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‘Stadium Series by the Numbers’

From the NHL:


DENVER, COLO. (Feb. 26, 2016) – A look at the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Colorado Avalanche® and Detroit Red Wings® “By the Numbers.”

1        First-ever NHL® outdoor regular-season game played by the Colorado Avalanche. They become the 21st NHL team to participate in such a game.

4        Career outdoor games played by Red Wings forward Brad Richards, tied for most all-time.

5        The Avalanche and Red Wings combined to win five Stanley Cup® championships in a seven-year period from 1996 through 2002. Colorado captured titles in 1996 and 2001, Detroit in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

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Rivals Meet Again Tonight

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

What the rivalry once was, and all it was, will be commemorated Friday in the Avalanche-Red Wings alumni game at Coors Field. Roy, now the Avalanche coach, will start in the Colorado net after donning the gear and practicing — often with his own team — for several weeks.

"I'm there to enjoy myself," Roy said this week. "That's the No. 1 thing. I had my career. Yes, I love to compete, but I'm not that crazy. I love it, but at the same time, I'm going there to have fun. That's the main thing, and renew with those players, the guys from Detroit, the guys from (Colorado). I think it's going to be simply fun. That's how I look at it. When the game starts, you never know how it could turn, but that's not the objective."

Will he stay in his crease this time?

"Yes, I will," Roy said, smiling.

Lemieux traveled to Denver on Thursday from his home in Newport Beach, Calif.

"I haven't been training much and haven't had much time to skate," he said. "I've been on the ice a couple of times the last six months, so that part of it isn't going to be anything great, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the guys."

Former Colorado defenseman Adam Foote — who had notorious nose-to-nose (and more) confrontations with Detroit winger Brendan Shanahan, now the Toronto Maple Leafs' president — still lives in the Denver area.


added 8:54am, Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes on Steve Yzerman playing tonight...

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Wings Head To Denver After Detroit Economic Club Luncheon

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

The annual Red Wings luncheon with the Detroit Economic Club often provides for some let-your-hair-down moments.

Such as …

* Justin Abdelkader said Thursday it’s easier standing in front of the net playing with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg because their shots are not hard.

* Dylan Larkin said he hopes Andreas Athanasiou does not land in the speed skating skills competition at the All-Star Game next year, because the new competition might challenge the record he set this year.

* Four days short of the trade deadline, Ken Holland said he preferred being general manager in the NHL before the salary cap led to parity. The new rules put an end to free-wheeling spending on free agents and forced teams to wait to the last possible moment at the trade deadline to decide if they are buyers or sellers.

continue for notes, quotes, etc....

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A Fan Proposed Detroit/Anaheim Trade

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

I reached out to hockey fans on Twitter to see who could come up with the most logical “Who says no?” scenario for the biggest trade week of the year, with the promise that I would run them by an executive. We’d give the executive final call on which side of the deal would shoot it down, while also giving his thoughts on the likelihood of such a deal.

On Wednesday, a well-respected senior hockey executive agreed to play along, if granted anonymity. The result of the exercise was not only fun, but also pretty revealing:...

The trade: The Red Wings send forward Gustav Nyquist to the Ducks for defenseman Sami Vatanen.

The thought process: The Ducks are loaded with young defensemen and need help at forward. The Red Wings are loaded with young forwards and need help on defense.

Who says no? “I can see both teams making this deal,” said the exec. “I like this one. Anaheim has a surplus of young defensemen. They’re not going to be able to keep them all. I know they’re extremely enamored with [defenseman] Josh Manson. If you can trade a winger for a young defenseman, those are deals you do, if you’re Detroit. Detroit has age on its blue line. Niklas Kronwall is not getting younger, Mike Green is an older guy. If you can get a young defenseman like that for the next 10 years, you do it. I think that deal helps both teams. Anaheim is looking to bolster their forward group. That’s the kind of deal Anaheim is looking to make.”

more NHL proposals (paid subscription)


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The Youngsters Talk About Playing An Outdoor Game

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

It'll be Andreas Athanasiou's first outdoor game since he was a kid growing up in Ontario.

"You always go on the outdoor rinks or ponds and get a group of buddies and throw your sticks in the middle and set up the team," Athanasiou said. "It'll bring back memories.

"I think it's so exciting. You see the atmosphere there, you don't get that every day, so it's something you have to appreciate."

It will be Alexey Marchenko's second outdoor game as pro – he played for the Grand Rapids Griffins at Comerica Park two years ago.

"I think it's going to be great," Marchenko said. "A lot of my friends are going to come. Always great to play outdoor game. Great atmosphere, lots of people, should be fun."

The Red Wings were scheduled to fly to Denver Thursday afternoon and practice Friday at Coors Field – home of baseball's Colorado Rockies.

Weather could be an issue. Temperatures are expected to top 70 degrees during the day Saturday but dip to the mid-30s at night.

more including Dylan Larkin on playing in the game.

The Wings were at a Detroit Economic luncheon today, then flying off to Denver.

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On McCarty’s health, Draper-Lemieux and ‘Hockey with Helene’ talks Wings-Avs

The Free Press's George Sipple and Helene St. James penned articles discussing, respectively, Darren McCarty's state of being, and Kris Draper's conversation with a certain Claude Lemieux last June, for business' sake.

First, from Sipple...

A few months ago, when Darren McCarty began to practice for Friday’s Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game in Denver, it was the best Draper had seen his old Grind Line mate in years. McCarty told Draper then that he had quit drinking again. He told the Free Press recently that he’s in a good spot in his life at age 43 largely because of it.

“That’s my demon,” McCarty said of drinking. “It had to be me. My wife had been supportive, and it had to come to a point to me. Got tired of feeling like it was owning me. I’ve had different stints. This one is different, I think. I feel differently now anyways.”

McCarty said one reason for that is he’s “properly medicated and blessed to live in the state of Michigan.”

He said medical marijuana has helped him immensely.

“It saved my life,” he said. “I’d be dead without it.”

Sipple continues, and St. James begins:

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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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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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