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Athanasiou heads back to Grand Rapids

With Brad Richards ready to play, somebody had to go:

Here's the press release--and take note that Johan Franzen has been placed on the LTIR:

… Second-Year Pro Netted First NHL Goal on Nov. 10 versus Washington …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Andreas Athanasiou to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed right wing Johan Franzen on long-term injury reserve.

Athanasiou appeared in six NHL games during his first-ever call-up to the NHL, netting his first NHL goal on Nov. 10 versus Washington. The goal was the only marker in Detroit’s 1-0 win over the Capitals, making Athanasiou just the fourth player in franchise history to score his first NHL goal in a 1-0 win, per the Elias Sports Bureau. The 21-year-old forward also recorded 11 shots on goal, four hits, two blocked shots and one takeaway, while averaging 8:53 time on ice. Athanasiou has skated in eight games with the Griffins so far this season, recording two points (1-1-2), four penalty minutes and 21 shots on goal.

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Practice articles: Richards, Smith likely to return; Mrazek starts Friday, Howard Saturday

The Red Wings' Thursday practice yielded some potential personnel changes as Brad Richards skated on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Brendan Smith was declared fit to play for the Wings' tilt against Los Angeles tomorrow. Petr Mrazek will start on Friday, per Jeff Blashill, and Jimmy Howard will get the Blues game.

The Free Press's Helene St. James filed a practice report...

The final decision will come Friday, but it sure sounds like the Detroit Red Wings are regaining the services of Brad Richards.

Richards said today he is "ready to play" after being sidelined since Oct. 21 by various ailments, including a sore back. Coach Jeff Blashill punted making a decision until Friday, when the Wings host the Los Angeles Kings, "but we practiced him as if he would be in."

Richards, normally a center, was on the left wing of Pavel Datsyuk, with Teemu Pulkkinen on the right. Dylan Larkin, who is on a two-game goal streak, was reunited with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader. Riley Sheahan moved back to center Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, and the fourth line featured Luke Glendening with Drew Miller and Darren Helm.

Blashill also said Petr Mrazek will start against the Kings, the first time in 10 games Blashill has not switched between Mrazek and Jimmy Howard. However, Blashill said Howard will start Saturday at St. Louis. Both goalies have started two games in a row earlier this season.

As did MLive's Ansar Khan...

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‘Suite news’ about the Wings’ follow-on rink

From Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

The 52 corporate suites and all but three of the 22 mini suites that will be part of the new Detroit Red Wings arena opening in 2017 have been sold, one of the key organizers of the $627 million project said today.

Word of the sellout came today from Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, when he spoke to an AdCraft Club of Detroit luncheon meeting inside the Olympia Club at Joe Louis Arena.

Olympia Entertainment is the venue management arm of Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch’s business holdings.

The corporate suites at the to-be-named 20,000-seat arena lease for more than $300,000 a year, and the leases are for 7 to 10 years, said Craig Turnbull, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Red Wings.

In talking to the AdCraft Club, Wilson also mentioned that Olympia is developing a navigational app that will help fans attending events at the arena get to and from the venue with minimal traffic headaches. The most efficient routes to and from the arena will be tailored around different events going on each day, Wilson said. The app also will help fans find parking, and food, restrooms and other elements inside the new arena, he said.

“It’s going to be your babysitter and will tell you everything to do in the building and going on downtown,” Wilson said.


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Video- Jeff Blashill Wants A Killer Instinct From His Team

via the Detroit Free Press,


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Practice Tweets: Richards skating ‘on a line,’ Smith skating

Updated 3x at 1:21 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before noon, preparing for tomorrow night's tilt against the Los Angeles Kings.

LA will have rest on their side as they haven't played since Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over Philadelphia, while the Wings will be playing their 5th game in 8 nights on Friday (and their 6th in 9 against St. Louis on Saturday), but the 12-and-6 Kings will show little sympathy for the 9-8-and-2 Wings as Detroit hits the 20-game mark.

MLive's Ansar Khan reported in from practice...

#redwings on ice for practice. Everybody is skating.


The way they're skating it looks like Richards might be ready to play, or at least close.



