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Ken Holland believes Wings have room to grow in Q and A with NHL.com

NHL.com's Dan Rosen engaged in a Q and A with Red Wings GM Ken Holland, and Holland is both very honest about his team's expectations and very hopeful about the growth of his roster players:

"We're going to be in a race," Holland said. "We think we're going to be in that photo finish with a whole bunch of other teams."

Don't let Holland's honesty fool you into thinking his belief is wavering. His expectations are still high and his belief remains strong.

Holland said he thinks the Red Wings have a group of players between 20 and 27 years old, all with room to grow.

"Can one or two of them do it?" Holland said.

Chief among them are Dylan Larkin (20), Anthony Mantha (21), Andreas Athanasiou (22), Riley Sheahan (24), Alexey Marchenko (24), Petr Mrazek (24), Tomas Tatar (25), Gustav Nyquist (26) and Danny DeKeyser (26).

"As we sit today, we don't have a superstar in his prime," Holland said. "We have lots of good players. I think we have lots of really good players. How far can they grow? I don't know. Pavel Datsyuk came over and scored 11 goals and 12 goals in his first two seasons in the NHL. I don't think we have any Pavel Datsyuks, but it's an example that people can grow."

Rosen continues at length...

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Red Wings TV takes you flying with Abdelkader, Larkin and the Breitling Jet Team

Great work here by Red Wings TV as Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin take flight with the Breitling Jet Team:

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Caples: MSU’s pro camp gets underway

Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples checks in from Michigan State University's pro camp in East Lansing, MI:

Near the end of every August, they return to Munn Ice Arena. Former Spartans (and some of their friends) arrive in East Lansing ready for the transition from summer training to team training camps, and with the help of Tom Newton, they start finding their stride once again.

The annual MSU Pro Camp – run by Newton, MSU’s longtime assistant coach – gives players the chance to knock the proverbial rust off their skates as they prepare for the upcoming season.

“Driving in that first time is always a pleasure,” said 25-year-old Jake Chelios, a Bloomfield Hills native and Spartan defenseman from 2010-14 now pushing for a spot with the Carolina Hurricanes. “I don’t skate during the summer, so this is kind of my kicking-off point. It’s great to see all the guys you played with or played against throughout the year and you talk to the throughout the year but you don’t really get to see them or hang out, so this week’s important for that, as well as the hockey part.”

Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller are attending the camp as well:

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Grand Rapids Griffins release 2016-17 regular season schedule

The AHL has released the 2016-17 regular season schedules of each and every one of its franchises, including the Grand Rapids Griffins, via PDF. Here's a rough cut of the Griffins' 2016-17 schedule:

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Examining Alexey Marchenko’s ‘outlook’ and upside

MLive's Ansar Khan examines Alexey Marchenko's "outlook" for the 2016-17 season, and I'm very curious to find out whether Marchenko can evolve into something more than a bottom-pair shut-down defenseman, because he has the potential to carve out a top-four role for himself this year:

2016-17 outlook: Marchenko's safe and steady play earned him a regular spot in the lineup for most of the season and that's how he will start 2016-17.

He plays with poise, handles the forecheck well by making good passes under pressure and limiting his mistakes. Being a right shooter increases his importance on a defense dominated by lefties.

He is not overly physical, despite his size, and will provide little offense, but his puck-moving ability is important on a defense that was mistake-prone and had trouble at times breaking out.

He is playing for Russia at the World Cup.

Key question: Who should be Marchenko's defense partner?

Khan continues, and my question is this: can Marchenko evolve into more than a simply "safe and steady" player?

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Mark Howe to serve as head coach for CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game

From USA Hockey:

Mark Howe (Detroit, Mich.) and John LeClair (St. Albans, Vermont), both members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and former Philadelphia Flyers, will serve as head coaches for the fifth annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 22 in Philadelphia, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

The event, which will feature 42 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, will be staged at Wells Fargo Center, home of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers, with opening faceoff set for 7 p.m. ET.

Combined, Howe, a 2003 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, and LeClair, a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2009, represented the United States on seven occasions, including one Canada Cup, two International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships, one World Cup of Hockey, and three Olympic Winter Games.


