The Malik Report
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
GRIFFINS TO INTRODUCE NEW HEAD COACH ON FRIDAY
WHAT: The Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League will introduce their 10th head coach in franchise history. In addition, a major announcement will be made regarding the leadership of the team’s front office.
WHEN: Friday, June 19 at 11 a.m.
WHO: Griffins majority owner Dan DeVos, Griffins senior vice president of business operations Tim Gortsema, Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin and the new head coach will speak and be available for interviews.
STREAMING: The press conference will be streamed live at http://www.griffinshockey.com as well as on the Griffins’ iPhone and Android app.
And in case you aren't sure who they've picked, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner confirms that it's Todd Nelson.
Updated 3x at 12:05 AM, okay, it's an overnight report: If you didn't pick up the message that Chris Chelios being named an assistant coach on Team USA's World Junior Championship team sent, the Free Press's Helene St. James spells it out: the Wings have chosen to utilize Chelios as a sort of consultant/part time coach who will work with the team's defensemen and possibly help during home games, but he's not going to be a full-time assistant coach alongside Tony Granato, the other "bench coach" and whoever ends up coordinating video:
Chelios has his business interests and is still a very active sports dad despite his kids either playing at the collegiate or minor pro levels, so bringing him into coaching at the NHL level slowly makes the most sense for someone who has a very literally active lifestyle.
My best guess is that we'll see a bench consisting of Tony Granato, Pat Ferschweiler from Grand Rapids and possibly Griffins video coach Bill LeRoy, who's been with the Griffins since 2001, but that's a guess.
Ken Holland suggested that he wanted to announce the coaching staff of the Wings and Griffins "all at once," so we'll find out more about Blashill's appointees and the shape of Todd Nelson's coaching staff in Grand Rapids either tomorrow (probably Thursday) or Friday.
Big update: St. James spoke with Chelios regarding his role:
Starting next season, Chelios will be working with defensemen in Detroit, similarly to what he did the past few seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Chelios will not be on the bench with new Wings head coach Jeff Blashill.
"Blash made me feel really good with my role, it was great to work with him," Chelios told the Free Press. "It'll be good not to have to drive to Grand Rapids any more, I feel like I've earned the right to come back with Blash and work with the Wings. Hopefully, I can help out a little bit. I'll spend as much time as I can players, be on the ice for practices, at meetings, travel as much as I can."
Chelios will not be on the bench during games, and his travel will be limited somewhat by his new role as an assistant coach with the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. USA Hockey announced Chelios, an executive advisor to Wings general manager Ken Holland, will work with head coach Ron Wilson at next year's IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki.
"I'm committed to a camp at the end of July, start of August, some events in December, and then I'll be gone for about a month over Christmas," Chelios said. "It was really nice of Kenny to allow me to do this."
Blashill has yet to make his two assistant bench coaches known. The Wings are still talking to Tony Granato, who spent the past season working under former head coach Mike Babcock. Granato didn't exercise the option he had left on his old contract with the Wings, but that makes sense as he'd want a new contract to reflect working under a new coach (i.e., more term than one year. Blashill got four years). Granato was in charge of the defense and penalty kill.
Update #2: MLive's Ansar Khan confirms...
This is just awesome
Per MLive's Brendan Savage:
Nyquist was an easy winner over Anaheim's Ryan Kesler in the POY Showdown final, finishing with 257,858 of the 422,095 votes cast. That's 61.09 percent.
Norran.se's Arvid Marklund spoke with Axel Holmstrom regarding his 3-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings, and even in roughly-translated Swedish, it sounds like Holmstrom's got his head on straight:
Axel Holmstrom: "A childhood dream"
He's got an NHL contract. But the super-talent looks forward to continuing to develop with Skelleftea AIK.
The 18-year-old super-talent is obviously pleased that the contract with the Detroit Red Wings is official and signed.
"It feels very inspiring, it's a childhood dream come true," says Holmstrom to Norran. "But it doesn't mean that you'll get to play in the NHL. It's a long way [away], and it means you have to continue to work hard to get there," Axel continues.
