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The Youngsters Talk About Playing An Outdoor Game

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

It'll be Andreas Athanasiou's first outdoor game since he was a kid growing up in Ontario.

"You always go on the outdoor rinks or ponds and get a group of buddies and throw your sticks in the middle and set up the team," Athanasiou said. "It'll bring back memories.

"I think it's so exciting. You see the atmosphere there, you don't get that every day, so it's something you have to appreciate."

It will be Alexey Marchenko's second outdoor game as pro – he played for the Grand Rapids Griffins at Comerica Park two years ago.

"I think it's going to be great," Marchenko said. "A lot of my friends are going to come. Always great to play outdoor game. Great atmosphere, lots of people, should be fun."

The Red Wings were scheduled to fly to Denver Thursday afternoon and practice Friday at Coors Field – home of baseball's Colorado Rockies.

Weather could be an issue. Temperatures are expected to top 70 degrees during the day Saturday but dip to the mid-30s at night.

more including Dylan Larkin on playing in the game.

The Wings were at a Detroit Economic luncheon today, then flying off to Denver.

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On McCarty’s health, Draper-Lemieux and ‘Hockey with Helene’ talks Wings-Avs

The Free Press's George Sipple and Helene St. James penned articles discussing, respectively, Darren McCarty's state of being, and Kris Draper's conversation with a certain Claude Lemieux last June, for business' sake.

First, from Sipple...

A few months ago, when Darren McCarty began to practice for Friday’s Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game in Denver, it was the best Draper had seen his old Grind Line mate in years. McCarty told Draper then that he had quit drinking again. He told the Free Press recently that he’s in a good spot in his life at age 43 largely because of it.

“That’s my demon,” McCarty said of drinking. “It had to be me. My wife had been supportive, and it had to come to a point to me. Got tired of feeling like it was owning me. I’ve had different stints. This one is different, I think. I feel differently now anyways.”

McCarty said one reason for that is he’s “properly medicated and blessed to live in the state of Michigan.”

He said medical marijuana has helped him immensely.

“It saved my life,” he said. “I’d be dead without it.”

Sipple continues, and St. James begins:

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Lidstrom on Larkin

This is day-after-the-fact stuff, but Nicklas Lidstrom had some interesting things to say about Dylan Larkin during Lidstrom's "night" at Joe Louis Arena, and here's what he told CBS Detroit's Ashley Scoby:

“I think Larkin is sticking out, the season he’s had so far,” Lidstrom said Tuesday night before his ceremonial puck drop at Joe Louis Arena to commemorate his Hockey Hall of Fame induction. “Being a rookie, being a 19-year-old in the league and playing so well, and continuing to play so well too throughout – we’re what? Sixty games into the season, and he’s still playing well. As a rookie you can play real well in the first half but then you kind of hit the grind of an NHL season. But he’s just been plugging along and playing well.”

Since Larkin’s first game for Detroit (which he started and scored in) Red Wings fans have put him in the unenviable position of being compared to all-time great Steve Yzerman. Yzerman was also a flash of youth and talent who got started as a teenager. From his first start and his first goal to his first All-Star appearance, Larkin has done plenty this season that’s fallen under the category “first to do so since Yzerman.”

Although Lidstrom said he wasn’t as familiar with Yzerman’s earliest NHL days, he knows Larkin’s career could move along the same trajectory.

“I didn’t see Stevie when he was that age, but I’ve heard how good he was, and I’ve heard the comparisons too,” Lidstrom said. “When I came, Stevie was an established captain and he was in his mid-20s. But Larkin’s got a bright future in front of him. It’s gonna be fun to watch him in the years to come.”


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Two more takes on the deadline

I feel like this is pretty close to beating a dead horse here, but we're going to examine the glue-y subject that is the trade deadline once again, this time from multiple angles.

I plain old thought that the Canadian Press's Jonas Siegel's discussion with Ken Holland, Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill and New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero about the trade deadline, and it's a good read:

"It's not like there's a manual, that you become the manager of a team, I give you a manual and (it says) 'This is the way trades are made,'" Holland said as he prepared for Monday's trade deadline. "There is no process to getting a deal done. It's a whole bunch of balls flying around the air and they're moving in different directions."

