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Prospect news: Walleye retake series lead over Fort Wayne; Wheaton’s Rockets up in WHL final

Of prospect-related note:

The Toledo Walleye received 2 assists from Martin Frk en route to a 3-2 win over the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday, giving Toledo a 3 games-to-2 lead in the teams' second-round series--after the Komets tied things up with wins in Games 3 and 4. The Walleye's website posted a recap and a highlight clip:

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Your Babcockian ‘headlines’ from Friedman

I posted a Tweet in which I summarized the CBC's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman's "Headlines" segment as it applies to Mike Babcock, but if you're not a Twitlonger-reader...

Friedman also said that when he spoke with Babcock today, Babcock stated that his concerns in terms of any destination involve the relationship he'd have with the general manager, the team's plan and how his family feels about the situation. He did not mention money because, as several sources pointed out to Friedman, the money is going to follow Babcock wherever he goes and he's going to get a large contract.

Friedman did say that if Babcock is interested in signing in a particular city, he will visit it, but as Babcock is not returning from the World Championships until May 17th, that doesn't leave him a lot of time to visit cities between the 18th and the Wings' negotiation deadline of May 25th, and that's where the Tweets involving the Oilers moving on and either working out a longer-term deal with Todd Nelson or possibly hiring Todd McLellan instead came in.

Fun update time:

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Evening news: (mostly) Larkin chatter

If you are interested, there's scuttlebutt on the Penguins' desire to pursue Mike Babcock (or the lack thereof), chatter about Babcock in New Jersey and some Babcock-to-Edmonton, as well as an Associated Press handicapping of his situation, thumbs not included...

But the Wings news that is not Babcock-related this evening involves Ken Holland's takes on Dylan Larkin's readiness to "turn pro" (and Holland is probably boarding a flight to Prague to watch Larkin in person as I write this), as stated to the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

“I think whatever decision he makes is a great decision,” Holland said. “Going back to Michigan for another year, playing with your age group is a positive. If he turns pro, there’s no doubt he can play at the AHL level. The question is can he play at the NHL level. You don’t know that until he gets to training camp in Traverse City. He’s still pretty young. The Detroit Red Wings will support his decision.”

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Tatar, Jurco sleepwalk through a snoozer as Slovakia loses to Finland

Boring game, boring game. Tomas Tatar played fancy-pants, deke-himself-into-dust hockey (playing on a line with Marian Gaborik) and Tomas Jurco was a very mediocre third-line winger in Slovakia's 3-0 loss to Finland, but they had a lot of company in the, "Not playing that well" department as Slovakia and Finland played a dreadfully dull affair, with the Finnish Trap in full effect and the Slovaks perhaps a little guilty looking ahead to tomorrow's game against Russia.

The game was tied zip-zip going into the 3rd and included an empty-netter for Finland, so the snooze-fest was on for most of the game.

Tatar finished with 1 shot in 16:51 of play and Jurco took a shot and finished at -1 in 13:39 of ice time.

Tomorrow, Dylan Larkin and Team USA play Slovenia at 10:15 AM EDT (no TV) and Slovakia battles Russia at 2:15 PM EDT.

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Red Wings sign Dominic Turgeon

From the Red Wings:

… Center Was Detroit's Third-Round Pick in 2014 NHL Entry Draft …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today signed center Dominic Turgeon to a three-year entry-level contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.

Turgeon, 19, skated in 67 games for the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks in 2014-15, setting new career bests with 43 points (18-25-43) in 67 games, along with a plus-14 rating and 36 penalty minutes. He ranked sixth on the club in scoring, while his 18 goals stood as fifth-best. Turgeon also added nine points (8-1-9) in 17 postseason games, sitting third on the team in goals and helping the Winterhawks reach the WHL's conference finals for the fifth consecutive season. The 6-foot-2, 190-lb., center has skated in 187 career games for Portland, totaling 82 points (31-51-82), a plus-30 rating and 69 penalty minutes. He has also notched 17 points (10-7-17) in 43 playoff games, earning a WHL championship in 2013.

