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The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: Chris Chelios’s US HHOF induction, and future—and Nick Lidstrom’s, too

Chris Chelios was named to the US Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2011 induction class on Monday, and while the official press release from USA Hockey offers what we’ll call an economical take on Chelios’s first call from a hockey-related Hall of Fame…

Chris Chelios, Mike Emrick, Ed Snider, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk will be enshrined as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2011 it was announced today by USA Hockey. The five-member class will be formally installed into the Hall in Chicago this fall, with a date to be announced in the near future.

“It’s an extraordinary class,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “The varied contributions to the landscape of hockey in our country is truly amazing and, collectively, this class has positively impacted every level of hockey.”

And his biography on USAHockey.com is equally…bland...

Defenseman

NHL: Montreal Canadiens (1983-90), Chicago Blackhawks (1991-99), Detroit Red Wings (1998-2009), Atlanta Thrashers (2009-10)

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Born: January 25, 1962

With a professional career spanning 26 seasons,Chris Chelios is the all-time leader in games played by a defenseman in National Hockey League history (1,651). The second-round draft pick (40th overall) in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft of the Montreal Canadiens went on to win three Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies, along with a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in Salt Lake City in 2002 and an NCAA national championship with the University of Wisconsin in 1983. Chelios played seven seasons (1983-90) in Montreal, nine in both Chicago (1991-99) and Detroit (1998-2009) and one season in Atlanta (2009-10), amassing a total of 948 points (185-763), which is 10th all-time among NHL defensemen. The Chicago, Ill., native played in 11 NHL All-Star Games, representing three different teams. Additionally, Chelios was a staple in international hockey for more than three decades. He is one of only two male players to represent the United States at four Olympic Winter Games (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006) and captained his final three Olympic squads. He also helped the U.S. defeat Canada to win the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and represented his country a total of 10 times on the international stage.

Chelios invoked USA Hockey’s beginnings, discussed his involvement in one of its brightest moments and shed a little light upon his present and future role as a prospect mentor for the Wings.

Cue the past tense, via USA Hockey...

What he said: “It’s pretty hard to believe when it all started back in Squaw Valley (first Team USA experience)”

“The fact it’s going to be in Chicago where I started my youth hockey days will make it all the more special.”

What they said about him:

“He’s the godfather of USA Hockey”
- Keith Tkachuk

“I think one of the very greatest American players to put on the USA jersey and to play the game”
- Dave Ogrean

And a little, “Holy crap, I’m in the same sentence as these guys?” reflection via the Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam L. Jahns...

“I’ve played so long, people always talk about it,” said Chelios, who retired after playing 1,651 games in the NHL. “The 1980 (Miracle on Ice) team paved the way for guys like myself and my class. I couldn’t be more excited when I got the call from [the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame]. My family, friends and coaches, I’ve been mentioning it to them over the course of two weeks. USA Hockey has come a long way and I want congratulate all the other inductees.”

As well as a reiteration of sorts via the Chicago Daily Herald’s Tim Sassone, who reminds us that much of Chelios’s biggest personal accomplishments came as a Blackhawk…

Chris Chelios must wait two more years before his slam-dunk induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, but the former Blackhawks defenseman on Monday got a taste of what it’s going to feel like. Chelios, one of the NHL’s all-time great defensemen, was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame along with four others, including former Hawks defense partner Gary Suter.,

“I played so long and people talked about it, but now that I’m being inducted, it’s pretty hard to believe,” Chelios said.

Chelios played 26 seasons, until he was 48, and appeared in 1,651 games, more than any defenseman in NHL history. He won three Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies.

“He’s the Godfather of U.S. hockey,” said Keith Tkachuk, who was honored by USA Hockey on Monday with Chelios and Suter.

Chelios did his best to summarize his inspirations, aspirations and impressions while speaking to the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa via a conference call (USA Hockey’s website had posted it for a while, but the MP3’s been taken down):

“It’s hard to believe this all started out back at Squaw Valley,” Chelios, 49, said of his early years training for the U.S. national team. “But I’ve always said that the 1980 team pretty much paved the way for myself and my class of American players to play in the game.

