The Malik Report
Assessing the state of the Grand Rapids Griffins, with an emphasis on foundational (veteran) players
The Grand Rapids Griffins made some superb moves to ensure that as many veteran players from the team's Calder Cup-winning playoff run will remain in tow for the upcoming season, re-signing captain Jeff Hogan, defenseman Nathan Paetsch, forward Triston Grant and defenseman Brennan Evans, and alleviating something of a logjam on the blueline by allowing Brett Skinner to walk while bolstering the forward lines with a classic, "He played well against us, so we want to snag him" signing in center David McIntyre.
The Griffins also retained Tom McCollum's services to help push Jared Coreau and/or serve as something of a security blanket, and they witnessed the Wings reward Luke Glendening's strong 2012-2013 season performance with a two-way contract.
Regardless of your opinion regarding the Red Wings' new rink and the funding surrounding it, there are at least facts available about the public and private portions of its construction costs, the rink proposal itself and who's in charge. If anything, the various websites on both sides of the political aisle are pissing me off (and again, I'm a moderate independent) because I keep on reading so much vitriol spewed that assumes the rink's being built in a vacuum and/or in an area that is only supported by the citizens of the City of Detroit.
Hell, more often than not, reading some of the rants of late makes me wonder whether the authors understand that the city does not in fact float like an island in space, absent any connections to the vast metropolitan area which surrounds it (save "South Detroit," a.k.a. Windsor, Ontario, of course).
For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, depending on where you draw the borders of Metro Detroit, it spans somewhere between 3,800 and 5,800 square miles, and includes somewhere between 4.2 and 5.2 million of the 9.8 million residents.
During every summer development camp and fall prospect tournament, there are moments where those who have the privilege of speaking with the players hope that we've got good poker faces.
The phenomenon tends to take place more than not during the summer development camp, but it occasionally happens during the prospect tournament or main camp, and while it's sort of an unwritten rule that every non-roster player harbors the same goal, when they say the magic phrase, regardless of whether they're a first-round pick or a seventh-rounder, an invited try-out or someone who's signed an entry-level deal, you really want to raise an eyebrow and say, "So you're new here..." but that would be unprofessional.
The Free Press's Helene St. James has been positing profiles of the Red Wings' key contributors going forward, and of the four players she's profiled--Justin Abdelkader, Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson, and today, Pavel Datsyuk--Datsyuk's arguably the most important player on the team not named Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard or Niklas Kronwall, and as such:
A) The Wings' most important summer signing involved retaining Datsyuk's services until he's 39 years old;
B) As St. James suggests, Datsyuk's the team's key contributor--and given his incredible work ethic in terms of physical conditioning and continued skill development after every practice, there's no reason to believe that he's "on the downside of his career" at 35:
Via Paul, Red Wings forward Jordin Tootoo took part in a whirlwind tour of Nunavut communities in the
province territory of Nunavut this past weekend, working with a Native Canadian-business-sponsoring company called Nunasi to discuss goal-setting, staying in school, substance abuse issues and job opportunities with Inuit kids, and Nuntasiaq Online's David Murphy filed a report about Tootoo's trip:
Even with the tinny audio system and poor acoustics at a small gym in the Nunavut community of Qikiqtarjuaq, Jordin Tootoo’s message comes out loud and clear.
“I’m just a regular Inuk,” said Tootoo — the only Inuit National Hockey League player — July 27 in Qikiqtarjuaq as part of the 2013 Nunasi Corp. Community Tour.
KK reader Kathleen Wood wanted to share a story she'd once discussed with Puck Daddy regarding an incident involving birthday boy Ted Lindsay, who turns 88 today, and her father, a retired Detroit police officer:
I don't think there are too many former police officers that spent time in the penalty box before this practice was quickly stopped:
My Dad, George Gignac, who is a retired Detroit Police Sergent, was assigned twice to Red Wings hockey games around 1947.
The first time he worked traffic on Grand River across from Olympia Stadium. Tiger pitcher Al Newhouser was upset because his car was supposed to be available to get out of the parking lot immediately after the game. Instead his car was partially blocked by a big pole. So he decided to leave anyway and scraped the whole side of his car and raced down Grand River.
The Grand Rapids Griffins have already posted 39 minutes' worth of behind-the-scenes videos chronicling parts 1 and 2 of their Calder Cup run, and today, they've added another 37:41 dedicated to the team's seven-game Western Conference Final series against the Oklahoma City Barons to the mix--yielding a total of 76 minutes and 51 seconds' worth of playoff footage thus far:
If you missed 'em, here are the first and second videos, respectively:
Updated 7x with Howard talk at 3:16 PM: Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related stories:
- As Paul noted, today is a pretty special day for one of the Wings' elder statesmen:
As it turns out, the supposedly quietest weekend of the off-season's yielded a conveniently-planted rumor about the Red Wings sending Jordin Tootoo back to Nashville, a solid number of overnight report stories and a state-of-the-Wings assessment from Ken Holland, and MLive's Ansar Khan continues his survey of the Red Wings' Eastern Conference foes with a survey of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Khan's also penned articles about the Canadiens, Senators, Bruins, Sabres, Panthers and Lightning):
Red Wings GM Ken Holland finds himself amidst a pair of his grown-up children's weddings and charitable engagements this and next month, but he found the time to speak with the Vernon Morning Star's Kevin Mitchell regarding the state of the Wings with training camp slated to start all of 47 days from now.
Holland began by discussing the team's recruitment of Daniel Alfredsson...
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.