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The Malik Report

Grand Rapids Griffins name Tom McCollum their ‘Man of the Year’

Tom McCollum's professional hockey future may not lie with the Red Wings organization, but McCollum signed an AHL-only contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins to continue to pursue his professional hockey dreams, and he's really salvaged his pro career over the course of the 2013-2014 season.

It's his off-ice contributions to the Grand Rapids community, however, that are at the root of the the Grand Rapids Griffins' decision to name McCollum their "Man of the Year" today:

McCOLLUM NAMED GRIFFINS' 2013-14 IOA/AMERICAN SPECIALTY AHL MAN OF THE YEAR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins are proud to announce that Tom McCollum has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Grand Rapids community during the 2013-14 season.

A native of Sanborn, N.Y., McCollum has been a pillar of service in the community throughout his five seasons with the Griffins, embodying the core values of both the organization and the city of Grand Rapids. McCollum has appeared in every major charitable event this season, including walking dogs at the Pups and Pucks Fall Walk-a-Thon for Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, interacting with fans at the Tip-a-Griffin fundraiser and Great Skate Winterfest for the Griffins Youth Foundation and serving beverages at Corks, Pucks and Brews for Easter Seals Michigan, among other volunteer opportunities.

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Big Richard Nedomlel may not be the ‘next big thing’, but he’s worth watching

Red Wings prospect Richard Nedomlel isn't exactly the Next Big Thing, though he is pretty bloody large at 6'4" and 225 pounds. Nedomlel's spent his first pro season not with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, but instead, the ECHL's Toledo Walleye (in no small part due to the fact that Nedomlel, Max Nicastro, Nick Jensen, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet and Alexey Marchenko all "turned pro" this season), but Nedomlel's done just fine with Toledo, establishing himself as the kind of defenseman he hopes to become at higher levels of play--a big, mean, steady and stable stay-at-home defenseman.

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe penned a profile of Nedomlel, and it's worth stand-alone entry status because Nedomlel's particularly forthcoming in discussing his development and goals...

“I try to give my team energy,” he said. “If that means hitting a guy or getting into a fight, I will do whatever I can. I'm known to be tough and physical. I will protect my teammates. I'm a big guy. Hockey is not a sport for girls, so I really enjoy that. Obviously the fans like that. It's nice to give something to the fans. I like to give something back.”

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Red Wings-Bruins game-day updates: Datsyuk and Alfredsson out against B’s

Updated 13x at 2:55 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face an incredibly difficult challenge in battling a Boston Bruins team that's still upset about losing 6-1 on Thanksgiving eve when the teams tangle in a NBCSN "Rivalry Night" game (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/TSN2 with the requisite Center Ice/GameCenter Live blackouts/1270 AM), but the Wings' precarious spot in the Eastern Conference's Wild Card race precludes them from worrying about anyone else but themselves this evening.

When the Wings took to the ice for the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose delivered an almost-immediate answer as to whether Pavel Datsyuk is slated to return this evening...

#RedWings lines for tonight look to be Franzen-Legwand-Nyquist; Tatar- Sheahan-Jurco; Andersson-Helm-Abdelkader; Miller-Glendening-Bertuzzi.

And MLive's Ansar Khan noted that Daniel Alfredsson's missing from the mix:

Alfredsson not skating for the second day in a row. He said yesterday that he expected to play tonight. We'll see.

Khan continued...

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Ted Lindsay Foundation donates $1 million to aid in autism treatment and research

Per the Associated Press, the Ted Lindsay Foundation made a gigantic donation to aid in autism treatment and research today:

The foundation of Detroit Red Wings great and Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay is donating $1 million to the Beaumont Health System to help children with autism and their families.

Beaumont announced today that support from the Ted Lindsay Foundation will expand and create a new facility for the Hands-On Parent Education Center, which offers services for families of children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders.

Previously known as the HOPE Center, the facility is part of the Royal Oak-based health system’s Beaumont Children’s Hospital. In recognition of the gift, the Beaumont Health System is renaming the center as the “Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center.”

Here's the Ted Lindsay Foundation's press release regarding the donation:

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Krupa pens a fantastic profile of Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist

In light of Gustav Nyquist's recent success, the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa penned one helluva profile of the Wings' undersized but uber-competitive goal-scorer, and Krupa's profile is way too superb to simply stuff it into the overnight report:

The son of a surgeon and an architect, Nyquist was third in his high school class and a dedicated schoolboy athlete. After a particularly great season of college hockey, he was prepared to a state of overly ripe in Grand Rapids.

Now, he focuses on working with a bunch of other young guys to propel one of the oldest, proudest franchises in the NHL into the playoffs, while tamping down unrealistic expectations about his performance.

