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Ken Holland discusses Mike Babcock’s departure, several months after the ‘split’

The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger was in Traverse City today, and he penned two stories; the first involves the Red Wings players' comments regarding moving on from Mike Babcock, and the second involved an interview Zeisberger conducted with a certain Ken Holland regarding the split between long-time general manager and friend and long-time coach and friend--business split, at least:

“When you work with someone for 10 years and you’re in a business that is really competitive, you create a bond with each other,” Holland explained. “We won a Stanley Cup together. We were on a staff with the Canadian Olympic team that won two gold medals together. When you are at the Vancouver Games and you’ve just lost to the U.S. and your preparing to play Germany and you are joining in with Mike and Steve Yzerman and the rest of the staff to find a way to dig in and get the job done ... that’s how you build relationships that last for the rest of your life.

“The last three years in Detroit, we found ourselves at points where you are on the bubble of making the playoffs and you are digging your fingertips in to find a way to make the playoffs and you accomplish those things together, well, all those things, like I said, combine to build relationships that last a lifetime.

“The relationship I have with Mike will go on for the rest of our lives. I have tremendous respect for what he does professionally and personally.”

Having said that, well ...

“Well, he decided he wanted to move on,” Holland said. “And now, we want to kick his ass.”

Zeisberger continues and reveals that the Wings will hold some sort of ceremony to honor Babcock's contributions on October 9th, a.k.a. the Red Wings' opening night...

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Training camp ‘15: MSM takes on the second day of Red Wings training camp

Updated 9x at 9:36 PM: Among the media's offerings from the second day of training camp:

Fox Sports Detroit posted videos of Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha speaking with the media...

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Prospect news: Wings’ European prospects were busy today

From DRW Prospects on Twitter:

Sorting it out:

1. In Sweden, Axel Holmstrom had an assist in Skelleftea AIK's 2-1 loss to Djurgardens IF;

2. Christoffer Ehn played 12:51 in BIK Karlskoga's 4-3 loss to Timra IK;

3. Joren Van Pottelberghe stopped 20 shots in Linkopings HC's Under-20 team's 5-2 loss to Frolunda;

4. And in Finland's Liiga, Julius Vahatalo played 7:55 in TPS Turku's 1-0 loss to KooKoo.

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Training camp ‘15: Impressions from the second day of the Red Wings’ training camp

The second day of the Red Wings' training camp was not all that different from the first in that defensive zone coverage, breakouts (speedier breakouts than those employed by Mike Babcock), forechecking formations and utilization of defensive support once establishing possession in the offensive zone.

After a LOT of video, the Wings focused on breakouts, attempting bring two or three low forwards into the slot and then exit the zone via overloading the wing; the team then moved toward drills in which puck retrieval-turned-breakouts involved a 5-on-2 drill which again used three coaches as passive defenders; as Blashill is unafraid to stop drills when he's not satisfied, he barked, "Do it right, stay on the inside" to encourage his players to both cover the inside lanes defensively and to attack on the "inside" of their defenders.

The "four corners street hockey" drill that I've described in the past, with nets placed at the faceoff dots and 2 players feeding pucks to a diamond formation's worth of "puck-movers" outside the zone of contested ice returned, and the losers of the drill had to skate a lap;

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Training camp ‘15: Audio from Mantha, Larkin, Glendening, Marchenko and Blashill

The Red Wings' players spent the vast majority of the second day of training camp adding layers of complexity to drills emphasizing defensive zone positioning, breakouts, neutral zone transitions and offensive support.

Minus Darren Helm (concussion/shoulder) and Daniel Cleary (leg), Tomas Jurco was assigned to Team Delvecchio, where he played alongside Brad RIchards and Tomas Tatar, and Jurco looked quite good during both practice and a scrimmage in which Team Lindsay defeated Team Delvecchio 4-3 in a shootout.

