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The Malik Report

A pair of mid-afternoon Red Wings season previews and picks

Updated w/ a superb article from Bill Roose at 4:17 PM: Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji's penned an article setting up the Red Wings' 2014-15 season through the eyes of the Wings' players, coach and GM...

"We're a group that's going to have to earn our way and earn our confidence," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't think anyone has got us pegged to win the President's Trophy, so we're going to have to grind."

The Wings are like many teams in that they are going to need good health and a little luck to advance deep into the playoffs.

"Probably 4-5 teams in the entire league that are the class of the league," Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "There's probably 20 teams that there's not a lot to choose from. We're in that group of 20."

Discussions about the steps the Wings' sophomores have to take...

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Red Wings’ Mike Babcock talks disagreements with Holland on Detroit Sports 105.1; Tatar Twitterview

Warning: There's a whole lot of Twitter embedding going on in this post post-jump:

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery this afternoon, repeating some of the topics he discussed this morning and at the Wings' Wednesday morning practice, Bob Duff's commentary as opposed to his take on the GM-coach relationship, his take on the Wings' roster and his desire to remain with the Red Wings long-term (and Ken Holland is scheduled to speak with Dery tomorrow):

Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray and myself attempted to do a Twitter play-by-play of the interview...

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For Brendan Smith, Wings’ Breast Cancer Awareness Night represents cause close to home

The Red Wings are hosting Breast Cancer Awareness Night this Saturday, October 11th, and last week, WXYZ's Brad Galli noted that the fight against breast cancer is personal for Brendan Smith:

Today, DetroitRedWings.com's Alyssa Girardi discussed Smith's dedication to the cause...

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Red Wings practice news: Mike Babcock’s radio rounds; Cleary, Weiss ‘out?’

Updated 12x at 3:25 PM:

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made the radio rounds this morning, and CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak reports that Babcock discussed the tiff regarding Xavier Ouellet's demotion on 97.1 FM's Stoney and Sara show:

“We go through this every single year at this time, so if it’s controversy today, it’d be 10 straight years,” Babcock said. “The bottom line is I’m a coach, so I’m an immediate gratification guy. I’ve got to win tomorrow. Ken Holland’s job is to look at the big picture. I think that’s why you balance each other out. But we’re real comfortable here. We’re both allowed to have an opinion. In the end, though, he makes that decision. That’s his call. In the end, I decide who goes on the ice during the game; that’s my call. So that’s just part of the process.

“People on the outside can make what they want of it,” Babcock continued. “This is what we go through each and every year. He’s got a business to run, and that’s what he’s doing, and I’ve got a team to coach, and I want the guys that are ready to go right away. We always get through this. [Gustav] Nyquist never started on our team last year. We’ve been going through this, like I said, for 10 years.”

Dunkak's summary continues, noting that Babcock also wants to remain in Detroit long-term:

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Red Wings overnight report: on roster moves, the lack thereof & 14-15 season expectations/previews

Warning, warning, prepare for use of the strikethrough script for sarcasm's sake!

The Detroit Red Wings took part in a community relations tour, practiced and then the team's management decided to keep Andrej Nestrasil on the roster but demote Xavier Ouellet and Petr Mrazek--for the moment, anyway...

And the good news is that Mike Babcock was at least pretty pissed off about demoting Ouellet, I mean Bernie Smilovitz is JUST starting to panic about Babcock's contract, I mean the Wings may in fact be trying to move Kindl before you get that cool new octopus tattoo, I mean before Breast Cancer Awareness Night on October 11th (seriously, take note of that one) sooner than later.

The Red Wings don't begin their regular-season campaign until they face off against the David Krejci-less Boston Bruins on Thursday (7:30 PM on FSD/97.1 FM/TVA Sports/NESN; Boston opens their season at home vs. Philadelphia this evening), and as the season previews continue to roll in and the Detroit sports media slowly shifts their focus from the Tigers' playoff run to the Wings (see Smilovitz note above), Ken Holland did indeed address the coaching situation and more at the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association's luncheon on Tuesday.

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa was there as Holland offered the official 14-15 season outlook:

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Red Wings prospect news: Vahatalo, Janmark to play in Champions Leauge playoffs; Ehn on top line

The majority of the Red Wings prospects in action on Tuesday were both taking part in games to determine "playoff spots" and they were taking part in the exhibition tournament known as the Champions League.

