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The Malik Report

Morning news: On Larkin and camp coverage

Updated at 7:53 AM: Among this morning's Red Wings-related news items:

MLive's Brendan Savage penned a particularly thorough article discussing the development of Dylan Larkin through the eyes of Larkin himself and Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer, who believes in Larkin's potential:

"Basically since we drafted him he's been portrayed in hockey circles as one of the best prospects outside the NHL," said Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings director of player development. "He's an elite character. He wants to be a hockey player. We're very excited about his future."

Larkin himself understands that he's going to serve an apprenticeship in Grand Rapids, and he tells Savage that his whirlwind 2014-15 season, spent in the NCAA, at the World Junior Championships, the World Championships and the AHL playoffs, should benefit his development in the long run:

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‘Four Things’: Free agent busts, unkind words, #91 and a Larkin video

This evening's Red Wings-related news stories consist of four items:

1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan posited an annotated photo gallery of 10 of the Wings' best and 10 of the Wings' worst free agent signings;

2. The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons, who believes if you have something unkind to say, just say it (because that is many a sportswriter's job), said this...

The best free agent signing to date: Williams in Washington. The one I don’t understand: Wanting Mike Green, who played third pair defence with the Capitals, makes sense. Paying him $6 million a year, even on a three-year contract, doesn’t compute with the usual common sense Red Wings. Detroit signed both Green and Brad Richards, whose best days were at least four years ago.

3. The Free Press's Steve Schrader, who believes in saying something if it's clever, issues this "Stevie Award"...

The "Those Were the Days" award To Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, both elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Was there ever a more entertaining time for the Red Wings than their era, with the personalities and the Stanley Cups? And nobody was a bigger part of it than Sergei, so the Wings should stop thinking about it and put his No. 91 in the Joe Louis Arena rafters while they're still playing at the rink he starred at.

To which the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reminds us that Ken Holland offered a tepid response to any discussions of raising #91 to the rafters, saying there had never been any discussions thereof previously:

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Impressions from the Saturday scrimmage at the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘15

I just had an entire entry eaten by a blogging glitch--a glitch that ate 2-and-a-half hours worth of work, which is why Paul is working so hard to get to KK 2.0 software-wise--and as such, I'm going to give this to you the short version route:

The scoring in the Red Wings prospects' scrimmage went like this...

And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose and MLive's Brendan Savage told its tales:

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Audio from the second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘15, scrimmage version

The Red Wings' development campers engaged in a spirited scrimmage on Saturday, with Team Lindsay winning 6-5 and a slightly-more-than-10-man shootout 4-3. After the scrimmage ended, players hustled off to post-game interviews with the management, so I had very little time to speak with them, but I was able to speak with four people, and here's the audio from their interviews:

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Afternoon news: On Kindl, Marsh, Van Pottelberghe and coach Nelson’s take on development camp

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Wings coach Jeff Blashill regarding one Jakub Kindl, who had a conditioning stint in Grand Rapids this past season, and it certainly sounds like Kindl will be given a chance to redeem himself on the Wings' blueline:

"I thought when he came down he did a great job for us," Blashill said. "You can say, well, it's an NHLer coming down and playing — you have to stand out, and he stood out. He did a great job.

"When he's playing his best he's a great puck-moving defenseman — he's going back for the puck, he's seeing through the forechecker making the proper passes. I think that is the number one ingredient for a defenseman to be great, is their ability to play the puck out of their end, because then you just don't play any d-zone and you play in the other team's end and that's the formula to win."

It's likely the Wings do something on the back end before training camp to make room for a young guy (Alexey Marchenko/Xavier Ouellet) to play, but if Kindl shows up at camp in top shape, it sounds like he may get a chance.

"He's got really good ability, he's a really good person," Blashill said. "He's done a great job of persevering through tough times over the last few years. Hopefully he's put himself in position to compete for spots at camp."

In a different kind of redemptive tone, Mitch Callahan is up here in Grand Rapids rehabbing a torn ACL, and he spoke with MLive's Brendan Savage about that process...

