The Malik Report
I very purposefully tried to summarize Monday's storylines in an "evening report" in anticipation of a few early NHL/Red Wings previews from the MSM, but it appears that we're still in "digesting the Tigers' loss" mode.
In the interim, I have to say that I'm incredibly impressed with the fact that Wings fans seem to understand that the 5 PM EDT deadline for compliance with the NHL's 23-man roster limit probably has very little to do with the shape of the Red Wings' 2014-1 roster in the long run, and that the players who end up in Detroit or Grand Rapids by the end of Tuesday (we could still see Xavier Ouellet, Andrej Nestrasil and even Tomas Jurco play in the Griffins' home opener this Friday) may still may in fact end up playing key roles on the NHL roster sooner than later.
The biggest Red Wings-related prospect news of the day came off the ice, and given that two years ago he was better-known for "embellishment" and getting in a fight at the Red Wings' summer development camp, the Guelph Mercury's note about the captain and assistant captains for the OHL's Guelph Storm is proof of how far Tyler Bertuzzi's come:
Jason Dickinson has been named captain of the Guelph Storm.
Dickinson returned to Guelph this past week after attending the National Hockey League training camp of the Dallas Stars.
The Ontario Hockey League Storm also announced Phil Baltisberger, Tyler Bertuzzi and Ben Harpur will take on the role of assistant captains.
The Storm's website confirmed and posted a picture of the agitator-turned-scoring/two-way forward wearing a well-deserved "A":
Interesting, very interesting. The Red Wings have a busy Tuesday scheduled for the team. Ken Holland, Kris Draper and Ryan Martin are appearing at a Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association luncheon held at the Hockeytown Cafe, and the Wings' players are going to be hobknobbing with corporate partners while taking part in very worthy charitable work:
RED WINGS ANNOUNCE SCHEDULE FOR THIRD ANNUAL ‘HOCKEYTOWN THANKS’ PARTNER TOUR
... 17 Red Wings Players Will Join Corporate Partners on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at Four Stops in Metro Detroit …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced the schedule for the team’s third annual ‘Hockeytown Thanks’ partner tour set for Tuesday, Oct. 7. Four groups of Red Wings players will volunteer their time across Metro Detroit to work alongside corporate partners at charitable organizations of the partners choosing.
In conjunction with the Red Wings ‘It’s More than Hockey’ campaign, the Red Wings will volunteer at Capuchin Soup Kitchen (Detroit Medical Center), Alternatives for Girls (Allstate Insurance), Cornerstone Charter Schools (Flagstar Bank) and The Bottomless Toy Chest (International Bancard). Due to the nature of these initiatives, all four stops on the tour are closed to the public.
Updated 2x at 7:40 PM: Perhaps because the waiver wire ain't what it used to be, Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro and Kevin Porter all cleared waivers, and after the Wings skated through a very, very early practice (the Wings may do the 9:30 AM thing tomorrow given that Ken Holland, Ryan Martin and Kris Draper [edit: are scheduled to
visit the Detroit Economic Club, while Babcock and company will visit entertain the Detroit Sports Broadcasters' Association at the Hockeytown Cafe, and that the players are taking part in the Hockeytown Thanks tour /end edit]), you, I an the beat writers discussed the Wings' roster situation at length.
Andrej Nestrasil (who needs to be waived to be sent to Grand Rapids), Xavier Ouellet (who does not require waivers), Petr Mrazek (also does not require waivers) and Tomas Jurco (also does not require waivers) remain on the Wings' roster ahead of tomorrow's 5 PM EDT 23-man-roster-compliant deadline, and Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder), Andy Miele (sports hernia) and Anthony Mantha (broken leg) are all on the IR...
But whether the team's management is leaning toward keeping Nestrasil as the 13th forward and whether Xavier Ouellet's beaten Jakub Kindl or Brian Lashoff for a roster spot depends on how you read the tea leaves, as the Windsor Star's Bob Duff noted--and with this, we begin a summarization of Monday's practice storylines:
Duff also summarized today's practice storylines over the course of two Tweets:
The practice post has been updated 12 times, the Callahan-Ferraro-Porter-clear waivers post has been updated repeatedly, and I'd normally post this article from Sportsnet's Chris Johnston in said practice post, but he offers new information (sans quotes) regarding Alfredsson's status:
Over the weekend, Detroit general manager Ken Holland said that nothing with the Alfredsson situation had changed from his perspective in a month. He’s patiently waiting to see how things play out and won’t force the winger into a decision.
Alfredsson had hoped to make the call in late August or at least prior to the start of camp. His body — and mind — haven’t yet allowed it.
What does seem clear is that an NHL season will start this week without Alfredsson for the first time since 1997, when a contract impasse saw him sit out Ottawa’s first six games. That’s so long ago that most people probably don’t remember that it even happened.
