The Malik Report
The Park Avenue Hotel was imploded to make room for the Red Wings' follow-on rink today, and if you're simply a fan of explosions, implosions or big things falling over, you may enjoy watching videos of the building meeting its demise for the sake of a modern loading dock at the follow-on rink, per the Detroit Free Press...
The Detroit News...
The Red Wings have posted parts 1, 2 and 3 of their series on the summer development camp, and here they are in chronological order (with a shootout "bonus"):
The Red Wings' hiring of Mike Kadar as their strength and conditioning coach has a relatively simple motivation on Detroit's side: Mike Babcock took Pete Renzetti back to Renzetti's hometown of Toronto when Babcock left for Hogtown, so the Red Wings hired someone recommended to them by Tony Granato...
And according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jonathan Bombulie, Kader was allowed to pursue other options because the Penguins have hired Gary Roberts as a fitness consultant, and he likely wants to bring in his own staff...But that's not what Penguins GM Jim Rutherford intonates regarding the end of the organization's 8-year relationship with Kadar:
Rutherford said the Penguins wanted to make changes to the way they approach injury prevention.
“The Penguins, over the last five or 10 years, have been a team that has had a lot of injuries,” Rutherford said. “I'm not suggesting it's any one person's fault by any means, but if we can strengthen that area and do more research on how we train the athletes and how much rest they need and all those different things, that's what we're doing.”
The Penguins have been among the top three in the NHL in games lost to injury in four of the past five seasons. They were third last season, missing 320 man-games.
Many of those games were missed for ailments not typically found in hockey — blood clots for Pascal Dupuis and Tomas Vokoun, the removal of a cancerous tumor for Olli Maatta, a stroke for Kris Letang — which seem to be independent of any strength or conditioning philosophy.
“Someone from the outside might look at it and say I did a terrible job, but once you dissect where the numbers are coming from, we missed five games due to soft-tissue injuries last season and 15 the year before that. That's something I take pride in,” Kadar said. “I don't think that was a big issue.”
As Paul reported earlier today, the Red Wings signed Gustav Nyquist to a 4-year contract extension today, and MLive's Khan has the salary breakdown:
According to the Free Press's Helene St. James, the Wings are now slightly over the salary cap with Teemu Pulkkinen and Tomas Jurco left to re-sign, but that's OK for now and not an overwhelming concern for GM Ken Holland...
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with right wing Gustav Nyquist on a four-year contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
“We’re very happy to have Gustav locked up for four more years,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland. “He’s quickly become an important part of our team, and is a critical piece to the Red Wings’ future. He is just now entering the prime of his career.”
Updated at 12:04 PM: The Free Press's George Sipple spoke with Wings coach Jeff Blashill regarding Joe Hicketts, and he found that Blashill compared the 5'8" defenseman to someone he's coached at the USHL level--Torey Krug:
"To me, Joe's a hockey player," Blashill said. "He does a ton of things well. His instincts are great, both offensively and defensively. He's not the fastest, he's not the biggest, but his impact on the game always seems to be real big."
Hicketts helped Canada win gold at the IIHF world junior championship in January.
"He was great, I thought, for the Canadian world junior team," Blashill said. "He was a big reason why they won the gold. And I'm real excited to have Joe. Like every player, he needs to get better at certain things. As his skating improves, as his shot becomes more of a weapon, those are two areas that are going to need to improve for him to become an NHL player. But I think he has the hockey sense and the confidence to be real successful. He'll go back for another year of junior, but I suspect, at the end of the year, he'll make an impact with Grand Rapids after his junior season is over."
DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has hired Mike Kadar as strength and conditioning coach.
Kadar has served in the same role with the Pittsburgh Penguins since the 2007-08 season, where he worked alongside Red Wings assistant coach Tony Granato from 2009-14 and won a Stanley Cup championship in 2009. He has worked as an NHL strength and conditioning coach since breaking into the league with the Los Angeles Kings in 2003-04. He will be responsible for working with Detroit’s coaching and training staffs to customize conditioning programs and fitness strategies for the Red Wings during the season, while also working with players and the team’s prospects to develop offseason training programs.
Kadar, 46, also has experience as a strength and conditioning coach for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (2002-03) and at Red Deer College (2001-02), as well as internationally for Slovenia at the 2007 IIHF World Championship Division I in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where the team won its group to earn a promotion to the main World Championship division the following season.
The Elnora, Alberta, native also helped Hockey Canada develop an off-ice training DVD in 2005 used by many of the country’s junior national teams. Kadar is a 1996 graduate of the University of Lethbridge with a degree in physical education, and played for both Red Deer College and the University of Lethbridge between 1988-96.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
What do you make of the inability of Xavier Ouellet and Alexey Marchenko to win jobs over (Jakub) Kindl, (Brendan) Smith and (Jonathan) Ericsson? The organization likes to tell us how great these prospects are (or that what they have is as good as what is available in the trade or free agency market). At the same time, these guys can't seem to steal jobs from pretty mediocre NHL defensemen. Are we overrating our defensive prospects at this point?
A: Take Ericsson out of the equation. He didn't have a strong season but as a top-pair defenseman he was never in danger of losing his job to a rookie.
Marchenko beat out Kindl for a spot in the lineup in February but was sent down after Marek Zidlicky arrived. Marchenko returned and played the first two playoff games in place of Smith before the rookie was scratched.
Barring injuries or a trade, it appears Marchenko and Ouellet will start the season in Grand Rapids. They're better off playing regularly in the AHL than watching games as extras in Detroit, which is set with its top six (Niklas Kronwall, Ericsson, Mike Green, Danny DeKeyser, Kyle Quincey, Smith).
I don't think anybody is overrating Marchenko and Ouellet. They move the puck well and they're solid defensively but aren't going to put up a lot of points. They're good players but right now I wouldn't rank them ahead of anyone in the top six.
more Q & A...
Updated 2x at 1:26 AM: Two items of Red Wings-related note popped up this evening.
First, Traverse City's 9&10 News posited a video interview with Mitch Callahan regarding his recovery from a torn ACL as Callahan was able to skate for the first time since February's surgery in Traverse City...
And second, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff took note of Jeff Blashill's comments regarding the NHL-readiness of one Dylan Larkin:
I was en route from Traverse City to South Lyon when Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman posited his "30 Thoughts," so you'll have to pardon the delay in noting these items:
30. How much has Jeff Blashill thought about replacing the big personality that is Mike Babcock?
“Only in the sense that I have to be myself,” he said Wednesday. “The way we think how to teach hockey is somewhat similar, but I am a different person. The most important thing about leadership, in sports or non-sports, is that I’ll be Jeff Blashill.”
Craig Simpson, one of several HNIC personalities who taught me how to properly watch practice, always liked the way Detroit skated. Quick tempo, not very long on the ice, always stopping at the net, etc. Will that continue to be the way?
“It better be,” Blashill answered. “Every single thing you do in practice is what you do in games… It’s a huge part of winning. Do it hard and do it right.” Sometimes, his pre-game skates in AHL Grand Rapids lasted only 15 minutes. “You can build a good habit doing just two things… Don’t have to think at all, the same drills, real simple and repetitive.”
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.