A native of Cherry Hills, Colo., Turgeon was selected by Detroit in the third round (63rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He represented his country a the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, helping the United States capture a bronze medal with three points (0-3-3) in six games.

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A rant: Escape is at hand for the Babcockian nonsense, man

Over the next 10-12 days, the wine-loving Mike Babcock's going to make a circuit of the best restaurants in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, as somewhere between six and twelve teams attempt to sell Babcock on leaving the Red Wings...

And at this point, I'm just *#$%@& relieved that this exasperating situation is finally coming to some sort of resolution, and I'm more tired of what's become a 13-month "Babcock watch" than anything else.

Covering the situation has been exhausting and borderline ludicrous to read a 52-year-old described with all the lustfulness of a Carl's Jr. commercial, and after over a year's worth of rumors, finding out that Babcock hadn't in fact done much of anything other than turning down several offers from the Wings in order to "play the market" was all but giggle-inducing.

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Griffins take 2-0 lead over IceHogs via tighter-than-it-seemed 5-1 win

The Grand Rapids Griffins had a bumpy start in surrendering the game's first goal and emerging from the 1st with a 1-1 tie against a Rockford IceHogs team that seemed to have the Griffins on the run, but Tom McCollum kept the Griffins in it, Anthony Mantha scored the game-winning goal halfway through the game, and the 3rd period was all Griffins--and "truculence"--as Grand Rapids emerged with a 5-1 win and some bumps and bruises along the way to a 2-games-to-zip lead in the teams' second-round series.

The Griffins' website posited a recap...

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Griffins win, Blashill offers a ‘no comment’ regarding Babs, I have to report it

I hate to report this, but sometimes you have to be a bit of a muckraker to do your job.

After the Grand Rapids Griffins' 5-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday, a win that gave the Griffins a 2-games-to-none lead in their second-round series and featured two more beautiful goals by Teemu Pulkkinen (and a lovely marker by Anthony Mantha)...

Yes, Jeff Blashill was asked about Mike Babcock's situation, and Blashill stated: "To be honest, I really don't have a comment in that my singular focus is trying to win our playoff series here with the Grand Rapids Griffins, and that's all I've thought about." I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to ask him, but the question had to be asked, so it was on the tip of my tongue when another gentleman asked it.

You may most certainly enjoy Blashill's post-game press conference as he discussed many of the reasons that the Griffins have a 2-0 lead and he discusses how the Griffins were able to overcome a 1-0 deficit and a significant amount of "truculence" to handily defeat the IceHogs before three games in Rockford--which don't begin until Wednesday the 13th. You'll get to the Babcock part at the 5-minute mark of his 5:40 presser:

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Babcock on Babcock

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa believes that Babcock's going to bolt [edit: so does the Detroit News's John Niyo /end edit] the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke with Ken Holland on Friday evening, but of this evening's crop of Wings stuff, the most interesting comes from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, who offers Babcock's take on his own situation:

“As soon as people heard that that first thing they think is ‘He’s long gone,’” Babcock said. “That’s so far from the truth it’s not funny.

“I’m going to gather information. I’m going to the world championships, I’m going to watch Dylan Larkin. I’m just going about what I normally do. They’ve given me the opportunity to talk to other teams, I’m going to take advantage of it.

"To be honest with you, my family wants to stay here, my wife and kids.”

Duff continues...

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also snagged quite the quote from Babcock:

"Life is about making good decisions," Babcock said. "Sometimes the most comfortable time is when you have no decision. I'm walking through a sequence of events to make a decision. I'll talk to teams that asked for permission and we'll see what happens from there."

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Babcock can play the market, but is the grass really greener?

Both the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson spoke with Ken Holland regarding what has become the Mike Babcock sweepstakes, and Holland at least allowed teams the discretion to pursue Babcock in private if they wish...

"You can ask whatever you want, but I’m not going to talk teams,” said Holland, who wants Babcock back but is prepared to let him spread his wings to see if there’s somewhere else he’d like to be.

And just as Paul noted in positing ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's take on the situation (and Ted Kulfan's handicapping the field, too), Matheson wondered aloud whether--if money is no object, anyway--Babcock can really "get ahead" of his present situation elsewhere:

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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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