The Malik Report
Red Wings summer development camp 2014, day 2: morning interviews with Axel, McKee, Coreau & Fischer
by George Malik on 07/05/14 at 09:48 AM ET
The Red Wings' prospects--minus Alexey Marchenko, who's hale and hearty but is still rehabbing his surgically-repaired ankle--took part in a very spirited 45-minute practice ahead of the 3 PM scrimmage today at Centre Ice Arena.
The players were available for a little more time before their off-ice workouts, so I was able to have a longer chat with Axel Holmstrom--and guess what the first question I asked him involved?
Axel's English was wonderful and the Skelleftea AIK forward was equally forthcoming regarding his experiences at the camp, the on-ice and off-ice learning experiences he's taking in (he duly noted that Swedish dry-land training is VERY different from what the Red Wings do), he talked about his skill set and the fact that his SHL team lost 5 players, meaning that Axel may graduate from the Under-20 team in short order
The next person I spoke with, Mike McKee, continues to smile that goofy-gap-toothed smile that I saw two years ago, but he's really grown into his 6'5," 250-pound body, he is much more at ease (and there's no chewing tobacco in his locker stall anymore). I asked the Western Michigan swing-man about playing both forward (at WMU) and defense (at this camp), playing for Andy Murray, what he's trying to improve upon and the fact that he's had to learn how to tone down his physical intensity given that he was a glove-dropper in the North American Hockey League now playing in a college hockey league that doesn't allow fights:
Jared Coreau and I have got along quite well since the get-go, and Jared gave a fantastic interview, speaking with me about his recovery process from last year's major shoulder surgery, the work he's putting in with Jim Bedard to improve his skating, his positional play, and yes, his utterly disastrous pro debut with the Toledo Walleye and Grand Rapids Griffins. Jared was very forthright about the situation, even offering up an honest, "I don't know" when asked whether the Walleye's situation just kind of snowballed for both him and his teammates.
He's working with new Walleye coach Derek Lalonde up here, too, so Jared discussed getting off on the right foot there, and he talked about likely starting the season splitting time with Jake Paterson in Toledo:
And I stumbled upon an incredibly lucky interview that made the day (thus far). Ken Holland, Kris Draper and Jiri Fischer are up here for the camp, and while I wasn't able to speak with Jeff Blashill (expect DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose to post an article with Blashill quotes later today), Fischer was more than willing to give me eight minutes' of his time, discussing the INCREDIBLY condensed camp schedule--which Fischer says mirrors a pro training camp, and teaches players to get to the rink, get their work done and go on with their days--he discussed the off-ice focuses in terms of nutrition, strength and conditioning, etc., he spoke about Jeff Blashill's ability to jam an enormous amount of detail into a short period of time, and he talked about both Tomas Nosek's potential and the fact that the Andreas Athanasious (he was big on Andreas's leadership), Anthony Manthas, Richard Nedomlels, Jared Coreaus etc. are the leaders in what is a very, very young group of campers:
I wanted to speak with Holland, but he, Ryan Martin and Draper were kibbitsing and then speaking with Alexey Marcheko, who again, looked healthy and happy, and when they started speaking with Michael Babcock Jr., guess who gave me a death stare?
The scrimmage will start at 3 and I'll try to get what I can interview-wise. There's a team workout at 5, and Fischer's schedule = very little time between the guys peeling off their gear and after-ice workouts, so it's been incredibly hard to walk down the line and pick everybody. Please let me know if there's anyone you want me to speak with, and I will endeavor to do my best to speak with them.
Quick update: This should be good...
And again, Kyle McIlmurray and Slapshotgoal from Winging it in Motown are here...
As is Hooked on Hockey Magazine's Kevin Sporka...
And Octopus Thrower's Peter Fish:
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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.