The Malik Report
The Red Wings are beginning a set of summer stories focusing on "Wings season highs," and DetroitRedWings.com's Craig Peterson focused on Luke Glendening's career-best numbers and improvement over the course of the 2014-15 season:
In just the second game of the regular season, on Oct. 11, Glendening scored with a backhand shot that squeaked past Anaheim goalie Frederik Anderson. That goal got Glendening started on the right foot, propelling him to a career-high 12 goals.
“I think it’s getting more comfortable, I thought I had some chances last year to score and it just didn’t go in,” Glendening said. “This year it’s found the back of the net a little bit more but I think as I’ve gotten more comfortable, I’ve been playing a little better.”
Skating as a high-energy fourth-line center, Glendening spent a significant amount of ice time alongside linemate and fellow penalty killer Drew Miller.
With lockers side-by-side in the Wings’ dressing room, Miller, a Michigan State University alumnus, has gotten to know Glendening, a University of Michigan alumnus, quite well during his time in Detroit.
“He’s a guy I’ve played with a lot this year and a lot last year towards the end of the season,” Miller said. “We’re getting to know each other pretty well and obviously, we’re penalty-kill partners, he works hard, he brings it every day. So that’s something that you can count on from him as a linemate, and the guys in the locker room and the coaches do the same, count on him to bring it.”
One source is a rumor, two sources are a "report," and three sources are generally--academically speaking, as well as in the news business--confirmed. Consider this confirmed:
Update: Make it four sources...which is Kosher:
The Edmonton Journal's Jonathan Willis penned a blog entry about this news:
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland about two topics--the state of the Red Wings' defense and the signing of Axel Holmstrom--and his conversation with Holland regarding the Wings' blueline (and the options available to the team to improve the team as a whole) is fascinating:
"A year ago on July 1 we were looking for a right-shot defenseman we thought could get points,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “There were two or three on the market. When we didn’t get them we just stopped. We felt that the young players we had in our organization were the answer.
“I’d like to think by getting 100 points and making the playoffs, to a degree, validated the decisions we made,” Holland continued. “Certainly we’re disappointed we weren’t able to finish off, being up 3-2 on Tampa Bay. We’ve got to get better. Part of that improvement is going to be the experience that (Tomas) Tatar, (Gustav) Nyquist, (Danny) DeKeyser, (Luke) Glendening, (Petr) Mrazek, (Tomas) Jurco and (Riley) Sheahan have had in the Boston series and in the Tampa Bay series.”
And going forward...
The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Jim Hiller and Jim Brewer away from the Wings as the Leafs filled out their assistant coaching staff today, and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Red Wings are likely to sort out both their assistant coaching and AHL coaching vacancies by the end of the week:
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he expected to announce his assistant coaching staff all at once this week.
Tony Granato, who was approached by Toronto and Buffalo, is expected to sign a multi-year extension to stay. Holland and coach Jeff Blashill are meeting with Chris Chelios on Wednesday to discuss a role in the organization. If Todd Nelson doesn't get the Grand Rapids Griffins head coaching job he might be a candidate for an assistant coaching position in Detroit.
ESPN's Craig Custance penned an article in which he discussed "What we learned about each playoff team," and here's what he said about the Red Wings:
Detroit Red Wings: Time has been kind to the Red Wings' first-round exit at the hands of the Lightning. The Red Wings probably should have beaten the Lightning after putting themselves in great position to do so, but with every round the Tampa Bay won, that seven-game effort by Detroit looked more and more impressive.
Cough Kronwall suspension cough...
We learned that Petr Mrazek is ready to be a bona fide No. 1 starting goalie in the NHL, responding under pressure by outplaying Ben Bishop for most of that series. Mrazek finished the playoffs with a .925 save percentage, and it was revealing that he got the work in goal over veteran Jimmy Howard. It was more good experience for Detroit's young core of skaters too, with Tomas Tatar showing he's capable of scoring in the postseason and Luke Glendening revealing the potential to be a high-end, shutdown checking center.
Since-departed coach Mike Babcock was certainly a big part of the Red Wings' near-elimination of the eventual Eastern Conference champions, so the challenge is to continue the growth under new coach Jeff Blashill. He's promising but unknown, though the success of his friend Jon Cooper of the Lightning is proof Blashill and other talented, young coaches can make quick adjustments. -- Craig Custance
More than a few Red Wings fans shed tears when this happened in 1998, and I was one of them:
Nicklas Kronwall gave an incredibly long interview to Hockeysverige's Ronnie Ronnqvist, and instead of a word-for-word translation, it's far more logical to get this out to you via a set of "highlights" and request some Swedish-language help to translate the rest:
1. Kronwall tells Ronnqvist that he isn't at the point where he feels that things have become tougher in terms of training or preparing to get ready for the season at 34, and that he trains with Swedish NHL'ers under Andrew Ohgren to work on specific hockey-related exercises;
2. Kronwall calls his 12-year tenure with Detroit a "privilege," and he suggests that between playing for an Original Six team and his favorite Swedish team growing up in Djurgardens IF, he's been incredibly fortunate. He feels that Metro Detroit is his family's home and that the Wings' continuity has been incredibly important. He's very evidently proud of his tenure with the Wings;
3. He says that he had a good relationship with Mike Babcock over the years, but Jeff Blashill's reputation as a "person who cares and a good person"--as well as a winner wherever he goes--precedes him;
This is a sort of wrapping-things-up entry given that we've already covered the substance of the Wings' pro scouting meetings and the signing of Axel Holmstrom. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also took note of the Red Wings front office's business at hand...
Red Wings management, amateur and pro scouts, and Blashill will meet Tuesday-Thursday for organizational meetings. They'll assess every player in the organization, other players, and discuss plans for the June 26-27 draft and the unrestricted free-agency period that begins July 1.
Trades also will be discussed.
"I've been getting phone calls, teams are formulating their (offseason) plans, and finding out what other teams are thinking," Holland said. "As we get closer to the draft, I'm sure there will be more interest around the league."
And he's reporting something about Tony Granato that is either good or bad, depending on whether the GM is to be taken literally:
MLive's Ansar Khan's article about the Red Wings' pro scouting meetings and this article by the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleines'sarticle about said subject serve as bookends of a sort.
Both summarize Ken Holland's outlook on the team as the Wings go into a summer where they're likely to re-sign restricted free agents Joakim Andersson, Landon Ferraro, Tomas Jurco, Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith and probably--I hate to say it, but probably--unrestricted free agent Daniel Cleary...
“We’re trying to go younger,” Holland said. “We’re trying to get better and sometimes when you’re dealing with younger people you’ve got to have patience and believe the patience is going to reward you somewhere down the line.”
The Wings’ core – Pavel Datsyuk (36), Henrik Zetterberg (35) and Niklas Kronwall (33) – are getting up there in age.
“There’s no doubt the core group of our team is old, but they’re superstars in their prime,” Holland said. “Those players can last longer. Even as their skills diminish, they may not be superstars, but they’re still good players. That’s what happened with (Steve) Yzerman, (Nicklas) Lidstrom. They could play until they’re 40. We’ve got a core that’s older, but if we can support them with youth, enthusiasm, speed, energy, it allows those players to kind of hold and maintain their status.”
And given the questions about Mike Babcock's role in the team's player personnel decisions, Holland gave Khan and Pleiness a surprisingly unprompted insight into that part of the coach-managerial process that we haven't received before:
The Grand Rapids Griffins have published 3 videos and about 20 minutes' worth of interviews with new Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, and today's installment closed the trilogy. Here are the trio of videos:
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