The Malik Report
Updated at 8:17 AM: The Red Wings and almost a dozen other NHL teams will begin pursuing a prototypical power forward today, someone who can add size, grit and especially goal-scoring acumen to the equation…And his name is Shane Doan. The Free Press’s Helene St. James isn’t sure whether Doan is really willing to leave Phoenix, despite his declaration that the potential ballot initiative designed to sink the Coyotes’ sale may very well be approved today, but she does believe that one of the Red Wings’ greatest antagonists of late will call the 35-year-old forward to see whether he’d be interested in playing the reverse snowbird’s role:
If Shane Doan is willing to listen, the Red Wings will pitch hard for him to come to Detroit. Doan has been an unrestricted free agent for more than a week, but his situation is different because he has been waiting to see how the ownership and arena situation in Glendale, Ariz., will play out. That is supposed to be cleared up today, though the issues could drag on into mid-July.
As of a few days ago, Doan let it be known he’d start taking offers from other teams this week. The Wings will make one, knowing Doan doesn’t want to leave Phoenix. In all likelihood, he’ll end up signing a one-year deal with the Coyotes, just in case the franchise ends up relocating.
Updated at 10:37 PM: I don’t know about you, but even from Traverse City, even having seen Ken Holland, Ryan Martin, Jim Nill and Mike Babcock focus their energies on watching the Red Wings’ prospect development camp, and even knowing that the free agent market has ground down to a slow crawl...
I can’t help but feel that the other shoe has yet to drop, at least for the Red Wings. The market is so stagnant right now that we could very well be waiting until August to see what the vats majority of this year’s remaining players are—players who have, in previous years, had to wait until late July or August to sign on with teams for less than they’d hoped as they’re either reclamation projects or come all but tattooed with red flags—and in that sense, part of me feels like the clock’s ticking toward an alarm call whose time we don’t yet know (though the guessing game seems fruitless at best and tiresome at worst).
But this afternoon’s session of on-ice activities at the Red Wings’ development camp was one for the teaching coach in attendance, for a very simple reason: while its structure all but mirrored the morning session, its tone was completely different.
Via RedWingsFeed, I was wondering why MLive’s Brendan Savage was furiously writing away on his laptop, and here’s the reason: Savage has the scoop as to why free agent defenseman and Western Univeristy of Michigan junior Danny DeKeyser isn’t at the Red Wings’ summer development camp, and he clarifies why Calle Jarnkrok (took part in the World Championships) and Gustav Nyquist aren’t here as well:
He wasn’t going to go to any camps this year,” assistant general manager Jim Nill said this morning. “Every team is after him. He decided not to go into any camps. He wanted to focus on training. He was here last year.”
DeKeyser decided to remain at WMU, where he’s played the last two years, and hone his skills for at least one more season rather than giving the NHL a shot.
On a suspiciously quiet day in Traverse City—it may be Sunday, but during the Cherry Festival, I’d expect both rinks at Centre Ice Arena to be hopping with activity, not with one rink darkened, the rink the Red Wings’ prospects use “blocked off” from concourse view via what are essentially tarps, and certainly not with the concession stand closed—the Detroit Red Wings’ prospects got down to the business of learning how to train and play like professional hockey players today.
From what I heard, yesterday’s scrimmage was more of a “getting to know you” event to shake the rust off than anything else—and there’s lots of “getting to know” for the 15 new draft picks or try-outs—so the start of split morning and afternoon sessions marked the return of the same old, same old for players like Brendan Smith, Brian Lashoff, Mitchell Callahan and Thomas McCollum, but there’s always something to be said for the looks of utter shock on draft pick and first-timers’ faces when they see Tomas Storm’s stick drills or Andy Weidenbach’s power skating drills in action.
This is what happens when you sit in the stands instead of spending your time at the north end of the rink, where players and front office types come and go: MLive’s Brendan Savage is confirming the news from Aftonbladet that the Red Wings have indeed agreed to bring Nicklas Lidstrom into the fold as an amateur scout:
Assistant general manager Jim Nill confirmed this morning that Lidstrom will remain with the Red Wings as a scout, most likely overseas near his native Sweden.
“We haven’t really sat down (and determined) to what extent but he’ll be in the organization and do everything he can to help us out,” Nill said today during the morning session of the Red Wings prospects camp at Centre Ice Arena. “We might bring him back here. It depends on the situation. His terms. We wanted to keep him in the organization.”
On a morning where Hockeysverige’s Uffe Bodin and Hokejportal.net’s Andrej Cicman are wondering aloud whether the Red Wings have finally reached the end of their 21-year streak of playoff appearances, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons offers an English-language version thereof:
Before I lay my head down for a few hours and then prepare for that awful 6 AM alarm, here’s a brief summary of the Red Wings news I missed over the past 36 hours. Done a little quickly and on a no-particular order source-by-source basis…
Well, okay, except for the beginning. ESPN’s Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun had a chat about the Red Wings as potential suitors for Rick Nash, just as the Score’s Chris Lund wondered aloud whether the wings would be interested in Jay Bouwmeester and his gigantor $6.68 million cap hit, and just as Sportsline’s Brian Stubits’ suggestion that the Red Wings are a free agent “loser” got talked up by the Free Press and MLive for doing just that.
I just got in to Traverse City, so I’ll have more on this later, but, via NHL Gossip on Twitter, here is former Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom speaking to Aftonbladet’s Angelica Lundberg about the one exception he will make to the, “I just want to be a hockey dad” rule:
Question: What will you do to occupy yourself?
Nicklas Lidstrom: “I will work for the Red Wings. The idea’s that I’ll look around at some players that the team’s drafted here in Sweden. It’ll be a kind of amateur scouting, but I will also go back to the States a few times a year and meet sponsors. When I’m there, I’ll also attend various events with the team. I’ll also keep following Detroit because the - team wants me to know what’s happening and be able to come up with my views on the game.
Thank you for both your concerns and criticism regarding my decision to not attend the first day of the Wings’ development camp. As it turns out, had I gotten an earlier start today, I would have made the one skate the gents took in the afternoon, but after some much-needed rest on Friday and Saturday morning, I got my errands and shopping done and chose to drive up here.
I am sorry about not fulfilling the entirety of my bargain, but both your kind words and critiques were the reason I chose to not wait until Monday to come up: you have asked me to provide a service, and have donated to the cause, and as such, it is my responsibility to deliver what I have promised. So here I am in Traverse City, and I will take a quick look-see to add what I can before going to bed early as 6 AM comes far too early for this night owl.
Not super news, gang. I’m getting a very late start and will have to head up to Traverse city either later tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m excited about going and raring to go mentally, but I’m still exhausted from UFA shenanigans and don’t have the energy to get on the road right away. I’m not bailing, not depressed, none of that stuff, but I just don’t have the juice to get on the road this afternoon. I’m very sorry. S*** happens.
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.