The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/18/13 at 01:45 PM ET
The Red Wings are holding a charity event this evening at Joe Louis Arena...
So the Windsor Star's Bob Duff reported that the team is practicing off-site,but things haven't started as of 1:43 PM, so I'm wondering whether the team will hold practice at 2 to ensure that the players don't have to head back home and then come back down to the Joe during rush hour, so here's a slate of mid-day stories to tide both of us over until practice begins, if it begins at all:
Returned to Grand Rapids Monday by the Red Wings, Nyquist believes there’s still much that he can learn at the AHL level.
“It’s still a good league, I think,” Nyquist said. “If you look at the players down there you know there are a lot of players going up and down to the NHL all of the time. So there is a great amount of good players down there and it’s still a league that you can improve and learn the systems a little bit better.”
Nyquist has sought to improve the areas of his game that the Wings have asked him to work on while in the minor leagues.
“This year I think I’m starting to shoot the puck a little bit more,” he said. “I’ve tried to work on that and go to the net a little bit harder. I think I’ve scored a few more goals this year than I did last year down there. I’ve always been a guy who’s been a pass-first guy and I think down in the AHL I can create a lot more chances.”
Even though he was in the NHL for a week, Nyquist still leads the AHL in scoring with 23-37-60 totals. He could become the fourth Red Wings farmhand to lead the AHL scoring race, following in the footsteps of Tim Taylor (1993-94 Adirondack), Les Douglas (1945-46 Indianapolis) and Don Deacon (1938-39 Pittsburgh).
MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Wings are interested in Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid, who may or may not be moved by the Oilers on or before the trade deadline on April 3rd:
Contract: Final year, with a salary-cap hit of $2.25 million. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.
Strengths: A shutdown defender who is big and strong and plays with an edge. He leads the Oilers in hits (86) and blocked shots (78).
Weaknesses: He has virtually no offensive game. Consistency has been an issue.
Why the Red Wings might be interested in him: They are interested in him. He is one of the players they have been scouting. He would strengthen their top-four and bring some of the gritty qualities they lost when Brad Stuart left for San Jose. The Red Wings have nine defensemen, but they aren't sure how long Kyle Quincey (fractured cheek bone) will be out or if Carlo Colaiacovo, out since Jan. 21 with a shoulder injury, can return and secure a spot in the lineup. The Oilers are hoping to re-sign Smid.
What it might take to get him: Second-round pick and/or second-tier prospect.
Regarding future prospects, MLive's Brendan Savage checks in on the Wings' 2012 draft class...
• Martin Frk, right wing, Halifax Mooseheads
Selected in the second round (49th overall), the 6-foot, 203-pound Frk doesn't want to be labeled as a skilled but soft European. He was expected to be a first-round pick but a preseason concussion in 2011 that caused him to miss four months hurt his draft stock.
He helped the Moosehead run away with the QMJHL regular-season championship with a 58-6-3-1 record while finishing 13th in the scoring race with 35 goals and 49 assists in 55 games. He also had 84 penalty minutes and a plus-31 rating.
Frk, 19, was the second-leading scorer on the team behind linemate Jonathan Drouin, who finished second in the QMJHL scoring race with 105 points. Frk missed training camp because of knee surgery but played for the Czech Republic in the World Junior Championships, getting three goals, one assist and 16 PIM in six games.
Frk signed a three-year contract with the Red Wings in July. He's expected to play in Grand Rapids next season.
• Jake Paterson, goalie, Saginaw Spirit
Taken in the third round (80th overall), the 6-foot, 180-pound Paterson impressed the Red Wings with his athleticism and calm demeanor. He was the No. 1 netminder for the Saginaw Spirit, who finished fourth in the OHL's Western Division with a 32-29-4-3 record.
Paterson, 18, had a 25-18-5 record, 3.53 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 50 games for Saginaw, which made the playoffs.
He represented Canada in the World Juniors but did not see any action....
• Mike McKee, defense, Lincoln Stars
Taken in the fifth round (140th overall), the 6-foot-4, 245-pound McKee could give the Red Wings the type of toughness they haven't possessed in recent seasons.
