The Malik Report
The Grand Rapids Griffins are naming their next head coach, Todd Nelson, today at 11 AM EDT, and you can watch the live stream of the press conference here:
From the Winnipeg-based Ukrainian Weekly's Ihor Stelbach:
He was arguably the best goaltender ever to play in the National Hockey League. He was the best NHL’er to come out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He played 21 seasons in the NHL and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971, one year after his death. He won four Vezina trophies (top goalie award) and four Stanley Cups. Born to Ukrainian Canadian parents and raised in East Kildonan, British Columbia, he once broke his elbow, never had it fixed and could never straighten it again. This ultimate success story is about to be told in the form of a movie.
“Terry Sawchuk – The Winnipeg Years,” is a biographical documentary about the legendary netminder who passed away 45 years ago. Fellow Winnipeg-native Danny Schur has made it his mission in life “to put flesh and blood on Winnipeg characters.” Mr. Schur is a composer/lyricist/author/producer who wants to share Sawchuk’s accomplishments from a past generation. The Ukrainian wasn’t judged by where he came from, who his parents were or what he did – he allowed Winnipeggers to dream of greater personal achievements.
Mr. Schur’s subject is a compelling one. Sawchuk was raised in a poor, strict Ukrainian household which turned into a gritty hockey career that included major injuries (400-plus stitches to his face). The theme of the documentary is “everything Terry Sawchuk became was because he was made in Winnipeg.” The movie documents Sawchuk’s years growing up in Winnipeg during the 1930s and 1940s, featuring period re-enactments. It is to premiere at the Terry Sawchuk Arena and is to be completed by the start of the 2015-2016 hockey season.
The ladies and gents at Octopus Thrower engaged in a blogger's roundtable, asking what their writers and some blogger named George would do if they were Ken Holland, and you're not going to be surprised by what I have to say (and many thanks to Octopus Thrower for inviting me to take part):
Barring a lack of success going after a Matt Beleskey or a suitable upgrade on defense (via trade or free agency), make room for the kids. Decide whether Joakim Andersson, Stephen Weiss and Jakub Kindl have futures with the team, if they don’t, find them new homes.
Figure out what’s going on with Johan Franzen (and don’t dare play him unless U of M’s neurologists clear him to play), and don’t sign a Daniel Cleary or even a Mike Green just because you feel you have to due to loyalty or the need to make SOME sort of transaction.
Make sure that Teemu Pulkkinen, Landon Ferraro and one of Xavier Ouellet or Alexey Marchenko has a spot on next year’s team, see what Jeff Blashill wants in terms of the prospect pecking order, and save up that cap space.
No more Kyle Quinceys or Mikael Samuelssons–just give the damn kids a legitimate chance to compete for jobs.
The roundtable continues...What would you do in Ken Holland's shoes right now?
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Q: Now that it is fairly clear that he won't be returning to the Rangers, do you think the Red Wings might take a run at signing Martin St. Louis? Or might they consider trading for Patrick Sharp?
A: The Red Wings have a history of signing one-time star offensive players nearing the end of their careers, like Mike Modano in 2010 and Daniel Alfredsson in 2013, but I doubt they would be interested in St. Louis. He's 40 and is showing signs of age, having little impact in the playoffs (one goal, seven points in 19 games). The Red Wings have their share of small forwards.
I wouldn't rule out a potential trade for Sharp. He's 33 and slipped a bit this season but has qualities that would appeal to the Red Wings (goal scorer, right-handed shot, decent size at 6-1, 200). The Blackhawks, facing a salary-cap crunch, can't possibly keep him. But his cap hit ($5.9 million for the next two seasons) probably is more than the Red Wings are willing to assume.
Q: Can you imagine the surge in interest by minority fans if the Wings could add an African American player to their organization? A big forward, (Joel) Ward is available.
A: I'm sure whether a player is a minority or not has no bearing on their personnel decisions. Ward is the kind of good-sized, hard-nosed winger with a scoring touch that will draw interest from many teams if he reaches free agency. Maybe he would interest the Red Wings, but his age (turns 35 in December) is a concern if he's seeking a long term.
