The Malik Report
The rink was packed to the gills for the Red Wings summer development campers' first scrimmage today, and it's not a cliche to say that while Team Yzerman beat Team Lidstrom 3-2, "A good time was had by all." A good chunk of the summer campers were engaging in their first real "game" since March or April, so it was a bit of a defensive struggle (and Jiri Fischer said that the no-fighting rule remains in place, so there was some chippiness, but no silliness), and Christoffer Ehn said that the players found out about their linemates right before the game, so there was a bit of a learning curve...
But once everybody settled down, the pace was good--in two 25-minute periods in which the last 15 minutes were "stoppage time"--and I think Jeff Blashill, who didn't coach the teams (RPI coach Seth Appert and Wings video coordinator Keith McKittrick coached Team Yzerman, and Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek and Walleye coach Derek Lalonde coached Team Lidstrom) would've been happiest about the fact that the teams tended to employ an up-tempo, puck possession system of play--just the kind of system of play Blashill's trying to imprint upon nearly 40 youngsters who are mostly used to dump-and-chase hockey.
Tomorrow's schedule of events at Centre Ice Arena looks like this:
Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 2: interviews w/ Marchenko, Ehn, Nedomlel and Fischer II
The Red Wings' summer prospect campers held their first scrimmage today (they have another one scheduled for Tuesday), and Team Lidstrom defeated Team Yzerman 3-2. The players had a yoga class scheduled for shortly after the game, and they came streaming past me preparing for said class.
Yoga? O Rly? Ya Rly.
Myself, Brendan Savage, Hooked on Hockey's Kevin Sporka and the Hockey Writers' Zackary Landers were able to speak with Alexey Marchenko,and I didn't think that we were going to be able to get him again.
Well I will take this news with my $2 ham sandwich (Oleson's Market's deli section powers my summer development camp coverage): the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that Danny DeKeyser did not file for salary arbitration (via RedWingsFeed), and DeKeyser was apparently the only Wing who could do so:
The Wings’ only eligible player for salary arbitration, defenseman Danny DeKeyser, as expected chose not to file by the deadline.
DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar are Detroit’s two remaining restricted free agents.
The team will get deals done with both players by the time training camp opens in September.
The Wings have already re-signed Riley Sheahan and tendered qualifying offers to those they planned on keeping.
Updated 2x at 2:20 PM: The Red Wings' summer development campers held simultaneous practices from 9 to 9:45 AM today, ahead of this afternoon's scrimmage (3 PM at Centre Ice Arena), so I had to play "pick a team" (this is the least-favorite game for someone who goes ga-ga about taking in hockey information).
I had watched the star-heavy Team Yzerman (Mantha, Larkin, Holmstrom, etc.) for the most part on Friday, so today, I watched the goalies warm up in the West Rink, and when I realized that Team Lidstrom was going to practice in David's Rink...
Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 2: morning interviews with Axel, McKee, Coreau & Fischer
The Red Wings' prospects--minus Alexey Marchenko, who's hale and hearty but is still rehabbing his surgically-repaired ankle--took part in a very spirited 45-minute practice ahead of the 3 PM scrimmage today at Centre Ice Arena.
The players were available for a little more time before their off-ice workouts, so I was able to have a longer chat with Axel Holmstrom--and guess what the first question I asked him involved?
Axel's English was wonderful and the Skelleftea AIK forward was equally forthcoming regarding his experiences at the camp, the on-ice and off-ice learning experiences he's taking in (he duly noted that Swedish dry-land training is VERY different from what the Red Wings do), he talked about his skill set and the fact that his SHL team lost 5 players, meaning that Axel may graduate from the Under-20 team in short order
The Red Wings' summer development camp continues today with a set of simultaneous practices (from 9 to 9:45 AM) preceding a 3 PM scrimmage at Centre Ice Arena today, and both the fans and media were out in full force for the first day's activities.
Up North Live posted a first-day video in which Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin speak with the media...
The 9&10 News also posted a video...
If I had any worries about the Red Wings' summer development camp's comparative lack of ice time when examining previous camps, today's, "Getting to know you" skate alleviated my concerns, and they did so for one reason: Jeff Frickin' Blashill.
The Grand Rapids Griffins' coach spent about 55 minutes with Teams Yzerman and Lidstrom today, and the amount of instruction involved, as well as the pace at which the practices were conducted, yielded the hockey version of "immersion language learning."
Blashill and his numerous assistants (Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek, Wings video coordinator Keith McKittrick, Toledo Walleye coach Derek Lalonde, Walleye assistant coach Dan Watson, RPI coach Seth Appert and goalie coach Jim Bedard and his assistant) made it very clear that they were willing to stop drills to "get it right" as opposed to chastising players, but the pace and intensity of the drills took some players by surprise, and required some very conscious modeling by those who were first in line (cue the reasuring, "Anthony [Mantha] knows where to go!").
The pace was downright Babcockian, and judging by the amount of huffing and puffing by red-faced players during the 45-second water breaks, it worked.
Between uploading the audio from today's summer camp session and stopping to watch an F-22 from my hotel room window (pretty cool stuff), I missed this, per TSN:
The Ottawa Senators signed centre David Legwand to a two-year contract on Friday.
According to TSN's Aaron Ward the deal is worth $6 million over the two years.
Legwand was traded to the Detroit Red Wings at this year's trade deadline after spending the first 15 years of his career with the Nashville Predators. He leads the Predators' franchise in all-time games played, goals, assists and points.
In 83 games with the Predators and Red Wings in 2013-14, Legwand scored 14 goals and 37 assists. Legwand is coming off a six-year contract worth an average annual value of $4.5 million.
I'm not thrilled with the fact that the ever-pesky Legwand remains within the Wings' division, but he took a pay cut to join the Jason Spezza-less Senators.
Today marked the start of the Red Wings' summer development camp in Traverse City, and judging by the number of "embedded" camera crews and accredited media, this ain't the little hidden gem I used to be able to attend, sometimes on my own, at Joe Louis Arena back in the day:
The attendance for the morning skates was fantastic, though the prospects took part in an hour's worth of very intense drills (after a little goalie warming-up from Jim Bedard, of course) for each of the respective "teams."
Frenetic pace + tons of speed = more than enough to get this vastly younger and "newer" set of summer campers into the mix before the team allowed a bunch of 17-to-24-year-olds do what 17-to-24-year-olds should do on the 4th of July--enjoy themselves and take advantage of the holiday in Traverse City (albeit under team supervision), and the drills should set up Saturday's simultaneous 9-to-9:45-AM practices and the 3 PM scrimmage nicely.
The Red Wings' summer development camp begins today with a pair of practices taking place from 10 AM to noon at Centre Ice Arena ("Team Yzerman" practices from 10-11, and "Team Lidstrom" practices from 11-12), and the spotlight's already shining upon the players involved.
The camp's evolved to serve a specific purpose, as Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright told the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
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.