The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/22/13 at 03:10 AM ET
It's been a week since the Red Wings' summer development camp wrapped up in Traverse City, MI, and this week, Jared Coreau should receive medical clearance to finally take shots in game-like situations after undergoing shoulder surgery in Detroit this past April.
Watching Coreau work through drills with Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard was both fascinating and frustrating because 6'5" goaltenders aren't supposed to move nearly as smoothly and seamlessly as Coreau did. In individual drills and taking some simple shots, he looked downright elegant at times, and that's not how a big goalie's supposed to look.
Coreau may as well have been the poster boy for the prospect tournament--"Come back in fall and find out whether I still look this good when players are trying to run me over!" could've sold tickets--and the Free Press's George Sipple reports that Bedard was impressed by the way Coreau looked, too:
"His skating was so good, it made even a bigger impression than I thought,” said Red Wings goaltending coach Jim Bedard.
Bedard said he called Chris Osgood, who was back in Vernon, British Columbia, to tell him how impressed he was with Coreau.
“This was Chris Osgood’s recommendation to sign him,” said Bedard, adding that former assistant general manager Jim Nill and Ryan Martin, assistant GM of hockey administration, had also scouted Coreau.
Coreau was 15-19-4 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage last season as a junior. He was 12-7-2 with a 2.22 GAA and a .928 save percentage as a sophomore. Bedard said Coreau wasn’t ready to test the shoulder during the camp.
“We only had shots along the ice, low shots,” Bedard said. “In a camp like this, that doesn’t bother me. We want to make sure his shoulder gets healed properly under doctor’s orders.”
Bedard said Coreau, 21, came across as a mature player.
“The fact that he could skate as well as he did — I thought it would be doing very light skating things,” Bedard said. “Man, he attacked it. He attacked the skating part. He’s got something you can’t teach and that’s size. He’s all about that, being 6-foot-5. Really impressed with his foot speed for his size. Usually a lot bigger guys, they might take a longer to get up to speed with their skating. This is very exciting for September that his shoulder is going to be healed.”
We'll find out what he's made of in September.
Luke Glendening was the only member of the Grand Rapids Griffins' Calder Cup-winning roster to attend the summer development camp, and he did so of his own accord. Glendening appeared on WOOD TV8's Sports Overtime to talk about his past season's accomplishments, earning an NHL contract with the Wings and his goals going forward...
And while Brian Lashoff now has a one-way contract in his pocket, more than a few pundits have suggested that Lashoff is at best a #7 defenseman and mostly trade bait and/or dead weight otherwise, so he spoke with Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon about his future with the Wings bearing something of a "chip on his shoulder" as well:
After 31 games with Detroit, he closed his year out winning a Calder Cup with the Griffins. With a roller coaster season like that, Lashoff says the experience was huge for him and the rest of the young guys (Gustav Nyqvist, Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser) who split time between the two leagues.
“We went through a lot of adversity in the playoffs in Grand Rapids,” he said. “Whether it was a tornado in the middle of the Oklahoma City series or dropping a game or two, we always found a way to come back and it was good. It was fun to watch and be a part of. I think it’s going to be fun more than anything to go into next season with these guys.”
The only subtraction from last year’s defensive group is Carlo Colaiacovo due to a buyout and Lashoff knows competition to get a top-six spot will be tough. With seven guys going for it in a mostly young group, he’s got all the motivation he needs.
“I think you bring those guys in and it’s been really nice to be able to have that kind of confidence to go into training camp just the same way I’ve gone into training camp since I was 18. I’ve got something to prove and it doesn’t matter if I’m 18 or 23.
“I’ve got something to prove and I’ve got to go in with a chip on my shoulder and make that top six and that’s my only priority right now.”
And I'll conclude what is a relatively brief overnight report with some surprisingly spirit-of-the-thing-tinged writing from the Free Press's Evil Drew Sharp, who suggests that Detroit's sports teams serve as something of a beacon of hope as the city undergoes a massive Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy:
A new Red Wings arena — with the possibility of the Pistons returning downtown and playing there as well — isn’t an economic panacea. Sports venues never are. Their importance is symbolic, spiritual. If enjoying winning sports in a fan-favorable environment lightens the mood a little and momentarily diverts our attention away from the surrounding corrosive ills, then it’s serving a useful purpose.
No, Drew, the Pistons are not leaving the Palace...Yeesh...
After all, what’s more attractive to a baseball free agent? Detroit becoming the biggest U.S. city ever to declare bankruptcy or that the Tigers boast the fifth-highest payroll in baseball in the neighborhood of $150 million? It’s the latter.
As far as local sports were concerned, the situation was worse four years ago when General Motors and Chrysler went through their bankruptcies. There were genuine worries that one or both could go out of business, further decimating an already declining job market that for more than a half century relied too heavily on the automobile industry.
Nobody knows for sure if Detroit’s fiscal collapse will negatively affect team revenues from ticket sales, luxury suite leasing and stadium advertising signage as was the case in 2009. The Lions issued a statement last week stating they don’t anticipate Detroit’s seeking bankruptcy protection affecting home games at Ford Field this year.
The heightened economic anxiety in 2009 became a rallying cry, further strengthening the connective bond between town and teams. Detroit always has existed vicariously through its sports identity, taking a measure of communal pride from their on-the-field successes that occasionally alleviated some of the sting of the city’s assorted off-the-field maladies.
It’s not coincidental that some of this city’s biggest private sector supporters have a strong sports background — the Ilitch family, racing magnate Roger Penske, Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, who also owns the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Compuware’s Peter Karmanos, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
Sports will have a role in any renaissance. The motto “The city that can’t pay its bills, but can play ball” isn’t exactly what you want to see on Welcome to Detroit signs. But it speaks to how a city clamoring for anything positive can use its valuable sports identity as a means for reminding everyone that Detroit won’t timidly crawl into a corner and fade from existence.
I think that's as close as Sharp gets to offering a rallying cry.
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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.