The Malik Report
via Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
Andreas Athanasiou, C – Pure scoring machine. Athanasiou has some serious jets and he can burn you as either the playmaker or the goal-scorer. He put up big numbers for the home team.
Ryan Sproul, D – Another excellent skater, Sproul can really lug the puck up the ice with authority and his big 6-foot-4 frame is intimidating when he’s going as fast he does. Brings a nice offensive dimension, too.
Zach Nastasiuk, C – Real heart-and-soul player. Nastasiuk gives maximum effort and always hustles when there’s an unglamorous job to do. He’s also quite adept at protecting the puck, using his sturdy build to fend off opponents.
Joe Hicketts, D – I’ve gone on about Hicketts before, but I still like him as a prospect, even though he was here on a tryout. Undrafted but undaunted, the undersized blueliner threw a huge open-ice hit against Carolina and snuck in for a beauty goal against Minnesota.
I've watched the Red Wings' prospects play three games over the course of four nights and practice four times over the course of five days.
I've watched Jeff Blashill--who will now assume a supporting role on Mike Babcock's staff when training camp begins on Friday--and a large cast of associate/assistant coaches take 24 players (8 of them free agent try-outs) into a team that participated in what the Red Wings' director of player development says is the best tournament for young players in the world.
The Wings prospects screwed up exactly once, and it cost them the tournament title (to the team that beat them on Saturday night), but I had no idea that they'd earn the "Bronze Medal," as Jared Coreau called the 3rd place game, in the manner that they did. At an incredibly brief morning skate, Blashill admonished the players for needing a wake-up call, and minus one Anthony Mantha (we had a chat, he's fine) the Wings...
Three items of Red Wings-related note hit the wires on Wednesday afternoon (not involving Anthony Mantha's knee, which will be fine).
First, the Red Wings announced that they'd re-signed Danny DeKeyser to a 2-year "bridge" deal, and while "terms were not disclosed," TSN's Aaron Ward reported that DeKeyser gets a $500,000 signing bonus, $2.125 million in base salary this year and $2.25 million next year, yielding a Capgeek-estimated cap hit of $2.1875 million and DeKeyser as a restricted free agent two summers from now.
Capgeek estimates that the Wings now have--with Tomas Jurco on the roster--$3.082 million in cap space remaining.
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff did a fine job of explaining why DeKeyser's deal took until the eve of, "Get on the bus, it's time to go up to Traverse City" to get done:
I would be remiss to not note that the Columbus Blue Jackets, playing without Sonny Milano, captured the Red Wings' Prospect Tournament title today, defeating the Dallas Stars 3-2 in overtime.
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects didn't win the prospect tournament--the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated Dallas 3-2 in OT to capture the title--but the Detroit Red Wings' prospects "bowed out" with pride, rallying from a 2-goal 3rd-period deficit to win the 3rd place game 5-4 in OT.
Tyler Bertuzzi tipped the gamer home, but Andreas Athanasiou was WONDERFUL in scoring 2 goals while battling the flu, Tomas Nosek and Martin Frk (also boogery) scored 2 goals in the final 3:43 of regulation and the Wings overcame some up-and-down goaltending, some mediocre penalty-killing and the loss of Anthony Mantha, who told myself and MLive's Brendan Savage that he was just out for precautionary reasons (he'll be good to go on Friday)...
And now the prospects get two days "off," one tomorrow and a skate on Thursday, and then the main camp begins. It appears that everyone who took part in the tournament will participate in camp, including Hayden Hodgson, so...
The Wings did anything but win in textbook fashion, and there's always the worry that some of 'em will "fall off a cliff" at the main camp, but there was no better way to end the tournament than to rally from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 deficits and win sans Mantha or Jared Coreau.
In terms of interviews...
From the Free Press's Helene St. James' article about Danny DeKeyser re-signing:
Holland said Daniel Alfredsson is seeing back specialists and will definitely not be at training camp. Alfredsson, 41, badly wants to play another season, but the team will give him the time he needs to assess if that's feasible in light of latest setback.
Holland said top prospect Anthony Mantha sat out Tuesday's prospects tournament finale because of being a little banged up, but Mantha is expected to be ready to hit the ice Friday for the first day of training camp.
About damn time:
added 5:55pm, Press release is below...
Updated 2x at 7:33 PM: I hate to feed the "Mantha Mania," but Anthony Mantha skipped the Red Wings prospects' morning skate, though he wasn't wearing any ice bags, nor did he look hobbled, and it appears that Mantha won't be playing in tonight's 3rd place game against the Carolina Hurricanes (6:30 PM at Centre Ice Arena's West Rink):
The game's box score will be available here on Pointstreak, and a "pre-game" set of notes is already available; internet permitting, the Wings, Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal, MLive's Brendan Savage, myself, the Carolina Hurricanes' gameday account and CarolinaHurricanes.com's Michael Smith will be live-tweeting the game.
I'm guessing that whatever's ailing Mantha is minor; the Wings' main training camp begins on Friday, and the less stiff and sore Mantha is, the better.
While we're waiting for news from the Wings, you can read my recap of yesterday's game and now read and watch Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal's re-cap and highlights, and the "Captain's Practice" post has been updated half a dozen times.
Updates below, though they're not interesting--except for St. James' report that Alfredsson's seeing a back specialist:
In Metro Detroit, Michigan Hockey reports that the Red Wings' community tour is going quite well...
And up here in Traverse City, if are coming up for training camp, the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau reports that Mark Howe will be signing copies of his memoir, Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life Lived in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey for a second time this Saturday:
Updated 5x at 4:41 PM: In Captain's Practice news, Twitter version: From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
It's the last day of captain's practices for the #RedWings at JLA, and forwards Tomas Jurco and Todd Bertuzzi have joined in for first time.
MLive's Ansar Khan...
Todd Bertuzzi has joined his former Wings teammates for the final informal practice at JLA before camp.
Bertuzzi has not been invited to camp on a tryout by the Wings, Ken Holland said.
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
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.