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The Malik Report

Afternoon news: On the ‘Bye Week,’ trade talk and expansion draft talk

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. In "coming soon" news, concrete version: DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji spoke with the Red Wings regarding their attempts to come out of the "Bye Week" up to speed with the rest of the NHL:

The Red Wings managed to take advantage of the Washington Capitals last week when the Capitals were coming off their bye.

Now it's the Wings' turn. Following Tuesday night's game, the Wings won't play again until next Tuesday in Vancouver.

They will have just Monday's practice before that contest. Teams have gone 4-12-4 in their first game after their bye.

"I don't think there's any magic plan," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We're going to have to come up with the right approach, have the right type of practice. What's our pre-game skate going to look like on that Tuesday? You can't make up for five days with a pre-game skate and a practice, so we got to be careful there. The No. 1 thing is we're going to have to have lots of energy in Vancouver. I bet you lots of those games (teams coming out of break) are close. The one we won against Washington, them coming out of the break, was a shootout game. So we got to make sure we find a way to win a hockey game."

Wakiji continues...

2. In "coming soon" news, theoretical version: ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only entry discussing 20 trade deadline targets, and 3 of his targets are Red Wings players:

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Sad news as Mrs. Lindsay passes away

Very sad news:

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Svechnikov impressing in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Evgeny Svechnikov regarding his superb rookie season with the Grand Rapids Griffins:

Svechnikov, the Red Wings' No. 1 pick (19th overall), enters Friday's home game against Milwaukee on a 12-game point streak, the fourth longest in franchise history. He picked up an assist in last Friday's game to give him 14 points (5-9-14) since the streak began Jan. 20.

He already holds the longest consecutive points streak by a Griffins rookie.

Svechnikov is ninth among rookie goal scorers in the AHL with 15, to go with 16 assists. His 31 points are sixth on the team.

"It has been good as far as giving me confidence," Svechnikov said of the points streak. "I want the puck, I want to shoot and it gives me confidence that I can score."

Veteran Drew Miller, who skated with Svechnikov in training camp with the Red Wings, likes what he has seen from the prospect.

"So far in the time I've been here he's shown a lot of skill and I think he's going to be a real good player," Miller said. "He's definitely got NHL skills."

Wallner continues...

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Morning news: On Smith’s availability, Doug Brown’s coaching philosophy, prospects & Tweets of note

Of Red Wings-related note on a relatively quiet Thursday morning:

1. ESPN/TSN's Pierre LeBrun penned a list of "Defensemen in demand," and Brendan Smith made his list:

Brendan Smith, Detroit Red Wings

Smith could really beef up a team's third pairing and even move up to a No. 4 role in a pinch. If the Blues do move Shattenkirk but are clearly still in the playoff race, will GM Doug Armstrong try to add a defenceman to help fill the roster hole? I think the Blues should look at Smith, a midround pick, who has a $2.75 million cap hit, if indeed Shattenkirk is moved.

[Edit/update: LeBrun added this to an ESPN article:

The Detroit Red Wings are not shopping defenseman Mike Green and have no plans to deal him. But given where they are in the grand scheme of things, they also can't afford not to listen if a team calls with a serious offer. The 31-year-old, right-handed puck mover has another year on his deal next season, at $6 million, and he's been good for Detroit this season. I would think that the price to get him would have to supersede whatever St. Louis gets for pending UFA Kevin Shattenkirk -- if only because Green (who has a full no-trade clause) is signed past this season. The Red Wings plan on having Green back next season, but the point here is this: they owe it to themselves to at least listen over the next week.

/end edit]

2. Former Red Wing Doug Brown spoke with ESPN's Craig Custance about his experiences as an amateur hockey coach, and his comments are really intriguing:

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Red Wings’ ‘Joe Moments’ challenge underway; team hits 1 million Twitter followers

From the Red Wings:

RED WINGS ANNOUNCE “JOE MOMENT BRACKET CHALLENGE,” PRESENTED BY FOX SPORTS DETROIT
... Team Surpasses 1 Million Twitter Followers and Launches “The Vault” …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced details surrounding the “Joe Moment Bracket Challenge,” presented by FOX Sports Detroit. Red Wings fans will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite moment at Joe Louis Arena in a bracket-style format featuring 32 of the top moments in Red Wings history at The Joe.

