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Red Wings Tuesday practice post: injury fairy visits Eaves, trade talk & happy birthday Vladdy

Updated 7xat 3:18 PM: The Detroit Red Wings received bad news on the injury front during and after yesterday's optional practice, and today, the entire team got back to work at Joe Louis Arena ahead of Wednesday's game against the surging Wild (who defeated Vancouver last night)...

But the injury fairy made an appearance at the incredibly well-attended practice...

Fear not! Sort of:


The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo reports that we shouldn't expect to hear much of anything from the Wild today:

The Wild have won three straight games and seven of their past ten.

In the prospect department, it's all but certain that the Wings will sign Northern Michigan goalie Jared Coreau, and the Marquette Mining Jounral's Matt Wellens spoke to Corneau about his highly probable signing...Last week...

In an interview last week with The Mining Journal, Coreau said he had seven teams, including the Wings, interested in him following the Wildcats' first-round CCHA playoff series loss at Michigan. Coreau said at the time he wanted a fair shot at the NHL and would sign with the organization that gave him that kind of opportunity.

The Red Wings appear to be that organization.

"Really it just comes down to where I will get an opportunity to play and I'll take it from there," Coreau said. "There is no certainly yet where it could be. It's exciting. I'm kind of nervous. I want to have a chance and know what I have to do in terms of work and everything. I'd like to hear that the NHL teams and representatives are in the AHL, they are involved a lot with the AHL team and at games watching you develop."

Grand Rapids Griffins first-year head coach Jeff Blashill contacted NMU head coach Walt Kyle the Monday after the Wildcats' season-ending loss to Michigan to inquire about Coreau. Blashill is also a former assistant coach at Ferris State and Miami. He was head coach of Western Michigan for one season before becoming an assistant for the Red Wings.

The Griffins are the AHL affiliate of the Red Wings. According to the source inside the NMU hockey program, the 6-foot-4, 208-pound Coreau could start his pro career in Detroit before joining the Griffins at a later date.

Coreau, 21, attended rookie camps in Edmonton and Calgary after his sophomore year. After his freshmen year, he attended rookie camps put on by the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks. In addition to the Oilers, Flames, Rangers and Sharks, the Perth, Ontario native was being pursued by the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's sad," Coreau said last week about leaving NMU. "There are great guys here. It's too bad because I think next year is going to be a big year for Northern. We'll be going into a league that we should be top three."

In trade talk, MLive''s Ansar Khan suggested that the Wings were interested in Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid during his first "trade talk" column, and today, Khan turns the spotlight toward Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Visnovsky's a bit older (36) and not exactly big at 5'10," but he's probably the best UFA-to-be defenseman on the market, especially given that the Ottawa Senators probably want to hold on to Sergei Gonchar as they make due without Erik Karlsson:

Contract: Final year, with a salary-cap hit of $5.6 million. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.

Strengths: A highly skilled player who can quarterback the power play. He is mobile, has a tremendous point shot. He can move the puck and carry it.

Weaknesses: He is not big, he is a pure finesse player. He doesn't hit or block shots. He relies on quickness to defend.

Why the Red Wings might be interested in him: They have been seeking a top-four defenseman since the off-season. Kyle Quincey's injury (four-to-six weeks with a fractured cheek bone) might increase the need for such a player. They like skilled puck-movers and could use another point man on the power play.

What it might take to get him: Second-round pick and/or second-tier prospect.


The Islanders haven't gone in the tank yet. If they stay in playoff contention, they might not go into selling mode. But, if they do, they surely will unload Visnovsky, a player who twice refused to play for them before finally reporting.

If the Red Wings make a pitch for a defenseman, should they get a puck-mover who can quarterback the power play, like Visnovsky, or should they seek someone who is bigger and stronger defensively?

This is the kind of thing that gets me mushy:


Update #0.5: Sigh:

GM's meetings comment:

Update #0.75:

Update #1: Via RedWingsFeed, I didn't get much out of the QMJHL's website's video profile of Wings prospect and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada captain Xavier Ouellet because it's in French, but you might enjoy it...

