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Winnipeg NHL team uses team name as a carrot in ‘drive to 13,000’

This seems kind of bass ackwards to me, but the CBC reports that True North Sports and Entertainment is fine with asking fans to plunk down multi-year commitments to buy season tickets to watch Winnipeg’s NHL team, but won’t tell fans who they’re rooting for until they reach the 13,000 season ticket-holder mark:

The name of Winnipeg’s new NHL team won’t be unveiled until the season ticket drive is done, CBC News has learned.

There’s been plenty of speculation about when the name will be announced and what it will be. Scott Brown, communications director at True North Sports and Entertainment, said the organization is discussing that but won’t make any announcement until the 13,000 season ticket benchmark is reached.

“We want people to stay focused on the process of getting the 13,000 and getting the franchise secured because if we don’t get to the 13,000, then the signal that sends to the larger hockey community is not necessarily a positive one,” he said.


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Mickey Redmond’s a Hall-of-Famer!

Very cool Red Wings news from the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau:

Terry Jones and Mickey Redmond announced as this year’s media inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Congrats to both.

Update: Per Fox Sports Detroit:

Bill Hay, chairman and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced Thursday that Detroit Red Wings television analyst Mickey Redmond will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

Redmond will receive the award at a luncheon presentation on Nov. 14 as part of this year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Toronto.

Redmond started entertaining Red Wings viewers in 1979 and has served as analyst on FOX Sports Detroit’s telecasts since the network’s inception in 1997. His 32-year hockey broadcasting career includes five seasons (1980-85) with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, working with broadcast legends and fellow Foster Hewitt award winners Bob Cole, Dick Irvin and the late Danny Gallivan.

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Nicklas Lidstrom has ‘nothing new to report’ about his Red Wings future

Updated at 1:25 PM with confirmation from Kulfan: The Associated Press’s Mike Householder reports that Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom and prospect mentor Chris Chelios took part in a certain Kid Rock’s hometown concert announcement in a unique fashion today…

Rock, Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom and retired Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios used paddle boards to cross the Detroit River to Belle Isle. A bare-footed Rock then strolled to a beachfront microphone and lectern and said he’d be playing Comerica Park Aug. 12 with opening act Sammy Hagar and the Wabos. The rocker says Chelios called him a day earlier and asked if he wanted to go paddle-boarding.

WDIV and WXYZ posted videos of the event, but the Red Wings’ website (via RedWingsFeed) takes the cake for posting a video of a Caribbean-tanned Lidstrom stating that he has “nothing new to report” regarding his future as he’s just returned home from vacation and has yet to make a decision about his playing future, noting that July 1st is his deadline…

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Ken Holland reaffirms Red Wings’ free agent-retaining strategy, may offer MacDonald back-up job

MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms that Red Wings GM Ken Holland plans on getting down to the nitty-gritty of attempting to retain his unrestricted free agents over the next few days…

“We’ll have conversations with (some) free agents, see what they’re thinking,” Holland said.

[Patrick] Eaves and [Drew] Miller, both 27, are valuable third/fourth-line players, two of their top penalty-killing forwards. Eaves had 13 goals and 20 points in 63 games. Miller had 10 goals and 18 points in 67 games. Eaves made $750,000 this past season, Miller earned $650,000.

[Jonathan] Ericsson, 27, showed some improvement this season (three goals, 15 points, plus-8 rating in 74 games) but hasn’t progressed as quickly as many anticipated after a strong playoff showing in 2009. He earned $1.25 million this season and was offered a deal worth $2 million a year.

As the Free Press’s Helene St. James suggested, bringing Ericsson back is no sure thing, but Eaves and Miller seem likely to return...

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Red Wings overnight report: free agent talk, the Chairman’s speech, Shanahan muted and action Jimmy

This overnight report will be a little different than the usual, “I post stuff, start the discussion and step back” format because, well, because, so let’s start with a review of the biggest news posted during the evening (which you may have missed):

First and foremost, the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Red Wings GM Ken Holland is talking contract turkey with Jonathan Ericsson’s agent, which is good from the, “It would really (stink) if the Wings had to replace Ericsson, Lidstrom and Rafalski at the same time” standpoint, but is not so good if your nickname for Ericsson includes a four-letter word;

Second, and perhaps more intriguingly, DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose at least dropped a strong hint that the Wings plan on retaining the services of both Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller. Those players’ deals won’t be too hard to hammer out, and any positive, “We’re gonna keep ‘em” news is good news.

After the jump, however, we’re going to talk about one Chairman Mao’s state-of-the-game speech, which involves the topic that’s been reduced to pulp over the last two weeks—the Wings’ chances of moving to the Eastern Conference for the 2012-2013 season:

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Big E on the move? Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Jonathan Ericsson’s agent play contract poker

We at least got a very strong sign, via DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, that the Red Wings are inclined to retain the services of Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, which shouldn’t be particularly difficult, but the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that, despite his desire to remain a member of the organization, retaining Jonathan Ericsson’s services will be a stickier wicket for Red Wings GM Ken Holland:

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland met with the agent for defenseman Jonathan Ericsson while attending the NHL combine in Toronto on Wednesday. Holland said talks with Craig Oster went well, describing them as “a step in a long process. We’ll talk again, but negotiating a contract takes time.”

