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Svechnikov ready to soak up pro lessons as a Grand Rapids Griffins ‘Black Ace’

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Red Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov regarding the possibility of turning pro with the Red Wings next season, as well as his impressions of the Grand Rapids Griffins thus far:

Svechnikov, a left winger, is one of the "Black Aces," players from juniors and invitees we are with the Griffins for the postseason. The group includes second choice (third round) defenseman Vili Saarijarvi and fellow defenseman Joe Hicketts, from the WHL's Victoria Royals who is expected to be with the Griffins next season.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound 19-year-old, who played the past two season for Cape Breton in the QMJHL, admitted he was tired from traveling overseas before arriving late Sunday to join the team, but ready to learn.

"This is pro hockey and a lot of older guys and more experience," he said. "There are more details to learn, how they prepare and just learning a lot."

Even if he doesn't play, Svechnikov thinks he can contribute with hard practices.

"I think I can bring some power and play hard and, again, it's a lot of improving for me," he said. "I going to work on getting quicker and working in the corners and a lot to account for."

Wallner continues, discussing the possibility of Svechnikov playing with Griffins coach Todd Nelson, and Wallner posted a video of Svechnikov's comments as well:

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Locker room clean-out day articles: On Datsyuk, Ilitch support, videos and Howard talking trade

Updated 22x at 8:21 PM: The Red Wings cleaned out their lockers and spoke to the media on Monday, and articles and videos from the locker room clean-out day will be hitting the wires for the balance of the afternoon and evening.

The Free Press's Helene St. James kicks us off with this about Pavel Datsyuk:

General manager Ken Holland noted that, based on "past conversations" with Datsyuk and agent Dan Milsten, "I guess I would expect news that he's not coming back."

Longtime friend Henrik Zetterberg said he had "a good idea" of Datsyuk's decision. So did Niklas Kronwall. Neither would reveal what they believe, out of respect for Datsyuk, but Zetterberg especially sounded like he knows Datsyuk is gone.

Players signed a Datsyuk jersey while cleaning out their lockers. Many took pictures with him.

Datsyuk leaving with a year left on his contract would put the Wings in a hard spot. Because he signed his last deal after he turned 35, the $7.5-million salary cap hit would remain if he retires. The best the Wings can do is hope to trade the contract to a team that needs the hit to make the minimum payroll requirements, but Holland said that is only realistic if the price is reasonable. If it involves "lots of futures," then Holland said that doesn't make sense to give up given the importance of development from within in today's NHL.

Fox 2 posted Datsyuk's presser:

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TMR afternoon line: literal handwriting on the wall

I'm still updating the Locker Room Clean-Out-Day Tweets post, but this Tweet deserves its own entry. Per Fox 2's Jennifer Hammond:

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Locker room clean-out day Tweets: Datsyuk to make decision after World Championships

The Detroit Red Wings posed for their team picture and cleaned out their lockers today at Joe Louis Arena, speaking with the media in a formal setting for the last time this season.

In Finland, Teemu Pulkkinen's already arrived to train with the Finnish National Team ahead of the World Championships...With a big dog...

At Joe Louis Arena, per Fox 2's Jennifer Hammond...

Uncharacteristic there's No sign yet of #Wings owner Mike Ilitch so far at the Joe as the team takes its annual end of the season photo.

And in the land of rumors, from Sportsnet's Eliotte Friedman:

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‘Two things’: Definitive explanation of cap recapture &, ‘Who’s staying, who’s going and who’s iffy’

Two things as we wait for locker room clean-out day to begin:

1. I strongly, strongly recommend that you read Winging It in Motown's J.J. from Kansas' article about the salary cap recapture penalty as it might apply to Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen going forward. J.J. took a complex topic and made it easily understandable;

2. The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a "roster picture" discussing which players will return, which players will leave, and those who merit "iffy" status...