“U.S. Hockey has come a long way. The fact that the induction is going to be in Chicago makes this all the more exciting, because that is where it all started for me in my youth hockey days. I could not have been more happy or honored when I got the call.”

And while Chelios and Suter didn’t attend the University of Wisconsin at the same time, the two made up for lost time on the Blackhawks’ blueline, as NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale noted:

Chelios and Suter combined for 43 seasons along NHL blue lines. Chelios played a record-tying 26 seasons—six with the Montreal Canadiens, nine with the Chicago Blackhawks and 10 with the Detroit Red Wings before closing his career with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009-10 at the age of 48. He retired as the oldest U.S.-born hockey player ever and the second oldest in NHL history behind former Detroit legend Gordie Howe (52). Chelios currently works as the executive advisor to Detroit GM Ken Holland.

“I wanted to leave the game when I felt like there was nothing left in the tank,” Chelios told reporters at his retirement announcement Aug. 31, 2010. “I think I pretty much accomplished that. I have no regrets.”

A three-time Stanley Cup champion and three-time Norris Trophy winner, Chelios scored 185 goals and 948 points and accrued 2,891 penalty minutes in 1,651 regular-season games. His 266 games played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most in NHL history. The Chicago native also is one of only two players to skate in four Olympics (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006) and represented the U.S. in three Canada Cups (1984, 1987, 1991), the World Cup of Hockey (1996, 2004) and the World Junior Championship (1982).

Chelios credited the 1980 U.S. Olympic team’s gold medal win in Lake Placid for influencing his hockey career.

“Once I saw they pulled that off, I wanted to be in their skates,” Chelios said during a conference call introducing this year’s Hall class. “It means a lot to us and that’s what motivated me. It was a great incentive; those were great guys.”

And as NHL.com’s Adam Kimmelman suggests, while Chelios never did capture an Olympic gold medal, he did take part in a seminal moment for U.S. Hockey in Team USA’s win over Canada in the 1996 World Cup…

Chris Chelios, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk all played major roles in the U.S. winning the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and will join Philadelphia Flyers founder and owner Ed Snider and long-time hockey broadcaster Mike “Doc” Emrick when the Class of 2011 is enshrined in Chicago in the fall.

That memorable tournament featured the U.S. and Canada battling in a best-of-3 series that at the time featured the best hockey had to offer. Game 1 saw Steve Yzerman score in overtime to give Canada a 4-3 victory at the just-opened CoreStates Center (now the Wells Fargo Center) in Philadelphia, a building Snider financed himself as a new home for his Flyers to replace the Spectrum.
....
While the first-game loss was tough, the U.S. squad refused to wilt. The team went into Montreal and won a pair of games by identical 5-2 scores to stun the home fans. Game 3 featured a goaltending clinic by Mike Richter, who held the fort as the U.S. rallied from a 2-1 third-period deficit for the victory.
...
Tkachuk finished third on the team with 5 goals, while Chelios and Suter combined for 6 assists and shut-down defense.

Despite the fact that Chelios was banged-up at the time and didn’t plan on doing much more than preparing for the Chicago Blackhawks’ training camp:

Chelios had no intention of playing in the tournament so he could get his body rested, recovered from injury and ready for the 1996-97 season. However, enough phone calls from players heading to the tournament convinced him he should suit up.

“I was a last-minute addition to the World Cup team,” Chelios said. “Thank God the guys did talk me into coming. … If it wasn’t for Gary and Keith calling me during those (pre-tournament) exhibition games, I probably wouldn’t have come. The memory is always going to be there, and doing it with Gary and Keith and all those guys—by far one of the best experiences of my U.S. career.”

USA Today’s Kevin Allen also made note of the fact that Chelios‘s involvement in the 96 World Cup and his legacy as Suter’s teammate (Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy talked more about the general impact of the tournament win on U.S. hockey both at and away from the professional level of play)...

