The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/20/13 at 05:46 PM ET
As noted in the mid-day entry, MLive's Eric Lacy and David Muller discussed the proposed follow-on rink that will replace Joe Louis Arena and the surrounding developments in extensive detail, discussing the blighted areas that may see the biggest tangible improvements from the $450 million rink and $650 million mixed-use development's construction, cutting through the BS surrounding the proposal's purported benefits and "job creation," and profiling the archtectural firm that will (we think) design the rink.
This early evening, Lacy got an absolutely classic "no comment" from the HKS architectural firm in Dallas, and couldn't contact Chan Krieger NBBJ, and that's generally a good sign, not a bad one...
Joe Louis Arena, which hosted its first Red Wings game on Dec. 27, 1979, has been dilapidated and outdated for some time. It is the fourth-oldest facility in the NHL and lacks many amenities found in modern rinks, including lucrative mid-level suites.
The windowless concourse is dark, cramped and reeks. There are not enough restrooms, leading to long lines during intermissions. The steps leading up the entrances are steep.
It's unfortunate, because The Joe has good sightlines and sits in an ideal location along the waterfront. Problem is, the undeveloped area has few entertainment options within walking distance.
Still, JLA has served the Red Wings well. They managed to become the NHL's most successful organization in this era (league-best four Stanley Cup championships since 1997, 22 consecutive playoff appearances) and one of the league's most valuable franchises (ranked No. 6 at $346 million by Forbes) while playing in this simple, unspectacular gray concrete warehouse.
[M]any in the organization have talked over the years about the pressing need for a new arena. They believe it's a win-win situation for the team, its fans and the city.
Not to mention the media. The press box was an afterthought when the Joe was built. It was added later by taking out the last couple of rows of seats at the north end.
The new building is sure to be superior in every way.
In other news, it's cross-our-fingers time regarding Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill. As Paul noted, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Travis L. Brown is suggesting that the Dallas Stars will hire Lindy Ruff as their next coach, and TSN's Darren Dreger is suggesting that Ruff is more likely than not heading to Dallas, but the Dallas News's Mike Heika insists that Stars GM Jim Nill's coaching search is far from finished, and will include interviews with Blashill and possibly Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins...
So we shouldn't be using our, "Jump to Conclusions" mats just yet, especially given that the Vancouver Canucks don't have a coach, either, but it appears that both the Stars and Canucks (Tortorella?) are going to lean toward veteran voices, which is good.
The Grand Rapids Griffins' players are all leaving town for their off-season homes, but that didn't prevent the Grand Rapids Press from posting a Calder Cup Final photo essay, and those of you who want a newspaper commemorative ought to pick up Sunday's edition (or call the Grand Rapids Press) to snag a special section celebrating the Griffins' win;
In the fan participation category, the Red Wings' 1997 Stanley Cup title is the only remaining Wings championship in the Detroit Free Press's bracketed "best Michigan sports title" showdown;
Via RedWingsFeed, I suppose the same can be said for a chat Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea will hold at 2 PM EDT on Friday. He's their resident Red Wings rink expert, and he'll be discussing the Wings' plans;
And Pavel Datsyuk still needs your vote in TSN's Play of the Year Showdown semifinal, in which his goal against the entire Nashville Predators team is battling a similar deke-through-the-team goal by Cody Hodgson.
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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.