Red Wings Release 2019-20 Schedule

The Detroit Red Wings announced their schedule for the 2019-20 season on Tuesday, just a week after revealing their preseason slate of games.

Detroit will open on October 5, visiting the Nashville Predators.

The Red Wings’ home opener is the next night as they host the Dallas Stars.

Detroit’s annual New Year’s Eve game will feature the San Jose Sharks while the Red Wings will close the season on April 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The first matchup of the season against the Lighting, Detroit GM Steve Yzerman‘s former team, will be on December 29 in Tampa.  The Red Wings will meet former GM Ken Holland‘s Edmonton Oilers for the first time on October 18 in Edmonton.

Both of the Red Wings’ visits to the New York Islanders will be at NYCB Live – the former Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – rather than Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Detroit will play on back-to-back nights 14 times, with travel between the games for 13 of those sets.

There are two home-and-home series on the schedule, against Winnipeg in December and against the Rangers at the end of Feburary/start of March.

2019 Development Camp Jersey Number Notes

The Red Wings open up their annual development camp today and released rosters for it yesterday.  As such, I’m going to take my annual look at the assigned jersey numbers to try to see what those assignments might mean.

The usual caveat applies: While development camp numbers have been indicators of permanent changes in the past, they aren’t always.  Additionally, things can always change based on any roster moves that happen between now and the start of the season.  I think there are a few things we can assume based on this year’s assignments, though.

First off, the players who actually saw time in Detroit last season.

Filip Zadina keeps his #11, to no surprise.  Similarly, Kaden Fulcher sticks with #36 and Ryan Kuffner has his #56.  The first change is Taro Hirose, who goes from #53 to #67 after wearing #17 at Michigan State prior to signing with Detroit.

Sixth-overall pick Moritz Seider takes Hirose’s old #53.  It’s a number Seider has worn previously, so my guess is that Seider was assigned it and Hirose had to switch, rather than Hirose requesting a change.  We’ll have to wait until the full camp in the fall to see if Hirose keeps #67 going forward.

Seider getting #53 also necessitated a change for Kasper Kotkansalo, who wore that in camp last year.  He takes the #84 of Jake Chelios, who departed for the KHL this offseason.

The #14 worn last season by Gustav Nyquist has been assigned to second-round selection Robert Mastrosimone.  Meanwhile Martin Frk‘s #42 has gone to try-out Mathieu Bizier and Luke Witkowski‘s #28 to Gustav Lindstrom, who wore #54 (now assigned to Matt Puempel) in dev camp last year.  The #26 of Thomas Vanek goes to try-out Marc-Olivier Duquette.

Perhaps tellingly, the #3 formerly worn by Nick Jensen was not assigned.  I think this means it might go to free agent signing Oliwer Kaski, who is not attending this camp.

All of the Red Wings’ 2019 entry draft picks will be attending, except for Kirill Tyutyayev.  Antti Tuomisto has been assigned the #24 that Filip Hronek wore in training camp last year before switching to his current #17.  Albert Johansson takes #95, worn last summer by Seth Barton, who has switched to Alfons Malmstrom‘s #86.  Albin Grewe gets #18, vacated by last summer’s trade of Robbie Russo to the Arizona Coyotes.  Ethan Phillips will wear the #22 last worn by Wade Megan.  Cooper Moore gets the #96 last worn by Axel Holmstrom in 2017 while Elmer Soderblom takes #85 from 2018 camp try-out Luke Kirwan.  Gustav Berglund will wear #97, which I think makes him the first player to wear that number.  Seventh-round pick Carter Gylander will wear #60, which is one of the Red Wings’ standard goalie numbers in camp, worn by Fulcher last summer before his switch to #36.

Speaking of goalies, with Fulcher at #36, Filip Larsson switches to #38, worn by Pat Nagle in the main camp last fall and Joren van Pottelberghe in dev camp last summer.

Interestingly, free-agent invitee Robbie Beydoun is listed as #00, which has been illegal in the NHL since 1999.  I imagine this is either a placeholder number or the Red Wings are simply taking advantage of the rule not applying to development camps.  I would love it, though, if it’s a sign that the league has finally fixed their stat software and will allow the number again.

