The Malik Report
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
From the Detroit suburbs to Finland and back to the U.S., Brian Rafalski's hockey career spanned internationally from inauspicious to illustrious.
The diminutive defenseman from Dearborn won the Stanley Cup three times, including in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings, and collected two Olympic silver medals.
That led, naturally enough, to Wednesday's announcement that Rafalski, now 40, is part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
"I'm very humbled and honored," Rafalski said on a conference call from his off-season home in Wisconsin. "It's very rewarding for myself. I wasn't really expecting this."
Paul's covered the vast majority of what's transpired while I've been absent--and in theory, I still am, as the mom and I remain in Grand Marais until Saturday--but even on vacation, one gets to a point where you worry that you aren't going to be able to catch up...
And if you're me, you worry about that kind of thing in August. I'm working on it this week, I promise.
Anyway, amongst the stuff that's transpired while I've been absent, and ahead of a "beach day":
added 2:27pm, And as we have heard before...
via Corey Pronman of ESPN (Insider subscription),
In preparation for the 2015 World Junior Championships, Team USA holds an evaluation camp for top eligible players in Lake Placid, and two other countries take part in practices and games as well.
Axel Holmstrom | C | Sweden | Detroit Red Wings- Holmstrom was a seventh-round pick (No. 196 overall) by the Red Wings this year, and at the time of the draft there were some scouts in Sweden who thought he should have gone higher. He was quite impressive at this camp, playing in Sweden's top six and being quite effective offensively.
Holmstrom has a pretty high skill level, and he looks like he's bulked up over the past few months as well. It's not crazy to think he'll be a top 10 prospect for Detroit by next summer.
Dylan Larkin | C/LW | USA | Detroit Red Wings- The No. 15 overall pick this June, Larkin really stood out with his skating ability. He was one of the bigger forwards at the camp in terms of frame development, but was arguably the fastest player as well, which helped him keep consistent offensive zone pressure even without plus hands.
In case you missed a tweet from George last night regarding a Holmstrom goal...
DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard will ride along with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet team in an F-16 “Fighting Falcon” this Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., in advance of the 2014 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show running from Aug. 9-10.
Howard will be briefed by U.S. Air Force jet pilots at 2:30 p.m. and the F-16 “Fighting Falcons” will arrive to the Willow Run Airport at 3:00 p.m. The F-16s will perform survey flights around the airport leading up to Howard’s take-off at 5:30 p.m., where he is expected to reach speeds nearing Mach 1, or upwards of 900 miles per hour.
from USA Hockey,
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - USA Blue pulled out a 2-1 victory against Finland today at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp. Finland tallied midway through the third period, but Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill./U.S. National Under-18 Team) and Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./U.S. National Under-18 Team) each scored in the final 5:03 to clinch the win for USA Blue.
Watch the goal highlights below plus a short post-game interview with Larkin.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced the theme nights and promotional schedule for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Returning this season, fans will have an opportunity to collect one-of-a-kind bobbleheads, along with several new giveaways, including holiday ornaments, themed T-shirts and much more.
Highlighting the exciting list of giveaways are five AT&T Bobblehead Nights, featuring Justin Abdelkader (Nov. 24 vs. Ottawa), Jonathan Ericsson (Dec. 16 vs. Columbus), Gustav Nyquist (Jan. 20 vs. Minnesota) and Danny DeKeyser (March 9 vs. Edmonton). The final Bobblehead Night of the season will feature Red Wings legend Gordie Howe on his birthday (March 31 vs. Ottawa). The first 7,500 fans in attendance at Joe Louis Arena will receive a bobblehead.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Capitals have a new general manager (Brian McLellan), a new coach (longtime Predators man Barry Trotz) and several new players as they embark on another attempt to make good on that Stanley Cup chatter that’s echoed around Washington for several years.
McLellan nabbed the prize free agent on the market, luring defenseman Matt Niskanen to D.C. with a seven-year, $40.25 million contract (the Wings offered seven years and $38.5 million). That might be a good investment, but Niskanen, 27, has just one great season to his credit and was the gem of the marketplace because the rest was so mundane.
more on the Capitals...
On Channel 7's Sports Cave show this morning, the crew debated Steve Yzerman as the face of the franchise.
Watch the video below and it starts when the topic is about the Wings...
The Pacifica's packed and I'm preparing to make a 400-mile trip to Grand Marais, MI today for my first vacation in two summers. Paul will handle the Wings blogging duties for the next wee (I'll return on August 9th), but the next two or two-and-a-half weeks should remain realtively "slow" on the Red Wings front.
I know that DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose and the Free Press's Helene St. James are continuing their surveys of Eastern Conference teams, the Freep's continuing its bracketed "Who's Your Red Wing?" vote and MLive's doing its "best Wing by position" survey, but the Wings' front office has exactly three things to do until Daniel Alfredsson begins skating later this month (at least aside from monitoring the health and progress of Stephen Weiss, Darren Helm, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan "Middle Finger" Ericsson and Daniel "Old Yeller" Cleary):
It is indeed August 1st, so the "news cycle" isn't particularly intense save PK Subban Overdrive, but I've found enough at least tangentially-related Red Wings "stuff" to sate my pre-vacation-packing OCD and hopefully share a little more of Jim Paek's story.
I had really hoped that, after 9 years serving as the Grand Rapids Griffins' assistant coach, Jim Paek would finally find himself flanking one of Mike Babcock's shoulders this upcoming season, but Paek chose to pursue a dream in attempting to build a Korean national team ready to qualify for the 2018 Olympic games in Pyeongchang, and I will certainly miss one of the better human beings I've met over my eight years doing hockey blogging for a living.
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.