The Malik Report
Among NHL.com's Dan Rosen's "Over the Boards" mailbag questions:
Which young goalie do you see having the best numbers if given a starting role this season? Martin Jones (San Jose Sharks)? Petr Mrazek (Detroit Red Wings)? Cam Talbot (Edmonton Oilers)? -- @purdstheword22
Mrazek, provided he starts over Jimmy Howard.
Mrazek, at least in my opinion, has the biggest upside of the three you mentioned. He is also going to be playing on the best team of the three you mentioned, although I do believe the San Jose Sharks will at least be in contention for most of the season.
Mrazek proved a lot last season, particularly in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had a strong regular season too, though I'd like to see his save percentage jump above .920. It was .918 last season (29 games) and .920 for his career (40 games).
Updated 5x at 2:23 PM: Henrik Zetterberg took part in the Red Wings' hour-and-a-half-long informal practice, and afterward, he addressed his son's name, he discussed the coaching transition from Mike Babcock to Jeff Blashill, Mike Green and Brad Richards' additions and the state of the team in general.
DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji weighed in...
#RedWings Zetterberg admitted to being nervous about the birth of his son, Love, but everything went smoothly.
#RedWings Zetterberg: It's an old Swedish name and kind of getting popular again.
As did WXYZ's Brad Galli...
Henrik Zetterberg said he and his wife will have a steady stream of relatives coming over from Sweden to visit baby Love.
Has there ever been a fight during an alumni game? Because if not, we might see the first.
On Feb. 26, when the Colorado Avalanche take on the Detroit Red Wings at the Stadium Series’ alumni game in Denver this season, Claude Lemieux will be in the lineup for the Avalanche. Lemieux told Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater that he’s “looking forward” to suiting up for the alumni contest against Detroit, and it’s sure to be fun.
Looking forward to =/= confirmed participant, but I'd be stunned if Lemieux didn't play.
Outside of Lemieux, The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reported in August that a number of big name players would be taking part in the game. For the Avalanche, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Rob Blake and Roy will all be in the lineup. The Red Wings roster will include Igor Larionov, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan.
“We have had an outstanding rivalry with the Red Wings during those years,” Sakic said in a statement when the alumni game was announced. “We are looking forward to experiencing this grand outdoor setting and a special weekend of hockey in Denver.”The only thing that could make the game better would be confirmation that McCarty will be suiting up for the Red Wings alumni. Talk about a must-see event.
His biggest foe, Darren McCarty, will be there too. The longtime Red Wings forward told fans gathered at an autograph signing Wednesday night he will play, as well. Detroit Sports 105.1 tweeted the news.
Yesterday night, the Patriot-Ledger's Mike Loftus penned an article about Red Wings prospect Pat Holway, and today, MLive's Brendan Savage discussed Holway's "selling points" while speaking with Holway as well:
The Red Wings liked several things about Holway, who will play for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL this season after spending the last five years in the Boston Advantage junior program.
• He's got good size at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds.
• He's a right-handed shot, something the Red Wings have been lacking on the blue line for several years.
• And he's an offensive defenseman who is a strong skater for a big man and moves the puck well.
"He played at a lower level in Midget hockey in Boston, so he might need a little time," said Tyler Wright, the Red Wings director of amateur scouting. "But he's a big kid that can skate; he's got good hockey sense. He's kind of got the full package; he just hasn't played at a high level.
"We would have been devastated if we couldn't have gotten him in the seventh so we stepped up on him in the sixth."
Savage continues at significant length
The Red Wings and their Michigan-based NHL friends took to the ice around 10:30 this morning, and here's a breakdown of the Tweets related to today's informal practice--with the Tweets being a little lighter due to the start of college football season tonight:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James has posited an outlook for Brendan Smith:
Looking ahead: Smith should be highly motivated to come to training camp and battle for a lineup spot, because newcomer Mike Green has pushed Kyle Quincey into the third pair, leaving Smith and Jakub Kindl to fight for a regular role. There also are prospects knocking on the door, making it feasible that Smith ends up being traded. Smith would do well to keep his game simple and not try to do the risky things he got away with in college and the minors.
2. And on Twitter:
(this one comes via Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal)
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
2015-16 outlook: Mrazek is poised for his first full NHL season and has the inside track on the starting job, which he won from Jimmy Howard at the end of the regular season. He was strong in the playoffs, giving the Red Wings a chance to upset to the heavily favored Lightning.
He had a few bad outings the second half of the season but showed good resolve by bouncing back strong in his next start each time. He exudes confidence and has a mental toughness about him.
Mrazek's puck-moving ability is a tremendous help to his defensemen, an edge he has over Howard.
Howard will be highly motivated to win back his job but Mrazek won't give it up easily. If the competition is close, new coach Jeff Blashill might favor Mrazek, who he coached for much of the past three seasons in Grand Rapids, winning the Calder Cup in 2013.
Mrazek is in line for a significant salary bump after the season.
Key question: Will Mrazek establish himself as the No. 1 goalie and become the team's workhorse?
The Patriot-Ledger's Mike Loftus has penned an article about Red Wings prospect Pat Holway and his journey toward pro hockey, which has included lacrosse-playing and a decision to eschew high school and Major Junior hockey to play in a unique Massachusetts hockey program:
Selected by the [Dubuque] Fighting Saints in May’s USHL draft, Holway spent the first week of June at their week-long Tryout Camp, then came home to wait out the June 26-27 NHL Draft (and pick up his Cohasset High diploma). The Wings grabbed him in Round 6, No. 170 overall, and then he was off to Traverse City, Michigan, for their July 3-7 Development Camp.
“It was an incredible stretch,” Holway said. “It’s kind of like being acknowledged for all your hard work, so it’s a good feeling: People have actually seen that you did work hard, you did what you needed to do. It’s like a reward, almost.”
[If] if there was any doubt that Holway’s game is sufficient to bring him success in the coming years, it was largely erased during this summer’s camps: He was selected to play in the Saints’ Tryout Camp All-Star Game, and had a two-assist effort in a scrimmage during Detroit’s Development Camp.
“It took a little bit to get used to” the USHL level,” said Holway, whose Saints started training camp this week, and have a home-and-home exhibition series against in-state rival Cedar Rapids over the weekend. “But I thought I handled it well, improved as the week went on.
"The Red Wings’ camp was was another few notches up ... but again, I thought by the end of the week, I’d handled it well. I was able to keep up, all that. It gives you some reassurance. You get that sense of ‘OK, maybe I do belong here.’”
Updated at 9:47 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening: Via a Tweet from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, I posted pictures of Jimmy Howard's Ray Bishop-designed mask yesterday at this time, and if you missed it...
According to InGoal Magazine's Rob McGregor, the mask was inspired by one of Howard's tattoos:
Updated 5x at 3:29 PM: We're going to be talking about this as one of the main stories going into training camp, the exhibition season and regular season, so let me be blunt:
I've had three severe concussions in my life, and as a result, I'm hesitant to take part in any sport because I've learned that one "funny bump" on the noggin can yield post-concussive symptoms that last for months. While I get to do things like test sticks and gear, I don't do anything involving contact.
I am not in Johan Franzen's skates, and I have all the sympathy in the world for a man who's been playing hockey for the vast majority of his 35 years. I also understand that when one is a professional athlete, as Franzen is, it's probably close to impossible to envision yourself stepping away from the lifestyle you love for the sake of your health, especially if you feel--as Franzen clearly does--that you haven't "given your all" to exhaust all options for a comeback.
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