Updated 3x at 11:44 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
Todd Nelson will be announced as the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate, as early as today. Details of the contract are still being worked out. The position became open June 9, when the Wings promoted Blashill to head coach after three seasons with the Griffins.
Nelson, 46 and a former defenseman, has a considerable coaching resume. He most recently was the interim coach of the Edmonton Oilers. He was an assistant with the Griffins in 2002-03, before going to the Muskegon Fury, where he coached that team to the IHL title. He was an assistant with the Chicago Wolves when they won the AHL's Calder Cup in 2008.
This press release points toward an "associate" or consulting-type role for Chris Chelios in Detroit:
Chelios, Cole and Reiter Named Assistant Coaches
For 2016 U.S. National Junior Team
Support Staff Also Announced for 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today named Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.), Danton Cole (Pontiac, Mich.) and Kevin Reiter (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as assistant coaches for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. The trio will work with Ron Wilson (Riverside, R.I.), who was previously announced as head coach.
Chelios, an advisor to hockey operations for the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, will serve as an assistant coach on his first U.S. National Junior Team. For the last five years, Chelios has worked closely with the coaching staffs of the Red Wings and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, to help develop and mentor young players within the organization.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Why he would interest the Red Wings: They could use some more offense from the blue line and he would provide it. Even though their power play ranked second in the league, they didn't have a reliable second point option after Niklas Kronwall. Green's right-handed shot would be welcome on a team dominated by left shooters.
How he could fit in with the Red Wings: Possibly on the top pairing with Kronwall at even strength and on the top power-play unit.
What it might take to get him: A weak free-agent market enhances Green's value and bargaining power. He will be the top available defenseman and could get a five-year deal for around $6 million a season.
The Red Wings are beginning a set of summer stories focusing on "Wings season highs," and DetroitRedWings.com's Craig Peterson focused on Luke Glendening's career-best numbers and improvement over the course of the 2014-15 season:
In just the second game of the regular season, on Oct. 11, Glendening scored with a backhand shot that squeaked past Anaheim goalie Frederik Anderson. That goal got Glendening started on the right foot, propelling him to a career-high 12 goals.
“I think it’s getting more comfortable, I thought I had some chances last year to score and it just didn’t go in,” Glendening said. “This year it’s found the back of the net a little bit more but I think as I’ve gotten more comfortable, I’ve been playing a little better.”
Skating as a high-energy fourth-line center, Glendening spent a significant amount of ice time alongside linemate and fellow penalty killer Drew Miller.
With lockers side-by-side in the Wings’ dressing room, Miller, a Michigan State University alumnus, has gotten to know Glendening, a University of Michigan alumnus, quite well during his time in Detroit.
“He’s a guy I’ve played with a lot this year and a lot last year towards the end of the season,” Miller said. “We’re getting to know each other pretty well and obviously, we’re penalty-kill partners, he works hard, he brings it every day. So that’s something that you can count on from him as a linemate, and the guys in the locker room and the coaches do the same, count on him to bring it.”
One source is a rumor, two sources are a "report," and three sources are generally--academically speaking, as well as in the news business--confirmed. Consider this confirmed:
Update: Make it four sources...which is Kosher:
The Edmonton Journal's Jonathan Willis penned a blog entry about this news:
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland about two topics--the state of the Red Wings' defense and the signing of Axel Holmstrom--and his conversation with Holland regarding the Wings' blueline (and the options available to the team to improve the team as a whole) is fascinating:
"A year ago on July 1 we were looking for a right-shot defenseman we thought could get points,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “There were two or three on the market. When we didn’t get them we just stopped. We felt that the young players we had in our organization were the answer.
“I’d like to think by getting 100 points and making the playoffs, to a degree, validated the decisions we made,” Holland continued. “Certainly we’re disappointed we weren’t able to finish off, being up 3-2 on Tampa Bay. We’ve got to get better. Part of that improvement is going to be the experience that (Tomas) Tatar, (Gustav) Nyquist, (Danny) DeKeyser, (Luke) Glendening, (Petr) Mrazek, (Tomas) Jurco and (Riley) Sheahan have had in the Boston series and in the Tampa Bay series.”
And going forward...
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