The Malik Report
Mark Howe's spent the last 10 days in Traverse City, and he's going to be taking part in tonight's Celebrity and Alumni game at Centre Ice Arena. Ahead of said game, Howe delivered some "good news" of a sort regarding his father to the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Son Mark Howe spent part of Saturday afternoon searching for someone to fix his iPad, specifically, to get FaceTime up and running, because this is the only way he can communicate with his dad when the two are apart. Mark is in Traverse City in his role as scout for the Detroit Red Wings, while Gordie is in Lubbock, Texas, being taken care of by his daughter, Cathy, and her husband, Bob. Gordie, 86, suffers from dementia, and was in such poor shape that in late August, he had outpatient surgery to help with spinal stenosis (an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal), which had rendered him in debilitating pain.
"He had a very bad summer," Mark said. "Weekly, I would send updates to my brothers and sister and my dad's friends, let them know.
"It was pretty discouraging, pretty disheartening. If the surgery didn't help, and he didn't respond to it, then ... it wasn't good. There wasn't anything good going to come out of it."
This much is to be expected, however...
The encouragement is measured, though, because there was a seizure 10 days ago, and "he's had little mini strokes," Mark said. "There are days he's totally out of it mentally, and then he'd start getting back into it. Things are progressively getting worse for him, but I can live with that, that's part of life."
And St. James continues...
Updated at 6:13 PM: I did things a little backwards today, posting audio and "player takes" first, so pardon my slight tardiness in offering the mainstream media folks' stories from today's training camp sessions (reminder: tomorrow includes "bonus" practices from 9:45-11:15 AM and 1:20-2 PM).
MLive's Mike Mulholland, the Detroit News's David Guralnick and the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindneau have already posted photo galleries, and MLive's Brendan Savage took note of Daniel Cleary's comments...
Having spent the better part of the last two days on my feet, and having spent most of that time (waiting for interviews like today's excluded) watching Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and company (in addition to assistant coaches Jim Hiller, Tony Granato and Kevin Baker, the entire Grand Rapids Griffins' stafff [Jeff Blashill, Dave Noel-Bernier and Pat Ferschweiler], the Toledo Walleye's coach [Derek Lalonde] and Jiri Fischer, Chris Chelios and goalie coaches Jim Bedard and Pat Salajko all take part in drills) reinforce and to some extent reintroduce the fundamentals of Babcockian Red Wings hockey...
To the average person, I think Day 1 (entries, o-zone, spots facing right up) and Day 2's themes (today's were "OZ forecheck, NZ forechecking, line change forecheck, set b.o. [breakout]) would've looked much the same. Lots of dumping the puck into the defensive zone and lugging it up ice, then either tagging up at the far blueline and turning back toward the end from which the drill started or going "full ice"; lots of 5-on-5 and 5-on-4 positional play, lots of line changes while teams were dumping the puck in or clearing the zone.
I'm going to be spending thirteen hours at Centre Ice Arena today because I cannot in good conscience miss the, Red Wings' Alumni and Celebrity game, whose roster got a little bigger, per MLive's Brendan Savage...
Hall of Fame defensemen Chris Chelios and Mark Howe, coach Mike Babcock and general manager Ken Holland headline the rosters for tonight's Detroit Red Wings training camp celebrity/alumni at Centre I.C.E. Arena.
Chelios, Howe and Holland will play on a team that also includes Chris Osgood, TV broadcaster Ken Daniels, Dallas Drake, scout Hakan Andersson and assistant coaches Andrew Brewer and Tony Granato.
Babcock's team includes Jiri Fischer, Kris Draper, Joey Kocur, Kirk Maltby, assistant G.M. Ryan Martin, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill and radio broadcaster Ken Kal.
The full roster is available on The Left Wing Lock, and if you can get tickets to tonight's game, it's really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all of the Wings' executives and scouts play against each other and see their personalities come out on ice, from Ryan Martin's relentless tenacity to Hakan Andersson's subtle playmaking. It's a helluva lot of fun, and the jerseys from the players' backs are auctioned off for charity, photo opportunity as you get the jersey included.
Audio from the second day of Red Wings training camp: Franzen, Cleary, Babcock, Howard, Nyquist etc.
The Red Wings' players just wrapped up a hard seond day at training camp in Travserse City, most certainly working on all the topics outlined in the "lesson plan"--offensive zone forechecking, neutral zone forechecking, forechecking while changing lines and the "set B.O.," which actually means "set breakout"--and Team Delvecchio defeated Team Lindsay 4-0, with Danny DeKeyser registering 2 assists and Joe Hicketts scoring yet another clutch goal (and injury-wise there were no surprises; Brennan Evans and Andy Miele aren't taking part in the camp thus far, but everyone else is here).
I'm going to try to stick it out for the Celebrity and Alumni game that takes place tonight at 7 (Babcock told me he's going to take part in it), and as tomorrow's training camp schedule was tweaked so that there's a full third day of practices going from 9:45 AM until 2:15, let's just say that it's entirely possible that tomorrow's coverage may be a little lighter (and the C & A game recap will be brief) as I'm trying to not completely drive myself into the ground here.
This is going to be a very long day for me as I plan on trying to take in both today's training camp sessions (FYI: Pointstreak automatically posts the box score of the day's scrimmage; today it's Team Lindsay vs. Team Delvecchio) and tonight's Celebrity and Alumni game (7 PM); I'm not sure if that's feasible given that Sunday morphed from just the Red vs. White game to another full day's worth of practices, but I'll give 'er a go.
And the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook duly noted that the Wings' players were quite relieved to be going into training camp with an almost completely healthy roster:
Trying to pace oneself at a training camp is a complicated task, especially when you know that on Saturday, you're going to the rink at 8:30 AM and probably leaving the rink around 10 PM...Then going to the rink the next day at 8:30 AM and leaving at 3 PM.
With that in mind, I'm going to go through the rosters of the three teams that took part in day 1 of training camp and give you incredibly brief impressions of the players taking part (and nudge you toward my friend Jim Schoensee's pictures of the Lindsay-Howe scrimmage):
If there was one thing that I felt got "under-covered" while I was recovering from the prospect tournament, it's the fact that the Red Wings are going to actually break ground on their new arena on Thursday, September 25th, and this video from WDIV took note of said event:
Updated 5x at 9:26 PM: For me, training camp is where things get interactive again, and a little strangely so.
I watched sixty-something Red Wings players, prospects and try-outs engage in about fifteen different iterations of dump-and-retrieve drills, end-to-end skating drills, etc. that all focused on today's points of emphasis: "entries, o-zone, spots facing right up," or so the schedule stated. I can probably spend three or four hours writing up as detailed an assessment of the drills based upon my note-taking with antiquated technology called "a pen and a five-subject notebook" if you wish, and I can very happily give you a one or two-sentence write-up on every player I witnessed participate in drills (I did not see Brennan Evans or Andy Miele today; everyone else was healthy, save you-know-who-wears-#39).
Very understandably, there's been a ton of talk about Anthony Mantha's broken right leg--what sounds like a fracture just below his right knee, in fact, based upon Mantha and Ken Holland's comments over the past couple of days--and while I can tell those of you who want to see Mantha start the season in Detroit that the Red Wings can't send him down to Grand Rapids until he's healed (on paper, anyway), and that the Wings will probably prefer to monitor his progress in Detroit...
When push comes to shove, you don't have someone who's coming off a broken leg get back up to speed in late October or early November in the NHL:
Duff penned an article about Mantha's injury...
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.