Wings on European loan: Hronek scores a goal, plays 27:31 in HK Mountfield’s season-opening win

European professional hockey seasons are following the early-starting KHL in getting down to regular season business this weekend, and two Red Wings prospects will be in action on Friday and Saturday in the Czech Extraliga.

The Czech league kicked off on Thursday, however, with a game between Filip Hronek’s HK Mountfield and Ceske Budejovice.

HK Mountfield prevailed via a 5-1 decision. Hronek played a massive 27:31, scoring a power play goal, an assist, and a +2. You can watch a clip of Hronek’s goal here via Hokej.cz’s Ondrej Mach.

Hronek did speak to the media after the game, and while attempting to translate Czech is very much so an inexact science, his interview with the CTK News Agency notes that Hronek is playing alongside former Red Wings prospect Richard Nedomlel (as per usual, what follows is roughly translated)…

Continue reading Wings on European loan: Hronek scores a goal, plays 27:31 in HK Mountfield’s season-opening win

Griffins ties to the Cup Finalists

The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a press release highlighting the Griffins’ ties to both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, who will face off in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final:

FORMER GRIFFINS TO CLASH IN STANLEY CUP FINAL

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – During the 2002-03 American Hockey League season, Grand Rapids Griffins center Stacy Roest and assistant coach Todd Nelson were integral parts of a team that finished first in the Western Conference and eventually fell one win shy of competing in the Calder Cup Finals. Fast-forward 17 years and they now find their National Hockey League teams pitted against each other in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

Roest is the assistant general manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who completed a 4-2 triumph over the New York Islanders with Thursday’s 2-1 overtime win. Nelson is an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars, who dispatched the Vegas Golden Knights by a 4-1 series score and boast another Griffins alumnus in center Mattias Janmark.

Thanks to this matchup, a former Griffins player will have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the seventh time in the last 13 years and the ninth time in the last 16 seasons, joining the names of 16 Grand Rapids alumni that already adorn the most famous trophy in sports. If the Stars prevail, Nelson would also become the first former Griffins coach to celebrate with the Stanley Cup.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Visit nhl.com for the complete series schedule.

Roest only spent that lone 2002-03 season in Grand Rapids but made an indelible mark. After placing third on the team in scoring during the regular season with 72 points (24-48—72) in 70 games, he led the Griffins with 10 goals and 16 points during their playoff run. Roest set the franchise’s single-postseason records by scoring a pair of overtime goals and five game-winning goals in all before Grand Rapids lost to eventual champion Houston in Game 7 of the conference finals.

Nelson’s name is synonymous with the Griffins. The first player ever signed by the club in 1996, he logged four seasons as a bedrock defenseman (1996-98, 1999-2000 and 2001-02) plus that one campaign as an assistant coach (2002-03) before returning to spend three seasons as Grand Rapids’ head coach (2015-18). He led the Griffins to their second Calder Cup championship in 2017, becoming just the third person ever to win the Calder Cup as a player (1994 Portland), assistant coach (2008 Chicago) and head coach, joining Bob Woods and one-time Griffins head coach Mike Stothers. Should Dallas defeat Tampa Bay, Nelson would be the first member of that exclusive trio to win the Stanley Cup and would join the ranks of more than 100 players and coaches who have won both the Calder Cup and Stanley Cup in their careers. He already is just the second former Griffin to coach in a Stanley Cup Final, on the heels of former head coach Bruce Cassidy’s appearance last season with the Boston Bruins.

Janmark, originally the third choice (79th overall) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, made his North American debut with the Griffins in 2013-14, playing two regular season contests before contributing one assist in six playoff games. Now in his fourth full NHL season with Dallas, he shows five assists in 20 appearances during these playoffs after totaling 21 points (6-15—21) in 62 games during the regular season.

Former Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is the Stars’ general manager as well, and former Toledo Walleye coach Derek Lalonde is an assistant coach for Tampa Bay.

Griffins auctioning off game-issued jerseys from their ‘Purple Game’

The Grand Rapids Griffins are auctioning off game-issued jerseys from their March 11th-scheduled “Purple Game” to help raise funds for the Van Andel Institute:

Even though our Purple Community game in March was canceled, you can secure one of the game issued jerseys NOW in the 2020 @VAInstitute Golf Outing auction! 😍

Bid Here >> https://t.co/qjO9O8zaYp pic.twitter.com/0jEHj11llP— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) September 16, 2020

The auction is open until Friday at 12pm.— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) September 16, 2020

Because the jerseys were game-issued and not game-worn, they’re available at pretty darn reasonable prices.

