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‘The Most Important Red Wing’ is obviously Pavel Datsyuk

Via RedWingsFeed, ESPN's Scott Burnside asks and answers the question, "Who is the Red Wings' most important player?" and the answer is no surprise:

Red Wings' Most Important Player: Pavel Datsyuk, forward

Sometimes, you just don’t outthink yourself. Pavel Datsyuk is the Detroit Red Wings' most important player and it might not be close.

The Red Wings are going to be a fascinating team this season as new coach Jeff Blashill takes the reins of a roster filled with players he had great success with in Grand Rapids. Detroit has veteran experience, but will be driven by its youth. The youth alone isn’t enough to win a championship, however.

If the Red Wings are going to break away from that large group of NHL teams in the 90-100 point range and emerge as a possible Stanley Cup contender, they're going to need a healthy, successful season from their most dynamic player: Datsyuk.

Burnside continues, and I disagree with his last line--I wouldn't be surprised to see Datsyuk re-up with the Wings for one or two more seasons when his current contract runs out.

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Roose: Red Wings hire a statistical analyst

From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray has more about Campbell:

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The Outlook For Brendan Smith

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2015-16 outlook: Former coach Mike Babcock kept a tight rein on Smith, a freewheeling offensive defenseman at Wisconsin and in Grand Rapids. A terrific skater, Smith likes to rush the puck and takes a lot of chances, prompting Babcock to comment that he creates as much offense for the opposition as he does his own team.

Will Jeff Blashill give Smith more freedom to branch out offensively? Blashill has indicated he might give Smith an opportunity on the power play, even though the additions of Mike Green and Brad Richards gives the club plenty of options. Blashill said he likes Smith's ability to roam around the tops of the faceoff circles and use his quickness to retrieve pucks.

The team will benefit more if Smith improves defensively – not get caught out of position as often and cut down on turnovers. He's competitive and should continue playing with edge.

Smith might be paired with Kyle Quincey, since Blashill plans to play Green with Danny DeKeyser and might not want to split the top pairing of Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson.

Key question: Will Smith's offensive production increase under Blashill?


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Early overnight report: Glendening takes flight; remembering Probie; early prospect news

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Wings posted a video of Luke Glendening flying with the Blue Angels on Wednesday:

2. Michigan State University posted a 2-minute clip in which the participants of their pro camp discussed its importance:

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Fox Sports Detroit will air 70 Red Wings regular season games

From Fox Sports Detroit:

FOX Sports Detroit will televise 70 regular-season and three preseason games during its coverage of the 2015-16 Detroit Red Wings.

Regular-season coverage begins Oct. 9 with the home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs. We will kick off Opening Night with a special one-hour Red Wings Live, featuring Jeff Blashill's first game as Detroit's head coach against former Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock.

Among the 70 games produced by FOX Sports Detroit, 12 are slated to air on FOX Sports Plus. The preseason schedule includes three games: Sept. 23 vs. Chicago, Sept. 24 vs. Pittsburgh and Oct. 2 vs. Toronto.

All 82 regular-season games, including 16 Original Six match-ups, will be available on television with 12 games on NBC or NBCSN.

"We can't wait for this new season to get started," said Greg Hammaren, senior vice president/general manager of FOX Sports Detroit. "The Ilitch family's commitment to the Red Wings and Detroit compels us to bring our best effort each and every night."

Continued, and here's their schedule:

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Here’s the Grand Rapids Griffins’ 2015-16 regular season schedule

From TheAHL.com and the Griffins' website, here's the Grand Rapids Griffins' 015-16 regular season schedule:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday released their schedule for the 2015-16 season. It will mark their 20th campaign overall, 15th as members of the American Hockey League and 14th as the primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.

The Griffins and new head coach Todd Nelson will begin their 76-game slate with an Oct. 9-10 road trip to Bakersfield and San Diego, marking the Griffins' first visit to California since 2004 and their only road battles against new franchises from the Pacific Division. Grand Rapids will open the home portion of its schedule on Friday, Oct. 16 when it faces the San Antonio Rampage at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.

Highlights of the 2015-16 schedule include:

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Morning news: On Glendening’s flight with the Blue Angels & reasons why ‘Detroit won’t win the Cup’

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

Updated 4x at 12:04 PM:

1. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji adds one more Luke Glendening article to the reports discussing his flight with the Blue Angels on Wednesday afternoon...

After Glendening got some pre-flight instruction, he and his pilot, Capt. Jeff Kuss, taxied away from Ypsilanti's Willow Run Airport in the F/A-18 Hornet.

After gaining speed, the plane took off and then immediately went vertical.

"Unbelievable. It was like the Dragster (Top Thrill Dragster) at Cedar Point times 10," Glendening said. "It was awesome."

Glendening admitted that he had a few nerves beforehand after talking to teammate Danny DeKeyser. DeKeyser flew with the Blue Angels last year.

"He gave me a little information and I was a little nervous but it was a blast," Glendening said.

Wakiji continues...

And our second item comes from USA Today's Kevin Allen and USA Today's hockey writers, who penned reasons why "Your Favorite Team Won't Win the Stanley Cup":

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The Outlook For Landon Ferraro This Season

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The club's top pick in 2009 (second round, 32nd overall) was slow to develop during his first three AHL seasons and didn't appear to have a future in the organization after being waived. But he had a strong season with the Griffins and seized the opportunity when called up in the final week.

Now Ferraro appears to have a future in the NHL, though not as the top-six scoring forward he was in the minors, in all likelihood. He has the speed, forechecking ability and versatility (can play center or wing) to be a fourth-line grinder.

Ferraro should be able to make the roster out of training camp, especially since Pavel Datsyuk isn't expected to be ready for the start of the season and Johan Franzen's status remains questionable. He might be competing with Joakim Andersson for a spot in the lineup. Being one of only two right-handed shooting forwards on the roster (Pulkkinen is the other) doesn't hurt Ferraro's cause.


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Evening news: On Glendening’s Blue Angels flight and arena construction news

Updated 3x, very substantially, at 10:54 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Michigan Hockey's YouTube page posted a post-flight interview with Luke Glendening, who played "backseater" on a Blue Angels flight today:

[Edit: Via RedWingsFeed, here's MLive's Ansar Khan's article about Glendening's flight:

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NHL.com’s Rosen: Nyquist, Tatar need to shoot more to approach 40-goal marks

From NHL.com's Dan Rosen's "Over the Boards" blog's mailbag:

Do you think that Tomas Tatar or Gustav Nyquist have the ability/opportunity to hit the 40-goal, 70-80-point plateau? -- @purdstheword22

It's realistic to think that one of them could do it this season, but they're going to have to shoot the puck more than they did last season. I'd want to see them both to reach 250 shots on goal, if not more. Is that realistic for them both to shoot that much? Why not? Dallas Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin each had more than 250 shots on goal last season. The same with San Jose Sharks forwards Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski, each of whom had more than 260 shots. Montreal Canadiens forwards Max Pacioretty had 302 shots and Brendan Gallagher had 254 while Tomas Plekanec had 248. Zach Parise and Jason Pominville each had more than 250 shots last season for the Minnesota Wild.

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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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