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The Malik Report

Red Wings non-schedule-related news: on Olympians, Fedorov’s bluster and top prospects

Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related stories:

  • So the IIHF posited a press release and Olympic schedule after reaching an agreement with the NHL, NHLPA and IOC regarding NHL player participation in the 2014 Olympics, which will take place in Sochi, Russia. Given that Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco (Slovakia), Jonathan Ericsson  (a probable but not "lock" candidate), Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg [and Daniel Aflredsson!] (Sweden) have already taken part in their countries' respective Olympic summer camps, and given that Pavel Datsyuk's going to take part in Russia's Olympic summer camp later this month, the Wings will obviously be well-represented at the Olympic games--and, as MLive's Brendan Savage notes, the Wings are likely to have other Olymmpic participants, too:

Jimmy Howard and Justin Abdelkader are both candidates to play for the United States after representing the Americans in last year's World Championships.

Howard, who helped his case this season and in the playoffs, will likely battle New Jersey's Cory Schneider for the third goaltending spot behind Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo's Ryan Miller, Team USA's starter in 2010.

Abdelkader would add some abrasiveness and a net-front presence for the Americans if he's selected.

Jakub Kindl is a candidate to play for the Czech Republic and Tomas Tatar could represent Slovakia.

Mike Babcock will once again coach Team Canada. Although it hasn't been announced yet, Babcock has been meeting with possible assistant coaches and is a lock to be behind the Canadian bench.

I'm not sure whether Nyquist will end up on Sweden's roster, but the other Wings' Swedes are locks there; Jakub Kindl will probably make the Czech team;  there is an outside chance that Teemu Pulkkinen or Calle Jarnkrok could catch on with Finland or Sweden, respectively, and the same is true for Petr Mrazek; I know that the Americans loved Abdelkader taking part in the 2012 Worlds as a net-front guy, and Ken Holland will once again reprise his role as an "advisor" for Steve Yzerman's Canadian management team.

Obviously, with up to a third of the Wings' roster taking part in the Olympics, fatigue will be a big concern going forward.

 

Fedorov recently helmed CSKA through a MASSIVE management shake-up in which involved firing the coach, assistant coach and the vast majority of the front office, and he's brought in former NHL'er Sergei Zubov as an assistant coach, and in somewhat shocking-by-Russan-standards news, he picked John Torchetti, who last coached the AHL's Houston Aeros...

So he's trying to back up the off-ice shake-up, all designed to prove that CSKA is indeed in the process of returning to, "Moscow's hockey supepower" status, and have signed Alexei Morozov, Ilari Filppula, Oleg Saprykin and Fedor Fedorov to prove that they mean business. Fedorov's trying to drum up PR, so suggesting that he's still talking to Ilya Bryzgalov and that he tried to bring Datsyuk over = media proof that he "means business."

 

 

  • For the record, despite Field of Schemes' grumbles, the City of Detroit's bankruptcy will not affect the Red Wings' ability to build a new rink. The $12.8 million in tax money that the Downtown Development Authority's setting aside for the Wings is based upon property taxes that were already set aside for "downtown development," and the money comes from downtown businesses like GM, Quicken Loans and Compuware;

 

  • And in a somewhat odd twist, MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with former Red Wings director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell about Martin Frk, Tomas Jurco, Landon Ferraro, Riley Sheahan and Tom McCollum before McDonnell left the team, but Khan posited his prospect profiles today, perhaps expecting a schedule-less Friday:

2012: Martin Frk, RW, 6-0, 203 (49th overall, second round): A pure scorer with good hands and a nose for the net, he had 35 goals and 84 points in 56 games with Halifax (QMJHL) in his final junior season. He added 13 goals and 33 points in 17 playoff games, playing on a line with Nathan MacKinnon (first pick in 2013 by Colorado) and Jonathan Drouin (third pick in 2013 by Tampa Bay), as the Mooseheads won the Memorial Cup.

“He had a very good year,'' McDonnell said. “The Memorial Cup was huge for his confidence level. He's a very confident kid to begin with. He has a bomb of a shot. He's got a ways to go, but he's on the right track. He can score and his compete level is good. We're confident he's going to be a good player for the Wings.''

He is not a strong skater or defensive player, however. He will begin his pro career this season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

2011: Tomas Jurco, LW, 6-2, 195 (35th overall, second round): After a slow start during his first pro season with Grand Rapids, Jurco picked up the pace midway through the year and showed steady improvement. Projected as a top-six NHL forward, he skates well, is a tremendous puck-handler and has high-end skill.

He could get a brief look with the Red Wings at some point this season, depending on how he fares with the Griffins and Detroit's injury situation.

“The big issue was his day-in, day-out compete level,'' McDonnell said. “Some nights he wasn't there, other nights he was the best player on the ice. Started slow, was hot and cold. Mid-season took it to another level. Did a tremendous job.

“We gambled that he was going to figure it all out. He's not there yet, but he has figured out some of it. Great stick, sees the ice well, a playmaker, can score, can do whatever you want. Looked even bigger at the end of the year. I think he's grown.''

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Comments

SYF's avatar

Obviously, with up to a third of the Wings’ roster taking part in the Olympics, fatigue will be a big concern going forward.

Pucker factor went up exponentially.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/19/13 at 02:06 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Jonathan Ericsson  (a probable but not “lock” candidate),

It’s amazing how deep Sweden has gotten at defense in the last few years.

Now, you have to think Karlsson, Kronwall, Ekman-Larsson, Edler, Hedman, and Brodin all get a nod before Ericsson.  I think a case could be made either way for him versus Enström, Oduya, Hjalmarsson.  I’d have to think they’ll want at least a few of the Ericsson-Oduya-Hjalmarsson trio for stay-at-home defense situations and the coach loved him in the 2010 world championships (he led the team in ice time, too).  Karlsson, Ekman-Larsson and Brodin are all very young and Enström’s defensive deficiencies may hurt him.  Adam Larsson could definitely vault up that list if he plays well in the first half of the regular season.  They’ll be pretty amazing on the back-end if some of those players (and a few others who are scheduled to be rookies in the next couple years) continue to develop as expected.

I’m also interested in Franzen.  I think if he struggles mightily this season he might not be as much of a lock as we think (and I’m not nearly as hard on him as most people here).  He’s clearly a ways behind Z, the Sedin twins, Alfredsson (Odds on favorite to be captain), Landeskog, Backstrom, Eriksson, Hornqvist, Berglund and maybe even Nyquist.  I think he’ll make it for size reasons regardless of how he plays, but the Swedes have a history of mind-boggling decisions when it comes to Elitserien versus NHL forwards at the bottom end of their roster (granted, most of those were from Ake-Gustafsson’s tenure) so who knows.

 

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/20/13 at 03:26 AM ET

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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.