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Griffins posit pair of interviews with Jeff Blashill

The Grand Rapids Griffins have posted two interviews and  total of about 12 minutes spent with Jeff Blashill, discussing his status as the Red Wings' new coach and the background that led him to the job. Here are both videos, with a third on the way:


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Plans For Stephen Weiss?

AnsarKhan of Mlive answers a few questions....

Q: What do they do with Weiss? Will they give him a real chance to play center, keep him in the role he had last year (reserve) or move him?

A: With three years remaining at a cap hit of $4.9 million ($16 million in actual salary), Weiss is not tradable. He'll either be brought back or bought out.

How coach Jeff Blashill sees Weiss fitting in will factor into the decision. If Blashill thinks Weiss, 32, can resurrect his career and has a plan for him, they'll keep him. If they don't think he can crack the lineup they're not going to want to pay that much to a player who's a frequent scratch.

The buyout period runs June 15-30. Players can be bought out for two-thirds the remaining value of their contract spread over twice the remaining length. Cap space doesn't appear to be a concern next season, but with the amount of young players that need to be signed over the next two summers, getting some relief by cutting ties with Weiss will help.

Conversely, do they want to pay him for the next six seasons to go away? Would it better to give him another chance under a new coach and if it doesn't work do the buyout in 2016 and they'll owe him less money over a shorter term (four years).

read on for more Q & A....

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All about Tyler Bertuzzi’s pro debut

The Guelph Storm's website's Steph Coratti wrote a lovely profile of Red Wings prospect Tyler Bertuzzi, whose surprising playoff production with the Grand Rapids Griffins opened more than a few eyes to the lanky, pesky forward's potential:

Missing the first two games of the postseason due to illness, Bertuzzi returned to the line up to play 14 games in the playoffs, recording seven goals for a total of 12 points.

Clearly the kind of numbers that do nothing but impress, although, the significant impact can be found when noting that of those seven goals, four were game winners for a Griffins team that would go on to reach the Western Conference Finals, only to fall to the Utica Comets.

“I think I’m a playoff hockey player,” Bertuzzi said of his success. “I like to play physical, and play hard. I just brought that to the table every night.”

Continue Reading »

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Gustav Nyquist faces Ryan Kesler in TSN’s Play of the Year Showdown *Final*

Quoting TSN:

The NHL Play of the Year showdown is into final round, where Anaheim Ducks centre Ryan Kesler goes head-to-head with Detroit Red Wings sniper Gustav Nyquist.

Kesler’s tally was a stellar shorthanded effort as he slithered between a pair of Coyotes and then snapped the puck past Mike Smith, all of this happening with Sam Ganger basically hanging off his back.

Nyquist's effort for the Wings is such a long and determined one that the play had to be sped up for time constraints. The crafty Swede holds the puck for half a minute, completing two full circuits of the Ottawa Senators zone before finally letting go of the puck. Once he unloads, the ping of the bar and the bulge of the net tells the Sens they had lost before they could even track the shot.

This goal is simply superior to Kesler's tally, so go vote for it!


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Munching playoff minutes was no issue for Nicklas Lidstrom. Nor were snacks…

In light of Duncan Keith's status as the Chicago Blackhawks' #1, #3 #5 defensemen (at least in terms of his ice time), Nicklas Lidstrom and Zdeno Chara were asked to share their secrets of minute-munching with the Toronto Star's Mike Zeisberger, and Lidstrom kept things simple--take care of your body, rest, and eat, eat, eat:

“You get in a groove, you really do,” Lidstrom told Postmedia during a phone interview from Sweden. “You get used to all those minutes. You expect them. You know what you have to do to prepare for them. Honestly, reducing the number of shifts can sometimes really take you out of your flow.”

Lidstrom had a few tricks to keep himself in shape as the rigours of the playoffs wore on.

“To me, I didn’t like massages on game days but I liked them after a game,” he said. “That’s how I best handled things. Eating a lot helped, too.”