For the rest of the regular season, memorable moments will go head-to-head in the bracket challenge, giving fans an opportunity to relive the top moments in Joe Louis Arena history. Fans can then cast a vote for their favorite memory, with the moment receiving the most votes advancing to the next round. Additionally, a custom hashtag has been created for each moment to allow fans to share their vote via social media.

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To Trade Or Not

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Holland indicted last week only rentals (players who will be unrestricted free agents after the season) figure to be in play.

Here is a look at some Red Wings trade possibilities, a couple who are certain to be moved and why others likely will not be dealt.

Thomas Vanek

Staying or going? He has had a good bounce-back season after two disappointing years in Minnesota, leading the Red Wings in goals. He is certain to be dealt as a rental. Several teams could use his offense, including the Chicago Blackhawks. The Red Wings should be able to get multiple picks for him, if not a first-round selection then at least one second-rounder with perhaps a mid-round choice or a prospect.

Brendan Smith

Staying or going? He is likely to be traded as a rental. If the Red Wings wanted to sign him to an extension they probably would have started the process much sooner. He will probably fetch a mid-round pick since Mike Stone, a somewhat comparable player, was dealt from Arizona to Calgary for a third-rounder and a conditional fifth. Smith is a good skater with some offensive upside, but hasn’t developed like the club expected after selecting him in the first round in 2007 (27th overall). Pittsburgh appears to be one of several teams interested, as depth defensemen are usually in demand at the deadline.

more on Vanek and Smith plus other names mentioned...

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A bit more about the ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony for Mr. I

As noted this afternoon, the "Celebration of Life" ceremony for Mike Ilitch included comments from Ken Holland, Mickey Redmond, Mitch Albom and President George W. Bush, and Fox 2 Detroit posted a video report about the ceremony and President Bush's remarks:

The Detroit News and Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea also covered the ceremony.

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Discussing the trade deadline and ‘tanking’

Of Red Wings-related note this evening (and boy, is it disparate stuff):

1. Paul was kind enough to post Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts as they related to the Red Wings this evening, but you might guess that I have some "thoughts" of my own. I think it might be most appropriate to utilize the Free Press's Helene St. James' suggestions as to the Red Wings' post-"Bye Week" plans--to quote St. James, "Start selling, and then start losing"--as a plot device:

The Wings have two unrestricted free agents who should garner interest in forward Thomas Vanek and defenseman Brendan Smith. Both become unrestricted free agents this summer.

General manager Ken Holland has talked to half of his NHL colleagues over the past few days, with a handful more calls to come in the coming days. If a good offer emerges for Vanek – say a first-round pick, high-end prospect, or two second-round picks, expect Vanek to have a new home soon. Holland has talked to Vanek’s agent, and there is interest on both sides in Vanek being brought back this summer, as he has been more than the Wings hoped for when they signed him last July for one season at $2.6 million.

Smith should attract interest because teams eyeing a Stanley Cup run always are eager for defensive depth, and Smith is mobile and plays with an edge. It’s possible there could be inquiries about Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, too, from teams looking for scoring depth.

The uglier side of deciding the playoffs are out of reach is realizing it's better to finish as low as possible (the Wings are currently 26th in the league, and Colorado and Arizona have a good lead on finishing in the bottom two spots).

St. James continues, and, put bluntly:

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Open For Business

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

Heard through the gossip line that a few teams had reached out to Detroit about Andreas Athanasiou when there were some battles over his ice time. Red Wings GM Ken Holland wouldn’t comment, but another team indicated he told them not to even bother asking unless “a 22-year-old top-pair defenceman” was part of the conversation. The Wings have told clubs they are “open for business,” but won’t consider moving any of their young offensive cornerstones unless that kind of player is potentially available. My sense is the same goes for Petr Mrazek. Thomas Vanek likely goes (and could come back in the summer). They will discuss re-signing Brendan Smith in the next few days before a decision on trading him.

more Wings talk, specifically Mike Green...

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Fox Sports Detroit posts Mickey Redmond, Ken Holland’s tributes to Mr. Ilitch

The Ilitch companies' ceremony honoring Mike Ilitch's lifetime was well thought-out and superbly executed, and the event held at the Fox Theatre included two tributes to Mr. Ilitch from members of the Red Wings organization, as posted on Fox Sports Detroit's YouTube channel:

 

Fox Sports Detroit also posted videos of Mitch Albom, President George W. Bush and Little Caesars CEO David Scrivano's comments about Mr. Ilitch.

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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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