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Pro Hockey Talk’s ‘Red Wings day’ articles include big questions for Holland to answer

NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog is posting a set of articles throughout "Red Wings day," and thus far, they've posted a general backgrounder, pondered whether moving Dylan Larkin to center is a good idea, they've suggested that Anthony Mantha is the player most likely to "make the leap" to the NHL, and PHT's Mike Halford has suggested that the person under the most pressure to perform in Detroit isn't a player or coach (edit: though PHT did address Jeff Blashill's situation /end edit):

There’s no denying Ken Holland’s been feeling the heat in Detroit for a while now.

But this season, the temperature could become unbearable.

There are three pressing concerns as the Red Wings look to make the playoffs for a 26th consecutive campaign, all of which fall directly into Holland’s lap:

1) Can the Wings survive without Pavel Datsyuk?

2) What will they do in goal?

3) How will they fix their defense?

Halford continues, summing up the Wings' issues in a logical conclusion:

Add it all up, and you’ve got a team with more questions than answers.

Update: While we're at it, Sportsnet's Rory Boylen offers "reasons for optimism" for all 30 teams:

The Red Wings have not missed the playoffs since 1990, so its supporters have been brought up on optimism. But we basically start each season now wondering if this is the one when the Wings’ streak ends, and where the next group of core players is coming from. We’re asking that again now that Pavel Datsyuk is retired. But in 54 games last season, Petr Mrazek looked magnificent in goal. Dylan Larkin lurked in the background of the Calder Trophy race. Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are in a bounce back spot after both had drop-off seasons in 2015-16. And keep an eye on Anthony Mantha. Lots to like here still.

Update #2: Pro Hockey Talk's Cam Tucker also discussed the Howard-Mrazek goaltending tandem.

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Wings single-game tix go on sale Monday, August 29th

From the Red Wings:

Single-game tickets for the “Farewell Season at The Joe” go on sale Monday, Aug. 29 at 10 A.M.
Limited ticket quantities remain for fans to celebrate final season at Joe Louis Arena

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that single-game tickets for all 2016-17 regular season home games go on sale Monday, Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. Limited ticket quantities remain for fans to celebrate the “Farewell Season at The Joe” and watch the team chase its 26th consecutive playoff appearance and 12th Stanley Cup® championship.

The Red Wings home schedule for the 2016-17 season features numerous marquee matchups, including the Home Opener on Monday, Oct. 17 against the Ottawa Senators; a clash against the defending Stanley Cup® champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, Jan. 14; the lone home matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, March 10; and the final regular-season game at The Joe on Sunday, April 9 against the New Jersey Devils.

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What little news there is regarding Niklas Kronwall is murky

Updated significantly at 5:09 PM: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James are confirming the news that Niklas Kronwall will miss the World Cup of Hockey, but they haven't received an answer yet as to why Kronwall's out.

St. James adds this to the mix...

Incidentally, the Ducks have yet to come to terms with Lindholm, who is a restricted free agent. That's why trade talks regarding defenseman Cam Fowler have cooled off -- the Ducks need Fowler if Lindholm ends up being a holdout. The Wings are very interested in Fowler, a Farmington Hills native, because he is an elite skater who'd upgrade their defense.

The teams discussed a trade prior to the draft in June, but the Ducks' asking price was in the range of Gustav Nyquist/Tomas Tatar and a second-round pick.

But in terms of Kronwall news, all I could find was this from Expressen's Mattias Ek:

First, Alexander Steen was forced to cancel his World Cup plans due to an injury. Now it's clear that Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall has to say no.

Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm will play for the Tre Kronor in the super tournament.

"Niklas has worked hard to have time to come back after his injury. Now it's not happening, and therefore he declined the games," said coach Rikard Gronborg in a statement.

The Tre Kronor has suffered two setbacks in the short time before the World Cup, which begins in Toronto on September 17th.

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan just added this:

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Niklas Kronwall Won’t Play In The World Cup

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Aug. 24, 2016) – The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced today that Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm has been added to its 23-man roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2016, the best-on-best international hockey championship from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016. He replaces injured Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. Lindholm, 22, has registered 23 goals and 92 points in 236 career NHL games.

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WDFN’s Sheppard weighs in regarding the Holland interview

Ken Holland's Q and A with NHL.com's Dan Rosen drew the ire of more than a few bloggers and writers yesterday, myself included, and this morning, WDFN's Matt Sheppard weighs in regarding the interview, expressing some shock and dismay at the fact that Holland suggests that his team--the team Holland built this summer via signing and re-signing so many forwards--isn't going to contend for the Stanley Cup this upcoming season:

If he can’t win this year why sign Steve Ott to a one year contract and not make room for a Tyler Bertuzzi?

