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Kronwall making incremental steps toward return

Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Ansar Khan updates Niklas Kronwall's status after Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg skated today:

Said Kronwall: "It was a short (skate), but it was nice to skate with the guys again. I'd hoped to have a few preseason games under my belt already so looking that way, it's quite a bit behind schedule."

He said it's too soon to know if he'll be ready for the season opener.

"Moving in the right direction, no doubt, starting to feel pretty good out there, but still a few steps more that need to be taken," Kronwall said.

The club is sure to take a cautious approach with Kronwall, who was bothered by knee issues throughout last season and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee mid-season. This time, it's the right knee that's troubling him.

"We've got 82 games ahead of us plus playoffs, so there's definitely months of games," Kronwall said. "You want to be looking at the big picture but sometimes that's easier said than done."

Khan continues...

Update: Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' article about Kronwall:

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Sportsnet’s Wings preview: Offense is key for the Wings this season

Sportsnet's Eric Engels penned a Red Wings season preview, and Engels believes that offensive firepower and strong goaltending will make the difference between earning a playoff spot and finishing out of the playoffs during the 2016-17 season:

Detroit will have a successful season if…
The offence rebounds from a season that saw them finish 23rd in the NHL in goals (211).

Losing Pavel Datsyuk won’t help, but Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek should fit in well with Detroit’s style of play. Mantha is on the rise, as are youngsters Dylan Larkin, Riley Sheahan, Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen.

This team needs a big season from Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. Both players scored 11 more points in 2014-15 than they did in 2015-16. They have the talent to rebound.

And if Henrik Zetterberg can put together his 10th season of 50 points or more, this team has a chance to extend its playoff streak to 26 consecutive seasons. Are you betting against them?

Engels continues...

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Alden Hirschfeld rejoins the Toledo Walleye

I've been absent for a couple of days, and during that time, the Toledo Walleye re-signed Alden Hirschfeld:

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe spoke with Hirschfeld about his journey:

The Sylvania native had his career suddenly interrupted after he suffered a seizure during a game on Jan. 8. On March 14, the 28-year-old underwent brain surgery to remove a malformation that had caused the seizure.

On Monday, Hirschfeld came full circle. After re-signing with the Walleye, Hirschfeld said he was trying to focus during Monday’s practice but also just enjoy being on the ice again.

“There are a lot of guys here, who I’ve played with the last two years, so to see them and to be out there skating with them is a blast. It puts a smile on my face,” he said.

“It lets you know that everything happens for a reason. You just have to have strong faith and know things are headed in the right direction. It’s a very exciting time.”

Monroe continues

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Justin Abdelkader gets the ‘A’

Updated 3x at 12:50 PM: From the Red Wings, no surprise here as Justin Abdelkader inherits Pavel Datsyuk's alternate captain's "A":

Update: From the Free Press's Helene St. James...

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Red Wings-Blackhawks preseason morning skate Tweets: Pulkkinen, Abdelkader, Marchenko ‘in’

Updated 14x at 1:47 PM: Zetterberg, Kronwall to skate with 'second group':

The Detroit Red Wings kick off a set of 4 exhibition games to be played over the course of 5 nights tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 PM EDT on CSN Chicago and the NHL Network).

The Wings hit the ice at the Joe at 10:30 for their morning skate, and MLive's Ansar Khan reported the following:

Jimmy Howard in starter's net for #RedWings.


Looks like Pulkkinen, Abdelkader and Marchenko will make their preseason debut for #RedWings tonight.


#RedWings lines at skate:


#RedWings defense pairs at skate:
Extras: Kronwall-Allen

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji weighed in...

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Chris Ilitch states that the District Detroit has another billion dollars in unannounced development

In "business of hockey" news, from the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar:

Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc., said “we’ve got about 52 projects right now on the board” for the area around the future Little Caesars Arena being built now north of downtown Detroit. Also, Ilitch again expressed hope that the Detroit Pistons will move downtown.

In a CNBC interview Monday, Ilitch upped the ante of how much the Ilitches may invest in the 50-block area around the Little Caesars Arena, the $627.5 million, 20,000-plus seat venue opening next year. Entities linked to the Ilitches Olympia Development of Michigan own dozens of properties in that 50-block area, including several long-vacant buildings and empty lots.

“We are on track to be at about $2 billion,” in Detroit investment, Ilitch said. “We’ve got about 52 projects right now on the board. We’ve announced about $1.2 billion and got about another billion yet to be announced.”


