The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/26/11 at 03:31 PM ET
According to the Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema, a Red Wings tradition will return after a four-year absence this fall as the team engaged in a “Red and White” scrimmage at Van Andel Arena…
The Detroit Red Wings are returning to Van Andel Arena. The NHL parent club of the Grand Rapids Griffins are set to hold an intrasquad Red-White game Sept. 27, according to an email sent to Griffins season ticket holders on Friday afternoon.
The Red Wings last visited West Michigan on Sept. 19, 2007, when they drew more than 3,000 fans for a 75-minute practice at Van Andel Arena. The Red Wings came to Grand Rapids for a Red-White intrasquad game on Sept. 18, 2003, and also played at Van Andel Arena in 2000 and 2002.
A “Hockeytown West Pack” will be available to the general public and include tickets to the Red-White game and the Griffins’ Oct. 14 home opener. Tickets for season ticket holders for the Red-White game will be available for $17 or $20.
Wings exec Kris Draper also engaged in a fantastic and wide-ranging interview with The Fan 590’s Joey Vendetta, engaging in a 15-minute discussion about everything from his decision to retire to sharing an office with Chris Chelios and a short discussion about concussion issues:
And one rarely knows where the Sports Exchange gets its inspiration for the Wings reports posted on WXYT’s home page, but Brendan Smith is the topic of discussion today:
Brendan Smith appears ready for the NHL. The highly-skilled, 22-year-old puck-moving defenseman would be preparing for his first NHL season in many organizations.
The Red Wings, however, prefer their prospects to be “over-ripe” by the time they arrive in Detroit. And with seven defensemen with NHL experience ahead of him on the depth chart, Smith is destined to start the season with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.
But that doesn’t mean Smith will end the season in the minors. The Wings are high on Smith and feel he needs a little more seasoning in Grand Rapids, but they also plan on having him spend some time in Detroit this season, learning from the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom.
“I want to end up playing for the Red Wings, and how I’m going to do that is by working out hard and then proving it in training camp,” Smith said. “We’ll see how everything goes. If I’m ready, they’re going to give me the shot. If not, they’re going to send me back down to Grand Rapids.”
The Wings realize there’s no point in having Smith watch games in Detroit when he could be playing 20 minutes a night in all situations in Grand Rapids. So unless he’s playing regularly with the Wings, which is highly unlikely after they signed free agents Ian White and Mike Commodore this summer, Smith likely is headed to the minors after the preseason.
Unless he earns a roster spot over Mike Commodore and Jakub Kindl, yes, he is headed to the AHL after the exhibition season wraps up.
Update: There’s nothing wrong with a story about beer and the Stanley Cup...
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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.