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Frans Nielsen hopes to inspire Denmark by playing at the World Cup

From NHL.com's Tim Campbell:

Hockey dreams are gaining momentum in smaller European countries, and Team Europe forward Frans Nielsen wore a broad smile on Friday knowing he has helped the trend, and the World Cup of Hockey 2016 is about to provide another big assist.

Nielsen, 32, was a pioneer of sorts in 2006 when he broke into the NHL with the New York Islanders after he was chosen in the third round (No. 87) of the 2002 NHL Draft, the first player from Denmark to be taken in the draft and appear in the League.

Ten years later, Nielsen said he sees the change in his home country, one of eight represented on Team Europe in this world best-on-best tournament.

"I think it's not only me but when I was a young kid, the Danish players looked up to those who played in Sweden and those leagues," Nielsen said Friday at Bell Centre, in preparation for Team Europe's pretournament game against Team North America on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; ESPN3, SN, TVA Sports). "It's kind of what I followed. Nobody really believed Denmark would get an NHL player.

"But now, not only me but the other guys who go home in the summer, those hockey camps with kids, we notice that what everybody dreams about now is playing in the NHL. So the mindset has changed a lot with young kids and that's so great to see, and I think it helped that we've shown with hard work and dedication, it's possible. Kids' dreams have changed a lot since I was a kid."

Continued with more from Nielsen regarding signing with the Red Wings...

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Larkin stars in Team North America’s exhibition win over Team Europe

Team North America defeated Team Europe 7-4 in exhibition action at the World Cup of Hockey, and Dylan Larkin scored the 2-0 and 7-4 goals (the second was an empty-netter) for the North Americans.

Larkin finished at +1 with 3 shots and a hit in 13:10 of ice time;

For Team Europe, Thomas Vanek had an assist but finished at -1, taking 4 shots and blocking a shot in 14:12 played;

Tomas Tatar finished at -2 with a shot and a hit in 15:55 played;

And Frans Nielsen scored the 5-4 goal and had an assist on the 5-3 goal, finishing at +1 with 5 hits and 5 blocked shots and a 59% rating in the faceoff circle in 19:42 played.

I will post highlights as they become available.

Update: Here's Larkin's goal on Thomas Greiss...

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Open post: Team Europe vs. Team North America, the (exhibition) ematch

Team Europe and Team North America will tangle at the Bell Centre in Montreal tonight at 6 PM (ESPN3, Sportsnet, TVA Sports). Dylan Larkin draws back into the lineup for Team North America and Thomas Vanek will play for Team Europe.

Here's an open post to suit your needs.

Larkin goal added below...

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Afternoon news: Osgood on the ‘newcomers’; on the Hockeytown 5K, prospects and fundraising

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James sat down for an interview with Chris Osgood prior to his induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and Osgood discussed the potential of the Red Wings' three off-season signings in Frans Nielsen, Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek:

“Frans Nielsen is a good player,” Osgood said. “He's underrated. He played in Long Island, so you don't hear a lot about him. He is a complete player; he is one of those guys you're going to watch for a while and you're going to be real impressed. Red Wings fans will say, ‘Wow, this guy is a really, really good NHL player.’”

That evaluation echoes what Wings scout Mark Howe told the Free Press earlier this summer, when he said Nielsen “is just a good, all-around player, willing to do whatever the coach asks of him. You rarely see him have a bad game.”

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Simmons suggests that Zetterberg, Datsyuk grew tired of Babcock

I guess the question to be asked here is, "Do we believe it?" The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons wrote this in his Saturday evening notebook, and as I get up to speed this Sunday, it doesn't surprise me:

Why it was time for Mike Babcock to leave the Red Wings: In exit interviews in different seasons before this one, both Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk told management they would not re-sign with the Wings if Babcock was still the coach. Datsyuk and Zetterberg each played 10 seasons for the current Leafs coach...

Reminds me of the old Steve Shutt line about coach Scotty Bowman. “We like him one day a year,” said Shutt. The day they got their Stanley Cup rings.

