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Articles from practice: Wings gearing up for season opener; Smith on the PP

Updated 6x at 3:13 PM: The Red Wings engaged in one final pre-season practice at Joe Louis Arena today, preparing for tomorrow night's 2016-17 campaign opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning. MLive's Ansar Khan Tweeted out the Wings' lines...

#Redwings lines at practice:
    Tatar-Nielsen-Zetterberg
    Abdelkader-Larkin-Sheahan
    Nyquist-Helm-Vanek
    Ott-Glendening-Miller
    Athanasiou (extra)

    ...

    #RedWings defense pairs at practice:
    DeKeyser-Marchenko
    Smith-Green
    Ericsson-Ouellet
    Sproul (extra)
    Kronwall is not skating.

And after practice, the Wings discussed the challenges inherent in playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning, as noted by the Free Press's Helene St. James:

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Griffins name Nathan Paetsch captain, name 3 alternate captains

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

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Red Wings to hold ‘red carpet walk’ before home opener vs. Ottawa

From the Red Wings:

Red Wings Announce Chevrolet Season Premiere For Home
New red carpet walk gives fans chance to see and cheer on Red Wings players up close before home opener at Joe Louis Arena

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today announced the details for the first-ever Chevrolet Season Premiere to give fans an opportunity to cheer on the Red Wings players as they walk down a red carpet prior to the Home Opener on Monday, Oct. 17 against the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena. The event will take place from 4:30 - 5:15 p.m. near the East Entrance to Joe Louis Arena along Steve Yzerman Drive and facing the Detroit RiverWalk.

To launch the celebration for the Home Opener, all Red Wings players will arrive via Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado vehicles to the East Entrance of The Joe where they will be introduced by public address announcer Erich Freiny. The players will then walk the red carpet and enter The Joe through the Zamboni Entrance. Red Wings fans will be encouraged to line the red carpet to cheer on the team as they embark on the 2016-17 season.

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Dreger: Jacob Trouba wants to play for the Wings, but the fit isn’t there

From Today's Slapshot's Chris Nichols, via RedWingsFeed:

NHL Insider Darren Dreger made an appearance on Buffalo’s WGR 550 Wednesday morning, and added another tidbit on a potential Red Wings angle to the Jacob Trouba trade request situation.

The conversation shifted from a discussion on the contract extension of Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to how both Hampus Lindholm and Jacob Trouba would have wanted Ristolainen’s contract to have been higher for comparable purposes.

“Yeah, no question,” agreed Dreger. “Lindholm is different for me than Trouba. Lindholm wants to be in Anaheim. The Ducks want Lindholm to sign long-term and be a Duck forever. I know that. I mean, it’s a negotiation. There’s going to be a push and pull, and they’re obviously not at a point yet where the deal is close, but I think it’s inching there.

“Trouba is different. Even though he said, ‘It’s not about Winnipeg. It’s not about the Jets. It’s not about the city.’ You know what? To some degree it kind of feels like it has to be, doesn’t it?

“And I know that he would love to play for the Detroit Red Wings. I get it. There are lots of other teams that he would like to play for. I believe he’d love to play for the Detroit Red Wings. But the Detroit Red Wings aren’t trading Dylan Larkin. And beyond Dylan Larkin, there’s no fit for Jacob Trouba in terms of Winnipeg’s interest in the Red Wings’ roster. So that one’s a bit more complicated.

“I think it’s less about money for Trouba, frankly, in Winnipeg, and more about going where he believes he can be the right fit on the right side of the blueline. I think he likes Detroit, but Detroit just doesn’t have the assets.”

Nihcols continues...

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Practice Tweets: Smith, Zetterberg return to practice as Wings, Bolts gear up for Thursday

Updated 2x at 12:26 PM: The Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings engaged in their final tune-up practices before tomorrow night's season-opener in Tampa Bay (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/Sun Sports/97.1 FM). The teams hit the ice at the same time in Detroit and Tampa Bay, per MLive's Ansar Khan...

Brendan Smith returns to practice for #RedWings and is on one of the power-play units with Niklas Kronwall out for Thursday's opener.

...

#RedWings assistant coach John Torchetti working with power play units before practice, stressing movement and rotation.

...

#RedWings power play units:
Tatar-Nielsen-Zetterberg, Vanek (net front), Green
And
Nyquist-Larkin-Sheahan, Abdelkader (net front), Smith

Erik Erlendsson...

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Zetterberg takes a realistic approach toward the upcoming season

From 97.1 the Ticket's Will Burtchfield:

Red Wings GM Ken Holland made headlines over the summer when he suggested his team isn’t an immediate Stanley Cup contender.

On Wednesday morning, just a day before the Wings’ season-opener, captain Henrik Zetterberg agreed.

“I think we gotta be realistic, too. We have a good team. We’re probably not one of the five top teams in the league going into the season but we’re going to be right there,” he told the Jamie and Stoney Show on 97.1 The Ticket. “Just gotta make the playoffs, and if you make the playoffs you have a chance of winning it all.”

Despite conceding that the Wings are facing longer odds than usual, Zetterberg pointed out the deck isn’t totally stacked against them.

