The Malik Report
Angela Ruggiero happens to be one of my heroes, so the fact that she was named a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee on Monday was an absolute delight for me as a fan as much as anything--and for Ruggiero, it was the fulfillment of a childhood dream of a sort, as noted by the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott:
Ruggiero, a member of the International Olympic Committee, was a rarity as a female hockey player as a child. "To be honest, I wanted to play for the L.A. Kings. I showed up to career day in the second grade with my hockey gear on," she said during a conference call with reporters. "I knew I wanted to play hockey, just didn't know where it would take me. However many years later I got to play in four Olympics and travel around the world and now here today be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Definitely something I couldn't have ever imagined."
The Free Press's Jeff Seidel penned a superb article about Ruggiero, who's still advocating for women in "sport" and women's hockey:
Updated 6x at 12:08 AM:
There's so much coming out regarding Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov's naming to the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2015 Induction Class that I can only apply the "digest entry" treatment to the stories popping up on the news wire, starting with this from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun...
You could argue that three and a half defensemen got the call from the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Blueliners Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger and Phil Housley were joined by forward Sergei Fedorov in the men’s player category getting the Hockey Hall of Fame nod, the latter taking a whirl on defense for Scotty Bowman years ago when injuries hit the Red Wings.
"One year we had injuries on the blue line for about six weeks, so we decided to put [Fedorov] back there. He didn’t miss a beat," Bowman, the legendary former coach of the Red Wings, told ESPN.com on Monday. "He could play as well as any of them. He was a good skater backwards and forwards. Wayne Gretzky told me a long time ago, 'I couldn’t play defense, I don’t think Mario [Lemieux] could, I don’t think [Jaromir] Jagr could, but this guy can.' So that tells you what kind of player Fedorov was."
Lidstrom was there when Fedorov took a turn on defense for a few weeks.
"It shows first of all [how] great of a skater he was," Lidstrom said on Monday’s media call when asked about it. "It’s not easy for a forward going back playing defense, but Sergei did it in an excellent way. It showed just how talented he was, moving from one position to another."
And continuing with the Canadian Press's summary of comments made on the post-announcement conference call...
This is a bit surprising, per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
The Detroit Red Wings have until noon Tuesday to make a decision on Stephen Weiss. And it appears they’ll take up until that time to make it.
“We have until noon (Tuesday),” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a phone interview Monday. “Let’s leave it at that.”
The noon deadline ends the buyout period – June 15-30 – teams have to decide on whether to part ways with players and their contracts, paying out two-thirds of the deal spread out over twice the remaining length of the deal.
Weiss, 32, has three more years at $4.9 million a season left on the five-year deal he signed prior to the 2013-14 season.
Pleiness goes through the team's thought process here:
Update: The Free Press has posted a Lidstrom photo gallery, and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spoke with Jimmy Devellano about Lidstrom...
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
RAMSAY AND SIMON JOIN GRIFFINS' COACHING STAFF
The Detroit Red Wings on Monday announced the hiring of Bruce Ramsay and Ben Simon as assistant coaches for the Grand Rapids Griffins. In addition, assistant coach Mike Knuble, goaltending coach Jeff Salajko and video coach Bill LeRoy will reprise their coaching roles with Grand Rapids.
Ramsay, 46, has been the head coach of the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL and Central Hockey League for the past six seasons, compiling a 185-180-35 record in 400 regular season games from 2009-15. Most recently, Ramsay’s Oilers earned a 37-29-3-3 record in their first ECHL season and qualified for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs, where they fell to the eventual champion Allen Americans in five games during the first round.
Updated 3x at 8:24 PM:
Here's the press release...
There's actually some doubt as to whether Sergei Fedorov will be named a 2015 inductee of the Hockey Hall of Fame today at 4 PM EDT, but Kris Draper and Steve Yzerman told DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose that Fedorov's case for induction is rock-solid:
“He had a fabulous career,” Yzerman said of Fedorov. “Looking back we wish he could have spent the entire career in Detroit, but things change along the way. One of the most-talented athletes I’ve ever been around. A really, really nice guy and I hope he gets inducted.”
In a time when Gretzky and Mario Lemieux roamed NHL rinks, Fedorov was developing into one of the league’s most exciting two-way centers. A swift skater and gifted stick-handler, Fedorov was equally potent as a high-scoring center or puck-moving defenseman.
“Sergei to me was one of the most dynamic players that the game has seen,” Draper said. “There were so many different ways that he could impact a hockey game. Obviously, just an elite skaters, an elite goal scorer, probably straight out one of the fastest skaters that I’ve ever played with, and just the ability to turn on a dime, the agility that he had down low on a cycle, the strength that he had. He was almost a freak of nature with the kind of condition he was in. He was a guy that could do a lot of great things. He was a great face-off man and he could score short-handed. He could score on the power play, so a guy who could impact the game in many, many ways.”
"Where's Mule going to be in September?" Holland asks. "Certainly we expect him to be healthy. Everything I'm told is that he's making good progress. He's healthy. He's practicing. We expect him to be ready."
There's the top-six forward who, when he's right, is better than anyone available in free agency.
By Holland's count, the Wings have 14 forwards, seven defenseman and two goaltenders -- all of whom helped Detroit earn 100 points last season and scare the beejesus out of Stanley Cup finalist Tampa Bay in the opening round of the playoffs.
If anything, the Wings have an abundance of NHL-ready young players, and it's unlikely that all of them will be able to play in Detroit. That's why Holland may be busier trying to make trades than he is shopping the free-agent market.
"I'll explore trades, but to make an upgrade it's tough to match up money and identical needs," he said. "I'm exploring it -- if there's a player with a dimension who can make us better."
Bottom line: The Wings are a young team on the rise energized by a new coach. There are worse things Holland can do than stand pat with this roster.
Well, we still don't know about the fates of Tom McCollum or some of the Grand Rapids Griffins' restricted or unrestricted free agents-to-be, but the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings have made qualifying offers to all of their NHL RFAs, Landon Ferraro included:
So Smith's been qualified...
And now we wait on McCollum, Jared Coreau, Mitch Callahan, Louis-Mark Aubry and Nick Jensen. It already sounds like Andy Miele's fielding other teams' NHL offers, and Kevin Porter won't return.
1. MLive posted a set of videos helping fans "get to know" the Wings' draft haul;
2. And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa penned a novella-sized column discussing Nicklas Lidstrom's incredibly likely induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame today at 4 PM EDT, and Sergei Fedorov's probable induction to said institution:
About The Malik Report
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.