The Malik Report
We know that the NHL schedule will be released later this morning, usually sometime between 11 AM and 12 PM EDT, and we know that the Red Wings will open their 2012-2013 schedule, CBA negotiation gods willing, against the Nashville Predators, at Joe Louis Arena. We don’t know whether current and former members of, let’s say the Wings’ opposition, might be cheered or booed (well, we know that Shea Weber’s going to receive a head-smashing welcome). The schedule’s gaps will be filled in shortly, but the roster’s TBD (to be determined) over the next couple of weeks.
In the interim, depending on your tolerance for bad jokes and “hosts” in various states of sobriety, the NHL Awards were either mildly amusing or a complete disaster, and thanks to the travesty that is Nicklas Lidstrom having been named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy once (last year) and never having captured it (if I may be so polite, WTF? Seriously?), the Red Wings had exactly one representative not named Ken Holland in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
Pavel Datsyuk came to the NHL Awards, he saw…But he didn’t conquer.
The voting for the top ten, via me, on Twitter:
Selke votes in “points”: Bergeron 1,312 Backes 698 Datsyuk 553 Callahan 326 Kesler 152 Toews 117 Fisher 72 Staal 67 Kopitar 62 Sharp 52.
Wings mentions in awards thus far: Holland got 8 points in GM’s award, Babs got 1 3rd place vote for Adams..Nick 132 points & 5th in Norris.
Nicklas Lidstrom finished 6th in Lady Byng balloting with 247 points, and Datsyuk finished 9th with 137.
Update: Via RedWingsFeed, the one question: Who’s the lady accompanying Datsyuk to the awards in the Detroit News’s AP report? He very quietly got divorced a couple of seasons ago, and that ain’t Elizabeth.
This deserves its own post, because Pavel Datsyuk’s himself: Sportsnet Northeast’s Joe Haggerty spoke to Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and some guy named Pavel Datsyuk about CBA negotiations, and Datsyuk issued the sharpest and wisest observation about the whole schlemiel:
The looming CBA negotiations elicited different reactions across the group of NHL stars at the Wynn Resort and Casino readying for Wednesday night’s NHL Awards ceremony.
Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk wasn’t hiding his concern for the good of the game and the ultimate winners and losers: hockey fans.
“Of course I’m worried about it,” said Datsyuk when asked about the CBA. “The last lockout was really bad for the fans. If it happened again it would be a bad, bad thing for the fans.”
Continue reading for Chara and Bergeron’s takes on the NHLPA’s role in negotiations…
Updated 3x at 6:14 PM: As we wait for Pavel Datsyuk to take part in the NHL Awards tonight at 7 PM EDT (on NBCSN live and on the CBC on tape delay), I did something incredibly rare for a blogger working on 4 hours of sleep thanks, to a 10:30 AM interview—I took a nap this afternoon—and as such, the Chief beat me to the punch here:
After this morning’s assessment of Jaromir Jagr’s possible “fit” with the Wings from Ansar Khan, this afternoon, the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that the team Adrian Dater likes to kick sand in the face off may very well be interested in romancing a Diva with a capital “D”:
ESPN’s Scott Burnside offered something of a teaser regarding Pavel Datsyuk’s thoughts about the post-Nicklas Lidstrom Red Wings last night, and the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater engaged in a lengthier conversation with Datsyuk in a column penned for Sports Illustrated—and let’s all be surprised that Dater milks up the, “Ding dong, the Wings are finally dead” angle for all it’s worth:
“It’s been like a dream. A bad dream. A nightmare,” he replied. “I keep thinking I’ll see him again soon in (training camp), just like always. I keep telling myself this, thinking it will come true. I can’t believe this has happened.”
When Datsyuk looked around the oak-paneled room of the restaurant formerly known as Alex that is now without a new assignation inside the cavernous Wynn. Lidstrom was not there, nor were any other Red Wings. This event was once known for having lots of red, and not just for the color of the carpet or the visitors’ before-after bank balances. Now, however, Datsyuk and the Wings must ponder a future without the comforting sight of Lidstrom on their side. The legendary Swedish defenseman called it quits recently, after a 20-year career in which people sometimes questioned his mortality.
“I sometimes thought, like others, ‘when will he get old?’ I never saw this,” Datsyuk said. “I believe he would be one of the best defensemen in the NHL if he played this coming season.”
