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Morning news: Blashill on Daley and a conversation with Jiri Fischer

Updated 2x at 9:09 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. MLive's Brendan Savage took note of Jeff Blashill's comments regarding the signings of Trevor Daley and Luke Witkowski:

"I think Trevor was a high priority for us," Blashill said Sunday at the Red Wings development camp. "We think that he's a top four defenseman and can play those types of minutes. He's a break out guy. He can get you out of your end. He can join the play and add offense at times without being on the power play, which is important.

"And that offense might not just be his points, it's getting you out of your end and getting the puck in the forwards' hands. At the end of the day, he's a quality defenseman and a really quality person."

Savage continues...

2. The Red Wings posted a photo gallery from Sunday's scrimmage on their Facebook page...

3. The Free Press is attempting to rank the 20 best athletes in Detroit sports this week, and they're asking for fan help in assembling their list...

4. And DetroitRedWings.com's Arthur J. Regner engaged in a fascinating conversation with Red Wings director of player evaluation Jiri Fischer as part of the "Red and White Authority" podcast series. The conversation's worth your time:

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MSM takes from the third day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp

Updated 5x at 5:23 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. As the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan notes, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill spoke with the media after the scrimmage at the Wings' summer development camp today, and he lauded new Wings defenseman Trevor Daley's skating as a non-diminishing asset:

“He’s a breakout guy, he can get you out of your end,” Blashill said. “He can join the play and add offense at times without being on the power play, which is important. That offense may not be his points, but it’s getting out of your end and getting the puck into the forwards’ hands. At the end of the day, he’s a quality defenseman and he’s a quality person.”

Some fans and analysts downplayed the Daley addition, given his age. But Blashihll doesn’t believe age is an issue for one primary reason.

“The fact he skates as well as he does,” said Blashill, noting Daley’s biggest strength. “People look at age a lot of time; I don’t look at age. I look at where their game is and what kind of skaters they are.

“If you’re a real good skater -- and Mark Howe (Red Wings’ director of pro scouting) said it in our meetings and he’s right -- if you’re a real good skater it doesn’t matter (the age). You can skate forever. Mark Howe was one of those types of guys. Kris Draper can still fly. We’re excited with that.”

Kulfan continues, with an assessment of Luke Witkowski in the mix...

2. Among the development camp scrimmage notes from MLive's Brendan Savage (and his article includes an embedded photo gallery):

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Impressions from the third day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘17

The Detroit Red Wings' summer development campers engaged in a 4-on-4 scrimmage today in Traverse City, playing a pair of 25-minute periods followed by shootouts as the vast majority of the players found themselves in a game situation for the first time since March or April of this year.

As a result, as Jeff Blashill suggested, the game was "summer hockey," and it was a game in which some players who've been quiet during the skill drills shone--and vice versa--but it was a fun-to-watch game, and I'd like to think that it was not only entertaining for the fully-packed Centre ICE Arena crowd, but that it was also a good way to break up the drills for the prospects attending camp.

Michael Rasmussen (wrist), Lane Zablocki, Luke Esposito and Chase Pearson didn't take part in the game, but the rest of the field is otherwise healthy, and "Team Zetterberg" defeated "Team Kronwall" 3-1:

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Custance conducts a Q and A with Griffins coach Todd Nelson

Yesterday I was admittedly very jealous to watch The Athletic's Craig Custance speak with Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson for at least half an hour, and Ken Holland for another half-hour. Custance is able to get people to sit down for long interviews (the junior blogger isn't necessarily allowed to approach an exec like a seasoned writer is able to do), and Custance knocked it out of the park today, penning a long Q and A with the Griffins' coach:

Craig Custance: I heard your aggressive philosophy was one of the things that impressed the Coyotes most during your interview. How would you describe your philosophy as a coach?

Todd Nelson: “I think in this day and age, if you wait for something bad to happen it’s going to happen. Why not try to dictate play? That goes along with my system work, that goes along with my philosophy. I hate the term, ‘Let’s weather the storm.’ I hate that because you’re in a defensive mode versus ‘We fight fire with fire' and we’re going to jam it down their throat. Over the course of a game or series you have to adjust tactics; I get that. Those are the adjustments you have to make. I want to force them to beat us.  If I get beat, I don’t want to do it in a defensive mode. I want to go after them. If they beat us, I tip my hat to them.”

CC: What's your forecheck?

TN: “It’s nothing revolutionary. A lot of people play 1-2-2 in the offensive zone, they’ll play a 1-2-2, 1-3-1 in the neutral zone. We do play that way. It depends on the team. I also play a 2-1-2 in the neutral zone and a 2-1-2 in the offensive zone. That’s more of an aggressive system. You can’t implement it unless you have total buy-in from the players. If you make a mistake, odd man rushes happen.”

Custance continues at length...

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Audio from the third day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘17

The Red Wings' summer development campers took part in a scrimmage today, with Team Zetterberg defeating Team Kronwall 3-1...

Michael Rasmussen (wrist), Lane Zablocki, Luke Esposito and Chase Pearson didn't take part in the scrimmage, but they all rode stationary bikes on the mezzanine above the rink, across the way from an "owners' suite" where Tyler Wright, Jeff Blashill, Kris Draper and Chris Chelios took in the game.

The game was, as Blashill put it, "summer hockey," with a 4-on-4 format affording the 18 defensemen and 17 forwards fair amounts of ice time, and it ran for 2 25-minute periods, with running time for the first 10 minutes.

David Pope was one of the big stars of the game, scoring a goal, Givani Smith was a whirling dervish of a crash-and-bang forward, and Christoffer Ehn was excellent, but defensemen Vili Saarijarvi, Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski and Libor Sulak "stole the show" with enthusiastic play.

