The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/25/13 at 12:58 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings will try to go 3-for-3 on their Western U.S. road trip when they tangle with the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), but today's "morning" skate won't take place until at or around 3 PM EDT, so the vast majority of today's Red Wings news dovetails the overnight report's storylines, starting with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirming that the Wings are indeed bringing Calle Jarnkrok over to the U.S. to play in what MLive's Ansar Khan reported would be a 9-game stint with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins
The Griffins are confirming:
The Detroit Red Wings on Monday reassigned center Calle Jarnkrok (KAHL-leh YAHRN-krohk) from Brynas (Sweden) to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Detroit’s second choice (51st overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Jarnkrok skated in 53 games for Brynas of the Swedish Eliteserien this season, leading the team and tying for eighth in the league with 42 points (13-29—42). A native of Gavle, Sweden, the 21-year-old has appeared in 185 games with Brynas since 2009, registering 118 points (44-74—118) and 40 penalty minutes. In 2011-12, he helped his club capture the SEL championship by tying for fourth in the league in postseason scoring with 16 points (4-12—16) in 16 games.
The 6-foot, 176-pound center has also represented his country on the international stage several times, including at the 2011 World Junior Championship, where he earned a silver medal, and at the 2012 World Championship.
Jarnkrok joins the Griffins as they prepare to continue their season-high seven-game road trip with three games in three nights this week. Grand Rapids will visit San Antonio on Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT, Houston on Friday at 8:05 p.m. EDT and Texas on Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT.
The Griffins have assiged #25 to Jarnkrok. He wore #19 for Brynas IF, but that number's obviously not available in Detroit:
#25 CALLE JARNKROK * Center
Height: 6'0" Weight: 176 Shoots: Right Born: 9/25/91 in Gavle, Sweden
Drafted: Detroit's 2nd choice, 51st overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft
Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM GP G A PTS PIM
2007-08 Brynas U18 Swe-U18 13 4 4 8 4 5 0 1 1 0
Brynas Jr. Swe-Jr. 2 0 0 0 2 -- -- -- -- --
2008-09 Brynas U18 Swe-U18 7 5 7 12 12 2 0 1 1 2
Brynas Jr. Swe-Jr. 41 8 18 26 37 7 4 3 7 2
2009-10 Brynas Jr. Swe-Jr. 19 11 20 31 30 2 0 1 1 0
Brynas Sweden 33 4 6 10 2 5 1 1 2 0
2010-11 Brynas Sweden 49 11 16 27 4 3 3 0 3 2
2011-12 Brynas Sweden 50 16 23 39 22 16 4 12 16 12
2012-13 Brynas Sweden 53 13 29 42 12 4 0 0 0 6
PRO TOTALS 185 44 74 118 40 28 8 13 21 20
(I get the feeling that we're all going to call him "Yarn-crock" or "Yarn-crook" but my Swedish-speaking friends have challenged Midweserners to try their best to call him YAIRn-crOOk, where the "Yairn's"vowel sound sounds like "pair," and the "crook" does not rhyme with "crook," but instead, sounds like "soon")
Regrettably, the Wings can't call Jarnkrok up because the NHL appears to not want teams to load up on overseas-playing players without subjecting such additions to waivers, and Jarnkrok would last for half a second before being picked up by another team.
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke to Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer about Jarnkrok. Fischer gave Jarnkrok the "he's the real deal" endorsement:
Duff also transitions us to the second topic discussed in the overnight report: Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported that Jarome Iginla's included the Red Wings on the list of teams to which he'd accept being traded, but the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and the rest of the hockey world are going by another list when discussing the teams that are seriously interested in acquiring Iginla:
In the trade rumor department, Lyle Richardson has been following following Iginla rumors since the get-go on Spectorshockey.net, and he penned a column for the Hockey News suggesting that Iginla's not heading to Detroit:
The Kings seem to have the inside track. Former Flames GM and coach Darryl Sutter is now the Kings bench boss, plus they have a promising goalie in Jonathan Bernier to offer up as part of the return. Given Jonathan Quick's erratic performance this season, however, the Kings could retain Bernier as insurance.
The Blackhawks have been the NHL's top team this season and adding Iginla would make them that much more dangerous. However, GM Stan Bowman isn't under pressure to make a big move and isn't keen to mess with his roster's winning chemistry.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would like to bolster his club's offense, but a season-ending injury to Chris Kelly and poor play from Rich Peverley has hampered the checking lines. Chiarelli has also sought an experienced third line left winger for some time. With Morrow off the market, his focus could shift to San Jose's Ryane Clowe.
