The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/15/13 at 06:41 PM ET
The Grand Rapids Griffins get a second chance to close out the Syracuse Crunch tonight (7 PM EDT, AHLLive.com/WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids/WOOD Radio), and they'll do so minus Adam Almquist but including Gustav Nyquist, who the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports was not suspended for whatever happened between Nyquist and Richard Panik last night.
The Crunch expect to have defenseman Radko Gudas back in their lineup, aiding the Crunch's transition game and already physical bite, and as we wait for the game to start, here are a few noteworthy items to tide you over:
2. If you happen to be heading to the Quicken Loans 400 at the Michigan International Speedway tomorrow, Niklas Kronwall will be the Grand Marshal;
3. In a very different participatory vein, the Syracuse Post-Standard's Don Cazentre reports that the mayors of Syracuse, NY and Grand Rapids, MI have made a sudsy bet regarding the team that will capture the Calder Cup:
It took a while, but the mayors of Syracuse and Grand Rapids have finally agreed on what they are betting on the outcome of the Calder Cup American Hockey League championship series between the Syracuse Crunch and Grand Rapids Griffins.
Each mayor also agreed to wear the jersey of the opponent if their hometown team loses.
But back to the beer.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner agreed to send a case of Syracuse Pale Ale, brewed at Middle Ages Brewing Co., to Grand Rapids if the Crunch lose.
In return, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell promised to send a case of beer from his city's Founders Brewing Co. to Miner if the Crunch prevail.
And in more pertinent news, Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner asked Grifins coach Jeff Blashill to assess the pluses and minuses of TWELVE Red Wings prospects, and here are some of his takes:
Luke Glendening (RW): Luke Glendening is a rare person who has an unbelievable will and work ethic combined with an unbelievable ability to get better at things. He never played center before, but he improved his face-offs to be one of the best face-off guys in the league. I believe he will not be denied the opportunity to play in the National Hockey League. (Glendening is not under contract with Detroit, but that is expected to change very soon.)
Tomas Jurco (RW): Jurco has gone from being a highly skilled player to being a very good player, there’s a huge difference. Early in the year, he was a skilled player that necessarily didn’t know how to play winning hockey. Now he’s a winning hockey player that’s extremely talented.
Gustav Nyquist (RW): The biggest thing I’d say about Gus is that he’s extremely talented. He’s a great locker-room guy, a great character guy that people may not understand the impact he’s had on this team (Grand Rapids). When he came back, it was a big factor in us being here (Calder Cup Final) today.
Landon Ferraro (C): Landon has had a real good year, a breakout year in the American League. He has great speed, he has a great shot and he can score goals. His element of speed is transferable to the NHL. Landon has had injury problems and has gone through this year, knock on wood, fairly unscathed. As he continues to develop, he has an opportunity.
Calle Jarnkrok (C): When Calle was here (he played nine games for the Griffins), it was a good experience for him to see that everything happens quicker in North American hockey. He’s going to take that lesson and apply it this summer to get better at those things. With added strength, he’s an extremely smart hockey player with extremely good skills. He needs to add strength to his body.
Teemu Pulkkinen (RW): Pulkkinen has a real good shot, the hard part for these guys (European players) is that they come in and they haven’t learned the systems. Once he becomes comfortable with the systems, it will allow his ability. He has a real ability to shoot a puck and that’s what he’s going to have to rely on to be an impact player.
You'll have to read the other six assessments on your own.
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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.