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The Malik Report

The Outlook For Frans Nielsen

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: After Pavel Datsyuk returned to Russia it was imperative the Red Wings acquired a top-two center. They picked up one of the best two-way centers available in free agency.

Nielsen is a good play-maker who makes his linemates better and has some finishing ability. He will be a key component on a power play that regressed significantly last season.

Nielsen also can kill penalties if the club opts to utilize him in that capacity (he led the league with seven shorthanded goals in 2010-11).

Nielsen should earn the Red Wings a couple of extra points in the shootout over the course the season, since he's one of the NHL's all-time best.


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‘Roughly Translated’: Alexey Marchenko talks about his contract, the World Cup and Datsyuk

Via Sport-Express, Alexey Marchenko spoke with the TASS news agency, and here's a rough translation of his interview:

Hockey: Marchenko said that the negotiations regarding his new contract with Detroit passed quickly

"In June, it was clear that there was a contract that could be signed and I didn't think about it," said the athlete.

Rustam Sharafutdinov/TASS: Negotiations on a new contract between Russian national team defenseman Alexey Marchenko and the NHL team "Detroit Red Wings" passed quickly. This, the hockey player told TASS.

Marchenko was drafted by Detroit in 2013. Last summer, his two-year contract expired, and a new agreement for three years was announced in early July.

"It was possible to reach an agreement within a month, fast enough. In June it was already clear that there was a contract to be signed, and I didn't think about it," said Marchenko.

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‘Three Things’: A possibly prophetic statement, Ericsson’s ‘numbers,’ etc.

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The AP's Larry Lage spoke with Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns and Justin Abdelkader regarding the World Cup of Hockey, whose training camps begin today across North America and Europe, and Abdelkader issued a statement that I can only describe as summarizing what everyone's afraid of happening, and what everyone hopes will happen, at the same time:

"We're going to go from 0 to 100 mph right away," Detroit Red Wings and Team USA forward Justin Abdelkader said. "Knock on wood, no one gets injured, and they'll be in great shape to help their NHL teams."

[edit: Yes, people will get injured going from 0-100 mph right away, and yes, some will be in fantastic shape to have a stellar season. /end edit]

2. And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji penned a "By the Numbers" look at Jonathan Ericsson's 2015-16 season. It's accurate:

Ericsson, 32, was like many of the Red Wings this season, playing some excellent games and some that were not up to his usual standards. Yet Ericsson did match his career high in points and was one of 12 players to finish with a plus-rating.

Coach Jeff Blashill said the team needs everyone to play better defensively, but the defensemen in particular.

"The D corps has to play better," Blashill said. "Is that a fix from outside? Is that a fix from within? We’ll certainly look at both. Is there a fix from outside? I don’t know. What I do know is as a group we can certainly be better and that’s including in the D corps."

15 | For the third time in his career, Ericsson reached the 15-point mark, his career high. He also reached 15 points last season and in the 2010-11 season. Interestingly, each time Ericsson has achieved that mark, it has been three goals and 12 assists. Last season, it took all 82 games to get 15 points. In 2010-11, it took 74 games. This past season, Ericsson reached 15 points in 71 games.

Wakiji continues, and as she suggests, as frightening as it may seem, the Red Wings need Jonathan Ericsson and his peers in the lineup to step up this season for the team to succeed.

I know it's hard to "root for" players as unpopular as Ericsson, but ultimately, the better Ericsson and Kronwall play (for example), the better the Red Wings play as a team. Jonathan Ericsson isn't my favorite Red Wings defenseman, but I want him to do well. I completely understand the lamentful suggestion that he suck on ice to prove a point, but proving that point doesn't help the team--and with so many uncertainties surrounding the Red Wings' fate, they need help from everybody.

[edit: Oh the comments section is going to be fun today, isn't it? I'm not suggesting that Ericsson and Kronwall are the Wings' saviors, just that even the mediocre-or-sucky-this-past-season have to step up...and that you're not a bad person if you spend your time doing something other than actively rooting against players who aren't your cup of tea. Anyway, yell around, I'm sure it's coming. /end edit]

3. And yes, I have to post this. I'm down to 11 days and about $1,200 to raise to get up to Traverse City, so I'm singing for my supper:

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Afternoon news: Tweets of note, playoff questions and a wise philosophy

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. Dylan Larkin has reached Montreal to take part in Team North America's World Cup training camp...

2. Danny DeKeyser also sent out this Tweet on Saturday evening...

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Dylan Larkin Looking Forward To The World Cup

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin can't wait to play with many of the best players age 23 and younger from the United States and Canada for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

He's also grateful for one other thing.

"I'm happy [Edmonton Oilers center] Connor McDavid is on our roster because I've been chasing him around for a while since his days with the Toronto Marlboros (in 2011-12), so it'll be nice being on his side" Larkin told NHL.com on Wednesday. "You hear nothing but positive things [about McDavid], and obviously he's a great player, and I'm happy he's on our team."