Updated 4x at 12:37 PM: The Red Wings’ unsuccessful courtship of one Jaromir Jagr definitely turned me off regarding the massive ego and mercurial tendencies of a player who’s turned into something of a diva—even at 40 years of age—but just in case Jagr tests the free agent market and decides to, say, not stay with Philadelphia, or decides not to fulfill a stated dream of playing for the Montreal Canadiens, MLive’s Ansar Khan takes a look at Jagr’s potential “fit” with the Wings this morning:
Strengths: Returning to the NHL after a three-year stint in Russia, this future Hall-of-Famer was productive for the Flyers, despite his age. A big man who protects the puck well, he can set up teammates or finish himself.
Weaknesses: He is not strong defensively. His age might catch up to him in a hurry.
At 6’3” and 240 pounds, Jagr also continually battles hip and groin issues…
Updated 2x with very intriguing Q and A with Drew Miller at 4:47 AM: Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk probably won’t win the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward tonight, but he’s in Las Vegas to attend the NHL Awards (airing at 7 PM EDT on NBCSN and on tape delay at 8 on the CBC) anyway.
David Backes is the favorite to win given that Datsyuk missed a dozen games recovering from knee surgery, and while we haven’t heard too much from him in terms of media appearances, but he reminded us why…Let’s say Wings fans might be going nuts (arguing about Darren Helm‘s value and Henrik Zetterberg‘s likely status as the Wings’ next captain? Must be the solstice, and the 11-and-change days till UFA Day) right now, offering an eloquent observation to ESPN’s Scott Burnside:
Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, nominated once again for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the game’s top defensive forward, still isn’t used to the idea that he’ll report to training camp and not see No. 5 Nicklas Lidstrom in the dressing room. He joked that it’s all a bad dream.
“Actually it’s not really good dream,” Datsyuk said. “But I’m never thinking about this dream, it’s like a nightmare. I’m still not like believing that this has happened. Maybe once the season start it’ll be different story.”
Hopefully not a nightmarish one.
Updated at 7:28 PM: Amongst this evening’s Red Wings-related news:
• First and foremost, no. Just no. Bobby Ryan would be too expensive and the Wings are worried about adding via free agency, not surrendering assets in a trade.
• The most interesting scuttlebutt of directly Red Wings-related note comes from the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff’s Twitter account...
#redwings Holland on neg. with RFA Abdelkader, Quincey: “Met with both agents, let them know what I’m thinking. We’re in initial stages.’
Holland on looming UFA Hudler: “It’s his first opportunity to be an unrestricted free agent. There’s a number we think would work for us.’‘
#redwings Holland on Datsyuk for Selke: “Pavel in the last 20-30 years is one of the best defensive forwards in the game for a long time.”
•The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness isn’t so sure about Hudler having a chance in hell of staying, however, and that’s based upon Holland’s comments…
Blogging from my phone, so no quotes accompanying this one yet: Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner wants Red Wings fans to know that Henrik Zetterberg is certain to become Nicklas Lidstrom’s successor as Detroit’s next captain, but he also reveals that the team had once hoped that Martin Lapointe would fill Steve Yzerman’s shoes, and in the, “Who’ll be the next next captain?” line of thinking, Regner believes that Valtteri Filppula may one day captain the Wings.
Do you think that Zetterberg is definitely going to succeed Lidstrom, or of you think that Niklas Kronwall or Pavel Datsyuk should at least be seriously considered as captain material by the coaches and front office before they and the Wings’ players make the final call at the end of the exhibition season?
Update: here are some quotes from Regner’s article:
I jammed a bunch of mid-day news into the Darren Helm re-signing entry, but as Wings assistant GM Jim Nill happens to serve as the Grand Rapids Griffins’ GM, and they’ve lost the services of Curt Fraser and signed Luke Glendening to an AHL-only contract, Nill’s conversation with the Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner, regarding the “farm team’s” search for Fraser’s replacement, merits its own entry.
Nill says that he wants to find a new coach by time the Wings’ summer prospect camp begins…
Two weeks, maybe sooner,” Jim Nill, assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, said of a replacement for Curt Fraser, the fourth-year coach who on Monday became the assistant coach of the Dallas Stars in the NHL.
“We have some very good candidates,” Nill said. “We’ll have a list of about 10 and that list will grow, but the way we got it down, we have three or four top guys we’ve identified.”
And he’s got a certain “type” in mind:
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.