Wait a minute, Is the seven-time Norris Trophy winner trying to say that tying on the feed bag in this era of strict nutritional diets for athletes will actually help with their endurance?

“You might be full, but eating gives your body more energy,” he said.

Lidstrom’s other secrets to success during playoff time: shorter practices and smart shifts, the latter in reference to getting pucks deep and not staying out too long before coming to the bench.

Zeisberger continues with Chara's advice...

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WDIV, WJBK, WXYZ update the Wings’ rink construction

If you've been wondering what exactly is going on behind the fences surrounding the construction of the Wings' follow-on rink, WDIV posted a set of aerial photos and a report from within the site's borders. Both the photos and video give a sense of the scope and depth of the project:

Update: Fox 2 also posted a report from the site...

Continue Reading »

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Cleary And Holland Meet Next Week Plus Blashill The Player’s Coach

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Cleary and general manager Ken Holland are meeting next week to discuss Cleary's future. A situation that bears the handprint of former coach Mike Babcock has put the Wings in the position of being honor-bound to keep Cleary, 36, aboard, even as he is coming off a season that saw him play just 17 games, producing two points....

The Wings may end up signing Cleary to another $1.5 million one-way deal, and if he doesn't earn a job at camp, put him on waivers, gaining $925,000 in salary cap relief. Holland has made it clear he isn't losing another young player to waivers, a la last year with Andrej Nestrasil, although that didn't need to happen. Had Babcock been willing to let Tomas Jurco start the season in the minors, Nestrasil could have stayed in Detroit. Jurco ended up scoring three goals in 63 games, and clearly could have used more time in the minors.


from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Ask Jeff Blashill and Jon Cooper what is means to be called a "player's coach," and both have no idea.

But if that means Blashill will end up where Cooper is right now — Cooper's Lightning team is tied 2-2 with the Blackhawks in the Sanley Cup Finals — he's more than fibe with being called a player's coach.

"If the definition is that I respect them, and they know I care about them, then I certainly would take that as a player's coach," Blashill said. "If it means I don't hold them accountable or I'm soft, that's not what I am at all."


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Hockey’s Future names Dylan Larkin its prospect of the year

This is pretty cool: Hockey's Future named Dylan Larkin its prospect of the year, as noted by HF's Chris Roberts:

Hockey’s Future 2015 NHL Prospect of the Year

Dylan Larkin, C, University of Michigan (DET)

Dylan Larkin follows in the footsteps of Teuvo Teravainen (CHI) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (WSH), who were the previous two Hockey’s Future NHL Prospects of the Year. And, other than the fact that he plays for a patient Detroit Red Wings organization, it wouldn’t be out of line to suggest Larkin having the same impact in the 2016 NHL Playoffs as both Teravainen and Kuznetsov had in the 2015 postseason.

Continue Reading »

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Eddie Olczyk talks about Cup Finals, Jeff Blashill’s hiring on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM

NBCSN's Eddie Olczyk spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery today, discussing the Lightning-Blackhawks series and the Red Wings' hiring of Jeff Blashill:

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Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson provides a ‘District Detroit’ update on WDET

In the "Business of Hockey," WDET's Stephen Henderson spoke with Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson regarding the Wings' follow-on facility, and Wilson gave a sixteen-minute update on the status of both the follow-on rink and the surrounding economic development:

Among the interview's highlights, from WDET:

Land of opportunity: Wilson says that The District Detroit, which consists of a 45-block development connecting downtown Detroit and Midtown, will encourage businesses to set up shop in this area and will draw diverse crowds to the hundreds of events that will be held in the new Red Wings arena every year. He says the arena, set to be finished in 2017, will be coming at the perfect time, as downtown Detroit is becoming an “entertainment Mecca.”

A new home for the Pistons?: Wilson says at this time the question of the Detroit Pistons making the Red Wings arena their home as well is pure speculation. He says if this did happen, it would mean more nights for the arena to be filled and with the amount of hope and optimism in downtown Detroit surrounding this project, he thinks it would be a good move.

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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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