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Kris Draper On The Youngsters

from Chris Nichols of Today's Slapshot,

Dylan Larkin really whet the appetites of Detroit Red Wings fans during his rookie season, and Kris Draper, special assistant to general manager Ken Holland, isn’t shy with his praise regarding career projections for the franchise’s young star.

“This guy is special,” began Draper during a Monday afternoon appearance on SiriusXMNHL. “He’s going to get bigger and stronger. He’s an absolute rink rat. He loves being in the rink. He loves being in the gym. Obviously had an outstanding first season and especially had an outstanding first half of the season.

“I think he can be an impact player for 15 years. Just the way he carries himself on and off the ice. He’s just one of those special players. People gravitate to him. Players gravitate to him.

“At 19 years old, we honestly – he came in and made the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. That’s how good he was at training camp. Henrik Zetterberg basically wanted him on his line right after probably a preseason game. You just saw some special things in what Dylan Larkin can do....

Draper, incidentally, was asked about the Red Wings’ pipeline, and on which kids he’s excited about seeing this fall at training camp.

“The three guys I’d probably say are Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Bertuzzi. I think those three guys are going to give a good push,” answered Draper.

more

Update: Here's the audio:

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McCarty will join the Wings’ ‘Street Hockey Summer Tour’

From CBS Detroit:

Four-time Stanley Cup Champion Darren McCarty will serve as a guest coach for the Red Wings Street Hockey Summer Tour stop in Fraser on Tuesday, Aug. 9 starting at 10:00 a.m. After making seven stops throughout the state of Michigan, the Street Hockey Summer Tour, presented by Meijer, will roll make two stops in at Meijer locations in Metro Detroit this week – Tuesday in Fraser (34385 Utica Rd.) and Thursday in Allen Park (3565 Fairlane Dr.). The final stop of the tour will be on Monday, Aug. 15 in Kalamazoo, which was rescheduled due to a rainout.

The Street Hockey Summer Tour takes over the parking lots of Meijer locations to host free street hockey clinics for children ages 7-12 of all skill levels and hockey experiences. Registration is full for the final two stops of the tour, which will feature 120 children participating in each clinic (60 kids from ages 7-9; 60 kids from ages 10-12).

Each clinic is divided into two sessions by age. The younger age group (ages 7-9) starts at 10:00 a.m. each day, while the older group (ages 10-12) begins at 1:30 p.m. The first hour of each session features a one-hour clinic, followed by a 30-minute pick-up street hockey game. The clinics are instructed by Detroit Red Wings representatives and local hockey players and coaches.

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What To Expect From Darren Helm

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Looking ahead: When Datsyuk made his departure official, the Wings decided they needed to keep Helm (he signed hours before he could have become an unrestricted free agent) because he can play center or wing, and because his top asset – speed – is vital in today's NHL. The cap hit is on the heftier side for a guy who scores n the 12-15 goal range, but Helm is also a top penalty killer and overall very good defensively. Helm, 29, is in the prime years of his career, and showed steady growth up until last season, when he, like much of the team, wasn’t as impressive. Perhaps he'll thrive again under the attention of new assistant coach John Torchetti.

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The Outlook For Henrik Zetterberg

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: The Red Wings plan on using Zetterberg on the wing, likely on a line with Dylan Larkin, whom they are moving to center, and Justin Abdelkader. It should help lighten the load on Zetterberg, who has struggled during the second half in each of the past two seasons. He had 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and a minus-20 rating in 33 games following the All-Star break. He can help Larkin transition to a permanent role at center.

They also need to trim his ice time and perhaps rest him on some back-to-back situations to keep him fresh later in the year. He's representing Sweden in the World Cup, so he'll be playing a lot of hockey.

Despite his age and back issues, Zetterberg remains a productive player capable of leading the team in points, and he's a reliable defender.

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Kronwall’s ‘numbers’ reflect a struggling 2015-16 campaign

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji examines Niklas Kronwall's 2015-16 season "By the Numbers" this morning:

Kronwall won't likely look back on the 2015-16 season with a lot of pleasure. A knee injury forced him to undergo surgery before the All-Star break and the Wings were unable to make it out of the first round.

After the Wings cleaned out their lockers, Kronwall said he would not need any more surgeries this off-season but would look at some other options to keep his knees in better shape.

"It’s been a rough year in a lot of ways but definitely a summer of good training is obviously the first thing that you need," Kronwall said. "I think if you look at this year I don’t think we were good enough to a man. I think for you to have success you need to have several guys have career years. I don’t think we had enough of that. I wasn’t good enough, nowhere near where I need to be."

