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Riley Sheahan On The Upcoming Season

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Sheahan wants to be a more well-rounded player in his fourth NHL season.

"Just kind of trying to contribute in every way – penalty kill, power play and just being more consistent 5-on-5," he said. "I think that'll be huge. Hopefully get a chance out there on the power play and sort of try to continue off what I did at the end of the year.

"I'm going to be happy to play at whatever position (coach Jeff Blashill) puts me. If that's a wing position or a center position, I'll be happy. I'm sure in all those spots you're going to be playing with some good players."

Consistency is another big goal for Sheahan.

He had two long stretches – 15 games in the first half of the season and 17 in the second – when he didn't score a goal and that's the kind of thing Sheahan wants to avoid.


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The Wings’ Summer

from Sean McIndoe of Sportsnet,

Now that we’re into the month of August, the NHL off-season is largely done.

Sure, there are still six weeks until training camps open. But most of the big moves have already happened, and we’ve settled into the dog days of summer when not much is going on.

Most teams have already done the majority of what they’re going to do. And it’s fair to say that some teams had more straightforward summers than others.

And so it’s time to break out the annual Bizarro-meter, in which we rank each team’s off-season based on just how strange it’s been.

Let's be clear: "bizarre" does not necessarily mean "bad." An unexpected move or two can work out great, while a conservative approach will often fail miserably.

Detroit Red Wings

The off-season so far: They were yet another Atlantic team that made room for Stamkos and didn't land him. They also dumped Datsyuk's contract in a move that, despite initial concerns, turned out not to cost them much of anything. The combination of those two moves left them with plenty of cap space to work with.

But their strangest move was: Using that space on a whole bunch of questionable signings, including Vanek, Neilsen and Steve Ott, plus big extensions for Danny DeKeyser and Darren Helm.

Bizarro-meter ranking: 5.5/10. Ken Holland is tough to figure out. As best I can tell, fans in Detroit don't trust him much anymore, while everyone else still thinks he's one of the league's best. His work so far this off-season has been… interesting.

more on the other NHL teams...

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Video- How About Some Petr Mrazek Highlights?

Thanks to awood40, here is just over 14 minutes of Petr Mrazek highlights from last season.


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Andreas Athanasiou Plans To Be Ready To Play In September

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“It's such a tough situation with the team we had,” Athanasiou said. “There's reliable players that the coach has and, when you step in halfway through the season and produce, it kind of puts them in a situation where they have to juggle lines.

“Unfortunately, I got the minutes I got, but I'm not complaining. I'm OK with that. Obviously, I wanted it to be more, but it was just my foot in the door there.”...

Athanasiou, like Anthony Mantha, can be sent to the minors without needing to be exposed on waivers. That's what happened to Gustav Nyquist in the fall of 2013, when he was sent down even as he had shown the previous season that he belonged in the NHL.

All Athanasiou can do is make a strong case for staying, like Larkin did last year.

“I'm just going to stick to my plan this summer and work hard,” Athanasiou said. “Come September, I'm going to be ready to play. It's in their hands what they want to do. I’ll try to make their decision as easy as possible.

“I'm fortunate enough to be blessed with speed -- everything else can come hand-in-hand with that. I've got one of the hardest parts of the game down pat, so the other parts can come. It's just going to be fun.”


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Will Gustav Nyquist Have A Better Year?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Looking ahead: Was last season an aberration for Nyquist? The Wings can only hope so. Setting aside his lack of playoff scoring, at the very least he needs to be productive during the regular season and help the team make the playoffs. Perhaps new assistant coach John Torchetti can help Nyquist grow his game, make him a little harder for opponents to play against. As with Tomas Tatar, Nyquist, 26, is one of the players the team wants to see step up and lessen the burden of Henrik Zetterberg now that the captain is in his mid-30s. Nyquist could also be traded as part of the effort to upgrade on defense.


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Niklas Kronwall’s Knee Issue

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

It is deeply troubling to the Wings that Kronwall may have the sort of bad knee that can’t be improved via surgery. He underwent a procedure on his left knee in mid-January that sidelined him 15 games (Kronwall also missed time in March after spraining his right knee). Doing any more surgery to the left knee was ruled out after the season ended, with Kronwall saying he’d have to find other ways to improve, such as maybe altering his workouts. The fact is, Kronwall has a lot of hard wear-and-tear on him and is long removed from the dominating, productive, big hitter he was in the late 2000s and into this decade. If he can come close to the form he had as late as 2014-15, however, it would be a huge improvement over last season.

more on Kronwall...

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Discussing Teemu Pulkkinen’s pluses and minuses

The Free Press's Helene St. James discusses Teemu Pulkkinen's pluses and minuses this afternoon:

Looking back: Pulkkinen, 24, was off to a nice start with 5 goals in 16 games and had 11 points after 24 games when he suffered a dislocated shoulder. He returned mid-January but couldn't regain his early foothold, and ended up scratched most of the second half. Pulkkinen joined Finland for the World Championship, but he wasn't used once the games gained intensity.

Looking ahead: Pulkkinen underwent shoulder surgery in June, leaving him out 4-6 months. He might be able to skate during training camp (which doesn't start until late September) but contact practices and drills could be a ways off. It's lousy way to start a season for a young player trying to establish himself. Pulkkinen isn't a fourth-line grinder type, and his lack of size makes him unsuitable in the top six, where he'd see better defenders. Nor has he shown he deserves to play in a mix that can draw from Henrik Zetterberg, Dylan Larkin, Justin Abdelkader, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Pulkkinen is more suited to third-line duty, and the power play. He has a rocket of a shot – and he shoots right, which makes him stand out on the Wings.  If he can learn to get off his shot more quickly and regularly contribute offensively, he should find an opening in the lineup.

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Wings, Detroit Parks and Recreation to paint a mural on Jack Adams Memorial Arena

From the Red Wings' community relations department:

… Online Voting Now Open for Fans to Choose Hockey-Themed Mural to be Painted on Exterior of Detroit Public Rink …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced a partnership with the City of Detroit Parks & Recreation Department and ‘Summer in the City’ to transform Jack Adams Memorial Arena and Adams Butzel Recreation Complex by painting large-scale, hockey-themed murals on the exterior of the building measuring more than 300 feet long and 18 feet high.

The Red Wings are encouraging fans and the local community to vote online for their favorite of seven mural design options at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/MuralVote All d.esigns were created by Olympia Entertainment and local graphic artists.

The design with the most votes when the polls close on Friday, Aug. 5 at 5:00 p.m., will be painted on Jack Adams Memorial Arena on Friday, Aug. 12, by a team of community members and volunteers associated with ‘Summer in the City’ during the non-profit’s annual “Finale Friday” celebration. Red Wings fans and the local community are invited to participate in the “Finale Friday” activities, which include youth enrichment programming, mural painting, park beautification of the Adams Butzel Recreation Complex and a barbecue. Those interested in participating in the “Finale Friday” activities must preregister at finale@summerinthecity.com

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Time for ice at the Joe

From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:


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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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