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Lidstrom on Larkin

This is day-after-the-fact stuff, but Nicklas Lidstrom had some interesting things to say about Dylan Larkin during Lidstrom's "night" at Joe Louis Arena, and here's what he told CBS Detroit's Ashley Scoby:

“I think Larkin is sticking out, the season he’s had so far,” Lidstrom said Tuesday night before his ceremonial puck drop at Joe Louis Arena to commemorate his Hockey Hall of Fame induction. “Being a rookie, being a 19-year-old in the league and playing so well, and continuing to play so well too throughout – we’re what? Sixty games into the season, and he’s still playing well. As a rookie you can play real well in the first half but then you kind of hit the grind of an NHL season. But he’s just been plugging along and playing well.”

Since Larkin’s first game for Detroit (which he started and scored in) Red Wings fans have put him in the unenviable position of being compared to all-time great Steve Yzerman. Yzerman was also a flash of youth and talent who got started as a teenager. From his first start and his first goal to his first All-Star appearance, Larkin has done plenty this season that’s fallen under the category “first to do so since Yzerman.”

Although Lidstrom said he wasn’t as familiar with Yzerman’s earliest NHL days, he knows Larkin’s career could move along the same trajectory.

“I didn’t see Stevie when he was that age, but I’ve heard how good he was, and I’ve heard the comparisons too,” Lidstrom said. “When I came, Stevie was an established captain and he was in his mid-20s. But Larkin’s got a bright future in front of him. It’s gonna be fun to watch him in the years to come.”


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Two more takes on the deadline

I feel like this is pretty close to beating a dead horse here, but we're going to examine the glue-y subject that is the trade deadline once again, this time from multiple angles.

I plain old thought that the Canadian Press's Jonas Siegel's discussion with Ken Holland, Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill and New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero about the trade deadline, and it's a good read:

"It's not like there's a manual, that you become the manager of a team, I give you a manual and (it says) 'This is the way trades are made,'" Holland said as he prepared for Monday's trade deadline. "There is no process to getting a deal done. It's a whole bunch of balls flying around the air and they're moving in different directions."

It can be an exhilarating, nerve-racking and anxious time for general managers. The preparation begins in January when teams bring their staffs together for two days of scouting meetings, both on the amateur and professional sides. Teams compile lists of players that interest them while also identifying their priorities.

But Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill says "90 per cent of the time" teams never get the players at the top of their lists, often settling for secondary players instead.

"A lot of things that you work on don't work out, but you know what, maybe it's three months later on July 1st, something happens with that same player," said Devils GM Ray Shero.

Siegel continues, and the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo, well...

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The Speed Line

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

If speed kills, one of the Detroit Red Wings' potential lines for Saturday's outdoor game in Denver could be murder.

Coach Jeff Blashill is looking at pairing Dylan Larkin with Andreas Athanasiou for the Stadium Series event against the Colorado Avalanche at Coors Field (8 p.m., NBC). They practiced together Wednesday at McCann Arena; Athanasiou at center and Brad Richards on the other wing.

"We wanted to look at it in practice," Blashill said. "There's three days before the game."

If the line stays intact, Richards would take most of the draws.

"The one thing that Richards gives that line is a proven faceoff guy," Blashill said. "The other two guys, if there's a negative to them playing center, it's that they haven't proved themselves in the circle. AA in the American League was about 49 percent. That usually equates to about 44 percent up here. If that's the case, I couldn't put him out in the D-zone or the O-zone.


As noted in an earlier post today, Xavier Ouellet is headed back to Grand Rapids, press release is below...

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Comerica Bank to sponsor Red Wings’ ‘Players Club’ seats

From the Red Wings:

Comerica Bank third Landmark Partner for new arena
Commitment to Detroit’s comeback includes sponsorship of exciting fan club seats with unmatched access to players coming on and off the ice

DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment is proud to announce Comerica Bank as the third Landmark Partner at the new arena. In addition to several other partnership elements, Comerica will be the sole sponsor of the much anticipated Players Club, a 250-person premium area located on the event level between the Red Wings locker room and the ice.

For Red Wings games, individuals that purchase Players Club season tickets will have an up close view of both the Red Wings and visiting team’s players as they make their way out to the ice and back to their respective locker rooms. Red Wings players will literally walk through the center of the Players Club – the first experience of its kind in the market. In addition, for most concerts and events, Players Club tickets will be available for purchase by the general public.

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Post-practice Tweets of note: No starter named for Saturday; Ericsson wants to play


added 2:23pm,


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Draper, Maltby, Roy discuss the Wings-Avs rivalry

From Russ Espinoza of 5280: The Denver Magazine:

Detroit ultimately won more Stanley Cups during this era, but Avs fans can reflexively cite that the team edged out the Red Wings in three of five playoff series. Draper and Maltby can only say “wow” and laugh a little upon learning of their team’s 32-30-1 record against Colorado during that stormy eight-year period.

