The Malik Report
Red Wings-Capitals set-up and overnight report: Wings finally get back to work amidst sticky wickets
The good part of the Red Wings' relatively "light" schedule of late involves the fact that the Wings have enjoyed three two-day breaks between what one can generously describe as a three-game slate of hiccups after the team's successful Western Canadian swing.
The Wings have had time to rest, to practice, and in the case of the Wings' most recent personnel moves--demoting Jordin Tootoo and waiving Patrick Eaves included--affording Johan Franzen (???), Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder, will return tonight) and Brendan Smith (who will return from his shoulder injury sooner than later) time to recover from their injuries.
Given the team's six-game home losing streak and status as winless in four, however, all that "free time" has yielded a downright poisonous atmosphere amongst a fan base that feels the team's summertime moves and previous signings are coming back to strangle the progress of its younger players, as well as a fan base whose recollections of last year's 48-games-in-99-nights demolition derby have yielded far less patience and much more intense concern when things go wrong during the course of an 82-game, six-and-a-half month marathon.
So the fact that the Red Wings are getting back to work with a home game against the Washington Capitals tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/CSN Washington/NHL Network/1270 AM) and a road tilt against the Islanders tomorrow (7 PM, FSD/MSG Plus) is...A huge *#$%@& relief for those of us who are tired of the warring and arguing among Wings fans, and want to see what the team can do to back their comments up on the ice.
Thursday night was a bit of a "slow" evening for the Red Wings' prospects, but I've decided to separate prospect news from "big club" news, so you'll have to bear with me.
The Red Wings did assign Jordin Tootoo to Grand Rapids, and he'll be wearing #22 when the Griffins attempt to rebound from their 2-1 loss to Milwaukee when they host the Rockford IceHogs tonight (and the Griffins also play in Chicago on Saturday).
As I stated regarding MLive's Peter J. Wallner's conversation with Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, the AHL is a very different league than the NHL--a league where teams more or less have to carry a dedicated enforcer of some kind, and where fighting is not on the decline--so Tootoo is incredibly likely to drop his gloves more games than not.
While Tootoo thanked fans for their well-wishes...
This is a wee bit...Let's say into the proceedings, but DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that the Red Wings are taking part in "Movember," and they've joined a website to help raise awareness of and funds for men's health by growing moustaches:
Mustaches are sprouting throughout the Red Wings’ locker room in honor of Movember, an effort to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.
“I think it’s always important to bring awareness to anything of this magnitude,” forward Darren Helm said. “I mean we do the breast cancer thing, the cancer thing and it’s all very important for people to remember. It’s just a small thing we do to help and it’s just a fun thing to do.”
The players are having plenty of fun with the effort. The mustaches are growing at different speeds and angles, but two weeks into Movember there is already a clear frontrunner.
Roose continues, and concludes with the following:
This should be interesting, via RedWingsFeed: We're T-Minus 17 days until Daniel Alfredsson returns to Ottawa on December 1st. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reports that the Senators plan on
allowing fans who are justifiably angry at him to empty their lungs of boos (hey, you're more than allowed to do it once, it happens), I mean pay tribute to #11:
The club still has time to decide on what kind of tribute they should give Alfredsson when he comes back to Ottawa with the Red Wings. No, they won't ignore the occasion just because words were exchanged after his departure.
"We'll do something. We don't know what we're going to do yet," said Senators president Cyril Leeder in a 1-on-1 interview with the Sun this week. "We don't want to advertise it. We've tried different things with (Matt) Carkner where we flashed on them on the bench during a timeout to give them enough time that they get some respect."
In Alfredsson's case, it would make sense for the Senators to do a video. One possible model the club may explore is what the Indianapolis Colts did when Peyton Manning returned with the Denver Broncos earlier this season. The club did a video highlights package when Manning came onto the field with the rest of his Broncos' teammates.
"They did something in the pre-game that allowed (the tribute) to take place before the game started," said Leeder. "We're looking to see if there's may be something we can do there that allows Daniel to be recognized by the fans.
