The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/28/11 at 08:22 AM ET
Monday, we go back to “school” as at least half a dozen Red Wings’ players (and probably the media) will show up at Joe Louis Arena to take part in an “informal” practice, so the last day of hockey summer provides a commensurate amount of tidbit-style news.
First and foremost, don’t forget that “Operation Bobblehead” ends tomorrow, and at present, Niklas Kronwall’s leading Todd Bertuzzi in the race for plastic immortality and/or infamy, though Bertuzzi fans have brought out the heavy artillery in an attempt to close the gap…
And the Free Press’s sports staff more or less provides a summary of the events to come:
• Single-game tickets go on sale at noon Thursday at the Joe Louis Arena box office, Hockeytown Cafe, Hockeytown Authentics and Ticketmaster locations, online at detroitredwings.com and by phone at 800-745-3000.
• A single-game presale runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday for fans who have signed up for team e-mail and text alerts. Details are on the Wings’ Web site.
Not really…just follow the handy links. And a “single-game pre-sale” sounds like the Wings will offer tickets to one specific game to the general public before the main sale begins…
• Tickets still are available to HockeyFest 2011 at the Joe on Sept. 10. They run $25 for adults, $15 for ages 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the Joe and Ticketmaster outlets, through the team Web site and at the ticket phone number.
Sarah Lindenau’s Left Wing Lock blog provides more thorough details regarding training camp and the Wings’ roster (she’s updated it, and at present, try-out Fabian Brunnstrom is slated to wear #15)
• The Wings will stage an eight-team prospects tournament Sept. 10-14 at Centre Ice Arena. Tickets are $10 a day. The other teams are Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis and the New York Rangers. Details are on the arena’s site.
In the interim, I don’t have a website to share with you regarding finding tickets for the Ovechkin-Kovalchuk charity hockey game that Pavel Datsyuk will be taking part in on Wednesday at Moscow’s Sokolniki Arena, but the Novi Chamber of Commerce now has a web page which allows you to purchase tickets for Mike Babcock’s luncheon with the Novi and Livonia Chambers of Commerce on September 8th, and the Free Press’s Dora Robles Hernandez and Mary Lendzion report that Kris Draper will take part in a charitable event next Sunday:
Walk4Friendship: 5k walk that raises funds and community awareness for the Friendship Circle, a nonprofit organization for individuals with special needs. Walk begins at Friendship center and ends at the Jewish Community Center. Walkers will then enjoy food, fun and entertainment. Guests are former Red Wing Kris Draper and Aaron (Wheelz) Fotheringham, champion wheelchair athlete. 11:30 a.m. registration and T-shirt pick-up, 12:30 p.m. opening ceremony, 12:45 p.m. 5k & 1-mile walk Sept. 4. Friendship Circle, 6892 W. Maple, West Bloomfield. 248-788-7878. www.walk4friendship.com
Regarding the Wings’ prospect tournament, the Everett Herald’s Nick Patterson states something about Wings prospect Landon Ferraro, who’s currently skating with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, that at least seems like more of a possibility than it was a few months ago (again, most of the Wings’ prospects who play Major Junior Hockey or NCAA hockey are training with their respective teams, even if they’re likely to turn pro with the Red Wings this upcoming season, and the Wings’ European hockey-playing prospects are already engaging in pre-season tournaments and exhibition games) ...
There’s also an outside chance center Landon Ferraro could be sent back by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.
The performance of one of the Wings’ try-out invites also happens to weigh quite heavily upon the future of the OHL’s Erie Otters. The Erie Times-News’s Victor Fernandes says that an injury which likely prevented goaltender Ramis Sadikov from being drafted as a 19-year-old severely impacted his team’s playoff hopes, and now Sadikov’s status as a free agent try-out leaves the Otters unsure as to who will tend the crease for them—to the point that they went out and acquired one of the Wings’ summer development camp participants as a possible replacement:
Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, figures his club would have challenged for the title if veteran goaltender Ramis Sadikov hadn’t torn his groin muscle late in the regular season. That injury kept one of the league’s top goalies from performing at his best in the playoffs. Yet, ifs and buts won’t allow the Otters to challenge again this season.
“We’ve got a really good, competitive team. We’ve come together,” Bassin said. “There’s a couple of teams that might be a bit more mature than us right now. But we think we can compete with anybody.”
Bassin said his staff will build a better understanding of the team during training camp at Tullio Arena this week and in the time before the Sept. 23 season opener in Sarnia. The players will determine if Bassin’s assessment is accurate.
