The Malik Report
Before he was the catalyst behind the San Jose Sharks' mid-90's successes, and before he was "The Professor" in Detroit, the "brain" of the Red Wings' "Russian Five," Igor Larionov broke into the league as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
As Bure's #10 will be raised to the rafters prior to tomorrow's Canucks-Maple Leafs game, Larionov, who's currently a player agent based in Metro Detroit, spoke with the Vancouver Province's Jim Jamieson about Bure's struggles in terms of acclimating to living in North America and playing in the NHL:
“To be honest with you, he was troubled for a while,” Bure’s all-too-brief linemate and Russian countryman Igor Larionov said over the phone from his home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He was actually worried (to start the season) because he didn’t score any goals. He was worried they were going to send him down to the minors.”
Laughable as that sounds, Russian players coming to North America in 1991 didn’t make the seamless transition they do now. The Soviet Union was about to break apart, but they’d all grown up within its tight structure.
Last month, the Red Wings signed 2013 draft pick and QMJHL superstar Anthony Mantha to an entry-level contract, and today, they've signed another 2013 pick in Owen Sound Attack captain and gritty two-way forward Zach Nastasiuk:
RED WINGS SIGN ZACH NASTASIUK TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT
… Eighteen-Year Old Winger Was Drafted 48th Overall by Detroit in 2013 NHL Entry Draft …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with right wing Zach Nastasiuk on a three-year entry-level contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
A native of Barrie, Ontario, Nastasiuk was recently named captain of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack, where he stands second in team scoring with 18 points (8-10-18) in 16 games. Drafted by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Nastasiuk has played 146 career games for the Attack, recording 77 points (39-38-77) and 55 penalty minutes. Last season, the 6-foot-2, 196-lb. forward recorded 40 points (20-20-40) in 62 regular-season games and a team-leading 11 points (4-7-11) in 12 postseason games.
And again, neither Nastasiuk nor Mantha can play for the Griffins or Walleye for the 13-14 or 14-15 seasons: they must remain with their Major Junior rights-holders unless they crack the Detroit Red Wings' NHL roster.
The Red Wings and Blackhawks' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, have received a significant amount of press from every outlet from Puck Daddy to Deadspin regarding the fact that the back half of their home-and-home series with the Kalamazoo K-Wings while wearing these jerseys to commemorate a "Star Wars Night" promotion whose special guests will include Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Jedi knights and the Stanley Cup...
(The Walleye will be the "Rebel pilots" and the K-Wings will play the role of the "Vaders," with the jerseys to be auctioned off to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis research after the game)
But the promotion's just too innovative, cool and plain old "fun" to not mention again. The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe spoke with the Walleye's communications director regarding the promotion:
Upated 8x at 4:05 PM: The Detroit Red Wings begin a particularly challenging set of 3 games over the course of 4 nights when they tangle with the Calgary Flames this evening (9 PM EDT, FSD Plus/Sportsnet West/
97.1 FM 1270 AM).
We already know that the Wings will do so without the services of Jonas Gustavsson as he's got a sore neck--meaning that it's entirely possible that Petr Mrazek will either start against Edmonton on Saturday (the Oilers are lying in wait after having dropped a 4-0 decision to Toronto on Tuesday) or Winnipeg (they play a Saturday matinee against Chicago) on Monday--and that Jonathan Ericsson won't return from his shoulder injury until at least November 15th as he will be placed on the LTIR to carve out the cap and roster space necessary to accommodate Darren Helm's return to the lineup tomorrow evening.
In noting Gustavsson's status, the Free Press's Helene St. James also took note of the Wings' shaken-up lines thanks to Johan Franzen's return from an "unspecified" injury this evening...
Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha was named the QMJHL's First Star of the Month for September and the CHL's Player of the Week in mid-October, so it should come as little surprise that Mantha's continued dominant play for the Val-d'Or Foreurs has yielded another First Star of the Month honor (via RedWingsFeed):
Anthony Mantha, Emile Poirier and Etienne Marcoux were named today the TELUS three stars for the month of October.
