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WHL’s Vancouver Giants to honor Gordie Howe, retire #9

From the Langley Times' Gary Ahjua:

Mr. Hockey will be honoured at the Vancouver Giants regular season opener at the Langley Events Centre. The Giants — set to play their first season at the LEC — will wear special uniforms to pay tribute to Howe in the game against the Everett Silvertips on Sept. 23.

Howe passed away in June at age 88.

The teams will also play with a special No. 9 game puck and the Howe family will be on hand for a pre-game ceremony. Every fan in attendance will also receive a commemorative pin.

Howe was one of the original owners of the Giants when the franchise joined the Western Hockey League in 2001.

“Gordie was a big part of the franchise from the start,” said Vancouver majority owner Ron Toigo. “Along with Pat (Quinn), he gave us instant credibility in the hockey world. He was like family to us (and) we will never forget what he meant to the Giants, and to be sure no one ever does, we will honour him as we did Pat by retiring number 9 on opening night with the Howe family.”


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Red Wings will stream prospect tournament games


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TMR afternoon line: Confidence is key for Jonathan Ericsson

Jonathan Ericsson mostly discussed the status of his hip impingement wtih the media yesterday, but he also made a very telling comment about his play during the past season, as DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji noted:

"At the end I didn’t feel real confident,” Ericsson said. “What the factors are I’m not sure. I didn’t feel real confident with the puck. It’s something I want to start feeling better. I felt better going into last year with confidence and stuff. Just over the years you lose it sometimes and it’s hard to get it back. You have to get into a good roll with playing and feeling good about everything and that’s a big part in how everyone is playing, I think.”

Wakiji continues...

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Nick Lidstrom helping shape, inspiring Team Sweden’s defense at the World Cup

From Sports Illustrated's Alex Prewitt:

The accidental architect of the world’s most dynamic blue line stands near a blown-up banner of the Swedish national team logo, sipping coffee from the paper cup in his hand.

It’s been more than four years since Nicklas Lidstrom retired from playing hockey, but he still wears the blue and yellow of Tre Kronor. Along with countrymen Daniel Alfredsson and Mats Sundin, his official title for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey reads SENIOR ADVISOR, though it might as well be IN-PERSON INSPIRATION. When Sweden unloaded here Sunday evening for practice, a particularly meaningful picture was hung inside an auxiliary dressing room: It shows Lidstrom, Alfredsson, and Sundin smiling after beating Finland at the 2006 Torino Olympics, gold medals dangling from their necks.

“They obviously set their mark on the history of the sport,” Swedish defenseman Anton Stralman says. “Look at the music industry—all the bands that come up are influenced by other bands and make them special. I think it’s the exact same thing in hockey.”


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Open post: Team Czech Republic vs. Team North America

The Czech Republic will split goaltending duties when they battle Dylan Larkin and Team North America this afternoon (3:30 PM EDT start on ESPN3/Sportsnet/TVA Sports), so Michal Neuvirth and Petr Mrazek will play half a game apiece as the Czechs attempt to sort out their goaltending situation.

Here's an open post to suit your commenting needs.

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Jimmy Howard addresses his role in a conversation with Khan

Updated 2x at 6:40 PM: Via RedWingsFeed, Jimmy Howard spoke with MLive's Ansar Khan regarding his status as the probable back-up this upcoming season, expressing a positive outlook about his role with the team:

"Whatever my role is that's what my role is going to be," Howard said. "I'm going to work hard, bring a great attitude and find ways to get better in my game. That's what I can control and that's the approach I'm going to take into the season, find ways to basically reinvent myself out there on the ice."

He added: "Obviously, it's Pete's job to lose (when) you finish the year in between the nets. It's my job to push him, not only to make him better but me better as well."

The schedule is more compressed due to a later start because of the World Cup and a bye week for each team. The Red Wings have 17 sets of back-to-back games. They will be relying on Howard to lighten Mrazek's workload.

"The schedule is almost like we're in an Olympic year," Howard said. "It's going to be very tight, a lot of games each week. You have to be ready to be called upon. It's turned into a two-goalie league."

Khan continues, and he posted a video of Howard's comments:

"I'm happy I'm here. I really didn't want to leave in the first place," Howard said Wednesday, following an informal skate at Joe Louis Arena. "My family loves it here; I love it here. I've got a lot of great friends in the dressing room, so I'm happy for that."

Update: Here's more from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, via RedWingsFeed:

Continue Reading »

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Anthony Mantha After Today’s Informal Skate

via Dana Wakiji tweets,

Obviously the main goal is to make the team. We can’t lie about it. Every single player wants to make the team.

 I need to be ready when camp starts. We’re leaving on the 21st so I need to be ready on the 21st or 22nd when it starts.

I just need to show them what I really got and how I can play my own game.

Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James also spoke with Mantha...

Continue Reading »

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Morning news: About the Wings’ prospect tournament and a profile of James de Haas

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. With the Red Wings' prospect tournament set to kick off on Friday, the Traverse City Record-Eagle's Brett A. Somers penned an article discussing Centre Ice Arena and Traverse City's respective statuses as the hosts of the most prestigious prospect tournament in the NHL:

Centre ICE has become The rink among venues to host NHL prospect tournaments. Other cities host tournaments similar to the Traverse City establishment, which partners with the Detroit Red Wings, but not even the lure of cheaper travel and lodging for teams has budged the commitment of the seven other teams from last season’s pool.

Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis, Carolina, Minnesota, Dallas and the New York Rangers all rejoin the Red Wings in northern Michigan for Friday’s start to the 2016 Prospect Tournament — the largest such event in the NHL.

“This is a culmination of many, many years,” Prospect Tournament director Ann Reeves said. “There are other tournaments within the NHL that are trying to entice teams away from our tournament by paying for their room and transportation, and (teams) are not going.

“I’ve done work with other pro teams. What’s different with Traverse City is the community. The volunteer base is unprecedented. They are happy, passionate, dedicated and it shows through in every aspect of what we do.”

Somers continues...

2. And he won't be attending the prospect tournament due to NCAA eligibilty rules, but James de Haas faces a make-or-break season at Clarkson, and MLive's Brendan Savage profiled 6'3" de Haas this morning:

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The overnight report: A photo gallery, a ‘morning line’ and fundraising

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Darren Helm made an intriguing remark to the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, discussing the roles that players will attempt to grab on the upcoming season's team:

That’s one thing Kenny said as well, Pav’s gone, there’s spots for guys to step up and there’s a few guys looking to fill that role or fill those extra minutes,” Helm said. “That’s a big thing that we’ll have to do to take a step to fill if we want to be successful. It’s exciting, hopefully get an opportunity to play a little bit more in key situations.”

2. The Free Press posted a photo gallery from Tuesday's "captain's skate"...

3. And I'm not the only one excited about getting back to Traverse City:

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Player and prospect news: Abdelkader OK at the World Cup; Swedish, Swiss leagues start up

Of Red Wings player and prospect-related note:

At the World Cup of Hockey, Justin Abdelkader played OK in Team USA's final exhibition game--a 3-2 win over Finland--skating 14:41 on Ryan Kesler's David Backes' wing for the most part, with 2 hits, a blocked shot and the slashing penalty that led to the Finns' 3-1 goal.

Still, Abdelkader found himself on the ice when the Americans were up 3-2 in the final minute, on the PK and playing against a Finnish team that had an empty net;

In the prospect department:

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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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