The Malik Report
Both the Red Wings and Avalanche got their one practice on Coors Field's ice surface on Friday afternoon--as there is no morning skate tomorrow--and the Avs preceded the Wings onto the ice:
Updated at 2:36 PM: From the Denver Post's Terry Frei:
Darren McCarty realizes he might draw a few boos at the Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game Friday night at Coors Field.
"Oh, I expect it," the former Detroit winger said with a smile Friday morning. "If I don't, I'm going to be disappointed. I'll be (mad) if I don't get booed, put it that way. You want me to come into the crowd? Don't boo me!"
McCarty, one of the central figures in the most heated moments of the rivalry's heyday, was talking in the same Four Seasons Hotel meeting room where ex-Avalanche winger Claude Lemieux appeared a few minutes earlier.
As Lemieux had discussed Thursday, the two have buried the hatchet — and whatever else was a remnant of their role in the rivalry.
"I'm good with Claude," McCarty said. "I always said I don't condone what he did on the ice and I would do the same thing again and it didn't matter who it was. But as a human being, he's a good dude. Who is on the ice is not who he is off the ice. I can say this 20 years later. I didn't meet him until probably six years ago, and I've held this for a lot of years...
"We've talked and conversed and we're men, we have kids the same age. Actually, we found out our daughters actually were in the same class together in California, so it's a small world and I wish him the best. It's great to sit and talk with him. I also got to sit down and have a great conversation with Ray Bourque last night. It's Ray Bourque! Ray Bourque knows who I am!"
Update: The Free Press's George Sipple posted a video of Patrick Roy discussing the Alumni Game:
From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:
Goals may not solely define success for the Griffins' Tyler Bertuzzi, but his recent run of scoring doesn't hurt his confidence, either.
The second-year forward, who struggled mightily to start of the season, is in the midst of his best production to date. He has a goal in five of the past seven games, including three in a row, as the Griffins prepare to host Iowa on Friday.
That's a good sign for Bertuzzi, who now has eight goals after starting the season scoreless his first 26 games. When he scores, the Griffins also usually win (7-2-0-0).
"It's confidence, getting accustomed to playing and the surroundings and knowing where he fits in," said coach Todd Nelson. "He has the skills to score, no question, but he has a lot of grit and he gives us some of that physical presence we need."
Somehow, this isn't surprising, per CBS Detroit's Evan Jankens:
Friday night, the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche are ready to face off one more time in the Alumni game.
Former member of the 1996 Avalanche team Adam Foote did a radio interview with Schlereth and Evans on 104.3 The Fan in Denver. He was asked, “Out of all of those guys on Detroit who is the one guy you want to punch in the face?” “Draper for sure,” Foote said.
He didn’t stop there and elaborated on why he felt that way.
“Well you know, when that whole deal went down I think in game 6, we won the first series the first year we won the cup in 96 is when it all went down. Lemieux hit draper from behind, it was kind of an awkward position. Lemieux was frustrated simply because the way the game was going. Detroit knew they were going to lose that series. Bowman was setting the table for the following years, in my opinion. Earlier in that game I got hit from behind with [Vyacheslav] Kozlov and that took 20 stitches.”
"How I feel about Lemieux, honestly, I don't know him," Draper said. "We never talked about that and I don't feel (anything) about him, I guess. It was 20 years ago. I think it defined me as a person and as a hockey player and created a heck of a rivalry with two high-end organizations, and a lot of people embraced it.
"In the end that Colorado-Detroit series defined a lot of us as hockey players through '96-97 and '02. You hated them and I got to figure when they had the same feeling. That's what made those games so special."
Khan posted a video of Draper's comments:
From the NHL:
2016 COORS LIGHT NHL STADIUM SERIES™ BY THE NUMBERS
DENVER, COLO. (Feb. 26, 2016) – A look at the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Colorado Avalanche® and Detroit Red Wings® “By the Numbers.”
1 First-ever NHL® outdoor regular-season game played by the Colorado Avalanche. They become the 21st NHL team to participate in such a game.
4 Career outdoor games played by Red Wings forward Brad Richards, tied for most all-time.
5 The Avalanche and Red Wings combined to win five Stanley Cup® championships in a seven-year period from 1996 through 2002. Colorado captured titles in 1996 and 2001, Detroit in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
What the rivalry once was, and all it was, will be commemorated Friday in the Avalanche-Red Wings alumni game at Coors Field. Roy, now the Avalanche coach, will start in the Colorado net after donning the gear and practicing — often with his own team — for several weeks.
