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The Malik Report

Red Wings evening ramble: on assistant coaches, Osgood and a prospect camp reminder/request

Reporting from beautiful Traverse City, Michigan, where the Wings’ summer prospect camp gets underway at 2:30 PM EDT tomorrow…

As the Red Wings’ goaltending situation waits upon Chris Osgood’s return from Scotland to have an in-person interview with GM Ken Holland, the Wings have gotten down to the nitty gritty of determining which assistant coaches will flank Mike Babcock’s shoulders, and Kalamazoo Gazette’s Graham Couch reveals that Western Michigan University coach Jeff Blashill is one of the finalists:

Blashill, who led the Broncos this past winter to their first NCAA tournament in 15 seasons and the CCHA tournament championship game for the first time in a quarter-century, confirmed Wednesday that he’s interviewed for one of the Red Wings’ vacant assistant coaching positions.

“I am interviewing, but they have not made a decision and I have not made a decision yet,” Blashill said Wednesday afternoon. “I do expect to know at some point by the end of the week. ... I think they are narrowing in to make a decision. And, at that point, I will make a decision.”

Blashill, who was named national coach of the year by all three major college hockey publications, received a hefty pay raise in April, with his base salary bumped from $150,000 to $275,000, with the chance to earn $100,000 more in incentives. The lure of the National Hockey League — one of the sport’s preeminent franchises at that — is perhaps more enticing, in what might be an unprecedented meteoric rise in terms of leaping from the United States Hockey League to college hockey to the NHL. Blashill spent two seasons as head coach of the USHL’s Indiana Ice, after stints as an assistant at Miami of Ohio and Ferris State.

“I think when Mike Babcock calls and Ken Holland calls and the Detroit Red Wings call, you certainly listen,” Blashill said. “Yeah, it’s a potential great opportunity. I love Western Michigan. This is a special place in college hockey. I wouldn’t be talking to any other colleges, that’s for sure. But obviously it’s the NHL and the Red Wings are what they are.”

WMU director of athletics Kathy Beauregard said Wednesday afternoon that she understands why the Red Wings would be interested in Blashill and why Blashill would have trouble saying no to them.

“It’s been Jeff’s dream from the day we hired him, he talked about his goal of getting to the NHL,” said Beauregard, who was with Blashill when he informed the team on Tuesday. “Very honestly, the opportunity came much more quickly than I think any of us expected.”

The Michigan College Hockey Examiner’s Jeremy Laura offers more background information about Blashill, and, via RedWingsFeed, TSN’s Darren Dreger issued a not-so-surprising hint at the fact that Mike Babcock’s chosen to go with “younger legs” behind the bench:

Detroit hopes to have its assistant coaches in place by the end of the week. We may be in for a surprise.

The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms that Blashill’s in the running as the Wings attempt to fill the assistant coaches’ positions this week:

“We’re getting close,” Holland said during a phone interview Wednesday. “We’re going to decide on our staff by Friday.”

A source confirmed to The Macomb Daily that Western Michigan University head coach Jeff Blashill is a finalist for one of the two openings to assistant Mike Babcock. Holland would not confirm if Blashill is a finalist but did say, “We have had conversations with him.”

And regarding Osgood, the status quo remains just that. The team isn’t quite sure whether they wish to fish or cut bait as Osgood’s groin never seemed to recover from what turned out to be major reconstructive surgery in January…

“I’m more worried about the unknown,” Holland said. “He’s going to be 39 in November and he had a fairly significant surgery in the last half of the year. I want to see what he thinks,” Holland added.

And the Wings have indeed been talking to both free agent and former Wing Ty Conklin as well as Joey MacDonald, who may or may no longer have a European option available to him as training camps for teams in the KHL (where MLive’s Ansar Khan stated that MacDonald had a $1 million offer on the table) open up at the end of July or early August, so available roster spots disappear quickly…

“Ty played here a few years ago, he played well and we know him,” Holland said. “We’re talking to Joey MacDonald about possibly being in a similar role like last year.”
...
“Our first thing is to talk to Chris Osgood before we do anything,” Holland said. “We explored the market on July 1 and 2 and I anticipated we’d be second fiddle to a lot of guys because of opportunity. We’ve got a No. 1 goalie in place that’s 27 years old. It sort of played out the way I anticipated.”