Tomorrow at 11 AM, the Grand Rapids Griffins are going to announce that Todd Nelson is their next coach. The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner touched on some of the reasons that Nelson is a bit of a folk hero as the first professional hockey player the Griffins ever signed and an assistant coach under Danton Cole during the first year that the Griffins were a Wings affiliate.
We are still waiting on the Red Wings' announcement of their coaching staff, and there's a reason for that, as the Windsor Star's Bob Duff noted:
The Detroit Red Wings will name former Edmonton Oilers coach Todd Nelson as the new man in charge of the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday. They aren’t as certain as to when they will announce the coaches that will work under new head coach Jeff Blashill in Detroit.
“We’re working on it,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re hopeful of getting the staff (completed) by the end of the week, but it might take a little longer.”
We know that Chris Chelios won't be a "bench coach," but will work with the Wings' defense, and spend a month with the aforementioned Cole at the World Junior Championships as an assistant coach for Team USA...
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is working the phones exploring what's available via trade, which ties into whether or not the team decides to buy out forward Stephen Weiss.
Front-office personnel and the pro scouting staff spent Tuesday through Thursday parsing the Wings and how they relate to this year's and next year's salary cap, how the Wings stack up against the rest of the Eastern Conference, evaluating all the other 29 NHL teams and assessing players available on the free agent market.
"Now when I talk to other general managers, I have an idea of what our staff think we need, what we'd like to do," Holland told the Free Press. "I've called some managers, and I'll talk to more over the weekend. Let's explore what's out there. We're trying to figure out how to get a little better. It's not a great UFA market."
Consider these your "lunchtime tidbits":
And MLive's Brendan Savage noted that Joel Eriksson Ek is a popular mock draft pick for the Wings;
Update: The Grand Rapids Griffins have posited their latest installment of "Between the Benches":
For what it's worth, USA Hockey has announced the roster and schedule for its annual summer World Junior Evaluation Camp, and both Dylan Larkin and Dominic Turgeon have been invited to the event. The Lake Placid, NY-based event will pit two USA Hockey teams against visitors from Finland and Sweden, and it will take place from August 1st to 8th.
Via an Insider-only entry, ESPN writers weighed in regarding their "2015 All-Playoff team," and Hockey Abstract's Rob Vollman made a surprising pick up front...
Vollman: My vote went to Detroit's captain Henrik Zetterberg. He's one of the toughest shutdown players against whom to play, while also posing a potent scoring threat of his own. He's the type of player who does it all, taking on top opponents in both zones and killing penalties, while averaging almost four shots per game throughout his career. Fitting much the same model as Jonathan Toews, Zetterberg is the ultimate player to take on a playoff run. Most playoff teams have at least one line of elite scoring threats, making players like Zetterberg that can neutralize them a veritable necessity.
While a predictable former Wings earned the "best coach" nod from Corey Pronman:
Coach: Mike Babcock
Also receiving votes: Hitchcock (one)
Pronman: When it comes to coaches, my evaluations are based on a combination of three factors, in this order of preference:
1. Deference to people in the industry and what they say
2. My personal experience dealing with the person and
3. Any form of statistical evaluation
On the first, there is a moderate consensus among NHL people that Mike Babcock is the best coach in the NHL currently. The praise you hear for him is very high as a tactician, a workhorse and an overall hockey mind. Statistically, Detroit was always a dangerous team under him even as the roster has changed substantially, and not always for the better. We've compiled one powerful All-Playoff team -- and Mike Babcock is the coach to lead it.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
GRIFFINS TO INTRODUCE NEW HEAD COACH ON FRIDAY
WHAT: The Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League will introduce their 10th head coach in franchise history. In addition, a major announcement will be made regarding the leadership of the team’s front office.
WHEN: Friday, June 19 at 11 a.m.
WHO: Griffins majority owner Dan DeVos, Griffins senior vice president of business operations Tim Gortsema, Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin and the new head coach will speak and be available for interviews.
STREAMING: The press conference will be streamed live at http://www.griffinshockey.com as well as on the Griffins’ iPhone and Android app.
And in case you aren't sure who they've picked, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner confirms that it's Todd Nelson.
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.