The Malik Report
ESPN's Dan Marrazza spoke with former Wing Igor Larionov regarding his role as a player agent:
Dan Marrazza: What do you feel are your most important responsibilities while representing your clients?
Igor Larionov: It's about the education of the players. Nowadays ... things are different than they were 20 years ago. The success and the money, I find that sometimes when you have success and you're young, you think it's going to be forever. I help them to stay focused, analyze every time they play and all the details, like preparation. I try to pass my knowledge and my experiences to these players to play long, be successful and avoid dangers because it's a dangerous game in a lot of ways.
DM: You're an agent for both NHL and KHL players. What's the biggest difference between representing a player in the two leagues?
IL: Different type of negotiations. The market in the NHL is much harder because the scouting system and the scouts all watch the players for quite a few years. They know about the way you perform, your results, stats and what you do for the team on a consistent basis. The KHL is different. It's a different culture of the game and the development process.
USA Today's Kevin Allen's latest "Top Shelf" podcast includes a 20-minute interview with Red Wings GM Ken Holland...
And you can listen to the interview below, with Holland's interview leading off the podcast.
There's a lot of background information regarding Jeff Blashill's journey to the head coaching job, but Holland also discusses Petr Mrazek's evolution into the Wings' #1 goaltender, the Wings' offensive issues, the NHL's trade impasse, Holland's take on 3-on-3 in progress, and he addresses Anthony Mantha's development in Grand Rapids, too:
Ansar Khan of Mlive answered some questions from the fans today...
Q: Yes, no or maybe – which of their free agents do you think they will re-sign?
A: Most certainly yes on all the restricted free agents -- Petr Mrazek, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan, Teemu Pulkkinen and Alexey Marchenko. As for the unrestricted free agents, I'll guess no on Darren Helm, Kyle Quincey and Brad Richards and maybe on the lower-cost Drew Miller and/or Joakim Andersson.
more Q & A...
The Detroit Red Wings face a familiar opponent tonight in the Buffalo Sabres (7 PM EST start on FSD/MSG B/Bell TV/97.1 FM): the teams have already met three times, with Detroit winning 5-4 in OT on December 1st, the Wings losing 2-1 on December 14th, and Detroit defeating Buffalo 2-1 on January 2nd.
The latest meeting takes place in Buffalo, which the Sabres returned to after splitting their "Parents' Trip," winning in Arizona and losing 2-1 in Colorado on Wednesday. Buffalo has won 4 of their past 6 games, but Wednesday's loss to the Avs was a "heartbreaker," as the Buffalo News's John Vogl noted:
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin didn't play in SKA St. Petersburg's 4-3 shootout loss to Admiral Vladivostok;
In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom had 2 assists and won 46% of his faceoffs in 14:35 played during Skelleftea AIK's 5-2 loss to Linkopings HC. According to Winging It in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray, Holmstrom's 19 points in 31 games lead 20-and-under players in SHL scoring;
Christoffer Ehn didn't get off the bench in the Frolunda Indians' 2-0 win over Brynas;
And in the OHL, Vili Saarijarvi scored a goal in the Flint Firebirds' 5-3 loss to Windsor.
Updated 2x at 4:19 PM: The Red Wings held a quick practice before flying to Buffalo this afternoon, and:
The beat writers informed us that Brad Richards has gone home to Prince Edward Island to attend his grandfather's funeral, and that Richards will miss Friday's game as a result;
The beat writers informed us that Tomas Tatar is getting better as he battles "the flu";
The beat writers informed us that Brendan Smith took a "maintenance day" due to "soreness";
And we learned that Petr Mrazek will play against the Sabres, who are traveling back from Colorado (where they lost 2-1 on Wednesday) this afternoon.
This happened, too:
Updated 3x at 1:42 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before noon on Thursday, preparing for Friday's game against the Buffalo Sabres.
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose dropped some trivia beforehand...
This Saturday, the #RedWings will play their 1,400th regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena. Their record is 800-411-119-69 (W-L-T-OTL).
(The Wings host the Ducks on Saturday)
The Red Wings also issued birthday wishes:
According to MLive's Brendan Savage, the Red Wings have averaged 1.84 goals per game over their last 11 games, last night's 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues included, but Wings coach Jeff Blashill told Savage that he believes his team will get through its offensively-challenged stretch:
"Teams that score a lots but maybe aren't defensive enough are struggling," Blashill said. "Again, I think there's guys that have more scoring in them. Sometimes it ebbs and flows a little bit. It's been enough 5-on-5 for two years but I think we're going to score.
"We're going to keep working on it and getting better. There's no use dwelling on it more than that. Let's keep working on it and getting better, whether that's just simple things like making sure we hit the net in practice, whether it's doing drills to help our guys get in position to get shots off through traffic.
"We'll do all those things, we'll keep getting better and I believe we're going to score. I think we got lots of guys who are going to score more as we continue on here."
Savage continues, and the Red Wings had a relatively familiar night yesterday, statistically speaking: Detroit fired 30 shots on Brian Elliott and had another 24 attempts that missed the net or were blocked by Blues players.
To me, the most damning stat involved with the Red Wings' 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues is their home record--11-9-and-5.
After going winless in two post-West Coast road trip games at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings have played 25 of their 46 games at home, and they've won less than half of those games.
The Wings are a fine 12-6-3 on the road, but at home, Detroit's 11-and-14. That doesn't provide value for fans and it doesn't give the Wings any sort of home-ice advantage. Detroit may play only 16 out of their 36 remaining regular season games at home--including 1 of their final 3 pre-All-Star-break tilts--but the quality of the Wings' play at Joe Louis Arena has to be a genuine concern.
None of that matters in terms of the narratives surrounding Wednesday night's game, however, because things got...rhetorically interesting...after the game.
Our friends from St. Louis felt that they were vindicated after "rallying" to defeat the Wings despite only being able to dress 5 defensemen, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tom Timmerman noted:
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins did two things that the Red Wings could not on Wednesday: they scored the game's first goal, and they rallied from a 2-1 deficit, defeating the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 in OT on a goal by Ryan Sproul. The Griffins' website posted a recap...
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.