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Red Wings overnight report: Ken Holland, full of ideas; on Pulkkinen and Big Red

Red Wings GM Ken Holland consistently brings new ideas to general managers’ meetings, and while the Wings’ amateur scouts take in the draft combine in Toronto, Holland will visit with the NHL’s GM’s in New York today.

Holland successfully lobbied his peers to change the tiebreaker for playoff seeding from any win to regulation or overtime wins, he’s discussed the concept of adding 3-on-3 play to overtime to help avoid shootouts, and today, the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Holland will discuss the concept of carrying over penalties from one game to the next during the playoffs:

It’s an interesting concept. It would, for example, have meant that the Red Wings would have started Game 2 of their first-round series with Nashville with Predators captain Shea Weber serving a two-minute roughing penalty for slamming Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass as Game 1 ended. In fact, they would have had a two-man power play, as Martin Erat was called for holding at 19:37.

“It’s something I’ve talked about with league people and other GMs over time,” Holland said Tuesday. “In the regular season, when you go from one team to another, it’s a non-issue. But in a seven-game series—we’ve had some history in Detroit where, when the game has been decided on the score-clock, there’s been some message-sending for the next game. So maybe if there’s a penalty late in a game, it would carry over. It’s something I’m interested in discussing. It’s something we’ve talked about in the past, and it hasn’t really gone anywhere, but it’s worked its way to the agenda now.”

Other topics are expected to include revisiting hooking, holding and interference penalties.

Cough cough obstruction’s back cough cough…


In foreign-language news, the Red Wings signed Teemu Pulkkinen to a 3-year entry-level deal on Tuesday, and while the Finnish newspapers have more or less repeated what the Wings’ beat writers reported, I did find something interesting on Jokerit Helsinki’s website.

Pulkkinen will remain with Jokerit for at least the next season, but Jokerit’s general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen, will allow Pulkkinen to take part in the Wings’ training camp before returning to Finland, despite the fact that doing so means that Pulkkinen will miss some of Jokerit’s regular-season games in the SM-Liiga (and this is very, very roughly translated):

The Detroit Red Wings announced late on Tuesday evening that they’ve signed a three-year contract with newcomer Teemu Pulkkinen. The young winger will take part in the team’s camp for rookies in July, and will take part in the team’s training camp in September. Pulkkinen will return to Jokerit unless he earns a spot with the Red Wings.

“Congratulations to Teemu Pulkkinen and the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL on their contract. He will come back to Finland to play the last year of his contract for Jokerit, if he doesn’t finish training camp on the NHL team, says Jokerit team manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

Pulkkinen hasn’t attended the Wings’ summer prospect camps over the past two seasons, nor has he taken part in a training camp, so this is good news for the Wings as Pulkkinen hasn’t had the opportunity to train with the team, nor has he played on an 85-foot-wide rink as of yet.

I’m not sure that Brynas IF will afford the Wings the same luxury when they sign Calle Jarnkrok to a contract today or tomorrow; Tomas Jurco, however, will “turn pro” with the Grand Rapids Griffins next season.

Aha! While I was writing this, Ilta Sanomat’s Kalle Takala spoke to Kekalainen about Pulkkinen’s situation:

“Teemu’s hoping to go to training camp and earn a spot with Detroit’s NHL team, but if it doesn’t work out [for him], he will return to Jokerit,” Jokerit CEO Jarmo Kekalainen tells IS Sports.

He’s not going to predict whether “Pulkki” has a realistic chance to break into the rock-hard Red Wings hockey team’s roster.

“It totally depends on him, the player will determine for himself.”

Kekalainen said that Jokerit’s plans for Pulkkinen next season won’t be affected, as the agreement with Detroit was known [about] for a while. Jokerit’s team is ready to practice anyway.

“There won’t be interference of any kind from us in bits or pieces. Also this year it’s up to our own young players to take the opportunity to earn a spot in the SM-Liiga, and it looks like they’ll be able to play here,” said Kekalainen.

In the same breath, however, he points out that he can make trades until the end of January, if there is a need for fine-tuning.


Shifting gears in a big way, the Red Wings haven’t drafted a Wolverine in ages, but University of Michigan coach Red Berenson is something of a legend around here, and he spoke to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose about his days with the Wings, and he shared some observations about the present-day team as well:

Question: Do you keep in touch with any of your former Red Wings teammates? If so, who?

Berenson: “I still keep up with some of the guys who live around town, like Mickey Redmond and Nick Libett. I’m also still good friends with Tim Ecclestone, who owns a sports bar down in Atlanta. It’s a really nice place called TJ’s Sports Bar & Grill.”

Question: Which of the current Red Wings is your favorite? And why?

Berenson: “Well, I love (Nicklas) Lidstrom, and he’s a world-class player and he plays the game the right way. I think there were a lot of questions about him when he first came into the league, but he has really proven that he is the real deal. A great player.”

Question. What was your favorite memory as a Red Wing?

Berenson: “I think getting traded here (in Feb. 1971) with Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio still on the team, and coming back to an Original Six team and playing in the Olympia. Even though our team wasn’t really that good it was still a real privilege to play here.”
Question: Q. How has the NHL changed since you played?

Berenson: “The rules have changed, obviously, and the players are now full-time players, who condition all year-round with off-ice training and as a result you get bigger, quicker, better conditioned players. The other change is that you have European players now.”


In the alumni department, but in a “for the record” vein, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan added a wee tidbit to his report about Dominik Hasek’s desire to return to the NHL:

A Red Wings team source told The Detroit News that the Wings would not be interested in taking a look at Hasek.

