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Articles from practice: On injuries and Hicketts

Updated at 4:33 PM: The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice at Little Caesars Arena for an optional practice on Sunday, preparing for a 3-games-in-4-nights stretch which will begin against a similarly-banged-up New Jersey Devils team tomorrow night. After practice wrapped up, Wings coach Jeff Blashill updated the team's injury situation:

The Free Press's Helene St. James also spoke with winger Martin Frk and coach Jeff Blashill regarding Joe Hicketts' recall from Grand Rapids:

Hicketts, 21, stands out with his passes — and how physical he plays for a guy generously listed as 5-foot-8, 180 pounds.

“A little small,” Frk said Sunday. “But he plays like he’s tall guy.”

Hicketts hasn't had a particularly good season so far with the Grand Rapids Griffins, with just six assists and eight points in 43 games, but he earned the call because of the impression he made last season, when he helped the Griffins win the Calder Cup.

“Joe has a couple things that I love,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s got swagger and he’s got a great brain for the game.”

St. James continues...

MLive's Ansar Khan posted a 2:58 video of coach Blashill's off-day remarks...

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan penned an article about Hicketts' recall...

"He works every day hard," Frk said. "For how small he is, he's really strong. I was surprised how strong he is. He's definitely a great guy off the ice, too, as well. He's a special player."

Hicketts, one of the final cuts in training camp, impressed the team with, among other things, his willingness to hit bigger players.

"Joe has a couple things I love," Blashill said. "He's got swagger and he's got a great brain for the game. I think we could use some of that swagger. We need a little more offense from our back end. He hasn't had an unreal year, production-wise, but certainly his point production last year as a rookie, his point production his last few years of juniors was great. He had a great training camp for us."

The Red Wings signed the undrafted Hicketts as a free agent in September 2014, following an impressive development camp and prospects tournament. Blashill said Hicketts has a big heart.

"He's excelled at every level because of those things," Blashill said. "His skill-set doesn't scream NHL in terms of skating, size, body, all that, but he's proven people wrong his whole life. He was one of the best defensemen when he played for the Canadian World Junior team. He was out there for big moments, was a big piece of their Calder Cup championship team last year, and I think he brings stuff to the table that can help our team."

Injury update: Blashill said Luke Glendening (hand) could return as early as Tuesday against the Flyers and Justin Abdelkader (groin) might be back Thursday vs. the Blackhawks. Darren Helm (leg) won't return until after the All-Star break.

Among the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's notes...

Excluding Daley, the Red Wings are expecting to gradually have a couple of injured players return. Blashill is hopeful Luke Glendening (wrist) could return Tuesday when the Red Wings host Philadelphia. Glendening has been out since Dec. 21.

Justin Abdelkader (lower body), Blashill said, could return Thursday, but Darren Helm (lower body) isn’t expected until after the All-Star break.

Both Abdelkader and Helm were injured Jan. 13 against Pittsburgh.

…Blashill wants to see a better start than what the Red Wings produced Saturday against Carolina.

“It wasn’t even close to good enough,” Blashill said. “We have to be way better in totality in the first. We played as loose as we had in a long time and we can’t play loose. (Goaltender) Jimmy (Howard) made big saves to keep us in a good spot. We got better as the game went along but we have to make sure people earn ice and we’re hard to play against.”

And the Free Press's Helene St. James asked Blashill about the passing of USA Hockey's Jim Johannson:

Update #2: The Red Wings posted a clip of Blashill's off-day remarks:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

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I’m just glad that we’ve had enough injuries that KH can recycle the excuse from last year for missing the playoffs rather than take ownership of the problem.

Posted by Ventr on 01/21/18 at 04:04 PM ET

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If ownership can’t see problems with their investment s then they are solely to blame.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/21/18 at 04:42 PM ET

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So Hickett’s earned the call up because of what he did LAST season, even though he has struggled THIS season. So then why did Brian Lashoff get called up and play earlier this year? Did he earn that based on something he did in 2013? Is that why Kronwall is on the PP…because of something he did in 2008? No logic with this franchise!

Posted by fatsavage on 01/21/18 at 04:58 PM ET

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So Hickett’s earned the call up because of what he did LAST season, even though he has struggled THIS season.

He earned this because they know that he should be in the NHL as it is and would be if not for the logjam in Detroit.

Is that somehow an alien concept to you?

So then why did Brian Lashoff get called up and play earlier this year? Did he earn that based on something he did in 2013?

