The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/26/14 at 02:13 PM ET
Updated 2x at 3:43 PM: This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related stories and catch-up stuff (just getting over the damn sinus infection) fall into bullet-point category more than anything else, so:
- The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau revealed the New York Rangers' prospect tournament roster, and we should find out the remaining seven teams' rosters over the the next seven to ten days (given that the prospect tournament begins on Friday, September 12th);
- The Plymouth Whalers are holding an exhibition game in Plymouth, MI on Saturday, and if you're interested in heading to Yost Arena to watch some slightly older players skate on Friday, Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples posted the tentative roster for the University of Michigan's alumni games. The Wolverines will hold a 35-and-up alumni game at 5:30 PM and a 35-and-under game at 6:30 PM;
- In "scheduling news" of a different kind, the Griffins' PR department forwarded this AHL press release to their email list:
2014-15 AHL REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE TO BE RELEASED WEDNESDAY
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Pending its approval by the AHL Board of Governors, the American Hockey League’s 2014-15 regular-season schedule will be released on Wednesday, August 27, at 11:00 a.m. ET.
The schedule will be available for viewing and download on the official Web site of the American Hockey League, theahl.com.
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 13th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2013-14.
- The Griffins held their Youth Foundation Golf Classic yesterday...
And Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan spoke with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about the Griffins' attempt to rebound from their second-round ouster at the hands of the Texas Stars. hoggan feels that there isn't as much pressue on the team given that it's not defending aCalder Cup championship:
“That’s one good thing in that we’re not going to be comparing everything to last year like we did before,” said Hoggan, who saw the Griffins eliminated in the conference semifinals a year after they hoisted the cup for the first time.
The 13-year veteran, who enters his third season in Grand Rapids, thinks that provides motivation.
“It’s going to be a step-by-step deal, but for me as I get older, that’s what I take satisfaction in: winning it all. Motivation comes now as you’re training. You want to find rewards and that’s winning it all.”
Hoggan, who appeared Monday at the Griffins Youth Foundation golf outing at Egypt Valley Country Club, said there are enough holdovers from two seasons ago to instill the leadership and drive to recapture the championship in the season ahead. That includes defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Brennan Evans, along with younger holdovers such as Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro and standout goalie Petr Mrazek.
“We’re going to be solid and we’re going to be there again at the end,” he said. “You look at our team last year and that team probably could have won it again, but you make changes and you have to adjust.”
- In other charitable news, KK's own Monica McAlister posted a set of observations and YouTube videos from the Joe Kocur Foundation's set of charity softball games this past weekend, and DBusiness Magazine's Patrick Gloria posted a 50-image photo gallery from the event;
- But the Wings posted exactly one Tweet from yesterday's Ilitch Charities for Children Celebrity Golf Classic:
- Both the NHLPA's website and Upper Deck Hockey's blog posted recaps of this past weekend's NHLPA Rookie Showcase as well, but unless a photo of Anthony Mantha signing a helmet is "big news," you've probably seen everything posted on both outlets' Twitter feeds in Sunday's overnight report;
- In the "interactive" category, tomorrow will be "Red Wings day" on NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog--I'm going to post their articles in a single entry as their 5-to-7 articles will start hitting the wires at 8 AM and won't conclude until 11 PM--and they're asking fans to weigh in on the following topic:
- Ditto for interactive news? The Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy released THN's Top 200 fantasy hockey players, and Henrik Zetterberg's listed 41st overall, Pavel Datsyuk's listed 51st, Gustav Nyquist 64th, Jimmy Howard 100th and Tomas Tatar 154th overall;
All week long 104.3 WOMC has your chance to check out the Detroit Red Wings Pre-season action down at Joe Louis Arena. Keep it locked here for your chance to win 5 times a day at 7am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, and 7pm! For your chance to win, listen to 104.3 WOMC and be caller ten at (313) 298-1043.
- "From YouTube," part the first: The Michigan State University Spartans re-posted their wrap-up of MSU's Pro Hockey Camp (and Michigan Hockey's Nick Barnowski had a chat with David Booth):
"From YouTube," part the second: Winging It in Motown's SlapshotGoal compiled a video depicting each and every one of Tomas Jurco's 2013-2014 season goals scored with the Grand Rapids Griffins...
And she posted AWood40's video of Jurco's 13-14 goals scored with the Red Wings:
From YouTube, part 3: Via RedWingsFeed, the Red Wings posted a video recapping their Youth Hockey Camp:
- In Which I Play Monday-Morning Quarterback, Except on Tuesday: Unless you're Ryan Lambert, the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan's "outlook" articles discussing the possible production and/or role-taking estimates of members of this year's Wings team are at least food for discussion fodder, if not thoughtful. While I was "out," MLive's Ansar Khan penned one outlook discussing the recently re-signed Tomas Tatar (re-signed to a 3-year contract paying him $2.75 million per season, per Capgeek)...
