The Malik Report
Does this assuage the news that Pavel Datsyuk won't play tomorrow, that Stephen Weiss has had a "setback" and that Daniel Cleary is banged-up for the umpteenth time? Not really, no, but still, per the NHL:
Detroit Red Wings right wing Johan Franzen, New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique and Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending March 2.
FIRST STAR – JOHAN FRANZEN, RW, DETROIT RED WINGS
Franzen posted 3-2—5 in two games to lead the Red Wings (28-20-12, 68 points) to a pair of road wins following the Olympic break, helping the club maintain the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference. He assisted on both goals in a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 26, including the primary helper on Gustav Nyquist's overtime winner with 27.3 seconds remaining. Franzen then recorded three goals, including the game-winner, for his sixth career hat trick – and first since Nov. 8, 2011 – in a 6-1 triumph over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 27. The 34-year-old Vetlanda, Sweden, native ranks fifth on the Red Wings in scoring despite missing 27 games due to injury, tallying 12-16—28 in 33 appearances.
Maybe Chris Neil can read between the lines:
Updated 10x at 3:17 PM: Per the Free Press's Anthony Fenech...
And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Update: Is this good? Per MLive's Ansar Khan:
It appears that, from here on out--and as the Red Wings begin a slate of 3 games to be played over the course of 4 nights and 5 in 8--Pavel Datsyuk won't be skating in any practices, and I wouldn't be surprised that 70% Magic Man skips some morning skates.
MLive's Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported that Datsyuk didn't practice on Saturday, and today...
So practice continued...
Prior to today's Red Wings practice, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose was a little busy with an ancillary project...
I received tons of inquiries regarding the lithograph print of Red Wings legends that Mickey Redmond stated would be available after the Winter Classic alumni game, so I don't mind giving the Wings' PR department a plug here. That being said, according to the purchase page and eventual order form, you're looking at $12,000 for the pair of prints--though the money goes to the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association's charitable arms:
The Detroit Red Wings announced today that the limited edition “Wings of Glory” alumni offset lithographs are now on sale to the public. Commissioned by the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association, less than 200 of these beautifully designed prints were created and feature renderings and autographs from all the Red Wings players who participated in the 2013 Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on Dec. 31.
The Red Wings are about to get incredibly "busy" in the hockey sense of the term. After today's practice, they'll fly to New Jersey to kick off a slate of 3 games played over the course of 4 nights and a total of 5 in 8 afternoons and evenings (Sunday's game against the Rangers is a matinee).
After a two-day break on March 12th and 13th, the team will play on an every-other-night basis for the balance of the month, racking up 10 games over the course of 17 afternoons and evenings...
So the 28-20-and-12 Wings will reach the 75-game mark by March 31st, and between now and then, we'll find out whether the team can make any hay in terms of wiggling out of a messy race for a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
In penning his "Look Ahead in Hockeytown," DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose both previews this week's quartet of games and frames the Wings' situation as Ken Holland prepares for Wednesday's trade deadline and the players on the ice prepare to "get busy":
In Red Wings prospect news...This is a short entry, but I'm trying to keep prospect news separate from big-club news.
In the ECHL...Hoo boy. The Toledo Walleye are now 0-and-2 under interim coach Dan Watson after dropping a 5-2 decision to the Greenville Road Warriors. Jared Coreau sat this one out, so he didn't have the opportunity to try to win his second professional game; the defensive pair of Max Nicastro and Richard Nedomlel finished at -1, with Nedomlel taking eight minutes in penalties, and those of you who remember 6'9" defenseman Ildar Telyakov from the Red Wings' summer prospect camp might want to note that Ildar is now playing for the Walleye.
The Walleye's website recounted the game's events...
Today is the calm before the storm for me. Over the next three days, Paul and I are going to be grinding out trade deadline coverage (and I swear, in this day and age, the minimum ratio of internet rumor to actual trade is 1,000 to 1), and in terms of my workload, the Red Wings will resume practice on Monday ahead of a slate of 5 games played over the course of 8 nights, including a 3-in-4 slate on Tuesday, Thursday (Nick Lidstrom jersey retirement night) and Friday, so I'm going to be really *#$%@& busy.
As of the middle of Sunday afternoon, however, last yesterday and last night's worth of trade and follow-on rink talk, prospect news and what I'm sure will be the first of at least three dozen articles dedicated to Lidstrom's legacy (irony: my favorite Wing is retiring, and I won't be at the rink...Ah well, it'll be better on TV anyway) serve as the main Red Wings-related news items on a blessedly practice-free day (yay, no practice, no injury news!).
This morning, MLive's Brendan Savage did ask fans whether they'd prefer to see the Wings go after a forward reinforcement or someone to bolster the blueline, all while noting that Ken Holland essentially told MLive's Ansar Khan what he told the New York Times--the Wings' 1st round pick's off the table, and at present, fans' window-shopping won't translate into any real deadline action:
Something tells me that between now and Thursday's actual retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom's #5, which will be aired on Fox Sports Detroit starting at 6:30 PM EST (we "spring forward" next Sunday), we're probably going to learn more little, "humanizing" details regarding the "Perfect Human" than we did during the course of his playing career.
Today, the Detroit Free Press essentially kicks off what will be "Nicklas Lidstrom Jersey Retirement Week" with a pair of photo galleries and an incredibly in-depth article (factoid sidebar story included) regarding the recent Michigan Sports Hall of Fame inductee's career and legacy. This is more than a, "Worth your time" article, including significant commentary from Steve Yzerman and Ken Holland, but I'm going to skip some of the juicier parts and take note of what Lidstrom's actually doing at present--working as an assistant coach with Vasteras IK's 2000-birthdate team, coaching his son Samuel.
Lidstrom's described what he does as a 5-day-a-week job (I'm sure we'll hear from the Swedish press, too), and here's how St. James frames Lidstrom's return to Sweden (again, Tomas Holmstrom will also be heading home to Pitea this summer) and post-NHL life:
I know that many of you are less than enthused about the concept that the Red Wings aren't likely to make a trade deadline move, especially given what Ken Holland himself had to say to the New York Times (on Saturday, reiterating that the Wings' first round draft pick is not for sale) and MLive's Ansar Khan (on Wednesday), but the reported asking prices for Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler (as well as someone who insists he's going to test the unrestricted free agent marketplace in Thomas Vanek) are nuts...
And while I don't like the concept of the Wings adding, at most, a depth defenseman, I despise the concept of the team surrendering Anthony Mantha, Calle Jarnkrok, Teemu Pulkkinen, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet or Petr Mrazek--as well as at least one of Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco or Riley Sheahan, and that first round pick--for the sake of making a move.
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.