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Andreas Athanasiou Plans To Be Ready To Play In September

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“It's such a tough situation with the team we had,” Athanasiou said. “There's reliable players that the coach has and, when you step in halfway through the season and produce, it kind of puts them in a situation where they have to juggle lines.

“Unfortunately, I got the minutes I got, but I'm not complaining. I'm OK with that. Obviously, I wanted it to be more, but it was just my foot in the door there.”...

Athanasiou, like Anthony Mantha, can be sent to the minors without needing to be exposed on waivers. That's what happened to Gustav Nyquist in the fall of 2013, when he was sent down even as he had shown the previous season that he belonged in the NHL.

All Athanasiou can do is make a strong case for staying, like Larkin did last year.

“I'm just going to stick to my plan this summer and work hard,” Athanasiou said. “Come September, I'm going to be ready to play. It's in their hands what they want to do. I’ll try to make their decision as easy as possible.

“I'm fortunate enough to be blessed with speed -- everything else can come hand-in-hand with that. I've got one of the hardest parts of the game down pat, so the other parts can come. It's just going to be fun.”


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Will Gustav Nyquist Have A Better Year?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Looking ahead: Was last season an aberration for Nyquist? The Wings can only hope so. Setting aside his lack of playoff scoring, at the very least he needs to be productive during the regular season and help the team make the playoffs. Perhaps new assistant coach John Torchetti can help Nyquist grow his game, make him a little harder for opponents to play against. As with Tomas Tatar, Nyquist, 26, is one of the players the team wants to see step up and lessen the burden of Henrik Zetterberg now that the captain is in his mid-30s. Nyquist could also be traded as part of the effort to upgrade on defense.


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Niklas Kronwall’s Knee Issue

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

It is deeply troubling to the Wings that Kronwall may have the sort of bad knee that can’t be improved via surgery. He underwent a procedure on his left knee in mid-January that sidelined him 15 games (Kronwall also missed time in March after spraining his right knee). Doing any more surgery to the left knee was ruled out after the season ended, with Kronwall saying he’d have to find other ways to improve, such as maybe altering his workouts. The fact is, Kronwall has a lot of hard wear-and-tear on him and is long removed from the dominating, productive, big hitter he was in the late 2000s and into this decade. If he can come close to the form he had as late as 2014-15, however, it would be a huge improvement over last season.

more on Kronwall...

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Discussing Teemu Pulkkinen’s pluses and minuses

The Free Press's Helene St. James discusses Teemu Pulkkinen's pluses and minuses this afternoon:

Looking back: Pulkkinen, 24, was off to a nice start with 5 goals in 16 games and had 11 points after 24 games when he suffered a dislocated shoulder. He returned mid-January but couldn't regain his early foothold, and ended up scratched most of the second half. Pulkkinen joined Finland for the World Championship, but he wasn't used once the games gained intensity.

Looking ahead: Pulkkinen underwent shoulder surgery in June, leaving him out 4-6 months. He might be able to skate during training camp (which doesn't start until late September) but contact practices and drills could be a ways off. It's lousy way to start a season for a young player trying to establish himself. Pulkkinen isn't a fourth-line grinder type, and his lack of size makes him unsuitable in the top six, where he'd see better defenders. Nor has he shown he deserves to play in a mix that can draw from Henrik Zetterberg, Dylan Larkin, Justin Abdelkader, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Pulkkinen is more suited to third-line duty, and the power play. He has a rocket of a shot – and he shoots right, which makes him stand out on the Wings.  If he can learn to get off his shot more quickly and regularly contribute offensively, he should find an opening in the lineup.

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Wings, Detroit Parks and Recreation to paint a mural on Jack Adams Memorial Arena

From the Red Wings' community relations department:

… Online Voting Now Open for Fans to Choose Hockey-Themed Mural to be Painted on Exterior of Detroit Public Rink …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced a partnership with the City of Detroit Parks & Recreation Department and ‘Summer in the City’ to transform Jack Adams Memorial Arena and Adams Butzel Recreation Complex by painting large-scale, hockey-themed murals on the exterior of the building measuring more than 300 feet long and 18 feet high.

The Red Wings are encouraging fans and the local community to vote online for their favorite of seven mural design options at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/MuralVote All d.esigns were created by Olympia Entertainment and local graphic artists.

