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The Malik Report

A conversation with Vili Saarijarvi

Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus spoke with Vili Saarijarvi during the Wings' summer development camp:

Vili Saarijarvi’s face has been flying all over the world thanks to a commemorative Finnish stamp celebrating his country’s early-2016 World Junior Championship gold medal.

The Red Wings, in turn, hope to see his face flying all over the ice in Detroit wearing the Winged Wheel soon.

The 19-year-old defenseman enters his second year as a member of the Wings’ organization and said he was able to take on a leadership role in his second go-around at development camp in Traverse City.

“For sure, a little bit, obviously more than last year,” Saarijarvi said. “Just try to show an example on the ice and off the ice, too.”

He added that having the same familiar faces around also made year two a bit more comfortable.

“It’s second year, and it’s pretty much all the same guys, but also the new guys, all the coaches, stuff like that. So it’s been helping a lot, and I’m just trying to enjoy every day.”

Kubus continues...

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Red Wings to hold Hockeytown ‘BrewHaHa’ on Thursday, July 28th

From Fox 2:

Hockeytown BrewHaHa is back for another great event -- The Final Fowl -- at the Joe Louis Arena. In conjunction with the "Farewell Season at The Joe," the Red Wings and Detroit's Fowling Warehouse have teamed up for the third and final fowling edition of the popular Hockeytown BrewHaHa series at Joe Louis Arena to give fans one last opportunity to experience fowling on the floor level of The Joe.

The event is Thursday, July 28 from 6-10 p.m.

In addition to unlimited fowling throughout the evening, fans in attendance can enjoy a wide-range of local and regionally brewed beers and a variety of seasonal culinary offerings. Gordie Howe's No. 9 banner will also be lowered to give those in attendance an opportunity to pay respect to the late "Mr. Hockey" during the event.

Tickets are $47.50 and you'll get six beer sample vouchers and four food voucheres. You can get more information or purchase tickets at http:///www.DetroitRedWings.com/BrewHaHa.

Continued with a "cooking school" video...

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Big Gap Exists With Petr Mrazek’s Arbitration Numbers

added 9:29am,

added 10:19 am, from MLive's Brendan Savage:

Continue Reading »

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The Latest On Danny DeKeyser And Petr Mrazek Before Their Arbitration Hearings

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Holland planned to speak again this morning with Newport Sports Management, which represents both players. Negotiations can continue up until the arbitration hearings begin.

In DeKeyser's case, current talks are about a long-term contract.

"We've talked lots," Holland told MLive. "We are having conversations on longer-term deals. Again, we're going to speak (today) but the agents for DeKeyser and the club, represented by Ken Holland, have basically agreed on what the one-year award looks like.

"We had a range. They have a range. We're in a similar range. We weren't far apart. So we know that a one-year deal, we know the range."...

"We've had lots of discussions," Holland said. "There's way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser's case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place. That's certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek's situation.

"So we've had lots of conversations about them explaining their position and (us) explaining our position."

Holland said the Red Wings and Mrazek have to exchange briefs – the document explaining their proposals – by 9 a.m. today. The arbitrator also will receive a copy of each brief.

Excluding a special case with Jiri Hudler in 2009, the Red Wings haven't had an arbitration hearing since 1995 with Ray Sheppard.

"I think ideally you'd like to avoid arbitration if you can," Holland said. "I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement. Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody's not going to be happy."

more

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Looking back at Riley Sheahan’s 15-16 campaign

As has been the case on every Monday this offseason, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose or Dana Wakiji have examined the 2015-16 campaigns of Red Wings players "by the numbers." This morning, Wakiji frames Riley Sheahan's 15-16 campaign as follows:

Sheahan played a lot of roles this season, from top-six center to defensive winger to penalty killer to net-front presence on the power play. Sheahan found more offense later in the season, scoring seven goals in his last 22 games after scoring seven in his first 59 games. Sheahan is just 24 years old and still has room to grow offensively.

"With Sheahan, he's somebody that's real accountable as well, so I think it takes some time for that," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said late in the season. "Part of it is that he hasn't spent hardly any time on the power play this year either, so that's a difficult thing, to produce points without that. He's definitely got it in him. He's got lots of offensive ability in him."

81 | Sheahan played in all but one game during the regular season. He missed the Feb. 3 game at Tampa Bay due to illness. Sheahan's roommate, Luke Glendening, and Tomas Tatar were the other two players who missed just one game. Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist played in all 82.

200 | Sheahan reached the 200-game milestone on April 1 at Minnesota. He joined Glendening, Tatar, Nyquist and Brendan Smith as players who reached that mark during this past season. Sheahan finished the season with 204 regular-season games.

Wakiji continues, noting that Sheahan's late-season surge was indeed impressive...

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Discussing Luke Glendening’s pluses and minuses

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Looking back: After using the 2013-14 season to gain a foothold as a regular thanks to hard work and relentless defense, Glendening used 2014-15 to show he also can contribute offensively with a dozen goals among 18 points. He wasn’t quite as good last season — while his overall production did rise slightly, it took until the second half before Glendening showed the energy that makes him so effective (he did finish second on the team with 143 hits). Was hampered late in the season by a foot/ankle injury that also forced him to withdraw from competing for the U.S. at the Word Championship.

