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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Avalanche morning skate Tweets and articles: Datsyuk absent; Avs talk up rivalry

Updated 2x at 2:16 PM: OH THANK GOODNESS, Datsyuk is OK.

The timing of tonight's game between the Red Wings and Avalanche (9 PM EST on FSD/NBCSN/Sportsnet 360/97.1 FM) is a little strange, and the "morning skate" is just starting for the Avs as I write this at approximately 12:30 EST, so we're going to do some "articles first" in what is usually a Twitter post (and you can also have fun reading The Hockey News's Lyle Richardson's summary of the Wings-related trade rumors if you wish).

Most of you will be watching the game on NBCSN, so here's Pro Hockey Talk's Ryan Dadoun's game set-up:

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Matheson discusses Red Wings’ pursuit of Myers, Petry

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's "Hockey World" and "Hockey World Short Shifts" columns discuss players that the Red Wings might want to pursue via the trade route.

Matheson suggests that the Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks are in a "bidding war" for a player who may or may not be on the trade table to begin with, and Matheson claims that the Wings are more than willing to mortgage a good chunk of their future to snag Myers (and for the record, I believe Myers will go to Anaheim instead of "within division"--if he's traded at all):

The Wings crave a rightie on their back-end, with none in their stable, and the Ducks, who are more of a Cup threat than Detroit is, want to win now in the ultra-competitive West.

Here’s who the Wings won’t give up for Myers: *Centre Dylan Larkin, the best USA player at the world junior, who will be a lightning-fast second-line NHL pivot.

Slovak winger Tomas Tatar, who might get 30 goals in Detroit.

Here’s who Detroit would hesitate to move: *Winger Anthony Mantha, the 6’5” kid who had 81 goals in 81 games in Val D’Or in junior last year and while feeling his way in his first pro season in Grand Rapids, could be heir apparent for Johan Franzen.

Here’s who would be in play:

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Mid-day news: catching up with a busy morning’s worth of Red Wings stories

The Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche heaven't even taken to the ice for their respective morning skates ahead of tonight's game (9 PM EST on FSD/NBCSN/Sportsnet 360/97.1 FM), but my decision to sleep in given the 12:30 PM EST Avs skate and 1:30 PM EST Wings skate (and the whole birthday thing) wasn't the brightest one.

I'm going to try to catch up with what was a very, very busy morning of Wings news as briefly as possible, so:

1. As Paul reported, USA Today's Kevin Allen has reported that the Wings have made a pitch for the 2018 World Junior Championships. Logistically, I'd imagine that the Wings would at least have to utilize their new rink, Compuware Arena, the Ice Cube and possibly Windsor's WFCU Centre to make things work (and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan is confirming);

2. Paul also noted that Sportsnet's Scott Lewis believes that Cody Franson could fetch a mint from Detroit, and this is where I say, "Um, no thank you":

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Detroit And Cody Franson Makes Sense

Scott Lewis of Sportsnet lists five teams as potential trade targets for Cody Franson, Detroit is one of them...

The Red Wings are light on cap space, but they might make the most sense as a potential rental destination for Franson. Of course, the Maple Leafs will be looking to maximize the return on the 6-foot-5 defenceman, so the addition of Franson to an already deep Red Wings team may be little more than wishcasting for Detroit fans.

The Red Wings have a few impressive young players already in the NHL and more coming down the pipeline. Perhaps there’s a deal to be made with multiple parts involved and Franson serving as the centrepiece.

Potential trade chips: Tomas Jurco, Dylan Larkin, Xaveir Ouellet, Teemu Pulkkinen, Ryan Sproul

read on for the other teams

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2018 World Junior Championships Coming To Detroit?

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Detroit Red Wings executives are in Colorado Springs Thursday to talk with USA Hockey officials about the possibility of Detroit serving as the site for the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships.

The Red Wings' new downtown arena is scheduled to be completed by then.

The World Junior Championships showcase the world's top teen-age players, many of whom go on to play in the NHL. More than 366,000 fans attended the 2015 tournament in Toronto and Montreal.


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Happy Birthday George Malik

Join me in wishing George a Happy Birthday and I will let him announce his age if he so chooses.

It is a pleasure having George around and nobody covers the Detroit Red Wings like George does.

