Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings early overnight report: looking back at the prospect tourney, preparing for the main camp

I did my best to sumarize a day-and-a-half's worth of Red Wings-related stories in one post, and what follows are mostly "tailings," but they're intriguing nonetheless.

Before we begin the little round-up, however, two sets of comments from the previous post stood out, and bear repeating. While speaking with MLive's Ansar Khan, Wings coach Mike Babcock summarized his mindset going into training camp with this take on what the Wings prospects' championship run showed him about the job security his present players can boast of having, as well as what training camp and the exhibition season are all about:

“In the nine years I’ve been here that was the best rookie (class) we’ve had by far,'' Babcock said. “We have 16 forwards in camp that plan on playing in the NHL, that’s too many. So the competition from within is as high a level as we’ve ever had it, which is a positive thing.''

More than 60 players will start practices and intrasquad scrimmages Thursday morning at Centre I.C.E. The preseason opener is Monday at Pittsburgh. They will break camp the next day.

As always, Babcock wants to use camp to establish work ethic, rebuild structure and concentrate on the details of the game.

“It’s an individual time of year,'' Babcock said. “There will be guys (guaranteed to be) on our team, but your chunk of cheese, you better bite on it and hang on because someone else wants it. You better do that right now, so that’s your power-play time, your penalty kill time. The amount you want to play is up for grabs and over the next month we’ll get it figured out.''

And while Daniel Alfredsson told the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger that he's preparing for boos when he and the Wings visit Ottawa on December 1st...

“I’ve thought about returning to Ottawa for that game a little bit,” Alfredsson admitted Wednesday in a one-on-one interview with QMI Agency. “In the end, people deserve to do what they think is right. I’m going to cherish that night, no matter what happens. It’s a night I’m going to look forward to. So many great memories in that building and this will be another one I’ll always remember when it comes around.”

Even if the anti-Alfie sentiment gets ugly?

“People will judge no matter what I think,” Alfredsson said. “They will judge me on what they think I’ve done. That’s definitely their right. I’m fine with whatever way that goes. Either scenario isn’t going to change my feelings for the city and the people of Ottawa. It’s going to be a night I’ll remember.”

Alfredsson isn't backing down from "his side of the story," either:

QMI Agency: In the weeks after you signed with the Red Wings, there was a lot of mudslinging going on directed at you and especially your agent, J.P. Barry, from Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and general manager Bryan Murray. Are you disappointed and upset over that?

Daniel Alfredsson: “Not really. It’s part of it. We all think there has been a lot of back-and-forth in the media. But I’ve said my point. I have the utmost respect for Brian and what he’s done for the organization. Melnyk has been great to me as well over the years. I have no hard feelings.”

 

 

 

In terms of the prospect tournament, NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale felt that Tomas Jurco was the Wings' stand-out player...

Tomas Jurco, Detroit Red Wings (2011, No. 35): After three seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior League, the 6-2, 193-pound Slovakian played 74 games with Detroit's AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids last season. He had eight goals and 14 points in 24 games during the Griffins' Calder Cup championship run.

"To me, he was probably our most improved player [in Grand Rapids] last year," Griffins coach Jeff Blashill told NHL.com. "He had to learn how to play the pro game, how to play from both sides of the puck, and over the course of the year did a great job of learning. He's also more physical, and I think he has a chance to be a top-six forward in the NHL someday."

Jurco had two goals, three points and a plus-1 rating while finishing with a team-leading 19 shots in four Traverse City games.

"We talked before the tournament and told him this was his opportunity to be the go-to guy [in Traverse City]," Blashill said. "He's going to have to be that for Grand Rapids this year since [Tomas] Tatar, [Gustav] Nyquist and [Joakim] Andersson aren't there anymore. I think he's shown he can be that guy."

In an insider-only entry, ESPN's Craig Custance noted that Ken Holland's overtime tweak gained widespread support...

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland isn't anti-shootout. He's just in favor of letting actual hockey decide games. So during NHL GM meetings in the past, he's suggested that overtime sessions consist of five (or four) minutes of four-on-four, then five (or four) minutes of three-on-three. If the game is still tied, a shootout would determine the winner.

