Bowman to the Blackhawks?

Kukla and Bill say that the Chicago Blackhawks will annouce Scotty Bowman as Senior Advisor, Hockey Operations, at a press conference this afternoon.

After months of rumors that he was headed to Toronto, another O6 rival picks him up.

I was under the impression that he was under contract with the Wings so I don’t know what happened with that but Chicago makes the most sense for Bowman as his son Stan is with the organization.

Not entirely happy about this, of course. Very susprised so I don’t have much more reaction.

Filppula Signs Five-Year Deal

TSN of Canada reports that the Detroit Red Wings have signed restricted free agent forward Valtteri Filppula to a five-year deal.

The deal is reportedly worth $15 million.

A two-year deal had long been rumored to be complete, with the two sides working on a longer-term deal.

Filppula scored 19 goals and added 17 assists in 78 games during the 2007-08 season. He added five goals and six assists during Detroit’s Stanley Cup run.

Report: Red Wings Hire McCrimmon as Assistant Coach

The Sporting News reports that the Detroit Red Wings are set to hire former player Brad McCrimmon to replace Todd McLellan as assistant coach.

McCrimmon was the associate coach of the Atlanta Thrashers last season and had been with the team since 2003. He left Atlanta after the Thrashers promoted John Anderson from their AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves.

After an eighteen-year NHL career, McCrimmon moved into coaching with the New York Islanders. He was the head coach of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades before moving on to the Calgary Flames.

McCrimmon was a member of the Red Wings’ blueline corps from 1990 to 1993.

“I was there for three years as a player and loved it,” said McCrimmon. “Now it’s a great opportunity to go back. It’s a good situation in the sense of the city, the team and what they’ve been doing there for a long time.”

Howard and Ericsson Signed

There are reports that both Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Ericsson have re-signed with the Red Wings. The team hasn’t made an announcement but Malik pointed out a couple signs that it could be true.

The big evidence is the NHLPA’s website listing compensation for both players for next season.

For those who didn’t follow that link, this leaves Chris Chelios, Aaron Downey, Valtteri Filppula, Mark Hartigan, Logan Koopmans, Darren McCarty and Kyle Quincey unsigned. Chelios supposedly has a deal and Filppula will, either through negotiations or arbitration. Hartigan and Koopmans are likely on their way out. Downey and McCarty have been offered two-way deals. I haven’t heard anything about Quincey all summer.

Scheduling Complaints

The Red Wings released their 2008-09 schedule today and – not surprisingly – I’m not happy with it.

I’ve said before that I don’t like the Wings having to give up both their traditional New Years Eve game and the ability to host their own outdoor game to take part in Chicago’s Winter Classic so I’ll ignore that and rant about a few other things.

Remember how the new schedule was going to allow Detroit to play a home-and-home with three Eastern Conference teams? Turns out that wasn’t quite true. They play the Penguins, Sabres and Thrashers both at home and on the road but none of those game are back to back.

There are only three home-and-homes all season. One against the Edmonton Oilers and two against the Chicago Blackhawks (one includes the Winter Classic and the other ends the season). In all three of those series’ the Detroit game is the first game.

The Red Wings play on back-to-back nights fourteen times this season. Every single time includes travel between games, unless you don’t count the trip between Anaheim and Los Angeles that makes up two of those sets. Either way, at no point in the season do the Wings play two nights in a row waiting for their opponent to come to them.

Detroit has a five-game road trip in late-October/early-November and a six-game trip (split by the All-Star Game) in January. Their longest homestand? Four games (twice in December and again in late-March/early-April).

I’m not saying other teams don’t have it worse (the Blackhawks play on back-to-back nights with travel 15 times this season) but this just can’t be the best schedule possible.

Key 2008-09 Schedule Dates Announced

The Red Wings announced several key dates from their 2008-09 schedule today. The full schedule is due to be released tomorrow.

The season will open in Detroit on October 9 as the Red Wings raise their Stanley Cup Championship banner while hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As previously noted, another matchup between Original Six rivals will occur when the Red Wings visit Wrigley Field for the Winter Classic II against the Chicago Blackhawks.

As part of the new league scheduling formula, the Red Wings will play every team in the league this season, including a home-and-home series with three Eastern Conference teams. This year, those teams will be the Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, and Atlanta Thrashers.

NHL Officially Announces Wings-‘Hawks as Winter Classic

The NHL officially announced today that the Red Wings and Blackhawks will meet at Chicago’s Wrigley Field for the 2009 Winter Classic.

The game, to begin at 1:00 PM Eastern on New Years Day 2009, will be part of a home-and-home series that will see the Blackhawks visit Detroit on December 30, 2008.

The Red Wings’ annual tradition of a New Years Eve game will be disrupted by the series. The Wings had played on December 31 in every non-lockout year since 1946, except for 1996.

NHL Expansion Coming?

The Forechecker has an interesting bit posted that may prove that expansion is coming to the NHL again.

Apparently “Boots” Del Biaggio, the now-bankrupt member of Nashville’s ownership group, had a nice little tid-bit in the document he used to recruit members into that ownership group. Page 11 of said document includes projected season-by-season financials for the team. For the 2010-2011 season a $15 million chunk of revenue from expansion fees is assumed.

Now, Del Biaggio is bankrupt and being investigated for fraud, so that could have just been a creative bit of speculative accounting used to bring in more money. He could add that “expected” revenue in and then when expansion doesn’t happen just say “Sorry, we thought it would.”

Or it could show that the league has something up its sleeve that we’re not being told about. We’ll see.