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Evening news: Justin Abdelkader discusses his impending UFA status, and a bunch of promotional stuff

Among this evening's Red Wings-related stories:

Michigan State University's pro camp wrapped up yesterday...

And Justin Abdelkader spoke with the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan about his status as going into a contract year and facing unrestricted free agency (next summer) coming off the best statistical season of his career:

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If The Wings Decided To Move Jimmy Howard, Would Edmonton Be A Fit?

from David Staples of the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,

If we go by overall save percentage, he does not rank in the Top 20 best NHL starters from 2012-15. He has an overall save percentage of just .915. He’s been average, in other words, but that’s not an average pay cheque he will be pulling down. And Detroit, it’s worth noting, allowed even a lower percentage of high-danger chances last season than New York, just 33.5 per cent of their overall shots total. For what it’s worth, Howard’s numbers are not good on high danger chances.

The final point against a team like Edmonton trading for Howard is that he’s 31 years old. Many goalies in their 30s can play strong hockey, but if you look at that list of top goalies from 2012-15, I’m only see three or  four who were in their 30s. Goalies in their 20s are a better bet if you want a top starter.

Of course, Howard might play like a goalie god this year, which would make him a better bet. And despite his most promising numbers, Talbot may not pan out here. As it stands now, though, even if Talbot were to fall flat, it’s unlikely Howard would be the best answer for the Oilers. He’s an average NHL goalie, likely at or past his best before date, and he’s paid a high amount.

This isn’t to say that Howard is destined to failure. He’s not. He could defy the odds and earn every penny of his contract and then some for the Red Wings. That said, he’s not a good bet to do so.

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Ferris State newspaper publishes Q and A with Blashill

My apologies for the overabundance of Wings entries...It's just been that kind of day.

Anyway, the Ferris State University Torch's Keith Salowich conducted a Q and A with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, and it mostly focuses on Blashill's ties to Ferris State, but it does include one Wings-related question:

Question: Given the Wings’ playoff streak, are you feeling any additional pressure to make it to the postseason in your first year?

Answer: “First of all we take everything year by year. The significance of the playoffs for me is that in order to compete for the Stanley Cup you have to get to the playoffs. Our focus will be on the day-to-day work that we’ll have to put in to ultimately become a contender for the Stanley Cup.”

Q: Your coaching career has seen a lot of stops around the state and beyond. Do you still find time to keep up with Ferris hockey?

A: “Absolutely. I keep very close tabs on Ferris and Ferris hockey. I’m very good friends with the coaching staff. It’s the longevity of Bob Daniels’ career here and the job that he’s done that’s been a really prideful thing for we alums, so I’m checking in with him all the time.”

Salowich continues...

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Red Wings release prospect tournament roster

From the Red Wings:

Red Wings release Prospect Tournament roster
First-round picks Mantha, Larkin and Svechnikov among 25-man roster

The Detroit Red Wings today released their 2015 NHL Prospect Tournament roster, a group of 25 recent draft picks, free agent signees and tryouts who will compete against seven other NHL prospect teams for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup from Friday, Sept. 11 to Tuesday, Sept. 15 at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich.

Highlighting Detroit’s roster are the team’s three most-recent first round draft picks in Anthony Mantha, who was the 2014 CHL Player of the Year before joining Grand Rapids last season, Dylan Larkin, the 2015 Big Ten Rookie of the Year, and Evgeny Svechnikov, the Red Wings’ top pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft who had 32 goals and 78 points as a QMJHL rookie with Cape Breton. Other standouts include Andreas Athanasiou, who led Griffins’ rookies in goals last season; Tyler Bertuzzi, a 2013 second-round pick who produced 98 points in the OHL in his final season of major junior; Joe Hicketts, who attended the camp as a free agent last year, earned an NHL contract and went on to win a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship as the only defenseman on the roster who was not a first- or second-round draft pick; and Robbie Russo, a former New York Islanders’ draft pick signed by the Red Wings in August who was the NCAA’s second-highest scoring blueliner in 2014-15.

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Octopus Thrower discusses Ken Holland’s summer

Octopus Thrower's Nate Francis conducted a roundtable discussion attempting to "Grading Holland's Summer Work," and as you might expect, I issued a lengthy opinion:

George Malik of The Malik Report
Grade: B+/A-

So we’re asking whether Ken Holland has accomplished all he needs to do this summer, and whether he’s done a “good job”…And that’s a question that doesn’t have a definitive answer as far as I’m concerned.

