The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/27/11 at 06:00 PM ET
Rain rolled through a very “clunny” Grand Marais today and the parent is off to Newberry (about 80 minutes away from here) to go grocery shopping, so I’m going to squeeze in a crop of mid-day Red Wings news. First and not necessarily foremost (especially given the fact that the Commodore 64 saga is mercifully over with), the Wings confirmed their re-signings of both Jordan Pearce and Francis Pare to two-year contract extensions:
RED WINGS SIGN FRANCIS PARÉ AND JORDAN PEARCE TO TWO-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSIONS … Both Players Spent the 2010-11 Season with Grand Rapids (AHL) …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings today announced that forward Francis Paré and goaltender Jordan Pearce have both been re-signed to two-year contract extensions. As per team policy, no further details on either of these deals will be disclosed. Both players spent last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit ’s American Hockey League affiliate.
In his second full season of professional hockey, Pearce went 20-15-5 with the Griffins in 2010-11 while registering a G.A.A. of 2.89 and a SV% of .908. The 6’1”, 201-lb. netminder was originally signed by Detroit as a free agent two years ago after enjoying a standout collegiate career with the University of Notre Dame (CCHA). Pearce led Notre Dame to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA title game in 2008, the same year he was named CCHA Goaltender of the Year. In his 94 career starts for the Fighting Irish, Pearce earned 59 wins while posting a G.A.A. of 1.98 and a SV% of .918. The 24-year-old native of Anchorage , Alaska , has since registered a record of 21-18-5 in addition to a 3.01 G.A.A. and .904 SV% in 50 career games played at the AHL level.
Paré, also 24, was signed by Detroit as a free agent in the spring of 2008 shortly after he was named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player after tallying 54G-48A-102P in 69 games for the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. In his three subsequent seasons with Grand Rapids , Paré has recorded 64G-77A-141P in 220 appearances. The 5’10”, 185-lb. center finished tied for third on the Griffins in scoring in 2010-11 with 24G-30A-54P while leading the team in games played with 80. A native of Longueuil, Québec, Paré has appeared in 10 Calder Cup Playoff games in his career, registering 2G-2A-4P for the Griffins.
Born Oct 10 1986 —Anchorage , AK
Height 6.01—Weight 201—Shoots L
Season Team Lge GP Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct
2004-05 Lincoln Stars USHL 38 2227 114 0 0 3.07 22 10 4 988 0.897
2005-06 Notre Dame CCHA 9 442 24 0 1 3.25 4 4 0 180 0.882
2006-07 Notre Dame CCHA 3 180 6 0 1 2.01 2 1 0 51 0.895
2007-08 Notre Dame CCHA 43 2558 87 0 2 2.04 23 15 4 925 0.914
2008-09 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 1 59 5 0 0 5.11 0 1 0 33 0.868
2008-09 Notre Dame CCHA 39 2326 65 0 8 1.68 30 6 3 880 0.931
2009-10 Toledo Walleye ECHL 37 2047 124 6 2 3.63 15 16 2 1018 0.891
2009-10 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 5 236 15 1 0 3.82 1 2 0 105 0.875
2010-11 Toledo Walleye ECHL 8 451 31 0 1 4.13 3 4 1 235 0.883
2010-11 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 44 2452 118 2 1 2.89 20 15 5 1164 0.908
Born Jun 30 1987 —Lemoyne , PQ
Height 5.10—Weight 185—Shoots R
—- Regular Season—- ——Playoffs——
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003-04 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 5 2 0 2 2 —————
2004-05 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 70 24 23 47 52 4 0 3 3 4
2005-06 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 55 26 48 74 66 5 1 3 4 4
2006-07 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 68 29 44 73 37 4 1 1 2 8
2007-08 Chicoutimi Sagueneens QMJHL 69 54 48 102 54 6 5 3 8 4
2008-09 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 63 24 24 48 14 10 2 2 4 2
2009-10 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 77 16 23 39 20 —————
2010-11 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 80 24 30 54 49 —————
The Wings and Griffins had already confirmed the signing of the pleasantly problematic Pearce to a 2-year extension, but Pare—who also faces a make-it-or-break-it season with Grand Rapids—was signed yesterday per Capgeek.com, and he’s going to earn $105,000 at the AHL level and $525,000 and then $590,000 at the NHL level. As the Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema notes, Pare’s carved out a solid pro career for himself...