Pleiness points out that it is possible, given the Wings’ cap space, that the team could bring back Osgood and MacDonald if he’s willing to reprise his role as the Wings’ #3 goaltender and mentor for Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce, but Holland doesn’t seem too sold on the idea:

“I don’t know necessarily spending money means the team is good,” Holland said. “Look at the great job Nashville has done and they’re at the bottom end of the payroll. We’re happy with the guys we got.”

At this point, barring a trade for a forward, it sounds like the Wings will sort out their back-up situations at both the NHL and AHL levels (the Wings might be interested in letting McCollum and Pearce battle it out for the Griffins’ starting position, but they might want to add a veteran back-up who can be pressed into NHL duty if necessary, too), inform Osgood and Kris Draper of the team’s plans going forward and call it a summer, saving up their cap space for the trade deadline and, assuming that Draper won’t return, giving Jan Mursak and Cory Emmerton the opportunity to make the roster as the team’s 13th and 14th forwards…

Or, in other words, barring some sort of move to reinforce the forward lines, once the team’s named its assistant coaches, picked a back-up goaltender and informed Osgood and Draper of the team’s plans, the Wings will simply build the Grand Rapids Griffins’ roster and let their roster players do the talking during training camp and the exhibition season.

The Wings would have a good $5 or $6 million in cap space, depending on how much they spend on a back-up, to fiddle with at the trade deadline instead, and as Holland tells Pleiness, that’s a product of the fact that a mediocre crop of free agents commanded astronomical wages:

“Every year is different,” Holland said. “Spending money doesn’t correspond to wins and losses. We got the guys we liked. We explored the market on July 1. It’s pretty obvious that average to above average players really commanded the market and commanded the dollars,” Holland continued. “We’ve got a salary structure and we’ve got people that want to be here and have bought into our program. I think we’re in a good spot going down the rest of the summer and into training camp.”

Speaking of free agents, Capgeek.com has yet to confirm whether the Wings have re-signed Pearce, but it’s registered Logan Pyett and Garnet Exelby’s contracts. Pyett’s one-year deal includes salaries of $75,000 at the AHL level and $525,000 at the NHL level, and Exelby will earn $105,000 at the AHL level and $600,000 at the NHL level.

Regarding Osgood specifically, three local columnists believe that Osgood is either at the end of the line or should resign himself to his NHL career reaching its conclusion.

The Detroit News’s Terry Foster simply argues that Osgood’s health and performance have gone hand in hand, and haven’t met the Wings’ expectations in either instance…

This is painful to write because the guy has been great for the Red Wings and for Detroit. But the Wings need to cut ties with Chris Osgood. Father time has caught up with the 38-year-old goalie, and it’s time to stop chasing the past.

Osgood can’t stay healthy. His groin injury limited him to 11 regular-season games last season, and he never made it back for the playoffs.

His goals-against average in that limited time last year was 2.77, but it was above 3.00 in the two seasons previous to that — too high for an NHL goalie. His save percentage was .887 in 2008-09 and .888 in 2009-10. Those are not Red Wing-like numbers. That’s what the backup goalie for the New York Islanders might do.

It’s time to move on. And it appears that is what Wings general manager Ken Holland is prepared to do. If he can swing a deal or sign somebody better than Osgood, he will. But he kept the door open for Osgood by saying the market for backup goalies is slim. Osgood, of course, would return if the Wings want him. If they don’t he is prepared to retire.

Independent journalist Greg Eno also believes that Osgood’s ready to move on, whether he’s willing to admit it or not…

Osgood is coming off two less-than-stellar seasons that have been pocked with injury, most recently to the groin—a goalie’s worst enemy.

Osgood is another who isn’t making things easy for Holland. Ozzie hasn’t offered to be jettisoned, nor will he make such an overture. At least, it’s doubtful that he will. But Osgood’s reticence hasn’t stopped Holland from carrying on with his duties as GM. The Red Wings have some money to spend on a new/old goalie. They told Osgood (and Draper) that a new contract wouldn’t be offered until after July 1, the date that free agents can begin to be signed. That is, if a contract would be offered at all.

Last winter, as he was recuperating from his groin injury—an injury he never did return from—Osgood sat in with Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond during a telecast from Florida. Osgood was asked if he felt like he had some hockey left in the tank.

Unsurprisingly, Ozzie said yes, he had.

“I’m not ready to join the Red Wings Old-Timers yet,” Osgood cracked.

But he also spoke of life post-playing, and how he’d like to somehow assist the current and future Red Wings goalies, whether as an official coach or a training camp instructor. The preference, of course, was to keep playing.

And Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Renger also argues that Osgood may not be willing to accept it, but his priorities are changing, as has his off-ice personality…

During his last few months with the Red Wings, Osgood would go from telling you that he was finally healthy and looking forward to playing next year to talking about his responsibilities as a parent. A tone of resignation filled his voice as he spoke. Ozzie no longer was the fun-loving practical joker who endeared him to teammates, fans and the media. He was much more reflective and somber as he weighed in about his future.   

Chris Osgood is a hockey player. Always has been and always will be. But, just as relatively young men before him, his career ends at the ripe old age of 38. 

There will be an official announcement within the next week or so, but Ozzie’s playing days are over, unless, every unrestricted-free-agent goalie is signed, leaving the Wings with Osgood as their most appealing option. Chances of that happening are extremely remote.

And as such, Regner believes that Ken Holland should sit down with the player he watched as a junior hockey player with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, drafted, mentored to some extent and calls a dear friend, and when the peers and pals speak, Holland should do so as a general manager whose concerns involve placing his team’s needs ahead of personal relationships, no matter how dear they may be:

Holland may come across as a mild-mannered, fun-loving individual who has a unique talent for assembling a pro hockey team. Make no mistake: Holland is a calculating and shrewd executive who will base all his decisions on what’s best for his hockey club. Bringing in [Dominik] Hasek was a no brainer hockey wise, but it was tough on a personal level. Because once Holland turns the page on a player, it’s over, except in Osgood’s case.

Certainly, the Wings have brought back players over the years. Heck, in all likelihood, Ty Conklin, is about to become Jimmy Howard’s backup. However, Ozzie is the only player Holland has ever referred to as “a son.”

That’s why when Holland and Osgood meet, it will be all business. And once the meeting is over, a couple of buddies may raise a glass or two to toast a tremendous career and friendship.


In charitably-related news, the Detroit News reports that two Red Wings legends will be honored for their charity work in Metro Detroit...

Celebrities from three different sports, whose careers and lives span generations of achievement from Detroit to East Lansing, highlight the 24th annual Fr. Vincent Welch Memorial Dinner, which is set for 6 p.m. on July 19 at the American Polish Alliance Center in Troy.

Mike Henneman, the ex-Tigers reliever, will be joined by former Michigan State and Pistons basketball star Gregory Kelser, as well as two names hewn from the Red Wings’ history books and broadcast seats: Marcel Pronovost and Budd Lynch.

The four men will be co-recipients of the Hank Aguirre Memorial Award, which is presented each year to Detroit and Michigan sports luminaries whose community achievements and service have extended well beyond their years as athletes and sports dignitaries.

Crowds of 400 have been the norm at a dinner whose proceeds finance scholarships to students at the University of Detroit-Mercy, as well as Loyola High in Detroit. Tickets are $140 ($1,150 for a table of 10) and can be obtained by calling (313) 993-1700, or by emailing teri.kromrei@udmercy.edu.

• According to “Angels for a Cause,” the details of Mike Modano’s charity baseball game this weekend have been clarified and the lineups have been announced. The game takes place on July 9th in Frisco, Texas and will benefit two Dallas-area charities;


In kind-of-sort-of news from across the pond, Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov both reported on Twitter (again, thanks, RedWingsFeed), and he also provided a translated transcript of Evgeni Malkin’s interview with Sports.ru, in which the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar stated the following:

What NHL team did you support as a child?

I think my favorite team, just like a lot of others’, was Detroit. I watched their games against Colorado, and it left an impression. I had two favorite teams:  Colorado and Detroit. Detroit, first of all, because of the Russians. It was nice to watch Fedorov, Fetisov.
...
Which NHL club plays interesting hockey apart from Pittsburgh, of course?

Detroit, they have a lot of Europeans: Swedes, Pasha [Datsyuk] are there. They play a fluid game, very dynamic. It’s difficult to play against Detroit because they have quick players who move the puck very quickly. But it’s enjoyable to watch this kind of hockey.


According to a 10-image photo gallery posted on the Wings’ website, the Wings’ participants in their summer development camp took part in fitness testing, picked out their workout gear and boarded a bus for Traverse City, where they will, as the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan notes, take part in an eight-day camp starting tomorrow, Thursday July 7th:

If you’re heading up to Traverse City for the Cherry Festival this week, make sure to stop by Centre ICE Arena.

