Monday, August 31, 2009

All Dan Cleary

Found this on
"This year I stuck around here and played a lot of golf. Obviously my groin was torn in two places so I couldn't really do anything training-wise for five weeks, so it was a good time to play golf. I wouldn't have even skated until Monday, which is two days from now, but I had to get skating earlier because of Team Canada camp."

Double-groin pull...ouch. But wait, it gets worse:

"It almost got torn off the bone. It's awful. We couldn't shoot it up with any needles because it would have just made my groin even worse, so what we did is I just got some treatment and played on it."

You're a heartless cad if reading that first sentence didn't make you cringe. Just goes to show how tough this guy really is and how badly he wanted to win.

"I waited five weeks and it healed up pretty good. I skated in Calgary and felt great. I feel strong. I had a huge advantage in training camp, I know that, because I knew all the drills. I was fielding a lot of questions, let's put it that way -- his (Babcock's) style, how he wants things. My roommate was Vinny Lecavalier, he was always asking me, so I was just trying to tell him how he likes to have his players play and it's hard. It's hard work playing his system."

Like Dany Heatley saying "Dude, can I copy your homework?" at Wisconsin, Vinny was looking for an inside track with his roomate...can't say I blame him.

Stevie-Y had some encouraging remarks for Danny:

"He looked very good out there, he certainly didn't look out of place. The one thing that makes Danny very valuable is the versatility. He can play any of the three forward positions and he can do a lot of the grunt work, stand in front of the net on the power play, kill penalties, he'll take a faceoff if needed, so he's a valuable player. Obviously, he's not a high-profile guy like a lot of the players that are going to be on that team, but he's a very versatile player and that's why we brought him to camp, and we're going to decide in December who's on that team."

Does Cleary deserve to be on Team Canada? Absolutely. But don't count on it. Unless Yzerman wants controversy before the torch is even lit, he'll play the political game and leave Cleary at home come Olympic time...which is a shame.

Cleary also took some time to address Detroit's recent additions/departures...

"We lost Hossa but we won the Stanley Cup without Hossa. I think a full season with Darren Helm and Johnny Ericsson's going to be a huge addition for us. I like our additions. I think Patrick Eaves is going to be a great replacement and an upgrade on Kopecky. I think (Jason) Williams is an even trade for Samuelsson and I think (Todd) Bertuzzi's going to bring a different element. Big body that's going to be physical and fits well in the locker room. I just think we're a better team."

Did you hear that everyone...FITS WELL IN THE LOCKER ROOM. So everybody just shut up and let's see what Bert brings to the table. And Williams an even trade for Sammy? Jason must have learned how to backcheck. A better team without Hossa, eh? Maybe somebody was a bigger cancer in the room than the 'Tuzz...

I like the fact that he didn't pull any punches on the rats that jumped tell 'em, Dan!

Toews has got Back

Okay, so I'm almost the point of making up something stupid and I find this quote from Mike Babcock talking about Chicago Blackhawk captain, Jonathon Toews...

"He's a man-child, with a heavy butt, good for a hockey player."
It got a chuckle out of me. Babcock also paid Toews a compliment or two...but I'm not posting it. No praise for Chicago here. Not ever. Click on the link if you want.

"Ahh! He pinched me!"

If Hudler returns, Holmer goes? is reporting that ESPN's Rumor Central has hinted that Tomas Holmstrom could be dealt if Jiri Hudler returns due to the fact that he is yet to receive his transfer card to play in the KHL. The IIHF last week denied Hudler the transfer card in a baffling move that has lots of people all in a tizzy.


Of course this is an unsubstantiated rumor from a sports network that hates hockey. But what if? I wanted to see what you guys think...would we be willing to take back a greedy little defensive liability if it meant we had to trade away an aging, injury prone, funny speaking warrior?

Williams Glad to be Back

John Machota of the Free Press talked with Jason Williams this weekend. I hope that what he had so say will start to win some of you malcontents over...

Machota: What was the one thing you missed the most when you left Detroit?
Williams: Just the people and the city of Detroit. It's such a sports city. Even the guys in the dressing room. It was tough, it was unexpected, and I didn't think I was going. But to be back now, I'm very happy about it. I'm very excited, and I hope I can take full advantage of the opportunity.

Aww...isn't that sweet, he missed us. I just hope the people at Hockeyfest were a little nicer than most of the Wings fans I've been reading comments from on the internet.

Machota: The Wings lost some offense during the off-season. Do you feel any pressure to make up for what they lost?
Williams: I don't feel any added pressure, really. I've always put pressure on myself to perform well, if I can stay heathy and play hard. I'm going to be familiar with the system and familiar with a lot of the players, so whoever I'm playing with, I think I'll be able to gell with quick.

Key words in that last answer: play hard. Just stick to the system and do it better than Hudler and we'll be happy. Back check and for god's sake, hold that point on the second PP unit if you're there.

Machota: What did you think of the Stanley Cup finals this year?
Williams: It was a good, hard-fought series. I still think Detroit was probably the better team, but you got to give Pittsburgh credit, too. They played well, they found a way to win Game 7, and it's tough coming into Joe Louis Arena and stealing a game. Sometimes it's tough to see some of your ex-teammates go so far and not win. ... But I'm happy to be here now, and hopefully we can get back to that situation and be on the winning side.

