The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/20/12 at 05:08 PM ET
Given that Red Wings coverage may or may not involve players preparing to play in Detroit this upcoming season, or players trying to stay in shape during a partial-season lockout, I’ll take this Tweet from DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose as good news…
A good sign at Joe Louis Arena today:— The Wheel Deal (@Bill_Roose) August 20, 2012
#RedWings center Henrik Zetterberg in the weight room. ... Ice should be going back in by Labor Day!
And the majority of this entry involves Twitter scraps. The Red Wings (after a plug, anyway), are trying to start a scrap with the Blackhawks…
We’re getting close to hitting the ice again.
That is, unless an NHL lockout takes place. The Red Wings put tickets on sale for their four home preseason games today. That would include:
• Thursday, Sept. 27: Blackhawks, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 30: Capitals, 5 p.m.
• Wednesday, Oct. 3: Penguins, 7:30 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 5: Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m.
However, those games could be subject to cancellation should a lockout take place. The current NHL CBA runs out on Sept. 15. Players seem to be prepared for what would be the second NHL lockout since 2004.
Tickets are between $30 and $200 (not including fees). You can purchase tickets here or call 313-396-7575.
And getting back to the “Twitter scrap” theme:
(1/3) HELP US BEAT THE BLACKHAWKS! We’re working AGAINST the— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 20, 2012
@nhlblackhawks to see who can get more Twitter followers by next week.
(3/3) If you refer a friend, have them use— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 20, 2012
#ReferredtoWings by @(yourhandle) and you both could win, too! May the best fans win!
In a completely different participatory vein, Pavel Datsyuk will be facing off against Henrik Lundqvist in TSN’s “Who’s Better
I was just making up for my late start today by reviewing some Twitter bookmarks, assuming that today would be another “quiet day” preceding the CBA storm likely to hit on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and instead, well…
I just don’t want anyones hopes up at all when it has already been decided.— Sarah Lindenau (@Lindy72) August 20, 2012
Just to clarify, the decision to cancel the— Red Wings Camps (@RedWingsCamps) August 20, 2012
#nhlprospects tournament is final and it will not be played this year even with fewer teams.
So yeah, this makes the Kings-Wings Twitter scrap look minor by comparison, and mostly, I’m glad that Lindenau’s here to set the record straight. There is no one better-connected to what’s going on in Traverse City than Lindenau, who’s known everyone involved with the prospect tournament since its inception, and is indeed the person who runs their Twitter account, so what she says goes.
Like a speeding train, Kirk Maltby zipped to the lead last Thursday and never trailed in his quest to become the fourth former player to solidify his own collectible figurine in the Red Wings’ Operation Bobblehead: Alumni Edition.
Not known as a scorer during 16 NHL seasons, Maltby sure poured it on in Round 3 balloting, collecting 1,273 votes or 39.2 percent of the total voted casted last week on DetroitRedWings.com. The Wings will distribute 7,500 collectible figurines characterizing Maltby to their fans at a select home game during the upcoming 2012-13 season.
For the second straight week, the top five bobblehead choices were rounded out – though in a different order – by Mickey Redmond (14.6%), Sergei Fedorov (11.9%), Chris Osgood (7.3%) and Darren McCarty (6%).
Maltby’s name will be removed from the ballot and voting for Round 4 of Operation Bobblehead: Alumni Edition will resume on Tuesday, August 21 at 12:01 p.m. EDT.
Former Wings appearing on the ballot include, Sid Abel, Alex Delvecchio, Terry Sawchuck, Ted Lindsay, Joe Kocur, John Ogrodnick, Luc Robitaille, Dino Ciccarelli, Brendan Shanahan, Igor Larionov and many more. Write-in candidates are also encouraged and there is no limit to the number of times fans can vote for their favorite former Wings’ player. None of the ballots cast during previous rounds of the campaign will count towards the next round of voting.
The voting page is available here, and it’s a Formstack page that doesn’t ask for too much personal info.
The Saginaw News’s Erica Perdue reports that one of Maltby’s linemates will be making an appearance at a Great Lakes Loons minor league baseball game this week…
Former Detroit Red Wing forward Kris Draper will visit Dow Diamond on Wednesday as part of the Great Lakes Loons Detroit Red Wings Legends Series when the Loons take on the Lansing Lugnuts.
And she also engaged in a Q and A with Draper (I suggest that you might want to read the entire thing):
Question: Now that you’ve been retired for one full season, what do you miss most about playing for the Detroit Red Wings?
Kris Draper: I miss being in the dressing room with my teammates, getting ready for games. I’ve found that it’s tough when the playoffs start, too. I love everything about playoff hockey. I loved getting the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. I just miss being around my teammates and having that opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup.
Question: You’re affiliated with the Red Wings in the front office now as a special assistant to General Manager Ken Holland. What has that transition been like?
Draper: I was fortunate to walk away from the game and become a special assistant to Ken Holland. My transition from playing to retired was smooth because of the opportunity Ken Holland gave me. I appreciate and am excited that I can pursue other options and could move into the front office.
