The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/04/12 at 03:32 AM ET
Technically speaking, most broomball leagues employ straw “sweep” brooms, the kinds of balls used to torment elementary schoolers during “dodgeball games in the gym and tennis shoes with duct tape on the bottom, thus resulting in a game which, according to some of the people I knew who played in broomball leagues at the University of Michigan, was best played drunk, but DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose reports that the Red Wings’ players played with a professional level of broomball equipment while eschewing their hockey sticks to break up some February monotony in Edmonton on Friday, and whenever one gives Pavel Datsyuk proper equipment, he plays like Pavel Datsyuk:
The Wings used a day off in the middle of their four-game road trip, spending a fun afternoon playing broomball on an outdoor rink at the Strathcona Athletic Park, about 25-minutes south of Edmonton. Played on a regulation ice hockey rink, players hit a ball – a little smaller than a soccer ball – around the ice with a stick called a “broom,” with wooden shaft and a rubber-molded triangular head similar in shape to that of a regular household broom. Player usually wear special rubberized shoes for traction, but Wings’ players and coaches used regular athletic shoes, which made for a few comedic moments as guys slipped their way through the games.
But not [Pavel] Datsyuk, who flawlessly crisscrossed the ice surface, often in a sprint while helping Team Emmerton claim the tourney championship.
“He’s amazing,” said Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, as he watched the Russian star navigate the ice. “He must have something on the bottom of those shoes that grip the ice.”
Friday’s competition was the second such event that the Wings have done this season. In October, players and coaches took target practice at the Canton Police Department’s gun range. The Wings gathered at Rexall Place Friday morning for a team meeting, then assigned four of the younger players – Jakub Kindl, Cory Emmerton, Jan Mursak and Justin Abdelkader – as captains, who “drafted” players for the four teams before making the bus trip to the outdoor facility.
Continued, and there’s a photo gallery which accompanies the story as well. The Wings will be practicing outside in their hockey equipment at Detroit’s Clark Park on February 18th as a part of Hockey Day in Michigan and Hockey Weekend Across America.
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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.