Back in 2007, when the NHL rolled out its Team Name dot NHL dot com-streamlining of websites, the Rangers sued the league because they'd been partnering with MSG Network, a.k.a. their ownership, to post content controled by the team and delivering advertising revenue to the team and only the team on a website with the former URL NYRangers.com.
At the time, the Rangers argued that the NHL was violating antitrust laws, and the league responded by saying that it would fine the Rangers $100,000 per day that they didn't comply with the league's format.
The sides came to an agreement, and all 30 teams agreed to essentially surrender a big chunk of their merchandising and advertising rights to the "NHL.com Network," but six years later, the Rangers' website is essentially a front for the Rangers' own content-producing Blueshirts United website, and the same's true for the Washington Capitals' website, which sends you to Ted Leonsis' "Monumental Network" for any real content.
The Red Wings sent Jordin Tootoo to Grand Rapids today, and if Patrick Eaves clears waivers, he'll follow Tootoo to the AHL. While Tootoo--and his father, Barney--view the demotion as a significant setback, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Griffins coach Jeff Blashill hopes to make the most of Tootoo's addition, especially given that the AHL's much more...let's say "rugged" than the NHL in terms of frequency of fighting:
“From I’ve observed and from what I’ve gathered, Jordin is a very good person who brings energy and physicality and toughness to a team,” he said of the veteran [forward]. “I don’t know exactly what role yet that means. But we’ll try and utilize him as effectively as possible.”
Blashill said he will “sit down with staff in the morning” and decide who Tootoo will be paired with, and the best way to use him. The Griffins already have a physical presence with defenseman Brendan Evans and forwards Triston Grant and Mitch Callahan.
“I think physicality is a positive thing,” Blashill said. “That’s an attribute you want on your hockey team and you can’t have too much of that. Every player brings different things to the table, so we try to do our best to put them in a position to be successful. That’s what we’ll try to do with Jordin as well.”
Wallner continues, noting that Tootoo, Eaves and the recently-demoted Xavier Ouellet will bolster a streaking Griffins team that's receiving key contributions from Cory Emmerton and Gustav Nyquist.
As the only coach to be inducted into the Triple Gold Club – hockey people who have won the Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold and the World Championships – Mike Babcock keeps some very exclusive company. Today, the longtime coach of the Detroit Red Wings and McGill alumnus (BEd86) became a member of another select club with the announcement that his alma mater will confer an honorary doctorate upon him as part of Fall Convocation 2013.
Babcock will be made a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, as part of the Convocation ceremonies to be held on Monday, Nov. 25. McGill will also bestow honorary degrees to Calgary philanthropists and McGill benefactors Richard A. Walls and Carolina J. Walls, both of whom will receive a degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa. The honorees will share the stage with approximately 1,800 graduating students at the ceremonies to be held at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts in Montreal.
Updated 21x at 5:25 PM: The Red Wings got back to work at the Joe today, hoping to solve their scoring issues ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Washington Capitals.
As one might expect of a team that's winless in four and hasn't won a home game in six tries, personnel tweaks are on the way, as reported by MLive's Ansar Khan...
Wings on ice for practice. This time Tatar is in gray, usually worn by players scratched next game. Tootoo and Eaves also in gray.
Cleary back in white jersey, skating with bottom six. Looks like he'll be back in lineup Friday vs. Washington.
The CBC's Elliotte Friedman reports that the Red Wings are waiving Patrick Eaves, and it's hard to imagine that he won't be picked up with an an at-least-not-terrible-to-snag $1.2 million salary...
Does Eaves being waived pave the way for Gustav Nyquist's recall, or does it mean that Ken Holland's statement about the team needing to alleviate a cap crunch by waiving Eaves to simply make room for Ericsson and Smith by waiving both Tootoo and Eaves is more accurate? I have no *#$%@& clue.
I happen to believe that the best thing one can greet fans with when one's sports team is losing is silence, and I sort of assumed that the Red Wings would just take the "off day" to practice (which they didn't) and attend the Toast of Hockeytown, which they did (yay charitable function + fan interaction!)...
And DetroitRedWings.com's Andrea Nelson reports that the Wings did indeed appreciate mingling with their fans while raising $27,000 for the Red Wings Foundation, the team's charitable arm:
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.