Now re-signing and continuing to play for the organization are two different things, but there's still a rumor going around that Datsyuk wouldn't have played his second of three contractual seasons with the Wings had Babcock remained as the head coach. Take this for what you will--with some salt...

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Dylan Larkin Out To Prove Himself Tonight

You can catch the game on ESPN3 (ESPN Watch), Sportsnet or TVAS.  Puck drops just after 6:00pm ET.

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Detroit Players Respond To Recent Ken Holland Remark

from Mike Brudenell of the Detroit Free Press,

When asked about Wings general manager Ken Holland’s recent comments that the Wings probably are not a Stanley Cup "contender" this season, Ott was measured in his response.

“It’s a process (every year),” said Ott. “You start the season, you try and have a good training camp. You get to Christmas and you continue to figure it out. Then there’s always the trade deadline, and you continue to fight for the playoffs.

“Any team that gets to the playoffs has a chance to win the Stanley Cup nowadays. The parity is so close. All you want is a chance to win.”

Danny DeKeyser, who also was at the event today, along with fellow Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, said he believes that the Wings can contend for the Cup. He takes Holland’s words as more of a challenge than a negative.

“I think what Ken said is a challenge, I think so,” said DeKeyser, 26. “I think he wants to see everybody (get) a little bit better than we have been. Guys, including myself, have got to have better years than we’ve had. Ken just wants everyone to put it all together and light a fire under us a little bit.


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Brendan Shanahan, Chris Osgood, Mike Modano inducted into Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

Brendan Shanahan, Chris Osgood and Mike Modano were among the inductees honored by the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on Friday night.

WXYZ's Brad Galli covered the event, speaking with Shanahan and Osgood...

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Abdelkader plays reliable hockey in Team USA’s exhibition win

Team USA defeated Team Canada 4-2 in World Cup of Hockey exhibition action, and Justin Abdelkader played a defensive role, registering 3 hits, a takeaway and 14:12 played, hitting hard, hitting the goalpost with Canada's net empty in the 3rd period, and earning lots of ice time as the game wound down with the Americans holding their lead.

There aren't going to be many highlights of Abdelkader during the World Cup of Hockey--he played on a checking line with Ryan Kesler and then David Backes--but if he can play trustworthy, solid defensive hockey with a physical edge, that will benefit the Wings in the long run.

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Nielsen weighs in on Team Europe’s schooling by Team North America

Team Europe players Frans Nielsen (also a Red Wing), Mats Zuccarello, Christian Ehrhoff and Team Europe coach Ralph Kruger spoke with NHL.com's Sean Farrell about the...let's say lessons learned from Thursday night's 4-0 loss to Team North America:

Team Europe forward Frans Nielsen gave some perspective on what it was like facing a talented young team that featured the past five No. 1 picks in the NHL Draft: forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), forward Nathan MacKinnon (2013), defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2014), center Connor McDavid (2015) and center Auston Matthews (2016).

"The level was almost a playoff game, I think, in September, so for sure that's the fastest preseason game I've ever been in," Nielsen said. "But it's fun. You might as well get right into it and I think it's going to be good for all of us with the pace it was [Thursday] night and get the legs going, so I think it was a good experience for both teams."


Team Europe did not practice but held meetings to prepare for its second pretournament game, which is also against Team North America at Bell Centre on Sunday (6:00 p.m. ET; ESPN3, SN, TVA Sports).

"We know we're a good team and I think we learned a lot," Nielsen said. "We kind of played a European kind of big-ice hockey on a small rink and I think we learned we've got to just get back to the North American kind of hockey and simplify the game. I think they were for sure good, but a lot of it was from us trying too much and we've got to simplify, and that's something we talked about."

Farrell continues, and my thoughts regarding Team Europe's schooling were and are simple: Team Europe's trying to mesh together very different styles of play and disciplines of hockey, while Team North America's built from American and Canadian kids who've grown up playing incredibly similar schools of very, very structured hockey.

Team Europe probably has the hardest road to go in terms of attempting to build a competitive team on the fly, and Nielsen, Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek are going to learn a lot about the game of hockey over the next three weeks.

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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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