The Malik Report
Here's a 15-Tweet set of unsolicited advice that Don Cherry gave to Mike Babcock:
The AHL's establishment of a Pacific Division will drastically reduce the time and travel involved in recalling players for the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks, whose AHL affiliates were located on the East Coast, but the travel costs involved in playing in the Western Conference will hit AHL teams hard.
According to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner, the Grand Rapids Griffins, who generally travel by bus to games, will face a $75,000-to-$100,000 increase in their travel budget because they play in the Western Conference:
The Grand Rapids Griffins face increased travel costs as much as 29 percent next season following a major AHL realignment plan announced earlier this week.
Tim Gortsema, the Griffins' senior vice president of business operations, said no matter what schedule grid is ultimately approved by the league, the team will see its travel budget rise from $350,000 to $425,000 following a host of location changes and creation of a new seven-team Pacific Division.
"That's with everything else being equal as far as hotel, air fares, etc.," he said. "We could easily see that grow to $450,000 next year."
Wallner continues, noting that the AHL is holding meetings regarding next year's schedule. AHL teams don't play every other team twice--or once--and they don't use a computer to create their schedule, so there's a ton of lobbying involved in determining teams' schedules.
You already know this, but the Hockey News's Ken Campbell spoke to Mark Howe about his father's stem cell treatment, discussing the fact that the Howe family believes that Gordie was on his deathbed prior to the treatment:
In Mark’s mind, there’s no doubt his father would have died by now had he not undergone the stem cell transplant.
“He was basically on his death bed, so every day we have now is a blessing,” Mark said. “There’s no doubt in any of our minds that he wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t treated him. He had dropped 35 pounds in six weeks and he wasn’t going to live. It’s the first time I’ve seen my dad quit. He didn’t want anything to do with any speech therapy or anything like that and once that goes, you’re kind of toast.”
But since the stem cell therapy, Mark said his father has regained 40 pounds and is “holding his own.” He also said the fact his father is going for a second round of treatments should not be construed as a sign he is on the decline. When Howe got the first round of treatments, doctors recommended then that he have another one six months later, so they are following the medical protocol.
Campbell continues, and I know we've had conversations about the procedure, whether there was a massive placebo effect and whether it's "fair" that Howe had the treatment for free while others have to pay $30,000 for something that may or may not work...
The Grand Rapids Griffins took a commanding 3 games-to-1 lead over the Rockford IceHogs via a 2-1 OT win in which Tom McCollum's 27 saves and Tyler Bertuzzi's 2 goals--including an OT winner scored only 13 seconds into the extra session--and as a result, the Griffins have the opportunity to advance to the AHL's Western Conference Final by winning Sunday's 5 PM tilt.
To put this indelicately would get me into a lot of trouble, so let's go with this: Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea posited an intriguing take on the naming of the Detroit-Windsor International Crossing the "Gordie Howe" bridge, with Anderson Economic Group's Patrick Anderson suggesting that the naming of said bridge after said person gives it an impetus to be built (on time and on budget, much like, oh I don't know, the Wings' follow-on rink?):
“From a political perspective, they found someone more popular than any current elected official on either side of the border,” wrote Anderson, a former deputy budget director for the state. “And from an economic perspective, they reminded all of us of the longstanding economic partnership between Ontario and Michigan — a critical benefit to a bridge that relies on expected growth in trade for future toll revenue.
“You have to get investors to build the bridge, and right now, those investors are taxpayers on both sides of the river. Naming an unbuilt bridge might seem unusual, but naming it after a legend is going to help get it built.”
I've been wondering whether "The Bowl," as it's called in its concept drawings, would be named after Mr. Ilitch to ensure that it's also built without delays, and I suppose that you could ask Wings CEO Tom Wilson that very question yourself, though it might be a little rude.
According to the Livonia Observer, Wilson will be unveiling some new details of the rink and economic development next Wednesday:
So the new international bridge between Detroit and Windsor will be named after Gordie Howe, and, as the Detroit News's Leonard N. Fleming and David Shepardson noted, this is a particularly appropriate for the Howe family:
Son Murray Howe, who spoke for the family, said it is "truly, truly an incredible honor." He recalled the story of his grandmother who came from Germany to Windsor for a better life.
"So Windsor is where it all began," he said. "How fitting that this is where the bridge begins. When I told my Dad that the bridge would be named in his honor, he said, 'That sounds pretty good to me.' He is deeply moved by this gracious gesture."
(It's not that unusual an occurrence--both my mother and father's family immigrated to North America through Kingston, Ontario)
If you want to read more about the announcement, the Free Press, Michigan Radio, WDET, CJME 980 News Talk Saskatoon, Crain's Detroit Business, Sportsnet, WXYZ, WDIV, Fox 2, MLive, the Globe and Mail, the Windsor Star (twice, and Bob Duff, too) and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose provide for your needs (apparently this name was the favorite from the start)...
Very briefly: Russia defeated Sweden 5-3 at the World Championships on Thursday, and they'll have Alex Ovechkin in the lineup when they battle Dylan Larkin and Team USA on Saturday's semifinal, which takes place at 1:15 PM EDT. The game should air on NBCSN...
And in the interim,
The Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Rockford IceHogs tonight at 8 PM EDT, hoping to rebound from yesterday's 4-1 loss and push their series lead to 3-1 instead of allowing Rockford to tie the second-round affair.
And hopefully some streams that don't cost $45 for a few playoff games will magically appear in the comments section.
So this is real and official:
Here's the live stream of the announcement from CBS Detroit:
Team USA turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead over the course of 57 seconds in the second period, taking a 2-1 lead that they wouldn't relinquish en route to an 3-1 win over the Swiss at the World Championships.
As a result, Team USA will play the winner of today's Sweden-vs-Russia game in Saturday's semifinal, and while the Americans will enter Saturday's game as significant underdogs, they've played that role to a tee thus far.
Dylan Larkin took 1 shot and took a penalty in 15:07 of ice time.
Quick update: Here's a highlight clip:
Yesterday, MLive's Ansar Khan's article about Stephen Weiss's future yielded quite the set of comments from Wings fans who believe that Weiss should be given one more chance to prove he belongs--as well as those who believe that Weiss should be traded or bought out to make room for younger legs--but I don't think that the subject of today's article from Khan will receive as much discussion.
Marek Zidlicky ended up being this year's David Legwand, starting off strong and ending his tenure with the Wings playing as nothing less than a lead-footed liability. After missing the final game of the Wings-Bolts series due to a concussion, Zidlicky expressed some interest in returning, but at 38 years of age, and with Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet pushing for playing time, Zidlicky might be the Wings' "Plan C" for improving the blueline via free agency at best:
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.