As the scrimmage took place, Anthony Mantha came out and spoke with the media for about 5 minutes, discussing everything from his changes in summer training to the smile on his face when he's playing and his belief that the Wings' prospects need to look up to Luke Glendening as their work-ethic role model:

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Darren Helm Has A Slight Shoulder Separation, Out 2-4 Weeks

added 9:43am,

Update: Here's more from the Free Press's Helene St. James...

General manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press Saturday morning that Darren Helm is out 2-4 weeks with a Grade I slightly separated left shoulder. Helm is also undergoing concussion protocol, which generally lasts one week.

Helm was injured during a drill Friday morning at Centre Ice Arena when he collided with free agent forward Jerome Verrier. Neither saw the other, and teammates were unable to give a heads-up yell in time.

MLive's Khan...

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Morning news: Training camp begins

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The 7&4 News filed a video report recounting the first day of training camp...

2. Via RedWingsFeed, Michigan Hockey's Pat Evans took note of coach Jeff Blashill's comments to the media...

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Jeff Blashill’s First Day On The Ice As Detroit’s Head Coach And Brad Richard/Tomas Tatar Combo

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“Blash is his own man and he coaches the way he wants to,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “It’s good for us veteran guys who’ve been here for 10 years (under Babcock). The last four or five years you kind of knew everything. Now, you have to think out there.

“It’s a little different. You have to pay attention. There’s a little more competition, friendly competition, mixed in with work.”

Said Johan Franzen: “It’s a fresh start and it kind of makes you feel young again. You want to show what you can do.”...

“Every new job I’ve taken, whether it’s junior, college, American League or here, pretty much every season you have a little bit of butterflies and nerves,” Blashill said. “You have them in the sense you want to be prepared as possible and cover as much possible.

“It’s impossible to have everything covered and you’re going to have stumbling blocks like today. But certainly I was excited about getting going and get rolling.”

Players were excited about the new voice leading them.


from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

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Roose: Jerome Verrier will need surgery to repair his broken leg

It just gets worse for Jerome Verrier. Per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

The start of training camp wasn’t 10-minutes old Friday morning when Darren Helm and Jerome Verrier, a 21-year-old camp invitee, were involved a horrific on-ice collision near the team benches at Centre Ice Arena.

Both players, who collided head first – each skating at top speed – were taken to Munson Medical Center for treatment, though Verrier’s injuries were serious enough that he went to the hospital by ambulance.

Blashill said that Helm has a concussion and will miss at least a week, while Verrier will be sidelined a lot long after he suffered a fractured right leg.

Verrier is scheduled to undergo surgery Saturday morning to insert a rod in the leg, which should speed his recovery process, according to team doctors.

No stranger to bad-luck injuries himself, Helm’s return is uncertain.

“With the concussion protocol he’ll be, I guess we say day to day but it’s probably a little bit longer than that,” Blashill said of Helm’s return.


Update: Via RedWingsFeed, WDIV posted a video of the aftermath of the hit.

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All about the Flint Firebirds’ resurgent franchise and community

From the London Free Press's Ryan Pyette:

The star goaltender is sitting on a couch at his new billet's house, which backs onto a golf course where Tiger Woods won the same PGA tournament three times.

He will soon be guarding the home crease at an arena that, though it doesn't look like much from outside, is being transformed into one of the most progressive and functional facilities in major junior hockey history.

He and his mates are supported by a deep-pocketed owner, whose recent buck-spending suggests he treats this puck journey the same way Michigan rapper Eminem saw his career: "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance . . . this opportunity comes once in a lifetime."

This is hockey, Flint style.

Luxury, where it may be least expected.

"The first impression I got when we heard the team was moving from Plymouth last season was word of mouth -- just like everyone else," said Alex Nedeljkovic, the OHL's top goalie two years ago. "That Flint is kind of run down. But I got here and that's not the case. It's really nice and a hockey-rich community. Anybody would be lucky to come play here four years and spend their career with the Firebirds."


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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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