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Red Wings training camp, day 2: on Bertuzzis, Nyquist and Babcock’s cheesy exhibition expectations

Updated 5x at 7:48 PM: The Red Wings' second day of training camp seemed to and did in fact involve more dump-and-retrieval drills, some power play work (which involved Mikael Samuelsson donning a black defenseman's jersey), neutral zone drills and the kind-of-sort-of-re-debut of Daniel Cleary, who was wearing #71 temporarily as the #11 jersey he's going to wear needed to be sewn up--thus one more day for Daniel Alfredsson to wear #11. Cleary said as much while walking past the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and myself:

Team Howe beat Team Lindsay 2-0 in the scrimmage, and amidst the media scrums and interviews, there are Tweets and stories of note:

That's exactly what they did.

See: the Stunt Fish post...

Very sad:


It was the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger's last day here. The TSN gents were only up for Thursday.

In the story department, the Free Press's Helene St. James penned a story about the Bertuzzis...

“It was a neat experience, for sure,” Todd said. “He looked pretty good out there. Sometimes when you’re younger, you get running around a little bit, but I thought he had some nice plays and did well.”

Tyler called it “very exciting” to be on the ice with a guy he’s used to watching play, be it over the past couple seasons at Joe Louis Arena or a decade ago on TV when Todd was a star power forward for the Vancouver Canucks. Tyler is an aggravator, a pest with an offensive upside, but running guys in scrimmages isn’t smart, so he held off. “I’m still going to play hard,” he said, “but I’m not going to do something stupid.”

Todd and Tyler had plans to go to dinner Friday, when Tyler planned to feel out his uncle about advice on making an NHL team - not that that will happen for a few years.

Tyler, 18, will be going back to juniors within days. Todd, 38, will be going into exhibition season with the Wings, with minutes on the line. Thursday’s return of Daniel Cleary bumped Todd off a line with Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist and onto a line with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar, a bit of an odd-ball line.

Mike Babcock said he reassembled his lines just based on “who has a chance to play in the NHL, and try to put them in good spots.” He reiterated that he may still put Cleary with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, which would bump Justin Abdelkader.

“We have eight exhibition games to figure all this out,” Babcock said. “These are walk-throughs for me. I make that very clear every year. They have four or five opportunities in exhibition to grab their chunk of the ice time. We give everyone an opportunity on the power play, we give everyone an opportunity on the penalty kill. So when you leave here, you know you were given an opportunity - the ball is in your court.”

Babcock put Todd Bertuzzi on a lesser line because Bertuzzi is a known quantity – his assets are a big body and soft hands, and the willingness to play in front of the net. Todd missed much of last season with back pain, but he’s been skating for nearly three weeks, and so long as he remains healthy, Babcock knows what he has in Todd.

And she posted a video as well:

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness penned stories about Tatar and Nyquist...

"I don’t think too much about it,” Nyquist said about the distinct possibility of beginning the season with the Griffins in the American Hockey League. “I just have to show I want to be on this team and earn a spot. That’s my mindset.”

But the math just doesn’t add up when thinking about Nyquist, 24, making the Wings. Darren Helm will more than likely begin the season on injured reserve so that’s one spot. Nyquist is the only forward that doesn’t have to clear waivers and be exposed for other teams to scoop up before being sent down to the minors.


“There’s a chance he could go to the American League,” Holland said. “He’s a good player. We want to win. We’re going to try to ice our best team against Buffalo.”

Despite not playing an entire season with the Griffins last year, Nyquist led them with 58 points in 60 games.

“I don’t want to say I expect anything, but I’m going to obviously do my best to earn a spot on this team,” Nyquist said.


“Both played well for us last year,” Holland said. “We like them both. Tats was the AHL (playoff) MVP with 16 goals. That’s a lot of goals in a league where it’s hard to score. Certainly, the expectations are they’re going to be on the team.”

But unlike Nyquist, Tatar is out of options.

“They always have lots of guys here and it’s a big battle for, let’s say, one spot,” Tatar said. “Even when you play good it’s really hard for them to change something when they still have option to send you down. This year it’s a little different for me, but I’m still going to battle for my ice time and I want to make sure I play real good in camp and show I deserve more ice time.”

Nyquist's golf game...

