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Evening news: on Petr Mrazek, Robbie Russo, Saturday night notes and Jeff Hoggan’s new adventure

Of Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins-related note this evening, looking forward toward Sunday evening's game against the Chicago Blackhawks (6 PM EDT on the NHL Network "joined in progress," CSN Chicago Plus and WWJ 950 AM):

1. Petr Mrazek returned to the Red Wings from the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday, and he spoke with the Free Press's Helene St. James regarding his outlook for this upcoming season:

“l’m really excited,” Mrazek said Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. “It’s always been good when I’ve played 50 or more games, so I hope I’m ready for it.”

Mrazek said he did “some new stuff” with recently promoted goaltending coach Jeff Salajko. “I really like it and I did it during the World Cup as well with the goalie coach from Czech. We work on some stuff and I feel really well in those situations.”

The Wings eye Mrazek as their main guy in goal, a role he has earned over the past few seasons with overall good play. Exorcising the slump that has plagued him seasonally should come as Mrazek, 24, gains more experience.

“He’s got great confidence,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s got a real short memory which is a real good thing as a goalie. He's got real good athletic ability. The No. 1 thing is fundamentals and technique. As his fundamentals and technique improve, that drives consistency. We’d like him to become a top goaltender in the league, not just a good goaltender, and to do that, you have to be extraordinarily consistent and your fundamentals and technique have to carry you through times when the puck is bouncing in the wrong way.”

2. Coach Blashill also spoke about Wings prospect Robbie Russo, who is waiver-exempt but still in the competition for the last spot(s) on the Wings' blueline:

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St. James profiles Robbie Russo

The Free Press's Helene St. James wrote an article profiling Wings prospect Robbie Russo:

Russo is scheduled to be part of the Detroit Red Wings lineup Sunday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks, his second appearance this exhibition season. Russo came to camp with a bit of swagger after a stellar first season of pro hockey, as he produced 39 points in 71 games last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

“I played my game, developed good habits, moved the puck quick,” Russo said Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. “Those are my strengths and I’m going to try to use them and try to get here.”

Russo was a plus-2 in 20 minutes of ice time in the 5-1 victory over Boston on Wednesday, and “we were moving, so I think coach liked that,” Russo said.

He did.

“Roos is a smart player,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He manages the puck well. The biggest thing Roos has to get better at is his gap control. Every level you move up, it gets harder to give people space and he’s got to just continue to learn to trust his feet and gap up as much as you can and take away a little more time and space. As he gets better at that, I think it puts him in better position to be an NHL player.”

St. James continues, and she posted a video of Russo's remarks as well:

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Custance: Tatar’s World Cup performance bodes well for Wings

ESPN's Craig Custance wrote an Insider-only column discussing potential breakout players whose World Cup performances set the table for strong 2016-17 season performances, and he included a Red Wings player in the mix:

Tomas Tatar, W, Detroit Red Wings: Tatar was a big reason Europe was able to overachieve as much as they did, and that’s good news for Detroit. They’re loaded with forwards, so this does one of two things: Boost his trade value as they look for a defenseman or give him a positive performance on which to build heading into this season.

“I’ve known him for a long time. He’s playing hungry,” said Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. “He’s hungry around the net.”

Because of this, he’ll no doubt be hungry for more playing time than he received in Detroit last season, where his ice time dropped from 16:13 per game to 14:21 last season during Jeff Blashill’s first campaign behind the bench.

Custance continues...

Update: The AP's Larry Lage profiled Tatar...

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Practice Tweets: Khan reports Mrazek in ‘starter’s net,’ Nosek back on ice

Updated 6x with a Robbie Russo video at 1:01 PM: After making a wide swath of cuts ahead of Grand Rapids Griffins training camp, a slimmer Red Wings roster took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena this morning. The Wings are preparing for Sunday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks (6 PM EDT on the NHL Network):

Khan continued:

#RedWings Petr Mrazek in starter's net. Blashill had indicated he would likely play against Blackhawks Sunday at JLA.


Tomas Nosek (knee) has joined #RedWings for practice.


#RedWings defense pairs in practice for 1st group (likely playing tomorrow):
Caito (extra)

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji weighed in:

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Crain’s Detroit Business’ Shea: Pistons in ‘serious talks’ to move downtown

Update: Double post, sorry!

From Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

For Tom Gores to move his Detroit Pistons to Little Caesars Arena, the venue has to look like it's theirs, too.

The basketball team cannot just be a tenant inside a 20,000-seat arena designed and decorated solely for the Detroit Red Wings, who are set to start playing hockey there next September.

Crain's first reported Friday that the Pistons are in serious talks to build a 60,000-square-foot practice facility north of the arena and move the National Basketball Association team from its Auburn Hills home to downtown.

That doesn't mean it's quite a done deal.

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Red Wings Make Roster Moves

Update: Here's the Wings' press release:

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Jimmy Howard Adjusting To New Goalie Coach

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings' Jimmy Howard is refining his technique, working on fundamentals and establishing a relationship with new goaltending coach Jeff Salajko in training camp and the preseason.

He is seeing positive results so far.

"Working with (Salajko), being a lot more composed, a lot more patient in the net," Howard said following Friday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in a preseason game at Joe Louis Arena. "I'm starting to see some dividends of working on it. Basically not rushing all the shots, making sure you got your feet set under you.

"Just learning what he expects from me. Working with Jimmy Bedard for 12 years was great. Now we got a new guy in here and you got to learn his tendencies as well."


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Open Post- Wings/Bruins At The Joe

Puck drops just after 7:30pm ET and is on Fox SportsDetroit Plus and Ken Kal will have the radio call on WWJ.

Feel free to discuss the game and expected lineups for both teams are below.

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Detroit Pistons Talking To The Ilitch Family About A Possible Move Into Detroit

from Bill Shea and Kirk Pinho of Crain's Detroit Business,

The Detroit Pistons are in serious talks to build a 60,000-square-foot practice facility north of Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit if a deal is worked out to relocate the National Basketball Association team from its Auburn Hills home to downtown, sources familiar with the talks have told Crain's.

Details such as specific location, time frame and cost are yet to be determined.

Pistons owner Tom Gores and his aides have been in talks for some time with the Ilitch family, owners of the Detroit Red Wings and financiers of much of the $627.5 million Little Caesars Arena that's scheduled to open on 12 acres at Woodward Avenue and I-75 in September 2017. Those talks have accelerated since Gores hired longtime sports agent Arn Tellem to act as his point man for new business, civic and philanthropic investments in Detroit and Michigan last year.


thanks to a tweet from my good friend Tom Mazawey for the pointer

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Filip Hronek Gets A Chance To Impress

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill liked what he saw from defenseman Filip Hronek during the organization's summer development camp.

Blashill is anxious to see how the 18-year-old fares against another team in a game situation tonight when he makes his preseason debut vs. the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena (7:30, Fox Sports Plus, WWJ-AM 950).

The Red Wings selected Hronek (6-0, 164) with the 53rd pick in this year's entry draft.

"I thought he had a real ability to move the puck when I saw him in the summer (development camp)," Blashill said. "He seemed to be able to handle forecheck. I think that's the hardest thing in today's game, to handle how hard everyone is forechecking. So you have to be able to manage that puck and he did a good job of it this summer.

continued plus more topics...

added 12:55pm, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press on Joe Hicketts....

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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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