Wakiji profiles Cole Perfetti

DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji profiles Saginaw Spirit center Cole Perfetti this evening, and Perfetti’s been linked to the Red Wings on a regular basis over the past couple of months. As Wakiji notes, Perfetti himself has discussed the connection:

“I’ve had some good talks with them (the Red Wings), a couple of times,” Perfetti told The Hockey Writers. “I have another talk with them coming up this week. It’s crazy to hear people talking about that. I don’t think they even know who they’re taking yet with there still being 3 1/2 weeks to go. There’s a lot of great hockey players in this draft. I’m just trying to stay away from that and keep my head focused. When I have an interview with any team, I want to make the most of it and show who I really am.

“It would be really cool to play in Detroit being only an hour down the road from them and then be really close to my billets who I’ve grown very close to. I consider them my second family. I talk to them almost every day since I’ve been home. They’ve been amazing to me and I can’t thank them enough. To be only an hour away from them would be awesome. At the end of the day any team would be amazing and I’d be honored and thrilled to hear my name called to play for any organization.”



Continued

Wakiji examines Alex Biega’s ‘numbers’

DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji examines significant figures from defenseman Alex Biega’s 2019-2020 season with the Detroit Red Wings:

115 – While not the biggest guy, Biega believes in finishing his checks and his 115 hits ranked third on the Wings. Luke Glendening was first with 147 and Adam Erne was second with 142.

46 – Biega was sixth on the team in blocked shots with 46. Fellow defenseman Patrik Nemeth led with 92.

55 – Biega had 55 shots, which ranked 16th on the Wings. Dylan Larkin led with 223. Filip Hronek led Detroit’s defensemen with 125.

Continued

Hockeysverige.se, Allehanda report that Dmytro Timashov may play for Modo in Sweden

Hockeysverige.se’s Robin Olausson reports that, per a report in Ornskoldsvik’s Allehanda, Wings restricted free agent forward Dmytro Timashov may end up playing for Modo Ornskoldsvik of the Swedish Allsvenskan. What follows is roughly translated from Swedish:

Continue reading Hockeysverige.se, Allehanda report that Dmytro Timashov may play for Modo in Sweden

On Drysdale and Raymond

I’ve found that people get a little aggressive regarding their picks as to whom the Red Wings should draft with the 4th overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, and that has me hesitant to write up a piece summarizing my takes on the best North American and European players available to the Wings…

But we’re three weeks away from said draft’s first round, and that means that I’ve got to try to grind one out for you shortly.

In the interim, DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji has penned an article “getting to know” a possible Wings pick at #4 in Erie Otters defenseman Jamie Drysdale…

“Jamie Drysdale is the of player that every team is looking for, very smart puck-moving defenseman who can beat you with his vision, beat you with his hockey sense, able to use that great quickness and thinking to defense and strip a puck and turn it around and before you know it it’s going the other way and can find the open man on the attack, makes him too tough to pass up if he’s available when you’re picking,” NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory said on the April 8 video conference call.

The Otters had claimed a playoff berth as the eighth team in the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference with 63 points (26-26-4-7).

But on March 23, the OHL, along with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League, announced the cancellation of the 2020 President Cup Playoffs a week after canceling the rest of the regular-season games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously it’s a bit unfortunate that playoffs aren’t able to be played,” Drysdale said on the video conference call. “I think everyone was looking forward to that time of year so obviously unfortunate not on that part. I think like everyone else said, it’s important that everyone just stays home and stays safe as well as making sure they’re staying in shape and doing everything they can to just at the kind of level of hockey they are, whether it’s shooting pucks or working out.

“I think that’s still important to do. It’s not just time off so I think everyone’s just kind of trying to stay in hockey shape and do what they can.”

Wakiji continues, and The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian penned an article discussing the case to be made for the Ottawa Senators drafting Swedish winger Lucas Raymond with the 5th overall pick. Her article is still instructive for Red Wings fans:

Continue reading On Drysdale and Raymond

Wakiji on Madison Bowey’s 2019-2020 ‘numbers’

The Detroit Red Wings have a hard decision to make this offseason in determining whether to “fish or cut bait” with one Madison Bowey. The 6’2,” 205-pound defenseman is a restricted free agent at 25 years of age, and his last season with the Wings was really his first full NHL campaign (53 games, 3 goals, 14 assists and a -16).

