Red Wings Buy Out Weiss

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Tuesday the buyout of the remaining three years of forward Stephen Weiss‘ contract.

Because of the no movement clause in his deal, Weiss did not have to go on waivers prior to being bought out. As such, the Red Wings had until 5:00 PM on Tuesday to make the decision.

Weiss signed a five-year, $24.5 million contract with the Red Wings on July 1, 2013. He spent much of the first year of that deal on injured reserve, playing only 26 games. He made it into 56 games last season. Over two years, he scored 11 goals and added 18 assists for 29 points.

The buyout will cost the Red Wings two-thirds of his remaining salary over twice the length. That works out to $1.066 million for the next two seasons, $2.56 million in 2017-18, and $1.67 million for three more years.

It is the first non-compliance buyout by Detroit since the NHL implemented a salary cap in 2005.

Weiss was Florida’s first pick, fourth overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. In 13 seasons with the Panthers and Red Wings, he has played 732 games, scoring 156 goals and 267 assists for 423 points.

Red Wings Sign Smith to Extension

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of defenseman Brendan Smith to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday.

Financial terms were not officially announced but the contract is reportedly worth $2.75 million per season.

The blueliner, 26, was Detroit’s first-round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. In 195 career games played he has ten goals and 37 assists for 47 total points.

Smith had been scheduled to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday.

Former Wings Lidstrom, Fedorov Named to Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced on Monday that two former Red Wings will be included in their Class of 2015.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov were elected to the Hall in their first year of eligibility. They join Phil Housley, Chris Pronger, Angela Ruggiero, Peter Karmanos, and Bill Hay in making up the latest class of inductees.

In his twenty-year career, spent entirely with Detroit, Lidstrom won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defenseman seven times, trailing only Bobby Orr’s eight. He won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and was named the playoff MVP of their 2002 championship run.

Lidstrom played 1564 career games, with his final season of 2011-12 the only one that saw him miss more than six games. He scored 264 goals and added 878 assists for 1142 career points while taking only 514 penalty minutes.

For the final six seasons of his career, Lidstrom captained the Red Wings, taking over that role after the 2006 retirement of Steve Yzerman.

Outside the NHL, Lidstrom represented his native Sweden four times at the Olympics, winning a gold medal in 2006.

Both Lidstrom and Fedorov were drafted by the Red Wings as part of their legendary 1989 class that included Mike Sillinger, Bob Bougner, Dallas Drake, and Vladimir Konstantinov.

Fedorov played 13 seasons with Detroit before moving on to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim as an unrestricted free agent. From there he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets and then the Washington Capitals. He ended his NHL career in 2009, returning home to Russia to play three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League with Metallurg Magnitogorsk before retiring.

In 1248 career NHL games, Fedorov scored 483 career goals and 696 points for 1179 points. He won three Stanley Cups – all with the Red Wings – and won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP in 1993-94. That same year he was awarded the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the league’s best player, as voted by his fellow players. He was also twice named the league’s best defensive forward.

The pair will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame on November 9, 2015.

Red Wings Select Six in 2015 NHL Entry Draft

The Detroit Red Wings selected six players in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft on Friday and Saturday.

Detroit did not have a second-round pick in the seven-round event, hosted by the Florida Panthers. They had traded their second- and third-round picks but acquired Dallas’ third-round pick in trade.

In Friday’s first round, the Red Wings picked Russian forward Evgeny Svechnikov at 19th overall. In his first season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Svechnikov was named to QMJHL’s All-Rookie Team after scoring 32 goals and adding 46 assists in 55 games. He also appeared at the CHL Top Prospects Game.

With their first pick on Saturday, the Red Wings selected defenseman Vili Saarijarvi of Finland in the third round, 73rd overall. In 57 games with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, Saarijari scored six goals and added 17 assists for 23 points to lead the team’s blueliners. The right-hander will play for Karpat in Finland next season.

Goaltender Joren Van Pottelberghe was Detroit’s fourth-round pick, 110th overall. The Swiss goalie, 6’2″, played last season with Linkoping’s U18 team in Sweden. In 11 games he had a 1.89 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. He also appeared in 17 games for Switzerland’s U18 team with a 3.39 GAA and .881 save percentage and two games with the Swiss U19 team carrying a 1.92 GAA and .943 save percentage.

The Wings went back to forward for their fifth-round pick, selecting Chase Pearson – son of former NHLer Scott Pearson – at 140th overall. Committed to the University of Maine for the 2015-16 season, Pearson spent 2014-15 with the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms, scoring 12 goals and 14 assists in 57 games.

Defenseman Patrick Holway was Detroit’s pick at 170th overall. Another University of Maine recruit, Holway will play one more season of junior hockey before joining the Black Bears. He scored 25 points in 28 games with the Boston Advantage U-18 team in the 2014-15 season.

The Red Wings’ final pick, 200th overall in the seventh round, was another son of a former NHLer. Forward Adam Marsh of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs is the son of Peter Marsh. In 60 games, he scored 24 goals and twenty assists for 44 points as a 17-year-old.

With two Americans selected, a Russian, a Finn, a Swiss, and a Canadian, it marks the first year since 1992 that the Red Wings did not pick a Swede in the draft.

Datsyuk Has Surgey, Out Three Months

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Friday that forward Pavel Datsyuk had surgery on his ankle. He will be re-evaluated in three months.

