The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/27/11 at 08:25 AM ET
As we prepare for the summer news cycle’s inevitable end, Red Wings fans found out that the team will hold their first Red and White Game in Grand Rapids since 2007, that the Wings are still hoping that try-out Fabian Brunnstrom will present the team with a pleasant problem in another viable NHL player to sign, and I can’t say that the news that Mike Modano won’t decide whether to retire until mid-September seems like anything more than par for the course anymore…
But Friday night did produce a substantial bit of news, and it involves Red Wings fans and our tendency to exist everywhere on the planet, much to the chagrin of everyone who’s unfortunate enough to not be a Red Wings fan. According to Wings social media coordinator Jake Duhaime, the Wings’ Facebook page hit the one million “Likes” mark on Friday, which is either a massive glitch or something really, really cool. Duhaime still isn’t quite sure how it happened:
Not that the page doesn’t grow on a daily basis, because as we all know, we really do have the best fan base in professional sports, but it was the rate of growth [this week] that was odd. Every few minutes, the Official Detroit Red Wings Facebook page seemed to have a thousand new fans, it was something we didn’t even see during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The natural inclination is to be skeptical.
So as we hunker down for Hurricane Irene on the East Coast, enjoying the last precious few moments of vacation, I’m entertaining myself by watching Hockeytown digitally grow … and grow … and grow. On Wednesday, we were just over 600,000, on Friday night, we’re at just under 1.1 million.
In other words, its normal to second guess, to have an inkling of doubt, like Nick Papageorgio was in Vegas Vacation the first time he won something with a fake ID. At the very least, if push comes to shove and the other shoe drops, it was a wild ride, totally unscripted unlike some of the reality TV shows I have watched this week. (cough, Bachelor Pad, cough)
Other clubs have shown similar growth, including Pittsburgh and Chicago, two teams with incredibly passionate fan bases. I have also had the pleasure of connecting with colleagues on Tampa Bay and Vancouver on, where else, Twitter, asking if they were seeing similar patterns. And ditto with our friends from the Tigers.
The Red Wings page hit 1,000,000 ‘Likes’ just after 4:30 this afternoon. A while back, the U.S. Olympic Team was able to grab a screen shot of the lucky number, but, as I explained, we were growing by the second.
According to Duhaime, if this is in fact an instance of “organic” growth, the Wings are the first NHL page to have reached the 1,000,000-registered-fan mark, and even if it isn’t, it seems pretty darn likely that Red Wings nation and/or Hockeytown, No Limits very easily has at least half-a-dozen million or so denizens.
And that’s pretty damn cool.
“@alanturd: @Buccigross how do you think the red wings will do after 2 key veterans retire?”—Franzen, Hank and Pav need monster years.
And Wings would love to be in a position to get a Weber or Parise down the road if possible. They don’t want to get terrible to be good
By DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
@Buccigross John, count on the DRW being in the running—if not in the lead—to land Parise next summer.
Now maybe that’s just a little speculation for speculation’s sake, but it’s pretty darn interesting nonetheless.
As for the topic that JJ from Kansas covered on Winging it in Motown and Sportsline’s Adam Gretz mentioned—the St. Louis Blues’ official slogan for the 2011-2012 season is, per their official website, “Don’t Stop Believing”...
Well, I’m one of the three Red Wings fans who doesn’t get all teary-eyed when Journey starts blaring from the speakers at Joe Louis Arena after a rousing playoff win—conveniently, the U.S. branch of the NHL Network will air Game 6 of the Wings-Sharks series tonight at 6 PM and 8 PM EDT—so you decide whether the Blues are kinda sorta swiping something that is, well, more “organically” a Detroit thing…
Because it’s not like Wings fans were doing it in 2008 or anythi…Oh wait, never mind…
And I’m sure that Detroit sports fans don’t sing along to it anywhere el…Oh, wait, they do that, too? Hm. Well, I suppose no one will be offended when Blues fans start replacing “south” with something that rhymes with “duck”...
While we’re doing the YouTube fandango, I believe that the “Biosteel” hockey camp in which Brendan Smith and Thomas McCollum were participating concluded on Friday, but their videographer posted a clip of Thursday’s action on Friday evening as well, and Smith makes a few more appearances during an insane amount of circuit training…
But he’ll have a much better time next week at the NHLPA’s Rookie Showcase, which is essentially a photo shoot for Upper Deck and Panini, the NHL and PA’s two trading cards rights-holders. I received the press release about said event, but the NHLPA talked up its intangibles:
Having already experienced great success with the initiative over the previous two years, the NHLPA recently invited twenty-seven of hockey’s best rookies to come to Toronto for their first hockey card photo shoots at the 2011 edition of the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. Next week, Panini America and Upper Deck, the official card partners of the NHLPA and the NHL, will have a chance to get their first shots of some of the league’s best young players in their official jerseys.
The list of players that will be in attendance for this year’s NHLPA Rookie Showcase, taking place just outside of Toronto at the MasterCard Centre, is an impressive one, with players representing 22 of the NHL’s 30 teams. Each of the last five draft classes will also have one of its picks as part of the group.
