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It’s Griffins press release time

Here's the Grand Rapids Griffins' weekly press release:

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Evening news: On the Hip, Larkin and the Wings measuring up, multimedia, containing Toronto and AA

Updated 2x at 6:45 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this early evening:

1. FYI:

2. The Red Wings joined the chorus of Tragically Hip fans who are mourning the death of Gord Downie, as noted by TSN's Kristen Shilton...

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Ken Holland talks about the Wings’ start, Athanasiou on The Fan 590

Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with The Fan 590's HockeyCentral at Noon crew on Wednesday, addressing the Red Wings' resurgent start as a team effort, his decision to eschew the "rebuilding" process, and the Andreas Athanasiou situation (nothing has changed), all over the course of an 11-and-a-half-minute interview:

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HSJ: Babs on Z

Updated with Cotsonika at 12:50 PM: The Free Press's Helene St. James asked Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to weigh in on Henrik Zetterberg this morning:

“He is an elite competitor to say the least,” Babcock said after the morning skate at Air Canada Centre. “He is an elite player and his brain is so good and his puck protection skills are so good, his stick is so good. But above and beyond all those things are his competitiveness. That’s why he keeps playing.”

Babcock has shown Leafs superstar Auston Matthews clips of how good Zetterberg is at protecting the puck, but it isn’t just Zetterberg who shows up in the Leafs video room. Babcock had a slew of Hockey Hall of Fame and future Hockey Hall of Fame players available during his Detroit days, including Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Dominik Hasek, Chris Chelios, and Pavel Datsyuk. 

“You learn a lot from those guys,” Babcock said. “They do things and then suddenly you want to take what they do and teach everybody what it is. Next thing you know they are off to the races.”

St. James posted a video of Babcock's remarks:

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HSJ: Athanasiou spielt noch nicht

The Free Press's Helene St. James provides an Andreas Athanasiou update:

While the Detroit Red Wings went to work in Toronto, restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou is still searching for work overseas.

His agent, Darren Ferris, told the Free Press on Wednesday morning that Athanasiou is still in Switzerland, where he has been for more than 10 days. Ferris did not respond when asked if Athanasiou has an offer from a Swiss-league team.

The Red Wings made offers to Athanasiou for one year at $1.25 million and two years at $1.9 million per season during the summer. Back in August, Ferris said Athanasiou had an offer from a KHL team (which turned out to be AK Bars, for one year in the $2.5 million range).


Athanasiou has no leverage in this situation. The Red Wings aren’t going to budge even if they lose 10 games in a row. In the meantime, Athanasiou is losing $10,000 a day for every day he does not sign the two-year, $3.8 million offer.

The Red Wings have received some calls on Athanasiou from other NHL teams, but they aren’t going to trade him for anything less than a blue-chip prospect/high draft pick.

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Metro Times discusses the ‘downfall of the Wings’

The Detroit Metro Times' Tom Perkins posted a long article titled The Rise, Fall and Stalled Rebuild of Ken Holland's Red Wings this morning. Perkins leans hard on the contributions of Winging It in Motown's J.J. From Kansas, fan base nemesis Ryan Lambert and more writers, and he mostly pins the blame for the Wings' struggles where they sit, at Ken Holland's feet:

A growing portion of the fan base feels the Red Wings are indeed "mismanaged into oblivion," and there's no coherent or effective plan going forward. That's leaving some to fear that the organization is entering what could be the opposite of its past success — a protracted run in mediocrity.

The blame for the team's position mostly falls on general manager Ken Holland. Once considered to be the league's best GM, Holland, who took the helm in 1997, is now viewed by some as an obstacle to the franchise's rebuild.

That's the result of a litany of perceived missteps. Fair or not, he receives criticism for the Wings' salary cap management, poor drafting, poor player development, over-reliance on older veterans, overvaluation of its players, and focus on getting bigger while the most successful NHL teams are trending younger and faster.

The worst of the fallout from management's decision to sell off draft picks at the trade deadline to sustain the playoff streak during the last five years is what we see today — a dearth of young talent. And that's frustrating to a fanbase tired of a mediocre hockey team stumbling into the playoffs just to be bounced in the first round. They're ready for a full rebuild.

Perkins continues at length, and it's a little long-winded, but his article's a good read.

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs morning skate Tweets and articles: McIlhinney vs. Howard(?)

Updated 7x at 1:58 PM: The Detroit Red Wings (4-2-and-0) face a red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs team this evening (5-and-1; tonight's game airs on Fox Sports Detroit Plus/Sportsnet One/TVA Sports/WWJ), and as far as Leaf Land is concerned, Toronto's 2-0 win over the Washington Capitals last night is how the playoff series between the teams should have ended.

