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The Malik Report

Tweets from practice: Bertuzzi, Zetterberg ‘take maintenance days’ per Khan

The Red Wings' Thursday afternoon practice preceded the Toast of Hockeytown event, so it wasn't covered intensely. MLive's Ansar Khan posted the only Tweet from practice...

And the Red Wings posted a pair of player (Gustav Nyquist) and coach's comment videos:

added 5:43pm, some power play talk added below too..

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Prospect news: Grifins lose to Milwaukee; ECHL ASG set for 2019 in Toledo; Cholowski posts 2A

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins gave up 3 3rd period goals en route to a 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday. Matt Puempel and Ben Street had a goal and an assist apiece and Jared Coreau stopped 24 shots in the Griffins' loss.

The Griffins' website posted a recap, photo gallery, highlight clip and interview clip from the game, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner filed a recap noting that the teams battle again on Friday in Milwaukee;

Wallner also profiled former Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek, who's coaching the South Korean Olympic Ice Hockey team. WOOD TV profiled Paek as well:

In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye have announced the format of their 2019 All-Star Game, the team is holding a "Hockey Heritage Weekend" on February 23rd and 24th, and the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe penned a mid-season check-in with the Walleye, a note about Pat Nagle's participation in the ECHL All-Star Game and a profile of Connor Crisp;

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Red Wings’ Alums to hold two important games on Friday and Sunday

The Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association is playing a pair of games of charitable note this week. The Wings' Alums will take part in a game to benefit the City of Novi Police and Fire Departments on Friday...

And the Wings' Alums will be playing in East Lansing against MSU Alumni on Sunday:

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The Athletic: Grand Rapids Griffins captain Matt Ford leading by example

From The Athletic's Emily Waldron:

GRAND RAPIDS — Matt Ford has a consistent pregame routine, honed over the years of playing in the American Hockey League. This routine, which consists of the veteran right wing skating a round of sprints to accelerate his heart rate has, until this year, normally been performed solo. One day this season, however, it took a turn when Griffins 21-year-old defensemen Joe Hicketts ended up next to him.

“I'm pretty sure one day he stood next to me and he just started going, so I started going a little bit faster,” Ford said, grinning at the memory. “Then I noticed that he was trying to race me. It was a joke at first, but now we take a lot of pride in who's going to win that race.”

Hicketts, a self-proclaimed spark plug, readily shows his admiration for the 33-year-old captain,  but he’s also not one to let sentiment cloud any opportunity to come out on top, especially during their now-standard pregame competition.

“I don't like to lose,” Hicketts said with a smirk. “So, I'm not going to lose to the oldest guy on the team, that's for sure.”

Continued (paywall)

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Daniel Cleary Passing On His Experiences

from Daniel Nugent-Bowman at Sportsnet,

He’s in just his first year as the co-director of player development with the Detroit Red Wings, but it seems like Dan Cleary has found the perfect post-playing career.

Cleary’s role consists of meeting with and talking to the team’s junior, collegiate and minor-league prospects to provide training plans and positive advice.

As someone who’s experienced huge highs (he’s the only Newfoundlander to win the Stanley Cup as a player) and tough lows (in junior and early in the pros), Cleary has a wide range of perspectives.

“All these experiences can help me relate to players,” says the Carbonear-born, Harbour Grace-raised former Red Wing ahead of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada in Corner Brook, N.L. “That’s how I go about it. That’s how I think about it.”

continued

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Talking about a Mike Green trade

My bad for missing this one. The Fourth Period reports that the Red Wings would be willing to retain some of Mike Green's salary to facilitate a trade deadline move:

Green, 32, comes with a $6 million salary cap hit and a full no-trade clause – while the Wings have not yet approached his camp about providing a list of teams he’d accept a trade to, that is expected soon and he will have a say in where he ends up, if dealt.

During Tuesday night’s “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported the Wings may be willing to retain part of Green’s salary to help facilitate a trade.

If Detroit eats part of Green’s contract, they’d likely factor that into the price tag for him, which could cost up to three assets – a combination of a young NHL roster player or high-end prospect, and draft picks.

TSN now posts transcripts of its Insider Trading segment, so here's what LeBrun said:

Pierre LeBrun: Let's start with Mike Green, who right now isn't on the market because the Detroit Red Wings have not given up on their season just yet. But at some point in time the math will catch up and they'll have to go through Green's people at Newport Sports. He's got a full no-trade clause. For a right handed power-play guy, a lot of teams are going to lineup. He's got a $6 million cap hit that the Wings will eat a bunch of that to make a trade happen. One team I think you have to keep an eye on is Tampa Bay, who I think would like an upgrade in their top-four. Although again they haven't talked to anyone yet.

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The Power Play And Trades

Yesterday, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answered a few questions from fans...

On the power play...

