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Prospect news: Callahan scores 2 goals in Griffins shootout loss; Elfstrom bags an assist

Of prospect-related note: in the AHL, despite a pair of goals from Mitch Callahan, the Grand Rapids Griffins lost 3-2 to the Cleveland Monsters in a shootout. The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Panthers set-up

The Detroit Red Wings host the Florida Panthers this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM) hoping to earn their first win in 3 meetings with the Panthers.

The Wings have lost and lost pretty badly to the Panthers two times already, dropping a 4-1 decision in Florida and 5-2 in Detroit, but things are different for the Panthers coming into tonight's game, so the Panthers' statuses as possessing an 11-10-and-2 record and having lost 3 of their past 4 games don't necessarily apply to tonight's affair.

Coach Gerard Gallant was fired on Sunday night, and a mandatory day off yielded coach Tom Rowe's first day as head coach cosisting of a "work day" that took the form of a 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

As such, the Panthers engaged in their first practice under Rowe on Wednesday, as the Miami Herald's George Richards noted:

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Mark Howe recalls Flyers days as he receives Lester Patrick Trophy

Mark Howe was honored with the Lester Patrick Trophy for his contributions to hockey in the U.S. on Wednesday night, and the Philadelphia Inquirer's Ed Barkowitz took note of Howe's achievement with a story and a Flyers-heavy emphasis...

Howe received the Lester Patrick Award Wednesday night for his lifetime of service, which included a stint on the 1972 U.S. Olympic team that surprisingly won a silver medal in Japan. It's an achievement that's often lost in the shadows of the gold medal teams of 1960 and 1980.

Howe, who was 16, remains the youngest player ever to win an Olympic hockey medal.

"When we got him to come to the Flyers (in 1982), talk about an immediate impact," said former teammate Paul Holmgren. "All of the sudden we had a franchise defenseman. He's Gordie's son, but he forged his own career."


Howe walked out of the room after chatting with reporters. He and his brother Marty were proudly wearing red No. 9 pins on their lapels in honor of their father, who passed away in June.

"I was there in 1967 when my dad won the award when it was presented in New York," Mark Howe said, recalling that chilly night. "That makes it even that much more special - to have my name on an award that his name is on."

As did NHL.com's Adam Kimelman:

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Evening news: On Mrazek’s dominance, Zetterberg’s determination and the Wings’ balanced lines

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. As MLive's Ansar Khan notes, the Red Wings have received significantly improved goaltending from Petr Mrazek:

Mrazek has been solid in his past two starts (1.45 goals-against average, .949 save percentage), a 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal and a 3-1 victory over Dallas. He took over for the injured Jimmy Howard (groin, out at least another week) during the first period of Friday's 5-4 OT victory at New Jersey.

This followed a rough stretch in which Mrazek went 0-3-1, allowing four goals in each game. Mrazek was the main reason the Red Wings beat the Stars.

"I think when he's playing his best hockey the puck sticks to him well," coach Jeff Blashill said. "I also thought he had a high, high compete level around the net, where it seemed like there was no way the puck was going in unless it was a back-door or some kind of rebound play. I've been with him enough to know those nights where it just feels like there's no way the puck's going in and that's what it felt like last night when I was on the bench. He certainly looked like he was on top of his game."

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Wings Showing Improved Compete Level

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“We’ve had, for the most part, a real good compete level,” coach Jeff Blashill said today. “And you have no chance of winning if you don’t have a real good compete level. We’ve continued to not give up lots of chances, not giving easy opportunities up.

“We’re making progress in our forecheck game, which will, hopefully, give us some more O-zone time.”

One of the most encouraging developments from Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Dallas and Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal was that Mrazek looked like he has regained his form after four straight starts in which he surrendered four goals.

“When he is playing his best hockey, the puck sticks to him well,” Blashill said. “He also had a high, high compete level around the net, where he just seemed like there was no way the puck was going in unless it was a backdoor play. He certainly looked like he was on top of his game.”

