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How Should The Wings Utilize Darren Helm?

Ansar Khan of Mlive with his player profile on Darren Helm,

2016-17 outlook: The Red Wings showed how much they value Helm's speed, tenacity and versatility by giving him big money and a lot of term for someone who's played on the third line most of his career and probably won't provide more offense than he has the past few seasons.

Now they must determine how best to utilize him. He expressed concern about his role and ice time after the season, when he was moved freely up and down the lineup. Two years ago, Helm played much of the season in a top-six capacity, on the wing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar. It was a unit Jeff Blashill turned to at times last season.

Helm can play third-line center or on the wing. He can play the net-front role on the power play if there is an injury. He is a regular on the penalty kill.

Helm generates a lot of scoring chances with his skating ability and forechecking and gets the puck on the net, but he's not a good finisher. He needs to continue to focus on slowing the game down and realizing he has more time with the puck.


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All about James de Haas

From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

Not every player takes the same journey to professional hockey. For James de Haas, the Red Wings' sixth-round draft pick in 2012 (170th overall), the college route was the one he chose.

At last month's development camp at Centre Ice in Traverse City, de Haas showed that it was not his first rodeo. In fact, it was the fifth year that de Haas has attended development camp.

"There's always new things to pick up," de Haas said. "As much as each year there's a lot of similarities and we do a lot of the same stuff, they try to switch it up a bit, do different things. I find every year there's some stuff we'll go over and it's like, I've seen that three or four times but there's always a few things to either refresh on or a few new things to learn so it's definitely worth it to come up here."

de Haas says he has learned a lot about improving his nutrition and different ways to work out every year in camp.

But at 22, he definitely feels like the older guy, especially with some of the kids who just got drafted in late June.

"Some of these younger guys are coming in here and it's like, wow," de Haas said. "But then again, I can remember being that young kid and some of the older guys in here."


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WiiM’s J.J. From Kansas defends the Wings’ playoff streak

Winging It in Motown's J.J. From Kansas penned a superb column "In Defense of the Red Wings' Playoff Streak":

We’ve had... well, a bit of a rough summer in Red Wings fandom. From the first round destruction the team faced at the hands of the Eastern Conference runners-up Tampa Bay to the loss of Pavel Datsyuk leading to his cap hit being traded at the draft only to make space for a superstar who stayed home, eventually leading to a bit of an underwhelming free agency period followed by a quiet summer of stagnant defense, the overall mood of the fans still paying attention to hockey in Mid-August is a mix of antsy and dour.

We’ve broken down the tidbits Ken Holland has given us over the summer in regards to his plan and have come to the conclusion that the Red Wings’ most-pressing priority is extending the franchise’s playoff streak, even if it means lacking the real competitiveness needed to make a run for the cup. “The Streak” it seems has gone from a point of pride to a point of contention among Wings fans who want more than facade-marketing winning and are willing to suffer more bad hockey in the short run for a chance at less-mediocre hockey in the long term.

I’ll tell you this though: I feel many of us have lost the way in terms of appreciating the streak and it’s kind of unfairly being blamed as a detriment where it doesn’t have to be. As a fan looking forward to watching what might be the least-competitive Red Wings team of the last 30 years, I’m still only at a point where I’m willing to gamble with the streak rather than outright abandon it.

J.J. continues...

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If you’re in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Friday…

As reported earlier this week, and roughly translated from Championat:

In Yekaterinburg, Russia, the "Datsyuk Arena" sport complex will hold an opening ceremony on August 19th. The highlight of the evening will be the starts of the game, where the president of the Night League, two-time Olympic champion Alexander Yakushev, Pavel Datsyuk and other well-known players will take to the ice against the Night League champion "Neoplan," the III All-Russian Festival Team.

Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, as well as special guests from the NHL in Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Artemy Panarin, Evgeni Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko will hold a master class for young players at the opening of the arena. Parents of the young players will be awarded an invitation to the evening's all-star game.

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NTDP dedicated to academic excellence

USA Hockey's Peter Krupsky discusses the academic constraints under which the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 teams compete at the National Team Development Program:

The progress of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program U17s and U18s are measured every day on the ice. As National Hockey League scouts appreciate, rapid development forced in the crucible of competition is the template of the NTDP. Eighty NTDP alumni played in the NHL last season, and another 21 were selected in the 2016 NHL Draft.

There is another facet to an NTDP player’s development more important than anything on the ice.

All NTDP players attend high school in the area. In order to compete in games, players must maintain a minimum 2.3 grade point average in keeping with the minimum NCAA Division I eligibility requirement.

She’s not a coach, but Lisa Vollmers – USA Hockey’s NTDP’s director of student-athlete services – monitors every player’s progress in the classroom as passionately as any scout evaluating the same player on the ice.

