The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/12/14 at 04:16 PM ET
After being absent for a good chunk of time, I've got a massive catch-up post in the works, but there's more than enough "stuff" from the past day or two to posit an afternoon post and to keep the bulk of the "catching up" to a dedicated, "This shit happened before Glendening attended the Wings' youth camp, Holland updated Alfredsson's situation, Lambert was Lambert (again, the Hockey News's yearbook's picking the Wings as making the playoff cut, too, so expect that line to become something of a theme) and Darren Helm looked like his back's in superb shape" post.
As WDIV's Steve Garagiola noted, the Wings are holding a youth hockey camp at Joe Louis Arena this week...
And Kirk Maltby spoke with MLive's Ansar Khan regarding the camp:
More than 270 kids ages 6-16, representing 12 states and provinces are attending the three-day event from Monday through Wednesday.
They're getting on-ice instruction from Maltby and Bedard as well as current players Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser.
Maltby spoke with media on Monday about the camp:
How much are you enjoying coaching kids?
"I don't know if I'd call it coaching, per se, but it's been fun. We have all different age groups and skill level, boys and girls. We're just trying to first and foremost have some fun. If we can help teach them something or improve something through the course of these three days that would be great, but at the end of the day we're just hoping they enjoy themselves and have a lot of fun getting pictures taken at the Joe and in here in the dressing room."
What is being stressed at the camp?
"Most of them have the basic fundamentals. A lot of the stuff we're doing is stick-handling with your head up, they way you're skating, stick on the ice. We have all skill levels; some are beginners, some are advanced. We kind of tweak it as we go, get a feel for where they are. But so far it's been great. The work ethic has been there, they're listening. Seems like the girls listen a little better than the boys, but at the end of the day, we're out there for about an hour, hour-15 with each group and it goes by quickly."
How has the experience been for you?
"I feel a jolt of something, I don't know what it is, I'm not in the shape I used to be. I love coming down here still. Even when we're doing this camp in the new facility I'll still missing coming to the old Joe Louis Arena. It's a great arena to play in, with a great fan base. I try to take advantage of getting out there as much as I can."
On Monday, as Paul noted, Luke Glendening attended the camp, and in addition to speaking with the Windsor Star's Bob Duff about the Red Wings' need to collectively improve, he discussed his own game...
“I have a long way to go,” Glendening said. “I wasn’t really that happy with my season. I got to play a lot, but my production wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough on faceoffs (48.5 per cent). There are things that I have to improve upon to stay and be a regular in the lineup.”
Neither the Wings nor Glendening ever expect him to be a dynamic producer, but he still believes that he can contribute more offensively than he’s shown so far at the NHL level.
“I know that I’m never going to be a big point guy in this league,” Glendening said. “That’s never really been what I’ve done my whole career. I want to bring energy; I want to be a physical presence out there. But you can’t survive in this league scoring one goal a year. You have to find different ways to play.”
As to what those ways might be, Glendening has given that much thought.
“I’ve just got to take the next step – whether that’s more hits, whether that’s mixing it up a little bit more, being in a few fights –whatever that is,” Glendening said. “I just need to bring something to this team to stay in the lineup.”
Glendening also spoke with Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji...
"We've got a lot of guys on contract, a lot of guys pushing for spots," Glendening said. "Nothing's guaranteed. I don't have a guaranteed spot. I want to come and play. I don't want to come and sit."
After all the injuries the Wings dealt with last season, Babcock emphasized that all the Wings had to have a great summer of training. Glendening has been doing his part, working at Barwis Methods in Plymouth, Mich.
"There's a lot of guys there from the Wings," Glendening said. "(Dan) Cleary's there, Kevin Porter, who we just signed. Colin Campbell has been working out there. (Alexey) Marchenko's coming back (Tuesday), I believe. It's a good group of guys and a bunch of other NHL guys there as well."
As did Ken Holland, regarding #41's future with the team...
"We expect Luke is going to score a little more, but I don't think he's ever going to be a 20 to 25 goal scorer," Holland said. "You got to be on the power play, playing with offensive-type players. When I think back to the Red Wings of 10 years ago and the Grind Line, certainly a Maltby -- a guy that's got a little bit of an edge, an agitator that can kill penalties, chip in some goals -- that's the type of guy we hope Luke Glendening is eventually going to grow himself into."
Glendening, who's fairly new to the center position, hopes to improve in the face-off circle this coming season. Last year, he won 48.5 percent of his face-offs.