The Red Wings will be holding their annual prospect development camp at the rink this week.

The camp has usually been at Joe Louis Arena. But the set up at Centre ICE is such, that this kind of camp is perfectly suited for the Traverse City facility.

Also, you never know about the ice at Joe Louis this time of year.

Recent draft pick Tomas Jurco, along with Brendan Smith and Thomas McCollum and Calle Jarnkrok are among the draft picks who’ll be participating.

As previously posted, here are the details thereof:

RED WINGS TO HOLD ANNUAL DEVELOPMENT CAMP AT CENTRE ICE ARENA IN TRAVERSE CITY

… NHL Prospects Set to Hit the Ice in Northern Michigan from July 7-14 …

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings will hold their annual summer prospect development camp from July 7-14 at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City , Mich . Fans wishing to attend the proceedings may attend the first day free of charge, with tickets for the remainder of camp available for $5 (per day) apiece at the rink only. This year’s development camp will feature seven of Detroit’s nine selections from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, including highly-touted offensive dynamo Tomas Jurco (RW, Saint John, QMJHL) as well as his fellow second-round picks Xavier Ouellet (D, Montreal, QMJHL) and Ryan Sproul (D, Sault Ste. Marie, OHL). Previous camp attendees set to appear at this invaluable week-long training session include renowned prospects Brendan Smith (D, Grand Rapids , AHL) and Landon Ferraro (C, Everett, WHL). The full schedule for this year’s prospect development camp can be found below:

Thursday, July 7 (Admission: FREE)

(Split Squad)

2:30 – 3:30 p.m., On-Ice Workout (Group 1)

2:30 – 3:30 p.m., Off-Ice Workout (Group 2)

3:45 – 4:45 p.m., On-Ice Workout (Group 2)

3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Off-Ice Workout (Group 1)

Friday, July 8 – Wednesday, July 13

( Split Squad)

8:30 – 10:30 a.m., Off-Ice Workout (Group 1)

8:30 – 10:30 a.m., On-Ice Skill Development/Power Skating/Practice (Group 2)

2:30 – 4:30 p.m., Off-Ice Workout (Group 2)

2:30 – 4:30 p.m., On-Ice Skill Development/Power Skating/Practice (Group 1)

Thursday, July 14

8:30 – 10:00 a.m., Scrimmage/Skills Competition

Here’s the list of prospects who will attend the camp, and I’m assuming that try-outs will be revealed on Thursday:

2011 RED WINGS DEVELOPMENT CAMP ROSTER

POS NAME HT WT BIRTHDATE HOMETOWN 2010-11 TEAM ACQUIRED

D Almqvist, Adam 5-11 175 2/27/1991 Jonkoping, Sweden HV71 Jonkoping (SEL) R7 (210), 2009

F Aubry, Louis-Marc 6-4 202 11/11/1991 Trois-Rivières, Quebec Montreal (QMJHL) R3 (81), 2010

F Callahan, Mitchell 5-11 175 8/17/1991 Whittier, California Kelowna (WHL) R6 (180), 2009

F Cayer, Julien 6-4 186 7/6/1989 Longueuil, Quebec Clarkson (NCAA) R5 (151), 2008

F Coetzee, Willie 5-10 185 11/7/1990 Maple Ridge, British Columbia Toledo (ECHL) Signed as FA (2010)

D Ehrhardt, Travis 5-11 204 4/12/1989 Calgary, Alberta Grand Rapids (AHL) Signed as FA (2009)

F Ferraro, Landon 6-0 170 8/8/1991 Vancouver, British Columbia Everett (WHL) R2 (32), 2009

D *Fournier, Gleason 6-0 184 9/8/1991 St-Fabien, Quebec Rimouski (QMJHL) R3 (90), 2009

F Hudon, Philippe 6-0 197 4/15/1993 Montreal, Quebec Choate-Rosemary (CTHS) R5 (145), 2011

F *Järnkrok, Calle 5-11 165 9/25/1991 Gävle, Sweden Brynäs IF (SEL) R2 (51), 2010

D Jensen, Nick 6-1 195 9/21/1990 Roger, Minnesota St. Cloud State (NCAA) R5 (150), 2009

F Jurco, Tomas 6-1 191 12/28/1992 Kosice, Slovakia Saint John (QMJHL) R2 (35), 2011

D Lashoff, Brian 6-3 208 7/16/1990 Albany, New York Grand Rapids (AHL) Signed as FA (2008)

