The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/03/11 at 10:36 PM ET
A long day on the road yields a mushy brain, so here’s a bullet-pointed list of Red Wings-related news that’s worth noting this evening:
• If you haven’t read Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov’s interview with Pavel Datsyuk, stop what you’re doing and give it a gander;
• It’s only the third of August, but we’re already getting into the prognostication business. ESPN’s asking readers to pick the NHL’s six divisional winners, and, via RedWingsFeed, ESP…erm, I mean NHL.com’s EJ Hradek’s talking about the Red Wings and questioning whether they can stay healthy (that and he all but says, “They’re just not a contender anymore”):
• In terms of what the Wings did this summer to offset the departures of Brian Rafalski, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood, the Hockey News’s Ryan Kennedy believes that the Wings’ signing of Ian White should at least crack the top ten of his “most important summer signings” list:
10. Ian White, D, Detroit. $5.75 million over two years: The surprise retirement of Brian Rafalski left a big hole on the Red Wings blueline and though White has bounced around the league during the past two seasons, he will bring power play acumen to the Detroit point. The big question is whether White and fellow newbie Mike Commodore can replace Rafalski’s overall contributions. Otherwise, that Detroit slide might finally actually occur.
So it appears that the prognosticators will borrow a line from the NHL and say, “Is this the year?”
• Regarding one of the defensemen bumped down the depth chart by White and Commodore’s signings, The Sports Exchange offers this (rather obvious) assessment of Brendan Smith’s status:
D Brendan Smith will get a good look in training camp and the preseason, but he is expected to start the season in Grand Rapids (AHL), unless the team suffers an injury or two. The Wings want Smith, their highly-skilled top prospect, to play more than 20 minutes a game in all situations in the minors rather than be a spare defenseman in Detroit. He will, however, get a chance to play in the NHL at some point this season.
• And while we’re talking about prospect development, RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau, writing on her Left Wing Lock blog, offers a ridiculously star-studded list of prospects grouped into an all-time best “team” of players who’ve participated in Traverse City’s annual prospect tournament;
• Shifting gears to discuss questions of plasticine development, Wings social media coordinator Jake Duhaime notes that the Wings have opened up voting for their third top Wings candidate to be immortalized in bobblehead form, and he offers some serious YouTube hockey viewing fit for a hot August day on the Hockeytown blog;
• The Wings’ official website also offers a little multimedia in the form of an interview with Dino Ciccarelli, who happened to open up a new sports bar recently, regarding his status as a Hockey Hall of Famer:
• And Dino was around for both one of the worst single-game performances in sports history, at least as far as the Sporting News’s 125th Anniversary issue is concerned, and it was a performance that may have very well cost Ciccarelli the chance to compete for a Stanley Cup with the Wings:
PATRICK ROY (DECEMBER 2, 1995): The future Hall of Famer allowed nine goals in an 11-1 loss to the Red Wings. When Roy was pulled in the middle of the second period, he stormed past Canadiens president Ronald Corey and told him, “It’s my last game in Montreal.” Roy was suspended by the team and got his wish, with a trade to the Avalanche, four days later.
• And you could also suggest as much about a player the Wings signed on this date in 1994—sort of—per Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek:
1994: Red Wings sign free agent Mike Ramsey. A member of the Miracle on Ice U.S. hockey team that won gold in Lake Placid, Ramsey was drafted 11th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1979. He shared a house with Lindy Ruff for the first few years of his NHL career. Cliff Clavin moment: Ramsey played for Scotty Bowman three times: in Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Detroit. He ‘retired’ for the first time in 1996 after a leg injury but never signed his retirement papers. He came back to play two games with Detroit in February 1997, but the game had passed him and he retired for good. The Wings went on to win the Cup.
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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.