Thank you for your responses and support; it’s been difficult.


I want to thank everyone who sent messages of support through the blog, Twitter, Facebook, email…I still haven’t been able to get what was said/sent as the first couple of days after someone dies are busy, but my aunt and I are incredibly grateful for everyone who’s reached out.

My mother and I in 2014. Mom hated having her picture taken, so there aren’t many images of her left.

Some of the next couple of days will be catching up, but the last few days have been incredibly busy, so please don’t be upset if you haven’t gotten an immediate reply.

In addition to handling the funerary details (mom will be cremated, in Taylor of all places), the aunt and I have been navigating a sea of phone calls made to doctors/insurance/financial companies/etc., and the clean-up company came to clean the mom’s room where she passed, and…

48 hours ago, mom died. 72 hours ago, she was very alive and very sick. A week ago, I was coming home from Traverse City. And now mom’s room is barren of personal details and cleaned down to the sub-floor. Both my aunt and I have had long cries realizing the finality of the fact that mom isn’t just going to come home or sneak out of her room in the night. She managed to wander off while we weren’t looking one last time.

We also take great solace in the belief that my mother and my father are reunited. My dad died in 1992 at only 44 years of age, and they spent 27 years apart. My mother and father really adored each other in love and friendship, and I would like to believe that they are no longer apart.

I’m not sure when I’m going to get back to blogging yet. We’re still navigating the maze that is placing a loved one’s affairs in order, never mind grieving the loss of a mother and sister. I can’t really say how long things will take because we have so many pathways to navigate.

Because mom is being cremated, we’re going to have a small memorial and eventually send her off the pier in Grand Marais, but those are long-term plans. Right now it’s about getting her affairs in order. That’s a gargantuan task for such a small little lady.

Mom (Mary Catherine) was happiest in Grand Marais. Here she is on the beach, in traditional Irish Beach Garb (ha), smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer.

I can only say that I miss hockey and I miss interacting with you in a hockey-covering capacity, and again, I am incredibly grateful for your support during an incredibly difficult time–and losing a parent for the second time is just as hard as the first time, that’s for sure.

My mother has passed away at 69

My mother has passed away at age 69.

She died sometime on Sunday and I found her on Sunday night. She had a severe urinary tract infection and may have succumbed to a number of things. We will probably never know.

I do not know when I will return or what the future holds for The Malik Report, but I will keep you apprised of the situation.

Thank you for your time, readership and support.

One-Tweet entry: Nicklas Lidstrom’s book comes out in the U.S. on October 1st

In case you weren’t aware, Nicklas Lidstrom’s book, The Pursuit of Perfection, has been translated into English by two fantastic authors in Gunnar Nordstrom and Bob Duff, and the book will hit the shelves on October 1st:

My new book is coming out October 1 in the US. #LidstromBook— Nicklas Lidstrom (@NicklasLidstrom) September 19, 2019

You can buy the book on Amazon, and if you follow the link, you can help the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children in the process.

Tweets from Thursday’s practice: Athanasiou, Larkin, Bertuzzi and Kaski skate

Of Twitter-related note, albeit belated, from Thursday’s practice:

Back at work. #LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 19, 2019

#RedWings Larkin, Athanasiou, Bertuzzi and Mantha on ice together. Kaski is also working with them, plus Hronek and Cholowski.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) September 19, 2019

Continue reading Tweets from Thursday’s practice: Athanasiou, Larkin, Bertuzzi and Kaski skate

Kulfan: Dylan Larkin’s dealing with a nagging foot injury

Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin offered an update regarding what turns out to be a minor foot injury after practice today, as noted by the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan..

Larkin skated briefly Thursday during one of the Red Wings’ split practices, but exactly when he’ll make his first appearance in a preseason game is unclear.

“I’m not sure,” said Larkin, when asked if he’ll play in one of the two games this weekend. “I feel good on the ice, just taking it easy, I guess, resting up and I hope to play soon. But I’m not sure (when he’ll play).”

Larkin called it a “nagging injury, I don’t even call it an injury,” bothering his foot and heel.

“It’s just a thing going on with my foot and heel, (we’re) just trying to figure it out. It’s something that came up during training (over the summer), running, and trying to figure it out, to settle it own .I skated today and and it felt good. We’ll see what tomorrow feels like.”

