The Malik Report
Now that the players have packed up their gear and engaged in a final yoga class, probably before either heading to their hotels or to the airport, I look back at days one, two, three, four and now five of the Red Wings' summer development camp, I can say, without a doubt, that it was a great experience and a lot of fun for the players...
And for me, this was a *#$%@& grind. With so many simultaneous practices, the mad dash to get interviews before the players had to work out or otherwise be disposed with activities almost immediately after they peeled off their gear, the schedule changes, the competition (competition is good, but having to battle uphill against FSD and the Wings is not), the intensity of the on-ice drills sort of leeching into coverage...
I'm gonna be honest: I don't know what the hell to make of this stuff. This morning, MLive's Ansar Khan suggested that the Red Wings' "best fit" on defense is one Mike Green. While Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon attempted to debunk this theory given that no one knows if Green is on the trade block to begin with (see also: the Tyler Myers trade fandango):
[L]et’s look at what Green provided the Capitals last season. He had nine goals and 38 points in 70 games and averaged over 22 minutes per game of ice time. Add in that he was also a possession monster for the Caps and you’ve got a very valuable player.
Yes, Green is headed into the final year of his contract with the team with a cap hit of over $6 million, but to think the Caps would easily part with him is foolish. If Detroit wants him, they’d have to be prepared to part with a couple of their hot prospect forwards.
But Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner just posted this:
According to a team source, the Detroit Red Wings have determined Washington defenseman Mike Green is their top trade target. The source says the Wings have reached out to the Capitals regarding Green's availability.
Although Washington has indicated Green is staying put, moving the right-handed defenseman would make sense given the team's cap situation.
Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 5: Interviewing De Haas/McKee, Turgeon Clarke & Blashill
The Red Wings' prospects wrapped up their summer development camp with a scrimmage on Tuesday, and Team Yzerman took a 5-1 decision over Team Lidstrom, with Mike McKee (1 goal) and James De Haas (1 goal, 1 assist) stealing some of the thunder from a dominant Kyle Baun-Dylan Larkin (2 assists)-Anthony Mantha (1 assist, credited for McKee's goal for some reason) line.
Tyler Bertuzzi was absent due to a charlie horse, and Blake Clarke took a puck to the jaw, but I spoke to Blake afterward.
The Red Wings' general manager was absent, but I was able to snag some post-scrimamge interviews--while the players were busy packing their bags and hustling to a post-scrimmage yoga class.
De Haas and McKee were kind enough to double up for an interview to save a little time and to allow the gents to discuss their surprisingly dominant performances, their lessons learned at the camp on the ice, in the weight room and in terms of nutrition, and their thoughts as to whether they faced an added impetus to turn some heads as they can only attend during the summer:
Updated 2x at 10:18 AM: Yesterday, Tyler Myers trade talk dominated Red Wings fans' discussions. I'm guessing that most of you will be more interested in MLive's Ansar Khan's "analysis" reaction to the Free Press's Helene St. James' Myers push than you will be interested in this morning's prospect news--with today's summer development camp ending in a scrimmage starting at 11 AM at Centre Ice Arena.
Khan suggests that Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green, who may or may not be available via the trade route, is the "best fit" in terms of addressing the Wings' needs for a right-shooting top-four defenseman:
[The Wings have] inquired about Buffalo's Tyler Myers, Edmonton's Jeff Petry and Toronto's Cody Franson – and others. But Green makes the most sense. The Capitals don't need him, and because he's entering the final year of his contract (at slightly more than $6 million), the cost of acquiring him shouldn't be as steep as it would be with the others.
The 4th day of the Red Wings' summer development camp is usually 4 of 7. For the past two years, there's been a break added into the camp to ensure that the campers can rest and rejuvenate a bit, but pro pace is pro pace, so the everything-in-a-short-period-of-time camp involves go-go-going this summer.
That might change in the future--very thankfully, the Red Wings' coaches, director of player development Jiri Fischer and the management view this as something that can be tweaked or improved as necessary--but a change in the present yielded a significant amount of...correction...and a scrimmage whose scoring results reflected the day's message.
Put bluntly, the players were surprisingly spry after Saturday's scrimmage, but yesterday's skill development sessions seemed find the players' fatigue wall. Today, the team made a last-minute schedule change, having Teams Yzerman and Lidstrom practice simultaneously from about 9:10 to 9:50 AM, focusing on defensive drills and "backside pressure."