"I think it's important when you're in a checking role, you got to be over 50 percent in the face-off circle so you can start more with the puck," Holland said. "It's hard to defend if you're not winning your share of the face-offs. It's harder to defend."
And Maltby weighed in on Glendening's rookie campaign, too:
"Luke definitely found a niche this year, has a role and does it very well, especially on the penalty kill," Maltby said. "No one can question his work ethic. As he gets experience and plays more situations, just gets more NHL games under his belt, I think you'll see him grow into an everyday regular player."
Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples posted a video of Glendening's "scrum" with the media after yesterday's practice:
Today, Riley Sheahan took part in the camp (Danny DeKeyser will do so on Wednesday), and MLive's Mike Mulholland posted a photo gallery from today's camp session, as well as a video of Sheahan speaking with the media:
Regarding Daniel Alfredsson's status, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Holland about the team's desire to bring #11 back if his, well, back holds up....
"After he’s had a chance to skate every day for a couple of weeks – the first couple of weeks in September he’ll skate every day and then we’ll talk heading into camp,” Holland said.
Though limited to 68 regular-season games and three playoff games last season due to injury, Alfredsson still shared the Detroit scoring lead with 49 points. He was also second on the team in power-play points (18) and game-winning goals (four), including a team-best two overtime winners.
“My take is we’re probably going to try to do something with Alfie,” Holland said. “He had a good year, he had 18 goals. When he was healthy, he was valuable.”
As did Fox Sports Detroit's Wakiji...
"My take is, we're probably going to try to do something with Alfie," Holland said Monday at Joe Louis Arena. "He had a good year, had 19 goals. When he was healthy, he was valuable.
"Certainly, I don't look at Alfie thinking he's going to play 82 games. When you got (Gustav) Nyquist and (Tomas) Tatar and (Tomas) Jurco and (Luke) Glendening and (Riley) Sheahan, if we can get a certain amount of games out of him, we would feel like he would be a real positive addition. But at the end of the day, I think he wants to come (skate), and we want to see him skate every day for two, three weeks and then let's see how he feels."
Alfredsson had 18 goals and 31 assists in 68 games last season. He turns 42 in December. Hemissed some time because of back trouble last season.
And MLive's Ansar Khan took note of Holland's take on the balance of his roster...
Holland expects all the other players who missed significant time last season due to injuries to be ready for camp – a list that includes Stephen Weiss, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm and Jonathan Ericsson.
"Everything I hear is positive," Holland said. "Now, it's summer time, you always hear positive. Let's get to September. All those guys that were injured last year, I've been told they're all healthy, they're all feeling great, they're all excited. I got my fingers crossed."
Holland said he's not looking to sign a depth forward or defenseman from what remains in the free-agent market.
While MLive's Brendan Savage weighed in on Alfredsson's "fit" today:
Alfredsson made $5.5 million last season after signing with the Red Wings as a free agent following 17 seasons in Ottawa. He ended up sharing the team scoring lead in Detroit with 49 points in 68 games.
But the Red Wings only have $5.2 million available under the salary cap and they have yet to sign defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who is a restricted free agent. So that's obviously going to cut into the money the Red Wings could pay Alfredsson.
As for the Red Wings, they have to decide if they want to take a chance on a guy who will turn 42 in December and has back issues. If the answer is yes, that means he'll be occupying a roster spot that could go to a younger player.
Not only would the Red Wings be taking a risk on Alfredsson's back -- they could also be setting back the overhaul of their roster.
At the same time, Alfredsson provides invaluable leadership and experience. He's also great in the dressing room. And he is coming off a productive season.
I know that many of you weighed in regarding Khan's take on Justin Abdelkader's "fit" in Detroit, and yesterday (Winging It in Motown's JJ from Kansas penned a superb "Answering Ansar" post about Abdelkader), he discussed Joakim Andersson's future with the Wings (I think he'll be traded or waived if he doesn't out-compete players for a spot on the roster during training camp and the exhibition season)...
Contract status: One year remaining at a salary-cap hit of $732,500. He'll be a restricted free agent when the deal expires.
2013-14 in review: Career highs in games, goals, assists and points. ... Minus-11 rating tied for second-worst on the club, after posting plus-2 the previous season. ... Averaged 2:37 per game on the penalty kill, nearly twice as much as the previous season (1:19). ... Won 51.4 percent of faceoffs, compared to 46.4 percent the year before. ... Missed six games with a hip flexor (Jan. 16-26). ... Missed six games with a fractured foot (March 11-22). ... Was a healthy scratch in five of the final six regular season games and four of the team's five playoff games.