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‘Roughly Translated’: Henrik Zetterberg skates with Rogle BK

Via RedWingsFeed, Henrik Zetterberg's skating with Rogle BK of the SHL in Angelholm, Sweden, and Kvallsposten's Martin Harderberger spoke with Zetterberg about his decision to skate with the team:

NHL star trains with Rogle: "Nice room"

Henrik Zetterberg is practicing with Rogle BK.

No, it's not a transition for the NHL star. He's in Angelholm to charge up before the World Cup.

"We spend a lot of time down here and I'm grateful that I get to train with Rogle. I think I've made it here the past six years except in the last year," said Zetterberg, whose wife Emma comes from Angelholm.

The World Cup kicks off in September. Then, Detroit star and Tre Kronor captain Henrik Zetterberg will need to be in top condition. To achieve this, he currently trains with Rogle BK.

"This was my first real practice on the ice, and I'm glad that the guys have been on the ice for 45 minutes before I went on so they were a little tired, says "Zata" to the team's website.

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Morning news: On Petr Mrazek’s ranking, Mike Green’s first season with Detroit and fundraising

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Sports Illustrated's Allan Muir ranks Petr Mrazek as the 13th-best starting netminder in the NHL:

13. Petr Mrazek, Red Wings: He was a legitimate Vezina Trophy candidate midway through last season, his first as the team's No. 1, and while he was less consistent down the stretch, Mrazek still made a strong impression. His .633 quality starts percentage ranked sixth, setting the table for a strong 2016-17.

2. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji frames Mike Green's 2015-16 campaign "By the Numbers":

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Signed, Frustrated In Detroit

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Many fans believe they're stuck in the mud, spinning their wheels while being bounced in the first round of the playoffs three years in a row.

They wanted significant changes in the off-season, or at least a change in philosophy by letting go of the recent past and fully embracing youth.

That could lead to years of pain for a team that hopes it doesn't have to get worse to get better.

Here is what M-Live readers are asking:

Q: Does Ken Holland do a good job managing the expectations of ownership? I feel like this team is drifting aimlessly at this point. I do not see us building towards anything meaningful and Holland has yet to articulate a plan for acquiring the truly high-end talent that we need to truly compete. This strikes me as a very dangerous brand of complacency.

A: I imagine the first expectation of ownership is to make the playoffs. Keeping intact the streak, now at 25 seasons, is important to the organization, even if it is not crucial to some fans.

Unlike their two-decade stretch starting in the early '90s, when it was a given they would qualify, they've had little margin for error the past four seasons, barely making it in during the final week.

When it's that tight, I think you have a tendency to be conservative with moves, not wanting to risk a potentially bad trade that could jeopardize your postseason chances.

They're in a tough spot of trying to retool on the fly, adding a few pieces through free agency, counting on growth from some of the younger roster players and hoping a prospect or two steps up each year.

read on

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The Season Outlook For Tomas Tatar

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: After leading the team with 29 goals in 2014-15, Tatar seemed poised to become the first Red Wings to reach the 30-goal mark since 2008-09 (Marian Hossa 40, Johan Franzen 34, Pavel Datsyuk 32, Henrik Zetterberg 31). But, like most of his teammates, he regressed.

Part of the problem was less ice time and different lines (he didn't play as much with Datsyuk). He also had a shoulder issue late in the season. But Tatar expressed disappointment in his performance, saying he was "squeezing the stick" almost all season.

Tatar has talked of his desire to be a two-way forward in the mold of Zetterberg. But for now, a team that ranked 23rd in the league in goals per game needs more offense from him.

He must improve his puck management. He has a knack for committing turnovers in the offensive and neutral zones by holding onto the puck too long, trying to make a skilled play instead of a simple play.

It's a contract year for Tatar, who'll likely be seeking a salary similar to Gustav Nyquist ($4.75 million a year). Tatar remains one of the team's most viable trading chips in its pursuit for a top-three defenseman. But it would be sacrificing a good chunk of offense.

Key question: Will more ice time lead to a significant bump in production for Tatar?


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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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