Red Wings Alternate Captaincy Watch 2022

Last season marked the first time that the Red Wings’ full slate of alternate captains was turned over since 2007.  Danny DeKeyser and Marc Staal took over for the departed Franz Nielsen and Luke Glendening, with Dylan Larkin retaining the captaincy.  In 2007, Nicklas Lidstrom ascended to the captaincy to replace the retiring Steve Yzerman while Brendan Shanahan departed, with Kris Draper and Henrik Zetterberg named alternates.

This year will see full turnover again, as Staal is off to the Florida Panthers and DeKeyser is on a try-out with the Vancouver Canucks.

Last year we saw that the two new alternate captains came from a set of players who had worn the “A” throughout the preseason and it’s probably safe to assume the same will happen this year.

Staal and DeKeyser were alternates in every exhibition game they played last year.  So were Sam Gagner and Robby Fabbri.  Like Staal and DeKeyser, Gagner has since departed the team, having signed as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets.  Fabbri is still in Detroit but is rehabbing from an ACL injury that will see him out of the lineup until January.  Given that he seemed to be given consideration last year, we can’t rule out Fabbri getting a letter this time around.

Yesterday saw the Red Wings’ first action of the preseason in which players actually wore letters.  In the Red & White Game in Traverse City, Larkin had the “C” as expected while Ben Chiarot, Filip Hronek, Olli Maatta, David Perron, and Michael Rasmussen wore an “A” for their respective teams.

Right off the bat, I think we can rule out Rasmussen.  Perron (as much as I’m still working on my dislike of him) is exactly the kind of player I would expect to come onto the team and immediately get a letter.  In fact, if you’d asked me for my gut feeling on who would get the “A”s this season coming into camp, I’d have said Tyler Bertuzzi, Andrew Copp, Hronek, and Perron.  Bertuzzi and Copp didn’t play due to injury and Hronek and Perron both wore an “A” so maybe there’s something there.

We’ve got eight preseason exhibitions to see if anyone else joins that group, starting tomorrow in Pittsburgh.


Speaking of letters…

There was a surprising change to the “C” and the “A” in the Red & White Game: They’d been shrunk down and moved back to the left side of the chest, off the tip of the wing in the Red Wings’ logo.

Dylan Larkin wearing a smaller, relocated captain’s “C” in the Red & White Game (Credit: Detroit Red Wings)

Detroit captains had worn their letters in that spot until 2007, when the NHL’s shift to the Reebok Edge jersey template left little room for a letter and it was moved to the right side of the jersey.

This change coming at the same time as many teams are introducing jersey sponsor patches on the right side of the chest could be indicative of the Red Wings’ plan to place a patch there soon, with the “C” and “A” moved to account for that.

That said, it could also be something similar to the preseason player nameplates the team wears, straight with a serifed font instead of the usual vertically-arched lettering, which is supposedly done to make things easier on the equipment staff at a time when the roster is in flux.

I hope it’s the latter as, in my opinion, that letter placement looks awful.  I’d advocated for it in the past but seeing it executed makes me realize I was wrong.

A jersey ad for the Red Wings is inevitable but NHL guidelines allow it to be placed on either the left or right chest, or either shoulder, so there’s no need to do this to the “C” and “A” to make room.

Red Wings Training Camp Roster/Numbers 2022

The Red Wings announced the full roster for their 2022 Training Camp on Wednesday afternoon.

The full roster is duplicated below but now for a look at the jersey numbers…

Between the team’s announcement of new numbers for incoming players (and Jake Walman’s switch from #8 to #96) last month and the Prospects Tournament roster, most of these numbers were already known.

Aside from Walman, no players who were with the Red Wings last year have changed jersey numbers.

Only one player who appeared in last year’s training camp is coming back with a new number.  Jared McIsaac switches to the #41 last worn by Luke Glendening in the 2021 season, as the #3 he’d been wearing has been given to Simon Edvinsson.  McIsaac had also previously worn #63 in camps.

A trio of players are making their first appearances in a Detroit camp after signing with the Grand Rapids Griffins.  All three were assigned numbers worn by players who appeared in the Red Wings’ development camp over the summer but are not present at the main camp.  Joel L’Esperance is wearing the #67 worn by Redmond Savage. Cedric Lacroix is wearing the #75 previously worn by Drew Bavaro.  Finally, goalie John Lethemon has the #68 that was assigned to Connor Murphy.