Datsyuk suffered ruptured tendons blocking a shot late in the season. Two months of rest didn’t help so he turned to surgery.

“At around the three-month period we’ll re-evaluate and see where he’s at,” Holland said. “Once we get into the middle of September, the start of training camp, we’ll see where he’s at.”

Datsyuk missed 19 games last season due to various injuries. In 63 games the 37-year-old scored 26 goals and added 39 assists.

Red Wings Re-Up Andersson

The Detroit Red Wings re-signed forward Joakim Andersson on Friday.

The 26-year-old, selected by the Red Wings 88th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, will reportedly receive $815,000 for the one-year deal. Scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1, Andersson will instead be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Andersson broke into the Red Wings lineup during the lockout-shortened 2013 season after playing five games with Detroit the previous year. In 176 career games, Andersson has scored 14 goals and added 19 assists in a bottom-six role. He played parts of three seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins after turning pro for the 2010-11 season.

The $815,000 contract is low enough that it would come off the books entirely if Andersson is demoted to the Griffins next season.

Red Wings Release 2015-16 Schedule

The Detroit Red Wings – along with the rest of the National Hockey League – announced their schedule for the 2015-16 regular season on Thursday.

The Red Wings will open the season at home on October 9, hosting former head coach Mike Babcock and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The next night they’ll be in Raleigh to visit the Carolina Hurricanes for their first of seventeen sets of games on back-to-back nights.

The highlight of the season could be the February 27 visit to Denver, where the Colorado Avalanche will host the Red Wings at Coors Field in the 2016 NHL Stadium Series game. It will mark Detroit’s third outdoor game following the 2009 Winter Classic at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and the 2014 Winter Classic at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium.

Detroit’s first visit to the newest arena in the league – Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, home of the New York Islanders – will be on January 25.

The longest homestand of the season is a six-game set across the end of November and beginning of December. The longest road trip is also six games, with visits to Buffalo, New Jersey, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Arizona to start 2016.

The Wings will close out the season visiting the New York Rangers on April 9. All NHL teams will be in action on that day.

Red Wings Round Out Coaching Staff

Two weeks after naming Jeff Blashill as the team’s 27th head coach, the Detroit Red Wings rounded out their coaching staff with the additions of Pat Ferschweiler and Dave Noel-Bernier.

Tony Granato, who spent last season as an assistant under the since-departed Mike Babcock, will remain with the club, as will goaltending coach Jim Bedard. Additionally, former Red Wing Chris Chelios will work with the team’s defensemen, though he will not have a role behind the Detroit bench.

Ferschweiler and Granato will be Blashill’s assistants with Ferschweiler taking the spot of Jim Hiller, who left with Babcock for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Noel-Bernier will replace Andrew Brewer – who also followed Babcock to Toronto – as the team’s video coach.

Ferschweiler and Noel-Bernier both spent last season as assistants under Blashill with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Blashill Named Red Wings’ Head Coach

The Detroit Red Wings made it official on Tuesday, naming Jeff Blashill as the 27th head coach in team history.

Blashill’s hiring had been expected since former head coach Mike Babcock left to take over the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 20. The Red Wings didn’t want to announce anything with Blashill still coaching the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Griffins were eliminated by the Utica Comets in the Western Conference Finals a week ago, paving the way for Tuesday’s press conference.

Blashill coached Grand Rapids for three seasons, leading them to a Calder Cup Championship in his first year with the team in 2013. In that time, the Griffins compiled a 134-71-23 record and never finished lower than second in the Midwest Division.

Prior to taking over the Griffins, Blashill spent one year as an assistant to Babcock with the Red Wings. A former collegiate goalie for Ferris State, Blashill got his coaching start as an assistant with the Bulldogs before moving on to the Miami Redhawks for six seasons. Blashill got his first head coaching job with the USHL’s Indiana Ice in 2008-09 and led them to a Clark Cup Championship in his first year. For the 2010-11 season he jumped to the Western Michigan Broncos, taking them to the CCHA Championship game.

In replacing Babcock, Blashill becomes Detroit’s first new head coach in ten years.

With assistant coaches Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer following Babcock to Toronto and Tony Granato turning down the optional year on his contract, Blashill has a blank slate to work with behind the bench in Detroit, though Granato may yet return.

Red Wings Announce 2015 Exhibition Schedule

The Detroit Red Wings announced the schedule for their 2015 preseason exhibition games on Tuesday.

As per usual, they will play eight games, four at home and four on the road. The 2015 schedule will match the 2014 one, with Detroit playing home and road games against the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

October 2 will mark former Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock‘s return to Joe Louis Arena behind the bench of the Maple Leafs.

The full preseason schedule is as follows:

Date Opponent Location Time
September 22, 2015 Chicago Blackhawks Away 8:30 PM
September 23, 2015 Chicago Blackhawks Home 7:30 PM
September 24, 2015 Pittsburgh Penguins Home 7:30 PM
September 26, 2015 Boston Bruins Home 7:00 PM
September 28, 2015 Boston Bruins Away 7:00 PM
September 30, 2015 Pittsburgh Penguins Away 7:00 PM
October 2, 2015 Toronto Maple Leafs Home 7:30 PM
October 3, 2015 Toronto Maple Leafs Away 7:00 PM