During the past four games, the Wings have gotten offense from every line, reflecting combinations that are clicking even as two of the fastest forwards, Andreas Athanasiou and Darren Helm, are injured. Anthony Mantha has looked at home with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar. Same with Frans Nielsen with Justin Abdelkader and Luke Glendening.


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Articles from practice: Marchenko, Athanasiou make progress

The Red Wings practiced at Joe Louis Arena today ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Florida Panthers, with Tomas Tatar and Niklas Kronwall taking "maintenance days" per MLive's Ansar Khan.

The Wings' beat writers also reported that the team welcomed Andreas Athanasiou (knee) and Alexey Marchenko (sprained AC joint) back to practice, but the gents are still a ways from returning.

The Free Press's Helene St. James was first out of the chute with a practice report...

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Ryan Sproul’s Twitterview ‘transcript’

From the Red Wings:

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Practice Tweets: Marchenko joins the fray; Tatar, Kronwall take ‘maintenance days’

Updated 2x at 1:30 PM: The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before noon EST today, hoping to build upon last night's 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars as a surprising nemesis comes to town Thursday in the Florida Panthers.

MLive's Ansar Khan reported in with a note about Alexey Marchenko...

Tatar not skating today but expected to play tomorrow. Kronwall also not skating. #RedWings.


#RedWings Marchenko (upper body) now practicing with right-handed stick. Seems to be moving puck well.


#RedWings practice lines:
Miller (for Tatar)-Zetterberg-Mantha


#RedWings defense pairs:
Marchenko (for Kronwall)-Ouellet

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa said, "Hello"...

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Wings named 8th-most-valuable franchise by Forbes

Forbes annual NHL Team Valuations have hit the wires this morning, and the Red Wings are listed as the 8th-most-valuable franchise...

8. Detroit Red Wings
Current value: $625 million
1-year change: 4.2%
It was announced this spring that the official name of the $627.5 million home of the Red Wings will be Little Caesars Arena and the naming rights of the venue are worth $120 million over 20 years.

And Forbes suggests that the Red Wings are the 8th-best NHL fan base.

Update: Here's more from Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

Forbes estimated that the Red Wings generated $6.1 million in operating income last season (17th in the NHL) on $137 million in revenue (12th). NHL clubs averaged $15 million in operating income, Forbes said. It defines operating income as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

The team does not comment on its finances.

To calculate team worth, Forbes attributes value to the franchise's portion of shared league revenues; its city and market size; its arena; and its brand. How much a team would actually sell for can vary wildly from Forbes valuations, and is ultimately determined by what a buyer is willing to pay.

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A ‘full rebuild’ just doesn’t make sense for the Wings

NHL.com's Dan Rosen issued a logical response to one of the many Red Wings fans who believe that the team is best-served by "selling off its stars" and tanking this season:

At what point to the Detroit Red Wings go full rebuild and either commit to youth or sell, sell, sell? -- @DuboisAD

Who are they selling? They're not an ancient team. Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall are their only 35-and-over players. They wouldn't get much for players like Steve Ott, Thomas Vanek, Drew Miller and Jonathan Ericsson. They just signed Frans Nielsen to a six-year contract, so he's not going anywhere. Mike Green's salary cap charge of $6 million makes him hard to trade. They probably could get something for Jimmy Howard, but it's tough to trade a goalie nowadays, especially when the selection of teams in need of a 32-year-old goalie signed for two more seasons after this one are limited. Maybe they expose Howard in the expansion draft and the Vegas Golden Knights take him. But Marc-Andre Fleury also could be available, so it's debatable.

Players such as Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Justin Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin, Riley Sheahan, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko shouldn't be traded; they should just start playing better.

When you're looking to rebuild, the first thing you look for is players you can trade who can bring back significant value either in draft picks or prospects. I don't know that the Red Wings have enough of those players to warrant a fire sale.

Plus, the other thing to note here is that they're moving into a new building next season, and I would imagine the last thing the Red Wings want is to go into rebuild mode when they're trying to sell what they just built.

There's no way that the Red Wings are going to go into a new barn to absolutely stink, and as we all already know, Ken Holland isn't a fan of dismantling the machine and rebuilding for 5-7 years.

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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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