The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/04/11 at 03:45 PM ET
August runs the gamut in terms of Red Wings news…Yesterday we were talking about Dmitry Chesnokov’s jaw-droppingly awesome interview with Pavel Datsyuk, and earlier this morning, the Free Press’s Helene St. James examined Niklas Kronwlall’s status as the Wings’ #2 defenseman, and now we shift focus to charitable news and, well…news about beer.
As previously mentioned, Joey Kocur and the Red Wings’ Alumni Association are holding a charity softball game against several police and fire departments in Highland, MI on Saturday (you can purchase $10 tickets online here). This afternoon, the White Lake Patch’s Brooke Meier offers a “that’s the facts” slate of details about the event…
1. JOE KOCUR AND CELEBRITY FRIENDS CHARITY SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
When/where: Saturday, 10:30 a.m., 1241 N Duck Lake Rd, Highland.
Why go: Former Red Wings and Detroit Tigers along with actors Jeff Daniels and Dave Coulier will take on local police and firefighters in a softball tournament to raise money for local charities. In addition to the games, there will be bounce houses and kids activities. Ted Lindsay will also be signing autographs at 2 p.m.
Price: Advance tickets are $10 per person; cost is $15.00 per person at the door and all children under 10 are admitted free of charge.
And the Milford Observer’s Keith McCafferty explains why Kocur and his fellow Wings alums are staging the game—and it’s worth noting that Kocur’s apparently taken the reins from Shawn Burr (who has successfully defeated leukemia) and is now the Wings Alumni Association’s president:
“Our goal on this day is to bring a big time event to a small town that we are all very proud to call home,” said DRWAA President Joe Kocur.
This year’s tournament is in honor of Kendal Lividini, a junior at Hartland High School who lost her battle with leukemia on Jan. 7. Her charity, Team Kendal Kidz, is one of six charities that will be benefiting from the event.
“The event has been a very big success,” said Kocur. We’ve raised over $57,000 in two years, which is a lot for a one-day event.”
Red Wing players participating this year include Kocur, Darren McCarty, Dino Ciccarelli, Kirk Maltby and Manny Legace among others. Steve Avery, the 1996 World Series MVP for the Atlanta Braves, will play on the celebrity team, as will Brian Vander Ark, lead singer of The Verve Pipe.
Tickets can be purchased for $10 online at redwingsoftball.eventbrite.com, the Milford and White Lake police and fire departments, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Bakers of Milford, The Comeback Inn and The South Lyon Hotel. Tickets will be sold at the event for $15. All tickets will be entered into a raffle and prizes will be awarded throughout the day. Fans will also be able to bid on memorabilia in a silent auction.
The three teams will be split up into police, firefighters and celebrities.
“We won all of our games last year,” said Kocur. “This year I want the competitive game to be between the police and firefighters. The alumni just want to have fun.”
Shifting gears, via RedWingsFeed, The Pipeline Show reports that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and new assistant coaches Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters are attending today’s Hockey Canada World Junior Evaluation camp, and you should expect repeated reports of the same lineup watching the U.S/Swedish/Finnish evaluation camp in Lake Placid, the 5 Nations Cup, Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the NHL’s Research, Development and Orientation camp.
Babcock stated that he’d spend August getting to know his new lieutenants by watching prospects take part in summertime tournaments, so this is most certainly a working month and a time in which there’s some male bonding going on….
Also in the developmental hockey vein, per the Adrian Daily Telegram....
Adrian College was hosting the weeklong hockey camp put on by Hockey Ministries International/Christian Hockey Camps International. Since being founded in 1977, Christian Hockey Camps International has organized 630 camps worldwide and hosted more than 52,000 participants. Each summer approximately 2,000 youths attend the camps at different locales and are provided with hockey instruction presented alongside a Christian message. Earlier this week, Justin Abdelkader and Brian Rafalski of the Detroit Red Wings provided instruction at the camp.
