The Malik Report
I had a conversation with Grand Rapids Griffins equipment manager Brad "Dogg" Thompson that was really enlightening today: Brad and I talked about the players that have impressed us both at the camp and the level of the try-outs' play, and we both agreed that the truth of the matter regarding those who've received short shrift in this blog is simple:
There simply is no vast gulf between the try-outs and the pro prospects any more. Everybody attending the Wings' summer development camp, which wraps up tomorrow with an 11 AM scrimmage, is really good. Everybody can keep up with both the team systems drills and Jiri FIscher's skating drills, no matter how difficult they might be.
Nobody taking part in this camp has stood out in a negative manner, and whether you're talking about 6'9" Jarret Meyer or Korean "exchange prospects" Won-Jun Kim or Jin Hui Ahn, each and every participant has acquitted himself very, very well.
The difference between the tryouts and the pro prospects is simple: they have at least some aspects of their game that are elite, not just professional, but elite, and through a combination of natural gifts and hard work, they can bring their skill levels to heights that are truly at or near AHL or NHL levels.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
GRIFFINS RE-SIGN HOGGAN AND PAETSCH, WELCOME BACK GRANT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday announced that they have re-signed left wing Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Nathan Paetsch and have signed left wing Triston Grant, who returns to the team following a one-year absence. Paetsch inked a two-year deal while Hoggan and Grant each signed one-year contracts.
The trio led the Griffins to their first Calder Cup championship in 2012-13 and will again provide the team’s veteran foundation in 2015-16 under new head coach Todd Nelson.
Among this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories:
You'll have to pardon me for raising an eyebrow at this note from the Fourth Period:
Unrestricted free agent forward Alexander Semin would like to find a long-term home in the NHL, but as his agent explains, he's open to a one-year contract.
Mark Gandler, Semin's agent, told Russian media outlet Sport Express that "we have no problems signing up for one year."
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings have reportedly expressed some interest in Semin, who was bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes last week.
In fantasy hockey news, NHL.com's Eric Goodman suggests that poolies pick up a certain new Red Wings defenseman:
from Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press,
There are other ways for the Red Wings can move among the NHL’s elite other than adding size. Waterford Township’s Dylan Larkin is an outstanding talent, who is unlikely to blink at the move up in level of competition. He is on the fast track to contribute more significantly than imagined when he was taken in the first-round in ‘14.
There have been vivid flashes suggesting Petr Mrazek is special, and a truly top-end goalie can carry a team a long way.
But size and grit – the Red Wings haven’t had nearly enough of it the last few years.
It’s time to use their deep pool of developing players, and/or perhaps goalie Jimmy Howard, to acquire it via trades.
Doing so would make an encouraging off season so far even better.
Personally, I feel Caputo should have wrote this a few years ago. Look at the Blackhawks and Lightning, lack of size and grit were not an issue for both teams.
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
Nobody has stood out more at the Detroit Red Wings development camp more than defenseman Jarett Meyer.
That's what happens when you stand 7 feet tall on skates.
The 18-year-old defenseman is easily the tallest player at Centre I.C.E. Arena after being among 22 invites for the 45-player camp.
Meyer came to the Red Wings attention last season, when director of player personnel Jiri Fischer was keeping tabs on Detroit draft pick Zach Nastasiuk, who was captain of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League. It didn't take long for him to spot Meyer in the Attack lineup.
Meyer spent his first OHL season in Owen Sound and Fischer immediately took notice of his size.
The Red Wings' prospects went through their final day of skill development and systems drills at the Wings' summer development camp: tomorrow, the teams will scrimmage at 11 AM, and that will conclude the activities in Traverse City.
Today's drills were intense and focused on very Detroit-like systems of play, and after watching Jiri Fischer take his skating drills to their game-level conclusion and the Griffins and Walleye's coaches work on one-on-one battles, breakouts and regroup drills, I spoke to several prospects and coach Blashill:
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Longtime Detroit Red Wings netminder and owner of three Stanley Cup rings Chris Osgood might be one of the great Hall of Fame bubble cases of all time. His statistics, were they taken in a vacuum, would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame, as he ranks statistically with some of the game's greatest goaltenders, including a bevy of netminders already enshrined. Yet there is a perception in many circles that he was simply an average-to-good goaltender who won the hockey lottery backstopping a dynastic team coach by one of the greatest coaches of all time in Scotty Bowman. How perception will ultimately reflect or influence reality in the coming years vis a vis voting for the Hall of Fame promises to be one of the most interesting Hall of Fame debates of all.
