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The Wheel Will Be Spinning

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings will enter the off-season with 11 picks in the June entry draft, the most they have had since 2000, after moving four players prior to Wednesday's trade deadline.

And while this draft is widely considered to be one of the weakest in years, the bounty of selections, as well as two extra picks in 2018, gives general manager Ken Holland options.

"Maybe some of these picks somewhere down the road could factor into a future trade," Holland said.

Acquiring a top-pair defenseman remains their top priority. But deal or no deal, the Red Wings, on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1990, need to rebuild their roster over the next few seasons. It begins at the draft table in June.

"We've got more spins of the wheel," Holland said. "We're trying to stay in the mix with teams in our division. At the same time, I'm hoping that with (the extra) picks, it's going to tee this franchise up for the next 6-8-10 years.

"Obviously, it depends on what we do with these picks. We've got to try to turn these picks into players. When you're drafting 18-year-old players, it's a bit of a crapshoot."


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Nyquist Back Tonight, Mrazek Starts

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Gustav Nyquist returns to the lineup and Petr Mrazek is back in goal tonight for the Detroit Red Wings, who wrap up a three-game trip to Western Canada against the Edmonton Oilers (10 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

It will be Detroit's first game at the new Rogers Place.

Nyquist finished serving a six-game suspension for high-sticking Jared Spurgeon of the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 12.

Nyquist might be slotted on the second line, with Frans Nielsen and Andreas Athanasiou, enabling the team to keep intact the top line, with Henrik Zetterberg centering Tomas Tatar and Anthony Mantha.


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Jimmy Howard Assigned To Grand Rapids For Conditioning

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned goaltender Jimmy Howard to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning.

Howard played two games with the Griffins on a conditioning stint last month, making 40 saves over two starts with a 1-1-0 record, but he left his second game midway through the third period due to injury. The 32-year-old netminder has been limited to 17 games for the Red Wings this season due to injury, sporting a 5-7-1 record. Among goalies with a minimum of 15 games played, Howard leads the NHL with a 0.934 save percentage and is second with a 1.96 goals-against average. Howard, who has not played for Detroit since Dec. 20 in Tampa Bay, has totaled 392 games with the Red Wings since 2005-06 and has a 194-120-54 record, 2.43 goals-against average, 0.915 save percentage and 23 shutouts. The Syracuse, N.Y., native was also an Olympian on the United States’ 2014 team in Sochi, Russia, and has also represented his country at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

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Wing Battle But Come Up Short Against Calgary

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings unloaded some players and loaded up on draft picks leading up to Wednesday's trade deadline, with an eye toward the future.

Those who remain are likely to be part of the first Red Wings team to miss the playoffs since 1990. But they are not raising the white flag.

The Red Wings, facing one of the hottest teams in the league Friday, battled hard and fought until the end, tying the Calgary Flames on Tomas Tatar's goal with 1.8 seconds remaining in regulation.

But they left the Saddledome dissatisfied following Mikael Backlund's goal at 3:56 of overtime, as the Flames prevailed 3-2 for their sixth consecutive victory.

"I was happy we were able to tie it, but we need two points, so the fact that we only got one isn't good enough," coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought the process, certainly through parts of the first and then the second, was outstanding. The third kind of ebbed and flowed.

"The only thing that hurt us in the first was too many turnovers. We got to continue to be a team that gets pucks behind, plays in the O-zone. When we do that we're a good hockey team."


Game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

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Give Ken Holland A Chance

from Jamei Samuelsen at the Detroit Free Press,

 ...i give Holland the chance to truly rebuild. He’ll enter a new era and a new building with no expectations for at least a season or two. He insists that rebuilding can take years, perhaps even more than a decade. That might be a little rash. But his point is that the best teams in the game, the teams that feature the young stars like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Patrick Kane had to suffer for years before they got the very best picks that would get the very best prospects. This summer’s draft isn’t supposed to be very strong, so finishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference won’t bring the value that it might have a year ago when Matthews went No. 1 overall.

I’m also a fan of rewarding a man’s work and Holland is as responsible as anyone not named Nicklas Lidstrom for the Red Wings winning four Stanley Cups and making it to the finals six times. There are others of course, but don’t discount the role Holland played from moving the Wings out of the salary cap-free era into the cap era and still keeping the Wings in contention.

We are in unchartered waters for the Red Wings. Some will argue that this is a time to start over and start anew with a whole new management team. I’d argue that the current management team has had a lot of success and has earned the chance to to steer this team towards more.


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Wings/Flames Recap

Paul here filling in for George who is under the weather.

Another quick recap- Calgary 3, Detroit 2.

In a bad first period, the Wings gave up two goals then outplayed the Flames over the 2nd and 3rd period and finally Tatar found the back of the net with 1.1 seconds left in regulation.

With just over a minute left in OT, Mikael Backlund scored to give the Flames the win.

Goals are below...

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Riley Sheahan On Remaining With The Red Wings

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

This has been about as difficult a season as a player can experience for Riley Sheahan.

But, the young forward is glad he will finish it as a Detroit Red Wing.

The Red Wings were listening to trade offers for Sheahan prior to Wednesday's deadline, but apparently didn't like what was being proposed, so they held onto him.

"You see your name out there, but you try not to pay attention to it," Sheahan said. "Obviously, you don't have that inside information, you don't really know what's going on. Obviously, this is the place I want to be. I made a lot of good friends here. It would be hard to leave this place So, it was nice that it (deadline) ended."

Sheahan, 25, has no goals and nine assists in 59 games. His minus-19 rating is tied with Dylan Larkin for the worst on the team.

continued plus more on the Wings...

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Jeff Blashill On Henrik Zetterberg

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Coach Jeff Blashill was asked about Henrik Zetterberg this morning, in advance of tonight's game against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome (9, FSD). At 36, Zetterberg is playing some of his finest hockey and leading the Wings with 48 points in 61 games. Game by game, he makes his presence felt, makes his linemates better and is keeping the Wings within reach of the playoffs, even though it would take a monumental run to make it happen (the Wings are 10 points out of a wild-card spot).

“He is probably one of the best competitors I’ve ever been around in my life,” Blashill said. “His competitive desire is unreal. It’s not an outwardly competitiveness where he is real emotional -- it’s just his ability to grind.

“I believe we will make the playoffs because of Henrik Zetterberg.”

In case anyone is tempted to misread what Blashill said, he isn’t pinning it on Zetterberg for the Wings to make the playoffs. Blashill is saying never to count out Zetterberg because of his inner drive, because of his wil power.

a bit more

Below, Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Blashill talked with Flames TV...

Continue Reading »

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Describe The Wings Rebuild

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

How do you define rebuild?

There is a strong argument the Red Wings started to rebuild when Nicklas Lidstrom skated in solitude back to the bench door on April 20, 2012, and looked up at the scoreboard after the clock expired in the fifth and final game against the Predators, knowing his career was likely done.

In the wake of Steve Yzerman, Scotty Bowman, Brendan Shanahan and Sergei Fedorov, the Wings were due a little refurbishing.

When they did not sign the next big free agents, Ryan Suter, a sensible replacement for Lidstrom, or Zach Parise, both of who chose the comforts of kin over the courtship of the Red Wings brass, the need grew.

The Wings never announced it, of course. But general manager Ken Holland eventually adopted the description “rebuild on the fly.”


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Jeff Blashill Still Believes

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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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