The good news is:

Julius Vahatalo didn't register a point, but TPS Turku defeated Linkopings HC 2-1 and will advance to the "playoff round," and Mattias Janmark didn't register a point but his Frolunda Indians defeated Villach SV 7-1, ensuring that TPS and Frolunda will play in the Champions League playoffs;

And the bad news(?) is that Axel Holmstrom didn't register a point as Skelleftea AIK lost 5-3 to IFK Helsinki, eliminating Skelleftea from the tournament.

In actual games that count news:

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Red Wings use corporate partnership tour to reach out to community

Kudos to the Red Wings' Community Relations department, because they've taken the Wings' annual corporate partner thank-you event and harnessed it for charitable purposes in the Hockeytown Thanks campaign. The Wings' Facebook page illustrates that the Wings visited Bottomless Toy Chest, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, the Lincoln King Academy and Alternatives For Girls (the Detroit News also posted a photo gallery from said events), and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose got up early with the Wings to thank both the team's corporate partners and give back to the community:

As the father of two boys under 3 years old, goalie Jimmy Howard was a perfect choice to represent the Red Wings in front of 22 very attentive kindergarten students Tuesday morning.

Howard was one of five Red Wings who descended on Lincoln King Academy of Cornerstone Schools where they read to kindergartners and first-grade students as part of the team’s third annual Hockeytown Thanks campaign.

The players, along with representatives from Flagstar Bank, were assigned a classroom where they read the “ABC’s of Detroit Red Wings Hockey” to the students, and afterwards, the players answered questions from the inquisitive groups.

“The questions are definitely the best with what they come up with and what they’re thinking, what’s going through their minds,” Howard said. “I get the same exact questions when I’m at home, so I was well prepared for today.”

The exchanges with the Red Wings’ goalie and the curious youngsters were delightful and predictably innocent. At one point, Howard was asked what it felt like to get hit with a puck. “It hurts,” he said with a laugh. “I wish I could wear more padding.

Roose continues at length...

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Wayne Gretzky confirms that he chose Los Angeles over Detroit (and New York)

Via RedWingsFeed, I thought this was a "common knowledge"-level not-so-urban-legend truth by now, but the Canadian Press had a chat with one Wayne Gretzky, and Gretzky revealed that he could have been a Red Wing:

On Aug. 9, 1988, the Oilers traded Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, to the Los Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash, and the Kings' first-round draft picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993.

The retired superstar discussed his NHL career and the trade to the Kings with former Hockey Canada boss Bob Nicholson at the Greatness in Leadership forum in Lethbridge, Alta., on Tuesday.

"I got sold. I didn't get traded," Gretzky said.

"At the end of the day and this is kind of unique the Oilers said, `what city do you want to go to?' I had the choice of New York, Detroit or L.A.

"Everyone thought that my wife [actress Janet Gretzky] had picked L.A. and my wife said, `you should play in Detroit.' It was my dad who called me and said, `you should play in L.A.' For whatever reason, he said, `I think you should move to L.A.' and I became an L.A. King after that."


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The Red Wings may in fact want to ditch their Kindl for an Ouellet upgrade

Let's just say that more than a few Red Wings fans are pissed off about the fact that Jakub Kindl, Brian Lashoff (and Daniel Cleary) made the Red Wings' 23-man roster, and more than a few Wings fans are concerned about the comments Mike Babcock made to the press, including the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, about Xavier Ouellet and possibly being overruled by his GM.

Via Winging It in Motown's SlapShotGoal, "hope" may have arrived in the form of Twitter posts from The Fan 590's Greg Brady...

And the CBC/Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman:

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Red Wings release details of Breast Cancer Awareness Night on October 11th

From the Red Wings' community relations department:

… Red Wings Invite More than 60 Breast Cancer Patients as Special Guests on Oct. 11;
Fans Encouraged to Wear Pink for Chance at Team-Signed Jersey …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host their eighth annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night, presented by Team Rehab, on Saturday, Oct. 11, when the Anaheim Ducks visit Joe Louis Arena at 7:00 p.m.

When doors open at 5:30 p.m., the Joe Louis Arena concourse will be home to a variety of activities, including a silent auction, mystery puck draw, 50/50 raffle and a special sale of Red Wings winter knit hats with all proceeds benefiting the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. The funds raised will help alleviate the costs of breast cancer screening and treatment for uninsured and underinsured women in the Metro Detroit area.

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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.



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