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Red Wings’ Thursday practice post in progress: Samuelsson in, Helm out, Kindl’s groin sore

Updated 9x with video at 2:03 PM: Let's kick this off with a wee bit of fan interaction:

For those of you who are interested, Fox Sports Detroit's website will stream the Red Wings' 10:30 AM practice today and the12 PM practice tomorrow, with Dana Wakiji and Art Regner speaking to players afterward.

Edit/update: it's streaming already, and as of 10:24 AM, goalies are on the ice....

Also of Wings-related note, albeit briefly:

The IIHF's website is confirming the news:

STOCKHOLM – Swedish hockey heroes Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin, and Nicklas Lidström have come together with the Swedish organizers of the 2013 IIHF World Championship to create a new ticket distribution concept called My Game.

With My Game, each of these former players will receive 2,000 tickets to one of three chosen games. The idea is that they will distribute them to various organizations that they have selected. The lucky recipients of the tickets will get to attend the chosen game and also interact with one of these hockey stars.

“I grew up in Avesta in the province of Dalarna, and played ice hockey in a small club named Skogsbo,” said Lidström. “I would like to give them the opportunity to come here to Stockholm and see a World Championship game in the Globe and give them a chance to experience the feeling. I also want to give some tickets to kids in Västerås where my career took off.”

The concept is the first task set to Forsberg, Sundin and Lidström, all three of whom are supporting the 2013 tournament as World Championship ambassadors.

Already a friendly rivalry has developed between these three players, who competed for so long on against each other in the NHL and together with the Swedish national team. 

“It would be great if my game had more spectators than the other guy’s games,” said a smiling Forsberg during the announcement for the My Game concept.


SWITZERLAND – CZECH REPUBLIC: Monday 6th of May at 16.15 hosted by Mats Sundin.

CZECH REPUBLIC – DENMARK: Thursday 9th of May at 16.15 hosted by Nicklas Lidström.

CZECH REPUBLIC – NORWAY: Tuesday 14th of May at 16.15 hosted by Peter Forsberg.


  • Also from Roose:


Tickets to all 24 Red Wings home games at Joe Louis Arena go on sale at 1 p.m. Thursday. The team and Ticketmaster decided last week that all tickets purchased during the first 35 hours of sales won't be subject to service fees.

Full season ticket packages along with six and 12-game packages are on sale by phone - call (313) 396-7575 - or via the team's website.

The Red Wings' first home game is Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.

The team will put a limited amount of $9 seats for individual games up for sale starting noon Saturday at the Joe Louis Arena box office. Fans will be able to purchase up to four $9 tickets to a maximum four games.

The arena's doors are expected to open at 9 a.m. Saturday before the ticket sale.

Tim Hortons Restaurants are expected to be on site and provide fans with free refreshments.

Fans will receive a wristband once they get into the arena to determine their their spot in line for the ticket sale.


  • Via RedWingsFeed, MLive is also asking fans to weigh in as to whether they believe the Wings will make the playoffs;


And here are today's first personnel updates, from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

Update #1.5: from MLive's Ansar Khan:

And the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Update #1.6:

Update #1.75:


Update #1.8:

And here's Helene St. James' initial practice report:

For the first time in four months, the Detroit Red Wings are back skating at Joe Louis Arena.

Derailed by the 113-day labor dispute that shuttered the NHL, and then delayed again by Ford Motor Company renting the Joe for the past week, the Wings finally were able to set foot on their turf today.

About a dozen players had begun informal skates at the Joe in early September, but when owners locked out players Sept. 16, practices were moved to Troy. When training camp began Sunday, it was at Compuware Arena in Plymouth.

The Wings haven't gathered for a regular practice at the Joe since April 19, the day before they were ousted from the playoffs.

The season begins Saturday at St. Louis, and the home opener is Tuesday, against the Dallas Stars.


Update #2: Red Wings GM Ken Holland's made the press rounds again, speaking with the Associated Press's Noah Trister regarding the utter uncertainty surrounding a 48-game season...

The Kings, seeded eighth, started by knocking off the top-seeded Canucks in the West and finished with a 6-1 rout of the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the finals.

That’s why Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who is hoping to help the franchise extend its postseason streak, said it’s not realistic for there to be a lot of pressure on any one team to win it all.

“The Cup contenders will be the 16 teams that make the playoffs,” Holland said while watching his team prepare on the ice earlier this week for a 48-game regular season. “The eighth seed won the Stanley Cup against the sixth from the East. The days in the 1990s and early 2000s when the top teams had easier runs in the early rounds are over. It’s wide open, and that’s the beauty of the league.”

