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Red Wings prospect news: Mantha, Val-d’Or to battle for QMJHL title; Callahan to return to Griffins

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins can sweep the Abbotsford Heat out of the first round of the AHL playoffs on Wednesday, but further from the State of MIchigan, a pair of Red Wings prospects are going to be battling for league championships in short order.

On Thursday, Tyler Bertuzzi and the Guelph Storm will open the Ontario Hockey League's championship series against the North Bay Battalion, and on Tuesday evening, something of an underdog story unfolded involving a not-so-underdog prospect in Anthony Mantha:

Mantha didn't register a point as his Val-d'Or Foreurs pulled off a stunning upset, defeating the Halifax Mooseheads 3-2 and ousting the defending Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions (and Memorial Cup champs) in a 7-game knock-down, drag-out fight between Mantha's Foreurs and Jonathan Drouin's supercharged Mooseheads.

Val-d'Or will play the Baie-Comeau Drakkar for the Q title starting on Friday, and Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager posited a rare English-language recap of the Foreurs' Game 7 win:

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Team USA officially announces Abdelkader, DeKeyser as participating in World Championships

MLive'sAnsar Khan reported that Jakub Kindl (Czech Republic), Tomas Tatar (Slovakia), Gustav Nyquist (Sweden) and Justin Abdelkader (USA) will take part in the World Championships, but Khan stated that Danny DeKeyser was iffy on participation. USA Hockey issued a press release stating that DeKeyser's made up his mind:

Forward Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich./Detroit Red Wings/Michigan State Univ.) and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (Clay Township, Mich./Detroit Red Wings/Western Michigan Univ.) have been added to the 2014 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus.

Previously, Abdelkader skated for the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2012 IIHF Men's World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden. He had a goal and three assists in eight games. Also, he earned a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Leksand and Mora, Sweden, where he had two assists in seven games.

DeKeyser will be making his U.S. National Team debut, though he attended the 2013 U.S. Men's National Team Orientation Camp that assisted the preparation for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Team USA's roster now has 13 forwards, eight defensemen and one goaltender. The maximum roster size is 25.

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, Nyquist told Expressen's Pontus Weinemo that he won't play in the Worlds' tune-up, the Oddset Hockey Games, but he does expect playing in the World Championship to be "damn fun."

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Khan reveals Red Wings’ World Championship participants

If you missed this in the Red Wings locker room clean-out day post, MLive's Ansar Khan revealed which Red Wings players will be taking part in the World Championships in Minsk, Belarus starting on May 9th:

Jakub Kindl will represent the Czech Republic; Tomas Tatar will represent Slovakia; there was talk that Gustav Nyquist would be joined by Joakim Andersson and Jonas Gustavsson on Sweden's roster, but I guess that's petered out; Danny DeKeyser will represent Team USA.

Tomas Jurco's a little peeved about not being allowed to leave the Griffins to play for Slovakia, too, but them's the breaks.

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Red Wings locker room clean-out day post 1: Franzen staying, Babcock probable, Wings ‘look within’

Updated 26x at 5:20 PM: The Red Wings embark upon their offseason "game plan" in earnest today. After the team took its annual picture at Joe Louis Arena, the players cleaned out their lockers and the coach and GM spoke with the media.

The event has to be surreal: for the players, this is usually the last time that they'll lace up skates until August (unless, like Tomas Tatar and probably Gustav Nyquist, they're taking part in the World Championships), and it's the last time that some players will ever wear a Wings uniform, but the players dress in the locker room and head out to risers sitting at the center of an empty rink, and they take what is essentially a class picture.

Afterwards, the players peel off their full uniforms, skates and gloves, with some of their gear being stuffed into bags for use during the offseason and some of their gear and definitely their playoff jerseys being dumped into bins to be sold at Hockeytown Authentics' end-of-season gear sale. Then they face an onslaught of media questions...

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Red Wings mid-day news: World Championship participants and Wings roster predictions

The Red Wings will take their team picture and hold their final formal media availabilities at Joe Louis Arena today at noon, but ahead of the affair...

1. Aftonbladet's Tomas Ros and Erik Karlsson report that Gustav Nyquist is at least strongly considering playing for Sweden at the World Championships, per Team Sweden coach Par Marts.

