The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/16/13 at 01:49 AM ET
Update: Alums on ice! From right to left, Igor Larionov, Joe Kocur, Kris Draper, Dino Ciccarelli, Larry Murphy and Kirk Maltby, with Osgood being Osgood:
Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman did his best managerial job on Sunday while speaking with the media, not working on making his Tampa Bay Lightning team a better one. As We All Bleed Red's Sanjay Sharda noted, Yzerman spoke with Fox Sports Detroit's John Keating for a short interview aired during the second intermission of Sunday's game, and Yzerman stated the following:
1. He felt that it was absolutely necessary to ensure that he would not be occupied with his duties for the Lightning or Team Canada before committing to the game;
2. He really, really, really wants fans to understand that he hopes to get on the ice once or twice before the game, and that he hasn't skated at all over the last four of five years, so those who are absolutely giddy about seeing Steve Yzerman skate for the Red Wings again will be satisfied, but those who expect Yzerman to keep up with the Kris Drapers and fellow members of the Wings' alumni training campers--who Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji reported skated at Comerica Park on Sunday night--you're going to be sorely disappointed:
WDIV's Jamie Edmonds tracked Yzerman down, too (strange fact: he's actually not fond of dealing with the media unless he has to do so, which yields something of a cat-and-mouse game), and he reiterated his points of emphasis:
If the NHL wasn't hindered by a cap or roster limits, I wouldn't be surprised to see Draper skate in the occasional game or two--he's that fast, still--Sergei Fedorov's possible return to CSKA Moscow wasn't fluffernutter, and Slava Kozlov still plays for Spartak Moscow, but we are definitely going to witness a kinder, gentler and slower set of legends play on New Year's Eve...
And if you missed Ken Daniels' comment, while the Leafs released their final rosters for both games during Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, and are mostly going with "older versus modern day Leafs," Daniels said that Ken Holland's roster for the 1 PM game will be lighter, and that anyone who's won a Stanley Cup, a major individual award or who has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame will play in Game 2 at 3:30.
Again, both games will air on Fox Sports Detroit, the CBC and the NHL Network U.S.
Update: The Macomb Daily's Fred Costello snagged Yzerman's comments...
Steve Yzerman may have committed to playing in the Dec. 31 Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park, but he spent time in a television interview downplaying his potential role in the game.
“One thing I learned from Kenny (Holland) as a manager was to manage expectations,” Yzerman said. “Red Wings fans have to know I haven’t skated much in the last seven years, and I wasn’t that fleet of foot seven years ago. So, seven years later, let’s not expect a whole lot here.”
Yzerman was asked if he’s had any time to lace the skates up and skate.
“No,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to be able to skate before hand. If not, I’m confident those guys can carry the load.”
And Fox 2's Woody Woodriffe was part of the media ambush:
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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.