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The Malik Report

Could The Wings Be The Avalanche Of Last Season?

from Sean McIndoe at Sportsnet,

So today, let’s ask the question: Could any of the current middle-of-the-pack teams be this year’s Avalanche?...

Why they should be OK: Between Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek, the Wings have two goalies who’ve had NHL success. Granted, both have been inconsistent lately, but only one needs to play well to prevent the season from going completely off the rails. And while the core is old, there’s enough young talent on the roster and on the way that things could get at least marginally better.

Besides, Holland has been at this for a while and should get some benefit of the doubt. If he really thinks they don’t need to rebuild, maybe he’s right and the rest of us are wrong.

But all bets are off if…: Holland changes his mind (or was bluffing all along) and decides to tear it down. That would be more of a controlled demolition than an Avalanche-style collapse, but the end result would look the same.

more on the Wings and other teams too...

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What To Do With Mike Green?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Green is headed toward unrestricted free agency next summer, so his future hinge ties into how competitive the Wings are. If they are in the playoff picture in the month leading up to the trade deadline, the Wings could reach out to discuss a one-to-two year extension in the $4.5 million range. If Green is not amenable to that, or if the Wings are out of the playoff race, it makes sense to follow the blueprint from this past spring and trade him for a draft pick.

The Wings have a new defenseman in Trevor Daley, and while Ryan Sproul lacked assertiveness when he got into the lineup, he has not had much of a real chance to gain a foothold in Detroit. Then there is money to consider – next summer sees the expiration of contracts for Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha (as well as Petr Mrazek, for that matter), and $6 million off the books would help cover those extensions.

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The Outlook For Danny DeKeyser

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2017-18 outlook: The Red Wings could not have anticipated the significant decline in performance from DeKeyser, who was coming off three solid seasons.

He wasn't nearly as strong defensively and committed more turnovers than in previous years. He is better suited as a second-pair defenseman but must play on the top pairing on a team that lacks a bona fide No. 1 D-man. It has been a difficult adjustment.

Still, the club is hoping last season was an aberration and that the normally reliable puck-mover and sound positional player will revert to form. The Red Wings plan to pair DeKeyser with Trevor Daley, another mobile puck-mover. That should help.

Strength has been another issue for the slightly built DeKeyser. Adding some weight and muscle could help him win more puck battles.

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Mid-day news: On ‘timeless’ Z, Murray Howe’s memoir, the Wings’ cap mess and Tweets of note

Updated with the "Kronwall Stars'" roster @ 12:09 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Athletic's Paul Campbell penned a superb article discussing three characteristics that make Henrik Zetterberg a "timeless" player:

Zetterberg uses patience as a weapon: Elite players with explosive power (like Connor McDavid) kill you before you can even process the danger. They get to places faster than you can follow and shift faster than you can adjust. Zetterberg has flashed such a move from time to time, but his real talent is precisely the opposite: stretching a play to such lengths that everyone has simply slid to a stop, given up, or assumed there was no longer a real threat.

As Zetterberg receives the pass [video attached], it’s clear goaltender Braden Holtby is down but covering the available net. So, Zetterberg walks right, waiting for an exploitable hole to open up. At first, there is nothing, then potentially some five-hole space requiring a bank off the inside knee, then nothing again, followed by nothing, until, finally, Holtby sits pinned and wriggling on the post. Zetterberg continues almost to the goal line, ensuring he has space to avoid being stuffed by the pad and glove, before he methodically adjusts his arms to take the shot. It’s a slow-motion game of chicken that Zetterberg has mastered. Age, if anything, has only enhanced this key characteristic of his game.

Continued (paywall)...

2. This is kind of neat: the Traverse City Record-Eagle's Marta Hepler Drahos revealed that Murray Howe has written a book about his father via an article discussing writers who will visit Traverse City this fall:

Continue Reading »

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Time to move the Zambonis

From WXYZ's Max White:

With just over a month until Little Caesars Arena opens, Detroit Red Wings icon Al Sobotka was caught driving a zamboni down Woodward Ave. on Tuesday morning.

Sobotka, who has been the building operations manager going back to the Red Wings' time at Olympia Stadium, will be one of only a handful of people who will have worked at all three buildings.