Oh, so it wasn't just us Wings fans who knew we had the better team but came out on the losing end, eh?

Red Wings Blog Roundtable

Sorry about the lack of posts over the weekend, I was playing in a hockey tournament in Grand Rapids. My team won, of course, and those of us that actually went out and partied afterwards had a great time...only black spot on the weekend is somebody busted out my rear passenger window and stole my briefcase. Idiot.

But anyway...Christy of Winging it in Motown contacted myself and ten other Red Wings bloggers and invited us to participate in a little Roundtable discussion featuring questions and answers from each blogger discussing the upcoming season.

So for the next 11 days you can check here or make your around the Red Wing blogosphere to see what all of us had to say. It starts with Winging it in Motown this morning so click the link.

The timing probably couldn't be better since Red Wings news is getting pretty slow these as we all just sit around and wait for the camps and preseason games to get underway.

But like I said before, I'll make up news if I have to, so stay tuned...

Friday, August 28, 2009

10 Games in 1st Two Months

You gotta love the $9 tickets, baby! Actually, for some of the more "premiere" games, they bumped them up to $15, but two tickets for 8 different games for under $170.00???

Yes please.
Here's my attendance schedule for the first two months of the 2009-2010 regular season...

Oct. 2nd vs St. Louis Blues (Stockholm)
Oct. 3rd vs St. Louis Blues (Stockholm)
Oct. 15th vs Los Angeles Kings
Nov. 3rd vs Boston Bruins
Nov. 5th vs San Jose Sharks
Nov. 12th vs Vancouver Canucks
Nov. 18th vs Dallas Stars
Nov. 20th vs Florida Panthers
Nov. 27th vs Calgary Flames
Nov. 30th vs Dallas Stars
That's a lot of is good.

Wings have Fan in NASCAR Ranks

Found this at

On only his second trip to Montreal, Brad Keselowski still can't figure this:
"How come Detroit got to the (trademark) office to call itself Hockeytown before you did?" he asked yesterday, grinning. "I guess we kind of snuck in there ahead of you."

Ah... the good old "Hockeytown" controversy. Everyone wants it. We have it. Deal with it.

Keselowski, a 25-year-old native of Rochester Hills, Mich., is more than a casual fan of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings. So the young NASCAR star understands the passion Montreal feels for hockey.

Nice to know we're supported everywhere. The #25 car just got himself a new fan.

Hockeyfest '09

Found this on

The Detroit Red Wings are inviting their fans to visit Joe Louis Arena for autograph sessions and other events as part of HockeyFest 2009. The two-day fan celebration begins Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a free session for families experiencing economic hardships.

Talked to my buddy works security for the Wings, sounds like it's going to be a pretty sweet little ordeal with live music, food, etc.

Saturday's festivities run from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and cost $20 for adults and $10 for children. Season ticket holders can attend free of charge.

If I wasn't heading to Grand Rapids for a hockey tourney, I'd probably be attending. If anyone makes it down there, please feel free to share your experience with me.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Dan Cleary, Kris Draper and Jason Williams are among the Red Wings players expected to appear.

Also just got an e-mail from the Wings, #19 will also be in attendance.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pssst...$9 Tix are Back!


$9 Ticket Returns For Wings Games in Sept-Oct-Nov

Fans can purchase tickets at, by calling TicketMaster at (800) 745-3000, and at the Joe Louis Arena Box Office, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy and Hockeytown Cafe.

Looks like someone might have to take either a long lunch or half day have to actually show up at the Joe to get the $9 tickets.

Big Friggin' Whoop


"NHL start Patrick Kane and his cousin stood before a judge Thursday afternoon, and plead guilty to disorderly conduct. That is a non-criminal violation, basically equivalent to a traffic ticket. His sentence, write an apology to the cab driver."

Well I'm sure he's learned his lesson. Way to go, legal system. I'll use this as precedent if I ever find myself in a similar situation (which I won't because I'm not a moron who get in a fight over twenty cents).
Now that we can finally put that to bed, let the jokes begin. He deserves EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

McCarty in Money Trouble...again

At least this time it isn't about alcoholism or illicit substances...

Darren gained fame by doing battle with the foes of Hockeytown. Now he's got a fight with the government, according to

"The IRS last week accused him of failing to pay $62,189 in federal taxes."

C'mon, Darren. I figured you would learn to manage your money after what happened last time. Please don't see the rings again.

"McCarty could not be reached for comment through a Detroit Red Wings spokesman who called McCarty's cell phone and spoke to his agent. The agent was not familiar with the tax liens, team spokesman John Hahn said. Hahn said McCarty reportedly is in Moscow pursuing a contract with a team in the Kontinental Hockey League."

Well say 'Hi' to Hudler from us all. No wonder he wants a KHL contract...those are tax free.

Cleary makes his Olympic Case

From's Dan Rosen...

"I just think I have earned the right to be here based on my play the last few years in the playoffs and the regular season. I think I'm good at both ends of the ice. I have played on top lines and I think I had a good playoff this year, a good run. I have good experience of being in critical situations. With our team in Detroit I play in every situation. I play in the last minute of the power play and penalty kill. I feel I deserve to be here."---Dan Cleary
I don't think anyone who watches the Red Wings with any consistency would argue with that. I think he still might be flying a little low on the radar for the rest of the league, including his home and native land.
Babcock had this to say:
"It's just that he's a good hockey player. Just look at the playoffs and the amount of scoring he does, the way he plays with and without the puck. He's just a real smart hockey player and he gets things done. He's a very usable guy whether it's on the power play in front of the net, in a checking role, physical on the forecheck, in his own zone or on the penalty kill. He's a good player."