F Macek, Brooks 5-11 175 5/15/1992 Winnipeg, Manitoba Calgary (WHL) R6 (171), 2010

G McCollum, Thomas 6-2 210 12/7/1989 Amherst, New York Toledo (ECHL) R1 (30), 2008

G Mrazek, Petr 6-0 170 2/14/1992 Vitkovice, Czech Republic Ottawa (OHL) R5 (141), 2010

D Nedomlel, Richard 6-4 204 7/1/1993 Prague, Czech Republic Swift Current (WHL) R6 (175), 2011

D Nicastro, Max 6-2 210 3/2/1990 Thousand Oaks, California Boston University (NCAA) R3 (91), 2008

F Nyquist, Gustav 5-11 185 9/1/1989 Halmstad, Sweden University of Maine (NCAA) R4 (121), 2008

F Oslund, Nick 6-3 210 11/15/1987 Savage, Minnesota St. Cloud State (NCAA) R7 (191), 2006

D Ouellet, Xavier 6-0 179 7/29/1993 Bayonne, France Montreal (QMJHL) R2 (48), 2011

D Parkes, Trevor 6-2 185 5/13/1991 Fort Erie, Ontario Montreal (QMJHL) Signed as FA (2010)

D Piche, Sébastien 6-0 198 2/4/1988 La Sarre, Quebec Toledo (ECHL) Signed as FA (2009)

F Pulkkinen, Teemu 5-10 171 1/2/1992 Vantaa, Finland Jokerit Helsinki (FEL) R4 (111), 2010

F Quine, Alan 5-11 184 2/25/1993 Belleville, Ontario Peterborough (OHL) R3 (85), 2011

F Raedeke, Brent 6-0 200 5/29/1990 Regina, Saskatchewan Grand Rapids (AHL) Signed as FA (2008)

D Rufenach, Bryan 6-0 192 4/15/1989 Cameron, Ontario Clarkson (NCAA) R7 (208), 2007

D Smith, Brendan 6-2 195 2/8/1989 Mimico, Ontario Grand Rapids (AHL) R1 (27), 2007

D Sproul, Ryan 6-3 185 1/13/1993 Mississauga, Ontario Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) R2 (55), 2011

F Tvrdon, Mark 6-2 210 1/31/1993 Nitra, Saskatchewan Vancouver (WHL) R4 (115), 2011

*Participating in Off-Ice Workouts Only

The camp hasn’t been open to the public since 2005, so this is a pretty big deal.

I’m writing this from my hotel room in Traverse City, and I’m sporting a driver’s tan on my left arm, a 230-mile-trip’s worth of allergic sniffles and am happy to say that I’ll be up here for the entire camp thanks to your donations.

I guess this is where I have to ask a question, and that question is an honest one: especially given that the Wings’ website will be here, that other press outlets will be here and that, quite frankly, there are six very hard days ahead in the workouts that start at 8:30 and don’t end till 5, which will mean that in addition to grinding out blog updates, I’ll be at the rink for nine hours a day and attempting to produce content at the same time…

Is there a happy medium that I could be allowed to find between the kind of novellas that I’ve written in the past—which are exhausting, quite frankly—and a somewhat more sane level of coverage? I’m not here to sight-see, I’ll be living on caffeine, self-made sandwiches and fast food, and I’ll try to grind out as much coverage as I can, but I’d like to try to get more than four hours of sleep a night and not be completely wiped by the end of camp. I know that’s a hard thing to ask given that you’re paying for what I can give ya, but I figured I ought to ask.

If it is write, write, and write that’s why I’m here, but I’d just like…To do my best to actually enjoy it a bit this time around. I hope that’s okay.

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Comments

Avatar

Because once Holland turns the page on a player, it’s over, except in Osgood’s case.

Igor Larionov, Todd Gill and Darren McCarty would like a word with you there, Art.

Posted by mc keeper on 07/06/11 at 10:15 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

George, relax™. You’ll do a great job and we know it, but we want you to be alive next week.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 07/06/11 at 10:38 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

If it is write, write, and write that’s why I’m here, but I’d just like…To do my best to actually enjoy it a bit this time around. I hope that’s okay.

A word of advice (if I may)?  Enjoy.

That is when you’ll ‘do your best’.