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Wings wrap up the exhibition season with 4 games in 5 nights

The Red Wings play the Chicago Blackhawks this evening (8:30 PM EDT on CSN Chicago and the NHL Network), kicking off an incredibly busy stretch of four games in five nights. MLive's Brendan Savage previews tonight's Wings-Hawks game and notes that the team's about to undergo quite the grind:

• When the preseason ends Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings will get four days to prepare for their season opener Oct. 13 in Tampa. Some players might need that time to get a little rest since they're got four games in five days beginning tonight against the host Blackhawks. They'll visit Pittsburgh Wednesday and move on to Hamilton, Ontario Friday to face the Maple leafs before ending their exhibition slate against Toronto.

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AP Wings preview: Detroit hopes to replace Datsyuk by committee

The Associated Press's Larry Lage wrote an article previewing the 2016-17 Red Wings, and it's a good read:

Pavel Datsyuk is not skating with the Detroit Red Wings at the start of a season for the first time since 2000.

With newcomers such as Frans Nielsen, the Red Wings hope they finish well enough to earn a 26th consecutive postseason appearance.

"We do not have a Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg in his prime," general manager Ken Holland said Monday. "We're going to have to generate offense by committee, rolling four lines and getting something out of each one."

The Red Wings are paying Nielsen $31.5 million over six years to play a key part in their plans to recover from the loss of Datsyuk, who left the NHL to return to Russia to continue his career near his family. Datsyuk had $7.5 million and one year left on his contract, but the Red Wings got salary-cap relief by technically trading him to Arizona last summer even though the dazzling center won't play for the Coyotes.

Nielsen, a 32-year-old center from Denmark, had 119 goals and 349 points with the New York Islanders since making his debut with them during the 2006-07 season.

"We added the best center we could last summer," Holland said. "He's a good, two-way player, who historically has been able to chip in about 50 points a season."

Lage continues at extended length...

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Wings’ Fantasy Outlook

from Sean Allen at ESPN,

What's new: The Red Wings step into the post-Pavel Datsyuk era with plenty of talent that under-performed last season. In fact, aside from rookie Dylan Larkin's exploits, there aren't any returning Red Wings who fantasy owners felt good about owning last season based on their draft value.

Frans Nielsen provides terrific secondary center support and Thomas Vanek will be a boost to scoring chances on the wing, but are they enough to fill the void left by Datsyuk's return to Russia? Probably not. The team will need continued development from Larkin, big bounce-back seasons from Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg, and inbound support from youngsters like Anthony Mantha or Andreas Anasthasiou.

Trending up: Dylan Larkin, C: Larkin is likely making the full-time switch to center this season, with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill hopefully committing more responsibility to his best young pivot. Larkin produced most of last season on a line with Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader, but perhaps would be better served with the team's top talent on his flanks, including Tatar or Nyquist. He'll need to score better than the 23 goals he had last season, which led the Red Wings. That was the lowest total to lead a team in scoring outside of Toronto.

more on the Wings plus other teams in the Atlantic Division...

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City of Detroit, Wings in negotiations regarding sale of JLA collectibles

From Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

The 20,000 seats at Joe Louis Arena have seen a lot of hockey — and now Olympia Entertainment and the city of Detroit are negotiating over how they'll be sold to fans and collectors.

The city-owned venue, opened along the Detroit River in 1979 at a cost of $30.3 million, is about to host its final Detroit Red Wings season before the team moves next September to $637.5 million Little Caesars Arena now under construction at I-75 and Woodward Avenue.

Joe Louis Arena, named for the famous boxer, will be razed as part of the new arena deal, and the land redeveloped for commercial use.

The Red Wings are identifying and cataloguing what will be shipped to the new arena — files and hockey equipment along with championship banners and statues — and what will be sold, donated or scrapped, said Jennifer Arapoff, director of marketing and communications Olympia Entertainment, which handles the business functions of the arena and team. Permanent arena fixtures, such as the seats, are city property.

Seats from demolished sports venues can sell for a few hundred dollars into the thousands. How the sales or auction process will work is still being negotiated by Olympia and the city.

"We're offering to help them sell the seats, and we'd work out the terms that would be mutually beneficial," Arapoff said. "All types of suggestions, including a charitable component, are being considered. We first need to determine the condition, value, etc., of all Joe Louis items."


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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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