The Malik Report will enter some uncharted territory tomorrow as the sole content provider (me) is going on vacation for a week. I’m heading up to Grand Marais, MI for the annual family trip.
I’m not quite sure how things will work while I’m away. I will have some limited internet access, and I haven’t decided whether I’ll post a daily update or whether you’ll get an every-couple-days catch-up post.
It’s been a very busy summer news-wise, but the last week of July/first week of August is usually the nadir/low point of the summer news cycle, so I hope that I don’t miss too much.
In any case, I’m assuming that TMR will survive one down week in the off-season, and that you will all be on your best behavior while I’m gone 😉
How long was the decision to leave Detroit in the making?
CC: Since a few months after my dad passed. My mom gets help from my sister, but the commute just got really old driving back and forth trying to help my sister. Over the years, I’d talked with the Ilitches about it, about returning home at some point. Then after my dad passed, that’s really when I started thinking about it seriously.
The kids also had a bearing on it — I’m an empty nester now. My daughter graduated from Northwestern a few months ago. Two of them are going to be here in Chicago. So it’s basically all family based.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
CC: I’m still not ruling out coaching because so far that’s where I’ve had the most fun. I just have to decide if I want to do it 100 percent — the travel, the grind. That’s the only thing holding me back — and again, my mom, being able to help her out whenever I can. I wasn’t there when my dad passed, I was actually at the rink getting ready for a game. You can’t always be there, but it bothers me a lot that I wasn’t there with my mom when he passed. So we’ll see.
Being president of a team allows you to make your own schedule — you’re working a lot but still, if something comes up, a family matter, you can still make that. That seems like a pretty interesting job to me. Coaching, it’s a lot of hours, and all the instruction with video — to me it’s overkill, but that’s how a lot of young coaches are now.
I’ve never had a partner in the restaurant business and I don’t like being told what to do with my schedule. I listen, but I like being the boss.
107. Dylan Larkin, C, Red Wings: He’s unquestionably Detroit’s No. 1 pivot now. Lack of goals and a weak supporting cast limit his upside for now. More interesting if Filip Zadina makes the team and ends up on his line.
154. Anthony Mantha, RW, Red Wings: Strong bet to lead the Wings in goals again, but watch out for Zadina. If you’re not on the first line in Detroit, you’re in a bad fantasy situation, especially if Henrik Zetterberg doesn’t play this year.
164. Filip Zadina, RW, Red Wings: He reminds me of Marian Hossa. You’ll want to reach on him if he makes the team, but keep in mind he’s eligible to return to major junior and that his QMJHL squad hosts the Memorial Cup this year, hint hint.
178. Mike Green, D, Red Wings: Someone has to quarterback the Wings’ power play, and Green will keep holding down that job, but further decline isn’t out of the question for a 32-year-old coming off neck surgery.
“I want to be the guy,” Larkin said. “I honestly don’t believe in No. 1 centers in the NHL [in terms of labels]. Who’s the No. 1 center in Toronto? Who’s the No. 1 center in Pittsburgh? You’ve got to have two centers. [But] I want to be the guy that’s out there whether we’re down by a goal and we need to score with a minute left or we’re up by a goal and taking that huge faceoff in your [defensive] zone. So just want to be looked at as that, like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have for so long in Detroit.”
The Red Wings need Larkin to become the guy. Datsyuk left for SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League after the 2015-16 season, the last of Detroit’s streak of 25 straight Stanley Cup Playoff appearances. Zetterberg turns 38 on Oct. 9 and has back problems. General manager Ken Holland has said he expects Zetterberg to play this season, but it is not certain.
Larkin turns 22 on Monday. A restricted free agent, he said there are no major issues in contract negotiations. He doesn’t feel like a veteran yet, even though he’s entering his fourth NHL season and the Red Wings will give opportunities to younger players, including forwards Michael Rasmussen, 19, and Filip Zadina, 18.
“We have one of the best veteran cores in the NHL of people and players,” Larkin said. “They’re special people, and they’re established. When I think of a veteran, I think of someone who’s paid their dues and been around and knows the ins and outs and have a lot of respect.”
Toledo, OH – Defenseman Kevin Tansey has agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2018-19 season.
Tansey, a native of Hammond, Ontario, returns to the Walleye after appearing in 67 games last season with 15 points (7G, 8A) and 77 penalty minutes. He added in a pair of assists during the Walleye playoff run in the spring. His seven goals were second most on the team from a defenseman (Patrick McCarron had nine). Tansey skated in 44 games for the then Missouri Mavericks in 2016-17, his first pro season with 13 goals and 18 assists. In 111 ECHL contests, the 6’4”, 217 defenseman has scored 20 goals with 26 assists, 125 penalty minutes and is a career plus five.
“We saw what Kevin brings to the team on and off the ice,” said Head Coach Dan Watson. “He is a tremendous blue line presence in both the offensive and defensive zones.”
The 25 year old brings 30 games of AHL experience with him after appearing in 19 games for Chicago in the 2016-17 season (1G, 2A) and another 11 contests with Binghamton following his final college season at the end of the 2015-16 season. Tansey played his college hockey at Clarkson University from 2011-2016. Tansey finished his college career second in career games played (151) for the Golden Knights. Tansey scored 12 goals with 22 assists and 122 penalty minutes in his college career at Clarkson.