The Malik Report
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:
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:
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:
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...
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."
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.
And the CBC/Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman:
From the Red Wings' community relations department:
RED WINGS PINK THE RINK FOR EIGHTH ANNUAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS NIGHT PRESENTED BY TEAM REHAB
… 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.
Two quick notes that don't quite fit the afternoon news post or all of the fan anger (some of it understandable) regarding the Red Wings' roster moves today:
1. Speaking on behalf of a ton of Red Wings fans, I think that this news from the New Jersey Devils is fantastic, because Jordin Tootoo was nothing but a superb teammate and foot soldier even though he didn't quite keep up with the Wings' system...
The New Jersey Devils today signed forward Jordin Tootoo to a new contract. The announcement was made by Devils’ President/General Manager Lou Lamoriello. As per club policy, no further terms were disclosed.
Tootoo will enter his 12th professional season after attending training camp on a tryout basis. He split the 2013-14 campaign between Detroit and Grand Rapids (AHL), his second season with the Red Wings’ organization. The 5-9, 195 lb. forward has career totals of 49 goals and 85 assists for 134 points and 808 penalty minutes in 539 regular-season appearances with Nashville and Detroit. He added three goals and seven assists for ten points in 40 career playoff games. Tootoo made his NHL debut on October 9, 2003 with the Predators.
2. And Kings fan Dana Mounce got a tattoo of the teams-as-animated-characters artwork Eric Poole/EPoole88 made for TSN's BarDown blog after the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup, and I could see a Wings fan putting this logo on their arm (Poole made a set of Atlantic Division logos for TSN)--or the Red Wings taking a hint and animating "Al the Octopus":
Updated 6x at 4:47 PM: There were strong hints during today's practice that 1) Petr Mrazek would remain with the team due to some sort of injury suffered by Jonas Gustavsson, 2) Andrej Nestrasil made the team and 3) Xavier Ouellet made the team, but the Free Press's Helene St. James, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness report that only #2 was accurate...
Updated 6x at 1:59 PM: The Red Wings practiced a little over an hour ago, and as Paul noted, there's some goaltending intrgue but very little in terms of news that might answer the Wings' roster questions ahead of the 5 PM deadline to be 23-man roster compliant:
Here were MLive's Ansar Khan's practice Tweets...
All 26 players on Wings roster skating this morning including Datsyuk, who's back to wearing gray non-contact jersey.
Weiss and Cleary still wearing gray jerseys, usually reserved for scratches. But Babcock said yesterday he hadn't decided on lineup.
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.