Down 2-1 with 3:18 to go in the third and decisive game of the championship series, the USA rallied to score four goals.

“That memory’s always going to be there,” Chelios said. “Doing it with Gary and Keith — that has to be one of the best experiences of my career.”

That team’s core also helped the USA win a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Nine other members of the 1996 team have already been inducted into the Eveleth, Minn., hall.
...
Nursing an injury, Chelios contemplated not even joining the World Cup team. But thanks to the persistence of teammates Suter, Tkachuk and 2009 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Tony Amonte, he became an integral component of the championship run.

Chelios and Suter had been teammates at the University of Wisconsin. Chelios showed Suter around on his recruiting trip in Madison, and grew into what Suter called a “big brother in hockey” as the two climbed the NHL ranks. Eventually, the the former Badgers ended up on the same defensive pairing with Chicago — the city that will host the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame’s induction later this year.

Tkachuk and Chelios are the only U.S. men’s hockey players to take part in four Olympics.

And while Tkachuk kept complimenting Chelios for his U.S. and Hockey Hall of Fame-worthy chops while speaking to the Sporting News’s Craig Custance...

“He’s done everything,” Tkahcuk said. “He was one of the first really elite U.S. hockey players… the way he plays – he lays it all on the line. He’s the complete package and he’s been around forever.”

There isn’t a defenseman in the history of the NHL who played more than Chelios’ 1,651 games. He’s one of just two male players to represent the United States in four Olympic games, the last three as captain.

“It’s pretty hard to believe,” said Chelios of the Hall of Fame enshrinement.

Chelios also touched upon his present role as a “special assistant to Red Wings GM Ken Holland,” or, in plain English, a somewhat free-floating member of the Red Wings’ front office, specializing in mentoring the team’s defensive prospects, after telling the AP’s Pat Graham that he won’t rule out a comeback at 49...

“I’m not going to ever say that,” Chelios said with a chuckle.
...
Chelios played 26 NHL seasons with Montreal, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta. He left the NHL after the 2009-10 season as the all-time leader in games played by a defenseman (1,651). He also was part of three Stanley Cup championships. Now, he’s trying to figure out his next move. Chelios may throw himself into coaching or possibly a front-office role. He may even return to the ice.

“I’m trying to find my niche, what I want to do,” Chelios said. “I’m going to remain with hockey for the rest of life—it’s all I really know and love.”

As an adviser for the Red Wings, Chelios has worked with some of the organization’s up-and-coming defensemen. It’s a role he’s relishing.

“Nothing like being on the ice,” said Chelios, whose two sons play for Michigan State. “Coaching is something I really enjoy.”

But he’s not just “coaching” the Wings’ prospects, as he told the Chicago Daily Herald’s Adam L. Jahns...

Chelios started his career with the Montreal Canadiens, then spent eight seasons with the Hawks before being traded in 1999 to the Red Wings, for whom he played until 2009. He now works for the Red Wings, assisting in the development of their prospects.

‘‘I don’t want to jump the gun, but I really enjoy teaching,’’ said Chelios, who played in 1,651 regular-season games in his NHL career and represented the United States in four Olympics. ‘‘I think of all the great coaches I’ve had. Hopefully, I can use that and help these kids in our system to make them better players.’’

Although he is, as the Grand Rapids Press (for some reason there’s no byline for an individual author) notes, also a de-facto member of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ coaching staff at times:

In his current capacity as the Red Wings advisor to hockey operations Chelios works with the organization’s young defensemen in Grand Rapids. He periodically helps Griffins head coach Curt Fraser and assistant coach Jim Paek with on-ice drills

“I really enjoy teaching,’’ Chelios said. “With the great coaches I’ve had hopefully I can use that to help these young kids in our system to make them better players.’‘

The Free Press’s Helene St. James both noted Chelios’s induction on Monday and spends this morning explaining what it is that Chris Chelios has spent the past year doing and where his learning curve might take him:

Chelios, who was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, has spent the past year getting some insight into the managerial side of hockey. He has worked alongside Holland learning what it takes to run an NHL club, while occasionally dabbling in a more hands-on environment. His experiences working with prospects in Grand Rapids, and running practices for the healthy scratches during the playoffs, have made Chelios, 49, recognize where he is most at home.