Does he deserve to be on this team? Yes. Will people whine and make excuses if he gets selected? They've already started.

When asked about feeling pressure skating at the camp with Canada's best, Cleary had this to say:

"I have played against all these guys, went head-to-head with all these guys, checked them and had lots of battles with them. I feel comfortable. I don't feel any pressure. These other guys have way more pressure than me."

He's right, you know. What does he have to lose when many think he doesn't even have a right to be at camp? Just go and give it your all, Charlie Bucket. You have Hockeytown behind you.
"If it happens it happens, but you see, I know what I have to do to make the team. I'm going to focus on those areas and hopefully that's enough. If it's not, I will know I gave it all I can give."

We know, Danny. That's why we love you...a Wing for life.

Chelios talking with Predators...

Found this in the Tennessean this morning...

The Predators have every intention of placing their developing prospects in the holes left by departing defensemen Greg Zanon, Greg de Vries and Ville Koistinen.

But if they need some more seasoning at the seventh spot on the blueline, they haven't ruled out adding a veteran before the start of the season.
One of the names being tossed around is 47-year-old Chris Chelios, whose abrasive style of play and frequent conversations with referees often made him a target of Predators fans.

Chelli to play for Bubba? I know the man doesn't pose much of a threat anymore, but losing another player to a Division Rival would still sting.

Coach Barry Trotz and Chelios recently had a light-hearted talk on the topic.
"I said, 'Chris, are you sure you'd have the interest of playing in Nashville, because you're not exactly well-liked here?' '' Trotz said. "He said, 'Trotzy, trust me, I'm not well-liked anywhere.' I said 'Yeah, I guess you're right.' ''

I think that if Chelios did indeed jump ship to Nashville, unlike Hossa, the Detroit fans will be respectful due to the fact we turned him away...I don't have any hard feelings, I appreciate his time and efforts while he was with us.

Chelios told USA today at the USA Olympic camp, "I'll be waiting by the phone, and we will see what happens. But I'm at the point that I'm ready to listen to anybody."

...obviously, he truly means ANYBODY.

"Physically, he's a specimen,'' Trotz said. "I think he would be a guy we would definitely consider.''

Go for it, Trotzy...give the man a job.

Wow, Bubba looks mad behind him, doesn't he?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random Clip on a Wednesday Evening

My girlfriend absolutely loves this guy...

Let's see some more of that this year, Wally.

Will this Ever Freakin' End???

Now this crap from the Cult of Hockey...

"The International Ice Hockey Federation is refusing to grant Jiri Hudler his transfer card, which means he is not allowed to practice or play for his new team, Moscow Dynamo, reports Sovietski Sport."

Oh boy, here we go again.

"Without this card, Hudler can't play in any IIHF-sanctioned game. The Russian league is under the domain of the IIHF, hence Hudler's current problem."

So basically, he doesn't have a team to play for. The Red Wings don't have room and the IIHF says he can't play for the Dynamo. What a convoluted mess this whole situation has turned out to be...

"The IIHF's stance is baffling to Alexander Medvedev, chief of the KHL, because both the Detroit Red Wings, Hudler's NHL team, and the Czech federation have given permission to Hudler to play for Dynamo, according to Medvedev."

Apparently, when it comes to league rules, the Red Wings can't win for losing. It is now an INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY that goes beyond Lil' Gary Bettman...good grief.

"Hudler was a restricted free agent, who went to arbitration this summer. Rather than accept the arbitrated contract with Detroit, he signed in Moscow."
Just let the guy play...what rule is being broken here? We went through the stupid motions of the NHL, made peace with the KHL, now the IIHF is sticking it's big fat nose into it.

Again I say...will this EVER freakin' end???

Wings are Done if..

Ryan Dixon of THN takes a stab at naming one reason every NHL team could possibly fail this year. For Detroit...
"Playing 66 playoff games over the past three springs finally catches up with them."

Frankly, I must confess myself a wee bit dissapointed that this is the best THN could come up with. The guys at The Triple Deke will touch on this issue in our Red Wings Blogger Roundtable...

...stay tuned for that.

Former Wing, Sillinger to call it Quits

TSN is reporting that the journeyman forward, former 1st round selection (11th overall in 1989) of the Detroit Red Wings is set to call it career after 17 seasons in the NHL...

The Regina, Saskatchewan native, 38, played 1,049 NHL games since being drafted...His most prolific season came in 2006-07 with the Islanders when he had 26 goals and 33 assists.

Overall, he compiled 240 goals and 548 points. He was traded 10 times during his career, including twice in one day in July, 2003.

In addition to the Red Wings and Islanders, Sillinger suited up for Anaheim, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Florida, Ottawa, Columbus, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Nashville.

All the best from Hockeytown, Mike. Enjoy your retirement.

Wings Ticket Info

Found this at the Windsor Star...

