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Notes After The Skate

from Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website,

Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Luke Witkowski will play against the Senators, taking David Booth's spot on the fourth line with Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening.

"I think he had a good preseason," Blashill said. "Him and David are both real good players. David had a good game in very very short minutes, so he couldn't have a great game because he didn't play enough to, but with Luke he brings forecheck pressure, physicality, grind time in the O-zone. He's defensively responsible, he's been a defenseman most his life. He just brings a presence with his physicality."

Booth played just 6:23 Thursday against the Wild, recording three hits and one shot on goal.

Blashill said he didn't have a number of games in mind for Witkowski and Booth.

"It's a day to day business, and we'll take it day by day," Blashill said. "We've certainly got thoughts that we'd like to see both of them involved and both of them get opportunity and there's other guys in the mix, too, but right now we'll just take it day by day."

read on plus more topics...

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Wings’ Skating In Ottawa

Some notes as the Wings skate in Ottawa.

Howard in the starters net, Karlsson will not play tonight for Ottawa.

And this...



I will update if needed...

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So Far So Good With Detroit’s Power Play

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Martin Frk, with his blistering right-handed shot, provides a new look on the power play. He assisted on Anthony Mantha's five-on-three goal by getting a shot through.

"Marty Frk on the five-on-three is a factor because when he shoots the puck, chaos ensues," coach Jeff Blashill said. "When you look around the league, I watch five-on-three and everybody thinks you should score every time. It's way harder than you think. If you don't have a big-time shot, you don't create a whole bunch of chaos."

Having two right shots at the point on the second unit allows Frk to open-up for a one-timer from the left side on passes from Green.

"It's basically a forehand-to-forehand pass," Green said. "With Frkie, he's got a great one-timer, so as long as I put it relatively close to his wheelhouse, he'll get a good shot off. Nowadays, it's imperative you get that shot off quick because guys are good at getting in the lanes and goalies are really good at getting across the net. I think with Frkie, his shot's very deceiving and it's hard for those guys to stop it."


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Ryan Sproul’s Goal Is To Be Back To Detroit Quickly

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

"Bittersweet," is the way Sproul described the goal and the game. The 24-year-old defenseman expected to still be with the Detroit Red Wings at this time.

A balky knee said otherwise....

"My goal is to be back with the Wings as quickly as possible," he said. "Obviously, this was a great start here and I look forward to keep pushing here to make it back up there."

He had ACL surgery in April and, at six months in, is still trying to regain full use. He played in two preseason games with the Red Wings without a point on two shots and a minus-1.

"It's OK," Sproul said about the knee. "It's feeling better and better but it's still a little bit sore after games with being in a brace and getting used to that."

"Tonight was a good test for him," coach Todd Nelson said. " ... We'll see how he reacts, and if he's all fine we'll keep on playing him.

"... We'll see how his injury responds because the last game he played was an exhibition and he left early because he wanted to be precautionary with what happened."


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On Athanasiou’s Swiss gambit

The irony for me is this: what Andreas Athanasiou is doing is very Russian. Igor Larionov went to Lugano and played a year there when he was in a contract dispute with the Canucks way back in the early 90's. Jari Kurri did it, too, going to Italy. The Russians go fly to Zurich for a couple of weeks when they were in contractual disputes with their teams. It's gotten to the point that some Russian teams will hold their training camps in Switzerland, skating with the Kloten Flyers or whoever as a sort of Western European giveaway.

To me, the most telling remark of this evening's news (duly reported by Paul; the Malik household has been ill all week long) came from MLive's Ansar Khan, and it may explain why Athanasiou's on a plane to the Italian-speaking portion of Switzerland this evening:

The Red Wings have had two offers on the table -- two years at $1.9 million a season or one year at $1.25 million. Athanasiou was seeking $2.5 million per season.

Now that the season has started, Athanasiou is losing money. So even if he signed for $1.9 million, he would make the prorated amount of that salary.

Athanasiou had been contemplating an offer from the KHL's Ak Bars Kazan but a source said the Russian team withdrew the offer because the forward was asking for too much.

We're already a month-and-a-half into the KHL season, and if Kazan, one of the KHL's richest teams, thinks that Athanasiou's asking for too much, that's scary, because they're awash in Tatneft's (Tatarstan's state oil company's) petro-Rubles.

