Red Wings Central RSS

McKee’s knuckles get a rest on college ice

Published Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 11:51 p.m. under 2013-14 RWC Reports
Mike McKee

Mike McKee (Credit: USHL)

After two years establishing himself as one of the toughest — and perhaps most undisciplined — players in junior hockey, Mike McKee is getting a chance to focus on the rest of his game.

The hulking 6-foot-4, 245-pound defenseman, who over the past two USHL seasons piled up 21 fighting majors, 529 penalty minutes and seven separate suspensions totalling 20 games, opened up his freshman NCAA campaign at Western Michigan this week.

Fighting, of course, is banned in college hockey, punished by a game ejection and a suspension of games matching the player’s total number of fighting majors. So McKee has no choice but to become the solid, stay-at-home defenseman the Red Wings hoped he’d be when they drafted him in the fifth round, 140th overall, in 2012.

And according to McKee, in an interview with MLive.com, he welcomes the change: “I’m actually excited to play and not do that part of the game, for a few years anyway.”

The Red Wings called McKee the toughest player in the 2012 draft and liked the fact that he had good straight ahead speed and a hard shot. But ultimately they want him to be a tough defensive defenseman, and they’re pleased he’s on college ice under the guidance of ex-NHL head coach Andy Murray at Western Michigan.

With the USHL’s Lincoln Stars last season, McKee managed three goals and 18 assists along with a plus-15 rating in 42 games. But his lack of discipline put him in the doghouse with head coach Chad Johnson, who at one point said the Stars needed McKee “on the ice for 25-plus minutes, as opposed to in the penalty box for 15 minutes.”

In two games with Western Michigan on the weekend, McKee had no points, four penalty minutes, five shots and four blocked shots. The Red Wings have until August 2017 to sign him to an entry-level contract.

NOTES: Center Luke Glendening’s time came in the NHL sooner than expected. After an initial demotion to Grand Rapids, Glendening — a former Michigan Wolverines captain who signed with Detroit as a free agent in July — debuted with the Red Wings on Oct. 12 and saw 7:32 of ice time on the fourth line. “He’s what I would call a coach player, not a scout player,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told MLive.com. “No scout would ever draft him, look at him, because he doesn’t look that part. But he’s got unbelievable hockey sense, he’s an elite competitor and he’s a coach type player. You can trust him to get stuff done … I just think he’s smart. He’s a right-handed shot who can take faceoffs; he’s going to get lit up in the NHL for a little bit, that’s just how life goes. He’s a good penalty killer. He’s competitive, he knows how to play.” … Winger Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or, QMJHL) signed a three-year entry-level contract last week and continues to be absolutely lethal, leading the Q with 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in nine games … Defensemen Alexey Marchenko and Adam Almquist (Grand Rapids, AHL) are off to productive starts with the Griffins. Marchenko, a rookie, has a goal and three assists along with a plus-3 in three games, while Almquist, a second-year AHLer, has four assists and is a plus-2 in three contests … Center Calle Jarnkrok (Grand Rapids, AHL) popped in his first AHL goal and also has an assist in three games … Forward Zach Nastasiuk (Owen Sound, OHL) was named captain of the Attack this week. He has three goals and four assists in 10 games so far this season.

Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 4 4 2 +2 7
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 2 1 3 2 +2 7
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 1 3 4 0 +2 9
Marchenko, Alexey Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 1 3 4 0 +3 3
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 2 0 2 4 +1 7
Sproul, Ryan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 2 0 2 0 +2 8
Glendening, Luke Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 2 2 4 +3 3
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 1 1 2 0 +4 6
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 1 1 2 +2 11
Frk, Martin Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 0 0 0 -1 1
Tvrdon, Marek Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 0 0 0 -1 3
Ouellet, Xavier Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 0 0 0 0 5
Mantha, Anthony Val-d’Or QMJHL CHL 9 16 12 28 10 +10 63
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 9 3 2 5 6 -1 20
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 8 3 4 7 13 -2
Nastasiuk, Zach Owen Sound OHL CHL 10 3 4 7 8 -7
Bertuzzi, Tyler Guelph OHL CHL 7 2 6 8 19 +3
McNulty, Marc Prince George WHL CHL 11 1 4 5 15 -1
Janmark, Mattias AIK SEL EUR 12 9 4 13 8 0 38
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 12 1 2 3 2 +2 16
Melen, Hampus Tingsryds SWE-J20 EUR-JR 11 0 5 5 14 -6 17
Bodin, Rasmus Linkoping SWE-J20 EUR-JR 8 0 0 0 2 -4 1
De Haas, James Clarkson NCAA ECAC 4 1 0 1 2 -1 9
Marshall, Ben Minnesota NCAA BIG-10 2 0 1 1 2 +1 7
McKee, Mike W. Michigan NCAA BIG-10 2 0 0 0 4 0 0
Pope, David W. Kelowna JR-A USHL/JR-A 9 5 3 0

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 6 3 3 0 0 3.50 .917
Coreau, Jared Grand Rapids AHL 1 0 1 0 0 3.82 .846
16 Comments
  1. Patrick says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if Smith gets traded and Almquist gets brought up



CapGeek.com Quick Launch

» Cap Chart » Reserve List » Depth Chart



  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Media Watch

    Red Wings' Danny DeKeyser really takes ...
    www.detroitnews.com | Yesterday 7:41 pm
    DeKeyser flew with Lt. Ryan Chamberlain in an F/A-18 Hornet, which has the capability of going 1,400 miles per hour — ... More »

    Red Wings' Danny DeKeyser cherishes 'a ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 5:05 pm
    Contracts talks with the Red Wings aren't flying along at the same pace, but DeKeyser anticipates having a new deal ... More »

    Red Wings outlook: Having a healthy He ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 6:01 am
    Despite missing a total of 40 games, regular season and playoffs, Zetterberg led the team in points per game.… ... More »

    Ask Ansar: Some believe Red Wings shou ...
    www.mlive.com | Monday, September 1 6:05 am
    Lack of size and the status of contract talks with defenseman Danny DeKeyser and coach Mike Babcock have some concerned. ... More »

    Red Wings' Ken Holland stands by plan ...
    www.detroitnews.com | Monday, September 1 1:00 am
    Fresh off signing a new four-year contract to stay with the Wings through his 36th year with the franchise, one of Holla ... More »

    Red Wings outlook: Club still seeking ...
    www.mlive.com | Friday, August 29 6:03 am
    Franzen maintained his typical 25-28 goal, 60-point pace despite two prolonged slumps, including a season-ending stretch ... More »

    Anthony Mantha headlines Detroit Red W ...
    www.mlive.com | Thursday, August 28 4:40 pm
    The Red Wings have 11 players back from the team that won the prospects tournament for the first time last year and more ... More »

    NHL open to expansion but has 'no plan ...
    www.detroitnews.com | Thursday, August 28 3:02 pm
    The NHL has not expanded since the 2000-01 season when the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets became the 29th and ... More »

    Red Wings outlook: Stay-at-home defens ...
    www.mlive.com | Thursday, August 28 6:02 am
    Lashoff played in 80 of the team's 87 games, including playoffs, in 2013-14, but will be battling for a spot in the ... More »

    Nicklas Lidstrom was flattered by Red ...
    www.mlive.com | Wednesday, August 27 1:03 pm
    Seven-time Norris Trophy winner is happy in Sweden and not interested in coaching at this time.… ... More »