The Malik Report
For the first time in five days, this afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related stories kicks off with something not involving the Wings' free agency signings or performance.
WWJ posted an interview with White Construction founder W. Bernard White, and W. Bernard offered a peek behind the curtain--if only a quick peek--regarding the follow-on rink's construction:
“We worked on Comerica Park, we worked on Ford Field and now we are slated to work on the hockey arena,” White said. “We’ve achieved the hat trick.”
White’s company is even lined up to build the 20 stations planned for the M-1 rail project in Detroit.
“The shovel is not in the dirt, but it will definitely be going in the dirt. That’s going to be one of the nicest hockey arenas, if not the nicest arena in the United States in my opinion,” White said. “I’m so excited to be working on that.”
We return to the inevitable, however, as CBS Sports' Brian Stubits reviewed the "offseasons" of Atlantic Division teams. Stubits points out that even after the free agency strikeout, the Wings' front office has some loose ends to tie up:
Warning, warning, this entry includes a video which may or may not auto-play!
Red Wings fans have been gloomier than a Kristen Stewart Tribute Artist convention of late, so let's try and flip the script for five sec...
Oh, wait, it turns out that 97.1 the Ticket/the Detroit News's Bob Wojnowski, 97.1 the Ticket/the Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen and Fox 2's Woody Woodriffe summarized the whole Cleary signing phenomenon perfectly, and they also discussed the Red Wings' free agency swings and misses (as if they regularly watch hockey games, what a concept!) while appearing on Fox 2's Sportsworks on Sunday evening:
I finally crashed after a week-and-a-half's worth of prospect fun and then Cleary-re-signing-delight, and Paul did a fantastic job of filling us in regarding the Wings' assistant coaching search, a certain Anthony Mantha's confidence (he's not quite as borderline arrogant as Andreas Athanasiou is [and Andreas has backed it up, too], but Mantha knows he's good), Dylan Larkin's local TV sports show debut, and in KK Hockey, we found out, not-so-shockingly, that the Hockey News's Matt Larkin's"controverisal pick" in terms of teams missing the playoffs is probably going to be the "controversial pick" to miss the playoffs in most every other prognostication-inclined hockey yearbook.
Today, NHL.com's Dan Rosen examined the free agency moves made or not made by the Atlantic Division's teams, and he looked on the bright side of this whole going-with-the-known-quantity and/or signing-someone-not-based-upon-merit thing:
The Red Wings so far have struck out this offseason, even with approximately $9.5 million in cap space to use and an obvious need for a right-handed defenseman.
They tried to get Dan Boyle, Matt Niskanen, Stephane Robidas, Stralman and Christian Ehrhoff but each signed elsewhere. The best the Red Wings have done since the free-agent market opened is re-sign Quincey.
They still want to add players through a signing or a trade and Alfredsson will either return to Detroit or retire. But the Red Wings right now appear to be the same team they were last season, minus some veterans whose roles depleted toward the end.
That may not be a terrible thing considering the emergence of Gustav Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Luke Glendenning and DeKeyser, plus the fact that they played half of last season without Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk and still made the playoffs.
For whatever reason, WXYZ's "7 Sports Cave" chose to poke the bear...
Detroit's first round draft choice Dylan Larkin joined Channel 7's Sports Cave this morning.
You can watch the interview below...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
So despite being the club's No. 1 prospect – one whose arrival is more anticipated than perhaps any other player in the Red Wings' storied history – Mantha is destined to begin his first pro season in Grand Rapids and could spend the entire year in the AHL to gain more experience....
Mantha is ready to play for the Red Wings now.
"If you ask me, I think I am," Mantha said during last week' s development camp in Traverse City. "At the end of the summer, I'll be a few pounds heavier. I think I can play there. But as I mentioned, it's (about) coming to camp, being ready and we'll see.
"I need to keep working, keep getting stronger – on the ice, off the ice. At main camp, I need to be ready mentally so if they give me a chance I need to take it right away. I'll come over here with the best thinking and we'll build off that.
"The skill level is there. I'm a tall, big guy. I think I can play there but obviously I need to be ready next year."
For their part, the Red Wings say Mantha will be given every opportunity to make the big club when he reports to training camp in September.
from Chuck Pleiness at the Oakland Press,
According to Wings general manager Ken Holland, Tom Renney is in the final stages of landing a position with Hockey Canada.
Renney spent two years as a coach with Hockey Canada, serving as the head coach of the Canadian National Team that went on to capture a silver medal at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
“Mike (Babcock) has been talking to a number of people,” Holland said during a phone interview.
Renney is up for the vacant position as president and chief executive officer, which was formerly held by Bob Nicholson.
One of the candidates the Wings have interest in is also interviewing with a few others teams before making his decision.
According to a source, one person Detroit has interviewed is Tony Granato.
I had to finally give in and crash after a very hard week's worth of work and a travel day marred by that damn Cleary signing on Thursday, so I sat out Friday's fun while Paul manned the blog...
And of everything that "went down," I have to be incredibly blunt regarding the suggestions that neither the team nor a certain Daniel Cleary have to give a flying f*** what fans think about what the team does or who it signs:
If anyone understands that the armchair GM's and fans who either love to hear themselves talk and/or want to use sports as a means by which to find an excuse to argue, people who work on sports websites and blogs know at least a little bit about walk that knife-edge's tightrope between tuning out the inevitable white noise and holding oneself accountable to constructive criticism and earnest questions about the content and form of your work.
When the reaction to the Quincey and Cleary re-signings is so unbelievably and across-the-board negative, and both the most extreme and most moderate fan voices (hi! *waves*) have responded to the latter re-signing with one voice, "putting on blinders" regarding fan opinion is just arrogant and downright dangerous.
from Art Regner of FoxSport Detroit,
When the Detroit Red Wings signed Daniel Cleary last season, I told Detroit general manager Ken Holland that it was going to be an unpopular move with the fans.
Holland looked at me and said, "Who do I listen to on Cleary, the fans or the guys in the room, my players and my coach?
"Everybody wanted me to bring Cleary back."
That was then, this is now, and not much has changed in one year.
Despite the objection of the fans, the consternation of the pundits and the dissent from within the Wings organization, Cleary is a Red Wing once again for at least another year.
I am not a fan of this move.
added 7:04pm, from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you try not to let any of the negativity or positive comments affect you,” Cleary said. “We live in the day of social media, anyone can say anything. You can’t worry about what people think. You’ve just got to go out and do what you do.”
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings have received encouraging reports on the progress of Stephen Weiss.
"(Trainer) Piet Van Zant texted him two days ago," general manager Ken Holland said. "He said he's feeling great, he's training hard; he's played some shinny (pick-up hockey). So far all reports are he's healed and ready to roll in September."
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings no longer are exploring the free-agent market for bargains, and trade talks have slowed down.
General manager Ken Holland anticipates a quiet summer.
The Red Wings are still hoping to acquire a top-four right-handed shooting defenseman through a trade. And they might sign right wing Daniel Alfredsson next month....
Holland said he'll continue working the phones trying to swing a deal for a defenseman.
"Had the odd call, but for the most part it's slowed down," Holland said. "It goes slow now for July and August. In past years once (top) free agents are off the market and money is spent things get slow."
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.