The Malik Report
by Paul on 07/23/14 at 10:44 AM ET
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The message to him from the Red Wings is that he has an opportunity in training camp to make the team, a rarity for a club that rarely skips a step in the developmental cycle.
“Every player wants to rush the process,” Mantha said when we chatted after the camp. “It would be a lie telling you I want to play in Grand Rapids next year. For sure, I want to start in Detroit.”
And then there was 22-year-old Russian defenseman Alexey Marchenko, not on the ice but continuing his progress from the ankle injury that ended his AHL season. Detroit whiffed on adding a right-handed shot defensemen in free agency, with Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen picking the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals over Detroit.
Unless Ken Holland pulls off a trade, which doesn’t happen often during Holland’s summers, Marchenko has a chance to take advantage of the lack of right-handed shots in the Detroit defense corps. He has the approval of Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, who ran the camp. Marchenko isn’t a great skater but he’s smart and makes good decisions.
“Before he got injured, I thought he was one of our best D, night in and night out in Grand Rapids,” said Blashill, who said he projected as a potential top-four NHL defenseman. “He’s an extremely efficient defenseman. He defends great, moves the puck great, creates offense without a lot of risk and to me those are the best kind of defensemen.”
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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.