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Impressions from the morning skate at day 2 of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘15

This morning, the Red Wings' prospects engaged in a set of drills that were designed to get them ready for today's scrimmage (4-5:30 PM), and Team Lindsay and Team Howe practiced simultaneously, so I was able to get in about 20 minutes of viewing of each set of prospects and a good look at some of the goalie drills that goalie coaches Jim Bedard and Jeff Salajko put the goalies through...

But 20 minutes of assessment isn't a particularly fantastic indicator of where a player's going to be, and scrimmages allow some players to shine and others to fade into the woodwork, so I can't promise that there's going to be some sort of massively revelatory observation today, but I'm going to do my best.

I should note from the outset that Andreas Athanasiou is not playing thus far; I've heard that he has a finger injury, but he is present at the camp and taking part in the off-ice activities, and Mitch Callahan continues to skate under the watchful eye of team trainer John Bernal as he recovers from a torn ACL.

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Format for today’s summer development camp ‘15 scrimmage

The Red Wings' summer development campers are taking part in a scrimmage from 4-5:30 at Centre Ice Arena today, and he's its format:

The game will have a "running time warm-up" at 4 PM;

1. The game starts at 4:05 PM, and there will be 2 30-minute periods (i.e. two "halfs") which break down like this:

  • 10 minutes of running time;
  • 5 minute 5-on-4 PP for Team Lindsay; 5 minute PP for Team Howe;

2. There will be a 15-minute intermission to resurface the ice in between the two periods;

3. There will be a short dry scrape after the "second half," and then there will be a 10-man shootout with a sudden death option if there is a tie.

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Audio from the second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘15

The Red Wings' summer development camp continued today with a set of simultaneous and split practices in which Team Lindsay and Team Howe prepared for the 4-5:30 PM scrimmage, and as the players were ready to get in the shower, have lunch and take their pre-game naps, I had to scramble as best I could for interviews, but I hope this is a "quality over quantity" scenario:

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Morning news: Lidstrom discusses ‘the Hall call’ and development camp; Larkin the ‘ace’

Among this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:

1. The Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook spoke with Nicklas Lidstrom about Lidstrom's naming to the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2015 induction class and his sons Adam and Kevin taking part in the Wings' development camp...

“It’s turned out to be a great week,” Nicklas said. “We had this trip planned since spring — and I didn’t even know when they were going to announce the Hall of Fame. It just turned out we were in town when it happened, which made it all the sweeter.”

That call came Tuesday when he was driving around Detroit with his son Adam in the car. They were headed to see a display near Comerica Park depicting what the Red Wings’ new stadium will look like.

“He was talking (on the phone) and I didn’t know what it was about at first,” Adam said. “Then he told me that he just got inducted into the Hall of Fame, and I was just speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I just congratulated him. It was an unreal moment.”

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Questions For Ansar Khan

It's Q & A time for Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Q: Why would the Wings sign a player (Joakim Andersson) who produces eight points per season with all of the young talent available in their system? Why not move (Brendan) Smith or just not sign him? – Bill

A: You always re-sign your restricted free agents, unless the player is completely incapable of playing in the NHL. It increases your assets and potential trading chips.

They'd like more than eight points from Andersson, but his primary function is to check and kill penalties. He's making $815,000, which is ideal for a fourth-line player and/or 13th/14th forward. If one of those young players from Grand Rapids cracks the lineup (they're not keeping a waiver-exempt player as a spare) and they need a roster spot, they could waive Andersson and his entire salary would be off the cap even if he goes unclaimed and is reassigned.

Smith is better than you're giving him credit for and might improve under new coach Jeff Blashill. Not signing him was not an option. If he regresses or younger players prove to be better, they can always move him.

Q: Where was Kenny when one of the best young defensemen in the league (Dougie Hamilton) is being moved for a first and two seconds? – Justin

A: Let's use some common sense here. There is no way the Boston Bruins are going to trade "one of the best young defensemen in the league" to an Atlantic Division rival. Can you explain why the Bruins would want to give the Red Wings an immediate boost while taking draft picks in return (by the way, Calgary's first-round pick was No. 15, Detroit's was No. 19, and the Red Wings had no second-rounders). The Bruins were facing a cap crunch, so I'm assuming they only wanted futures (picks, prospects) in return.

more questions and answers...

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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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