The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/09/14 at 12:19 AM ET
Okay, so there was one thing left in my notebook, because it wasn't in my notebook: when I was in the locker rooms after the Red Wings' summer development camp wrapped up, there was one noticeable change that reflected its significant up-tick in NCAA-playing particpiants: piles of equipment.
Under NCAA rules, the players who participate have to not only pay their way to camp, but they also have to return anything that the team lends them to participate in the camp. While the Major Junior and European-playing prospects got travel bags packed with Wings hats, t-shirts, etc. in addition to taking their equipment home with them, the NCAA players were tossing their hockey pants (or shells), gloves, helmets, jerseys, socks, absolutely everything that they hadn't brought with them into bins. The players were quite thorough as something as simple as a t-shirt can negate your NCAA eligibility.
I know that Dylan Larkin was only wearing Bauer gear because he'd told me the local representative was allowing him to test the stuff out, and as the 9&10 News noted in its camp wrap-up, neither Larkin nor any of the Wings' other NCAA-playing prospects (Ben Marshall, Mike McKee and James De Haas and David Pope are the other participants who are NCAA-committed; the recently-drafted Chase Perry wasn't in attendance) can return until next summer:
However, the camp was much more about teaching their prospects "The Red Wing Way" and getting a first-hand look at their future talent.
It was most important for the players who return to their respective NCAA schools. NCAA rules do not allow players like First-Round Pick Dylan Larkin to come back for the Prospects Tournament September 12th at Centre Ice Arena.
That and the whole "classes are going on" thing.
The 17-year-old will return to Ann Arbor for his freshman year at the University of Michigan. In the meantime, he left a good impression on the Wings and specifically Grand Rapids Griffins Head Coach Jeff Blashill.
"The thing I really like about Dylan is how hard he plays every single shift, how he attacks the ice every single shift." Blashill said. "He's going to grow at the University of Michigan under great coaching there and he's certainly got a bright future ahead of him."
Here's their video report...
And Up North Live posted a quick recap as well:
In a very different vein, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's latest "Red Wings Firsts" article focuses upon one Ryan Sproul...
When Ryan Sproul was called up to Detroit for the first time, it served as a glimpse of things to come.
The defenseman was originally called up Feb. 25 to practice with the Red Wings as players were still slowly trickling back from the Olympic break. He returned to Grand Rapids the following day, but that wouldn’t be his first trip to Detroit.
Sproul, who was named to the 2013-14 American Hockey League All-Rookie team, became the ninth player to make his NHL debut with the Wings when he suited up for Detroit in the regular-season finale on April 13 in St. Louis.
“I felt pretty good,” Sproul said following Detroit’s 3-0 victory over the Blues. “It’s nice to get that over with, even though it is the end of the year, it’s nice to get that and hoping the best for these guys in the playoffs.”
It was also nice to skate alongside many familiar faces, as several of his teammates from the Griffins appeared in at least one game or were still playing with the Red Wings at the time of his call-up.
“It’s kind of nice to be in there,” Sproul said. “(Everyone) at my house back in GR, these guys are up here now. Calle (Mitch Callahan) came up, too. It’s definitely nice to be up here and be a part of that.”
He does have assets appealing to the Wings — a hard, right-handed shot that has helped him to 51 power-play goals out of 103 total in 503 career games. He’s turning 29 in October, so he still has several prime years left. He’s entering the last season of a three-year, $18.25-million contract he signed in 2012, so there’s incentive on Washington’s part to move him if he’s not part of its long-term plans. On the flip side, players in contract years have a way of producing head-turning numbers, especially those who will be getting their first shot at unrestricted free agency, known as “cha-ching day” for defensemen.
Green is an excellent possession player, which would fit well with the Wings. He is some distance from the 70-point seasons that dazzled in 2008-10, but Green had 38 points in 70 games last season, and 29 points were assists, so it’s a safe bet he’d be able to feed Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg with passes similar to those last delivered by Brian Rafalski.
Now, to the cost. Green would be less expensive than Buffalo’s Tyler Myers, the most ideal candidate the Wings could trade for to improve their defense. Myers is a franchise defenseman; Green isn’t. Washington would ask what anyone would ask for trading a valuable player — for Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco or Anthony Mantha. The Wings aren’t going to trade Mantha, and are just as reluctant to give up Nyquist. Tatar and Jurco are the most vulnerable, Tatar more so because of Jurco’s size. The Caps would probably also ask for a role player.
If they can’t get Myers, Green is worth considering. One thing is clear: The Wings do need to upgrade their defense.
And finally, ESPN's asking fans to weigh in regarding their team's best "franchise" player:
Time to step up, people.
We want you to name your favorite player from your favorite team -- of all time. Not just this season, not just the past five years, not just that one time when they should have won the Stanley Cup but were robbed by a bad call. Of all time. Columbus Blue Jackets fans, you've got less work to do than, say, fans of the Montreal Canadiens. And keep in mind that the player is representing the franchise, not just the team. New Jersey Devils fans, don't forget about your complicated lineage. Winnipeg Jets fans, remember those long, hot winters in Atlanta. Etc.
So, who's it going to be? Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque or Zdeno Chara? Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull or Jonathan Toews? Marcel Dionne or Jonathan Quick? Mike Modano or Cesare Maniago? Yes, it's a tough gig, picking players from different positions and different eras. Who cares if Bobby Clarke had to finish his career wearing Cooperalls? The bottom line: Does he deserve to be named Mr. Flyer over Bernie Parent? Or Eric Lindros (wouldn't that be ironic)?
We need representation from all 30 teams, or it's just not going to work, so vote now and vote often. Vote for players on teams you love, vote for players on teams you don't.
You can cast your ballot in three ways: in the comments section below, through our Facebook page or, if you're hitting us up from the Twitter, use the hashtag #ESPNplayerNHL. We'll sift through all of the comments and isolate the most insightful and invective-free for a grand and provocative unveiling later in the summer.
The time for bellyaching is over. You can't complain if you don't vote. Now, go!
Somehow, the last thing I posted was more painful to read than the second-to-last thing I posted.
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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.