"The hottest ticket in town goes on sale this Friday as the defending Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings begin selling single-game tickets for the entire 2009-10 season.
In addition to the entire season of single-game seats, the Red Wings will begin selling the highly successful $9 ticket for select games in September, October and November.

The $9 ticket will only be available for purchase at the Joe Louis Arena Box Office with a limit of two tickets per person."

Hands off...the $9 tickets are mine.

"Reserved seats are priced at $25, $38, $48, $58 and $80 for most games, while select contests, including the North American home-opener vs. Chicago that includes a Wings magnet schedule giveaway, are variably priced. Additionally, season ticket packages for both the Gordie Howe Nine-Game Plan and the Steve Yzerman 19-Game Plan are available.
Special group packages of 20-or-more tickets are also available through the Red Wings Group Sales Department at 313-396-7575."

And I'd like to point out that my personal experience with the Sales Department for the Wings has been absolutely outstanding. They're always very cheerful and eager to help out. Proving again that from the top on down, this is a first class organ-i-zation.

I always encourage people to note the quantity of banners hanging from the rafters...

Morrow: Babcock's Practices are Hard

Found this little blurb on buried beneath the ever growing trash pile of college football talk...

"I know our practices in Dallas, the tempo's not the same as that. I'm not sure if Detroit practices like that every day -- if they do, that's probably why they have the success they do."

--Brendan Morrow

Working hard in practice isn't exactly a new concept, Brenden. As captain of your team, I think you should know this.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pay the Few Big Bucks

Stumbled across this at of all places...

"In the 2006/2007 season when the salary cap was at $44 million, the Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup with 39% of their cap space dedicated to three players: Scott Niedermayer ($6.75 million), Chris Pronger ($6.25 million) and Jean-Sebastian Giguere ($3.99 million). Add Teemu Selanne ($3.75 million) and Andy Macdonald ($3.3 million) and that’s 55% of their cap space dedicated to five players. The other Stanley Cup finalist that year, the Ottawa Senators, had 36% of their cap space to three playes: Wade Redden ($6.5 million), Daniel Alfredsson ($4.677 million) and Dany Heatley ($4.5 million). Include Jason Spezza ($4.5 million) and Martin Gerber ($3.7 million) and that’s 54% of their cap space dedicated to five players."

I look at those salaries and laugh...Andy Macdonald @ $3.3 million, Wade Redden @$6.5 million, and Martin Gerber @ $3.7 million. Then I think about this as the year the Ducks stole the Cup from us in the conference finals and my laughs turn to cries. And I also start wishing Lilja's head to start hurting again (just a little bit).

"In the 2007/2008 season when the salary cap was at $50.3 million, the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup with 40% of their cap space dedicated to three players: Nicklas Lidstrom ($7.6 million), Pavel Datsyuk ($6.7 million) and Brian Rafalski ($6 million). Add Dominik Hasek ($4.05 million) and Nicklas Kronwall ($3 million) and that’s 48% of their cap space dedicated to five players."

I can't believe we were paying Hasek that much. The dude did help us win the Jennings, but my god, $4.05 million to that sociopath? Like his crappy clothing line doesn't earn him enough money. All's well that ends well, I guess.

"Likewise, when the salary cap was at $56.6 million last season, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup with 33% of their cap space dedicated to three players: Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million), Sergei Gonchar ($5 million) and Marc-Andre Fleury ($5 million). Add Evgeni Malkin ($3.834 million) and Brooks Orpik ($3.75 million) and that’s 46% of their cap space dedicated to five players. The finalists, the Detroit Red Wings, had 38% dedicated to three players: Lidstrom ($7.45 million), Marian Hossa ($7.45 million) and Datsyuk ($6.7 million). Add Rafalski ($6 million) and that’s 49% dedicated to four players."

We could have easily just saved that $7.45 million on Mercinary Maryanne Hossa, and traded him at the deadline for someone who was going to score in more than 3 games in the post-season...but I'm not bitter. Wait, yes I am. Also, I've heard people start groaning a bit over Rafalski's Cap hit. Don't. Stats alone compared to others, he's a steal.

"If you haven’t noticed yet, the three previous Stanley Cup winners and finalists all committed big money to a select few players."

Choose, but choose wisely.

Poor "Soupy" Stays in Pantry for Olympics

Found this on!

Aww...Chicago feels slighted by the exclusion of the $7.1 mil turnover machine from Team Canada's Olympic Camp.
"The immediate word out of Team Canada orientation camp in Calgary is that speed and up-tempo play will be the name of their game as revenge is sought for that last stinkeroo performance in the 2006 Olympics at Turin. Then where is the world is Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell?"

Stinkeroo? That a technical term? Let's see if I can use it in a sentance. The reason your stinkeroo ginger defenseman who's signed to a real stinkeroo contract is not invited to Calgary is due to his stinkeroo play.

"There's quite a simple explanation why Campbell wasn't invited to play with the big boys this week. Team Canada coach Mike Babcock and executive director Steve Yzerman witnessed first-hand the egg he laid when their Detroit Red Wings bounced the Blackhawks from the Western Conference finals.That was just one egg in a season when he skated on eggshells most of the first half and at times in the second half. "

When I said "stinkeroo play", I didn't mean the ONE bad play he made during game 2 of the Western Conference Finals that lead to the GWG (I was at that game, by the way). I meant his play in general is bad. $7.1 million is a lot to be paying a man who has, thus far in his career, accomplished nothing of signifigance. Who signed him to that contract? Dale Tallon you say? Well alright then, can't really blame Campbell for that one.

