The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/09/13 at 06:08 PM ET
It's been an incredibly busy day around the NHL ahead of the opening of training camps, and the Red Wings were no exception. Regarding the statuses of Darren Helm's sore groin and Daniel Cleary's daliances with signing with Philadelphia, MLive's Ansar Khan posited a pair of Twitter updates...
And the Free Press's Helene St. James, who suggested that Mike Babcock wants Cleary back, reiterated Khan's point of emphasis:
St. James also posted a video interview with Darren Helm...
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness posted interviews with Cleary, Helm and Jordin Tootoo:
Tootoo spoke with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose about the fact that he--like Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson--understand that if they don't play well during training camp and the exhibition season, their salaries won't preclude them from being sat out or even waived:
“Every year is a tryout camp for me. That’s how I take it mentally,” said Tootoo, who had three goals and five assists in 42 regular-season games last season. “I just have to prepare myself the best that I could as there are hundreds of other guys that would love to be in your spot. I’m coming into camp with the mindset for fighting for a spot on the team and that’s the bottom line.”
According to coach Mike Babcock, the only secured roster spots are at center – with Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss, Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson and Cory Emmerton – and wingers Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen on the first- and second-line, respectively. However, there are six winger positions up for grabs.
“This is where I want to win a Stanley Cup,” Tootoo said, “and when you have other guys that want your spot you have to make sure that you bring you’re A-Game every day.”
Tootoo is likely to face an uphill fight when the Wings open camp on Thursday. The agitating forward plays with a tremendous amount of passion, however he’s often viewed as one-dimensional, a grind-line contributor, who doesn’t play on special teams. His nine-minutes per game of ice time last season was the lowest among Wings’ players.
It’s expected that Tootoo must compete for a spot against Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi, Drew Miller, Patrick Eaves, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar.
“For me it’s about having the opportunity to play in the NHL,” Tootoo said. “I’ve got to worry about my game and take it one-day-at-a-time … and just come in every day with the right mindset.”
“Physically and mentally I did everything that I could to make sure that I give myself every opportunity to make this team,” Tootoo said. “The game evolves every year and you’ve got to re-adjust to minor things here and there. I’ve worked on a few things here and there over the summer … and when you’re asked to bring a certain role, you have to work on the little things that make you the best you can be.”
Oh, the CBC's Elliotte Friedman, you make me sad:
If he was anywhere near healthy, have to figure Darren Helm would have been in Calgary [at Team Canada's orientation camp], too.
Well, we all know Ozzie has the gift of gab so no worries there. I'm wondering if this new gig will cut into or eliminate his work with the goaltenders here in Grand Rapids? by Sandiva17
I won't be on the ice in Grand Rapids but will still communicate on the phone as friends. I like them and want them to do well as goalies. by Chris Osgood
Osgood also weighed in on the Wings' defense...
With the addition of DeKeyser, and Brendan Smith maturing, how do you think the Wings' D stacks up relative to other teams in the league? by Btown
I think as a whole they're just as good as anyone else. It has the potential to be better than a lot of people give them credit for. They have a lot of good young players coming from Grand Rapids & already having DeKeyser & Smith for a year, which will help going into this season. The emergence of Kindl will be a great compliment for Kronwall, Ericcson and hopefully a bounce back year from Quincey, they should be as good as any team. by Chris Osgood
Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist's roles with the Wings going forward...
