The Malik Report
After years of lobbying, realignment has allowed the Red Wings to finally return eastward for the first time since 1981.
Gone are Detroit’s frequent trips to the West Coast and the club should benefit from limited trips outside their time zone. The Red Wings lose long-standing division rivalries with Chicago and St. Louis but will settle easily for Original Six rivals Toronto and Montreal.
Detroit was frequently a challenger for the Western Conference crown alongside strong teams like the Blackhawks and Canucks and should find themselves in a comparable spot in the East alongside elite clubs like the Bruins and Penguins.
As the Wings begin training camp, what player or position will you be keeping an eye on as the camp progresses into pre-season play?
Me, I am watching the play of backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. The Wings are going to need 20-25 games out of him this year and hopefully he can provide some wins and solid play.
So your turn, you can mention Helm if you wish, but that topic has been beaten to death in my opinion.
added 11:38am, from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
The Wings have announced how the three teams will look as training camp is set to begin Thursday morning.
For the start of things, Justin Abdelkader will be paired on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, while Stephen Weiss will center another newcomer, Daniel Alfredsson, and Johan Franzen.
The third line will consist of Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Todd Bertuzzi, while Cory Emmerton will center Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves.
That leaves Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Tomas Tatar battling to work their way into the lineup.
via Chuck Pleiness at Tout...
And Babcock talks too at the start of camp, watch below...
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
The Wings headed to Traverse City Tuesday and will undergo physicals and participate in their annual charity golf outing today before taking the ice Thursday. "It's different," Alfredsson said, laughing somewhat uncomfortably over the need to find a new comfort zone after so many years in Ottawa.
"I've been in one spot for a long time. It's exciting for me to come to a new organization, a new team, and try something else."
In terms of mere numbers, it's easier to decipher why the Wings would want Alfredsson. There are his 426 NHL goals, his 1,108 points, and his 13 seasons of 20 or more goals.
Adding up what Alfredsson brings to Detroit's mix is about vastly more than simple digits, though.
"He's been playing in the league for 17 years and a captain for 13 years," Zetterberg said. "That's a lot of experience.
"There's the skill factor he has with the puck, and he skates very well.
"He's a right-hander and that's something that's always nice to have on the power play.
"He's been playing as a D-man on the power play for many years, so it's a perfect fit for us."
from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,
The Detroit Red Wings will be in the top four in the Atlantic Division, battling the Boston Bruins for the top spot. Finally, a geographically friendly schedule for the veteran team – let’s see what the Winged Wheel is able to accomplish in the East. And remember: The better the Wings do, the more we'll have to hear about how they're the heart and soul of a city in despair, trying to lift up Detroit with their championship aspirations. Act accordingly.
you can read more as Wyshynski assigns certain 'medal' factors to players, etc...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
“Every year is a tryout camp for me; that’s how I take it mentally,'' Tootoo said. “I just have to prepare myself the best I can as there are hundreds of guys that would love to be in your spot. I’m coming into camp with the mindset of fighting for a spot on the team.”
The Red Wings have 16 forwards, two more than they plan to carry. Darren Helm (back, groin) might start the season on injured reserve. That would leave the club needing to trim one more player.
The Red Wings tried to shed some salary by making a trade in the off-season – they shopped Tootoo, among others, but there were no takers. Trade talks could resume during the season. Tootoo said he can't worry about whether he'll be moved.
“For me, it’s about having the opportunity to play in the NHL, and that (a trade) is out of my reach,'' Tootoo said. “I’ve got to worry about my game and take it one day at a time and let the business people do that side of things.
“I’ve been through a lot over the years. This is what makes you a stronger person, both on and off the ice.''
John Kreiser of NHL.com lists one player from each Eastern Conference team in a column titled "Who's On The Hot Seat In The Eastern Conference".
The player from the Wings...
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings -- Detroit's four Stanley Cups from 1997-2008 were won without relying on a goaltender to stand on his head; the Red Wings' puck-possession game and deep roster were the keys to victory. But times have changed, and management has made a major financial commitment to Howard, who's the unquestioned starter and key to Detroit's success. He was among the NHL's best last season with a 2.13 goals-against average and a save percentage of .923, then helped Detroit upset the Anaheim Ducks and nearly do the same to the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs. He has to play to that level again for the Red Wings to get back to the postseason.
read on for the other players plus a link to the same type of article for Western Conference teams...
The Red Wings will depart for Traverse City this morning--with half of the NHL roster taking part in a community outreach tour throughout the State of Michigan, and the rest either busing or flying up--and the team will take its physicals (and deal with their "mugshots") and participate in a charity golf tournament on Wednesday, with the main camp opening up on Thursday.
At the present moment, the state of Darren Helm's back and groin and Daniel Cleary's departure for Philadelphia may be joined by tit-for-tat retorts when the Senators open up camp and open wounds flow, will likely be joined by discussions as to what the Wings can do to improve upon their OT-away-from-the-Western Conference-final status, the looming slate of Winter Classic, Olympic and Eastern Conference-acclimating storylines, and of course discussions about the Wings' new additions and roster/cap crunch...
But the Wings' prospect tournament team did something very special on Tuesday night: they captured the first championship they've ever won at a tournament the Red Wings established in 1998, and they did so while icing a team whose roster included all of 3 AHL "veterans," a bunch of turning-pro prospects and a significant number of first-year players taking prominent roles on a team that delivered a 4-and-0 record against stacked Stars, Blues and Sabres teams.
Updated 6x at 1:25 AM: Well now we know: Daniel Cleary will be a Philadelphia Flyer:
Update: Wonderful teammate, great leader, defnition of self-sacrifice, but his contract may out-live his knees. The Wings were offering 2 years at $2.5 million, presumably with the NTC, and yet we hear this...
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.