They knew there was only a small chance that the player they called up would play, so they brought up Lashoff because who cares if he sits on the bench? They decided that they’d rather have their prospects playing in Grand Rapids than sitting on the bench in Detroit. They have been pretty consistent about not wanting to call up a prospect if he’s not going to play.

Lashoff got the previous call up because there was little chance he was going to play while Hicketts got the call up this time because he’s going to play.

Is that somehow an alien concept?

Is that why Kronwall is on the PP…because of something he did in 2008?

No, that’s because Jeff Blashill is a shitty coach and has pretty consistently been a shitty coach.

Is that somehow an alien concept?

No logic with this franchise!

Yeah, unless you take even a tiny fraction of time to actually think about it.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 01/21/18 at 05:23 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Lashoff gets called up: RAWRRRRR SHITTY ORGANIZATION why not Hicketts!?!


Hicketts gets called up: RAWRRRRR SHITTY ORGANIZATION why Hicketts if he is struggling!?!?

Cannot make this stuff up.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/21/18 at 05:38 PM ET

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So we recall Lashoff, who was clearly outperformed by Hicketts, and the only explanation is that this player “probably” won’t play. Oh the horror. Hicketts gets recalled, practices, but gets scratched and watches one single game from the press box. Then back to the AHL. Oh no. Career derailed. And then we finally recall him after a lengthy slump? Why not call up Hronek? He’s been our best d-man lately!

Posted by fatsavage on 01/21/18 at 06:16 PM ET

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Lashoff gets called up: RAWRRRRR SHITTY ORGANIZATION why not Hicketts!?!


Hicketts gets called up: RAWRRRRR SHITTY ORGANIZATION why Hicketts if he is struggling!?!?

Cannot make this stuff up.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/21/18 at 04:38 PM ET

You don’t have to. It’s his MO. Pick literally any decision the team can make and it’ll be wrong, and he’ll tell you why. Article after article, day after day.

Posted by Vasha on 01/21/18 at 07:21 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

OK .. no playoffs for this group so its evaluation time.

Lasher got called up the first time because it was a short callup and game play wasn’t guaranteed.

This time around Hicketts gets the callup because:..

a) he should/would have made the team out of training camp but they signed Witkowski in the off-season and there wasn’t room for him.

b) Hronek may have better numbers than Hicketts but he’s just a rookie and they want him getting as much playing time as possible.  Hicketts might not get more than 10 or 11 mins as opposed to the 20+ he gets in GR.  The more visible he is, the more ice time he’ll get.

As for Kronwall still being on the PP ...
He still has a good shot from the point and can QB with the best of them.  A wonky knee just slows him down a bit.  It doesn’t make him dumber.

I get a kick out of everyone praising the play of Ericsson this season.  He still can’t cover well in his own zone, he still commits too many turnovers with sloppy lazy passes in his own zone ... the only reason he’s a plus player this season is because he’s usually paired with Trevor Daley.

I’m already looking forward to TC in Sept. and how different our defence is going to look coming out of camp. I’m anticipating 3 new Dmen.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/21/18 at 07:36 PM ET

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Kronwall
Ericsson
Daley
Dekeyser
Jensen
Ouellet

All 6 are signed for next year. So are you saying we’re going to trade or waive 2 of these guys? I doubt it.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/21/18 at 08:23 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

I’ve learned not to get too excited about what a defenseman does in the AHL as prediction to what he might do in the NHL, just because 3verything happens so slowly in the AHL. That goal you got in the AHL you sometimes don’t even get off in the NHL. Especially so with defensemen. You just can’t tell how a guy is going to adjust to the speed at the top level

Posted by duhduhduh on 01/21/18 at 08:24 PM ET

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Hickett’s won’t succeed in the NHL. He’s too small. I know he plays tough. But he has no reach. Some small guys make up for that with skating. But Hickett’s can’t skate either. Just like Ouellet. Too slow for this league. But I’m glad he’s getting a look. Time to de-clutter our logjam of mediocrity. Russo, Lashoff and Renouf can all get lost too.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/21/18 at 09:34 PM ET

PierreC's avatar

Hickett’s won’t succeed in the NHL. He’s too small. I know he plays tough. But he has no reach. Some small guys make up for that with skating. But Hickett’s can’t skate either. Just like Ouellet. Too slow for this league. But I’m glad he’s getting a look. Time to de-clutter our logjam of mediocrity. Russo, Lashoff and Renouf can all get lost too.
   