As expected, forward Francis Pare will remain a member of the Grand Rapids Griffins. The parent club Detroit Red Wings officially announced that they have signed the 24-year-old to a two-year contract extension Wednesday morning.
Pare originally was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008 after he was named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s MVP.
Last season, he finished tied for third on the Griffins win scoring with 54 points (24 goals, 30 assists). In 220 games in three seasons in Grand Rapids, he has 64 goals and 77 assists.
At 24, and with a Grand Rapids Griffins roster welcoming new Red Wings prospects in Landon Ferraro and Mitchell Callahan, Pare might find himself squeezed out. His AHL stats are pretty impressive, but the Wings have more than their fair share of smallish but skilled forwards…
Today’s main Wings topic of note remains the aftermath of Kris Draper’s decision to retire and his legacy with the Wings. MLive’s Ansar Khan did a fantastic job of telling the tale of the Grind Line...
“In the ’97 playoffs (former trainer John) Wharton said ‘You guys need a name for your line,’ ” Draper said. “We threw out some stuff and ‘The Grind Line’ came up and Joey Kocur stepped up and said ‘That’s it, The Grind Line.’ ”
This fourth line formed by coach Scotty Bowman played a key role in helping the Red Wings end a 42-year Stanley Cup championship drought. The Grind Line even had its own souvenir T-shirts. Darren McCarty replaced Kocur as the right wing on the line the following season. The unit continued to flourish for several seasons, broken up and reunited many times.
It was the epitome of a checking line — strong defensively, physical, good on the forecheck, hard to play against. Bowman trusted the trio to play against the opposition’s top line or fourth line. Draper had tremendous speed and was one of the best in the business in the faceoff circle. Maltby was the most agitating player in the league, with an uncanny ability to throw opponents off their game. Kocur was one of the NHL’s all-time heavyweights. McCarty was an anxious scrapper who had some skills. Their job was to wear down opponents, but they did more than grind. They also scored huge playoff goals.
“Everyone brought a little something different to the table,” Maltby said. “Somehow, when we laced them up we gelled. Kris and I got into some predicaments at times, and Joey or Mac were always there. Didn’t matter who it was against, we always had each other’s backs.”
“You’d hop into a pile and there’d be pushing and shoving. I’d come in and grab somebody or step in the way and the guy would say, ‘I’m going to (bleeping) kill Draper, Maltby is such a (expletive),’ ” McCarty said. “I’d say, ‘I can’t agree with you more, but you’re not going to touch them now. You got to deal with me.’ Joey was always the best because he’d come in and grab three at the same time like little kids and say, ‘What are you guys doing?’ It made us that much tougher to play against.”
Said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland: “There wasn’t a line in the league they couldn’t match up against and play head to head. They’re blue collar, they got it done because of hard work, passion, sacrifice, blocking shots. They did lots of the dirty work that is part of the recipe to win.”
“It was special playing with those guys,” Draper said. “A lot of people still talk about The Grind Line, and it’s pretty cool, something the four of us are proud of.”
“His role is diminished,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said on The Huge Show, “and I think that after many conversations over the last couple of weeks, I think ultimately Kris felt it was time to walk away when you think you’ve got a little hockey left in you rather than hanging around too long.
As with so many of Draper’s former Red Wings teammates – Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios and Jiri Fischer, for example – Holland will help him make the transition to being a part of running the organization.
“We’re gonna miss him in the locker room,” Holland said, “but again, Kris wants to remain in the game, and I think all the intangibles he brings to the rink as a player, he’ll bring to the rink in the front office. I think he’s a guy that one day could be a general manager or an assistant general manager, so I’m happy to have him on board.”
