to MLive.com, Wings general manager Ken Holland had several conversations with one of Weber’s agents, but the talks did not reach the stage where he was able to tender a formal offer. Weber instead signed a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet with Philadelphia. The Predators matched it.
—Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, will coach the Wings alumni team in the Alumni Showdown Dec. 31 at Comerica Park, the event preceding the Jan. 1 Winter Classic between the Wings and Toronto. Bowman’s longtime assistant, Barry Smith, also will be coaching in the event. The Wings announced on July 11 that there will be two alumni games. Bowman guided the Wings to three Stanley Cup championships during an eight-year stint in Detroit. He retired in 2002 after winning his NHL-record ninth Cup. He won 1,244 games. Bowman, 78, is a consultant with the Chicago Blackhawks.
—The Wings extended their affiliation with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL for another two years.
Quote to note: “We had a game plan heading into the summer. Part of it was July 1, and we accomplished a lot of things on July 1. We tried to make additional moves. They haven’t happened. I still believe we got good depth in goal and good depth up front. We got a lot of players that can grow into bigger roles.”—Wings general manager Ken Holland.
[sarcasm] Thank you, captain obvious. [/sarcasm]
• In personnel issues of a different kind, via RedWingsFeed as Marie Hallman first reported (It’s been a very long week and lots of familial health stuff has been going on, so I’m sorry about not translating her epic interviews), Niklas Kronwall told Expressen’s Mattias Ek that yes, if there is a lockout, he might consider playing for Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Allsvenskan, though he’s still torn about whether he should remain in Detroit and take care of his NHLPA-related business as the Wings’ player rep, or whether he should head over to Sweden in the case of a half or full-season lockout:
“I couldn’t put on another jersey here in Sweden. I think that everyone I could not put on another shirt here in Sweden. I think everyone feels the same way about Djurgarden,” says Niklas Kronwall, and adds, “If it’s Sweden, it would only be Djugarden.”
In Europe, he only has one other team as an option, the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
“That could be so, to play with my brother (Staffan). That’s what might be attractive. But there’s so much speculation.”
With Djurgarden players in the hockey headlines, don’t assume that Niklas Kronwall would be set upon economic terms, like money for taxes and insurance.
“For us it’s also about getting ice time. We’d go as far as one can to agree on a modified contract to solve [those issues],” says Kronwall.
• As an FYI, from Lee Snowden and the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater:
• Was there actually anything happening on the labor front today? Yes. 70 or so players wrapped up two days of informational meetings in Toronto, and the NHLPA’s website posted clips of Dion Phaneuf of all people speaking to the media, as well as Donald Fehr’s daily presser:
• As I don’t know if you saw this the first time around, the NHL has re-posted an NHLPA press release (go figure) regarding an event that Tomas Jurco will attend:
The top five picks from the 2012 NHL Draft and a breakout player from last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs highlight the list of 30 players who will attend the National Hockey League Players’ Association Rookie Showcase.
The Union announced Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Alex Galchenyuk, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly and Chris Kreider are among the participants in the annual event, to be held Tuesday, Aug. 28 in Toronto.
Yakupov, Murray, Galchenyuk, Reinhart and Rielly were picks 1-through-5 in June’s draft. Kreider scored five goals for the New York Rangers in three rounds of the postseason, making his NHL debut.
Photos of the participating players will be used for trading cards, video games and other memorabilia.
Last year, the three eventual Calder Trophy finalists—winner Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche), Adam Henrique (New Jersey Devils) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers)—attended the showcase.
This year’s list of attendees, according to NHLPA.com:
Tyson Barrie (Colorado Avalanche), Nathan Beaulieu (Montreal Canadiens), Beau Bennett (Pittsburgh Penguins), Jack Campbell (Dallas Stars), Charlie Coyle (Minnesota Wild), Emerson Etem (Anaheim Ducks), Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal Canadiens), Dougie Hamilton (Boston Bruins), Quinton Howden (Florida Panthers), Tomas Jurco (Detroit Red Wings), Jared Knight (Boston Bruins), Leo Komarov (Toronto Maple Leafs), Chris Kreider (New York Rangers), Scott Laughton (Philadelphia Flyers), Joseph Morrow (Pittsburgh Penguins), Ryan Murphy (Carolina Hurricanes), Ryan Murray (Columbus Blue Jackets), Brock Nelson (New York Islanders), Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas Stars), Griffin Reinhart (New York Islanders), Morgan Rielly (Toronto Maple Leafs), Justin Schultz (Edmonton Oilers), Jaden Schwartz (St. Louis Blues), Reilly Smith (Dallas Stars), Ryan Spooner (Boston Bruins), Jarred Tinordi (Montreal Canadiens), Tyler Toffoli (Los Angeles Kings), Mark Visentin (Phoenix Coyotes), Austin Watson (Nashville Predators) and Nail Yakupov (Edmonton Oilers).
The event is taking place from 9-10 AM at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke, so if you want to snag some autographs, head down to the rink;
• Also from NHL.com, I agree with NHL.com’s John Kreiser’s inclusion of the following player among the league’s fastest players ever:
Sergei Fedorov [Pavel] Bure and Fedorov were linemates in the Soviet Union (along with Alexander Mogilny) in one of the great junior threesomes of all time, and wound up with the Detroit Red Wings after coming to North America in 1990.
