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Ansar Khan The Answer Man

Ansar Khan of Mlive answers a few questions...

Q: Who (among Grand Rapids Griffins) might play in Detroit next year? I believe they have three or four defenseman and three or four forwards who have a chance.

A: Andreas Athanasiou is certain to start the season in Detroit. Anthony Mantha should have a roster spot as well; however, a bad camp or preseason could cost him, since he can still be sent down without waivers.

I would expect Martin Frk to start the season on the Red Wings roster. Their top pick in 2012, Frk is out of options and the club certainly wouldn't want to lose him on waivers. So they must keep him on the roster or trade him. The right-shooting winger had 27 goals and 44 points in his first full season with the Griffins.

Veteran Eric Tangradi, who had 28 goals and 56 points in Grand Rapids, is an option, too.

On defense, Xavier Ouellet is out of options and will be on the NHL roster.

Ryan Sproul and Nick Jensen also lose their waiver-exempt status. They'll be competing for NHL jobs in camp and the preseason. Sproul is intriguing because of his size (6-3, 205) and booming right shot. He didn't progress as fast as they hoped but is coming off his best season (12 goals. 35 points). I don't think he would clear waivers. Jensen is more apt to clear.


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Catching up with Alden Hirschfeld

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe caught up with Grand Rapids Griffins and Toledo Walleye forward Alden Hirschfeld, who had a seizure this past January and chose to undergo brain surgery to correct the underlying issue:

On Jan. 8, Hirschfeld had been promoted to the fast-paced American Hockey League, and he sat primed for his next shift on the bench during a game in Grand Rapids, Mich. Without warning, he collapsed, falling unconscious as he suffered a seizure.

Taken out on a stretcher, the game was halted and Hirschfeld’s blossoming career was abruptly put on hold.

Doctors later determined that a malformation in Hirschfeld’s brain caused the seizure.

Not even 10 years out of Northview High School, Hirschfeld made the daunting decision to undergo brain surgery. He viewed it as “a quality of life decision” — one that would ensure he would enjoy simple moments with his wife and high school sweetheart, Lauren. His first child, daughter Vivian, celebrated her first birthday three months before the episode on the bench.

“It was a big surgery,” Hirschfeld said. “It’s been very hard and difficult. It’s been a tough few months. I’m so thankful for my wife and family and my friends and teammates. They got me through everything.

“Hockey has always been there. It’s the sport I’ve always loved.”

Monroe continues, and he reports that Hirschfeld plans on returning to play pro hockey next season, aiming for a November return.

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Larkin comments on a another kind of horse race

What a difference a year must make (I say with some light sarcasm). At the World Championship, Dylan Larkin had a goal and an assist in today's 6-3 win over Belarus, but he spent his post-game media availability talking up Auston Matthews, or at least that's what and whom he discussed with USA Today's Kevin Allen:

On Friday, No. 2 ranked NHL draft prospect Patrik Laine registered two memorable goals and an assist to help Finland down Belarus 6-2 at the world championships in Russia.  On Saturday, Matthews scored a pair of skillful goals to power USA to a 6-3 win against Belurus.

“I haven’t looked on Twitter, but I’m sure fans are eating this up,” USA center Dylan Larkin told USA TODAY Sports, via cell phone, from St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Toronto Maple Leafs own the No. 1 draft pick, and Arizona-native Matthews is expected to be their choice. The Winnipeg Jets would then take winger Laine second overall.

“(Matthews) is a horse out there,” said Larkin, a Detroit Red Wings forward who had a goal and an assist against Belarus. “You can’t get him off the puck. And he has unbelievable hands. It is pretty cool to see what Laine did and then Auston to respond.”

Allen continues, and if you missed the highlights:

Here are both Matthews and Larkin post-game:

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Nyquist the Horse wins the Kentucky Derby

This is the most nonsensical thing I've ever posted, but it happened. The horse named Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby (post split because emjois screw up our RSS feed). Paul Reddam, Red Wings fan and very rich man, bought a horse named Nyquist, and Nyquist went and won the Kentucky Derby, so we celebrate a rich man's hobby on the track like we celebrate a rich man's hobby on ice.

Why not?

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‘Two things’: Datsyuk’s 15-16 goals and a Slovak Q and A with Tomas Jurco

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. AWood40 posted a clip of Pavel Datsyuk's 16 regulation and 2 shootout goals from this past season:

And Tomas Jurco gave an informal interview to Pravda.sk's Michal Maslany, and what follows is roughly translated:

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Grand Rapids Griffins lose 4-3 to the Lake Erie Monsters in Game 2

The Grand Rapids Griffins lost 4-3 to the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday, losing a 3-2 lead late in the 3rd period and surrendering a power play goal with only 3:14 remaining in regulation, and now the Griffins are in an 0-and-2 hole heading into tomorrow's 4 PM start game at Van Andel Arena.

The Griffins have been somewhat porous defensively and have struggled to win the special teams battle against a more rested and more NHL-player-heavy Monsters team, and all of a sudden, the Griffins will be playing their 3rd game in 4 nights in what is certainly a must-win game.

The AHL's website posted a recap...

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Larkin registers a goal and an assist in Team USA’s win over Belarus

Dylan Larkin registered a goal and an assist as Team USA defeated Belarus 6-3, with the Americans winning a surprisingly chippy affair. Larkin was strong on a line with Nick Foligno and Kyle Connor, working on the PP, PK and finishing with 7 shots in 18:13 played.

The IIHF's been pretty good about posting highlight clips, so I'll add that when it's posted their YouTube channel.

As MLive's Ansar Khan notes, Larkin scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal:

Larkin scored on the power play at 2:13 of the second period to make it 3-0. He has assisted on Chris Wideman's power-play goal at 13:38 of the first that gave the Americans a 2-0 lead.

Update: Here are the highlights...

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The Stanley Cup visits Nyquist the Horse

From "Nyquist the Horse"...

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Grand Rapids Griffins-Lake Erie Monsters Game 2 game-day preview

The Grand Rapids Griffins hope to rally from a 1-game deficit to the Lake Erie Monsters today at noon  EDT (on The AHL Live and ESPN 96.1 FM). Here's the Griffins' Game-Day Preview video...

And the Griffins also posted a video in which Eric Tangradi reflected upon the first game of the second round:

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Red Wings at the World Championship: Jurco nets two points in Slovakia’s win over Hungary

From IIHF.com's John Sanful:

Led by Tomas Jurco and Andrej Sekera, Slovakia held on for a 4-1 win over Hungary in the opening game on the second day of the IIHF World Championships at Yubileiny Arena.

Jurco’s goal in the closing minutes of the first period would be the difference maker. After going scoreless in five games at the 2015 World Championships, Jurco's game winner was his first ever senior men's goal.

Jurco, Sekera and Martin Marincin all has two points each in the game.

Jurco played 14:17, finishing at +2 with 4 shots taken.

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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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