The Malik Report
I miss Jim Nill. The Red Wings miss Jim Nill. Nill was an absolutely fantastic "cheerful cop" to Ken Holland's "keep-them-expectations low-in-a-very-intense-way" cop, and his gregarious, easy-going and ever-optimistic nature lit up a room.
At last summer's development camp and during training camp, it was very evident that Nill's ability to smooth everything over was missed, and it took a long time for Ryan Martin and Kris Draper to get comfortable stepping into the void in terms of both media relations and learning their way as the actual assistant GM (Martin, like Holland, is very intense) and the new "social lubricant" (though Draper is, of course, also intense) and special-assistant-to-the-GM, respectively.
In terms of Nill's status as the Wings' draft guru, the Wings have done their best to replace him by committee, but tonight and tomorrow mark the organization's biggest post-Jim-Nill test, because Nill didn't just leave on his own--he also took director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell and scout Mark Leach with him.
This is going to be a little adventure and/or an exercise in, "Hey, remember that I'm on Twitter and the stuff I post there is a little more immediate!" (I have a Facebook page, too) This comes from Paul's post about the double dose of TSN's Insider Trading videos:
Cue a raised eyebrow. The Metro Times' Ryan Felton reports the following:
Not much is known about the new $450 million Detroit Red Wings arena near downtown, other than it will seat 18,000 fans and be situated in an area bounded by I-75, Cass, Woodward and Temple avenues. Nevertheless, state officials indicated they wanted shovels in the ground for the project earlier this month, Metro Times has learned, but that ceremony fell through for unclear reasons.
An official deeply involved in the project’s negotiations pegged June 2 as a likely groundbreaking date for the facility, according to emails obtained from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) by Metro Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Updated 3x at 5:04 PM: Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright gave nothing less than a fascinating interview to WDFN's Matt Sheppard on Wednesday, and Wright--who's not exactly a big talker--also spoke with MLive's Ansar Khan about the Wings' attempt to find an NHL player (probably a forward) tomorrow...
"We're confident we're going to get a good player at 15," Wright said. "Whether it's a forward or defenseman, we'll take the best player available."
Khan duly notes that the Wings want to grab a center if at all possible after having traded Calle Jarnkrok to Nashville...
On Friday night, the Red Wings are more likely than not to make some sort of pick in the first round of the draft (though it wouldn't be surprising if they traded down), on Saturday, the team will pick seven more players, and on Tuesday, it's more likely than not that the Red Wings will sign an unrestricted free agent defenseman (one of the players whose agents the team is likely wining and dining presently) to bolster their blueline.
After making an unwise detour into the comments section on Wednesday, however, I was reminded of two axioms:
The first was made by Ken Holland during the Wings' locker room clean-out day, with Holland pointing out that Wings fans, like most sports fans, "Fall in love with everybody who isn't here";
And the second comes from me: when someone asked me what the pulse of the fan base sounds like at this time of year, I said, "Well first there's a lot of anger, and then on July 1st, the great disappointment."
Update: Wrong blog, oh well.
Nobody's really discussed it yet given the free agent wining-and-dining turned Twitterama, but the NHL's Board of Governors are meeting in Philadelphia on Thursday, and Sportsnet's John Shannon reports that they're simply expected to rubber-stamp the rule-changes agreed upon at the GM's meetings during the Stanley Cup Final:
From MLive's Ansar Khan:
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Pleiness also spoke with Holland about the wining and dining period...
Updated 3x at 6:17 PM: Some of this might be repetitious for KK readers, but here's what I've found in terms of Red Wings-related "wining and dining" news today.
First, the Free Press's Helene St. James reported this about Dan Boyle...
Second, if you didn't read ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's Rumblings, here's what he found from speaking to both Boyle and his agent, George Bazos:
WDFN’s Matt Sheppard snags a rare interview with Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright
Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright hasn't given an interview since training camp--as far as I know, anyway--but he spoke with WDFN's Matt Sheppard today, all of two days before the NHL Draft, and he did so for over fourteen minutes:
Okay, busy morning. Three stories of Red Wings-related note before I head out:
This morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Wings GM Ken Holland about Almquist's detour:
Losing him isn't a surprise, given that he had indicated earlier this year that he didn't want to play anymore in the AHL. But the Wings have done due diligence on paperwork, just in case.
"We retain his rights by making a qualifying offer, which we are doing," general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.
St. James continues, and here comes story the second: MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Holland about the "wining and dining period," and Holland explained the team's take on the process in significant detail:
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.