The Case For
Where to start? Well, as of this writing, Osgood ranks 10th all time in wins among all NHL goaltenders with 401 (Roberto Luongo will pass him shortly, and Luongo will no doubt become the subject of an interesting Hall of Fame debate in the coming years). Osgood won three Stanley Cups -- two as a starter -- and came within two wins in 2009 of winning a fourth Cup as Detroit was defeated by Pittsburgh in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena. His 74 postseason wins are eighth all time, and he managed to collect 15 shutouts in the playoffs (fourth all time).
Among this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:
MLive's Ansar Khan ponders whether Jeff Blashill might finally choose to utilize Brendan Smith on the Red Wings' power play, unlike his predecessor:
"I think Brendan has that ability to do that (power play)," Blashill said. "You have to see where the whole puzzle fits at camp. He's somebody I know that's done that in the past because he's done that for me in the American League (for half the 2012-13 season)."
Blashill has a vision of how Smith can be best utilized.
"I think Brendan's best offensive ability is kind of roaming around below the tops of the circles," Blashill said. "If he's a weak-side guy on the power play, going to the net a lot, he can retrieve pucks because he's quick, he's strong, he's competitive. He's got good offensive instincts once he gets below the tops of circles. I know at Wisconsin he was on his off-side (right side) hitting one-timers. That's something we'll explore going into camp."
Among this evening's Red Wings-related news stories and items: The Wings' prospects were busy attending the Cherry Festival this afternoon, after engaging in some wild skating drills (more on that in a minute). However:
Grand Rapids Griffins forward and hopeful future Wing Mitch Callahan is up in Traverse City with the Red Wings' prospects, taking his first steps back from a torn ACL, and he discussed his recovery with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose as part of a "getting to know" Q and A...
“It’s nice that everybody is training coming into the season, but at the same time I would love to do all of this right now and skating in a full practice or scrimmage,” the 23-year-old Callahan said. “That’s the way it goes this time. I have to accept it and battle through it.”
It’s been a rough two years for Callahan, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in February. Ten months earlier, the Red Wings’ sixth-round pick in the 2009 draft, suffered a fractured jaw and lost 10 teeth when he was struck by a puck.
Callahan is in Traverse City where this week he is working out with team trainers and skating on his own at the Wings’ development camp at Centre Ice Arena.
“Just skating on my own but no tight turns or stop and starting as of yet. That’s probably next week,” said Callahan, who expects to be ready for the Red Wings’ main training camp in September. Going to camp like everybody else trying to compete for a spot,” he added. “Just to be healthy and prove that – even though I had a knee injury – that my game hasn’t changed. There’s no setback in my game. … I’ll be 100 percent and ready by the end of August, so that’s right in time for camp.”
And Roose continues...
Evgeny Svechnikov isn't a man of too many words, but he discussed being drafted by the Wings and taking part in the development camp with the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Holmstrom (6-foot-1, 198 pounds) had 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 44 games with Skelleftea, then exploded in the playoffs with 18 points (seven goals) in 15 games.
The way Holmstrom sees it, though, it was mainly being in the right place at the right time.
“I got good confidence from my coach and we had a real good team, good teammates,” said Holmstrom, who can play center or left wing. “We had a lot of good self-confidence in our group. Myself, I started the playoffs pretty good and got confidence from that and just kept going. I had some lucky bounces.
“I shot the puck more, my coaches told me to do that and I would get more goals. It was unfortunate we lost in the finals but both me and the team had a good team.”
Holmstrom will return to Sweden this season and plans on turning pro in North America after his Swedish season, joining Grand Rapids.
Given his inexperience and not having played pro in Sweden, a full season playing there would be a positive decision.
“I want to take the next step and be good the whole season, just take a bigger role with the team,” Holmstrom said. “I want to keep getting better.
“I have to get better in every (way. The NHL is) the best league in the world and I want to do my best and develop the best I can.”
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.