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The Malik Report

Taking part in Octopus Thrower’s blogger’s roundtable: on Larkin and Mantha

The gents over at Octopus Thrower asked me to weigh in as to whether Dylan Larin or Anthony Mantha will reach the NHL first as part of their Friday roundtable, and as you might imagine, I had quite a bit to say...

George Malik – The Malik Report

I fully believe that the Red Wings will promote Dylan Larkin before Anthony Mantha because the team’s center depth is theoretically shallow enough that Larkin will get his cup of coffee by the end of the calendar year. I don’t think that he’ll stick unless somebody gets hurt, but he’ll get in a game or three. I’m not sure which player’s going to “stick” first–that’s much more difficult to predict–and I hesitate to suggest that one player is better or worse than the other because Larkin and Mantha are just so very different.

In Dylan Larkin, you’re looking at a possible #1 center who has a fantastic foundation as a pro prospect because he comes out of Metro Detroit’s incredibly competitive midget AAA hockey programs, the U.S. National Team Development Program, which prepares players for the pro game in a hurry, and of course Red Berenson’s Wolverines.

Larkin is much more a “finished player” than Mantha, who played on a much shallower team in a much less competitive Quebec League, and as such, Mantha’s still learning the on-and-off-ice work habits and consistency necessary to become an NHL player, and it may take him another year to year-and-a-half to bring his game together, whereas Larkin is far “readier” to play as a two-way center with some goal-scoring and playmaking aplomb (and a surprising level of “bite).

And I continue, as do

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The overnight report: A Q and A with Jeff Blashill, a note about a charitable hockey game and stuff

Among this morning's Red Wings-related news stories (it's really one story and a bunch of tidbits, but don't tell):

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa engaged in a lengthy Q and A with new Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, and it's a superb insight into the Wings' coach several months into his tenure:

Q. Can Jeff Blashill motivate those three big stars [Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Kronwall], if they need motivation? Do you feel confident you can have that relationship with them?

A. Certainly. This is the thing I’ve said all of the time: I have an inherent belief that players want to be great. I certainly have an inherent belief that those three want to be great.

I also understand that everybody reaches their maximum potential when they’re held accountable on a daily basis. But that can be done lots of different ways.

That can be done with a conversation, off to the side, saying we’ve got to be better than we were today. That can be done by pointing out things in video. That can be done by a kick in the butt.

Whatever it takes to make sure that I’m holding every player on our team accountable, that’s my job to do. It’s just the fashion in which you do it can change, and it can change by the player ...

Krupa continues at length...

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‘Roughly Translated’: Tomas Jurco says he’ll sign a 2-year contract shortly

Update: Oh fun:

Update #2: From MLive's Brendan Savage:

Forward Tomas Jurco, the Detroit Red Wings' final unsigned restricted free agent, told a website in Slovakia that he's closing in on a two-year contract agreement with the club.

But a source says Jurco and the Red Wings aren't close to striking a deal.

Slovak is a difficult language to translate, so this is very, very rough, but Tomas Jurco spoke with Hokejportal.net's Pavol Rajtar regarding his status as a restricted free agent and his new contract with the Wings, which will apparently be a 2-year deal pretty close to his previous salary.

Here's a very, very rough translation of Rajtar's article:

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‘Two Things,’ Quickie Version

As I watch the Lou Lamoriello Twitter reaction cascade for Paul...

1. Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal wrote a MASTERFUL rebuttal to those of you who believe that Anthony Mantha's washed up...

2. And MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Jerome Verrier regarding his desire to earn an AHL or ECHL contract with the Wings despite his status as a summer development camp and prospect tournament try-out.

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The overnight report: An interchangeable Detroit sports team critique; on Athanasiou and Perry

This is going to sound really bad, but I guess it's late July, and this missive from the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo could be a missive critiquing the Red Wings' decision to reload/rebuild-on-the-fly amidst the Detroit sports landscape, not a critique of the Detroit Tigers' would-be rebuild:

Baseball is quirky, and the Tigers will still feature a nucleus of highly-regarded players next season, but it’s not nearly as deep a core. Subsequently, it’s not nearly as certain the Tigers will be among the top contenders to win the World Series, as it has been the better part of a decade. The Red Wings have some promise. Petr Mrazek could be a huge difference-maker in goal. He certainly has flashed that type of ability. The free agent signing of defenseman Mike Green was significant, and I think Waterford Township’s Dylan Larkin is going to have a major impact on the Red Wings sooner than most fans realize. However, the Red Wings will probably remain in the second tier of NHL contenders in the foreseeable future because Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are fighting Father Time. The Pistons are just trying to get into the playoffs. I think they will this coming season, but mostly because they are in the Eastern Conference. In the much stronger Western Conference, it would be unlikely.