And then the article prattles on about how Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook made the camp and are battling for a spot but really....who cares?

Found this picture (including text) at

Breaking News from Yahoo: Economy Sucks

Guess what, Wings fans...Detroit is going through economic hardship. Who knew?

In the latest, "let's kick them when they're down" segment, Yahoo! News puts out an uplifting little article, reminding us all of those who have lost their jobs and the Detroit sports teams that are feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy as well. What do you have to say that hasn't already been said, Yahoo!?

"Detroit's big four professional teams -- Lions (NFL), Tigers (MLB), Pistons (NBA) and Red Wings (NHL) -- are not looking for new addresses but are digging in for what is shaping up as a bruising battle for the shrinking sports entertainment dollar."

I think it's always important to note that no matter how hard we've been hit by the economy, Matt Millen, or other sub-par stretch runs, Detroit retains its extremely loyal fan-base...even without the high draft picks.

"Stanley Cup finalists the last two seasons, the Red Wings were once the hottest sporting ticket in Detroit but it can now be had for as little as $9."

Yeah, for obstructive seating. I didn't even know there WAS obstructive seating in the Joe until I went and bought a crap load of these tickets for dirt cheap. They sit you in a cut-out corner in the top corner behind one of the over-hanging scoreboards and a load bearing concrete column. I almost always was able to sneak down to some fat-cat corporate seat that was un-filled (shhhh!).

And of course, Jimmy Develano, who's always good for a slice of humble pie had this to add when asked to comment on the Tigers' respectable attendance:

"We've done well here mainly because of the performance of the baseball team and we've thrown out all kinds of ticket deals, there is even a section of $5 tickets," Jimmy Devellano, senior vice-president of both the Tigers and Red Wings, told Reuters.
"It's tough, this is a city with four major sports and we are all competing for the same dollar. There is only so much to go around. It's like a ghost town. You see it, you feel it all over."

Gee, thanks Jim. Always good for that feel good quote.

Feeling warm and fuzzy? If the answer is yes, then you've been in the liquor cabinet a bit too early today, my friends.

#3 on the Mend

Malik is at it again, this time finding Swedish interviews reporting something interesting about a certain injured Red Wing defenseman...

"There's huge progress going forward. The headaches decrease every day. My goal is to be at Detroit's training camp which starts on September 12"--Andreas Lilja

Good on Lilja for getting better. But we were kind of counting on his Cap hit coming off the books on LTIR...weren't we?

"I can not play very physically yet, but I've still taken a few elbows to the head without having had more headaches from it."

Um...who the hell are you playing with that his giving you elbow shots to the head while you're trying to recover from a concussion? It's got to be Todd Bertuzzi, I just know it...

Don't expect to see him squaring off for the remainder of his season. When asked if he was scared about coming back, he said, "No, I have so much experience. But I have been banned for fighting. I must avoid fights."

That's fine, Lilja...The 'Tuz has got your back.

But does Lilja's comeback means someone is going to be moved? Whether it's another player being sent to Grand Rapids (Meech), or somebody being sent packing via trade or waivers...we're probably going to have to make a move if Lilja indeed is ready to play.


Of course, he could just be blowing smoke up our bums with all this comeback talk. We really don't know how far away he is from playing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stevie-Y talks Team Canada with

Dan Rosen of’s conversation with the GM of the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team: You have 46 of the best players in the world coming together at one venue and ultimately it will be up to you to pick the team that is right for Canada to win gold again? So, naturally, there is pressure. Do you feel more pressure in your current role than you did when you were playing for Canada?

Yzerman: "No, no, no. I think in a lot of ways it's very similar, but as a player you just have your own expectations and your own goals. I think for any real competitive player or anyone that has great aspirations, they put greater demands on themselves and are more satisfied with satisfying their own expectations than anyone else's. We're all part of it and we all have to do our job and do it well. To answer your question, no, I don't feel any more pressure. It's the same really."

Me: Well played, Stevie. He’s not trying to make any players or GM’s mad by saying there is more pressure doing one thing than the other. Instead of taking the whole “well, it’s a different kind of pressure” and moving on, he stays within the politically correct arena, and answers the question as best he could. Remember now, that Stevie is under a ridiculously powerful microscope with the Canadian media with their hand on the focus knob. If you can come out of this camp Thursday night after the Red-White scrimmage saying one thing, what would you like it to be?

Yzerman: "Most important, I want the players to leave that camp Thursday night thinking, 'I totally understand how the coaches want the team to play, I understand the type of game they're going to play and what is expected of me to make the team.' I guess it's to answer every question that they have leading up to the Olympics so when they get to Vancouver in February all their questions have been answered and they can just focus on playing the first game of that tournament."

Me: That’s a bunch of things, Steve. He asked for one. Many people are wondering what the point is behind playing the Red-White scrimmage game Thursday because the fear of injury may outweigh the gain the players, coaches and executives get out of the game. Why is the game going to be played and at any point were there thoughts to cancel it, especially because of the insurance issues?

