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St. James ponders a Red Wings ‘upgrade’ via trade

The Free Press's Helene St. james wonders whether the Wings can "reasonablye upgrade" their roster via the trade route (and a "Trade Target" photo gallery accompanies her superb article)...

If there's one area where the Wings could use an upgrade, it's on defense, where coach Mike Babcock routinely mentions the absence of having a regular who shoots right, and where only Niklas Kronwall provides points for a team that used to also get production from Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski. Marchenko is currently on audition because he shoots right, but he doesn't bring any offense.

General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press he's not doing a "rental," the popular term for acquiring a player in the last year of his contract. That doesn't mean any such player is automatically a no-go, though, because the Wings could sign such a player to an extension.

If what the Wings want is an offensive defenseman, the prize acquisition would be the Arizona Coyotes' Keith Yandle, a consistently good producer who, at 28 years, is in his prime, and who carries an extremely reasonable cap hit of $5.25 million through next season. The Coyotes, however, are more likely to wait and see what they can get for him this summer rather than move him now. At any time, the asking price would be either Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar, plus much more. If Carolina can't re-sign Andrej Sekera, he could be a good fit, but he is a pending UFA.

The Blue Jackets' Fedor Tyutin has a nice history of productivity and carries a $4.5-million cap hit through 2017-18, but is he worth an asking price that'd be something along the lines of Ouellet and a second-round pick

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Jacub Kindl Assigned To Grand Rapids On A Conditioning Stint

Update: FYI:

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned defenseman Jakub Kindl to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning.

Kindl, 28, hasn’t played for Detroit since Dec. 27 after suffering an elbow injury. He has skated in 28 games with the Red Wings this season, notching nine points (2-7-9) and 14 penalty minutes. The Sumperk, Czech Republic, native has totaled 241 games for the Red Wings since 2009-10, recording 58 points (11-47-58) a plus-nine rating and 127 penalty minutes. Originally drafted by Detroit in the first round (19th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kindl also appeared in 237 games for the Griffins from 2005-11, registering 89 points (13-76-89) and 225 penalty minutes. Prior to turning professional, the 6-foot-3, 199-lb., blueliner spent three seasons with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers from 2004-07, picking up 127 points (26-101-127) and 346 penalty minutes. He has also represented the Czech Republic at the 2006 and 2007 World Junior Championships and made his men’s national team debut at the 2014 World Championship in Minsk, Belarus, picking up three points (1-2-3) in 10 games.

Kindl is expected to join Grand Rapids for the team’s road game on Sunday against the Chicago Wolves at 5 p.m.

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Shoot The Puck Riley Sheahan

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Sheahan said he's tried to be a bit more effective offensively this season.

"I guess just trying to get in those spots where I can shoot," he said. "Since I've scored some goals, I've gotta keep taking more opportunities to take the puck to the net. I think every game going out there contributing, maybe not even scoring, but getting chances always helps, just builds your confidence."

Wings coach Mike Babcock said Sheahan skates better now than he did when he first saw him.

"He shoots it once in a while," Babcock said. "Now he scored a couple games ago, we might not see it for another 20 games, but he can absolutely shoot it and he can skate. So, you know he can do those things and he knows he can do those things so obviously he's better offensively and he's just more confident."

Sheahan said he has a tendency to look to pass first.

"I think it's just the judgment of passing or shooting, it's a big thing for me," he said. "Maybe I just gotta focus a little more on shooting.


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A Fast Start Tonight A Must For The Wings

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Babcock is focused on getting off to a better start. The Red Wings have an even goals differential in the first period (41-41) but have outscored opponents 58-38 in the second.

"Our first period last game was unacceptable," Babcock said. "When we played Winnipeg last time (4-3 win on Nov. 20) our first period was unacceptable. So we've got to make sure we're ready to go. They're a real good first-period team; they're third in the league in goals for in the first period, so we've got to be prepared."


