The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/18/14 at 05:04 AM ET
Updated with some Datsyuk stuff at 6:19 AM: I don't stare at the overnight report's batch of stories and wonder how to put them together but that's the case this morning, so:
Let's start with a reminder. Michigan State University's "Pro Camp" begins today at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing and continues until Friday, and every 10 AM-to-12 PM skating session is open to the public. The Free Press's George Sipple listed some of the camp's more prominent participants, and he revealed that two more non-MSU alums and a Wings alumnus will attend the camp as well:
Former Spartans Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller will join 18 other former Michigan State players in a pro hockey camp that runs today through Friday at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. The players will skate from 10 a.m. to noon each day. The camp is free and open to spectators.
Abdelkader, 27, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 70 games last season for the Red Wings. Miller, 30, had seven goals and eight assists in 82 games last season for the Wings.
In addition to Abdelkader and Miller, Red Wings defensemen Jakub Kindl and Danny DeKeyser will participate, along with former Wing Patrick Eaves.
Former MSU goaltender Jeff Lerg, who recently signed with the Toledo Walleye (ECHL), also will attend.
A total of 20 former Spartan hockey players, including 11 who played in the National Hockey League last season, will be back in Munn Ice Arena this coming week for the annual MSU Hockey Pro Camp. The camp runs Monday, Aug. 18 - Friday, Aug. 22 with the players skating from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. each day. The camp is free and open to spectators.
The camp, which is run by MSU assistant coach Tom Newton, helps the players prepare for their upcoming training camps with their respective professional teams. MSU had players in the NHL, American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League and in various European leagues last season.
Spartans Scheduled to Appear
"Across the pond," former Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek was officially introduced as Korea's national men's ice hockey team coach today, and the Yonhap News Agency's Yoo Jee-Ho covered Paek's presser:
Jim Paek, former National Hockey League (NHL) defenseman recently named South Korea's head coach, said at his inaugural press conference in Seoul that his goal is to try to improve his squad on a daily basis.
"I think there's great potential for the development of hockey here," Paek said. "We're going to get better every day and are not going to worry about the Olympics or the world championships. We'll focus on what we're going to do to get better and not worry about the conclusion. Then we'll be successful in the end."
The Korea Ice Hockey Association (KIHA) turned to Paek, a former rearguard for the Pittsburgh Penguins with two Stanley Cup rings, to help South Korea qualify for the 2018 Winter Games to be held in PyeongChang, an alpine town located some 180 kilometers east of Seoul.
Jee-Ho continues, and it's worth noting that Paek's family will remain in Grand Rapids for the upcoming season:
Paek said it has been his life-long dream to one day play for his South Korea and, failing that, to coach his native country. He admitted it was "a tough decision" to be away from his family, who resides in the United States, but he has its full support to help develop South Korean hockey.
"It was a great opportunity for me to stretch myself as a coach and to learn," Paek said. "That's what we want to do in life: learn every day and get better every day."
In the land of stats, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose looks back at Henrik Zetterberg's injury-shortened 2013-2014 campaign "By the Numbers"...
32: Despite missing 37 games, he finished second on the team in assists. Only Niklas Kronwall (41) had more helpers than the captain during the 2013-14 season.
45: Lower back pain, which eventually required surgery, held him to the fewest games in a regular season since he was a 19-year-old playing for Timra in 1999-2000. Still, he ranked seventh in the league by averaging 1.07 points per game.
14: Led the Red Wings in multi-point games, lifting them to a 9-1-4 record when he produced more than one point in a game during the 2013-14 regular season.
In the prospect department, English-language version: The Wings' website also conducted a Q and A with Riley Sheahan, and he's most certainly up-front in his answers:
Q: If you weren’t playing hockey, what would you be doing?
A: Something in music, I think playing guitar or doing something musical, that or a teacher. Both of my parents are teachers so maybe follow in their footsteps.
Q: Do you have any quirky habits?
A: They’ve caught me on the bench with smelling salts and blowing the water off the bench that was one thing that people think is weird but I just … I don’t even think about it as being anything weird. I just like sniffing the smelling salts and then I rinse my mouth guard out and then blow the water off of the bench, but I just see that as something I have to do because I don’t want to get my hands wet.
Q: If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be?
A: Rob Dyrdek, he’s a skateboarder but he seems like he has a lot of fun, he has his own TV show. John Mayer, I’m fascinated with his guitar skills and singing so one of those two.
Q: If you could meet any historical person, who would you meet?
A: It would have to be someone in the sports world. I just recently saw that movie '42' with Jackie Robinson and I think that was pretty interesting and it would probably be pretty neat to listen to what he has to say.