Forwards

Num. Name
84 Julien Anctil*
26 Pontus Andreasson
72 Trenton Bliss+
52 Jonatan Berggren
59 Tyler Bertuzzi
18 Andrew Copp
42 Kyle Criscuolo
21 Austin Czarnik
73 Adam Erne
14 Robby Fabbri
74 Cross Hanas
25 Taro Hirose
86 Ivan Ivan*
81 Dominik Kubalik
67 Joel L’Esperance+
75 Cedric Lacroix+
71 Dylan Larkin
83 Marcus Limpar-Lantz*
78 Amadeus Lombardi
22 Matt Luff
94 Mitchell Martin*
87 Jacob Mathieu*
46 Chase Pearson
57 David Perron
58 Riley Piercey*
27 Michael Rasmussen
23 Lucas Raymond
50 Dominik Shine+
48 Givani Smith
85 Elmer Soderblom
76 Tyler Spezia+
70 Oskar Sundqvist
24 Pius Suter
79 Kirill Tyutyayev+
61 Jake Uberti*
90 Joe Veleno
15 Jakub Vrana
62 Drew Worrad+
11 Filip Zadina
56 Pasquale Zito

Defensemen

Num. Name
49 Seth Barton
63 Jeremie Biakabutuka*
8 Ben Chiarot
3 Simon Edvinsson
38 Robert Hagg
17 Filip Hronek
20 Albert Johansson
54 Steven Kampfer
32 Brian Lashoff+
28 Gustav Lindstrom
2 Olli Maatta
95 Tnias Mathurin
41 Jared McIsaac
47 Wyatt Newpower
82 Jordan Oesterle
77 Oscar Plandowski
43 Mark Pysyk
44 Donovan Sebrango
53 Moritz Seider
51 Eemil Viro
96 Jake Walman

Goalies

Num. Name
60 Jan Bednar
34 Victor Brattstrom
33 Sebastian Cossa
35 Ville Husso
68 John Lethemon+
39 Alex Nedeljkovic
31 Andrew Oke*
45 Jussi Olkinuora

Red Wings Prospect Tournament Jersey Numbers

The 2022 NHL Prospect Tournament begins today and I just realized that I ignored the release of the Red Wings’ roster for the event when it was released a couple weeks ago, so I’ll take a look at it now.

And, of course, by “take a look at it,” I mean I’ll over-analyze the assigned jersey numbers, as per usual.

Detroit’s Prospect Tournament roster usually lines up with their summer Development Camp roster and that’s the case here, with fourteen of the twenty-five players on the Prospect Tournament roster having appeared at Development Camp in July.

Of the returning players, only Amadeus Lombardi has switched his number, as the #96 he wore over the summer now belongs to Jake Walman.  Lombardi takes the #78 that was worn by Shia Buium, who is not participating in the Prospect Tournament.

Five players on the roster were not on the ice in Detroit in July but had participated in various camps prior to that.  Elmer Soderblom keeps the #85 he wore in the 2019 Prospect Tournament while Kirill Tyutyayev retains the #79 he wore in camp last year, as do Seth Barton with his #49 and Jan Bednar with #60.  Albert Johansson wore #95 in Development Camp in 2019 but switches to #20 as #95 is now assigned to Tnias Mathurin.

Five free agent invitees who weren’t at Development Camp have taken the numbers of players who were there but aren’t on the Prospect Tournament roster.  Marcus Limpar-Lantz takes the #83 previously worn by William Wallinder.  Jacob Mathieu gets Dylan James’ #87.  Jake Uberti gets the #61 of Ethan Phillips.  Drew Worrad takes Theodor Niederbach’s #62.  Last-minute addition Jeremie Biakabutuka gets the #63 worn by Sam Stange.

Lastly, Ivan Ivan gets the #86 last worn by Adam Brubacher in last year’s training camp.  There’s a guy who should have gotten a palindromic number.