In addition to those already mentioned, many players returning to camp will wear different numbers than they did last summer.

Victor Brattstrom goes from #68 to #34.  Patrik Rybar has been assigned #34 but the Red Wings have a tendency to double-book goalie numbers in dev camp.

Jack Adams, having lost #70 to Christoffer Ehn, will wear #58.  Jonatan Berggren takes #57 with his old #15 having been assigned to Chris Terry in camp last fall.  Otto Kivenmaki takes the #49 vacated by Holmstrom’s return to Europe after losing #84.  Having lost #17 to Hronek, Ryan O’Reilly switches to #44.

Chase Pearson takes the #46 formerly of Lane Zablocki, who the Red Wings declined to sign, switching from #76.  Patrick Holway switches from #87 to #92 and Malte Setkov goes from #79 to #73.

Also worth noting, while Jared McIssac is not attending due to injury, the #63 he wore last year has been assigned to Griffins signee Alec McCrea, which could indicate that McIssac was going to switch numbers.

Neither #37 nor #77 are assigned, so these numbers don’t provide any clue as to whether or not Evgeny Svechnikov will switch for the third year in a row.

The full roster is as follows:

Forwards

Num. Name
58 Jack Adams
57 Jonatan Berggren
42 Mathieu Bizier
79 Samuel Bucek
50 Thomas Casey
18 Albin Grewe
67 Taro Hirose
49 Otto Kivenmaki
56 Ryan Kuffner
81 Alex Limoges
75 Troy Loggins
76 Jarid Lukosevicius
78 Gregor MacLeod
14 Robert Mastrosimone
62 Cody Morgan
44 Ryan O’Reilly
46 Chase Pearson
22 Ethan Phillips
89 Owen Robinson
85 Elmer Soderblom
82 Odeen Tufto
90 Joe Veleno
88 Chad Yetman
11 Filip Zadina

Defensemen

Num. Name
86 Seth Barton
97 Gustav Berglund
87 Charles-Edouard D’Astous
26 Marc-Olivier Duquette
92 Patrick Holway
95 Albert Johansson
84 Kasper Kotkansalo
98 Owen Lalonde
28 Gustav Lindstrom
63 Alec McCrea
96 Cooper Moore
94 Alec Regula
53 Moritz Seider
73 Malte Setkov
24 Antti Tuomisto

Goalies

Num. Name
00 Robbie Beydoun
34 Victor Brattstrom
68 Drew DeRidder
31 Jesper Eliasson
36 Kaden Fulcher
60 Carter Gylander
38 Filip Larsson
80 Keith Petruzzelli

Red Wings Draft Thoughts

Hope is not a strategy but inevitably it’s what you come out of the draft with.

I look at Moritz Seider and Antti Tuomisto – the Red Wings’ first two draft picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft – and I have hope.  Both are regarded as reaches – players selected earlier than expected but who could end up justifying it.  That’s where hope comes in.  You have to hope that what the Red Wings’ front office saw comes true.

This was the draft that the rebuild would be built upon.  The Wings organization spent a lot of time talking about how all of those second round picks were going to be important.  With those picks, they selected the stretch Tuomisto, winger Robert Mastrosimone (a pick I’m comfortable with), and defenseman Albert Johansson, who The Athletic’s Corey Pronman doesn’t even see in the NHL.

There are no true sure things in the draft but what’s been missing from Detroit’s rebuild is someone who’s as close to that as you can get.  Things might turn out alright with who they’ve selected but for now we’re left just hoping.

Red Wings Pick Defenseman Seider Sixth Overall

I was a little busy yesterday and didn’t get a chance to post my thoughts on the Red Wings’ selection of Moritz Seider at sixth overall.