Photos on social media show Sobotka driving the zamboni down Woodward Ave. near Little Caesars Arena. It's not clear what he was doing on the road.

Put bluntly, you don't move a Zamboni from rink to rink by doing anything other than driving it...

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Video- Part 2 Of The Best Of The Wings At The Joe

awood40 with part 2...

Best Detroit Red Wings Moments @ Joe Louis Arena. Part 2 (91-92/92-93/93-94).

One hour to watch the video.

 

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The Outlook For Gustav Nyquist

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2017-18 outlook: A team that struggles offensively could use more goals from Nyquist. It would help if he could return to his form from 2013-14 and 2014-15, when he combined for 55 goals.

Perhaps he's destined to be more of a set-up man than finisher, since that's the kind of player he was in college at Maine (three seasons) and in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins (two seasons), when he produced far more assists.

But he still needs to score more than 12 goals. He has not become the "go-to guy" coach Jeff Blashill envisioned when he took over as coach.

Part of the problem is he's not shooting as much (2.06 shots per game the past two seasons, after averaging 2.5 shots the previous two seasons). The team's struggles on the power play also have hurt his production (or maybe it's the other way around). Nyquist had 20 power-play goals in 2013-14 and 2014-15 combined but only nine in the previous two seasons combined.

He's a creative player who's at his best when he's skating up the ice with the puck and making things happen. If he's not going to top 25 goals again he must at least be more consistent in contributing assists. Many of his points last season came after the team was out of playoff contention.

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‘Red and White Authority’ podcast offers an hour with Ryan Martin

DetroitRedWings.com's Art Regner spoke with Red Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin regarding the World Junior Summer Showcase, and Regner's conversation spans an hour and nine minutes:

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Griffins re-sign Borkowski; Walleye bring back Berschbach, Jenks, add Brassard

Of note from the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toledo Walleye:

The Griffins re-signed forward Mike Borkowski to an AHL deal...

The Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday signed center Mike Borkowski to a one-year contract.

Borkowski skated in 51 games with the Griffins in 2016-17, his first full professional season, and contributed five points (3-2—5), a plus-one rating and two penalty minutes. The 25-year-old appeared in one postseason contest, helping the Griffins win their second Calder Cup in the last five seasons. Borkowski also played in six games with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, totaling nine points (3-6—9) and a plus-10 rating.

The 6-foot, 185-pound center made his professional debut with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators near the end of the 2015-16 campaign after finishing a four-year career at Colgate University (ECAC). In 12 games with the Senators, Borkowski posted three points (2-1—3) and logged his first pro goal in his debut on March 13.

Prior to turning pro, the Ottawa, Ontario, native competed in 133 career games with the Colgate Raiders from 2012-16 and registered 87 points (30-57—87), while being named to the ECAC All-Tournament Team in 2015 and the ECAC All-Academic Team in 2013 and 2014. As captain his senior season, Borkowski ranked third on the team in points (13-9—22) and second in goals (13).

And the Toledo Walleye brought back Shane Berschbach and A.J. Jenks...

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Ken Holland On A Few Topics Today

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

General manager Ken Holland said Monday he anticipates being slightly over the $75 million cap if everyone is healthy to start the season. That would force the team to trade or waive a player. But Holland said they will wait to see what unfolds in camp and preseason.

The Red Wings' cap figure stands at about $77.5 million, including $2.56 million of dead space from Stephen Weiss, who was bought out in 2015, and Franzen. They could get as much as $3.95 million in cap relief from Franzen, which would take them down to roughly $73.6 million. That doesn't leave a lot to sign Athanasiou, a restricted free agent, and provide a small cushion to recall a player from the Grand Rapids Griffins as a replacement for someone on short-term IR.

Discussions with Athanasiou's agent are ongoing.

"I made a number of offers; we continue to talk," Holland said. "We've had a number of conversations."...

Holland said players who underwent surgery - Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Tomas Tatar (shoulder) and Luke Glendening (ankle) - are expected to be ready for the season opener Oct. 5. He wasn't as certain about Ryan Sproul (ACL) being able to go at the start.

Niklas Kronwall, who has been plagued by a knee issue he said can't be remedied by surgery, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp on Sept. 15.

"If everybody is healthy when we get to opening day, we'll probably have to make a move," Holland said. "I'm anticipating we'll be over by a little bit."

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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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