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ECHL releases 2014-2015 season schedule; here’s the Toledo Walleye’s 14-15 sked

The ECHL released its 2014-2015 regular-season schedule today, and while their website didn't produce a particularlly visually-friendly set of team-by-team results, here's the 14-15 schedule for the Red Wings' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye:

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A New Contract For Jeff Blashill

Updated 3x at 6:14 PM: Via Ansar Khan tweets,

Wings announce they have signed Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill to 3-year extension.

Blashill, who had one year left on deal, actually signed a new 3-year contract that runs through 2016-17.

added 2:16pm,

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed on a new three-year contract with Jeff Blashill to remain the head coach of the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

“Jeff Blashill has done a tremendous job in Grand Rapids,” said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. “Our young players were instrumental in getting us into the playoffs for a 23rd straight season, and the championship experience they got under Jeff in Grand Rapids was invaluable in turning those young players into NHL players. We’re excited to keep one of the top young coaches in hockey to continue to lead in the development of the next wave of Red Wings.”

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Red Wings overnight report: on Almquist, Niskanen, off-the-market-Edler, Olympic Babs & predictions

This early morning's crop of Red Wings-related news is particularly scattered in terms of its subject matter, and the first part involves a significant amount of Mythbuster-y, "Well, there's your problem"-type responses.

So here we go.

Part the first: Many, many, many of you weighed in on Adam Almquist's decision to inform the hockey world that the restricted free agent-to-be would be quite happy to play for HV71 Jonkoping of the SHL should he not make the NHL this fall and/or be in the Red Wings' NHL plans.

This is somewhat understandable given that his name has not appeared in Ken Holland, Mike Babcock, Kris Draper or Jiri Fischer's discussions of the Wings' crop of potentially NHL-impactful defensemen who may or may not compete for roster spots this upcoming fall--if a player who feels that he's fallen out of favor has an option to leverage so as to force the coaching or management staff's hand, he's going to utilize his option.

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Wings Holding A Warehouse Sale

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will hold a special Wings Warehouse Sale on Saturday, June 7 from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on the arena floor at Joe Louis Arena. The sale will feature drastic discounts on merchandise from the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers, such as:

  • T-shirts for $5, sweatshirts for $10 and jerseys starting at $20
  • Numerous novelty items for $1 and up
  • Merchandise from the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® featuring the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs

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Disgruntled Red Wings prospect Adam Almquist says he’s considering returning to Sweden to avoid AHL

Well I figured that ninety minutes of translating Swedish (for the entry regarding Mattias Janmark signing a one-year deal with the Frolunda Indians) would be enough for one day, but I guess that's not the case.

Expressen's Mattias Ek penned a story which summarizes the Swedish version of a subscriber-only website's report. The report from Jonkopings Posten may explain why the Red Wings' coach and GM haven't spoken the words "Adam Almquist" while speaking about the team's defensive prospects, despite the 5'11," 178-pounds-with-his-equipment-on mini-mite's 53-point season with the Griffins.

Here's Ek's report-summarizing take on Almquist's "jitters," answering at least the part of the volumes of silence spoken by the Wings' management about a player who will have to clear waivers if he is demoted to the AHL this upcoming season (and what follows is roughly translated):

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Red Wings mid-day news: Charitable news, Datsyuk horseplay, Swedish Sammy and Janmark’s Big Deal

Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:

  • MLive's Brendan Savage is sking fans to weigh in as to which of the Red Wings' crop of youngsters on the blueline merits a promotion (please see: Ryan Sproul, Xavier Oullet, Mattias Backman, Alexey Marchenko, Nick Jensen and Adam Almquist);

 

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Red Wings evening news: Late to the Edler party and Holland on Blashill ‘sticking around’

During what I was probably vainly hoping to be a quiet evening:

1. I don't know where The Score or Expressen were nearly 48 hours ago, but the Free Press's Helene St. James dropped the line that the Wings would have "considerable interest" in Alex Edler (should he be available on the trade market) late on Saturday night, as previously noted. No new news here

[edit: Okay, Edler. Cagpgeek $$ page here, $5 mil hit for the next 5 years for the 28-year-old, NHL.com's stats noting that he had 22 points in 63 games and a gaudy -39 this past season here, and The Sports Forecaster profile reading as follows:

Assets:  An excellent physical package, he owns an imposing frame, smooth fundamentals and all-round acumen. Can play on the power play, where he displays poise, composure and a heavy point shot. Excels in one-on-one situations.
Flaws:  Is still a little inconsistent in his own zone, and prone to gaffes every now and then. His physical game has improved greatly, but it isn't consistent. Offensively, he's not as silky-smooth as a natural power-play quarterback.
Career Potential:  All-round big-minute defenseman.

