The Malik Report
Updated 26x at 5:20 PM: The Red Wings embark upon their offseason "game plan" in earnest today. After the team took its annual picture at Joe Louis Arena, the players cleaned out their lockers and the coach and GM spoke with the media.
The event has to be surreal: for the players, this is usually the last time that they'll lace up skates until August (unless, like Tomas Tatar and probably Gustav Nyquist, they're taking part in the World Championships), and it's the last time that some players will ever wear a Wings uniform, but the players dress in the locker room and head out to risers sitting at the center of an empty rink, and they take what is essentially a class picture.
Afterwards, the players peel off their full uniforms, skates and gloves, with some of their gear being stuffed into bags for use during the offseason and some of their gear and definitely their playoff jerseys being dumped into bins to be sold at Hockeytown Authentics' end-of-season gear sale. Then they face an onslaught of media questions...
The Red Wings will take their team picture and hold their final formal media availabilities at Joe Louis Arena today at noon, but ahead of the affair...
1. Aftonbladet's Tomas Ros and Erik Karlsson report that Gustav Nyquist is at least strongly considering playing for Sweden at the World Championships, per Team Sweden coach Par Marts.
2. Tomas Tatar's already told the Slovakian media that he'll represent his country in Minsk, Belarus starting on May 9th, and Tomas Jurco told Pravda.sk that he's a little disappointed that he's going to have to stick with the Grand Rapids Griffins instead of playing for the Slovakian team;
3. Regarding said Griffns, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that the Griffins expect Van Andel Arena to be full--or nearly so--as the Griffins attempt to sweep the Abbotsford Heat from the teams' best-of-three first-round series tomorrow night:
The Red Wings will clean out their lockers after their team photo at Joe Louis Arena around noon today, and as news trickled in regarding Henrik Zetterberg's participation in the World Championships (no go), the potential statuses of the rest of the Wings' potential invitees to Minsk on May 9th (Tomas Tatar will play for Slovakia, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Jonas Gustavsson may play for Sweden), the Wings sent out an intriguing email message:
The Red Wings will clean out their lockers at Joe Louis Arena this morning, but Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Xavier Ouellet have already practiced with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, who hope to sweep the Abbotsford Heat out of the playoffs when the scene shifts to Grand Rapids on Wednesday. If the Griffins were hoping to also find Anthony Mantha available for Wednesday's game, however, they're going to be sorely disappointed:
On Monday, Mantha scored what ended up being the game-winning goal as his Val-d'Or Foreurs raced out to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 victory of the QMJHL's defending champions, the Halifax Mooseheads, and as a result, Mantha (who's registered 18 goals, 7 assists and 25 points in 16 playoff games played) forced a seventh and deciding Conference Final this evening.
This would normally be a Kukla's Korner Hockey post, but I'm mad as hell and I need to have a good rant here (and I must warn you that some four-letter words follow, so this may not be "safe for work" or sensitive consitutions).
First it was Milan Lucic on Danny DeKeyser--the first of two spears (the Lucic-on-Quincey-in-Game-5 one went unnoticed)--and then Ryan Garbutt decided he was going to check Corey Perry for testicular cancer (in North America, we got Tom Green singing, "Feel Your Balls"...At least in England, Page 3 gal Rhian Sugden is the face of testicular cancer awareness), and tonight, per Yahoo Sports' Harrison Mooney (and via RedWingsFeed), Paul Stastny of all people felt the need to make sure that Cody McCormick doesn't feel any lumps.
While the press continues to run the Milan Lucic, Effective Villain and Brad Marchand, Bored storylines into the ground (Wings fans, I've spared you a significant amount of still-active rubbing it in by our the dear scribes who cover the BS, I mean B's), I'd simply be shaking my head asking, "Is this what happens when you can't concuss guys?"
But then dear Blake Comeau inadvertently kneed Joe Vitale...
Red Wings evening news: early Worlds participants, Sheahan/Jurco in the AHL and ‘DK’s’ rookie season
Updated 2x at 7:17 PM: The Red Wings' locker room clean-out day may not in fact take place until tomorrow at noon, but Wings news has trickled in at a steady pace despite the slight delay.