There was some support in the past, just not enough.

In the prospect tournament he runs in Traverse City, Holland implemented his version of overtime. On Sunday, he and other general managers in the building got to see what it looked like in actual game action for the first time when the Dallas Stars' prospects beat those from the Minnesota Wild in a shootout that followed the first three-on-three overtime session of the tournament.

The reviews of the three-on-three hockey were strong.

"It's awesome. It was fun," Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said. "Imagine Washington and Pittsburgh with [Sidney] Crosby, [Evgeni] Malkin, [Alex] Ovechkin, [Mike] Green, [Kris] Letang. Every line change is an odd-man rush."

Bear in mind that he was the GM of the losing team. Other observers were just as enthused.

"This has been a good test case," said Carolina GM Jim Rutherford, who is in favor of the change. "And it looks good."

The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau penned an article profiling a literal "monster" in 6'5," 230+-pound defenseman Richard Nedomlel...

The Red Wings like Nedomlel’s potential enough to sign him to a three-year entry level contract in April. The Praha, Czech Republic will face stiff competition for an AHL roster spot this season from a sizable group of incoming defensemen including Alexei Marchenko, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen.

“It felt great to sign,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting it and I was just focusing on the playoffs when it happened, but now that I am here I know making Grand Rapids will be tough. It’s the coaches decision and I just need to play the best that I can. It’s my first pro year, so even if I end up in Toledo I am going to work hard to get called up.”

Nedomlel tried to get a jump on the competition by spending over a month of his off season in Grand Rapids working with the Griffins strength and conditioning coach. The rugged defenseman, who also skated with the East Grand Rapids high school team this summer, focused his training on his strength and speed to help get ready for the season.

“Richard’s work with our strength coach put him in a position to have the strong performance he had in the prospect tournament,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think he is someone who maybe a year ago his skating wasn’t where it needed to be. He has worked real hard and I think he gained a half a step just in the off season.”

Nedomlel, who played in all four tournament games for the Red Wings, finished with a plus-1 rating and no points. The big defender also dropped the gloves in the first game against the Minnesota Wild.

“He exceeded expectations,” Blashill said. “He has a physicality and a toughness to him and he defended very well especially on the penalty kill where he reminded me a little of Jonathan Ericsson.  I am real impressed with where his game is at.”

And SlapShotGoal from Winging it in Motown posted video of the first, second and third periods of the Wings' championship-winning tilt against Buffalo...

 

 


And she posited observations as well:

Riley Sheahan impressed the hell out of me all week long. Put the "A" on his chest, give him more responsibility, and watch him go to town! He played a ton of minutes, played in every situation, was good in all 3 zones, played smart and physical, and set a great example for the rest of the players. The difference between now and last season is incredible. I'm very impressed.

Tyler Bertuzzi reportedly got some advice from his Uncle Todd this week to use his head. I think he may have taken that advise to heart because outside of a bad goaltender interference penalty, he kept his nose clean.The penalty happened early in the third when after getting the puck and carrying it into the zone through all 5 of the Buffalo players, he drove to the net and amid the scrum of players, ended up trying to skate through the goalie. Several times I heard Buffalo players trying to goad him into doing something stupid, but he kept his cool and this was the best I've seen him play so far. He was good on the PK, make smart plays and kept his focus.

I do believe Calle Jarnkrok was taunting his opposing centermen in the faceoff circles. I couldn't hear him, but I saw his lips moving and he was looking at the other centerman and tapping his stick on the ice. If looked so strange coming from him, but I loved it. I just imagine him saying very quietly while tapping the ice "see here, this is where I'm gong to take the puck from you, *tap* Tap* right here...You're not even gonna touch it... It's mine..." Maybe he'll earn that "Iron Hook" nickname after all.

 

 

 

If you are interested in further reading regarding the Red Wings' community relations tour, the Grand Haven Tribune's Nich Wolak penned a story about Jakub Kindl, Drew Miller, Stephen Weiss and Justin Abdelkader's visit to the Coast Guard Station in Grand Haven, and the Muskegon Chronicle's Mark Opfermann spoke with Abdelkader, too...