“I’ve been working in management now for a year, trying to find my niche,” Chelios said. “I’ve always said I’m going to remain with hockey, probably, for the rest of my life, because it’s all I really know and love. I think I’m going to lean towards being on the ice. There’s nothing better than being down there with the guys, teaching. I really enjoyed going to Grand Rapids this year. That was probably my most significant role was working with the defensemen in Grand Rapids.”

Chelios’ pro hockey career spanned 26 seasons, taking him from Montreal to Chicago to Detroit to Atlanta. He retired after the 2009-10 season having played 1,651 games. He represented the U.S. 10 times on the international stage, including four Olympic Games and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. He joined the Wings in the spring of 1999 via a trade from the Blackhawks and remained through the 2008-09 season. His reputation still lingers in the locker room.

“I think Chris Chelios is one of those players that his impact on our team continues today,” [Red Wings GM Ken] Holland said. “Steve Yzerman is one of those players; Kris Draper is going to be one of those players. Their impact is because of their work ethic, because of their passion. They control the locker room. They’re the conscience in the locker room and in practice, and they care about their teammates. They set the standard.”

Holland said Chelios will continue under his current title for the upcoming season, but with more of an emphasis on development.

“He’s not an assistant, but he has (the) green light to go on the ice in Grand Rapids,” Holland said. “I know his experience going on the ice has him very intrigued about that aspect of the game.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Chelios ends up working with the Griffins on a full-time basis down the line, but at present, as his sons are still in college and his daughters are completing high school, he’s probably going to remain an “advisor” for the present moment. The one thing we do know is that Chelios’s roots are firmly planted in Detroit in terms of his hockey employer, his business interests in his Cheli’s Chili restaurants and his family’s preference to remain in the Motor City.

As for Chelios’s immediate future, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Andy Baggot notes that Chelios has technically received two Hall of Fame calls as he’s going to be inducted to the University of Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame on September 2nd...

And this might be a strange note to end upon, but while Faceoff.com posted a lovely photo of Chelios preparing to head onto the ice as a member of the Red Wings and NHL.com chose to make Chelios playing against Pavel Bure in the 2002 Olympics its “Frozen Moment of the Day,” I can confirm on an, “It happened to me!” basis that, if you happen to be wearing a press pass and/or carrying a sound recorder or camera in your hand, you may receive the reception that the QMI News Agency’s Jim Wells did while capturing a “candid” picture of Chelios during the team’s training camp in 2007—if you get a glance from Chelios at all:

Photo by Jim Wells, QMI News Agency

I’m certain that Chelios lives up to his billing in the character, charisma and “nice guy” department on an informal basis, but I’ve gotten the Babcockian Death Stare, and I’m pretty sure that Chelios’s, “Press scum!” glare matches it.


I’m shifting focus to the Wings’ current defensive stalwart and captain while rewriting this entry after 4 AM because Nicklas Lidstrom spoke to SVT.se in an interview that you can watch here, and Karolina Stromback Horney’s write-up of the thirteen-minute-long Swedish-language interview (help?) includes these highlights...

“Want to help youth players

Nicklas Lidstrom, 41, is gearing up for a new season in the NHL. But when his playing career’s over, he wants to spend his future taking part in youth hockey in Sweden.

“The plan right now is to move back to Sweden. We’ll probably settle in Vasteras,” he says of life after his professional career in Sweden. But there aren’t specific plans as to what he’ll do then.

“But I could imagine helping the youth side of hockey, in Vasteras, perhaps as a kids’ coach, to help with any hockey team,” says Lidstrom.