Given the forward names that were being thrown around, and given that the Red Wings have picked near the top of the draft so rarely in recent history, it’s kind of hard to see them go off the board there. It’s clear that, despite the forwards that were available, they were focused on Seider and were going to pick him. It sounds like they would have preferred to get him at #35 but didn’t think he’s still be there, tried to trade down but couldn’t find a deal, so they picked him in the slot they had.

I see it as kind of the other shoe dropping after the Wings were focused on defensemen last season and then Filip Zadina fell to them. At some point, no matter who’s available, you have to address organizational needs. It could have been Quinn Hughes last year instad of Zadina and then Trevor Zegras this year instead of Seider.

Given how the first round fell out, getting their guy on defense early might prove to be wise. If Arthur Kaliyev, for example, falls to #35 and the Wings pick him, I’d be pretty okay with those first two picks.

That said, this kind of shows the problem with the Red Wings rebuild strategy – stocking up on second round picks. They haven’t had the assets to get extra first-rounders and that left them in a position last night where they had to take their guy early.

I’m not familiar enough with Seider to know if focusing in on him – as opposed to another defenseman – made sense. The pick feels off to me but, in his first draft with Detroit, I’m willing to give Steve Yzerman the benefit of the doubt.

Now we just have to see how the rest of the draft plays out.

Red Wings Reveal 2019 Exhibition Schedule

The Detroit Red Wings announced their preseason schedule for the 2019 campaign on Tuesday.

Some of Detroit’s traditional exhibition matchups have been shaken up.  While they will still play at home and on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs, their series with the Boston Bruins has been replaced by one with the New York Islanders.  Additionally, the Red Wings will host the St. Louis Blues in Calumet, MI, for the Kraft Hockeyville USA game.

It marks the first time the Red Wings have changed up their preseason opponents since 2011, when the Bruins replaced the Philadelphia Flyers on the schedule.  The Washington Capitals were to play against Detroit in the 2012 slate of games that was cancelled by that season’s NHL lockout.

The full exhibition schedule is as follows:

Date Opponent Venue Time
September 17, 2017 Chicago Blackhawks Little Caesars Arena 7:30 PM
September 18, 2017 Chicago Blackhawks United Center 8:30 PM
September 20, 2017 New York Islanders Little Caesars Arena 7:30 PM
September 22, 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins Little Caesars Arena 5:00 PM
September 23, 2017 New York Islanders NYCB Live 8:30 PM
September 25, 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins PPG Paints Arena 7:00 PM
September 26, 2017 St. Louis Blues Calumet Colosseum 7:00 PM
September 27, 2017 Toronto Maple Leafs Little Caesars Arena 7:30 PM
September 28, 2017 Toronto Maple Leafs Scotiabank Arena 7:00 PM

On the State of the Logjam

It feels like every offseason we talk about the logjam on the Red Wings’ blueline.  With Libor Sulak bolting the Griffins for the KHL on Tuesday and Jake Chelios doing the same last week, now’s a good time to take a look at where things stand in the Detroit organization.

Last season, the Red Wings came out of camp with the following 14 defensemen spread out between Detroit and Grand Rapids, excluding players signed to AHL deals:

Jake Chelios
Dennis Cholowski
Trevor Daley
Danny DeKeyser
Jonathan Ericsson
Mike Green
Joe Hicketts
Filip Hronek
Nick Jensen
Niklas Kronwall
Brian Lashoff
Dylan McIlrath
Vili Saarijarvi
Libor Sulak

There were also part-time defenseman Luke Witkowski and signed-but-assigned-to-Europe Gustav Lindstrom but I’m ignoring them for the purposes of this.

With everyone healthy, it made for a nice, even split of seven defensemen each for the Red Wings and the Griffins.  For most of the season, though, not everyone was healthy, leading to everyone on that list with the exception of Saarijarvi playing at least one game in Detroit.

As an aside, it drives me slightly nuts that the Red Wings brought up Chelios – who had no future in the organization even then – late in the season, rather than giving Saarijarvi a look.  In meaningless games, there’s no harm in giving an actual prospect minutes, even if you’re concerned he’s not quite ready.  McIlrath could be swapped for Chelios in this argument as well.