    Posted by
     
    fatsavage
     
      on 01/21/18 at 08:34 PM ET

Only time will tell but i believe you will be wrong.  If Krug can make it Hicketts can..if size matters.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 01/21/18 at 10:21 PM ET

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Krug can skate. Hickett’s can’t. That’s the difference. At that size you need to be an ELITE skater. Krug is. Hickett’s is average.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/21/18 at 11:04 PM ET

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———No logic with this franchise!
———FS, you are passionate and knowledgeable fan. I am just starting to doubt you are a Red Wing fan. I criticize KH and Blash decisions as much as anybody, but you seem to have some true hate towards everything this franchise does and I mean everything. Not sure how a person can root for the team and absolutely hate it, all at the same time. When we win a game, you are nowhere to be found. As soon as we lose, the amounts of your posts quadruples. Just not sure how you do it if you really like the Wings.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/21/18 at 11:31 PM ET

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I love the Wings. Always will. Just painful to see a GM drive it into the ground. So many good hockey people have left the organization. Fans don’t care. Cupboards are mostly empty, especially compared to other organizations. I applaud smart moves. But they are rare these days.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/21/18 at 11:43 PM ET

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I think you were the Happy Gilmour on one of Holland’s first teams

Posted by benzanato on 01/22/18 at 12:53 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

I think you were the Happy Gilmour on one of Holland’s first teams

Posted by benzanato on 01/21/18 at 11:53 PM ET

 

AAAAAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH


and now my fiance is awake….and my arm will be bruised for weeks.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 12:56 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

Krug can skate. Hickett’s can’t. That’s the difference. At that size you need to be an ELITE skater. Krug is. Hickett’s is average.
   
    Posted by
     
    fatsavage
     
      on 01/21/18 at 10:04 PM ET

I saw Hicketts during the last camp and i predicted back then that he will eventually crack the Wings line-up. He probably won’t be the puck carrier D that we badly need but he will be good enough to fit Inside a top 6 D.

He is not big but he plays big, he is not particularly fast but he plays fast, he is not particularly strong but he plays strong.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 01/22/18 at 01:00 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Kronwall, Jensen and Ouellet are all on their last year of their contract next season.

We know Green is as good as traded so thats one D spot (filled by hicketts)
They can always tell Kronner to take an early retirement and put him on LTIR for the last year of his contract so thats D spot #2 (possibly filled by Hronek)

You know theyre evaluating Ouellet & Jenson now hence the decision to sit Jensen vs Carolina in favor of XO.  One will stay and one will go so thats D spot #3 (filled by Sulak or a UFA signing).

A lot depends on what happens the rest of this season and in the fall in next seasons exhibition games.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/22/18 at 01:29 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/21/18 at 04:38 PM ET

QFT

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/22/18 at 10:08 AM ET

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They can always tell Kronner to take an early retirement and put him on LTIR for the last year of his contract so thats D spot #2 (possibly filled by Hronek)

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/22/18 at 12:29 AM E

What if Kronwall doesn’t like being told to stay home in bed? What if shows up feeling great…will the doctor diagnose him with being too slow? Do you see any problems with having $9M on LTIR? Sorry. Not happening. We won’t waive him either. And of course he has that NTC as well. So prepare to see Kronwall return. And Ericsson. And Daley. And Dekeyser. Those 4 are automatic. But yeah, I guess they could waive/trade Jensen AND Ouellet. But I doubt both are gone.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 11:33 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/22/18 at 09:08 AM ET

The only thing consistent about this mess is that, as VP points out, every. Single. Thing. This org does is wrong wrong wrong somehow.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 11:58 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 10:58 AM ET

Hey Hey Hockeytown, made up of the best armchair GMs and Coaches in the universe, just ask them… on Monday morning of course.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/22/18 at 12:05 PM ET

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The only thing consistent about this mess is that, as VP points out, every. Single. Thing. This org does is wrong wrong wrong somehow.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 10:58 AM ET

Not true. I’m pleased we finally stopped limiting AA to 10 minutes and are playing him more. Pleased that he’s being used as a top 6 winger rather than 4th line center. Glad we finally shuffled personnel on our PP units. Happy with the returns Holland received on Smith and Jurco. I wanted Bertuzzi here ages ago. Nice to see Miller is no longer in this league.

Like I said, I applaud wise decisions. Unfortunately those are 4 or 5. I could come up with 100 stupid ones. Change that ratio and I’ll be boasting like nobody else. Will take a new GM for that though. And probably most of the scouts and coaches to be wiped out as well.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 12:06 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/22/18 at 11:05 AM ET

dat hindsight tho

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 12:44 PM ET

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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.