Gustav Nyquist and Todd Bertuzzi got the best of Jimmy Howard and Daniel Cleary on the golf course Thursday. Nyquist fired an 18-hole round of 76, while Bertuzzi game in one stroke higher. Howard and Cleary were in the 80s and 90s.

“We kind of smoked the other guys,” said Nyquist, who’s low round ever is a 68. “We won a few things so it was a good day.”

Howard forgave Cleary for his scorecard, since they played on the same day he signed his one-year deal to return.

“They’re one up so far,” Howard said. “It was a little bit of an emotional roller-coaster for him so I won’t hold it against him.”

And Babcock's take on training camp:

Wings coach Mike Babcock on his decision to put Daniel Cleary on line with Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist, which bumped Todd Bertuzzi off that line.

“I didn’t spend a whole lot of time looking, I look at my lines going ahead, I look at guys who have a chance to play in the NHL and I try to put them in good spots,” Babcock said. “I planned on playing Cleary and (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg and still might do that. I also planned on having (Darren) Helm in the three hole, maybe with (Justin) Abdelkader, but we have eight exhibition games to figure all this out.

“These are walk-throughs for me,” Babcock continued. “They have four and five opportunities in exhibition to grab their chunk of the ice time. We give everyone an opportunity on the power play and penalty kill, we go through everything so that when you leave here you know you were given an opportunity. The ball’s in your court.”




You may not dig it, but I can tell you that WOOD TV8's Larry Figurski's clip about Daniel Cleary's return is excellent, and the Saint John's Telegram's Robin Short added this to the mix:

"I’m a Red Wing to the bone, man,” he told The Telegram earlier this week. “I love going into the season knowing we have a legit chance to win a Cup.”

Also in the multimedia department, SI's Red Wings gallery shows off the work of the AP's Traverse City photographer, who was hard at work this morning...

Michigan Hockey posted its first-day training camp photo gallery as well...

And Sarah Lindenau just posted a new photo gallery on the Left Wing Lock.




In the injury department:

  • I did not see Darren Helm today;
  • Jeff Hoggan spoke with the Grand Rapids Griffins' fine PR staff while wearing street clothes;
  • Trevor Parkes did not take part in Team Howe's drills, and was listed as injured;
  • Andreas Athanasiou went off slowly during the scrimmage, but returned to play the second half (the scrimmages consist of 2 30-minute periods);
  • Nick Jensen was watching the first practice with an ice bag and a muscle stimulator (a.k.a. a "TENS Unit") on his left shoulder;
  • And Willie Coetzee was injured but stopped to say, "Hi," asking me how I was and how things were going. He spoke with the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau as well:




Otherwise...Via Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples, Kip Miller and Ryan Miller were named to Michigan State University's Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday...

The Chatham Daily News's Bob Boughner (not the former Wings pick) ought to be on the Grand Traverse Resort's payroll:

You just never know who you might meet while on vacation hundreds of miles from home.

Take last week for instance. While checking in at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City in picturesque northern Michigan, I met a Ridgetown couple who were making good use of a 2012 Christmas gift - a few days away at one of North America's premier golf resorts.

The hotel also served as home for the week for a large number of Detroit Red Wing rookies – some signed and some not. Traverse City hosts the NHL Prospect Tournament and Training Camp each September featuring eight NHL teams. Taking part in this year's event were the Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

And while packing up the car at the end of our brief stay none other than Mike Babcock, coach of the Red Wings, stopped for a few minutes to chat and ask how we were enjoying the resort and if we were Red Wings fans. Babcock was headed toward one of the golf courses.

If you've never been to Traverse City or the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa I would highly recommend it for your to-do bucket list.

Your vacation comes to life with a 900-acre backdrop of rolling greens, woodlands and beach surrounded by orchards, vineyards and the blue waters of Lake Michigan. The award-winning destination delivers it all - exceptional services including golf, tennis, spa, dining and shopping.




And in the Twitter department, Wings version:

Update: Context is everything, per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

Todd Bertuzzi wasn’t showing it on the outside, but there was no denying his excitement Friday afternoon. That’s because the 17-year NHL veteran got the unique opportunity to play against his nephew Tyler Bertuzzi in the Red Wings’ intra-squad scrimmage on Day 2 of training camp.