By the end of the season, Jensen was gone but Madison Bowey had joined the group, keeping the numbers the same.

Since then we’ve seen the addition of Finnish free agent Oliwer Kaski and the departures of Chelios and Sulak.  Not much of a difference.  What else could we see this summer?

The big name is Kronwall, whose contract is up this summer.  Ken Holland had stated that, should Kronwall want to return, there would be a spot for him.  Holland is in Edmonton and this is Steve Yzerman‘s team now, so does that offer still stand?  It feels like buzz about Kronwall returning for one more season has died down in the last several weeks.  Is that meaningful or is it just the nature of the news cycle?  My gut feeling is that Kronwall is done.

Hicketts is also something of a question mark.  He’s a restricted free agent so he has limited options but it’s possible he bolts for Europe, seeing few options in the Detroit organization.  I wouldn’t call it likely, though.

Then there are trade options.  Early “What Will Yzerman Do as GM?” stories pushed the possibility of trading Jonathan Ericsson or Trevor Daley before the start of the season.  While I’d like to see that, I think they have more value at the trade deadline and Yzerman will hold onto them until then.

On the flip side, there’s the question of whether or not Lindstrom will come over this season, adding a body back to the mix.  Gut feeling again…  I’m going to say he spends another season in Europe.  That could change if Ericsson or Daley are moved in the summer.

So coming out of camp next fall, that gives the Red Wings and Griffins something like the following:

Bowey
Cholowski
Daley
DeKeyser
Ericsson
Green
Hicketts
Hronek
Kaski
Lashoff
McIlrath
Saarijarvi

That’s still 12 names, so the logjam isn’t gone but there might be some room to work.

Let’s say Detroit starts with Bowey, Cholowski, Daley, DeKeyser, Ericsson, Green, and Hronek.  Bowey could be buried in GR but he can also be your seventh defenseman so we’ll assume he and Cholowski split time.

That puts Hicketts, Kaski, Lashoff, McIlrath, and Saarijarvi in Grand Rapids.  Maybe Kaski has a great camp and swaps out for Bowey…  Whatever.

The thing to see here is that, while the roster is still pretty packed, minutes in Grand Rapids have become available.  The ascension of Hronek and Cholowski, combined with the departures of Chelios and Sulak, means that Saarijarvi and Kaski (again, assuming he’s in GR) could have the opportunity for a decent amount of playing time to prove that they’re ready, which will be important if Daley, Ericsson, and/or Green are moved at the trade deadline.

Of course, it’s still early in the summer.  The Red Wings could make another Chelios-like signing to put a body (or bodies) in Grand Rapids, making those minutes harder to find.  Jared MacIssac could make the jump from juniors over the summer.  As of right now, though, there has been some movement on the logjam.

On the New DH.N Logo, Trademarks, and the Detroit Tigers

Over the weekend, DetroitHockey.Net rolled out a new logo, the fifth in the site’s history.

For the first time, we’re abandoning the combination of an Old English D and crossed sticks.  The new logo instead is based on a deconstruction of the City of Detroit’s flag.

Detroit’s flag is quartered, with each section separated by a yellow-gold border and the city seal in the center.  The three countries that have ruled over Detroit are represented, with five gold fleurs-de-lis emblematic of France on a white field in the lower hoist, three gold lions for England on a red field in the upper fly, and thirteen white stars on blue in the upper hoist and 13 red and white stripes in the lower fly representing the United States.

The new DetroitHockey.Net logo combines each of these symbols, in addition to our traditional crossed hockey sticks, in a shield divided into five sections.  In the upper-left is a single white star on a blue field, with one gold lion on red to it’s right. The bottom-left features a gold fleur-de-lis on white while the bottom-right is seven red and white stripes.  In the middle of the bottom is a red field with white hockey sticks. The five sections are separated by a gold border, with a red border around the shield.

While reducing the stars, lions, and fleurs-de-lis to a single of each was a decision made strictly due to space constraints, the seven red and white stripes represent the Detroit Red Wings’ seven Stanley Cup championships at the time of the site’s founding in 1996.