Coach Blashill's voice got quite the workout not only because his checking drills were complex, but also because the players were dragging their rear ends and required a significant amount of correction.
The Red Wings' summer development camp included a now-familiar sight in Alexey Marchenko skating prior to today's practices and on-ice activities. Marchenko skated very hard and very well, occasionally checking in with a member of the Red Wings' medical staff, and he spent a good chunk of time taking wide clockwise and counterclockwise turns to test out his left ankle.
The Wings made something of a yesterday-afternoon change to their schedule, so Teams Yzerman and Lidstrom practiced at the same time on David's and Huntington rinks, and instead of holding another day's worth of skill development drills, the teams engaged in an "informal" scrimmage. Three 12-minute periods marked sets of 5-on-5, 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 action (no Tyler Bertuzzi, per Octopus Thower's Peter Fish, nor Richard Nedomlel for Team Lidstrom), and Team Yzerman beat Team Lidstrom 4-3--thanks to a short penalty shootout in which try-outs Hampus Gustafsson and Mark Cooper scored for Yzerman and Tomas Nosek's gorgeous backhand deke goal was the only one Team Lidstrom managed to get past Matt D'Agostini.
Tomorrow, an 11 AM-scheduled scrimmage will mark the end of the on-ice activities taking place at the development camp, though I've been told that some players may or may not have a post-game paintball adventure.
Regarding the Red Wings' summer development camp and its lack of returning Griffins/Walleye players:
The Red Wings' want me to let you know that there wasn't an "opt-out" option for Griffins--the Wings' coaches and management chose to bring the roster here that they brought here, and in the specific case of Martin Frk, the Wings were going to bring him up here until they drafted 6 forwards.
[edit/update: So stop bagging on the guy--he apparently received some rude comments after it was found out that he wasn't participating in the camp, and neither he, Marek Tvrdon, Colin Campbell or any of the other players that I know of who aren't at the camp "opted out." The Wings view this more and more as an orientation camp, and so the conspicuous absences will be back for the fall tournament /end edit].
Updated w/ St. James audio at 8:50 AM: The Red Wings' summer development camp continues with its second and last day of dedicated skill development practices starting at 9 AM today at Centre Ice Arena, and the camp will wrap up with an 11 AM scrimmage on Tuesday.
I focused on "Team Yzerman" during yesterday's drills, and today, I'll be watching "Team Lidstrom," who are undoubtedly led by the turning-pro Andreas Athanasiou. The Traverse City Record-Eagle's Chris Dobrowolski spoke with Athanasiou regarding the importance of this summer camp as an event that can build the foundation for his first pro season...
Updated 2x at 9:23 AM: The Red Wings' truncated summer camp schedule took a turn for the..."I guess we'll have to wait and see what the prospects and team thinks" today, and its schedule will continue (prior tomorrow's in-person training camp ticket sale at noon) as follows...
8:45 am – 9:30 am Team Yzerman off ice work out
9:00 am – 9:45 am Team Lidstrom practice
10:00 am Team Yzerman skating
10:00 am Team Lidstrom skills
10:25 am Team Yzerman skills
10:25 Team Lidstrom skating
11:00 – 11:45 am Team Yzerman practice
11:00 am Team Lidstrom off ice workout
The camp will conclude with an 11 AM scrimmage on Tuesday.
The skill and skating drills for this summer's camp were completely absent Tomas Storm (skills) or Andy Weidenbach (skating), and the sessions only really lasted for 25-to-30 minutes. Previous camps used to anywhere between 45 and 60 minutes spent on each set of drills, and those sessions wouldn't last for 2 days (this camp ends with an 11 AM scrimmage on Tuesday); instead, the skill and skating drills would go on for 4 or 5 days, and the "team drill" portion of the camp wasn't nearly as important.
WXYZ's "7 Sports Cave's" Brad Galli, Matt Sheppard and Dave Birkett spoke about the issue at the 7-minute mark of their hour-long weekly show, and the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo also addressed the issue I have yet to be able to speak with Ken Holland about up here at the summer development camp. The Red Wings whiffed in the free agency market, and it has the town--the state, and Red Wings fans all over the world--jittery:
The Red Wings have had one of the things other NHL organizations have generally lacked – stability. Yet, it’s like it has been turned around on them.
For many Red Wings’ fans, their general manager is clueless and their coach a tyrant nobody wants to play for, because of the free agent failure this summer.
There has to be a trade coming, right? The Red Wings have been looking for a right-handed shooting defenseman since Brian Rafalski retired.
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.