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There are some strange happenings afoot in Flint

This is just crazy enough to be believable. According to ESPN's John Buccigross, the OHL's Flint Firebirds' owner chose to fire his entire coaching staff, after which the players "quit" on the team.

Flint's ABC 12's Ryan Slocum is corroborating the story, it's being reported by Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager, TSN, Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray and OHL Insiders, and now Sportsnet's Jeff Marek, Yahoo Sports' Sunaya Sapurji and Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples:

Hakon Nilsen, who didn't score in Flint's 4-3 OT win over Oshawa, is the son of owner Rolf Nilsen, and yes, there are many situations where the owner's son's playing time does matter across all sorts of developmental hockey leagues--and the OHL's owners, coaches and managers are occasionally known to act like the 16-to-21-year-old Major Junior players who ply their trade for these leagues...

I've been watching this develop over Twitter over the last hour, and I can assure you this much: the player agents who represent players like Will Bitten, Alex Nedeljkovic and Vili Saarijarvi will be springing into action tomorrow morning, as will the management of NHL teams whose interests lie in Flint players. This is going to be resolved.

Whether it's resolved in a civil or litigous manner is yet to be determined.

I'll keep an eye on this as it relates to Vili Saarijarvi because he plays for Flint and has an entry-level contract with Detroit. Otherwise, things can get weird, and a blow-by-blow commentary just isn't of Red Wings-related note.

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Alan's avatar

Firing the entire coaching staff after a win? This whole thing doesn’t make any sense. It will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 11/09/15 at 06:16 AM ET


This is crazy.

Posted by dmorley21 on 11/09/15 at 06:49 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Frank Seravalli of TSN covers this topic too.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/09/15 at 08:22 AM ET

Canucklehead's avatar

What a bizarre situation.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 11/09/15 at 09:58 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Independent sources are starting to confirm that the coaches were in fact fired because the owner wanted more playing time for his son.

So yeah…. no real need to give ownership any benefit of the doubt at this point.  Anything the ownership reps will say will undoubtedly only serve them and to try to save face (and perhaps save their ownership of the team), and not necessarily have any grounding on reality.

The CHLPA has offered free counsel to the players.

You really have to wonder why kind of moron the owner is, to think he could demand that at this level.

Posted by Primis on 11/09/15 at 10:49 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Welcome to Flint.  Even it’s hockey team isn’t immune to the insanity.

Posted by Hootinani on 11/09/15 at 11:21 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I guarantee you the entire hockey world is predicated on this type of nepotism.  These types of personalities are a byproduct of it.  Even states in the article that it’s not a singular event or stance.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 11/09/15 at 10:31 AM ET

Well of course not…. at lower levels.  Nepotism is what practically runs every single high schools athletic dept., just as an example.  My niece and nephew attended a high school where about 2 or 3 families run the entire school, and everything revolves around them and their desires.  The boys basketball and baseball teams exist only to serve the kids of those families, for instance, and they will walk all over anyone in their way.

This doesn’t usually rear its ugly head at this high of a level though.  Because even the worst individuals know and realize what’s at stake at that level…. usually (the NAHL (a rung down) has had its problems of the sort. I guess).


Posted by Primis on 11/09/15 at 11:53 AM ET

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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.

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