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Wallner: Tom McCollum signs pro try-out with Los Angeles Kings

From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:

Tom McCollum, a former No. 1 pick of the Detroit Red Wings and one of the all-time leading goaltenders with the Grand Rapids Griffins, is headed west.

The 26-year-old reached agreement with the Los Angeles Kings' on a PTO (professional try out) last week, ending an association with the Detroit franchise that began in 2009.

"Obviously, I was hoping for a contract, but that didn't work out, so out of all the teams I talked to the Kings seemed most interested in me being at their camp," McCollum said by phone Tuesday. "They were very persistent and I looked at it and decided it was a really good fit. They have a long history of churning out pretty good goalies, so it seemed like a good spot for me developing even more."

Continued, and while things never quite worked out with McCollum, Tom always handled himself with class and poise.

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Khan on Vesey, Sproul and Cleary

3 updates from MLive's Ansar Khan:

1. First, Khan reports that the Wings did make a pitch for Jimmy Vesey...

The Detroit Red Wings made a pitch for Jimmy Vesey but did not make the short list of teams he is considering.

Vesey is one of the highest-sought college free agents in some time, after capping his standout four-year career at Harvard by winning the Hobey Baker Award as the top college player.

Many expect the skilled winger to make an immediate impact in the NHL.

"We did our best," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said. "We spoke to his agent about depth and opportunity. He said he preferred to play closer to home."

2. Khan also updates the situation regarding the Wings' lone restricted free agent, Ryan Sproul...

Continue Reading »

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Mid-day news: Saarijarvi on his re-set; Zetterberg and Mrazek ‘listed’

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi regarding his Major Junior re-set after requesting a trade to the OHL's Mississauga Steelheads...

"I want to be with a team that has a real chance to win OHL, Memorial Cup, and I think Mississauga is in a really good position for that," said Saarijarvi, 19. "Flint is a great city, great fans, great team, but me and my agent thought it would be better for me to go Mississauga.

"It happens in hockey. Trades come and go. I talked to (Mississauga) GM James Boyd and they're pretty excited and I'm excited, too. I'm happy they're a good team and there's a lot of skilled players."

Savage continues at length...

2. In the land of lists, Henrik Zetterberg made the cut in SI's Allan Muir's list of the top 30 NHL centers...

Continue Reading »

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Jeff Blashill will serve as grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400

From the Red Wings:

Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill named grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill will serve as the grand marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 on August 28 at Michigan International Speedway.

Blashill will give the command of “Start your engines!” when the Pure Michigan 400 gets underway at 2 p.m. The Pure Michigan 400 will be broadcast live on NBCSports on August 28.

“It’s an honor to serve as grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400,” Blashill said. “I was born and raised in Michigan and have had the opportunity to spend most of my coaching career here, so I know how passionate the fans are for all sports. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to meet the drivers, take part in the pre-race activities and soak in the atmosphere on race day.”

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Khan discusses Justin Abdelkader’s 16-17 outlook + an aerobatic announcement

MLive's Ansar Khan examines the "outlook" for Justin Abdelkader going into the 2016-17 season...

2016-17 outlook: Abdelkader, following a breakout season, was rewarded with a seven-year, $29.75 million extension, demonstrating how much the organization values his all-around game.

He'll be counted on to contribute offense (in the 20-goal, 45-point range), possibly on a top line with Dylan Larkin and Henrik Zetterberg, and will continue being the net-front presence on the first power-play unit.

Just as importantly, he provides a much-needed gritty, physical element as someone who can be hard to play against. He consistently leads the team in hits and fighting majors and has a way of disrupting opponents. He also kills penalties.

He must be more consistent, limit bad penalties and improve last season's poor plus-minus rating.

Abdelkader will play for Team USA in the World Cup next month.

He is likely to be named an alternate captain for the Red Wings following Pavel Datsyuk's departure to Russia.

Key question: Will Abdelkader continue playing on the top line?

(Yes, he will continue to play on the top line...)

