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Practice articles (mostly): A bit of understandable Larkin-mania

Updated 4x at 3:13 PM: The Red Wings took part in an hour-long practice before flying to San Jose early this afternoon, and the main news that came from practice--other than Dylan Larkin's selection as an All-Star--involved the imminent return of Drew Miller and the possible returns of Kyle Quincey and Tomas Jurco.

As you might imagine, however, Larkin's status as a 19-year-old All-Star, and the Wings' 2nd rookie All-Star, with Steve Yzerman as his company, commanded most of the press's attention--and deservedly so.

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Practice Tweets: Drew Miller to return vs. Sharks; Larkin talked up as an All-Star

The Red Wings hit the ice in Taylor to practice ahead of tomorrow's game against the San Jose Sharks, as noted by the Free Press's George Sipple...

Jimmy Howard first on the ice. #wings

MLive's Brendan Savage...

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Dylan Larkin named to NHL’s All-Star Game roster

From the NHL:

NEW YORK (Jan. 6, 2016) – The National Hockey League announced today the full roster of players as well as the head coaches for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star celebration, which will be held Jan. 30-31 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Forty players were selected by the NHL, joining the four division captains elected by fans in the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Vote: Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers (Atlantic), Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (Central), Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan) and John Scott of the Arizona Coyotes (Pacific).

Below are the complete rosters for each division, comprised of six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders per team:

2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game Rosters

Atlantic Division
F Patrice Bergeron
F Jaromir Jagr (FLA)*
F Leo Komarov (TOR)
F Dylan Larkin (DET)

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Prospect news: Griffins lose in Winnipeg; Vahatalo scores for TPS

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins got a goal from Eric Tangradi, an assist from Martin Frk and a fight from Anthony Mantha, but the Griffins were unable to battle past the Manitoba Moose, losing 2-1 on Tuesday night. The Griffins' website filed a recap:

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The overnight report: Player grades, unfulfilled offensive potential & the adventures of Polo Horse

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan has filed a set of Wings player grades given that Thursday's game in San Jose will be the Wings' 41st of the 2015-16 season. Among them:

Justin Abdelkader – On pace to surpass last season’s career-high in goals (23) and taking on more of a leadership role now that a contract extension has been ironed out. Big piece of the future. GRADE: B.


Tomas Jurco – There was hope Jurco could thrive under a new coach and with more opportunities. But he’s been unable to gain a foothold in the lineup and doubts are beginning to develop whether his promise and potential will ever materialize. GRADE: D


Danny DeKeyser – Is developing into one of the premier shut-down defenseman in the league, capable of stopping opposing offensive stars. Will be a key piece of the Red Wings for a long time. GRADE: A-minus

Kulfan continues, and as usual, I'm willing to provide grades if there's an interest in them, but there will be no list-making for the sake of list-making.

2. The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Riley Sheahan and two of his biggest supporters about #15's untapped offensive potential:

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Ken Holland addresses the Wings’ potential roster/cap crunch

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the roster and cap crunch that will take place when Kyle Quincey, Drew Miller, and eventually, Teemu Pulkkinen return from injuries, and you may take these comments for what you will:

“We have to make roster moves to activate Quincey and Miller,” he said. Asked if he must create space under the salary cap to bring back Quincey, Holland said, “We’re probably a little bit over when we activate Quincey and Pulkkinen. But, obviously, Pulkkinen will not be ready for a while.”

The addition of Quincey, however, would put eight defensemen on the roster, and Holland said the Wings are unlikely to do that.

“Well, let me say this: I don’t see any need to carry eight defensemen.”

If earlier years in the NHL, the situation might result in a midseason trade. But few trades in the NHL occur outside of a period around the NHL draft and the trade deadline, due to the salary cap and other consideration — including the tight standings making for few teams who know they are definitely out of the playoffs.

“Certainly, you’re always looking to upgrade your team,” Holland said. “Trades are hard in the world we live in. Beyond those times, for a variety of reasons, it’s hard to find a trading partner.”