Things get tricky for Athanasiou in terms of signing with a European team now because the NHL season is underway, and once you take a paycheck from a non-NHL team during the NHL season, you have to clear waivers to return to playing in the NHL before July of the following year. That places Athanasiou's trade value very, very low should he sign with Lugnano or any other team in the coming days. Once the NHL season starts, if you play in a European pro league, your ass is staying there [edit: see CBA article 13.1, page 71 of the NHLPA's Collective Bargaining Agreement, page 91 of the PDF file /end edit].

Now Athanasiou can continue to skate with Lugano and take in the sights without care until December 1st. That's when another date comes into play, and it's another hard and fast rule--the last date upon which restricted free agents can re-sign with their [NHL rights-holding] teams and play in the NHL that same season.

Athanasiou will still lose pro-rated money off whatever offer the Red Wings have made (did I mention that the Swiss league's best teams can't afford to pay Athanasiou anywhere near $1.9 million?), because the NHL season is underway, and he's missing NHL paychecks as a result, but he can go skiing (if he wants to risk his knees), check out the snow bunnies, try the chocolate and sip the Schnapps, but unless he signs with the Red Wings--or gets traded--he's blowing potential NHL income and he's blowing his NHL eligibility, day by day.

The Athletic's Craig Custance reports that the Wings would consider trading Athanasiou, but they want more for AA than he's worth:

Continue Reading »

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Andreas Athanasiou Will Start Skating With Lugano In Switzerland

via Bob McKenzie tweets,

RFA Andreas Athanasiou, who has yet to come to terms with DET on a contract, flying to Switzerland tonight, will start skating with Lugano.

Athanasiou has not yet signed a contract or made any commitments in SUI. Will assess his options once he begins skating there.

added 6:48pm, via Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Andreas Athanasiou and the Detroit Red Wings are farther apart in their contract stalemate -- literally.

Athanasiou is "headed to Switzerland tonight" his agent, Darren Ferris, told MLive in a text.

Ferris didn't elaborate, but Athanasiou is joining Lugano of the Swiss Hockey League to skate, but he hasn't signed a contract with that club or made a commitment to play there, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca. He apparently will assess his options once he starts skating there.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland declined comment.

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The Explanation For The Empty Seats At LCA Last Night

from Tony Paul of the Detroit News,

Why so many empty seats for the first regular-season Red Wings game at brand-new Little Caesars Arena?

Fans weren't the only ones to notice. Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, was taken aback, as well.

"It was really interesting, because everybody was in their seats when we dropped the puck, and you just expect that's going to happen," Wilson told The Detroit News on Friday afternoon. "Now, we do have clubs here, and people sometimes go back in the clubs to have something to eat and everything like that, then they come out when the period starts.

"But, boy, people really, really disappeared last night."

The reason: The novelty of the new arena.

Yes, of course, the game was sold out, and almost every ticket sold was accounted for at the gates.

Fans, though, flocked to the concourse -- littered with countless shops, bars, restaurants, artifacts and the like -- to check out the new digs. And, subsequently, that made for some poor optics on TV, as at times it seemed like less than half the seats were occupied.

read on

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A Look At Mike Green

from Arthur J. Regner of DetroitRedWings.com,

In Washington, he was an offensive juggernaut and a Norris Trophy finalist based on the number he put up.

"I've been learning every year. Obviously, I'm a different player than when I was really young," Green said. "I think when I was young, I was kind of all offensive-minded, I didn't play too much defense, to be honest.

"Now I've tried to find a balance between the two. I think at times it's hurt maybe the offensive numbers but I think the well-balanced game is a lot better."

He has also become a leader in the dressing room and one player that he has helped guide along is forward Martin Frk, especially on finding the open spot to shot from on the power play.

"I think it comes over time (being a leader) with experience really," Green said "I have been in a lot of situations and have a lot of experience so I know kind of what to expect.


added 5:34pm,

Below, watch Martin Frk post-practice...

Continue Reading »

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Video- Jeff Blashill After Today’s Practice

Jeff Blashill answered questions about the ice and boards, fans needed in their seats and the volume in the building.

He also talked about the power play and he thought Frk was a big factor.

Watch below...

Continue Reading »

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Detroit’s Practice Today

via Ansar Khan tweets,

RedWings on Ice for practice. Howard in starter’s net for tomorrow’s game in @Senators

Kronwall not practicing, so it's safe to assume he won't play tomorrow. 

lines the same:

more as needed....

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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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