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Axel Holmstrom understands that earning an NHL contract is the ‘first step’ toward making the NHL

Norran.se's Arvid Marklund spoke with Axel Holmstrom regarding his 3-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings, and even in roughly-translated Swedish, it sounds like Holmstrom's got his head on straight:

Axel Holmstrom: "A childhood dream"

He's got an NHL contract. But the super-talent looks forward to continuing to develop with Skelleftea AIK.

The 18-year-old super-talent is obviously pleased that the contract with the Detroit Red Wings is official and signed.

"It feels very inspiring, it's a childhood dream come true," says Holmstrom to Norran. "But it doesn't mean that you'll get to play in the NHL. It's a long way [away], and it means you have to continue to work hard to get there," Axel continues.

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Morning news: More about Todd Nelson and ‘digging’ a low bowl

Updated 3x at 11:44 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James is the fifth reporter to confirm that Todd Nelson will coach the Grand Rapids Griffins...

Todd Nelson will be announced as the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate, as early as today. Details of the contract are still being worked out. The position became open June 9, when the Wings promoted Blashill to head coach after three seasons with the Griffins.

Nelson, 46 and a former defenseman, has a considerable coaching resume. He most recently was the interim coach of the Edmonton Oilers. He was an assistant with the Griffins in 2002-03, before going to the Muskegon Fury, where he coached that team to the IHL title. He was an assistant with the Chicago Wolves when they won the AHL's Calder Cup in 2008.

2. Via RedWingsFeed, the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy penned something of a biography of Nelson's playing and coaching career...

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Chris Chelios will help coach the U.S. World Junior Championship team

This press release points toward an "associate" or consulting-type role for Chris Chelios in Detroit:

Chelios, Cole and Reiter Named Assistant Coaches
For 2016 U.S. National Junior Team

Support Staff Also Announced for 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today named Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.), Danton Cole (Pontiac, Mich.) and Kevin Reiter (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as assistant coaches for the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. The trio will work with Ron Wilson (Riverside, R.I.), who was previously announced as head coach.

Chelios, an advisor to hockey operations for the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, will serve as an assistant coach on his first U.S. National Junior Team. For the last five years, Chelios has worked closely with the coaching staffs of the Red Wings and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, to help develop and mentor young players within the organization.

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Is Soon To Be UFA Mike Green A Fit With The Wings?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Why he would interest the Red Wings: They could use some more offense from the blue line and he would provide it. Even though their power play ranked second in the league, they didn't have a reliable second point option after Niklas Kronwall. Green's right-handed shot would be welcome on a team dominated by left shooters.

How he could fit in with the Red Wings: Possibly on the top pairing with Kronwall at even strength and on the top power-play unit.

What it might take to get him: A weak free-agent market enhances Green's value and bargaining power. He will be the top available defenseman and could get a five-year deal for around $6 million a season.


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Praise for Luke Glendening’s ‘Wings season highs’

The Red Wings are beginning a set of summer stories focusing on "Wings season highs," and DetroitRedWings.com's Craig Peterson focused on Luke Glendening's career-best numbers and improvement over the course of the 2014-15 season:

In just the second game of the regular season, on Oct. 11, Glendening scored with a backhand shot that squeaked past Anaheim goalie Frederik Anderson. That goal got Glendening started on the right foot, propelling him to a career-high 12 goals.

“I think it’s getting more comfortable, I thought I had some chances last year to score and it just didn’t go in,” Glendening said. “This year it’s found the back of the net a little bit more but I think as I’ve gotten more comfortable, I’ve been playing a little better.”

Skating as a high-energy fourth-line center, Glendening spent a significant amount of ice time alongside linemate and fellow penalty killer Drew Miller.

With lockers side-by-side in the Wings’ dressing room, Miller, a Michigan State University alumnus, has gotten to know Glendening, a University of Michigan alumnus, quite well during his time in Detroit.

“He’s a guy I’ve played with a lot this year and a lot last year towards the end of the season,” Miller said. “We’re getting to know each other pretty well and obviously, we’re penalty-kill partners, he works hard, he brings it every day. So that’s something that you can count on from him as a linemate, and the guys in the locker room and the coaches do the same, count on him to bring it.”

Peterson continues...

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Todd Nelson to coach the Grand Rapids Griffins

One source is a rumor, two sources are a "report," and three sources are generally--academically speaking, as well as in the news business--confirmed. Consider this confirmed:

Update: Make it four sources...which is Kosher:

The Edmonton Journal's Jonathan Willis penned a blog entry about this news:

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Ken Holland doesn’t sound like a big shopper as organizational meetings begin

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland about two topics--the state of the Red Wings' defense and the signing of Axel Holmstrom--and his conversation with Holland regarding the Wings' blueline (and the options available to the team to improve the team as a whole) is fascinating:

"A year ago on July 1 we were looking for a right-shot defenseman we thought could get points,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “There were two or three on the market. When we didn’t get them we just stopped. We felt that the young players we had in our organization were the answer.

“I’d like to think by getting 100 points and making the playoffs, to a degree, validated the decisions we made,” Holland continued. “Certainly we’re disappointed we weren’t able to finish off, being up 3-2 on Tampa Bay. We’ve got to get better. Part of that improvement is going to be the experience that (Tomas) Tatar, (Gustav) Nyquist, (Danny) DeKeyser, (Luke) Glendening, (Petr) Mrazek, (Tomas) Jurco and (Riley) Sheahan have had in the Boston series and in the Tampa Bay series.”

And going forward...

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As Leafs announce assistant coaching hires, Wings waiting to name their assistants/Griffins coach

Update: FYI:

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Jim Hiller and Jim Brewer away from the Wings as the Leafs filled out their assistant coaching staff today, and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Red Wings are likely to sort out both their assistant coaching and AHL coaching vacancies by the end of the week:

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he expected to announce his assistant coaching staff all at once this week.

Tony Granato, who was approached by Toronto and Buffalo, is expected to sign a multi-year extension to stay. Holland and coach Jeff Blashill are meeting with Chris Chelios on Wednesday to discuss a role in the organization. If Todd Nelson doesn't get the Grand Rapids Griffins head coaching job he might be a candidate for an assistant coaching position in Detroit.

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Custance looks back at the Wings-Bolts series 2 months after its conclusion

ESPN's Craig Custance penned an article in which he discussed "What we learned about each playoff team," and here's what he said about the Red Wings:

Detroit Red Wings: Time has been kind to the Red Wings' first-round exit at the hands of the Lightning. The Red Wings probably should have beaten the Lightning after putting themselves in great position to do so, but with every round the Tampa Bay won, that seven-game effort by Detroit looked more and more impressive.

Cough Kronwall suspension cough...

We learned that Petr Mrazek is ready to be a bona fide No. 1 starting goalie in the NHL, responding under pressure by outplaying Ben Bishop for most of that series. Mrazek finished the playoffs with a .925 save percentage, and it was revealing that he got the work in goal over veteran Jimmy Howard. It was more good experience for Detroit's young core of skaters too, with Tomas Tatar showing he's capable of scoring in the postseason and Luke Glendening revealing the potential to be a high-end, shutdown checking center.

Since-departed coach Mike Babcock was certainly a big part of the Red Wings' near-elimination of the eventual Eastern Conference champions, so the challenge is to continue the growth under new coach Jeff Blashill. He's promising but unknown, though the success of his friend Jon Cooper of the Lightning is proof Blashill and other talented, young coaches can make quick adjustments. -- Craig Custance


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Red Wings remind us that today was a time to ‘Believe’

More than a few Red Wings fans shed tears when this happened in 1998, and I was one of them:

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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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