The Malik Report
The Red Wings didn't draft Tyler Bertuzzi to become a second-line goal-scoring, playmaking forward, but a series of concussion and neck injuries--and a whole lot of maturation on Bertuzzi's part as a player and young man--have yielded an intriguing prospect turning pro full-time with Grand Rapids this upcoming season, as the Free Press's George Sipple notes:
Bertuzzi said his game began to evolve after his season in the Ontario Hockey League. He said he had spent his time "hitting, fighting, doing the little things like that. I never thought skill would be part of my game."
Bertuzzi, 20, said the development camp has helped him a lot and he has worked hard to improve his offensive skills. He said the grinder is still there, though.
"I can score goals now, I can get points and help contribute offensively, too," Bertuzzi said. "Growing up I was always a playmaker. I could make my passes. I got a lot of assists here and there. Goal scoring — I wasn't that much of a goal scorer when I was younger. Now I know I can put the puck in the net and now have a good shot. Just working on it more and more."
Bertuzzi (6-feet-1, 190 pounds) is preparing for his first full season in Grand Rapids (American Hockey League). He said he wants to be an "offensive force" and "a guy that's hard to play against."
Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples penned an article in which he spoke with Dylan Larkin about "managing expectations"...
Fans would rather he start the season in Detroit instead of Grand Rapids. But the only one who sets the expectations for Larkin is Larkin himself.
“He is the one that’s managing the expectations, and that’s through his performance,” Red Wings Director of Player Development Jiri Fischer said. “When he got drafted last year, since then, he has evolved in a way that impressed a lot of people, including us.”
Larkin has guided himself through the frenzy. He’s his own biggest critic, and uses it as motivation. His work ethic, which Fischer raved about, comes from within. It helps manage the sky-high expectations he has for his future.
“I probably criticize myself the most, and I think that is what drives me to be the player I want to be,” Larkin said. “I try to focus on what’s next in my training right now. (Red Wings coaches) have told me to stay on track and work as hard as possible.”
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness penned an article regarding the Red Wings' expecttions for Larkin...
“My take on Larkin would be he’s got to be in our top 12,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Coach Blashill’s got to say to me, ‘I want him in the lineup.’ He’s not going to be our 13th, 14th forward. Realistically, just to put him on the fourth line and play eight minutes, I think he’s a real good young player with a lot of potential.
“He’s going to be real important to our franchise as we go forward,” Holland continued. “We want to make sure we do what’s right for him and us. If he comes and is a legitimate top-nine forward we’re going to find a way to get him in the lineup. If he’s less than that then we’ll sit down as an organization and decide.”
Update: The Traverse City Record-Eagle's' Brett A. Sommers penned an article about Larkin as well:
I don't believe that he Red Wings are going to trade Jimmy Howard, as Ken Holland has told us all as much, and I don't believe that the Red Wings should simply trade their prospects because they have "too many," because--and get this, I'm saying this from a development camp--not everyone develops into a superstar, but the Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen believes that Ken Holland's summer is not over until Jimmy Howard is not on the roster and one of the Wings' forward prospects is no longer a Wing:
Here are two modest proposals about moves he should or could consider between now and September when the team heads north to Traverse City.
First, find a taker, any taker for Jimmy Howard. That's easier said than done and the Red Wings would have to take on a chunk of Howard's salary if he played elsewhere next season. But Petr Mrazek established himself as the Wings best option in goal in the playoffs. He was the biggest reason that the series even went seven games and the biggest reason that the Wings had a chance to win Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Mrazek will make $738,000 next season. Howard will make 5.5 million. You know this. I know this. Holland knows this. Every team in the NHL knows this.
I had a conversation with Grand Rapids Griffins equipment manager Brad "Dogg" Thompson that was really enlightening today: Brad and I talked about the players that have impressed us both at the camp and the level of the try-outs' play, and we both agreed that the truth of the matter regarding those who've received short shrift in this blog is simple:
There simply is no vast gulf between the try-outs and the pro prospects any more. Everybody attending the Wings' summer development camp, which wraps up tomorrow with an 11 AM scrimmage, is really good. Everybody can keep up with both the team systems drills and Jiri FIscher's skating drills, no matter how difficult they might be.
Nobody taking part in this camp has stood out in a negative manner, and whether you're talking about 6'9" Jarret Meyer or Korean "exchange prospects" Won-Jun Kim or Jin Hui Ahn, each and every participant has acquitted himself very, very well.