2013-14 in review: Ranked second on the team in goals (19) and first in shots (158) despite being a healthy scratch in eight of the first nine games. ... Third on the team with a plus-12 rating. ... His spectacular goal Jan. 4 in Dallas won TSN.ca's play of the year showdown with 67 percent of the vote over teammate Gustav Nyquist's goal on March 30. ... Scored the game-winning goal Jan. 11 at Los Angeles, shortly after his father's death in Slovakia. ... Had three consecutive multiple-point games from March 23-27. ... Registered only six points on the power play. ... For a non-center, won 50 percent of his faceoffs (26-of-52). ... Struggled in the playoff series vs. Boston, like many Red Wings, but led the team with 19 shots. ... Represented Slovakia in the Olympics (one goal, one assist in four games) and the World Championship (four goals, four assists in seven games). Did not medal in either event.
2014-15 outlook: He is coming off a breakout season when he provided some much-needed offense. That experience, and being in the lineup from the start of the season, should make him better and more productive this season. He spent a good chunk of the season on the Kid Line with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco. They had good chemistry and might remain intact, unless Jurco is forced to start the season in Grand Rapids due to a roster crunch. Despite his small stature, Tatar goes to the net and has good hands in tight. He also flashes good open-ice moves. He should improve as he gains strength. He sometimes holds onto the puck too long in the offensive zone, leading to turnovers. He could be more productive on the power play, where he'll likely continue playing on the second unit. He aspires to be a solid two-way forward in the mold of Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg but doesn't have natural defensive instincts. As long as he produces, the club will be happy.
Key question: How much offensive upside does Tatar possess?
I expect Tatar to simplify his game--as Khan suggests, Tatar has a tendency to take away his own time and sapce by dekeing and dangling instead of taking a more direct appraoch--and I believe that he will eventually be a 20-goal-scorer and 40-to-55-point producer, but I think it may take another "learning" season before he truly finds his form...
Khan also penned an article about Brendan Smith, and at 25, and going into the final year of a 2-year contract paying him $1.275 million this upcoming season and possessing a $1.262 million cap hit, Smith's in a "put up or shut up" position:
2013-14 in review: Had career highs in games, goals, assists and points. ... Second on the team in penalty minutes. ... Had 13 points and a plus-4 rating in 37 road games, six points and a minus-6 rating in 34 home games. ... Posted a minus-9 rating in his first seven games. ... Was a healthy scratch for four games in a row from Oct. 12-17. ... Recorded a plus rating in six consecutive games from Nov. 24-Dec. 6. ... Scored lone career power-play goal on March 22 at Minnesota. ... Averaged a team-low 58 seconds per game on special teams (48 seconds on the penalty kill and 10 seconds on the power play). ... Ranked second on the team in giveaways (49). ... His minus-31 takeaway-to-giveaway ratio ranked last on the team. ... Had two fighting majors (Nov. 3 vs. Will Acton of Edmonton and Nov. 24 vs. Chris Neil of Ottawa). ... Missed six games with a shoulder injury from Nov. 4-16.
2014-15 outlook: A puck-rushing offensive defenseman in college and the AHL, Smith's transition to a more stay-at-home style in the NHL has been bumpy. He's experienced puck management issues and made his share of mistakes, not unlike many young defensemen. But he's still inexperienced and should improve over time. He's a tremendous skater and has offensive potential. He might be able to help the power play, but he probably won't get that opportunity because the team wants him to focus on improving defensively. He is not particularly physical but sometimes plays with an edge. After a rough start last season, he settled down a bit in the second half. Being paired with Niklas Kronwall during Jonathan Ericsson's absence due to injuries helped Smith. Ericsson likely will be reunited with Kronwall, putting Smith back on the third pairing with Jakub Kindl.
Key question: Should the Red Wings expand Smith's role by using him on the power play?
Smith still takes some offensive risks when he tries to pinch and do everything himself, and he's still somewhat inconsistent in his own zone, especially when he over-handles the puck. I still believe that he's got to prove that he's defensively responsible before Babcock gives Smith extended power play time, but that's just my best educated guess.
- I will state my reaction to the fact that so many "found" Nicklas Lidstrom's interview with Expressen via the Score or the Toronto Sun, or by magic, as...bemused...And I can only answer The Hockey Writers' Tom Mistos' question as to whether Lidstrom would make a "good NHL coach" as, "I don't know." He's doing what he's always wanted to do with his post-hockey career in coaching kids for Vasteras IK in Sweden, and he's on Vasteras IK's Board of Directors now. He seems to be enjoying learning the "business of hockey" at a relaxed pace, and coaching in the NHL is not relaxed by any stretch of the imagination.
