The Malik Report
Good news for Justin Abdelkader? Probably, regardless of how much of his contract he'll actually be paid under the new CBA. MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Red Wings GM Ken Holland plans on signing Abdelkader to a 4-year deal:
"I anticipate we'll get something done before Saturday,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We're down to the short strokes. We've been close for a few days, just finalizing some things.''
Holland confirmed that it will be a four-year deal, which buys into two years of Abdelkader's unrestricted free agency.
Red Wings sound the players line before departing for NHLPA meetings; Holland to attend BoG meetings
Updated 3x at 2:14 PM: I know that we're talking about billionaires versus millionaires, arguing over how to divvy up $3.3 billion dollars of fans' money, but as the NHL prepares to announce that its Board of Governors has voted to lock out the players at a presser scheduled for 3:30 PM EDT on Thursday, and over half the Red Wings' players will later make comments to the media when 300 or more NHLPA members meet not too far from the Crowne Plaza Times Square (players will be at the Mariott)...
But the players are the ones who are essentially being told, "I'm altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further" despite the fact that the NHL and one Bill Daly essentially authored the current CBA by themselves (at least once Bob Goodenow left the room), so I for one understand where the Red Wings' presumptive captain-to-be is coming from when he spoke to the Free Press's Helene St. James about his take on what's to come:
"Everyone is hurting if there's going to be a lockout," Zetterberg said. "Us players really know that. A lot of us went through it in '04. And it's not just the players that are hurting -- the fans, everyone around the buildings, all the businesses that are around hockey, is going to hurt. That's what us, as a union, really tried to have not happen. We're really trying to solve the problem and find a fair deal."
Note to Wings players, btw: tell fans where you're practicing, at least occasionally. Charge $5. Donate to charity. Goodwill and all.
Anyway, Ian White agrees with Zetterberg, and he told St. James that the players are much more resolute about the concept that a second owners' "bailout" over the course of eight years makes no sense if the league isn't going to address the disparities between teams that stand to profit way, way more from lower payroll costs--like the Wings--and those that won't profit regardless of how low salaries go:
Updated 2x at 4:14 PM: Of brief Red Wings-related note from the land of fevers and lockout worries: MLive's Ansar Khan offers good news about Justin Abdelkader's status as a restricted free agent, and kinda good news if you're one for NHLPA solidarity:
The Freee Press's Helene St. James confirms the Abdelkader news...
This press release is five days old, but worth posting given what's likely to happen to the Red Wings' players and their training camp currently scheduled for September 21st in Traverse City (see: CBA rain delay): the Grand Rapids Griffins, who will probably hold their own training camp on the west side of the state in late September, have chosen to give Red Wings fans in both Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan the opportunity to watch the Red Wings' top prospects play without having to make a two-to-four-hour trek up I-96 (and boy, is this a savvy sales pitch):
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday announced their 2012-13 preseason schedule, which will consist of two neutral-site games against the Lake Erie Monsters.
Grand Rapids will first battle the Monsters on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, home of the Toledo Walleye, the ECHL affiliate of the Griffins and the Detroit Red Wings. On Sunday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m., the rivals will square off again at Yost Ice Arena on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The two contests will comprise the Griffins’ first slate of preseason games since the 2005-06 season.
The vast majority of the Red Wings' players skated at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday (cue an awesome 22-image gallery of the Wings' players from the Detroit News's David Guralnick!), and Wings forward Darren Helm spoke to the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness about his recovery from lacerations to flexor tendons in his right arm, which were surgically repaired after he suffered the injury in Game 1 of last spring's Wings-Predators series...
“It feels good,” Helm said of his repaired right forearm. “It feels good shooting, passing, everything feels fine. I haven’t had any pain or trouble with it. My doctors have told me it’s on track. We’ve gotten past that troubled stage a long time ago. It’s been good.”
“I can still feel it when I do things I normally do,” said Helm, who added he would be ready if training camp starts on time a week from Thursday in Traverse City. “The weight isn’t quite there yet and I’m not lifting as much as I normally do at this time. It was a month before I got here before I could get going so I’m a little bit behind in that aspect. But everything I’ve done so far it’s felt good.”
A day after delicately sending a barb toward player agent Ian Walsh that painted all hockey fans expressing their anger at a probable lockout with the same brush, during a conversation with ESPN's Craig Custance...
"We understood going into this that the landscape was going to be different with the prevalence of social media. But that fact has not and will not affect our approach to collective bargaining," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email. "Ultimately, our job is to negotiate an agreement that will make the league and the clubs stable and healthy, so that we can continue to invest in the business and grow the business for the benefit of all of the stakeholders in the game, including the players and our fans. We do not intend to abdicate that responsibility in reaction to uninformed ramblings on Twitter."
The NHL's deputy commissioner tossed off the sort of sniffly, woe-is-us-thanks-to-the-CBA-I-wrote commentary we should come to expect on an almost every-day basis in speaking to the Associated Press--prior to news breaking that the NHL and PA will be meeting today (while 350 players gather at the Mariott in New York for two days' worth of player meetings and the Board of Governors prepare to authorize a lockout on Thursday in NYC)
This is pretty remarkable given the situation: according to MLive's Ansar Khan, half of the Red Wings' roster will be attending the NHLPA's meetings in New York, NY today and tomorrow:
More than 300 players are expected to attend the NHLPA meetings, including at least 13 Detroit Red Wings.
“I think it just shows guys want to be informed,'' Niklas Kronwall, Detroit's player representative, said. “Guys want to know what's going on, what's the latest, what we can expect the next few days, any new ideas that we can brainstorm around, and just hear what other guys have to say.''
With the NHL seemingly set to follow the NFL and NBA's models of "lockouts as a matter of collective bargaining course," just about every Wing who's been taking part in the informal practices at Joe Louis Arena expects the Red Wings to lock the doors starting at 11:59 PM EDT this Saturday...
From WXYZ's Tom Leyden, Red Wings forward and likely captain-in-waiting Henrik Zetterberg is heading to tomorrow's NHLPA meetings in New York, and Zetterberg is more or less resigned to the fact that his current employer will be locking him out of Joe Louis Arena come Sunday:
"Right now it looks like it's going to be a lockout. Hopefully it will not be as long as '04," said Zetterberg. "I went through that, all the fans went through it. I don't think anything good came out of that. We've just got to find a way to get a fair deal and hopefully sooner rather than later."
ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only column pondering potential "winners" and "losers" of a lockout-shortened season, and while I can't share the entire story with you, the last three paragraphs will be doubly true when the Red Wings cancel training camp in a week or less:
The arena workers, hotel owners, bartenders and everyone else losing out: Lost in the battle as the NHL owners and players figure out how to divide record revenues is the fact that real people are hurt by a lockout. For example, in Traverse City, Mich., the Red Wings' annual prospect tournament normally would be naming a champion Wednesday. But the looming lockout meant the Red Wings had to scrap plans for the tournament this season and Red Wings training camp in Traverse City is now in serious trouble.
From the land of, "Holy *#$%@&, I haven't been this sick in over a year, and it's been two bloody weeks with this virus" land (sorry)...
At this point, it appears that a lockout is all but inevitable, and that we're at least going to miss a couple of months of hockey given that--as TSN's Darren Dreger and player agent Allan Walsh have noted--the NHL chose to change the definition of hockey-related revenues in its proposals, yielding a necessary translation from Finnish to Swahili every time the two sides talk about cutting up the pie.
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.