"Red Wings prospect Mitchell Callahan has already earned an entry-level contract with the Wings because the Kelowna Rockets forward possesses a spit-and-vinegar quality to his play that the Wings really lack otherwise in their developmental system, with the surprisingly strong and smart 5'10" waterbug embracing and thoroughly enjoying the fact that the Wings want him to crash, bang, grind, bang bodies and/or generate offense on the forecheck, and occasionally fight.
DetroitRedWings.com's Michelle Crechiolo spoke to an enthusiastic Callahan--who both scored 20 goals in the WHL last year and ended up with a bloody nose on the last day of the Wings' summer prospect camp by scoring a goal off his scnozz--about his role, and got Wings assistant GM Jim Nill's take on Callahan's progress as well:
Just crashing the net hard, playing physical, and you know, stick-up for teammates in the odd fight,” Callahan said when describing his style of play. “I like to do that, that’s what I want to do. I’m not the guy that’s known to score the goals, I want to be the guy that’s known to be the hardest worker on the ice, and that’s what I take pride after ... it’s great to help the team out in any way you can.”
Callahan’s plan is to return to Kelowna for the upcoming season, but Nill sees him eventually bringing his grittiness to Detroit to balance out the Wings, who have built their squad around players like four-time Lady Byng winner Pavel Datsyuk.
“Every team has a weakness in the NHL,” Nill said. “You’re either really skilled, but you’re not too tough, or you’ve got a great defense, but your goaltender is so-so. So every team has a weakness under this cap system, and Mitch Callahan kind of addresses one of those weaknesses.”
Nill duly noted that Callahan spent the Wings' intra-squad scrimmages playing as Landon Ferraro's winger, helping the Wings' most offensively-talented forward in Ferraro generate offense on the cycle:
“He’s got good enough skill that he can play anywhere,” Nill said. “But if something happens, you know they’re there to back you up and they’re going to be in the other team’s face all the time.”
Again, to me, Callahan plays like a young Dallas Drake, a forechecking forward with superb speed who crashes and bangs on the rush, and just so happens to possess pretty decent hands and an ability to generate offense on the cycle, so...I must admit that I'm giddy that he's so very enthusiastic about doing his job. He's just a great young man as well--he loves working hard, knows that he needs to work harder in the gym than his fellows to overcome his size, and he very actively talks to the coaching staff whenever he needs clarification on exactly where he should be and what he should be doing to play as aggressively as humanly possible during drills."
I am pumped for this kid and it seems like he is really flying under the radar. He seems to have chemistry with ferraro too. Maybe future line-mates.
Obviously cally is not ready yet and needs at least a year in the AHL to see how his style of play holds up against bigger stronger players.
Now to the bolded part
My question is why is holland not exploring trades with the likes of miller/rittola/meech to bring in more sand paper? Who knows, maybe he is, but im glad they are trying to address this. Maybe FA isn't the way to go and we will see some trades between now and the end of camp to fill a need.
This is not a enforcer thread. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.
Edited by redwingfan19, 15 July 2010 - 02:07 PM.