Like the previous logo, the new logo has a version in a roundel containing the site’s name and year of establishment.

Additionally, the logo of the DetroitHockey.Net Fantasy Hockey League, which has included DetroitHockey.Net’s logo, has been updated to reflect this change.

Why make this change?  Well, there’s a short version to that story and a long one.

The short version: The Detroit Tigers made us.

The long version?

Since this site took on the DetroitHockey.Net name in 2002, we’ve used some form of the combination of a shield with the Old English D and crossed hockey sticks.  From 2002 to 2006, the D was in a shield with crossed sticks behind it. Then the shield was redesigned and the sticks moved into the shield with the D over them. In 2014 the now-replaced version came into use.

DetroitHockey.Net’s logo history, from 2002 to 2005 to 2006 to 2014 to 2019.

For all of that time, we’ve had a little-publicized online store with merchandise featuring the site’s logo and that of our sibling site, FantasyHockeySim.com.  We planned on reworking this store and relaunching it, but we wanted to do it right.

There are a lot of sites out there that sell merchandise based on designs they don’t own the rights for.  We wanted to be in the clear with our designs so last fall we applied for trademarks on our logos.

The 2006 version of the DH.N logo was specifically designed to not infringe on anyone else’s marks.  The shape of the D, in particular, was chosen because it was not the one used by the Detroit Tigers.  Nor was it the one recognized by the Red Wings as the logo of their predecessors, the Detroit Cougars.  In non-technical terms, the Tigers’ D was narrower and pointier than ours.  Our D was always used in concert with the shield and sticks. These design elements were carried into the 2014 version of the logo.

The idea was that, yes, the logo might include an element that was similar to the Tigers’ mark.  However, as a whole, it would not be confused with the Tigers’ logo, with possible confusion being the primary concern of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

A side-by-side look at the Detroit Tigers’ logo and the 2014 version of the DetroitHockey.Net logo.

Moreover, it was – and is – our contention that the Tigers’ Old English D logo is a weak mark.  It’s a letter. We think you have to draw the line somewhere on what form of Old English D is theirs and what isn’t.

Additionally, the Old English D represents Detroit as a city.  You see it on t-shirts, in bars, and on billboards that have nothing to do with the Tigers or baseball.  And some that do.

By law, trademark holders must defend their marks or risk forfeiting them.  Given the use of the Old English D across Detroit, it was – and, again, remains – our belief that the Tigers’ have a weak mark.

Our mark was published for opposition in April.  This gives existing trademark holders a month to review any possible conflicts.  If there is a conflict, they can oppose the mark or they can file for an extension.  Lawyers for MLB Properties took the latter route, then contacted us.

Their argument was that the Old English D is not a weak mark and that the only reason it has come to define Detroit as a whole is because it is used by the Tigers.  They informed us that, not only would they be opposing our trademark, but they were opposing our use of the logo at all.

At that point, our argument became theoretical.  DetroitHockey.Net cannot afford to get into a legal battle with Major League Baseball over the meaning of the Old English D.  Their mark may indeed be weak, but their wallet is strong.

So back to the question: Why make this change?  Depending on which side you agree with, either because – however unintentionally – we were using the Tigers’ mark illegally or because they strong-armed us into making the change.

What does that mean going forward?  Well, going forward is what the new logo is for.

I’ve always tried to keep DetroitHockey.Net as an entity separate from myself.  So, speaking as myself, I’m burned out.

Last season I wrote less about the team than I ever have before.  It’s hit the point where I feel like I’ve been making the same points for years.  There are only so many times you can write about a defensive logjam or a glut of overpriced veterans on the payroll.

Add in facing a legal challenge on behalf of the Ilitch-owned Tigers and my already-high cynicism is in overdrive.  There are sites out there that actually make a profit off of the Old English D; sites that they let slide. But a Red Wings fan site – one of the oldest in existence – pops up on their radar and the lawyers are unleashed.  It leaves me less than inclined to put in much effort covering a Red Wings team that’s less-than-exciting on most nights.

