The Malik Report
Via RedWingsFeed, MLive’s Brendan Savage provides a superb follow-up for those of you who may have wondered aloud whether the Wings really need to re-sign Justin Abdelkader, who the Free Press’s Helene St. James stated the Wings are working toward inking a new contract with, in the overnight report’s comment section.
Savage spoke to Ken Holland about Abdelkader’s importance to the team, and as far as Holland’s concerned, Abdelkader’s just as important to the present-day Wings as Kirk Maltby was to the Grind Line:
Despite many TMR readers’ protests to the contrary, the Red Wings front office really has only two (and maybe three) pressing issues to address before the start of the regular season: the Wings need to re-sign restricted free agent Justin Abdelkader to a new contract, they need to add some sort of free agent defenseman to serve as a band-aid until the team chooses to make a trade to acquire a more meaningful reinforcement to offset the losses of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart (and that trade may occur at the start of the regular season, or it may not take place until the trade deadline, depending on the team’s desire to entrust its blueline to “the kids”).
Ideally, the Wings would also add a #7/8 defenseman who could be sent down to and recalled from Grand Rapids as necessary, but the Wings could at least in theory add NHL clauses to Nathan Paetsch and Triston Grant’s contracts if they so wish.
Otherwise, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James suggests, the Wings will sit on their cap space and wait out post-CBA-negotiation training camp and exhibition season jockeying for the 23 spots on the team’s roster, with neither an expensive trade for a top-pair defenseman, nor an earnest attempt to acquire a top-six forward in the offing:
TSN’s Mark Masters is following Team Canada and Team Russia’s potential World Junior Championship teams as they play a four-game series commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Summit Series (in lieu of annual World Junior Evaluation camps). The first two games of the “Canada-Russia Challenge” were played in Yaroslavl, Russia, and the second pair start tonight in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and as such, as noted by RedWingsFeed (blogger under the weather = I miss some stuff), Masters spoke to a very important person who happens to be traveling with the Canadian team, which happens to include Red Wings prospect Xavier Ouellet:
Feature on Byron McCrimmon’s search for closure in Yaroslavl bit.ly/Nlrnl0 (vid)— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) August 13, 2012
Byron McCrimmon is still with Canadian jrs in Halifax; was front & centre in team pic yesterday sitting beside Steve Spott— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) August 13, 2012
This afternoon’s crop of Red Wings news begins with an article from DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose that makes this Vladimir Konstantinov fan smile:
Upset by a late surge late from Kris Draper in Round 1 of Operation Bobblehead: Alumni Edition, former Red Wings’ defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov stormed back to runaway with the Round 2 vote, thus becoming the second bobblehead chosen by fans.
The Wings will distribute 7,500 collectible figurines characterizing Konstantinov to their fans at a select home game during the upcoming 2012-13 season. Konstantinov destroyed his competition, earning 36.5 percent of the vote conducted last week on DetroitRedWings.com.
After the last couple of days’ worth of heavy discussion about a potential lockout and the media’s perception of and/or pandering to fans, I’m going to keep the rhetoric short and try to keep the focus of this morning’s report on the content thereof…After the first tidbit, anyway:
• According to Dagbladet and Allehanda’s Andreas Haggstrom, Peter Forsberg’s Icebreakers defeated Visby Roma 6-1 in their second charity game on Sunday, and over the course of Saturday and Sunday, Forsberg, Henrik Zetterberg, Gabriel Landeskog and a long list of Swedish NHL stars raised 750,000 Swedish Krona, or approximately $111,500, for “sick and disabled children and young people” in the Swedish province of Vasternorrland.
Via RedWingsFeed, the New York Times’ Jeff Z. Klein reports that the NHL ensured that, should it lock out its players, it can back out of the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at any time, with only minimal financial penalties resulting from said cancellation:
The N.H.L. can cancel the Jan. 1 Winter Classic at 115,000-seat Michigan Stadium as late as Jan. 1, the day of the game, because of a work stoppage “arising from the lack of a collective bargaining agreement,” the contract between the league and the University of Michigan shows.
The league would forfeit only $100,000 of its $3 million stadium rental fee, according to the contract. The rest of the fee would be refunded by the university.
The contract provisions give the league some leeway for salvaging its showcase event should a lockout delay the start of the 2012-13 season, enabling the N.H.L. to hold the Winter Classic even if a lockout is settled in late December.
