The Malik Report
Red Wings overnight report: welcome to the intersection of lies, rumors, innuendo & thought balloons
We’ve reached the middle of June, and are exactly one week from the first round of the Entry Draf…I mean 2012 draft, and two weeks and a day from the start of free agency, and I would like to posit a suggestion this morning: we’ve reached the intersection where, as the Montreal Gazette’s Jack Todd would put it, “Lies, rumors & vicious innuendo” are regularly colliding with what I call “thought balloon” articles.
What do I mean? Well, on Wednesday, Zach Parise’s comments about wanting to remain a Devil resulted in widespread speculation, suggestions that he might join the Los Angeles Kings from Pierre LeBrun of all people (after the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons posited the idea) and former North Stars GM Lou Nanne dancing around tampering rules by insisting that no one would out-bid the Minnesota Wild for Parise (and presumably Ryan Suter’s) services per a dinner conversation with Wild owner Craig Leipold.
Given the comments made by CSN Northeast’s Joe Haggerty that NHL fans must mandatorily begin shaking in their sneakers because Donald Fehr’s clearly going to stare down the NHL’s perfectly reasonable suggestion to hack 7% of a $3-plus-billion business’s proceeds off players’ paychecks, I’m very happy to read the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau not only suggesting that fans might be better-advised to check out the validity of the claims made by the NHL, Gary Bettman and the owners both prior to the 2004-2005 lockout and thereafter when determining whether one should swallow everything Gary Bettman and Bill Daly say about the supposed un-sustainability of the NHL under a business model its owners locked players and fans out for an entire season to essentially craft themselves, with NHLPA sycophant Ted Saskin simply smiling and nodding all along the way:
As the Free Press’s Helene St. James has noted, well, on her Twitter account, Red Wings executive Kris Draper, who is now a “special assistant to the GM” (Ken Holland), has joined Twitter at @kdraper33, and despite this afternoon’s Suter/Parise scuttlebutt, which MLive’s Ansar Khan discusses in a reaction-to-story column, St. James reports that Draper’s status as a “Grind Line” legend has allowed him to join the fray without reading endless, “When are we gonna get Suter/Parise/Semin/etc.” tweets sent in his direction:
Draper, going by the handle @kdraper33, had been on for about three months, he told the Free Press, before sending his first tweets on Thursday. He was inspired by going to Wrigley Field in Chicago, site of the 2009 Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Blackhawks. Back then, Draper played for the Wings; now he’s part of their front-office.
“Brought back good memories of the winter classic and sent a tweet,” Draper texted while at the Tigers-Cubs game.
Draper added that “man, things happen fast on Twitter” as he racked up a thousand followers in the hours after his first tweets. For his profile, he used a picture of himself playing in a game against St. Louis, back when Chris Osgood played goal for the Blues.
Updated 2x at 5:58 PM: Sigh. As Bill pointed out—and yes, with the Chief thankfully back stateside after his world tour, Red Wings fans and other KK readers can expect some dueling banjos over the next couple weeks—Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio posited one of those “reports” that both exites us and kinda makes me Cringe:
While there are a number of logical reasons why the Flyers would want to pursue Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, who is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer, the question remains: Is Suter interested in them? Recall the Flyers had serious interest in Jay Bouwmeester several summer ago, but it wasn’t reciprocal. As such, they turned their attentions elsewhere by going after Chris Pronger.
According to a well-placed source, Suter has a potential list of clubs he would be willing to talk to even if his rights were traded before July 1. Suter is represented by Neil Sheehy.
Alas, the Flyers are not one of them. In fact, the source said, all of Suter’s preferred destinations, should he leave the Predators, are in the Western Conference – not the East. Detroit is generally conceded to be his top choice.
updated at 10:58 AM: Wednesday’s Red Wings news came fast and furious, and ran the gamut of subject matter, from touching tributes to Vladimir Konstantinov on the 15th anniversary of the crash that changed his life to news about the Wings’ 2012-2013 preseason schedule, a Grind Line reunion for the sake of a hockey camp, Red Wings GM Ken Holland offering some very cautiously-chosen words regarding his team’s off-season plans to the Darth Vader of hockey suggesting that a pan-European hockey league might one day fight back against the evils of the NHL, and even confirmation of the Michigan Legislature passing a waiver to allowthe sale of alcohol at Michigan Stadium during the Winter Classic…
But again and again, we came back to trying to read the lines of what New Jersey Devils Captain Zach Parise did and did not say to the media on his team’s locker room clean-out day.
