The Malik Report
NHL.com's "30 in 30" slate of team previews shifts its focus to the Red Wings today, offering a quintet of articles discussing the Red Wings' present status as moving to the Eastern Conference, its roster changes, questions that the team faces, the team's "X-Factor" and possible future contributors.
EJ Hradek's video discussion of the state-of-the-Wings going into the 2013-2014 season serves as something of an introduction to the proceedings (and yes, this was posted a few days ago):
Senators fans: I'm sorry my favorite team signed your captain, and I'm sorry that you've had to deal with the roller-coaster of Fedorov-divorce-style break-up comments this week. It's been painful to watch, hear and read from over 500 miles away.
But at this point, you'll have to excuse me for saying that: A) we promise to take good care of Alfredsson, and B) we're starting to believe that both your owner and general managers are drama queens who are kind of assholes. I'm starting to wonder whether certain members of your press corps are cut from the same cloth.
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan duly noted that Jimmy Howard will probably have a little extra motivation to perform well for the Red Wings over the first third of the season--Howard's NHL performance will likely determine whether he heads to Sochi with the U.S. Olympic team--and the Bangor Daily News's Larry Mahoney spoke with Howard about his Olympic hopes on Friday evening.
Howard's got a stiff task ahead of him in attempting to un-seat Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick while also competing against Corey Schneider and Craig Anderson, but Howard believes that he can accomplish the task:
“It’s a great honor to be on the radar,” said the 29-year-old Howard, who has a home in Dedham on Green Lake but has spent most of his summer working out in Detroit. “There’s a lot of great goalies on the list. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a challenge.”
Howard is coming off a season in which he went 21-13-7 with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. He was 7-7 with a 2.44 GAA and a .924 save percentage in the Stanley Cup playoffs as the Red Wings were ousted in seven games by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference semifinals. The 2012 NHL All-Star has represented his country three times previously: the Under-18 World Championships, the World Junior Championships and the World Championships.
I know it got garbled in code (not quite sure why), but I noted this two days ago, so I at least get to smirk and say, "Well, of course he did." The Free Press's Brian Manzullo duly notes that Henrik Zetterberg led the charge when Aftonbladet's Linus Norberg asked members of the Swedish Olympic orientation camp to weigh in on Russia's anti-homosexuality law. Zetterberg, Patric Hornqvist, Erik Karlsson, Henrik Lundqvist, Gabriel Landeskog and ten other Swedes weighed in, too, and they echoed Zetterberg's comments:
Zetterberg, the Detroit Red Wings captain who will likely represent Sweden in the Olympics, reportedly told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet that the law is “awful, just awful.”
"I think that everyone should be able to be themselves,” Zetterberg said. “It's unbelievable that it can be this way in this time, especially in a big country like Russia.”
Yesterday afternoon, Bryan Murray tried to get his "last word" in on the Daniel Alfredsson situation, blaming Alfredsson's agent, J.P. Barry, for helping scuttle the ship, and now Senators owner Eguene Melnyk's tossing in his Toonie's worth to TSN:
"For anyone to even suggest the remote possibility that Bryan Murray is not fully honest in his clear recollection of events should be ashamed of themselves," Melnyk told TSN on Friday. "I point the finger squarely on JP Barry, the man who blessed us with the (Dany) Heatley mess."
Updated 2x at 1:23 PM: Today's survey of Red Wings-related news begins with slightly disturbing news from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. According to Iltahleti and Jokerit Helsinki's website, Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves' brother Ben, who's 31 years old, is retiring due to post-concussion syndrome. Perhaps it really does run in families, as the Moore family's issues with concussions certainly suggests.
In the summer of 2003, online translators were still new, sometimes, you still had to wait until newspapers were delivered to read the latest Wings news, and sports talk radio ruled the airwaves.
Ten years ago, in Metro Detroit, I was a college student reading Viktor Fedorov spouting off about his son's "misunderstood" and "disrespected" status while being given a platform to perpetuate the, "Poor, misunderstood enigmatic Russian superstar" mythology that has become the "Legend of the Russian Problem" to one Igor Larin.
Bryan Murray suggests that Ottawa should move forward after getting the last last word on Alfredsson
After fourteen updates to the Daniel Alfredsson presser entry, OF COURSE Senators GM Bryan Murray had to do nothing less than speak to OttawaSenators.com's Chris Lund to set the record "straight" regarding what Murray seems to believe was misdirection by Alfredsson's agent, J.P. Barry...
On the Alfredsson situation: Well, again, I'm disappointed that Daniel Alfredsson left to go to Detroit. I'm disappointed to hear that contract issues were something important to him that he didn't feel we were trying to accommodate. I think in every shape and form we wanted this man back to be the captain of our hockey team and it didn't work out. Sometimes in negotiating all the facts aren't maybe presented to the player the right way, but we certainly feel bad that Daniel reacted the way he did today.
The Grand Rapids Griffins are holding a golf tournament to raise funds for their youth foundation a week from Monday. From the Griffins' PR department:
Grand Rapids Griffins alumni, coaches, fans and staff will join a very special guest – the Calder Cup! – at Egypt Valley Country Club on Monday, Aug. 26 for the 19th annual Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic, presented by Meijer.
This marks the fifth consecutive year that the event will be held at the renowned, 36-hole course in Ada, Mich. Following the 10 a.m. shotgun start, golfers will be treated to 18 holes of golf – half of the field on the Ridge course and half on the Valley course – as well as on-course food and refreshments provided by Leo’s Restaurant, Peppino’s Pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings. Afterward, golfers will gather in the clubhouse for dinner and a high-end raffle and auction.
Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings radio broadcaster Ken Kal's going to try his hands at doing baseball play-by-play when the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals play tonight at 7:05 PM, and MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Kal about his new endeavor (which Khan reports will air on 1270 AM as 97.1 FM's going to air a preseason Lions game):
Tigers play-by-play man Dan Dickerson had a previously scheduled family commitment. Kal has been looking forward to this opportunity for a couple of weeks. He even did a mock broadcast of a recent Tigers-Chicago White Sox game.
“It's an opportunity to do something I've never done before,'' Kal said. “I'm a little nervous, but I'm excited.''
Kal broadcast a couple of baseball games when he attended Wayne State back in the day, but said he has “basically done hockey all my life.''
“It's a whole different way of broadcasting than it is a hockey game,'' Kal said. “You just have to let the game breathe a little bit, keep the game interesting, have conversations with (analyst) Jim Price. There's not as much action, there's a more relaxed pace. In hockey, I rely a lot on Paul Woods (for analysis during stoppages). Tonight, I'll be relying on Jim Price.''
Update: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Kal, too:
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