The Malik Report
I hate to make an entry out of this because it's so "thin," but this is really a "spit take" and then some:
Toma Tatar registered an assist, took 4 shots and played 15:51 (and Tomas Jurco took 1 shot in 13:04) in Slovakia's 3-2 loss to frickin Norway at the World Championships on Wednesday, and Slovakia built a 2-0 lead before Norway rallied.
But the Slovaks--whose coach, Vladimir Vujtek, decided to take the captain's "C" off Tomas Kopecky's sweater, bench Kopecky, and give the "C" to Marian Gaborik--were unable to close the scoring gulf, and a late 5-minute penalty to Andrej Meszaros for butt-ending stifled the Slovaks' attempts to rally.
Update: Here's a highlight clip from the IIHF:
Dominic Turgeon's Portland Winterhawks were eliminated from the WHL's Western Conference semifinal on Sunday, and as such, Turgeon's joined the Griffins on an amateur try-out:
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday signed center Dominic Turgeon to an amateur tryout.
Detroit’s third-round draft pick (63rd overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Turgeon picked up 43 points (18-25—43), 36 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating in 67 regular season games with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks this season. In nine playoff games with Portland, the Pointe-Claire, Quebec, native potted eight goals and one assist in 17 games, before his team was knocked out by the Kelowna Rockets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. In all, Turgeon owns 82 points (31-51—82), 69 PIM and a plus-30 rating in 187 career games with Portland.
The AHL Western Conference Semifinal series between the Griffins and Rockford IceHogs will kick off at Van Andel Arena with Game 1 tonight and Game 2 on Friday. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.
Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave insists that the Red Wings will attempt to acquire Dion Phaneuf once again this summer, likely hoping to swap out Stephen Weiss, a Brendan Smith-type defenseman and a "lesser prospect" to bring the 30-year-old to Detroit:
How close were the Wings to this deal in March? Dave Nonis, since relieved of his duties as Toronto's GM, said he could have made the deal for Phaneuf at the deadline. And the Wings know they were probably Toronto's only dance partner on this deal.
That Nonis is gone now doesn't mean the Wings would have to start at ground zero in talks with a new, yet-to-be-hired GM. This is one of those deals that went above his pay grade, involving Leafs President Brendan Shanahan, the former Wings star who remains steadfast in his desire to find a new home for his captain. Shanahan can make this deal in the absence of a GM.
One potential sticking point: Phaneuf has a no-trade clause in his contract. But a league source said Phaneuf would agree to a deal involving Detroit. "He wants to get out of that nut house in Toronto," the source said.
Whether Phaneuf would be a good fit in Detroit is another matter open for debate. One of the strengths of the organization has been the chemistry in the dressing room, thanks in large part to the outstanding leadership trio of Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk, which coach Mike Babcock describes as "the best I've ever been around."
Here's an FYI from the Blackburn News's Mike Vlasveld:
The 5th Annual Bob Probert Ride campaign is underway.
Money raised this year will go toward new exercise equipment for the 10,000 sq. ft. Cardiac Wellness facility at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.
Former Detroit Red Wing and Leamington-native Darren McCarty will be the ride captain. “If you knew big Bob, he wouldn’t want everybody being around, sulking about missing him and stuff,” explains McCarty. “He’d want us being out, having fun in his honour, and there was no bigger guy than he was to get on the Harley and go for a ride.”
Over the last four years, the Bob Probert Ride has raised nearly $500,000 which went toward the completion of a new angioplasty suite at Windsor Regional Hospital.
The ride will take place on June 14th, starting in Windsor and concluding in Tecumseh.
You can't make this up...
The Grand Rapids Griffins are posting playoff preview videos, and their set-up of the Griffins-IceHogs series, which begins tonight (7 PM EDT on Wood Radio and the AHL Live) is absolutely fantastic:
Update: The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner listed "5 must-haves" for the Griffins to beat Rockford as well:
This week's Red Wings stories have come in disparate clumps, yielding it just about impossible to create some sort of narrative thread for an overnight report.
That's the case this morning, so please bear with with me.
I guess it's Larkin-Mantha-mania time, because ESPN's Craig Custance spoke with Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin at the World Championships, where he's playing for Team USA...
It's a good news-bad-news situation for the Toledo Walleye: the Grand Rapids Griffins reassigned Marty Frk to the Walleye, and in Toledo's 3rd game of their 2nd-round series against the Fort Wayne Komets, Frk produced 2 goals on 5 shots.
The bad news is that Frk scored the Walleye's only goals as Jeff Lerg was shelled with 42 shots, and he stopped 39, but that wasn't enough to prevent the Walleye from dropping a 3-2 OT decision to the Komets.
As a result, the Walleye are up 2 games to 1 in their series, and here's the Walleye's website's recap:
Of Griffins-related note this evening:
1. This is a real thing, from the Griffins' website:
CITY OF ROCKFORD, MICH., CHANGES NAME TO GRIFFINVILLE
GRIFFINVILLE, Mich. – The city council of Rockford, Mich., on Tuesday unanimously voted to change the name of its town to Griffinville for the next two weeks, while the Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Rockford (Ill.) IceHogs during the American Hockey League’s Western Conference Semifinals.
Games 1 and 2 of the series are slated for Van Andel Arena this Wednesday, May 6 and Friday, May 8. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 would take place in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, May 19 and Wednesday, May 20.
This represents the second name change in the history of the city, which is located 14 miles north of Grand Rapids on the Rogue River. Founded as the village of Laphamville in 1856, the city ironically earned its previous moniker in 1865 on the suggestion of a newly arrived resident from Rockford, Ill., after the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad Company had urged the village’s residents to adopt a shorter name.
Have fun with this one: NJ.com's Randy Miller spoke with Pierre McGuire regarding the concept that the Philadelphia Flyers might be able to out-bid Mike Ilitch and the Red Wings for Mike Babcock's services, and here's what McGuire said:
"No, no, no! Mike's a winner," McGuire told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday. "Mike's about going to a place that gives him the best opportunity to win, the types of players that they have, the players that they've drafted. Sure, money's going to play a role, but I don't see that being what it's all about. Mike's all about winning."
Babcock is Flyers GM Ron Hextall's first choice to replace recently fired Craig Berube, someone with knowledge of management's plans told NJ Advance Media. The Flyers missed the playoffs this season for the second time since 2012-13, but McGuire sees Philadelphia as a strong option for Babcock.
"It's a very desirable location for people to coach in the league because the commitment of ownership to win," he said. "You've also got some star players there that are still young enough and evolving."
It's also not such a desirable place to coach because Ed Snider tends to butt into his GM and coach's player personnel decisions...
McGuire's gut feeling on how this Babcock saga will shake out?
"The relationship's that's been built over time (in Detroit) with Mike and Kenny Holland and the Ilitch family [Red Wings owners] is strong," McGuire said. "I don't know what Mike will do. It depends on what he sees as a good fit for himself."
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