The Malik Report
On Monday afternoon at 4 PM EDT, TSN and the Hockey Hall of Fame will be announcing its 2015 Induction Class, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that both Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov will be inducted, but TSN's Bob McKenzie thinks otherwise:
As you know by now, Scotty Bowman and Jimmy Devellano have weighed in on the HOF'ers-to-be, but as you might expect, Lidstrom himself has a different take on his legacy, as he told the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno:
Just being on the ice is what Nicklas Lidstrom cherished the most. The seven Norris Trophies as the best defenceman of his era and four Stanley Cups as a cornerstone of the Detroit Red Wings make him a mortal lock to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in his first year of eligibility. But when Lidstrom looks back on his career, the 1,564 regular-season and 263 playoff games stand out.
“People are asking you how many games you played and how many you missed, and that’s something I’m very proud of that I played in so many games,” Lidstrom said in a phone interview from his home in Sweden. “I haven’t missed many games.”
Lidstrom admits that he's very proud of his accomplishments, but the 4 Stanley Cup championship-winning teams are the "things" he's most proud of:
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
As Bowman sees it, Lidstrom and Fedorov are obvious first-balloters.
"Their records are right there to see," Bowman said. "I would be disappointed. They've won Cups, they've won individually. I mean, the Hall of Fame is controversial because some people say players that get in should win Cups, should win individual award. They qualify at everything."
The two would bring the number of members from the fabled 2002 Detroit Red Wings team in the Hall of Fame to 10, with Bowman, Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Igor Larionov, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull already inducted. Pavel Datsyuk is a future candidate....
"Wayne Gretzky told me once, about 10 years ago, how many guys could play forward or defense? He's analytical," Bowman said. "He said, 'I couldn't do it. Jagr couldn't do it. Mario couldn't do it.' Sergei could play forward or defense, because he was a great skater. He was a big man, Sergei, people don't realize. He could skate forwards and backwards with equal dexterity. I'm pretty sure if we didn't get him back in '98, we wouldn't have won the Cup. He was penalty killing, faceoffs, power play - what else is there to do for a center? And then the month or six weeks we put him back on defense, my god, he was perfect."
from Ansar Khan of Mive,
Jimmy Devellano states with supreme confidence that the Detroit Red Wings' 1989 draft was epic.
"That was the draft of the century," Devellano said. "A fabulous, fabulous draft."
What made the haul extraordinary wasn't the club's first two picks, it was their third- and fourth-round selections – Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov.
Lidstrom, widely regarded as one of the two greatest defensemen in NHL history, is a lock to be selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Fedorov, one of the game's premier two-way forwards in the 1990s, has a good chance to be named as well.
That draft set up the Red Wings for a run of success that includes four Stanley Cup championships and a playoff streak that has reached 24 seasons.
"That really was the nucleus of building the Red Wings teams that won Stanley Cups in 1997 and '98 and really put the foundation in place," general manager Ken Holland said.
Mike Babcock gave something of a summertime state-of-the-team address to the Toronto media at the NHL draft, and perhaps knowing what was coming,* the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger asked one Nicklas Lidstrom to weigh in on Babcock, who said this about his former employer:
“Let’s be honest. (Wings) GM Ken Holland is one of my best friends,” Babcock said on Saturday, minutes after the 2015 NHL draft had ended. “They were good to me and I was good to them. We got a lot of points. We won a lot of games. (Now) they hired a quality man in Jeff Blashill. They’re going to move ahead and I’ve come here. From the outside looking in, you might think we have a massive job. I think the same thing. (But) I’m excited for the challenge. If you think you can, you can.”
Lidstrom, who will *be named to the Hockey Hall of Fame's inductee class of 2015 on Monday at 4:30 PM EDT (with Sergei Fedorov probably joining him), told Zeisberger that he believes Babcock can turn the Leafs around:
Of course, after a pair of 12-hour days in the summer (with more to come), two foreign-language articles which require some translation popped up, and they're long ones.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill about his immediate plans now that the draft has ended, and he's going to be quite busy for the balance of the summer:
Next up is a few days at home, then being a part of what, if anything, the Wings do when free agency opens Wednesday. Then it's off to development camp in Traverse City, where Blashill will observe prospects such as Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. Evgeny Svechnikov, a big Russian forward the Wings drafted 19th overall Friday, also will be there.
"That's a little semi-vacation because my family lives there," Blashill said of Traverse City.
Having rounded out his assistant coaching staff last week by bringing back Tony Granato and bringing Pat Ferschweiler along from Grand Rapids, Blashill said those, along with Jim Bedard and Chris Chelios, "will get together as a staff in Detroit in a couple of weeks. It'll be kind of an orientation period a little bit in terms of a lot of different things, but also different planning sessions, so then we can go and spend the rest of the summer relaxing, but also start to plan for August."
St. James continues, reporting that Pavel Datsyuk will take part in but not skate at his annual mid-July summer camp in Russia...
And this article from the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald's Jim Leitner tells you a little bit about what one experiences when one's unexpectedly drafted by an NHL team:
Updated 4x at 5:45 PM: The Red Wings' press corps is beginning to wrap up the Wings' draft haul, and we're going to focus on Detroit's take on its second-day prospects, starting with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's report on the diminuitive Vili Saarijarvi...
The Wings found a right-handed shot defenseman, who was a forward until four years ago, with their first pick on Saturday. Vili Saarijarvi, who was taken 73rd overall, had six goals and 17 assists in 57 games last season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.
“The complete package – size, strength, competiveness, hockey sense and skill,” [Red WIngs director of amateur scouting Tyler] Wright said. “There’s not really one thing that he doesn’t do very well. I think his skating’s got to maybe come a little bit. It’s not bad by any means but I think it’ll come with strength. He’s committed.
“This kid is a good character kid,” Wright continued. “Hockey means everything to him and his family. He was just too good for us to pass up.”
And we'll continue with Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave's report about the subsequent picks...
Updated 4x at 3:40 PM: With the 200th pick in the NHL draft, the Red Wings have selected...
Per Elite Prospects:
BIRTHYEAR 1997-08-22 BIRTHPLACE Chicago, IL, USA
AGE 17 NATION USA / Canada
POSITION LW SHOOTS L
HEIGHT 183 cm / 6'0" WEIGHT 73 kg / 161 lbs
NHL DRAFT Prospect eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft
RANKINGS Ranked #123 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #132 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #55 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Father: Peter Marsh
Updated 2x at 2:13 PM: With the 170th pick, the Red Wings have selected...
Stay tuned for updates.
Updated 3x at 12:58 PM: With the 140th overall pick, the Red Wings have selected...
Pearson on Elite Prospects:
BIRTHYEAR 1997-08-23 BIRTHPLACE Cornwall, ON, CAN
AGE 17 NATION Canada / USA
POSITION C SHOOTS L
HEIGHT 189 cm / 6'2" WEIGHT 86 kg / 190 lbs
NHL DRAFT 2015 round 5 #140 overall by Detroit Red Wings
RANKINGS Ranked #153 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #193 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #123 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Father: Scott Pearson
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.