Larkin, 20, should play a significant role for Team North America and could end up as a linemate with McDavid in the eight-team tournament that will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17-Oct. 1. He is scheduled to depart for Montreal on Sunday with practices beginning at Bell Centre on Monday.

"I think this is going to be great because it's a group of guys coming together who are all in the same position; we're young guys in the NHL trying to prove ourselves," Larkin said. "I think the other teams aren't underestimating us, but we don't have that pressure. We're just going to have a ton of fun and play with a lot of speed, and I think teams might be on their heels when they're playing against us."


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Justin Abdelkader And Dylan Larkin Headed To World Cup Camp

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Justin Abdelkader is excited about representing his country again. Dylan Larkin is looking forward to joining peers from both sides of the border on the international stage.

Abdelkader and Larkin are among seven Detroit Red Wings participating in the eight-team World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.

Abdelkader and Team USA start training camp Monday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Larkin and Team North American – consisting of the top 23-and-under U.S. and Canadian-born players – begin camp Monday in Montreal.

The tournament runs from Sept. 17-Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre.

"It's great for the league, great for all the countries involved, the players," Abdelkader said. "It's a good way to kind of kick the season off."


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Afternoon news: Prospect round-up, Jimmy Howard’s week and Hronek makes Saginaw’s cut

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. In game action, in the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin played 9:12, went 2-and-2 in the faceoff circle, and took 6 minutes in penalties in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 1-0 win over Metallurg MK;

2. In the Champions Hockey League, Julius Vahatalo finished at +1 in TPS Turku's 3-1 win over Bili Tygri Liberec, playing as a 3rd-line center;

3. In the alumni department, Pavel Datsyuk played 17:19 and went 13-for-21 in the faceoff circle during SKA St. Petersburg's 5-1 win over Lada Togliatti;

4. On the Wings' roster, it turns out that Jimmy Howard took part in a goaltending camp at the University of Wisconsin this past week. He's pictured in the red-and-gray pads (with both hands on his stick) in the following Tweet from NetWork Goaltending, and Wings goalie coach Jeff Salajko is visible on the right side of the picture as well:

5. And you'll notice Filip Hronek's name on the following roster:

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NTDP to offer free admission to Under-17 season opener on September 9th

From USA Hockey:

NTDP Announces Free Admission to Sept. 9 Preseason Opener
U.S. National Under-17 Team to Face Muskegon at USA Hockey Arena

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program is offering free admission to its 2016-17 preseason game on Sept. 9 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, when the U.S. National Under-17 Team takes on the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League.

The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. ET, and doors will open at 6 p.m. ET.

The game will mark the first-ever contest for the Under-17 Team. The following night (Sept. 10), the U17s will complete a home-and-home series with the Lumberjacks at 7:15 p.m. at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon.

That same weekend, the U.S. National Under-18 Team will kick off its 2016-17 campaign with a pair of games at Ralston Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, as part of the USHL Fall Classic West. Team USA will face the Tri-City Storm at 5 p.m. ET on Friday (Sept. 9) before taking on the Omaha Lancers at 5 p.m. ET the next day (Sept. 10).

For information on NTDP season ticket packages, visit http://www.usahockeyarena.com or call the USA Hockey Arena Box Office at 734-453-8400.

NOTES: Click here for the complete U17 schedule ... Click here for the complete U18 schedule.

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Denmark’s Olympic hopes look slim as Nielsen, Danes lose again

Very briefly: After losing 5-2 to Belarus on Thursday, Frans Nielsen and Denmark needed to win their final two games at the Group D Olympic qualification series to earn a 2018 Olympic berth. Today, Nielsen finished at -2 with 2 shots as Denmark lost 3-0 to Slovenia, pretty much ending the Danes' Olympic qualification quest, and the team lost goaltender Fredrik Andersen to an injury as well.

Nielsen's taken 4 shots and finished at -4 over the course of 2 games. Not a spectacular outing for the Red Wings' new second-line center, but he hauled tail from Detroit to Denmark just after the birth of his son to take part in the Olympic qualifying games.

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The Outlook For Jimmy Howard

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: The Red Wings tried to trade Howard in the off-season, but a limited market, his hefty contract and inconsistent play the past couple of seasons prevented a deal. Now Howard will start the season as Petr Mrazek's backup and the club is forced to commit $9.3 million in cap space to goaltending.

But Howard also gives the Red Wings a proven, experienced backup as an insurance policy in case Mrazek is injured or falters, like he did after the All-Star break.

Howard started strong in 2015-16, struggled midway through and played better near the end. Consistency has been an issue since midway through 2014-15, when he suffered a slight groin tear, and at times previously in his career.

If Howard can regain his All-Star form, the club would have quite a goaltending tandem.

Howard surely will be exposed in next June's expansion draft. If he's not selected, the Red Wings will try again to trade him. A buyout next summer is another possibility.


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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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