Question: Do you see yourself staying in the front office for a while?
Draper: I have an opportunity to see what I want to do. The one intriguing thing is what Steve Yzerman has done with running the Tampa Bay Lightning. I have a lot to learn. I’ve played hockey since I was 4 or 5 years old. Now I’m learning something new, and one day down the road I may have an opportunity to be a general manager.
Question: You spent many years playing for the Wings with Nick Lidstrom. What was your reaction to his retirement this year?
Draper: When last season ended, I thought he might stay another year just because he is so good and can continue playing at a high level. Then I went to his press conference and heard him talk about why he decided to retire, and then everything made sense. As an employee for the Red Wings, it’s a huge loss for our hockey club. He felt it was the right time, and as a guy that recently retired, I totally understand.
Question: Who could you see being the next Detroit Red Wings captain?
draper: To be honest, any of the three alternate captains — Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall — would put the team in great hands. They are all fantastic guys and are all all-stars. They are top players in the league and hard workers on and off the ice. That’s special. There’s going to be a terrific captain with any of them.
For the next couple of days, however, Draper’s working with younger hockey players, as he notes via his Twitter account:
— Kris Draper (@kdraper33) August 19, 2012
#Grind Line camp starting [Monday]. First ice session is at 8:30. Going to be a great 4 days for the kids.
If you’re wondering what the present-day Wings might be wearing at the Winter Classic, Howard Berger believes that they’ll go “retro” in a big way…
Also regarding the current Wings, in the fantasy hockey vein, the Hockey News’s Darryl Dobbs offers his take on the Red Wings’ fantasy hockey “outlook” for the 2012-2013 season:
Detroit Red Wings
Gone – Nicklas Lidstrom, Fabian Brunnstrom, Chris Conner, Jiri Hudler, Brad Stuart, Ty Conklin, Tomas Holmstrom
Incoming – Jordin Tootoo, Jonas Gustavsson, Mikael Samuelsson, Damien Brunner
Ready for full time – Gustav Nyquist is an early candidate for the Calder Trophy. Not a slam dunk or a much-hyped candidate, but certainly a good one. He has the hockey sense and talent to steal a scoring-line spot. The earlier he does that, the bigger the splash on the scoresheet. He was a star in college and he averaged more than a point-per-game in the American League last season.
Coach Mike Babcock will be watching Brunner carefully. The Swiss sensation has been absolute dynamite in Europe, posting 164 points in his past 132 Swiss League games. He’s 26, so he’s more mature than most rookies. He may take the Ville Leino route to the NHL, which means looking very good during brief NHL stints, but playing most of his first North American season in the AHL. Still, he’s one to watch in training camp.
Poolies have waited a couple of years for Brendan Smith to get his full-time chance. He’ll get one now. A potential 50-plus point, 100-plus PIM blueliner, Smith will probably start slowly in the points department. But he’ll reward owners right away in leagues that count penalty minutes.
Fantasy Outlook – The Red Wings have been a reliable team for fantasy owners for two decades. The stars generally shine, though Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are more like 70- to 75-point players than the 90-plus guys they used to be. The middle-range guys post reliable 45-55 points. The prospects get eased into the NHL as if on a conveyor belt. You know what you’re getting with this team, which is nice. Fantasy Grade: B+ (last year was B+)
In less optimistic news, Sportsnet’s Luke Fox compiled an “outlook” of sorts in retrospect, looking back at top eight list of strong performers who plied their trades overseas during the last lockout, and his timing’s pretty damn good:
Henrik Zetterberg, Timra IK, SEL
The 2004-05 season would have been Detroit Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg third in the NHL.
Due to the lockout, however, Zetterberg opted to go back home to Sweden to play with Timra IK of the Swedish Elite League (SEL). Zetterberg had played with the club for two seasons before heading to North America to join the Detroit Red Wings.
Zetterberg had a successful season in the SEL as he scored 50 points (19 goals, 31 assists) in 50 regular-season games. He added eight points (six goals and two assists) in seven postseason games.
And in inevitable CBA discussions, I’ll try to tread lightly here and stick to bullet points:
• In light of the CHL’s attempt to unionize, the Score’s Cam Charron penned a superb article explaining why player unions are necessary and healthy;
• Equally impressively, Justin Bourne took due note of Gary Bettman’s status as a “weasel” when it comes to business deals;
• SI’s Stu Hackel elegantly broke down the differences between the ways the NHL and the NHLPA count hockey-related revenues;
Finally, a website called “Interaction Works” took look at a social media promotion the Grand Rapids Griffins held this past season;
• And things take a dramatic and bloody turn in Stevie Roxelle’s latest installment of Biscuit Fox.
Update: From the Grand Rapids Griffins, via email:
2013 Great Skate Winterfest
Presented by the Griffins, Xfinity and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation
Saturday, Jan. 12 at Noon
Through Sunday, Jan. 13 at 10 p.m.
Rosa Parks Circle, Downtown Grand Rapids
Event details and information about sponsorship/fundraising opportunities coming soon.
All proceeds benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation.
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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.