Retaining Iginla beyond this season could also be a stumbling block. He's slated for unrestricted free agency in July and CBC's Kevin Weekes and TSN's Darren Dreger claimed he doesn't want to be a rental player.
Considering the limited cap space of the Blackhawks ($59.1 million invested in 17 players), Kings (approximately $49.5 million in 13 players) and Bruins ($56.6 million in 16 players), the Flames would have to take back considerable salary.
Spector believes that the rumors suggesting that Keith Yandle's going to be traded out of Phoenix fit into the "easier said than done" category, too:
Sportsnet's Mark Spector reported the Coyotes are believed to be at their league-imposed salary cap, but aren't being forced to shed salary. Including Ekman-Larsson's new contract and Yandle's $5.25 million salary, the Coyotes have more than $39.6 million invested in 12 players for 2013-14.
Spector suggests the Coyotes sputtering offense could force them to shop Yandle. They're currently 23rd in goals-per-game (2.48) and 24th in power play percentage (15%). Scoring leaders Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan have 19 and 18 points respectively, followed by Ekman-Larsson (18) and Yandle (16).
Yandle lacks a no-trade clause, giving the Coyotes flexibility if they wish to move him. Given the decline in next season's salary cap to $64.3 million, however, the deal would have to be almost dollar-for-dollar.
Potential trade destinations include the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers, who've sought skilled blueline depth all season. The Blues and Flyers have the depth in young, affordable scoring talent to offer up in return.
At the same time, ESPN's Craig Custance pondered the New York Rangers' options in terms of shaking themselves out of their struggles while keeping up with the Pittsburgh Penguins' acquisition of Brenden Morrow, and Custance believes that the Rangers may target a certain Red Wings defenseman who's fallen out of favor to bolster their ranks:
The better move would be finding a player who can play on the bottom pair and pitch in offensively and on the power play. Detroit's Ian White is ideal in that spot. He's not a guy you necessarily want in your top four but has offensive skill that would contribute to the Rangers' power play. He's a right-handed shot coming off a 32-point season and is unrestricted after this season, which wouldn't handcuff the Rangers moving forward. With Carlo Colaiacovo healthy and ready to go, the Red Wings have the depth to move a defenseman.
In the potential prospect category, the CBC's Elliotte Friedman added more to the Danny DeKeyser watch mix in his "30 Thoughts" column...
16. Western Michigan defenceman Danny DeKeyser arrives in Toronto on Monday and begins pouring through NHL offers on Tuesday. The Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay and St. Louis are considered favourites, but agent Wade Arnott says anyone who makes an inquiry will be heard.
17. The Lightning already landed Nebraska-Omaha defender Andrej Suster. If they get DeKeyser too, that's "a game-changer," according to one exec.
And the Chief noted that the Oilers want to make DeKeyser Justin Schultz's defensive partner, but the Kalamazoo Gazette's David Drew duly noted that the Red Wings probably have the inside edge in the DeKeyser derby:
DeKeyser was a freshman at WMU under coach Jeff Blashill, who is now the coach of the Red Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock visited a Western Michigan hockey practice early in the season during the NHL lockout. DeKeyser was likely not the specific reason for Babcock's trip to Kalamazoo, but being seen in the stands likely didn't go unnoticed by DeKeyser.
Detroit Free Press Red Wings beat writer Helene St. James also took to Twitter on Sunday to post what Detroit can offer the hometown kid.
St. James wrote, "#RedWings can offer him top-4 minutes, PP time, opp. to play in front of family."
Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill told MLive Red Wings beat writer Ansar Khan DeKeyser will have "lots of options."
“We've talked to him for the last few years, all other 29 teams have, too,'' Nill said. “He's one of the top free agents available."
KuklasKorner.com tweeted, "Glenn Healy on HNIC Hotstove said Danny DeKeyser has a Tuesday meeting in the office of player agent Don Meehan and the process will begin."
As noted on Sunday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that DeKeyser will hunker down at super-agent Meehan's Newport Sports Management offices in Toronto to weigh offers starting on Tuesday, and something of a parade of general managers, coaches and team executives planning on wining and dining DeKeyser with presentations, promises of playing time and the same rookie-cap-max salaries (hey, who can blame the kid, he's a more offensively-talented Brad Stuart, so he's probably never going to get the "Ryan Suter/Zach Parise treatment" again)...
But St. James doesn't fool around when she makes assertions, and she suggested the following in her Monday morning column about the Wings' pursuit of DeKeyser:
The Red Wings have made it clear to defenseman Danny DeKeyser that they're interested in his services and believe they are front-runners to land the coveted prospect.
