The Malik Report
I'm sitting here writing to you from a hotel room in Traverse City, MI where the Red Wings' prospect tournament will be held from tomorrow until Tuesday, and as Metro Halifax's Zane Woodford notes, this particular tournament will honor the memory of someone who made it tick from afar in Matthew Wuest:
When young players from eight NHL teams hit the ice in Traverse, Michigan Friday morning for a NHL Prospect Tournament, they’ll be paying tribute to former Metro Halifax reporter and widely respected sports journalist Matthew Wuest.
And that probably would have made him uncomfortable.
“I think he’d be floored and embarrassed that there’s such a fuss made about him,” said his friend and tournament statistician, Sarah Lindenau, over the phone from Travserse Thursday.
After Wuest died in March following a two-year battler with cancer, Lindenau suggested the trophy for the NHL Prospect Tournament be renamed the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.
“We wouldn’t have a trophy without Matt,” she said.
Lindenau means that literally. Ann Reeves took over as director of the tournament five years ago, and needed to enlist Wuest’s help right away.
“One of the questions that was posed to me right away was, ‘Can you get us the history, the stats of who won, how long they’ve been in the tournament?’ And quite frankly, we did not have that information,” she said.
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
Fully recovered from off-season ankle surgery, Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey is looking forward to building on last season’s productivity.
“It went well, it feels good,” Quincey said, referring to ankle surgery he underwent in May to remove painful bone chips. “It was a successful surgery and I feel better than last year for sure. Pains gone.”
Quincey knew early last season that the chips were going to be a disruption to his health. The excruciating pain eventually limited his mobility, forcing him to miss nine games – four in November, five in February.
Late last season, Quincey often missed practices and morning skates in order to give some extra rest to the afflicted area damaged by the bone fragments.
He had surgery in Detroit after the Red Wings were eliminated by Tampa Bay in a seven-game, first-round playoff series.
“Yeah, there were a few games where I couldn’t really put too much weight on it,” he said. “It’s going to help a lot (with) skating, for sure.”
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that Mike Green, Kyle Quincey, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, and Teemu Pulkkinen have been added to the HockeyFest lineup for Sunday, Sept. 13 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. HockeyFest features an unforgettable day of hockey-related activities, including a chance to meet current players and Red Wings Alumni. A list of past and present members of the Red Wings set to attend this much-anticipated event can be found below alongside their designated appearance times.
Brad Richards joined the Red Wings on the ice for a very busy "optional" practice on Thursday, and afterward, he spoke with the media (as did Kyle Quincey)...
While in Traverse City, "getting-to-know you" practices were underway with a little intimidation in the house at Centre Ice Arena:
In Detroit, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spoke with Richards...
The day before the Red Wings' prospect tournament begins, MLive's Brendan Savage has posited a profile of one of Detroit's go-to guys in Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward Evgeny Svechnikov:
The Red Wings play the Blackhawks Saturday in the prospects tournament at Centre I.C.E. Arena and Chicago forward Ryan Hartman spent five games in the NHL last season.
Then, beginning Sept. 18, Svechnikov will be rubbing shoulders with guys like Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and countryman Pavel Datsyuk every day in the main training camp.
"That's my dream coming true," said Svechnikov, who was drafted with the 19th overall pick this year. "I'm so happy to be with the Detroit Red Wings. Now I work for my second dream, playing in the NHL.
"Everybody have chance. I have big chance. I want to be there but I just keep going forward myself and we'll see what I can do. It's a great opportunity for me. I'm looking forward to being with the team in the NHL. It's a great chance right now and I really appreciate this time."
Updated 2x at 12:08 PM: At Joe Louis Arena...
The gangs all here, with the exception of @Datsyuk13. #GetWellSoonPav #RedWings
Also of Red Wings-related note this morning:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
2015-16 outlook: Glendening has come a long way in a short time since establishing himself as an NHL player midway through 2013-14. His work ethic, competitiveness and defensive acumen make him an ideal fourth-line player. He was determined to improve offensively last season and did so by chipping in 12 goals. He also was better in the faceoff circle.
Glendening gets under opponents' skin with his physical play and abrasiveness, a much-needed element for a team that seldom fights, making him hard to play against.
Coaches can trust him to match up against a top line, which occasionally frees Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg from that responsibility.
Key question: Is Glendening capable of chipping in 10-12 goals every season?
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's Chris Dobrolowski spoke to Centre Ice Arena director of events Ann Reeves about this year's special connection to Capgeek founder and RedWingsCentral prospect guru Matthew Wuest:
The tournament features eight teams broken into two divisions — the Gordie Howe Division has the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings, while the Ted Lindsay Division includes the Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and N.Y. Rangers. The Blue Jackets won the tournament last year, their third Prospects title.
The Blackhawks have returned to the tournament after a short absence, taking the place of the Buffalo Sabres.
"We have the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks coming this year so that's exciting," said Ann Reeves, the director of Detroit Red Wings events in Traverse City. "They've been wanting to get back into it. They just had to wait until someone else dropped out."
Also new for this year is the naming of the championship trophy the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup. Wuest was an early advocate for the Prospects Tournament, compiling stats and records for players and teams in the early years of the tournament. Wuest, who developed and maintained the hockey-related web sites RedWingsCentral.com, as well as CapGeek.com, died from colon cancer at the age of 35 back in March.
"His widow and his brother will be here to present the trophy," said Reeves.
Also, from the DRW Events in TC Facebook page:
On 9/15, the day the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup is presented to the winner of the TC NHL Prospect Tournament, a special text-to-pledge campaign will occur in memory of Matthew Wuest - CapGeek founder and RedWingsCentral developer - who died earlier this year of colon cancer. Please join us in supporting the Conquer Cancer Foundation #ConquerCancer. Text CONQUER to 41444 to donate and help #ConquerCancer. Check out @iConquerCancer – they fund breakthrough research, patient resources & more: http://conquer.org/
The Red Wings' prospect tournament begins on Friday, and if you look at the Wings' roster and try-outs on defense, you realize pretty quickly that three not-so-big defensemen will really, really have to step up for its blueline to not stand as the team's weak link.
Vili Saarijarvi, Robbie Russo and Joe Hicketts will be doing the heavy lifting, with Hicketts graduating from the team's #6 defenseman going into last year's tournament to the team's top blueliner.
Rather conveniently, the Grand Rapids Griffins have posited a video profile of Hicketts in case you're not familiar with the 5'8" mighty mite:
Hicketts "put his teeth in" for the interview (he lost his four front upper teeth at the World Junior Championships, where he hopes to return this December)
Updated 4x at 5:47 PM: The Red Wings engaged in a well-participated "optional" skate at the Joe on Wednesday, and after all was said and done, they received a special visitor:
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.