The Malik Report
Updated with some middle-of-the-night Swedish at 3:32 PM: I prefer to spend a little extra time on the “overnight reports” to proffer opinions that the day’s news cycle sometimes prevents me from stating—put simply, sometimes the news moves so fast that if you’re going to stay on your skates while trying to tip pucks down into the net, you might want to leave also attempting to balance on a soapbox for other times—but this morning a line of severe thunderstorms that’s making a slow southward trek across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is starting to bear down upon the immediate Metro Detroit area, so I’m gonna rush through this one…
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing given that this is more of a “tidbit” morning than one full of main courses. So, without further adieu:
The Detroit Red Wings are expected to announce soon, perhaps Thursday, that Scotty Bowman will coach in the Winter Classic’s Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on Dec. 31. M-Live.com reported on July 10 that Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, had committed to coaching in the game.
Bowman’s longtime assistant, Barry Smith, also will be coaching in the event. The Red Wings announced on July 11 that there will be two alumni games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s uncertain whether Bowman will coach in one and Smith in the other or if the pair will be behind the bench in both games.
As is the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, who reports that Bowman will helm one alumni team and Smith will coach the other:
My apologies for the lateness of this entry. The mom and I are starting to prepare in earnest for going up to the U.P. for a one-week vacation with her side of the fam on Saturday, and, well…You can imagine that son with anxiety disorder needs to talk to mom with anxiety disorder about both of us freaking out about making something that’s supposed to be easy way too hard. I will also be in and out tomorrow and Friday, so there might be interruptions in service, and I apologize for that in advance.
Anyway, with what shoudl have been an addendum first, there’s good news regarding the Winter Classic and the man who will be behind the Wings’ bench during the Alumni Showdown, per WXYZ’s Brad Galli:
This news comes from Malik Report reader DrewBehr: The Red Wings sent out the following email to members of their Winter Classic website’s ticket list, and it appears that a limited sale of tickets to the general public will be taking place soon. It should be noted that this email sends its recipients to the same pricing chart for both the Winter Classic itself and the Alumni Showdown that season ticket-holders have known about for several months:
Updated 3x at 2:25 PM: Fabian Brunnstrom’s headed back to Sweden to play for the Frolunda Indians: Given a news cycle that’s consistently drawn the ire of Red Wings fans because the Red Wings’ management team has yet to make a significant post-July 1st move to improve the team beyond adding Jordin Tootoo, Mikael Samuelsson, Jonas Gustavsson and associate coach Tom Renney—mostly because it appears that the team’s waiting for Shane Doan to make up his mind before perhaps pursuing Alex Semin, and because the free agent “band-aid” defensemen are still likely asking for the kind of compensation “Plan B” defensemen tend to command despite the remaining free agent crop’s statuses as plans “C” or “D”...
Maybe it’s a good thing that this crop of mid-day news has very little to do with the strikeouts in terms of pursuing Suter, Nash or Weber. The Wings’ Twitter account took note of its youth camp starting today before encouraging fans to take part in a Q and A with equipment manager Paul Boyer…
Excellent news from Grand Rapids: Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill has re-signed perhaps the best assistant coach in the AHL, inking Jim Paek to a one-year contract extension:
The longest-tenured coach in Grand Rapids Griffins history, Jim Paek will return for his eighth season as the team’s assistant coach after signing a one-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. He’ll work alongside new Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill.
Paek, 45, helped guide Grand Rapids to its best regular season in franchise history in 2005-06, capturing the AHL’s regular championship with a team-record 55 wins, and to additional playoff berths in 2006-07 and 2008-09. He even took a turn as the team’s bench boss for one game in 2008-09, a 4-0 home victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 10, 2009.
After winning two Stanley Cups as a defenseman with Pittsburgh in 1990-91 and 1991-92, Paek earned the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s prize for the third time in 2008 after coaching the Red Wings’ “black aces” during the parent club’s title run. Paek has continued assisting Detroit during the playoffs while also maintaining roles during the Red Wings’ summer development camps and fall prospect tournaments and training camps.
I wasn’t feeling particularly well on Tuesday afternoon, so I decided to take a little nap. I’ve got a new phone, so I woke up to David Beckham’s ringtone, a.k.a. my text message indicator, and Paul let me know that he’d gotten the news that the Nashville Predators had matched Shea Weber’s offer sheet.
I shrugged my shoulders and rolled over, because, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James suggested on Twitter, those of you who’ve been venting your frustrations about what has been a ,a href=“http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/tmr/comments/red_wings_mid-day_news_reviewing_the_teams_action_plan/”>challenging summer for Red Wings GM Ken Holland just got a little tougher:
Given the readers’ reactions to the last couple of posts, this isn’t going to go over particularly well, but especially in light of the Shane Doan grand tour taking a more serious tone, MLive’s Ansar Khan offers a necessary review of the Red Wings’ action plan given the front office’s inability to land Ryan Suter or Zach Parise (for family reasons), Shea Weber (didn’t want to sign with a Central Division Rival) or Rick Nash, noting that Ken Holland & Company will proceed cautiously but aggressively as they exhaustively investigate every opportunity to improve their team:
If the Red Wings don’t land Doan, they might make a pitch for free-agent right wing Alexander Semin on a short-term deal (one or two years). Teams are hesitant to ink the talented forward to a long-term pact, since his commitment is often question.
Khan believes that Bobby Ryan’s asking price makes it highly unlikely that the Wings will attempt to trade to acquire a goal-scorer with other options (including Petr Sykora) available for only the price of their contracts. Otherwise…
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday signed veteran defenseman Brennan Evans to a one-year contract.
Evans, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Peoria Rivermen, recording 21 points (5-16—21) in 142 games. Over his nine-year pro career, Evans has also played for the Lowell Lock Monsters, Binghamton Senators, Worcester Sharks, Iowa Chops and Toronto Marlies. In 636 career AHL games, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of New Battleford, Saskatchewan, has recorded 100 points (14-86—100) and 1,349 penalty minutes.
Evans’ only NHL action came in the 2004 playoffs, when he skated in two games with the Calgary Flames during their series against the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to turning pro, Evans spent five seasons in the WHL, recording 41 points (12-29—41) in 257 games and capturing a Memorial Cup with Kootenay in 2001-02.
This morning, the Free Press’s Helene St. James is confirming a story from the general manager’s mouth: as MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness reported, the Red Wings did indeed attempt to make a very strong push to acquire Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but GM Scott Howson demurred, not wanting to see his franchise’s poster boy play for the Blue Jackets’ self-styled arch-rival.
Ken Holland did indeed make his pitch, but what was probably a better return than the one the New York Rangers sent to central Ohio went over like a practical joke at a funeral:
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.