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Jeff Blashill appears on WDFN, speaks for 23 minutes

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill appeared on WDFN's Matt Sheppard show this morning, speaking with Art Regner for over 22 minutes. Blashill addressed the Wings' offseason goals in terms of improving the team--both internally and externally--Dylan Larkin's future role and much more:

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Nichols: TSN’s McKenzie discusses the Radulov situation

Here's your daily Alexander Radulov scuttlebutt/update, via RedWingsFeed: Today's Slapshot's Chris Nichols penned a transcript of an interview TSN's Bob McKenzie gave to TSN 690 in Montreal, and here's what McKenzie said about Radulov:

On if he thinks Alex Radulov will come back to the NHL, and on what he thinks is the realistic price someone will pay for his services:

“Well, I know Darren Dreger reported last week the Wings offered him a one-year deal at $4 million which, for me, I think that’s a real fair offer. I’m sure he wants two years, and I’m sure he’d like to get $7.5 million (per season). I’d be surprised if anybody is going to give it to him. Maybe somebody will give him a two-year contract. I know I wouldn’t.

“I mean given his history – he’s a talented guy, but obviously the last go-round with Nashville was embarrassing for everybody concerned. And if I’m not mistaken, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think he was named to the World Cup team for the Russians, with Kovalchuk, and there’s a reason for that too. He’s a talented guy. He should be on the team. The ability to be a team guy and get along with people and what have you…

“As I said, in the National Hockey League if you’re a good hockey player, they will always afford you an opportunity to play, and probably at a decent rate of pay. But if he can get two years, God bless him. Good for him. But I think most teams want to try and do it on a one-year basis, and see what he can bring.”

Here's McKenzie's interview with TSN 690, and McKenzie addresses the situation at the 8:40 mark:

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Khan discusses Stamkos sweepstakes, Griffins graduates

MLive's Ansar Khan answered reader questions in an "Ask Ansar" feature this morning, and Khan led off with a question about Steven Stamkos:

Q: In what universe do you see it being a possibility that Stamkos goes to the Red Wings? – Ben

A: The stars and planets would need to be perfectly aligned.

First, the Red Wings would need to shed Pavel Datsyuk's $7.5 million cap hit in order to have the money for Stamkos. There are only a handful of teams that might need that salary (they won't actually be paying it) to reach the cap floor – Arizona, Carolina, Ottawa and Florida are possibilities. It will cost the Red Wings something to get rid of the contract and general manager Ken Holland said he is not going to relinquish a valuable asset (i.e. high draft pick, top prospect, good roster player) to do so.

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Howard’s ‘numbers’ include a significant level of uncertainty

This morning, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose examines Jimmy Howard's difficult 2015-16 season "By the Numbers," and Roose notes that Howard is like the rest of us--he doesn't yet know whether he'll begin the 2016-17 campaign in Detroit, or whether his future lies elsewhere:

“We’ll wait and see what happens,” the veteran goalie said as the Red Wings cleaned out their locker room last month.

Howard started strong but then back-to-back catastrophes in late December led to a rough stretch for the 32-year-old goalie. He finished the season with a 14-14-5 record in a 33 starts, which is his single-season career low.

“That was more so on me, having the one bad game there against New Jersey and then Winnipeg and Petr (Mrazek) was playing hot and decided to go with the hot hand,” Howard said. “For me, it’s just controlling what I can control and that’s myself.”

With Mrazek billed as the Red Wings’ No. 1 goalie, Howard was asked if he can accept a where he doesn’t play 50 or 60 games. “That’s something I’m going to have to think about,” he said, “and talk over with my family and people that are close to me.”

Roose continues with 6 significant figures...

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Bad ice, good hockey

Update: Whoops, wrong blog, it's stuck here.

The Stanley Cup Final's first couple of games always impress me because the most mentally and physically exhausted players left standing tend to produce the crispest, most intense hockey of the season, but around Game 3, exhaustion and bad ice in June tend to rear their ugly heads--regardless of where the Cup final is being held--and the game gets chippy as hell.

