DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji filed a mid-day notebook in which she discusses the diminutive Otto Kivenmaki, Filip Zadina’s Instagram popularity and new Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon’s first couple of days “on the job” as the man in charge:
“I got a whistle and everything this year, it’s crazy,” Simon said after the second day of camp. “It’s exciting for me, to get back to running practices and designing practices and helping teach guys. It’s been fun for me, getting the rust off and putting the big boy hat back on.”
Simon said he isn’t the only one getting rid of some offseason rust.
“They’re excited, a lot of them haven’t skated in a while, so just getting used to their equipment and shaking the rust off,” Simon said. “I thought (Wednesday) went a lot better than the first day. Guys are a little bit tired, but I thought overall it’s been pretty good so far.”
Simon said he welcomes the challenge of helping develop some of the next generation of Red Wings, especially on the blue line.
“When they’re with us in Grand Rapids, it’s develop, it’s teach, that’s through video, through on-ice,” Simon said. “There’s no better development tool to teach than playing, so these kids are going to be forced to play a lot of minutes, give them a lot of responsibility and see who can accept that the most. If they’re not playing, we’re going to work them off the ice, we’re going to work them on the ice. The next 3-4 years is something Grand Rapids is going to be judged heavily on, how these young defensemen are developing.”