/end edit]

2. And while Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner and now the Windsor Star's Bob Duff are focusing their efforts on Mike Babcock's status, between Ken Holland's chat with the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson, MLive's Ansar Khan, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery, never mind Babcock's comments to everybody who's asked him about his status...

That song-and-dance number's getting a little old, innit?

I am intrigued, however, by what Holland told the Windsor Star's Duff about Jeff Blashill's intentions, as they more or less mirror what Blashill told WOOD TV8's Larry Figurski last week--that Babcock's Mini Me is in fact quite happy in his present situation:

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An interview with ‘Admiral’ Mike Commodore

Former Wings defenseman Mike Commodore's lived a "gypsy" existence since his divorce from the Red Wings in 2012, playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs and (Austin) Texas Stars, and then heading all the way to Vladivostok, Russia--a city so "far east" in Russia that it lies northeast of North Korea--spending this past season with the KHL's Vladivostok Admiral.

Commodore addressed his wanderings in an interview with Top Sports Report's Allan Brown, and while the interview isn't Red Wings-related, it's an intriguing read (and it's apparently the first of two interviews with the "cult hero"):

“My decision to give the KHL a try was pretty easy,” he said. “I had no one-way contract offers, so I decided at my age it was time to try something new.

“I have no desire to play in the AHL in my 30s,” Commodore continued. “The AHL is a good league, but it’s a league for prospects. The KHL is the second best league in the world so I figured I would give it a shot. I am happy with the decision I made.”

As for the differences in playing style, Commodore said he learned to adapt, a trait that has served the veteran well throughout his vagabond NHL career.

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Red Wings afternoon news: on assistant coaches, Blashill, roster planning and Alfredsson

Updated 3x at 4:09 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news, including a picture of Tomas Tatar and Petr Mrazek taking a well-deserved vacation...

In light of Ken Holland's comments to the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson and MLive's Ansar Khan regarding the futures of the Wings and Griffins' head coaches, the respective situations of the Wings' assistant coaches are particularly intriguing.

Last week, the Florida Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Filakov reported that the Panthers are interested in Tom Renney and then Bill Peters, coaches who've been made available to other teams to talk contract turkey. 

Today, TSN and Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon report that the Montreal Canadiens have made assistant coach Gerard Gallant available to the Panthers as well.

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Toledo Walleye name Derek Lalonde new head coach

From the Toledo Walleye:

The Walleye are excited to welcome Derek Lalonde as the team’s new head coach. Lalonde was introduced during a press conference on Monday morning at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo.

“We want to build great things here in Toledo, build a culture of success.” Lalonde has been head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League since 2011, compiling a record of 111-54-14, guiding the team to both regular season and playoff championships in 2011-12, and was USHL Coach of the Year in 2012. He was also Head Coach of Team USA’s U19 National Team which captured gold at the World Junior A Challenge in November of 2013.

Joe Napoli, Toledo Walleye president and general manager, says Lalonde was the one who stood out during a very rigorous interviewing process. “We were thrilled with the quality of candidates we interviewed, both nationally and internationally.”

Lalonde’s coaching experience includes being assistant coach at the University of Denver (2006-2011), Ferris State University (2002-2006), Hamilton College (2000-2002), Lebanon Valley College (1998-2000), and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (1995-1998). He played collegiate hockey at Cortland State University in Cortland, New York from 1991-1995 as a goaltender. He’s married to his wife Melissa, and has two sons, Alex (8), Luke (5) and a daughter Abby (3).

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe discussed the hiring:

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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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