The Malik Report
The Red Wings and their Michigan-based NHL friends took to the ice around 10:30 this morning, and here's a breakdown of the Tweets related to today's informal practice--with the Tweets being a little lighter due to the start of college football season tonight:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James has posited an outlook for Brendan Smith:
Looking ahead: Smith should be highly motivated to come to training camp and battle for a lineup spot, because newcomer Mike Green has pushed Kyle Quincey into the third pair, leaving Smith and Jakub Kindl to fight for a regular role. There also are prospects knocking on the door, making it feasible that Smith ends up being traded. Smith would do well to keep his game simple and not try to do the risky things he got away with in college and the minors.
2. And on Twitter:
(this one comes via Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal)
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
2015-16 outlook: Mrazek is poised for his first full NHL season and has the inside track on the starting job, which he won from Jimmy Howard at the end of the regular season. He was strong in the playoffs, giving the Red Wings a chance to upset to the heavily favored Lightning.
He had a few bad outings the second half of the season but showed good resolve by bouncing back strong in his next start each time. He exudes confidence and has a mental toughness about him.
Mrazek's puck-moving ability is a tremendous help to his defensemen, an edge he has over Howard.
Howard will be highly motivated to win back his job but Mrazek won't give it up easily. If the competition is close, new coach Jeff Blashill might favor Mrazek, who he coached for much of the past three seasons in Grand Rapids, winning the Calder Cup in 2013.
Mrazek is in line for a significant salary bump after the season.
Key question: Will Mrazek establish himself as the No. 1 goalie and become the team's workhorse?
The Patriot-Ledger's Mike Loftus has penned an article about Red Wings prospect Pat Holway and his journey toward pro hockey, which has included lacrosse-playing and a decision to eschew high school and Major Junior hockey to play in a unique Massachusetts hockey program:
Selected by the [Dubuque] Fighting Saints in May’s USHL draft, Holway spent the first week of June at their week-long Tryout Camp, then came home to wait out the June 26-27 NHL Draft (and pick up his Cohasset High diploma). The Wings grabbed him in Round 6, No. 170 overall, and then he was off to Traverse City, Michigan, for their July 3-7 Development Camp.
“It was an incredible stretch,” Holway said. “It’s kind of like being acknowledged for all your hard work, so it’s a good feeling: People have actually seen that you did work hard, you did what you needed to do. It’s like a reward, almost.”
[If] if there was any doubt that Holway’s game is sufficient to bring him success in the coming years, it was largely erased during this summer’s camps: He was selected to play in the Saints’ Tryout Camp All-Star Game, and had a two-assist effort in a scrimmage during Detroit’s Development Camp.
“It took a little bit to get used to” the USHL level,” said Holway, whose Saints started training camp this week, and have a home-and-home exhibition series against in-state rival Cedar Rapids over the weekend. “But I thought I handled it well, improved as the week went on.
"The Red Wings’ camp was was another few notches up ... but again, I thought by the end of the week, I’d handled it well. I was able to keep up, all that. It gives you some reassurance. You get that sense of ‘OK, maybe I do belong here.’”
Updated at 9:47 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening: Via a Tweet from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, I posted pictures of Jimmy Howard's Ray Bishop-designed mask yesterday at this time, and if you missed it...
According to InGoal Magazine's Rob McGregor, the mask was inspired by one of Howard's tattoos:
Updated 5x at 3:29 PM: We're going to be talking about this as one of the main stories going into training camp, the exhibition season and regular season, so let me be blunt:
I've had three severe concussions in my life, and as a result, I'm hesitant to take part in any sport because I've learned that one "funny bump" on the noggin can yield post-concussive symptoms that last for months. While I get to do things like test sticks and gear, I don't do anything involving contact.
I am not in Johan Franzen's skates, and I have all the sympathy in the world for a man who's been playing hockey for the vast majority of his 35 years. I also understand that when one is a professional athlete, as Franzen is, it's probably close to impossible to envision yourself stepping away from the lifestyle you love for the sake of your health, especially if you feel--as Franzen clearly does--that you haven't "given your all" to exhaust all options for a comeback.
This article from the Free Press's Joe Guillen may cause a bit of a kerfuffle:
Of the more than $200 million in construction contracts awarded for the new Red Wings arena project so far, nearly $77 million will end up in the pockets of Detroit companies.
But the financial gains for Detroit companies, as tallied by the Free Press, are significantly less than the figures publicly reported by the Ilitch-owned arena developer, Olympia Development of Michigan.
Companies headquartered in Detroit or with offices here have been awarded about 38% of the arena contract amounts so far — a mark exceeding the Ilitch family’s promise to include Detroit companies in at least 30% of the new arena’s construction contracts, according to a Free Press analysis of 11 arena contract packages awarded so far.
By Olympia’s calculations, however, Detroit companies have received more than $126 million, or about 63%, of the $200 million worth of construction contracts. The developer has used this method to promote Detroit participation in the arena project through news releases and public appearances.
Update: Via JeffW, here's a video of Fox 2's Roop Raj talking about the District Detroit webcam (http://www.districtdetroit.com/live-web-cam/) and speaking with Olympia/Wings CEO Tom Wilson:
MLive's Brendan Savage has posted an "emptying the notebook" article about Wings prospect Adam Marsh, who re-set his hockey career after moving from Chicago to Saint John, New Brunswick to play for the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs:
"I liked his game," said Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson, who conducted the camp. "He did a lot of good things. He had some nice shots on net, scored, his handling the puck. I liked his game. That was the first time I really saw him in a scrimmage and that was a guy who put himself in a good spot."
Playing against top Red Wings prospects like Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou at the development gave Marsh, who will be a senior in high school this year, an idea of what he can expect when he makes the move to pro hockey in a couple of years.
"I like to see the speed of all of them and knowing where I need to be by this time next year and see what I have to work on when I come back to camp," he said. "The speed is definitely up there.
"The pace and practices are pretty high but it's nothing I can't handle."
Marsh will take part in the Red Wings prospects tournament beginning Sept. 11 – he'll be one of the youngest players in Traverse City – before heading back to Saint John for his second QMJHL season.
"I definitely want to put up some good numbers," he said, "but I always want to have a good defensive game and be a team player as well. Just have the best season possible."
Updated 4x at 1:15 PM: Of note among the post-informal practice Tweets:
Johan Franzen said he hasn't been guaranteed anything from the Red Wings, but he's encouraged by his physical progress.
Franzen said he had to go home from four-hour workouts and sleep the rest of the day. I asked him the last time he had to. "Last week."
From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:
#RedWings Franzen says he's going hard on and off ice to test himself.
ESPN's Craig Custance is comparing every NHL team to the Chicago Blackhawks based upon five specific categories, and today, he's analyzing the Atlantic Division's teams. Here's what his Insider-only entry has to say about the Red Wings:
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.