The Macomb Daily's Gordon Wilczynski discussed Cory Emmerton, Danny DeKeyser and Jimmy Howard's visit to Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, as did My Fox Detroit;

CM Life's Mark Cavitt discussed Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Pavel Datsyuk's visit to Ganiard Elementary in Mount Pleasant, MI, as did the Morning Sun's Randi Shaffer;

And the Kalamazoo Gazette's Steph Andersson Chambers covered Abdelkader, Miller and Weiss's stop at Kalamazoo's Bronson Children's Hospital.

 

 

 

Also in the charitable news department, from the Grand Rapids Business Journal's David Czurak:

The 19th Annual Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic at Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada raised an estimated $60,000 for the team’s charity.

The event was held for the fifth consecutive year at the 36-hole club

Half of the golfers played the Ridge course, while the other half toured the Valley’s 18 holes.

The golf classic at the end of August also included dinner and an auction, with receipts from the auction going to the Griffins Youth Foundation.

 

 

In the alumni department, the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe reports that Ian White is attending the Winnipeg Jets' training camp on a pro try-out...

 

 

 

In news about dates and rules, the CBC will air the Red Wings' September 28th exhibition game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto;

According to Sportsline's Brian Stubits, the NHL's trade deadline is slated to take place on March 5th;

And according to NHL.com's Dan Rosen, the shootout spin-o-rama remains legal...

The NHL's general managers were hoping to make the spin-o-rama in shootouts illegal for this season, but there was no support at the NHLPA level. Mike Murphy, the NHL's Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, told NHL.com that he isn't sure if the general managers will review the topic again in the near future.

"I would say it's put to bed for a few years," Murphy said.

The concern among the general managers was that the spin-o-rama in shootouts too closely toes the line between legal and illegal.

The NHL Rulebook states that for shootout and penalty-shot attempts, "the puck must be kept in motion toward the opponent's goal line." It also states that the spin-o-rama is legal because it "involves continuous motion."

"There were a lot of questions as to whether the puck was still moving forward or the player was still moving forward," Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations, said following the Board of Governors meeting in June. "Certainly it's all about entertainment, but also it's about the integrity of the goal and over time that has become more and more in question."

And these tweaks are important:

Hybrid icing will be used in the preseason and the players are expected to vote on it prior to the regular season. If they like it and the vote passes, hybrid icing will be used in the 2013-14 regular season.

The additional penalty for instigating a fight with a face shield (visor) on has been erased from the rulebook because visors now are mandatory for all players with fewer than 26 games of NHL experience. Players still will receive the two-minute minor penalty for instigating a fight, but in the past they would have received an additional two minutes for doing it while wearing a visor.

 

 


The Red Wings featured prominently in several general "training camp storylines and/or questions that need to be answered" stories, including one from NHL.com's Rosen...

4. Of the Winnipeg Jets, Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets, which team benefits the most from the conference switch?

The easy pick here is a split between the Red Wings and Blue Jackets. They're moving out of the best division in the Western Conference over the past five seasons (the old Central Division) while the Jets are leaving the worst division in the Eastern Conference to in the same time span (the defunct Southeast Division) to join a new division with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Detroit joins the Atlantic Division, which has two of the former Southeast Division teams (Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers) and the five former Northeast Division teams (Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres). Columbus moves into the Metropolitan Division.

The Jets move into the new Central Division with the Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche.

The good news for the Jets is a playoff berth is definitely up for grabs because outside of Chicago and St. Louis, none of the remaining five teams in the division would be considered locks.

USA Today's Kevin Allen...

7. Alfredsson wears "Winged Wheel": Daniel Alfredsson, a member of the Senators since 1995, will play for another NHL team for the first time. If Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock wants to keep Justin Abdelkader on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Alfredsson presumably would play on the No. 2 line with newcomer Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen. Babcock always has the option of putting together a Hall of Fame line featuring Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Alfredsson.

And Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski:

Detroit Red Wings

Where: Centre I.C.E. (1600 Chartwell Dr, Traverse City, MI)

The Storyline: Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson are two veteran players entering camp and guaranteed nothing with regard to this year’s roster.