The full roster is as follows:

Forwards

Num. Name
84 Julien Anctil*
72 Trenton Bliss*
74 Cross Hanas
86 Ivan Ivan*
83 Marcus Limpar-Lantz*
78 Amadeus Lombardi
94 Mitchell Martin*
87 Jacob Mathieu*
58 Riley Piercey*
85 Elmer Soderblom
79 Kirill Tyutyayev
61 Jake Uberti*
62 Drew Worrad*
56 Pasquale Zito

Defensemen

Num. Name
49 Seth Barton
63 Jeremie Biakabutuka*
3 Simon Edvinsson
20 Albert Johansson
95 Tnias Mathurin
77 Oscar Plandowski
44 Donovan Sebrango
51 Eemil Viro

Goalies

Num. Name
60 Jan Bednar
33 Sebastian Cossa
31 Andrew Oke*

Twenty-six Years

Today marks the 26th anniversary of DetroitHockey.Net’s founding and, to be honest, I’m feeling somewhat melancholy about it.

I’ve mentioned before, specifically on the site’s 24th birthday, that what DH.N is now isn’t what I expected it to be.  I’ve had a hard time reconciling that I spent so much of the early 2000s building DH.N into a full-service website only to see the emergence of Wikipedia and YouTube and social media destroy the need for full-service websites.

I decided then that the site would become smaller.  That I would remove features duplicated elsewhere.  The thing I failed to account for, though, is that all of this is duplicated elsewhere.  DetroitHockey.Net doesn’t need to exist.  I’m not filling a niche in the market or anything.  Hell, even the branding isn’t unique anymore, as 18 years after I started calling this place “DH.N” we saw the birth of “DHN” (which ties into my mini-rant from last year about professional journalists who formerly complained about bloggers having now turned to blogging as their industry dies).

And speaking of branding, I’m pretty sure I haven’t recovered from the Ilitch-owned Tigers making me change the site’s logo in 2019.  We can have a DH.N and a DHN but there can be only one Old English D.

Coming into this anniversary, I asked myself a different question.  Rather than what I want DH.N to be, I thought about what I want to do.

I started YzerFan19’s Detroit Red Wings Page in 1996 because I wanted to build a website.  The Red Wings were just the most obvious topic for me to work around.

I continued building the site as it became DRW Central and then drwcentral.net.  I built content management software before WordPress even existed and used that to get a job building even more websites.  When I’d reached the logical extent of building out what was by then called DetroitHockey.Net, I branched off into fantasy hockey and built more software for that, which continues at FantasyHockeySim.com.

What I want is to build software and build websites and, for the most part, FHS is satisfying that desire for me now, not DH.N.  It makes me sad to realize that I could probably shutter DH.N today and, after some mourning, feel okay about it.

But I also still want to write about hockey – sometimes.  And I have fun with the Stupid Stat of the Day.  And I have these weird little hockey-related projects that I like to do.  And there are a couple small features of DH.N that don’t really seem to exist anywhere else and I don’t want to give them up.

So I’m not going to shut the site down but I am going to restructure it again.

Sometime soon – after I finish some work I’m doing for FHS, because that takes priority now – DetroitHockey.Net will be re-worked to “just” be the blog.  Then there will be a second site, sharing DH.N’s branding, where my hockey-related projects live.  The multimedia section of the site might live there, or it might move to another new site, or it might disappear entirely.

No more current Red Wings’ roster or schedule or NHL logo history.  It’s just not necessary for me to spend my time maintaining.


On to the frivolities…

It’s become a tradition of mine for these anniversary posts to talk about the players who wore that year’s jersey number since the founding of the site.

Number 26 was not assigned by the Red Wings at this time twenty-six years ago.  The previous season saw Ray Sheppard, who had worn it since 1991, traded to San Jose for Igor Larionov.  But in December of 1996, Joey Kocur returned to Detroit and reclaimed the number that he had worn before Sheppard.

Kocur would wear #26 for the remainder of his career in Detroit, retiring in 1999, and the number would go unused until Jiri Hudler showed up in the Red Wings’ 2003 training camp.

Hudler kept the number until signing as a free agent with the Calgary Flames in 2012, with the Wings not assigning it during the 2009-10 season while Hudler was playing in the KHL.

Tomas Jurco got #26 in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, having lost the #28 he was previously assigned to free agent signee Carlo Colaiacovo.

Jurco was moved out at the 2017 trade deadline and the number went to Eric Tangradi in training camp the following fall.  Tangradi, who mostly played for the Griffins during his time in the Detroit organization had previously worn #49 and never made it into a game with the Wings wearing #26.

Thomas Vanek made his second appearance with Detroit for the 2018-19 season, by which time Tangradi was gone and #26 was available.  Vanek’s first run with the team corresponded with Jurco’s final season (in fact, Vanek was also traded at that year’s deadline) so he’d worn #62.

