The Malik Report
NHL.com's Dan Rosen fielded two Red Wings-related questions in his "Over the Boards" blog's mailbag, and this one is familiar...
Do you think Dylan Larkin can "buck the trend" and perform his way into a winged wheel this upcoming season? @purdstheword22
History would suggest that Larkin will spend this season in Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League continuing his development. The Detroit Red Wings are notorious for their patience with prospects, even top prospects such as Larkin. However, there is something to be said for impressing the new coach, which Larkin did in Grand Rapids during the Calder Cup Playoffs last season, when he had three goals and five points in six games after turning pro. Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said Larkin didn't look like a good young player in his short stint in Grand Rapids; he simply looked like a good player regardless of age.
There is an opportunity for Larkin if he has a good camp because Pavel Datsyuk's right ankle surgery is expected to force him to miss the start of the season. Larkin would have to be considered in the same situation as Anthony Mantha, Teemu Pulkkinen, Landon Ferraro and maybe even Tomas Jurco. Nothing is guaranteed, but they're all candidates to make the opening night roster.
So, yes, Larkin can "buck the trend." I can't say for sure if he will, but it looks like he'll get his chance.
Rosen continues, and he answers a question about Mike Green as well:
Among this morning's items of disparate Red Wings-related note:
If there is a down side to the Wngs' decision to sign Teemu Pulkkinen to a 1-year, $735,000 contract--save the fact that it pushes another player into restricted or unrestricted status during next summer's Summer of Ken Holland's Contract Rubicon Sweepstakes (will Tomas Jurco join them?????)--it's that officially pushes the Wings over the salary cap, as the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness noted:
Detroit has 24 players signed, 15 of which are forwards, at just over $72 million. The salary cap this season is $71.4 million.
Teams can be 10-percent over the salary cap until the day before the season begins, which will give the Wings enough time to decide if Pavel Datsyuk (ankle surgery) and Johan Franzen (concussion) will be able to start the season or head to injured reserve.
Detroit could also free up cap space via a trade or by sending a player to Grand Rapids.
“We’ve got to get to camp, let it play itself out and pick a team,” Holland said earlier this offseason. “With the additions we made on July 1, we’re a little deeper than last year. We’re hoping for a competitive training camp.”
Rather conveniently, the Red Wings chose to release Craig Peterson's article regarding Pulkkinen's "Red Wings First" (goal, in this case) this morning...
via Bill Roose tweets,
The #RedWings have added Archie Henderson to pro scout staff. The 58-year-old and Ken Holland were teammates at AHL Binghamton (1982-83).
Archie Henderson collected 3,611 PIM in just 878 career games in five different leagues, including the NHL with the Capitals and Whalers.
Henderson actually took on Bob Probert in 1986, you can watch the fight below...
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with right wing Teemu Pulkkinen on a one-year contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed
The whole concept of "three things" involves tying disparate stories together, in no small part because "three things" tend to pop up in the summertime, and this entry stretches the premise of "three things" about as far as it can gett.
First, while the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby duly notes that the Toronto Maple Leafs have hired former Wings head coach Mike Babcock, assistant coaches Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer, strength and conditioning coach Peter Renzetti, and, on Monday, Finnish scout Ari Vouri as the Leafs' Director of European Scouting, a certain Jimmy Devellano's take on Vouri's importance (and he was important) is...reassuring:
Art Regner and USA Today's kevin Allen spoe about the Red Wings and the NHL for 32 minutes this morning on 1130 AM WDFN--on July 20th--and here's the audio(which was apparently just a small part of a three-hour segment):
CBS Sports' Chris Peters pondered what facets of the Red Wings' play might change under Jeff Blashill, and given that the Wings' style of play will remain relatively constant as the Grand Rapids Griffins played an incredibly similar-to-Detroit puck possession system under Blashill, Peters posits the suggestion that we will see fewer veteran players in secondary and tertiary roles going forward, and a greater emphasis (finally) on the youth movement:
It's one thing when it's 2007-08 and the team has the most stacked roster in the league and jobs are hard to come by. It's quite another when the 2014 version of Dan Cleary is getting a preferred spot on the roster while younger players are banging on the door deserving of an opportunity. In a salary cap sport, and especially on a team that is as close to the cap as the Red Wings are with so many big-money players, you just cannot waste prime years of a top prospect like that. If there was a reason to be critical of Babcock's time in Detroit, especially in recent years, this might have been it.
Having coached most of them over the years in the AHL, Blashill is going to be extremely familiar with the younger players on the Detroit roster and they might get more of an opportunity to play more meaningful roles than they did in recent years at the NHL level.
The one thing that some of the younger players have going for them under Blashill is that many of them (Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Landon Ferraro, Luke Glendenning, Petr Mrazek, etc.) won a championship with him at the AHL. He knows he can win with them because he has already done it (even if at a lower level) and that may carry a built-in trust that they may not have had under Babcock.
In the end, players like Datsyuk or Zetterberg aren't going to be losing ice time, and there aren't going to be sweeping changes made to the roster or the style of play, but the guys at the top may not have to carry such a heavy load as they have in recent years.
I've been wondering how one says, "I'm 37, I'm not old!" today.
It's Pavel Datsyuk's 37th birthday, but Datsyu'ks revelation that his surgically-repaired ankle will take more like 4-5 months to heal than the initial 3-4 months shook up a sleepy mid-summer news cycle, and as per usual, the hockey media corps decided that Datsyuk's injury, suffered while blocking a shot, is yet another sign that he's "slowing down" and is "no longer durable."
Datsyuk's under contract to the Red Wings for 2 more years, and he'll have to sign on for a third year if he is to help break in the Wings' follow-on rink. Today, he was busy in Yekaterinburg at his summer hockey school...
George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press answered some questions from Tigers/Wings fans today (mostly Tigers)...
What happened to Z in the second half of the Season? What's his outlook for this season?
I assume you mean the lack of goal scoring? He did have 18 assists over the final 27 games, but only two goals. It wasn't like he wasn't chipping in offensively, but yes you'd think he'd put a few more in the net himself. As long as he's healthy, he'll remain an important player for the Wings, even more so at the start of the season when Datsyuk is missing.
If both players shine in training camp/preseason who is more likely to make the big club this year mantha or larkin?
I don't think there's any doubt that Dylan Larkin is the top prospect in the organization at this point. That said, I don't think there's really any chance that Larkin will start the season with the Wings, barring injury. But, it is entirely possible that if he dominates at the AHL level, he could force them to call him up at some point during the season.
As for Mantha, he's got a lot to prove. He needs to show he is willing to battle more than he did last season. And he has to get stronger, which he's apparently showing more of a commitment to doing this summer.
If Holland were to retire in the near future, do you think Kris Draper would be promoted to GM?
No, don't think Draper is ready for something like that. He might be one day. I can tell you that he gets a lot of credit for the Wings drafting Tyler Bertuzzi.
added 2:27pm, It's summer and I am a dummy. I see George posted this earlier today, sorry for the mess up.
Among this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories:
First, from the Grand Rapids Griffins:
Second, the Free Press's George Sipple answered some Wings-related questions during a chat on Freep.com...
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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.