HSJ on Mantha and the Wings’ great expectations for #39

As the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes, the Red Wings are planning on asking Anthony Mantha to work with a boxing coach this summer to push his competitive limits.  St. James notes that the Red Wings’ expectations for Mantha match the player’s desire to meet them:

Mantha had a team-leading 24 goals. There are those in the organization, including Chris Chelios, who see Mantha developing into a 40-goal scorer. Mantha himself wants to be a go-to guy, and this season has seen his relationship with Blashill develop. One key date was Jan. 22 in New Jersey, when the two had a heart-to-heart that led to a show-and-tell video.

 “We took the 10 best shifts of my season and the 10 worst and we compared those,” Mantha said. “There is a big difference when I am actually competing or when I am not. That’s a learning thing I did this year.
“We talked about it again this morning. He knows I could be an impact player on this team and that’s his goal — he wants me to be like the best player, a superstar. He really wants me to focus on a couple details and sometimes the way he thinks he needs to reach out is by calling me out.”
Blashill coached Mantha his first year of pro hockey, in 2014-15, in Grand Rapids.
“My job is to get the very most out of each individual player that I can,” Blashill said. “Part of that job is to figure out the right buttons to push. And sometimes those buttons change. I’ve had Anthony a long time. It’s not like this is just a new growth process. Those buttons can change as people mature.
“One of the biggest thing in getting the best out of people is finding ways to connect with them. If the player gets to a realization where they understand what you are trying to do it get the very best out of them, that you’re not picking on them, when they understand that, there can be real growth.”
St. James continues, and in the FYI department:

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.