The Malik Report
Updated at 3:30 PM: Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment CEO Chris Ilitch gave a long interview to WDFN's Matt Sheppard this morning, discussing the Wings' arena project and Ilitch Holdings' plans for the surrounding economic development at significant length:
The most important part of the interview for me as a Wings fan? Chris states that his father is the one who's still quite active in the workings of the Tigers and Red Wings, and that Chris deals with other matters. That certainly changes the, "Why things are the way they are" equation.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The message to him from the Red Wings is that he has an opportunity in training camp to make the team, a rarity for a club that rarely skips a step in the developmental cycle.
“Every player wants to rush the process,” Mantha said when we chatted after the camp. “It would be a lie telling you I want to play in Grand Rapids next year. For sure, I want to start in Detroit.”
And then there was 22-year-old Russian defenseman Alexey Marchenko, not on the ice but continuing his progress from the ankle injury that ended his AHL season. Detroit whiffed on adding a right-handed shot defensemen in free agency, with Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen picking the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals over Detroit.
Unless Ken Holland pulls off a trade, which doesn’t happen often during Holland’s summers, Marchenko has a chance to take advantage of the lack of right-handed shots in the Detroit defense corps. He has the approval of Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, who ran the camp. Marchenko isn’t a great skater but he’s smart and makes good decisions.
“Before he got injured, I thought he was one of our best D, night in and night out in Grand Rapids,” said Blashill, who said he projected as a potential top-four NHL defenseman. “He’s an extremely efficient defenseman. He defends great, moves the puck great, creates offense without a lot of risk and to me those are the best kind of defensemen.”
more and you will be able to read for free the information on the Wings, but for the rest of the Atlantic Division, you will need to be an ESPN Insider...
As Paul noted, long-time Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek has been named the head coach of the Korean National Team this morning, and Paek spoke with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about the move:
Paek will remain with Grand Rapids through next week, and serve as lead instructor for the Griffins’ annual youth hockey camp at Griff’s IceHouse.
“It was a really hard decision,” said Paek, who was in Seoul for three days last week. “Detroit and Grand Rapids, that’s been pretty much my whole career. Nine years. My family is here and it has been everything to me here.”
The Detroit organization and Griffins coach Jeff Blashill will begin a search for a new lead assistant. The Griffins are also still looking to replace second assistant Spiros Anastas, who left after the season to become coach at University of Lethbridge.
Wallner continues, and I really mean this when I say that it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Via RedWingsFeed, I've never understood the hubbub about the Pistons moving back downtown to join the Red Wings in their new arena--without a separate practice facility for both teams in the offing (and there are no practice facility plans on the table), you've got all sorts of complications in terms of scheduling sporting events, never mind handicapping the rink's ability to host entertainment events--but the post-"District Detroit"-unveiling chatter included a significant amount of, "The teams will share the same facility!" chatter.
According to the Detroit News's Vincent Goodwill, the improbable and nearly logistically-impossible will remain that:
Mark Barnhill, senior partner at Platinum Equity, issued a statement Tuesday reflecting the sentiments of Pistons owner Tom Gores, in light of the Ilitch family unveiling plans for a $650 million entertainment district downtown.
The Pistons are the lone pro sports team in Detroit that isn't downtown, and they are not currently weighing the possibility of moving from The Palace of Auburn Hills, Barnhill said.
"We have a beautiful arena, and we have invested tens of millions of dollars over the past three years to modernize and improve that facility," said Barnhill in the statement. "At the same time, we would never close the door on alternatives if they made good sense for our fans, for our team, for our business and for Michigan."
That's a no.
Red Wings early overnight report: Zengerle unofficially signed; TV talk & development camp leftovers
Updated 2x at 8:43 AM:
It's not the possibly imminent and possibly not imminent re-signing of Tomas Tatar, but the University of Wisconsin's made official a signing I'd mentioned last Friday--the Griffins' signing of a speedy playmaking forward named Mark Zengerle--and I quote from the University of Wisconsin Badgers' press release:
Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) will be gainfully employed come this fall as Wisconsin hockey’s top assist man from the last four seasons has signed a one-year contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. Grand Rapids is the top minor-league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.
It ends an illustrious collegiate career for Zengerle, whose 162 career points are the most at UW since head coach Mike Eaves took over the program in 2002. The point total also ranks 24th in Wisconsin history. His 125 assists are the seventh-most in program history.
Amongst today's Red Wings-related news stories:
Via TMR reader Stephan Held, Tomas Tatar spoke with "Plus One Day's" Marian Korbel, and after a decent string of Slovak press stories saying, "ZOMG Tatar hasn't been re-signed yet what will happen?" Tatar cleared the air regarding his contract negotiations with the Wings. What follows is very roughly translated:
It's not quite feast or famine--the Red Wings summer news cycle has been ridiculously busy--but this morning's crop of Wings-related news is slowly shifting back toward "summertime news."
The Detroit News wasn't lucky enough to reap the "exclusive" scoops Ilitch Holdings provided the Free Press and Crain's Detroit Business on Sunday morning, but they've caught up over the past 36 hours, and today, they've posited an editorial regarding the "District Detroit." Given that the News has a red banner for a reason, they're bullish on the construction jobs, the business and real estate boosts the project could provide to the City:
Pavel Datsyuk's hockey school in the Moscow suburb of Zelenograd wrapped up on Saturday, but AllHockey.ru posted a quintet of post-school articles today. Both Allhockey and Datsyuk partnered with the Russian cell phone comapny Megafon--and Ilya Bryzgalov--to hold a centralized skater and goaltender-blended school.
Allhockey's Alexander Shapiro first discusses the school as a whole, reporting that the KHL's TV network plans on releasing a 7-part series of 7-minute vignettes this fall, and Shapiro states that CSKA Moscow GM Sergei Fedorov visited the school during its second day;
I would generally just update the afternoon rink post to keep things in one place (see: Sunday morning's post about the rink proposal and the overnight report regarding the balance of the "District Detroit" project), but this trio of stories/interviews merit their own "update" entry.
First, Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Neal Ruhl and Mark Champion on Monday afternoon, and Wilson hasn't really weighed in on the project yet--a project that's "his baby" to some extent--so this is a must-listen...
Amongst this evening's Red Wings-related news stories:
Is it a little weird that Fox Sports Detroit's Darren Eliot addressed the Red Wings' free agency strikeouts, the team's lateral re-signings, Jimmy Howard's need to bounce back this upcoming seasonand Mike Babcock and Ken Holland's respective contract situations on July 21st, all over the course of a 14-minute interview with WDFN's Art Regner?
Not this summer. I keep waiting for things to "slow down," and from a personal perspective, I keep waiting to hear which cocah will flank Mike Babcock's left (toward the defense) shoulder, how much money and term the team will end up giving Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar, and whether Daniel Alfredsson will continue playing (sorry, Nashville, he's not coming to Tennessee)...
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.