“I played a couple of shifts (against him),” Todd Bertuzzi said. “At least I was able to watch and see how he was doing. He looked pretty good out there. I think sometimes when you’re younger you get kind of running around out there, but I thought he made a couple of nice plays and did well.”

Tyler Bertuzzi, who was the Wings’ second-round draft pick last June, got the upper-hand on his uncle, helping Team Howe defeat Todd’s Team Lindsay, 2-0, before a jam-packed crowd at Centre ICE Arena.

“It was obviously exciting, growing up I watched him play all of the time with the Red Wings and in Florida and Vancouver,” Tyler said. “Last year, I went to a few Red Wings’ games and just to be on the ice with him was pretty exciting.”

Known more as an agitator than a play-maker, Tyler Bertuzzi is enjoying his time in northern Michigan before he’s sent back to Guelph where he’ll play his third OHL season with the Storm. Todd Bertuzzi also played with the Storm from 1991-95.

In two OHL seasons, Tyler Bertuzzi has produced 19 goals with 20 assists and 185 penalty minutes in 104 regular-season games. Asked about following his uncle’s path from juniors to the Red Wings’ organization, Tyler Bertuzzi said, “Two steps from the OHL where he gave me advice there and now in the big leagues and he’s giving me more advice. I’m kind of following in his footsteps and hopefully I can be here one day.”

He hasn’t seen many of his nephew’s games, but from the few that Tod Bertuzzi has seen, he likes Tyler’s chances.

“He’s a kid that likes to get running around and set the tone,” Todd said. “I know he’s trying to work on his skill game and trying to take care of the puck a little bit better. This is a step in the right direction for him.”


Update #2: The Detroit News's David Guralnick posted a 36-image photo gallery from Day 2...

And Helene St. James told a tale of golf:

A couple of guys were smarting Friday after getting blistered the previous day. Gustav Nyquist shot a 76 and his partner, Todd Bertuzzi, shot a 77 at Kingsley Golf Club.

“We kind of smoked the other guys,” Nyquist said after a scrimmage at Centre Ice Arena.

The other guys were Daniel Cleary and Jimmy Howard, one of whom shot in the 80s and the other in the 90s.

Howard confirmed the rout. “Big time,” he said, “by Bert and Gus. Bearcat and I fell apart.”

Howard said Cleary “didn’t handle it very well at all, but it’s been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster, so I know that was probably hanging over his head out on the golf course. I won’t hold it against him.”

Earlier in the week, Henrik Zetterberg found out just how outstanding a golfer newcomer Daniel Alfredsson is.

“We have a lot of guys that can play,” Nyquist said. “I think Alfie is probably the best one.”

Update #3: Bertuzzi x2 x3, via Mlive's Ansar Khan:

“We talk all of the time,'' Tyler said. “He’s always going to be there for me, he’s always going to have advice. Obviously, it’s my dream to be in the NHL, but to be in an NHL (camp) with my uncle has been exciting. I’m kind of following in his footsteps, and hopefully I can be here one day.”

The Red Wings surprised many by selecting Tyler Bertuzzi as high as they did. The left wing from the Guelph Storm was projected to be picked in a later round. But the organization liked his abrasive style, likening him to Chicago's Andrew Shaw.

“I wasn’t really expecting that at all. It’s pretty high,'' Tyler said. “My playoffs with the Guelph Storm made it go that high, I guess. It’s a dream come true and I’m excited to be here.”

Todd assessed Tyler's play.

“He looked pretty good out there,'' Todd said. “I think sometimes when you’re younger you get kind of running around out there, but I thought he made a couple of nice plays and did well.''

He hasn't had a chance to see his nephew play that often.

“I don’t know if this (training camp) is his specialty, where there’s really not much hitting going on,'' Todd said. “He’s a kid that likes to get running around and set the tone. I know he’s trying to work on his skill game and trying to take care of the puck a little bit better. This is a step in the right direction for him.''

Said Tyler: “I just don’t want to run a vet. I’ll still play hard, but I’m not going to do something stupid.”

And the Wings just posted a Facebook-based training camp photo gallery.



Update #4: The Detroit Free Press's Helene St. James took note of Jimmy Howard's comments about one Chris Osgood, TV analyst...