“We have to decide how good we’re going to be,” Bassin said.
But their potential for success starts in net. Bassin acquired Tyson Teichmann from Belleville to battle returning veteran Chris Festarini for the No. 1 spot. Sadikov will arrive at camp late in the week before joining the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., in two weeks.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things about Erie,” Teichmann said after the Aug. 2 trade. “I’m looking forward to getting there, getting settled in and helping this team win a championship in the near future.”
Reading the tea leaves here, it appears that Sadikov’s agent, the infamous Mark Gandler (see: Alexei Yashin), has informed the Otters that his client’s likely to turn pro with either the Wings or an AHL team, but given the fact that the Wings have three goalies in the AHL system already in Joey MacDonald, Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce, it’s highly likely that the Wings would loan Sadikov out to another AHL team (or simply not sign him, watch him play for an OHL or AHL team and then sign him next spring, when spots on the fifty-man roster will open up) anyway…
And while we’re talking about goalies and Russian connections, the Ottawa Citizen’s Wayne Scanlan penned a story about Ottawa 67’s goalie coach Tom Dempsey, who both mentors Wings prospect Petr Mrazek and apparently rebuffed an offer to become a goalie coach for the Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL to remain in Ottawa after taking part in a goalie camp this past summer…Where his main English-speaking assistant was Wings scout Evgeni Erfilov (which also prompted a glance at the Wings’ website’s front office page, which lists a new Russian scout, Nikolai Vakourov, as part of the organization…and did I mention that one of the reasons the Wings are so comfortable with the fact that Teemu Pulkkinen has yet to take part in a summer development camp or prospect tournament has something to do with the fact that their Finnish scout, Ari Vouri, is an assistant GM for Pulkkinen’s team, Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-Liiga? But I digress…).
Otherwise, I’m not sure whether you’re interested in reading a softball of a Swedish interview Hockeysverige.se’s Ronnie Johansson conducted with CSKA Moscow GM and chairman of the KHL’s board of directors Slava Fetisov, who’s become something of a hard-liner about keeping Russian-born hockey players in the KHL twenty years after he and Igor Larionov worked so very hard to ensure that Russian-born players could legally play wherever they chose to…
In the multimedia department, new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan conducted an intriguing interview with The Fan 590’s Joey Vendetta, stating that he and NHLPA special assistant to the commission…let’s just call him NHLPA VP and former Wings teammate Mathieu Schneider are working with equipment manufacturers to reduce the literal and figurative impact of shoulder pads as offensive weapons…
And I can only say that things managed to tie themselves together as Alyonka Larionov attended this past week’s “Biosteel” hockey camp in Toronto (whose participants included Brendan Smith and Thomas McCollum), offering two instructional videos for would-be interviewers of hockey players (and the star of the show just happens to be a Wings prospect tournament alumnus in Dallas Stars forward Luke Gadzic; the other is University of Michigan defenseman and New Jersey Devils prospect Brandon Burlon)...
Here’s a little cross-promotion: Kukla’s Korner’s Patrick Hoffman happened to pen an article about the Central Division’s teams, including the Wings, for Truehockey.com, and I think his take on the Wings’ chops might be considered charitable given what we’re about to read from the mainstream media starting on Monday…
Even without the likes of Brian Rafalski, Chris Osgood, Kris Draper and Mike Modano, the Detroit Red Wings could very well be the class of the Central Division once again this season.
The Red Wings still have guys like Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall and goaltender Jimmy Howard. These players all had solid seasons last year and got the Wings to within one game of the Western Conference Finals.
This team will be the team to beat not only in the division, but possibly the entire conference.
In the interim, I’m not sure if you feel like reliving the last game of the Wings-Sharks series from this past spring, which the NHL Network will re-air tonight at 6 PM and 8 PM EDT…
I’d like to thank everybody who stepped up tremendously to help keep the Traverse City trip fund going. I’ve gone from 70% of the way toward paying my hotel bill for the prospect tournament and main camp to 80% over the course of one day, so again, if you’re willing to lend a buck or five to the cause, 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.
And while I’ll readily admit that this morning’s crop of Wings news isn’t fantastic, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I did the usual “check the 29 Swedish newspapers and 30 or so Russian, Czech, Slovak and Finnish ones” fandango and can at least tell you that it doesn’t appear that Expressen’s Magnus Nystrom will interview Modo Ornskoldsvik forward and Wings prospect Dick Axelsson as part of his interactive Swedish Eliteserien previews on Expressen’s hockey page, but he will talk to Axelsson’s coach, Ulf Samuelsson.
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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.