The Malik Report
We've heard Henrik Zetterberg suggest that the Red Wings' players knew that Mike Babcock was leaving Detroit after his tenth season coaching the team, and now Babcock's suggesting that he also wanted to make a change in an interview with the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger:
“From a personal level, any time you’ve been in a place for 10 years and the kids have gone to elementary and high school in that spot, it’s a big change,” he said. “Now there’s been a mass exodus from that spot. The kids all left. We still have a residence in Michigan and we’re going to keep it but we sold our home.
“Now we’re living in Yorkville. We got ourselves a condo. I’ve never lived in a condo in my life. Don’t know anything about it. Don’t know if I’m going to like it or not. Toronto’s obviously a big city. It’s vibrant. People love hockey. That part has been exciting.”
Babcock said his wife Maureen will join him full-time in Toronto in about a month. Right now she is “in and out.” Babcock has made no secret of the fact that Maureen had a significant say in his final landing spot once he’d made up his mind to leave.
“In the end, my wife and my kids would have stayed in Detroit. They love it there. I was the guy who wanted to try something new.”
Babcock tells Zeisberger that it "would have been easier" to stay in Detroit, and he tells Zeisberger that he knows that playing against the Red Wings on October 9th will be very emotional, but he understands that things have changed:
During Babcock’s successful run in Detroit - one that included 10 consecutive playoff appearances and a Stanley Cup in 2008 - his best player arguably was the gifted Pavel Datsyuk. And while the two men remain close, friend has become foe now that Babcock is in Toronto.
“Pavel made it very clear to me he’s going to be very good when it comes to playing against Toronto,” Babcock said. “I don’t blame him.”
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
“I think he has a lot of knowledge,” Zetterberg said of Blashill. “When he was here last time he was really fresh. I think the time he spent in Grand Rapids was really good. He did a tremendous job down there with the kids and you’ve been seeing the product of him, when you see players like come up like Gus (Nyquist) and (Tomas) Tatar and (Riley) Sheahan and (Luke) Glendening. There are so many guys that went through playing for him and won the Calder Cup with him, so we’re excited and just want to get it going.”
The Wings also added through free agency defenseman Mike Green, a right-handed, power-play specialist, and another veteran presence in Brad Richards, who has his name on the Stanley Cup twice the last of which came last season with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Green is a right-handed shot, plays a lot on the power play, plays a lot of minutes and did a real good job in Washington,” Zetterberg said. “It’s kind of the defenseman we didn’t have, so it’s a nice addition for us. Also, Richards has been around for a long time, knows what it takes to go all the way and win and it’s going to be nice to have a veteran presence in the locker room.
“There are a lot of guys in here who’ve been through the same stuff for many years,” Zetterberg continued. “I think now with the new additions of Green and Richards, and the new coach, it’s given us a little fresh start. Obviously it’s going to be a different voice behind the bench and sometimes you need that.”
more from Zetterberg on Babcock and his new baby...
Former Red Wing and current Ottawa Senators scout Dennis Polonich gave an interview to the Hockey News's Mark Malinowski for a "getting to know you" article, and it's a solid read:
Greatest Sports Moment(s): “Obviously scoring my first NHL goal – Vaclav Nedomansky and Mickey Redmond assisted. I had two in my fifth game against the Colorado Rockies (Billy McKenzie was the goalie). Scoring a playoff goal against Ken Dryden. And being named captain of the Detroit Red Wings in ’76-77.”
Most Painful Moment: “I had two that stand out – Obviously, when I got hit across the face in ’78 by Wilf Paiement – it was a defining moment in my career, it changed the way I played. And when I was told by Jimmy Devellano that they weren’t going to sign me and my career with the Red Wings was done.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “Oh boy, we had some of them on our team. Bryan ‘Bugsy’ Watson, Walt McKechnie, Dennis Hextall, we had a lot of fun. Playing against – Randy Carlyle – we had some comments back and forth. I used to get under the skin of the Broad Street Bullies, Andre ‘Moose’ Dupont, Dave Schultz, Bob Kelly, we’d banter back and forth quite a bit.”
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Wings prospect Chase Pearson regarding his winding path toward the pro game, which involves playing for the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms for one more season before heading to the University of Maine:
Once he gets to college, Pearson isn't sure how long he'll stay there. His ultimate goal is to follow his dad into the NHL and if pro hockey calls before he's finished with college, it will be hard to say no.
"It depends," he said. "Obviously, a degree would be nice but if Detroit thinks I'm ready to come play, my dream is to play in the NHL. So I would leave early and then finish my schooling. It was awesome being drafted by such a prestigious organization. Original Six. Established. It was an honor for me. Detroit is a great city and hopefully I'll be there soon."