“I am extremely proud of the NTDP student-athletes and their dedication to success both on and off the ice,” Vollmers said. “The players recognize that their dedication and consistent hard work will pay off as they strive to meet their academic and athletic goals.”

Krupsky continues...

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‘Roughly Translated’: Henrik Zetterberg discusses World Cup preparations

Via RedWingsFeed, Expressen's Mattias Ek spoke with Henrik Zetterberg regarding his status as the captain of Sweden's World Cup of Hockey team and Zetterberg's preparations for the pre-NHL-season tournament. What follows is roughly translated:

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‘Three Things’: Griffins jersey voting, a ‘big question’ and ‘Workout Wednesday’

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Grand Rapids Griffins' jersey contest has reached its fan voting stage on UniWatch.com:

2. In an Insider-only entry, ESPN's Rob Vollman asked "one big remaining question" for every team in the Eastern Conference:

Detroit Red Wings

Will Pavel Datsyuk's departure end Detroit's playoff streak?: One of the most impressive achievements in all of professional sports is Detroit's active streak of 25 consecutive playoff appearances. Hockey statistician Tom Awad estimated the odds against this at 1,127,356-to-1.

Given that the Red Wings have finished no higher than third in their division for five straight seasons, the loss of one of the game's greatest players could be enough to jeopardize the team's chances of making it 26.

To put this loss in perspective, Detroit has outplayed its opponents 4,281-to-3,034 in shot attempts the past five seasons when Datsyuk has been on the ice. In other terms, the team's share of all on-ice shot attempts has jumped from 51.8 to 58.2 percent, per NHL.com. His skates won't be easy to fill.

3. And on Twitter:

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More Offensive Production Needed From Mike Green

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: The Red Wings filled their need for a right-shooting, offensive defenseman last summer and Green contributed at even strength and on the power play, playing mostly on the second unit.

The Red Wings, with new assistant coach John Torchetti running the power play, must solve a man-advantage that, despite finishing 13th in the NHL, struggled most of the season, after ranking second the year before. They might opt to use Green on the first unit instead of or along with Niklas Kronwall.

Green is a smooth skater who likes to join the rush and has a good wrist shot. His offensive ability is vital for a defense that doesn't contribute a lot of points.

He has defensive deficiencies, but that didn't prevent coach Jeff Blashill from occasionally pairing him with another offensive-minded defenseman in Brendan Smith. Blashill's original plan was to pair Green with Danny DeKeyser but he ended up playing with a variety of partners.

Key question: Can Green contribute more offense?


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Walleye free agent camp yields a local training camp invite

This story from the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe is pretty cool:

The Toledo Walleye provided fledgling goalie Andrew Gedert with a golden opportunity to showcase his talents and the Woodville resident took full advantage.

Gedert was among 69 players who attended the organization's annual free-agent camp last weekend. The 22-year-old Woodmore High School graduate played well enough to earn an invitation back to the Walleye's main training camp in October.

“I want to play hockey at the highest level I can play it,” Gedert said. “Playing professional hockey is the ultimate goal.”

Gedert, 22, competed in the Federal Hockey League for a team based in New Hampshire last season. He played sparingly, appearing in just four games.

“But it was my first year of pro hockey and it was like a dream come true,” he said. “It was my rookie season and I couldn't get over that that was my job. It's the coolest job in the world. I'm very grateful and humbled by it. I just want to keep getting better.”

Monroe continues...

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The overnight report: Rosen on the Wings’ defense, Swedish prospects, and ‘it’s that time again’

Of Red Wings and blog-related note this morning:

1. In his weekly mailbag feature, NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers a question regarding the Red Wings' desire to add a blueliner to the mix, and Rosen happens to have spoken with a certain Ken Holland regarding the issue:

How do you see the Detroit Red Wings fixing their logjam at forward, and will they acquire a defenseman? -- @DuboisAD1468

I spoke to general manager Ken Holland about this Monday. The way he sees it, they have 16 forwards for 14 spots. Two of those forwards are Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou. Holland talked about the Red Wings trying to get younger and rebuild while maintaining their status as a playoff team because if you're a playoff team you give yourself a chance to win the Cup. It's the old "just get in and you can do it" philosophy. I don't necessarily buy it with the Red Wings this season, but that's not what you're asking. They hope that Mantha and Athanasiou push to make the opening night lineup. Either can be sent to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League without having to clear waivers. If one or both make it, it could be problematic for Tomas Jurco and/or Teemu Pulkkinen. But if Jurco or Pulkkinen have a good camp, it could be waivers for veteran Steve Ott or Drew Miller. Wait and see on it. Mantha and Athanasiou are the keys.

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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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