And Nicklas Lidstrom told GT.se's Johan Skold that he's happy with his retired life. Lidstrom was named...Mr. Björnkläder 2013?

Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice post:

"Eaves is going to get checked out, he got a shot in the jaw, it went off his stick into his jaw, so we'll see what happens with him,'' coach Mike Babcock said.

Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk (flu) left practice early but are fine and expected to play Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network exclusive).

Eaves suffered a broken jaw and concussion when hit by a shot from Nashville's Roman Josi on Nov. 26, 2011, If he can't play, the Red Wings will need to recall a player from the Grand Rapids Griffins, because they have no healthy extra forwards.

Here are the lines they skated with today:

Justin Abdelkader-Pavel Datsyuk-Johan Franzen

Valtteri Filppula-Henrik Zetterberg-Damien Brunner

Daniel Cleary-Joakim Andersson-Patrick Eaves

Drew Miller-Cory Emmerton-Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson

Brian Lashoff-Brendan Smith

Jakub Kindl-Ian White

Kent Huskins

Jimmy Howard (starting Wednesday)

Jonas Gustavsson

Update #1.5: FYI/FTR:

Update #2: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke to Kyle Quincey about his broken cheekbone...

Defenseman Kyle Quincey had more tests done on his fractured cheek and returned after practice wearing a pair of large sunglasses to hide the swelling.

“It’s not good,” Quincey said walking into the training room. “It’s so early right now I really don’t know what’s going on, but it’s not good.

“I just got back from doctor,” Quincey added. “I’ll have more information as the week goes along and as the swelling goes down.”

Quincey has multiple fractures in his cheek bone that will sideline him four-to-six weeks.

He was hit in the face in Friday’s 3-2 win over Edmonton when a puck deflected off his stick after a shot by Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle early the third period.

“It was one of those things, you have to go stick on puck to make sure the puck doesn’t get to the net and just bad luck it came up and hit me right where I don’t have protection,” Quincey said.

Update #2.5: From Hedger:

Update #3: Here's the Macomb Daily's Pleiness on Eaves, Zetterberg and Samuelsson:

“Eaves is going to get checked out, he got a shot in the jaw, it went off his stick into his jaw, so we’ll see what happens with him,” Wings coach coach Mike Babcock said.

Eaves suffered a broken jaw and concussion on Nov. 26, 2011 when hit took a puck to the face off a shot from Nashville’s Roman Josi.

Zetterberg (unknown) and Datsyuk (flu) are fine and expected to play Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild.

Forward Mikael Samuelsson (fractured left index finger) skated on his own after practice for the first time with a stick.

“It was strictly skating, no stick handling, today was the first time stick handling,” Samuelsson said. “If I set a date (to return) it’ll be missed probably anyway. I’m taking one day at a time, but it feels better though, but I’m not quite there yet. Maybe a week. It’s a bad finger, top hand and the index finger,” Samuelsson continued. “To have a splint or something, I’ve tried that, but it’s the stick on your one hand as well so you want to have it (OK). It’s not the best finger.”

Update #4: Here's the Free Press's George Sipple's practice report:

Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves left practice today, after taking a puck to the jaw. Defenseman Brendan Smith nearly got hit in the face with a puck, too, while attempting to tip shots for fun.

“Eaves is going to get checked out,” coach Mike Babcock said after practice. “He got shot in the jaw or whatever off his stick. ... We’ll see what happens.”

Forward Henrik Zetterberg left practice early but later jogged past reporters. Babcock said Zetterberg is fine.

Forward Mikael Samuelsson (finger) said he attempted to stickhandle while skating on his own after the Wings practiced. Samuelsson, who missed time earlier in the season with groin issues, has played in three games this season.

He said he didn’t know when he’d be able to play again: “If I set a date, probably going to miss it anyways. Take one day at a time. Feels better, though. But not there yet. Maybe a week.”