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Niyo: Ted Lindsay can’t stay still for long, and that’s a good thing

From the Detroit News's John Niyo:

He wears the scars with pride, the same way he wore that Red Wings sweater for most of his Hall of Fame career.

Ted Lindsay played hockey with a reckless abandon, and when he wasn’t scoring goals skating alongside Gordie Howe and Sid Abel on the famed Production Line in Detroit, “Terrible Ted” was often settling scores. In all, he figures he took close to 700 stitches in his 17 years in the NHL.

“A lot of them were from sticks, some of them were from pucks, and some were from fists,” he says, chuckling at all the golden memories etched in his mind and his face. “I ran into a lot of good men.”

But this is the scar he wants to show you now, pulling down the collar of his shirt to reveal a 3-inch reminder on his chest. That’s where Dr. Marc Sakwa, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Beaumont Hospital, made the incision to replace Lindsay’s aortic valve 15 months ago. Yep, elective heart surgery at the age of 88.

“Can you imagine?” Lindsay said, marveling at modern medicine, even as modern medicine men — not to mention family and friends — marvel at a fellow who plans to celebrate his 90th birthday next week by going to the gym to work out.

Niyo continues, and so does Ted, of course...

Update: There's a video, too, via RedWingsFeed:

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Prospect news: ‘Catching up with Andreas Athanasiou’; Perry leaves Colorado College

Two items of Red Wings prospect-related note popped up this afternoon:

1. The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a feature in which Andreas Athanasiou discussed his first professional season and his preparation for year 2 as someone recovering from a broken jaw...

2. And this item is particularly intriguing: Wings draft pick and Colorado College goaltender Chase Perry is leaving Colorado Springs for the present moment, returning to the now BCHL-based Wenatchee (Washington) Wild:

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Reassurance regarding Pavel Datsyuk’s absence from…Lambert?

I don't know what the hell to think about this. Puck Daddy's Ryan Lambert is about as far away from a Red Wings fan as one can get, but Mr. Lambert has this to say about the realistic impact of Pavel Datsyuk's probable ankle-surgery-induced October absence upon the Red Wings' 2015-16 season schedule:

One thing that struck me as odd this week was all the headlines about “Pavel Datsyuk out until November!!!!!! (maybe)” and yes, all those exclamation points were only implied.

November is a long time from now, obviously, but wait a second it's still not even August yet. If he's out until November — and there's been conflicting reports here, because his agent recently said Datsyuk could be ready for the start of the season — that means he misses something like a dozen games or so. Detroit has 11 scheduled for October and their first game in on the Nov. 3. Let's say he misses that one too and that's 12.

While you never want to be without one of your best players for a month, it's a little more alarmist to say “four to five months!” even if that's technically the case. Especially because of how soft Detroit's schedule is for that first month of the season.

They open hosting Toronto, travel to Carolina the next night, then host Tampa for three games in five days. Then Carolina is at Detroit before the Wings travel to Montreal for another back-to-back. After that it's three in seven days at Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Four days later they host Carolina (again!), then have a back-to-back home-and-home with Ottawa to close out the month.

I see a whole bunch of wins in that 11-game stretch. Missing Datsyuk probably isn't going to matter much.

Lambert continues with other topics, and...Thanks...for the...reality check and reassurance?

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One month till the Joe Kocur Foundation’s charity softball games

This is generally not something I'd post as an individual entry, but the Joe Kocur Foundation's annual charity softball games in Highland Township, MI are "high holy days" of the summer for many Wings fans, and we're exactly a month away from the event:

All I hear from fans who attend the event are the following:

1. Sunburn is rampant because it's an all-day affair, so bundle up and don't spare the sunscreen;

2. And there's no event in which you can get closer to or interact more with an A-list of Red Wings alums, for all of $10-15, so consider spending Saturday, August 22nd attending some friendly softball tilts.

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Glendening to Wallner: Blashill will coach as his own man

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

Luke Glendening, who played for Jeff Blashill with the Grand Rapids Griffins, thinks the Detroit Red Wings will get the same kind of coach this fall.

"I think he'll be true to himself," the third-year center said of Blashill, who officially succeeded Mike Babcock as coach on June 9. "He's a guy who cares about his players and that shines through in the way he talks to you and what he expects from you. And I don't think that's going to change at all when he gets to Detroit."

Glendening, who was at the Meijer LPGA Classic celebrity pro-am at Egypt Valley Country Club on Tuesday – along with Blashill –signed an AHL contract and played a year and a half with the Griffins before he joined the Red Wings for good in the middle of the 2013-14 season.

This year, after the Red Wings season ended, the East Grand Rapids resident was on hand for the Griffins' playoff run with Blashill.

"I think there will be a new excitement," he said of the feeling amongst the Red Wings. "Anytime you bring in a new coach there is excitement. And I think his excitement will carry over to us and I think it's going to be a good situation."

Wallner and Glendening continue...

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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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