Yzerman: "I could have called this a practice. It didn't need to be called a Red-White scrimmage. People are making way too much of it. Teams in the NHL and every league scrimmage in practice. It's no different than that. We have 45 guys skating (Ryan Getzlaf is out due to offseason surgery) and we're going to practice for three days and we wanted in more of a game-like situation to get out there and do the things they have been working on for three days. We could have just run another practice to go through our forechecking and backchecking systems and work on the power play and penalty kill, but we thought it would be better to incorporate it more into a game. The intensity level expected and what we're going to be doing is no different than what the players do every single day in practice."

Me: My interpretation…”Shut up. Do any of you honestly think I would put these players in a position to get hurt? They should be smart enough to know how hard to play and if they’re dumb enough to get injured, then they were too dumb to play for Team Canada anyway.” The assumption is the style Canada will play in these games will closely resemble the style the Red Wings play. Is it wrong to assume that, or is it pretty accurate?

Yzerman: "Well, Mike Babcock coaches the Red Wings and he's going to coach this team so the things he's been successful with his teams, and I mean all the teams he's coached -- he's brought a lot of his ideas from one job to the next and the things he's been successful with he's stuck with -- some will be incorporated into the Olympic team. Not all, but some. You play a certain way based on the personnel you have and we're going to have a strong offensive team and good puck-moving defenseman. We're not molding this after the Detroit Red Wings, but he's going to apply some of the things that made the Detroit Red Wings successful."

Me: Babcock also used to coach the Ducks which was a completely different style of play and was successful. Babcock is good at working with what he has. A coach has to be able to adapt on a nightly basis, not only with whom he has on his team, but also by whom he is playing against. Maybe Dan Rosen meant by resembling the Wings in style, he meant “will you win like the Red Wings?” Of all the players that are coming to camp, is it possible for you to give us a list of five that you are really looking forward to seeing on the ice because it will give you a chance to learn more about them than you already know?

Yzerman: "Probably not. It's a tough one for me to answer. I've watched them all a lot. Some of them I have never met or spoken to before so I don't know if there is just five I can give you. I have shaken hands with Sidney Crosby once, but I don't really know him. Stephane Robidas and I have never met. I have spoken on the phone once or twice to Marc-Andre Fleury, but that's it. Some of the guys I played against, but some of the younger guys I don't know. Being there for me will give me a chance to meet some of the guys I don't know personally yet, but I have watched them play a lot. I would stress that this camp is about information, preparation. It's not about trying out. I'm not looking to study a player and determine if he'll make this team or not make this team based on this camp. It's informative so they are prepared in every way."

Me: So Stevie has shaken hands with Sidney the same amount as Nik Lidstrom (last year’s Finals only)…ah c’mon…I had to say it.

"Screw it, let's get out of here."

EA makes up for Sidney's Mistake

As much as I try and stay away from Puckdaddy and his Wing-hating, I couldn't help but stumble upon this with some amusement...

Some fan from Pittsburgh already had time (shocking) to play his EA NHL 2010 (you know, the one with Pat "20 Cent" Kane on the cover) demo, and win it with the Pens. This is the gem that the programmers decided to add to the game this year, a captain's handshake.

Apparently, the whole "being young and caught up in the moment" isn't part of a players overall rating in the game and therefore has no bearing on the ending cut-scene.'s funny.

I really don't care about the handshaking thing. Rosby was being immature (again...shocking) and the Wings were upset when they made their comments (probably because they just lost the Stanley Cup Finals on their home ice).

If they can use it for motivation as Malik has suggested, fine. If not, fine.

Lid and Raff are like Fine Wine

Okay, so I didn't bother to even read this when it was first published on last Tuesday.

Well my mistake, because John Kresier's Over 35 club has a couple of Red Wings on it, and deservedly so..


Nick Lidstrom
Age: 39

Lidstrom is nowhere near ready to call it a career. The Detroit Red Wings' captain had another superb season in 2008-09, finishing third among all defensemen in scoring (16-43-59) and plus-minus rating (plus-31). He's still the engine that makes the Wings go, and was good enough last season to be a Second-Team All-Star and finish third in the balloting for the Norris Trophy -- an award he's won six times in the past eight seasons. Lidstrom is one of the hardest-to-hit players in the NHL, and while he has just one year left on his contract, he looks like he could play well into his 40s.

We're all still hoping that the Perfect Human Returns next year at a discounted Cap hit. The fact that people are whispering about his age catching up with him are largely unfounded, seeing as he finished 3rd in the defensive scoring race to a glorified fifth forward and Montreal's only real scoring threat. He also finished nine points clear of this year's Norris Trophy winner.

Brian Rafalski
Age 35

Rafalski went home in the summer of 2007, signing with the Red Wings after seven seasons (and two Stanley Cups) in New Jersey -- and put up the two best offensive seasons of his career while helping the Wings win the Cup in 2008 and get to Game 7 of the Final last season. His 49 assists and 59 points were both career-highs, and he teamed with Lidstrom to make the Red Wings' power play the best in the NHL. Like Lidstrom, he's smart, a good skater and hard to hit, meaning that he should have several more productive NHL seasons.

...and all with Detroit. Rafalski, I beleive, exceeded expectations when he was brought to Detroit to fill in for the departing Mathieu Schneider. His $6 mil Cap hit might seem like a lot, but compare it to the likes of Kimmo Timonen and Ed Jovanovksi and we're actually icing him at a fairly decent price for this on-ice value.
Rafalski also may be the best player in the "guy who actually looks like he should be an accountant" category.

