Report: NHLPA Suspends Operations

I’m not seeing this anywhere else but 680 News out of Toronto is reporting that the NHLPA is suspending operations.

If true, this is a bizarre twist for the PA.

I’ll update as more becomes available.

Update, 2:14 PM:
TSN of Canada reports that the NHLPA and interim executive directory Ian Penny have parted ways.

Update, 2:22 PM: says that Penny resigned.

National Hockey League Players’ Association interim executive director Ian Penny has resigned, sources tell Sportsnet.

On Friday’s edition of Hockeycentral @ Noon, Nick Kypreos reported the NHLPA was preventing Penny and ombudsman Buzz Hargrove from contacting player representatives.

According to Kypreos, the NHLPA “is not a functioning organization right now.”

Update, 2:37 PM:
TSN now says it was a bit of a house-cleaning.

Sources indicate Steve Larmer, Dan O’Neill and Ron Lloyd of the NHLPA’s Advisory Board resigned Thursday night and legal counsel Paul Cavalluzzo resigned on Friday morning.

Update, 3:12 PM:
Here’s the NHLPA’s statement, from TSN:

“Interim Executive Director Ian Penny informed the NHLPA staff and the NHLPA Executive Board earlier today that it is his position he has been constructively dismissed as Interim Executive Director of the NHLPA and can no longer work in the present circumstances. Effective today, Ian Penny is no longer employed by the NHLPA.”

I’m only surprised about the timing. Penny fought hard against the Chelios group tasked to investigate Paul Kelly’s firing, which many have assumed Penny was behind. I thought he still had some fight left, though, so while I expected him to be let go eventually I didn’t expect it now.

Filppula Out After Wings’ Comeback Loss

Just in case you wanted to take any positives away from the Red Wings’ comeback loss to the Oilers on Thursday night, don’t.

Talk about gutsy play and coming behind all you want but right now I’d trade that for a healthy Valtteri Filppula. Ansar Khan reports that Filppula will miss six-to-eight weeks with a broken wrist.

So do you split up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg so each can center his own line? Try Darren Helm or Kris Draper or Justin Abdelkader on the second line?

Me? I just go to bed, it’s too late at night to worry about this.

Red Wings Rally for First Road Win

Down by two goals just 7:05 into Tuesday’s matchup against the Vancouver Canucks, the Detroit Red Wings rallied for a 5-4 win. It was their first win on the road this season.

Vancouver took an early lead, scoring twice on their first four shots before Detroit goalie Chris Osgood was replaced by backup Jimmy Howard.

Howard stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced for the rest of the game, outdueling Canucks superstar netminder Roberto Luongo en route to his second career win.

Luongo stopped 37 of the 42 chances he faced.

Henrik Sedin scored just 30 seconds into the game and Christian Erhoff added another goal 6:35 later to chase Osgood from the net.

Tomas Holmstrom completed a pretty passing play from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk to put Detroit on the board with 4:13 left in the first period, tapping home a chance from the edge of the crease.

After a scoreless second period, Niklas Kronwall tied the game 3:51 into the third period, sneaking a shot through a screen by Holmstrom and past Luongo.

The Canucks regained the lead 1:14 later with a power play goal by former Red Wing Mathieu Schneider but Pavel Datsyuk tied the game back up one minute after that.

Datsyuk’s second of the night – a power play goal – gave the Wings a 4-3 lead at 9:31 of the period.

With Vancouver on a five-on-three, Sedin knocked in the puck from the back side of the goal to pull the Canucks back into a tie with 7:53 remaining in the third.

The Red Wings rebounded with another power play goal of their own as Jason Williams beat Luongo off a feed from Valtteri Filppula with 5:03 left in regulation.

Howard made several stops to keep the Wings in it in the final minutes as they held on for the win.

Detroit finished the night two-for-three on the power play. Vancouver went two-for-four including the five-on-three goal.

Brad May fought Tanner Glass midway through the second period… The Canucks lost Ryan Johnson after he crashed heavily into the boards in the second period.

Red Wings – Avalanche Pregame Notes

The Red Wings continue their road trip tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. Both teams will use lineups different from last Saturday’s game between the two teams at Joe Louis Arena, where the Avs picked up a 4-3 shootout win.

The Wings will start Jimmy Howard in net, giving him his first start since the second game of the season. Justin Abdelkader is out of the lineup in favor of Patrick Eaves while either Brad May or Kirk Maltby will join Darren Helm to round out the fourth line.