2014-15 outlook: This checking-line center had a solid rookie season in 2013, becoming a fixture in the lineup after being promoted from Grand Rapids. But he regressed last season, essentially losing his job to Luke Glendening near the end of the year. Andersson has the size and defensive acumen for a fourth-line center but needs to be more gritty, physical and agitating, like Glendening. Andersson had 51 hits and blocked shots combined last season, compared to 130 hits and blocked shots combined for Glendening, who played nine fewer games. Andersson appears to be the 13th or 14th forward heading into the season. Glendening is his main competition for a spot in the lineup. The club's depth at center (Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Stephen Weiss, Riley Sheahan, Darren Helm and Glendening) could result in Andersson eventually being moved.
And today, Khan examined Gustav Nyquist's "fit" and future (bright, please bring the shades):
Contract status: One year remaining at a salary cap hit of $950,000. He'll be a restricted free agent when the deal expires.
2013-14 in review: Led the team in goals (28), game-winning goals (six), even-strength points (39) and shooting percentage (18.3 percent). ... Scored 23 goals in 28 games from Jan. 20 to April 2. ... Led NHL with 23 goals from Jan. 20 to the end of the season. ... Named NHL's No. 1 star for week on March 24 after picking up six goals and an assist in four games. ... Named NHL's No. 2 star of week on Jan. 27 after scoring a goal in four consecutive games and adding two assists. ... Named NHL's No. 2 star for March. ... Notched first career hat trick and career-high four points on Feb. 2 at Washington. ... Equaled career-high four points on Feb. 7 vs. New Jersey (goal, three assists). ... Six-game goal-scoring streak from March 16-25 (nine goals). ... 10-game points streak from March 16-April 2 (12 goals, two assists). ... Had five multi-goal games. ... Did not score a goal in his final 10 games, regular season and playoffs. ... Named to Swedish Olympic team as a replacement for injured teammate Johan Franzen. ... Had no points in six games, while averaging 6:40 in ice time, for Sweden at the Olympics, winning the silver medal. ... Had four goals and six points in 10 games for Sweden at the World Championship, winning the bronze medal. ... Spent the first six weeks of the season in Grand Rapids because he was exempt from waivers while others weren't. ... Led the Griffins with 21 points in 15 games when he was recalled by the Red Wings on Nov. 20. ... Second on the club in shots on goal (153) and plus-minus rating (plus-16). ... Averaged 3:14 per game on the power play, highest among all forwards. ... Missed three games with a pulled groin (Dec. 17-21).
2014-15 outlook: He'll finally experience his first full NHL season after spending parts of the past three seasons in the AHL. A tremendous skater with terrific skills, he is capable of making great one-on-one moves and scoring highlight-reel goals. He showed his star potential last season, and the Red Wings will need more of the same this year. He must continue to be assertive and shoot the puck, like he did after Jan. 18, when he took off following a slump that saw him score once in 18 games. He slumped late in the year and, like many of his teammates, wasn't a factor in the five-game series against the Boston Bruins. The club hopes it was a learning experience, because bigger teams will continue playing physical against him.
I don't expect Nyquist to lead the team in goal-scoring or to post 35 goals, but I do expect him to eventually--perhaps after a 2014-15 campaign learning what it's like to get the shit checked out of him, a la the Bruins series--become a 50-to-60-point producer.
Otherwise...Okay, so I did post some catch-up stuff after all:
In an ESPN.com chat today, ESPN's Katie Strang suggested that Wings fans need not buy into the "Wings will finally miss the playoffs" line...
Ed (Queens Village): If you had to pick 1 this season Kings repeat as Cup Champs or Red Wings miss playoffs for 1st time this century?
Katie Strang: Well, I really do not like ever doubting the Wings. That record speaks for itself and the club has a well-earned reputation for its winning culture. That said, I think the chances of them missing are far greater than a Kings repeat. Winning a Cup takes so many elements beyond great personnel and a bevvy of talent. It takes grit, depth and yes, some luck. Especially during the salary-cap era, dynastic teams are harder to come by. Anything can happen in the East though I am banking on Wings making it again this year.
And it appears that we're going to see Strang at some Wings games:
Ron Duguay (New York City): Katie, let me get this straight? You gave up your position in NYC and instead moved back to Grand Rapids? Michigan? Did ESPN-NY name your replacement yet? P.S. There was a story in the NYDN last week that I got banned from the owners box at MSG during the playoffs because I was getting so much attention from the ladies it was taking attention away from Jimmy D and the Straight Shots. True story. My shirts are irresistable.
