The Malik Report
Time for some Q & A with Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Q: What do the Wings need to turn this team back into a contender, or at least a decent regular season team? – SaskatoonWingNut
A: Better offense, defense, goaltending and special teams, and coach Jeff Blashill pushing the right buttons.
They need Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar (16 fewer goals scored combined) to return to previous form (25-to-30 goals). They need younger players like Andreas Athanasiou and possibly Anthony Mantha to take the next step; part of that is giving them that opportunity.
They need Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek to help compensate for the offense lost with the departure of Pavel Datsyuk. No sophomore slump for Dylan Larkin, who'll likely center the top line, and no second-half slump for Henrik Zetterberg.
A more productive power play would help. Trading for a top-three puck-moving defenseman would boost the blue line. Petr Mrazek must avoid another late-season slide and be more consistent.
If some of these things happen it can translate into a few more points and maybe they won't have to battle until the final game for a playoff spot.
more questions and answers....
From the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:
It is a quick look, a glimpse at young guys striving to build NHL careers.
Education is far more the point at development camps. But some evaluations can be made after a busy, grueling five-day session for the Red Wings prospects.
Amid the orientation and instruction of young players, the skills training, the drills, the heart rate tests and, especially, the scrimmages, some looked more advanced than others.
Six were particularly impressive.
Continued, and Gregg made fine choices in Dylan Sadowy, Dennis Cholowski, Tyler Bertuzzi, Julius Vahatalo, Vili Saarijarvi and Evgeny Svechnikov...
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article discussing Justin Abdelkader's most recent contributions and future expectations...
Looking ahead: Eager to keep the rare physical player on the team, the Wings made sure Abdelkader, 29, never came near unrestricted free agency by signing him to a seven-year, $30 million contract in November, granting a lot of term to get a good salary cap hit. Abdelkader has shown he can be counted on for production in the 20-goal range, and he’s a versatile forward who can be trusted in any situation. He uses his big body (6-foot-2, 218 pounds) to be a net-front presence, and he stands up for teammates subjected to cheap shots by opponents. Abdelkader is a hard worker with good character, unlikely to get complacent.
2. And Winging It in Motown's SlapshotGoal offered some wise words among her player observations from today's scrimmage:
The Red Wings' 2016 summer development camp came to a close on Sunday morning, with the prospects taking part in a second intra-squad scrimmage. The Wings were without Tyler Bertuzzi (groin), Alfons Malmstrom (?), Adam Marsh (hip), Dominic Turgeon (shoulder), Matthew Santos (shoulder) and Axel Holmstrom (knee).
That yielded a set of teams that had fewer than 18 skaters, but that was OK given that the format was 10 minutes of 4 on 4 and then 10 minutes of 3 on 3, played over the course of 2 20-minute periods.
As coach Todd Nelson stated, the pace of play wasn't quite as crisp as the first scrimmage on Friday, but after five long days of activities from sunrise to sunset, the players were understandably slightly fatigued. That gave a different set of players the opportunity to step up and be counted, and overall, the scrimmage was a success.
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. I'll be doing my prospect camp scrimmage write-up shortly, but in the interim, MLive's Brendan Savage penned a recap:
Julius Vahatalo scored twice in regulation and once in a shootout Sunday to give Team Howe a 3-2 victory in the second scrimmage of the Detroit Red Wings annual development camp at Centre I.C.E. Arena.
Team Lindsay won the first scrimmage Friday 6-3.
Vahatalo, the Red Wings sixth-round pick (166th overall) in the 2014 NHL draft, scored once in each half.
Dylan Sadowy, who was acquired in a trade with San Jose in May, and 2014 fourth-round pick Christoffer Ehn scored for Team Lindsay.
The scrimmage concluded the camp.
2. The Free Press's Brandon Folsom posted an 89-image gallery from the summer development camp...
3. And Folsom penned a superb article discussing Jeff Blashill's takes on the Wings' free agent signings:
The Red Wings' summer development camp came to a close via a 3-2 shootout win for Team Howe over Team Lindsay. Julius Vahatalo scored both regulation and shootout goals for Team Howe, and while the pace wasn't quite as crisp as Friday's scrimmage, Sunday's event was both exciting and well-attended.