The design with the most votes when the polls close on Friday, Aug. 5 at 5:00 p.m., will be painted on Jack Adams Memorial Arena on Friday, Aug. 12, by a team of community members and volunteers associated with ‘Summer in the City’ during the non-profit’s annual “Finale Friday” celebration. Red Wings fans and the local community are invited to participate in the “Finale Friday” activities, which include youth enrichment programming, mural painting, park beautification of the Adams Butzel Recreation Complex and a barbecue. Those interested in participating in the “Finale Friday” activities must preregister at finale@summerinthecity.com

Continue Reading »

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Time for ice at the Joe

From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:


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Grand Rapids Griffins re-sign Colin Campbell

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed right wing Colin Campbell to a one-year contract.

Campbell, 25, originally joined the Griffins near the end of the 2013-14 campaign after completing his collegiate career at Lake Superior State University, and he played the last two seasons in Grand Rapids while under contract to the Detroit Red Wings.

In 127 career games with the Griffins, Campbell has registered 24 points (13-11—24) and 92 penalty minutes along with a plus-17 rating, while adding three points (1-2—3) and 11 PIM in 19 Calder Cup Playoff contests. After a rookie 2014-15 season when he chipped in five points (2-3—5) and 29 PIM in 44 appearances, he logged 70 games in 2015-16, showing 18 points (10-8—18) and 58 PIM and tying for the team lead with two shorthanded goals. Campbell also played in all nine postseason games last spring, logging two points (1-1—2).

Prior to turning pro, the Pickering, Ontario, native tallied 64 points (27-37—64) and 64 PIM in 119 games with the LSSU Lakers. He missed 30 games as a junior while recovering from surgery but bounced back to rank among the team’s leaders with 14 goals (1st), 29 points (2nd) and three game-winning goals (1st) in 36 contests as a senior.

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WiiM’s Kyle McIlmurray offers a thoughtful rebuttal of Holland’s offseason machinations

Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray penned a fantastic article this morning, issuing a well thought-out and thorough "open letter"-style article questioning Ken Holland's offseason moves:

The moral of the story is that I just don’t know what the master plan for this team is. We were told there would be significant moves, and it looked promising when Holland flipped Datsyuk’s contract, but since then it has fallen flat on it’s face with nothing to show but a handful of questionable transactions. The team’s laundry list of bad contracts continues to grow, and Holland has created a logjam across the depth chart. The team has no room to utilize their entry-level contract players like Anthony Mantha, or Tyler Bertuzzi, two players who could serve as very useful depth in bottom or even top-six roles. The defense is still very ‘meh,’ after showing that it is one of the worst in the league. I’m concerned for this team — What’s it going to look like now that Pavel Datsyuk is gone?

The team is so close to rebuild that it’s unsettling. I foresee things getting real ugly for the team in the next two seasons, and I’m not convinced that Holland is ready to take a step back and build from the ground up. Nope, not with a brand new arena on the horizon.

What’s the plan here, Kenny? Do you even have one? I want to believe in you... I want to believe in this team, but I’m running on empty here.

McIlmurray continues at length...

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Happy Birthday, Ted Lindsay!

Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay turns 91 today:

NHL.com's Dave Stubbs points us to several articles profiling Lindsay, as well as the Ted Lindsay Foundation for autism research:

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Ken Holland discusses the Red Wings’ desire to add a top-four defenseman to the mix

MLive's Brendan Savage engaged in a lengthy conversation with Ken Holland regarding the Red Wings' desire to add a top-four defenseman to the mix:

"We're all looking for – every NHL team is looking for – is difference makers," Holland said. "A difference maker in goal, a difference maker on defense, a difference maker up front. I believe we have lots of NHL defensemen. We don't have a Lidstorm. We don't have a Rafalski. We don't have a Chelios.

"Am I having conversations about difference makers? They're hard to find. But the difference makers that might be available, do we have the asset or assets? Because those teams that are trading those players, they're in charge of the trade.

"Twenty out of the 30 teams are looking for a top-four defensemen. If they start shopping those defensemen, there's going to be lots of suitors. They're not looking to get overpaid. They're looking for a specific need or want. They're not going to do it so they can load up on a bunch of assets."

That said, Holland said he will continue to pursue a top-four defenseman. But he didn't want put a timetable on whether he could do anything before training camp, early in the season or before next year's trade deadline.

"First, I don't know if those guys are going to be available and then if they are available, do we have what that team is looking for?" he asked. "I'm looking, I'm talking. We're looking to upgrade our defense. We're always looking to upgrade ourselves. I'm not looking for a defenseman. I'm looking for a legitimate top-four defenseman that might be available by trade but sometimes they ain't available by trade."

Savage continues...

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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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