The Wings are interested in signing Ericsson, 27, to a multiyear deal. He rejected a multiyear deal offered around Christmas, and might decide to keep talks on a backburner with the Wings until July 1. Unrestricted free-agent defensemen tend to get juicy offers (Toronto gave Brett Lebda two years and $2.9 million last summer), and Ericsson is seeking a raise from the $1.25 million he made this past season.

The Wings have Ericsson slotted as a third-pairing defenseman, so they’re not going to break the bank to keep him. The defense is a bit murky right now because Nicklas Lidstrom hasn’t announced whether he’ll return or retire and Brian Rafalski retired last week, but replacing Rafalski—and possibly Lidstrom—will be addressed via free agency.

Continued, and my best educated guess is that Lidstrom returns, but Ericsson’s probably a 50-50 proposition. If he leaves, obviously, the Wings will either swing Brendan Smith into the lineup and use Kindl as their #4 guy or they’ll simply pluck a free agent from the bargain bin, but I don’t see the Wings giving up on Ericsson’s size easily.

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Red Wings’ website drops a strong hint about Eaves, Miller’s returns

Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, it sounds like Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller won’t be heading anywhere:

General manager Ken Holland indicated last week that he would like to retain both role-playing forwards Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller. Each player has spent the last two seasons with the Red Wings on one-year contracts, and both are eligible to be free agents on July 1. Eaves, who had 25 goals and 17 assists in the last two seasons, told DetroitRedWings.com this month that he would like to return for a third season with the Wings.

“I really like it here,” said Eaves, 27. “I’ve enjoyed playing with all of the guys here, so now comes the not-fun part.”

In the past, the Wings’ front office has likens Eaves to a Danny Cleary or Mikael Samuelsson, talented forwards who have played for a few different teams before finding a fit in Detroit’s system. Before players began to head home for the summer, Eaves, who made $750,000 last season, said the uncertainty of where he’ll play in the fall isn’t pleasant.

“I don’t like the business part,” said Eaves, who tied for third on the Wings with three goals in the playoffs. “In the end, it is a business, but that’s why I have an agent and he does all of that stuff. He’s great.”

Read: he’ll be back. Soon. Then Miller will follow, and Ericsson might not be far behind.

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Point-counterpoint regarding the Red Wings’ veteran and/or youth movement

Consider this to be the first entry of probably more than a couple in which I’ll incorporate reader commentary into the equation. The Detroit Free Press’s Jamie Samuelssen believes that the Red Wings might be best served by bringing Chris Osgood and Kris Draper back for one more season, possible ramifications in terms of losing Cory Emmerton to waivers included…

This will be an interesting summer for Osgood and Draper. Both have been supplanted in their traditional roles. Both still want to play. And both still want to play here. Draper pointed out after the season that the only downside to a long career in one city is that it makes moving on much more difficult. It’s one thing if you’re single and in your 20s. But when you have a family and you’re in your 40s, a one-year stint with the Phoenix Coyotes or Buffalo Sabres might not look as attractive. Translation: He’d stay in Detroit if the price was right. And the “right price” is anything the Wings are willing to give him.

Some fans think this is a negative. Some think the Wings have gotten too old and stale and hold on to their veterans too long. I disagree.

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NHLPA’s Beard-a-Thon raises $100K for Heart and Stroke Foundation

Plain old cool news from the NHLPA:

With just one round of the playoffs remaining, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) are pleased to announce that the NHLPA Beard-a-thon has raised over $100,000 so far. The money raised goes towards the Foundation purchasing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for local hockey arenas and communities across Canada.           

This year’s Stanley Cup Final is well represented with five participating NHL players growing playoff beards in support of this great cause. Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks is leading the way among all beard growers for total dollars raised with over $4,500 raised, while teammates Dan Hamhuis, Mason Raymond and Jeff Tambellini are also participating and have been receiving great support. Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins has raised over $2,900 and is third among all beard growers for dollars raised.

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Red Wings mid-day news: Shanahan’s shift, a 2/3rds realignment majority and other tidbits

As Paul already posted, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the NHL might shift its most innovative hockey mind, former Red Wings forward Brendan Shanahan, into Colin Campbell’s office:

NHL senior vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell is stepping away from his role as head of NHL discipline. He had held the discipline role for the league since July of 1998. Campbell will remain a key component in Hockey Operations and as such will continue to oversee such events as future general managers meetings.

Sources tell TSN Brendan Shanahan will likely take over, but there could be somewhat of an overhaul of how supplemental discipline is handled.

Shanahan’s role has continually evolved with the league. He is currently working as the NHL’s point person in dealing with equipment changes in conjunction with Mathieu Schneider and the NHLPA and is the lead man in organizing the league’s Research and Development camps.

This news is mildly surprising but not a total shock given Shanahan’s apprenticeship as the league’s “VP of hockey and business development” under Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and the rest of the hockey operations department, and that’s where the move worries me—Shanahan’s spearheaded the R&D camp and is progressively working with Schneider to improve player safety, and shifting him to a disciplinary role might shuffle Shanahan off to the land of late-night lobbying and back-room deal-making.

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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.


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