The main attractions of the 2011 NHLPA Rookie Showcase will more than likely come from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which will have its first six picks (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Huberdeau, Adam Larsson, Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad) all set to take the pictures for their first big-league trading cards. Several players from recent World Junior Hockey Championship tournaments are also part of the attendee list, with representatives from all over the world.
The event will also host seven players who have already seen NHL game-action, a group that includes Calgary’s Greg Nemisz, Columbus’ John Moore, Chicago’s Marcus Kruger, Montreal’s Aaron Palushaj, Nashville’s Blake Geoffrion, New Jersey’s Adam Henrique and Carl Klingberg of the Winnipeg Jets.
The NHLPA Rookie Showcase is a two-day event that will begin Monday in downtown Toronto with a full day of activities for the young players to partake in. The first day of the event will see the group of players try out the latest edition of the popular NHL video game series from EA Sports, NHL ’12, as well as attend the Toronto Blue Jays-Tampa Bay Rays baseball game at the Rogers Centre that night. Tuesday at the MasterCard Centre will be the day where the players get to throw on their pro uniforms, cycle through the camera stations set-up by Panini and Upper Deck and play a shinny game against one another.
One another or each other? I’m at that point in the summer where I’m trying to tighten up my writing in anticipation of the season to come, and while my ellipses and unorthodox transitions won’t change any time soon, I have started to worry a little more about passive voice, trying to refresh my vocabulary and, perhaps most importantly, worry about things like prepositions and antecedents. Proper prepositional usage and ensuring that subjects and verbs both agree and refer to each other, if only eventually, are the kinds of stylistic issues that can separate writing which flows from reading blog entries full of gravely sentences. While I know that staccato and politely partisan is my “thing,” and I don’t have any real image concerns (see the blogger vote thingy), I do worry about the style and substance of my entries as they apply to your reading experience.
Having completed that aside, let’s cast our nets a little further (it’s a metaphorical thing, thus further instead of “farther”) out along the interweb’s current to wrap this up with tidbits from farther (ha!) away:
• Like San Jose, where SharkieQue posted a clip of Brad Stuart (using Bauer gloves and an Easton SE 16 stick) and Owen Nolan skating with the San Jose Sharks players who’ve begun to skate informally in the Bay Area:
• According to Sport-Express’s Sergey GavrilovPavel Datsyuk will take part in the Ovechkin-versus-Kovalchuk charity game on August 31st at the Sokolniki Arena in Moscow as something of a bit player as Slava Fetisov, Alexei Kasatonov, and “representatives of politics and business” (read: KHL president Alex Medvedev) will take part in the affair;
• Way down the line, if you happen to find yourself in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden on November 10th of this year, Allehanda.se’s Mikael Nordstrand reports that Sweden and the Czech Republic will face off in the only game of the Karjala Cup (one of the inter-season Euro Hockey Tour events which include players from most of Europe’s professional hockey leagues) that will take place outside of Finland, which is quite handy as Modo Ornskoldsvik is celebrating its 90th season, and it’s assumed that Dick Axelsson will make his way onto the Tre Kronor roster…
• In the, “It spans all of history and all locations as its an ‘All-Time’ team” category, the Free Press’s sports staff notes that NHL.com’s Pete Jensen chose to list Steve Yzerman as the only Red Wings representative worth including on a 16-man roster that would theoretically comprise the best fantasy hockey team ever…As a member of the team’s deep bench. Gordie Howe “missed the list”...
And I figured this might happen. Many, many Malik Report readers have been tremendously generous in terms of sponsoring my hotel stay in Traverse City for the Wings’ prospect tournament and main training camp, but as I knew I’d more or less exhausted your charity thanks to the last-minute nature of the team’s summer development camp’s relocation to Northwest Lower Michigan, the fund’s wheezed and heaved its way to the 70% mark and has ground to a halt.
I’m just going to have to cross my fingers from here on out and put the Paypal button up for the hell of it as I finally tallied up the funds and contributors, and everybody who contributed to the previous trip’s fund has, in most cases, almost ridiculously generously filled the figurative bass guitar case.
Again, if you can give $5 or $10 or anything, I’d be grateful for any assistance as I very genuinely can’t pay my own way, and the hit to the savings is going to hurt. If I could do this on my own, obviously, I wouldn’t be asking for help.
You’ll have to use my email address, rtxg at yahoo dot com, to donate, if you can/will/feel like it.
Sorry about the chunky spacing regarding the YouTube videos. It takes away from the flow of the entry from a visual standpoint, but when you’re working with raw HTML, it’s somewhat unforgiving in terms of being able to make subtle aesthetic alterations to one’s entry.
Update: Puckdrawn’s Johnny Griswold revealed that the Grand Rapids Griffins picked a jersey for their New Year’s Eve game based on fan submissions, and they’re going to wear a second fan-designed jersey on March 17th.
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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.