The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/29/11 at 08:15 AM ET
After four hours’ worth of blue screens of death, checkdisk failures, trying to restore my computer’s last known system configuration, troubleshooting start-up freezes and plain old praying to the computer gods, I’ve come to the conclusion that my laptop’s hard drive is indeed corrupt and needs to be wiped, so I may be unavailable for chunks of today and tomorrow as I turn my computer over to professionals to save my files and reinstall my operating system. I kinda need the laptop to work to provide reports from Traverse City, so whether it’s today, Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ve got to swallow hard and spend a few hundred bucks to get this thing fixed.
So here’s a quick primer of what you can expect in the way of Wings news if I am indeed absent due to computer issues:
• Unless something remarkable happens, it appears that Niklas Kronwall will win the honor of being immortalized in bobblehead form as the Red Wings’ “Operation Bobblehead’ fan vote wraps up today;
• You can expect rather justifiable outrage as the Hockey News will declare that, according to their staff’s predictions for the 2011-2012 season, the Wings will finish no higher than fifth in the Western Conference due to age/roster turnover/“softness”/the end being near/etc. as they’re going to set the tone for a September’s worth of, “The Red Wings are no longer contenders for the Cup but are instead a second-tier team now” suggestions when season previews roll in;
• It’s highly probable that at least a couple of the Wings’ beat writers will attend the Wings’ first informal skate at Joe Louis Arena. The Wings’ players who don’t have school-aged children are still filtering back into the area and players who spend their off-seasons in Detroit will likely comprise a good chunk of today’s participants, but you can expect a relatively healthy turn-out as the Wings shake the rust off this morning.
Also in the “coming attractions” category, the Moscow News reports that Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk held a press conference announcing the lineups for their charity game to be held at Sokolniki Arena in Moscow on August 31st, but Sport-Express is reporting that Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Semin and Ilya Bryzgalov won’t be taking part in said game. My best guess is that Datsyuk’s headed back to Detroit;
• If you planned on waiting till the last minute to register for Wings coach Mike Babcock’s luncheon with the Livonia and Novi Chambers of Commerce, the Detroit Free Press’s sports staff reports that the event is nearly sold out:
About 100 tickets remain for a joint luncheon Sept. 8 for the Livonia and Novi chambers of commerce during which Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will be a guest speaker. The event will take place at the Schoolcraft College VisTaTech Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Babcock will be available for autographs and photos for a brief time at the end of the program. The Wings will provide some game tickets and other items to raffle during the program. Those who attend the luncheon will receive a discount for tickets to the Wings’ HockeyFest on Sept. 10 at Joe Louis Arena.
Luncheon tickets are $30 for chamber members and $45 for nonmembers. Tables of eight are available for $240 for chamber members, $360 for nonmembers.
I’d still prefer to wait until Marie Hallman gets back to me about assisting in translating her wide-ranging interview with Niklas Kronwall (here’s the Google translation thereof), so in the interim, DetroitRedWings.com’s Dave Burke takes a look at some significant figures from Kronwall’s 2010-2011 season with the Wings:
129: Blocked shots, which led the Red Wings. Brad Stuart (114) and Ruslan Salei (109) were right behind in the category.
22:52: Average amount of ice time, which was second only to Nicklas Lidstrom (23:28) who has been the stalwart in the category for over a decade.
37: Points scored this season, second highest in his career. His career high is 51 points in the 2008-09 season, where he recorded a whopping 45 assists.
77: Games played this, second highest amount in his seven year career. This was also second to the 2008-09 season where he played in 80 contests.
It’s good to hear that Boston Bruins NHLPA player representative Daniel Paille suggested to NESN’s Douglas Flynn (via Pro Hockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon) that the NHL probably won’t have to engage in the same kind of strong-arm labor negotiations that the NFL and NBA resorted to/are resorting to, suggesting that instead, the NHLPA at least understands that a third lockout would do tremendous damage to the sport and is plain old dangerous as one should never take its fans for granted;
You can’t make this stuff up, per, of all places, the New York Post’s Page Six:
Jon Favreau, Gary Busey and Gerard Butler along with retired NHL player Chris Chelios belted out their favorite tunes at Cafe Habana’s karaoke night in Malibu last Wednesday. Busey kicked the evening off with Buddy Holly’s “Rave On,” followed by Habana regular Chelios, who sang the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” at Rande Gerber’s summer spot. Butler ended the evening by getting a standing ovation for his cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall.”
As it relates to hockey, Chelios is still spending his summers in Malibu, and I have no doubt that while he’s a player mentor with the Wings, he still engaged in the same rigorous off-season fitness regimen that he did as a player, with his sons Dean and Jake (who play for Michigan State) as his workout partners;
If Sunday night was all about Pat Caputo’s article on Wings color commentator and soon-to-be Hockey Hall of Fame honoree Mickey Redmond, I think that this comment by Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, per the Detroit News’s Tom Gage, merits a mention as a “warm fuzzy”:
[T]he calendar turns over to September this week, the Tigers are in first place and the Lions are 3-0 in the preseason, coming off an impressive victory over the New England Patriots. Tigers manager Jim Leyland knows how exciting a September can be when the city is upbeat about baseball and football at the same time.
“I went through that for a few years in Pittsburgh,” Leyland said. “It’s the best feeling there is. Plus the Red Wings will be starting camp, so we have it all rolling now. You might see one of several jerseys around the city. That’s a good thing. It’s good for Detroit. It’s been tough for the city. Hopefully we can keep their spirits going.
“There’s a lot of electricity when it’s like that,” Leyland said. “People forget about a lot of problems. I don’t want to say this wrong, but I’m not sure it ever gets fully realized how fanatical people can get about their teams But that’s America.”
And the couple hundred bucks I’m about to drop on my laptop (I can’t afford a new one right now), I’m going to haul out the Paypal button again. I’m about 80% of the way to being able to pay my hotel bill for the Wings’ prospect tournament and main training camp in Traverse City, so if you can lend a hand, the savings account’s going to take an even bigger hit than anticipated, so it’d be greatly appreciated:
You’ll have to use my email address, rtxg at yahoo dot com, to donate, if you can/will/feel like it.
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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.