The National Post's Cam Cole duly notes that the ice at the SAP Center is not fantastic, but the players are adapting, and so is the hockey:

Creativity suffers on slush. Scoring chances evaporate when the puck bounces, others when that extra split-second trying to control it allows another pair of shin pads, another enemy stick, to join the crowd in the shooting lane.

The Pittsburgh Penguins blocked 38 San Jose shots in Game 3, 12 of them from Burns alone, surely some sort of individual Sharks record for futility.

But the home team won, and both sides shrug it off as the price of doing business. Move on.

“Hopefully they run out of sticks soon,” [Brent] Burns said. “Try to break their budget.”

The players are not surprised in the least that when it’s above 30C outdoors, the puck is simply not going to lay down on the surface.

“We’re playing hockey in California in June,” said Lovejoy, the former Anaheim Duck. “This is a great atmosphere to play in but the weather outside is 100 degrees. You can’t expect the ice to be like Edmonton in February. Ice across the NHL isn’t perfect. We have concerts in these buildings, soccer games, arena football games, it’s part of the deal. We understand it. We’ve been doing it for years. It’s not an excuse, we need to adapt to it.”

Cole continues...

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  Tags: ben+lovejoy, brent+burns, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks

Helping a young autistic boy continue to play hockey

A year ago, about this time, I mentioned that a young man named Nassim's mother is keeping the hockey dreams of an autistic son alive, and that she was raising funds for his participation in hockey.

In an ideal world, mom gets the bills paid, kid makes a hockey team and everybody has a happy ending.

Nassim's mom has another GoFundMe fundraiser underway, and while I can't implore you to make the same donations if you're "tired of asking," as someone who can relate to the concept of having to continue to ask for help, if you can give Nassim's mom's fundraiser a look, I'd appreciate it.

Sometimes the happy endings remain in-progress, and in an expensive sport to participate in, there's no shame in continuing to ask. This blogger certainly relates.

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Evening news: Larkin at the track and a clip of Abdelkader’s goals

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Dylan Larkin's weekend spent at the Detroit Grand Prix produced one more batch of multimedia and articles:

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Puck Daddy discusses Radulov’s ‘ask’

Yesterday night, The Score's Josh Gold-Smith discussed Alexander Radulov's asking price as reported by TSN's Darren Dreger. This afternoon, Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski addresses the situation as well, duly noting that MLive's Ansar Khan has reported that the Wings are offering Radulov a 1-year deal in the $4-5 million range:

TSN’s Darren Dreger backed [Khan's] claim in his Insider Trading segment on Friday, before adding additional details:

“A number of teams are interested in Alex Radulov no question about that, including Detroit. The belief is the Red Wings are comfortable at a one-year deal at around $4 million, but a couple of sources have indicated he wants two years at $7.5 million per [season].”

Predictably, Radulov is getting crushed for this demand, seeing as how he’s been playing overseas and has a history of, shall we say, challenging behavior for NHL teams.

That risk alone makes a $7.5 million salary idiotic, but honestly, who deserves more ire: The player asking for it, or the desperate general manager that would hand it over? Offensive potential makes executives do wacky things sometimes.

As I've said before, I've got no problem with the Wings signing a big, mean power forward who goes to the net and stays there if it's a 1-year deal in the $3.5-4.5 million range, but when you start talking about numbers with 5's, 6's and 7's and contract terms of two or more years for a 30-year-old who may or may not have put his attitude problems behind him, that's scary.

This is all part of the negotiating process, to be sure, but if the Wings are to sign Radulov, you and I both expect Detroit to sign him to a realistic deal, not some pie-in-the-sky number.

This is a summer where Ken Holland has to not only be aggressive in signing free agents (and making tades), but also be studious in signing the right people at the right terms. If Radulov wants Pavel Datsyuk money to be Pavel Datsyuk's replacement, he can go to Colorado and hang out with his former junior hockey coach, Patrick Roy.

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Larkin at the track, part 2

Dylan Larkin was busy at the Michigan Grand Prix on Belle Isle today...

And the Free Press's Helene St. James touched base with Larkin regarding his experience at the World Championship and his sporting endeavors since coming home:

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Mid-day news: Twitterrama, a prospect traded and Lidstrom’s role changing with Vasteras IK

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. In the historical news department:

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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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