The Malik Report
The Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen argues that the Red Wings need to "change their philosophy":
You may have heard this, but the Red Wings are closing out Joe Louis Arena this season. The team could stink next year, and fans still will flock to brand-new Little Caesars Arena. It’s the following season and the season after that when the Red Wings need to contend to draw fans. A good way to ensure that happening is to make sure that today's young players are veteran contributors in two years.
I don’t believe in tanking. I don’t believe in a total direction change for this team. The Red Wings have been a great franchise for decades. They’ve been a good franchise for the past few years. In order to get back to great again, Holland needs to draft and develop better than he has recently. I think he has carte blanche to do it.
Fans support a winner. But fans also want to see a team moving toward winning. The Wings have been spinning their wheels for the past few years. Most are willing to take a step back with the understanding that it gives them a better chance to take two steps forward.
Updated 8x at 2 PM: The Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning held morning skates ahead of tonight's game (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/FS Sun/97.1 FM), and there were no surprises: Ben Bishop will face off vs. Petr Mrazek in the teams' respective creases, and the teams' lineups will resemble those iced during Tuesday and Wednesday's practices.
TampaBayLightning.com's Bryan Burns Tweeted out the Bolts' lineup...
#Bolts morning skate lines:
#Bolts morning skate d-pairings:
Coburn-Nesterov (first time through; Koekkoek mixing in later)
Ben Bishop is your first #Bolts goalie off the ice and will be tonight's starter vs. Detroit.
And MLive's Ansar Khan did the same for the Wings:
From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe...
A leader on a team chock full of leaders, Walleye defenseman Jared Nightingale has been chosen once again to wear the ‘C.’
Nightingale, a veteran of 635 pro hockey games, was named Toledo’s captain on Wednesday. Nightingale had served as the Walleye's captain the past two seasons.
“Anytime you are recognized by your peers, it’s an honor,” Nightingale said. “Every year is different. But with all successful hockey teams, especially in the NHL, there is a collective agreement where all the guys buy in. Everyone brings their own qualities to the team, and there are quite a few leaders on this team.”
Walleye coach Dan Watson said you can never have too many leaders.
“We have five or six guys that could be a captain on this team — at least,” Watson said. “They all have different leadership qualities to be captains. Those guys are willing to do what it takes and sacrifice to win. They’ve done it before. The young guys need guys to look up to.”
And the ECHL:
In alumni news, former Red Wings goaltender Tom McCollum will have to find another AHL employer as he was released from his try-out with the AHL's Ontario Reign. McCollum's one of the game's "good guys," and he'll find a landing spot soon:
The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/FS Sun/97.1 FM), and the Wings are hoping to buck a particularly unpleasant trend, as noted by Ken Kal:
MLive's Ansar Khan also took note of the trends in Detroit's performances against Tampa Bay of late:
With the Red Wings' opening-day LTIR space maxed out, the team has returned Edward Pasquale to Grand Rapids:
PASQUALE ASSIGNED TO GRAND RAPIDS
… Red Wings Begin 2016-17 Regular Season Tonight in Tampa Bay …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned goaltender Edward Pasquale to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Red Wings open their 92nd season tonight when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit/97.1 The Ticket). Detroit will also take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. before hosting the Ottawa Senators for the final home opener at Joe Louis Arena on Monday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"It's a really close league," general manager Ken Holland said. "I think there's going to be a photo finish for the playoffs again.
"It's a league where you can't get dramatically better ... we got to get marginally better. There's a whole lot of things we got to get marginally better in."...
They acquired two-way center Frans Nielsen, who they hope will replace Datsyuk, to some extent, and right-shooting winger Thomas Vanek, a one-time prolific scorer coming off a bad season in Minnesota who's seeking redemption and believes he still can score 20 goals.
They're counting on skilled wingers Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist to rebound after combining for 18 fewer goals than they scored the previous season (56). They're hoping 20-year-old Dylan Larkin, who led the team with 23 goals as a rookie, makes a smooth transition to center. They have their fingers crossed that Zetterberg, who notched a team-high 50 points, isn't worn down by injury and will be just as productive with fewer minutes and more rest.
"I believe we're going to be better offensively. I believe it's going to be collectively," coach Jeff Blashill, entering his second season, said. "I think some of the guys talked about having down years, whether it be Tatar or Nyquist, they also had down minutes. Their minutes are going to go back higher. And some guys who get less minutes still have to be able to produce."
The Detroit Red Wings take on the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/FS Sun/97.1 FM) with playoff memories fresh in the minds of both teams.
For the Lightning, Wednesday's practice involved welcoming Nikita Kucherov back to the mix, and their press corps previewed the Bolts' 2016-17 campaign by discussing Steve Yzerman's salary cap machinations to "keep the band together," and in the Tampa Bay Times Tom Jones' case, suggesting that this is the year the Lightning must capture the Stanley Cup:
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Grand Rapids Griffins captain Nathan Paetsch regarding his new job, replacing the departed Jeff Hoggan as the Griffins' captain:
"It a huge honor," Paetsch said. "Obviously, it's difficult losing Hogie as a teammate and friend. He was somebody I leaned on heavily and so it was tough to see him go. So it's something I take huge pride in to follow in his footsteps and become the captain of the Griffins."
Coach Todd Nelson said it was a coach's decision to name Paetsch.
"This year, with the way the locker room shakes out, that he's the guy," Nelson said. "He's been an assistant captain for years here, has experience and he gets what it takes to play here. And he knows how to play here because he won a championship here (in 2013). He commands respect and he knows the system."Three assistant captains were also named in Brian Lashoff and newcomers Matt Ford and Ben Street.
Paetsch said the new role won't change how he plays or his presence off the ice.
"I know there might be a few more media requirements from you guys but I will stay the same," Paetsch said. "It wouldn't make sense to do that and seem counter-productive. We have had a great leadership group here in the past, we have a great number of veterans here now, so I'm just going to keep working to help make us better however I can."
Of prospect-related note:
In the Swedish Allsvenskan, Mattias Elfstrom scored a goal in IK Pantern's 4-0 win over IK Oskarshamn. As Red Wings prospects on Twitter notes, this was a momentous goal for Elfstrom:
In the Swedish J20 league, Alfons Malmstrom had an assist in Orebro HK's 4-0 win over Karlskrona HK;
In the OHL, Jordan Sambrook had a shot on net in the Erie Otters' 7-2 win over Sarnia;
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.