Training Camp Jersey Number Notes

The Red Wings kick off their training camp for the truncated 2021 season tomorrow, announcing the camp roster and schedule today.

With the roster announced, I can do one of my favorite things of the season: Look for oddities surrounding jersey numbers.

The team is only taking forty players to camp, so there aren’t as many numbers to look at, and most of those were known already.

The team’s offseason free agent signings – Bobby Ryan, Vladislav Namestnikov, Jon Merrill, Troy Stecher, and Thomas Greiss – were all previously known to be wearing #54, #92, #24, #70, and #29, respectively.  Additionally, trade acquisition Marc Staal was already known to be wearing his usual #18.

Ryan’s #54 was previously worn by Matt Puempel, who the Red Wings did not re-sign over the offseason.  Stecher’s #70 was worn last season by Christoffer Ehn, who was unsigned and returned to Europe.  Greiss’ #29 was worn in last year’s camp by Vili Saarijarvi before being taken by early-season acquisition Brendan Perlini (with Saarijarvi traded away a few weeks later anyway), who was not re-signed by Detroit.  Staal’s #18 had been assigned to Albin Grewe at the 2020 Development Camp.

European free agent signing Mathias Brome has been assigned #86, his usual number.  It was worn in last season’s camp by Charle-Edouard D’Astous.

Depth signings Riley Barber, Kyle Criscuolo, and Kevin Boyle have been assigned #26, #42, and #34, respectively.

Barber’s #26 was worn in camp last season by Griffins captain Matt Ford, who is not in Detroit’s camp this year.  Criscuolo’s #42 was worn by Mathieu Bizier.  Boyle’s #34 had been assigned to Victor Brattstrom at the start of last season and temporarily given to Eric Comrie for the few games he spent in the Red Wings organization.

The only returning player to change jersey numbers is try-out goalie Pat Nagle, who will wear the #68 that the team usually reserves for goalies who aren’t actually in the Red Wings’ system.  In that role last year, he wore #60, while Sean Romeo wore #68.

Criscuolo isn’t a returning player but has been in a Red Wings’ camp before, wearing #74 in 2016 before spending that season with the Griffins.

The full training camp roster is as follows:

Forwards

Num. Name
11 Filip Zadina
14 Robby Fabbri
23 Dominic Turgeon
26 Riley Barber
27 Michael Rasmussen
37 Evgeny Svechnikov
39 Anthony Mantha
41 Luke Glendening
42 Kyle Criscuolo
43 Darren Helm
46 Chase Pearson
48 Givani Smith
51 Valtteri Filppula
54 Bobby Ryan
57 Turner Elson
59 Tyler Bertuzzi
67 Taro Hirose
71 Dylan Larkin
73 Adam Erne
81 Frans Nielsen
86 Mathias Brome
89 Sam Gagner
92 Vladislav Namestnikov

Defensemen

Num. Name
2 Joe Hicketts
3 Alex Biega
17 Filip Hronek
18 Marc Staal
20 Dylan McIlrath
21 Dennis Cholowski
22 Patrik Nemeth
24 Jon Merrill
28 Gustav Lindstrom
32 Brian Lashoff
65 Danny DeKeyser
70 Troy Stecher

Goalies

Num. Name
29 Thomas Greiss
34 Kevin Boyle
36 Kaden Fulcher
45 Jonathan Bernier
68 Pat Nagle

NHL Announces 2021 Schedule

The NHL announced it’s schedule for the pandemic-shortened 2021 season on Wednesday.

As previously announced, the Red Wings’ schedule is entirely made up of games against opponents from the temporary Central Division, including the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Red Wings will open their season with a four-game homestand, starting off with the Carolina Hurricanes on January 14.

In an effort to reduce travel, many matchups are scheduled in pairs.  For example, Detroit’s opening homestand features two games against the Hurricanes followed by two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Detroit’s first road trip of the season includes two games in Chicago against the Blackhawks followed by two games in Dallas against the Stars.

The Red Wings are currently scheduled to close out the season with a pair of games in Columbus against the Blue Jackets on May 7 and 8.

That said, the league has been clear that it is possible games could be moved from their expected venues depending on COVID protocols.  The San Jose Sharks, for example, are currently unable to play in Santa Clara County and, if that ban were to be extended, games scheduled to be hosted by the Sharks could be played elsewhere.

Remarkably, in a schedule featuring so many paired-up games, the Red Wings have only one home-and-home series, as Detroit hosts the Stars on April 19 and 20 before shifting to Dallas for games on April 22 and 24.

All game start times are still to be determined.

Format Confirmed for NHL’s 2021 Season

The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced the format and timing of their pandemic-delayed 2021 season on Sunday.

The season will begin on January 13 and end on May 8.  Between those dates, each team will play a 56-game schedule made up entirely of matchups with divisional opponents.  Additionally, to accommodate issues with cross-border travel, the league’s seven Canadian teams will be placed into the temporary “North Division” while the American teams are split across the East, Central, and West Divisions.

The Red Wings will be in the Central Division, alongside the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Current plans include teams playing in their home arenas, though some level of flexibility is expected to be necessary.

Training camps will begin league-wide on January 3 but the seven teams who did not participate in the Toronto and Edmonton bubbled to close out the 2019-20 season – including Detroit – will begin on December 31.

Other expected milestone dates include the Trade Deadline on April 12, the Expansion Draft on July 21, the Entry Draft on July 23-24, and the opening of Free Agency on July 28.

The start to the 2021-22 season would be at the league’s traditional time in early October.

Red Wings Send Timashov to Islanders

The Detroit Red Wings traded restricted free agent forward Dmytro Timashov to the New York Islanders on Friday.

Timashov had been the Red Wings’ lone remaining unsigned restricted free agent.  As none of their remaining unrestricted free agents are expected to return to the team, this leaves Detroit with no contracts left to sort out.

The Wings had been saying all the usual things about wanting Timashov back but it never seemed like a deal was particularly close, with rumors that he was going to bolt for the KHL anyway.

Given that Detroit GM Steve Yzerman could have let Timashov bolt and held onto his NHL rights for free, I’m a little surprised that the Wings would part with him for “future considerations” – typically code for “nothing.”  The Wings got him for free via waivers so it’s not a particularly painful transaction, just slightly curious.