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Wings’ summer development camp yielded learning experiences for participants

From the Free Press's Brandon Folsom:

Long days and long nights. The Detroit Red Wings wanted each of the 40 prospects at their development camp last week at Centre Ice Arena to get the most out of the experience. That meant having players arrive to the rink at 8 a.m., practice until almost 2 p.m., take an hour break and then learn in the classroom until 9 p.m. They did so for five days straight.

Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer, who ran the camp, said he wanted each prospect, including all seven of the team's 2016 draft picks, to leave with knowledge of two or three nuances about being a professional hockey player. Whether it was learning how to conduct themselves around reporters or use social media without making themselves look bad, the Wings piled on the information.

Second-round draft pick Givani Smith said learning about nutrition from team dietitian Lisa McDowell was an eye opener.

"I think it's big, knowing what you put into your body and how it affects you," Smith said Sunday. "It really affects how you play on the ice, and it's good to hear that kind of stuff. I'm going to take what I learned here, especially from the nutritionist, Lisa, and bring that back and carry that on."


Update: The Free Press's Folsom also penned an article about the fitness testing:

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Evening news: On Dennis Cholowski, Alex Globke and a Steve Ott interview

Updated 4x at 11:58 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. MLive's Brendan Savage penned a development camp notebook which includes a discussion of Dennis Cholowski's mature game:

"He impressed me from day 1 from the first skill sessions," said Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson, who conducted the on-ice sessions at the camp. "Just the way that he moves out there, his skills set. He passes the puck like a pro right now. He passes it crisp and firm. We got a really good indication from the scrimmages, what he's able to do and see how he can control the play and make simple plays. He makes the game look easy out there. That was my first time watching him play and I was pretty impressed."

During the two scrimmages, Cholowski had two assists and scored a shootout goal. Playing for Team Lindsay, he picked up an assist Friday in a 6-3 victory over Team Howe while also scoring in the traditional post-scrimmage shootout. Then, in the second scrimmage that ended the camp Sunday, he had an assist in Team Lindsay's 3-2 shootout loss.

"I absolutely love his demeanor and the mentality he has," said director of player development Jiri Fischer. "No extreme highs and no extreme lows and the bigger the moment, the better he plays. The bigger the moment, the harder he tries. That's a trait that when guys go through the highs and lows they have a hard time managing that. So for Dennis, he's got that advantage of hopefully the higher level he's going to be play he will be able to elevate his game."

Savage continues, discussing Jeff Blashill's take on development camp and Todd Nelson's takes on the Wings' "glut of forwards" and Dylan Sadowy's goal-scoring abilities. Savage included a video of Cholowski's comments as well:

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Arbitration Dates Set For Danny DeKeyser And Petr Mrazek

via the NHLPA,

Player Elected Arbitration

Detroit Red Wings

Danny DeKeyser - July 28, 2016


Detroit Red Wings

Petr Mrazek - July 27, 2016

Salary Arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4, 2016.

added 4:13pm,


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Morning news: (mostly) prospect-related discussion

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji penned an article discussing the evolution of the Wings' summer development camp:

"Everybody is being pushed in the offseason so we really try to use this camp to take guys to the next level in understanding what their limitations are, what their strengths are so when they leave the camp, they have some sort of a plan to tackle their limitations and improve their strengths as well," [Red Wings director of player development Jiri] Fischer said. "That's what we believe in, that everybody has to be special in order to survive in the NHL."

If they do survive and make it to the NHL, they will likely be playing with some of the same guys who were at development camp with them.

Detroit's first-round pick from last month's NHL draft, Dennis Cholowski, is from western Canada and did not know any of the players before camp.

But Cholowski roomed with second-round pick Givani Smith, an outgoing guy from the Toronto area who already knew several other players from playing with them in Guelph or playing against them around Toronto.

"When our generation was going through the camp, there was no social media," Fischer said. "Most guys didn't have cell phones in the camp. There was no face-timing and Skyping and Viber overseas and What's apps and ways to communicate. So you had to call somebody in order to talk to them or it was face to face when we got together. Now they can stay in touch the entire year so we really hope by guys using all these modern, wonderful tools that we get to enjoy, that they kick off a little bit of a start of a relationship as teammates and carry it on for the rest of the year."

Wakiji continues...

2. The Traverse City Record-Eagle's Brett A. Somers discussed Filip Hronek's attempts to battle through a lack of English-language proficiency with the help of Matej Machovsky...

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It Is Q & A Time For Ansar Khan

Time for some Q & A with Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Q: What do the Wings need to turn this team back into a contender, or at least a decent regular season team? – SaskatoonWingNut

A: Better offense, defense, goaltending and special teams, and coach Jeff Blashill pushing the right buttons.

