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An Opportunity For Ryan Sproul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"Ryan Sproul's been waiting for a real opportunity for a while," coach Jeff Blashill said before the game against the Vancouver Canucks. "He's a talented kid. Can he come in and do a great job? We're hoping so."

Sproul has one goal, six assists and a minus-6 rating in 24 games. He has dressed for only three of the previous 19.

Sproul said he is trying to earn some trust.

"I'm going to do my best to do that, do whatever (Blashill) wants me to do to be able to stick in the lineup," Sproul said. "I'm kind of getting sick of being in and out, so hopefully I can stick in the lineup.

"The games I've been in I have gotten shots through and I have played pretty well offensively. I think he's looking more for the defensive part, so I'm still working on that, still trying to do what I can for him to earn my trust."


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Krupa: Smith trade hints at a rebuild through the draft

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa weighs in on the Brendan Smith trade's ramifications:

What the Red Wings provided themselves Tuesday is greater opportunity to secure their only goal, annual contention for the Stanley Cup. The Wings need stars.

Their roster consists of some support staff, and like Smith, at times, some of it is pretty good. They need superior performers.

Governed by current NHL personnel rules, including the salary cap, those players are far more likely to come from the NHL Entry Draft than through trades or free agency.

Given their plight in 2017, with a 26th consecutive playoff berth an increasingly impossible dream, Ken Holland and his team of managers and amateur scouts are smart to optimize their opportunities among the teenaged hockey prospects roaming rinks from Arizona to Russia’s Pacific coast.

That means returning the Red Wings to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 is likely to take some a few more seasons.

But the Wings now have 10 picks in seven rounds of the 2017 draft and they are bulking up for 2018, with the possibility that a trade for Thomas Vanek will secure more.

The whole idea is that if one or two of them turns out better than Smith, they might just be the players veterans like Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha will anticipate to put the lineup over the top, perhaps beginning a few seasons from now.

Krupa continues...

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Red Wings-Canucks morning skate Tweets and articles: no lineup changes + KH on trades

The Detroit Red WIngs open the post-"Bye Week" porition of their season against the Vancouver Canucks this evening (10 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet West/97.1 FM), and the Canucks are battling both the mumps and injuries, so they made some call-ups this morning:

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Kris Draper speaks with ‘The 313’ regarding home-ice advantage

Kris Draper spoke with Fox Sports Detroit's "The 313's" Rachel Elliott regarding the Wings' definition of home-ice advantage at Joe Louis Arena:

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Red Wings-Rangers matinee on March 12th moved to start at 7 PM

I believe we call this "NBC has dropped the game," per the Rangers:

NEW YORK, February 28, 2017 – The start time for the Rangers’ contest against the Detroit Red Wings on March 12, 2017 in Detroit is now scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The contest is the Rangers’ final regular season game at Joe Louis Arena.


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Brendan Smith traded to New York Rangers for 2018 2nd rounder, 2017 3rd round pick

Updated 12x at 1:52 PM:

Per TSN's Bob McKenzie:

Update: Quoth the beat writers:

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Wallner on the Griffins’ graduates

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner penned an article discussing the members of the Grand Rapids Griffins who made the Wings' roster via call-ups this season:

Tyler Bertuzzi: Bertuzzi got his big break and a bad break in November. The Red Wings recalled him Nov. 6 after an injury to Thomas Vanek, had designated him to return to Grand Rapids on Nov. 15 but Darren Helm went out and he rejoined the Red Wings on Nov. 16. The tough break came when suffered a high ankle sprain Nov. 26 and, once healthy Dec. 28, went back to the Griffins where he has flourished (9-17-26, plus-11 in 32 games).

He cut his NHL teeth in Detroit with seven games played (no points and even plus-minus). If the Red Wings want to see their top prospects, Bertuzzi will likely be in that group.

Jared Coreau: At the start of the season. Jared Coreau expected to be in goal for 50, 60 games for the Griffins. The knee injury Dec. 20 to Jimmy Howard changed all that. He has been the Detroit almost ever since with a mixed bag of results in his first NHL stint including a 3.27 Goals Against Average and .892 save percentage. He has two shutouts but has also allowed four of more goals in five of his 13 appearances.

He stays in Detroit as long as Howard is out.

Wallner continues...

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Detroit Prepares For The Trade Deadline

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

It is an unusual trade deadline for the Wings, as they find themselves 11 points out of the playoffs and, thus, posing as sellers. Their top rental asset is forward Thomas Vanek, who should yield a good return from a contender looking to shore up scoring for a title run. If Vanek does not get traded today, he likely will be held out tonight, as a precaution against injury.

The Wings also have to decide what to do about defenseman Brendan Smith, their other big pending unrestricted free agent. Do they sign him (as I wrote a few days ago, somewhere in the $3.5-million-$3.75-million annual range)? Or do they trade him? If he is traded, he’d need to be replaced, and the free agent market doesn’t contain much.

Then there is Riley Sheahan. As bad as his numbers are this season (no goals, nine assists, minus-19 in 58 games) he is 6-feet-3 and 226 pounds, and can be used against big opposing centers. From the Wings’ side, they have to decide whether this year’s stats are an aberration, and whether to give him another chance -- at $2.1 million for one more season, he is a low-risk investment.

Does Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar get traded?


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What Will The Wings Do With Brendan Smith?

added 9:47am,


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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.


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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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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