Katie Strang: Sorry to hear about your predicament. Keen fashion sense can get you into trouble. I did indeed move to Michigan from NY, but for good reason. I got married and the mitten is home for both me and my husband. Hard to compete with home Luckily I did not have to give up my great gig. I will now be doing national hockey coverage for ESPN. Looking forward to expanding my horizons though I will miss the Big Apple!
Paul found out that the Vancouver Canucks' new video coach has worked with a certain Mike Babcock, and he forwarded this story from the Vancouver Province's Ed Kuzma to me:
Ben Cooper is sitting in the same Rogers Arena video workroom seat he occupied during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The irony wasn’t lost on the Vancouver native Tuesday as he charted the long and winding road that led to his appointment as the Canucks new video coach last week. After all, if you can survive two weeks with driven and demanding coach Mike Babcock, then there’s probably a future for you in the NHL.
“It was very demanding, pretty intense and a lot of fun,” recalled the 36-year-old Cooper. “You get up early in the morning and (Babcock) wants it sharp and wants it a certain way and you’ve got to be on the ball. It was a good experience and it was hard work.
“He’s very inclusive of the video coach and wants to know everything. You’re with him all the time and he breaks down video on his own and he’s watching clips all day, constantly. He’ll start after a game with 100 clips and make comments and then get down to 70 and start the process again and get down to 10 clips.
“Mike’s video meetings with the players are very short, focused and direct and maybe six or seven minutes. And he’s got a real presence in the room.”
66: Despite missing 34 games due to injuries, he posted the second-most, single-season shots on goal in his Red Wings’ career. He registered four SOG twice during the season – at Toronto (Dec. 21) and vs. Colorado (Mar. 6).
91: Ranked second among team defensemen in hits, averaging 1.89 hits per game last season. He led team’s blue-liners with 67 hits during lockout-shortened season in 2013. His single game high was four hits at COL (Oct. 17), vs. NSH (Nov. 19), at OTT (Dec. 1), at TOR (Dec. 21) and vs. CHI (Jan. 22).
46: The most blocked shots he had since the 2009-10 season when he stopped 49 shots. Since then he registered 37, 43, and 40 blocked shots leading up to last season. His season high was four in the Red Wings’ 5-4 shootout loss at NYI on Nov. 16.
In the land of popularity contests, Free Press readers named Gordie Howe the "most popular Red Wings player ever," just ekeing out Steve Yzerman, and MLive's Brendan Savage reports that MLive readers picked a Wings all-time team consisting of Yzerman, Howe, Ted Lindsay, Nicklas Lidstrom, Vladimir Konstantinov, Terry Sawchuk in goal and Scotty Bowman behind the bench;
Michigan Hockey posted its August issue online;
In the land of charitable appearances, DetroitRedWings.com's Alex DiFillipo noted that Danny DeKeyser was busy promoting bike safety this past weekend...
Autographing jerseys, sticks, pucks and photos are the norm for Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser. But on Wednesday afternoon, DeKeyser signed more than a hundred items he had never autographed before – bike helmets.
DeKeyser was on hand at the Kohl’s location in Livonia, Mich., to support Safety Day hosted by the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program.
As part of the event, 200 children aged 14 and younger received a free bike helmet in an effort to help raise awareness for children’s safety. The children then had an opportunity to have the helmet and a mini Fathead signed by DeKeyser.
The Red Wings defenseman met with the children and their parents for photo opportunities and to discuss the importance of safety, especially when riding their bikes, rollerblading and even playing hockey.
“Every now and then you hear of a freak accident that could have been avoided if someone was just a little more careful,” DeKeyser said. “I think wearing helmets is something that will really protect them and hopefully prevent those types of injuries.”
Also on Twitter...
And finally, Kris Draper spoke with the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple last Friday, and in doing so, he reminded us that the 2014-15 scouting season is already underway:
Kris Draper planned to catch Friday’s Tigers-Blue Jays game with his father and son at the Rogers Centre before heading overseas to scout the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, which runs Monday through Saturday in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.
“It’s an opportunity to get a head start on the 2015 NHL draft, to see a majority of the top European players that are going to be in the 2015 draft,” Draper said. “I’ll see Team Canada, Team USA and all the European teams as well.
“I enjoy the amateur side. Previously, this was a tournament that Jim Nill would scout.”
Nill was the Wings’ assistant general manager until he was hired as general manager of the Dallas Stars in April 2013.
“I told Kenny I’d go over,” said Draper, who is a special assistant to GM Ken Holland. Several other team scouts will attend, along with chief European scout Hakan Andersson.
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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.