The Malik Report
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. Up North Live's Harrison Beeby filed a report from training camp:
2. The Windsor Star's Bob Duff wrote an article discussing the competition between Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet for the 7th spot on the Wings' defense...
The Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs asked Chris Chelios what Team USA did wrong in the World Cup of Hockey, and, according to Chelios, it wasn't bad personnel decisions that scuttled the Americans' ship:
"From top to bottom, I was more surprised by the way defensively they were cheating and not playing basic 1-on-1 position, blowing the zone, lackadaisical in their own end," said Chelios, 54, who is serving as an ESPN analyst for the tournament alongside Brett Hull in Bristol. "That's where I think it all started, especially that first game against Team Europe, with the outnumbered situations and breakdowns. It's one thing not to score and everybody keeps talking about the guys that didn't score. But I thought their problems started in their own end."
Brandon Dubinsky and David Backes over Tyler Johnson? No Kyle Okposo? Granted, Kessel went ahead with offseason hand surgery, but he didn't get a sniff for this team? Jack Johnson and Erik Johnson over defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk of Greenwich and Justin Faulk or Cam Fowler? The American bosses surrendered goals up front and puck movement on the back. Is Chelios, who has served as an assistant to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and as a Wings assistant coach, buying the roster bashing?
"Honestly? Not really," said Chelios, who served as a Team USA assistant coach at the world juniors. "They played so poorly in those two games. They might have been outmanned by Canada, but the mistakes they made. It wasn't more what Canada did. It was more what the USA team didn't do. I know everybody is going to second-guess Kessel and Shattenkirk and Johnson. But at the end of the day, their whole team was guilty of not playing the way they were capable.
"I don't think it was a lack of effort. I think it was thinking, playing smart hockey, basic plays, get pucks deep, supporting, communicating. I saw none of that. That's the hardest part to accept. I listened to Tortorella. He's still not mentioning their defensive play. He was speaking about guys that didn't score. The message wasn't clear from Tortorella on down. The players have got to accept the responsibility of being terrible in their own zone especially."
The Detroit Red Wings began training camp on Friday, and while the Red Wings are absent their World Cup-playing and World Cup-eliminated players (save Dylan Larkin), and Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall are skating on their own, the balance of the Wings' roster is healthy and active, and Teams Lindsay, Howe and Yzerman got to work focusing on breakouts and special teams play.
Last year at this time, the Red Wings went through a good 10-15 minutes of video before practice began, but this year was quite different, despite the additions of Doug Houda and John Torchetti to the staff: the team went through a much more manageable 5-10 minutes of video before practice began, and another 5-minute session between practice and a very unique set of scrimmages (more on that in a little bit).
Updated 3x at 6:38 PM: The Red Wings media corps invaded Traverse City in earnest on Friday, and the topic of the day involved Daniel Cleary's decision to remain with the Grand Rapids Griffins as both player and player mentor. Cleary spoke of his role in discussions with MLive's Ansar Khan...
"It was a great experience to go down there, work with young players," Cleary said Friday, following the first day of Red Wings training camp at Centre I.C.E. "At 38 (on Dec. 18), I know it's the end of the line, but certainly I loved seeing the maturity and the growth of some young players. My goal is to be a good leader for these young guys, help them become great Red Wings.
"I love the Red and White and I've already seen huge strides in a lot of these young players that are going to come up here and be good Red Wings for a long time."
Cleary has had a tremendously positive impact on Tyler Bertuzzi, in particular.
"Me and Bert (Todd, Tyler's uncle) are great friends," Cleary said. "I just made sure I paid real special attention to him. He's a great young kid and I really just saw him come out of his shell. He's going to be a great player, he's exactly what the Wings need. He works hard, he's fit, he eats well, he sleeps well, he does everything that he needs to do as a young pro.
"I'm just encouraging him to keep going. I made sure he read a lot of books (on the mental toughness side of hockey), trying to get his knowledge up and his confidence. It is gratifying."
Updated at 5:11 PM: Good news from the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Update: Here's more from St. James:
Mid-afternoon mishmash: On Cleary’s ‘veteran’ status in Grand Rapids, notes and a Blashill interview
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. As Paul reported, Steve Yzerman will be one of six NHL'ers honored in a series of stamps issued by Canada Post;
2. MLive's Peter J. Wallner noted the implications of Daniel Cleary's re-signing for the Grand Rapids Griffins:
Cleary joins a Griffins team that's deep with veterans. There is the potential to be eight on the roster when the season begins at home Friday, Oct. 14. There is also Louis-Marc Aubry, Mitch Callahan, Matt Ford, Brian Lashoff, Nathan Paetsch, Ben Street and Eric Tangradi.
AHL teams may dress no more than six veterans each game.
3. MLive's Brendan Savage took note of Bovada's over-under for the Red Wings' regular season points earned this upcoming season;
4. The Free Press posted a 12-image training camp gallery;
5. And CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield noted that Jeff Blashill is challenging his younger players:
Audio from the first day of the Red Wings’ training camp ‘16: Cleary, Bertuzzi, Glendening, Blashill
The Red Wings' training camp got underway today with practices and "special teams scrimmages" which both emphasized breakouts and speed through the neutral zone. The Red Wings' roster was relatively healthy save Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall, the latter of whom skated on his own, and after the practices concluded, the Wings held media availabilities for the following players:
The recently-Griffins-signed Daniel Cleary was actually quite insightful during his five-and-a-half minute interview, discussing his status as a mentor for the Griffins' players and Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha in particular, and he went into some detail as to how he helped Bertuzzi work on one-timers and read a book about mental toughness:
from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,
Coach Hot Seat Rating (1-10, 10 being scorching hot)
Two. Blashill basically just got there and even if the Red Wings see their playoff streak end, he’s got a long run ahead of him. Well, depending on what happens to his general manager, who is clearly in his ‘Peter Chiarelli contract overcompensation’ phase.
The playoff streak ends.
It’s going to be very close, as this Red Wings team is talented and should see a resurgence from some offensive players who slumped. But someone in that division (and conference) will be on the outside looking in, and unfortunately, for the first time in 26 seasons, it’ll be the Red Wings.
But it’s not like people weren’t predicting this for last season too, and look what happened …
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday signed veteran forward Daniel Cleary to a one-year contract.
During his first season with the Griffins in 2015-16 and first in the American Hockey League since 1999-00, Cleary played in 35 games for Grand Rapids and contributed 15 points (3-12—15). The 37-year-old skated in all nine of the team’s Calder Cup Playoff games and tallied six penalty minutes.
Over the course of his 19-year professional career, Cleary has played in 938 NHL games and 1,121 pro contests, including stints in the AHL, IHL and Swedish Elite League.
This post will be updated with the press release when available.
added 11:03am, Detroit press release is below...
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