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The Malik Report

Audio from practice at the first day of the Red Wings’ prospect tournament

The Red Wings' prospects spent about 45 minutes practicing ahead of tonight's game against Minnesota at the prospect tournament, mostly engaging in drills involving retrieving dump-ins, defensive positioning, breakouts, and at the end of the practice, both goalie-challenging lateral movement drills, faceoff drops for centers and some d-to-d passing and shooting with a screened player in front of the net.

Griffins coach Jeff Blashill may or may not have been kidding when he tapped me on the leg with his stick and said, "That's the best morning skate I've had in years!" but the Wings' prospects were sharp, chipper and receptive to the coaching of Blashill, Spiros Anastas, Jim Paek, Chris Chelios, Jiri Fischer and Jim Bedard, and they all seemed to be both genuinely looking forward to their three games (Minnesota tonight, Dallas tomorrow and St. Louis on Sunday) for two reasons:

A) The very youth-heavy team wants to win the prospect tournament for the first time ever;

B) It is very evident that both the summer development campers, returning Grand Rapids Griffins, incoming Griffins and try-outs alike have been informed that training camp is an intense experience and that Mike Babcock takes no guff, so the prospects really feel that they're going to get something of a leg up on the gents skating in Detroit and Grand Rapids in non-game situations.

I was only able to speak with four players today as the practice went a little long, and the interviews are short, but I asked Jared Coreau about his now-healed left shoulder, his lateral mobility, his hopes for the upcoming tournament and main camp and also his decision to switch back to Vaughn pads after wearing Reeboks during his senior season at NMU:

Riley Sheahan discussed his short summer, his status as something of a "veteran" on a very young team, the drills the team worked on and the jumping-off period that is the prospect tourney...

I more or less asked Tomas Jurco similar questions, though I also asked him about taking part in the Slovakian summer Olympic orientation camp...

And I asked Martin Frk about his summer spent training in Montreal and working out with Octagon Hockey's clients, his expectations coming in (he seemed a lot less sure of himself this time around) and what he's looking forward to:

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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.