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Walleye free agent camp yields a local training camp invite

This story from the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe is pretty cool:

The Toledo Walleye provided fledgling goalie Andrew Gedert with a golden opportunity to showcase his talents and the Woodville resident took full advantage.

Gedert was among 69 players who attended the organization's annual free-agent camp last weekend. The 22-year-old Woodmore High School graduate played well enough to earn an invitation back to the Walleye's main training camp in October.

“I want to play hockey at the highest level I can play it,” Gedert said. “Playing professional hockey is the ultimate goal.”

Gedert, 22, competed in the Federal Hockey League for a team based in New Hampshire last season. He played sparingly, appearing in just four games.

“But it was my first year of pro hockey and it was like a dream come true,” he said. “It was my rookie season and I couldn't get over that that was my job. It's the coolest job in the world. I'm very grateful and humbled by it. I just want to keep getting better.”

Monroe continues...

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The overnight report: Rosen on the Wings’ defense, Swedish prospects, and ‘it’s that time again’

Of Red Wings and blog-related note this morning:

1. In his weekly mailbag feature, NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers a question regarding the Red Wings' desire to add a blueliner to the mix, and Rosen happens to have spoken with a certain Ken Holland regarding the issue:

How do you see the Detroit Red Wings fixing their logjam at forward, and will they acquire a defenseman? -- @DuboisAD1468

I spoke to general manager Ken Holland about this Monday. The way he sees it, they have 16 forwards for 14 spots. Two of those forwards are Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou. Holland talked about the Red Wings trying to get younger and rebuild while maintaining their status as a playoff team because if you're a playoff team you give yourself a chance to win the Cup. It's the old "just get in and you can do it" philosophy. I don't necessarily buy it with the Red Wings this season, but that's not what you're asking. They hope that Mantha and Athanasiou push to make the opening night lineup. Either can be sent to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League without having to clear waivers. If one or both make it, it could be problematic for Tomas Jurco and/or Teemu Pulkkinen. But if Jurco or Pulkkinen have a good camp, it could be waivers for veteran Steve Ott or Drew Miller. Wait and see on it. Mantha and Athanasiou are the keys.

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Saskatoon Blades want September 25th to become ‘Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day’

Global News Saskatoon's David Giles reports that the WHL's Saskatoon Blades are proposing a very cool idea:

The head of the Saskatoon Blades says plans are in the works for a special day to honor the memory of hockey legend Gordie Howe.

Blades president Steve Hogle will be appearing at council on Thursday asking for the city to proclaim Sunday, Sept. 25 as “Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day.”

Howe grew up in Saskatoon and is considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

Plans are to have all of Gordie Howe’s children in the city, along with other family members.

...

Events on Sept. 25 could include the formal naming of the Gordie Howe Bridge, along with a pre-game ceremony and private reception with the Howe family.

On June 27, Saskatoon city council voted unanimously to rename the Circle Drive South Bridge after Howe.

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Wallner: Tom McCollum signs pro try-out with Los Angeles Kings

From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:

Tom McCollum, a former No. 1 pick of the Detroit Red Wings and one of the all-time leading goaltenders with the Grand Rapids Griffins, is headed west.

The 26-year-old reached agreement with the Los Angeles Kings' on a PTO (professional try out) last week, ending an association with the Detroit franchise that began in 2009.

"Obviously, I was hoping for a contract, but that didn't work out, so out of all the teams I talked to the Kings seemed most interested in me being at their camp," McCollum said by phone Tuesday. "They were very persistent and I looked at it and decided it was a really good fit. They have a long history of churning out pretty good goalies, so it seemed like a good spot for me developing even more."

Continued, and while things never quite worked out with McCollum, Tom always handled himself with class and poise.

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Khan on Vesey, Sproul and Cleary

3 updates from MLive's Ansar Khan:

1. First, Khan reports that the Wings did make a pitch for Jimmy Vesey...

The Detroit Red Wings made a pitch for Jimmy Vesey but did not make the short list of teams he is considering.

Vesey is one of the highest-sought college free agents in some time, after capping his standout four-year career at Harvard by winning the Hobey Baker Award as the top college player.

Many expect the skilled winger to make an immediate impact in the NHL.