- In "previews of other teams," DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose penned a preview of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Octopus Thrower's Peter Fish spoke with The Rat Trick about the Florida Panthers;
- While we're doing, "News From Other Blogs," SB Nation's Evan Sporer broke down Gustav Nyquist's "Play of the Year" goal against Tampa Bay;
- Winging It in Motown's JJ From Kansas penned the second part of a statistical analysis of Jimmy Howard's play, focusing on Howard's consistency;
- And WIiM's "uvgt2bkdnme" examined "physical fouls" as defined by NHL rules.
I suppose that Puck Daddy doesn't publish a Red Wings-related entry that Wings fans do anything less than take issue with, and that's certainly the case for
Jen Neale's"Most Disappointing Summer Series: Detroit Red Wings Edition" [edit: HOLY CRAP GRAHAM FROM WINGING IT IN MOTOWN WROTE IT BUT MY CRITIQUES STILL STAND ]
According to GRAHAM, the most disappointing Wings team is the 1995-96 version (I would've gone with the 1995 Stanley Cup Final Faceplant team), the most disappointing player in Uwe Krupp (okay, no complaints there), the most disappointing moment in team history as Chris Osgood's giveaway that led to the series-losing goal against San Jose in 1994 (I'd go with the team stocking up for a 1999 Cup run and going nowhere fast), the most disappointing team transaction in the Adam Oates trade (yep), the most disappointing executive in Ned Harkness (okay, fair there), and the most disappointing jersey in the 1992 throwback Detroit Cougars jersey, and I think that jersey's gorgeous.
Discuss the rest on your own...
- Jordin Tootoo hasn't been signed by an NHL team as of yet, and the Tennessean's Josh Cooper suggests that he won't return to Nashville (no foolin');
- Not surprisingly, the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar reports that the Albert Kahn-designed building set to be demolished to make way for the Wings' new rink-and-ancillary development, a.k.a. the Park Avenue Building, is now supported by a group of preservationists who hope to keep the building standing;
- And the IIHF re-posted a Yonhap News Agency interview with Jim Paek. I wasn't aware of the fact tahat former Griffins assistant coach Spiros Anastas is a "guest coach" for the Korean national team, at least for now, but Yoo Jee-Ho's article fills us in.
Also of Twitter-related Wings note:
And finally...In Two weeks and two days, I'm heading up to Traverse City for two weeks, so I have to ask:
I've got about two weeks to go until the prospect tournament starts (a week from yesterday), and I've raised...$700...Out of a necessary $2,000+ to stay in Traverse City for two weeks and eat like a college student and cover the prospect tournament and main camp. I don't know how I'm gonna do it without your help.
I've attended two of the past three Traverse City-based training camps/prospect tournaments and the past three summer development camps at your leisure. If you're willing to lend a hand, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it.
Any and every donation helps pay the way up there (I break even) and I'm strongly considering printing some t-shirts and/or ensuring that every entry has a "sponsored by/brought to you by" note (and as always, the coverage is based upon your suggestions and questions, so it's an interactive experience).
My "merchant ID" is my non-work email address, rtxg at yahoo dot com, and I'm incredibly grateful for your readership and support. Thank you.
Update #1: The Toledo Walleye released their promotional calendar today;
If you wish to read Kvallsposten's Alf Karlsson's interview with Rogle BK captain Andreas Lilja, or watch a Swedish-language video about Axel Holmstrom trying to make AIK Skelleftea's roster from Norran, enjoy;
Ditto for Sportbox.ru's Sergey Kulagin's profile of Jiri Fischer;
AllHockey.ru reports that Sergei Fedorov won't be signing his brother, Fedor, to play for CSKA Moscow, so Fedor's career is in limbo;
Dallas Stars blogger Mark Stepneski penned a profile of former Wing Patrick Eaves.
Update #2: According to Lidovky.cz's Robert Sara, Dominik Hasek will don the pads for one period of an exhibition game honoring the 1998 Olympic Gold Medal-winning Czech team in Jihlava, Czech Republic;
Have 30 Euros? Want to buy an "Official" Tomas Tatar bobblehead from Allforhockey.sk? Enjoy.
Update #3: Iltahleti's Mikko Mahonen had a little bit of a "fangirl moment" about the effusive praise delivered regarding Teemu Pulkkinen in the Wings' "Prospect Report" (yes, men and women both have "fangirl" moments, it's a gender-neutral type thing when we all get super excited to the point of "squeeing." Men squee, too).
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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.