The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/14/12 at 02:56 AM ET
Updated with an excellent video from the Red Wings at 10:17 AM: I’‘ve got to lug myself 233 miles downstate to South Lyon later this morning (with a stop in Grayling to snag onion rings from the Lone Pine restaurant per the mom’s request), so I’m theoretically not allowed to be typing at this hour, but, “Wenn die Katze aus dem Haus ist, tanzen die Mäuse.” These Red Wings prospect stories popped up a little too late to fit into the evening report, but there’s no point in sitting on ‘em until morning, so:
The Detroit Free Press’s George Sipple took note of the fact that Trevor Parkes scored a hat trick in Friday’s final scrimmage at the Wings’ summer development camp, and as Sipple notes, the up-and-down power winger had a very bumpy outing during Tuesday’s affair, so he literally and figuratively rebounded in a big way:
Parkes admitted to having a few “hiccups” in the first scrimmage of this year’s camp Tuesday. The opposition capitalized to score a couple of goals.
“A couple things didn’t go in my favor (Tuesday), so this is definitely big-time anytime you get a hat trick,” Parkes said by phone Friday. “Big confidence-booster going into the season.”
Parkes had two goals and six assists in 44 games last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. He also scored four goals in four games with the Toledo Walleye of the East Coast Hockey League.
Parkes hopes he made another impression on the Wings’ and Griffins’ staff at camp.
“Every chance I get to remind them that I can still score some goals is a good thing in my favor,” he said.
Parkes said he knocked in his own rebound on the first goal Friday.
“The second one was actually a shorthanded goal, kind of 1-on-1 and just took a shot from the slot,” he said. “The third one, we were playing 3-on-3 at the end and slot again, beat (the goalie) top blocker side. All three of them were on shots. That’s one thing I’ve been working on this summer, improving my shots.”
He didn’t have much of a shot two camps ago, so it’s good to see Parkes take the confidence he gained playing for the Walleye and turn it into a developed skill….
And RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau also spoke to Parkes about his stint in Toledo and how it helped a player struggling through his first professional season to rediscover his game:
“Going down to Toledo helped me get my confidence back,” he explained. “I started playing better and it helped me bounce back. Unfortunately, that shoulder injury that knocked me out of the final 16 games set me back a bit.”
Parkes, who is finally healthy again, is no stranger to adversity. He was passed over in two OHL drafts and even passed through OHL waivers before earning a walk on spot with Montreal in 2009. He was also overlooked at the 2010 NHL entry draft but earned a tryout with the Wings and eventually signed a three-year entry-level contract. Heading into his second season with the Griffins, Parkes is using his difficult rookie campaign as motivation. He’s been focusing his off season training on building his strength and he has already added ten pounds of muscle to his lanky frame.
“I got my feet wet last year and now I know what to expect,” Parkes said. “I want to get bigger and stronger so I can be a net front presence guy. I want to be a guy in the corner who can use my body and protect the puck, so the extra muscle will help. I’ve also been working on my speed and skill so I can score more at the pro level like I did in junior.”
The hard working forward is hoping his efforts will help the Griffins bounce back after failing to make the playoffs for the third straight year. The team will get a new look under the direction of new head coach Jeff Blashill, who spent last season as an assistant coach with the Red Wings.
“It’s kind of a new start for all of us and we have a chance to prove ourselves,” he said. “We’ll have a young team again next season, but we want to have a big push to the playoffs. Last year the whole city wanted us to make the playoffs so it was a let down when we couldn’t get it done. We know what to expect now, so there are no excuses anymore.”
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan covers many bases this morning by offering snippets from several Wings prospects, including perhaps the most dominant player this side of Brendan Smith in one Teemu Pulkkinen. Pulkkinen had a dominant post-draft season with Jokerit Helsinki, but he earned a contract with the Wings based upon his remarkable scoring ability and well-rounded game, not an incredibly inconsistent 2011-2012 season with Jokerit, so he’s heading back home (barring appearances in the prospect tournament and main training camp) on a mission:
“It’s important to go back and play one (more) good season,” said Pulkkinen, whose 36 assists in 2010 is a league record for rookies. But when he returns in time for the 2013-14 season, there’s a good chance Pulkkinen will be fighting for a roster spot — immediately.
