The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/08/12 at 03:40 AM ET
The Red Wings had four personnel moves to concern themselves with over the course of August, and they checked one major box off after signing Tomas Jurco to an entry-level deal on Tuesday.
Three remain, but any CBA delays may delay them until September or beyond: the first involves signing an unrestricted free agent defenseman—or two—to stabilize the team’s blueline; the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan offers an update on the second and third remaining moves, stating that the Red Wings don’t feel particularly hurried in terms of asking Tomas Holmstrom to make a decision about his playing future…
“We remain in contact,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We expect Homer to make a decision before the end of the month.”
The longer the offseason drags on it appears the chances of Holmstrom, 39, returning for a 16th season grow slimmer.
Holmstrom played in 74 games last season and scored 11 goals. He has 243 goals in 1,026 career games. But the constant physical abuse around the net, where Holmstrom has thrived in his career, have taken a toll in recent seasons. His knees, in particular, have been troublesome. Holmstrom said last month he was training, but wasn’t sure if he could hold up physically over another regular season.
Holmstrom didn’t return phone calls Tuesday.
And the final move the Wings need to make involves re-signing restricted free agent forward Justin Abdelkader. Thus far, no news isn’t necessarily bad news:
Abdelkader declined an opportunity for arbitration in July and the two sides continue to plug away on a new contract. Holland said a new deal will get done ultimately.
Abdelkader, 25, had eight goals and 14 assists with 62 penalty minutes last season in 81 games.
The other “big” news story of the morning comes in a press release from the Grand Rapids Griffins which seems to suggest that a slate of Winter Classic tickets were just released to the Red Wings, who’ve told their Winter Classic ticket lottery participants that tickets are now available, and the Griffins, who’ve stated the following:
The Grand Rapids Griffins are offering fans the chance to be a part of AHL and NHL history this winter with ticket packages that include a ticket to both the Griffins’ first-ever outdoor game against the Toronto Marlies at Comerica Park on Dec. 30 and the 2013 NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1.
The Griffins are offering Winter Classic tickets ($129, $149 and $219) that come bundled with a ticket to the Griffins’ outdoor game ($18, $28 and $38). Tickets for the AHL game only are also being offered in those same price levels. The available seats can be viewed in the seating chart for Michigan Stadium here and for Comerica Park here.
For a limited time, these Winter Classic ticket bundles can be purchased as part of a Griffins Full Season, Partial Season or FLEX ticket package. For seats and pricing information, call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or click here to request information online.
The game will mark the Griffins’ first outdoor game and the fifth outdoor contest in AHL history. The game will be part of the Red Wings’ 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, a series of college, junior and NHL alumni contests that will lead up to the NHL Winter Classic. A preliminary schedule of the two-week long Celebration of Hockey can be viewed here.
If you’re keeping score at home regarding the Red Wings’ pursuit of Shane Doan, or perhaps the lack thereof, the Mercury News’s David Pollak offered an intriguing Tweet on Tuesday, suggesting that at least part of the, “4-year, $30 million” demand Doan’s agent, Terry Bross, is foisting upon any prospective bidders is indeed true:
Too expensive, too much term for a 36-year-old whose deal would count against the cap for the entirety thereof, even if he retires.
In news from the other side of the pond:
• According to Arbetarbladet, Wings prospect Calle Jarnkrok will be an alternate captain for Brynas IF this upcoming season;
• Intriguingly, from VF4Life on HFboards, after the Red Wings steered estranged prospect Dick Axelsson to the Frolunda Indians and watched Fabian Brunnstrom sign with the same team, the Indians have named Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson to the club’s board of directors.
That’s a step up for Andersson, just as the Wings’ Finnish scout, Ari Vouri, was named TPS Turku’s general manager this summer!
• In the European alumni department, part 1: as Sports.ru’s Ilya Elchaniov notes, the last member of the Russian Five to harbor hopes of playing a full professional season, one Slava Kozlov, does not have an employer as KHL teams’ training camps and preseason games have begun in Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union.
Kozlov may or may not continue waiting to find a place to play. As for his linemate, Sergei Fedorov, it’s widely believed that Fedorov will not officially retire from hockey until CSKA Moscow’s general manager plays a farewell team as a member of CSKA, wrapping up his playing career playing for the team he “turned pro” with way back in 1986;
• And in the European alumni department, part 2: This isn’t exactly a Dominik Hasek-style comeback, but former Wing Anders Eriksson hasn’t played hockey in a year, but the 37-year-old’s told Allehanda’s David Jiglund that he wants to resume his playing career, with teams in Russia and Austria having shown interest in his services.
He’s a little bit worried about playing in Russia, despite of the amount of money he’s been offered, due to the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy, and I think we’re going to continue hearing that for a couple of years going forward.
Back over on this side of the Atlantic:
• Also in the alumni department, part 1, from the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
• In the alumni department, parts 2 and 3, from the Red Wings:
Join us in wishing Red Wings PA Announcer Budd Lynch a Happy 95th Birthday! on.fb.me/P4CY7D— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 8, 2012
Red Hot Chili Peppers + Lidstrom, Holmstrom, and Helm= Such an AWESOME picture. twitter.com/DetroitRedWing…— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 8, 2012
• In the alumni department, more formally, from DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, former Wings goalie Eddie Mio spoke to Roose about his time with the team:
Question: Do you keep in touch with any of your former Red Wings teammates? If so, who?
