The Malik Report
Red Wings mid-day news: on the prospect tourney & Captain’s Practice quips from DeKeyser & Andersson
Updated 2x at 2:21 PM: At Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings' players are still engaging in Captain's Practices...
Some 230 miles to the northwest, however, as Paul noted, there's quite a bit of "star power" about to hit the ice in Traverse City. NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale penned an article discussing the caliber of competition at the Red Wings' prospect tournament, and the list of current and former participants is impressive:
In the tournament's history, 440 players who participated have skated in at least one NHL game, including six with the 2013-14 Red Wings: Tomas Jurco, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet, Teemu Pulkkinen, Riley Sheahan and Ryan Sproul.
"[The Traverse City tournament] always carries a lot of weight," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "The best players at that tournament usually make the NHL right away. Guys who are ready or close to it usually rise to the top and you can see it. It's a great tournament to evaluate players."
I've packed and gotten all my "stuff" together, and if it wasn't raining throughout the evening on Wednesday, I would've already had the Pacifica packed for today's trip to Traverse City to attend the Red Wings' prospect tournament and main training camp. I'm a little tired and quite terrified, but the former comes with the always busy days leading up to the trip and the latter is Ye Olde Anxiety Disorder for you.
As previously noted, the ECHL referees officiating the 8-team tournament are told to expect hockey on par with mid-season AHL games, and as DetroitRedWings.com's Craig Peterson found, some of the Wings' key contributors, Anthony Mantha and Ryan Sproul, are more than ready to defend the team's first tournament title:
“Before the tournament last year, they told us that it’s even better than World Juniors,” Mantha said. “Last winter I went to World Juniors and I could say the same thing. I think everyone wants to show themselves so it’s high-paced games and everyone wants to impress.”
This seems a little "off." It's hockey book season, and I'd already known that Jordin Tootoo collaborated with Stephen Brunt for his forthcoming memoir, All the Way, Darren McCarty worked with USA Today's Kevin Allen on his memoir, My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey RockStar, and Wings pro scout Mark Howe worked with Jay Greenberg on his memoir, Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life Lived in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey--which Mark is signing at the Wings' prospect tournament this Saturday...
But the Free Press's Gene Myers reports that Mr. Hockey: My Story claims to be written by none other than Gordie Howe himself, and I can't find anything online to suggest that this book was written by anyone other than Howe. That seems a little strange given that Howe is battling steadily advancing dementia, and Myers thought it odd that Howe was listed as the only author as well, though he may have found a hint asto who helped Howe transcribe his tales in the book's "afterword"
Updated 2x at 8:08 PM: As Paul noted, the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that the Red Wings and Danny DeKeyser's camp are still having difficulty finding common ground on contract terms, yielding the possibility that DeKeyser may not head to Traverse City, and a little later this afternoon, MLive's Ansar Khan offered an update on the situation:
"We had a number of productive talks until a couple of weeks ago," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told M-Live. "It's gone quiet the last couple of weeks. It's gotten to a point where it's difficult because there aren't many comparables."
Holland added, "At this stage of the game, everybody is still hopeful and optimistic we can find a solution. Sometimes you need to take some time and have another go at it.
"It's important to get a deal done that's fair for the player and fair for the club. Hopefully it can get done before camp."
Khan, believes that DeKeyser's very limited NHL experience and the Wings' contract to Kyle Quincey muddy the waters--Khan also reveals that DeKeyser and Quincey are represented by Pat Morris--but Khan believes that a deal will get done, if only at the last minute (and I believe the same thing; DeKeyser will re-sign before camp, but it might be a day-the-Wings-depart deal).
Khan's second updat involves a St. James-reported story, this time about Daniel Alfredsson, and Khan reports that it sounds more and more like Alfredsson will end up going to training camp on a pro try-out due to lingering back pain:
Updated at 6:59 PM: via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Alfredsson “felt a little bit of a tweak,” last week, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press on Wednesday. Alfredsson has held off on re-signing with the Wings pending assessment of back pain that comes and goes. He’d been skating daily with the Wings for about a week until the reoccurrence of pain. A decision was made to stop skating until Alfredsson feels better.