“(A slump) happens to everyone,” said Jiri Fischer, director of player personnel for the Red Wings. “There’s a coming-out party and nobody is ready for it. It’s a combination of outstanding talent, great shooting ability and being a good hockey player and not being known. Now everybody knows, and the second year is always harder. This year, he has to find a way to dominate whichever league he’s in.”
All I can say after a week of watching him is that yes, he will indeed be competing for a roster spot, and I’m hoping to witness a similar display from Calle Jarnkrok, who stayed in Sweden with the Wings’ blessing to pack some muscle onto his 150-something-pound frame, this September.
Landon Ferraro came to Traverse City with a clear head after struggling with some self doubt over the past season, and the forward with “upside” as a scoring winger knows he has more to give, just like Pulkkinen:
“Around Christmastime I felt like I took a big step,” said Ferraro, a 2009 second-round pick determined to boost his offense (nine goals in 56 games) while maintaining the strong defensive mindset. If that (scoring) doesn’t work out, I’ve shown team I can be a checker and grinder and do what it takes to play in the NHL.”
Cue the smile about this one:
“[Dominik] Hasek was a hero for us (the Czechs) in the 1998 Nagano Olympics,” Mrazek said. I didn’t like his style, but he was a hero.”
Mrazek, who is expected to play in Grand Rapids this season, is more of a stand-up goaltender rather than a sprawling one.
Eh, not so much. Mrazek played an incredibly athletic butterfly style with the Ottawa 67’s, and while he’s learned to stand up and play more poised hockey as a really classic “hybrid” goaltender, he ended up sitting out Friday’s scrimmage because he tweaked his groin trying to do the splits going post to post and tried to shrug it off, suck it up and keep working through drills on Thursday.
For the record, regarding this CBA stuff? I didn’t expect anything less than a lowball aimed at hell-style offer from Gary Bettman, Bill Daly, NHL outside counsel Bob Batterman and a cast of the most militant of the Board of Governors, starting with Chairman of the Board and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, as well as, of course, an ironic participant in former Nashville Predators owner and big revenue-sharing check-spender Craig Leipold…
But we’re going to find out much more as the NHLPA tosses a counter-offer the NHL’s way, and between inevitable leaks and “sources” starting to drop information to the press so that they can negotiate in the court of public opinion and the fact that the PA had to be prepared for what was coming, it remains to be seen whether we’re talking about a potential lockout.
More importantly, in the age of Twitter, Facebook and blogs like this one, I don’t buy the most venerable columnists’ suggestions that we are simply in for a lockout as a matter of course because the fans and the media whose paychecks fans help pay (just like the players who provide the product and the owners who provide the structure around said product), simply have no power here.
At the very least, no one is going into these CBA negotiations with the same naivete that fans who bought the Levitt Report hook, line and “inflationary spiral” sinker did last time around, we all know which sports commissioner has locked out his players twice over the last eighteen years, and there is something to be said for both immediate discussion of developments and the power of people to not only have their say via their wallets and butts not being planted in seats, but also by using Twitter and social media as as weapon.
A thousand cowbell-playing fans outside the NHL and PA’s offices at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, suggesting that the CBA negotiations have got a fever? It can be done. Two thousand carrying signs suggesting that we won’t be “had” on the Avenue of the Americas in New York? Easy. We have strength in numbers and the ability to make the NHL very aware of our discontent should a lockout loom, and if there ever is a positive way to spin an insurgent policy of consistent annoyance and asking the NHL whether it really gives a s*** about its fans’ opinions when it comes to the business of hockey, now might be the time to mobilize.
I would very happily lend a hand in that department.
Update: RedWingsTV posted a clip of some GoPro helmet cam footage and Jim Nill and Jiri Fischer discussing the development camp as a whole:
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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.