The Malik Report
I'm just going to leave this article from the St. John's Telegram's Robin Short here and try to not let my temper get the best of me:
Cleary’s 36 now, his best days a long ways off in the rearview mirror. He’s played over 1,000 NHL games, more than any other NHLer from this province, and he’s been beaten and broken up. He plays, for all intents and purposes, on one leg, thanks to a crippled knee.
But you know what? He still yearns to play, hoping there’s a spot somewhere in Detroit next season.
“Are you kidding me?” he asked rhetorically. “I live for it. You don’t play this long without loving the game. I love to practise, I love to skate, I love working out. I love everything there is about hockey.”
Cleary will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1, and plans to speak with Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland about Detroit’s plans soon.
Sources within the Red Wings’ organization suggest Holland and Detroit management are big on living up to their word, and there was some kind of agreement a couple of years ago between Cleary and the team that the Wings would take care of him after turning down a couple of big offers to remain in Detroit.
Short claims that part of the "promise" the Wings made to Cleary for turning down that purported 3-year deal with the Flyers involved one final contract year for the 2015-16 season....
As part of the deal, apparently, there was a handshake agreement on another contract for 2014-15, which they agreed on last July. And yet another for 2015-16. Supposedly. Maybe for a Detroit discount of $750,000 or so.
And that's just nuts. Cleary was a highly-paid healthy scratch for the vast majority of last season, and it's time for Landon Ferraro, Teemu Pulkkinen and Tomas Jurco to play, not Daniel Cleary to get another year's worth of taking up a roster spot and taking time away from the faster legs.
Cleary can always, as Short suggests, join the front office in a Kris Draper-like "special assistant to the GM" role.
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson is confident that Dylan Larkin will one day play in the NHL — he's just not sure how soon that day will come....
"It doesn't matter what I think," Berenson said. "I think Dylan is going to play in the NHL. I told him that. I don't know that he's ready at this point to compete for a regular job in the NHL.
"It's all about development and maturity. He's still a young kid and he's got great potential and he's got a lot of passion. He's got a lot of things going for him. But you can't fast forward your development, your maturity and your strength. All those things are coming, now it's just a matter of how rushed Detroit is going to feel with a player like Dylan."
"From Small to Large":
1. The Free Press's "Detroit sports best coach's bracket" is down to its "Sweet 16," and Mike Babcock's part of the mix, but Scotty Bowman isn't for some reason;
2. According to the Hockey News's Brian Costello, the Red Wings did not sign defensemen Marc McNulty or Mitchell Wheaton before their rights expired on June 1st, so both players will go back into the draft;
3. And as Paul noted, Hockey Hall of Fame "Cup Keeper" Phil Pritchard told Stanley Cup stories in an article published by the Players' Tribune, including a relating of the Cup's journey to Red Square in 1997:
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner posited a truly intriguing article, asking Jeff Blashill to list his coaching influences instead of asking him about the Red Wings' job, and in doing so, Wallner gives us a great insight as to "where Blash came from" in terms of his coaching journey:
Throughout his head coaching career, the 41-year-old Michigan native has been what Red Wings general manager once termed "a serial winner.
Beginning in his first year as a head coach in 2008, Blashill won the USHL's Clark Cup with the Indiana Ice, led Western Michigan to its best finish in 15 years and, after a year as an assistant with the Red Wings, coached the Grand Rapids Griffins to the three most successful seasons in franchise history, including the AHL championship in 2013.
On Friday, Blashill agreed to provide a glimpse into his background and list the coaches who most influenced his coaching career.
But first, what is Blashill's coaching style?
"I never set out for it to be anything in particular," he said. "I heard someone say once that I was 'hard but fair' and I think that's accurate. And honest. I have my positives and negatives but the most important thing I've found is to be honest and be genuine."
Wallner continues, and this part, about Mike Babcock, is a pleasant surprise:
"I'd watch every Red Wings game and he'd call me and want to know what I saw and what my thoughts were," Blashill said. "And then I'd call him with issues that I had in Grand Rapids and ask what his thoughts were. It was really a great and unique relationship between an NHL and American League coach that I know really accelerated my growth."
