The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/12/12 at 02:52 PM ET
Updated 7x at 2:49 PM w/ a Howard video, and Nicklas Lidstrom’s confirmed to have asked for the weekend off: Instead of posting a massive press release, the NHL chose to announce its All-Star reserves via Twitter updates from its 30 teams’ beat writers and official team Twitter accounts, but they did post a press release which lists all 30 team’s All-Stars, and the Red Wings will be sending, per NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman, two players—Jimmy Howard and Pavel Datsyuk.
I guess that, as Mike Babcock suggested during the Wings’ morning skate, that Nicklas Lidstrom got the weekend off, but I’m not thrilled with the concept of Lidstrom not being in Ottawa.
Update: Here’s the actual list. No Lidstrom.
Howard and Datsyuk are wings all-stars as Lidstrom not picked. given weekend off
That’s got to be it—Lidstrom must have asked for a weekend to spend with his family…And because I’m a nervous Nellie, here’s hoping he said, “No, I’ll do it next year.”
Update #2: Per Fox Sports Detroit’s John Keating...
It’s an outrage to be sure, but big picture-that Nick Lidstrom will not be at the All-Star game and has a wknd off, is great for Wings.
Mike Babcock put it succinctly this morning. If Nick Lidstrom wanted to be at the All Star game, he’d be there. Earned it.#agreattimetorest
And the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
Datsyuk and Howard chosen for All-Star game, not Nicklas Lidstrom. Wow at that omission.
But on plus side, Lidstrom gets to rest for four days during break.
Update #3: Via Khan...
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard and center Pavel Datsyuk were selected to play in the NHL All-Star game, as the league released the full roster of players today.
Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom was not selected. His performance certainly warranted a selection, but he was given the weekend off, which sure was his choice.
Lidstrom kind of hinted at this after today’s morning skate at Joe Louis Arena, before the selections were revealed.
“It’s always an honor to be selected and one of the guys going to the All-Star game,’’ he said, before adding, “It would be nice to get the weekend off, kind of re-energize and get back at it after the break.’‘
It will be the first all-star selection for Howard, who leads the NHL in wins (24-10-1), is among the leaders in goals-against average (2.05) and shutouts (four) and has a fine .924 save percentage.
“Definitely it would be very welcomed, an honor,’’ Howard said today, before the selections were released. “They (all-star games) all for fun. You go out there, get to meet guys from other teams, catch up with old friends that you know. Just basically have a good time and take it all in. I definitely enjoyed it when I was growing up, watching the skills competition and all that.’‘
And here’s Ted Kulfan’s All-Star report:
Goalie Jimmy Howard and center Pavel Datsyuk have been selected by the league for the NHL All-Star Game.
Six players were voted by fans to the All-Star Game, and those players were announced last week. The remaining 36 players were announced Thursday.
Howard said Thursday morning before the announcement that he would be thrilled to make his first appearance in the game.
“It definitely would be an honor,” said Howard, who is from Ogdensburg, N.Y., about two hours from Ottawa, were the game will take place on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 4 p.m.
Update #3.5: Per Josh Rimer:
Ken Holland on @nhlhomeice “Lidstrom wanted a few days off during the break & he’s looking forward to a few days off to rest the batteries.”
Update #4: Here’s the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness’s report:
Jimmy Howard and Pavel Datsyuk are in, Nicklas Lidstrom is not. Howard and Datsyuk were selected to play in the NHL All-Star game in Ottawa, in a press release issued by the NHL.
Lidstrom, who was a captain in last year’s All-Star game and helped pick players to make up the two teams, will not participate in the game. He kind of hinted after the morning skate that he might not be selected this year and sounded as if it was his choice to sit this one out.
“It’s always an honor to be selected,” Lidstrom said. “It would be nice to get the weekend off, kind of re-energize and get back at it after the break.”
As for Howard, “I think the guys in here believe he should be there, especially with the kind of season he’s had,” Lidstrom said. “He’s up there in most wins, he’s playing great for us and has been getting better and better every year for us and you can tell his confidence is high as well.”