“A completely different culture

The Detroit defenseman also commented on the fan brawls which ended several Swedish soccer games this season, including last Saturday’s game between Malmo FF and Djurgarden.

“It’s a shame that it happens here at home,” says Lidstrom, who believes that fan culture is different in North America.

“It’s a completely different culture over there. It’s rare to see cheerleaders like in Sweden and Europe. It’s very rare that there’s
Detroit defenseman also commented which suspended several premier league matches this season, last Saturday’s game between Malmo FF and Djurgarden.

It’s a shame that it happens here at home, says Lidstrom who believe that läktarkulturen is different in North America.

It’s a completely different culture over there. It is rare to see cheerleading squad who are in Sweden and Europe. It is very often there’s a fight or hands of such extreme things as we have seen here.

And Eurosport.se’s Jens Dahlqvist offers the following:

It’s not yet time for his journey home. Nicklas Lidstrom signed a new contract with the Detroit Red Wings—the team he’s faithfully played for since 1991—just over a month ago.

“I’m feeling peckish, I want to start training again,” said Lidstrom in an interview with SVT.
...
Over 19 NHL seasons, the Avesta native won 4 Stanley Cup titles and has won the Norris Trophy—as the league’s best defenseman—seven times.

When Lidstrom left Vasteras for Detroit after a successful World Championships tournament in Finland, he didn’t believe that his career would have lasted this long.

“I thought I’d play there for three or four years, then leave and continue my career back home,” says Lidstrom.

But when it’s time to hang up the skates, the 41-year-old was very clear that he’s going back to Sweden.

“The plan right now is to move home and settle in Vasteras. Right now, there aren’t any immediate plans, but I’d like to help the youth side of hockey in Vasteras, perhaps as a coach.”

Strong Foundation

The Detroit Red Wings were defeated in the playoffs last season, just like 2010, when the San Jose Sharks slayed the Swedish team in the quarterfinals, but Nicklas Lidstrom can still look back on a fantastic season when he won the Norris Trophy for the seventh time.

“It went well for me personally. I registered many points and still earn lots of ice time,” he says, modestly.

But now he’s looking forward to his 20th NHL season and the hunt for a fifth Stanley Cup ring.

“I think we’ll have a strong team. We’ve lost some players, among other things, Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper retired. But we have a strong foundation and can go far. You never know what to expect if you can go all the way and win. That’s what drives you,” says Nicklas Lidstrom.

The Wings are going to have to sell Lidstrom very, very hard on remaining in Novi after his playing career over the next season or two, because right now, it sounds like if they want Lidstrom to remain a member of the organization, he’ll do so as some sort of free-floating Swedish amateur scout, and that’s a huge bummer…


There’s also a biggy update regarding the Production Line’s Michael Petrella’s note that Wings summer development camp participants and try-outs Evan Mosher, Zachery Franko and Adam Estcolet were listed on Shop.nhl.com’s Red Wings organizational jersey customizer, kinda sorta confirming my theory (for now) that the Wings haven’t signed the trio to contracts (yet?):

Update: I received a response from the Red Wings’ director of public relations Rick Bowness, who basically confirmed the speculation of Malik and I (in the comments): those guys were free agent invitees and haven’t been signed to contracts. In fact, Evan Mosher has also attended Montreal Canadiens development camp this summer, so he’s likely showcasing his portfolio for anyone that’s interested in seeing it.

We’ll keep a close eye on the developments, but it is unlikely, as Malik suggested, that anyone would be signed prior to main camp and the prospect tournament simply because they don’t have to be.

Exactly. In theory. But we’ll get back to the speculation department a little on, and I must mention that RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau has offered a list of the first prospect tournament team that’s released it’s roster on her Left Wing Lock blog, and it’s the Dallas Stars who’ve confirmed the names of the players taking part in the tournament which begins on September 10th (time to pull out the Paypal donation button? Too soon?).