So we have a new logo and we have a path to moving forward.  I just can’t say how far along that path we’re going to go.

On Ken Holland Joining the Oilers

As I write this, former Red Wings’  General Manager and short-time Senior VP Ken Holland is being announced as the new GM of the Edmonton Oilers.

This news does not come as a surprise, having been broken over the weekend and rumored since Holland graciously stepped aside and allowed the Red Wings to hire Steve Yzerman in the role that used to be his.

There’s been a lot of talk about how Holland will be remembered in Detroit.  About what his legacy is.  About how we, as fans, should make sure we remember the good times.

Yes, Holland is due credit for his role in Detroit’s Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008 (and other accomplishments along the way).  He should also be accountable for Justin Abdelkader‘s contract and the trades for Kyle Quincey, David Legwand, and Erik Cole.  Don’t pick and choose the good or the bad, remember it all.

So I guess that’s my take on his departure.  Holland did great things for the Red Wings organization.  He also flamed out at the end and got fired for it, no matter how they worded it.  And now he’s going to an Edmonton team where a lot of the problems he’ll face are similar to the ones he’s leaving Yzerman with.

It’s not existential.  It’s not dramatic.  Holland was the face of the Red Wings’ business and that’s all this is: business.

Yzerman to Replace Holland as Red Wings GM

The Stevening is here: The Detroit Red Wings have announced a press conference to name former captain Steve Yzerman as the team’s general manager.

With Yzerman taking over as GM, Holland will be booted upstairs to a senior vice president role.  That said, it might be a temporary move.

Holland has long been rumored to be in the running for the GM role with expansion Seattle, and they had previously said they wanted to get someone in place this summer, so the timeline for that does fit.

I’ve said before, and I Tweeted it again this morning, that my concern with Yzeman coming in as GM is that he’s already a god in Detroit.  He seemingly has nothing left to accomplish.  I don’t want to see his legacy damaged if the Wings are still a lottery team in five years and he’s forced out.

Part of that fear is based on expectations for Yzerman and what he actually has the ability to do.

This is going to be Ken Holland’s team for a long time.  Holland will, at least until he’s named GM in Seattle, remain with the organization.  AGM Ryan Martin will remain.  Kris Draper will remain.  This is, for the most part, Yzerman stepping into a management team that already exists.  How much impact can he have in that environment?

Similarly, at least for the 2019-20 season, the Red Wings roster is relatively locked in.  The bad contracts to Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm aren’t going anywhere.  The best move this summer, no matter who the GM is, is to stand pat.

So the earliest Yzerman will be in a position to really shape this team will be at the trade deadline next February.  Even then, it will mostly be selling pending free agents like Mike Green, Trevor Daley, and Jonathan Ericsson.  In all likelihood, those potential trades bring back draft picks, which means the first players acquired via moves Yzerman makes won’t be known until the 2020 Entry Draft, over a year into his tenure as GM.

Maybe he’ll surprise me.  I don’t see it, though.

Red Wings to Pick Sixth After Draft Lottery

What else do you want me to say?

The Red Wings, following their late-season surge, finished the season with the fourth-worst record in the NHL.  Per Tankathon, they were most likely to end up picking sixth overall.  That’s exactly where they ended up.  You can’t argue with math.

In fact, you can look at the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks moved up from 12th to third as proof that the NHL’s draft lottery is a crapshoot.  It’s hard to argue against that as that’s the whole point of the lottery.

I was on Team Tank from the start of the season and I still think it would have been better for the Wings to lose down the stretch than win.  Had the Wings lost two more games over the season it would have been them, not the New Jersey Devils, in the #3 slot that ended up winning the draft lottery and the right to select Jack Hughes.  If they’d dropped even further into the #2 slot, they might not have won the lottery, but they’d be picking fifth overall instead of sixth.  I find it hard to believe those few end of season wins outweigh that.

But it doesn’t matter at this point.  The Wings didn’t tank and they also didn’t get lucky.  They’re picking exactly where the math says they should.