The Malik Report
The Red Wings signed Filip Hronek to a 3-year entry-level contract today, and as the Windsor Star's Bob Duff notes, the Wings at least appear to have signed Hronek in no small part to encourage him to play in North America this fall as Hronek's junior rights belong to the OHL's Saginaw Spirit.
At the present moment, Hronek speaks maybe 50 words of English, and he needed fellow development camper Matej Machovsky to translate for him when he spoke with the media. Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer wants Hronek to rectify his language issue:
“It’s limiting how he can communicate with coaches,” Fischer said. “It’s limited how he can get established within the group. He needs to learn English and if he wants to be part of the team environment, he needs to do that. He knows that. So he’s leaving knowing his strength will need to significantly improve, to play the style he likes to play, which is aggressive with his feet and aggressive in battles, generating turnovers and stopping the offense of the opposition and making really good outlet passes.
“In his development I really like what he brings off the ice. I really like his demeanor off the ice. Learning English is going to be a key. There’s going to be lots of people that try to help him out, starting from Ken Holland to (Wings coach) Jeff Blashill and the rest of the staff and he needs to understand what people are trying to tell him.”
Selected by Saginaw of the OHL in the recent CHL import draft, Hronek has yet to decide whether he will play in North America next season but such a move would certainly force him to pick up the pace of his English studies.
The Wings see much promise in the 6,' 170-ish pound Hronek, who was a quick study in terms of adjusting to the North American-sized ice rink at the Wings' development camp in Traverse City:
From the Red Wings' Twitter account:
ESPN's Craig Custance issued offseason grades for each and every one of the NHL's 30 teams in an Insider-only entry, and his grade for the Wings is a little more positive than the one the fan base has issued:
Detroit Red Wings: C
Notable additions: Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott
Notable subtractions: Pavel Datsyuk
Analysis: It was a deft move by GM Ken Holland to move Pavel Datsyuk's contract in a market where few had cap space, even picking up a second-round draft pick in the process. That gave the Red Wings flexibility to spend in free agency, and now the debate begins as to whether they spent wisely.
Detroit's biggest need is addressing a defense that needs more speed and mobility. The problem was that the two free agents most capable of doing that were Alex Goligoski and Keith Yandle, two defensemen swept off the market before the Red Wings had the available cap space or a Steven Stamkos decision. That limited what Detroit could do on defense in free agency, so Holland instead spent money at forward.
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill discussed the Red Wings' coaching and player personnel changes with WBBL's Bill "Huge" Simonson on Thursday afternoon, discussing said topics and more over the course of a 22-minute interview:
From the Free Press's JC Reindl:
More details of the future Detroit arena district were revealed Thursday, including plans for a 350-room athletes' hotel, a world-class sports medicine center and new Woodward Avenue retail shops atop a pair of new I-75 overpasses.
The high-end hotel would be built between the new $627.5 million arena and the Fisher Service Drive. It could feature many large suites and cater to the many professional athletes who come through Detroit for the city's professional sports teams, according to a presentation Thursday by retail broker Scott Young of CBRE in Southfield, which is handling leasing for the district.
An updated site plan shows the hotel opening in 2019.
Near the hotel and along Woodward -- between downtown Detroit and the start of Midtown -- could go two new strips of single-story retail buildings. These buildings would be built over I-75 on opposite sides of Woodward. Their foundations would rest on two future interstate overpasses and could open in 2018, according to the site plan.
Between the future hockey arena and the coming Mike Ilitch School of Business could possibly go a new Detroit Medical Center sports medicine center.
DMC Chief Administrative Officer Conrad Mallett said the DMC is in serious talks for developing this site with the Ilitch family's Olympia Development, the arena district's developer, but he stressed that no deals have been signed. However, if such a center were built, it would likely become a world-class sports medicine destination for many miles around, he said.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
GRIFFINS' YOUTH HOCKEY CAMP AND GOLF OUTING RETURN
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins are inviting fans to take part in two long-standing West Michigan summer traditions: the Griffins’ Youth Hockey Camp that will be held Aug. 1-5 at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park and the 22nd annual Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic at Egypt Valley Country Club on Monday, Aug. 29.
The Griffins Youth Hockey Camp will be instructed by former Griffins defenseman and seven-year NHL veteran Joel Kwiatkowski, who will be joined on a part-time basis by a pair of hockey professionals native to West Michigan: former Griffin and current Red Wing Luke Glendening and current Grand Rapids assistant coach and 16-year NHL veteran Mike Knuble.