He originally planned on playing for Western Michigan but instead returned to the USHL, where he leads the league with 292 penalty minutes. Nobody else in the USHL has more than 177. Has been suspended six times this season and is facing another ban of at least four games for accumulating for many major penalties.
"If this doesn't get the message across to him ..." coach Chad Johnson said in a story on JournalStar.com. "He sat in that penalty box for three goals against Fargo the other night. We need him on the ice for 25-plus minutes, as opposed to in the penalty box for 15 minutes."
Lincoln is third in the Western Conference standings with a 33-20-3 record.
MARCH 18 – JUSTIN ABDELKADER
The Vancouver Canucks hosted the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night, donning maroon and off-white heritage sweaters akin to those worn by the 1914-15 Stanley Cup-winning Vancouver Millionaires. However, the Red Wings played spoiler in Vancouver, with Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader stealing the show. The 26-year-old Abdelkader potted a pair of goals, the first and last for Detroit, en route to a 5-2 victory, as the Red Wings have put 13 goals past Roberto Luongo and the Canucks in two games this season. There were question marks about the Muskegon native even being able to play Saturday night; the day before, Abdelkader suffered a bad cut across his foot. Wrapped up with some extra padding, the former Spartan made it work, and his first goal even came by him driving to the Vancouver goal, and the puck hitting that very foot and bouncing into the net. His second goal came in an unconventional fashion, as well, as the puck struck Abdelkader’s body and found its way past Luongo. Abdelkader now has three goals and one assists in 29 games for Detroit. Prior to joining the NHL, Abdelkader earned Mr. Hockey honors playing high school hockey for Mona Shores. He then went on to enjoy a successful collegiate career at Michigan State, winning an NCAA national championship in 2007.
In the promotional and/or business-related department, from the Wings:
RAM TRUCK BRAND AND DETROIT RED WINGS CONTINUE PARTNERSHIP FOR 2012-13 SEASON
… Expanded Partnership Includes Two 100-Foot Images Welcoming Fans to Joe Louis Arena …
Detroit, MI…The Ram Truck brand, Chrysler Group LLC’s Great Lakes Business Center and Southeast Michigan Ram dealers are continuing their partnership with the Detroit Red Wings, one of America’s most successful professional sports franchises. The expanded partnership for 2012-13 includes the addition of two Ram Truck and Red Wings-themed displays on the exterior of Joe Louis Arena. The 26’ x 100’ building identifiers will adorn both the east and west exterior walls, welcoming fans to Joe Louis Arena.
“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with Ram and create an enhanced visual to the outside of Joe Louis Arena that welcomes our fans,” said Tom Wilson, Olympia Entertainment President. “We are proud of the partnership and all that we are able to accomplish together.”
“The hard work, fighting-spirit and determination exhibited by the Detroit Red Wings embraces the values shared not only by Ram Truck but also by the brand’s dedicated customers,” said Mike Dragojevic, Director of the Great Lakes Business Center. “We are pleased to once again be named the ‘Official Truck of the Red Wings’ and build upon the partnership for the 2012-13 hockey season.”
Continued elements in the partnership include: Ram Truck being named the “Official Truck of the Red Wings”; television and radio spots narrated by Sam Elliott, the voice of the brand, and featuring Red Wings forward, Johan “Mule” Franzen; a Ram Truck mural inside Joe Louis Arena featuring goaltender Jimmy Howard; concourse curtains of the Ram truck grille; virtual signage; an in-ice logo; and several in-game promotions.
And in the "aww" department:
ABDELKADER TO READ THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD TO STUDENTS AT WICK ELEMENTARY
… Forward Will Visit With Second Graders at Romulus School on March 19 …
Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader will visit Wick Elementary in Romulus, Mich., at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 19, to read The Little Engine That Could to 55 second graders in recognition of National Reading Month. Wick Elementary won the opportunity for Abdelkader to read at their school by being the elementary school to submit the most entries between Sept. 4, 2012, and Feb. 1, 2013, as part of the Red Wings for Reading program.
Following the book reading, Abdelkader will answer students’ questions about himself, hockey and reading. He will then present a set of The ABC’s of Detroit Red Wings Hockey books in addition to 10 Brady Brady children’s hockey books for the school library.
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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.