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Red Wings mid-day news: on the WJC, the Griffins, staying warm and the spirt of the Winter Classic

A trio Red Wings prospect-related articles and a trio of Winter Classic-related articles merit mentioning in an entry separate from the Red Wings-Panthers game-day update post so that they don't get buried in said post.

First and foremost, in the prospect department, part 1: The Wings' oldest prospect, 43-year-old Sergei Fedorov, did play for CSKA Moscow in their 4-3 OT loss to Geneve-Servette at the Spengler Cup, but if we are to believe the Spengler Cup's official website, Fedorov's playing career may end tomorrow when CSKA plays HK Vitkovice as he's stated that his KHL comeback "didn't work out";

In the prospect department part 2: Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha had 2 assists and Jake Paterson stopped 24 of 28 shots, but Canada's World Junior Championship team lost 5-4 to the Czech Republic in a shootout as Paterson gave up 2 shootout goals on 3 shootout shots.

How seriously do Canadians take the World Juniors? So seriously that I'd argue that Mantha and Paterson may be facing more pressure to win and more intense scrutiny than they will at any point in their careers save perhaps playing in the Stanley Cup Final, and TSN's Mark Masters tossed of a set of very significant stats emphasizing Canada's supreme dominance at the WJC:

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Red Wings officially demote Riley Sheahan to make room for Zetterberg and Abdelkader

This is good official news because it confirms that Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader will return to the Wings' lineup tonight against the Panthers (7 PM, FSD/FS Florida/1270 AM). From the Wings' PR department:

RED WINGS ASSIGN SHEAHAN TO GRIFFINS
… Second-Year Pro Recorded His First NHL Points on Dec. 21 at Toronto …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Riley Sheahan to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

A native of St. Catharines, Ont., Sheahan has appeared in four games with the Red Wings this season, recording his first NHL points with two assists on Dec. 21 at Toronto. The 22-year-old forward also has a plus-two rating, four penalty minutes and five shots on goal in six games with the Red Wings since making his NHL debut on April 7, 2012. A 2013 Calder Cup Champion with the Griffins, Sheahan has also skated in 23 games with the team this season, recording 14 points (6-8-14). He has 52 points (23-29-52) in 102 career AHL games with Grand Rapids.

The Red Wings (17-13-9) return to game action tonight in Florida, as they take on the Panthers at 7:00 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit/AM 1270).

Update: Sheahan's demotion yielded a set of moves made by the Griffins, too:

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Warm weather delays starts of Saturday’s Great Lakes Invitational games

From the Red Wings' PR department, sunny days and 46-degree temperatures are not necessarily good:

SECOND DAY OF GREAT LAKES INVITATIONAL GAME START TIMES DELAYED
... Michigan and Michigan State Clash for Third Place at 4:30 p.m., Western Michigan Battles Michigan Tech in Championship at 8:00 p.m. ...

DETROIT – The starting times of the Great Lakes Invitational third-place game (Michigan vs. Michigan State) and championship game (Western Michigan vs. Michigan Tech) at Comerica Park as part of the 2013 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™ will be delayed one hour due to sunshine impacting play.

The decision was made this morning after it was determined that today’s sunshine is creating hot spots on the ice.  Michigan and Michigan State are now slated to meet at 4:30 p.m. in the consolation round, and Michigan Tech will host Western Michigan in the championship game at 8:00 p.m.

The Coke Zero Fan Zone, located just outside of Comerica Park, will maintain its original hours today and is open from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The festivities are free for those with tickets to the game and $5 for those who do not have tickets.

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose posted today's Hockeytown Winter Festival schedule:

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Red Wings-Panthers game-day updates: Clemensen vs. Gustavsson in net; lines shuffled; Z, Abby return

Updated 7x at 3:19 PM: The Red Wings get back to work laying agmes 40 and 41 on the schedule against the Florida Panthers this evening (7 PM, FSD/Fox Sports Florida/turns out that the NHL Network dropped this game so it won't be blacked out/AM 1270) hoping to rebound from a 3-0 loss to the Islanders this past Monday, hoping to welcome Henrik Zetterberg back into the lineup and hoping to win for the first time in three attempts against the Panthers, who beat the Wings 3-1 on December 7th and 3-2 in a shootout on December 10th.

Again, the Panthers are well aware of the fact that the third episode of HBO's 24/7 series airs tonight at 10 PM...

Cats will be playing in front of HBO 24/7 cameras again tomorrow night vs. DET -- what's your best idea for a homemade sign? Use "#HBOCats"

In Europe, the Spengler Cup's Twitter account retweeted the lineup sheet from today's CSKA-vs-Geneve-Servette game from SRF's Jann Billeter, and Sergei Fedorov didn't take part in the game, which CSKA lost 4-3.

Back in Sunrise, the Miami Herald's George Richards reported that Scott Clemensen may end up starting against the Wings instead of Tim Thomas (who was activated off the IR on December 24th)...

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All about beer at the Big House

As noted earlier this morning, even NHL.com's taken note of the fact that Michigan Stadium's received a one-day liquor license to allow the NHL to sell beer and liquor within the "Big House's" confines for the first time, and MLive's Ryan Stanton spoke with the Michigan Stadium's biggest contributors in terms of liquor distribution about the choices that fans can expect to enjoy in their endeavors to "stay warm":

Jim Wanty, president of O&W Inc., a beer and wine distributor in Ypsilanti, said his company will be providing the lion's share of suds.