The first star is awarded to Val-d’Or Foreurs forward, Anthony Mantha. First round pick of the Detroit Red Wings in June 2013, Mantha had a total of 25 points in 10 games, an average of 2.5 points per game scoring 11 goals in all. Two of his goals were scored on penalty kills and he shot 53 times at the opposing team’s net, an average of more than 5 shots per game. He played two consecutive games of 5 points on October 11th and 12th against the Sherbrooke Phoenix and Drummondville Voltigeurs with 6-4 and 6-5 wins. In total he registered 7 games of 2 points or more. His performances in the past 31 days allowed him to increase his first place lead of QMJHL scorers. With 39 points, he’s already scored 19 goals.
According to MLive's Ansar Khan, the Red Wings will finally welcome Darren Helm back to the lineup tomorrow night in Edmonton, but the team will also delay an inevitable pair of moves to make roster and salary cap space by placing Jonathan Ericsson on the long-term injured reserve list, which will mean that Ericsson can't return from his partially dislocated shoulder issue for 10 total games--which would leave him out of the lineup until the Wings' November 15th game against Washington:
Khan confirms both Helm's status and Jonas Gustavsson's status as "day to day" with a strained neck:
From the Red Wings' PR department:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Petr Mrazek from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Mrazek has appeared in five games with Grand Rapids this season, posting a 2-2-1 record with a 3.14 GAA and 0.891 save percentage. The 21-year-old netminder has played in two career NHL games, winning his Red Wings debut last season with 26 saves in a 5-1 win at St. Louis on Feb. 7. He has a 1-1 record with Detroit, alongside a 2.02 GAA and 0.922 save percentage.
As a first-year pro in 2012-13, Mrazek posted a 23-26-2 record with a 2.33 GAA and 0.916 save percentage in 42 regular-season appearances. He helped Grand Rapids to a Calder Cup championship, playing every minute of the team’s 24 playoff games with a 15-9 record, 2.31 GAA, 0.916 save percentage and four shutouts.
Update: St. James confirms in text form...
The Red Wings will be running a gauntlet starting tonight when they battle the Calgary Flames (9 PM EDT, FSD+/Sportsnet West/97.1 FM) this evening.
As the Wings' road trip shifts from 4 games over the course of 6 nights to 3 in 4, the 5-5-and-2 Flames await the Wings this evening, having lost 3 of their past 4 games, though Calgary fired 43 shots on Jonathan Bernier in their 4-2 loss to Toronto on Wednesday.
After tonight's game, the Wings will head north to face Edmonton on Saturday (10 PM EDT, FSD/CBC), and while the Oilers' 3-9-and-2 record isn't exactly intimidating, the Oilers will be looking to snap a 4-game losing streak having rested and practiced since their 4-0 loss to Toronto on Tuesday, and Hockey Night in Canada's going to be in the house for Saturday's game...
Metro Detroit's in the middle of a nasty rain-and-wind storm that's drenching us with over an inch of rain and wind gusts in excess of 25-35 miles an hour, but Pavel Datsyuk is wishing everyone a happy Haloween, even if it's rainy, via posting a picture of his Halloween costume from 2011:
Stay safe out there amidst the rain and winds, folks.
Updated 7x at 6:43 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to build upon their 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks when they tangle with the Calgary Flames on Friday night (9:30 PM EDT, FSD Plus/Sportsnet West/97.1 FM), and the Wings certainly discussed their win as something of a bedrock-worthy stepping stone after the game.
With Johan Franzen ready to return from his "unspecified injury," the Wings demoted Luke Glendening, and we'll find out whether Darren Helm is good to go over the course of the next two days--which might necessitate placing Jonathan Ericsson on the LTIR to make room and cap space until the team's able to move Jordin Tootoo and/or Patrick Eaves.
#flames Mikael Backlund back in lineup vs Wings. Hartley says Joey MacDonald will be in goal
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.