Klein says that the NHL offers no guarantees nor refunds should the Red Wings choose not to hold the Great Lakes Invitational, the Griffins-Marlies AHL game or its slate of three OHL games at Comerica Park, but it’s covered its own ass regarding the Winter Classic:
On a Sunday morning where Marie Hallman’s selection of photos from Jens Forsberg’s gallery of Niklas Kronwall’s charity game to raise funds for his first team, Jarfalla HC (heads-up, Wings fans: Gustav Nyquist is wearing the #89 he donned in college, not the #14 the Wings’ website still has him listed as wearing; Jonas Gustavsson’s wearing his Leafs gear and a white jersey, too) and a wisely-placed jab Steve Schrader lays at Ken Holland’s lap given his inability to recruit players the way he’s landed Winter Classic Alumni Showdown participants [edit/update: and who knew Wings scout Marty Stein’s dad was instrumental in the founding of youth soccer programs in Vernon, British Columbia?]...
I’d like to address the tangled web hockey fans find ourselves in this summer. Those who have no particular loyalty to teams or players, but instead, “stories” (a.k.a. the media corps I get to pretend to be a part of) have informed the people whose $3.3 billion dollars of discretionary income the NHL and NHLPA are fighting over—to the point that even optimists like myself would suggest that it’s a coin flip as to whether there will be a lockout—that we should not only think certain ways about the collective bargaining war taking place, but also that we are:
This morning’s crop of news, both Red Wings-related and otherwise, is a little different than usual, even for the summertime, so let’s begin our little survey with Red Wings color commentator Mickey Redmond’s charity golf outing to benefit the Escanaba Area Junior Hockey Association at the Nahma Golf Club, where he spoke to the Escanaba Daily Press’s Justin Marietti about his endeavor…
“I’m good friends with the owners of the Nahma Inn, and they know the Escanaba hockey gang, so the word came out and they wanted to see if I could come up to help raise money for the hockey program. And here we are three and a half months later on a beautiful day in Nahma,” Redmond said.
Although he is a resident of Detroit during hockey season, Redmond is no stranger to the U.P.
“I have property in the Eastern U.P., and my wife and I are regular visitors,” he added. “We love it up here. And if you’re in my business (hockey), it’s great because there’s plenty of Red Wings fans up here.”
His take on why hockey’s a great participatory sport…
Shades of Gretzky’s 99 All-Stars vs the Detroit Vipers in 95? It could happen again during a lockout
Back in 1994, during the first owners’ lockout, Red Wings fans were hockey-starved to say the least. I remember eventually attending a chunk of the Wings’ impromptu training camp at the Joe and being gobsmacked by—get this—Pavel Agarkov’s talent, and enjoying a, “Wow” moment as I stood on the Joe’s concrete floor as Scotty Bowman had the entire team taking a lap, and I remember feeling the ground beneath me shudder and shake as 20-some players skated to an elegant stop and Bob Errey stood six inches from my face on the other side of the boards…
But my best “first lockout” memory involves Wayne Gretzky’s 99 All-Stars playing against the Detroit Vipers at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Mike Ilitch and Bill Davidson still couldn’t stand each other at the time, so Sergei Fedorov, Steve Yzerman and Paul Coffey had to skip the game, but their games against Jokerit Helsinki (rocking the purple-and-green day-glo uniforms) and several other European pro teams were televised on the CBC, and to have Gretzky, Brett Hull, Marty McSorely, Rick Tocchet, Grant Fuhr, Rob Blake, Kirk Muller, Al MacInnis and someone who played over 35 minutes for a defensive corps down to 4 men against the Vipers in Todd Gill, all playing in front of me and my high school pals against a Vipers team bolstered by two rookie pros in Miroslav Satan and Petr Sykora…
Update: sorry for being slow on the uptake with this one. I was out taking the mom to the doctor’s…Looks like Bill has already weighed in on this one: I know that more than a few Red Wings fans have wondered why the team hasn’t made a decision as to whether sixteen forwards (including the as-yet-unsigned Justin Abdelkader) means that there’s no space for 39-year-old Tomas Holmstrom, but MLive’s Brendan Savage spoke to Ken Holland about the looming questions about Holmstrom’s future, and Holland suggested that the team’s simply letting Holmstrom take the entire summer to come to terms with his situation:
“I haven’t talked to Tomas much,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We had talked about him taking all of June and July to see what he wants to do. I talked to him briefly in July. He’s going to take the summer, obviously. If he decides to play – we’ve signed (Jordin) Tootoo and (Mikael) Samuelsson and (Damien) Brunner and (Gustav) Nyquist – we have to have a discussion between Homer and I and probably Mike Babcock to see where he fits in.”
That’s how things will work—it’s entirely possible that the Wings will agree to allow Holmstrom to essentially try out for the only team he’s interested in playing for, just as Kirk Maltby did two years ago, but Holland and Babcock may look at the roster (especially if they don’t have a trade in the works that would alleviate their roster crunch up front) and suggest to Holmstrom that he could save some blood, sweat and tears by holding a retirement presser instead.
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.