My take on the whole Callahan/Ferraro/Porter clear + Wings have 26 players spiel: I hope that Callahan and Ferraro "steal spots" later this year, and am relieved that they're with the organization. I am assuming that both Mrazek and Xavier Ouellet will head to Grand Rapids to get the Wings down to 23 players--in no small part because the team hasn't decided what to do with and/or hasn't found takers for Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff, who will be kept on short leashes.
I also believe that Andrej Nestrasil, not Tomas Jurco, will be sent down when Pavel Datsyuk returns, and I've always bet that Daniel Cleary will get in his 10 games necessary to earn that $1 million bonus early, but Cleary's long-term future with the organization is unclear.
The same can be said for Joakim Andersson, who's been rendered redundant by Luke Glendening. All of Kindl, Lashoff, Cleary and Andersson may not finish the year on the Wings' NHL roster, and while Capgeek states that Stephen Weiss has a no-move clause, I'm not sure if he can waive it if the Wings find a taker for him (or he's waived?).
Updated 7x at 1:04 PM: Wings have released Rome and Hoggan from tryouts: Good news for fans of Red Wings prospects Mitchell Callahan and Landon Ferraro, as well as forward Kevin Porter:
Updated 15x at 2:33 PM: George here. The Red Wings rarely, if ever practice before 10:30 AM, so skating at 9:30 suggests that the team has some sort of actvity this afternoon. I looked at the Detroit Economic Club website and Ken Holland, Kris Draper and Ryan Martin will be speaking to that organization tomorrow...[edit: The Novi Observer also reports that the Detroit Sports Broadcasters' Association will hold a luncheon with the Wings tomorrow /end edit]
added 9:48am, Khan tweet....
Datsyuk ready for opener? He's skating on line with Zetterberg and Abdelkader.
added 9:52am, Khan again...
Other lines: Nyquist-Helm-Franzen, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Miller-Glendening-Andersson. Cleary, Weiss and Nestrasil seem to be the fifth line.
Ouellet and Quincey paired on D together during drills. Could be a sign that Ouellet could be here to stay. Lashoff and Kindl together.
Kronwall and Ericsson together on D, while DeKeyser paired with Smith.
Updated at 10:25 AM: George here. The Red Wings don't usually practice at 9:30 AM, so Paul picked up the early practice news, and I'm catching up presently. Here are MLive's Khan's practice Tweets in inline form...
The Red Wings' first and second rounds of Sunday cuts have left most Red Wings fans--myself included--with the impression that Xavier Ouellet has made the team, meaning that one of Jakub Kindl ($2.4 million cap hit, per Capgeek) or Brian Lashoff ($725K cap hit) is going to be traded or waived, and the fact that Andrej Nestrasil didn't join Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro or Kevin Porter on the waiver wire has let most of us to assume that "Nesty" will be the team's 13th forward until Pavel Datsyuk returns from the IR.
The Wings' waiving of Callahan has also pissed off the disciples of the Bruise Brothers era to no end, but that's to be expected every time the Wings don't "carry a fighter," even though Callahan is an instigator and all-round agitator, not a heavyweight.
Detroit's coaches and management have until 5 PM EDT on Tuesday to make the team 23-man-roster compliant (with $3.082 million in cap space, the team's fine cap-wise)...
The prospect news cycle is still feast-or-famine as the AHL and ECHL seasons haven't begun and NCAA Division I hockey is still mostly in exhibition mode. I've tended to split prospect and big-club news, however, so you'll see some short-form posts for the next week or two.
Red Wings prospect Zach Natsasiuk knew that he'd have to be returned to the OHL if he didn't make the Wings' NHL team due to his "early" birthdate, but watching him take the walk back from the coaches' office after being reassigned to the Owen Sound Attack was downright painful.
Nastasiuk has taken his demotion in stride: on Sunday, Owen Sound's captain registered 2 goals and was named the first star in the Attack's 7-2 win over Ottawa, and he's registered 4 goals and 2 assists over his first 5 games.
DRW Prospects on Twitter found two .gifs of Nastasiuk's goals:
As Paul noted, the Red Wings waived Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro and Kevin Porter today. It should be assumed that all three players will clear and be assigned to Grand Rapids, where they're sorely needed after the Griffins' dismal 2-exhibition-game performance against Lake Erie (I hope they clear, especially Callahan; he loves the organization and wants to earn his way onto the NHL roster no matter how long it takes to get there).
Then this afternoon, the Wings sent Tomas Nosek, Teemu Pulkkinen, Alexey Marchenko and Nick Jensen to Grand Rapids, too, meaning that Andrej Nestrasil (at least until Pavel Datsyuk returns) and Xavier Ouellet have probably won jobs on the roster, and sometime between today and 5 PM on Tuesday (when the team must be 23-man-roster compliant), the Wings have to decide what to do with Jakub Kindl (and that awful $2.4 million-for-3-more-years contract) and Brian Lashoff (2 more years at $725,000, per Capgeek).
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.