The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/12/13 at 10:20 PM ET
I apologize for the lateness of this post, but I had some social obligations to take care (stop laughing...I have a life...sort of...), and as such, I ended up spending about 90 minutes hanging out with pals spending the night at Centre Ice Arena to snag training camp tickets (they go
MLive's Brendan Savage has already penned a recap of an event which was absolutely dominated by the play of Martin Frk, Anthony Mantha, their rotating third linemate (sometimes Zach Nastasiuk, sometimes Dean Chelios), the stellar defensive pair of Ryan Sproul and Richard Nedomlel, and the superb goaltending displayed by Jake Paterson, whose "white" team beat the "red" team 6-1.
Frk scored two goals and was credited with two assists, but if the scorekeeper was better-acquainted with the roster, Frk may have had a 5-point night:
"I know I was tired after the first half," said Frk, 19. "You have to work in the summer more and get better. I had maybe 2½ weeks off and I was already working out again. But I know I have to get in better shape. I get on the ice and I was tired right away. I'm not as far (along) as I should be. I can feel my legs don't go that fast. When we do something long, I get tired right away."
The scrimmage was played in two 30-minute halves. Frk scored twice to help the White take a 4-0 lead at the intermission and then picked up two assists in the second half.
"It's a lot of fun," Frk said. "For me, I'm happy to be here and play a scrimmage game."
Anthony Mantha, the Red Wings' first-round pick (20th overall) this year, also scored twice and Ryan Sproul, the reigning OHL defenseman of the year who was a second-round pick (55th overall) in 2011, had two assists.
"Frk is really crafty," said Chris Chelios, the newly elected Hall of Famer who coached the White along with former teammate Tomas Holmstrom. "Great with the puck, can skate, finishes. Mantha, he's a kid that got drafted pretty high. They've got great hands and skill. It was kind of a lop-sided affair. But those key guys, our first two picks, I was impressed by them."
Goaltender Jake Paterson, a second-round pick (80th overall) last year, stopped all 12 shots he faced in the first half to get the victory.
Savage duly notes that every skater took part in a shootout before it got down to "elimination" mode, which was a bit daffy, and he also took note of one of TWO hard hits laid upon Tyler Bertuzzi. Frk smoked the young man once...
Frk landed the biggest blow of the scrimmage during a first-half collision with Tyler Bertuzzi, a second-round pick (58th overall) in this year's draft. Bertuzzi's helmet flew off his head and went at least 20 feet in the air after they collided with less than four minutes left in the first half.
Who hit who depends on who you ask. Frk said he was trying to hit Bertuzzi and got his stick up a bit high during the collision; Bertuzzi said he was attempting to deliver the hit and Frk got his stick up while attempting to defend himself.
And Jason Binkley, one of two Ferris State University players who were brought in to replace Nick Jensen (injured by Bertuzzi) and Mitchell Wheaton (who's not playing), sent Bertuzzi off the ice a second time during the second half, with Bertuzzi favoring his left foot.
Binkley and Simon Denis played on a defensive pair, and let's just say that it was somewhat appropriate that the white team, coached by Chris Chelios, Tomas Holmstrom and Keith McKittrick, allowed their players to send a message to Bertuzzi regarding the no-no that is fighting during a summer development camp.
Jim Paek and Spiros Anastas coached the red team, which actually out-shot the red team 24-18, but fell victim to a Frk-Mantha-and-Sproul-led assault.
As the Wings brought their amateur scouts together to announce the hiring of Tyler Wright as the new director of amateur scouting, the one suite in the rink was PACKED with the amateur scouts, Ken Holland, Ryan Martin, Kris Draper, Mike Babcock and Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, who purposefully took in the game from another vantage point.
I did spot Wheaton and invite Kurt Etchegary, who's sporting quite the swollen right cheek, watching the game, and during the first "half," Jared Coreau and Darren Helm very quietly got their gear on and skated on Centre Ice's eastern rink, returning before the game was over.
The stands were jam-packed, there were oodles of media in the house, and a good time seemed to be had by all ahead of an honest-to-goodness "off day" tomorrow, where, per the handout those in attendance (fans and media alike) have received, the Wings' prospects will go to Camp Grayling.
After the game, I took part in something of a "scrum" with Frk...
I'm happy to say that I was the first to get to Ryan Sproul...
Because I let Sproul finish his interview, I got into Jeff Blashill's scrum about 20 seconds late, but managed to ask him some questions about mental and physical fatigue at the end...
Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner and I kind of, "So you're Swedish-ed" the hell out of Mattias Janmark-Nylen, who I eventually talked to about his stick (equipment nerd alert)...
I tried to get Jake Patterson--Patterson with two t's--to talk...
I had a really great conversation with Andreas Athanasiou about his work ethic, his skills, and the line between confident, the "good cocky" and the "bad cocky" as Andreas is all about "the good cocky"--and he was remarkably forthcoming:
And you will be a fan of Western Michigan University forward Dane Walters after hearing this interview. Walters has graduated from college and may be back for the prospect tournament, and at 24, he may not have a great shot to earn a pro contract with the Wings, but my goodness, does he ever think that it's an honor and a privilege to be learning the things he's learning from Chris Chelios, Tomas Holmstrom, and the Wings' organization, regardless of whether it involves going to the front of the net and staying there or learning how to eat better by cooking better:
I'll be back with more in a little bit.
And there is a "code," even in summer development camps, and as much as I like Bertuzzi and as amusing as it was to watch him and the other prospects get a kick out of me turning into captain hockey stick dork in front of a rack of Bauer sticks (they had all the different kinds of grip represented, all the curves, all the flexes...Boy, that p02 87 flex was sweet...)...
He deserved to get smoked, and he'll be better off for it.
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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.