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 07/06/11 at 10:40 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

George - I’ll never forget your coverage of training camp last year. For Red Wings fans and hockey fans everywhere it was pulitzer prize worthy. My recollection is that you went off line for quite a while afterwards to attend to some health challenges. Just give us your best stuff that you can without sacrificng your health or sleep while at prospect camp. It will still be Pulitizer Prize worthy.

Posted by joedaiceman on 07/06/11 at 10:42 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Regarding Ozzie - I’m not writing him off until he says he is ready to go. Ken Holland certainly isn’t.

Posted by joedaiceman on 07/06/11 at 10:45 PM ET

Avatar

Ken Holland certainly isn’t.

Don’t fool yourself.  Ken Holland is just giving Ozzie enough respect to not cut ties with him while he’s on a golf trip with some of his Red Wing teammates.

Posted by Garth on 07/06/11 at 10:52 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Blashill, who was named national coach of the year by all three major college hockey publications, received a hefty pay raise in April, with his base salary bumped from $150,000 to $275,000, with the chance to earn $100,000 more in incentives.

ROFL, does anything say “Michigan” more than a Mid-American CCHA Hockey Coach getting a raise up to a $375,000 potential?

(Of course, lots of things do, it was a dumb question)

That’s a higher salary, last time I knew of it, than VA Tech pays its football Defensive Coordinator, one of the best in the country.  He could have moved up in the last couple of years, but still, $375K at Western Michigan says a lot.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/06/11 at 10:58 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

Take it slower(er) George. We know you work your a$$ off, even when you’re taking it “easy.” You deserve to rest.

Posted by EDJ on 07/06/11 at 11:06 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Garth -

Good - if that is the case, I’m fine with it

Posted by joedaiceman on 07/06/11 at 11:15 PM ET

sloaner's avatar

As someone who only chipped in a sandwich, I would say write what you want.  I’m sure everyone will be happy with what you get.

Posted by sloaner from Los Angeles, CA on 07/06/11 at 11:20 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

George:

Honestly, when you write too much, it gets tedious & booring.  So write what you think is important, and just enjoy your stay in T.C.
Have fun, man, and don’t kill yourself.

Posted by w2j2 on 07/06/11 at 11:26 PM ET

Avatar

It says that Jarnkrok & Fournier are off-ice workouts only. Are they injured?

Posted by steviey11 from Sydney, Australia on 07/06/11 at 11:35 PM ET

Sunday's avatar

George, one of the reasons you’re good at this is because you love doing it.  Wearing yourself out and making it painful on yourself only messes with the franchise, y’know?  Let the multiple newsfeeds cover what they cover; give us your analysis in non-novella form and I for one will be a happy camper.

Posted by Sunday from somewhere else on 07/06/11 at 11:42 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Enjoy yourself, George. We know we’re getting quality work from you, but your best work comes when you’re not stressed to write something.

So relax, enjoy the days, and write what you want. It’ll be top notch no matter what.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 07/06/11 at 11:45 PM ET

Avatar

Good - if that is the case, I’m fine with it

Even if Osgood doesn’t say he’s ready to go?

Posted by Garth on 07/06/11 at 11:45 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Honestly, when you write too much, it gets tedious & booring.

A little bit of this. Frankly, I read the first three paragraphs of every post, then just roam down and read whatever catches my attention.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 07/06/11 at 11:50 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I’m sure everyone will be happy with what you get.

Posted by sloaner from Los Angeles, CA on 07/06/11 at 10:20 PM ET

Have fun, man, and don’t kill yourself.

Posted by w2j2 on 07/06/11 at 10:26 PM ET

What they said. Go. Learn. Watch. Write an entry or two a night (if two is too much…then one)...or something. If writing an entry a night (and yeah, your definition of ‘blog post’ is a novel compared to most) is too much…oh well. Life goes on. Write some, relax more, watch most.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/06/11 at 11:52 PM ET

thethirdcoast's avatar

George-

Please try and take a few hours for yourself to soak up a bit of Traverse City and the natural beauty of the region. If downtown isn’t too packed I highly recommend stopping at the Blue Tractor or the Mackinac Brewing Co for a bite. Joe’s Friendly Tavern down in Empire also makes a mean burger. I’m pretty sure most of the seafood is fresh from the lake(s). I was just on vacay up that way and loved every minute, though I am jealous of my old man who is lucky enough to live, work, and play there.

Cheers!

