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The Malik Report

‘Three Things’: ‘Meet the Wings’; on competition for jobs & questions going into the regular season

Of disparate Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Detroit News and MLive posted "Meet the Red Wings" galleries as part of their NHL preview packages, and Fox Sports Detroit posted pictures from their "gladiator shoot" close-ups;

2. If we are to believe coach Jeff Blashill, each and every one of the players featured in the aforementioned galleries are still fighting for their jobs. That's what Blashill told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

"We had a great, great preseason out of the (Luke) Glendening line (with Steve Ott and Drew Miller). They were great. Can they keep it up? If they keep it up, they’ll keep playing. If they falter, then somebody goes in those spots.

"Other guys – I thought (Riley) Sheahan had a great preseason. I thought (Gustav) Nyquist had a great preseason. I’ve told our guys we’re going to be merit based on playing time and I’ve told our guys we’re constantly every shift trying out for ice time. That will continue.

“Does somebody go down (to AHL Grand Rapids and do well)? Does Mantha go down, does Bert (Tyler Bertuzzi) go down and play great down there and demand to be up? We’ll see.”

To be fair to the coach, the Miller-Glendening-Ott line really was very, very good during the exhibition season. Now they and the rest of the Wings' superb exhibition performers really do need to "keep it up," if not elevate their play as the regular season rapidly approaches.

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Prospect news: Champions Hockey League action

Of prospect-related note:

In the Champions Hockey League, Julius Vahatalo didn't register a point in TPS Turku's 5-4 shootout loss to IFK Helsinki, eliminating TPS from the "round of 32";

Christoffer Ehn didn't register a point in the Frolunda Indians' 5-0 win over Yunost Minsk, allowing Frolunda to advance to the "round of 16";

Joren Van Pottelberghe didn't play in HC Davos' 3-2 win over Linkopings HC, but Linkopings HC advanced to the round of 16 on aggregate goals;

And Axel Holmstrom didn't play in Skelleftea AIK's 4-2 win over JYP Jyvaskyla, allowing Skelleftea to advance to the "round of 16";

In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh's Val-d'Or Foreurs lost 5-2 to the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

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Why the Wild picked up Teemu Pulkkinen

This is a little painful to read, but we might as well examine it: MinnesotaWild.com's Dan Myers spoke with Wild GM Chuck Fletcher as to why the team picked Teemu Pulkkinen off waivers from the Red Wings:

An hour into practice, the club announced that it had claimed forward Teemu Pulkkinen off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. A native of Vantaa, Finland, Pulkkinen has high offensive upside and is still just 24 years old.

"He's played a top-six role at every level," said Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher. "It remains to be seen whether he can do it at the NHL level, but that's the opportunity we'd like to give him, and we'd certainly like to see if he can do it."

Pulkkinen has played in 70 career NHL games, scoring 11 goals and nine assists while posting a plus-7 in those games. He had six goals and 12 points in 36 games last season but was hindered by a shoulder injury that kept him out of the lineup for the bulk of the season.

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A billion-dollar rink

From Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

Interest payments on the bonds issued to pay for Little Caesars Arena will push the project's final cost to nearly $1 billion.

The current cost estimate for the future home of the Detroit Red Wings is $627.5 million, but that doesn't reflect interest payments on $450 million worth of 30-year bonds floated in 2014 to finance construction.

The estimated $336.5 million in interest payments, plus additional spending on the arena beyond the bonds, would bring the total cost to $991 million by 2045. The DDA outlined the expected interest costs to Crain's on Tuesday.


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TMR evening line: center ice is ‘kind of owning a line,’ says Dylan Larkin

From the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's profile of Dylan Larkin:

“It’s a whole new challenge, it’s kind of owning a line,” Larkin said. “A guy like Henrik Zetterberg, he controls that line. If Z isn’t on that night, it’s going to be tough for the other players. So I have to work on faceoffs and work on little details that will make me a better player all the way around, in the defensive zone.

“It’s a challenge but I want to keep building.”

Kulfan continues at length...

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All Eyes On Ken Holland

from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,

Holland is under fire. And he should be. He’s entering his 20th season as the Wings’ general manager. Even if he achieves nothing else during his tenure, Holland’s headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame. There’s no ignoring the Stanley Cups, the shrewd European drafting and the brilliant trade-deadline acquisitions. But Holland never has entered a season with this much skepticism.

“The frustration’s understandable,” he said Monday. “Everyone wants to go back to when we were consistently in the running for the Stanley Cup. We want that, too. Nobody’s happy here that we haven’t fared well in the playoffs. But we’re confident in how we’re trying to retool our roster: getting younger while still trying to field a team that can give us the best opportunity to win.”

What’s changed is that Holland seems more receptive to shuttling in prospects from the minor league Grand Rapids Griffins if it’s apparent early in the season that there isn’t much separation between what he’s getting from the older, higher-paid veterans down on the depth chart and what they might get from youngsters such as Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi or 19-year-old Evgeny Svechnikov, among others.

The Wings can afford a couple of down seasons because there’s interest in the Joe Louis Arena farewell this season and the introduction of Little Caesars Arena in 2017. But they have to be truly committed to giving the youngsters every opportunity to grow and flourish, even if that results in The Streak ending.

That’s on Holland. But it’s on ownership, as well.


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Griffins video preview: goalies

Grand Rapids Griffins announcer Bob Kaser previews the 2016-17 Grand Rapids Griffins, starting with a preview of the Griffins' goaltenders:

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Griffins recall Nastasiuk from Toledo ahead of Friday’s home opener

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

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Red Wings recall Pasquale, demote Street

From the Red Wings:

… Red Wings Travel Tomorrow to Tampa Bay for Season Opener on Thursday …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Edward Pasquale from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and assigned center Ben Street to the Griffins.

The Red Wings roster now stands at 23 (13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders) as the team prepares to travel tomorrow to begin the 2016-17 regular season against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Detroit/97.1 The Ticket) and the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7:00 p.m. on FOX Sports Detroit/97.1 The Ticket). Detroit will open its home slate on Monday, Oct. 17 versus the Ottawa Senators.


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Articles from practice: Sproul, AA discuss ‘making the team’

Updated 8x at 3:44 PM: The Red Wings practiced minus Brendan Smith (mid-body) and Henrik Zetterberg (maintenance day) on Tuesday, but the Wings' beat writers reported that both players will be available for the season opener against Tampa Bay on Thursday. Niklas Kronwall isn't too far from returning, either, so there was some place-holding in practice, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan:

#RedWings lines at practice: Tatar-Nielsen-Athanasiou





#RedWings defense pairs in practice: DeKeyser-Marchenko




The Wings were still practicing when Teemu Pulkkinen was plucked off the waiver wire by the Minnesota Wild, but Wings coach Jeff Blashill addressed Pulkkinen's departure after practice, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...

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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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