The Leafs are going to play Curtis McIlhinney opposite whoever the Wings start this evening, and, as the National Post's Michael Traikos noted, coach Babcock wasn't completely satisfied with last night's win:

As much as Babcock was glad to leave with two points, he wasn’t fully satisfied.

“I would have liked to have seen us spend more time in the offensive zone,” Babcock said. “There’s no sense being on your heels. You might as well be on your toes and go after them.

“The last two games offensively we have not been as good and so we have to have a look at that and find a way to generate more offence. I think we can and we will have a look at it and get ready for the Red Wings.”

Babcock did speak with the media this morning, as noted by TSN's Kristen Shilton...

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Courage, my word…

Last night I pulled myself through some serious-ass depression to go see the Queens of the Stone Age at the Fox Theatre. My ears are still ringing from fifth-row seats, but the tinnitus was worth it, and this morning, I wake to find this...

Gord Downie, the lead singer of the Tragically Hip, had gliolblastoma, an incredibly aggressive form of brain cancer, and he died at 53 years of age, about a year-and-a-half into his cancer battle.

He was the idol of idols, a Canadian trubador of immense proportions, and in many ways he was my and many people's hero.

My cousin Dan and I managed to score some tickets to see the Hip in London (Ontario) after it had been announced that Gord was ill, and that the Hip were holding a de-facto last set of concerts. Last August, as the Hip wound their way toward the conclusion of a cross-Canada tour, you could see the scar on the side of Gord's head from where he'd had brain surgery, but he soldiered on, using a teleprompter because his short-term memory had chemo brain.

It's hard to separate the Hip from hockey. From the Lonely End of the Rink to Fifty Mission Cap to, "You said you didn't give a **** about hockey, and I never saw someone say that before/You held my hand, and we walked home the long way/You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr," the Hip embraced the game they loved. Gord was a Bruins fan, and Bob McKenzie has told quite the stories about Gord's passion for the game...

Today, Hip fans and music fans across Canada, the United States and the world have lost their warrior poet, their maestro of rock, and mostly their friend.

Goodbye, Gord. Rest in peace, and keep it down up there, eh?

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Wings prospect Chase Perry named ECAC Goaltender of the Week

From Rensselaer Athletics:

ECAC Hockey has announced its weekly men's hockey award winners and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's hockey student-athlete Chase Perry has been named Goaltender of the Week after helping the Engineers to a pair of ties over the weekend.

A junior from Andover, Minn., Perry recorded 83 saves in two 1-1 ties against Ohio State last week. He opened the season by turning away a career-high 56 shots, including 25 in the second period alone on Friday night, before saving 27 shots on Saturday. He stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third period of game two against the Buckeyes.

Through the two games, Perry has a 0.92 goals against average and a .976 save percentage, which are both the best in the nation. A former standout for the Wenatchee Wild, his 83 saves are second most in the country among goaltenders with two games played.

Last season, Perry went 6-20-1 with a 3.35 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 28 games (27 starts). He posted one shutout – the first of his collegiate career and made 40 or more saves three times. His season was highlighted by stopping all 41 shots in RPI's 4-0 shutout of then-No. 2 Harvard on January 13, 2017.

In 45 career games, which includes one season at Colorado College, Perry is 7-28-4 with a 3.40 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.

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Afternoon news: On Larkin, Rasmussen and Cholowski, ‘business of hockey’ and Griffins news

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill and Henrik Zetterberg about Dylan Larkin's maturation, addressing Larkin's up-tick in ice time and special teams play:

That workload reminds captain Henrik Zetterberg of how the Red Wings used him when he was a young player. Zetterberg is still a fixture on the power play but he no longer kills penalties. He thinks getting more responsibility will only help further Larkin's development.

"It is huge," said Zetterberg, 37. "To be honest, I kind of miss it. It's fun to play all situations. You get into the game. It doesn't really matter if it's a lot of penalties or not. It's good for him. He's a good PK'er. He's smart. He skates well. He's good at reading plays. It's really good that he plays in all situations. It will only help him.

"We saw it last year, the last 25 games. He took a step and he just continued this year. Obviously, he gets the opportunity to play a little more, too. He could probably play 34 minutes. He's in great shape. His stride is so simple and easy, he could be out there forever."

Khan continues...

2. In the prospect department, both Michael Rasmussen and Dennis Cholowski have been named to the WHL's CIBC Canada-Russia Series roster. The WHL-hosted Canada-Russia games will take place in Moose Jaw and Swift Current, Saskatchewan on November 5th and 6th;

3. In the multimedia department, the Red Wings posted Twitter videos of Blashill and Zetterberg's comments made prior to the Wings' departure for Toronto, where the team will play on Wednesday...

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About The Malik Report

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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