Quick Hits: Will This Be Brendan Smith's Year?

SB Nation 2014 NHL Preview

Red Wings News

Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist returns to practice; Brendan Smith impresses Mike Babcock | MLive.com
Hopefully we will hear this more often from Babcock: "I thought Smith was the best defenseman on the ice last night, bar none, on both teams, which is great."

Wings' Mitch Callahan lacks bite but not abrasiveness | USA Today
Even though I think that Callahan is an NHL-caliber player, I am not sure that the Wings have room for him going forward, even if he begins the season in Detroit. He is a role-player who plays a role which the Wings may not need.

The Drought of the Century: Q&A with Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland | The Windsor Star
I wonder who Holland was referencing: "Just because you’re a good junior that doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good pro. This is another league."

Attitude Czech | Grand Rapids Griffins
A piece on Andrej Nestrasil, who had a career-year for the Griffins last season.

Red Wings' defense prospect Xavier Ouellet an elite thinker who 'looks like he's played here 10 years' | MLive.com

"Elite" is a word that I like. You have to imagine that Ouellet will be a regular in the Wings' lineup by the end of the season.

NHL News

NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton | ProHockeyTalk
Vladimir Tkachev's contract with the Oilers was rejected because he is still draft eligible in 2015. The Oilers believed that they could sign him because he went undrafted through the 2014 NHL Draft, and because he had played in North America last season. The problem was that Tkachev had not played an entire season here, he just played 20 games for the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats, after appearing in two games for the KHL's Avangard Omsk.

EPIX reveals plans to overhaul, expand NHL’s ‘24/7' | Puck Daddy
So far, this EPIX deal sounds like a great thing. Let's wait and see if the final product is as promising.

Insider Trading: Painting the future | TSN
Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun talked about a couple of different topics, including Mike Babcock's future in Detroit.

NHL Expansion Roundtable: Quebec City | The Hockey Writers
Some interesting thoughts and ideas here about potentially expanding back to Quebec City.

2014-15 NHL Season Preview: Pacific Division - CBSSports.com
The Kings and the Ducks will probably battle for the division title. The Sharks will drop off a bit when compared to last season, but will probably still end up in the top-three in the division. The Coyotes, Flames, and Oilers will finish 4th-6th, with the Canucks ending up last in the division.

Top 10 NHL Tweets of the Month: September | Sportsnet.ca
Ochocinco tweeted that he wanted to fight Chara and Lucic. That is like me challenging Usian Bolt to a race. I am going to lose. There is no chance for me. At all.

NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale | ProHockeyTalk
There are still some legal steps to go through before the sale is official, but at this point it is basically a done deal.

Dallas Stars unveil their super scary power play | Puck Daddy
Just wait until the Wings' powerplay features Anthony Mantha, Teemu Pulkkinen, and Ryan Sproul.

10 tips for your fantasy hockey draft | USA Today
Some tips for those of you who play fantasy hockey.

Former Wild 1st-rounder Cuma signs in Austria | ProHockeyTalk
The Wild drafted Tyler Cuma with the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 draft. He only appeared in one NHL game for the Wild.

Fan's guide to picking an NHL team: Atlantic | Sportsnet.ca
I am assuming you are all Wings' fans, but if not, there is this great team that plays in Detroit which you may wish to take a look at.

Top 10 Hart Trophy candidates for 2014-15 | The Hockey News
No Wings' players were included on the list. Part of the reason why no Red Wing has any decent chance at the trophy is because there is not one player who carries the team's load. If you take a look at the top-five players on the list (except for Crosby), all of them are by far the best and most valuable players on their respective team's. For better or for worse, the Wings do not have a player who has this role.

Ode to an Era: CBC's Top 10 HNIC Montages - Eyes On The Prize
Number one on this list is by far the best.

Let's Go Red Wings!