And the Grand Rapids Griffins posted a plain old spiffy press release regarding one of their “Sled Wings” this morning:
Defenseman Tyler Anderson of the Grand Rapids Sled Wings is among the 18 players named by USA Hockey to the 2011-12 U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team.
The 20-year-old Jenison native, who will play for his country for the third straight year, has also played 10 seasons for the Sled Wings, a talented team of kids and teenagers with physical disabilities that is sponsored by the Griffins Youth Foundation, in partnership with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
Anderson, the only Michigan native chosen by USA Hockey for either the National Sled Hockey Team or the developmental squad, has also played for both the Grand Rapids Junior Pacers wheelchair basketball team and the Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association’s tennis team. The 2009 graduate of Jenison High School now attends Grand Rapids Community College.
The U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team is comprised of the best young American sled hockey players, who strive to improve their skills and earn a spot on future U.S. National Sled Hockey Teams that will compete in the Paralympic Games, world championships and other international events.
The Sled Wings, who became the first junior-level sled hockey team in Michigan upon their founding in 2001, have gained a national reputation through wins in various prestigious tournaments and their continuing development of high-caliber players such as Zeeland resident Chris Melton, who was a Team USA teammate of Anderson’s last season. The Sled Wings play a popular sled hockey exhibition game against the Grand Rapids Griffins each winter at Griff’s IceHouse that raises money for the Sled Wings.
More information about the U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team is available at usahockey.com.
At the other end of the developmental hockey line, if you’ve wondered where former Wings enforcer-in-waiting Darryl Bootland has been—and when my mom and I stopped in Curtis, MI to check out “The Trading Post’s” dwindling collection of hockey cards, I got a flashback and a half as Bootland, Ryan Barnes and Nathan Robinson’s rookie cards were still selling for 2006 market value—The Kalamazoo Gazette’s Kevin Shebast reports that Bootland will play for the ECHL’s Kalamazoo K-Wings this season;
As an FYI, Sportsnet posted a photo gallery of the NHL’s highest-paid defenseman, and Nicklas Lidstrom ranks as the 9th-highest-paid blueliner...
And, well, beer! per DetroitRedWings.com’s Rick Bouwness:
Wings, MillerCoors renew partnership
Club’s agreement with brewer runs through 2015-16 season
DETROIT – The Red Wings and MillerCoors today announced that the venerable organizations’ longstanding partnership agreement will continue through the 2015-16 National Hockey League season. MillerCoors’ relationship with the Red Wings dates back to 1993 and has proven to be one of the most enduring and successful marketing partnerships in all of professional sports throughout its impressive tenure.
“Continuing our strong alliance with the Red Wings was an obvious choice on several fronts,” said Ryan Luckey, MillerCoors director of sports and event marketing. “The team is a perennial power with one of the most loyal fan bases in all of sports. From a marketing perspective, the Red Wings are a great partner that’s proactive in finding ways to help us get the most out of the sponsorship. And it’s a great fit with our brands: Miller Lite is all about encouraging people to ‘taste greatness,’ and Molson Canadian is synonymous with hockey.”
As part of this contract extension, Miller Lite will maintain its status as the Official Domestic Beer of the Red Wings while Molson Canadian will remain the team’s Official Imported Beer. The Miller Lite Party Deck will also continue to be a premium viewing area on the suite level at Joe Louis Arena, with 60 sports fans set to enjoy the thrill-a-minute action of NHL hockey from a first-rate mega-suite at every Red Wings home game for the next half-decade.
“We’re thrilled to continue on with what has been a thoroughly rewarding partnership with MillerCoors, and we look forward to another fantastic five years together,” said Olympia Entertainment President Tom Wilson.
In addition to featuring a wide variety of marketing initiatives, an exciting new element of the iconic brands’ partnership will include an “Honorary Red Wing” contest. Fans 21 and older will have the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime day in the life of an NHL player experience. Further details regarding this promotion will be announced at a later date.
Being severely allergic to alcohol leaves me out of the loop as to what beer one might prefer…Take me down the beer aisle at the grocery store and I might as well be trying to compare 2-by-4’s instead of 2-4’s.
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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.