Offered to kids ages 6-16, the camp helps players maximize their skills through 12 hours of on-ice instruction as well as 12 hours of dry-land training and video sessions. The $350 cost per child includes a camp jersey, t-shirt, hat, daily lunch provided by popular local eateries and a locker room to store equipment for the week. For more information about the camp, please click here or call (616) 774-4585 ext. 3025.
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
The likes of Pulkkinen, Mantha and Tomas Jurco could be up for grabs, but there could be more than simply young up-and-comers among the trade bait. Bizarre as it may sound, it’s not out of the question to think of Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar as possible trade candidates. It may seem crazy to think the Red Wings would say goodbye to Nyquist or Tatar, but consider that both Danny DeKeyser and Petr Mrazek are yet to be signed.
Both restricted free agents and both set for arbitration, there’s a very real possibility DeKeyser and Mrazek’s combined cap hit could be in excess of what the Red Wings have available to spend, even with LTIR relief from Franzen and Vitale. Adding another player means taking on additional salary so clearing salary space will be necessary should the Red Wings look to bring in a defenseman via trade.
No matter what happens, though, there’s going to need to be some movement and careful consideration when it comes to who stays and who goes in Detroit. With an excess of forwards and the risk of losing an NHL talent for nothing, Holland and Co. need to make a move and it’s going to have to come before puck drop on opening night.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today signed defenseman Filip Hronek to a three-year entry-level contract.
Hronek was the Red Wings’ third draft choice overall, selected in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft last month at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The 18-year-old defenseman spent the 2015-16 in his native Czech Republic, suiting up in 40 games for HK Hradec Kralove in the professional league and logging four points (0-4-4) and 22 penalty minutes. Hronek also picked up 16 points (4-12-16) in 13 regular-season games and nine points (4-5-9) in 10 playoff games for the same club in the Czech under-20 junior league. He also added four points (2-2-4) and 18 penalty minutes in 12 games for HC Litomerice in second-tier Czech Republic.
“If you'd have told me two or three years ago that I'd be sitting here talking abut a four-year extension, I probably would have laughed,” Glendening said. “I'm excited to have security of my future for a little bit, but that doesn't mean you can sit back. You have to keep getting better.”
Glendening, 27, is coming off a career-high 21-point season. His value lies in his fleet feet, and ability to defend.
“There are things a player brings to a team that maybe aren't just in goals and assists, and that's what Luke is,” general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press. “He's a really good defensive player, has the ability to play 16-18 minutes against other team’s best players. He's fearless. He's a tremendous penalty killer. He brings intangibles.”
Glendening told St. James that he believes he can become a better all-round player:
“I’d like to produce more points,” he said. “Just getting better at the little things around the net, putting the puck in more. I want to continue to be good on faceoffs, be good on the penalty kill.”
The deal kicks in at the start of the 2017-18 season. The average annual value is $1.8 million, with an actual salary breakdown of $2 million in each of the first two seasons, $1,.7 million in year three, and $1.5 million in year four.
Two big restricted free agents have yet to be re-signed. The Wings filed for arbitration with goaltender Petr Mrazek, and have a hearing date of July 27. Mrazek can choose between a one- or two-year deal. Defenseman Danny DeKeyser filed for arbitration for what would be a one-year deal, and has a hearing date of July 28. Sides can continue to negotiate before hearings.
“We’re talking,” Holland said. “Ideally you want to negotiate a deal, because then both sides feel better.”
Update: Here's more from DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...
From the Toledo Walleye:
Do you think you have what it takes to be a member of the Toledo Walleye? Here is your chance to prove your abilities. We will be hosting a Free Agent Tryout Camp prior to our main preseason camp.
The Free Agent Camp will be held on August 13-14, 2016 at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo. The cost of the camp will be $350 per player (paid upon registration) and this will include three separate ice sessions, a camp jersey, a commemorative camp hat, a pregame meal on Saturday between ice sessions and a DVD copy of the Saturday game. Payment must to be made at the time of registration and there can be no refunds once you’ve registered. Players are responsible for their own lodging and meals.
If you are successful in this tryout camp, you will be invited to our main training camp in early October. Over the years a number of players from our Free Agent Tryout Camp went on to play in professional games!
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.