700 | On Dec. 3 against the Arizona Coyotes, Kronwall played in his 700th career game. Kronwall scored the game-winning goal in the 5-1 victory. Kronwall finished the season with 738 regular-season games played and is now ranked third among Wings defensemen in games played.

Wakiji continues...

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Should The Wings Take A Look At James Wisniewski?

Ansar Khan of Mlive answers a few questions from the fans...

Q: I recall the Wings were interested in James Wisniewski over the summer of 2011. They eventually signed Ian White to a more affordable deal, while Wiz secured a rich, long-term contract with Columbus. Wisniewski is a right-handed shot, has produced a high volume of points over his career (particularly on the power play), has averaged over 20 minutes per game, plays with an edge, and is a Michigan native. Given he has been bought out after missing the past season, is there any chance the Wings might actually take a flier on him? ...

A: I don't think they'd be interested in Wisniewski anymore, even though he has some qualities they can use (puck-moving ability, power play QB, right shot). Ken Holland said he doesn't want a No. 4-6 defenseman, he wants a top pairing guy or at worst a No. 3. If they make a move for a D-man I think it'll be a younger guy with upside. Also, they can't sign a free agent without shedding salary.

more Q & A...

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Discussing Steve Ott’s pluses and minuses

The Free Press's Helene St. James examines Steve Ott's pluses and minuses this afternoon:

Looking back: Ott, the 25th overall pick in the 2000 draft, was injured this past December when he missed a check and slid into the boards, damaging both hamstrings to the point of needing surgery. He returned mid-April in the playoffs.

Looking ahead: After an attempt to sign Matt Martin (the Wings offered four years and $10 million, the same amount Martin took from Toronto) was rebuffed, the Wings took a flier on Ott in their attempt to address the need for grit. Last season's injury aside, Ott, who turns 34 on Aug. 19, has been very healthy, playing 364 of 376 games from 2010-11 through 2014-15. He's good on faceoffs (winning 56.3% as recently as 2014-15) and he's an experienced penalty killer. He's the type of player who holds opponents accountable for cheap shots. If Ott disappoints, he can be sent to the minors and his salary cap hit eliminated – but his abundant enthusiasm for playing for the Wings (he played juniors across the river in Windsor) hints Ott is eager to contribute and establish himself as a fan favorite.

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Griffins holding alternate jersey-design contest

The Grand Rapids Griffins have partnered with Uni Watch's Phil Hecken to ask fans to design an alternate jersey to be worn during the 2016-17 season:

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USA Hockey Arena proving to be a perfect fit for the NTDP

USA Hockey hosted a World Junior Selection Camp at USA Hockey Arena last week, with Team USA battling Finland, Sweden and Canada during the week-long event. IIHF.com's Andrew Podnieks penned an article discussing the U.S. National Team Development Program's decision to make the former Compuware Arena its home base:

The sale of the Whalers in 2015 left a superb complex looking for a tenant. USA Hockey purchased the facility from Karmanos and changed the name of Compuware Arena to USA Hockey Arena, ensuring the NTDP would have as brilliant a future as it had a past over the last two decades.

“For many years, we thought USA Hockey should have a place that was our own facility, a place we could showcase USA Hockey,” Jim Johannson, USA Hockey’s 2017 U20 general manager explained. “Obviously, our marquee team is the NTDP, but we also play in the USHL, and we wanted a facility to be fan friendly. It’s not just NTDP; it represents the best of USA Hockey. We have the Women’s Worlds coming, and other development programs in place. It had to be special.”

“Secondly, we needed to upgrade the facilities we were using for our elite programs. By taking control of that, we’re in good shape. We invested heavily in this facility, and that’s okay. We believe this will help USA Hockey membership as a whole. Certainly the players have been eager to play here.”

Continued

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‘Catching up with Nicklas Lidstrom’

NHL.com's Cutler Klein "catches up with" Nicklas Lidstrom:

After Nicklas Lidstrom retired from a storied career highlighted by winning the Stanley Cup four times, the Norris Trophy seven times and being voted to play in the NHL All-Star Game 12 times, he knew he would have to adjust to life without hockey.

It took him a little while.

"I think I felt the first few months after you retire, you feel some relief that you don't have to get ready for another season and you don't have to work out as hard as you used to do every summer," Lidstrom told NHL.com. "So, that was kind of nice, but when the fall comes around, you're missing something. I think that's from being used to playing hockey for so long and going to training camps and being part of the new season. The first couple years, I felt that I had that feeling that something was missing when fall came around."

Continued

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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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