The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/30/12 at 07:08 PM ET
It took until Saturday evening, but here’s a slate of the pertinent Red Wings, Grand Rapids Griffins, Toledo Walleye and the NHLPA’s player meetings in Chicago, all missed while I was more ill than I am now with my head cold. On a publication-by-publication basis, in no particular order:
• This is honestly my pick for the “biggest story,” because it affects each and every Ilitch Holdings property: Ilitch Holdings’ Vice President of Corporate Relations, Karen Cullen, is stepping down at the end of July, according to PR Newswire, which means that the Wings and every other IH organization will have a new public relations face sooner than later. That’s incredibly important given the Wings’ desire to build a follow-on rink partially subsidized by the City of Detroit, Wayne County and/or the State of Michigan;
• Perhaps just as importantly for those of you who plan on attending the Winter Classic, yes, the AP reported that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder did indeed approve the bill allowing Michigan Stadium to sell alcohol during the Wings-Leafs affair on New Year’s Day, 2013;
Okay, from MLive, the Jackson Citizen-Patriot’s Rich McGowan reports that a 10-year-old named Carter Mazur will take part in the Brick Invitational Tournament, playing on a hand-picked team of Michigan-based youngsters that will play as the Red Wings and will be coached by Kris Draper;
• As you probably already know, Khan reports that the salary cap will be set at $70.2 million for the summer, leaving the Wings with somewhere between $18 and 20 million to spend, depending on how much Damien Brunner, Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey cost to re-sign;
• And Brendan Savage spoke to Jim Nill and Chris Osgood about the team’s decision to draft Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson;
From the Detroit Free Press: The Freep gave the Triple Deke’s plea to Parise and Suter a plug:
• Helene St. James noted that the Flames’ trade-and-sign deal for Dennis Wideman puts the Wings in something of a pinch;
• And Evil Drew Sharp more or less undid the Dater curse;
From the Detroit News, Ted Kulfan estimated the Wings’ cap space to sign free agents to be at or around $18 million;
• Kulfan took note of the names taking part in the Wings’ summer prospect camp;
• And Kulfan worried and worried some more about the CBA and the Parise/Suter sweepstakes in his NHL Insider column.
From the Red Wings’ website:
• Zack Crawford penned a “by the numbers” analysis of Todd Bertuzzi’s 2011-2012 season;
• Bill Roose took note of the comments Wings coach Mike Babcock made about flying to wherever the Wings need him to recruit free agents tomorrow via his interview on NHL Live;
• The Wings’ website re-printed NHL.com’s Central Division “Free Agency Preview,” but not NHL.com’s Brian Compton’s list of the best UFA’s from the Central Division (and NHL.com’s version of Compton’s Free Agency Preview has a lovely interview with David Poile embedded in the article);
• I also found it amusing that the Wings chose to hold off on Ken Holland’s talk with the AP’s Larry Lage about making a “free agency splash” or two until Thursday.
From the Windsor Star, Holland seemed pretty peeved about getting the brush-off from Justin Schultz when he spoke to the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell;
And from various sources:
• The Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindenau posted the details of the Wings’ prospect camp day dedicated to honoring Bryan Rufenach’s memory;
• Hockey’s Future’s Ken McKenna doled out “awards” to the Wings’ crop of prospects;
• According to the Junior A Penticton Vees’ website’s F. Rodgers, Wings draft pick James De Haas will play for the Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League for the upcoming season, which means, as RedWingsCentral’s Matthew Wuest noted, De Haas may not graduate from Clarkson University until five years from now, giving the Wings lots and lots of time to allow him to develop;
• And the Saint Thomas Times-Journal’s R. Mark Butterwerk reports that Cory Emmerton was added to the St. Joseph’s High School Sports Wall of Fame.
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins introduced Jeff Blashill as their coach on Thursday.
• And Blashill made pitches of his own to WZZM...
• WOOD TV...
• The Grand Rapids Press’s Corey Olson the Jackson Citizen-Patriot’s David Drew spoke to Blashill as well (put simply, he wants to be a head coach and he wants to restore the Griffins to playoff form);
• In other Griffins news, the Grand Rapids Press’s Steve Kaminski noted that the Griffins have been moved to the AHL’s newly-formed Midwest Division, where they will play the Chicago Wolves, Milwaukee Admirals, Rockford IceHogs and Peoria Rivermen instead of busing to Toronto, Hamilton, Cleveland and Rochester, NY, and they will play under some new rules, too:
• Video Review - The Board has approved the use of a video goal-review system for AHL games beginning with the 2012-13 season.
• Rules Changes - The AHL has adopted the following rule changes recently approved for use in the National Hockey League:
• Rule 67.2 (“Handling the Puck”) now calls for a minor penalty “any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck.”
• Rule 76.4 (“Face-offs”) states that “both players facing off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off.” Violation of this rule will result in a minor penalty for delay of game.
• The Board has also approved a test of a variation on Rule 81 (“Icing”) at the request of the NHL, that will, in the event of a potential icing violation, complete the play should a defending player be the first to reach the end zone face-off dots and provided the puck has crossed the goal line at that point. This rule will be in effect until Nov. 19, 2012, at which time its continued use will be determined by the Board. This was the only rules test approved.
• And the Owen Sound Sun Times’ Tracey Richardson spoke to Chris Minard about his battle back from severe concussions;
Regarding the ECHL: The ECHL named the Toledo Walleye their “Team Award of Excellence” for the work their front office puts into selling hockey to a pretty small sports market.
Regarding the NHLPA:
• As you probably already know by now, the NHL and NHLPA met in New York, NY on Friday, and fired off press releases saying that the meeting was cordial, and that they’ll meet again next week.
• You probably also know that the PA named 31 players to its negotiating committee, and that Henrik Zetterberg is one of those players;
• Fehr and the negotiating committee spoke about their job in very optimistic terms and that Fehr has invited every player who wants to attend a CBA meeting to do so via paying them back for their union dues, and that he once again stated that the PA are willing to open the 2012-2013 season with no CBA, all per the Canadian Press’s Chris Johnston;
• USA Today’s Kevin Allen, the Vancouver Province’s Jim Jamieson, the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran, the Hockey News’s Ken Campbell, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby, Sportsnet’s Michael Grange (who also questioned why Sidney Crosby took a “hometown discount” on the eve of CBA negotiations), the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago’s Tracey Myers and even NHL.com’s Brian Hedger weighed in on the state of negotiations to come with varying degrees of optimism after Wednesday’s meetings;
• But after NHL Board of Governors CEO Jeremy Jacobs voiced his full support for Bettman in a very strange interview given to SportsBusiness Journal’s Christopher Botta, mostly discussing the NHL’s broadcast gains, the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman pondered whether hockey is “f***ed in a fantastic plea for consensus…
• Friedman got down to brass tacks in breaking down CBA negotiations, most importantly noting that the PA would be giving up $30 million in potential pay for every 1% of NHL revenues they’re going to be asked to give back to the league, and if the league wants a 50/50 split, that’s a request for a $210 million giveback;
• And Justin Abdelkader attended the meetings in Niklas Kronwall’s place (he’s the team’s PA rep), and Pavel Datsyuk joined him, so Abdelkader spoke to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness and MLive’s Ansar Khan about his experiences, saying that he was cautiously optimistic and learned quite a bit during his 3-day stay in Chicago.
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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.