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Avalanche set-up; on trades, Fedorov, Gordie and a ‘quiet man’

The Red Wings Fathers' Trip begins as the Red Wings play a "rivalry game" of sorts against the Colorado Avalanche this evening (9 PM EST on FSD/NBCSN/Sportsnet 360/97.1 FM), and this one's not a trap game--but it's a deceptively difficult one.

The Avalanche rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in an 11-round shootout on Tuesday, and the Avs have won 3 of their past 4 games (2 shootout wins) while building a 3-0-and-1 record, but Colorado also finds itself in a messy battle to earn one of the Western Conference's wild card spots and/or sneak back into the Central Division's playoff picture.

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Prospect news: Pulkkinen powers Griffins to matinee win; McNulty facing hard times in Kamloops

Teemu Pulkkinen is probably going to spend the balance of the 2014-15 season in Grand Rapids (barring Wings injuries), but that's not necessarily a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.

On a busy day for Red Wings prospects (see: Dylan Larkin was named the NCAA Division I hockey rookie of the month and Jake Paterson was named the OHL's goalie of the month, both for January), Pulkkinen's 2-goal performance in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 4-1 win over the Toronto Marlies gave Pulkkinen 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points--registered over the course of only 39 games played--and helping Pulkkinen hang on to the title of the AHL's leading scorer despite having played anywhere from 1-6 fewer games than the AHL's other top scorers.

Jonas Gustavsson also stopped 30 of 31 shots in his second and final "conditioning stint" start (Gustavsson and Xavier Ouellet were recalled after the game, with Tom McCollum heading back to GR), as the Griffins website's game recap notes:

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Wings officially swap out Gustavsson and McCollum, recall Ouellet

The Wings have made it official (the Free Press's Helene St. James reported this several hours ago)

… Goaltender Tom McCollum Assigned to Grand Rapids …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled defenseman Xavier Ouellet from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and recalled goaltender Jonas Gustavsson from his conditioning loan with the Griffins. Additionally, the Red Wings assigned goaltender Tom McCollum to the Griffins.

Ouellet, 21, has played 21 games for the Red Wings this season, notching three points (2-1-3), including his first NHL goal on Nov. 28 versus New Jersey. He has also appeared in 24 games with Grand Rapids, recording eight points (1-7-8) and a plus-seven rating. The Bayonne, France, native has totaled 94 career AHL games over the past two seasons, logging 25 points (5-20-25), a plus-10 rating and 40 penalty minutes. Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ouellet skated in 223 games with the QMJHL’s Montreal Juniors and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada from 2009-13, recording 160 points (41-119-160) and capturing a spot on the QMJHL First All-Star Team in back-to-back seasons (2012 and 2013).

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Khan: Zetterberg’s ‘back’ in a big way

The Red Wings got into Denver a little late due to the sloppy weather that ended up making Metro Detroit's roads a slush-fest on Wednesday afternoon, so their delayed practice + no super exciting news save Xavier Ouellet and Jonas Gustavsson joining the Fathers' Trip + Tom McCollum heading back to GR = it appears that the beat writers chose to incorporate their write-ups into their night-time news cycle stories.

MLive's Ansar Khan bucked the trend to note that Henrik Zetterberg's about a year removed from having to undergo back surgery after losing his year-long battle against a herniated disc at the 2014 Olympics, and both Zetterberg and his teammates agree that the 2014-15 season has been an entirely different animal for the surgically-repaired captain:

Zetterberg, 34, hasn't missed a game this season. He leads the team with 46 points in 50 games, tied for 13th in the NHL before Wednesday's game. He has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the past six games, clicking on a line with Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader. The Red Wings are 7-1 in their past eight games.

"He's captain for a reason, he's our engine," Kronwall said. "I think right now he's probably playing the best he ever has."

Zetterberg practiced Wednesday at the Pepsi Center, after taking a maintenance day Tuesday for an issue he said wasn't related to his back. He said he'll be in the lineup Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

"It's been good, it's been fun to be playing," Zetterberg said. "Last year I just want to scratch from the memory bank. This year coming in I didn't really know how to feel. I've been skating well. I've been feeling good health-wise. Also been playing with some fun linemates, young guys that kind of keep me feeling a little younger."

Khan continues, and Zetterberg certainly looks like someone who's going to be wearing the "C" when the Wings' new rink opens in 2017-18. I'm not sure you could suggest that with any certainty a year ago at this time.

Quick update: Via RedWingsFeed, the Free Press's Helene St. James posted a video of coach Mike Babcock discussing Zetterberg's return to health and the team's improvement:

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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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