The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/31/12 at 02:42 PM ET
The Red Wings announced via Twitter that the team’s signed 2011 second-round pick Martin Frk to a 3-year, entry-level contract, and DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose spoke to Wings GM Ken Holland about the team’s decision to sign a player who’s been a member of the organization for all of five weeks:
“He came to camp and our guys liked him in Traverse City,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He competes hard and has a good shot and he has one year of junior remaining and then he’s pro eligible. So based upon his age, based upon what we saw in Traverse and what our scouts have seen out of him the last couple of years, we decided to sign him to a contract.”
The 19-year-old Czechoslovakian is the first Wings’ prospect signed to an entry-level deal a month removed from being drafted since goalie Thomas McCollum signed four months after he was drafted 30th overall in 2008.
Frk was among 41 prospects and invitees who attended the Wings’ seven-day development camp earlier in the month in northern Michigan. While the camp gave prospects an idea of what life is like as a professional hockey player, Frk understands that his work is just beginning.
“For sure, play better defense and be a better skater,” said Frk of areas he needs to improve. “And trying not to look too much for other guys (to pass to) because I think I have a great shot, so using my shot more.”
Frk, 6-foot and 198 pounds, missed much of the 2011-12 season with a concussion suffered during the QMJHL preseason, but he managed to rebound to score 10 goals with 17 assists in the final 24 games of the regular-season. In two seasons with the Moosheads, Frk has produced 38 goals and 41 assists in 96 games.
Jiri Fischer, the Wings’ director of player development, has seen plenty of the left-handed shooting forward. Fischer has been an assistant coach on the Czech national team that Frk has been a part of in three World Junior Championships.
“Every time he steps onto the ice he wants to be the best player,” Fischer said. “He wants to make a difference, he wants the puck, he’s got good scoring ability, he can finish, he works, he’s relentless, he forechecks, he’s going to have to work on his top speed, the NHL is getting every year faster and faster through the neutral zone. He’s got the mentality of wanting to be great.”
The Wings anticipate Frk playing for the Halifax Mooseheads for one more season before he turns pro with the Grand Rapids Griffins during the 2013-2014 season.
In news of a different developmental kind, Hockeysverige.se’s Ronnie Skrivsmedja reports that Nicklas Lidstrom’s oldest son, Kevin, played for his father’s alma mater’s team, Vasteras IK, playing defense on the team’s Under-18 squad last year.
Kevin hopes to graduate to Vasteras’s Allsvenskan club this year, though it’s probably more likely that he’ll play with the Under-20 team for a while, and Kevin’s brother Adam, who is a forward, will join Vasteras IK’s Under-18 team this season;
• According to VLT.se’ Pasi Hiiroski, Vasteras IK is also going to try to convince the elder Lidstrom, who’s already signed on to be a scout and ambassador for the Red Wings, to join VIK in some sort of advisory role:
“Anders Berglund (the team’s marketing manager) has had contact with Lidas. We’ll meet with him in August. Lidas has told me that he wants to work with youth hockey in some way, and we’ll see what we can do to find him an attractive role,” says club manager Anders Eklund.
In Participatory hockey news, from the Red Wings, Operation Bobblehead is underway as of today…
Citizens of Hockeytown, you are invited to cast your ballot to choose the 2012-13 season’s bobbleheads!
Operation Bobblehead: Alumni Edition is based on the Red Wings’ retired numbers and alumni. You decide who will have the chance to be immortalized in the form of a collectable 6½ inch polyresin figurine.
Six bobblehead nights will be planned at Joe Louis Arena this season with Steve Yzerman being the first featured bobblehead. Your votes will determine the additional five, so vote as often as you’d like during the following schedule:
Round 1: Tuesday, July 31 – Sunday, August 5
Round 2: Tuesday, August 7 – Sunday, August 12
Round 3: Tuesday, August 14 – Sunday, August 19
Round 4: Tuesday, August 21 – Sunday, August 26
Round 5: Tuesday, August 28 – Sunday, September 2
Choose from the list or add your own write-in. To place your vote, CLICK HERE.
Check back each week to find out who has won so far and to vote again!
DetroitRedWings.com’s Will Posthumus also posited the following:
In free agency news, per ESPN’s Cross Checks blog, the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports that Shane Doan did indeed speak to prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison about his attempts to purchase the team, and Pro Hockey Talk’s Jason Brough is reporting that the Coyotes’ arena management deal with the city of Glendale will be extended for another month, per Sportsnet’s John Shannon...
But if Shane Doan does decide to leave the Coyotes, the Free Press’s Helene St. James believes that the Wings are still interested in bidding for the 35-year-old forward’s services:
It’s well known that Doan, 35, wants to stay with the Phoenix franchise, the only club he’s ever played for and the one he’s captained since 2003. It’s equally well known that the Coyotes have ownership/arena/attendance issues, and Greg Jamison’s unsuccessful attempts to finalize the purchase of team from the NHL have left Doan wary of re-signing. So, other teams expressed interest in Doan, including the Wings, and that’s where it still stands.