Holland knew prior to free agency that he needed a coach to replace Mike Babcock, but it wasn’t like he went out and signed a marquee free agent. He simply elevated the person who’d been #1 in the Mike Babcock Succession Plan for three years, and Holland did what he could to keep more people around than he did when Jim Nill not only left but also snagged the Wings’ director of amateur scouting with him.

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Meanwhle, at Joe Louis Arena…

Update:

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Forbes: Wings’ home opener 3rd-most expensive on secondary market

According to Forbes' Jesse Lawrence, the Red Wings' season-opener vs. Toronto is the third-most-expensive ticket to snag on the resale market presently:

10/9/2015 – Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena | Avg: $955.80 | Get-in: $80

The Red Wings are a perennial contender despite not hoisting the Stanley Cup since 2008, and their fans pay for it when it comes to tickets. They don’t mind it, though, as their team is amongst the most celebrated in all of hockey, as they compete for the Stanley Cup year-in and year-out. Red Wings fans will certainly have to pay a pretty penny if they want to attend the home (and season) opener this season, which comes against the just-as-storied Toronto Maple Leafs. The get-in tag of $80 isn’t so bad when you factor in the usual inflated prices of Red Wings tickets, while games at Joe Louis Arena just aren’t going to drop much in price, no matter the opponent.

That’s so true, in fact, that we had to shave Detroit off the rest of this top-three list, as they would have otherwise dominated our most expensive NHL games breakdown. It’s crazier than you think, as that list runs 20+ deep, with Detroit dominating the NHL tickets landscape going into 2015. That being said, with so many expensive games on the docket for the Red Wings, their home opener against a beatable opponent is a fine bargain.

Lawrence continues, and as you might expect, the Blackhawks' season-opener is the most expensive ticket to snag right now...

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St. James: Outlook for Gustav Nyquist is positive

Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' 2015-16 "outlook" for Gustav Nyquist:

Looking ahead: Nyquist should be good for somewhere in the 30-goal range. He began last season with goals in four straight games and stayed pretty consistent -- the most he went without a goal were a few six-game stretches, and the longest he went without a point were a few three-game stretches. After a good showing (five points in 14 games) as a third-line player in the 2013 playoffs, Nyquist hasn't been visible as a top-six forward in two straight playoffs. To be fair, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg also were critiqued in their mid-20s for not being productive playoff performers — but those two always were terrific two-way players. Nyquist doesn't bring that element.

At the very least, Nyquist by now must know how much harder it is to produce in the playoffs (he saw another great example of that in Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos), and maybe it will help next spring to have Brad Richards as a teammate, as Richards is a bona fide springtime contributor. Nyquist has the skill to get it done.

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Sergei Fedorov’s former financial advisor on trial in Florida

Former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov has already been awarded a massive judgment against his former financial advisor, Joseph Zada, in Michigan, and the Palm Beach Post reports that Zada is currently being tried for his financial mismanagement in Florida:

After calling just three witnesses to testify, lawyers representing Joseph Zada on Thursday said they are nearly ready to let a federal jury decide whether the onetime Wellington high-flyer bilked dozens of people, including former NHL star Sergei Fedorov, out of more than $20 million.

Attorney Richard Lubin, who represents Zada, said he would alert a federal judge today whether he intends to call any more witnesses. If not, it is likely the case will be handed to the jury Tuesday.

While Lubin declined comment on his defense strategy, it didn’t appear that Zada plans to testify in the trial where he is charged with 15 counts of mail fraud and three counts of lying on loan applications.

Continued...

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‘The Most Important Red Wing’ is obviously Pavel Datsyuk

Via RedWingsFeed, ESPN's Scott Burnside asks and answers the question, "Who is the Red Wings' most important player?" and the answer is no surprise:

Red Wings' Most Important Player: Pavel Datsyuk, forward

Sometimes, you just don’t outthink yourself. Pavel Datsyuk is the Detroit Red Wings' most important player and it might not be close.

The Red Wings are going to be a fascinating team this season as new coach Jeff Blashill takes the reins of a roster filled with players he had great success with in Grand Rapids. Detroit has veteran experience, but will be driven by its youth. The youth alone isn’t enough to win a championship, however.

If the Red Wings are going to break away from that large group of NHL teams in the 90-100 point range and emerge as a possible Stanley Cup contender, they're going to need a healthy, successful season from their most dynamic player: Datsyuk.

Burnside continues, and I disagree with his last line--I wouldn't be surprised to see Datsyuk re-up with the Wings for one or two more seasons when his current contract runs out.

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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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