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Not Much Goal Support For Petr Mrazek

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

The way things are going this season, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek might need a shutout every time he takes the ice to have a decent chance at winning.

Mrazek has made 10 starts this season and in six of them, the Red Wings have scored just one goal. In another appearance relieving Jimmy Howard, they also scored one goal.

His only victory in those seven games came when he shut out the Washington Capitals last week.

So despite some good numbers – a 2.16 goals-against average and .934 save percentage that ranks eighth in the NHL – Mrazek's record is barely above .500.


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The overnight report: Red Wings-Capitals wrap-up—average and inconsistent aren’t good enough

The Red Wings' 2-1 OT loss to the Washington Capitals was, let's suggest predictable, and at least the Red Wings know it.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill had this take on the state of his 9-8-and-2 team as it prepares to hit the 20-game mark on Friday, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan:

The Red Wings (9-8-2) continue to let points slip away at home (4-5-1).

"We want to become a real good hockey team. Right now we're an average hockey team, based on our record," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "We got to find a way to win these games at home. I think we've made some progress but we got to continue to make lots more progress."

It's up to the Red Wings' coach and players to spend the next 62 games proving that they're more than average, and turning around their home record while Detroit plays the vast majority of its first-half schedule at Joe Louis Arena would seem to be the most expedient manner by which to increase Detroit's odds of making the playoff cut.

On Monday, of course, the Capitals carried the day, and they were delighted to defeat the Wings on yet another night that the Wings shut down Alex Ovechkin (who had 6 shots) in his attempt to break Sergei Fedorov's record for the most goals scored by a Russian.

Instead, Evgeny Kuznetsov delivered for the Caps, as the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan noted:

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Prospect news: Russo, Coreau help Griffins earn 2nd win; Hicketts adds a pair of helpers

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Rockford IceHogs 3-2 on the strength of a 3-point (1 goal and 2 assists) night by Robbie Russo and 33-save performance from Jared Coreau, earning the Griffins their second win of the season. The Griffins' website posted a recap...

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On Fedorov’s Nike skates

From the Sporting News's Crista Ledra:

Almost 20 years have passed since Sergei Fedorov first zipped, deked and spun his way across our TV screens in that 30-second Nike ad, white skates and all.

It may have seemed like just another endorsement deal at the time, but two decades later his partnership with Nike holds almost as much significance as his play on the ice for which he was just enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

For the generation of Russian players who followed him, most notably Alex Ovechkin, Fedorov’s superstardom was a game-changer. He was a cool-as-hell Russian, a prominent face of the North American game, and now with the benefit of reflection, his legacy is probably bigger than he realized.

“For a couple years I’m going to sit back and think ‘What really just happened?’” Fedorov said.

The deal with Nike was the perfect marriage; an already enormous company that had global aspirations and a hockey star who was ripe for transcending the NHL.

“It was a critical time in Nike’s history. The brand, we had just really decided to evolve Nike from a U.S. footwear company to a global sports brand,” said Joe McCarthy, who was head of Nike’s global advertising from 1993-96. “The strategic decision was made to venture into hockey, and hockey all the way from street hockey products and apparel, kids playing street hockey as well as the on-ice game.”


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Red Wings-Capitals quick take: one is not enough

The Detroit Red Wings were far less concerned with "stopping history" against the Capitals and far more concerened about earning two points as the Wings attempt to scratch and claw their way up the Atlantic Division standings a week ahead of American Thanksgiving.

On Wednesday night, the Wings got a point, which is swell and all, but one-goal-itis, the momentum of those 6 penalty-kills and a bad change by Jakub Kindl--and the lack of the game-saving save by a Petr Mrazek who was cheating way over to the goalpost and got beat "seven hole" on his blocker--yielded a 2-1 OT win for the Washington Capitals.

The Wings played well, the Capitals played well, Detroit's execution was OK, and they shut down Ovechkin to the point that Ovechkin's 6 shots were all fired Mrazek's way in the 1st and 2nd period, but the Wings couldn't get that extra goal, and the same kind of play that yielded Dylan Larkin's 1-0 goal yielded Evgeny Kuznetsov's gamer. In both cases, the goalies got beat fairly, but the shots were somewhat stoppable.

One goal, one point. Not good enough.

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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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