They need Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar (16 fewer goals scored combined) to return to previous form (25-to-30 goals). They need younger players like Andreas Athanasiou and possibly Anthony Mantha to take the next step; part of that is giving them that opportunity.

They need Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek to help compensate for the offense lost with the departure of Pavel Datsyuk. No sophomore slump for Dylan Larkin, who'll likely center the top line, and no second-half slump for Henrik Zetterberg.

A more productive power play would help. Trading for a top-three puck-moving defenseman would boost the blue line. Petr Mrazek must avoid another late-season slide and be more consistent.

If some of these things happen it can translate into a few more points and maybe they won't have to battle until the final game for a playoff spot.

more questions and answers....

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Krupa spotlights six development campers

From the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

It is a quick look, a glimpse at young guys striving to build NHL careers.

Education is far more the point at development camps. But some evaluations can be made after a busy, grueling five-day session for the Red Wings prospects.

Amid the orientation and instruction of young players, the skills training, the drills, the heart rate tests and, especially, the scrimmages, some looked more advanced than others.

Six were particularly impressive.

Continued, and Gregg made fine choices in Dylan Sadowy, Dennis Cholowski, Tyler Bertuzzi, Julius Vahatalo, Vili Saarijarvi and Evgeny Svechnikov...

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‘Two Things’: On Abdelkader and more development camp discussion

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article discussing Justin Abdelkader's most recent contributions and future expectations...

Looking ahead: Eager to keep the rare physical player on the team, the Wings made sure Abdelkader, 29, never came near unrestricted free agency by signing him to a seven-year, $30 million contract in November, granting a lot of term to get a good salary cap hit. Abdelkader has shown he can be counted on for production in the 20-goal range, and he’s a versatile forward who can be trusted in any situation. He uses his big body (6-foot-2, 218 pounds) to be a net-front presence, and he stands up for teammates subjected to cheap shots by opponents. Abdelkader is a hard worker with good character, unlikely to get complacent.

2. And Winging It in Motown's SlapshotGoal offered some wise words among her player observations from today's scrimmage:

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Impressions from the second scrimmage at the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘16

The Red Wings' 2016 summer development camp came to a close on Sunday morning, with the prospects taking part in a second intra-squad scrimmage. The Wings were without Tyler Bertuzzi (groin), Alfons Malmstrom (?), Adam Marsh (hip), Dominic Turgeon (shoulder), Matthew Santos (shoulder) and Axel Holmstrom (knee).

That yielded a set of teams that had fewer than 18 skaters, but that was OK given that the format was 10 minutes of 4 on 4 and then 10 minutes of 3 on 3, played over the course of 2 20-minute periods.

As coach Todd Nelson stated, the pace of play wasn't quite as crisp as the first scrimmage on Friday, but after five long days of activities from sunrise to sunset, the players were understandably slightly fatigued. That gave a different set of players the opportunity to step up and be counted, and overall, the scrimmage was a success.

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Afternoon news: Development camp news and Blashill on the Wings’ UFA signings

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. I'll be doing my prospect camp scrimmage write-up shortly, but in the interim, MLive's Brendan Savage penned a recap:

Julius Vahatalo scored twice in regulation and once in a shootout Sunday to give Team Howe a 3-2 victory in the second scrimmage of the Detroit Red Wings annual development camp at Centre I.C.E. Arena.

Team Lindsay won the first scrimmage Friday 6-3.

Vahatalo, the Red Wings sixth-round pick (166th overall) in the 2014 NHL draft, scored once in each half.

Dylan Sadowy, who was acquired in a trade with San Jose in May, and 2014 fourth-round pick Christoffer Ehn scored for Team Lindsay.

The scrimmage concluded the camp.

Savage continues...

2. The Free Press's Brandon Folsom posted an 89-image gallery from the summer development camp...

3. And Folsom penned a superb article discussing Jeff Blashill's takes on the Wings' free agent signings:

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Audio from the second scrimmage at the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘16

The Red Wings' summer development camp came to a close via a 3-2 shootout win for Team Howe over Team Lindsay. Julius Vahatalo scored both regulation and shootout goals for Team Howe, and while the pace wasn't quite as crisp as Friday's scrimmage, Sunday's event was both exciting and well-attended.

Cwere absent, but that gave more opportunities to the Wings' try-outs and players like Zach Nastasiuk, Patrick Holway and Dennis Cholowski, who were stand-out good.

The players packed up their gear in a hurry after the scrimmage ended, but I was able to speak with several players, coach Todd Nelson and Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer after the game:

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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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