Wings general manager Ken Holland has spoken both to Doan and Doan’s agent, Terry Bross, numerous times throughout July. Bross did not return a message seeking comment Monday.
There’s enormous interest around the league for the services of Doan, the last gem left on the free-agent market. Competition includes the Sharks, Kings and Canucks in the West and the Penguins, Flyers and Rangers in the East. All, like Detroit, can offer Doan excellent linemates and a chance to win.
There’s a rumor that Doan has been offered $30 million over four years from an unnamed team (not the Wings), which would be a $3 million annual raise from his five-year, $22.75-million deal. Teams are usually wary of offering that kind of term and money to a player who is 35 or older, because at that age, there’s no buyout relief possible.
The Wings like Doan a lot—he’s skilled, physical and a natural leader—but aren’t going to pay him a salary that would give him the highest average on the team.
Odds are Doan re-signs with the Coyotes, but if they get a signal he’s interested, the Wings are poised to pounce.
In the “Good read” department, the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts offered an intriguing take on the NHLPA’s desire to increase revenue-sharing as perhaps the best way for the PA to help avoid a lockout and drive a stake into the lock-step unity displayed by the NHL’s owners thus far…
And if you didn’t already know this, per the Globe and Mail’s Shoalts:
The civil trial of Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks for his attack on former NHL player Steve Moore more than eight years ago has been delayed until late January.
Moore, who played for the Colorado Avalanche at the time, is seeking more than $38-million in damages for the attack in March, 2004 that left him with serious injuries, including a concussion and broken vertebra in his neck, and ended his NHL career. He is seeking damages for the lost income for his abbreviated hockey career was well as income lost when it was determined Moore`s injuries will not allow him a post-hockey career in the financial field.
The lawsuit was originally set for trial in the Ontario Superior Court but the trial judge granted an adjournment at the request of lawyers for the defendants. Jury selection will now begin Jan. 28, 2013.
Originally, former Canucks head coach Marc Crawford was also a defendant in the trial. He was being counter-sued by Bertuzzi, who claimed he was encouraged to attack Moore by the coach. But earlier this year, Crawford, Bertuzzi and the Canucks agreed to dismiss all cross-claims between them and share any damages awarded against them by the court. It is not known how the damages will be shared proportionally.
Update: Via RedWingsFeed, MLive’s Brendan Savage penned an article about budding power forward Riley Sheahan, who will have to “put in his time” with the Grand Rapids Griffins before earning spot in the Wings’ lineup…
“We think he can develop into a second- or third-line NHL center iceman,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said before pointing out that isn’t expected to happen this season. “When you look at our middle depth – Zetterberg and (Darren) Helm and (Justin) Abdelkader – it’s hard to believe he’s going to beat one of those guys out for a job. We don’t draft in the top five. These players that we draft, there’s an evolution they need to go through to eventually be National Hockey League players. And part of that maturity, that growth, is spending time in the American Hockey League. Players in our organization – Jiri Hudler, Nick Kronwall, Val Filppula, Darren Helm – they all spent time down in Grand Rapids. The natural evolution is to go the American Hockey League and continue your growth as a player.”
But unlike many of the players who will be in Grand Rapids this season, Sheahan has already gotten a taste for life in the NHL. And he liked it. A lot. After the Red Wings signed Sheahan when he left Notre Dame last spring, the 6-foot-2, 222-pound native of St. Catharine’s, Ontario made his NHL debut in Detroit’s regular-season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.
He had three shots on goal – trailing only Zetterberg (4) and Nicklas Lidstrom (4) in that category – while drawing a double-minor penalty for high sticking in 6:03 of ice time as the Red Wings erased a 2-0 deficit before losing in a shootout.
“It was amazing,” said Sheahan, 20. “It was surreal at first. To be in the same locker room as those superstars was unbelievable. It’s hard to stay focused but you have to work your hardest because you’re trying to prove you can stay up there.”
And that’s what Sheahan intends on doing this season – whatever it takes to earn a permanent spot in Detroit. Whether that means improving his offensive output or being an effective grinder, it doesn’t matter to Sheahan as long as he can make the jump to the NHL.
“Just a little bit of both of those things,” Sheahan said. “Using my big body to my advantage, being a two-way player and contributing at both ends of the ice. I think I can work on my offensive game. That’s what I’m trying to do. At different times in the season, I’d go in spurts. Consistency is something I need to work on. Each and every shift, getting the puck and going to the net and getting a good scoring chance. I think I have what it takes to be an offensive player. I just have to work on getting the puck and going to the net.”
“I’m just trying to work hard and prove I can get a spot” in Detroit, he said. “I want to make the jump from working hard off the ice and trying to do some things, tweaking my stride and getting a little better offensively. Hopefully, things will go from there.”
• And I am undecided as to whether I will pen overnight reports from here until my vacation ends with a 400-mile drive home on Saturday. Having the night off to just sleep last night was very helpful and I hope you don’t mind if I crank things down a bit coverage-wise.
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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.