Unless you’ve been waiting with baited breath to hear NHL Live’s EJ Hradek talk about Scotty Bowman’s curtain call ten years ago tonight, or perhaps hear Hradek suggest that Zach Parise should test the free agent waters, those of you who were on Twitter this afternoon probably know that Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke to NHL Live this afternoon, and here’s the video of his nine-minute interview:
Nothing earth-shattering here. He feels that the Wings can’t rely on one player to replace Nicklas Lidstrom, he says that the Wings will explore their options in free agency and via trades, hand he was disappointed in having to let Brad Stuart go, but he still believes in his team’s core. He doesn’t mention any target by name because he can’t do so—it’d be tampering.
As MLive’s Ansar Khan noted this morning, tonight marks the fifteenth anniversary of the limo crash which left Red Wings masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov paralyzed below the waist and partially paralyzed on the left side of his body, and, of course, Vladimir Konstantinov cognitively impaired all of seven days after the Red Wings celebrated their 1997 Stanley Cup championship.
While Khan’s article focused on the recollections of Konstantinov’s teammates, Yahoo Sports’ Eric Adelson spoke to Vladimir’s wife, Irina, about a player who was, at the time of the accident, a 30-year-old defenseman who was the viciously physical but no less-skilled foil to Nicklas Lidstrom:
From the Associated Press:
The Michigan Legislature has approved sale of alcohol at Michigan Stadium on New Year’s Day when the home of Wolverines’ football arena hosts a game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Senate passed the proposal Wednesday, following up on the House’s action of May 24.
The league made alcohol sales a condition for holding the outdoor NHL Winter Classic game at the Ann Arbor stadium Jan. 1, 2013. AnnArbor.com (http://bit.ly/KVs4Qy ) says the NHL is paying the university $3 million for the stadium’s use.
Officials say the game could break a Guinness World Record as the most-attended hockey game ever. The record was set at Michigan Stadium in 2010 when 104,173 attended a Michigan State-Michigan game.
Updated 3x with exciting Parise video at 6:26 PM: I was out of the office for an intolerable period of time today, so I’m not exactly surprised that New Jersey Devils forward and captain Zach Parise did not in fact tell reporters, as Red Wings fans had perhaps dreamed, that his skates were out the door and that he was packing his bags to go to Motown.
During his locker room clean-out day comments, he told the Newark Star-Ledger’s Tom Gulitti and NHL.com’s Dan Rosen that he wants to remain a Devil, and I’m not sure what else he could have possibly said. Does that mean he’ll stay in New Jersey? Not necessarily. It’s June 13th, and he, Ryan Suter and all the players who have yet to sign with their current rights-holders tend to at least find out what other teams might offer them after 11:59 AM EDT on July 1st appealing, but it’s a coin flip, statistically speaking, and it’s up to him.
Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, here’s the Red Wings’ 2012 preseason schedule, with the home games in bold:
Septempber 26 Wed Pittsburgh Penguins Consol Energy Center 7 p.m.
September. 28 Fri Chicago Blackhawks United Center 8:30 p.m.
September 29 Sat Chicago Blackhawks Joe Louis Arena 7 p.m.
September 30 Sun Washington Capitals Joe Louis Arena 5 p.m.
October 3 Wed Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Louis Arena 7:30 p.m.
October 5 Fri Toronto Maple Leafs Joe Louis Arena 7:30 p.m.
October 6 Sat Toronto Maple Leafs Air Canada Centre 7 p.m.
October 7 Sun Washington Capitals Verizon Center 5 p.m.
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.