The Malik Report
One more: Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji launches into a lovely column about Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s genuine humility and all-out-niceness, which perhaps proves that, occasionally, nice guys do finish first, with the following…
Having covered sports for almost 17 years in Detroit, I have had the privilege of meeting and interviewing some of the top athletes, coaches, managers and general managers in the four major sports and in college sports as well.
Many of them are down-to-earth, humble, kind people. Others are, well, a little more enthralled with themselves than they should be.
Lidstrom is, without question, the most patient, generous and down-to-earth of all of them, especially when you consider all of his accomplishments.
Very few professional athletes win four championships, a playoff MVP, Olympic gold, a world championship, seven trophies for being the best at his position, and make 12 All-Star teams. Lidstrom did all of that and more and never seemed to read his own press clippings, as the saying goes.
And then she speaks to Danny Cleary, Kris Draper and Chris Chelios about Lidstrom, recalls her own attempts to give Lidstrom a “plug,” and…Reminds us all that we are losing someone who was everything we wanted him to be, and more, simply because he was himself.
Updated 3x with an Albom interview at 8:37 PM: I’ve posted a ridiculous amount of Lidstrom multimedia today, never mind over the past two or three days, but Hockey Webcast on YouTube did a fantastic job of combining TSN’s tribute to the Red Wings’ captain and a video from the Wings that…Well, it makes me cry:
I’ve been covering “my” captain’s retirement for about 45-50 of the last sixty-some hours, so I’m going to have a quiet evening…And yes, he really did tell 97.1 the Ticket’s Stoney, Bill and Sara that when people call him “LinDstrom,” it doesn’t bother him. Not here and not in Sweden.
Give the interview fom the Ticket a listen. What’s he going to miss the most about Metro Detroit? Well, you’ll have to find out for yourself, but it’s pretty remarkable:
The monstrous afternoon post now includes a very rough translation of Tomas Jurco speaking to sport.sk about joining the Red Wings and playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins this fall, but if you’re wondering why the Wings haven’t officially signed Jurco—
despite the fact that they still hold his rights for another season
The lack of a transfer agreement between the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation is delaying the Detroit Red Wings’ signing of forward Tomas Jurco, their top draft pick in 2011 (35th overall).
Today was the deadline to sign Jurco, but it has been extended indefinitely, until the transfer agreement is reached, which should be fairly soon, Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said. Once the transfer agreement is official, Nill said there will be no problem getting Jurco signed to a three-year entry level contract.
Jurco just completed his final junior season with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. He will begin his pro career with the Grand Rapids Griffins next season.
Update: And this is why Khan’s a pro: the Wings apparently do have to sign Jurco this year, for a simple reason:
Nill said because of Jurco’s late B-Day (12-28), they have to sign him this year.
From DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
Newly retired #RedWings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will throw out tonight’s first-pitch prior to #Tigers game vs. #Yankees at Comerica Park.
Between the media appearances and endless interviews, I’d imagine that Lidstrom wants to have something he hasn’t enjoyed in some time: a day off sometime this weekend.
Updated 8x with one more interview at 6:13 PM: ESPN’s Craig Custance offered intriguing takes from Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the “seeds” for potential draft day trades possibly planted during the NHL’s general managers’ meetings in New York on Wednesday in an Insider-only blog...
But Custance’s main thrust involves the fact that it is incredibly likely that the teams which hope to sign Ryan Suter or Zach Parise will have to pony up draft picks, and perhaps pretty damn good ones, to acquire the players’ rights at or before the draft if said players are unable to come to terms with their current rights-holders. I can’t quote much of the paywall-protected article, but let’s just say that you and I know this already:
With the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings need a new franchise defenseman and have the cap space to make a huge splash in free agency. They also have a GM in Ken Holland willing to do whatever it takes to get that chance. He said trading for free agent negotiating rights is something the Red Wings will pursue.
“If they’re available. You can’t force things,” Holland said on Thursday. “I’m back to planning, sitting here with our people and making our plan, putting things on our board. Are we prepared to acquire somebody’s [negotiating] rights at the draft? Yeah, absolutely. If the price is right and it’s a player we’re interested in.”
