The Malik Report
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned forwards Martin Frk and Marek Tvrdon, defenseman Richard Nedomlel and goaltender Jake Paterson to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Additionally, the Red Wings released forwards Kurt Etchegary, Jeff Hoggan and Joel Rechlicz and defensemen Jared Nightingale, Nathan Paetsch and Andrew Prochno from their tryout agreements.
Detroit’s roster currently stands at 46 players: 28 forwards, 14 defenseman and four goaltenders. The Red Wings host the Boston Bruins tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena and will visit Boston (Monday at 7:00 p.m.) and Pittsburgh (Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.) before wrapping up the preseason with a home-and-home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, Oct. 2 at Joe Louis Arena and Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Air Canada Centre.
from The Hockey News,
Best-Case Scenario: This is a transition season for the Wings, but that doesn’t mean the same thing for this organization as it means for others. Detroit is going to make the post-season and could still compete for the Stanley Cup, but the most likely scenario is they win one round or exit early. The young guns need a bit more seasoning before the real Cup run comes.
Worst-Case Scenario: Detroit fans won’t want to hear any of it, but they snuck into the post-season in 2014-15, so maybe this team could be primed to take a step backwards. It’s not likely, but the situation in goal and on their bottom defensive pairing isn’t shored up, which could mean another struggle to make the playoffs. The worst-case scenario is that the Wings don’t make it to their 25th straight post-season.
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Daniel Cleary said he's excited about the opportunity to play tonight at Joe Louis Arena. He said there was never a doubt he'd continue to play this season, despite playing in 17 games last season for the Red Wings.
Cleary didn't skate during training camp in Traverse City due to a leg injury. This will be his first game for the Wings during the preseason.
"It's always great to play games," Cleary said. "Obviously missed (the) Traverse City portion. Like any young kid, you always get excited to play games."...
Asked what he's looking to see from Cleary, Blashill said the veteran forward "has to be what he's been at times with the Red Wings.
"When I first got the job here as an assistant, I'd watched a bunch of game film from the previous season and he was arguably one of the best forwards on the team," Blashill said. "Obviously that's a number of years ago. But he's been that at different times."...
"He's going to have to be a guy who is on the forecheck creating some turnovers," Blashill said. "He's going to have to be a guy who is a net-front presence. He's going to have to be a guy who is real accountable defensively. If he gets a chance to kill, do a good job of killing penalties.
"Ultimately we'll make a decision on the roster come next week and the best players will make the team."
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also spoke with Cleary:
Updated 10x at 1:35 PM: The Red Wings begin a home-and-home series with the Boston Bruins this evening (7:00 PM EDT; no TV or radio), and the Comcast Sportnset Northeast's Joe Haggery believes that the Bruins will ice the following lineup vs. the Wings:
FORWARDS: Noel Acciari, Matt Beleskey, Anton Blidh, Anthony Camara, Brett Connolly, Jake DeBrusk, Justin Hickman, Brian Ferlin, Chris Kelly, Alex Khokhlachev, David Krejci, David Pastrnak
DEFENSEMEN: Linus Arnesson, Brandon Carlo, Tommy Cross, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman, Ben Youds
GOALTENDERS: Jeremy Smith, Malcolm Subban
The Bruins took to the ice at 10 AM this morning, as usual, and the Bruins' Twitter account Tweeted tonight's line combinations:
Of prospect-related note this evening:
First, from the Red Wings' Twitter account, Dominic Turgeon has been named the captain of the WHL's Portland Winterhawks:
In game action:
The Red Wings tangle with the Boston Bruins this evening (7:30 PM; no TV), and while the Wings are going to ice a more veteran roster tonight, the strength of the Red Wings' prospect pool hasn't gone unnoticed. Niklas Kronwall had this to say to the Detroit News regarding the performances of the Dylan Larkins, Anthony Manthas, Tyler Bertuzzis, etc...
“There are a lot of younger guys in here who can play,” said Niklas Kronwall, who recalled how he struggled to play the positional game in his first camp as he got used to the North American style of hockey. “It’s incredible,” he said. “But it just goes to show you: You have a good scouting staff, and they’ve been doing a tremendous job for not just a few years now. I mean, it goes back a long way.
“And, in today’s era, if you don’t get the first five picks, you’ve got to have a really good scouting staff to narrow down what you’re looking for. And, so far, it’s been spot-on, really. It’s great to see these young guys coming up and doing so well, they’re not just happy to be here. They want to make an impression and to make sure that after each game the coaches are talking about them.”
