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Afternoon news: On the ‘Bye Week,’ Jimmy Howard and Brendan Smith

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. The Red Wings head into both an unknown in approaching the trade deadline as an organization, and as a team and coaching staff, the 5-day break from practices and games present unique challenges to the players and coach, as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted:

As much as the time off is nice, it’s easy for teams to lose their edge, and it’s not easy to recapture that physical and mental state needed to play sharp hockey.

“You come off the break, and other teams are still in training, and it’s hard to get back in it,” forward Tomas Tatar said. “Everybody has to stay ready during the break and focus and do something extra, something to keep your pace and that’s what we have to do.”

What makes coming off the bye for the Red Wings even a bit more challenging is the fact they will be traveling to the West Coast, and battle with the time change on top of everything else.

“It’s going to be a tough stretch for us,” Tatar said. “But we have to be ready.”

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Jared Coreau Assigned To Grand Rapids For Conditioning

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

Coreau has appeared in 13 games during his first NHL season, posting a 5-3-3 record, 3.27 goals-against average, 0.893 save percentage and a team-best two shutouts. The Perth, Ontario, native made his NHL debut on Dec. 3 at Pittsburgh and earned his first NHL win in his second career start on Dec. 23 at Florida. The victory kicked off a stretch of eight consecutive decisions for Coreau without a regulation loss (5-0-3), including a season-high 45 saves on Jan. 24 at Boston. Coreau has also made 17 appearances for the Griffins this season and ranked among the league’s top goalies at the time of his call-up with 11 wins (T3rd), a 2.18 goals-against average (T10th) and a 0.924 save percentage (T9th).

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Fox Sports Detroit to air ‘Celebration of Life’ service for Mr. Ilitch

Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond stated that the following ceremony would air on FSD today at 2 PM, so: according to WXYZ Channel 7, there will be a special service honoring Mike Ilitch today at 2 PM:

A special Celebration of Life service will be held today at the Fox Theatre to honor the legacy of Detroit's champion Mike Ilitch.

It's a special, two-hour tribute for Olympia employees as well as those friends and others who are close to the Ilitch family.

Guests expected to pay tribute include Paul W. Smith,  Mitch Albom, Kenny Holland, and Mickey Redmond.

Many others will offer taped messages to also pay tribute to "Mr. I."

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Drew Miller Hoping He Will Be Traded

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

Drew Miller likes how he has integrated himself with the Grand Rapids Griffins, but, no offense, the veteran hopes his time with the team is short.

With the NHL trade deadline looming March 1, the former Detroit Red Wings forward wants a trade and a fresh opportunity elsewhere.

"That's what they've been trying to do is just wait to see what teams may be looking to add and have a good fit," Miller said. "No one's really making a move yet, but I would think that will change as we get closer.

"Hopefully, I get traded. I want to be in the NHL - everyone wants to be there - so we'll see how it goes."


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When Will The Sale Start?

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

With their playoff hopes all but over, the Red Wings (24-26-10) know some of their teammates could be wearing different uniforms soon but it's not something anyone wanted to address after the loss to the Islanders.

"That's probably a question for someone else," captain Henrik Zetterberg said when asked about the possibility of some trades before the March 1 deadline. "As players we can only focus on what we can do in here."

General manager Ken Holland has said if the Red Wings' playoff hopes are dim as the deadline approaches he would attempt to unload some of his assets with an eye on the future.

That means the Red Wings could become sellers any day now....

So what does coach Jeff Blashill think about the possibility of losing some of his veteran players?

"I have no comment on that," Blashill said. "We'll have 20 guys good enough to win a hockey game on Tuesday against Vancouver. That's all I'm worried about."

Fair enough.

But with that in mind, what was the message Blashill gave his team before they scattered after the loss to the Islanders ended a two-game winning streak?

"It's the same message we've had all year," Blashill said. "We got to come on that Monday and get better at practice and try to win a hockey game in Vancouver. There's no other message.


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The overnight report: Red Wings-Islanders wrap-up—Bye bye bye Week

The Detroit Red Wings' 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders was an incredibly frustrating end to a pre-"Bye Week" schedule that saw Detroit defeat the Capitals and Penguins, but come home and lay an egg--if not a pancake--and I'd argue that this goal may symbolize the Red Wings' season in a nutshell:

Individual player gets mis-direction, tries to do too much himself right away instead of waiting for a better play, flub, goal against, there's your 2016-17 campaign (and Mrazek redeemed himself with some superb saves, too).

If you can't out-score your mistakes, you're not going anywhere but the golf course come April, and now the Red Wings' players will go on their "Bye Week" vacations with some wondering whether they'll return to Detroit to do more than gather their belongings and head out to play for another team.

Our friends from Brooklyn were delighted to spoil the Wings' evening, and they were doubly delighted because the team overcame the in-game losses of Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas, as they told NewYorkIslanders.com's Cory Wright:

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Cotsonika speaks with Ken Holland, ‘seller’

NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the Red Wings' trade deadline plans, and while Holland is most likely going to "sell," it doesn't sound like he's going to clean house:

The Red Wings squeaked into the playoffs last season with 93 points, breaking a tie with the Bruins with one more win in regulation or overtime. Just to reach 93 points this season, they would need 35 points in their final 22 games. Are they going to go 17-4-1, 16-3-3, 15-2-5 or 14-1-7?

"By simple math," Holland said, "we're going to have to have an incredible finish to make it."

Holland has started working already.

"The last week or so, the phones have been busier, both from me receiving calls and me making calls," Holland said.

The question is what Holland has to sell, however.

We know that Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott and Brendan Smith (and, as Cotsonika notes, Drew Miller [edit: and of course Tomas Jurco /end edit]) are available, but that may be it--if the Wings don't re-sign them first:

"I've had a couple brief conversations with the agents for [the unrestricted free agents] to kind of gauge what they're thinking," Holland said. "We're going to make some decisions between now and next Wednesday."

Cotsonika continues, discussing the fact that the Wings may be able to trade and then re-sign Vanek in the summer, but he notes that Brendan Smith is a little more apprehensive about the possibility of leaving the Wings, as Smith told the press on Tuesday.

Quick update: Take what the AP's Larry Lage has to say about Vanek for what you will:

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Khan, Savage: Jared Coreau to head to GR during Bye Week; Howard still sore

MLive's Ansar Khan and Brendan Savage report that the Red Wings will reassign Jared Coreau to the Grand Rapids Griffins for the Griffins' back-to-backs against Milwaukee this weekend, but their news about Jimmy Howard isn't as encouraging (though it solves some cap problems):

Update: Here's more from Khan:

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Red Wings-Islanders quick take: self-inflicted wounds doom the Wings, as usual

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to stretch their winning streak to three games at the expense of the New York Islanders, who opened a massive 9-game road trip at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday evening.

The Red Wings came out and laid an egg, coughing up the puck on each and every one of their goals en route to a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders that stung, stung and stung some more going into the "Bye Week."

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TSN’s McKenzie discusses possible Brendan Smith trade talks

While I was out getting pop, TSN's Insiders talked trade scuttlebutt (as Paul noted), and there was some Red Wings-related news.

Per Chris Nichols...

And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa (McKenzie says the Wings are getting calls on Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott as well):

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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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