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Q: Do you expect Mr. Holland to make any trades prior to the draft? Should we expect to see both Kindl and Smith on the opening day roster? I don't see how you can pencil them both in for roster spots if you are sincere about giving XO (Xavier Ouellet) and (Alexey) Marchenko (and perhaps Nick Jensen) the opportunity to compete for full-time work with the big club or if you honestly want to add a (Mike) Green or (another free agent) to the organization. Do you see any end in sight to this blue-line logjam? - Justin
A: I think they will be more aggressive in their pursuit of a trade than in recent off-seasons because the free-agent market is thin and they have more prospects than they will be able to fit onto their roster over the next few seasons.
Maybe Blashill will have a higher opinion of Kindl than Babcock did, but he would still need to beat out Marchenko and Ouellet for a spot in the lineup, if no moves are made. I don't think Kindl has a long-term future here, not with all the prospects knocking on the door, but I also think his contract (two years at a $2.4 million cap hit) and performance the past two seasons makes him difficult to move in the off-season.
Smith could be a trading chip, or one of them, if they look to deal for a defenseman.
Marchenko and Ouellet will only be on the NHL roster if they're in the lineup every game, since they have options. Babcock had Marchenko ahead of Ouellet. That will be sorted out in camp. Jensen is behind both in the pecking order and needs another year in Grand Rapids.
I would be surprised if they signed Green, who'll command huge money and a long term. Cody Franson is possible, but they must determine if spending big money on him, or anyone else, is better than moving in Marchenko and/or Ouellet, or whether there is a better trade option.
more Q & A...
The overnight report: On the Mrazek-Howard situation; Blashill’s family chats; Griffins & Wings vids
Without "stirring the pot" for the sake of stirring the pot, the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan asked a solid question regarding the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association's Rookie of the Year: what can we realistically expect from Petr Mrazek as we look toward the 2015-16 season from afar?
Khan tossed off Mrazek's stats while reminding us that a certain Jimmy Howard will likely claim this September...
The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger wrote a lovely article about the genius that is one William Scott "Scotty" Bowman:
It is 11:03 local time here Wednesday night and the Chicago Blackhawks — the team his son Stan primarily built — has just beaten the host Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, thanks to a pair of goals in the final seven minutes that helped snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Hawks comeback has been engineered not by Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane, but by a 20-year-old Finnish rookie named Teuvo Teravainen, who scored the equalizer on a seeing-eye shot from the top of the faceoff circle, then set up Antoine Vermette’s winner by creating a turnover deep in the Tampa Bay end.
Now, as Teravainen is being led past us to a nearby interview room, Scotty Bowman finally reveals what’s going on between those 81-year-old ears.
“Did you see the way Teravainen knocked the puck off the stick of that Tampa player (J.T. Brown) that led to that Vermette goal?” Bowman asks. “He’s got a great ability to do that. He reminds me of Igor Larionov the way he can do that.”
Scotty Bowman is right, of course. When it comes to hockey, he is right about most things. And you can bet that, in this arena filled with about 20,000 fans, media and workers, only he could see a bit of Igor Larionov in Teuvo Teravainen.
Continued...And I wish he was still doing this for Detroit, but I'm glad that Scotty's still "in the game"...
This isn't the biggest news in the world, but it's a) from Bob McKenzie and b) involves the Red Wings and a free agent defenseman:
From the Red Wings:
PETR MRAZEK NAMED RED WINGS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR BY THE DETROIT SPORTS BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION
… First-Year Goaltender Played 29 Regular-Season and Seven Playoff Games for Detroit …
DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek has been named the 2014-15 Red Wings Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
A 23-year-old netminder from Ostrava, Czech Republic, Mrazek suited up for 29 games with the Red Wings in 2014-15, leading the team with a 2.38 goals-against average, 0.918 save percentage and three shutouts, alongside his 16-9-2 record. Among NHL rookie goalies who started more than 15 games, Mrazek placed third in wins, second in goals-against average, first in save percentage and second in shutouts. He also started all seven postseason games for Detroit against the Tampa Bay Lightning, posting a 2.11 goals-against average, 0.925 save percentage and two shutouts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mrazek became just the fifth goalie in NHL history to post two shutouts in the same playoff series in which he made his NHL playoff debut.
Of brief Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. The Fan 590's Greg Brady posited the following Tweet this morning, per Sportnset's David Singh:
3. The Detroit Free Press is engaging in a voting contest of a different kind, asking fans to weigh in as to which coach is the best in Michigan sports history. Mike Babcock and Scotty Bowman are among the quarterfinalists;
4. And Petr Mrazek was named the Detroit Sports Broadcasters' Rookie of the Year today.
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.