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Evening news: Development camp-related videos and articles

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. In a strange turn of events for me, the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa and MLive's Ansar Khan confirm my report about Tomas Tatar's comments to Sport.sk's Prokop Tomas;

2. The Red Wings posted two videos in which the summer development camp's goalies were spotlighted, and then the viewer is taken to the Wings prospects' annual cooking class at Northwestern Michigan College with team nutritionist Lisa McDowell:

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‘Roughly Translated’: Tatar on arbitration, his relationship with Ken Holland

Tomas Tatar spoke with Sport.sk's Prokop Tomas regarding his contract negotiations with the Wings, and while this is roughly translated, his tone has changed quite a bit:

"An arbitration court is the process that players usually use [to sign a contract]. I don't dislike signing a long-term contract. My agent Rich Winter continues negotiations with the team," Tomas Tatar told us.

The Slovak forward, despite the weaker season in which Detroit didn't play in the playoffs, wants to stay with the team.

"My agent and I have an excellent relationship with Ken Holland. Detroit gave me a chance to start my NHL career. I hope I can continue and improve my team. Detroit is a super organization full of excellent people," continued the Dubinca native, who added, "Despite all the positive things, it's still business, and they won't influence decisions like this. Time will tell. Everything is still peaceful. There's still time to agree."

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Evening news: On Cholowski, Hronek, Top 20 and no-trade lists, pop and scoreboards

Of Red Wings-related news this evening:

1. If there is a "hill worth dying on" for me, it's the hill that is the (ultimately) Dennis Cholowski-and-Filip-Hronek for-cap-space-and (ultimately) Jakob Chychrun trade. The Wings had no idea that Steven Stamkos wasn't interested in joining Detroit, so they moved their 16th overall draft pick to Arizona with Pavel Datsyuk's contract for the draft picks that would become Cholowski and Hronek.

The Wings would spend the $7.5 million they offloaded to Arizona on Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek, but at the time, Ken Holland was able to gamble that the privilege drafting Jakob Chychrun wasn't worth sacrificing an Athanasiou or Mantha to get rid of Datsyuk's cap hit, and at the time, the gamble worked. It was ultimately a gamble that bit the Wings in the butt a bit, but hockey people still give Holland props for the deal (seriously).

The other truth of the matter is the bottom line: Arizona won an NHL defenseman out of the deal--yes, they "won"--and the Wings' "losses" include Nielsen, Cholowski, Hronek and Kasper Kotkansalo (via the 3rd round pick the Wings got from the Florida Panthers for Vanek).

The Athletic's Craig Custance penned an article about Cholowski and Hronek, focusing on the Cholowski-vs-Chychrun part of the deal:

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Detroit’s Goaltending Situation

from Dana Wakiji and Art Regner of DetroitRedWings.com,

Jimmy Howard is coming off an injury-plagued but excellent season, Petr Mrazek is in the final year of his deal after an up-and-down season and Jared Coreau is now waiver-eligible after winning a Calder Cup with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

Mrazek is just 25 years old but still seeking consistency in his overall game after going 18-21-0-9 with a 3.04 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 50 games (44 starts) last season.

"From what I'm hearing now, he's working hard," Wings goaltending coach Jeff Salajko said during development camp. "He realizes that for him, it's a contract year. We don't even need to bring that to his attention. He didn't have a great year. I'm taking part ownership on that, I got to find the buttons to push with him and do things a little differently. He's got to put the work in and be willing to come in with an open frame of mind here in camp."

Salajko said Howard was actually in a similar situation two seasons ago after going 14-14-0-5 with a career-worst 2.80 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.

"Jimmy was told that coming into last season he was going to have a backup role, he'd have to compete for as much ice time as he could," Salajko said. "He could have gone about it two ways, he could have mailed it in or he could dig in. He dug in and he basically, in my eyes I think, won the job back."

read on

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The Latest Reported Contract Numbers For Tomas Tatar

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings and Tomas Tatar remain far apart in contract talks with an arbitration hearing looming in one week.

Tatar's camp has rejected a five-year offer of $5 million per season, wanting six or seven years at closer to $6 million a season, a source said.

Neither side appears willing to budge, which could result in a rare hearing for the Red Wings before an arbitrator next Thursday in Toronto. If it reaches that stage, Tatar will receive a one-year contract because he is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

But the sides are sure to have more dialogue before then, to avoid what can be an unpleasant process for both parties.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland couldn't be reached for comment.

