The Malik Report
Updated 4x at 3:57 PM: If there is any "good news" about the fact that the Detroit Red Wings took their team picture and cleaned out their lockers today, facing the media for the last formal "locker stall scrum" time this season and looking toward the future, it is this:
The Red Wings summer will be incredibly short for both a roster of largely banged-up players and the team's management (see: the draft takes place on June 28th and free agency begins on July 5th), and 21 years after the 1991-92 Chicago Blackhawks sent Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov's Wings a message about how far the promising team had come--and how far the team had to go in terms of reinforcing its youthul core to build a perennial Stanley Cup contender--by sweeping Detroit, this younger, less star-studded team took a Hawks team as stacked as it was in '92 to 7 games...
The Red Wings sent Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist to Oklahoma City, OK in an attempt to bolster the Grand Rapids Griffins' roster as they face a 2 games-to-1 deficit in their AHL Western Conference Final series against the Oklahoma City Barons (the teams play games and 5 tonight and tomorrow in OKC), and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Danny DeKeyser will be joining them:
Update: MLive's Brendan Savage reports that DeKeyser is heading to OKC in less than top form...
"My thumb isn't completely healed yet," DeKeyser said Friday at Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers. I'll probably do a little bit more rehab on it and get some of the muscles and joints going."
DeKeyser, who broke his thumb in Game 2 vs. Anaheim and missed Detroit's final 12 playoff games, was hoping to return in the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings if the Red Wings would have beaten the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday in Game 7 of that series.
"I would have been ready to go this round, maybe not right away but maybe game 3 or 4 I was thinking," DeKeyser said. "It's a bummer knowing I was that close to making a comeback but that's just how it goes sometimes."
Red Wings overnight report: today, the Wings will clean out their lockers and look toward the future
Under 48 hours removed from a crushing Game 7 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings will assemble for the last time in their 2013 season incarnation at Joe Louis Arena on Friday morning. They'll take their team picture, peel off their uniforms, and both the players and coaches will address the media before for the last formal time.
The players, coach and GM will still give interviews over the next week or so--the post-playoff "news cycle" will last for at least the next 10 days, radio interviews included--but this is a "short" off-season, with the draft slated for June 28th (the Wings' amateur scouts are attenging the NHL's draft combine this week in Toronto, and director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell told NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale that he believes the Wings will find a solid player with the 18th overall pick) and free agency to hit on July 5th, so the players will probably engage in exit meetings with the coaches and management on an accelerated basis, they'll receive treatment for their injuries, off-season workout prescriptions and in some cases, book surgery time...
Pretty remarkable stuff, from WOOD TV's Larry Figurski:
On Thursday, staff members with the Grand Rapids Griffins helped clean up debris in the wake of the deadly tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area on May 20.
The Griffins are in Oklahoma for the AHL Western Conference series.
24 Hour News 8's Larry Figurski is traveling with the team and was with the Griffins staffers as they helped sort through the rubble in Moore, Okla.
Of the three games the Griffins have played against the Oklahoma City Barons in the series, the Barons have won two.
The Griffins next game is Friday night at 8 p.m for Game 4 of the AHL Western Conference in Oklahoma City.
A video follows the jump cut:
Via Paul, from NBC Sports:
BLACKHAWKS-RED WINGS GAME 7 POSTS 2.07 RATING, HIGHEST-RATED NHL GAME EVER ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK
3.354 Million Viewers Surpasses All Previous NHL Regular-Season and Non- Stanley Cup Final Games on NBC Sports Network
Chicago Sets Record with 17.21 Local Rating; Detroit Posts 14.96
Conference Semifinals Average 1.5 Million Viewers, Most-Watched Semifinals Ever Across Broadcast and Cable (Since 1994)
NEW YORK – May 30, 2013 – Last night’s Western Conference Semifinal Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings posted a 2.07 rating and averaged 3.354 million viewers, making it the highest-rated NHL game ever on NBC Sports Network, and the most-watched Semifinal game ever on cable (data available since 1994).
MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula will miss 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain and that Mikael Samuelsson may need surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, and as we talk about possible roster moves and Wings GM Ken Holland talks about sticking to his plan (which would mean very few roster moves), Holland also dished playoff injury dirt to the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Holland also said today that Jimmy Howard played with a pulled hamstring at the end of the Anaheim series.