Kulfan continues, and the Wings just posted a video of Larkin’s remarks:

“I feel good on the ice. Just taking it easy, resting up. I hope to play soon,” – Dylan gives an update and talks Hirose & Veleno.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 19, 2019

Update: The Free Press’s Helene St. James also posted a video of Larkin’s remarks:

Three Athletic things: discussing the Wings’ core, fantasy hockey tidbits and a Bultman Q and A today

Of Red Wings-related note from The Athletic this morning:

  1. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman ranked NHL teams by their “23-and-under core,” and Detroit earned a fairly good ranking:

9. Detroit Red Wings

Previous U23 ranking: No. 12
Farm Ranking: No. 13

Core: Dylan Larkin, Filip Zadina, Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, Michael Rasmussen, Dennis Cholowski, Joe Veleno, Jonatan Berggren, Robert Mastrosimone, Jared McIsaac

Key additions: Moritz Seider, Robert Mastrosimone

Key subtractions/graduations: Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi

Detroit fans still have some more pain left in this rebuild, but the Wings are moving in the right direction. They found the hardest piece to get: a true No. 1 center in Larkin. Zadina and Seider are major future pieces, and the season Hronek had was very promising. They likely need a little more in terms of true star talent, but they could come out of this rebuild in a few years with a good team.

Continued (paywall)

2. The Athletic also posted a massive fantasy hockey preview, asking each and every one of their beat writers to weigh in regarding their respective teams, and Max Bultman discussed the Red Wings:

Who is your team’s sleeper?

Taro Hirose (W) is a somewhat deep sleeper, but he could find himself in a prominent offensive role, potentially as high as the top six and on the second power play. He’s a passer more than a shooter, so don’t expect massive goals upside, but taking a late flier on a playmaker who could see time with the Red Wings’ most electric scorer (Andreas Athanasiou) might pay off. The word of caution is he’s not technically a roster lock at this point, but I’m betting he makes it and ends up as a reliable playmaker in a good situation.

Which youngster/rookie on your team has a chance to excel?

Filip Hronek (D) put up a half point per game in about half a season last year. It’s hard to bank on that over a full season from the 21-year-old, but he should get power-play time and projects to be a top-four staple.

Continued (paywall)…

3. And Bultman will conduct a Q and A session on The Athletic’s website from 2-3 PM EDT today.

Four Wings prospects named to ESPN’s ‘Top 100 NHL Prospects’ list

Four Red Wings prospects cracked ESPN’s Chris Peters’ list of the top 100 NHL prospects:

10. Filip Zadina, RW, Detroit Red Wings: Zadina did not blow the barn doors off of the AHL, but he made an impression during a brief NHL stint that is probably a sign of things to come. He has a lot of skill but also plays with a lot of energy.

35. Joe Veleno, C, Detroit Red Wings: The concerns about Veleno’s overall skill set persist despite big numbers last year in the QMJHL, but I’ve always appreciated his work ethic and defensive know-how, which maximize his value and NHL upside.

43. Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings: The shock of draft day is subsiding, but Seider is a legit player who ended last season with a league title and a great performance at the World Championship. He’s still a bit of a project, but he has all of the tools and upside of an eventual top-four defenseman.

92. Jared McIsaac, D, Detroit Red Wings: McIsaac really popped last season for Halifax, playing a solid two-way game, boosting his offensive numbers and earning a nod to play for Canada at the World Juniors.

Continued (paywall)

Larkin’s no fantasy hockey slouch (from a shooting perspective)

The Athletic’s Shayna Goldman penned an article discussing players whose advanced stats belie their low fantasy hockey draft positions–at least as far as advanced stats (see “Goals Above Replacement,” or GAR) are concerned–and she included Dylan Larkin as one of the players who fantasy hockey poolies may be overlooking because he’s on the Red Wings:

In Larkin we have another case of managers overlooking players from bad teams. While there may be concerns about the Red Wings’ potential this season, there shouldn’t be as much of a question of whether or not to draft Larkin.

He may not be Detroit’s captain this season, but Larkin is still one of their best players. On a disappointing team last year, he still managed 73 points — and they were fairly balanced between goals (32) and assists (41). Plus, the Red Wings took about 54 percent of the shots with him on the ice.

Few players fire the puck as often as Larkin. The center’s 494 shot attempts ranked 10th in the league in all situations last year. Of the 494 attempts, 287 reached net, which put him a slot higher on the league’s rankings. Shots on goal are an important category to cover, and Larkin does that while still contributing to other offensive categories. The risk with any player on a bad team is +/-, but that shouldn’t stop owners from adding the shoot-first center.