The Malik Report
The Red Wings have re-signed Drew Miller and want to re-sign at least one of Daniel Cleary and/or Damien Brunner. As such, tthe Wings may very well go into training camp and the exhibition season with more than 14 forwards and 23 players (with Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson will all lead what the Wings hope will eventually be a slate of graduates from the Griffins' roster as full-time Wings).
The Free Press's Helene St. James duly notes that the Wings have their reasons for not just possibly but also probably heading into training camp with a glut of forwards (regardless of whether the team decides to buy out Mikael Samuelsson)...
Updated 2x at 2 PM: With the probabilty of Pavel Datsyuk snagging another Selke Trophy nod when the NHL announces its first slate of award winners this afternoon (and, as Sportsnet's Mark Spector suggests, Henrik Zetterberg being snubbed by Mark Messier in the "leadership award" department--though you can make a difference as Pavel Datsyuk faces off against Jake Allen in the TSN Play of the Year semifinals), the spotlight sits squarely upon the Grand Rapids Griffins, who can sweep the Syracuse Crunch and capture their first Calder Cup this evening at a sold-out Van Andel Arena (7 PM EDT, AHLLive.com/WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids/WOOD Radio).
Updated 13x at 6:15 PM: This hasn't been confirmed yet, but, per Pro Hockey Talk's Jason Brough, Josh Rimer's reporting that the Red Wings have signed Drew Miller to a 3-year contract extension:
That would be a fair deal given Miller's versatility as a penalty-killer, occasional top-six forward and someone who posts 15-20 points a season despite playing only 8-12 minutes per game at times, though he can play much more as necessary.
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan's confirming:
According to the New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein (via RedWingsFeed), the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation has released the roster of its summer camp for the 2014 Olympics, which will meet from August 12-14 (of this summer) in Stockholm. The roster will meet to discuss Olympic strategies and get on the same game-planning page instead of taking to the ice, and here's the roster includes five Red Wings in Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Gustav Nyquist, Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
What can they expect? What adjustments are needed? Coach Mike Babcock said after the season that he won't know until he's experienced it. But, he has spoken to Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean, the former Red Wings assistant.
“He says it's more physically demanding from the get-go as far as fighting and physicality,'' Babcock said. “But, he told me he just did what he always did, so that's what we're going to do. We understand (more physicality) might be part of it, but we're going to get prepared.
“We've broken up that (conference) into groups, so that each (assistant) coach covers it and gets a good handle on all the players. We got to know all the players before we get to camp.''
The Red Wings' new division includes Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto. The other division in the East will consistent of Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, the Islanders, the Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.
The Red Wings will play four or five games against each team in their division, three games vs. each club in the other Eastern division and home and away against each of the 14 Western teams.
Beware, Wings fans, auto-play clips lurk within!
The Grand Rapids Griffins can capture their first Calder Cup title tonight when they battle the Syracuse Crunch in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Final this evening (7 PM EDT, AHLLive.com/WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids/WOOD Radio), and they'll do so in front of an AHL-attendance-record-setting, sold-out Van Andel Arena audience (the Griffins have stated that tickets are only available on the secondary market; and if you wonder what the AHL does with Calder Cup jerseys, pucks and even player nameplates, it swipes 'em and puts them up for auction!).
The Griffins preached patience, poise and wariness of the Crunch's hard-hitting offensive aplomb on Thursday, off-setting Ken Holland's suggestions that the rebuilding-on-the-fly Wings may see 10 of the Grifins' playoff-performing prospects graduate to the NHL at some point, and we do know that the Griffins will probably face some adversity as Richard Panik's hit on Adam Almquist, clean or not, gave Almquist a concussion, so the team probably won't have the services of one of their best puck-movers at their disposal.
Almquist spoke to Fox 17 about his injury, which is likely to result in
Jeff Brett Skinner returning to the Griffins' lineup, in a video discussing the Griffins' Thurdsay practice...
The Detroit Red Wings' brass is doubtlessly pleased with the Grand Rapids Griffins' progress given that the team's one win away from a Calder Cup championship. After Game 3, Wings coach Mike Babcock suggested that Luke Glendening will play at the NHL level at some point (and he praised Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, too) we already know that the team's planning on accommodating Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Danny DeKeyser and probably Brian Lashoff as full-time NHL players next season...
And this afternoon, Wings GM Ken Holland told MLive's Peter J. Wallner that a combination of strong player development and the boost that the Griffins players' confidence levels are receiving from their Calder Cup run could yield ten or more current Griffins playing for the Red Wings at some point in the future:
“Success breeds confidence and that’s what we’re seeing,” said Ken Holland, the Red Wings general manager who watched the Grand Rapids Griffins defeat Syracuse 4-2 on Wednesday to take a 3-0 lead in the Calder Cup Finals.
Holland has high hopes.
“We look at the age of this team and we’re hoping half of them end up in the National Hockey League, and lots of them are going to be in Detroit,” he said.
Wallner says that Holland, de-facto assistant GM and now Grand Rapids Griffins GM Ryan Martin and Wings coach Mike Babcock attended Wendesday's game, just as the trio took in Games 1 and 2 in Syracuse, and the trio believe that the Griffins' playoff run should allow some players to skip a developmental step along the road to becoming well-rounded professional hockey players...
If you've always wanted to be treated like a Red Wings player, and you've got the money to spend, he Detroit Red Wings are hosting one hell of a fantasy camp experience in August:
RED WINGS TO HOST EXCLUSIVE FANTASY CAMP PRESENTED BY MILLER LITE
… Participants to Join Hockeytown Legends for Ultimate Fan Experience at Joe Louis Arena …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings will host an exclusive Fantasy Camp, presented by Miller Lite, to give participants the chance of a lifetime to spend three days on and off the ice at Joe Louis Arena with their favorite Hockeytown legends. This ultimate fan experience is scheduled for August 15-17 and features three days of action with former Red Wings players including Tomas Holmstrom, Kirk Maltby, Chris Osgood and Dallas Drake (alumni participants are subject to change).
Regardless of what you may think about Richard Panik's hit on Adam Almquist, its result was perhaps predictable given that Almquist neither returned to the game between Panik's Syracuse Crunch and Almquist's Grand Rapids Griffins nor practiced today, and Fox 17's Steve Amorose reports that Almquist did not "stay down" because he was "diving" or trying to milk a penalty:
Grand Rapids Griffins Defenseman Adam Almquist may sit out the potential Calder Cup-winning game on Friday because of a concussion he sustained during Game 3 of the series.
According to Almquist, he blacked out after a hit by Syracuse Right Wing Richard Panik.
No official decision will be made until Friday, but Almquist said he doesn’t expect to play. If so, Brett Skinner will return to the lineup to fill his place.
Yahoo Sports' Eric Adelson reports that yesterday marked the
15th 16th anniversary of the limousine crash that all but paralyzed Red Wings trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov and yielded a severe brain injury for Vladimir Konstantinov, just as Vladdie was establishing himself as a Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman. He spoke to Konstantinov's wife about Konstatinov's continued slow recovery and his "what if..." hockey legacy:
"His beautiful life and his beautiful career are not the same," said his wife, Irina, reached by phone Tuesday. "Everything else fades compared to that."
For those who never watched him play, Konstantinov was a rare blend of skill and toughness. He was the Russian who wouldn't back down from anyone; in fact, he was the Russian who regularly threatened. He punished people, but not in a way that undermined his team. He could enforce with his body, his stickhandling, and his mind. Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber called him "the nastiest blueliner in the NHL."
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.