Holland just happened to speak to USA Today's Kevin Allen about the importance of quality back-up goaltending during the 48-games-in-99-nights stretch...

"Teams are making and missing the playoffs by one, two or three points, or they are losing or getting home-ice advantage by one, two or three points," Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said. "Most backup goalies play somewhere between 10 or 20 games, and that's a lot of points that are available."

Detroit lost home ice in the playoffs by two points to the Nashville Predators last season, when No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard (35-17-4) won 62.5% of his decisions and backup goalies Joey MacDonald and Ty Conklin (13-11-2) won 50%.

The Red Wings made obtaining a new backup an offseason priority, and they signed Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year, $3 million contract.

And Holland just happened to speak to MLive's Ansar Khan about his expectations for Gustavsson and Howard...

“[Gustavsson]'s had games where he was the difference-maker,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He understood coming in here Jimmy Howard was the No. 1 guy. We want him to push Howie. We want to have the best 1-2 punch in the league. We're going to need him to win some games. Howie has shown he can play 20-25 in a row if we need him to. I'd like to think goaltending is going to be a strength.''

Howard went 35-17-5 – the third year in a row he's won at least 35 games – and posted a career-best 2.12 goals-against average. Gustavsson went 17-17-4, with a 2.92 GAA for a bad Maple Leafs club.

“It's definitely beneficial to have both goalies going because points are going to be at a premium this year,'' Howard said. “Every single game is going to be like the playoffs. You can't afford to lose a couple in a row, so we're going to need both of us going.''

Howard and Gustavsson already have had a chance to bond, having practiced together for four months during the lockout with several teammates in Troy. They also spent four days last week at a high-intensity training camp in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“I got to know him really well throughout this lockout and got to spend some time with him in Arizona,'' Howard said. “Jonas is a great guy. He's a great goalie as well. We're going to push each other to get better. He works hard every single time he's out here, that's how he pushes me."


“It’s tough competition to get playing time, but it’s something I like, too, it’s something to push me,'' Gustavsson said. “Hopefully, I can push Howie, too, and do whatever I can to help the team win. If I play games or I’m supporting the guys, I’m just going to take my role and go with that.”

Update #2.5: From MLive's Ansar Khan...


And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

Very good news.

Update #3: Oh, this is clever, via the Triple Deke and Winging it in Motown:



Update #3.5: From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...

Update #4: From the CBC News North:

Nunavut's Jordin Tootoo says he's looking forward to beginning the NHL season with his new team. The right winger is currently at the Detroit Red Wings' training camp.

He says he'll never forget his nine years with the Nashville Predators. But, he says Detroit is a great team and wearing a Red Wings jersey is a special feeling.

“This is a whole new chapter in my hockey career and things are definitely different,” he said. “You're used to a certain lifestyle in Nashville. You get used to that but obviously Detroit here is a whole new experience for me. I feel like I'm fitting in just fine with all the guys."

Tootoo's first game with his new team is on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

He's says it's going to be an intense compact season with a lot of games in a short time.

Update #5: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff filed the following quickie...

The Free Press's Helene St. James has updated her article with quotes and a video, discussing the Wings' first practice at Joe Louis Arena since the lockout began in September...

"It was good to have the opportunity to be here and be around the guys," coach Mike Babcock said after his routine jog through the Joe. "It's great. I've been down here lots, but having players around here today, obviously, is a positive thing for us."

About a dozen players had begun informal skates at the Joe in early September, but when owners locked out players Sept. 16, practices were moved to Troy. When training camp began Sunday, it was at Compuware Arena in Plymouth.

"It's great, great to be back," defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. "I'm just really happy. Every morning I wake up now, I have somewhere I really have to go. Just really happy to be back."

The Wings haven't gathered for a regular practice at the Joe since April 19, the day before they were ousted from the playoffs.

Forward Mikael Samuelsson (groin) skated and said he remains hopeful to be ready for the start of the season.

As for forward Darren Helm, who hasn't skated since hurting his back one week ago, Babcock said there's a bit of good news: "He can touch his toes." Still, Babcock said Helm won't play this weekend.



And she added the following:

Update #6: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan confirms:

Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji is rocking teh Twitterz in terms of updates, especially regarding one Joey MacDonald...

Here's MLive's ANsar Khan's practice update...