If there’s no threat of a Red Wings parade, why ink Thomas Vanek to one year deal and block a chance for Anthony Mantha or Evgeny Svechnikov or Martin Frk or Mitch Callahan?

If there is no hope in 2016-17, why not build with youth and through the draft-trade away some names stuck on long-term deals-and refuse the temptation to add more long term contracts.

Holland is the one who put this team in contract purgatory with long-term commitments to Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard, Justin Abdelkader and recently with Darren Helm and Luke Glendening.

I haven’t even gotten to the fans yet. I mean, how do you admit your team isn’t built to win and then hope fans keep filing through the turn stiles at Joe Louis Arena? I hate to break it to you Ken Holland, but the Joe isn’t so glorious that people are going to games just visit there one last time. It’s not Tiger Stadium man.

Sheppard continues, and

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Morning news: On the NHLPA rookie showcase, Filip Hronek, Alexander Kadeikin and Franzen golfing

Of brief Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Evgeny Svechnikov will represent the Red Wings at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto next Monday and Tuesday, engaging in photo shoots and other activities with the NHL's trading card partner, Upper Deck;

2. According to the Saginaw News's Hugh Berenreuter, Saginaw Spirit manager Craig Goslin expects defenseman Filip Hronek to play for the Spirit this season;

3. In the playing-games department, in the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin didn't play in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's season-opening 1-0 victory over Amur;

4. And Johan Franzen engaged in a little golf tournament with his buddies recently:

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Alden Hirschfeld’s comeback hits high gear

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe reports that Alden Hirschfeld is well on his way back from a seizure that required brain surgery to correct this past March:

Just five months after undergoing brain surgery, Alden Hirschfeld believes he’s back and better than ever.

The 28-year-old forward had his pro hockey career put on hold after he suffered an unexpected seizure during a game on Jan. 8. On March 14, the Sylvania native had surgery to remove a tangle of arteries and veins in his brain that had caused the seizure.

Just five months later, Hirschfeld is back skating full-tilt. Hirschfeld's remarkable recovery hit a new high point when he received clearance from his doctors to resume all contact late last week.

“I'm back to playing regularly, skating with contact,” he said. “It's awesome. I've been waiting a long time for this. It's finally here. Post-surgery, I'm super healthy. Now it's just great to still be able to play and move on.”

Hirschfeld, who has played three seasons for the Toledo Walleye, is champing at the bit to put an exclamation point on an amazing journey.

“I'm hungry and excited,” Hirschfeld said. “If the season started tomorrow, I'd be ready to go.”

Monroe continues...

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Kulfan ponders 10 Wings ‘issues’

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan has penned a list of 10 issues facing the Red Wings with training camp "approaching," and among them:

2. Is the defense — or can the defense be — improved?: The search for a top-four defenseman to strengthen the unit resulted in no trades or free agent signings.

So the only real change was letting free agent Kyle Quincey walk — Quincey has yet to sign with another team — and Xavier Ouellet (out of minor league options) likely replacing Quincey.

The Red Wings will need to improve from within. Defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall and Mike Green all had sub-par seasons and need to rebound. Brendan Smith, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko must continue to improve and take on greater roles.

This unit still has the look of a question mark, and a trade could happen early in the season. But improvement must likely come individually.

Kulfan continues...

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AWood40 posts a set of 2002 Wings-Avs highlights

AWood40 on YouTube offers quite a gem this evening, posting 54 minutes' worth of highlights from the 2002 Red Wings-Avalanche series:

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Beat writers tour 3D-printed Little Caesars Arena in miniature, share the big details

The Free Press's Helene St. James, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff and Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples and Stefan Kubus (among others) got a tour of the Ilitches' 3D-printed model of Little Caesars Arena and its surrounding development. They came away impressed, as St. James notes...

During a special preview of Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday, held at nearby Comerica Park, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment Tom Wilson led a group of media members on a tour highlighting LCA, which is scheduled to open for the 2017-18 season. Situated in the budding Detroit District, the inside of the arena was inspired by Montreal’s Bell Centre, considered one of the most intimidating arenas in the NHL because of the lack of outside light.

“That became the model,” Wilson said. “It’s very steep — I mean, people are right on top of you. The difference is in Canada, there’s no leg room, and they don’t have ADA restrictions. So, we had to take all that into account, and even with that, this building is tighter than Montreal.”

New seats are 21 inches wide, compared to 17-18 at Joe Louis Arena.

“The lower level has 9,000 seats for hockey, 11,000 for basketball,” Wilson said. “The Joe has 6,000 in the lower level. So, as an average fan, my view is going to be much better — 3,000 more people are going to be closer to the action. And then the suites, we brought down to about 24 rows up, and there’s two levels of them.”

St. James continues, and Duff picks it up from there:

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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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