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Quick chats with Keith Petruzzelli and Kasper Kotkansalo from Day 2 of the WJSS

Team USA Blue defeated Team Finland 4-1 at the World Junior Summer Showcase on Sunday. Keith Petruzzelli stopped 27 of 28 shots for Team USA, and while he was listed as the seventh defenseman, Kasper Kotkansalo got into the game for Finland and registered an assist (that's 2 points in 2 days for Kotkansalo, 1 goal and 1 assist).

I spoke to both players as part of media scrums after the game. Petruzzelli spoke about getting a "whole game" in for the Americans and finding his rhythm while battling against a plucky, physical Finland team...

And Kotkansalo took some solace in the Finns' particularly competitive play and his own ice time despite a disappointing result. He says that the Finns are going to take the day off tomorrow, and he feels that doing so will re-energize them as they continue an 8-day tournament and what will have been a total of 9 days on the ice by the time Saturday's through:

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‘Roughly Translated’: Filip Hronek talks about his first junior season, attempts to gain weight

iDnes.cz's Radomir Machek spoke with Red Wings prospect Filip Hronek regarding his attempts to gain weight through training and his reflections upon his first season in North America. Here's a rough translation of their discussion. There's a confusing spot where it's stated taht Hronek may play in the Czech league this season, when he's in fact bound for Grand Rapids, but other than that, the article is straightforward.

Hockey prospect Hronek gained five pounds, trying to gain five more

Train, but don't lose weight. On the other hand, the first kilogram is good, but it's still too little! This fact was brought to Hradec Kralove defenseman Filip Hronek after his first year overseas.

The talented 19-year-old of Hradec is governed by this order even these days, when he's preparing for the team he grew up playing hockey for. Depending on the circumstances, he'll either play for the first team Mountfield Hradec, or he'll play in juniors.

"I didn't even say much about needing to get stronger, I knew myself," says the defenseman who was drafted a year ago by Detroit, which educates him to get bigger in the future to support his defense.

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Morning news: On Kotkansalo’s WJSS, Bylsma on the ‘rebuild,’ no-trade talk and a Larkin birthday

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. DetroitRedWings.com's Arthur J. Regner penned a World Junior Summer Showcase update, focusing on three topics, including Kasper Kotkansalo's status as something of a "shift disturber" on defense...

"That is one thing I've noticed now (since development camp) from my game, it's starting to get more hard and I'm becoming much tougher to play against," Kotkansalo said. "I'm trying to get into their best players' heads, that's the kind of player I am."

Like Detroit's other prospects from development camp, Kotkansalo says it was the off-ice things that stand out more than the on-ice drills and scrimmage.

"What we learned in development camp was how to make you better as an individual. I've already started eating better because I didn't eat perfect," Kotkansalo said. "I still don't eat perfect, but they told us how to make food and what options that I have and then I talked to my own personal chef, my mom, about it and I started eating like I should."

If he feels any extra pressure because the WJSS is in Michigan and he's a Wings prospect, Kotkansalo relishes the opportunity to play in front of a mostly Red Wings-friendly crowd.

"We were actually talking about the pressure and stuff on Team Finland," Kotkansalo said. "Whether it's that kind of pressure (playing in front of Detroit fans) or anything, it's a privilege to play and I hope someday to play for the Red Wings and even get more pressure."

Regner continues...

2. Former Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma of all people offered a take on the Red Wings' rebuilding process while engaging in a lengthy Q and A with The Athletic's Craig Custance:

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Wings look forward in last ‘Final Farewell’ video

The Red Wings' last "Final Farewell" video focuses on the Red Wings' 2016-17 campaign, as well as their goals 2017-18 season at Little Caesars Arena:

If you missed it, the Red Wings have posted five more videos, discussing Joe Louis Arena itself...

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Chats with Keith Petruzzelli, Gustav Lindstrom & Filip Larsson from the World Junior Summer Showcase

Team Sweden rallied to beat Team USA Blue on 4-3 on Saturday afternoon, with Sweden scoring a tip-down goal with only 9 seconds remaining in regulation. So Keith Petruzzelli, who came in for the second half of the game, got tagged with the loss. The Americans played well for periods 1 and 2, so the outcome was a little puzzling--and it wasn't on the goalie.