Update #5: From the Free Press’s George Sipple:
Goaltender Jimmy Howard and forward Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red WIngs were among the 36 All-Stars and 12 rookies named today to play in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa. All-Star Weekend is Jan. 26-29.
Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who captained a team in the All-Star Game last season, was certainly deserving of being selected this season but was not chosen. Lidstrom hinted after today’s morning skate that he would be happy to have the weekend off.
This will be the first All-Star appearance for Howard.
“The All-Star Game, they’ve got to find players from every team to make sure as many teams are represented,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “Obviously, Jimmy Howard has probably played as well as any goalie in the NHL and he’s deserving. We’ve got a lot of other candidates and the ultimately chose Datsyuk. I talked to Lidstrom in the last month and Nick told me that although he would be honored to go, his preference would be to have a four-day breather with his family.”
Update of a personal note nature: I really enjoy watching the All-Star Game and skills competition. To me, it’s an exhibition game played between incredibly highly-skilled players who get to enjoy having a casual but somewhat competitive game in the middle of the grind that is the NHL’s 82-game season while playing with sometimes bitter rivals and players that even they feel star-struck playing alongside, and I think that it’s great to watch players play hockey with smiles on their faces for once. That’s what it’s about—fun—and when the business of hockey (the ASG is a sponsor-fest for the NHL, which is why it will never, ever go away) and marketing star power finally hits the ice, we get to see players at their most, well, playful, which is really cool.
Update #6: Great note from Ansar Khan via Twitter:
Lidstrom was proactive. He spoke with league official Brendan Shanahan weeks ago and told him he’d rather have weekend off.
Update #6.5: Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
News of their selection wasn’t known as the Wings prepared to head home after Thursday’s morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. But that didn’t dampen Howard’s enthusiasm for what he was hoping to hear.
“Definitely it would very welcomed, an honor,” Howard said.
“He’s played real well and become an important part of our team,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Goaltending is very important, but obviously Howie has become an upper echelon player on our team, he’s been very consistent. Good players aren’t once in awhile they’re every night. And that’s what we expect from him. We’ve grown accustomed to that’s what we’re going to get.”
“I think the guys in here believe he should be there, especially with the kind of season he’s had,” [Nicklas] Lidstrom said. “He’s up there in most wins, he’s playing great for us and has been getting better and better every year for us and you can tell his confidence is high as well.”
Howard said that he used to watch the All-Star games and root for his boyhood idol, former New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter. Now Howard gets to follow in his idol’s skates.
“When you’re a little guy, it’s a lot of fun to watch, you get to see all the names in hockey,” Howard said. “I definitely enjoyed it when I was growing up, watching the skills competition and all that.”
“They’re all for fun,” he said. “You go out there, get to meet guys from other teams, catch up with old friends that you know. Just basically have a good time and take it all in.”
Update 7: From WXYZ’s Tom Leyden:
Tonight against Phoenix, Howard hopes to collect his 100th career win and deliver head coach Mike Babcock his 400th career win in the process.
“It’s definitely something you work at. For me, I didn’t really see it as in the plans coming into the year, but if it happens it happens and it would be a tremendous honor,” said Howard.
“Obviously we have a lot of confidence in him,” said forward Justin Abdelkader. “You know, he works hard and he’s just been elevating his game each game of the season. It’s been fun to watch.”
“He’s played real well obviously,” said head coach Mike Babcock. “He’s become an important part of our team. Goaltending is very important but obviously Howie’s become an upper-echelon player on our team. He’s been very consistent.” Good players aren’t once in awhile, they’re every night and that’s what we expect from him and have grown accustomed to being comfortable that that’s what we’re going to get, so it’s real positive for the Red Wings.
Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, a seven-time Norris Trophy winner and 12-time NHL All-Star, was not selected to join Howard and Datysuk in Ottawa for All-Star Weekend. While certainly qualified for the honor, the 41-year old Lidstrom requested the weekend off and was granted that request by the NHL, according to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.
When asked about the the possibility of collecting his 400th win tonight, Babcock delivered the gem of the morning.
“That’s summer stuff,” said Babcock. “You think about that when you’re having a rum by the fire.”
And here’s a video from WXYZ as well:
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