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About Gordie Howe’s request to be buried in Saskatoon

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix's Kevin Mitchell discusses the Saskatoon Blades, City of Saskatoon and Gordie Howe's family's collaboration in ensuring that Gordie and Colleen's ashes will be interred in Saskatoon later this month:

“I’m sure Gordie’s looking down with my mom, and appreciating what everybody’s done,” son Marty said Tuesday.

Howe and wife Colleen will have their ashes placed in the concrete base beneath his statue at Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre, which is this city’s primary hockey gathering place. Their urn will go into a cylinder, which will go into a hole carved out of the statue’s base, which will then be sealed, and covered with a bronze plaque.

Hovering above those ashes, and a few feet behind, will be Howe’s bronzed likeness — young forever, gliding in a bee-line towards his final resting place, life intersecting with death intersecting with transcendent greatness.

Howe told his family, “almost a year and a half ago,” Marty recalled Tuesday, that he wanted to be interred at the statue with Colleen.


Update: The Saskatoon Blades have more details about their "Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day" promotions:

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The Season Outlook For Steve Ott

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: Lacking a sandpaper element, the Red Wings signed Ott, who has been one of the league's more agitating players during his 13-year career.

Despite his modest size, he gets under opponents' skin and is always willing to drop the gloves (110 career fighting majors). He's known for his hard work and determination, but he sometimes crosses the line and takes bad penalties.

He can play all three forward positions and is one of the better faceoff men in the league, having won more than 55 percent of his draws in eight of the past 11 seasons.

He gives the team another option on the penalty kill as well.

Key question: Will Ott make the fourth line harder to play against?


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Evening news: On prospect tournament rosters, Filip Hronek and a ‘consulting job’

Of disparate Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. In the prospect department, the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau has been posting the prospect tournament rosters for the Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers;

2. Also in the prospect department, the Saginaw News's Hugh Bernreuter reports that Red Wings prospect Filip Hronek is adjusting to North American hockey at the Saginaw Spirit's training camp, but the language issue remains a sticky wicket...

Hronek understands English, but is not comfortable speaking it. His interpreter is fellow Spirit defenseman Robert Proner, who was born in Slovakia before moving to Canada.

"Slovakia and Czech aren't exactly the same, but there are enough words that are similar," Proner said. "There are differences. Sometimes it's a guessing game."

Food is also a challenge.

"It's different," Hronek said through Proner. "There are more big homemade meals than there are here ... more traditional stuff."

As is Hronek's 5'11," 170-pound size:

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US Under-17 team to hold free exhibition game on Friday

The Plymouth Observer's Tim Smith duly notes that the U.S. Under-17 team will be holding a free exhibition game against the Muskegon Lumberjacks this Friday at Plymouth's USA Hockey Arena:

Hey USA Hockey fans, come one, come all Friday night and watch the National Team Development Program Under-17 team take a swing at the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Tickets are free for the 7 p.m. preseason matchup at USA Hockey Arena, the first of several tuneups as the NTDP U-17s gear up for the 2016-17 regular season (which begins Sept. 23).

Fans from last season will notice a familiar face behind the Team USA bench as Danton Cole -- who was head coach of the 2015-16 Under-18 squad -- now takes the reins of the younger group.

While the new U17s represent the entire country (Erik Middendorf from Scottsdale, Ariz.; Tyler Weiss, from Raleigh, N.C., etc.), there’s plenty of Michigan representation for fans to cheer on, including Plymouth-native Will MacKinnon, Birmingham’s Bode Wilde, Blade Jenkins of Jackson and Jack DeBoer, who grew up in New Jersey but was born in Plymouth when his father, Peter DeBoer, was general manager and head coach of the Plymouth Whalers from 1996-2001.

“Every new group that comes in, it’s like Christmas morning for all of us,” Cole said. “There’s a lot of hope, there’s a lot of promise, there’s a lot of unknowns – which leads to the excitement. It’s a great process."

Smith continues...

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Dylan Larkin appears on NHL Tonight

Dylan Larkin appeared on the NHL Tonight this evening, speaking about the Larkin Hockey School and then the World Cup of Hockey during a 7-minute interview from Team North America's training camp in Montreal:

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Gordie, Colleen’s ashes to be interred in Saskatoon on Sunday, September 25th

The CBC reports that Gordie and Colleen Howe's ashes will be interred in Saskatoon on Sunday, September 25th:

Saskatoon will get the chance to say goodbye to Gordie Howe one last time.

Howe grew up in Saskatoon before he became a hockey legend paying for the Detroit Red Wings. He died in June at the age of 88.

