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Afternoon news: Why the Wings took the day off, injury updates and vets on the youth movement

I was certainly wondering why the Red Wings didn't practice today, and the Free Press's Helene St. James has the answer:

The Wings generally fly out after exhibition games, but Wednesday's group had to overnight in Pittsburgh to help out a fellow Mike Ilitch-owned team. After dropping off the Wings on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Red Bird III flew to Texas to pick up the Detroit Tigers and ferry them to Chicago for their season-closing series against the White Sox. From there, Red Bird III flew back to Detroit, a fresh crew took over, and went to Pittsburgh and had the Wings back in Detroit by mid-morning today.

St. James also issues some injury updates...

Defenseman Kyle Quincey is questionable because of a lower-body injury. Forward Teemu Pulkkinen is doubtful because of an upper-body injury dating to last week. Defenseman Mike Green is likely to be available, as he has been back on the ice after experiencing a tender groin.


The only player (besides Pavel Datsyuk, who won't be back before November) the Wings are certain won't play this weekend is forward Darren Helm, who has yet to skate after suffering a concussion and a separated shoulder Sept. 18. The Wings remain optimistic that  he can be ready for the start of the regular season the following weekend.

And she continues...

While MLive's Ansar Khan's off-day article discusses the spectacular play of the Wings' youngsters during the exhibition season, which has impressed the vets:

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Wakiji: Wings going to the dogs (and cats) for Michigan Humane Society

From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

The Red Wings not only love hockey, they also love their pets.

Many of the Wings have dogs, including Riley Sheahan, who has not only adopted the Michigan Humane Society as his pet cause, he even adopted a dog from the Michigan Humane Society's Westland location.

"She's been such a blast having around," Sheahan said. "She's a handful sometimes but it's all worth it."

Sheahan and his dog, Ryder, a lab/boxer mix, appear in Pucks for Paws, a calendar with Wings and their dogs or MHS dogs on sale now to benefit the Michigan Humane Society.

Fans can purchase the calendar at the preseason game Friday night on the Joe Louis Arena concourse for $20 or at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/PucksForPaws



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I wouldn’t start the 2015-16 season with Dylan Larkin on the Red Wings’ roster. Would you?

Very briefly: I've seen other bloggers discuss the concept that Dylan Larkin might be "ready" for NHL duty today, including Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray and Detroit Sports Nation's Shae Brophy [edit: offering thoughtful, nuanced and superb takes on the topic /end edit], and I guess I have an unpopular opinion here:

I didn't expect any prospect to unseat a roster player during training camp or the exhibition season, and I still don't believe that Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi or Tomas Nosek would be used to do much more than supplant Joakim Andersson or Landon Ferraro.

As such, I don't believe that it benefits any of the above-listed players, and especially Dylan Larkin, by starting them on the third or fourth lines, and as a result, I don't believe that Larkin should make the team unless the Wings are really serious about using him in a top-six or at least top-nine role.

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McCollum waived, Coreau sent to GR

The Red Wings are apparently going to do their usual, "Wait until Sunday to make cuts" routine, but the team has placed Tom McCollum on waivers:

Update: Jared Coreau is heading to Grand Rapids as well:

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Morning news: On Howard’s fantasy value, ten important Wings and bonus Swedish

Updated at 12:44 PM: It appears that the Red Wings are either delaying practice or have cancelled it due to the Madonna concert at the Joe, so here's a potpourri of Wings-related topics:

The tenth player in ESPN's Craig Custance's 10 fantasy hockey targets is a surprise...

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Saarijarvi doing well in the OHL

Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus spoke with Red Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi regarding his adjustment to North American hockey and the OHL as he plays for the Flint Firebirds...

“It’s very good hockey,” Saarijarvi told MiHockey following Flint’s home opener Sept. 26. “Both two games and two wins, I think that’s a very good start for us and that’s what we wanted. It’s fast hockey and physical hockey, so I think it’s good for me and it’s gonna help me a lot. And the coaching staff and everything, it’s very good. So far, it’s been so much fun.

“Those fans were awesome. They were so loud, and I love to play here, so I’m looking forward to playing the next game here.”

Saarijarvi said that any notions about Flint’s ability to host a junior hockey franchise are incorrect.

“I didn’t know that much before they drafted me, but then I started hearing not-that-good things, but I went there the last three, four weeks, been very good,” Saarijarvi said in a previous interview. “It’s not that bad, and I like it over there. I went there for playing hockey, so that’s my thing and every town has bad areas. We live in a good area, so I don’t have any problems there. The coaching staff, organization, everything, people, fans and my billet family, teammates are very nice people, so there is no problem.

“I went there three weeks before everyone, I went straight from Lake Placid to Flint, so I was the only player there, and I met all those people and the staff, what they’re doing and putting in new locker rooms and everything is so nice.”

And he continues...

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Media tour of Wings’ follow-on rink underway

Updated 6x at 4:57 PM: According to Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea, Olympia Development is holding a media briefing at the Red Wings follow-on rink's construction site:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Penguins preseason wrap-up and youth movement talk

The Detroit Red Wings' youngsters put on a clinic on Wednesday night, with Andreas Athanasiou registering two goals and an assist, Dylan Larkin registering a goal and an assist, Anthony Mantha registering a goal and two assists and Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith registering a goal and an assist apiece en route to a 7-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Athanasious, Larkins, Manthas, Noseks, Ouellets, Sprouls and Jensens have all made the Wings coaching and front office's final roster decisions very complicated ones over the course of the Wings' first six exhibition games.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jason Mackey wasn't exactly impressed with the Penguins' effort...

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Zetterberg tells Krupa that the Wings are starting a ‘new era’

The question that bears asking once you read this article by the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa is a simple one: do you agree with Henrik Zetterberg?

An accomplished, long-tenured coach is out; a new, young one is in.

Two big free agents were signed, after droughts in a few previous summers of free agency. Young players are getting better, and ample depth at some positions suggests roster moves may come.

Two goaltenders are vying for playing time, amid fond hope fine play in net will result.

“It is an interesting year, for sure,” said Zetterberg, who is starting a fourth season as captain of the Wings and 13th on the team. “It is exciting, and we are looking forward to it. The future looks good.”

The coaching change is a significant difference, even though there are some similarities between Jeff Blashill and Mike Babcock.

“I have been here for 12 years, and I had one coach for 10,” Zetterberg said. “But change can be a good thing, and I think this is. It’s a new era, here, and a new coach in town. Change can be refreshing and bring new energy. We just need to focus on what we can do, here, now.”

Krupa continues at extended length, discussing the leadership group with Zetterberg and Blashill, addressing player personnel issues and revealing that Zetterberg "hit a wall" last January...

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Prospect news: Svechnikov scores goal, Saarijarvi registers assist

In direct prospect news:

In Sweden's SHL, Axel Holmstrom played 14:58, won 77% of his faceoffs and finished at -1 in Skelleftea AIK's 3-2 loss to Orebo;

In the QMJHL, Evgeny Svechnikov scored a goal on 5 shots and went 9-for-16 on faceoffs in the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles' 7-3 win over Moncton;

And in the OHL, Vili Saarijarvi registered an assist and finished at +1 in the Flint Firebirds' 4-2 loss to Owen Sound.

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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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