Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

September 15, 2013

Six questions with Wings blogger George Malik

Q: What are you most interested in observing at camp?

A: The mainstream media are working very hard to get the quotes and get the big stories out — and I’m very interested to hear all that — but it’s the little details like the pace of the drills, who’s wearing new hockey equipment, how line chemistry is working between certain players, that’s what I’ll be looking at. I’ll take as many notes as I can, and hopefully find something unique.

Q: The big story is the additions of wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss. Will that grab your attention?

A: Of course. Weiss wanted to be here, which is really neat, and the Wings believe he’s an upgrade over Valtteri Filppula as a second line center. And having Daniel Alfredsson, even at age 40, he’s an absolute legend. For somebody who has been with an organization for 17 years (in Ottawa) to decide he wants to join the Detroit Red Wings is pretty exciting and it’s also intriguing because this is going to be his first training camp that he’s not familiar with everybody. The adjustment period is going to be something to watch.

Q: Playing in the Eastern Conference, Wings fans didn’t see much of Alfredsson or Weiss. What can fans expect?

A: As long as Weiss has recovered from his wrist surgery from last year, he is going to be a more stable second line center. Weiss is more of a two-way guy (than Filppula). He’ll win a lot of faceoffs, he’ll play on the penalty kill, which is something Filppula didn’t do all that often. And he can be counted on to deliver a lot of offense from his position. You don’t have to move him around to tap the offense you want from him. In terms of Aldfredsson, the Wings obviously want to get a 20-goal season out of him, which he can still do at 40. He’s played a lot on the power play point — a righthanded shooter on the right point. And he’s very capable defensively Even though he’s not going to have a letter on his chest, he’s going to be one of the leaders. He’s going to be one of the people the Red Wings count on to sort of be a consultant for the coaching staff on the bench and in the lockerroom. I think that is absolutely essential.

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