Coach Mike Babcock said Helm won't be available this weekend but should be ready to go right after that.

Right wing Mikael Samuelsson (sore groin) skated Thursday morning, when the team returned to Joe Louis Arena, and said he believes he can play Saturday.

“It feels good,'' Samuelsson said. “If you ask me, yes (he will play). First, it's got to feel good on the ice. After that I don't think I will have a problem. But the day after (skating) also is important, especially if you go twice here today. So far, so good.''

The players will practice again tonight at 7 p.m. at the Joe. It is open to the public free of charge. There is a public skate afterward.

The Red Wings returned to the ice at the Joe after spending the first three days of training camp at Compuware Arena and then taking Wednesday off. It is the first time they have skated in their home rink since the lockout ended.

Meanwhile, goaltender Joey MacDonald (bulging disc) said he feels better after having a cortisone shot recently and he expects to be on the ice next week, not for a practice, but just skating on his own.

Here's the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's update regarding Samuelsson's groin, Helm's back and MacDonald's back...

"First it’s got to feel good on the ice,” Samuelsson said. “After that I don’t think I will have a problem. But the day after also is important, especially if you go twice here today. So far, so good.

“I’ve been on the ice for two months,” Samuelsson added. “Still, when you come here, you don’t want to miss anything. You want to be out there and do extra work. Is it frustrating? Maybe a little bit. You got to be smart about it as well.”

Darren Helm (back) didn’t skate and Wings coach Mike Babcock has ruled him out for the first two games of the season and quite possibly the home opener Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.


Wings backup goalie Joey MacDonald was also back, but didn’t skate. He’s still suffering from a bad back.

“I’ve still got my back problem still from last year,” MacDonald said. “I had an injection last week and things are going well. Maybe by next week I start skating and get going back at it again. It’s just one of those things that got good probably by July and just acted up with the same kind of thing. It’s frustrating, but we’re back playing, everyone’s excited and it just gives you a little extra motivation.”

MacDonald lost his backup job to Jimmy Howard when the team signed Jonas Gustavsson this offseason.

“It’s just like every other year,” MacDonald said. “Come in and battle. Last year was a great year for me. I was right up there. I got a chance play during the run here. I don’t think I could have done any better as a goalie coming in. My main goal is to get back, get healthy. It’s going to be a quick season, 48 games, not a lot of time off. There’s going to be injuries. Right now it’s getting may cardo going and once I get out on the ice it’s not going to take long for Jimmy B and Oz to get me back.”

And the Windsor Star's Bob Duff went with something completely different:

While the NHL and NHLPA searched for answers to the lockout that endured for 113 days, Detroit Red Wings forward Drew Miller took advantage of his time away from the league to take part in an enduring search of his own. He set out in pursuit of the Loch Ness Monster.

“We went all over,” said Miller, who played in Scotland for the Braehead Clan during the lockout. “We saw a bunch of castles, we went to Loch Ness, London, Dublin. The schedule was pretty much like a college schedule. We played Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday for the most part, so you get a couple days off and we did day trips, a couple day trips. It was fun.”

Miller’s two most memorable sojourns were to the Guinness brewery in Dublin and the day they spent at Loch Ness in search of the legendary Scottish sea beast

“We looked for a long time for Nessie,” Miller said. “We didn’t see it, but we dipped our hands in the water and it was pretty cold.”

Miller suggested that the hockey in Britain was comparable to the low minor leagues in North America.

“It’s hard to say. “Probably somewhere around East Coast League and AHL, somewhere in between there,” he said. “Like any league, you have your top tier teams and you have your middle and lower ones. The top tier ones had some good players and they were good teams, so the competitiveness in those games was really good.”

It was the style of play, and not the level of play that drew Miller to Scotland.

“For myself, I didn’t really worry about the league,” Miller said. “It was more North American style, a lot of hitting, and a lot more physical play. That was something I was looking for. But the biggest thing for me was playing games, it didn’t matter where I was. It was just getting on the ice and having that game-like atmosphere. That was what I was looking for. I played in 23 games over there. I played a lot of minutes. We didn’t have a lot of guys on the team. The ones that we did, we had a couple guys hurt, so we were playing games with six or seven forwards a lot of times. So it was a lot of minutes. It was good.”



Update #7: Bob Duff posted videos of Johan Franzen...


And Carlo Colaiacovo speaking to the press...



ESPN's Scott Burnside has been banging the "Detroit Won't Make The Playoffs Drum" (capitalizing every word) of late, so it's no surprise that he's suggesting as much in his first slate of power rankings.

