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Buccigross’s Wings ‘Mt. Rushmore’

ESPN's John Buccigross revisited his now six-year-old picks for NHL teams' respective Mt. Rushmores, and here's what he had to say about the Red Wings:

Detroit Red Wings

2009 team/theory: Gordie Howe, Nicklas Lidstrom, Terry Sawchuk and Steve Yzerman. Eleven Stanley Cups for the Red Wings. I believe Gordie, Lidstrom and Stevie Y are locks. I went with Sawchuk. He won three Cups in four seasons as the Wings' netminder in the early '50s.

2015: Pavel Datsyuk will make the Hall of Fame and have his number retired, but he can't crack this group. Same goes for Henrik Zetterberg. So: Howe, Lidstrom, Sawchuk, Yzerman.

Buccigross continues with 29 other teams' "4 best players"...

My Mt. Rushmore has Ted Lindsay instead of Sawchuk as Lindsay still bleeds Red Wings red. Who does your Wings Mt. Rushmore consist of?

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This Season’s Outlook For Niklas Kronwall

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2015-16 outlook: The team's acquisition of Mike Green will take some pressure to produce off Kronwall, but a club that doesn't generate a lot of offense from the blue line could still use another 40-point season from its workhorse defenseman.

Since Nicklas Lidstrom retired in 2012, Kronwall arguably has been the player the Red Wings can least afford to have out of the lineup because he does everything. He leads the team in ice time, playing on the top power-play and penalty killing units, playing against top lines at even strength and playing in the final minute of close games.

Noted for his crushing open-ice hits, he's been more selective in recent years and probably will be more careful not to cross the line after his first career suspension came at the worst possible time – the decisive game against Tampa Bay. But opponents should know by now to keep their head up when he's on the ice.

It appears coach Jeff Blashill will keep Kronwall paired with Jonathan Ericsson for the fourth year in a row. Brendan Smith is another option as Kronwall's partner.

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Early overnight report: On Joe Hicketts, Evgeny Svechnikov, Tomas Nosek and a Slovak APB

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Victoria Royals point us toward a non-embeddable video in which Kamloops, British Columbia's CFJC TV profiles one Joe Hicketts:

2. This isn't necessarily "Red Wings-related in straight-line sense," but Evgeny Svechnikov harkened back to words of wisdom from the Red Wings' brass and one Pavel Datsyuk in an interview with the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Andrew Rankin, who reports that Svechnikov's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles began their QMJHL training camp on Wednesday:

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‘Three Things’: A Jeff Blashill charitable appearance; Babs-sheet-gate continues; farewell, DC

Of brief Red Wings-related note:

1. Jeff Blashill will appear at "Kohl's Safety Day" in Livonia, MI on August 20th...

WHAT: Kohl’s will present a $195,772 check to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation at Kohl’s Safety Day featuring Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill.

WHO: The gift supports Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan DMC, which provides injury prevention education and safety tools to decrease unintentional child deaths and injuries. In the past 15 years, Kohl’s has donated more than $6,194,443 to Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation through Kohl’s Cares®. 

WHEN 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, August 20 (Check presentation scheduled for 5 p.m.)

WHERE: Kohl’s - Livonia  29580 7 Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152.

VISUALS: Kids ages 14 and younger will receive a free bike helmet, and Coach Blashill will sign the first 100. The event also features free children’s activities, music, snacks and local public safety officials and vehicles.

2. Johan Franzen continues to give Gustav Nyquist a hard time while attempting to mend fences for the "Daddy Babs" sheet set...

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Toledo Walleye release promotional schedule

From the Toledo Walleye:

Walleye release 2015-16 promo schedule

TOLEDO WALLEYE 2015-16 SEASON WILL BE ACTION-PACKED AND FUN-FILLED

Banners Raised, Exciting Theme Nights and Great Giveaways

The Huntington Center is the place to be this winter for all of the fun and excitement of Toledo Walleye hockey! The upcoming season is loaded with exciting theme night promotions, great giveaways, as well as awesome opportunities to hang out with the players on and off the ice!

