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The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: (almost) everybody ‘likes’ the Wings

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.


The other Red Wings social media-related news from Friday evening comes from Rice from HFBoards, who noted an unsolicited Twitter response to comments made by ESPN’s John Buccigross...

“@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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Comments

SK77's avatar

Thanks for all the endless work on covering the Wings, George. Hopefully we can all pull together and get you closer to that 100% as you’ve already given way too much to your readers.

Posted by SK77 on 08/27/11 at 10:13 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

Well, I’m one of the four Red Wings fans who doesn’t get all teary-eyed when….

Fixed

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 08/27/11 at 10:58 AM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Just to add to Buccigross’ speculation for speculation sake, a friend of mine, who happens to be somewhat of a cap-space genius, came to the conclusion that it would be realistically potentially possible for the Wings to land both Parise and Weber next summer, should Lidstrom finally retire and a few other very minor moves/resignings were made properly, and both of them took a slight discount off their market price to play for a contending team. He calculated all of this under the current salary cap too, not taking into account potential future inflation.

Now there is some interesting food for thought.

-

Also, thanks for reminding me that I went to Game 3 of the San Jose series, when in retrospect, I really should have went to Game 6 instead. Then again I ended up with two “20 Years” towels that were only ever given out at that game, as the rest only had palm-palms… so that ended up being a nice consolation prize, considering they were only ever made and handed out at one game. Which makes them a pretty rare and cool item to have in my collection.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/27/11 at 01:41 PM ET

Avatar

The “20 years” towels were given out during the first round with Phoenix.  I was at games 1 and 2, and picked up about 10 of them…...There were tons of them lying around after the game, and the nice usher lady told me to take some extras to lessen them having to clean them up!

Posted by Alvin from Charleston, SC on 08/27/11 at 02:07 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I’ve been clamoring about going after parish the second the devils got kovalchuck…

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/27/11 at 02:18 PM ET

Chet's avatar

brunstrom sounds like he’ll be a physically bigger hudler. let’s hope he’s not.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/27/11 at 04:10 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

The “20 years” towels were given out during the first round with Phoenix.  I was at games 1 and 2 - Posted by Alvin from Charleston, SC

Weird, because I never noticed them on TV. Well that kinda sucks, but they are still pretty awesome towels none the less. If I can find a friend to drag along to HockeyFest this year to serve as my autograph lackey, since I’ll be too busy covering other stuff. I’m sure I’ll get one, if not both of them quite filled up with names.

I didn’t think they started doing much in terms of playoff promos until the second round anyway, as I was at Game 4 of the Phoenix series in 2010, when Howard got his first career playoff shutout, and made that infamous “Sawchuk Save” after his mask popped off and the whistle didn’t go right away. Very memorable game, and I know we didn’t get crap in terms of playoff goodies that game.

I’ll admit that I’ve been slacking on my Wings games attendance for several years now, but I did my best to pick that up last season, when I made it to 5 regular season games and 1 playoff game. Including the Chicago game late in the season where Lidstrom scored an answer goal in the first, which added yet another point to his long resume, and made him the first 40 year old defenseman to ever register 60 points in a season. Which earned him an octopus at the time, as I’m sure I wasn’t the only fan in attendance who knew he was only one point away from that record going into that game. wink

Might not seem like a lot to some of you, but for someone with a very low income, it was a pretty good amount for me in a single season.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/27/11 at 06:05 PM ET

Avatar

Year before last was my first Playoff game at the Joe.  It was also first round against Phoenix, games 3 and 4.  Living 800 miles away from DTW makes it hard to get up for any games.  I remember that year they were giving out the pom-poms before the game, and that was it.  This year I am certain it was the towels, game 1 and 2.  I gave one of them to a co-worker that’s from Boston, and he refused to touch it till the playoffs were over…..

Posted by Alvin from Charleston, SC on 08/27/11 at 06:41 PM ET

Avatar

You can see them in this video from game one….(because of the empty seats behind Jimmy….stupid late fans)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi-jo8Lqoxw

Posted by Alvin from Charleston, SC on 08/27/11 at 06:47 PM ET

Avatar

A little late to the party I know, but Parise isn’t going to take that much of a pay cut for the sake of playing on a contending team nor should he. If I recall correctly, he was awarded $6.5M for this year. I’d love to see him on a line with Pav and Z - that would be nastiest line in the Show - but there’s no way he signs for less than $6M per. Parise has been short-changed for the last 3 years with the Devils, and Lou knew it when he extended him then and he knew it before arbitration.

However, one of the pulling factors for the Wings (outside of being the top organization in the NHL) is Patty Eaves. They’re both Shattuck St. Mary’s alums. But I think Parise’s going to sign with his hometown Minnesota (this isn’t baseless; I’m just hungover and don’t want to elaborate).

Posted by Jesters Dead on 08/28/11 at 05:58 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

I was at a wedding up in Harbor Springs this weekend and the weddings band played “don’t stop”.. and when they got the “the part” of course the music stops and the whole crowd, young and old alike, bellows: SOUTH DETROIT. So if any other team thinks this song belongs to them (talking to you White Sox, Blues, and Giants fans) you better understand that it is always going to be ours. All other teams that use this as “their song” are perpetrators and should feel ashamed of themselves. LGRW.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 08/29/11 at 10:11 AM ET

Avatar

Each other refers to 2 people.
One another refers to more than 2, so one another was correct in that instance.

While we’re at it, the comma-filled, paragraph-length single sentences are exhausting on the eyes and on the brain.

Posted by jkm2011 on 08/29/11 at 12:45 PM ET

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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.