DeKeyser became available over the weekend when his Western Michigan career ended as the Broncos were eliminated from NCAA tournament consideration. He was never drafted.
"There are 30 teams who are going to be interested," general manager Ken Holland said. "We're one of them."
There isn't a team in the NHL that wouldn't like to add a talented defenseman for nothing more than money, especially with the trade deadline nine days away and the standings so tight that few clear sellers have emerged.
Every bidder is on a level playing field money-wise, tied into an entry-level contract for DeKeyser. But the Wings have one big advantage no other team can offer: playing in front of family. DeKeyser, 23, was born in Macomb and graduated from De La Salle High. DeKeyser has a history with a couple of people in the Wings' organization, too: He played midget hockey with Trevor Nill, son of assistant general manager Jim Nill, and was previously coached at Western Michigan by Jeff Blashill, now the head coach in Grand Rapids after being an assistant under Mike Babcock.
DeKeyser's plans are to spend today and Tuesday with his agents in Toronto mulling over where to sign. Wings brass will connect with him again if he wants, but Holland already has met with DeKeyser, as has Babcock. The one thing DeKeyser might want to hear is that he'll be guaranteed a spot on the NHL roster, because wherever he goes, he isn't going to anyone's minor league squad.
That's not an issue for the Red Wings, especially with Kyle Quincey out indefinitely because of a fractured cheekbone. The Wings would need to make roster room for DeKeyser, but that can be done by waiving Kent Huskins or sending Gustav Nyquist to the minors.
"Get 'er done," as Larry the Cable Guy says.
Red Wings 2, Ducks 1
* Ducks: consecutive regulation losses for 1st time this season
* Jimmy Howard (Red Wings) 33 saves: won 4 of last 5 starts
* Daniel Cleary (Red Wings): Goal; entered day with 1 goal in previous 12 games
* Teemu Selanne: played in his 1,372nd regular-season game, tying D Teppo Numminen for the most by a Finnish-born player.
Expressen's Gunnar Nordstrom revealed that Henrik Zetterberg played in his 700th NHL game last night, too.
Justin Abdelkader's hat trick against the Ducks on Friday earned him Michigan Hockey's "Michi-Gamer of the Night/weekend" distinction...
MARCH 25 – JUSTIN ABDELKADER
Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader didn’t have the best start to the 2012-13 NHL season. It took the Red Wings forward until March 17 to score his first goal of the season – an empty-netter against the Oilers. However, it looks like Abdelkader’s starting to get that scoring touch back. Friday night, the former Michigan State Spartan went off against the Anaheim Ducks, recording his first NHL hat trick, and adding an assist. Abdelkader scored once in the first and twice in the second to lead the Wings to a convincing 5-1 road victory in front of a significant Red Wings support group in the stands of the Honda Center. That meant a whole lot of hats littering the ice to celebrate No. 8′s first pro hatty. Here are all three of the goals, just so you can watch them again (or for the first time).
And I had to laugh when RedWingsFeed noted that octopus-throwing is frowned upon by the NHL and now--probably thanks to the NHL--an illegal offense punishable by a $500 fine and a disorderly conduct misdemeanor charge by the Detroit police if it's done at Joe Louis Arena, but the league's website posted a clip of an octopus hitting the ice in Anaheim anyway:
Shifting focus to the Red Wings' tasks at hand, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose looked forward to tonight's game against Phoenix, Thursday's game against San Jose and Sunday's home game against Chicago in penning a "The Week Ahead in Hockeytown" column (the Wings begin April with a back-to-back game against the Avalanche on Monday, but that's technically not part of "this week").
I'll let you read Roose's game previews on your own, because his "state of the Wings" snapshot may summarize how the team's feeling about itself more than his game previews do:
Five straight road games. That’s the current success streak that the Red Wings’ power play is riding. It’s an amazing turnaround considering the Wings began the year without scoring a single power-play goal in the first 10 road games.
But since Valtteri Filppula netted a meaningless goal that got the power play off the schnied in Calgary this month, the Red Wings’ power play has been red hot.
Now, the Red Wings head into their fifth eight-game segment this week, and can create distance between them and the Coyotes with a win tonight at Phoenix. It’s another big week for the Wings as they look to stockpile more points in their quest to extend their playoff appearance streak to 22 straight.
“It (the schedule) is going to be tough, but at the same time we just have to keep going the way we have lately,” Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “Just stay on top of it, stick to the game plan and we'll be fine. It's times when we get a little too loose, that's when we're not as good as we are when we're more structured. If we stick to the game plan we'll be just fine.”