“I think also if you have those five teams, then you have another 20 teams that are right there and you just gotta get hot at the right time. And if you look at it, it’s not for sure that one of those five teams is going to win it all. I think there’s other teams right behind them that are really good and can do some real damage,” he said.

Continued

Update: Here's the interview:

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WDFN’s Matt Sheppard: Wings fans should be angry at Holland’s lack of commitment to youth movement

WDFN's Matt Sheppard addresses the Red Wings' waiver losses in a thoughtful blog entry this morning, suggesting that it's not losing Teemu Pulkkinen or Martin Frk that Wings fans should be upset about:

What bothers me is the August quote from General Manger Ken Holland, who said the Red Wings were not legitimate contenders.

It bothers me because if he truly believes that then why go out and sign couple of veterans to one year deals?

It bothers me because we’ve been told about these younger players like Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou, Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet and yet the organization signs players to long-term deals that create a road block to prevent the youngsters from making the team.

That wouldn’t be an issue IF those veterans were good enough to, you know, actually make the Wings a Cup contender.

The Red Wings have 13 skaters signed through next season.

They have nine players signed through 2019 and most of those players are top six forwards.

If there is that much of a commitment, or some might say a hurdle, where are the younger players who supposedly have so much talent expected to play? I hear so many say the prospects aren’t going to be on the big league roster unless they take a top six spot-well there’s very little room to be a top six forward because Zetterberg, Abdelkader, Nyquist, and Nielsen are under contract long-term.

Sheppard continues...

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Morning news: the ‘opening night roster,’ predictions, power rankings and Tweets of note

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The NHL has announced the opening day rosters for each of the NHL's 30 teams, and here's the Wings' roster:

Detroit Red Wings

Justin Abdelkader, Andreas Athanasiou, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Luke Glendening, Mike Green, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard, Dylan Larkin, Alexei Marchenko, Drew Miller, Petr Mrazek, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist, Steve Ott, Xavier Ouellet, Edward Pasquale, Riley Sheahan, Brendan Smith, Ryan Sproul, Tomas Tatar, Thomas Vanek, Henrik Zetterberg.

Injured: Johan Franzen, Tomas Jurco, Niklas Kronwall, Tomas Nosek, Daniel Renouf, Vili Saarijarvi, Joe Vitale.

2. MLive's Ansar Khan and Brendan Savage made their NHL predictions for the upcoming season, with Khan suggesting that the Wings will make the playoffs and Savage suggesting that the Wings will miss the playoff cut;

3. The Wings are outside the playoffs in Sportsnet's Luke Fox's power rankings:

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Little Caesars Arena construction hasn’t met Detroit resident employment goals

Olympia Development of Michigan set ambitious goals for the number of Detroit-based contractors and workers that it would employ during the construction of the Red Wings' follow-on rink.

Some very wise analysts suggested that the company's promise that 51% of its workers would be Detroit residents was by far the most ambitious goal surrounding the construction of the facility--perhaps more ambitious than was feasible--and the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar and Christine Ferretti report that Olympia Development has yet to achieve its goal:

A recent report to city officials indicates that about 40 percent of the 750 workers at the Little Caesars Arena site are Detroiters, according to sources familiar with the data. There is some concern that percentage could go lower because of a shortage of skilled-trade workers such as electricians, according to a consultant involved in the arena workforce.

As part of the deal to allow $250 million in taxpayer-backed bonds to pay for construction of the arena, Olympia Development agreed to the 51 percent goal. It also agreed to award at least 30 percent of the construction contracts to Detroit businesses. The 30 percent goal is being met and surpassed, city officials said.

But the failure to meet the 51 percent workforce goal has resulted in contractors being fined, and that money has gone toward workforce training, according to the city officials and representatives for the Ilitch family, which owns Olympia Development. The number of contractors fined wasn’t provided Tuesday.

Continued

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‘Three Things’: ‘Meet the Wings’; on competition for jobs & questions going into the regular season

Of disparate Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Detroit News and MLive posted "Meet the Red Wings" galleries as part of their NHL preview packages, and Fox Sports Detroit posted pictures from their "gladiator shoot" close-ups;

2. If we are to believe coach Jeff Blashill, each and every one of the players featured in the aforementioned galleries are still fighting for their jobs. That's what Blashill told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

"We had a great, great preseason out of the (Luke) Glendening line (with Steve Ott and Drew Miller). They were great. Can they keep it up? If they keep it up, they’ll keep playing. If they falter, then somebody goes in those spots.

"Other guys – I thought (Riley) Sheahan had a great preseason. I thought (Gustav) Nyquist had a great preseason. I’ve told our guys we’re going to be merit based on playing time and I’ve told our guys we’re constantly every shift trying out for ice time. That will continue.

“Does somebody go down (to AHL Grand Rapids and do well)? Does Mantha go down, does Bert (Tyler Bertuzzi) go down and play great down there and demand to be up? We’ll see.”

To be fair to the coach, the Miller-Glendening-Ott line really was very, very good during the exhibition season. Now they and the rest of the Wings' superb exhibition performers really do need to "keep it up," if not elevate their play as the regular season rapidly approaches.

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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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