The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/02/11 at 08:39 PM ET
Updated at 7:22 PM: A rainy day in Grand Marais yielded a nap and an afternoon of packing up the car instead of a post-storm beach day, so I’m up and about and there is indeed Red Wings-related news. Pavel Datsyuk stopped by Sovetsky Sport’s offices in Moscow to pick up the Kharlamov Trophy as the Russian player-voted MVP, and Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov (via RedWingsFeed as usual) fired off the following English-language Twitter updates from the ceremony:
Heading out to the Kharlamov Trophy ceremony where Pavel Datsyuk will get his award. A chat with Pavel will follow. And some pics
#RedWings Pavel Datsyuk has arrived for the Kharlamov Trophy presentation. http://t.co/b75CR6f
Datsyuk: “Every year I hear ‘Detroit is old. They won’t be competitive.’ But we’re still here and we will keep fighting.”
Datsyuk says injuries are still bothering him a bit.
Just went to dinner with Datsyuk to an Uzbek restaurant in Moscow. Quality time and a long 1on1 chat on and off the record.
Russian #RedWings fans presented Datsyuk with a mock Hunters at Rest painting w/Hull, Zetterberg and Datsyuk. http://t.co/b75CR6f
A lot of people still remember the 72 Superseries, and commemorate in car paintings like this one http://t.co/gdC4tXn
Datsyuk: “Hasek was such a fierce competitor. Once after a loss he stayed in the locker room overnight to punish himself.” More Dats on PD
In other words, we’re going to be able to read a fantastic interview with Datsyuk, in English, within the next week or so.
Sovetsky Sport’s Sergei Bergishev posted several interviews with Datsyuk’s former coach, German Skoropupov, who says that Datsyuk hasn’t changed from his days with Dynamo-Energia in Ekaterinburg;
Soviet hockey legends Alexander Yakushev, Boris Mikhailov and Sergey Gimaev all praised Datsyuk as a fantastic player and person…
And while Datsyuk says that there’s no way in hell that he’ll ever leave the Red Wings, he did tell Andrei Lipkin that he may consider finishing his career with Motorist Ekaterinburg if they offer him a deal (between you and me, however, there’s no way in hell that the Wings’ management will allow Datsyuk to end his playing career wearing anything other than the Winged Wheel [we’ll get to, “If he plays ‘till he’s 40 and wins another Cup or two, should his number be retired? conversations later]);
Datsyuk demurred regarding his fight with Corey Perry and his “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” against Anaheim, and he apparently laughed his rear end off when Fedorovka.ru’s fans gave him Chesnokov’s mentioned parody of Vasily Petrov’s “Hunters at Rest”:
Image from Wikipaintings.org
And Russian Wings blogger Aleksey Kovalevich already posted a picture of the parody image here:
(click on the picture to embiggen)
After Datsyuk admitted that it was hard to imagine himself in Kharlamov’s company, and after suggesting that the Wings travel so much as Western Conference residents that their players could learn how to fly the team plane, he did both answer some reader questions and stated that his injuries should heal up by the end of his summer holiday.
The only reason I’m not going into more detail regarding these articles involves the fact that Chesnokov’s interview will likely touch all the bases, so to speak, in better English than I can offer via rough translations of Russian.
In other Wings-related news, the Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema spoke to Wings forward Justin Abdelkader as he took part in the Grand Rapids Griffins’ youth hockey camp (the Grand Rapids Press posted a photo gallery from the event as well), and Abdelkader talked about squeezing in the time to lend a hand amidst a very busy summer (he’s taking college classes, training on and off the ice, etc.)...
“It’s been busy,” he said. “Just glad it worked out with the schedule and I could come out and help out.”
In fact, Abdelkader next will head to Adrian on Tuesday to help with a hockey camp run by Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. Former Griffins captain Jamie Tardif, who signed a two-year deal with the Boston Bruins this summer, is scheduled to participate in the Griffins Youth Hockey Camp through the rest of the week, and Kentwood native and Washington Capitals forward Mike Knuble is slated to stop by either Thursday or Friday.
And Abdelkader discussed the fact that he and the Wings’ other younger players will have to step up in the leadership department now that Kris Draper, Brian Rafalski and Chris Osgood have retired:
“I think those guys will still be around, though, and it will be good to have them around within the organization,” Abdelkader said. “It will be a little different, but hopefully, the guys can step up and fill some leadership roles. Obviously, Drapes was a very vocal leader in the locker room, so we’ll definitely miss that.”
“I hope I can fill that role at some point,” he said. “I’m still young at this point in my career, still adjusting to the game, but I hope I can feel that leadership role one way or another.”
Abdelkader said he didn’t focus on anything specific this summer in terms of training, but he hopes to remain a multifaceted forward for the Red Wings after spending time on all four lines last season and playing center and on both wings.
“I hope I can be that versatile guy, I hope I can play wherever they put me,” he said. “I played center most of my career, but now I’ve been left wing and right wing a little bit, too, and getting comfortable there. I’ve enjoyed being able to play all positions.”
“Once August comes and you start getting on the ice, you get anxious to get back with the guys, for sure,” Abdelkader said.
Looking back at yesterday’s announcement that Chris Chelios has been named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2011 induction class, WXYZ posted a quick video regarding said announcement, the Chicago Daily Herald posted a Chelios-in-retrospective photo gallery, and Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek offers the following:
Chris Chelios: I still maintain that Chelios is the greatest American hockey player to ever suit up. His longevity and consistency is unrivaled by any player who holds a U.S. passport. On another note, after the 1998 Olympics in Nagano when a few U.S. hockey players tore up a hotel room or two, Chelios was the only one who owned up to being part of it and paid for the destruction. That’s character. He’s tops in my books.