Matej Machovsky gave up 2 goals, but he was still solid, and his goaltending compatriots made a pair of impromptu, after-period shutouts look pretty routine.

After the scrimmage, I managed to sneak in a 1-on-1 with David Pope, and Pope knew who I was, which is a little weird:

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The Wings In The Next Few Years

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

For two seasons, a changing roster has mostly underperformed. The sense has only grown that the Red Wings are less about the coming season, or perhaps even the next, than campaigns farther down the road.

Do not expect to hear about that in the marketing of Little Caesars Arena and the first season in “the new building.” But it is the state of the franchise.

As the players cleaned out their dressing stalls three months ago – far earlier in the spring than the recent, local tradition, and for the last time at Joe Louis Arena – Ken Holland said he intended to work in the offseason to provide for a better future and a return to the playoffs.

So far, the strategy and tactics have yielded 11 draft choices and two free agents.

None of the draft choices are likely to be a regular in the NHL until at least 2020. Neither free agent is a star.

Hopes were for a more active offseason.


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Morning news: On Tatar’s contract negotiations, Libor Sulak and development camp pics

Updated at 9:53 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan weighs in on Tomas Tatar's contract situation:

Tatar, 26, earned $2.75 million last season while scoring a team-leading 25 goals.

The Red Wings would like to get Tatar signed on a multi-year contract worth approximately $5 million per season — which is about $1 million less than Tatar’s representatives are looking for.

Tatar had shoulder surgery after the season ended, which could make him questionable for October and the start of next season.

2. According to MLive's Ansar Khan, the Wings will be able to bring defenseman Libor Sulak back for the prospect tournament and main training camp (despite his contract with the Finnish Liiga's Lahti Pelicans), and that's good news as Sulak is just starting to look comfortable at the Wings' summer development camp:

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Custance on Tomas Tatar’s contract pickle

As noted this morning, Tomas Tatar told CAS.sk that he believes, should he and the Red Wings have to go to salary arbitration, that his one-year contract award would likely be his last deal with the Wings.

The Athletic's Craig Custance sets up something of a conundrum in wondering whether the Wings should in fact trade Tatar because signing him to a long-term deal in the $5-5.5 million range would tie up too much in too few players (see also: Abdelkader, Helm and Nyquist), but before Custance gets to that part of his article, he offers us this from Holland regarding Tatar's comment:

“I don’t have any comment other than I’ve talked to Ritch Winter a number of times,” Holland said. “If that’s the way Tats feels, that’s the way Tats feels.”

The Red Wings and Tatar’s camp were expected to touch base again on Saturday. Detroit is interested in signing Tatar to a long-term contract but not necessarily if it costs north of $6 million per season annually.

It's safe to say that the Red Wings know Tatar’s deal will exceed the $4.75 million per season that Gustav Nyquist received in 2015 when he signed his contract extension. In Tatar, Detroit has a player who averaged 25 goals per season over the last three years in a time when it’s hard to score goals. The Red Wings appreciate that value. To give Tatar’s goal total some perspective, in that three-year span, Tatar (75 goals) has outscored Phil Kessel (74 goals), Johnny Gaudreau (72 goals) and Jordan Eberle (69 goals) among others.

Kessel has a cap hit of $6.8 million, Gaudreau $6.75 million, and Eberle is at $6 million. Goal scoring doesn’t come on the cheap.

Custance continues, and his thought experiment is certainly intriguing.

I'm guessing that the Wings will do what they usually do and find a way to re-sign Tatar to a longer-term contract, long-term cap outlook be damned, but that's just me.

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MSM takes from the second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘17

Updated 3x at 9:56 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening, aside from the usual audio and impressions from the Wings' summer development camp:

1. Hockeybuzz's Bob Duff answered a question that's been on Wings fans' minds since Chris Chelios was spotted at the Wings' summer development camp this morning, and the answer is, "Yes, Chris Chelios is working with the Red Wings" again...probably:

“Basically I took a leave of absence,” was how Chelios explained it. “They call it a termination, which is kind of a harsh word. But I took a leave of absence so I could talk to the [NHL]PA, talk to players and see if there’s anything that might be able to find something I might want to do.

“Not that I’m not happy, I love working with Blash (Detroit coach Jeff Blashill) and the Wings here. I just wanted to see. Good players were reaching out to me, so I had to resign so it wasn’t a conflict.”

In the end, Chelios determined that it wasn’t the occupation for him. “I don’t know, the lawyers, mumbo jumbo, but anyway, I’ve done that, now I’m back with the Wings,” Chelios said. “I’m the same position now with the Wings. I’m still with the Red Wings organization and I plan to be unless something comes up that interests me more.”

Not that he’s done exploring, mind you.

“There’s still some other things I’m looking at, with the U.S. teams and stuff like that,” Chelios said.

Duff continues, and he asks Chelios about Adam Larkin...

2. The same Adam Larkin that the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook profiled today:

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Impressions from the second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘17

The second day of the Red Wings' summer developmenet camp was somewhat unusual in that the crush of players--some 45 participants in total--was matched by the number of coaches and front office personnel.

Several instructors from Power Edge Pro hockey instruction joined the on-ice contingent, as did Chris Chelios; off the ice, Ken Holland and Kris Draper were joined by director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright, coach Jeff Blashill, Wings assistant coach John Torchetti and player development specialist Jiri Fischer.

The "PEP" instructors exited with their unique "Power Edge Pro Reactive Countering Training" devices after an extended set of skill development drills (in no small part because Cole Fraser broke a pane of glass on David's Rink, truncating the main practice drills somewhat), but I get the feeling that the rest of the crew will remain for Sunday's scrimmage at Centre ICE Arena (warm-ups at 10:30 AM, scrimmage from 11 AM-12:45 PM).

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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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