The Malik Report
The Windsor Star's Doug Schmidt reports that the sixth annual Bob Probert Ride to benefit Windsor's Hotel Dieu-Grace Hospital was a roaring (literally) success:
Led by [Ryan] VandenBussche and assorted others of Probert’s NHL fraternity, a record 1,200 motorcycles roared out of the chrome-packed Thunder Road Harley Davidson parking lot and through Windsor and Essex County on a warm and sunny Sunday.
“It’s awesome seeing our hockey family together — what a wonderful day to celebrate Bob,” said the local hockey legend’s widow, Dani Probert. “Icing on the cake,” she added, was how, after six annual rides, more than $600,000 has been raised for local heart health and rehabilitation services and facilities.
“It’s a real cool thing that happens here,” Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare president and CEO Janice Kaffer said before strapping on a helmet to join the ride as a passenger. “Once the acute care hospital does its incredibly important job, people have to get back to their lives,” she said.
The Probert family’s efforts helped fund a full expansion of the Hotel-Dieu’s cardiac wellness centre “with no government funding,” said Kaffer.
[Givani] Smith had plenty of support at the draft, with a large contingent of family and friends sitting with him in the stands when the Red Wings announced his name.
“I had a pretty good feeling I was going to get taken in the second round, but I was still pretty surprised to be taken that early in the second,” said Smith, who was expected to go anywhere from the mid-second round to late in the third round.
Smith had 24 goals and 19 assists last season, along with 146 penalty minutes.
“I knew Detroit was pretty interested and the interview during the (NHL) combine went pretty well. I knew they were one of the teams that had a lot of interest with me. You can tell by the interviews and the questions they ask you.”
Smith was interviewed by 23 teams at the combine.
“It felt really nice. We went Friday and sat there for four hours, watching all the guys get picked. I thought ‘wow, I want to hear my name called now.’ But I went pretty early on the Saturday.”
This is not the world's biggest news story, but in the For the Record department, from the CBC Saskatoon:
Saskatoon City Council will be discussing a motion this afternoon to rename the Circle Drive South Bridge after the late Gordie Howe.
Coun. Darren Hill will be bringing the motion forward. He got the idea after a number of citizens of Saskatoon stepped forward with the idea. Once he floated the notion on social media, the concept took off like wildfire.
"There were 1,200 likes on the (Facebook) post itself," he said.
"This is easily the most active and engaged post or issue that I've dealt with in almost my tenth year on council."
Howe is the namesake of the new international crossing that will connect Windsor, Ont. and Detroit. Its formal name is the Gordie Howe International Bridge and is expected to be completed by 2020.
Updated 4x at 3:22 PM:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings announced today that left wing Drew Miller has been signed to a one-year contract extension.
Miller, 32, has tallied 100 points (51-49-100) in 449 games with the Red Wings since joining the team in 2009-10. In 516 career NHL games with the Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning, the 6-foot-2, 180-lb., forward has registered 115 points (57-58-115) and 118 penalty minutes. He has also skated in 60 Stanley Cup playoff games, notching 13 points (6-7-13) and skating in three games with Anaheim as a first-year pro in 2007, helping the team to a Stanley Cup championship. After appearing in all 82 regular-season games for the Red Wings in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and holding the team’s ironman streak at 190 games, Miller was limited to just 28 games played this season due to jaw and knee injuries.
More on Miller from the Wings below...
Here's a very rough translation of Filip Hronek's interview with Hockej.cz's Vaclav Jachim:
I like Detroit, but it's just a first step, says Hronek. On the draft that's held at Niagara Falls
Last week, he flew to the United States with the desire to succeed in the draft, and Filip Hronek still didn't know whether he would be picked in the second, third or fourth round. "Mainly I wanted to hear that some team took me. I knew well that the selection doesn't mean much," he says. During the draft acution in the hockey rink at the First Niagara Center he didn't have to wait long, as the quarterback of Hradek Moutnfield was picked 53rd overall by Detroit.
Updated 4x at 12:12 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
2. MLive's Brendan Savage discussed Chris Osgood's Hockey Hall of Fame candidacy:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Hockey Hall of Fame's Selection Committee meets today in Toronto to determine the members of the HHOF's 2016 induction class, and it's possible but not necessarily probable that Chris Osgood will join the Hall's ranks, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa noted:
If you ever want to start a long argument in a local sports bar, speak up and assert that Chris Osgood, the retired Red Wings goalie and current broadcaster, should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
There are opinions, some believe about equally as strong, for and against.
Appreciating their goalies as they often do, with considerable ambivalence, even some Wings fans are dubious.
Handicapping the annual inductions is always hazardous. But Osgood seems to be up against the odds, once again, with many thinking that Teemu Selanne and, perhaps, Daniel Alfredsson, who spent his last season as the leading scorer for the Red Wings, are favored when the announcement is made this afternoon.
Although he won three Stanley Cups for the Wings, including two as a starter, ranks eighth all-time with 74 playoff wins, fourth all-time with 15 playoff shutouts and sixth all-time with a 53.9 percent winning percentage, Osgood is not often touted.
Krupa continues, and the Detroit News breaks down the selection committee and adds a photo gallery to the mix. I'd suggest that Osgood belongs in the Hall of Fame, but even this less-than-star-studded year appears to not be Osgood's.
2. I don't plan on revamping this blog to create "The Stamkos Report" over the next five days, but there will be some reporting of the biggest news regarding his courtship. After the Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk reported this on Saturday...
AM 800 CKLW's Joel Boyce reports that the annual Bob Probert Ride hit a record in attendance number this weekend:
A record 1,200 bikes hit the road for the 6th annual Bob Probert Ride. Former NHL enforcer and road captain Ryan VandenBusshe lead the large pack through Windsor-Essex Sunday, before making the final stop in Walkerville for a street party.
Spokesperson Barbara Sebben says she's predicting a record number in donations too. Before Sunday, she says they had around $65,000 in sponsorships.
"The community gets right behind it," says Sebben. "Windsor gets behind a lot of things. We've got a great community, but this particular cause seems to hit a nerve with a lot of people and they do back it up. You can't deny that Bob's name, being the Bob Probert ride, really holds a lot of clout, and that really brings in a lot of people."
Former NHLer Chris Chelios says year after year, Windsorites give in a big way.
"Tremendous showing in support of the Probert family and the cause," Chelios says. "This is just the Windsor community showing their support for Bob, with the foundation, and just shows what a tight-knit group these Windsor people can be."
Proceeds will support Hotel Dieu Grace Health's Cardiac Wellness Program which sees 25,000 visits a year.
From the Pictou News's Kevin Adshade:
Joey MacDonald was recalling his first NHL game, when the Detroit Red Wings brought him up from the minors to back up goaltender Curtis Joseph.
When he looked around him as he sat at the end of the bench, the names on the backs of those red-and-white sweaters – Federov, Hull, Robitaille, Chelios, Lidstrom and Yzerman – represented a dazzling group of names, a modern day Murderer’s Row, Detroit style.
“I remember looking down the bench and seeing those guys and going, ‘what am I doing here?’” he said with a smile on Saturday outside Hector Arena in Pictou, where he would soon join a group of youngsters for some indoor ball hockey.
In 133 NHL games with Detroit, Boston, Toronto, Calgary and the New York Islanders, MacDonald’s won-lost record was 44-61-55, with two shutouts. He looks back most fondly at his time in the Motor City, where he spent nine seasons with the Red Wings organization (stints of six and three years).
“Every NHL team I played for treated me good, but there’s no team like Detroit. I spent close to nine seasons there (two different stints) and they treated me really well.”
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