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The Malik Report

Big Richard Nedomlel may not be the ‘next big thing’, but he’s worth watching

Red Wings prospect Richard Nedomlel isn't exactly the Next Big Thing, though he is pretty bloody large at 6'4" and 225 pounds. Nedomlel's spent his first pro season not with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, but instead, the ECHL's Toledo Walleye (in no small part due to the fact that Nedomlel, Max Nicastro, Nick Jensen, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet and Alexey Marchenko all "turned pro" this season), but Nedomlel's done just fine with Toledo, establishing himself as the kind of defenseman he hopes to become at higher levels of play--a big, mean, steady and stable stay-at-home defenseman.

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe penned a profile of Nedomlel, and it's worth stand-alone entry status because Nedomlel's particularly forthcoming in discussing his development and goals...

“I try to give my team energy,” he said. “If that means hitting a guy or getting into a fight, I will do whatever I can. I'm known to be tough and physical. I will protect my teammates. I'm a big guy. Hockey is not a sport for girls, so I really enjoy that. Obviously the fans like that. It's nice to give something to the fans. I like to give something back.”

Nedomlel leads Toledo in penalty minutes and has scored eight goals with 10 assists in 53 games. His 120 penalty minutes rank fifth overall in the ECHL.

Walleye coach Dan Watson has been impressed with Nedomlel and said he continues to improve.

“He plays with an edge every shift,” Watson said. “He keeps it simple and smart. He is a very effective hockey player. He's now playing a lot on the power play and penalty kill. So that shows the trust we have in him and how much he has grown over the year. He plays hard every night.”

And there's something to be said for Nedomlel sticking it out on a team that's struggled like nobody's business:

Nedomlel said the Walleye's season-long struggles have been difficult. But he said the team's recent 3-1-1 streak has brightened the mood in the locker room.

“It's gotten better and better,” he said. “This year we won't make the playoffs. But I hope next year coach Watson is back. He has been very good for us. He shows us a lot of videos. We've learned a lot from him.”

Nedomlel said he does not know what the future holds for him. But he said former Red Wings defensemen Jiri Fischer and Chris Chelios, who are still with the organization in advisory roles and are often at Walleye games, have been encouraging.

“I'm not sure what the plan is with me,” he said. “But I'm happy to be playing in Toledo. I will always try to give 100 percent to the game I love. That is just my life. I try to do as much as I can and leave it all on ice.”

Monroe continues, and Nedomlel's comments about his decision to head to North America to play Major Junior hockey, as well as his reaction to being drafted...Are amusing. This is a "fun read" and sometimes we need those.

That, and while Nedomlel doesn't project to be anything more than a 5/6 defenseman at the NHL level, the road role players take and the challenges they face in plowing paths to the NHL are worth highlighting.

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Comments

Sal's avatar

Hockey is not a sport for girls

Oof. I don’t think we can use “Lost in translation” as an excuse here. I’ll admit to have stopped reading after that.

Posted by Sal from the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains on 04/02/14 at 02:05 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Richard’s Richard. He’s a bit of a blockhead sometimes…But that’s why I posted it. He speaks his mind.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 02:17 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Be the change you want to see in the world.  Sounds like youd rather have a world of understanding Sal. Food for thought.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/02/14 at 02:30 PM ET

SK77's avatar

I’ll admit to have stopped reading after that.

Posted by Sal from the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains on 04/02/14 at 02:05 PM ET

Then you missed the parts where he said: he likes to play like Chris Pronger; the player he most admired growing up was Chris Pronger; and if he could meet any one person [IN THE WORLD] it would be Chris Pronger.

HHeeeyyyoooo!!!

Posted by SK77 on 04/02/14 at 02:36 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I grew up with a post on my wall saying, “Hockey Is For Everyone,” and former U.S. Olympian Angela Ruggiero is one of my personal heroes. For what it’s worth, I do believe that hockey is “for girls” and anyone else who wants to play it.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 02:42 PM ET

Sal's avatar

Be the change you want to see in the world.  Sounds like youd rather have a world of understanding Sal. Food for thought.

The kid made a thoughtless comment. I made note of it. I don’t know what you’re suggested I’m supposed to do. Should we ignore sexism or racism when we see it? I hope someone on the Walleyes tells him he why that comment isn’t acceptable and he learns from it. I don’t have access to him to do so myself. I don’t think he intended ill will, but it was not a cool thing to say.

Posted by Sal from the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains on 04/02/14 at 02:47 PM ET

Sal's avatar

Pronger!?! Well, the hell with him then.

grin

Posted by Sal from the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains on 04/02/14 at 02:49 PM ET

Avatar

We have not had a defensman “with an edge” since Konstantinov. Maybe Danny Markov, but when he was here, he was not the same Markov we saw in his previous stops in NHL.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/02/14 at 03:05 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

George I assume he was saying is a more hostile aggressive sport which tends to be considered masculine energies historically vs. Nurturing empathetic energies which are considered femanine, again historically.  So do you really believe he’s saying he doesn’t think girls should play hockey.. Or that he considers his masculine attributes make him suited for hockey?  Understanding, there’s too much pettiness catered to here.  Lots of soap boxes.  Now let me get off mine

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/02/14 at 03:12 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Off-topic.  HTO, did you check your inbox?  I sent you something.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/02/14 at 03:16 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

My man.. Happy Happy man

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/02/14 at 03:17 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Cheeky, ain’t it?

