The Malik Report
These players aren't Red Wings property, but they're part of the larger Wings family, so they merit mentioning.
Dean and Jake Chelios's statuses as having a famous father have not equalled an easier road toward professional hockey careers. Neither player was a hair over 6 feet or a puck heavier than 170 pounds (they inherited their dad's wiry physique) during their draft years, so the pair plied their trade at Michigan State University for four seasons, taking part in Wings and Blackhawks development camps.
I hate tossing off "napkin notes" without a substantive news story with which to anchor "tidbits," but I also hate sitting on stories for hours on end simply because there's no "anchor," too. I've looked around all the English-language and foreign-language news websites that I frequent on a daily basis, and I didn't find anything particularly earth-shattering Red Wings-related note, but I did find a decent amount of "stuff"...
So it is with mixed feelings that I provide you a set of stories which may or may not involve significantly substantive content:
I tend not to start overnight reports or any blog entries with grown-up conversations, but we need to have one, dear readers.
Many of you responded to my, "The free agency stuff I've heard from Red Wings fans of late is nuts" comment in Sunday morning's overnight report with, "Nuh uhh, fire was banned in 1408, after a freak fire wiped out three generations of racing snails!"...Wait, I mean, "Forsooth, George, praytell where thee hath such nonsense heareth? Here? Nay!"
Okay, get ready for "the talk":
This weekend's entries involve something of a theme. Saturday's overnight report involved "rumors and speculation," and this morning's involves what I suppose we'll call "covetousness," or perhaps, more plainly, "avarice."
I find it more than a little amusing that the same Wings fans who wanted the team to do nothing more than promote Grand Rapids Griffins players and "play the kids," even at salary cap and 23-man roster and CBA-rule-bending expense, now want the Wings to maximize their salary cap space (see: Capgeek's Wings organization chart, your should-be-bookmarked friend) by loading up on as many marquee unrestricted free agents as possible this summer (see also: Capgeek's list of UFA-to-be forwards, defensemen and goalies), even if doing so throws multiple wrenches in the team's "youth movement."
It happens--as "our" (yours and my, given that we are Wings fans) ever-stubborn and too-honest GM pointed out, people tend to "fall in love with everybody who isn't here" (and yes, Ken Holland's end-of-season remark video is still relevant here, as is Mike Babcock's), and perhaps that focus shifts from prospects to the best available players that can be had for only the price of their contract (not named Jiri Sekac?).
I don't mean this as a pun: when one is not familiar with the details of an on-ice incident, it's easy to "pass judgment" upon a player, but it's rarely wise to do so. As such, I'm going to suggest that you and I not make presumptions regarding this article from MLive's John Agar:
A federal judge has upheld a Swiss court’s $1.1 million judgment against former Detroit Red Wing Kevin Miller whose hit from behind in a Switzerland league ended the career of another player.
Miller, who played for the Red Wings and several other NHL teams, along with the Grand Rapids Griffins and Michigan State University, injured Andrew McKim, a Canadian, during a 2000 championship game.
Miller checked McKim in the head and neck after McKim took a shot on goal. McKim fell forward and struck his head on the ice. He was hospitalized several weeks with a concussion and other injuries.
Mike Babcock has repeatedly stated that he would like to remain with the Red Wings' organization. Ken Holland has suggested that the organization feels the same in honest-to-Pete sentence-finishing style, and both coach and GM have repeated their statements to near "ad nauseam" levels over the course of more than "a few" sports talk radio interviews.
The rest of the NHL's scribes and pundits aren't so sure about the likelihood of Babcock signing a long-term extension with the Wings, and the Penguins' firing of Dan Bylsma on Friday (by a general manager who plans on hiring a new head coach on or before July 1st in Jim Rutherford) was bound to yield more "Babcock to Pittsburgh!" comments...
But the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi's comments to 93-7 The FAN's Starkey and Mueller merit a warning for "brain hurt."
I understand that Babcock may yet decide to "test the market" when his contract expires next summer, but...Mr. Rossi is "going with his gut" to the exclusion of everything said or uttered by the coach and GM in question, and while those gentlemen are paid to lie on a regular basis, they are also sometimes disturbingly consistent in terms of their commentary regarding player personnel and managerial decisions, their own respective statuses included.