Tomas Tatar's revealed that he plans on taking part in the World Championship for Slovakia, and if we are to believe the Slovak press, the Slovakian team will make a hard push to bring Tomas Jurco into the fold (not gonna happen);
Given Par Marts' comments to Aftonbladet, it apperas that Gustav Nyquist and possibly Jonas Gustavsson (depending on what Henrik Lunqvist's plans include) may head to Minsk to play for Sweden, though Per Bjurman reported that Niklas Kronwall's already given a, "Tackar, nej" due to the birth of his first child.
As Paul noted, Henrik Zetterberg's also experiencing some predictable post-surgical symptoms that will prohibit him from participating, and we know that Pavel Datsyuk won't represent Russia due to possible knee surgery to come.
from st.nu (translated),
Detroit's captain made his spectacular comeback in the playoffs, when he played two games against Boston and accounted for a goal and an assist on Saturday when Detroit became the ruling.
This just two months after the herniated disc, which forced him to leave the Olympics after opener against the Czech Republic in order to undergo surgery in New York.
- My back has felt good in the games but I have problems with the nerves in the left foot, then I have no power in it and it gives me problems in the inserts. Now I run rehab and rest part until the foot begins to function properly, says Zata.
So when Zetterberg spoke with coach Pär Mårts on Monday so there was no alternative but to say no to the World Cup games.
- We are unable to play the World Cup this year. We had a good talk and I like to play the World Cup in the future if possible.
Now waiting for rehabilitation and training, first in Detroit, then back home in Sweden.
continue (translated) for more on Team Sweden...
thanks to Puckarinen for the pointer via Twitter...
Updated 3x with a Chris Osgood interview and Tomas Tatar revealing that he's heading to the World Championships at 3:50 PM: I'd been assuming all along that the Red Wings would just want to get their locker room clean-out done and over with, as they have in past seasons, so I've written three very lengthy and comprehensive entries attempting to frame the next steps as Red Wings fans prepare for the longest offseason in a long time.
I tried to channel a few slow days due to a stomach virus and no sleep last night into preparing for an onslaught of Wings news from the people whose opinions tend to determine the course of April, May, June, July and August in the Red Wings coach, GM and players...
But I've been out of the media loop in terms of the particulars of said clean-out day--I will explain this to you in more detail and perhaps ask for your support in a certain initiative to change the terms of engagement, but this is not the week to engage in such an endeavor--and a kind-hearted soul informed me that the Wings will in fact meet the media for the final formal time tomorrow at Joe Loius Arena, not today.
Amongst the prospect stuff that transpired between Stomach Virus, Commence! and today:
On Friday, in Major Junior hockey, Tyler Bertuzzi was held off the scoresheet, but his Guelph Storm defeated Erie 5-0 and advanced to the OHL Championship in 5 games. Bertuzzi (8 goals, 6 assists and 14 points in 13 playoff games played) will battle the North Bay Battalion for the OHL title starting on Thursday, May 1st;
Also on Friday, in the WHL, Michell Wheaton and Marek Tvrdon's Kelowna Rockets dropped a 7-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks, and they were eliminated by the Portland Winterhawks in 5 games. Portland will battle the Edmonton Oil Kings for the WHL championship, and Wheaton, a 6'5" defenseman, registered 5 assists in 14 playoff games played, and Marek Tvrdon registered 5 goals, 8 assists and 13 points in 14 playoff games played.
My name is George Malik, and I regrettably have to take a sedative medication as part of my antidepressant-and-anxi-anxiety cocktail. Every once in a while, about once in every 90 days, my body informs me that the medication that usually puts me to sleep (and it's a medication whose brick-subtle tendencies I only put up with because it works quite well) informs me that it's simply not going to "take," and as a result, I don't sleep.
On top of battling that stomach bug and preparing for locker room clean-out day, not-so-subtle hints from the GM prior to his and Mike Babcock's end-of-season speeches included, I'm in just a lovely mood this morning.
So, a certain not-so-friendly voice has weighed in on the future of the Red Wings, and as this person seems to believe that the team has no viable prospects to "replace" the "aging core" players who plan on playing for a few more years at least in Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall, the blogger who shall remain nameless but you all know by name issues the following conclusion as to the team's "future"--despite making some rather cogent points along the way:
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.