The Malik Report
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced their 2015-16 preseason schedule.
The Red Wings will skate in a total of eight preseason games, starting with a visit to the United Center to take on the Western Conference-champion Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m. Detroit will then play the first of four exhibition home games at Joe Louis Arena the following night, hosting the Blackhawks at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23. The team will host two more Original Six rivals in the Boston Bruins (Saturday, Sept. 26) and Toronto Maple Leafs (Friday, Oct. 2), as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins (Thursday, Sept. 24).
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan followed MLive's Ansar Khan's lead and asked Wings GM Ken Holland to discuss and explain the goings-on at the NHL's draft combine:
Teams will be talking with draftees for the next three days, helping them pin down their first-round pick June 26-27 in Florida.
"It's an opportunity for us to get to know the players a little better," general manager Ken Holland said. "If we have questions about them, about the way they play, we can get them answered."
How useful is this combine process, and talking to these draft picks face to face? Last year after talking with Waterford native Dylan Larkin (Michigan), the Red Wings felt they had their man — and drafted Larkin 15th overall.
The Grand Rapids Griffins hope to stave off playfof elimination when they battle the Utica Comets this evening (7 PM EDT on the AHL Live/WOOD Radio), and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner duly noted that Dylan Larkin's been a key contributor thus far, registering 3 goals and 5 points against Utica...
"It's been great," Larkin said. "It's a great city and a lot of people were here this (past) weekend and I had family come in. Teammates have been great, too."
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound center scored twice in a win in Game 2 and added his third of the series on the power play late in the second period to pull the Griffins within a goal in a 3-2 Game 5 loss Sunday. Add in his two assists – helpers in games three and four - and his five points are two better than anyone else on the team. And he was held without a point in his pro debut May 24.
"Dylan is continuing to assert himself out there and be a real impact player for us," coach Jeff Blashill said. "And he's got to be because he's getting big minutes as well."
But the Griffins are in tough, down 3 games to 2 against the Comets, because Larkin's one of the few Griffins able to solve the 6'6" behemoth that is Jacob Markstrom:
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Marek Zidlicky wants to keep playing in the NHL, but it is doubtful it will be with the Detroit Red Wings.
Zidlicky's agent, Allan Walsh, announced via Twitter today that Zidlicky "is 100% committed to playing in the NHL next season." The Wings acquired Zidlicky at the trade deadline from New Jersey for a third-round draft pick in 2016. The Wings had been searching for a right-shooting defenseman with an offensive touch, and Zidlicky fit the criteria at a reasonable cost.
Zidlicky produced 11 points in 21 games down the stretch but didn't have any points through six playoff games. He missed Game 7 against Tampa Bay because of injury.
The Wings haven't made a decision yet on Zidlicky, general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press, because that will come as part of mid-month scouting meetings. "He played well," Holland said of Zidlicky, "but we'll see."
From the Red Wings:
RED WINGS TO HOLD EQUIPMENT AND MEMORABILIA SALE ON SATURDAY AT HOCKEYTOWN AUTHENTICS IN TROY
... Regular Season Game-Used Jerseys and Equipment Available for Purchase …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will hold a special equipment and memorabilia sale at Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (1845 E. Big Beaver Rd.) on Saturday, June 6, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase game-worn jerseys from the team’s recently-completed 2014-15 campaign. Various game-worn jerseys from previous seasons will also be available at a discounted price, including the warm-up jerseys worn by the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Team at the 2013 Hockeytown Winter Festival.
This one-day-only sale includes game-used hockey equipment such as sticks, skates, gloves and helmet visors. Autographed items, including pucks, photos, skates, sticks and gloves, will also be available for fans to add to their collections. Quantities are limited for all of these one-of-a-kind items. Additionally, general merchandise such as T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats will be available at a discounted price.
Red Wings season ticket holders will have one hour of exclusive access to the equipment and memorabilia sale on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The sale will then open to the general public from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and will be run on a first-come, first-served basis. Those fans who cannot attend Saturday’s sale can still make a purchase by calling Hockeytown Authentics at 248-680-0965. Phone orders will be taken starting at 1:00 p.m.
