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Wings’ Joe Louis Arena memorabilia auction yields a high-priced haul, Al the Octopus included

The Free Press's Hasan Dudar checked in on the final bids made for Joe Louis Arena's merchandise auction, and the prices of the items sold hit premium levels, including Al the Octopus himself:

Al the Octopus — an icon sure to be recognized by Detroit Red Wings fans — was sold for $7,700 Saturday morning in an online auction of memorabilia from Joe Louis Arena, said Dan Rosenthal, the Chief Operating Officer for Schneider Industries Inc., the company handling the “Bid on the Joe” auction.

The giant octopus went in the first lot of bids that closed at 10 a.m. Saturday, according to Rosenthal, who said no one will know who the bidder is until the entire auction closes, in order to “prevent any shenanigans” and make sure everyone is a legitimate bidder. The last lot will close Saturday at about 5:30 p.m., Rosenthal said.

The online auction began at 7 a.m. on Dec. 10. It features several other pieces of Detroit hockey history, including lockers, locker room doors, photos, signs, and more, according to a Dec. 7 news release.

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The Process Worked Last Night

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Lack of results could have prompted the Detroit Red Wings to deviate from the process coach Jeff Blashill constantly preaches.

Process is sort of the code word for playing the right way, and Blashill believes his team has continued to adhere to it during tough times.

"It's tough, it's frustrating, it's demoralizing when you're not getting results," Blashill said. "But it shows the character we have in the locker room that night after night we're coming out with the right process it takes to be successful."

The Red Wings, for one of the rare times lately, were rewarded Friday for having right process. They got goals from a pair of defensemen, won the special teams battle and had better goaltending in a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena.


Watch the extended game highlights below...

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Prospect news: Griffins lose to Chicago; Walleye beat Brampton; Rasmussen posts 3 assists

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins had a rough night, wasting a 2-goal and-an-assist performance from Matthew Ford as the Griffins gave up 3 3rd period goals, losing 6-3 to the Chicago Wolves.

The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Maple Leafs wrap-up—Wings snap a 5-game losing streak vs. Toronto

The Red Wings earned a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night, and one of the Wings' sharpest performances in a long time snapped a long streak of fruitless play against Toronto:

The Red Wings' beat writers were intrigued by this quote from Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, in no small part because it's something that's often said about coach Mike Babcock's teams:

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs quick take: Wings earn a hard-fought win over the Leafs

The Detroit Red Wings tried to end their long stretch of home games at Little Caesars Arena with a rare home-ice win, taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six showdown.

Remarkably given the Wings' record of late, Detroit rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Maple Leafs 3-1, playing good hockey from stem to stern, but especially playing strongly in the 2nd and 3rd periods as Trevor Daley, Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar scored shorthanded, even-strength and power-play goals, respectively, Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots and all four lines and six defensemen were solid to very good.

The Wings played the kind of full-team game that they needed to win, "A game, period," and now the Wings will go on the road for 3 pre-Christmas tilts looking far better than they did after Wednesday's OT loss.

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THN’s Larkin reflects on a conversation with Ken Holland

The Hockey News's Matt Larkin was asked what he would do if he were the Red Wings' general manager, and as part of his answer, Larkin reflected upon a conversation he had with Ken Holland in the summer of 2016:

I asked, “What if the 25-year playoff streak is a curse? It forces you to hang around this No. 8, No. 9 seed playoff bubble. You make moves to stay competitive but can’t get over the top, and your team isn’t bad enough to finish last, either.”

He had many thoughts on that idea. Here’s just some of what he said (his answer was way longer. The guy loves to talk hockey, like I said):

“The philosophical question you’re asking me is, ‘Do we head in a direction where we make a determination that it’s all about five years from now? Or do we continue to try to be a playoff team?’ And when you’re got Mrazek, and you’ve got Larkin, and you’ve got Sheahan, Abdelkader, and you’ve got Tatar, and Nyquist, and you’ve got DeKeyser, and you’ve got Frans Nielsen, and you’ve got Glendening and Miller on a checking line…we either got to have those people and we’re trying to win the division, we’re trying to qualify for the playoffs…or don’t sign Frans Nielsen. Don’t sign Thomas Vanek. Don’t bring in Steve Ott. And just go with a bunch of kids. And let the chips fall where they may, if you’re going to do a massive rebuild. And when I say massive rebuild – get a core of players that you think can carry your team for a decade – you’ve got to miss the playoffs five, six, seven years in a row. That’s what Pittsburgh did. That’s what Florida did. That’s what Chicago did. You can just go team after team. You don’t miss one year, and all of a sudden, ‘Boy, we’re back.’

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‘Three Things’: Wings and Leafs game previews, on video and in text

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Red Wings' Game-Day Preview video...

2. As well as the Maple Leafs' equivalent:

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Ken Holland appears on TSN 1050

Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on TSN 1050's Leafs Lunch on Friday, suggesting that the Red Wings will spend the next 10-15 games evaluating whether the team can make a playoff push, or whether the Wings will have to move into "sell" mode. At this point, Holland does not feel that the Wings are "out of the hunt" completely...

You can also listen to the interview here...

Update: Also:

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs game-day articles: On Mantha’s ‘dry spell,’ the ‘stacked’ Leafs and more

Updated 3x at 1:20 PM: The Detroit Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/TSN4/97.1 FM), and after the Wings' morning skate (Toronto did not hold a morning skate after losing 2-0 to the Minnesota Wild last night), it appears that Detroit will go with its usual lineup tonight...

And the first article to hit the wires from today's morning skate comes from the Free Press's Helene St. James, who discussed Anthony Mantha's "dry spell":

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A Mrazek trade rumor from Friedman via Nichols

From FanRag Sports' Chris Nichols: Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman appeared on Calgary's Sportsnet 960 recently, discussing the Oilers' goaltending problems, and he stated the following:

“Guys, they just don’t have the goaltending right now. Brossoit – he’s getting better, but he’s not there. I heard they were looking at Mrazek last week, and somebody told me after we mentioned it that it was a lot closer than I kind of thought. I think they’d worked out that Detroit was going to keep about half of the money, and they were trying to figure out the draft pick. Nick [Kypreos] told me he heard that he played a couple of games and Edmonton saw it and didn’t like him. And I think that’s true. But I think they’ve been looking for a goalie. They still haven’t found what they’re looking for, I guess.”

Mrazek counts as a $4 million hit for the cap-tight Detroit Red Wings.

The goaltender can become a restricted free agent this summer and he is eligible for arbitration.

Nichols continues, and the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy weighed in as well, as did MLive's Ansar Khan. Here's Kennedy...

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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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