TTC

Posted by thethirdcoast from Algiers, DZ on 07/06/11 at 11:56 PM ET

Avatar

1. I’m glad I’m not the only one telling you to enjoy Traverse City some and GET SOME REST.
2. Y’know, Malkin’s contract does expire in 2014. Hmmmm… Nah.
3. To revive an argument I can’t win (partly because I’m not sure I believe in it), any possibility we’re being premature in criticism about the Jonathan Ericsson contract? I only wonder because of the criticism over a certain Niklas Kronwall 5-year/$15 million contract in 2007. I know, apples to oranges, but food for thought:

http://blog.mlive.com/redwingsinsider/2007/07/scouting_report_niklas_kronwal.html

(The mlive editor misspelled the last name in the link, not me).

Posted by Bugsy on 07/07/11 at 12:28 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

Since it will be covered by other outlets as well, I’d be great with less coverage but something more unusual. Find something that catches your attention, write your piece on it, then knock off for the day and do something else.

You may be there to work, but that doesn’t mean 16 hour days. Keep it reasonable for a change. smile

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 07/07/11 at 01:01 AM ET

SYF's avatar

George, as I’ve mentioned in another thread, last year was IMPRESSIVE.  Every single day, I couldn’t wait to read TMR for the prospects camp.  You are going to do better than - if not, as impressive as - last year.

Have fun.  We want good stuff but most of all, HAVE FUN.  And lots of it.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/07/11 at 01:11 AM ET

Primis's avatar

George… IT’S TRAVERSE CITY!  And it’s prospects camp!  Enjoy it some, man.  Those 50,000-word posts will still be in you after the fact.  wink

I’m disappointed in the news that Blashill is in the running.  For WMU’s sake, I hope he stays.  Western has been so repeatedly screwed over in hockey, it’d be nice to see them enjoy more than one year of success… and I’m not even any kind of actual WMU fan.  Just enjoy seeing some of the CCHA doorstops rising to contend.

Posted by Primis on 07/07/11 at 01:33 AM ET

awould's avatar

I gave something like $25 for you to make that trip, George, and i believe that entitles me to multiple daily, very long, in depth and wholly exhaustive posts from you.

Work like a dog, blogger!!!

You’re too serious sometimes, George. Lighten up and enjoy the cherries.

Posted by awould on 07/07/11 at 02:34 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Having been totally wiped out by allergies myself the past few days, I’m gonna go along with the majority here George.  I think it’s pretty clear from the comments above that most of us…

a) already think you go way above and beyond any coverage of Red Wing hockey that most of us ever dreamed of and…

b) Traverse City is an awesome place in the summer, and though it’s probably a cruel thing to say to an allergy sufferer, you really should stop and smell the roses.  Or at the very least enjoy some cherries and check out your beautiful surroundings a bit.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 07/07/11 at 03:18 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Honestly George, I’d be happy with one- or two-paragraph reviews of each of the prospects at the end of each day, and that’s it.  You don’t have to talk to the coaches, the personnel, anybody.  Just watch, tell us what you see, then have a sandwich and get some sleep.  Don’t kill yourself over this.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/07/11 at 03:36 AM ET

CC Moor's avatar

George,

Have a great week up there!  Where is Ben Marshall?  He had a pretty good year at Omahaa, correct?

Posted by CC Moor from Washington DC on 07/07/11 at 04:06 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

George, none of us want you to drive yourself into the ground like you did last year.  What I want is your insight…which you can give without writing 5 novellas a day.  Pace yourself!  Give us daily blurbs and write more in depth articles highlighting different angles over the next several weeks.  If your allergies allow, enjoy Traverse City, and for Pete’s sake, eat better than you did when you covered training camp last fall.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 07/07/11 at 07:19 AM ET

Avatar

G

My preference is the evaluations of the players. You did an excellent job of that last year.

But my suggestion is…Take good notes and push out products over the course of the next few weeks. When I covered these prospect camps when they first started for RedwingsCentral, I’d watch the training periods (rest when they do their off ice),  conduct interviews and take notes; at the end of the day, I’d write a summary amd some higjlights for the website.

From my notes, I’d create my directed products on each player and push articles outdone by one once I had a chance to catch my breath.

Enjoy yourself. I’d do anything to be back there doing that stuff again.

Posted by B on 07/07/11 at 07:44 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

I like the idea of just a few paragraphs each day and then more in-depth articles over the next few weeks. Heck, it’s a long, slow offseason ahead, so you may as well stretch it out.

Judging by the articles, your notes are incredibly detailed, and will let you write just as well after you get home, rest a bit, and are looking at a really boring day of news and decide to write a few paragraphs on something from camp that you hadn’t covered that much yet.