The Subplot: Brian Lashoff vs. Danny DeKeyser. Two good young defensemen, likely battling for one spot in the final ‘D’ pairing.

Dude Most Likely To Fight In Camp: Uh, did you miss the part where we said Tootoo was trying to win a job?

NHL.com's Pete Jensen believes that Stephen Weiss will engage in something of a fantasy hockey "comeback," too:

Stephen Weiss, C, Detroit Red Wings

Games played in 2012-13: 17

This offseason had some high-profile movers and shakers, but Weiss' move to Detroit is an underrated one from a fantasy standpoint. The longtime Florida Panthers center signed a five-year contract with the Red Wings, putting him in position to anchor the team's second line with veterans Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson. Weiss had a forgettable 2012-13 (one goal, three assists, minus-13 in 17 games) before going down with a season-ending wrist injury, but he now finds himself in the most promising situation of his career. Weiss thrived on the Panthers' top line with Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg in 2011-12 (172 combined points), but has never had the luxury of operating within such a deep lineup. He's a two-time 60-point scorer who has compiled PIMs and shots in the past. Expect Detroit's depth to take pressure off Weiss, allowing him to reach his potential in Mike Babcock's system.

 

 

 

For the record, the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger asked Daniel Alfredsson about the "Battle of Ontario" minus his presence...

Gone is their satisfaction of jeering Alfredsson both at the Air Canada Centre and even up in Ottawa, where the former Sens captain was heckled during clashes against the despised Leafs despite playing on home ice.

“It will (be different) now that neither Mats or I won’t be in those games,” Alfredsson said Wednesday. “But Detroit and Toronto have a good history that’s been a bit off because of different conferences.”

With the Red Wings now in the same division as the Sens and Leafs, at least Toronto supporters will get to jeer him when he comes to Toronto wearing that fabled Detroit red. And just imagine the rain of boos coming from the Toronto contingent when the Leafs and Wings meet in the Winter Classic in front of 115,000 fans on Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium -- a.k.a. The Big House.

“I’m sure I’ll hear some,” Alfredsson said with a grin. "It’s not Ottawa-Toronto, but I’m sure the Detroit-Toronto rivalry will be renewed as well now. It is, after all, two Original Six teams. And the Winter Classic will certainly help.”

Once a villain, always a villain. At least in Toronto anyway.

 

 

 

In the Twitter department...

 

 

 

And if you missed it, these are the Wings' "teams" for training camp, from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...

TEAM DELVECCHIO

Forward Lines
Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader
Mikael Samuelsson - Luke Glendening - Jordin Tootoo
David McIntyre (PTO) - Louis Marc Aubry - Martin Frk
Philippe Hudon - Andrej Nestrasil - Mitch Callahan

Defensive Pairings
Danny DeKeyser - Jakub Kindl
Brian Lashoff - Nathan Paetsch (PTO)
Marc McNulty - Alexei Marchenko

Goalies
Jonas Gustavsson, Tom McCollum

Coaches
Tom Renney, Spiros Anastos

TEAM HOWE

Forward Lines
Johan Franzen - Stephen Weiss - Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Patrick Eaves
Anthony Mantha - Andreas Athanasiou - Teemu Pulkkinen
Tyler Bertuzzi - Barclay Goodrow (PTO) - Trevor Parkes

Defensive Pairings
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Xavier Ouellet - Brennan Evans
Gleason Fournier - Max Nicastro

Goalies
Jimmy Howard, Jared Coreau

Coaches
Bill Peters, Jim Paek

TEAM LINDSAY

Forward Lines
Gustav Nyquist - Joakim Andersson - Todd Bertuzzi
Tomas Jurco - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar
Marek Tvrdon - Calle Jarnkrok - Landon Ferraro
Triston Grant - Zach Nastasiuk - Kevin Lynch

Defensive Pairings
Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith
Adam Almqvist - Ryan Sproul
Michal Plutnar - Richard Nedomlel

Goalies
Petr Mrazek, Jake Paterson, Cam Lanigan (PTO)

Coaches
Jeff Blashill, Keith McKittrick

This is the training camp schedule, per the Wings...