Update #4.5: From Hedger:

Thigh rises are silly high again under the NHL's revised pad-sizing policy, but how do you protect goalies' knees given that knee pads are still a bit behind the protective curve? Maybe softening up those thigh rises would help...And the fact that so many teams make players block shots (see: the Rangers don't just tell players to use skate fenders: instead, the training staff places hard plastic protectors on players' gloves so that everyone can block shots, even Richards, Gaborik and Nash) doesn't help...

The Finnish SM-Liiga has 92-foot-wide ice, but I just can't see NHL teams agreeing to give away a row's worth of on-the-glass seats...

Update #5: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan took note of Brunner's struggles (via RedWingsFeed):

Damien Brunner leads the Red Wings in goals with 10, yet hasn't scored a goal in 10 games. After a torrid start to his NHL career, Brunner has hit a cold patch. A natural goal-scorer throughout his career, Brunner is confident the goals will come again.

"You're obviously not happy when you're not scoring," Brunner said after Tuesday's practice. "But on the other side, you can't put yourself under too much pressure. The more you want it (goals), you try to push it and it won't work. Just make the easy plays and you're finally going to get a bounce. I'm hoping to have a positive feeling soon and get going again."

Despite not scoring, Brunner has been contributing with four assists and has played well defensively. Coach Mike Babcock hasn't had any issues with Brunner's performance.

"That's what you go through at times," Babcock said. "He's a guy, to me, he's done a lot of good things. I like what he's done for us. He's been excellent. He has 10 goals; who has 10 goals on our team? You get more rope when you score goals. He's working hard and he knows what he's going through. Just relax, and keep playing hard."


Henrik Zetterberg skated but left the ice early. Babcock said Zetterberg was "fine," and it appeared that way as Zetterberg was running after practice.

…Pavel Datsyuk left practice a few minutes early also, staving off flu-like symptoms.

Update #6: Via RedWingsFeed again, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff filed a practice report...From Monday...

As the Detroit Red Wings ready for Wednesday’s game at Joe Louis Arena against the Minnesota Wild, there was nothing but bad news on the team’s injury front. Centre Darren Helm was hoping to return to the lineup from a back injury, but lasted just 10 minutes into Monday’s practice before being forced to leave the ice.

“I think we’re dealing with a minor setback,” Helm said. “It didn’t feel too good, travelling, sitting down a lot, I don’t know if that was the cause of it. We were pushing pretty hard on the ice and added in a few new exercises. I don’t know if it was a combination of it all, but the last couple of days it’s just not feeling the way it was earlier.”

Meanwhile, the diagnosis of the damage to defenceman Kyle Quincey’s injured cheekbone was more serious than first hoped and it’s expected he’ll be sidelined 4-6 weeks.

“There’s too much swelling,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He sees (the eye doctor Tuesday), but we still won’t know anything because of the swelling. We will re-evaluate in a week, but he’s got multiple fractures.”

The news is even worse regarding right-winger Todd Bertuzzi, who labours to even walk with his back injury and doesn’t have any idea when he’ll be able to play again, or if surgery might ultimately be his destination.

“I’m not sure,” Bertuzzi said. “With the back, unfortunately it’s just time. I don’t have an answer. I wish I did because that’s the frustrating part. If you have a knee injury or something you know how long it’s going to take, but when it’s the back you have no clue. I went to the hospital for four days, and have kind of been every two weeks getting needles and resting. It was the only thing that would control the pain. No pills could really take away the pain.”

Bertuzzi hopes to avoid surgery, but also doesn’t want to return to action until he knows he can play without setbacks. “I’ve got a couple of issues with my discs,” he said. “I did three shots and it’s gradually gotten better after each one.”

Update #7: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose sets up Wednesday's Wings-Wild game:

Since the Red Wings played in Minnesota last month, the Wild have gone … well, wild. After posting a 3-1 win at Vancouver on Monday night, the Wild have posted a 9-3-0 record in the last dozen games. The Wild now sit atop of the Northwest Division with 34 points, just two-points ahead of the Canucks.

The Wild visit Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday, in what is the Red Wings’ only home game prior to Easter Sunday. The game is also the season-series finale between the two clubs, who split the first two contests this season.