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Zetterberg, Ericsson, Kronwall all decline invitations to play for Sweden at World Championship

In recent years, as many as 10 members of the Detroit Red Wings have taken part in the World Championship, and we're already up to 4 players heading to St. Petersburg and Moscow next week (Dylan Larkin, Teemu Pulkkinen, Pavel Datsyuk and Alexey Marchenko), with more likely to come, but it doesn't appear that the Wings' Swedes will join the fray.

According to Aftonbladet's Erik Karlsson, Henrik Zetterberg and Jonathan Ericsson have joined the injured Niklas Kronwall in declining invitations to play for Sweden, leaving Gustav Nyquist as the only Wing likely to play for the Tre Kronor ("Three Crowns").

It's still possible that Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco (Slovakia), Nyquist (Sweden), Jimmy Howard (USA) and a few more Wings may take part in the Worlds (I could see Mike Green and Darren Helm play for Canada, for example). We'll find out more in the next few days.

In the interim, Sport-Express is reporting that Datsyuk and Marchenko will join the Russian national team on Wednesday or Thursday...

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Ted Lindsay, Darren McCarty address the Wings’ early exit on WJR

Two Red Wings alumni spoke with WJR AM 760 recently to discuss the Red Wings' ouster from the playoffs.

Ted Lindsay spoke with Paul W. Smith to both discuss the Red Wings as well as a wine-tasting for his autism charity that's taking place tonight:

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Khan speaks with Larkin about his rookie year

The Windsor Star's Bob Duff and MLive's Ansar Khan both spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding Dylan Larkin's forward progress made over the course of his first NHL season. Ahead of locker room clean-out-day at the Joe, we'll examine what Larkin had to say about his own learning experiences while speaking with MLive's Khan:

Larkin called his rookie season "intense" and a learning experience.

"It's been a pretty crazy experience, but I've learned a lot about myself and the guys in this room," Larkin said during the series.

"I think the intensity and physicality of the play, it was eye-opening after Game 1.

"You still wish you could do a little bit more to help the team defensively or offensively, but I think as the series (progressed), every game I felt more comfortable and took experiences from the previous games into the next game."

Larkin played most of the season on Zetterberg's line and earned a lot from him.

"I just think it's patience with the puck," Larkin said. "He makes players around him better. I learned how he defends. He's an elite defender, a 200-foot player. He's not the fastest guy, but he out-thinks everyone on the ice and just watching him, you learn his tendencies and what he likes to do in the defensive zone. It's pretty impressive that even though he's not the fastest guy or the strongest, he definitely out-thinks everyone on the ice."

Khan continues at extended length, and Larkin's going to continue to learn playing for Team USA at the World Championship in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The Worlds begin next Friday.

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Prospect playoff news: Ehn, Frolunda Indians win SHL championship; Walleye force Game 7 vs. Reading

Of prospect-related playoff note:

In the SHL, Christoffer Ehn played 8:19 and won 50% of his faceoffs as the Frolunda Indians defeated Skelleftea AIK 5-3, taking the SHL title in 5 games. Ehn, a lanky 2-way center, will remain with Frolunda for another season at least;

In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye rallied from a 3-2 deficit to force a Game 7 against the Reading Royals, winning 3-1 on Sunday thanks to a 33-save performance from Jeff Lerg and 2 goals from A.J. Jenks.

The Walleye will host Game 7 on Tuesday, and the Walleye's website posted a recap:

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Early overnight report: More World Championship news, grades, KH on Larkin and Griffins discussion

Of Red Wings-related note this evening, the night before the Wings clean out their lockers and address the media on Monday:

1. The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and MLive's Ansar Khan report the following:

I can't find official confirmation from any Russian news sources, but Ken Holland did tell R-Sport's Roman Solvyev that he's going to sign Alexey Marchenko to a 1-way contract in his contract extension, and that Evgeny Svechnikov's made good progress with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, but needs to add speed to his repertoire.

Holland also confirmed that the Wings are willing to wait until June, perhaps as long as the draft, for Pavel Datsyuk's decisoin;

2. The Free Press's Helene St. James has issued her final Wings grades, and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan posted his Wings grades this evening;

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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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