The Malik Report
It just gets worse for Jerome Verrier. Per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
The start of training camp wasn’t 10-minutes old Friday morning when Darren Helm and Jerome Verrier, a 21-year-old camp invitee, were involved a horrific on-ice collision near the team benches at Centre Ice Arena.
Both players, who collided head first – each skating at top speed – were taken to Munson Medical Center for treatment, though Verrier’s injuries were serious enough that he went to the hospital by ambulance.
Blashill said that Helm has a concussion and will miss at least a week, while Verrier will be sidelined a lot long after he suffered a fractured right leg.
Verrier is scheduled to undergo surgery Saturday morning to insert a rod in the leg, which should speed his recovery process, according to team doctors.
No stranger to bad-luck injuries himself, Helm’s return is uncertain.
“With the concussion protocol he’ll be, I guess we say day to day but it’s probably a little bit longer than that,” Blashill said of Helm’s return.
From the London Free Press's Ryan Pyette:
The star goaltender is sitting on a couch at his new billet's house, which backs onto a golf course where Tiger Woods won the same PGA tournament three times.
He will soon be guarding the home crease at an arena that, though it doesn't look like much from outside, is being transformed into one of the most progressive and functional facilities in major junior hockey history.
He and his mates are supported by a deep-pocketed owner, whose recent buck-spending suggests he treats this puck journey the same way Michigan rapper Eminem saw his career: "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance . . . this opportunity comes once in a lifetime."
This is hockey, Flint style.
Luxury, where it may be least expected.
"The first impression I got when we heard the team was moving from Plymouth last season was word of mouth -- just like everyone else," said Alex Nedeljkovic, the OHL's top goalie two years ago. "That Flint is kind of run down. But I got here and that's not the case. It's really nice and a hockey-rich community. Anybody would be lucky to come play here four years and spend their career with the Firebirds."
Updated 6x at 8:36 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
The Associated Press's James Cook penned a recap of the first day of training camp's events, including the Verrier-Helm collision:
The 21-year-old Verrier collided with Helm during a drill in the camp's first 10 minutes at Traverse City's Centre Ice Arena, resulting in both going to the hospital.
"I heard it, and turned around and saw them go down," said Johan Franzen, who missed much of last season following a concussion. "It was really scary. The kid was in so much pain. I was sitting down on a knee, and kind of feeling a little sick for a while."
First-year Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Verrier suffered a broken right leg and that Helm will go through the league's concussion protocol and is day-to-day.
Newcomers Brad Richards and Mike Green skated with the team, although much of the day's talk revolved around the collision.
"I just heard it," forward Tomas Tatar said. "I turned, and two guys are on the ice. For sure, you don't want to see this happen on the first drill of camp."
Training camp is a strange beast, and when there's a new coaching staff assessing 70 players, there are learning curves for everyone involved.
The irony about the Helm-Verrier collision involved the fact that coach Jeff Blashill is introducing a slightly faster, one-less-pass breakout--and today was all about breakouts, about retrieving dump-ins, setting up from inside the blueline and skating the puck out to center, generating speed through neutral ice and attacking in a structured matter--and that required everybody to keep their heads on the swivel as the old familiar Babcockian systems have new wrinkles.
Breakouts were emphasized first when the goalie retrieved a dump-in; breakouts were authored by defensemen making d-to-d passes, or one-touching passes to forwards, breakouts were utilized in 5-on-4 penalty-killing situations, on the power play, in 3-on-3 scrimmages, utilizing "whirlpool" drills at center ice, where d-to-d and forward-to-forward passes worked the "four corners" of the neutral zone, mostly, breakouts were utilized as counterattacking impetus and to emphasize defensive positioning, with man-on-man and "zone" defense balanced out a little better than Babcock's one-player-one-defender systems.
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
2. CBS Sports' Adam Gretz discusses the "biggest question" the Red Wings face going into training camp...
The first day of the Red Wings' training camp was a bit of a downer. On the first darn drill, Jerome Verrier and Darren Helm collided with each other at full speed, and Verrier suffered a broken leg, while Helm is currently under concussion protocol...
But the Wings withstood the hit, they dealt with some bad ice conditions by swapping rinks during the scrimmage--with Team Howe defeating Team Lindsay 4-3--and all things considered, the players were in good spirits and the coach seemed to deliver his messages regarding break-outs and attacking through the neutral zone.
I had to miss part of the scrimmage and Team Howe's practice to take part in the "scrums" that one takes part in during training camp, and the audio I came out with is...Something that got better as it went along.
I was standing a little far from Tomas Tatar when he spoke with the media, so you have to turn the volume up as Tatar is a quiet talker--and the background noise doesn't help...
Updated 2x at 4:35 PM: Just to update the status of Jerome Verrier and Darren Helm, who had an on-ice collision today.
George also tweeted Dan Cleary has a leg issue and is considered out for today.
Update: Here's a report from the Free Press's Helene St. James...
via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The first day of Detroit Red Wings training camp started violently.
A few minutes after the Delvecchio group had begun drills at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, veteran Darren Helm and free agent forward Jerome Verrier collided like freight trains, leaving both on the ice. Helm was able to get up on his own and skate off, though he was held off the ice as the rest of his group continued practice.
Verrier was taken off on a stretcher, but he was moving his hands.
An update on the players was not immediately available, but team personnel indicated that Helm's absence was precautionary.
added 10:51am, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Helm momentarily lay on the ice, but gradually got on all his hands and knees, then stood and eventually skated off the ice under his own power.
The drill was a puck retrieval drill, and occurred almost 15 minutes into the start of the first practice of training camp.
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Traverse City Record-Eagle's Brett A. Sommers spoke with Ken Holland regarding training camp's start today...
"We have had one of the best coaches in the league in Mike Babcock," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "I think a lot of the things Mike Babcock did with accountability and structure are the types of things I believe in and I think Jeff Blashill believes in to be successful."
Even if much remains the same at ice level within the Red Wings organization, some minor changes have already taken place, including a shortened — yet no longer split-squad — stay in Traverse City. The anticipated Red-White Game will be held at noon on Monday to close out camp.
Holland hopes the subtle differences will be secondary to renewed energy within the team.
"Mike was here for 10 years, and I think with a new coach comes new opportunity for some players," Holland said. "I am hoping there is a new excitement because of the new opportunity. I expect some tweaks, but we have had a nice 10-year run under Mike Babcock, and we would like to keep it going."
WDIV's Jamie Edmonds posted a video report from the Red Wings' golf classic in Traverse City...
As did the 9&10 News...
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