“I think it was just, I don’t know, a match made in heaven with a little bump in there where a guy kinda got his face smashed in,” says Maltby. “But in the end, I don’t think anyone—other than Kris—got too injured, too hurt, and it made for great hockey, great entertainment.”

On February 26, on a makeshift ice rink atop the Coors Field baseball diamond, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper, Claude Lemieux and many other hockey heroes will face-off for one last savage ballet. Hopefully this time, the guys will go home with their faces intact.

According to Draper, the lone conversation he’s had with Lemieux occurred at the 2015 NHL Draft in June, but it was strictly business, as Lemieux is now a player agent and Draper is a special assistant to Detroit’s general manager. “We drafted one of his clients,” Draper says. “Nothing was mentioned of the hit—two-three minute conversation, that was it.”


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Mrazek, Howard to sport ‘Stadium Series’ pads

Check them out:

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Wings Practicing At The University Liggett In Grosse Pointe

Helm is ill and not practicing today.

via Ansar Khan tweets,

#RedWings lines at practice:

Wings defense pairs are:
Smith-Ouellet appear to be the extras.

Additons to the post will be made as needed.

added 1:11pm, Khan again...

Power play units in practice Nyquist-Datsyuk-Zetterberg, Sheahan (net front), Kronwall
Pulkkinen-Tatar-Jurco (net front), Richards-Green


#RedWings Petr Mrazek practices in Stadium Series gear.

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If the trade deadline is ‘prospects in’ or ‘foot out,’ the Wings don’t need to play in the pool

The trade deadline's six days away, and that has the Free Press's Drew Sharp lamenting that the Red Wings may or may not have another Dylan Larkin in the pipeline while almost tripping over himself suggesting that the only thing that can restore the polish on Ken Holland--and as you and I know by now, the GM hasn't been golden for a while now--is surrendering some of those prized apples on the tree for the "veteran rental":

The greatest fear in today’s salary-cap NHL is surrendering a future star for a veteran rental who could make the difference in a tough playoff series. That emphasizes the proper long-range evaluation of young talent. A miscalculation there could prove just as costly.

But that process requires patience. Telling fans who have waited seven seasons since their most recent Cup — six seasons since this organization’s most recent playoff run beyond the second round — to wait a little longer for talent to properly blossom means trusting Holland’s judgment.

And let’s face it. Blindly believing in him now isn’t as automatic as it was previously.

“It’s not that we haven’t tried in making what we thought were the right moves,” Holland said. “We thought we were very close at this same time last year and made a couple moves for depth. Our record this season is 10 points worse after 60 games than it was at that same time a year ago. But I still think we’re in a better position with the way some of our young guys have stepped up.”

Sharp continues, and I don't know if anybody blindly believes in Ken Holland any more, but that's okay.

On a night that the Red Wings were delivered from Columbus by both Petr Mrazek, Andreas Athanasiou, a pleasant surprise in Riley Sheahan and a crap-ton of ice time for Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Kyle Quincey, Danny DeKeyser, Niklas Kronwall and some guy named Alexey Marchenko, I felt comfortable knowing that a Red Wings team whose youth isn't delivering on quite enough of a regular basis for us to be wowed by Tatar, Nyquist or even Larkin are moving in the right direction again.

That direction probably isn't toward a Stanley Cup run this spring, but if you're committed to the "transition," why go and waste assets on another David Legwand or Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky when it costs a Mrazek, Athanasiou or Marchenko (and a first-round draft pick) to get that "veteran rental" that the Wings' cap structure can't accomodate?

Or, as the Detroit News's Bob Wojnowski tells it:

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Red Wings-Blue Jackets quick take: Sheahan, ‘AA,’ Petr help the old guard deliver a shootout win

The Detroit Red Wings opened a 3-game series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday evening, with the Wings hoping to snap a 4-game winless streak on "Nick Lidstrom Night" as the Wings returned to Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings should have earned a regulation-or-OT win on a Petr Mrazek home-run pass to Pavel Datsyuk, but that's not how it turned out thanks to TJ Luxmore and company, and instead, Detroit earned a shootout win on gorgeous goals by Riley Sheahan (who also scored in reguliation) and Andreas Athanasiou in the extra session...

And in terms of nursing the regulation tie through 33 minutes of regulation and OT time, Detroit leaned incredibly heavily upon Pavel Datsyuk (21:37), Henrik Zetterberg (21:09), Danny DeKeyser (26:13), Niklas Kronwall (24:25), Kyle Quincey (20:27) and someone who got burned for a goal against but made a lovely play on the Sheahan breakaway in Alexey Marchenko (20:47), who's asking the coach whether he sits when Jonthan Ericsson returns.

It was a hard game to watch, a hard game to play and a hard game to win, but Detroit earned it by the narrowest of margins, and sometimes that's enough. Even though it should have been a "ROW."

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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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