The Malik Report
Well, it appears that the pre-pre-season preview news cycle's going to involve fantasy hockey projections. Following this morning's Predators vs. Red Wings take from the Tennessean's Josh Cooper (now being promoted on USA Today's hockey page), ESPN's Robert Vollman and Craig custance offered a "Summer Skate" take on the Red Wings' fantasy hockey values (and it's an Insider-only article, sorry).
Vollman suggsts that Niklas Kronwall will shine without Nicklas Lidstrom, but Ian White won't repeate his 11-12 performance sans Lidstrom as his defensive partner, but the most important part of the entry may be its introduction...
Finishing third in their division for the first time since Sergei Fedorov's rookie season over 20 years ago, one can excuse fans who hold the unfounded fear the Wings aging lineup will finally slide out of the postseason.
Though they aren't the division title threat they recently were, the Wings still have superstars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and remain one of the league's most disciplined and possession-oriented teams.
Failing to replace Nicklas Lidstrom, not to mention Brad Stuart, will indeed make it more difficult to remain as competitive while their enviable pool of prospects develop, but not so difficult that they'll be competing for early tee times with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Though Custance's take on Damien Brunner's possible presence as an x-factor of sorts is intriguing, too:
From the Red Wings' PR department:
GOALIE CHRIS OSGOOD WINS LATEST ROUND OF OPERATION: BOBBLEHEAD – ALUMNI EDITION
… Online Balloting Recommences Tomorrow at DetroitRedWings.com …
Detroit, MI… Three-time Stanley Cup champion Chris Osgood, one of only ten goaltenders in NHL history to have won 400 career games, has emerged victorious from the latest round of voting in Operation: Bobblehead – Alumni Edition, an ongoing campaign charged with determining which former Hockeytown greats will be immortalized in the form of a collectible 6 ½ inch polyresin figurine during the upcoming NHL season. Bobbleheads depicting Osgood, Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, Steve Yzerman and Vladimir Konstantinov will be distributed to 7,500 lucky Joe Louis Arena patrons at select 2012-13 Red Wings home games, with another member of the Red Wings Alumni Association set to join their ranks during the forthcoming fifth round of voting.
And now things are going to get a little weird. With private schools' academic years beginning this week and public schools' academic years beginning the day after Labor Day, the majority of the Red Wings' veterans will be filtering back into Metro Detroit this week, with their younger teammates likely to return from their summer homes by the end of the first week of September, so the news cycle will pick up, starting today.
As the Wings' Twitter account noted on Sunday, the Ilitch Charities Golf Classic takes place today, and a charity dinner preceded it on Sunday evening...
Updated with a reminder that the Ilitch Charities golf outing takes placed tomorrow at 8:16 PM: Amongst this evening's Red Wings quickies:
- Via RedWingsFeed, Expressen's Linus Hugosson took note of a comment Henrik Zetterberg made during a European Trophy TV broadcast on Sunday:
- There's also some news regarding Pavel Datsyuk's playing plans. Datsyuk was ptaking part in a charity hockey game in Kazan, and as Yahoo Sports' Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski noted, Datsyuk spoke to R-Sport about the possibility that he might play in the KHL this fall (and this is roughly translated):
If one source makes it a “report,” two make it, “sources say” and three make it official, MLive’s Brendan Savage and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness received a hand from the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, who gives Wings fans another leg to stand upon if they indeed hope that Carlo Colaiacovo is the Red Wings’ free agent band-aid of choice:
According to a— Bob Duff (@asktheduffer) August 25, 2012
#redwings source, club has offered UFA D Carlo Colaiacovo a 2 yr deal in area of $2.5 million per season.
I’m not exactly jumping up and down about the Wings’ interest, but Colaiacovo is the most talented of the remaining unrestricted free agent defensemen available on the UFA market, he’s the most talented in terms of being able to not just keep up with the Wings’ system in terms of skating and his skill set, but he can also head-man the puck pretty well, and under the current, expiring CBA, even with his injury history, a $2.5 million salary for any defenseman who can skate in a straight line and handle the puck better than a five-year-old is a bargain.
We occasionally hear it from ex-Red Wings—and Daniel Larsson’s still complaining about the fact that the Red Wings dared to tell him to get off the goal line in an interview with Marie Hallman—but most of the time, challenges to change and to deal with a little less ice time than players had expected are welcomed, so in the case of Red Wings prospect Andreas Athanasiou, his suggestion to DetroitRedWings.com’s Andrea Nelson that not playing a regular shift for the London Knights wasn’t that big a deal (Athanasiou’s lack of ice time is one of the reasons he slipped to the fourth round of the 2012 draft)...
