For 40 players, this next week will be spent with the Wings brass learning the components of being a Red Wing as the Red Wings kick off their annual prospect camp in Traverse City.
Jim Nill put it perfectly as he explained why this is more like the first day of school rather than the last day of cuts, per Mlive.com.
“This isn’t an evaluation camp,” said Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. “What it is is the first day of college. It’s hockey college. It’s their first week of going to hockey college. We want to equip them with the knowledge and best tools we can to let them become a player down the road.
“It’s an initiation, it’s a school, it’s everything. We want to give them the best tools, the knowledge they need that will help them become a better player. For most of them, it’s five years down the road. But you have to start somewhere.”
Notable players attending the camp are Martin Frk, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkinen, Riley Sheahan, Brendan Smith, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Oullet, Michael Babcock(Mike Babcock’s son), Petr Mrazek, Tomas McCollum, and Jake and Dean Chelios( Chris Chelios’s two sons). The complete list can be found here.
The notable players to look out for will no doubt be Smith and Jurco, however, keep a close eye on McCollum and Mrazek. McCollum will be entering a make or break year with the Wings and it will be interesting to see how Mrazek performs after playing so well at the World Juniors.
Although Mike Babcock will be at the camp, he won’t be coaching. The coaching will be done by new Griffins coach Jeff Bashill and other prospect trainers including Jiri Fisher and Chris Chelios.
On a different note, according to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Nick Kronwall would return to Sweden and play for Djurgårdens IF, who currently play in the Swedish Allsvenskan, if a lockout would ensue during the fall. Its a scary feeling to think another season without hockey could be happening, but I doubt it would occur. It seems the two sides are much closer on a new CBA than they were in 2004.
About the Author
Written by Chris Neubacher
Die-hard Red Wings, Tigers, Lions and Pistons fan. Having lived most of his life in Detroit Chris loves sports and respects the city and what it stands for.