2. Also in prospect news, Axel Holmstrom registered an assist in Skelleftea AIK's 5-2 win over Bili Tygri Liberec yesterday, earning Skelleftea a top-in-its-group ranking in the Champions Hockey League;
[Edit: Alexander Kadeikin also played 13:23 in SKA St. Petersburg's 4-3 loss to Metallurg NK today /end edit]
3. And the Free Press's Brian Mazullo had a little fun with Claude Lemieux's confirmation that he'll play in the Wings-Avs alumni game preceding next February's Stadium Series game:
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Looking ahead: It’s already expected that Datsyuk’s off-season surgery will sideline him till November, but the arrival of veteran center Brad Richards, plus the possibility that prospect Dylan Larkin makes a case to be in Detroit, should lighten Zetterberg’s load this October.
It should be a priority to keep Zetterberg from being worn down — he’s such a tremendous two-way player, but he’ll celebrate his 35th birthday the night of the season opener (Oct. 9) and he’s got a lot of miles on him. The Wings need Zetterberg — his production and his leadership — to be successful in the playoffs, so the more the younger generation can step up and lighten his burden, especially during the regular season, the better all around.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
Helm was very happy with the amount of training he was able to take part in this summer...
“Last two years, I’ve been doing a little bit of rehab and a little light lifting,” he said. “And this year I was able to do the heavy lifting and the training the way the other guys do, and at the same time being smart with what I need to do.
“I think I’m in better shape than I have been in previous years. The last couple were just getting to where I need to be to play, and this year I feel I’m in much better shape than that.”
And Tatar suggested that he's getting into his prime both physically and mentally:
For the third time in three years, I had put my head down on the pillow when I got a text from Paul, in Samsung's whistling ringtone, and I knew immediately that something was up.
For the third time in three years, Paul told me that the Red Wings had re-signed Daniel Cleary, for the third time, honoring a promise made back in training camp in 2013, and I could only shake my head and pull the covers over it.
I'm not furious like I was last summer, because this isn't a $2.5 million albatross on the cap like the last deal (with that lingering $1 million-for-10-games-played bonus still likely to force the Wings to trade someone off the burgeoning roster by the first week of October).
I'm not angry because we've been told that, this time, if Daniel Cleary is battling for a roster spot against an Andrej Nestrasil-style role player, Cleary won't win by default.
And I'm not angry because I'd resigned myself to the inevitability of Ken Holland keeping his word, consequences in terms of roster complications, cap complications and a near-revolt from fans be damned.
DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the team has re-signed forward Daniel Cleary to a one-year contract.
A native of Carbonear, Newfoundland, Cleary skated in 17 games with the Red Wings during the 2014-15 campaign, notching two points (1-1-2) and six penalty minutes. The 36-year-old forward has totaled 265 points (124-141-265) and 299 penalty minutes in 609 games with the club since 2005-06. He has also appeared in 111 playoff games for the Red Wings, registering 49 points (23-26-49) and 66 penalty minutes and helped the team capture the 11th Stanley Cup championship in franchise history in 2008.
Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round (13th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Cleary has played 938 career NHL games with the Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes and Red Wings, recording 387 points (165-222-387) and 492 penalty minutes. Prior to his NHL career, he notched 101 points (31-70-101) in 97 AHL games with the Portland Pirates and Hamilton Bulldogs from 1998-00. Prior to turning pro in 1998-99, Cleary tallied 323 points (127-196-323) in 220 games during his four-season OHL career with the Belleville Bulls. He was a two-time OHL First-Team All-Star (1996 and 1997) as well as a CHL Second-Team All-Star in 1996 and a member of the CHL All-Rookie Team in 1995.
added 5:39pm, from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Updated 2x at 3:01 PM: Tomas Tatar and Mike Green showed up at the Red Wings' informal practice today, and after said practice, the pair spoke with the media.
Green seemed a little bit uncomfortable at times, but that's to be expected on someone's "first day" meeting with a new media corps (and being the flavor of the week, so to speak), and he addressed the expectations placed upon him and his probable playing partner in Danny DeKeyser;
If you live on the West Side of the State of Michigan, WHTC 1450's Gary Stevens reports that the Stanley Cup will be making a rare-for-the-summer stop in Western MI this weekend:
For the second time in seven years, hockey's Holy Grail comes to the Lakeshore, and in both instances, it wasn't because the Detroit Red Wings were champions.
Paul Goodman is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the three-time Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks. As a way to say thanks to his adopted off-season "refuge" and part-time hometown, he's spending his allocated three days with the Cup in Saugatuck this weekend, capped with a cameo public appearance as part of the Labor Day afternoon boat parade from Kalamazoo Lake through the mouth of the Kalamazoo River to Lake Michigan. Goodman is also supporting a fund-raising effort for purchasing a large "Holiday Tree" that would be permanently planted in the community.
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.