Howe's cremated remains will be interred at SaskTel Centre, at the base of a statue in his honour, along with his late wife Colleen. The provincial government recently approved a request to designate the statue as a cemetery.

"It's going to be an incredibly historic day," said Saskatoon Blades President Steve Hogle. "It's our way to thank the Howe family for all that Gordie did for us, so we're really excited to welcome everybody here. We think we're going to pack the place."

All four of Howe's children, along with his grandchildren will be in attendance. Veteran Hockey Night in Canada sportscaster Bob Cole will be MCing the ceremony.

Many of Gordie Howe's trophies from his hockey career will be on display at the event.

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and the Saskatoon Blades have more information regarding what has been declared "Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day." Here's the Blades' release...

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‘Three Things’: Abdelkader, Larkin discuss the World Cup; Abdelkader answers 5 Questions

Of World Cup-related Red Wings note this evening:

1. Before they left for World Cup training camps, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Justin Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin and Petr Mrazek regarding the World Cup of Hockey...

“It’s great for the league, great for all the countries involved, and for the players,” Abdelkader said. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to represent my country. Being in Toronto, I know there’s a lot of hype around the event. It’s a good way to kind of kick the season off.”

While Canada will be the prohibitive favorites to take the title, you can’t count out the Americans, who finished second in the last best on best tournament played on a North American ice surface, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

“It’ll be different experience but it’ll be fun,” Abdelkader said. “We’re all looking forward to it.”

He anticipates filling more of a defensive role on the U.S. team than he’s accustomed to playing in Detroit.

“I’ll most likely be in a checking line role, probably play some penalty kill,” Abdelkader said. “Whatever I can do. I’m just kind of going in, looking forward to the experience playing with the guys, building some relationships with them, obviously playing whatever role they put me in.”

2. With Larkin telling Duff that the under-23 "Team North America" shouldn't be regarded as simply a "dark horse" team:

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Pavel Datsyuk At Home In Russia

from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com,

Datsyuk, who scored a goal in SKA St. Petersburg's 5-1 victory against Nizhnekamsk on Sunday, said Tuesday he is looking forward to putting on the Team Russia jersey. He also played in the World Cup the last time it was held, in 2004 when he was 26.

"It's going to be a good tournament," Datsyuk said. "There are lots of good teams and it's a good level [of play]. It's good for hockey players, for the fans and for everybody."

The Red Wings would have been happy to have Datsyuk back for the final season of his contract after he had 16 goals and 33 assists in 66 games last season. But for family reasons he wanted to return to Russia to close his career and signed a two-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg.

He seems to be enjoying the homecoming. He has four goals and three assists in six games.

"It's home, so it's been unbelievable," Datsyuk said. "It's part of my life now."

more on Team Russia...

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Talking about ‘Double A’s’ roster-making chances

The Free Press's Helene St. James compiled a mailbag feature today, and she was asked repeatedly about "Double A":

Several inquiries regarding forward Andreas Athanasiou, and whether he’ll make the team: What with 13 active forwards signed to one-way contracts, plus Dylan Larkin, and with Anthony Mantha expected to make a push, the Wings are packed up front. However, already off-season injuries indicate neither Teemu Pulkkinen (shoulder surgery) nor Tomas Jurco (back surgery) will be ready for the start of the season. A knee injury leaves questions about Henrik Zetterberg. Already, numbers appear to be shifting in Athanasiou’s favor. Most of all, though, he's going to be a hard cut (he can be sent down without waivers) because of his incredible speed, and his ability to use that speed to create sudden scoring chances.

St. James continues...

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Wings’ summertime moves don’t earn a passing grade from CBS’ Peters

CBS Sports' Chris Peters has issued off-season grades, and his take on the Red Wings' offseason performance is...hard but fair?

Detroit Red Wings

Grade: D+

Offseason breakdown: Ken Holland didn't have a good situation with Pavel Datsyuk leaving with a year remaining on his contract. The veteran GM managed to move the cap hit for a reasonable price (moving down in the draft), but then seemed to use the extra cap space inefficiently. Hefty extensions for Darren Helm and Danny DeKeyser while going the bridge route with goalie Petr Mrazek stand out. A positive addition, albeit an expensive one, was Frans Nielsen. Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott also signed on cheaper one-year deals. Detroit was dealt a bad hand to begin with, got out of it and then put themselves right back up against the cap.

Peters continues, and I'll readily admit that I have fewer problems with the Wings' free agent signings than I do with the generosity with which Helm and DeKeyser were re-signed, because those deals really took away from the team's cap space. I like both players, but I think they were slightly overpaid, and as a result, the Wings won't be able to even consider finding a free agent stop-gap defenseman to bolster a thin blueline.

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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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