Ritch Winter, Tatar's agent, said "I do not comment on the private affairs of players without them instructing me to do so."

continued plus Athanasiou and Vanek talk too...

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‘I Wanna Drive the Zamboni’ Video A Big Winner For The Grand Rapids Griffins

Watch the video below...

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ “LEGO – I Wanna Drive the Zamboni” video won a Golden Matrix Award for Best Music Video at the 2017 Information Display and Entertainment Association (IDEA) conference, held this week in Philadelphia.

The Griffins, whose video was chosen over finalist entries from the St. Louis Blues and the Atlanta Hawks, became the first “minor league” team since 2006 to win a Golden Matrix Award in any category and the first ever to win Best Music Video since that award’s inception in 1989. The team was also one of three finalists in the category last year, alongside the Hawks and the Edmonton Oilers.

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Evening news: On fitness testing, Vili Saarijarvi and ‘shot passes’

Updated 2x at 9:48 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Wings posted a 4-minute video in which there's a surprisingly frank discussion of the Wings' use of heart rate monitors as part of the Wings' emphasis on fitness during the development camp, with Jiri Fischer, strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar and Shawn Horcoff discuss the on-ice fitness testing:

2. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji and Arthur J. Regner combined for an article discussing Vili Saarijarvi's status as a player who made a positive impression during development camp:

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The case for ‘shorting’ Tatar

The Hockey News's Jared Clinton suggests that Tomas Tatar should receive less than the $6 million he's seeking or the $5 million the Wings are probably offering him given that Tyler Johnson signed a 7-year, $35 million contract with Tampa Bay recently:

[Why] would Detroit hand out $5 million to Tatar? While he’s inarguably playing and producing as part of a weaker roster, the comparison between the two players gives the edge to Johnson, who just signed long-term at $5 million per season. One would think a similar deal for Tatar would then come in cheaper, especially if Detroit hands out term over dollars.

There’s reason for Detroit to want to push Tatar’s cap figure down, too. As of Wednesday, Detroit has little more than $2.2 million in cap space with new contracts due to Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou. That means somewhere, in some way, shape or form, Detroit needs to clear up some space to make room before the campaign begins. That’s not to mention the Red Wings will need new deals for RFAs Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Riley Sheahan, Ryan Sproul and Petr Mrazek come next season, so every penny spent will have to be considered.

So, while Tatar may be seeking $5 million-plus on a new deal and pointing to a future where he hits the open market, Johnson’s deal combined with a few other factors could see the Red Wings winger heading to arbitration and earning less — and on a shorter term — than he may have been expecting following a few productive campaigns.


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St. James: Vanek still an option for Wings

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

The Detroit Red Wings remain in contact with Thomas Vanek.

Nearly two weeks into free agency, Vanek, 33, is still unsigned, even though he is coming off a good season. A few teams have kicked tires on him, but the sense is he would prefer to come back to Detroit if possible. His agent and the Red Wings are keeping in contact, even as a comeback has hurdles to clear.

For starters, the Red Wings don’t have much in salary cap space, with $5 million earmarked for resigning Tomas Tatar and another million earmarked for resigning Andreas Athanasiou. Vegas taking Tomas Nosek in the expansion draft provided the Wings no salary cap relief, as it would have done had the Golden Knights taken Riley Sheahan, or Darren Helm.

Beyond that, the Red Wings want some of their younger players – especially big forward Anthony Mantha - to play a bigger role.

Also weighed in the balance, though, is just what an impact Vanek made last season with the Wings. He had chemistry with everyone he played with – at the start of the season, the team’s hottest line had Vanek with Helm and Gustav Nyquist. When Vanek suffered an injury, those two got very quiet, production-wise.


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‘Three Things’: On Tatar, Horcoff’s develpment camp take and Little Caesars Arena’s roof

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Athletic's Tyler Dellow suggests that the Wings and Tomas Tatar should settle on a one-year contract...

If Tatar is on a long-term deal, that limits what the Red Wings can do. So if Holland and the Red Wings are wrong about their ability to compete next season after having signed Tatar to a significant extension, they tie their hands on a rebuild.

You can also flip the “What if you're wrong?” question around and ask it of the people who think that the Red Wings are already in a rebuild and that the next step will be management acknowledging it. What if Detroit signs Tatar to a one-year deal, a bunch of young players take steps, veterans age well and Detroit returns to being a 95-point team? Are the Red Wings then facing the loss of Tatar for nothing?

Dellow continues...

2. MLive's Brendan Savage wrote an article discussing Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff's impressions of development camp:

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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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