The Malik Report
I sort of scratched my head when the Free Press's Helene St. James posted these quotes in her first-draft article about the Wings' drafting of Evgeny Svechnikov...
Detroit's first-rounder from 2013, Anthony Mantha, had a more tepid pro debut. Jeff Blashill, promoted to the Wings head coaching job from Grand Rapids, knows Mantha better than anyone in the organization, and cautioned patience.
"I think Anthony first of all is a great young guy," Blashill said. "I think he had a high, high expectation level that to me was unfair from the beginning. That's what I thought from the very beginning. I think he got injured at a hard spot."
Mantha broke a leg at training camp, sidelining him for two months and essentially wiping out a summer's worth of conditioning.
"I thought he made progress through the year," Blashill said. "Like a lot of other prospects, he's going to have to continue to make progress. Him and I have talked about what that specific progress is. But I think he's got a high ceiling, and he's got a big body and high ability - now he needs to find a way to reach that ceiling. Hopefully he's doing that every day throughout the summer."
And now, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's article ties it together with comments from Ken Holland that let us know something very simple: there may not be any "untouchables" on the Red Wings or any other team, but Mantha's not fallen out of favor with the team or its management:
Updated 17x at 11:14 PM: The Detroit Red Wings have selected Evgeny Svechnkov 19th overall:
More info as it becomes available/I dig it up, so prepare for multiple updates.
The Hockey News ranked Svechnkov 16th, and they said:
"Svechnkov, one of Cape Breton's top offensive threats in the regular season and a short playoff run, mostly played right wing, but he was trusted enough that the Screaming Eagles put him at center near the end of the campaign. He even won 52% of his faceoffs during a 7-game series loss to the Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts. "He's trended up greatly since the CHL Top Prospects Game,' said one cout. "He's a big horse, really good puck skills, keeps his feet moving."
Nabbed in the 2nd round of the 2013 CHL import draft, Svechnkov spent one more season back home and even saw 3 games of action in the KHL with the Ak Bars Kazan before landing in the Maritimes. Then he hit the ground running. "He's like a Rick Nash type," said another scout. "He can score, he makes plays, he loves those 1-on-1 situations where he can stickhandle to get position on a guy. Good release."
Updated 4x at 7:09 PM:
Updated at 6 PM:
via Don Cherry tweets,
The Detroit Red Wings are always praised for the drafts of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Oh yeah, really smart.
If they were so smart and knew Datsyuk and Zetterberg were going to be superstars and Hall of Famers why did they wait to draft
Datsyuk at 171st and of course I guess they knew about Zetterberg being go good when they waited until 210th to draft him.
I tell ya folks, it’s the luck of the draw although Detroit seems to be luckier than most.
From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:
Now all we need to find out is which assistants Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson will tap on the shoulder. Expect former Griffins defenseman Clay Wilson to be one of those assistants.
Derek Lalonde plans to return to coach the Toledo Walleye next season.
After leading the Walleye to a record-setting season, Lalonde had been a candidate for head coaching positions in the higher-level American Hockey League.
But Lalonde said today he is content with returning to Toledo next season.
“I have full intentions of coming back to Toledo,” Lalonde said.
In his first season with the Walleye, Lalonde was named the ECHL coach of the year after leading Toledo to a 50-15-7 record. The Walleye earned 107 points to capture the Brabham Cup as regular-season champions.
Under Lalonde, 42, Toledo posted the best single-season turnaround in league history, a 58-point improvement.
Just as a very quick note from the Traverse City Record-Eagle:
Detroit Red Wings new head coach Jeff Blashill will serve as the grand marshal of the Cherry Royale Parade on July 11.
“It is an honor to have Jeff Blashill as grand marshal of this year’s parade. As the 27th head coach of our beloved Red Wings, he embodies a strong Michigan tradition, and it is only fitting that he leads this national tradition in its 89th year,” said a press release statement from Faye Nelson, a vice president at DTE Energy, the parade's primary sponsor.
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan confirms, as does the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
Update #2: Ditto for the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
Update #3: Also FYI:
Update #4: MLive's Khan confirms in text form:
More draft talk!
"All the (external) focus is on the 19th pick," said Holland, who met with his scouts the past two days in Sunrise, Florida, the site of the draft, to pregame the draft. "But we know there will be players in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds who will play in the NHL. We've got to get our share."
Prevailing wisdom through the NHL is that a draft is successful if a team gets two players who wind up taking a regular shift in the league for 2 1/2 years or so. The Wings historically have done better than that, thanks in large part to an experienced 14-man scouting staff that includes five full-timers combing Europe for talent.
The Wings rarely discuss "needs" at the draft table because it's as difficult to project needs four or five years down the line as it is to project what kind of player a teenager will be when he's in his early 20s.
"Always, it's the best player available," Holland said when asked his draft philosophy. "We're looking at 18-year-old players and trying to determine which of them, five years from now when they're 23, will have the most impact."
from Bill Rose of the Wings' website,
Is it possible that the Red Wings make franchise history tonight when the first night of the NHL draft commences at BB&T Center?
Several mock drafts certainly believe so.
Should the Red Wings hold on to their first-round pick at No. 19 and not trade down to obtain additional picks in later rounds, many hockey analysts think they will use it to select Joel Eriksson Ek, a highly-skilled Swedish center.
For two decades, the Wings and super scout Hakan Andersson have carved out a reputation for unearthing virtually unknown prospects in the late rounds who have developed incredible careers, namely Swedes Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall.
Their careers continue to validate the masterful work performed by the team’s amateur scouts.
However, if the Wings do call Eriksson Ek to the podium tonight, it would be the first time they select a Swedish forward in the first round.
Ansar Khan of Mlive answered numerous questions today...
Q: My question/problem is this Dan Cleary situation. I don't understand Ken Holland's issue in speaking with him to "possibly" bring him back for one more year. The excuse is that he had offers three years back from three teams. From every non-Detroit based source, I had read that those contracts were all based on if he made the team out of camp, which is why I believe he chose to "come back" to Detroit.
A: The Red Wings might sign Cleary, but I don't think he'll be on their roster. They could assign him to the Grand Rapids Griffins and they'd receive up to $950,000 of cap relief. Cap space isn't an issue this season.
You are correct in stating Cleary did not have any guaranteed offers in 2013. He said the offer he received from the Philadelphia Flyers was for a training camp tryout.
Q: Are the Red Wings going to buy out Weiss?
A: I don't think so. They have debated this internally and opinions are divided. The buyout period ends on Tuesday. Ultimately, they don't want him on their cap for the next six seasons if he's not playing for them, even though it would be a fraction of his $4.9 million annual salary ($1.066 million the next two seasons, $2.56 million in 2017-18 and $1.67 million for three seasons after that). They're hoping Jeff Blashill will get the most out of him. If not, they'll exercise the buyout next year.
more Q & A...
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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.