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/02/14 at 03:29 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Back on topic.  I think Ned’s gotta be ahead of McKee on the depth chart.  I really hope for McKee (and I’ll never forget his emotions and attitude on his draft day selection), but this is probably the league’s most difficult roster to break into.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/02/14 at 03:32 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I seriously hope we see McKee on this team.  I worry as a forward though he may not be fast enough.  Wasn’t so much an issue on D.  But I’m pulling for them.  They’re always ready to battle and that’s contagious

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/02/14 at 03:37 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

And SYF… That’s the only thing I like about the Hawks

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/02/14 at 03:43 PM ET

Avatar

His girlfriend plays hockey for fun and remember he is from Europe ok??? There is not the same equal status to women there. He meant no ill will by that comment.

Posted by brook23 on 04/02/14 at 04:16 PM ET

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and by the way he is 6’5” now!

Posted by brook23 on 04/02/14 at 04:19 PM ET

SYF's avatar

and by the way he is 6’5” now!

Posted by brook23 on 04/02/14 at 04:19 PM ET

And Mike McKee is a 6’5”, 250lbs defenseman/forward.  How do those guys break into the Wings future starting defense lineup with Sproul, Ouellet, Marchenko, Almquist, and to a lesser known extent, Marshall and Jensen way up on the depth chart?

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/02/14 at 04:25 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Wings have always favored skill over pylon-ability. Not going to be easy for those big boys.

Posted by SK77 on 04/02/14 at 04:35 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Wings have always favored skill over pylon-ability. Not going to be easy for those big boys.

Posted by SK77 on 04/02/14 at 04:35 PM ET

Bingo.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/02/14 at 04:36 PM ET

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No one said he future is with the Wings…if he is lucky he gets away from the hoarding Wings.

Posted by brook23 on 04/02/14 at 05:01 PM ET

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You could pretty much get rid of most of their NHL Dmen, not exactly meeting expectations are they?

Posted by brook23 on 04/02/14 at 05:04 PM ET

Avatar

I grew up with a post on my wall saying, “Hockey Is For Everyone,” and former U.S. Olympian Angela Ruggiero is one of my personal heroes. For what it’s worth, I do believe that hockey is “for girls” and anyone else who wants to play it.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 02:42 PM ET

Girls, kids, boys, but not men. (Tongue in Cheek)

Posted by guy on 04/02/14 at 05:37 PM ET

Avatar

This is why it is so hard for European/ Russian players to want to give interviews to American press…you take one mistake they don’t know they made and ignore everything else. Bobrovsky faked he didn’t know english for quite awhile because he was afraid of mistakes. He didn’t mean it that way. Who seriously gets so obsessed with stuff like that from people who’s first language in not english???

Posted by brook23 on 04/02/14 at 05:48 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

but this is probably the league’s most difficult roster to break into.

The way this season has been going, I think we’re only about 4 injuries away from this kid breaking into the line-up.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/02/14 at 06:28 PM ET

SK77's avatar

The Wings be some hoarding mochafuchas, yo.

Posted by SK77 on 04/02/14 at 06:35 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Be the change you want to see in the world.  Sounds like youd rather have a world of understanding Sal. Food for thought.

Bravo! A lot of the “most tolerant” people I know are, in fact, the least tolerant because they cannot tolerate any display of intolerance.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/02/14 at 07:34 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Bryan Burke had a wonderful quote last Saturday: “Preach acceptance, not tolerance. You tolerate a cat.”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 07:36 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Bryan Burke had a wonderful quote last Saturday: “Preach acceptance, not tolerance. You tolerate a cat.”

Boom!

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/02/14 at 07:41 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

I love my cat. My cat tolerates me.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/02/14 at 07:50 PM ET

Avatar

Wings have always favored skill over pylon-ability. Not going to be easy for those big boys.

I will assume you never saw him play.  God forbid this team get some players who enjoy being physical, I know he wouldn’t let other teams take liberties with our star players without having something to say about it.  I know this team is sorely lacking guys that make other teams pay physically in the D-Zone.  But by all means, let’s draft another dwarf

Posted by bababooey on 04/02/14 at 07:50 PM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

*sigh*

When I read “The Girl Comment”, I knew before my eyes reached the end of the sentence that someone on this site would focus on that and ignore the remaining 98% of this informative article.

I doubt he’s sexist.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 04/02/14 at 08:15 PM ET

Avatar

I will assume you never saw him play.  God forbid this team get some players who enjoy being physical, I know he wouldn’t let other teams take liberties with our star players without having something to say about it.  I know this team is sorely lacking guys that make other teams pay physically in the D-Zone.  But by all means, let’s draft another dwarf


Exactly, well said. They are in the East now remember that.

Posted by brook23 on 04/02/14 at 08:33 PM ET

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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.