It was a whirlwind of a day up in Traverse City, as Red Wings development camp got underway at Centre Ice Area. To say it was busy would be an understatement: For us in the media, by the time the first locker room interview session ended, the second practice was nearly over. So I must admit that in terms of viewing the on-ice product, time was limited. I’ve got a number of interviews uploaded to hopefully make up for it, and you can listen to them below. (Just click on the links saying [Player Name - DRWDC] to listen.)
(I must admit, last year there weren’t nearly as many reporters here as there were today, which created “media scrums” where one may not expect them, and in a way clogged up the question lines for me. I’m not as confident nor do I have the reputation some of the other reporter’s who were there today have, so you won’t hear my voice that much in the interviews. Regardless, everyone I met was incredibly nice and helpful, and I think we got all of the answers we wanted.)
I wrote about Helm’s progress in a Michigan Hockey article earlier, and while this update was good news, it was a painstaking interview to listen to, let alone be a part of, because I couldn’t figure out if Helm was just annoyed about talking to the media or the 15 different questions all asking basically the same thing. Regardless, it’s good to hear that Helm is doing well, relatively pain free, and looking forward to skating at each practice this week.
As you’ll find out, I jumped in late on some of these interviews (this being one of them), but Sproul had some good things to say about his expectations for next season as a pro. The defenseman turned heads with his season up in Sault Ste. Marie (CHL defenseman of the year). He also was one of the subject. in my second Michigan Hockey article of the day.
We weren’t sure if we were going to get the chance to talk with Chelios today, but we were able to snag him after he came off the ice. He talks about his role in Grand Rapids (“I kind of found my niche here, it’s good to just help the kids along and not have to make decisions on kid’s careers. Just to teach and develop the players.”) and his election to the HHOF.
Holmstrom, who is always fun to talk to, spoke about his decision to come coach this week and what he is looking forward to teaching the kids about being a net-front presence.
Fischer, who I did not see skate with the team today, talked about Detroit’s defense and the talent the team has in the pipeline.
Detroit’s first-round pick from the 2013 draft drew quite the media crowd after his skate today. He talks about what he’s done since being drafted and the things he needs to do to accomplish his goals for the week.
Ouellet has a last name I will never be able to spell correctly for some reason, but has a game that impressed Red Wings staff this past season. Here he talks about being a “vet” in the locker room as it’s his third time around for development camp, and what he needs to do to transition to the pro game.
Quite the interesting interview and it’s easy to see the personality of the self-proclaimed agitator.
The soft-spoken Bodin is still trying to improve his English but regardless is one of the nicest kids in the locker room.
Fresh out of Northern Michigan (and I think I messed up horribly by saying Michigan Tech instead of Northern Michigan – apologies), Jared was extremely well-spoken and is incredibly excited about this opportunity with the Red Wings organization.
Another Michigan kid, Walters played for Blashill at Western Michigan a couple of years ago.