It can be an exhilarating, nerve-racking and anxious time for general managers. The preparation begins in January when teams bring their staffs together for two days of scouting meetings, both on the amateur and professional sides. Teams compile lists of players that interest them while also identifying their priorities.

But Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill says "90 per cent of the time" teams never get the players at the top of their lists, often settling for secondary players instead.

"A lot of things that you work on don't work out, but you know what, maybe it's three months later on July 1st, something happens with that same player," said Devils GM Ray Shero.

Siegel continues, and the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo, well...

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The Speed Line

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

If speed kills, one of the Detroit Red Wings' potential lines for Saturday's outdoor game in Denver could be murder.

Coach Jeff Blashill is looking at pairing Dylan Larkin with Andreas Athanasiou for the Stadium Series event against the Colorado Avalanche at Coors Field (8 p.m., NBC). They practiced together Wednesday at McCann Arena; Athanasiou at center and Brad Richards on the other wing.

"We wanted to look at it in practice," Blashill said. "There's three days before the game."

If the line stays intact, Richards would take most of the draws.

"The one thing that Richards gives that line is a proven faceoff guy," Blashill said. "The other two guys, if there's a negative to them playing center, it's that they haven't proved themselves in the circle. AA in the American League was about 49 percent. That usually equates to about 44 percent up here. If that's the case, I couldn't put him out in the D-zone or the O-zone.


As noted in an earlier post today, Xavier Ouellet is headed back to Grand Rapids, press release is below...

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Comerica Bank to sponsor Red Wings’ ‘Players Club’ seats

From the Red Wings:

Comerica Bank third Landmark Partner for new arena
Commitment to Detroit’s comeback includes sponsorship of exciting fan club seats with unmatched access to players coming on and off the ice

DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment is proud to announce Comerica Bank as the third Landmark Partner at the new arena. In addition to several other partnership elements, Comerica will be the sole sponsor of the much anticipated Players Club, a 250-person premium area located on the event level between the Red Wings locker room and the ice.

For Red Wings games, individuals that purchase Players Club season tickets will have an up close view of both the Red Wings and visiting team’s players as they make their way out to the ice and back to their respective locker rooms. Red Wings players will literally walk through the center of the Players Club – the first experience of its kind in the market. In addition, for most concerts and events, Players Club tickets will be available for purchase by the general public.

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Post-practice Tweets of note: No starter named for Saturday; Ericsson wants to play


added 2:23pm,


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Draper, Maltby, Roy discuss the Wings-Avs rivalry

From Russ Espinoza of 5280: The Denver Magazine:

Detroit ultimately won more Stanley Cups during this era, but Avs fans can reflexively cite that the team edged out the Red Wings in three of five playoff series. Draper and Maltby can only say “wow” and laugh a little upon learning of their team’s 32-30-1 record against Colorado during that stormy eight-year period.

“I think it was just, I don’t know, a match made in heaven with a little bump in there where a guy kinda got his face smashed in,” says Maltby. “But in the end, I don’t think anyone—other than Kris—got too injured, too hurt, and it made for great hockey, great entertainment.”

On February 26, on a makeshift ice rink atop the Coors Field baseball diamond, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper, Claude Lemieux and many other hockey heroes will face-off for one last savage ballet. Hopefully this time, the guys will go home with their faces intact.

According to Draper, the lone conversation he’s had with Lemieux occurred at the 2015 NHL Draft in June, but it was strictly business, as Lemieux is now a player agent and Draper is a special assistant to Detroit’s general manager. “We drafted one of his clients,” Draper says. “Nothing was mentioned of the hit—two-three minute conversation, that was it.”


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Mrazek, Howard to sport ‘Stadium Series’ pads

Check them out:

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Wings Practicing At The University Liggett In Grosse Pointe

Helm is ill and not practicing today.

via Ansar Khan tweets,

#RedWings lines at practice:

Wings defense pairs are:
Smith-Ouellet appear to be the extras.

Additons to the post will be made as needed.

added 1:11pm, Khan again...

Power play units in practice Nyquist-Datsyuk-Zetterberg, Sheahan (net front), Kronwall
Pulkkinen-Tatar-Jurco (net front), Richards-Green


#RedWings Petr Mrazek practices in Stadium Series gear.

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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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