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Red Wings’ captain, coach and GM tell MLive’s Khan that the team’s on an upward trajectory

Yesterday we received some strong indications of where the Red Wings' players, coach, possible soon-to-be alumni and the Wings' beat writers believe the team is headed, and this afternoon, MLive's Ansar Khan provides words of cautious optimism from the team's captain...

“It's a fine line here,'' [Henrik] Zetterberg said. “But, it feels better to stand here and look to the future than it did last year. You're a lot more positive. We know we have a good group of guys. We'll make some additions and keep building on what we have. We know we're going to do good things."

The coach...

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More Red Wings free agent-to-be remarks and roster talk

As noted in an update to the overnight report, MLive's Brendan Savage posted a few more comments from the Red Wings' unrestricted free agents-to-be--Valtteri Filppula, Drew Miller, Daniel Cleary and Ian White--and White sounded exactly as disgruntled as you'd expect him to be.

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke to White as well, and if Wings coach Mike Babcock's, "We wish him luck" is any indication, the Wings have as much desire to bring back a player who went straight to the media stating that he hadn't asked for a trade yet after being benched and then playing crappily when he did get a chance to proveh himself (okay, that was a very long and rambling "who/what-used-as-a-prepositional phrase" clause) has to remain a Wing:

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Red Wings overnight report: one season ends and another begins

Updated with some UFA talk at 7:07 AM: The Red Wings cleaned out their lockers on Friday afternoon, with Pavel Datsyuk stating that he'd like to sign a multi-year contract extension over a year before his current deal expires, the Wings' free agents-to-be crossing their fingers about returning to Detroit, Darren Helm speaking about his back issues and the team as a whole reflecting on a season whose late-season and playoff progress, somewhat ironically, will yield much less change than fans had hoped would take place this summer.

Friday's final formal set of media appearances will serve as the fodder for at least another week's worth of "empty out the notebook" stories , and as we slowly but surely read and occasionally listen to the players, coaches and management's reflections on the 2013 season and the playoff run that was perhaps a few breaks from a Western Conference Final appearance...

The Wings' players and management will be a busy bunch down at the Joe.

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Scary stuff in OKC: Griffins, Barons wait out tornado warning in parking garage, game postponed

When I'm not making heated comments about Red Wings games on Twitter, I try to at least keep a professional demeanor and stay away from sensationalism, but as a human being as much as anything else, it was very, very hard to just keep my damn mouth shut both on social media and here while reading WOOD TV8's Larry Figurski, Fox 17's Steve Amorose and the Grand Rapids Griffins' Twitter accounts deliver a terrifying play-by-play on Friday evening.

The bottom line? A day after the Griffins' front office helped with clean-up efforts in Moore, OK, another tornado formed near and passed close to the Cox Convention Center (among several tornadoes that hit the Oklahoma City area), where the Griffins were supposed to be battling the Oklahoma City Barons in Game 4 of the AHL's Western Conference Final.

Instead of taking in a hockey game or playing in it, the fans, the media, the players, coaches and Red Wings executives had to take shelter in the parking garage under the rink, and when they returned to the rink, severe flooding delayed Game 4 until Saturday and pushed Game 5 from Saturday to Sunday.

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Griffins-Barons game postponed due to ‘severe weather’

Scary stuff from Oklahoma City, per the Grand Rapids Griffins:

Tonight’s Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Oklahoma City Barons has been postponed and rescheduled for Sunday due to severe weather conditions in downtown Oklahoma City.

Game 4 of the series will be held on Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT, and Game 5 will now take place on Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT. Both games will be held at the Cox Convention Center, before the series turns back to Grand Rapids for a potential Game 6 on Tuesday.

I'll have more later, but WOOD TV's Larry Figurski and Fox 17's Steve Amorose reported that EVERYBODY--the Griffins, the Barons, their fans, the media, the rink staff--was evacuated from the rink, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that there's been significant flooding in the building.

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Red Wings locker room clean-out day post 2: free agents-to-be want to stay, coach and GM not so sure

Updated at 10:04 PM: Despite the fact that the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers on Friday afternoon, we received good news in terms of the franchise's future in the form of Pavel Datsyuk informing the Wings' beat writers and everyone else that he plans on remaining with the Red Wings past the expiry of his current contract in the summer of 2014, and that, as he told Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji, he plans on remaining a Wing for "years to come":

"I hope we agree and I sign more after my year," Datsyuk said after the Wings cleaned out their lockers Friday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. "I would love to stay."

Datsyuk enjoyed playing in Russia's KHL during the lockout, which fueled speculation that he would return there after his contract expires after next season.

"It's fun to be home, but one home to another home, it's when you play too much here, it's nice to come back home," Datsyuk said.

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A Datsyukian Tweet

On the heels of the locker room clean-out day news that Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk would like to sign a multi-year contract extension with the Wings, he posted one helluva Tweet:

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Red Wings locker room clean-out day post 1: Datsyuk wants to stay, Wings won’t replace Nill

Updated 4x at 3:57 PM: If there is any "good news" about the fact that the Detroit Red Wings took their team picture and cleaned out their lockers today, facing the media for the last formal "locker stall scrum" time this season and looking toward the future, it is this:

The Red Wings summer will be incredibly short for both a roster of largely banged-up players and the team's management (see: the draft takes place on June 28th and free agency begins on July 5th), and 21 years after the 1991-92 Chicago Blackhawks sent Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov's Wings a message about how far the promising team had come--and how far the team had to go in terms of reinforcing its youthul core to build a perennial Stanley Cup contender--by sweeping Detroit, this younger, less star-studded team took a Hawks team as stacked as it was in '92 to 7 games...

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Khan: Red Wings assign DeKeyser to Grand Rapids

The Red Wings sent Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist to Oklahoma City, OK in an attempt to bolster the Grand Rapids Griffins' roster as they face a 2 games-to-1 deficit in their AHL Western Conference Final series against the Oklahoma City Barons (the teams play games and 5 tonight and tomorrow in OKC), and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Danny DeKeyser will be joining them:

Update: MLive's Brendan Savage reports that DeKeyser is heading to OKC in less than top form...

"My thumb isn't completely healed yet," DeKeyser said Friday at Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers.  I'll probably do a little bit more rehab on it and get some of the muscles and joints going."

DeKeyser, who broke his thumb in Game 2 vs. Anaheim and missed Detroit's final 12 playoff games, was hoping to return in the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings if the Red Wings would have beaten the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday in Game 7 of that series.

"I would have been ready to go this round, maybe not right away but maybe game 3 or 4 I was thinking," DeKeyser said. "It's a bummer knowing I was that close to making a comeback but that's just how it goes sometimes."

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Red Wings overnight report: today, the Wings will clean out their lockers and look toward the future

Under 48 hours removed from a crushing Game 7 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings will assemble for the last time in their 2013 season incarnation at Joe Louis Arena on Friday morning. They'll take their team picture, peel off their uniforms, and both the players and coaches will address the media before for the last formal time.

The players, coach and GM will still give interviews over the next week or so--the post-playoff "news cycle" will last for at least the next 10 days, radio interviews included--but this is a "short" off-season, with the draft slated for June 28th (the Wings' amateur scouts are attenging the NHL's draft combine this week in Toronto, and director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell told NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale that he believes the Wings will find a solid player with the 18th overall pick) and free agency to hit on July 5th, so the players will probably engage in exit meetings with the coaches and management on an accelerated basis, they'll receive treatment for their injuries, off-season workout prescriptions and in some cases, book surgery time...

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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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