Other than that, both forward Daniel Cleary and defenseman Niklas Kronwall were banged up, each dealing with the effects of monstrous hits. Kronwall got clotheslined in Game 5 by Chicago forward Bryan Bickell and "was playing with an injured shoulder," Holland said. "He hurt his hand in the Anaheim series."
Cleary suffered a second-degree separated left shoulder and a fractured left finger after he was slammed into the boards by Anaheim's Daniel Winnik in Game 5.
St. James continues, and offers the following:
While you, I and the media ponder what the Red Wings' management, pro and amateur scouts, coaches and player leadership will decide to do in terms of the team's roster going forward based upon its salary cap situation, a pair of possible cap-compliance buy-outs, trades, injuries and how the team will accommodate the signings of its prospects and promotions of prospects from Grand Rapids...
The management's decisions to stand pat over the past 11-or-so months has shown that the team tends to believe in the concept that prospect development plus a free agent signing or two = the way to go while "rebuilding on the fly," and Ken Holland basically confirmed that strategy while speaking to the Free Press's Jeff Seidel, who suggests that the Wings' playoff run has made him a "believer" in the Wings' organizational philosophy:
The Red Wings lost Valtteri Filppula's services after he was slew-footed by Andrew Shaw (though Kerry Fraser doesn't think so) during last night's Game 7 loss to Chicago, and while Filppula's future with the organization is likely down to a couple of weeks, MLive's Ansar Khan provides an injury update regarding Filppula's status:
If the Wings want to keep him, a high ankle sprain won't dissuade them from signing him, and if they want to flip his rights at the draft (sign-and-trade-wise or in a straight-up trade), he'll still have value, but suffering a high ankle sprain in June will cut into his off-season training regimen.
Update #2: Khan asked Holland about the state of contract negotiations with Filppula...
Given that the Red Wings have signed defensemen Nick Jensen and will be bringing Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet into the organization next fall, I'm not sure where Alexei Marchenko will fit on a Grand Rapids Griffins' blueline that will include Adam Almquist, Max Nicastro, probably Chad Billins and possibly an AHL veteran or two [edit/update: and, lest I forget, definitely Richard Nedomlel], but the Wings believe that Mattias Backman (who the team signed recently but will allow him to remain with Linkopings HC of the Swedish Eliteserien) and Marchenko, who played for CSKA Moscow, are two of their brightest defensive prospects, and as such, the Wings signed Marchenko today, and they plan on bringing him over to North America to turn pro next season:
RED WINGS SIGN DEFENSEMAN ALEXEI MARCHENKO TO A THREE-YEAR ENTRY LEVEL DEAL
... 2011 Seventh-Round Draft Pick Played Last Four Seasons in Russia …
Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today announced that defenseman Alexei Marchenko has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the club. In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
Marchenko, 21, was Detroit’s seventh-round selection (205th overall) in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The Moscow, Russia, native has spent parts of the past four seasons with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League, including the 2012-13 season as a teammate of Red Wings forward and assistant captain Pavel Datsyuk (31GP, 11G-25A-36P for CSKA) and under the tutelage of former Red Wings great and current CSKA general manager, Sergei Fedorov. In 82 career KHL games, the 6-2, 183-lb. blue liner has posted 11 points (4G-7A-11P), 12 PIM and a -9 rating.
Updated 2x with a weird trade-in-retrospect-rumor at 2:53 PM: A little over twelve hours removed from the Red Wings' Game 7 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, two themes dominate this afternoon's Red Wings talk:
1. As Paul noted, Wings coach Mike Babcock very bluntly stated to MLive's Ansar Khan that the team needs to improve its roster--with most of those in the know suggesting that the Wings will look at their cap situation and attempt to sign big goal-scoring forward and/or a #3/4 puck-moving defenseman, though doing so may involve both a) letting some UFA's-to-be walk or trading their rights, b) continuing to embrace the youth movement, bumps and mistakes included, c) utilizing the team's 2 cap compliance buy-outs and d) possibly trading some of the players who proved that they've got serviceable skills to make room for the Anderssons, Nyquists, Tatars, DeKeysers, Lashoffs, the probable returns of Helm and Bertuzzi and the team's UFA targets;
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