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Abdelkader, Larkin fly with the Breitling Jet Team

Red Wings forwards Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin flew with the Breitling Jet Team at Willow Run Airport on Thursday, and the pair were dazzled by the experience, as they told MLive's Ansar Khan...

"Flying in formation was amazing," Abdelkader said. "I was fortunate to be in the lead jet, so I could look over the wings and see the rest of the team on the sides. Really unique, really great. We flew about 10,000 feet. Just doing the barrel rolls and looking over and seeing planes 10 feet from each other was pretty cool."

The pair experienced typical maneuvers that the Breitling Jet Team will perform Saturday and Sunday during the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show at Willow Run Airport.

"These guys did fantastic," Kevin Walsh, event director for Thunder over Michigan, said. "Someone said, 'They're hockey players, they should be able to handle this stuff.' This is such a different experience than you've ever experienced playing hockey. They came back, had good color, a little sweaty, but that's the way you should be after doing some aerobatics in a Czechoslovakian fighter jet."

Khan continues, and adds short videos to the mix...

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Gordie Howe’s family wants to inter Gordie and Colleen’s ashes in Saskatoon

From the Canadian Press:

The family of hockey great Gordie Howe wants to return Mr. Hockey to his home. A city official says the family has requested that the cremated remains of Howe and his wife Colleen be interred at the base of a statue that honours him in Saskatoon.

Catherine Gryba says the city will have to apply to the province to have the statue at SaskTel Centre and a small portion of adjacent area declared a cemetery. Gryba says it would be a fitting tribute to someone who always remembered his roots.

Howe was born in Floral, Sask., but his family moved nine days later to Saskatoon, where he grew up before embarking on a record-setting hockey career in the United States. He died on June 10 at the age of 88.

"It's only appropriate that we do what we can to remember this great athlete, Saskatonian and Canadian," Gryba said in a release Thursday.

"We've been speaking with the Howe family and will take the appropriate steps to safeguard and respect Gordie and Colleen's ashes," she said. "They will be encased in a special concrete vessel with a commemorative plaque on top to protect them."

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An Outsider’s View On The Wings

from Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMid-Atlantic,

... So, yeah, the Red Wings were indeed busy this summer (even though Holland did not sign the top-4 defenseman the lineup so desperately needs). But it’s unclear if they took a step forward or another step toward the inevitable.

I’m going with the latter. 

Season prediction: It’s not all bad for the Winged Wheel, I guess.

The roster does boast Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, a pair of productive forwards in their mid-20s. And there’s a trio of up-and-coming players in Dylan Larkin, Petr Mrazek and Danny Dekeyser.

Larkin, who is expected to transition to center this season, has the potential to be a big time player. When Mrazek is on his game, he sure looks like a No. 1 goalie. And Dekeyser, assuming his upward trajectory continues, should develop into a solid top-pairing D-man.

With a handful of prospects knocking on the door, as well, the Red Wings need to stop reaching for the stopgap solutions and fully commit to a youth movement. Perhaps seeing The Streak come to an end will force them to (finally) decide it’s time.


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As Johan Franzen returns to Metro Detroit, AWood40 recalls Franzen’s playoff goals

Johan Franzen is back to mischief-making on Instagram...

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Morning mishmash: A season preview, praise of a sort for DeKeyser, Samuelsson on TV and Twitter news

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. CSN Mid-Atlantic's Tarik El-Bashir penned a Red Wings season preview, and he believes that the playoff streak is a millstone around the Wings' necks...

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Grand Rapids Griffins sign Louis-Marc Aubry to AHL deal, ink Connor Allen

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed forward Louis-Marc Aubry and defenseman Conor Allen to one-year contracts. 

Aubry, 24, enjoyed a breakout year with the Griffins in 2015-16 by setting career highs in points (12-17—29), goals (12), assists (17), penalty minutes (87) and games played (75). The 6-foot-4, 212-pound winger also chipped in one goal while playing in all nine Calder Cup Playoff contests.