Shifting focus back to USA Hockey for a moment, no Red Wings prospects are taking part in the U.S.‘s World Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY, which starts on Saturday, but NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman reports that one high-profile Wings prospect will attend the camp as a visiting team’s player:

Teemu Pulkkinen, who totaled a team-best 9 points for Finland at the 2011 World Junior Championship, is one of the 24 players that will take part in a junior evaluation camp next week in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Pulkkinen, a 2010 fourth-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, is one of six players returning from last year’s team that finished sixth in Buffalo.

Also at the camp from last year’s team are goaltender Sami Aittokallio, defenseman Olli Maatta, and forwards Joel Armia, Joonas Donskoi and Miikka Salomaki.

The camp runs Aug. 6-13, at the Olympic Center, and will feature exhibition games between the United States, Sweden and Finland.

According to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation’s webpage, 2011 Wings draft pick Mattias Backman will attend the camp with the Swedish team.


Also of Red Wings-related note: The Wings’ website posted a video of Brian Rafalski taking part in a ball hockey tournament at Clark Park this past weekend…

• In promotional news with a charitable bent, the Grand Rapids Griffins are teaming up with a local volunteer organization called The Fox Voice and Huntington Bank to attempt to round up school supplies for needy kids:

The Fox V.O.I.C.E. and Huntington Bank will be collecting new backpacks and school supplies in Grand Rapids at 27 locations from Monday, Aug. 1 to Saturday, Aug. 13 for the Grand Rapids Public Schools.

According to 2011 Huntington research, school supplies costs add up to about $530 per child per year in elementary school, $545 in middle school—a 25% jump over last year—and $1,094 in high school. Donations will be accepted during open business hours at the Grand Rapids Griffins’ front office located at Van Andel Arena, all 67 Huntington Bank locations and all 21 Fox Motors dealership locations. For a complete list of locations and school information, please visit www.dpfox.com/thefoxvoice/fall2011.html.

• The Wings’ ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, also announced that they’re engaging in a community-related activity on October 7th:

The Toledo Walleye are pleased to announce plans for the 2nd annual Walleye FinFest at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo. The event will take place on Saturday, October 8th and will offer interactive activities for fans of all ages and feature the Toledo Walleye vs. Kalamazoo Wings in exhibition play. The Walleye and Wings will play an exhibition game at Kalamazoo on Friday, October 7 at 7:30 pm as well.

This year, the Toledo Walleye have partnered with United Way in order to launch the first “Fill The House for Charity” ticket fundraiser. Non-profit organizations can apply to sell FinFest tickets in order to raise money. Prizes will be awarded to groups that sell the most tickets. For further information on the charitable tie-in to this year’s event, contact Mike Keedy at (419) 725-4526.

• In the plain old “reminder” department, the NHL Network will be airing Game 2 of this past spring’s Wings-Coyotes series tonight at 6 and 8 PM;

• The Great Lakes Loons are giving away Gordie Howe bobbleheads to the first 1,000 fans attending their Thursday game against Lake County;

• And if you speak Russian, you can fire off a question to Pavel Datsyuk via Sovetsky Sport as he’s picking up the Kharlamov Trophy (Russia’s player-voted-upon MVP award) in Moscow today (and they’ve already posted a Datsyuk photo gallery);

&buull; Datsyuk also engaged in a two-part interview with Sport-Express’s Alexander Rogulev while engaging in a promotional event for Reebok in Moscow.

While it’s a little late for me to be engaging in a full-on translation while my last day of vacation’s beginning after finding the Lidstrom news at 4:15, I’ll try to hammer out some sort of rough translation today;

• As a for-the-record, Hockeykanalen.se lists just about every Swedish Eliteserien team’s training camps as getting underway this week, with Dick Axelsson and Modo Ornskoldsvik slated to take to the ice on August 8th, Allehanda.se’s Jonatan Lindquist posted a photo gallery of Modo already engaging in an “informal” practice under coach Ulf Samuelsson, and 80% of the other 20-or-so Swedish newspapers I have bookmarked are gearing up for the Eliteserien’s training camps and pre-season tournaments.

