Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

(Early) Morning news: On the Eastside Elite Hockey League ASG, Joe Hicketts, Mike Knuble & the WJSS

Of (mostly) Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. WXYZ's Brad Galli reported from the Eastside Elite All-Star Game in Mt. Clemens, where Steven Oleksy's All-Stars raised funds for Dakota High School defenseman Anthony Mastronardi, who's battling back from a broken neck. Danny DeKeyser, Dylan Larkin, Zach Werenski and a host of NHL'ers and other Eastside Elite Hockey League players took part in the pair of 3-on-3 games:

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Sipple: Filip Larsson, Swedes prepare for World Junior Summer Showcase (now with more Rasmussen)

The World Junior Summer Showcase begins at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth this Saturday, and seven Red Wings prospects are participating now that Michael Rasmussen has been added to Canada's roster, joining Canadian teammates Dennis Cholowski and Givani Smith, Sweden's Gustav Lindstrom and Filip Larsson, Finland's Kasper Kotkansalo and Team USA's Keith Petruzzelli as attendees.

The Swedes got to Plymouth early, practicing on Thursday afternoon, and the Free Press's George Sipple spoke with Larsson, whose goalie equipment has yet to arrive in the U.S., as well as Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin about the "showcase" event:

“The best young prospects from four different countries should be there,” said Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin. “I think it’s an unbelievable event for real hockey fans who like to follow organizations from the bottom up.”

arsson (6 feet 2, 185 pounds) didn’t have the kind of start he hoped for with Djurgardens IF last season and acknowledged he was worried he might not be picked for this summer camp. He had a 2.24 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage over 31 games.

The showcase serves as an audition to represent their country at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which will be held in Buffalo, N.Y. from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2018.

Scouts and other executives from every NHL club are expected to attend the showcase, as well as college coaches.

“I got to play not too much in the beginning and I had much pressure being drafted by Detroit,” Larsson said of his start last season with Djurgardens. “I should be one of the best players in the team. It was quite tough start for me. After a month or something, I played really good.”

Sipple continues, noting that Larsson will be looking to land a college scholarship as he heads to Tri-City of the USHL this upcoming season.

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A brief note about Tomas Tatar’s re-signing

Of brief note from the Free Press's Brandon Folsom:

Forward Tomas Tatar avoided arbitration by signing a four-year, $21.2-million contract with the Detroit Red Wings last week.

At least one of his teammates was excited to see the 26-year-old [Slovak] get paid.

"It's good to have him back," said defenseman Danny DeKeyser following a youth hockey clinic Tuesday at Echo Grove Camp near Oxford. "I was happy to see that he re-signed. He's a good guy, a good teammate. He's just a good person and a lot of fun to be around, and he helps our team a lot."

Tatar had a slow start to the 2016-7 season (nine goals in 41 games), but he bounced back to score 11 goals in the final 22 games. He finished with 25 goals, his third straight season with at least 20 goals.

“Players are streaky,” Tatar said [last] Friday. “I know it looked really bad on paper, but every player is scoring at different times. We were playing poorly around December. We all have to be better, we have to help each other more in certain parts of a season. It would be nice to be consistent and every player would like to be, but it is not easy. It is hard.”

Continued...

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Grand Rapids Griffins Sign Goaltender Pat Nagle

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed goaltender Pat Nagle to a one-year contract.

A native of Bloomfield, Mich., Nagle appeared in 25 games with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets in 2016-17 and tallied a 15-3-4 record, a 2.23 goals against average and a 0.916 save percentage. If he had played enough minutes to qualify, Nagle would have placed third in the league in GAA and eighth in save percentage. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound netminder logged a six-game unbeaten streak from Feb. 17-March 5 (4-0-2) then added a 5-2 mark in nine Kelly Cup Playoff games, helping the Komets reach the second round.

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Wings’ ‘Final Farewell’ to the Joe focuses on fans, last game at JLA

The Red Wings posted their third video paying a "Final Farewell" to Joe Louis Arena this morning, with the Wings spotlighting "The Fans" as they paid farwell to the Joe during its last game:

Here are parts one and two of the video series, too:

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Morning news: Kotkansalo wears the ‘C’; profiling David Pope, etc.

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. According to Leijonat.com, the Finnish national team's website, Kasper Kotkansalo was awarded the captain's "C" for a World Junior selection camp game against the Czech Republic;

2. MLive's Brendan Savage penned a profile of Red Wings prospect David Pope:

"I kind of broke out offensively last year so I'd like to continue that trend upward next year," said Pope, a native of Edmonton. "I've got to have the puck on my stick as much as possible and have more impact on the game.

"I think my skating has gotten a lot better and I think that's come with just getting stronger in the gym. I'm more explosive. I still need some improvement in tighter areas with my skating but since my first year I think skating and my strength have been the two biggest improvements."