“I think a lot of guys have stepped up with all the injuries,” Nyquist said. “That’s what we’ve needed from the young guys, including me. It’s given me more opportunity to play. Obviously, if you play more, you get more comfortable out there. You get a lot more confidence with the puck. And, I think that’s what’s happened with a lot of other guys, too.”

Keep reading, because Krupa reveals oodles of biographical information about the slick Swede, as well as oodles of praise from both Nyquist's teammates and coach as well as Jeff Blashill, who dealt with Nyquist when he was stuck in the AHL.

If you haven't seen it, while I was out of the office, Warrior Hockey posted a neat little commercial featuring Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader, Jonas Gustavsson and a certain Daniel Cleary playing street hockey with kids from the Little Caesars team, then eating coneys at Lafayette Coney Island and heading to Cobo Joe's:

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Red Wings-Bruins set-up and overnight report: B’s, bitter about November blowout, present tough test

The Detroit Red Wings will battle the Boston Bruins tonight (8 PM EDT--so the stands may be three quarters full!--NBCSN/TSN2/1270 AM) in a game that might actually fit the 'NBC Rivalry Night" spiel to a greater degree than you'd expect--because this is one of the Wings' final seven chances to solidify their playoff standing (Detroit opens a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights this evening; they host Buffalo on Friday and head to Montreal on Saturday), because the Bruins have earned points in SIXTEEN consecutive games, and because the B's are harboring ill will about a win the Wings claimed from Boston over four months ago.

The Wings' situation in terms of their playoff push, after Columbus lost in a shotoout and Toronto snapped their 9-game losing streak, looks like this:

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Red Wings prospect catch-up post of doom: 8 non-AHL/ECHL prospects still going, Griffins rolling

This is what happens when you miss almost a month's worth of prospect hockey due to health issues--and your anxiety and depression include a healthy sprinkle of OCD. You end up having to spend two hours trying to catch up with what's transpired since you last penned a prospect post, and you end up updating the statuses of as many players as you can remember play in the AHL, ECHL, Major Junior Hockey, NCAA hockey, Sweden or anywhere else.

Anyway, I tried to be my thorough self in updating everybody's statuses, and I hope the effort is worth your time:

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Red Wings’ comments at Detroit Economic Club luncheon cast a different light on playoff plight

I don't normally post a lot of Wings stuff in the evening as traffic is down and other hockey games are rolling along, but I was really intrigued to hear what the Red Wings' players, coach and management had to say at the Detroit Economic Club's luncheon, and while Mike Babcock's 14-minute interview on The Fan 590 steals the show in terms of coach-speak...

So the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa already delivered quite the, "This is like the early years, except with Datsyuk and Zetterberg" comment from Chris Ilitch earlier; later in the afternoon, DetroitRedWIngs.com's Andrea Nelson took note of Ken Holland's summation of Wings' playoff push...

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Zach Nastasiuk joins Jake Paterson, Marc McNulty as Grand Rapids Griffins try-out

The Owen Sound Attack kind of dropped this news tidbit yesterday, but the Grand Rapids Griffins made it official this evening: Owen Sound Attack captain Zach Nastasiuk, like Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson and Prince George Cougars defenseman Marc McNulty, has wrapped up his major junior season, and as such, the Wings decided to give the trio some pro experience in Grand Rapids.

Nastasiuk was signed to an amateur try-out today:

The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday reassigned right wing Zach Nastasiuk from the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

A native of Barrie, Ontario, Nastasiuk has accumulated 110 points (54-56—110) in 192 career OHL games with Owen Sound from 2011-14. Serving as captain for the 2013-14 campaign, Nastasiuk notched 51 points (23-28—51) in 62 regular season games and four points (3-1—4) in five playoff games. The 19-year-old ranked among team leaders with 23 goals (4th), 28 assists (4th), 51 points (T2nd), 10 PPG (2nd) and two shorthanded goals (1st). In his three seasons with Owen Sound, the 6-foot-2, 196-pound Nastasiuk played under Attack head coach Greg Ireland, who commanded the Griffins for parts of three seasons (Feb. 10, 2005-June 15, 2007).

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Audio/Video- 14 Minutes Of Mike Babcock

via Sportsnet,

Mike Babcock joined PTS (Prime Time Sports) to talk about the Red Wings’ position in the playoff race, and how they’ve managed to keep pace without their captain Henrik Zetterberg and all-star Pavel Datsyuk.

Much more too.  I listened live and if you have 14 minutes to spare, I suggest you do the same.

You will be listening to host Bob McCown and Elliotte Friedman along with Babcock...

Update: Here's the audio with a download link:

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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.

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