The Malik Report
As mentioned on Monday afternoon, Riley Sheahan addressed his new coach's pluses whlie speaking with reporters at the Red Wings' youth hockey camp, and Sheahan also spoke with WXYZ's Brad Galli regarding the team's take on the coaching change as a whole...
"There's a lot of fun and positivity coming to the rink, and I just think this change will help that, and makes us look forward to coming to the rink," he said.
Outsiders posed the thought about the Red Wings locker room needing a culture refresh or change. Sheahan said he "didn't think" Detroit needed a culture change, but likes what Blashill brings to the room.
"It's kind of where it all starts. Things have to be positive in the locker room and you gotta have confidence in the locker room. It's gotta be a good environment in the locker room. I think Blash' brings that. So, we're happy about it."
Sheahan admitted he thinks Blashill and Babcock's coaching systems are similar, and losing Babcock to Toronto is "tough to deal with because he's such a good coach."
And I was intrigued by Sheahan's take on his own performance during his sophomore season, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan:
The media took in the Red Wings' annual youth hockey camp at Joe Louis Arena today...
And the Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Sheahan regarding his new coach:
Of Red Wings-related note since I've been gone on vacation, very briefly, and on a source-by-source basis:
From MLive's Aaron McMann:
The Flint Firebirds are still waiting on final word from all parties involved, but it's looking more and more like Detroit Red Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi will skate with them this season.
Saarijarvi, property of the Red Wings and selected by the Firebirds in this year's Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, landed in Flint on Sunday ahead of scheduled meetings with Firebirds officials, the club touted on social media.
A photo of the 18-year-old defenseman with Firebirds general manager Terry Christensen, scout Keith Kurland and Dominic Hennig, the team's radio broadcaster and director of communications, was posted to Twitter and Facebook on Sunday night.
While it doesn't mean anything is official at this point, Saarijarvi, signed with a top junior team in his native Finland, has said publicly he wants to play in Flint.
He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Detroit on July 3 and the Red Wings' director of player development, Jiri Fischer, said discussions were leaning toward Saarijarvi playing in Flint.
But this is also where it gets muddy: the Red Wings, although their property, have said the decision is up to Saarijarvi. The Firebirds believe it's up to the Red Wings.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
(First in a series of player profiles prior to training camp Sept. 18-22.)
2015-16 outlook: Datsyuk will miss the start of the season following surgery on June 26 for ruptured tendons in his right ankle. The team originally stated he would be re-evaluated in late September and possibly ready for the season opener on Oct. 9, but Datsyuk, during a TV interview in Russia, said doctors told him the time frame is 4-5 months, which would idle him until at least late October. He was bothered by the issue late in the season but he and club hoped rest would do the trick – until he returned from a five-week vacation in Russia complaining of pain.
Datsyuk continues to be one of the most electrifying players in the league with his fast hands and assortment of stick-handling moves. He's one of a handful of NHL players capable of producing at a point-per-game clip and remains one of the top defensive forwards in the game. The main problem is keeping him healthy. He's endured a variety of injuries the past two seasons.
Datsyuk likely will spend most of his time centering a line with Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Looking at money: Entering last season of four-year, $7.2 million contract, will make $2.25 million next season. Unrestricted free agent upon expiry.
Looking ahead: At the root, Abdelkader is a responsible two-way player, which is why last season is unlikely to be an aberration rather than a new standard. He's reinforced why former coach Mike Babcock saw potential in Abdelkader as a top-six forward by showing up and working hard every day. He's become comfortable in the locker room, too, where Abdelkader a quiet voice of character. At 6-2, 200-plus pounds, Abdelkader also adds welcome size to a team that runs on the small side.
It was a significant loss when Abdelkader broke a finger late in the season, which sidelined him two games into the playoffs and hindered his ability to handle the puck.
This will be a huge season for Abdelkader, because it's his first shot at unrestricted free agency, and he knows the Wings are going to want to re-sign him before he gets close to the open market next July. Teammate Gustav Nyquist, likewise a 20-goal scorer, just got a raise to $4.75 million annually.
Abdelkader is going to get in the $4.5-5 million range. To the Wings' advantage, Abdelkader is a home-grown product from Muskegon, and should be relatively easy to re-sign.
from Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press,
It's been eight years now since a Detroit team's won a title (the Red Wings in 2008) and, before then, it was the 2004 Pistons. The 2012 Tigers reached the World Series, but were promptly swept in the Fall Classic.
Now, with the Tigers selling off and retooling for 2016, the Detroit sports landscape is murky, albeit still promising.
Here's our super-optimistic case for each team, then you can vote and chat about it with us on Facebook and Twitter (or in this story's comments):...
Detroit Red Wings: The 24-season playoff streak continues, and there are quite a few reasons to think the Wings could emerge very soon from their first- and second-round doldrums. First of all, Jeff Blashill's the coach now, and could be the fresh face this young team needs (many of the Wings' current players won a Calder Cup under Blashill in Grand Rapids of the AHL). Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are still here. The defense is bolstered with Mike Green on board. Give this team one healthy year and see what it can do; remember, the Wings took the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals, to seven games last year.
read on for an overview on the Tigers, Lions and Pistons...
from Scott Sepich at OregonLive,
Hockey executive Jim Lites made his first and only visit to Portland on July 22, 1990. It was a short trip, but it would be one of the most unforgettable days of his life.
The executive vice president and chief operating officer of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings had come on official business, but it was far from a routine transaction. Though it wasn't a kidnapping, Lites planned to take human cargo with him back to Detroit in the Red Wings' private jet. In the process, he would poke a hole in the Iron Curtain from the Rose City.
Along with two colleagues, Lites engineered the defection of 20-year-old Russian hockey star Sergei Fedorov, who would leave the controlling Soviet Union national program to play for Detroit, the team that drafted him in 1989.
An exhibition game at Memorial Coliseum provided the backdrop. An airport hotel provided the opportunity. On a summer night 25 years ago, Portland became the unlikely site of an international incident, and the unlikely birthplace of Fedorov's Hall of Fame NHL career.
Even at 20, Fedorov was one of the top players in the powerhouse Soviet hockey program, which won the gold medal in six of seven Winter Olympics from 1964 to 1988. A center, he was a dynamic offensive talent, but also possessed strength, speed and stamina that would make him one of the top defensive forwards in the world.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host seven other NHL teams during the 2015 NHL Prospect Tournament at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich., from Friday, Sept. 11 to Tuesday, Sept. 15. Returning to northern Michigan for the 17th season, the eight-team tournament is comprised of the Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues. Tickets for the tournament are still available for $10 per day, which covers four games, exclusively at Centre Ice Arena or online at www.centreice.org.
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.