The difference between the tryouts and the pro prospects is simple: they have at least some aspects of their game that are elite, not just professional, but elite, and through a combination of natural gifts and hard work, they can bring their skill levels to heights that are truly at or near AHL or NHL levels.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
GRIFFINS RE-SIGN HOGGAN AND PAETSCH, WELCOME BACK GRANT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday announced that they have re-signed left wing Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Nathan Paetsch and have signed left wing Triston Grant, who returns to the team following a one-year absence. Paetsch inked a two-year deal while Hoggan and Grant each signed one-year contracts.
The trio led the Griffins to their first Calder Cup championship in 2012-13 and will again provide the team’s veteran foundation in 2015-16 under new head coach Todd Nelson.
Among this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories:
You'll have to pardon me for raising an eyebrow at this note from the Fourth Period:
Unrestricted free agent forward Alexander Semin would like to find a long-term home in the NHL, but as his agent explains, he's open to a one-year contract.
Mark Gandler, Semin's agent, told Russian media outlet Sport Express that "we have no problems signing up for one year."
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings have reportedly expressed some interest in Semin, who was bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes last week.
In fantasy hockey news, NHL.com's Eric Goodman suggests that poolies pick up a certain new Red Wings defenseman:
from Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press,
There are other ways for the Red Wings can move among the NHL’s elite other than adding size. Waterford Township’s Dylan Larkin is an outstanding talent, who is unlikely to blink at the move up in level of competition. He is on the fast track to contribute more significantly than imagined when he was taken in the first-round in ‘14.
There have been vivid flashes suggesting Petr Mrazek is special, and a truly top-end goalie can carry a team a long way.
But size and grit – the Red Wings haven’t had nearly enough of it the last few years.
It’s time to use their deep pool of developing players, and/or perhaps goalie Jimmy Howard, to acquire it via trades.
Doing so would make an encouraging off season so far even better.
Personally, I feel Caputo should have wrote this a few years ago. Look at the Blackhawks and Lightning, lack of size and grit were not an issue for both teams.
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
Nobody has stood out more at the Detroit Red Wings development camp more than defenseman Jarett Meyer.
That's what happens when you stand 7 feet tall on skates.
The 18-year-old defenseman is easily the tallest player at Centre I.C.E. Arena after being among 22 invites for the 45-player camp.
Meyer came to the Red Wings attention last season, when director of player personnel Jiri Fischer was keeping tabs on Detroit draft pick Zach Nastasiuk, who was captain of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League. It didn't take long for him to spot Meyer in the Attack lineup.
Meyer spent his first OHL season in Owen Sound and Fischer immediately took notice of his size.
The Red Wings' prospects went through their final day of skill development and systems drills at the Wings' summer development camp: tomorrow, the teams will scrimmage at 11 AM, and that will conclude the activities in Traverse City.
Today's drills were intense and focused on very Detroit-like systems of play, and after watching Jiri Fischer take his skating drills to their game-level conclusion and the Griffins and Walleye's coaches work on one-on-one battles, breakouts and regroup drills, I spoke to several prospects and coach Blashill:
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Longtime Detroit Red Wings netminder and owner of three Stanley Cup rings Chris Osgood might be one of the great Hall of Fame bubble cases of all time. His statistics, were they taken in a vacuum, would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame, as he ranks statistically with some of the game's greatest goaltenders, including a bevy of netminders already enshrined. Yet there is a perception in many circles that he was simply an average-to-good goaltender who won the hockey lottery backstopping a dynastic team coach by one of the greatest coaches of all time in Scotty Bowman. How perception will ultimately reflect or influence reality in the coming years vis a vis voting for the Hall of Fame promises to be one of the most interesting Hall of Fame debates of all.
The Case For
Where to start? Well, as of this writing, Osgood ranks 10th all time in wins among all NHL goaltenders with 401 (Roberto Luongo will pass him shortly, and Luongo will no doubt become the subject of an interesting Hall of Fame debate in the coming years). Osgood won three Stanley Cups -- two as a starter -- and came within two wins in 2009 of winning a fourth Cup as Detroit was defeated by Pittsburgh in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena. His 74 postseason wins are eighth all time, and he managed to collect 15 shutouts in the playoffs (fourth all time).
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.