After the game, myself and DetroitRedWings.com's Arthur J. Regner spoke with Petruzzelli, who was understandably disappointed about the result, but happy to have played in the game and be at the U.S. camp soon after the Wings' development camp. He discussed both experiences, and said that he's trying to "hinge" better as a big goaltender:

From the victorious Swedish side, Regner and I spoke with Gustav Lindstrom, who happens to be wearing #5, about a few different topics, and he was a bit more shy, but came around--until the Swedish trainer came after him for his post-game workout, and we had to cut the interview short!

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Walleye re-sign Alden Hirschfeld

From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:

Walleye captain Alden Hirschfeld will return for a fifth season with his hometown team.

Hirschfeld, a Sylvania native, signed with Toledo on Friday and threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Mud Hens game.

The 29-year-old forward tallied a career-high 23 goals and 26 assists in 55 games for the Walleye last season. He has played in 190 games for Toledo since 2013-14.

“This is my hometown, and we have the best fans,” Hirschfeld said. “The community takes care of us. I'm super excited. I can’t wait to get back on the ice.”

Hirschfeld, a Northview High graduate, was named team captain in February. This will be the sixth pro season for the 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward, who has 57 goals and 91 assists in 190 games for Toledo.

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Is being mediocrely good a ‘waste of time’ for the Wings?

The Athletic's Tyler Dellow makes the case for a "total rebuild" over the "reload" in his latest Red Wings article, but he doesn't do so before duly noting that Wings GM Ken Holland wants to do nothing of the sort:

What I do find more difficult to understand about the Red Wings' approach is their insistence on spending to the salary cap in circumstances in which they don't have a cornerstone player. Leaving aside the question of whether this is a good use of the Red Wings' money from a business perspective (it isn't), Detroit's medium term goal should be to become a team that can put up 95 points while entering July 1 every year with $15-million salary cap room.

If you need a superstar who you aren't willing to pursue by way of tanking, the only way to up your odds of getting him is by being in a position to trade for him or sign him as a free agent. If you're within a few million dollars of the cap entering July 1 with an average to bad team, you can forget about free agency. You get to sign Frans Nielsen for $5.25-million while teams with cornerstone players of UFA age pay them something between $7-million and $10-million. You can't win that transaction.

The only way to get into that game is to have the room to make an overwhelming financial offer while also having a good team with which to lure the player, a team that he can look at and think “I can take that team from 95 points to 105 points.” The Red Wings aren't in that position right now – they've got a bunch of contracts you can live with if you have a star or two driving the bus but, if that star leaves or gets old, the deals look bad. It's not entirely unreasonable that Ken Holland doesn't want to tank but continuing to run a cap team without much realistic hope of breaking 90 points is a waste of time.

Dellow continues (paywall)

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A quick chat with Kasper Kotkansalo at the World Junior Summer Showcase

Myself and DetroitRedWings.com's Arthur J. Renger engaged in a fairly decent-length conversation with Kasper Kotkansalo, the Team Finland defenseman who's here at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, MI. Kasper's team lost to Team USA White 4-2 on Saturday, but the self-described stay-at-home defenseman scored a goal and eventually displayed some snarl playing a "safe and steady" game on the right and left points with equal aplomb.


Update: USA Hockey posted highlights from the game if you're interested:

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A quick chat with Gustav Lindstrom at the World Junior Summer Showcase

I'm attending the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan this week (at USA Hockey Arena, with seven Red Wings prospects taking part) and while I'm going to try to keep things "casual," I will be offering brief reports regarding the Wings' participants and some general impressions from the summer showcase games.

This morning, I spoke with Gustav Lindstrom regarding his work put in since the summer development camp, his goals and emphases for this tournament as "jobs are on the line" for the World Junior Championship in August, as well as his hopes for this upcoming season with Almtuna in the Swedish second division:

Over the course of the tournament, I hope to snag FIlip Larsson (Sweden), Kasper Kotkansalo (Sweden), Keith Petruzzelli (USA) and Dennis Cholowski, Michael Rasmussen and Givani Smith (Canada) if at all possible.

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Today’s Wings ‘Final Farewell’ to the Joe video discusses the closing ceremony

The Red Wings have posted their latest "Final Farewell" to the Joe video, discussing the "Farewell to the Joe" ceremony itself:

If you missed it, the Red Wings have posted four more videos, discussing Joe Louis Arena itself...

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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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