The Malik Report
The Hockey News has slowly but surely revealed its predictions for each and every team’s regular season finish/record, and today, they suggest that the Nicklas Lidstrom-less Red Wings will finish seventh in the Western Conference—just good enough to make the playoff cut, but not good enough, in the Hockey News’s eyes, anyway, to make anything more than a one or two-round playoff push:
7 DETROIT RED WINGS:
Why: Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Detroit, on the playoff bubble? It feels odd to even type those words, but the Red Wings’ off-season was disastrous. They lost their best defenseman ever, Nicklas Lidstrom, to retirement, and traded Brad Stuart. The assumption was they’d land a big free agent fish or two to replace them, but GM Ken Holland swung and missed. Even if rookie Brendan Smith shines, the Wings can’t possibly replace what they’ve lost on the back end. That said, Detroit still boasts one of the league’s deepest forward corps, led by Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and newcomer Jordin Tootoo gives them sorely needed sandpaper. The Wings remain a playoff team, but aren’t a serious Cup threat anymore.
Updated with a take on the Wings’ prospect tournament cancellation from Traverse City at 5:50 AM: The Detroit Red Wings’ decision to cancel their prospect tournament amidst fears of a lockout from both Detroit and the seven other teams taking part (Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, the New York Rangers and Carolina) is incredibly disappointing all the way around, for fans, for Centre Ice Arena, and from the perspective of someone who’s sent up to Traverse City by his readers to cover the tournament, very, very bad for both the players who were set to participate in the tournament, as well as the Red Wings as an organization.
A ridiculous amount of lockout crap, the cancellation of the Red Wings’ prospect tournament, family and friends dealing with chronic illnesses, a friend entering the military, this week’s been peachy keen for yours truly, so I’m going to try to get through this evening’s crop of Red Wings news without biting anyone’s head off.
• First, in The multimedia department, part 1:
Justin Abdelkader is joining the twitter beat down..— Mike Modano (@9modano) August 16, 2012
@justinabss. Be patient he doesn’t have much game..
Updated 2x at 5:52 PM: I’m so disgusted, angry and disappointed…As Paul just posted, the Detroit Red Wings have canceled their prospect tournament due to worries about a lockout. The Detroit News and MLive’s Brendan Savage are confirming DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose’s story, as is the Free Press’s Helene St. James, who reports that training camp may still take place in Traverse City…
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that, “we had a conference call with all the teams involved. Due to the uncertainty of CBA negotiations and teams having to make commitments for hotel rooms and travel plans—the biggest thing is the hotel rooms. The people Up North needed to know if the rooms would be used or not. So we made the decision to cancel for 2012. We plan to be back next year.”
Paul for George who shall return within minutes… like 20 or so….
from Bill Roose of the Wings website,
With the uncertainty of a player lockout looming in 30 days, the Red Wings have decided to cancel next month’s NHL prospects tournament, which has annually been held in Traverse City since 1998.
Out of respect for the northern Michigan community and the eight teams and their prospects, Wings general manager Ken Holland indicated that cancelling the four-day event now is in the best interest for everyone. The tournament was to begin on Sept. 15, the same day that the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
“Due to the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement and the advance commitments required from the various parties including hotels, airlines, teams, players and their families, we have determined that it is in everyone’s best interest to cancel this year’s tournament,” Holland said in a prepared statement.
From the Red Wings’ PR department:
FOUR PLAYERS WITH STRONG TIES TO THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ADDED TO WINGS’ ROSTER FOR ALUMNI SHOWDOWN VS. LEAFS
… Red Berenson, Jimmy Carson, Dennis Polonich and Aaron Ward to Skate for Detroit at Comerica Park on Dec. 31; Toronto Adds Tie Domi, Brad May and Tiger Williams …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings® and Toronto Maple Leafs® today announced the addition of seven total players who will participate in the festivities surrounding the 2012 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown™ on December 31 at Comerica Park™ as part of the 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™. Detroit has added defenseman Aaron Ward as well as forwards Red Berenson, Jimmy Carson and Dennis Polonich. In addition to having suited up for the Red Wings, all four of these players were also members of either minor league or collegiate teams in the Great Lakes State during their respective careers; Berenson and Ward both attended the University of Michigan prior to turning pro while Carson – a Metro Detroit minor hockey product – and Polonich each competed in the International Hockey League for various Michigan-based clubs.
Toronto, meanwhile, has added former enforcers Tie Domi, Brad May and Dave ‘Tiger’ Williams – the NHL’s all-time leader in penalty minutes (3,966) – to their alumni roster. Between the three of them, Domi, May and Williams spent nearly 10,000 minutes in the sin bin over the course of their 3,023 combined regular season appearances.
One of the great gentlemen of the sport of hockey is receiving a long-overdue honor today. The Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James spoke to long-time Red Wings defenseman, Hockey Hall of Famer and New Jersey Devils scout Marcel Pronovost about joining the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame at the tender age of 82, and Pronovost…Well, I’ve briefly met the man, and unlike many of the Wings’ greats, he’s the quietest, least noticeable man in the room when he wants to be…But he plans on enjoying every moment of a brief return to marquee status tonight:
“I’ll be there with my wife and sons and grandchildren,” Pronovost said Wednesday. “It’s going to be a great day.”
Pronovost, 82, played for the Wings in 1950-65, winning his first of four Stanley Cups with the team at 19 in 1950 after being called up to replace Red Kelly on defense in the playoffs. Kelly was moved to forward as a countermeasure against an injury to Gordie Howe. Pronovost became a regular with Detroit the following season, and was part of ‘52, ‘54 and ‘55 championships.
FYI, Red Wings fans:
ALUMNI SHOWDOWN TICKET UPDATE: Fans can now register for a chance to win the opportunity to purchase two tickets HERE: redwings.nhl.com/club/page.htm?…— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 15, 2012
If you missed it in the overnight report, former Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom took part in a Swedish TV show called “Patrik möter,” or “Patrick Meets,” and he kinda got a little smash-y on a Volvo with a baseball bat, per Patrik Sjoberg’s request:
Updated with a little off-the-cuff Lidstrom gabba at 5:13 AM: NHL.com’s “30 in 30” series discusses the Red Wings’ outlook going into the 2012-2013 season today, and given that it’s the middle of August, it’s probably a good time to get an outside perspective on the “state of the team” given that we know the team is likely to re-sign Justin Abdelkader, ink one more defenseman via free agency and then, well…wait and see what both their youth movement and the CBA can bring before making more meaningful additions over the course of the regular season.
NHL.com’s Dan Rosen starts at the beginning, asking Wings coach Mike Babcock how the team plans on beginning the “post-Lidstrom era,” and even I get worried when Babcock tells Rosen that, and I quote, “I’m always scared to death in the summer”:
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.