The Malik Report
This evening's crop of Red Wings-related news isn't paricularly lush, but it is somebody's 35th birthday today...
The release of the NHL's 2013-2014 schedule and the announcement of its participation in the 2014 Olympics have yielded numerous roster-pegging-downs (and news that the U.S. Olympic team and possibly even the Canadian one won't skate at their "summer camps" due to insurance issues).
I grew up as the son of a probation officer who worked for first the City of Detroit and then Wayne County and the State of Michigan in the baddest of the "bad old days" for the city, in the 70's, 80's and early 90's.
Back in the day, Detroit really was "the Murder City," and, governmentally speaking, Coleman Young's Detroit and Ed McNamara's Wayne County was where tax money went to die. The scale, breadth and pure brazenness with which literally billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars were redirected from projects supposedly designed to help the residents of a city where a thousand people were murdered every year and a county rife with poverty even during much better times...
The NHL's annual "schedule release day" is obviously designed to spur season-ticket sales and yield a middle-of-the-summer PR boost for the league and its respective teams, and for the Red Wings and their fans, the new schedule certainly serves as the most visceral reminder that the team is now an Eastern Conference one (though I'm a little puzzled as to how a division where four of the seven teams border parts of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway are somehow "Atlantic").
It was also something of a relief to know that the NHL will take part in the 2014 Olympics, though the IIHF's release read more like, "We're marginally pleased to be sending NHL players to the war-torn Caucasus Peninsula, though we're still pissed off at the NHL because we think they're giant dicks" than anything else.
One's "must-see" games depend on your priorities and personal preferences, however.
Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related stories:
- So the IIHF posited a press release and Olympic schedule after reaching an agreement with the NHL, NHLPA and IOC regarding NHL player participation in the 2014 Olympics, which will take place in Sochi, Russia. Given that Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco (Slovakia), Jonathan Ericsson (a probable but not "lock" candidate), Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg [and Daniel Aflredsson!] (Sweden) have already taken part in their countries' respective Olympic summer camps, and given that Pavel Datsyuk's going to take part in Russia's Olympic summer camp later this month, the Wings will obviously be well-represented at the Olympic games--and, as MLive's Brendan Savage notes, the Wings are likely to have other Olymmpic participants, too:
Updated 9x at 2:28 PM: The NHL has released its 2013- 2014 season schedule, and the Red Wings' schedule is available now. The NHL will be playing in the "Atlantic" Division; the other Eastern Conference division will be called the "Metropolitan" Division, and the Western ones remain "Central" and "Pacific."
Update: Here's the sked from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
from RIA Novosti,
CSKA Moscow missed the chance to sign Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk for the 2014-15 season, the KHL team's general manager told R-Sport on Friday.
Sergei Fedorov, himself a former NHL star with 1,248 appearances from 1990 through 2009, said he sat down with Datsyuk just days before he inked a three-year extension with Detroit last month.
"Unfortunately for us, Pavel extended his contract with Detroit," Fedorov said. "I had a meeting with him a few days before the signing. We had the chance to get Pavel in a year's time, but as a person who knows what the NHL is all about, I understand perfectly well why he did what he did," Fedorov said.
"He said: 'I want to grow as a player and I think that for me the best option is to stay in the NHL.'"
I lived near Michigan Stadium for six years, and I can tell you for a fact that its status as a "dry" facility has never taken away from the ability of its spectators to enjoy games while feeling a little "merry" (and I can tell you for a fact that the former frat boys in their 40's act dumber than the 19-year-olds on their sixth or seventh buzz of a fooball Saturday-four-day weekend [ah yes, where drinking begins on Thursday])...
But the NHL stands to make some serious loot by both selling liquor and the rights to provide that liquor at the 2014 Winter Classic, so AnnArbor.com's Kellie Woodhouse's report that the University of Michigan's Board of Regents repeated last year's vote to allow liquor to be solid inside the Big House is indeed big news:
So my theory goes like this: aside from the NHL attempting to negotiate a 2014 Olympic participation agreement with the ever-slow-moving International Olympic Committee, the plucky IIHF, the NHLPA and of course the Russian government, the NHL decided that it'd get in on the "Sharknado" buzz by choosing a natural disaster-based-name to generate excitement about its 2013-2014 regular season schedule, which must not be released before the parameters of an Olympic participation agreement are hashed out.
Regrettably, according to my non-existent sock puppet sources, the NHL had to choose a natural disaster at random, and when Gary Bettman's hand came out of the hat, he'd found out that he'd picked the Dense Fog Advisory.
I've kind of sat on this story because Red Wings GM Ken Holland has made it abundantly clear that the NHL's general managers have gone into "summer vacation" mode, and that the problem won't resolve itself (surprise!) until training camp...
But the Red Wings are going to exceed the salary cap--and they can spend as much as 10% over the $64.3 million "upper limit" to retain the services of RFA's Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson--and are going to end up with sixteen or seventeen signed forwards (depending on what happens with clearing a spot off the 50-man roster and whether that yields bringing back Daniel Cleary) by the time training camp starts, and given that the team will need to both get into "cap compliance" and whittle their roster down to 23 men (likley 7 defensemen, 2 goalies and 14 forwards) by the last day of the exhibition season.
The Detroit Red Wings' summer development camp's ended, but prospect profiles continue to roll out (which ain't a bad thing). The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindneau penned an article discussing one of the Wings' top prospects in one Ryan Sproul, who's more than ready to turn pro after an absolutely dominant season with the Ontario Hockey League's Soo Greyounds:
“It’s just another step up from the OHL,” he said of his time with the Griffins. “I played in two games of the regular season and then I was with them for some of the playoffs. The experience was great and it should help me coming into this year.”
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.