Eddie Mio: “A lot of them still live in this area with Johnny Ogrodnick, Petr (Klima), Greg Stefan, my old partner, especially if we’re at the Plymouth Whalers games. I’ve talked to John Barrett once in awhile.”
Question: Which of the current Red Wings is your favorite? And why?
Mio: “I like the Captain (Nicklas Lidstrom) just because he personifies leadership, ability, just everything that you want in your captain, but more importantly, he’s still a top five defenseman. I put him in the top five overall, I mean I put him with Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky; he’s right up there.”
Question: What was your favorite memory as a Red Wing?
Mio: “It was in my first year (1983-84) and we cinched a playoff spot for the first time in (six) years. It was a good feeling because they had got me from New York, and even though I was hurt most of that year it was still satisfying that we were going to the playoffs.”
Question: Which of the guys you played with was the toughest?
Mio: “Well, I would have to say that as a combo it’s got to be Joey (Kocur) and Bobby (Probert). I got to know Joey when I was rehabbing my hamstring in Adirondack and we were in Nova Scotia when he got into the fight with Jimmy Playfair, so we both got called up and (coach) Bill Dineen said, ‘Hey, take care of the kid.’ But I would have a hard time separating the two. They both would come to the rescue of anybody as long as you could prove that you were a team guy.”
• And in the alumni department, whole different team version, from the Glens Falls Post-Star’s Tim Mcanus, I can’t imagine that the Philadelphia Flyers feel awesome about their farm team donning Red Wings-themed jerseys, but the Adirondack Red Wings were a huge part of Glens Falls, New York’s hockey history:
The Phantoms unveiled new jerseys Tuesday for their home opener on Oct. 13. The team will wear red and white jerseys modeled after those worn by the former Adirondack Red Wings. The jerseys have the word Adirondack spelled out diagonally across the chest.
This is the third time the Phantoms will feature jerseys with the word Adirondack on them, though the first in the old Red Wings colors. The Red Wings played 20 seasons in Glens Falls between 1979 and 1999.
Last season, the Phantoms wore black and white jerseys in the home opener with Adirondack written length-wise across the front. In their inaugural season, the Phantoms wore black and orange jerseys with the diagonal Adirondack during games against rival Albany.
“We received a lot of positive feedback asking us to do that again” Phantoms Executive Vice President Chris Porreca said. “For this year, we are also incorporating the traditional colors of the former Adirondack Red Wings, which we know our fans will really enjoy.”
In CBA News, via RedWingsFeed, Henrik Zetterberg spoke to the NHLPA’s YouTube channel while attending the PA’s European CBA update meeting in Barcelona, Spain:
• ESPN’s Craig Custance also offered an update on the realignment issue via an ESPN Insider-only blog entry, noting that the players are still particularly unhappy with the concept that the Eastern teams would be placed in seven-team “conferences” under the NHL’s plan versus eight-team Western “conferences,” and that the players still don’t feel that their concerns regarding travel have been answered. They do, however, all feel bad for the Winnipeg Jets, who remain in the Eastern Conference for the upcoming season (though I’m not sure I feel so bad for a team that gets to go to fly from a Winnipeg winter to sunny Florida eight times a season):
“It was the number of teams in each division that didn’t make sense. Eight and seven,” said a player rep on Monday. “And if you’re a fifth-place team in a division and you’re good and you have four teams better than you—that fifth-place team could be better than the sixth-place team in the other division. I don’t really like that.”
Looking back at how the league was divided, it’s easy to see a good team getting left out of the postseason. It’s hard to pick just four playoff teams from that first group that includes the Devils, Flyers, Rangers, Penguins, Capitals, Hurricanes and Islanders. And that’s one of the seven-team conferences.
“Those New York teams, geez, they’d never have to leave their time zone pretty much ever,” the player rep said. “I like the idea of everybody playing each other twice. That part is cool; you want to see every team and go to every team’s building. But we’re the ones who have to do it. We should have a little input.”
That input should be coming as CBA talks continue. Eventually, a team like the Jets will find a divisional home more geographically convenient.
“The poor Winnipeg guys can’t keep doing that,” the player rep said. “Two years in a row, that’s pretty ridiculous for them.”
Also of Red Wings-related note:
• You may make what you will of the following Tweets from the Wings (I still want to say “Twitter updates”):
WATCH: As part of our 21 Prizes, 21 Days initiative, Ron Dupuis won a round of golf with Ken Holland! video.redwings.nhl.com/videocenter/co…— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 7, 2012
• And I don’t want to end on this note, but aside from letting you know that I’ll be out of the office for a good chunk of Wednesday as the “ferry mom to doctor’s appointments” parade will return….
Yes, as MLive’s Brendan Savage notes, Mike Modano and Willa Ford have filed for divorce. Marriage is a difficult endeavor, and while people like me hope it’s worth the work, I’d imagine that it’s very hard to keep the relationship going when you’ve got two celebrities spending long periods of time away from each other pursuing their careers. I’m sorry for Mike and Mandy (her real name is Mandy Williford) and I hope they’ll come out of the relationship okay. No judgmental crap or casting aspersions here.
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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.