Three things: Two prospect tournament articles and a Wings ‘community tour’ press release

Of Red Wings-related note early on a Saturday morning:

  1. The Traverse City Record-Eagle’s Jake Atnip spoke with Red Wings prospect Dennis Cholowski and Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon regarding the expectations for Cholowski at the prospect tournament:

“This tournament gives you confidence,” the Canadian defenseman said. “Being around all of these guys and playing a few games gets you ready for training camp.

“This hockey is really good hockey. It definitely gets you ready. The NHL preseason games are not going to be much different from this hockey. If you are able to come out here and play well it gives you a lot of confidence rolling into the preseason.”

Cholowski participated in the NHL Prospect Tournament last year and sees it as an opportunity to head into training camp trending in the right direction. His new coach agrees.

“It is important for them to get to know me a little bit and get off on the right foot,” first-year Griffins head coach Ben Simon said. “Good habits, practice habits and leaving a good impression. They want to leave a good impression with the NHL team first and foremost. Then throughout that process if they leave an impression with Detroit it will obviously reflect well with me as well.”

2. Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff spoke with Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin regarding the tournament and the Wings’ top prospects taking part in said event:

“I think there’s a lot of different agendas at work in a tournament like this,” Detroit assistant GM Ryan Martin told “Certainly, we’ve got players coming into this tournament that, starting at the top in terms of seniority, that have played one year in the American League and are looking to establish themselves to have a greater presence at least at that level and show perhaps they’re ready for more.

Like Vili Saarijarvi and Axel Holmstrom, we have two of those players in this year’s lineup. Tournament rules allow for four. Because we’ve had so many draft picks the last couple years, we’d rather play a lot of those younger players, so Vili and Axel would be two of the older players.

“And I would say there’s another group of players are looking to show they’re ready to push to make Detroit. Not to single out anyone in particular, but Zadina, Michael Rasmussen, David Pope coming out of college will be competing for a job in Detroit.

“Other players (like) Givani Smith is looking for show he wants to be an everyday American League player. He wants to impress coach Simon and let him know, assuming he’s in Grand Rapids, that he wants to be big part of that program down there. The same could be said of Dennis Cholowski. I put Dennis in the group with Michael Rasmussen and Zadina, looking to show he can make Detroit.”

3. And finally, the Red Wings posted a long press release on Friday, stating that Red Wings players and prospects alike are going to take part in a community tour leading up to training camp:

Red Wings launch Hockeytown Cares Impact Platform

Hockeytown Cares Community Tour Expands to four days, donating time and resources to organizations across Michigan leading up to the start of Red Wings Training Camp in Traverse City. 10th Annual Tour includes Red Wings players (prospects, active roster and Alumni), management and Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League players. Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi to make stops in Ann Arbor and Goodrich on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Hockeytown Cares to serve as Red Wings Community Impact Platform with new and unique year-round outreach.

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced the expanded itinerary for the Hockeytown Cares Community Tour, presented by ITC Holdings Corp. New this season, the 10th annual tour will cover four days of community outreach throughout the state of Michigan and will engage hockey players at several levels of the game – spanning from youth hockey players to current Red Wings, alumni, coaches and front office staff – leading up to Training Camp in Traverse City, Mich.

More than $15,000 in donations are set to be awarded during this year’s Hockeytown Cares Community Tour, courtesy of ITC and the Detroit Red Wings. All four days of the Community Tour are open only to media.

Hockeytown Cares now serves as the Red Wings’ official platform to create positive change across Michigan. In partnership with fans, key stakeholders and colleagues, the team will provide innovative support focused on community investment and youth development. As part of Hockeytown Cares, the Detroit Red Wings Foundation will continue to raise funds and resources in support of the growth of hockey within our community. Last season, the Red Wings organization was proud to represent more than $2.2 million in combined community support.

For the first time, Red Wings prospects will participate in the Hockeytown Cares Community Tour, as the full roster of players skating in the 2018 NHL Prospect Tournament will visit the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Station on Sunday, Sept. 9. The Red Wings prospects will interact with firefighters, police officers and the K-9 unit, along with participating in equipment and vehicle demonstrations. The Red Wings prospects will also donate tickets to invite the officers and firefighters to attend Training Camp and the Red Wings Alumni and Celebrity Game.

On Monday, Sept. 10, poly hockey athletes from Special Olympics Michigan (Northern Region) will visit Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City to meet with Red Wings management prior to the team’s matchup against the NY Rangers at 4 p.m. as part of the 2018 NHL Prospect Tournament. The Red Wings and ITC will donate tickets to the athletes and their guests to cheer on the Red Wings prospects, in addition to a $1,000 donation to the poly hockey program.

Youth hockey players from the 2006 & 2007 Traverse City North Stars, member teams within the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League, will participate in this year’s Hockeytown Cares Community Tour on Monday, Sept. 10, in partnership with United Way of Northwest Michigan and the organization’s 2018 Day of Caring. The youth hockey players and coach Dallas Drake – a 2008 Stanley Cup Champion with the Red Wings – will participate in a community project at Reining Liberty Ranch, a non-profit offering community-based programs to serve Veterans, their families and other disabled and at-risk individuals within the Grand Traverse Community through programs focusing on horse-human relationships including Relational Horsemanship, Therapeutic Riding and Equine Facilitated Learning. After assisting in exercising the animals and participating in clean-up projects, the youth hockey players will deliver a $3,500 donation to the organization to further its mission to serve as a catalyst for healing through building relationships, mentorship opportunities, interaction and reintegration within the community.

Forwards Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha will make two stops on Tuesday, Sept. 11, a National Day of Service, en route to Training Camp. The players will make their first stop at the Ann Arbor Fire Department to tour the fire station and visit with firefighters and first responders. The group will also make a $3,500 donation to the Great Lakes Burn Camp on behalf of the Ann Arbor Fire Department to further the camp’s mission of providing a unique experience that promotes healing, self-esteem, confidence and general well-being for children with burn injuries. The players will make their second stop at Oaktree Elementary School in Goodrich, Mich., where they will spend a recess playing alongside the students to learn the benefits of the Playworks program, designed to help children stay active through constructive play and exercise during recess. The players will make a $3,500 donation to locally support the nation-wide program and further the organization’s mission of creating a place for every child on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills.

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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.