And this morning, Draper spoke to WRIF’s Drew and Mike:
Red Wings social media coordinator Jake Duhaime also posted a slate of fan tributes to Draper, and 97.1 the Ticket’s Jeff Riger is asking fans to weigh in as to where the Wings’ championship teams rank amidst all-time record-setters…
In the “reader-submitted” category, I was asked to pass along a superb Red Wings prospect assessment from Hockey Prospectus’s Corey Pronman;
• In the not-so-cool-news department, Baroque pointed out that Wings fans might need to step up in the charitable department for the Winged Wheel’s CaptNorri5’s drive to out-fund-raise Blackhawks fans while supporting Learning Through Giving;
• Winging it in Motown’s JJ from Kansas posted the third part of a Red Wings’ bloggers’ roundtable today;
And I do need to mention that NHL.com’s Bill Meltzer points out that the 2011 draft prospects’ year basically kicks off when the Ivan Hlinka memorial tournament takes place from August 8-13 in the Czech Republic (right before the NHL’s Research, Development and Orientation Camp, and yes, the Wings’ scouts will head over to watch the Hlinka tourney)...
• I’m simply not allowed to comment on the National Post’s Sean Fitz-Gerald’s lockout talk post as I’m on vacation;
According to DetroitRedWings.com, defenseman Ian White will wear No. 18, the number worn by Kirk Maltby from 1996-2010. Defenseman Garnet Exelby, who likely will start the season with the Grand Rapids, will wear No. 3, last worn by Andreas Lilja. And goaltender Ty Conklin will wear No. 29, as he did with the Red Wings in 2008-09.
Am I the only one who feels pretty weird about the concept that someone new will wear #18?
Update: Well this is interesting, per DetroitRedWings.com’s Rick Bouwness:
Fans invited to vote on bobbleheads
Figurine balloting begins July 28
DETROIT—The 11-time Stanley Cup champion Red Wings will be distributing bobblehead figurines depicting current members of the team to the first 7,500 fans in attendance at Joe Louis Arena at every Thursday night home game during the upcoming 2011-12 NHL season. Furthermore, a select number of Specially-Marked Bobbleheads will be handed out at every Thursday night game, with the lucky JLA patrons obtaining these exclusive items set to win additional prizes such as a one-of-a-kind Red Wings fan experience involving a post-game player meet-and-greet.
As part of ‘Operation: Bobblehead’, four of the six players to be featured in this special giveaway promotion will be determined by an impending multi-week online voting campaign, which will be conducted simultaneously at DetroitRedWings.com as well as via the club’s official Facebook page and on the Red Wings TV video portal.
“We always look for the best items possible to present to our fans,” said Tom Wilson, president of Olympia Entertainment. “Remarkably, it always comes down to bobbleheads being the souvenir that most fans want, and want to keep and display. It’s a great memory of a great time at The Joe. The difference this year is that the fans will tell us who they want portrayed on the bobbles – so we are in this together.”
Compliments of AT&T, the exclusive communications partner of the Detroit Red Wings and Joe Louis Arena, the first bobblehead to be distributed as part of this special season-long series will depict veteran playmaker Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk’s bobblehead will be handed out to arena spectators on October 13 prior to Detroit’s matchup with the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks. The likeness of team captain and seven-time Norris Trophy recipient Nicklas Lidstrom, who recently announced that he will be returning to Detroit for his 20th NHL season, will adorn the final bobblehead given away – on April 5 vs. New Jersey.
Every active member of the Red Wings’ roster will be eligible to have their image emblazoned upon a 6 ½ inch polyresin figurine for the remaining four bobblehead giveaway nights. The ‘Operation: Bobblehead’ campaign begins on Thursday, July 28 at one minute past noon. Voting will be conducted on a week-by-week basis and will close at noon every Thursday. The following day (Friday) at 12:01 p.m. EDT, voting will begin anew; no ballots cast the previous week will count towards each player’s total. There is no limit on how many votes fans are able to cast throughout the duration of this campaign.
Red Wings’ 2011-12 Bobblehead Giveaway Schedule
Thursday, October 13 vs. Vancouver – PAVEL DATSYUK (Presented by AT&T)
Thursday, November 3 vs. Calgary – Winner of Fan Vote #1 (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.)
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About The Malik Report
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.