The power play, especially on the road, has given the Red Wings a huge lift lately, producing seven goals on the last 24 chances with the man-advantage.
Someone who has made noise on the power play, and was finally rewarded Sunday, is Jakub Kindl, who leads the team, and ranks fourth among all NHL defensemen with a +16 rating. He has three points in the last four games, including an assist on Daniel Cleary’s power-play goal in the first period of Sunday’s game at Anaheim. Goalie Jimmy Howard has praised Kindl for stepping up and adding some stability to the defensive unit that has dealt with injuries all season.
“He's keeping his game simple, he's not trying to overdo anything out there,” Howard said. “Instead of in the past maybe forcing a couple pucks here and there, he's making the safe plays, that's what I think has allowed his confidence to grow.”
Kindl has already produced single-season bests for goals (3), game-winning goals (2), and plus/minus (+16).
It's kind of scary to think that we Wings fans have gone from dreadng Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey hopping over the boards to praising Kindl and missing Quincey's broken cheekbone-induced absence, but hey, that's what happens during a 48-games-in-99-nights demolition derby--things change quickly.
And finally, in the prospect department:
1. If you missed it:
Yep. Red Wings prospect Jake Paterson stopped 67 of 70 shots on Sunday. As the Saginaw News's Cory Butzin notes, Paterson rebounded from a rough outing in Game 1 of the London Knights-Saginaw Spirit series in a big way
After allowing five goals in two periods, Saginaw goalie Jake Paterson turned in a sterling performance against London, stopping all 26 shots he faced through the first two periods.
Meanwhile, Justin Kea lit the lamp at the 12 minute mark of the first period to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead. Saginaw made that stand until late in the second period when Jimmy Lodge scored his first goal of the playoffs on the power play with 14 seconds remaining to give the Spirit a 2-0 advantage.
And all the while, Paterson made it stand.
The Knights peppered the Detroit Red Wings prospect with 20 shots in the third period and got on the scoreboard seven minutes into the third when Bo Horvat stuck one in the back of the net to draw within one at 2-1.
London left it all on the ice in the third and finally struck through again with one second remaining in regulation when Horvat broke through for his second goal to send it to the first overtime.
It took until the second extra period before Tierney scored the game-winner.
Paterson finished with 67 saves for Saginaw, while Anthony Stolarz made 41 stops for the Knights.
2. And I'm not sure whether the Red Wings will end up signing Grand Rapids Griffins prospects Luke Glendenning or Chad Billins to NHL contracts, but the Holland Sentinel's Lee Lamberts reports that Glendenning's receiving rave reviews as the Griffins' 3rd line center:
Through Saturday, the University of Michigan had seven goals and 20 points. His style of play has made him a valuable commodity in Grand Rapids, the Detroit Red Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate. With Gustav Nyquist — 23 goals and 60 points — and Tomas Tatar — 22 goals and 46 points — making trips back and forth to and from Detroit, the Griffins are often a team in flux. Still, they lead the Western Conference’s Midwest Division with 78 points.
“I don’t measure many of our guys on points, especially a guy like Luke,” Griffins’ coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s got to be real good defensively, he’s got to win a lot of puck battles … he’s got to do a lot of little things that help us win. If he gets points, that’s great, but he never cheats for offense. His game is going to be determined by the little plays he makes to help us win games, and I think he’s done a good job of that.”
Glendening smiled when it was mentioned he has as many goals — seven — as defenseman Chad Billins, but his value to the team lies in other places than the back of the net.
“He grinds hard every night,” Blashill said. “He plays hard every night and he wins lots of puck battles every night. Those are the kinds of things that have really helped him be a really good player.”
Glendening knows that a promotion to Detroit could happen as quickly as a demotion to Toledo, where he stayed about two months before his homecoming.
“I love to do it so I don’t think of it as a job, but in terms of me performing, they could send me back to Toledo (of the East Coast Hockey League) almost any time,” Glendening said.
Update: I may hate power rankings, but I have to mention them. NHL.com's Dave Lozo gave the Wings a promotion while penning his "Super 16" list...
8 [last week] 10 Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have won four of five and started their four-game road trip with two wins in Anaheim. Justin Abdelkader has six goals this season and five have come in his past four games. After an uneven start, the Red Wings are finding themselves.
And ESPN's Pierre LeBrun gave the Wings a promotion, too:
9. Detroit Last Week: 10 Two big statement wins in Anaheim over the weekend for a Red Wings team beginning to find its stride with four wins in its past five games.
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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.