This latest flare-up - coming after a long off-season tending to his back - doesn’t bode well for playing another season. Holland called the pain “nothing major” but Alfredsson, 41, has said he doesn’t want to play unless he feels he can be a contributor. He was tied for the team lead in scoring last season with 49 points in 68 games. The Wings are hoping to have him back, as he provided regular scoring and invaluable leadership.
“It’s possible he comes to camp without a contract,” Holland said. “We’ll see what happens over the next week.”
Update: Here's more from MLive's Ansar Khan...
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
A week before training camp is to begin, the Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Danny DeKeyser remain at contractual odds.
DeKeyser is a restricted free agent. Two months' worth of lobbying ideas back and forth between his camp and the Wings have so far yielded agreement on precisely one point: That the new contract won't only be for one year.
That, general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press on Wednesday, was an idea DeKeyser's side declined to consider last month.
The financial chasm on a two-year deal remains significant enough that when asked if DeKeyser will be on the ice in Traverse City Sept. 19 for the first day of camp, Holland responded, "I've no idea. It takes two to make a deal."
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday released their promotional schedule for the 2014-15 season, featuring a variety of one-of-a-kind giveaways and popular season-long promotions.
The excitement begins on Friday, Oct. 10, when the Griffins host the Lake Erie Monsters on Opening Night presented by Huntington Bank, which will include an LED glowstick giveaway and a post-game jersey auction. Coupled with the regular season finale at home on April 18, this will mark the first season since 2005-06 that Grand Rapids both opens and closes its regular season schedule on home ice.
Single-game tickets for all 38 regular season home games at Van Andel Arena will go on sale to the general public this Friday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. Advance ticket prices are $16, $18, $19 and $21 in the arena’s upper level, and $20, $24, $29 and $35 in the lower level. (Additional $3 per ticket on day of game.)
Continued, and among the promotions:
Updated 3x at 2:47 PM: As DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that the Wings' practice is better-attended...
The #RedWings are on the ice and joined for the first time at today's voluntary skate by Jonathan Ericsson.
Pucks and prospects alike are gathering in Traverse City...
Updated 4x with pictures of Jonas Gustavsson's "Monsters' Hall of Fame" mask at 2:58 AM: This may or may not end up constituting the overnight report. Preparing for trip = a weird, jittery and very busy couple of days, and as the mid-day post and "afternoon news" post covered a "lot of stuff," this entry might constitute the vast majority of this evening's "Red Wings-related news." So we'll see.
MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Pavel Datsyuk regarding the status of what might be the most important knee on the team this side of Jimmy Howard's, and Datsyuk reported that all was well (Khan included a video clip of Datsyuk speaking with the media, too)...
"Just rehab for the whole summer, more conditioning and more workouts," Datsyuk said Tuesday. "It was much better in a few games of the Boston (playoff) series. I could push my knee, but I lost a lot of muscle. Now everything has come back. I felt better at the end of the playoffs; now it's much better and comfortable."
Is he close to 100 percent?
"At my age, oh, yeah," the 36-year-old said.
Datsyuk began skating briefly in Russia two weeks ago. He's picked up the pace since joining teammates on the ice Monday at Joe Louis Arena for informal workouts.
"I didn't skate much, but I started staking now and it feels much better," he said. "Nothing bothers me."
And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan reports that Datsyuk was in good spirits...
Preliminary lineup for HockeyFest announced
Kronwall, Howard, Lindsay highlight list of current players and alumni set to appear at fun-filled event at The Joe on Sunday, Sept. 14
DETROIT – The 2014 edition of Red Wings HockeyFest, presented by Coke Zero and Meijer, is set to take place at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday, Sept. 14 (11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.), featuring an unforgettable day of hockey-related activities, including a chance to meet current players, Red Wings Alumni and FOX Sports Detroit television personalities. A preliminary list of past and present members of the Red Wings set to attend this much-anticipated event can be found below alongside their designated appearance times. Additional players, as well as members of the Red Wings Alumni Association, will be added to this list at a later time.
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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.