"I'm there to enjoy myself," Roy said this week. "That's the No. 1 thing. I had my career. Yes, I love to compete, but I'm not that crazy. I love it, but at the same time, I'm going there to have fun. That's the main thing, and renew with those players, the guys from Detroit, the guys from (Colorado). I think it's going to be simply fun. That's how I look at it. When the game starts, you never know how it could turn, but that's not the objective."
Will he stay in his crease this time?
"Yes, I will," Roy said, smiling.
Lemieux traveled to Denver on Thursday from his home in Newport Beach, Calif.
"I haven't been training much and haven't had much time to skate," he said. "I've been on the ice a couple of times the last six months, so that part of it isn't going to be anything great, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the guys."
Former Colorado defenseman Adam Foote — who had notorious nose-to-nose (and more) confrontations with Detroit winger Brendan Shanahan, now the Toronto Maple Leafs' president — still lives in the Denver area.
added 8:54am, Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes on Steve Yzerman playing tonight...
from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,
The annual Red Wings luncheon with the Detroit Economic Club often provides for some let-your-hair-down moments.
Such as …
* Justin Abdelkader said Thursday it’s easier standing in front of the net playing with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg because their shots are not hard.
* Dylan Larkin said he hopes Andreas Athanasiou does not land in the speed skating skills competition at the All-Star Game next year, because the new competition might challenge the record he set this year.
* Four days short of the trade deadline, Ken Holland said he preferred being general manager in the NHL before the salary cap led to parity. The new rules put an end to free-wheeling spending on free agents and forced teams to wait to the last possible moment at the trade deadline to decide if they are buyers or sellers.
continue for notes, quotes, etc....
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
I reached out to hockey fans on Twitter to see who could come up with the most logical “Who says no?” scenario for the biggest trade week of the year, with the promise that I would run them by an executive. We’d give the executive final call on which side of the deal would shoot it down, while also giving his thoughts on the likelihood of such a deal.
On Wednesday, a well-respected senior hockey executive agreed to play along, if granted anonymity. The result of the exercise was not only fun, but also pretty revealing:...
The trade: The Red Wings send forward Gustav Nyquist to the Ducks for defenseman Sami Vatanen.
The thought process: The Ducks are loaded with young defensemen and need help at forward. The Red Wings are loaded with young forwards and need help on defense.
Who says no? “I can see both teams making this deal,” said the exec. “I like this one. Anaheim has a surplus of young defensemen. They’re not going to be able to keep them all. I know they’re extremely enamored with [defenseman] Josh Manson. If you can trade a winger for a young defenseman, those are deals you do, if you’re Detroit. Detroit has age on its blue line. Niklas Kronwall is not getting younger, Mike Green is an older guy. If you can get a young defenseman like that for the next 10 years, you do it. I think that deal helps both teams. Anaheim is looking to bolster their forward group. That’s the kind of deal Anaheim is looking to make.”
more NHL proposals (paid subscription)
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
It'll be Andreas Athanasiou's first outdoor game since he was a kid growing up in Ontario.
"You always go on the outdoor rinks or ponds and get a group of buddies and throw your sticks in the middle and set up the team," Athanasiou said. "It'll bring back memories.
"I think it's so exciting. You see the atmosphere there, you don't get that every day, so it's something you have to appreciate."
It will be Alexey Marchenko's second outdoor game as pro – he played for the Grand Rapids Griffins at Comerica Park two years ago.
"I think it's going to be great," Marchenko said. "A lot of my friends are going to come. Always great to play outdoor game. Great atmosphere, lots of people, should be fun."
The Red Wings were scheduled to fly to Denver Thursday afternoon and practice Friday at Coors Field – home of baseball's Colorado Rockies.
Weather could be an issue. Temperatures are expected to top 70 degrees during the day Saturday but dip to the mid-30s at night.
more including Dylan Larkin on playing in the game.
The Wings were at a Detroit Economic luncheon today, then flying off to Denver.
The Free Press's George Sipple and Helene St. James penned articles discussing, respectively, Darren McCarty's state of being, and Kris Draper's conversation with a certain Claude Lemieux last June, for business' sake.
First, from Sipple...
A few months ago, when Darren McCarty began to practice for Friday’s Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game in Denver, it was the best Draper had seen his old Grind Line mate in years. McCarty told Draper then that he had quit drinking again. He told the Free Press recently that he’s in a good spot in his life at age 43 largely because of it.
“That’s my demon,” McCarty said of drinking. “It had to be me. My wife had been supportive, and it had to come to a point to me. Got tired of feeling like it was owning me. I’ve had different stints. This one is different, I think. I feel differently now anyways.”
McCarty said one reason for that is he’s “properly medicated and blessed to live in the state of Michigan.”
He said medical marijuana has helped him immensely.
“It saved my life,” he said. “I’d be dead without it.”
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