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Impressions from the second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘16

The second day of the Red Wings' summer development camp involved a significant amount of layering complexity into drills and ensuring that what players learned during Wednesday's skill development sessions were incoroporated into Thursday's activities.

The Wings' roster got a bit of a boost in that Joe Hicketts and Alfons Malmstrom joined the defense, and Dominic Turgeon got a good skate in for the first time after having shoulder surgery in early June. As noted in today's interviews, Turgeon says that his shoulder is doing quite well and he expects to be at 100% this fall.

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The AHL’s jersey color tweak is a superb idea

I started following hockey seriously during the NHL's 75th anniversary season, the 1991-92 season, and the NHL incorporated what I thought was a completely sensible and logical tweak to its rules to help celebrate the year: the league had its teams where their "white" jerseys as home jerseys from the beginning of the season until January 1st, and on January 1st, the teams wore their "dark" jerseys as home jerseys.

This was an easy way to allow fans to see both home and away jerseys when the only "heritage" or "third" jerseys were the special ones worn by Original Six teams when they played against each other for that particular season, and it helped differentiate the first and second halves of the season.

I loved it, and today, the AHL incorporated a similar tweak to their 2016-17 season rules:

• Teams will wear light jerseys at home until the Christmas break, and dark jerseys at home after the Christmas break.

As far as I'm concerned, the NHL should eventually adopt this rule. It allows fans to see both the "white" jerseys at home and the colorful ones--including third jerseys or special jerseys for a particular season--at home during the second half of the year, and after enough time, you figure out that if it's before Christmas/New Year's, a white jersey is a home jersey, and if it's after those holidays, the white jersey is the road jersey.

I love it, and it's a fantastic idea.

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‘Two Things’: On Griffen Molino and Dennis Cholowski

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. From Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples...

When Griffen Molino was asked whether he felt any pressure at this week’s Red Wings development camp in Traverse City, the Trenton native had a rather humble response.

“Me, I don’t feel much pressure,” Molino told MiHockey. “I just try to have fun with it. I personally never really expected to get this far anyways, so, you know, it’s all been pretty fun up-to-date. I’m just trying to take it in stride and do my best. I know that if I get my head down and grind it out, everything will work out just fine.”

The ‘aw-shucks’ approach doesn’t do justice for Molino’s budding hockey career, however. After two impressive seasons in the USHL – 2013-14 with the Sioux Falls Stampede and 2014-15 with the Muskegon Lumberjacks – Molino secured a spot in the line-up with the Western Michigan Broncos.

With an impressive showing as a rookie forward in Kalamazoo, Molino earned a free-agent invite spot at the Red Wings’ camp in Traverse City – in a year where Detroit significantly scaled back their invite list.

This past season, Molino, 22, was named to the NCHC All-Academic Team while still finding time to post 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 total points in 36 games with the Broncos as a freshman. He was the NCHC’s rookie of the month for December and the No. 2 star of the week on Dec. 15 for all of college hockey.

Caples continues...

2. And the Free Press's Brandon Folsom profiled Dennis Cholowski:

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Nichols: Ken Holland talks free agency on Sirius XM

From Today's Slapshot's Chris Nichols:

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland was on Toronto’s SiriusXMNHL on Thursday morning:

On how years ago, Marian Hossa took less on a one-year deal to play in Detroit because the Red Wings could sell Stanley Cup dreams, and on what Holland uses in particular now to sell free agents on the team:

“Well first off, that thing we were selling 15 years ago, I don’t even know – if it does exist in the NHL, it only exists in a very, very small limited amount of teams because of the salary cap and the parity. People leaving entry-level contracts and jumping to 5, 6, 7 million. The whole system adds up to parity.

“We’re like everybody else, I think. Obviously you’re selling opportunity. When it comes to contracts, the players are looking at term, they’re looking at the amount of money they can make. They’ve only got a certain period of time in their life to make that amount of money.

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Audio from the second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘16

The Red Wings' summer development camp continued at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City today, with the players slowly but surely picking up the pace and incorporating Wednesday's skill drills into Thursday's practices. Joe Hicketts and Alfons Malmstrom joined the fray, and Dominic Turgeon took a little solitary spin as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.

After the practices, I had to haul ass into the locker rooms thanks to Ye Olde Really Really Important Business Call that I couldn't postpone, so I did the best I could to get interviews with the players I wanted to speak with. The problem is that they generally resulted in scrums, and it appears that the balance of the interview sessions for the camp are going to be scrums :/


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Toronto Maple Leafs Confirm Centennial Classic Game Against The Detroit Red Wings

via the Toronto Maple Leafs,

NHL CENTENNIAL CLASSIC The Maple Leafs will play host to the NHL Centennial Classic on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at BMO Field when they faceoff against the Detroit Red Wings in an outdoor game to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary for both the Maple Leafs and the NHL. The Maple Leafs will wear commemorative NHL Centennial Classic uniforms to celebrate the occasion.