Krupa continues...

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Wings at the WJC: Saarijarvi’s Finns win gold over Russia

Vili Saarijarvi registered an assist in Tuesday's Gold Medal game, and Saarijarvi's Finns prevailed over Evgeny Svechnikov's Russians, winning the Gold 4-3 in OT.

Saarijarvi finished the tournament with 4 assists in 7 games, with 11 shots on goal for Finland; Svechnikov didn't register a point for Russia (finishing at -3, with 13 shots on goal, over the course of 7 games played), but he played as a strong forechecking/playmaking forward.

Saarijarvi was dynamic at times, making up for his 5'8" stature with superb puck-movement, excellent passing, shooting and smart lateral moves to open up shooting and passing lanes.

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All about Triston Grant

Via Grand Rapids Griffins announcer Bob Kaser, and per the Winnipeg Free Press's Melissa Martin:

If hockey hadn't been there, Triston Grant says with a laugh, he'd probably be working at the hog plant in Neepawa right now, or getting his hands dirty somehow.

That's just the kind of guy he is, he adds. He comes from a blue-collar Manitoba family. He was always drawn to hard days of honest work.

In a way, maybe that's what brought the scrappy Grand Rapids Griffins forward to this point. Because although Grant's career plays out under the glare of arena lights, it's still hands-on work. The churning rosters of minor pro leagues are not always kind, but for 11 seasons he's found a way to stick around.

Or, you could say, he's survived. To do it, he's had to dish it out -- and take it -- a lot of hits and fights.

He spent Monday afternoon laid up in a Winnipeg hotel with an ice pack, soothing the aches from Sunday's game against the Manitoba Moose. He'll be back for Round 2 tonight.

"At the end of the day, I'm not making millions of dollars," Grant says. "At the same time, I'm making a living going to the rink and hanging out with some good people, and competing and playing hockey. That's pretty hard to complain about."

Continued, and many thanks to Courtney Fathers for the tip.

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Why the Wings demoted Tomas Nosek: Khan reports Miller, Jurco are ready to go

Per MLive's Ansar Khan, again:

So Tomas Nosek was demoted to make space for Miller and Jurco.

Update: Here's Khan in text form:

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Krupa’s ‘news and views’ include a discussion of the Wings’ personnel crunch on D

Among the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's "News and Views":

News: With Kyle Quincey set to return, there is a logjam along the blue line.

Views: The Wings are deep with similarly-talented defensemen, albeit at different stages of development.

Quincey, Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green are certain in their roster positions. Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith and Alexey Marchenko, who has exhibited enormously solid play as a rookie defenseman, are also likely in place.

That puts Jakub Kindl firmly in a position he has mostly occupied in his seven NHL seasons, on the bubble.

Meanwhile, Xavier Ouellet still toils in the minors, way over-ripe. The Wings clearly know that Ouellet likely would have made any one of several NHL rosters not only at the start of last season, but the previous one, too.

The situation hollers for a midseason trade. But a deal that is anything beyond a mere fire sale is a difficult bargain to drive in the era of both free agency and the salary cap, when an equitable swap is discouraged by the financial considerations.

Whatever occurs, it is unlikely Kindl remains among the seven defensemen on the roster and Ouellet must continue to have the patience of Job.

Krupa continues, discussing the Jimmy Howard-vs-Petr Mrazek-for-starter debate, Jeff Blashill's coaching and Dylan Larkin's goal against New Jersey...

And as far as I'm concerned, the Red Wings need to do what's necessary to ensure that Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet are part of the Wings' seven-man defenisve corps next year at this time.

I understand that the temptation is to go out and trade for another offensive defenseman given Niklas Kronwall's disappointing offensive numbers and Mike Green's acclimation process, but I believe that the answer to the Wings' problems, over the long haul, anyway, still exists in promoting Marchenko, Ouellet and possibly Sproul.

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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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