19. Detroit: The departure of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart has created a huge void on the blue line. Can Damien Brunner make the jump from the Swiss league? More to the point, is this the season the Wings finally tumble out of the playoffs?


And in very different kind of delayed game-playing gratification vein, from the Petrolia (Ontario) Topic:

A hockey game between former and current Petrolia Squires and a Detroit Red Wings alumni team has been postponed until April.

The game had been planned for Jan. 27, at Petrolia's Greenwood Recreation Centre, but Squires coach Todd Bidner said Jan. 16 it was a struggle to get any Red Wings to commit for the game because they had other commitments.

After discussing the matter with the Red Wings Alumni Association, Bidner said "We have collectively decided the best option is to postpone the game until a date in April, when some big names like Dino Ciccarelli, Joe Kocur , Darren McCarty, Paul Ysebaert, John Ogrodnick, Ed Mio, Ken Houston and others can play."

Bidner said all the tickets that have been sold will still be valid on the new game date or ticket buyers can get a refund. Free tickets will be given to all Petrolia Minor Hockey Association players for the game.

"We apologize for the cancellation but we just want to bring a good game for the fans of Petrolia and area," said Bidner.

The Squires team will include members from the current team and also the Allan Cup winning Squires teams of 1979 and 1981.

Bidner was a member of the 1984/1985 Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL.


Update #8: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness updated his story with a wonderful quote from Babcock about injuries:

“Is it hockey day or therapy day? The bottom line is everybody is moving ahead,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “When you’re not going you’re getting left behind. It’s not like you’re in game-shape. You’re not in game-shape, so you’re got to get playing. There’s going to be some serious urgency. I mean, the Red-White game was a no-hitter and on purpose. We wanted contact but no hitting. St. Louis game isn’t going to be a no-hitter.”


Update #9: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan has filed his Thursday morning practice report...

If the lockout didn't feel over before, it certainly did Thursday morning for the Red Wings. They were skating at their home of Joe Louis Arena, after beginning camp at Compuware Arena.

(Ford Motor Co. had been renting JLA for the auto show.)

"Feels great," goalie Jimmy Howard said. "The drive down here, it really feels like you're back in the routine. The only thing I don't miss is the traffic."

There was no awkwardness coming into the arena, after a four-month lockout. "No, it felt natural," Howard said. "Just a lot of excitement to be back down here."

Said forward Johan Franzen: "It was the first day in a long time that I drove the right way (to a rink). It just felt good all the way around, like being back home."

Coach Mike Babcock has been a regular at JLA, but this time had plenty of company.

"It was good to have the guys back," Babcock said.


Via RedWingsFeed, Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji took note of Darren Helm, Joey MacDonald, Mikael Samuelsson and Jakub Kindl's injury statuses, as well as the reason why the Wings are engaging in two-a-day practices...

"I think we tried to do is what we tried to do the other night at Compuware where we came in and had a morning skate, tried to do it twice, tried to get our body clock on," Babcock said. "We’re trying to skate as much as we possibly can and go through the details of our play."

In terms of things that have changed at the Joe, defenseman Brendan Smith now has the locker that Nick Lidstrom had for so many years in the dressing room.

And if you watched FSD's live stream of this morning's skate (FSD will do the same tomorrow), the Wings spent a significant amount of time working on their power play with associated coach Tom Renney. After practice, Johan Franzen spent about ten minutes reprising Tomas Holmstrom's role in front of the net, tipping pucks shot by his defensemen into an empty net:

With Tomas Holmstrom set to announce his retirement, who will take his spot in front of the net on power plays? One of the main people who inherits that job is fellow Swede Johan Franzen.

"I’ve been doing it on and off for the past four or five years, so I’ve been working on it all that time, too," Franzen said. "I’ve been watching Homer and worked on different things with him after practices, so it’s not a big difference for me. I’m used to doing that part."

In addition to no Holmstrom in front of the net, there will be no Lidstrom at the point either.

"But we’ve got Kronner back there and he’s worked as hard as anyone," Franzen said. "He’s going to do just fine."

And finally, on Wednesday, FSD posted a clip of Mike Babcock's comments to Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond during the Red vs. White game on Tuesday evening...


And now they've added Ken Holland's comments to Ken and Mick to the mix:


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


MoreShoot's avatar

Mickey did say during the Red/White game that the 2013 season theme would be groins and hamstrings.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/17/13 at 02:28 PM 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.