And the Free Press reports that Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin's immediate outlook involves aerobatics:

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NHL.com’s ‘30 in 30’ series examines the Red Wings today

NHL.com's "30 in 30" series examines the Red Wings today, discussing the 2016-17 Wings team in video form, where Dan Rosen suggests that the Wings will miss the playoffs...

And via a series of articles in which, well, Paul Harris receives the company line...

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Evening news: Mrazek prepares for the World Cup; Twitter tidbits

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. iSport's Kvetoslav Simek spoke with Petr Mrazek regarding his World Cup preparations, and what follows is roughly translated:

Mrazek started preparing for the World Cup. Palat and Faksa are firing at him

He phoned friends from overseas and began a stiff preparation for the World Cup and the upcoming season in the NHL. Goalkeeper Petr Mrazek signed a new contract with Detroit over the summer, and now he's preparing for his place. On Monday afternoon he began full training in Ostrava's ice rink RT Torax. Ondrej Palat, Radek Faksa and Matej Stransky were firing pucks at him. "Tomas Fleischmann will arrive soon," says Mrazek. "I'm glad that I can train with the guys who play in America, against whom I play in the NHL."

At the first session Mrazek wore a completely new outfit. Including a mask tuned in the national colors for the World Cup. It features Mrazek's popular character Peter Griffin. He's kept the painting on the mask since he played for the farm team Grand Rapids Griffins.

"This time it's Peter Griffin on the CN Tower in Toronto and there are airstrikes on the small aircraft of other teams," he recalls with a smile, noting Mrazek's opponents of the Czech team at the World Cup in Toronto. "So I hope the tower will keep for a long time!"

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On the Red Wings’ mural at Jack Adams Arena

DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter penned an article chronicling the Red Wings' mural-painting of Detroit's Jack Adams Arena:

The 95-degree heat on Friday was no match for the 1,000-plus volunteers who gathered at the corner of Lyndon and Meyers in northwest Detroit to help transform the exterior of Jack Adams Memorial Arena and Adams Butzel Recreation Complex into a spectacular work of art.

The gathering was part of the annual Finale Friday celebration hosted by Summer in the City, a non-profit organization whose goal is to create a “Fun, Flexible and Fulfilling” environment for young people in Detroit by creating murals, building urban gardens and running youth enrichment programs throughout the summer.

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Little Caesars Arena part of Detroit bids for NCAA championship tournaments

The Detroit News reports that Little Caesars Arena is part of a series of bids for NCAA championship play:

The Detroit Sports Commission and Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings, have applied to host multiple NCAA championship events in the coming years.

The bids are for the first and second rounds of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, the regionals of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, the NCAA hockey Frozen Four and the NCAA Division I wrestling championships.

All four bids are for tournaments in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. Bids are submitted in four-year blocks to streamline the application process.

Continued

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Where does Tomas Jurco fit in?

From MLive's Ansar Khan, here's Tomas Jurco's 2016-17 season outlook:

2016-17 outlook: Jurco, with his skating ability and offensive skills, showed much promise as a rookie in 2013-14. But his career has gone south ever since. He didn't take the next step in 2014-15, when he would have been better off in Grand Rapids, and continued to regress last season.

Now, with a crowded roster, he'll have a tougher time cracking the lineup.

Former coach Mike Babcock wanted Jurco to utilize his size by playing more physical, going to the hard areas of the ice, including the net front, and wear on defenses by forechecking hard, instead of trying to beat opponents one-on-one. He would need to adjust his game to play on the fourth line and embrace the role because his skills are more suited for a top-nine role.

Jurco will need to distinguish himself in training camp and the preseason, when the team will be missing six forwards who'll be playing in the World Cup, plus the injured Teemu Pulkkinen. But even if he does, it might not be enough to avoid being a regular healthy scratch.

Jeff Blashill said last season the organization has a long-term plan for Jurco. But if he's still with the team following the season he is likely to be exposed for the expansion draft.

Khan continues

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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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