Looking ahead: The Wings locked up Glendening, 27, with a four-year extension a summer before he could have been an unrestricted free agent. Why? Because the Pittsburgh Penguins just demonstrated the importance of speed as they were first across the finish line in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. Glendening has it in spades, and it’s why he was such a favorite of former coach Mike Babcock. Glendening is a very capable defender because of the way he can limit an opponent’s space, and he has a pesky side, too. Just coming into his prime, so he should be able to take a step forward.

Glendening needs to take a step forward if he is to graduate from a fine fourth-line center to an ultra-reliable 3rd line match-up guy. He's been used in the latter role by the Wings' coaching staff with mixed results.

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‘Eastside Elite Hockey League’ All-Star Game goes well

From the Macomb Daily's Adam Rickert:

There is only one way to describe Saturday afternoon’s first Eastside Elite Hockey League All Star Game at Mount Clemens Ice Arena: an overwhelming success.

“It was unbelievable to get the response and to get the kids involved,” said league founder Steve Oleksy, who won the Stanley Cup this past season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I had some great people working with me too. My parents helped me a lot, Matt Williams was incredible and a lot of other people helped make this run so smoothly.”

Over 400 fans attended the game to watch the EEHL’s top players square off in a fundraising event to help support the Mount Clemens Hockey Club, to which all the proceeds were donated.

“I think it’s special not only to raise money, but to draw awareness to the league and Michigan hockey in general,” Oleksy said. “Michigan is known as one of the hockey hotbeds and this shines a light on how many players actually come from Michigan.”

...

[Dylan] Larkin, who made a name for himself by putting together one of the greatest rookie seasons in Red Wings history last year, did not play in the EEHL but was brought in to add more excitement and star power to the event.

“Getting to know Dylan over the past couple weeks and for him to help volunteer his time just shows what kind of kid he is,” said Oleksy. “For him to take time and give back to kids and participate in this event really put it over the edge and made the event that it was.”

Continued

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Frans Nielsen’s Role With The Wings

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings need a solid, veteran center to fill the void left by Datsyuk. Nielsen is good at both ends of the ice, and comes highly recommended by Wings director of pro scouting, Mark Howe, who chiefly eyeballs NHL games in the New York area. Howe described Nielsen as very consistent, adept in all situations, and willing to do what it takes to achieve success. This would be a nice change for the Wings, whose last two attempts at acquiring second-line centers (Stephen Weiss and Brad Richards) disappointed. If last year’s line of Dylan Larkin, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader reforms, Nielsen could form a line with Gustav Nyquist and maybe Darren Helm (for his speed), or maybe Thomas Vanek (consistently scores in 20-goal range, shoots right). Nielsen is also good insurance in case of an injury to Larkin or Zetterberg. Six years is hefty term to give a 32-year-old, but that’s the cost of doing business on the free agent market.

more

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Examining the Wings’ OHL-playing prospects

Via RedWingsFeed, OHL Prospects' Brock Otten examines the Red Wings' Ontario Hockey League assets this morning:

1. Vili Saarijarvi - Flint Firebirds (now with the Mississauga Steelheads): There were some very impressive components to Saarijarvi's game this year, but there were also some very unimpressive ones. Saarijarvi is an absolute offensive wizard. His skating ability gives him fantastic separation ability off the rush and allows him to gain entry into the offensive zone with ease. He also runs the powerplay very well, showcasing a great point shot and vision when moving the puck. Defensively though, he's a major work in progress. Flint struggled as a team defensively, but Saarijarvi was definitely one of the guys at the root of that. He needs to play with more jam in his own end, as he can tend to get pushed around and his defensive awareness (tends to chase the puck) also needs seasoning. Saarijarvi can also take unnecessary liberties with the puck and can be turnover prone. He needs to pick his spots better. But the potential is very, very high. After an offseason trade, Saarijarvi will be playing for Mississauga next year. The Steelheads should have a fantastic team next year and they've got some quality defenders to insulate him. I expect big things. A 60 point season (which would put him near the top of defensive scoring) is possible.

Otten continues...

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Introducing Hockey To The Detroit Youth

from James Hawkins of the Detroit News,

For Rick Robertson, the timing seems as good as ever.

With construction of $627.5 million Little Caesars Arena in full swing and the Red Wings’ selection of 18-year-old forward Givani Smith in the second round of the NHL Draft, the downtown Detroit resident believes there’s plenty of hockey buzz in the city.

So in an effort to promote hockey among urban youth, Robertson is launching an outreach called the Detroit Amateur Hockey Info Table.

Its purpose is to answer questions about the sport and sign up kids of all ages in Detroit for skating lessons and hockey teams. There also are plans for hockey watch parties and providing complimentary hockey tickets.

“What we are is an introductory platform for hockey,” said Robertson, a community activist and consultant of volunteerism. “The idea is to get out there in places where you don’t find much visibility of a relationship with Detroit players, urban players, black players, players of color here in the city of Detroit.”

continued

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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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