Pope was 6-foot-2, 187 pounds when the Red Wings drafted him four years ago. At this year's development camp, he was listed at 6-3, 198.

That's not exactly accurate...Pope was about 165 when he was drafted, and he's put on a lot of weight since then...

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(Early) Morning news: On Dylan Larkin, the World Junior Summer Showcase and Jake Paterson’s new team

Of Red Wings-related note early on a Thursday morning:

1. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji filed an article from the Larkin Hockey School in Waterford, MI:

Although Dylan Larkin is turning 21 this weekend, it wasn't that long ago that he was a little boy skating at Lakeland Ice Arena in Waterford.

So it was a natural fit when Brad Martin, who runs the Lakeland Hockey Association and Lakeland Ice Arena, asked Larkin and his brother, Colin, and his cousins, Adam and Ryan, if they were interested in doing a hockey camp.

All four Larkin boys eagerly agreed to do it and the Larkin Hockey School was born.

"A lot of us that are doing this camp grew up right in this rink and it is cool to come back and give back to these kids that are hopefully going to follow in our footsteps," Larkin said following an afternoon session. "We all have moved on through the hockey ranks and all of us are playing (or have played) college hockey. I hope we're setting a good example and we're having fun with the kids. It's been a good response in both years doing it so it's a lot of fun for us."

Wakiji continues, and DetroitRedWings.com's Arthur J. Regner recorded a 12-minute podcast with Larkin as well:

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Krupa’s top 12 Wings prospects

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa compiled a listing of the Red Wings' top twelve prospects:

So far, the Red Wings have used none of their 20 draft picks from 2017 and 2018 to buff up a trade package, and the state of their depth chart is a reason why.

Their intent is stocking young talent.

For prospects, they are thin in defensemen and goalies.

The Wings have gotten bigger throughout their system, but large forwards are still desired, too.

And they could use some rough-and-tough guys who can eventually play quality minutes in the NHL.

Considering their top five defensive prospects, acquiring free agent Trevor Daley is unlikely to block the path of anyone young and effective, anytime soon. The pool of immediately available apprentices is insufficient.

At forward, the Red Wings are deeper, and Evgeny Svechnikov may emerge as a star.

At goalie, two tall men are the top prospects.

Krupa continues, and there's a photo gallery accompanying the story...

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A lengthy remembrance of Gordie Howe

Deadspin's "The Stacks" re-posted a very lengthy article in which Inside Sports' Mordecai Richler profiled a then-still-among-us Gordie Howe:

Gordie Howe’s amazing career is festooned with records, illuminated by anecdote. Looked at properly, within the third-grade repeater there was a hockey pedagogue longing to leap out.

Item: In 1963, when the traditionally stylish but corner-shy Montreal Canadiens brought up a young behemoth from the minors to police the traffic, he had the audacity to go into a corner with Mr. Elbows. He yanked off his gloves, foolishly threatening to mix it up with Howe.

“In this league, son,” Howe cautioned him, “we don’t really fight. All we do is tug at each other’s sweaters.”

“Certainly, Mr. Howe,” the rookie agreed.

But no sooner did he drop his fists than the old educator creamed him.

Toe Blake, another Canadien who played against Howe, once said, “He was primarily a defensive player when he started, and he’d take your ankles off if you stood in front of the net.”

Richler continues...

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Morning news: On a charitable endeavor, Jordan Sambrook, Walleye try-outs and Tweets of note

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Danny DeKeyser has been taking part in the Red Wings' Street Hockey Summer Tour, and the Free Press's Brandon Folsom reports that DeKeyser spent Tuesday taking part in a charity hockey camp:

While most Detroit Red Wings were out of town Tuesday, defenseman Danny DeKeyser was playing street hockey at Echo Grove Camp near Oxford.

DeKeyser teamed up with the Salvation Army of Metroit Detroit to spend the afternoon with 200 campers to teach them how to shoot and pass.

"This was an opportunity the kids will probably never get anywhere else," organizer Erin Eddy said. "Most of these kids cannot afford to go to hockey games or meet a player, so it's an invaluable experience for them. Some of their faces lit up and were so excited to see him. A few were screaming and wanted to hug him. They were excited to see and interact with somebody who is a popular, influential person in Detroit."

The opportunity was organized by STRIVE Hockey, a floor hockey program started in 2009 that teaches fundamentals, team building and sportsmanship to children ages 8-12 at different community centers around the metro area. STRIVE stands for "Student Training for Integrity, Vitality and Education."

2. MLive's Brendan Savage posted a profile of Wings prospect and Erie Otters defenseman Jordan Sambrook, whose Ontario Hockey League team won the OHL title but fell short of a Memorial Cup win:

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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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