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Wings preseason tickets go on sale Friday

From the Red Wings:

... Puck Drops for “Farewell Season at The Joe” with Preseason Slate Featuring Games Against Three Original Six Opponents and the Stanley Cup® Champion Pittsburgh Penguins …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that tickets for all 2016-17 preseason home games for the “Farewell Season at The Joe” will go on sale Friday, Aug. 19 at 10:00 a.m. Detroit’s four preseason home games feature a game against the Stanley Cup® Champion Pittsburgh Penguins (Tuesday, Sept. 27) and three games against Original Six rivals, including the Boston Bruins (Friday, Sept. 30), Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday, Oct. 2) and Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday, Oct. 8).

Red Wings preseason tickets can be purchased at the Joe Louis Arena Box Office (313-471-7575), all Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) outlets and online at http://DetroitRedWings.com


The Red Wings’ full preseason schedule can be found below:

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How Should The Wings Utilize Darren Helm?

Ansar Khan of Mlive with his player profile on Darren Helm,

2016-17 outlook: The Red Wings showed how much they value Helm's speed, tenacity and versatility by giving him big money and a lot of term for someone who's played on the third line most of his career and probably won't provide more offense than he has the past few seasons.

Now they must determine how best to utilize him. He expressed concern about his role and ice time after the season, when he was moved freely up and down the lineup. Two years ago, Helm played much of the season in a top-six capacity, on the wing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar. It was a unit Jeff Blashill turned to at times last season.

Helm can play third-line center or on the wing. He can play the net-front role on the power play if there is an injury. He is a regular on the penalty kill.

Helm generates a lot of scoring chances with his skating ability and forechecking and gets the puck on the net, but he's not a good finisher. He needs to continue to focus on slowing the game down and realizing he has more time with the puck.


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All about James de Haas

From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

Not every player takes the same journey to professional hockey. For James de Haas, the Red Wings' sixth-round draft pick in 2012 (170th overall), the college route was the one he chose.

At last month's development camp at Centre Ice in Traverse City, de Haas showed that it was not his first rodeo. In fact, it was the fifth year that de Haas has attended development camp.

"There's always new things to pick up," de Haas said. "As much as each year there's a lot of similarities and we do a lot of the same stuff, they try to switch it up a bit, do different things. I find every year there's some stuff we'll go over and it's like, I've seen that three or four times but there's always a few things to either refresh on or a few new things to learn so it's definitely worth it to come up here."

de Haas says he has learned a lot about improving his nutrition and different ways to work out every year in camp.

But at 22, he definitely feels like the older guy, especially with some of the kids who just got drafted in late June.

"Some of these younger guys are coming in here and it's like, wow," de Haas said. "But then again, I can remember being that young kid and some of the older guys in here."


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WiiM’s J.J. From Kansas defends the Wings’ playoff streak

Winging It in Motown's J.J. From Kansas penned a superb column "In Defense of the Red Wings' Playoff Streak":

We’ve had... well, a bit of a rough summer in Red Wings fandom. From the first round destruction the team faced at the hands of the Eastern Conference runners-up Tampa Bay to the loss of Pavel Datsyuk leading to his cap hit being traded at the draft only to make space for a superstar who stayed home, eventually leading to a bit of an underwhelming free agency period followed by a quiet summer of stagnant defense, the overall mood of the fans still paying attention to hockey in Mid-August is a mix of antsy and dour.

We’ve broken down the tidbits Ken Holland has given us over the summer in regards to his plan and have come to the conclusion that the Red Wings’ most-pressing priority is extending the franchise’s playoff streak, even if it means lacking the real competitiveness needed to make a run for the cup. “The Streak” it seems has gone from a point of pride to a point of contention among Wings fans who want more than facade-marketing winning and are willing to suffer more bad hockey in the short run for a chance at less-mediocre hockey in the long term.

I’ll tell you this though: I feel many of us have lost the way in terms of appreciating the streak and it’s kind of unfairly being blamed as a detriment where it doesn’t have to be. As a fan looking forward to watching what might be the least-competitive Red Wings team of the last 30 years, I’m still only at a point where I’m willing to gamble with the streak rather than outright abandon it.

J.J. continues...

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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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