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Thomas Vanek Off To A Very Good Start With The Detroit Red Wings

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Vanek is a critical contributor for a Red Wings team that has outperformed expectations by winning five in a row.

It has been a reversal of fortunes for Vanek who was coming out of an unsatisfactory relationship with the Minnesota Wild. He scored 39 goals and was minus-16 over two seasons in Minnesota, and the Wild bought out his contract. They didn’t believe he was worth the $6.5 million they were spending.

“I loved Minnesota,” Vanek said. “Nothing bad to say about the organization. But it wasn’t a good fit. They had other guys who they preferred get top minutes. I could never get going. Some of it is my fault. I wasn’t very good at times.”

Vanek, who scored a career-high 43 goals for Buffalo in 2006-07, had three or four teams interested but settled on the Red Wings because they believed he is still a top scorer. Vanek also liked their history as a puck possession team. “Over the years, I’ve admired the way Detroit plays hockey,” he said.

The Red Wings particularly liked the fact that Vanek is a right-hand shot. He has made the team more dangerous from the left wing on the power play.

“The fit is right because they want me in front of the net scoring goals,” Vanek said. “I still think I’m one of the better net-front people in the league. The last two years, it seems like I wasn’t put in those situations. It’s about fit and being in the right situations in this league. But you still have to work hard.”

more plus other, under the radar players who have had a good start..

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More Pistons-to-Little Caesars Arena talk

From the Free Press's Vincent Ellis:

Leadership teams representing Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and the Ilitch family have been talking to NBA and Detroit city officials over the past few weeks about two key issues as they try to finalize a historic deal to bring professional basketball back downtown, according to a person briefed on the discussions.

The Pistons could move in time for next season, the source said. But the deal isn’t quite at the finish line.

  • The sides are researching what it would take to modify the still-under-construction Little Caesars Arena, which is being built for the Ilitch-owned Detroit Red Wings, to accommodate the requirements of an NBA team.
  • The Pistons also are considering potential downtown locations for business offices and a multimillion-dollar practice facility.

At the most senior level, Gores and Chris Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, have directed their executive teams to work on a framework agreement that would permit the move, subject to approval by the NBA and city officials, the source said.

The two sides spent most of the summer working through details. The discussions have triggered speculation that an announcement could be imminent. But the person with knowledge of the negotiations cautioned that there is still a lot of work to do. A detailed agreement -- if it can be reached -- could be weeks away, the source said.


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Articles from practice: Ott, Wings prepare for a ‘measuring stick’ game

Updated 3x at 5:10 PM: The Red Wings practiced at Joe Louis Arena before flying to St. Louis to play the Blues on Thursday evening, and Justin Abdelkader joined the fray but may or may not play against the Blues tomorrow. After practice, Steve Ott spoke with MLive's Ansar Khan regarding playing against his former team...

And the Red Wings brought out ye olde measuring stick while speaking with the Free Press's Helene St. James about tomorrow night's tilt against the powerhouse Blues:

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Meet Joe Everson, anthem singer/painter

From the Midland Daily News's Chris Aldridge:

In the online world, it’s been an eternity since Midland native Joe Everson’s video went viral.

On Saturday, hockey fans in Toledo were stunned as he sang the Star-Spangled Banner. It wasn’t just his voice: while singing, a bearded and bald Everson was creating live public art, throwing paint and quickly filling in brush strokes. He flipped the canvas 180 degrees to reveal his rendition of silhouetted soldiers in Joe Rosenthal’s famed Iwo Jima photograph that shows war-torn troops propping up the flag.

Everson then adds the final touch, a single brushstroke to cast the flag’s red and white stripes. He turns to a roaring crowd, his hands in the air, jubilantly belting out with them the last six words, “and the home of the brave.”

He never broke rhythm. And it was over in 95 seconds.

Millions of views, shares, retweets and interviews with national media later, the Daily News caught up with the local showstopper. On Tuesday he was heading back from New York to Greenville, South Carolina, with his art manager and brother-in-law.

“It’s going nuts and it’s climbing still,” Everson said of one video with 16 million views. “This is really exciting. It’s like hitting a home run, if you will. That’s the reality of ‘Wow, we did something pretty big.’”

Continued, and here's the video in Vimeo form:

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Practice Tweets + afternoon news: Abdelkader returns to the ice

Updated 3x at 1:57 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice just before noon at Joe Louis Arena to practice before heading off to St. Louis to face the Blues on Thursday, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

MLive's Ansar Khan...

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Gretzky shares Gordie Howe stories

Wayne Gretzky was in Hollywood yesterday to appear on Conan O'Brien's "Conan" and speak with NPR's Morning Edition regarding his new book, 99: Stories of the Game. During both appearances, Gretzky shared his memories of Gordie Howe:

On getting to meet his hero, Gordie Howe: I was fortunate enough — when I was 10 years old — I got asked to be a part of this charity event in my hometown that Gordie was going to be part of. And I remember three things: One, I was getting to meet Gordie. Two, I was going to get the day off school. And three, I was officially going to get my first suit.

My mom and dad bought me a blue suit and pair of new shoes that were killing my feet— like every other 10-year-old — and I got a chance to talk to him. I got some great pictures with him.

I remember when I left there my dad asking me, "How was it?" And I distinctly remember saying to my dad ... "Wow, he's nicer, bigger and better than even I had imagined him."

On Howe being not quite as nice on the ice: If you talked to anybody they would say, "The one guy I fear when I play against him is Gordie Howe." And, yet, away from the ice the perception was, "Well he's so nice we don't care what he does on the ice." And that's was sort of how fans sort of looked at Gordie.

The NPR interview continues...

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Crain’s Detroit Business’ Shea: Announcement of Pistons move downtown may come shortly

From Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

Official word that the Detroit Pistons will move to downtown Detroit for the 2017-18 season could come within days, if final details can be worked out, sources close to the discussions said.

Talks have continued this week between the Pistons' ownership and Olympia Entertainment on moving the basketball team as it prepares to open its upcoming home season on Friday.

There is no formal timetable for an announcement at this point. No final agreement has been reached, and the talks could still fall through, sources say. Potential additional deals involving the entertainment and broadcast rights portions of their respective businesses are expected to take longer.


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Video- Highlights From Wings/Hurricanes Game Last Night

10 1/2 minutes of extended highlights from Detroit's 4-2 win over Carolina last night.


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The overnight report: Red Wings-Hurricanes wrap-up

The Detroit Red Wings were able to overcome a spotty effort to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Tuesday, earning their 5th straight win thanks to a pair of goals from Dylan Larkin, a fine 29-save performance from Petr Mrazek and a lot of effort against a surprising Hurricanes team in between.

As AWood40 posted, Dylan Larkin's pair of goals were things of beauty...

And the way the Wings responded after Mike Green got hit "in the numbers" by Victor Stalberg wasn't bad, either:

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Red Wings-Hurricanes quick take: a little sporty, but we’ll take it

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to push their winning streak to 5 games against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday evening, while the Hurricanes attempted to wrap up a 6-game road trip on a winning note. The Red Wings faced familiar faces in Andrej Nestrasil and Martin Frk as well.

The Red Wings may have had to work a little harder than they wanted given that the Hurricanes never gave up, and had a particularly good third period, but Detroit built up 3-0 and 4-2 leads and did a fine job of out-working and out-detailing the Hurricanes to a 4-2 margin of victory, earning a fifth win in a row.

According to Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond, the Wings have earned 10 of their first possible 14 points, and they'll need to play a little better on Thursday in St. Louis, but this was an excellent effort against a rope-a-dope of an effort by a surprising Hurricanes team.

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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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