Detroit needs to determine whether they want to bring the fledgling pro back for another season, or whether Bowey’s inconsistencies as a puck carrier might mean that the team should give slightly younger players a bigger chance to play.

DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji examines Bowey’s 2019-2020 season “numbers” today, and her discussion of Bowey’s significant figures helps establish some of his “intangibles”:

14 – With 14 assists, Bowey set a new career high, passing the 12 assists he had with the Capitals in 2017-18. He was tied with Andreas Athanasiou for seventh on the team in that category.

17 – Bowey’s career-best 17 points was second among team defensemen. Larkin led with 53 points and Hronek led the blueliners with 31, tied with Fabbri.

58 – Bowey had 58 blocked shots, which was fifth on the Wings. Patrik Nemeth led with 92. During the 2018-19 season, Bowey had 63, 41 in 33 games with the Capitals and 22 in 17 games with the Wings.

70 – Bowey had 70 shots, which was 10th on the team and third among defensemen. Larkin led all skaters with 223 and Hronek led the defensemen with 125. Nemeth had 89.

Continued; I’m not sure whether I would re-sign Bowey if I was Steve Yzerman, but he is a relatively young player who shows promise as a puck-moving defenseman with good skating skills, and he’s still in the process of establishing himself as a regular NHL player.

Would you give Bowey a qualifying offer, or would you walk away from him?

Bultman on the fate of the Wings’ 3 2nd-round picks

We’re just short of three weeks ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft, and The Athletic’s Max Bultman examines the Red Wings and Lightning’s draft record in the second round over the past 10 seasons in order to determine whether the team should utilize its 3 2nd-round picks to trade up into the 1st round, or whether the Wings should attempt to draft as many prospects as possible.

His conclusion reads (in part) as follows:

Teams that sat tight and made most of their picks had predictably mixed results, too: The second round is not a haven of easy-to-nail picks, but there is often useful talent still on the board, if you can identify it.

Perhaps the most useful data point in all of this, then, is what Detroit did last year, with a similar set of second-round assets. It’s been more than a year since that draft, but in terms of Detroit’s rebuilding status, not much has changed. If anything, the road ahead now may look longer because of the Red Wings’ disastrous results last season.

But those three players Detroit picked in the second round last summer are all now among its top 10 prospects. It wouldn’t be surprising if at least two were part of the Red Wings’ next playoff team. And while high-end talent is the Red Wings’ most pressing need at this stage, more picks means more chances to find another Bertuzzi or a Filip Hronek in Round 2.

Bultman continues at significant length, and, put bluntly, the Wings need as many kicks as the can at possible, so I don’t see them attempting to trade up into the first round by combining 2nd round picks at this point.

A discussion of previous Wings possibly helping the Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton’s “Lowetide,” a.k.a. Allan Mitchell, pondered whether several of the players previously signed by Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland (when Holland was the Red Wings’ GM) or previously coached by Oilers bench boss Dave Tippett might be able to help the Oilers, and Mitchell pulls a familiar name out of his hat

Darren Helm: He is a fascinating player. His scoring (68 games, 9-7-16) is pedestrian and he doesn’t play centre, but he played against elites a lot in 2019-20 (37.5 percent of his playing time against the league’s best) and shone like a diamond (49 percent Dangerous Fenwick and outscored opponents 5-4) on a simply awful team. However, his cap hit ($3.85 million) is a deal breaker and he has been up and down against elites over the years. He’s a speedster and forechecks like mad, and those 2019-20 numbers are impressive. A hard pass is the call here.

But Mitchell doesn’t over-fantasize regarding the likelihood of Holland bringing any current Red Wings star player into the Oilers’ fold just because he was once the man who drafted and signed Wings prospects:

I had a long look at Danny Dekeyser — he is a fine defenceman but lost most of last season to injury and there’s probably risk involved (back injury) for next season. Gustav Nyqvist is another good fit, but he’s early in his contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets so that relationship is likely to continue for the next couple of seasons. A player like Tyler Bertuzzi is just beginning to emerge in Detroit, and it’s extremely unlikely that general manager Steve Yzerman would move a player he can build around (along with Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Filip Hronek).

Continued (paywall)…