Q: Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets?
A: I don’t think so.
In the prospect department, foreign-language version: Tomas Jurco handed out some hardware on Sunday, and he also engaged in an interview with Sport.sk's Michal Carnoky that riffs upon some of his previous Slovak-language-interview's themes.
Jurco reiterated that he's been trying to improve his strength and to continue working on improving his shot before he returns to Detroit on September 10th, he shrugs off trade rumors, suggesting that he's simply got to prepare for the fall regardless of what happens...
This time around, I'll give a short and very rough translation of what I think is the most intriguing part of the interview:
Overseas, there's also speculation that you might be traded to another team. Do you have some information about this?
"I still don't know anything, I don't have any information. If the team wants to trade me, it has all summer, until September, so anything can happen. I don't have any overview of the situation, so I'm concentrating on myself and preparing myself. A possible trade doesn't change anything, you can pack up your suitcase until it happens and that's it. Whatever happens will happen."
If you could choose, would you stay in Detroit, or would you rather try something else?
"I'm used to Detroit because I was drafted there three years ago. It could be said that it's my 'bleeding heart' [team]. Of course, in the instance of a trade, I'd get used to the new team and I'd do anything for the success of the team, the jersey I'm wearing."
During your last season in Detroit, you stayed in a hotel room. Will you do the same this year?
"I lived in a hotel because I still had a spot on the NHL team with the Red Wings, and I didn't know whether they'd send me back to the farm in Grand Rapids. Toward the end of the season, I was told that I could look for an apartment in Detroit, but the hotel suited me, it was close to the rink, so I stayed there. This year it'll be different, at the start of the season they'll tell me and the other players, especially those on two-way contracts like me, whether I can find a home in Detroit or Grand Rapids, but it'll be a clear signal to a player whether to expect a place in the NHL or not, and I hope that I'll be able to find an apartment in Detroit."
Do you have any personal ambitions for the new season?
"I must admit that I don't have any specific goals for the season. I don't usually look so far forward as to make some resolutions. Of course I'll try to do everything I can to have the best season. As it should be, and so it will be. I hope that this year I can prosper."
Personally speaking, I'm going to be in and out for most of this week and the next as familial doctor's appointments are scattered all over the place, but Paul will return from his vacation and take care of any substantial news that pops up while I'm out.
The PayPal button's going to return as we're four weeks removed from the prospect tournament and I'm going to be in Traverse City for two full weeks, and we will address the community issues at some point, but today's probably not the best day to do so.
Update: Oh sure, insomnia + Mlive's Ansar Khan discussing Pavel Datsyuk's 2014-2015 season outlook (and yes, he earns $10 million real-world bucks, PLUS a $5 million signing bonus per Capgeek, during the first year of his 3-year contract):
2013-14 in review: Missed a total of 37 games due to injuries, including 30 games with knee inflammation on two occasions (Jan. 14-Feb. 3 and March 4-April 2). ... Missed seven games with a concussion (Nov. 24-Dec. 7) sustained from elbow by Ottawa's Jared Cowen. ... His streak of seven consecutive seasons leading or tied for the team lead in points ended. ... Faceoff percentage (53.4 percent) was best among team's regular centers. ... He took 157 more draws than anyone else despite missing so much time with injuries. ... Tied for second on the team with six power-play goals. ... Converted on 2-of-8 shootout attempts, well below his career average of 45.8 percent (33-of-72) coming into the season. ... Led team with 59 takeaways. ... Plus-1 rating was the worst he has posted since 2003-04 (minus-2). ... Led the team in goals (three) and points (five) in its first-round playoff series loss to Boston, scoring the winning goal with 3:01 remaining in Game 1, the Red Wings' lone victory. ... Served as captain of Russia's Olympic team during his fourth appearance at the Winter Games. ...Tied for the team lead with six points in five games at the Olympics, where Russia failed to medal at home in Sochi.
2014-15 outlook: The bad knee that forced him to miss 30 games also affected him in many games he played, but he still was on a 30-goal, 67-point pace for a full season and was the Red Wings' most effective player in the playoff loss to Boston. His knee didn't require surgery and he is expected to be at full strength at training camp. He's 36 and has a lot of wear and tear, but he still has some of the best hands in the league and his hockey sense is second to none. When healthy, he remains one of the top two-way players in the league. He still does it all for the Red Wings -- he'll be their offensive catalyst, their top defensive forward, their best faceoff man, and he'll be counted on to help protect a one-goal lead in the final minute of play. He'll probably play on and off with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader on his line.
Key question: Will Datsyuk, after experiencing knee issues last season, return to form as a dominant two-way player?
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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.