Fraser Elliot; Smarter than ESPN, THN

From a little ego stroking from somebody who apparently knows what they are talking about...

“To be the man, you have to beat the man.” Wrestling World Champion Ric Flair’s catch phrase also applies to the Detroit Red Wings. Since current General Manager Ken Holland joined the Wings’ front office in 1985, the team has only missed the playoffs twice (1986 and 1990).

Ever thought you'd hear Ric Flair and Ken Holland used in the same train of thought? Neither did I. In 24 years under Kenny, the Wings have only missed the play-offs twice. Some franchises can't even say that they've only missed the play-offs twice over the past 3 years. But let's not forget, The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have missed the play-offs eight times since Holland took over the Wings, are the model franchise (just ask Gary).

"The Wings have won four Stanley Cups, six Clarence Campbell Trophies (Western Conference Championship), six President’s Trophies, ten Western Conference Finals appearances and 14 Division titles.
Until a team can prove otherwise, all roads in the Western Conference will eventually have to go through Michigan. Since 1994, when the NHL changed the playoffs format from Divisional to Conference seedings, the Stanley Cup or Western Conference champs have either defeated the Wings or were defeated by the Wings in the Finals, ten out of 14 years. The Wings have been in the playoffs each of these years."

No additional commentary needed. These are FACTS, and we hold them to be self evident.

Hockeytown U.S.A. is alive and well. They have built teams under both the free-spending system and the cap-system. Has the pieces to the puzzle leave due to retirement or unrestricted free agency, Holland just replaces them, either through the draft or going out and finding affordable UFA that can take over the roles of the departed pieces. Players know if they want to win a Stanley Cup and Ken Holland’s number comes up on their cell phones, they definitely better listen.

Amen. Don't let them fool you, Wings fans. Tune out the drunken idiots from Chicago claiming there to be a change in the guard, they'll forget about their Blackhawks if the Bears start winning, and pay no attention to the sniveling brats from Pittsburgh, school starts up again soon anyway...we ARE the team to beat. Oh and of course, don't listen to ESPN, they hate the NHL anyway, they've probably covered more Brett Farve "re-tire, don't retire" BS than they did the entire NHL play-offs. And pay no mind to THN, most Canadian media hate the Red Wings. We're not re-building, we are reloading. This team is arguably better than the one we iced in 2007-2008, how did that season turn out?

Even with the loss of key players such as; Kopecky, Hossa, Samuelsson and probably Hudler, the Wings are losing 88 goals and 187 points but as is the custom in Detroit, with increased opportunity comes increased production. They will be looking for contributions from Leino, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Williams. They may not score as many goals but they should be better defensively.

And who wouldn't swap a few goals-for, for a lot less goals-against. I know J.J. from Kansas has been preaching this all along. Forget about mercenary Hossa's 40 goals if we can clean up the penalty killing this year. Ozzie will be better, Helm will be a PK machine and Ericsson may start to see some time as well as he continues to develop.

To recapitulate, Elliot Fraser knows that the Wings are going to be the team to beat yet again this year due to depth, growing prospects, and the best management in all of sports. Therefore, Elliot Fraser has more since than ESPN and THN put together.

There I said it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shut Up, Burnside


ESPN’s Scott Burnside had a chat with some fans, and unlike XM’s hour with Gary Bettman, Wings fans didn’t get cut-off or avoided…

Cam (Lansing)
Hey Scott. Where do you think the Red Wings will finish? Other publications have all but handed the Central Division to Chicago, so I was wondering what your take is. Thanks!

Cam; I think the Wings have taken a step back losing Kopecky, Hudler, Samuelsson and bringing in Jason Williams and Todd Bertuzzi. Sorry that math doesn't add up. The bigger factor, I think, will be the Olympics where the Wings will see probably half a dozen players jet off to Vancouver for the 2010 Games. Remember the 2005-06 season and how the Wings were upset by the Oilers in the first round after the Turin Games. Never count the Wings out but I think their stock has fallen ever so slightly.

Ha ha, losing Kopecky Hudler and Samuelsson? I think he got his Slovaks mixed up and meant to add Hossa in there. And the Wings “will see probably half a dozen players jet off to Vancouver for the 2010 Games”? Yeah, on team Sweden alone, jackass. The Wings stock may have fallen ever so slightly, but it was so high to begin with, is anyone going to notice? This team we’re going to ice in 2009-2010 is better than the one we had in 2007-2008, with few exceptions (back-up goaltending and such).

Jim (Grand Rapids MI)
Hi Scott-What are your thoughts on Bertuzzi coming back to Detroit? I personally like it for 3 reasons: 1. He brings a BIG body with some skill to the team. 2. He's been here before so he knows what the expectations are and 3. At 1.5M-he's a low-risk gamble

Jim; A quick follow-up on Bertuzzi. Injuries, lack of foot speed and a reluctance to play in traffic I think mitigate his usefulness. But he is a low-risk gamble given his salary cap hit.

So if nothing else, he’s cheap? Putting up 44 points in 66 games is the same point per game production as Jiri Hudler, who actually lacks foot speed and has a reluctance to play in traffic. You say Hudler is a big loss, but Bertuzzi isn’t a big gain…something ain’t stirring the Kool-Aid, Scott.