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Red Wings-Jets morning skate Tweets and articles: no changes for Detroit or Winnipeg

Updated 4x at 12:07 PM: Both the Red Wings and Winnipeg Jets hope to rebound from losses when they battle tonight at Joe Louis Arena (7 PM EST on FSD/CITY TV/97.1 FM), and, well...

As per usual, MLive's Ansar Khan was the first to list the Wings' lines...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Jets set-up; on Fedorov, DeKeyser, travel and dynasties

The Red Wings hope to regain their footing and put Wednesday's loss to Pittsburgh behind them as the Wings play their only 2 home games of February tonight against Winnipeg (7 PM EST on FSD/CITY TV/97.1 FM) and Monday against Montreal.

The Jets are coming into town having dropped a 3-1 loss to Nashville on Thursday, but that game snapped both a 2-game winning streak and a 4-game unbeaten streak (2-0-and-2) for a Jets team that's in a furious battle for either 3rd place in the Central Division or one of 2 Western Conference Wild Card spots.

I normally begin these set-ups by surveying the opponent, but as the 31-13-and-9 Wings sit 3 points behind both the 34-17-and-6 Lightning (with 4 games in hand on Tampa Bay) and the 35-15-and-4 Canadiens' 74 points (with 1 game in hand on Montreal), it's essential to emphasize that the Wings have exactly zero sympathy for the Jets' plight.

The Wings told CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak that the Bolts and Habs' steady winning = the Wings feel pressure to win every night, too:

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Prospect news: Griffins lose Purple Game, Callahan; Bertuzzi paces Guelph, McNulty assists Blazers

The Grand Rapids Griffins' Purple Game went well charitably-speaking but didn't go so well in the results department. Grand Rapids rallied from 3-1 and 4-2 deficits as Teemu Pulkkinen scored 2 more goals, but the Griffins lost Mitch Callahan en route to a 5-4 OT loss to San Antonio.

The Griffins' website filed a recap...

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Red Wings to hold ‘Fan Day at the Joe’ on Thursday, March 5th

From the Red Wings:

… Fun-Filled, Free Event Presented in Partnership with Coke Zero and Kroger …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings have teamed up with Coke Zero and Kroger to present the 2015 edition of Coke Zero Fan Day at Joe Louis Arena, scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 5 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

In order to obtain tickets to this fun-filled, free event, citizens of Hockeytown must attend an upcoming Detroit Red Wings Experience Day, presented by Coke Zero, which gives fans a chance to test their skills at various interactive hockey games and take photos with player cut-outs. Red Wings Alumni Association members Larry Murphy and Darren McCarty will be in attendance to sign autographs at upcoming Detroit Red Wings Experience Days.

This year’s Coke Zero Fan Day provides a behind-the-scenes look at Joe Louis Arena with several unique photo opportunities for fans, such as a chance to take a photo with Nick Lidstrom’s recently-retired jersey banner and Al Sobotka’s famed Zamboni. Locker room tours will also be available to fans in attendance.

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St. James, Khan, Kulfan: Red Wings will stick with 3-goalie rotation…for now.

Updated 7x, quite significantly, at 4:45 PM: Some interesting news popped up at the end of the Red Wings' practice on Friday, per the Free Press's Helene St. James...

Per Babcock, Jimmy Howard starting Saturday, Petr Mrazek backing up


Asked Ken Holland about goaltending situation, was told no decision today for Red Wings

MLive's Ansar Khan...

Babcock said Mrazek will back-up Howard tomorrow vs. Jets. They'll take it day by day after that, so no decision yet on if he'll go to GR.


Holland said no decision today on what they'll do about their backup goalie.

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

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NHL video: Datsyuk and Friday the 13th

NHL.com posted a very clever video regarding a certain #13 and Friday the 13th superstitions:

(We won't tell NHL.com that Datsyuk is in fact quite superstitious)

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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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