“Just do the best I can and try to produce as much as possible,” Athanasiou said of his goals for next season. “But it comes with opportunity. Last year we had a deep team in London, going to the Memorial Cup finals. I didn’t get too much ice, I think I was averaging 5-10 minutes, but whenever I get ice time this year I’ll produce as much as I can and just get bigger and stronger.”
Don’t ring so true after his Friday trade to the Barrie Colts, as noted by the London Free Press’s Ryan Pyette:
Amongst this afternoon’s Red Wings-related news:
As Paul posted this morning, ESPN’s “Uni Watch” blog released its top 25 rankings of sports uniforms this morning, and as the Free Press’s James Jahnke also noted, the Detroit Tigers came in 24th overall, and the Red Wings finished fifteenth, behind the New York Rangers (11th), Boston Bruins (5th) and Montreal Canadiens (1st). Per Paul Lukas:
15. Detroit Red Wings, NHL: Man, those Original Six teams got it right, didn’t they? If you want to understand the difference between designing by hand and designing by computer, take a close look at the Wings’ logo—you’d never come up with that on a Mac. Bonus points for the vertically arched lettering on the player names.
Red Wings overnight report: players’ CBA jitters, a prospect trade and a tale of Datsyukian goodness
With the KHL promising to expand its rosters in case of a lockout, Aftonbladet’s Hans Abrahamsson responding to the Swedish Eliteserien’s decision to deny entry to players who won’t commit to balance-of-the-year deals entry into the league by suggesting that the Allsvenskan will gobble up players, and Henrik Zetterberg more or less being given the opportunity to apologize for admitting that he’s going to stay in North America to help the NHLPA by telling Expressen’s Hans Abrahamsson that if the full season is cancelled due to a lockout, he will come home to Sweden, and Tomas Tatar doesn’t seem to understand that any players contracted to NHL clubs with two-way clauses and/or those who are signed to entry-level deals exempt from that “first two years, you’re in the NHL or you go back to Major Junior/European hockey” rule (more on this in a minute)...
Player mobility and whether or not we see the purported mass-exodus of players to Europe and perhaps to the minor leagues (at present, players in the AHL and ECHL are members of the Professional Hockey Players Association, not the NHLPA, and the PHPA has no issues with the AHL or ECHL) will probably “cross the pond” from Europe to North America over this weekend and next week, especially given the very gloomy outlook regarding CBA negotiations.
I feel like the guy in the hot dog commercial, because “I’m 99.9% certain that there’s going to be a lockout.”
Given Thursday’s developments, given the honest-to-Gord fact that the NHL is unabashedly going for a cash grab that will do nothing to fundamentally address the problems plaguing its 30-team business model given the fact that this lockout will hurt the people who work at rinks on game nights, are part of NHL teams’ staff, and the restaurants, bars, hotels and local businesses which surround NHL teams (keep in mind, folks, that if you totally boycott NHL merchandise, you’re hurting the person who works at Fanatic U, too), this will truly be a senseless lockout.
Sorry about posting this late…I kinda barely slept for two days. Anyway, via RedWingsFeed, AnnArbor.com’s Jeff Arnold noted that University of Michigan athletic director David Brandon is well aware of the fact that the NHL can cancel the Winter Classic at any time up to January 1st with only a $100,000 (plus, after December 1st, any expenses incurred for setting up and tearing down the rink) penalty, and yes, the University will deal with it…But Guess who Arnold, writing for Puck Daddy, says the cancellation of the game would hurt?
The same people who haven’t yet been mentioned in the “game night rink” staff equation yet—the restaurants, bars, hotels, private parking lots, the usual—in Detroit and Ann Arbor, given the high likelihood that the “Hockeytown Winter Festival” would go the way of the dodo as well:
The local economy in Ann Arbor is also counting on an economic boost from an event that would draw as many as 115,000 fans. Ticket prices range between $79 and $279 with tickets being sold at seven different pricing levels.
Brandon said earlier this year that an average Michigan home game generates between $14 million and $15 million for local businesses, including hotels and restaurants. Brandon expects the Winter Classic could generate even more money, which has been evidenced in recent years. According to the league, the annual winter outdoor game generates between $30 million and $36 million for host cities.
In February at the official announcement of the Winter Classic’s 2013 destination, NHL chief operating officer John Collins estimated the economic impact for the weeklong hockey celebration could top the $75 million scale for southeast Michigan, taking both the Detroit and Ann Arbor venues into consideration.
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.