Chris Osgood’s new job as analyst for FSD for their Detroit Red Wings games may just spell trouble for Howard.

“I’ve got to make sure everything is off the record when he calls my phone right now,” Howard said Friday after a scrimmage on Day 2 of training camp. “He can’t be using anything.”

Osgood has a fantastic sense of humor, and Howard figures Osgood just needs “a couple of games to get his feet under him and get used to being in front of the camera.

“He is the type of guy who enjoys that type of spotlight.”

Howard also suggested Osgood, who spent the previous couple seasons as goalie development coach for the Wings, “just wants to get back on the team plane. He just wants to go back out on the road with us.”

Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner noted the Bertuzzi-Bertuzzi angle...

Todd Bertuzzi lined up against his nephew Tyler, and although the elder Bertuzzi was low-key about the matchup, young Tyler was extremely jacked up.

“It was obviously exciting," Tyler said. "Growing up, I watched him play all of the time with the Red Wings, and in Florida and Vancouver. Last year, I went to a few Red Wings games, and just to be on the ice with him was pretty exciting.”

Tyler was drafted this summer by the Wing during the second round, 58th overall, in a move that surprised many --  even Tyler. But Todd was impressed by what he saw at Friday’s scrimmage.

“I played a couple of shifts (against him),"  Todd said. "At least I was able to watch and see how he was doing. He looked pretty good out there. I think sometimes when you’re younger, you get kind of running around out there. But I thought he made a couple of nice plays and did well.”

Uncle and nephew lined up against each other once in each period, which was a bit nerve-wracking for the younger Bertuzzi.

“I was a little nervous," Tyler said. "He likes to joke around -- like off the draw, he slashed me and stuff. We’re related, but you still have to play hard out there and do what you have to do. We talk all of the time. We’re going to go out to dinner tonight. He’s always going to be there for me, he’s always going to have advice. He knows what to do.”You can tell by the way Todd talks about Tyler that he's full of pride and affection for his nephew.

“It was a neat experience,” Todd said. “He’s a kid that likes to get running around and set the tone. I know he’s trying to work on his skill game and trying to take care of the puck a little bit better. This is a step in the right direction for him.”    

The two took some photographs together, which Todd plans to send back to family. He’ll also call home and give his sister an update on her son's progress.

And, via RedWingsFeed, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose took note of Nyquist and Tatar's comments:

“I finished the AHL best I can, I won the Cup and I got the MVP, which was really nice to have an award like that,” Tatar said. “I was there four years, I produced a lot, I think that league would just slow me down from now on, that's why I got to think next step and for me that's NHL. I hope it would be Detroit. I love it here, I love the fans.”

For Tatar to land back in Grand Rapids, he’d first have to clear waivers, which is unlikely to happen for a player of his caliber. Nyquist, however, doesn’t have to clear waivers to start the season with the Griffins. Though, obviously, Nyquist would prefer to begin in Detroit. Unfortunately, and to no fault of their own, Nyquist and Tatar could become victims of the situation. The Wings will only carry 14 forwards on their roster, and with the return of Daniel Cleary on Thursday, the waters got a lot murkier for some players.

“We have a lot of forwards right now. A few of us won’t be here obviously because we have too many,” Nyquist said. “Camp’s a great opportunity to show what they can do. We’re two days in, but there’s not much time to show what you have. You have to be ready at the start and also play good in the exhibition games.”


Playing with guys that he spent time with in Detroit last season makes thinking about playing in Grand Rapids difficult, Nyquist said.

“You try not to think about it too much. If you do that you just stress yourself even more,” he said. “I can only go out and do my best, play the game that I play and show them that I want to be up here. There’s too little time to be dwelling on that. You have to be ready to go here these few days at camp and then the exhibition games. That’s what everyone is doing, just trying to play their game and showing the staff they want to be here full time.”

As for Tatar, who is out of minor-league options, a trade isn’t out of the realm of possibility, though he truly believes that he’ll be on the Wings’ roster next month.

“I would expect to be traded if I won't make the team,” Tatar said. “You never know, it's a business. We have lots of forwards. If it happened it happened. If I'm going to make the team, I'm going to put my heart in and play for this team.”