Griffins’ captain Matt Ford was assigned #26 for training camp in 2019 but Cody Goloubef was claimed off waivers by Detroit in February and given that number for the two whole games he played with the team before the season was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

By the time the Red Wings hit the ice again in January of 2021, Goloubef was out of the organization and Riley Barber had been added, having been assigned #26.  Now Barber is out and the number will be worn in training camp by Pontus Andreasson.

Red Wings Announce New Jersey Numbers

The Red Wings announced new jersey numbers for some of their players via social media on Tuesday afternoon.

I had attempted to predict some of these and, as I noted on Twitter, I was very wrong.

My thoughts (some of which I’ve already Tweeted), in no particular order…

David Perron getting #57 is no surprise.  It was available, it’s clearly his preferred number, there’s a match there.

Same thing with Ville Husso and #35, though there could have been question as to whether the team would hold that number out of circulation for Jimmy Howard (I didn’t expect that).

I had expected Lucas Raymond to switch to #18, which has been his preferred number to this point, with Marc Staal having departed.  Maybe I shouldn’t have.  It has become exceedingly rare for players to switch numbers after debuting for Detroit.  No matter how many times I heard that Tomas Tatar was on the verge of switching to #90 or Justin Abdelkader was going to move to #89, it never happened.  Taro Hirose switched from #53 to #67 to #25 but before that we might be going back to Joakim Andersson switching from #63 to…  #18.

With Raymond not taking #18, it was available for Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik, and Robert Haag.  Copp got it, which makes sense as the longer-term signing, and Kubalik inverted it to #81 with Haag taking the next available number that ended with an 8 in #38.

Olli Maatta didn’t get his usual #3, instead going with #2.  Simon Edvinsson has been assigned #3 but I’d figured the Wings would never block Maatta from taking it, especially since Edvinsson seems to be more tied to #7 (though, as @hwcJay noted and I completely missed, Edvinsson did wear #3 earlier in his career).  Maybe Maatta chose #2, maybe he wasn’t allowed to have #3, I don’t know.

I’d expected Mark Pysyk to take #23 (with Raymond having moved on to #18) as his usual #13 is unavailable.  With #23 still in use and following the same logic as applied to Haag, Pysyk goes from #13 to #43.

The biggest surprise, to me, was Jake Walman giving up #8 to Ben Chiarot and switching to #96.  Chiarot had worn #8 with Montreal and Florida but had #7 after breaking through with the Jets and seemed more tied to that number early in his career.  I thought Chiarot would either double that up to take #77 or take the closest available number in #2.  Instead, Walman switches to his birth year, which gives us some funny history with #96.

As far as Austin Czarnik‘s #21, Matt Luff’s #22, Pontus Andreasson’s #26, Jussi Olkinuora’s #45, and Steven Kampfer‘s #54, I’ll admit that I didn’t even take time to consider them.

Not that Development Camp numbers can ever really be taken as meaningful, but this leaves several Wings prospects looking for new jersey numbers.

Kienan Draper loses #21, Amadeus Lombardi loses #96, Robert Mastrosimone loses #54 (after having previously been forced to switch from #14), Carter Mazur loses the #43 of his idol (Darren Helm), Cooper Moore loses #81, and Carter Gylander loses #35.

Some of those players won’t be back in a Detroit camp until next summer, at which point some of the new Red Wings’ contracts will be up, so they may never actually need to switch numbers.

Wings Announce Signing of Olli Maatta

The Detroit Red Wings formally announced the signing of defenseman Olli Maatta on Thursday, a day after news of the deal broke.

The one-year deal reportedly carries a $2.25 million salary cap hit.

I have to say, I was shocked to learn that Maatta is only 27.  It feels like he’s been in the league forever.

Given the one-year term, and the fact that the Wings have a ton of cap space this year, this is a great deal.

2022 Free Agency: Day One Thoughts

The Red Wings were busy on the opening day of free agency, signing six NHLers, one draft pick, and agreeing to terms with one more player.

Eighth-overall pick Marco Kasper kicked things off, agreeing to his entry-level deal.  The contract was announced just after free agency opened, which wasn’t necessary, and feels like a bit of a troll by the Red Wings’ PR team.

