The Malik Report
Updated 13x at 6:46 PM: The Detroit Red Wings are preparing to face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST, FSD Plus/FS Ohio/NHL Network/1270 AM), and gauging from MLive's Ansar Khan's Tweets from the morning skate, we shouldn't expect much in the way of personnel changes on the Wings' behalf:
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms...
The Detroit News's Terry Foster reports that a former Flint Generals player is trying to build the game of hockey in the City of Detroit, and at Jack Adams Arena, African American hockey players will play in a tournament this weekend whose aim is to spread the belief that hockey truly is for everyone:
McCrimmon is a big proponent of inner-city hockey, having grown up in Detroit and played pro hockey overseas. And this weekend, he's showcasing the inaugural "Black Ice Invitational" at Jack Adams Arena and Clark Park on Detroit's southwest side. Games begin at 5:50 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
There are only four teams — from Columbus and Washington D.C., and two from Detroit — but McCrimmon is hoping to give the sport a boost in Detroit.
And he's made inroads. Black kids no longer look at him cross-eyed when he talks hockey. "I hope the (football) coaches are not mad at me," McCrimmon said. "(Some players we recruit) were mostly guys who played football and like to hit. Hockey is a sport where you get to hit."
The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to break a 4-game winless streak tonight against an opponent that always plays up to the level of its competition in the Columbus Blue Jackets (7:30 PM EST, FSD Plus/FS Ohio/WXYT AM/NHL Network--that means another Center Ice/GCL blackout), and while the Red Wings received some rare good news on the injury front regarding Jimmy Howard--who smartly took himself out of Tuesday's loss to Nashville when symptoms of "blurry vision" appeared--the Wings found out that Mikael Samuelsson's going to miss at least two weeks with a broken left index finger, and MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Johan Franzen (hip flexor), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Brendan Smith (shoulder) are all likely to return during the Wings' road trip on February 27th and 28th than they are to return during Detroit's 3 games-in-4-nights stretch.
Tonight's Military Appreciation Night at the Joe, but the 7-6-and-3 Wings' "general" manager broke ranks and did the least intelligent thing the most honest and forthright GM in hockey (most of the time) GM in hockey could do during an extended stretch of underwhelming efforts by his team:
Updated at 8:46 PM: Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' confirmation...
The Detroit Red Wings have caught a big break on the injury front, as starting goaltender Jimmy Howard has been cleared to play.
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that "all tests have shown nothing," and that Howard will be available to play Thursday when the Wings host Columbus.
The Free Press's Helene St. James broke the news that Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson's out for at least two weeks with a broken left index finger, and now we'll turn things over to MLIve's Ansar Khan, who reports that Wings GM Ken Holland doesn't believe that Jimmy Howard's injury is one worth losing sleep over (the team seems to believe that Howard's decision to take himself out for precautionary reasons when experiencing "blurry vision" during last night's loss to Nashville was a wise one), and Khan offers other injury updates as well:
"[Howard] had a great morning skate (Tuesday), felt good all afternoon, had a good warmup,'' Holland said. "Then, in the game, he felt blurry. When you have that you have to go through all the tests.''
Howard left at 11:22 of the first period in the 4-3 overtime loss at Nashville.
Also from Khan:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke to the Fan 590's Hockeycentral at Noon crew on Wednesday, addressing everything from Mikael Samuelsson and Jimmy Howard's statuses (out for 2 weeks and "iffy," respectively) to his team's performance in their first post-Nicklas Lidstrom season, the injury parade that's beset the Wings, Pavel Datsyuk's dekes and dangles and his take on improving the Wings down the line:
The interview's over 12 minutes long, and Holland speaks quickly, so expect to need to re-listen to it.
Update: Sportsnet posted the most important part of Holland's commentary, at least as it applies to possible personnel moves:
I spent a significant chunk of last night's recap wondering whether Valtteri Filppula's playing his way out of town given his status as an unrestricted free agent-to-be, the salary cap going down this summer while several of the Wings' top prospects are coming off their entry-level deals, given the NHL-readiness of players like Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar, and especially given that the struggling Filppula could be parlayed into part of a package for a much-needed top-pair defenseman.
Today, the Free Press's Helene St. James calls Filppula out , suggesting that he may have been the non-Jakub Kindl-centered target of Wings coach Mike Babcock's suggestion that several players didn't show up prepared to play, and she wonders where FIlppula's future lies with the Wings, and whether he can salvage his career in Detroit before it's too late:
Updated 7x at 1:39 PM: Not good not good, from the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Ugh. The Red Wings lost Mikael Samuelsson to a possibly broken left hand before yesterday night's loss to Nashville, and Jimmy Howard had to leave the game due to "blurry vision, yielding a boatload of worry for Red Wings fans. At this point, we'd all just like to learn what's going on with said players, but, via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Brendan Savage reports that Wings GM Ken Holland has no timeline in terms of finding out what ails both players:
"I don't even know when they're going to see the doctor. Some point in time today," Holland said. "The way it usually happens is if there's anything significant that happens, they usually call me. If it's not significant, I usually hear tomorrow morning. I don't know when I'm going to know."
Holland said if he hasn't heard anything by this afternoon he'll reach out to trainer Piet Van Zant to get an update. Samuelsson said after the game in Nashville that his hand was painful, more so when he moved it than when he did not.
"The hand ... with Mike Samuelsson, whatever it is today it is tomorrow," Holland said.
Two more Red Wings-related stories popped up this morning, and they might as well be squeezed into this entry. RedWingsCentral's Matthew Wuest took note of Landon Ferraro's resurgent play with the Grand Rapids Griffins in his weekly prospect report (which is big news given that the injuries Ferraro suffered as a junor-aged player reduced his status to something of an afterthought in many scouts' eyes)...
Via Michigan Hockey, I'm not sure whether this qualifies as "news," but the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran reports that the 2014 Winter Classic will indeed reprise of the 2013-scheduled events both before and during the main attraction, a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI:
It’s all still very hush-hush, but the Maple Leafs and Red Wings will indeed play next January in the NHL’s next instalment of the Winter Classic.
This year’s game, scheduled for New Year’s Day, was cancelled due to the lockout. It was expected to draw 110,000 fans.
But the Star has learned that the NHL is closing in on final talks with officials at the University of Michigan for use of its football stadium, and with the Detroit Tigers for use of Comerica Park in what would be a weeklong festival of hockey capped of by the NHL game.
“My guess is we will officially announce plans in early spring,” a source told the Star.
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.