Update #5: MLive's Ansar Khan penned a story about Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss, he added a new twist to the Franzen-Weiss-Alfredsson line tale:

“I feel lucky, to play with two players like that is going to be awesome,'' Weiss said. “I’m going to move the puck wide and go to the net and let them do their thing.''

Weiss lauded Alfredsson's hockey sense, work ethic and leadership.

“I think his puck-possession, his intelligence are what separate him from other guys,'' Weiss said. “He’s real smart. His panic threshold with the puck is so high. He has great patience. He’s going to find you or find somebody else.''

Alfredsson had just 26 points (including 10 goals) in 47 regular season games but picked up 10 points in 10 playoff games last season. Alfredsson might be entering his final season, but Weiss, 30, still has tremendous upside, Red Wings assistant coach Tom Renney said.

“I knew Stephen a little bit as a 17-, 18-year old and having coached in the Eastern Conference I'm familiar with him,'' Renney said. “I think he's a player whose best hockey is in front of him. Why not, he's coming to the Red Wings. I think Stephen's really going to benefit by being here and people are going to see what this young fellow is really about as a player.''

Babcock said it'll take Weiss some time to get comfortable after being out so long. He appeared in only 17 games last season (one goal, three assists, minus-13 rating).

“We're comfortable with his ability and we're comfortable with his growth pattern,'' Babcock said. “He's around good players that are really ultra-competitive and that's going to make him better.''

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


perfection's avatar

I LOVE coach Babs but never for the life of me will understand the infatuation of Sammy at the point on the PP. Yeah, I get he’s right handed, but in all these years, I’m not sure I’ve ever really seen him do anything good from the point on the PP - ever.

Am I forgetting something?? I just don’t get it.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/13/13 at 05:22 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Jimmy Howard stops Tomas Tatar on a breakaway. In first period of scrimmage.

Well, there you go. I guess that proves the Wings were right in bringing Buckets back because this Tatar kid obviously isn’t ready for the NHL. /sarcasm

...I look at my lines going ahead, I look at guys who have a chance to play in the NHL and I try to put them in good spots,” Babcock said.

Wow. So now we know why Tatar is playing with Jurco and Sheahan – two guys who are guaranteed to be in GR this year. Babcock seems to have the same level of disdain for Tatar that he showed for Happy for his first four years.

Right now, I hope the kid finds a home where he’ll be given a real chance to succeed. That almost certainly isn’t with a Babcock team.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/13/13 at 06:40 PM ET

SnarkinLarkin's avatar

So @George, when are you going to start giving us your take on how the players look in the scrimmages - like you did during the prospect tournament. Those were great!

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 09/13/13 at 06:53 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

@OTC Respectfully: who says that Tatar isn’t ready for the NHL - whose argument are you refuting with your sarcastic comment? And who made the link between Tatar’s ability and the signing of Cleary? There is no link there, they are independent of one another. What is the evidence that Babcock has disdain for Tatar? Disdain is a strong emotion and I don’t think is an accurate representation of anything Babcock has ever said. From what I’ve heard, he likes his game and wants him to improve his defense. You can argue that being on a line with the next GR call-ups is not the place for him, but it’s certainly not far off. At this point, he is a kid with less than a season’s worth of NHL games. He’s 22 and is being given a shot to make the team. No one has anything out for him - it’s a fabricated point of view based on a young guy’s unhappiness about not playing more and the insistence of some to manufacture outrage (which baffles me). Well, young players at this level think a lot of themselves. Look at what Mantha said right after he got drafted, where he was going to try and make the team this year. It was never going to happen, but a part of him must have believed that he could wow the team and force them to make a decision, even if he knew it was unlikely. Point being, there’s a lot of speculation going on masquerading as fact. Let’s let camp play out and see what happens before we get the pitchforks out.

Posted by PDXWing on 09/13/13 at 07:46 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

@OTC Respectfully: who says that Tatar isn’t ready for the NHL - whose argument are you refuting with your sarcastic comment?

You do understand what sarcasm is, right? Maybe I should have ended that with /hyperbole. smile

What is the evidence that Babcock has disdain for Tatar?

If you read what I wrote again, you’ll see that I was referring to Babcock’s statement about looking at a guy’s chances of making the NHL and putting him on an appropriate line in training camp.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/13/13 at 08:21 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.


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