The same’s true all across Europe. They’re on the ice and many NHL’ers are in tow…

• In lesser “for the record” news, the Calgary Sun’s Allen Cameron says that Calgary Stampeders linebacker Daren Stone once worked at a hockey camp with Jimmy Howard at the University of Maine, and Sportsline’s Adam Gretz notes that the higher salary cap means that the Wings are now spending under half their budget on their five most highly-paid players (now it’s 41%);

• I was rather stunned by the fact that someone believed this was a dyed-in-the-wool transaction in the making, so I’m going to mention it: on this side of the pond, it’s the slowest point of the off-season, and while I respect Bleacher Report’s Matt Hutter’s opinion in suggesting that the Wings should waive Jiri Hudler and sign New Jersey Devils buy-out candidate Trent Hunter…

Well, number one, I shouldn’t have to say but do have to say that someone’s “suggestion” is not a factual “this is going to happen” report unless they’ve got a source to cite, and number two, please don’t assume that as we Wings bloggers talk about players we’d like to see come to Detroit, that something is actually happening unless we can back it up with more than wishful thinking. I understand that this time of year is all about wishful thinking, but please don’t go assuming that someone’s dream scenario is all but guaranteed!

• And finally, per Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek...

Mike Modano was on radio station 1310 The Ticket in Dallas last Friday suggesting that this season was probably his “swan song,” but he came short of announcing his retirement on the show. Last year before Detroit stepped up and signed him, Modano was prepared to call it a career and was a candidate for the figure skating show, “Battle of the Blades.” Wonder if that offer is still on the table?

 

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Comments

SnLO's avatar

Good Morning George!

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 08/02/11 at 11:12 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

And while Chelios and Suter didn’t attend the University of Wisconsin at the same time, the two made up for lost time on the Blackhawks’ blueline,
—————
Chelios and Suter had been teammates at the University of Wisconsin
—————

I guess one of those is right.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/02/11 at 11:41 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, I think we’ve got to accept that Captain Nick will be moving back to Sweden when he retires from playing for the Wings.  I read somewhere - probably here - that he’s building a house over there this summer.

My gut feeling - or maybe I’m must trying to prepare myself in advance in case it happens - is that Nick and Homer will both retire at the end of the upcoming season.  I thought all along that one of the reasons Nick decided to come back was that his buddy Homer had one more year to go.  I really see them going out together and THAT is the day you’ll be seeing a lot of tears rolling down this face.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 08/02/11 at 11:51 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

How did cheli play in chitown from 91 to 99 and detroit from 98 to 09?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/02/11 at 12:36 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Well, Homer’s said he wants to stick around in Novi, become an American citizen, and probably continue in some vein with the Wings after his playing days are over.  Let’s hope Nick follows him into THAT as well.

Odd to see riots in the Allsvenskan soccer league.  That’s usually a bigger problem in the SPL, La Liga, and Serie A, but the extreme reactionary segments of society (nationalists and neo-Nazis) are on the rise in northern Europe and unfortunately Scandinavia is no exception, as evidenced by recent events.  As with other leagues, it’s most likely the ultra element causing trouble.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 08/02/11 at 12:50 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The U of Wisconsin sources were sketchy ...sorry!

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/02/11 at 02:58 PM ET

Norskirama's avatar

Suter was a freshman but had not made the varsity squad in during the 1982-83 season when the Badgers won the NCAA and Chelios was a major factor.  He left after two years and went to the Habs.  Suter shows up on the 83-84 roster as a sophomore.  So he and Cheli were in Mad Town at the same time (and Gary is from Madison anyway), so they crossed paths but apparently did not compete together on the same varsity squad….does that help a little?  Looking at the UW archves was about as clear as MUD!

Posted by Norskirama from Lincoln, Nebraska on 08/02/11 at 08:53 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.