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The Malik Report

Grand Rapids Griffins have a back-up camp plan in case of a lockout

The Red Wings' players will have to formulate some sort of plan to find a place to skate and practice if a lockout takes place. The Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, won't have to compete with youth hockey teams for ice time at other rinks if they don't open training camp with the Wings on September 22nd, but the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Griffins coach Jeff Blashill already has a back-up plan ready to go:

One [plan] is to join with the Detroit Red Wings in Traverse City from Sept. 22-27 before reporting to Grand Rapids about Oct. 6. The other is to have players report to Grand Rapids about Sept. 28. It all depends what happens in talks between the league and union over a new collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires Sept. 15, and talks between the two have been generally acrimonious, raising fear of a lockout.

“From there, whatever happens, if the preparations are made, we can handle whatever comes to us,” said Blashill, who played Monday in the 18th annual Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic at Egypt Valley Country Club.

Blashill didn't take part in the Wings' summer development camp due to a familial issue, but Blashil told Wallner that he's not particularly concerned about beginning relationships with some of the Red Wings' top prospects without having seen them play since last year's prospect tournament (given that the Wings cancelled this year's event due to lockout worries), either:

“I’ve seen enough of them play and have enough knowledge of the players through personal research and talking with the other coaches that I have a good idea,” he said. “But until you get out there, you never know how each team will meld together. So what I would have seen in the summer would be different from what I’ll see in September and October.”

He will spend the early parts of September meeting more with staff, including holdover assistant Jim Paek, in preparing for the opening of practice, whenever it is.

“You continue to prepare as much as possible,” he said. “We as a staff haven’t had a ton of opportunity to spend time together. So we’ll do that more in the month of September to make sure we’re on the same page.”

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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.