Neither unit has looked good the past 10 games. Through the first 34 games, the Wings’ power play was at 22.6 percent, top 7 in the NHL. Since then, it’s operated at 6.1 percent (that’s third-worst for the stretch Dec. 21-Jan. 17 —  Vegas bottoms out at 3.7 percent). The Wings have two power-play goals the past 10 games, from Anthony Mantha and Justin Abdelkader. I’d like to see Frans Nielsen get a shot on Henrik Zetterberg’s power-play unit, either in place of Niklas Kronwall or Gustav Nyquist. Nyquist only has four power-play points, even though he’s top three in average power-play time on the team. There really isn’t much choice, though, as far as altering personnel. 

On trades...

Defenseman Mike Green, 32, will interest teams looking to add offense. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded and then end up re-signing with the Wings, provided he returns for a contract in the $3.5-million range. He really likes Detroit, and the organization likes him. He’s the only source of offense from the back end, and that’s not going to change next season unless the Wings win the draft lottery.

Goaltender Petr Mrazek, 25, has looked better his past three starts (2-1, 2.67 goals-against average, .909 save percentage), his pro-rated salary is now less than $2 million, and he’s a pending free agent (unrestricted, as no team will qualify him at the $4 million he made this season). But he’s two years removed from being elite, and he hurt his reputation last season with his attitude.

Nyquist, 28 is having a good season (14 goals, 23 points) and has a year left on his deal, at $4.75 million. (He has a no-trade clause, but can consent to a trade). I doubt he would fetch much, but then again, Tomas Jurco yielded a third-round pick from Chicago last year, and Jurco hadn’t shown anything at the NHL level in two-plus seasons. 

more Q & A...

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Tyler Bertuzzi’s earning his praises

Both the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji took note of Tyler Bertuzzi's performance of late. Bertuzzi has fit right in with the Red Wings' top nine forward corps after being recalled permanently from Grand Rapids. Per Kulfan:

Tyler Bertuzzi is continuing to make quite an impression with the Red Wings.

The young forward had two more assists in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss against Dallas but more than the offense, also showed the tenacity and hockey sense that could serve him well for many years. Bertuzzi has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his last nine games, and is looking more confident with every shift.

“I’m just getting more used to it every game,” said Bertuzzi, who coach Jeff Blashill now has playing on a line with Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou. “Playing with Larks and Double-A, it’s pretty easy on me.”

Bertuzzi was expected to make the Red Wings out of training camp, but a wrist injury derailed those plans until December, when Luke Glendening was injured. Bertuzzi is definitely making up for lost time.

Kulfan continues, and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji picks it up from there:

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Grand Rapids Griffins to hold ‘Great Skate’ on Saturday, January 20th

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

GREAT SKATE WINTERFEST IS BACK AT ROSA PARKS CIRCLE THIS WEEKEND

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins players, the Calder Cup, sled dogs, ice sculptors, horse-drawn carriages, winter sport athletes, museums, other community partners and local celebrities will all be part of the 2018 Great Skate Winterfest, which will run for 34 consecutive hours this Saturday, Jan. 20 and Sunday, Jan. 21 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Everyone is invited to join this celebration of winter in our city and help the Griffins Youth Foundation provide opportunities for more than 350 deserving boys and girls – many of whom are underprivileged, underserved, at-risk or have special needs – to participate in the great sport of hockey at no cost.

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Should the Wings consider trading Jimmy Howard?

The Detroit News's John Niyo believes that the Red Wings should be as aggressive as possible ahead of the NHL's trade deadline, and Niyo suggests that the Wings' management ought to consider trading Jimmy Howard:

Why not seriously offer up Jimmy Howard? It's an idea that’s been tossed around the past couple years. But now that he's nearing the end of that long-term contract, with another year at $5.3 million all that’s left after this season, it's worth a longer look.

Howard endured a monthlong slump starting in mid-November, but rebounded with a half-dozen strong starts, including four consecutive wins and a .952 save percentage before the bye week. He took the loss Tuesday, but he had no shot at stopping the first two deflected goals — the second on a 5-on-3 power play — and couldn't be blamed for the other two, either.

There won’t be many playoff contenders searching for a No. 1 goalie. But there should be at least one, as the New York Islanders desperately try to make the postseason while also trying to convince star John Tavares to sign a long-term extension. The Isles' tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss ranks last in the NHL with a 3.62 goals-against average and .895 save percentage — a shoddy defense has plenty do with that — and GM Garth Snow has extra draft picks to offer. Chicago might be another playoff hopeful in search of a starter, what with Corey Crawford’s season in jeopardy due to vertigo-like symptoms.

Niyo continues, and I don't see the Wings moving Howard...unless they remain on the hook for some of his paycheck. I don't know who they have to replace Howard if Mrazek is on the outs, either.

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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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