Everyone seems to be jumping on the "Wings are done" bandwagon. Get ready to be dissapointed, Scott.

Oh wait, you work for ESPN…which means I don’t care what you think.

Griffins will wear Jersey Contest Winners’ Design

From, yes I will try and follow the Griffins and other affiliates when newsworthy stories are released…

Winner #1 Brian Oesch

Oesch, owner of Brian Oesch Graphic Design and Illustration, has created logos for a number of local and national sports teams, including several Griffins community relations logos and the primary logo for the West Michigan Whitecaps. “Brian’s is obviously a throwback design with the string tie in front,” said Meyers. “It is somewhat modeled after the St. Louis Blues’ alternate jersey from last year, but he put a nice twist on it. It looks simple but sharp with the famous Griffins logo, a blend of old and new that captured what we were looking for.

Winner #2 Chad B. Stilson

“On the opposite end, Chad’s design was a completely unique and fresh approach to our logo, a little edgier, angrier Griffin on a jersey that maintains clean lines and adapts our traditional colors.“We’re happy to give some additional exposure to these local artists and look forward to seeing our players wear their designs this season,” added Meyers.Stilson’s jersey will be worn by the Griffins on Dec. 31 and Oesch’s on Jan. 30, with each set being auctioned to the public after its game. The New Year’s Eve auction will support Grand Valley State University’s club roller hockey team, while the January auction will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation.

Wish I would have known about this sooner. But then again, the entry deadline was July 1st and I launched N.O.H.S. on July 13th. I think this is a pretty cool thing that the Griffs are doing. And they’re supporting GVSU hockey (my alma mater)…except I played for the ice hockey team, not roller.

Hey we takes what he can gets.

Don’t get any ideas though, Red Wings fans, leave the Winged Wheel jerseys alone. Color scheme too. Don’t fall victim to what’s hip and new or we might end up with something like these….

Yeesh. Leave it to those Bitter Brittle Blues. Luckily for St. Louis (and all of humanity) these pieces of crap were never worn in a game.

Kane will Plea out of Jail Time

From the Buffalo News this morning…
“Both sides still are talking about a possible plea deal in the Kane cousins’ criminal case, with prosecutors pushing for a guilty plea to a noncriminal violation, probably harassment.
Defense attorneys are listening to that offer while also suggesting a possible adjournment that could lead to the charges being dismissed in six months, sources confirmed following Thursday’s arraignment in Buffalo City Court.”

Should we be proud that a hockey player has risen to such a level as to circumvent America’s legal system as so many other pro athletes have done before him? Did anyone expect this to gain any real traction? Or has the Pacman Jones and Kobe Bryants of the world convinced us that as long as your good at sports, you can get away with just about anything without getting more than some bad press and a slap on the wrist.

It’s the whole reason Kane plead not-guilty when he obviously is. He’s already apologized to just about everyone (except the 60+ year old man that he tuned up). I haven’t heard him say “I didn’t do it.” When you plead not-guilty, that gives you a chance to plea your way down to lesser charges. I hope that when the criminal trial is over, the cabbie sues him and gets his money back, and a whole lot more.

Wait, scratch the third sentence from that last paragraph..

“Today was a tough day for us,” Kane said, while accompanied by his parents, Donna and Pat. “You know, I just reiterated to the judge that I’m not guilty of any crime, and I’m confident in the legal process . . . Right now, much more can’t be said.”

Aw, did mommy and daddy tell you to say that? Are you still trying to convince them that you didn’t beat up a helpless old man in a fit of ego-driven rage?

The dispute inside the taxicab escalated as Radecki insisted on being paid before he would unlock the back doors, while the Kanes demanded that he unlock the doors, according to law-enforcement sources and police reports.

Typical pro athlete “how dare you do this to ME” scenario. And why isn’t there any mention of alcohol in all of this, seeing as Kane is only 20 years old. I’m wondering what he could have been doing out so late. If he was just a plain old movie star or reality TV show jerk, he would say that it was because he suffers from alcohol abuse, would say that he has a problem, and then enter rehab until everyone forgot about it.

He’s the part that I find most amusing…

The judge also agreed to prosecutor Paul E. Bonanno’s request that the defendants stay away from any contact with Radecki.
“We’d like him to stay away from us as well,” Cambria replied.

What a joke. Cambria should have said the cabbie is only allowed around if Ben Eager is around to protect little Kandy Kane.

In other news...Buffalo must have the shortest media people ever...if they make Kane look tall.

They have Bull Riding (and Hockey too)

From the Free Press...
Versus will air 54 NHL games this year, and the Winged Wheel will make an appearance nine times during the regular-season.

Wings games on Versus:

at Buffalo, Oct. 13
vs. Boston, Nov. 3
at Nashville, Nov. 23
vs. Columbus, Dec. 28
vs. Phoenix, Jan. 26.
vs. St. Louis, Feb. 9 (last game before Olympic break)
vs. Colorado Avalanche, Mar. 1 (first game back from Olympic break)
vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

My reaction; the national coverage is nice, even though it’s on a channel better known for covering cage-fighting and bull riding...but nothing compares to Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond. FSD is going to cover all the games not nationally broadcast.

Get the Center Package, if you love hockey as much as I’s more than worth the price.