Among today's Red Wings-related news stories (some very tangentially so):
The Grand Rapids Griffins are facing elimination as they head to Utica, New York to battle the Comets in Games 6 and hopefully 7 of their Western Conference Final series, and they're down 3 games to 2 in the series in no small part because of the goaltending of Jacob Markstrom. The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke to the Griffins about the difficult task that is solving the Comets' 6'6" puck-stopper:
These two items have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and it's been three games and four work nights for me, so I'm not sure how to set things up other than to say, "Here are two disparate news items."
1. Dylan Larkin definitely appears to be ready to deal with the hype surrounding him without letting it go to his head, as Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave confirms; Gave also asked Larkin about his superb defensive abilities, and in doing so, he revealed that Larkin's learned from not only one of the best coaches in existence at the NCAA level, but also somebody I hope we'll hear a whole lot more about now that the National Team Development Program is moving to Compuware Arena:
The Grand Rapids Griffins' 3-2 loss to the Utica Comets followed what is becoming an all-too-familiar pattern.
Tom McCollum was damn good, but not good enough to stop some fluky goals and one that biased observers might suggest was bogus given that the net was off its moorings when the goal was scored; at the other end, the Griffins tested and sometimes bested Jacob Markstrom, but there weren't enough Grand Rapids players screening the 6'6" goaltender's eyes on the 34 shots he faced; the Griffins weren't able to register as much as a shot on their 5-on-3 advantage; and while Ryan Sproul played well in lieu of the more defensively sound Alexey Marchenko, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner pointed out that Sproul finished at -3.
The Grand Rapids Griffins hope to build upon the momentum generated by Friday's 3-2 OT win when they take on the Utica Comets in Game 5 of the teams' Western Conference Final series this afternoon (5 PM EDT start on WOOD Radio/The AHL Live) (7 PM EDT on the AHL Live/WOOD Radio), and with the series both tied at 2 games apiece and headed back to Central New York State for Games 6 and 7, it's absolutely imperative for the Griffins to make hay while the home sun shines.
Grand Rapids has done a solid-enough job of negating the Comets' trap-and-counterattack game, but the referees' increasing status as bystanders watching the Comets hack, whack, chirp and otherwise attempt to intimidate and goad Griffins players into penalties after whistles will require an immense amount of self-discipline on the Griffins' part, and the hands-off refereeing will require both patience, persistance and a little bit of "giving it back" when it comes to obstruction and winning one-on-one battles by any means necessary.
If Grand Rapids wins, they'll have two opportunities to eliminate the Comets and advance to the AHL Final againt Manchester; if Utica wins, they'll have two chances to eliminate Grand Rapids from the Western Conference Final at home.
I'm hoping to contribute to some sort of live blog, but the wireless service at Van Andel Arena is shaky, so contributions will be on a touch-and-go basis; thus far I've had good luck finding, ahem, creative ways to watch the game on OnHockey.tv and stream2watch dot com. The fact that tonight's game isn't facing NHL competition might make it easier to find online.
The Griffins posited a game-day preview video...
Among Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts":
12. Ken Holland made it very clear no announcements about Jeff Blashill’s future will occur until after Grand Rapids is finished its playoff run, but it sure sounds like the Red Wings’ AHL coaching search is underway.
(It's possible, if not probable, that Toledo Walleye coach Derek Lalonde will graduate to the AHL with right-hand-man Dan Watson by his side)
13. Speaking of Blashill, is it possible Babcock does something in Toronto that was done with those two in Detroit? When the former was first hired by the Red Wings, he was the latter’s assistant with the NHL club. After one season, Blashill moved to Grand Rapids, where he’s finishing year three. Does Toronto take a young, promising coach, put him next to Babcock, then send him to run the AHL Marlies? Gord Dineen did a good job with Toronto’s prospects. He’s still in the organization, too.
Friedman also mentions a free-agent-to-be prospect that the Wings may attempt to sign this August:
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.