And, as noted in Friday's practice post, the beat writers focused on the development of one Tyler Bertuzzi, who was originally drafted as an Andrew Shaw-style instigator.
After dealing with a set of neck injuries that required Bertuzzi to work with the same Univeristy of Michigan Neurosport program that has been working with Johan Franzen to recover from what was initially diagnosed as a concussion, Bertuzzi chose to change his style of play, and that decision's paid off, as MLive's Ansar Khan noted:
Updated 2x at 2:59 PM: The Red Wings' split-squad practices revealed a pair of injuries--an upper-body injury for Teemu Pulkkinen and "tender groin" for Mike Green--but MLive's Ansar Khan reports that there's good news regarding one player ahead of tomorrow's exhibition game against Boston:
Johan Franzen was back on the practice ice Friday, having experienced no issues the day after his first game in nearly nine months. Another hurdle has been cleared. Franzen will play again Saturday when the Detroit Red Wings continue the preseason against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m., no local TV).
"It felt good, I wasn't afraid to go anywhere, like in the corners," Franzen said of his play in Thursday's 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I didn't think about my head. It was a good test, mostly for my physique, my legs. It's good to have that first game."
Franzen said it's fun to be back playing, after being out since Jan. 6 with a concussion.
"I felt a little bit better than I thought I was going to feel," Franzen said. "It was a little tough, the last five (minutes) in the first. That's the part you're not used to, the battling. It's so much harder than skating around and doing stops and starts. All the battling, that's what I got to get used to."
Khan continues, duly noting that Daniel Cleary will play on Saturday...
In the fantasy hockey department, TSN's Scott Cullen suggests that poolies pick up Franzen as a "sleeper candidate"...
From the Wings:
LUKE GLENDENING SET TO GRAND MARSHAL THE DOWN SYNDROME SUPPORT TEAM’S BUDDY WALK ON SUNDAY
... Red Wings Forward Continues ‘Gametime with Glendening’ Community Initiative By Hosting a Child with Down Syndrome and His or Her Family at
Every Red Wings Home Game …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that for the second-straight year forward Luke Glendening will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 11th Annual Down Syndrome Support Team’s Buddy Walk on Sunday, Sept. 27 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. in Gallup Park (3000 Fuller Rd.) for the one-mile walk starting at 3:00 p.m.
The Buddy Walk is one of more than 250 events planned in cities throughout the country this fall to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down syndrome. The walk celebrates the abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome, and will be followed by refreshments, children’s activities, a raffle and silent auction. More than 800 people are expected to attend, with participants including people with Down syndrome, their families, friends, co-workers and supporters. The general public is also invited to attend.
Among ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider column's notes:
We know how the Detroit Red Wings operate. We know that the young players have to wait their turn, that the tie in every roster battle is going to go to the veteran.
Then you see a performance like the one turned in by Dylan Larkin on Thursday night -- his first two goals scored in Joe Louis Arena as a pro -- and it becomes natural to wonder if he’s different. Factor in how well Larkin is thought of by scouts and executives around the league, and it’s fair question whether he’s the Red Wings prospect who forces the hand of the organization and grabs an NHL spot as a teenager. Well, let’s put it this way, one game won’t be changing years of organizational philosophy.
“It’s preseason. You have to factor in the competition. There’s no [Sidney] Crosby. There’s no [Phil] Kessel,” said Red Wings GM Ken Holland on Friday morning. “We’re not playing NHL rosters.”
Larkin is the Red Wings' top prospect and one of the better prospects in the NHL right now. He also happens to play for a team that had 100 points last season and Stanley Cup aspirations this season.
His path at center is jammed up, and with a player like Larkin, Holland said the priority is playing time. Not just any kind of playing time, but playing time that includes being on the ice in the most important situations, being a major contributor on the team, whether that’s in the AHL or the NHL.
Custance continues, pointing out that Larkin would have the opportunity to play in the World Junior Championships if he's assigned to Grand Rapids, and he concludes with a message of patience from Holland:
“There’s a lot of different paths that Dylan Larkin can take over the 2015-16 season,” Holland said. “He has the potential to be a real important player for the Detroit Red Wings going forward. We need to do what we think is right for Dylan so that those things come to fruition.”
Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on WDFN's Matt Sheppard show yesterday morning, discussing the strong performances of the Red Wings' youngsters, the new faces on the roster and the timeline for Pavel Datsyuk's recovery:
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.