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Savage profiles Givani Smith

From MLive's Brendan Savage, on Givani Smith:

[The Red Wings] liked his size – 6-foot-2, 204 pounds – and called him mean and nasty on the ice whether he's scoring goals or going into the corners. Smith is certainly not afraid to fight and doesn't necessarily do it out of necessity.

"It's something I enjoy," Smith said Wednesday after the first workouts of the Red Wings annual development camp. "I like sticking up for my teammates or if we're down a goal and need some momentum, I'm not afraid to step up. It's my game. I'm a power forward, physical guy and wear the defensemen down, go hard to the net, take pucks to the net. That's my game and I'm not going to change it."

Smith, 18, made a strong impression on Todd Nelson, the Grand Rapids Griffins head coach who is conducting the development camp for the second straight year.

"Obviously I liked his size," Nelson said. "I liked the way that he moves. He's definitely a guy that caught my eye in practice today."

After the workouts ended, Smith stayed on the ice for some extra work with defenseman Dennis Cholowski, the Red Wings' first-round pick (20th overall) in this year's draft. Smith parked himself in front of the net while Cholowski fired pucks in his direction.

"I was just doing some tips, making sure that the hand-eye coordination's on," Smith said. "I do that after every practice. So just stay sharp on the ice. That's my office right there. That's where I mostly am, in front of the net, just get a little bit better every single day."

Savage continues...

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‘Roughly Translated’: Tomas Tatar addresses Datsyuk’s departure, Wings’ moves

Tomas Tatar spoke with Hokej.sk's "Jazva" on Tuesday, addressing several Wings-related topics, and here's a very rough translation of the article:

Irretrievable loss, says Tatar, commenting on the departure of Datsyuk

Summer's not the most popular time for hockey players, and hard training and more pleasant actions can combine improving fitness with entertainment. And sometimes even help a good cause. Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar has managed to take part in some nice off-season events. The children's star in Trencin, FitFabrik's Open Day and the 95th anniversary soccer celebrations in Sabinov.

"Each of the events brings movement and also the opportunity to meet with friends and fans. I see this as a nice, cheerful summer's worth of training," says Tatar, one of the most popular Slovak hockey players, to hokej.sk.

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Morning news: On development camp, Coreau, multimedia and signing notes

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Traverse City Record-Eagle's Brett A. Somers penned a superb article discussing the expectations the Wings' development campers face...

The Detroit Red Wings opened their annual development camp at Centre Ice, ushering 40 hopeful hockey prospects — many fulfilling a dream just by donning the red and white — onto the Traverse City facility's twin sheets of ice.

"Being able to see that logo on my chest was cool," 2016 first-round pick Dennis Cholowski said.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland made sure to remind all the young, bright-eyed talent wearing the colors is just the beginning.

He only needed to look back as far as development camp 2015 to highlight Dylan Larkin, who went on to make the opening-day roster and have a phenomenal rookie season just months after being drafted and participating in development camp.

"If you want to make the Detroit Red Wings, you have to take somebody's job," Holland said. "Larkin obviously came in and took somebody's job. He played a big role on the team in ice time. That's by competition."

Somers continues...

2. The Free Press's Helene St. James discussed Jared Coreau's development as the Wings signed Coreau to a 2-year contract on Wednesday...

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Ken Holland On The Search For A Defenseman

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

The Red Wings exited the annual free-agent derby last week with a raft of forwards filling the roster, and general manager Ken Holland agreed Wednesday the circumstances might help the hunt for one of the big needs — a top defenseman.

But as he watched the first day of development camp with all seven of the 2016 draft picks participating, along with 16 from 2013-15 as well as several other prospects at Centre Ice Arena, Holland also said acquiring a No. 1 or No. 2 defenseman is a high priority for many NHL teams. And, while there is not an ample supply, such a trade — if it is made — likely would come closer to the end of the summer.

“Let’s see,” Holland said, of his plans.

“You know, hopefully we’ve got an excess of forwards. You’d love to get a top three defenseman. I don’t know if one is ever going to be available via trade.”...

Holland said he hopes players like re-signed eight-year-veteran Darren Helm and 2013 first-round pick Anthony Mantha have better seasons.

“Part of this might be let’s get to September and see,” Holland said. “I’m hoping we’ve got 15, 16 NHL forwards and we’re positioned to do a deal.

“If some of the kids come to camp and they haven’t taken a step forward and they can go back to the American league, then they’ll go back to the American league.

“We’ll make a decision in September.”


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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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