Fedorov didn’t have the tremendous burst of speed that Bure did—but his long, strong stride made him almost impossible to catch, even though he never seemed to be going all that fast. Rather than churning his legs, Fedorov had a fluid style of skating—but he was every bit as fast as his former linemate. He won two of the first three Fastest Skater competitions during All-Star Weekend.
Fedorov spent nearly two decades in the NHL—and was as fast on the day he left as he was when he first stepped onto a North American rink.
• For the record, the Lansing State Journal’s Brian Calloway’s story on the Spartan Pro Camp now includes a 9-image photo gallery;
• And for the sakes of the teams that many Red Wings fans will be patronizing if there is a lockout:
1. From Plymouth WHalers director of communications Peter Krupsky:
The Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers open the 2012-13 season on Wednesday, August 29 with training camp at Compuware Arena in Plymouth Township. The team will be participating in off-ice testing on Wednesday.
The Whalers hit the ice in scrimmages from 9-11 am and 2-4 pm on Thursday, August 30 and Friday, August 31. The scrimmages are free and open to the public and media. Rosters will be provided the day of the scrimmages.
Compuware Arena is located at 14900 Beck Road in Plymouth Township, between 5-Mile and M-14.
Plymouth opens their preseason schedule against Windsor on Saturday, September 1 at 7 pm at Yack Arena in Wyandotte. Plymouth and Windsor will meet again on Monday, September 3 at 2 pm at Windsor Family Credit Union Center.
Find out more about the Whalers-Windsor game in Wyandotte:
Plymouth finished 47-18-2-1 last season, finishing second overall in the OHL’s Western Conference while winning their 10th West Division title over their 22-year history. The Whalers made the OHL playoffs for the 21st consecutive season last year - a current OHL record.
The Whalers expect to be in the middle of the Western Conference race again in 2012-13. Plymouth features four first-round National Hockey League draft choices - Stefan Noesen (Ottawa), Rickard Rakell (Anaheim), JT Miller (New York Rangers) and Tom Wilson (Washington) - in addition to NHL-drafts Matt Mahalak (Carolina), Cody Payne (Boston), Gianluca Curcuruto (Columbus), Garrett Meurs (Colorado), Mitchell Heard (Colorado), Connor Carrick (Washington) and Simon Karlsson (Nashville).
The Whalers open the 2012-13 season on Fri. Sept. 21 in Sault Ste. Marie, with the home opener set for Sat. Sept. 22 at 7:05 pm at Compuware Arena against the Belleville Bulls. Tickets for all Plymouth Whalers games can be purchased by calling Compuware Arena at (734) 453-8400.
Keep in mind that most of the Wings’ players live on the West Side, so they could very well be skating at Compuware Arena if a lockout happens.
2. From the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye:
8/20/2012 - Educate, encourage and motivate your students with this unique, low cost learning experience! School Appreciation Day is Wednesday, November 7 at 10:30 a.m. Each year approximately 6,000 have attended the Walleye School Appreciation Day. Place your initial reservation as soon as possible! Call Adam at 419-725-9257 for details. More info at http://www.toledowalleye.com/schoolday.
3. Regarding the Grand Rapids Griffins, from the Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner (sorry this is poorly-timed):
Spots are available for another day to join Grand Rapids Griffins players, alumni, coaches and fans at Egypt Valley Country Club on Monday for the 18th Annual Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic.
The classic, one of the area’s largest charitable events held since 1995, is the largest fundraiser for the Griffins Youth Foundation.
A number of hockey notables are expected to be on hand, including new Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, assistant coach Jim Paek and veteran NHL player Mike Knuble from Kentwood.
The event begins at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start. Cost is $225 per person or $800 for a foursome. Registration, accepted until 4 p.m. Friday, is available by calling 616-774-4585 ext. 3027.
The Griffins Youth Foundation provides opportunities for 350 kids – many of whom are underprivileged, underserved or have other special needs – to participate in hockey at no cost. The foundation offers hockey for 1st through 12th graders and a girls-only division, while also supporting the Grand Rapids Sled Wings sled hockey team for physically challenged kids and teens.
If you’re keeping score at home, many Wings and Tigers will be attending the Ilitch Charities Celebrity Golf Classic this Monday, August 27th.
4. And in more charitable news regarding the Griffins, again, from Wallner:
Members of the Grand Rapids Sled Wings plan to make their mark on ArtPrize on Saturday.
The Sled Wings, teams of physically challenged athletes who play ice hockey on bladed sleds, will create their own artwork for the event Saturday in the parking lot at Craig’s Cruisers in Wyoming.
Setup will begin at 9 a.m. and the program will start at 10 a.m. and finish between noon and 1 p.m. The finished works will be displayed in the windows of the Grand Rapids Griffins office at Van Andel Arena.
As many as 20 members of the Sled Wings (two teams with youth and adult, along with families and volunteers) will take part, with the athletes ranging in age from 8 to 53.
Their artwork will consist primarily of framed canvasses painted by the tires on their wheelchairs (along with their team logo, player images and the word “Ability.”)
The youth team is sponsored by the Griffins Youth Foundation, while the youth and adult teams are supported by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. The Sled Wings have won numerous regional and national tournaments and have produced three players for various U.S. national sled hockey teams.
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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.