Chelios also set the record for longest time between Stanley Cup wins, claiming hockey’s top prize in 1986 with the Canadiens and in 2002 with the Red Wings. Cliff Clavin moment: Chelios became the first defenceman with a right-handed shot to win the Norris Trophy in ‘88-‘89.
Also: according to Badger of Honor’s David Sinclair, Chelios and Gary Suter did not play at the University of Wisconsin at the same time…
In fan participation-related news, the Red Wings offered the following press release from Rick Bouwness today...
The votes are in and superstar forward Henrik Zetterberg has emerged victorious from the opening round of balloting in the Red Wings’ Operation: Bobblehead campaign. As a result, Zetterberg’s likeness will now adorn a 6½ inch polyresin figurine set to be given away compliments of the Detroit Medical Center to the first 7,500 fans in attendance at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, November 3 when Detroit plays host to the Calgary Flames.
Zetterberg joins his longtime teammates Pavel Datsyuk (Oct. 13) and Nicklas Lidstrom (Apr. 5) as players to be featured in the Red Wings’ season-long Bobblehead Thursday promotion, with three more spots yet to be determined by the forthcoming results of Operation: Bobblehead. Recommencing at one minute past noon today with none of the votes from last week counting towards this week’s total, balloting for Operation: Bobblehead is conducted simultaneously at DetroitRedWings.com and via the club’s official Facebook page.
With three of the six players to be featured on Bobblehead Thursdays at The Joe in 2011-12 now set, citizens of Hockeytown are invited to have their voices heard and select which remaining members of the team will round out the bobblehead giveaway lineup. Voting will be conducted on a week-by-week basis and will close at noon every Monday. The following day (Tuesday) at 12:01 p.m., voting will begin anew; no ballots cast the previous week will count towards each player’s total.
Red Wings’ 2011-12 Bobblehead Giveaway Schedule
Thursday, October 13 vs. Vancouver – PAVEL DATSYUK (Presented by AT&T)
Thursday, November 3 vs. Calgary – HENRIK ZETTERBERG (Presented by DMC)
Thursday, December 8 vs. Phoenix – Winner of Fan Vote #2 (Presented by Amway)
Thursday, January 12 vs. Phoenix – Winner of Fan Vote #3
Thursday, February 23 vs. Vancouver – Winner of Fan Vote #4
Thursday, April 5 vs. New Jersey – NICKLAS LIDSTROM
(NOTE: all games begin at 7:30 p.m.)
Also of Red Wings-related note: NHL.com’s John Kreiser praised two Red Wings for next March in a mailbag feature…
By keeping cap room open, is Detroit going to make a big splash during the 2012 Trade Deadline?—@bertlen19
Hradek: I don’t know about a “big splash,” but Wings GM Ken Holland will be better positioned to improve his club with a deal in the weeks prior to the trade deadline. In fact, in a recent conversation, he admitted that he could see himself being much more active at the deadline than he’s been able to be in recent seasons.
I don’t think Holland will do something for the sake of doing something—he’s too smart for that. Rather, he’ll only act if something makes sense for the Wings. If the right player or players are available, Holland will take his best shot at making something happen without quite as much worry about cap problems.
• If you didn’t see it already, Paul spoke to Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy about his “guilty pleasures” in hockey;
• The National Post’s Sean McIndoe offers a summertime “airing of grievances” for several NHL teams given the fact that the Los Angeles Kings are officially protesting the fact that the Edmonton Oilers gave the Kings damaged goods in Colin Fraser in return for Ryan Smyth, offering this quip about the Wings’ new goalie mentor:
Detroit Red Wings Thought it would be a nice gesture to have recently retired Chris Osgood mentor the organization’s young goalies, but it turns out the only advice he ever gives them is, “Always make sure you play on a team with at least 15 or 16 players who are way better than you.”
• And finally, for now, anyway, I need to mention that I’m not going to be available for most of Wednesday. I’m not even sure whether I’ll post an “overnight report” as the mom and I are making the 400-mile drive home sometime early tomorrow morning (as in “early” by my standards, at 10 or 11 AM), and while I’m going to be pinch-hitting for Paul on Thursday and Friday, I will also be out of the office for a good chunk of Friday afternoon as the mom and I prefer to take care of our sand-saturated laundry at the laundromat than at home.
So I’ll be in and out and will do my best to get shi, I mean stuff done over the next three days, but my availability will be somewhat limited, so I’m not sure how much translating I’ll be able to do. Alanah and I plan on working to give you as much news as we can on Thursday, Friday and Saturday…
But as it’s August, and I must admit that I’ve ground out a pretty solid three to five hours of work every day on vacation, I think that both Alanah and I will go gently and relatively slowly. My batteries are mostly recharged, but next week’s going to be a very, very quiet stay-at-home week for me, too. I think Saturday in particular will be a quiet day for us, and if it’s OK with you, I’m not going to follow Paul’s lead and get up at 6 and work till 11 every day!
Update: Okay, Vasteras IK’s website engaged in an audio interview with Nicklas Lidstrom, which isn’t great unless you can understand Swedish;
• UWBadgers.com’s Mike Lucas offers a bit of gabba about Chris Chelios and Gary Suter’s days at the University of Wisconsin;
• Yahoo Sports’ Sunaya Sapurji reports that Wings prospect camp try-out Tyson Teichmann has been traded from the Belleville Bulls to the Erie Otters;
• Puckdrawn.com posted its last slate of Grand Rapids Griffins New Year’s Eve Jersey concepts as the competition is now over;
• And I want to make up a rule for fans and media regarding Brian Lashoff: We are not going to talk to him, or at least will hardly ever do so, about his brother Matt’s musical aspirations (as discussed with the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran)...Though knowing Brian, he’d probably laugh it off or laugh along.
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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.