"It's going to be 16-ounce cans of Molson Canadian and Coors Light," he said, noting both brands were chosen because they're official sponsors of the NHL.

Wanty said his company will be trucking in 6,500 to 7,000 cases (24 cans per case) starting at 6 a.m. the morning of the game.

"This is the Super Bowl of events for hockey," Wanty said, acknowledging it's going to attract a lot of Canadian visitors. "They're good beer drinkers up in Canada."

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Red Wings’ Drew Miller engages in wide-ranging Q and A with NHL.com’s Kathryn Tappen

Red Wings forward Drew Miller's usually escapes the spotlight, but the New Jersey-born, East Lansing-raised Wings grinder received quite a bit of attention from NHL.com, with Kathryn Tappen engaging in a wide-ranging Q and A with Miller that covers his thoughts on playing in the Winter Classic...

Kathryn Tappen: Big game coming up for you! The stage is set for New Year's Day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor for the [2014 Bridgestone NHL] Winter Classic. How much are you looking forward to that game?

Drew Miller: It's going to be an exciting game. To think that over 100,000 fans will be watching is completely overwhelming to even think about. We skated at Comerica Park last week for practice and it's a bit different skating outside. The rink seems so small, to think that the football stadium is way bigger than that is going to be quite an adjustment. The game itself will be such an incredible experience to be a part of. Seeing that it's Michigan, that will be an adjustment for me as a Michigan State guy. That's foreign territory for me. Me and [Red Wings teammate Justin] Abdelkader haven't quite figured out what we're going to do yet. We may have to wear something Michigan State underneath our gear for morning skate.

His hockey upbringing...

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Red Wings-Panthers set-up and overnight report: undermanned Wings hope to earn first win vs. Florida

After a practice which yielded a mixed bag of injury news, the Detroit Red Wings flew to Florida to both kick off their fathers' trip and battle a pair of vexing opponents ahead of the Winter Classic.

The Red Wings will battle the Panthers this evening (7 PM on FSD/Fox Sports Florida/NHL Network U.S. with the cursory Center Ice and GCL blackouts/AM 1270; of course HBO's 3rd episode of 24/7 will air at 10 PM) and the Nashville Predators on Monday (8 PM on FSD and AM 1270), knowing that the Maple Leafs are breathing down the Wings' necks in the Atlantic Division (Toronto's 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo on Friday tied the Wings' 43 points, though the Wings have a game in hand), and knowing that the Panthers have defeated the Wings twice--the Wings lost 2-1 on December 7th and 3-2 in a shootout on December 10th.

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The Hockeytown Winter Festival has Downtown Detroit hopping with activity

The Detroit Red Wings will be very busy away from Metro Detroit until Tuesday, and their roster's in flux ahead of tonight's game against the Florida Panthers and Monday's tilt against Nashville...

So I'm not exactly going to cover the Hockeytown Winter Festival in detail (I will be attending the Griffins-Marlies game on Monday, the Alumni Showdown on Tuesday and the Winter Classic itself, so that's where I'm going to focus my coverage), but I can't deny that I've had a smile on my face watching the local news stations report that the Coke Zero Fan Zone has exceeded expectations (with all of the NHL's trophies minus Monday and Tuesday's guest, the Stanley Cup, in attendance, and Wings alums like Mickey Redmond and Nicklas Lidstrom signing autographs).

The Red Wings themselves posted a video promoting the Hockeytown Winter Festival...

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Red Wings prospect news: McKee didn’t play in WMU’s GLI win; Griffins win, Walleye lose

As you probably already know that Jake Paterson will start for the Canadian World Junior team when they tangle with the Czech Republic today at 11:30 AM (on TSN; Paterson and Canadian teammate Anthony Mantha are the only Wings prospects taking part in the tournament), the Red Wings prospect whose team took part in the biggest game on Friday didn't actually play in his team's game.

Wings prospect Mike McKee (who the Kalamazoo Gazette's David Drew reports is transitioning from defense to forward) was watching from the press box as Western Michigan University defeated Michigan 3-2 in overtime at the Great Lakes Invitational, setting up a championship match-up with GLI defending champions Michigan Tech (who defeated Michigan State 3-2) at 7 PM tonight (WMU's website reports that the game will be streamed on FoxSportsDetroit.com and will be shown on tape-delay at 10 PM; the MSU-Michigan consolation game will air at 3:30 on FSD, and yes, this yields more than enough parenthetical expressoins for one entry).

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Sergei Fedorov continues to deke, dangle and dodge questions about continuing to play for CSKA

I'm reluctantly posting this as a separate entry because the player in question is taking part in the Red Wings' Alumni Showdown, and I'm posting it because the end of his playing career seems to be taking the same pattern of intrigue and mystery with which his NHL career began:

Over the past four months, CSKA Moscow GM Sergei Fedorov's navigated what turned out to be a professional comeback on Friday with a finely-tuned general manager's worth of wordplay and double-entendres, and after helping CSKA Moscow defeat the Rochester Americans 4-3 at the Spengler Cup, he engaged in a little show-and-hide with the Russian press.

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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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