Don’t kill yourself. Get enough sleep, put in your hours, and take plenty of breaks. I’d rather see posts in a steady stream afterwards than a huge gush and nothing for weeks because you are sick.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 07/07/11 at 08:16 AM ET

MarkK's avatar

Do it, George. What Baroque said.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 07/07/11 at 08:25 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Where is Ben Marshall?

College-bound.  He had a great year for Omaha, making an all-star, but as he’s NCAA property, if he accepts so much as a free cup of coffee from a professional team, he forfeits his college (amateur) eligibility.  So NCAA prospects have to pay their own way, and some aren’t there until they turn pro.  I’m guessing it’s the same reason Sheahan is absent, though I’m surprised to see the number of current NCAA prospects on the list.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/07/11 at 09:12 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

F Tvrdon, Mark 6-2 210 1/31/1993 Nitra, Saskatchewan Vancouver (WHL) R4 (115), 2011

BTW, who’s this Mark Tvrdon guy?  Is he related to Marek Tvrdon?  He sounds like a good ol’ Canadian boy, the kind of gritty, hard-nosed, beloved-of-Don-Cherry type of player that Nitra, Saskatchewan is famous for producing.  Nothing at all like one of those pansy Euros that come from places like Slovakia.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/07/11 at 09:22 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

As someone who grew up with Jeff Blashill here in Sault Ste. Marie, you can kind of guess who I am hoping will get one of the coaching positions.

Great guy that comes from a great family.

And of course, I attribute his success as a coach to all those cold, long Saturdays of street hockey behind the house I grew up in.  smile

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/07/11 at 09:36 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George - what everybody else said.  Enjoy the camp, enjoy Traverse City, take notes and write when it feels good.  Don’t kill yourself or make yourself sick. 

As for our beloved Chris Osgood.  I truly hope he can accept that his wonderful career has most likely come to a conclusion.  Because I truly believe that’s what Ken Holland thinks, and will say to him when he gets home.  I can’t imagine there are too many professional athletes who are ever “ready” to call it quits.  But if everyone who loves and supports you tells you it’s time, maybe you should listen.  I would love to see Ozzie and Draper both join the Red Wings as coaches and mentors, a/la Chris Chelios.

Guess we’ll find out soon.  I just hope both Ozzie and Drapes know how much we Red Wings fans love and appreciate them, and that there will be no bitterness.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 07/07/11 at 10:34 AM ET

Avatar

Holland is a calculating and shrewd executive who will base all his decisions on what’s best for his hockey club.

All is a very strong word.  That’s actually not been his recent history.  Just ask Chelios and Draper and Leino and Ritola and Quincey in recent years.  If all his decisions were based on the good of the hockey club instead of emotional attachments to certain players, I’d probably think he was a saint too.

Posted by jkm2011 on 07/07/11 at 10:36 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

All is a very strong word.  That’s actually not been his recent history.  Just ask Chelios and Draper and Leino and Ritola and Quincey in recent years.  If all his decisions were based on the good of the hockey club instead of emotional attachments to certain players, I’d probably think he was a saint too.

Posted by jkm2011 on 07/07/11 at 09:36 AM ET

Chelios - very strong veteran presence. Great team guy. No cap room to go after a replacement anyway.
Draper - Locker room presence, hardest worker on the team, positive influence on everybody near him. Helped train Darren Helm.
Leino - Locker room cancer. Completely shut himself down when he didn’t get his way. Took up valuable space on the roster and became a distraction.
Ritola - Tough to lose, but a calculated gamble. Showed pretty clearly in Tampa Bay that he wasn’t ready for full-time NHL duty which is why he ended up on waivers. If memory serves right, he actually cleared waivers while he was with Tampa Bay.
Quincey - Hadn’t shown he was ready for the duties he needed. There is no indication that he would have become even half the player everybody seems to think he is while playing 8-10 minutes per night instead of the big minutes behind a big line that he got which made him a “breakout” player (who now is looking like a flash-in-the-pan).

The context of EVERY one of those moves can be looked at as though it was what Holland felt what was best for the Red Wings over the term.  You don’t agree with them (and you’re wrong), but that’s because you seem to view emotional attachment as a detriment, when in reality, it has been a very large part of what has made the Red Wings the most successful hockey franchise of the last two decades.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/07/11 at 11:17 AM ET

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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.