"We did our best," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said. "We spoke to his agent about depth and opportunity. He said he preferred to play closer to home."

2. Khan also updates the situation regarding the Wings' lone restricted free agent, Ryan Sproul...

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Mid-day news: Saarijarvi on his re-set; Zetterberg and Mrazek ‘listed’

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi regarding his Major Junior re-set after requesting a trade to the OHL's Mississauga Steelheads...

"I want to be with a team that has a real chance to win OHL, Memorial Cup, and I think Mississauga is in a really good position for that," said Saarijarvi, 19. "Flint is a great city, great fans, great team, but me and my agent thought it would be better for me to go Mississauga.

"It happens in hockey. Trades come and go. I talked to (Mississauga) GM James Boyd and they're pretty excited and I'm excited, too. I'm happy they're a good team and there's a lot of skilled players."

Savage continues at length...

2. In the land of lists, Henrik Zetterberg made the cut in SI's Allan Muir's list of the top 30 NHL centers...

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Jeff Blashill will serve as grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400

From the Red Wings:

Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill named grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill will serve as the grand marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 on August 28 at Michigan International Speedway.

Blashill will give the command of “Start your engines!” when the Pure Michigan 400 gets underway at 2 p.m. The Pure Michigan 400 will be broadcast live on NBCSports on August 28.

“It’s an honor to serve as grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400,” Blashill said. “I was born and raised in Michigan and have had the opportunity to spend most of my coaching career here, so I know how passionate the fans are for all sports. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to meet the drivers, take part in the pre-race activities and soak in the atmosphere on race day.”

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Khan discusses Justin Abdelkader’s 16-17 outlook + an aerobatic announcement

MLive's Ansar Khan examines the "outlook" for Justin Abdelkader going into the 2016-17 season...

2016-17 outlook: Abdelkader, following a breakout season, was rewarded with a seven-year, $29.75 million extension, demonstrating how much the organization values his all-around game.

He'll be counted on to contribute offense (in the 20-goal, 45-point range), possibly on a top line with Dylan Larkin and Henrik Zetterberg, and will continue being the net-front presence on the first power-play unit.

Just as importantly, he provides a much-needed gritty, physical element as someone who can be hard to play against. He consistently leads the team in hits and fighting majors and has a way of disrupting opponents. He also kills penalties.

He must be more consistent, limit bad penalties and improve last season's poor plus-minus rating.

Abdelkader will play for Team USA in the World Cup next month.

He is likely to be named an alternate captain for the Red Wings following Pavel Datsyuk's departure to Russia.

Key question: Will Abdelkader continue playing on the top line?

(Yes, he will continue to play on the top line...)

And the Free Press reports that Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin's immediate outlook involves aerobatics:

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NHL.com’s ‘30 in 30’ series examines the Red Wings today

NHL.com's "30 in 30" series examines the Red Wings today, discussing the 2016-17 Wings team in video form, where Dan Rosen suggests that the Wings will miss the playoffs...

And via a series of articles in which, well, Paul Harris receives the company line...

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Evening news: Mrazek prepares for the World Cup; Twitter tidbits

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. iSport's Kvetoslav Simek spoke with Petr Mrazek regarding his World Cup preparations, and what follows is roughly translated:

Mrazek started preparing for the World Cup. Palat and Faksa are firing at him

He phoned friends from overseas and began a stiff preparation for the World Cup and the upcoming season in the NHL. Goalkeeper Petr Mrazek signed a new contract with Detroit over the summer, and now he's preparing for his place. On Monday afternoon he began full training in Ostrava's ice rink RT Torax. Ondrej Palat, Radek Faksa and Matej Stransky were firing pucks at him. "Tomas Fleischmann will arrive soon," says Mrazek. "I'm glad that I can train with the guys who play in America, against whom I play in the NHL."

At the first session Mrazek wore a completely new outfit. Including a mask tuned in the national colors for the World Cup. It features Mrazek's popular character Peter Griffin. He's kept the painting on the mask since he played for the farm team Grand Rapids Griffins.

"This time it's Peter Griffin on the CN Tower in Toronto and there are airstrikes on the small aircraft of other teams," he recalls with a smile, noting Mrazek's opponents of the Czech team at the World Cup in Toronto. "So I hope the tower will keep for a long time!"

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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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