“They’re a hard working team,” Wings defenseman Brian Lashoff said. “Obviously, a guy like (Zach) Parise is on the puck a lot and he’s tenacious, as is (Ryan) Suter, two new guys who are helping them out a lot. So I think if we can keep our special teams going the way that they have in the last couple of games I think we’ll be alright.”

Special team play will be a challenge for the Wings, who have struggled with consistency all season. Minnesota, however, has scored a power-play goal in nine of its last 11 games, going 9-for-39 in that stretch. Minnesota is 9-5-1 when scoring a power-play goal, and 7-5-1 when it is stopped on the man-advantage.

The Wild are benefiting from their defensive unit, which aside from Suter, are a combination of young prospects, like 2010 first-round pick Jonas Brodin, and crafty veterans, such as Tom Gilbert.

“They have a real good back end,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Everybody knows about Suter, but Brodin is a player that’s going to be known well in the league over time. I think (Jared) Spurgeon is really smart guy, and playing well. (Clayton) Stoner and (Justin) Falk are great big men that can skate and move the puck, and Gilbert is playing in their 5-6 pair, which is pretty good D-men to be playing in their 5-6 pair. That’s a pretty good group.”

As someone who has played against some of the top forwards in the Western Conference in his first season, Lashoff said the Wild’s lines are extremely dangerous, especially a guy like Parise, who has seven points in the last six games, and eads the Wild with 11 goals this season.

“He’s definitely one of the guys that I’ve noticed,” Lashoff said. “He’s very aggressive and on the puck and he never gives up and battles in the offensive zone for sure. He’s one of the tougher players that I’ve had to play against."

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MOWingsfan19's avatar

Vladdie..the absolute warrior.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/19/13 at 12:40 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“Injury fairy visits Eaves”

Wendel Clark is still involved in the NHL?

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 03/19/13 at 12:54 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Happy Birthday Vlad! I shall have a Luksusowa neat in your honor tonight.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/19/13 at 12:59 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Happy birthday, Konstantinov!

Posted by w2j2 on 03/19/13 at 01:07 PM ET


Injury fairy visits Eaves

Doesn’t Crosby have practice or something?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/19/13 at 01:56 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I bet Z had to take a massive dump. Just sayin’.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/19/13 at 02:20 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I bet Z had to take a massive dump. Just sayin’.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/19/13 at 02:20 PM ET

Yep. A good ol fashioned case of the trots.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/19/13 at 02:38 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I thought it was the “Trotz”...

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/19/13 at 02:39 PM ET

RW19's avatar

George on the “QMJHL’s website’s video profile of Wings prospect and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada captain Xavier Ouellet.”

Here is what was said (in a nutshell):

By Ouellet: When he was a kid he loved looking up to players in the NHL and the QMJHL. That’s why he loves taking part in hockey schools and community activties.

Headcoach Houle said he was loved by his teammates and he was a guy that was always open to learning and willing to help the organization any way he could. He said Ouellet is a kid who ‘gets it’ when it comes to his standing and what’s expected.

GM Bouchard said he has known Ouellet since he was 16 and that the ‘individual’ keeps getting better and better, basically he is a leader on the ice and within the community.

Then he spoke of the Armada’s imvolvement in the community with police and youth groups.

Ouellet concluded the piece by saying the QMJHL shapes men on and off the ice.

Nice piece on him, especially since he just won a QMJHL Community award or was one of the finalists.

The kid has the humility to be a Red Wing, that’s for sure.

Posted by RW19 on 03/19/13 at 02:44 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Thank you! Every indication I’ve received from him through English-language interviews and articles indicate that he’s extremely level-headed and serious about both his job and his responsibilities off the ice.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/19/13 at 02:50 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I thought it was the “Trotz”...
Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/19/13 at 02:39 PM ET


Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/19/13 at 02:58 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Best wishes for a Happy Birthday to Vladdie. Your career was cut short by a POS limo driver and the company he worked for. Hope they both rot in Hell for their senseless and selfish actions.

Posted by cigar_nurse from On The mend for next season Greenville Pylons on 03/19/13 at 09:09 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.