As Custance notes, the Red Wings will be holding their organizational meetings starting during tomorrow’s Tigers game, and Holland, Jim Nill, Ryan Martin, Jimmy Devellano, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper, Mike Babcock and the team’s pro scouts will formulate their off-season strategy and move forward after the meetings wrap up on the 5th. I can’t imagine the Wings being anything other than the most aggressive we’ve seen the front office operate since the 2001-2002 off-season, when Dominik Hasek, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille were brought in. Those kinds of players aren’t available on the free agent market this time around, but the Wings will probably add at least three pieces (top-pair defenseman, top-six forward, possible second top-four defenseman, probably a back-up goalie and possibly a fourth-line winger with size and snarl).
Update: Hell with it, consider this your “afternoon news” thread. The Hockey News’s Adam Proteau weighed in on the Wings’ potential status as “in trouble” via a mailbag question:
Updated 2x at 12:23 PM: The Red Wings news cycle never stops, it seems, and as the Free Press’s Mike Thompson wonders whether Al the Octopus pointed to the rafters to remind Nicklas Lidstrom where he will see his jersey next, and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness offers a Lidstrom career timeline, and, via RedWingsFeed, Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner recalls what he believes was Lidstrom’s arrival as a superstar in playing over 50 minutes during the team’s Triple Overtime victory over the Hurricanes back in 2002…
Updated 2x at 12:08 PM: Red Wings prospect Max Nicastro was kicked out of Boston University and more or less became a non-entity when he was charged with rape earlier this year, but having seen his college hockey and academic hopes disappear, and perhaps having placed his professional career in great jeopardy, the Boston Herald’s Matt Stout reports that Nicastro can at least breathe a sigh of relief as the criminal charges against him have been dropped:
Prosecutors have dropped rape charges against a former Boston University hockey player, saying during a brief hearing today in Brighton District Court they are no longer pursuing the case — without detailing their reasons. Flanked by his mother and lawyer, Max NiCastro, 22, said he is “relieved” to move on from the case and called the months since his Feb. 19 arrest a “hard road.”
“I’m just happy it’s done,” the Thousand Oaks, Calif., native said. “My friends and family have been with me the whole time.”
His attorney, Hugh Curran, said NiCastro maintained his innocence throughout the case, but noted “there are no winners” in difficult cases like these.
“I asked everybody to keep an open mind and let the experts do a thorough investigation,” Curran said in a brief interview outside the courthouse. “And that’s what they did. They spent four months, interviewed witnesses, examined all the evidence and declined to prosecute, which speaks volumes.”
<>Update: According to the Daily Free Press’s Emily Overholt, Nicastro will continue his education somewhere…
I couldn’t fit this into the overnight report, but it is the overnight report’s exclamation point. This is a not-so-rough translation of Lidstrom’s discussion with Aftonbladet’s Per Bjurman, and it will surprise you, and hopefully put a smile on your face:
Over the course of approximately 2,100 words, the Detroit Red Wings’ course as a franchise and a sports team whose players are beloved by millions of fans changed, and changed forever as Nicklas Lidstrom—who played the final games of his career on a broken ankle—thanked nearly fifty people as he officially retired from hockey.
The Detroit media and “out-of-towners” weighed in en masse, and many of them spoke to Lidstrom, over the course of Wednesday afternoon and evening, and while the Chairman’s feting and the comments made by Nicklas Lidstrom’s best friend, Tomas Holmstrom, were equally sincere, Thursday was still a sad day for Wings fans everywhere…
This was found and posted in an evening post about Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement, but on a day that marks the end of an era—and the beginning of a mourning period for Red Wings fans as Nicklas Lidstrom has chosen to retire—Tomas Holmstrom spoke to the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell and the Wings’ media corps for five minutes, and while he may be repeating Lidstrom’s presser in a few weeks, something tells me there will be tears…
And lots of laughter. Watch Homer and smile, folks, because Red Wings Nation’s faces have been too long today, my own included:
Update: Thankfully, the London Free Press’s Morris Dalla Costa was nearby:
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.