The Wings currently have 16 forwards under contract, including Helm and Samuelsson. Its customary to carry 12-14 on the roster during the regular season. Even if Helm and Sammy cannot play, why do the Wings continue to have serious interest in Dan Cleary? Would he not be pushing out guys like Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist from the Top 9, both of whom had stellar pseudo-rookie seasons last year given the time they were played? by AStark
For starters they won't be pushing out Tatar and Nyquist. These two players have earned the opportunity to be full-time Red Wings with their play in Grand Rapids and Detroit last season. As for Cleary, his veteran presence and experience is invaluable. If somehow, they can add him to the team and work the cap numbers out, he'd be a very valuable addition in more ways than his play as he is very well liked in the dressing room. by Chris Osgood
And the restrictions implemented on goaltending equipment:
Congratulation on the new gig!! I'm sure you be providing us with some valuable insights about the game, and hopefully about the goalies. How do you see the reduction of the pad size affecting the game, i.e., more goals? by EJH1070 edited by James Jahnke
It's funny you ask that because they made adjustments to goalie pads this year. They've measured them and made the adjustment to the height of the goalie - so the shorter the goalie, the smaller the goalie pads. Gustavsson had to adjust his pads to a smaller height as did Mrazek. Jimmy Howard's pads were adjusted but not as much. And he told me he actually felt better with them on as he can move better & quicker than before. by Chris Osgood
Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples also spoke with one of Osgood's new coworkers:
The former Red Wings goaltender will make his FSD debut with Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond during the Wings’ preseason contests on Sept. 22 and Sept. 25, and make his first studio appearance on Oct. 4, during the Wings’ second game of the season. Osgood will work alongside Daniels for certain games during the season, as well.
Fellow Fox Sports Detroit studio analyst Darren Eliot says he’s looking forward to working with another former Red Wings goaltender.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Ozzie,” Eliot said. “I’ve known him for a long time and have been a big proponent of his career accomplishments. I know I’ll learn things from him and hopefully he can pick up a few things from me and together we develop into a strong studio tandem.”
Osgood, who played in the NHL for 17 seasons, is the 10th goaltender in NHL history to record 400 wins. He is also one of only 10 goaltenders to score a goal; one of only five to shoot it directly into the opponent’s net.
In a very different alumni vein, the Ted Lindsay Foundation held its annual charity golf classic to raise funds for autism research, and many Wings attended the event:
Up here in Traverse City, the Red Wings' prospects took part in a not-so-optional skate ahead of tonight's championship final game against Buffalo, and the Red Wings posted photo galleries from the previous game and practice by Dan Mannes, as well as interviews with coach Jeff Blashill...
And Riley Sheahan:
WGR 550's Paul Hamilton reports that the Sabres' website will stream the game...
The Rochester Americans are in attendance, and they'll be showing highlights from the game...
MLive's Brendan Savage penned a profile of Marc McNulty, too...
The Detroit Red Wings selected the 6-foot-6 defenseman in the sixth round (169th overall) of July's NHL Draft because of his size, wingspan, mobility, skills and potential.
They love his upside. But at 185 pounds, McNulty also needs to add some beef to his lanky frame over the next couple of years if he wants to move on to the next level.
"The new few years, that's going to be a big goal for me," said McNulty, 18. "To put on some weight so I can compete with older guys and stronger guys."
The Red Wings also want to see him turn his intensity level up a notch – or two or three, for that matter. One of McNulty's weaknesses, according to RedWingsCentral.com, is that he "doesn't play with urgency or intensity on a consistent basis" and "needs to up his intensity in a serious way over the next two seasons in the WHL to earn an NHL contract."
McNulty understands that criticism and doesn't argue with it.
"I've heard that a few times," he said. "It's something I'm trying to work on. My style of play is kind of laid back. That's something I can definitely work on."
"He can move on the ice," Red Wings director of player personnel Jiri Fischer said during July's Development Camp in Traverse City. "He's got good skill. All the skill sessions that we've done, he's got no problems doing anything. He doesn't mind rushing the puck. Time will tell. This is one of the first times I got to see him. We'll stay in touch and I'll call him all season and we'll see how he competes, how hard he is to play against in the D zone."
He's been very good but very bumpable-offable.
27 Gustav Nyquist LW Detroit Red Wings Grand Rapids (AHL)
35 Calle Jarnkrok C Detroit Red Wings Brynas (SHL)
46 Danny DeKeyser D Detroit Red Wings Western Michigan (CCHA)
53 Tomas Tatar LW Detroit Red Wings Grand Rapids (AHL)
86 Anthony Mantha LW Detroit Red Wings Val-d'Or (QMJHL)
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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.