The Malik Report
A long day on the road yields a mushy brain, so here’s a bullet-pointed list of Red Wings-related news that’s worth noting this evening:
• If you haven’t read Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov’s interview with Pavel Datsyuk, stop what you’re doing and give it a gander;
• It’s only the third of August, but we’re already getting into the prognostication business. ESPN’s asking readers to pick the NHL’s six divisional winners, and, via RedWingsFeed, ESP…erm, I mean NHL.com’s EJ Hradek’s talking about the Red Wings and questioning whether they can stay healthy (that and he all but says, “They’re just not a contender anymore”):
From the parking lot at Clyde’s in St. Ignace: Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov posted his sit-down interview with Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk after Datsyuk picked up the Kharlamov Trophy in Moscow, and the interview’s fantastic.
As I’m about to spend the day with a charming lady who’s both as confused as I am as to why a pair of night owls had to get up at 7 AM to end our vacation and is a little annoyed that her son is writing a blog entry as we finish packing up the Pacifica and prepare to head home, I’m going to keep this Red Wings “overnight report” very brief, and mostly in bullet-point form:
• If you missed it late last night, the Free Press’s Helene St. James offers the following take on Jiri Hudler’s future with the Red Wings after a very sub-par return to the NHL during the 2010-2011 season:
So what’s ahead for Hudler? Expect him to be kept on a short leash. He didn’t lack for opportunity last season; even when he wasn’t on one of the top two lines, he was a regular on the power play, over such options as Danny Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi.
During the Phoenix series a team scout pointed out that Hudler is always a threat to score; unfortunately for the Wings, he rarely finished his chances.
The Wings retain some faith in Hudler because of his history of scoring at various levels, from world juniors to the NHL (he had 23 goals in ‘08-09). He must show from the start of camp he’s going to be that player again, and earn a spot as a top-six forward. If not, given that he’s in the last year of his contract, the Wings will explore moving him while he has value.
Of brief but important note this evening: According to the Windsor Star’s Jim Parker, former Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Bob Boughner, who left the team due to family reasons, will reprise his role as the Windsor Spitfires coach after the Red Wings chose not to pursue Boughner or Pete DeBoer as the replacements for Brad McCrimmon and Paul MacLean…
After returning from Columbus, Boughner briefly spoke to Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock about an assistant coaching job with the club. When the Red Wings opted to go in a different direction, Boughner began to discuss his future with the Spitfires.
And as we know from the Free Press’s Helene St. James, among others, the Wings were interested in acquiring the services of Scottie Upshall and/or Tomas Fleischmann before the Florida Panthers overpaid for their services, but opted to stick with the team’s current crop of forwards for the present moment. St. James (via an early edition of the Free Press) offers this assessment of Jiri Hudler’s future with the team given his underwhelming performance after returning from the KHL (see: 37 points in 73 games in the regular season, 3 points in 10 games during the playoffs, several healthy scratches along the way):
Updated at 7:22 PM: A rainy day in Grand Marais yielded a nap and an afternoon of packing up the car instead of a post-storm beach day, so I’m up and about and there is indeed Red Wings-related news. Pavel Datsyuk stopped by Sovetsky Sport’s offices in Moscow to pick up the Kharlamov Trophy as the Russian player-voted MVP, and Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov (via RedWingsFeed as usual) fired off the following English-language Twitter updates from the ceremony:
Chris Chelios was named to the US Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2011 induction class on Monday, and while the official press release from USA Hockey offers what we’ll call an economical take on Chelios’s first call from a hockey-related Hall of Fame…
Chris Chelios, Mike Emrick, Ed Snider, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk will be enshrined as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2011 it was announced today by USA Hockey. The five-member class will be formally installed into the Hall in Chicago this fall, with a date to be announced in the near future.
“It’s an extraordinary class,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “The varied contributions to the landscape of hockey in our country is truly amazing and, collectively, this class has positively impacted every level of hockey.”
A from-the-phone post: according to the Free Press’s Helene St. James, former Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios has been included in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2011 induction class. Chelios will ve inducted alongside former defensive parted Gary Surer, among others, including Mike Emrick, Ed Snider and Keith Tkachuk.
Update: NHL.com’s Mike G.Morreale posted a bit more from a conference call in which Chelios participated….
Today may very well mark the nadir—or more colloquially, the rock bottom—of the NHL’s summer news cycle. Of the few arbitration hearings that remain, Shea Weber’s shindig with the Nashville Predators wasn’t scheduled for today because it’s August Long Weekend in Canada, most NHL’ers are a week or two from venturing back onto the ice for the first time since their teams were eliminated in the playoffs, and unless you don’t mind reading the garbled language that comes out of online translators from European hockey websites (European teams actually begin their training camps and endless pre-season “tournaments” in early August), the next seven-to-ten days should be…quiet…In theory, anyway, because there are always surprises.
The Production Line’s Michael Petrella gives us an intriguing bit of speculatory information this evening by noting that Shop.NHL.com happens to list Wings summer development camp try-outs Adam Estcolet (a forward from Dartmouth College), Zachery Franko (Mitchell Callahan’s center with the Kelowna Rockets) and PEI Rocket goaltender Evan Mosher as members of the organization’s jersey-customizable prospects.
Over the last week, I may have stepped away from my computer a little too often for my liking, but I haven’t been removed from constant talk of the Red Wings’ present and future given the retirements of Brian Rafalski, Kris Draper, Chris Osgood (and probably Mike Modano), the additions of Ian White, Mike Commodore and Ty Conklin in the player personnel department or the swapping out of assistant coaches Brad McCrimmon (now coaching Lokomotiv Yaroslavl) and Paul MacLean (now the Senators’ head coach) for Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters.
My family’s as hockey-crazy as they come, and whether one of my uncles or cousins has raised concerns about the Wings’ ability to either replace Rafalski or simply apply a band-aid till the trade deadline (where we all assume Ken Holland will use his cap space to make a big addition or two), whether we’re talking about the fact that the Wings’ assistant coaches must restore the commitment to defense that got away from a team giving up goals off the opposition cycle or porous penalty-killing unit, or who’s going to step up and be the next big thing on defense and up front (where just about everyone believes that the Wings could use more size, if not snarl)...
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.