The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/23/11 at 03:18 PM ET
According to the Hockey News’s Rory Boylen, Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk’s hockey school in Ekaterinburg, Russia wrapped up with an NHL-style game for its prospects to participate in, with the much attention paid to the details that can help youngsters feel like they’re professional hockey players, if only for a day or two…
Friday was all about NHL simulation. From being shown how to properly set up their equipment in the dressing room to the pep talk before the game, it was about as authentic as it could get for the kids. Just like in the NHL, the pucks were stacked and the kids stormed the ice to “Thunderstruck.” After a brief warmup, player introductions were carried over the loudspeaker. The parents lining the railing along the top concourse were amped up just as much as the youngsters who were suited up; there was even a “Torpedoes” sign posted on one end of the platform.
An air of excitement wafted through the Kurganovo Ice Complex and after the Russian National Anthem played, it was go time. In both games The Torpedoes jumped out to dominating leads: 5-0 in one, 3-0 in the other. Their faces awash with emotion, the kids showed this was one of the biggest games they’d play all year.
Then out came the granddaddy of them all, the Pavel Datsyuk Cup. With Queen’s We Are The Champions blaring, the kids held the Cup over their heads, passed it off to one another and did a victory lap around the ice just as the pros do across the ocean and a world away. Parents ran down and crowded the surface for pictures to serve as lasting memories from one of the most unique and special hockey camps anywhere.
After the game, instructors Jay and Todd Woodcroft gave one last speech of inspiration and Datsyuk had the final Russian words. The kids and their parents then made the rounds, getting autographs from and pictures with all the instructors and giving their reluctant goodbyes.
Boylen’s filed reports from the “PD13” camp since last Monday, focusing on the introduction to the camp, its off-ice aspects, goaltender-specific instruction and the lead-up to Friday’s game, and all along the way, we’ve heard the same comments regarding the person in charge:
Echoing what everyone said about Detroit’s No. 13 this week, [coach Tim] Velemirovich takes us out with his own story of the superstar.
“He’s the best hockey player in the world right now and he’s just one of us, just a normal guy who goes out there and has fun,” Velemirovich said. “He’s like a kid out there. When the kids go off the ice, sometimes he and I are playing around, tossing saucer passes back and forth and playing little games. Like I had a puck here and he had a puck at his end and we were trying to hit the puck from the other side of the ice. I beat him by the way.”
That can happen…In July…
Today’s Wings-related tidbits involve the Wings’ present and future—CCHA.com’s Mark Burns spoke to Western Michigan University player Chase Balisy about Jeff Blashill’s decision to leave the Broncos to become an assistant coach with the Red Wings, NHL.com’s EJ Hradek’s suggestion that Ken Holland’s main priorities in terms of re-signing his own players this season involve re-signing Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart was given the once-over by Pro Hockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon (I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that Stuart will earn $4 million or so and Kronwall might be in line for a raise to the $5 million range), the Wings’ OHL-playing picks from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft were mentioned very briefly in Hockey’s Future’s OHL draft review…
And, very fittingly, HF’s Alessandro Seren Rosso closes our little mid-day meander with this observation about the last Russian-born player picked about a month ago in St. Paul, Minnesota:
Alexei Marchenko, D - CSKA Moscow
Drafted 205th overall by the Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings are renowned for their ability in getting excellent talent from Europe using low round picks, and it seems they will hit the jackpot once again selecting Alexei Marchenko from CSKA Moscow. The promising blueliner will most likely be Team Russia’s number one defenseman at the next WJC and this speaks loud about what kind of player Detroit got using a seventh round pick.
Marchenko is a reliable defenseman with powerplay quarterback potential and it will be very interesting to see his chances within the Red Wings organization. Marchenko will spend the next season with the CSKA Moscow organization, trying to get a full-time spot on the main team, then he might decide to cross the pond and try his chances in Detroit.
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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.