Anyway, here comes a little brain freeze via your computer screen:
The next pair of articles aren't necessarily Wings-related (for harder-hitting news, take a gander at Tomas Tatar's Facebook-posted video of Tatar preparing for the World Cup, the 5-times-updated morning post, Tatar's battle with Gustav Nyquist for TSN's Play of the Year award, etc.) in the strictest sense of the term, but they do matter to Wings fans.
The ECHL's Toledo Walleye chose to drop their dual affiliation with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Red Wings to provide more personnel stability, but the Walleye remain both a developmental affiliate of the Wings and a team that needs to get more out of its ECHL-playing personnel.
As such, they chose to hire Derek Lalonde, who previously coached the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers and several NCAA Division I colleges prior to taking his current position, and Lalonde discussed his coaching philosophy and plans for the Walleye with the Toledo Free Press's Sanya Ali:
TSN's Play of the Year Final is here, and it's a Red Wings player vs. Red Wings player battle for the second consecutive year, though it's not Datsyuk-vs-Datsyuk this time around.
This time, Tomas Tatar's deke-dangle-and-evade goal against the Dallas Stars...
Faces off against Gustav Nyquist's second-effort breakaway goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Update: Finally, TSN weighs in (via RedWingsFeed):
Last year, two plays by Pavel Datsyuk squared off for the title. This year, it's Tomas Tatar against teammate Gustav Nyquist.
Tatar made the final on a play where he eliminated his defenders by running them clean into one another.
Streaking over the blue line, Tatar feels a pair of Dallas defenders closing in on him. As Brenden Dillon moves in for the big hit, Tatar hesitates and the Stars d-man catches teammate Cameron Gaunce square on, sending both players flying. Tatar resumes his drive and finishes with a nifty backhand shovel that goes off Kari Lehtonen and in.
Nyquist breaks in one-on-one against Matt Carle and the Lightning defender appears initially to do enough to prevent a goal, drawing a penalty in the process. However, Nyquist shakes Carle's grip and pounces on the puck he just lost. From behind the goal line, he still has the presence of mind to corral the puck and toss it under a recovering Ben Bishop.
On Monday, former Wing Mike Commodore gave an intriguing interview to Top Sports Report's Allan Brown, and on Thursday, he addressed his time with the Red Wings and his relationships with fans over the course of a second interview with Brown:
“The fans have played a big part of my career,” he said. “Fans in every city I played in have always been very good to me. And I have always tried to be as good as possible to them in return. I shared as much of my time and energy as I could with them and I enjoyed every minute of it,” Commodore continued. “Whenever I would sign an autograph I would always remind myself to ‘Make sure you enjoy this’ because no matter who you are, sooner or later eventually nobody cares.”
And during his tours of the NHL the fans always rallied around him. That was never more evident than in Detroit, where a social media campaign for Commodore to wear the number 64 – in honor of the 80s Commodore 64 computer – on his sweater took on a life of its own.
“The Wings organization was great,” Commodore said. “Great front office, great fans and great players. I really loved the City of Detroit, especially the people around the City of Detroit, they are the best”
Commodore’s relationship with the fans was enhanced by social media- especially Twitter – where he frequently posts and always responds to fans. But has the outspoken Stanley Cup winner ever regretted anything he has said on the site?
“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten in real trouble on social media,” Commodore chuckled. “Before I send any tweet, I take a minute to make sure I am not saying something incredibly ignorant or hurtful. That being said, I have deleted a couple tweets a few minutes after I sent them, but I truly can’t remember what I tweeted.”
Brown continues at length, allowing Commodore to quash his rumored party-animal status...
The annual Bob Probert Memorial Ride, a charitable motorcycle ride which benefits Windsor's Hotel-Dieu Grace, will take place on June 22nd, but if you're looking to watch some of its participants take part in a hockey game, the Blackburn Daily News's Adelle Loiselle reports that several NHL alums will be playing a charity hockey game tonight in Tecumseh, ON:
Hockey fans can watch some of their NHL, AHL and OHL favourites hit the ice at Tecumseh Arena for a good cause.
The inaugural Probert Classic gets underway at 7pm. Doug Gilmour, formerly with the Toronto Maple Leafs and current general manager of the Kingston Frontenacs, and former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty coach the two teams. Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara drops the puck.
Proceeds from the game support the upcoming annual Bob Probert Memorial Ride, which has raised more than $260,000 for cardiac care in Windsor-Essex. The ride is on June 22.
Probert died in July 2010 of heart failure at the age of 45. He played for the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks.
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.