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Six Red Wings prospects make ESPN’s Top 100 prospect cut

ESPN's Cory Pronman has penned his Top 100 prospects list via an Insider-only entry, and here are the Red Wings who made his cut:

99. Xavier Ouellet, D, Detroit Red Wings
Age: 22 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 201 | 2014-15 team: Grand Rapids (AHL)
Previous ranking: 59

Ouellet has never been a very flashy defenseman, but he's always been productive and reliable in all situations. His hockey sense is great on both ends and while he lacks the breakaway speed to lead an NHL rush, he moves the puck very well and is skilled. Ouellet was up in the NHL for about 20 games this season and you have to believe 2015-16 is when he finds a way to become a full-timer with the Wings.

...

 

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The Outlook For Darren Helm

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Once labeled the best third-line center in the league by former coach Mike Babcock, Helm played primarily on the wing last season and flourished. It helped that he was healthy, for the most part, which gave him confidence following several injury-plagued seasons. It also helped playing much of the season with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar.

Coach Jeff Blashill has indicated he might play Helm on the wing on the third line, centered by Luke Glendening. Wherever Helm plays he'll continue to have a big impact. His speed, versatility and work ethic provide a different dimension. He's hard to play against, he forechecks, he's physical, he kills penalties and he's good in the faceoff circle.

He slowed the game down last season, realizing he has more time with the puck. He logged more power-play minutes than ever before, playing a net-front role, where his speed helped with puck retrievals.

He's in a contract year, so this is a big season for him.

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The overnight report: More DeKeyser comments and praise for Jake Paterson

This evening, two more stories regarding Danny DeKeyser's at-the-Wings'-youth-camp comments to the media popped up, and I was impressed with DeKeyser's "underrated" comment the Windsor Star's Bob Duff regarding his own offensive production...

DeKeyser’s own offensive game is steadily evolving as he readies for his third full NHL campaign. He produced 4-19-23 numbers as a rookie in 2013-14 and last season, bumped it up to 31 points, including 29 assists, as he saw some power play time towards the latter part of the season.

He suspects that another season of experience in the league, coupled with the nuances he can garner from skating alongside a guy with the skill set that [Mike] Green possesses with only serve to ramp up that aspect of his game even further.

“I think so, yeah and it also comes with just learning the pro game as well,” DeKeyser said. “It just comes with time. I think with the past few years the back end, we’ve wanted to contribute a little more than we have. Obviously, (Niklas) Kronwall’s been the leader back there with that, but bringing in another guy like Green, who will bring some offense will definitely help us out a ton.”

And NHL.com's Paul Harris noted DeKeyser's take on Jeff Blashill replacing Mike Babcock emphasized an aspect that some Wings fans fear Blashill won't be able to live up to in approaching Mike Babcock's level of preparation:

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Another suggestion that Mike Green’s a ‘perfect fit’ on the Wings’ blueline

This morning, Sportsnet's Scott Lewis suggested that Red Wings defenseman Mike Green is "due" for a bounce-back campaign, and this afternoon, CBS Sports' Chris Peters provides three reasons why Green should be a "perfect fit" on the Wings' roster, and the third reason might be the most pertinent one:

3) Mike Green can still be a force on the power play

Not that the Red Wings really needed to upgrade a power play unit that was the second most productive group in the NHL this past season, but Green gives them just one more additional weapon that they can throw out there when on the man-advantage. Niklas Kronwall has done an admirable job quarterbacking the unit in recent years, but he was pretty much the only option they had as a defender on that unit. Over the past three seasons the only Red Wings defenders that scored more than one goal on the power play have been Kronwall (10), Jakub Kindl (3) and Marek Zidlicky (3), and one of those guys (Zidlicky) isn't even on the team anymore.

Even though Green managed just a single goal on the power play this past season (somewhat of a concern given the unit he played on and the minutes he received) he was still an excellent playmaker with 16 assists, while the Capitals' power play as a whole was more dangerous and productive with him on the ice. If nothing else, it simply gives the Red Wings another option on the point for that unit and makes one of the best groups in the league that much deeper and better. And that's a scary thought for teams that think about getting overly physical with the Red Wings because the best deterrent for cheap shots is the threat of a power play goal.

Peters continues, and Green is an absolutely essential part of the Red Wings' attempt to return its power play to "physical liberty deterrent" form.

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Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi officially signs with Flint Firebirds

Vili Saarijarvi will be playing in the OHL this season:

Here's the Flint Firebirds' press release:

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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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