2. Tomas Tatar's already told the Slovakian media that he'll represent his country in Minsk, Belarus starting on May 9th, and Tomas Jurco told Pravda.sk that he's a little disappointed that he's going to have to stick with the Grand Rapids Griffins instead of playing for the Slovakian team;

3. Regarding said Griffns, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that the Griffins expect Van Andel Arena to be full--or nearly so--as the Griffins attempt to sweep the Abbotsford Heat from the teams' best-of-three first-round series tomorrow night:

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Red Wings overnight report: unwrapping the shape of the offseason, important team dates included

The Red Wings will clean out their lockers after their team photo at Joe Louis Arena around noon today, and as news trickled in regarding Henrik Zetterberg's participation in the World Championships (no go), the potential statuses of the rest of the Wings' potential invitees to Minsk on May 9th (Tomas Tatar will play for Slovakia, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Jonas Gustavsson may play for Sweden), the Wings sent out an intriguing email message:

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Red Wings prospect news: Mantha helps force Game 7; on Glendening, Mrazek and the Griffins

The Red Wings will clean out their lockers at Joe Louis Arena this morning, but Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Xavier Ouellet have already practiced with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, who hope to sweep the Abbotsford Heat out of the playoffs when the scene shifts to Grand Rapids on Wednesday.  If the Griffins were hoping to also find Anthony Mantha available for Wednesday's game, however, they're going to be sorely disappointed:

On Monday, Mantha scored what ended up being the game-winning goal as his Val-d'Or Foreurs raced out to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 victory of the QMJHL's defending champions, the Halifax Mooseheads, and as a result, Mantha (who's registered 18 goals, 7 assists and 25 points in 16 playoff games played) forced a seventh and deciding Conference Final this evening.

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George’s rant: What the hell is going on? Spearing and kneeing, ‘old time hockey?’

This would normally be a Kukla's Korner Hockey post, but I'm mad as hell and I need to have a good rant here (and I must warn you that some four-letter words follow, so this may not be "safe for work" or sensitive consitutions).

First it was Milan Lucic on Danny DeKeyser--the first of two spears (the Lucic-on-Quincey-in-Game-5 one went unnoticed)--and then Ryan Garbutt decided he was going to check Corey Perry for testicular cancer (in North America, we got Tom Green singing, "Feel Your Balls"...At least in England, Page 3 gal Rhian Sugden is the face of testicular cancer awareness), and tonight, per Yahoo Sports' Harrison Mooney (and via RedWingsFeed), Paul Stastny of all people felt the need to make sure that Cody McCormick doesn't feel any lumps.

While the press continues to run the Milan Lucic, Effective Villain and Brad Marchand, Bored storylines into the ground (Wings fans, I've spared you a significant amount of still-active rubbing it in by our the dear scribes who cover the BS, I mean B's), I'd simply be shaking my head asking, "Is this what happens when you can't concuss guys?"

But then dear Blake Comeau inadvertently kneed Joe Vitale...

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Red Wings evening news: early Worlds participants, Sheahan/Jurco in the AHL and ‘DK’s’ rookie season

Updated 2x at 7:17 PM: The Red Wings' locker room clean-out day may not in fact take place until tomorrow at noon, but Wings news has trickled in at a steady pace despite the slight delay.

Tomas Tatar's revealed that he plans on taking part in the World Championship for Slovakia, and if we are to believe the Slovak press, the Slovakian team will make a hard push to bring Tomas Jurco into the fold (not gonna happen);

Given Par Marts' comments to Aftonbladet, it apperas that Gustav Nyquist and possibly Jonas Gustavsson (depending on what Henrik Lunqvist's plans include) may head to Minsk to play for Sweden, though Per Bjurman reported that Niklas Kronwall's already given a, "Tackar, nej" due to the birth of his first child.

As Paul noted, Henrik Zetterberg's also experiencing some predictable post-surgical symptoms that will prohibit him from participating, and we know that Pavel Datsyuk won't represent Russia due to possible knee surgery to come.

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Zetterberg Will Not Play In The World Championship And Has A Nerve Problem In His Foot

from st.nu (translated),

Detroit's captain made his spectacular comeback in the playoffs, when he played two games against Boston and accounted for a goal and an assist on Saturday when Detroit became the ruling.

This just two months after the herniated disc, which forced him to leave the Olympics after opener against the Czech Republic in order to undergo surgery in New York.

- My back has felt good in the games but I have problems with the nerves in the left foot, then I have no power in it and it gives me problems in the inserts. Now I run rehab and rest part until the foot begins to function properly, says Zata.

So when Zetterberg spoke with coach Pär Mårts on Monday so there was no alternative but to say no to the World Cup games.

- We are unable to play the World Cup this year. We had a good talk and I like to play the World Cup in the future if possible.

Now waiting for rehabilitation and training, first in Detroit, then back home in Sweden.

continue (translated) for more on Team Sweden...

thanks to Puckarinen for the pointer via Twitter...

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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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