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The overnight report: Red Wings-Canucks short set-up

The Detroit Red Wings open up the final portion of their 2016-17 campaign with a trip through Western Canada, beginning with a game against the Vancouver Canucks this evening (10 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet Pacific/97.1 FM), and this is going to be a strange game for a couple of reasons.

Both teams' rosters may be in flux--Vancouver will not only be dealing with the loss of Alexandre Burrows' presence in a trade with Ottawa, and they're considering trading several other players, but they've also got a handful of players who are dealing with the mumps, so even following the team's Twitter account, it's hard to tell who's "in" and who's "out" for tonight's game.

The Red Wings, as you already know, got back to work on Monday with Thomas Vanek and Brendan Smith not sure whether tonight's game might be their last in Red Wings uniforms, and they're not the only Wings players facing uncertain futures as Wednesday's trade deadline nears.

So:

The Canucks possess a 26-29-and-6 record, and coming off their own "Bye Week," they dropped a 4-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Vancouver has lost 4 of its past 5 games as well.

As the Canucks' media was preoccupied with the details of the Burrows trade, the Vancouver Province's Ben Kuzma penned a lone article regarding the Canucks' collective health:

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“Great Hockey” Was Once Played There

from Neal Boudette of the New York Times,

Since opening in 1978, Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena has brought N.H.L. fans more great hockey than any other building still standing in North America.

Six Stanley Cup finals — four won by the Red Wings — have been played there, more than any other N.H.L. arena currently in use. There have been 31 playoff seasons, including the past 25 in a row, and an almost unfathomable parade of Hall of Famers, including Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Chelios, Slava Fetisov, Brett Hull, Dominik Hasek and Scotty Bowman.

And, of course, the Joe, as the arena is known, is the only place you might see a flying octopus.

But the venerable venue appears headed for an unceremonious final act. This is the Red Wings’ final season in the building, which at 38 is the second oldest in the league after Madison Square Garden. 

continued

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If Brendan Smith Re-Signs With The Wings

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Nick Jensen speaks with MLive’s Savage regarding his contract extension

Updated at 3:43 PM: Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen was signed to a 2-year contract extension this morning, and he spoke with MLive's Brendan Savage regarding inking the deal after finding out about it while on "Bye Week" vacation in Las Vegas:

"It's been quite an adventure this year obviously," said Jensen, 26. "I started off the year going through waivers, getting sent down to Grand Rapids, just part of being a professional hockey player. But I just stuck to it down there, do what I had to do, just kept playing like I wanted to play in the NHL.

"I eventually got the opportunity and I took advantage of it, I feel. From the first game on out I think every day I was just going in there just trying to make my way back into the lineup every game, just proving myself every game trying to get in there. It's led to a two-year contract that I'm really excited about."

...

Jensen credited his time in Grand Rapids with helping prepare him for the NHL. In 228 games with the Griffins, he had 10 goals, 51 assists and a plus-51 rating.

"Absolutely, I think the time I spent in Grand Rapids was immense in my development," he said. "It can be frustrating at times being down there for four years and seeing some guys called up over you but that's part of the development they wanted, mentally tough people. If you're just going to give up and quit because one bad thing happened to you, you don't want a player like that, really. I think the mental part of it is a big part of it, too, and that's what I went through in Grand Rapids and I think it helped out a lot when I got up here."

Savage continues, adding Jeff Blashill's take on the signing, and he posted a video of Jensen's remarks:

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Vanek, Smith weigh in on the deadline

Updated 5x at 3:13 PM: NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika posted some intriguing Tweets of comments made by Thomas Vanek and Brendan Smith ahead of the trade deadline...

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Practice Tweets: No roster surprises as the Red Wings get back to work

Updated 5x at 3:00 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice for practice around 10:45 AM this morning, per MLive's Ansar Khan...

#RedWings Vanek, Ott, Smith all practicing today. So no deals yet. Team travels to Vancouver this afternoon for game vs. @Canucks tomorrow.

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Red Wings extend Jensen for two years

From the Red Wings:

Here's the press release:

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

More recalls from Grand Rapids?

The Red Wings recalled Drew Miller Sunday from Grand Rapids, giving them 13 healthy forwards (excluding Gustav Nyquist, whose suspension ends Saturday) and seven defensemen.

They might need to recall more players if, as expected, they do more dealing.

Possibilities up front include Martin Frk (39 points, including team-leading 20 goals), Tomas Nosek (14 goals, 38 points) and Red Wings' 2015 top pick Evgeny Svechnikov (15 goals, 32 points), who is riding a 12-game points streak.

The Red Wings got a look at Tyler Bertuzzi (nine goals, 26 points in 32 games for the Griffins) earlier this season for seven games.

On defense, Robbie Russo (six goals, 29 points, team-leading plus-14) would seem to be the next in line to get a look.

The 23-man roster limit is lifted after the trade deadline, but the salary cap remains in effect.

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The overnight report: on the sked ahead, trade talk, player development and Ott

Of disparate Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Red Wings have a pretty brutal schedule over the next two months, so April is going to be here before we know it, as Ken Kal noted:

The Free Press's Helene St. James took note of the Red Wings' schedule ahead while discussing the team's recalling of Jared Coreau and Drew Miller from Grand Rapids:

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Prospect news: Walleye score 8 on Indy; Marsh scores a goal, Larsson stops 30 of 32

Of prospect-related note:

In the ECHL, Shane Berschbach and Tyson Spink had 2 goals apiece, Tylor Spink had 3 assists and Jake Paterson stopped 19 of 20 shots in the Toledo Walleye's 8-1 win over the Indy Fuel. The Walleye's website posted a recap:

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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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