The Malik Report
So Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke with The Fan 590's Brady and Walker Show this morning...
And as you might imagine, Sportsnet's Luke Fox annotated the interview, including a quote that pour napalm on the whole, "Babcock might leave Detroit!" rumor mill:
The ECHL announced on Monday that 11 ECHL on-ice officials, including three that attended the NHL Officiating Exposure Camp in Buffalo, N.Y., along with Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst and ECHL Supervisor Mike Pearce, will work the 2014 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. from Sept. 12-16.
Debuting in 1988 with four teams, the NHL Prospects Tournament has expanded to now include eight clubs – Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues. Teams are divided into two divisions for a three-day round robin tournament, then ranked by their win-loss records for final placement in seventh, fifth, third and Championship games on the final day.
Updated 14x at 6:19 PM: While the Red Wings resume their "Captain's Practices" at Joe Louis Arena today, ESPN's NHL reporters are speaking to players at the NHL's front office in New York, NY today, and they started by having a conversation with one Gustav Nyquist...
Detroit Red Wings star Gustav Nyquist got a big smile on his face when asked if Daniel Alfredsson would return next season.
"I hope so," Nyquist told ESPN.com on Monday. "He’s a great, great hockey player and unbelievable leader as well."
Meanwhile, at Joe Louis Arena, via the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
Datsyuk and Stephen Weiss on the ice today at Red Wings skate
And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Update: Unofficially official per MLive's Ansar Khan:
Update #2: The Sporting News's Sean Gentille played up the "ZOMG NO RIGHTIES" angle:
Today represents the start of the last "quiet" hockey week for the Red Wings. After this morning's "Captain's Practice," more than a few Wings will take in tonight's Monday Night Football match-up, and as the week progresses, more and more of the Wings' European players (like Tomas Jurco and Pavel Datsyuk, who was still skating in Yekaterinburg this past weekend) will join increasingly intense "informal" practices.
With the Wings' prospect tournament starting on Friday, the "next wave" will be going through physicals, gearing up and heading to Traverse City to prepare to defend the Wings' first prospect tournament title, and the NHL'ers and Grand Rapids Griffins' players will make the trek up to Northwestern Michigan next Wednesday ahead of the start of training camp on Friday, September 19th.
Danny DeKeyser's likely to sign a contract within the next week-and-a-half, we'll find out whether Daniel Alfredsson feels that his back's good to go; a week from now, the Wings' prospect campers will be playing their third of four prospect tournament games, and two weeks from tonight, the Wings' exhibition season begins with back-to-back games in Pittsburgh and Chicago (preceded by morning skates in Traverse City).
On September 7th, 2011, a plane carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's team crashed on takeoff, killing 44 people, including former Red Wings player Ruslan Salei, Wings prospect Stefan Liv and assistant coach Brad McCrimmon (who played for the Wings, was Nicklas Lidstrom's defensive partner during his tenure in Detroit and served as Vladimir Konstantinov's first roommate).
The KHL's Facebook page states that the league no longer plays games on September 7th to honor all the players, coaches, staff and crew who passed away that terrible day.
This morning, I'm reminded of a wonderful picture that Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples took of Henrik Zetterberg's stick a year later. Each and every stick that Zetterberg uses has the numbers 24 and 1 and McCrimmon's nickname, "Beast," printed on the underside of the shaft.
Their memories do live on:
The Detroit Red Wings have offered defenseman Raphael Diaz a training camp tryout, but he has not decided if he will accept it, general manager Ken Holland said.
Diaz, 28, is a good skater and puck-mover. He isn't big (5-11, 197) but has one quality the Red Wings desire – he shoots right-handed.
The Red Wings have been told Diaz has some options and is deciding what he wants to do.
According to SwissHockeyNews.ch and SwissHabs, Diaz (an ex-teammate of Damien Brunner on Swiss NLA team EV Zug) weighing offers from the Wings and Stars (and I think Diaz has a better chance of making the Stars' roster given the departure of Stephane Robidas).
Winging It in Motown's JJ From Kansas and I feel a little similarly about the 28-year-old and reportedly "fragile" (per the Sports Forecaster) defenseman's possible status as a roadblock to the Backman/Marchenko/Ouellet/Sproul quartet--never mind the cap issues that might result if the Wings sign DeKeyser, Alfredsson and Diaz to contracts-but JJ asked Habs Eyes on the Prize's Andrew Berkshire to weigh in, and Berkrshire gave a very different assessment of Diaz's skill set:
In the "short strokes" department:
1. I'm no fan of Europe's endless preseason "tournaments" throughout the months of August and early September. Place bragging rights and trophies on the line, no matter how inconsequential, and things get ugly. That was certainly true at the Under-20 Four Nations Cup, where DRW Prospects reported and then I tracked down the "paper trail" to confirm that Julius Vahatalo took a shot to the head vs. Russia and suffered a concussion, placing his availability for the start of TPS Turku's Finnish Liiga season-opener on September 12th in doubt.
Today, the "Champions' League" preseason tournament was underway, and Wings prospect and Skelleftea AIK forward Axel Holmstrom registered an assist in Skelleftea's first goal en route to a 4-0 win over the Krefield Penguine, but then this happened (per Championshockeyleague.net):
By now you and I are more than a little bit familiar with the "Mike Babcock contract" narrative, and there's not much that can be said that we haven't heard before. This morning, however, the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple snagged a surprising admission from Babcock regarding the snowball effect that his end-of-season comments (i.e. his willingness to go "year to year," etc.) had upon the hockey rumor mill machine:
Babcock said he was caught off guard by questions about his future and shouldn’t have been.
“Probably I fueled it a little bit when I shouldn’t have said anything at all,” Babcock said. “I’m going into my 10th year this year. Our record speaks for itself. I’m real proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. I’m about getting better as a coach, and ideally that’s all going to get looked after.”
But given his accomplishments, why wouldn’t he play it out and see what else is available?
“Kenny Holland’s a good man and the Ilitches are good people and they’ve looked after us,” Babcock said.
Babcock continues, telling Sipple that he's not pulling up stakes, but as you know, the, "Toronna Toronna Pittsburgh Toronna!" crap (you're welcome @helmmeroids) won't stop until and unless he signs a contract extension prior to the start of the regular season, and it certainly seems like the out-of-towners will do their best to make his contract status a distraction.
Speaking of rumors...
Detroit-The “launch” of a 45 block, $650 million development plan for the northern edge of downtown will begin Thursday, Sept. 25, according to mysterious invite sent out Friday.
The email invitation was sent out by Olympia Development of Michigan, the driver behind the massive project, and not much detail is provided about what is expected to happen on Sept. 25.
“Imagine a place...” says the one-paragraph invite with an image of a well-dressed man looking upward.
This month is the expected target date for construction to begin for the long-awaited development that will create a new home area for the Detroit Red Wings. The arena would be among the five “new neighborhoods” with hundreds of new apartments, offices and other mixed-use retail that could open by summer 2017, according to the billionaire family that controls much of the land.
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.