Cwere absent, but that gave more opportunities to the Wings' try-outs and players like Zach Nastasiuk, Patrick Holway and Dennis Cholowski, who were stand-out good.
The players packed up their gear in a hurry after the scrimmage ended, but I was able to speak with several players, coach Todd Nelson and Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer after the game:
from Tim Newcomb of Sports Illustrated,
A wall of red-clad Detroit Red Wings fans, filling an oversized lower bowl with a steep rake designed to put the fan on top of the ice aims to deliver a noise-inducing experience in Detroit’s new Little Caesars Arena, set to open in September of 2017.
But it isn't just a trend-bending bowl design that gives this downtown arena a new vantage for hockey fans in Detroit. The sunken bowl meshes with the community, using open architecture to connect with the Via plaza outside full of restaurants and businesses, and it also has special gondola seating that rises over the ice to provide a unique perspective on Red Wings hockey.
The design starts with putting fans as close to the ice as possible. “We brought in our general manager, Ken Holland, to find which was the most intimidating place we play,” Tom Wilson, CEO of team and arena owner Olympia Entertainment, tells SI.com. “Without question it is Montreal. There is no light. No open concourses. Just a sea of red jerseys screaming at you in French. We went there to see it and, my gosh, they are on top of you.”
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. MLive's Brendan Savage noted Jiri Fischer's take on the evolution of the Red Wings' development camp, as Fischer himself took part in his first development camp in 1998:
"It's really evolved," Fischer said. "We worked, worked, worked. I was never cramping up as much playing hockey as I was in that camp. Ever. We were on the ice in the morning, we were off-ice in the morning, we were on the ice in the afternoon, we had off-ice in the afternoon. So the Red Wings organization at the time, looking at it as a player, they really made us work. That was the theme back then."
These days, the players today are usually limited to one on-ice sessions – usually about 45 minutes – as well as an off-ice session where they lift weights, stretch and get instruction on things such as the importance of proper nutrition.
Sometimes there are two sessions either on or off the ice.
The camp is about educating the players on the things it takes to be a professional hockey player rather than evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. That will come during training camp in September.
You've read quite a bit of the "status quo is fine" from Ken Holland of late, so let's try changing the direction of the conversation. The Traverse City Record-Eagle's Brett A. Somers spoke with Holland regarding prospect Dylan Sadowy, who the Wings acquired from the San Jose Sharks this past May:
San Jose general manager Doug Wilson contacted Detroit GM Ken Holland, and it didn't take long for a deal to come together after the Wings saw a polished 20-year-old left winger it probably wouldn't find in the draft a year from now.
"They had an excess of forwards, and our scouts liked him," Holland said. "He had 42 goals and 45 goals his last two years in the OHL, so we traded a third round pick to acquire him. Our scouts think he's a prospect."
Detroit simply determined it would not be willing to trade a first or second round pick for Sadowy, offered a third and San Jose took the deal.
"Our feeling was if we draft a player in the third round now, a forward, and he scores 42 or 45 goals after you draft him, we'd be very happy with that draft pick," Holland said. "Sadowy has already done that."
Sadowy explained he hadn't re-upped with San Jose simply because it "wasn't the right fit."
The Wings and Sadowy came to terms on a three-year entry level contract in a matter of days before the June 1 deadline.
"I got a call from my agent that I got traded. I was excited for a new start," Sadowy said. "They saw something in me that they liked, so I'm happy and I'll show them what I got.(My first reaction was). Original Six team. It's an honor to play for the logo. I played my whole junior career in Saginaw, so it's not too far down the road. I went to games all the time."
Somers continues, and Sadowy scored a hat trick in Friday night's development camp scrimmage...
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The 9&10 News posted a video in which Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov discuss taking part in the summer development camp in Traverse City:
2. The Red Wings posted a video of the team's cooking class competition...
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.