Colorado is without Darcy Tucker (concussion) and Cody McLeod (eye). Craig Anderson gets the start in goal.

Game time is 9:00.

Late Goals Lift Coyotes over Red Wings

The Phoenix Coyotes scored with 2:40 left in regulation and again in overtime to rally from down by a goal and defeat the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night.

Petr Prucha scored to tie the game when the Red Wings led 2-1 and Adrian Aucoin got the game-winner.

Prucha’s goal came on a goal-mouth scramble that saw Detroit netminder Chris Osgood pushed into the net on the play.

Wings head coach Mike Babcock thought Osgood was interferred with on the play, yelling at the officials, “Do your f—ing job!”

Aucoin scored on a seemingly-soft shot from the right wing that deflected off of Osgood’s pad, then off his stick on the way into the net.

Detroit had taken the lead in the game at 7:45 of the second period on a goal by Brett Lebda. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk broke into the Phoenix zone and drew the defenders to them on the right wing, leaving Lebda wide open when he jumped into the play and fired a shot past Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

The two teams traded power play goals in the first period, with Matthew Lombardi scoring for Phoenix with 3:30 left and Tomas Holmstrom tipping a puck past Bryzgalov with 20 seconds remaining.

Pavel Datsyuk earned assists on both goals in his first game back in the Detroit lineup after missing two with a shoulder injury.

The Red Wings went one-for-four on the power play while the Coyotes were one-for-three.

Osgood made 30 saves on 33 shots against. Bryzgalov stopped 25 of 27 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings continue their season-high five-game road trip on Saturday when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Datsyuk Returns Against Coyotes

The Red Wings begin their longest road trip of the season tonight in Phoenix, still looking for their first road win of the year. They are 3-0-1 at Joe Louis Arena and 0-3 elsewhere, including one “home” game played in Stockholm.

The Wings will get a boost as Pavel Datsyuk returns to the lineup. When asked if he could do everything he could do before a shoulder injury knocked him out for two games, Datsyuk joked, “Well, I didn’t score before. I hope to maybe score.”

With Datsyuk in, Brad May and Patrick Eaves will be the healthy scratches.

Datsyuk will play with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula will center Ville Leino and Jason Williams, Kris Draper will center Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi, and the fourth line will be Darren Helm between Justin Abdelkader and Kirk Maltby.

Retire Osgood’s Number?

The jersey number retirement debate is back on thanks to a blog post by Greg Eno.

Eno suggests that the Wings should retire #30 for Chris Osgood. Over at A2Y, the Chief agrees.

Chris Osgood is my all-time favorite goalie. I wouldn’t complain if his number were raised. I just don’t believe in the idea enough to push for it.

Raising Osgood’s number starts the Wings on a slippery slope. If #30 goes up, why not #18 and #25 and #33 and #96? Igor Larionov‘s #8? #14 and #91 and #24?

I’m wondering if a semi-retired state needs to exist. Something less than retired but more than the “honored” status that the Toronto Maple Leafs use. The Leafs have strict rules for retiring a player’s number but they will hang banners to honor a player while leaving his number in circulation.

My version of an honored number would be one mostly kept out of circulation by the Wings not assigning it to any of their prospects as they come onto the team. It would technically be available if the Wings wanted to give it to someone but the player would have to have earned the number first.

I just see this as one way of respecting the team’s history without lowering the standard required to have a number retired. Osgood and the rest of the core of this dynasty deserve recognition but not one reserved for players that are among the best of all time.

Red Wings – Kings Partial Recap

I only caught the third period of Thursday’s Red Wings – Kings matchup but from that and reports of the rest of the game it sounds like another one of this season’s typical home wins for Detroit.

Six games into the season the Wings have played an entirely different game at the Joe than they have on the road.

At home they’re calm and patient. They move the puck well on offense and they backcheck when play moves into their own zone.

On the road (including the “home” game in Stockholm) they’re sloppy. They rush to force passes through and they don’t come back to play defense.

Detroit’s GAA at Joe Louis Arena is 2.00. Elsewhere it’s 5.00. The Wings are scoring a full goal per game more at the Joe than they are on the road.

Admittedly, these numbers are skewed by last night’s 5-2 win and Tuesday’s 6-2 loss but those are trends the team can’t afford to let last for the whole season.

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