That’s probably true for the Buffalo Sabres as well. I understand that Hasek’s trying to go out on a high note, but I think that the Czech papers are more or less indulging him in that regard.


In programming news, TSN is going to air a chunk of the NHL’s Draft Combine this Friday at 7:30 PM EDT, and while I’m not sure whether the NHL Network will pick that programming up—it’s mostly watching kids get pushed to the point that they get nauseous—but their press release did include a note about the only time that it’s appropriate for 30 organizations’ worth of mostly middle-aged men to gather in a room to fawn over 17 and 18-year-old boys…Erm, did that sound as bad as it does in my head?

TSN has exclusive coverage of the 2012 NHL DRAFT on Friday, June 22 at 7 p.m. ET live from the CONSOL Energy Centre in Pittsburgh.

I do know that Versus usually picks that up in the U.S., and NHL.com will stream TSN’s coverage on Saturday, June 23rd…At, erm, it usually starts around 10 AM.

Sportsnet also made a big announcement about the Winter Classic—they’re going to air HBO’s 24/7 in Canada:


Regarding players whose rights might be traded at the draft, you can take this quip from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi as you wish…

Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter and New Jersey winger Zach Parise - expected to be the top unrestricted free agents on July 1 - are at the top of a lot of teams’ wish lists.

The Flyers are believed to be among those teams.

And the Sports Xchange’s quips about Ryan Suter are somewhat predictable…

Suter’s situation is especially interesting. The defenseman had been vocal about his desire for the Predators to make moves to increase the productivity of the roster. Nashville did that by making three trades around the deadline period. It also brought Radulov back from Russia. Now, Suter must determine if this is enough for him.

On the open market, Suter could command upward of $7 million. Elite defensemen at his age (27) don’t come around too often. He’s coming off a career year in which he set highs in points and minutes played per game.

At the same time, Suter, along with Weber, has helped turn the Predators into a competitive outfit. This season was the first year since 2006-07 that Nashville believed it had a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup. If the Predators can keep Suter and bring back some of those pieces, there’s no reason to believe they can’t be elite again next season.

But I thought this was particularly impressive: despite attempts to get Zach Parise to discus his post-Stanley Cup Final intentions during “media day,” neither ESPN New York’s Joanette Howard nor anyone else managed to get Parise to budge. If you want to read the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere’s take on Parise’s future, go ahead and enjoy it, but here’s the bottom line:

“I’m not answering any questions about free agency,” he said.

If you’re interested in a local take on the Stanley Cup Final as well, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan penned a series preview...


And finally, as a sort of addendum to the Datsyuk World Championship parade post (many thanks again to Alexy Kovalevich of Red Wings Grinder for the video), I did find one picture of Datsyuk kinda-sorta celebrating with the World Championship trophy alongside his daughter Elizabeth on Sovetsky Sport’s website...

And while this is very, very roughly translated, Datsyuk did briefly speak to Sport Day by Day’s Cyril Snastin from the rally held for the team at the Kremlin:

And here is another famous NHL’er—Pavel Datsyuk—who modestly tries to escape attention. But the correspondent of “Sports” still managed to ask the front-line forward of Detroit a couple of questions.

Question: Pavel, in the NHL, have you ever participated in a ceremony like this? Is it perceived differently?

Datsyuk: “It’s hard to compare,” the responsible Datsyuk answers after a pause. “In the NHL the part of the schedule for the championship is much longer, there are more games. And at the World Championship’s games, they are smaller, and more important: after playing for our country, for our fans, who convey our emotions to us…The emotion on the team is much greater, but they’re harder to throw.

Question: Are you already used to the idea that you’re a world champion?

Datsyuk: “No, I’m only slowly beginning to realize it now. When the final with the Slovaks ended, it was devastating. Now, everything that’s said about our victory, people stop and congratulate me. So with that comes the understanding that we’ve done a great job.”

Datsyuk, by the way, was perhaps the only player on the team who “violated” the dress code, taking off his sportcoat and tie. “It’s hot,” explains Pavel. “But I always wear a sportcoat, as soon as I sit on the bus.”

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MsRedWinger's avatar

Good morning, George.  I love starting out my day by reading all your great stuff.

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 05/30/12 at 09:47 AM ET


Good morning George,

Great stuff again! I was wondering if you know when Pav is going to start his “hockey school”? Is it in June?


Posted by Nat from MTL on 05/30/12 at 10:22 AM ET

Ducksworth's avatar

Good morning, George.  I love starting out my day by reading all your great stuff.

^This^  cool smile

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 05/30/12 at 11:04 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I really wish they would stop changing and creating rules, and start calling the rules as they are wriiten.  If that was the case, the example of Weber’s actions in the playoffs as a need for carry over penalties would be moot, as he would have been suspended for at least that game anyway because of the headshot rule.

The league is constantly trying to come up with gimmicks to compensate for the shortcomings of its officials and the disciplinary staff, and more often than not they only succeed in muddying the waters on what is and isn’t legal, and make the league itself look like a circus.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 05/30/12 at 11:25 AM ET


Pretty good translations on the pieces on Pulkkinen! But here’s one which wasn’t very accurate… smile

“There won’t be interference of any kind from us in bits or pieces.” is actually: “Our team isn’t missing any pieces (in terms of players).”

Posted by TDfrd from Finland on 05/30/12 at 12:19 PM ET

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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.


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