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Talking with ‘Torch’

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo:

John Torchetti joked Thursday night that he’s leaving the State of Hockey to come to Hockeytown.

The former Wild interim coach turned down a contract offer to return to being the Iowa head coach, instead opting for a two-year deal to be one of Jeff Blashill’s two assistants with the Detroit Red Wings.

“I just felt I wanted to get back in the NHL again after seeing how everything went there and working with the kids again, the guys that I had and just that level of intensity and commitment every night,” Torchetti said in his first public comments since the Wild hired Bruce Boudreau over him. “I just wanted to work with that athlete again. I told [Wild GM Chuck Fletcher], ‘I think I proved to you I can coach.’”

Continued, and this is a really, really good read...

Update: Here's a bit more from Jeff Blashill, too, via the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

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Evening news: More about Torchetti; a Datsyuk rumor and Sheahan’s goals

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Windsor Star's Jim Parker and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke with Wings coach Jeff Blashill regarding the hiring of John Torchetti as an assistant coach.

Via RedWingsFeed, Parker spoke with Blashill regarding his interview process and initial take on Torchetti's role as the team's power play specialist...

"I interviewed approximately five candidates,” Blashill said. “I decided on John based on his skill set and his ability and his experience level. The areas I think John can really help us is, one, he’s got lots of experience in running a bench, he’s got a little different ideas than I do and I think there’s things I can learn from him in terms of bench management.”

Torchetti, will replace Pat Ferschweiler, will work with the forwards and run the team’s power play.

“What it comes down to are the little details within the power play that are important to you,” Blashill said. “Those details need to be measured and he had good thought processes on how we do that.

“Those details lead to little adjustments that you can make throughout the game, and he had thought processes on that. So, as he went through the things that were important to him on the power play, he showed me what his approach was and I was impressed with it.”

And the Macomb Daily's Pleiness spoke with Blashill regarding Torchetti's resume:

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Griffins sign Mike Borkowski and Matthew Caito

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

BORKOWSKI, CAITO JOIN GRIFFINS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed forward Mike Borkowski and defenseman Matthew Caito to standard player’s contracts for the 2016-17 season.

A 6-foot, 182-pound center, Borkowski scored three points (2-1—3) in 12 games as a member of the Binghamton Senators while on an amateur tryout during the 2015-16 season. He joined the Senators after his four-year collegiate career with the Colgate Raiders (ECAC) concluded earlier in March. Borkowski, 24, made his AHL debut on March 13 – a 6-1 Binghamton win over Rochester – and notched his first pro goal in the same game.

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Morning news: Cotsonika on WDFN; Nyquist’s goals, ‘Hockey: The Musical’ and yoga at the Joe

Of ecclectic Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika appeared on WDFN's Matt Sheppard show this morning, and Cotsonika discussed both the Stanley Cup Final and the off-season changes that await the Red Wings...

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Red Wings name John Torchetti assistant coach

Updated 7x at 2:27 PM: This is who I thought the Wings would pick. Good record in the AHL and he's coached in the KHL as well:

Here's DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose on Torchetti:

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St. James: Holland believes the league’s healthy enough to expand

The NHL's Board of Governors will soon meet to make a recommendation regarding expanding the NHL to 31 teams, and the Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the topic:

“There hasn’t been expansion in 16 years,” Holland said. “We’ve now got a talent pool where USA hockey, Canadian hockey and European hockey have done a great job of developing more players.”

On June 22, the NHL’s Board of Governors is expected to vote, pending recommendation from the league’s executive committee, on whether to expand in 2017 by one team, two teams or not at all. The league could also wait a year before voting again. Popular thought is that Las Vegas will have a franchise for the 2017-18 season, which would mark the first new NHL stop since 2000, when Minnesota and Columbus joined.

A bigger league would reflect a bigger harvest area.

“The No. 1 pick this year is from a nontraditional market,” Holland said. “Seth Jones played bantam in Dallas. You are seeing more and more players from the U.S. from places other than Michigan — Minnesota, the Northeast, worldwide. And especially here in the U.S., there’s been tremendous growth and development of hockey players.”