Just after that, Andrew Copp joined Detroit.  He immediately slots in as the team’s second-line center.  As I said earlier, I wish his five-year deal was four years, but I don’t think that’s the end of the world.  If he’s playing out the end of his deal on the third line, having made way for Kasper on the second line, that’s not a bad place to be in.

Detroit was then linked to Olli Maatta, and by all accounts a deal is in place there but not finalized.  I like that move to shore up the left side of the defense with the departures of Marc Staal and Danny DeKeyser.  I just wish they’d get it done.

Insiders linked the Red Wings to both Ben Chiarot and David Perron but the next deal announced was Dominik Kubalik.  I love his two-year, $2.5 million deal.  This is a cheap, short-term move with nothing but upside.

Chiarot, however, concerns me.  Four years at at $4.75 million cap hit feels like it will age horribly.  That said, the cap should start increasing so it may not hurt as much as it looks like right now.  There’s some hope there, but hope is not a strategy.

Perron rounded out the day at the NHL level.  This one leaves a bad taste in my mouth but doesn’t appear to be a bad deal.  After all this time, I just don’t like Perron.  Now maybe it’s time for the Wings’ opponents to not like him, too.

Detroit also signed Matt Luff and Austin Czarnik to two-way deals, joining previously-signed Steven Kampfer as likely Grand Rapids-bound.

My takeaway after this big day of signings is that there is probably a forward on his way out of Detroit.  Robby Fabbri is expected to start the season on IR but that still pushes one of Joe Veleno or Adam Erne out of the lineup, which seems less than ideal.  Erne, in particular, seems redundant now and I wonder if Steve Yzerman might end up shopping him around.

Because I’m a jersey number geek, my other takeaway is that there are going to be a lot of people looking for new numbers.  Perron is likely to get his usual #57.  Simon Edvinsson has been assigned #3 in development camp but it’s not his usual number so it probably goes to Maatta.  Chiarot and Kubalik have both been wearing #8, which is currently assigned to Jake Walman, so two of those three will need new numbers.  Additionally, Staal’s departure to the Florida Panthers opens up #18.  Will Lucas Raymond switch to his usual number or will Copp, who usually wears #9, take #18 instead? Or is that what Kubalik, who has worn it for Czechia, gets?

I’m going to say Perron gets #57, Maatta gets #3, Raymond switches to #18, Copp takes #29, Kubalik wears the #89 he wore in the OHL, and Chiarot takes #2 or #77.

Red Wings Sign Veteran Forward Perron

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of veteran forward David Perron on Wednesday.

I’ll be honest, this move surprised me.  That it’s a two-year deal surprised me even more.  Perron seems like the guy you sign late in the summer and flip to a contender looking for veteran depth at the trade deadline.

That said, he scored 27 goals last year – 11 of them on the power play – and 57 points total.  That should help Detroit’s anemic offense.

And he’s a pain to play against.  I rarely like bringing players like that to Detroit because I’ve gotten too used to hating them.  Chris Chelios was pretty much the lone exception to that rule.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial.

Free Agent Kubalik Signs with Wings

Free agent forward Dominik Kubalik signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

As per usual, financial terms of the deal were not announced, but the deal reportedly carries a $2.5 million salary cap hit.

Kubalik became an unrestricted free agent earlier in the week when the Chicago Blackhawks chose not to give him a qualifying offer, which would have made him a restricted free agent.  He is the second player in as many years to depart Chicago for Detroit under those terms, following Pius Suter.

Combined with the signing of Andrew Copp and the expected deal for David Perron, Detroit GM Steve Yzerman has added an entire line’s worth of forwards to the Red Wings’ lineup.  As such, is sure seems like someone from last year won’t be back in the Winged Wheel next season.

Red Wings Add Defenseman Chiarot

The Detroit Red Wings signed defenseman Ben Chiarot on Wednesday.

The deal is reportedly for four years at a cap hit of $4.75 million.

That term is hard to swallow.  The cap hit…  If it had been two years, sure.  The Wings won’t be near the cap for the next couple years, let Chris Ilitch spend money.  But at four years, that gets into extension time for a lot of players.  As I said with the Andrew Copp deal, that gets problematic.

The difficult thing is that Chiarot is an upgrade to Detroit’s defense.  Certainly not a particularly exciting upgrade, but the Wings were bad last year.  He should make them much harder to play against.

Maybe next fall I can look at this deal and appreciate that more.  In the summer, though, it’s a lot harder to see that.

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