THURSDAY, SEPT. 12     EVENT  SITE
    
TEAM LINDSAY       
 
9:25 a.m.     Video  
9:30 – 10:15 a.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
10:15 a.m.     Video  
10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.     On-ice Practice  WEST RINK
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
12:15 p.m.     Media Availability  
         
TEAM DELVECCHIO   
     
10:55 a.m.     Video  
11:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Flood  
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
2:30 p.m.     Media Availability  
         
TEAM HOWE        
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.     Warm Up  WEST RINK
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Scrimmage  
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Flood  
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
1:00 p.m.     Video  
1:05 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
2:30 p.m.     Media Availability  
         

FRIDAY, SEPT. 13     EVENT  SITE
    
TEAM DELVECCHIO
        
9:25 a.m.     Video  
9:30 – 10:15 a.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
10:15 a.m.     Video  
10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.     On-ice Practice  WEST RINK
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
12:15 p.m.     Media Availability  
         
TEAM LINDSAY   
     
10:55 a.m.     Video  
11:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Flood  
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
2:30 p.m.     Media Availability  
         
TEAM HOWE        
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.     Warm Up  WEST RINK
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Scrimmage  
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Flood  
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
1:00 p.m.     Video  
1:05 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
2:30 p.m.     Media Availability  
         

SATURDAY, SEPT. 14     EVENT  SITE
    
TEAM HOWE        

9:25 a.m.     Video  
9:30 – 10:15 a.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
10:15 a.m.     Video  
10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.     On-ice Practice  HUNTINGTON
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
12:15 p.m.     Media Availability  
         
TEAM DELVECCHIO        
10:55 a.m.     Video  
11:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Flood  
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
2:30 p.m.     Media Availability  
         
TEAM LINDSAY        
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.     Warm Up  WEST RINK
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Scrimmage  
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Flood  
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Scrimmage  WEST RINK
1:00 p.m.     Video  
1:05 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.     On-ice Practice  DAVID’S RINK
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
2:30 p.m.     Media Availability 

The celebrity and alumni game takes place at 7:30 PM on Saturday...

SUNDAY, SEPT. 15     EVENT  SITE
    
11:00 a.m.     Red vs. White Game  WEST RINK
Post-game     Media Availability  
         

MONDAY, SEPT. 16     EVENT  SITE
    
(White Team Players)   

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.     Pre-game Skate  DAVID’S RINK
2:00 p.m.     Plane departs for Pittsburgh  
7:00 p.m.     Game at Pittsburgh  Consol Energy Center
Post-game     Plane departs for Traverse City  
         
(Red Team Players)        
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     On-ice practice  DAVID’S RINK
12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.     On-ice practice  WEST RINK
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
1:30 p.m.     Media Availability  
         

TUESDAY, SEPT. 17     EVENT  SITE
    
(White Team Players)   

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.     Pre-game Skate  DAVID’S RINK
4:15 p.m.     Plane departs for Chicago  
8:00 p.m.     Game at Chicago  United Center
Post-game     Plane departs for Detroit  
         
(Red Team Players)        
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     On-ice practice  DAVID’S RINK
12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.     On-ice practice  WEST RINK
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.     Off-ice Workout  
1:30 p.m.     Media Availability  
2:30 p.m.     Bus to Detroit

 

 

And as I was writing this, the 7&4 News's Harrison Beeby posted a video from the Wings' charity golf tournament:

 

 

 

And finally, I can admit this because I have an anxiety disorder: I am TERRIFIED of what's about to take place. TERRIFIED. I can't be everwhere at once, I'm not a good cell phone photographer and my Twitter-by-phone skills are mediocre. I will do my best to offer my observations instead of simply RT'ing and reposting what the legion of media folks do, but...I'm scared. I've only done this once before, and it's very, very hard. I can only hope that I'll earn your readership and earn my stay here.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Chet's avatar

you’re gonna be fine, GM. the season is nearly upon us!

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 09/12/13 at 04:15 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.