St. James continues, noting that the Wings would be OK during an expansion draft as they have many players with no-trade clauses, but only one with a no-move clause--Pavel Datsyuk.

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‘Roughly Translated’: Tomas Tatar discusses his shoulder injury, hopes for a better season

Tomas Tatar spoke with Sport.sk's Tomas Prokop recently, addressing his rehabilitation from a shoulder injury, his role with the Red Wings and his take on the state of Slovak hockey over the course of an extended conversation. What follows is a very rough translation of the interview, with a little help from Tom Marchione. What follows is very roughly translated from the original Slovak:

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Duff: Larkin staying grounded as he navigates public persona

The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Dylan Larkin at the Detroit Grand Prix last weekend, and Larkin reflected upon his responsibilities as a representative of the Red Wings at all of 19 years old:

“I know I’m a 19 year old but I’m not like most 19 year olds,” Larkin said. “I can’t do things like most 19 years old. I have to be aware of my surroundings all of the time. I represent the Detroit Red Wings so I have to behave myself.”

Larkin was able to get away with some of his Team USA teammates for a European vacation following the conclusion of the world championship last month in Russia.

“I was fortunate to be able to travel a little bit after the world championships,” Larkin said. “I went to France for five days. I was in the south of France hanging with a few (Team USA) teammates. I really go to relax. I did get some time off but it’s hard to keep myself away from the game.”

When he wants to get away and just disappear from the limelight, Larkin is fortunate enough to be able to call upon a tight group of friends who seem him as their buddy Dylan, who just happens to play for the Red Wings.

“I think there’s a time and a place for everything,” Larkin said. “It has been a long season but I think to find my friends and for them to still hang around with me and let myself get away from hockey is huge. You need that. You need to have people like that around you.”

Duff continues, and it's wonderful to hear that Larkin is so grounded.

Update: Today's Slapshot's Dave Hogg spoke with Larkin as well:

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‘WalletHub’ study: Detroit is the best hockey city in the U.S.

According to a study conducted by WalletHub, Detroit ranks as the #1 hockey city in the U.S. Richie Bernardo explains the study's methodology:

To find the best cities for hockey fans, WalletHub’s analysts compared 72 of the most populated U.S. cities across two divisions, including NHL (Div. I Men’s) and College Hockey (Div. I Men’s). For our sample, we chose cities with at least one college or professional hockey team.

We first compiled 17 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was given a value between 0 and 100, wherein 100 represents the most favorable conditions for hockey fans and 0 the least. In order to determine the weight for each division, we surveyed teams in each division’s Facebook account, summed the number of “Likes” and calculated the proportion that each league represented in total. Thus, the weight attributed to each division was based on its popularity.

We then calculated the overall score for each city using the weighted average across all metrics and ranked the cities accordingly.

The article continues...

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SKA St. Petersburg’s VP states that the team will honor the NHL’s ‘memorandum of understanding’

Via Sport-Express and Sovetsky Sport, SKA St. Petersburg's vice-president, Roman Rotenberg, told Russia's TASS news agency that the team isn't going to comment on its negotiations with Pavel Datsyuk until July--and Rotenberg duly notes that the NHL and KHL have a "memorandum of understanding" stating that both leagues will respect valid contracts from the other league.

With a year remaining on his NHL contract, Datsyuk is still "NHL property" as much as he is Red Wings property, and the Wings and NHL would have to sign off on Datsyuk playing in Russia to allow him to do so.

Here's a rough translation of Rotenberg's comments:

"There are subtle legal formalities, which, of course, our team will honor, as between the KHL and NHL there is an agreement on the mutual respect of contracts of teams and players"--said Rotenberg. "We respect the agreement between the leagues, so today and until July we won't comment regarding the transfer situation related to NHL teams."

"As for the talk about the possible overseas departures of Shipachov and Dadonov, I would like to emphasize that these players are under contract with SKA St. Petersburg, and we will inform our laywers, which are in communication with their NHL counterparts, of any cases of misconduct in this matter."

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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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