Red Wings, Maple Leafs Each Add Four to Alumni Showdown Rosters

The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Thursday the addition of four players to each of their rosters for the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on December 31.

The Red Wings have added Petr Klima, Dallas Drake, Garry Unger and Paul Ysebaert to their alumni roster.

Klima was one of the Red Wings many eastern European draft selections of the 1980s.  He was selected in the fifth round of the 1983 draft and defected from then-Czechoslovakia in 1985.  He played in 293 career games with the Red Wings before being dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in 1989.  After stints in Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh, he ended his NHL career with a return to the Red Wings for 13 games in the 1998-99 season.

Drake also started and ended his career with the Red Wings.  Selected by Detroit in the 1989 draft, he made his NHL debut for the 1992-93 season.  Drake was traded to the Winnpeg Jets the following year and moved with the team to Phoenix.  He played six seasons for the St. Louis Blues before returning to the Red Wings to close out his career with a Stanley Cup in 2008.

Like Drake, Unger also played for both the Blues and the Red Wings.  Acquired from the Maple Leafs during his rookie season of 1967-68, Unger would play parts of four season with Detroit before being dealt to St. Louis.  He played nine seasons with the Blues and closed out his career with campaigns for the Los Angeles and Edmonton.

Ysebaert played parts of three seasons with the Red Wings from 1990 to 1993.  He started his career with New Jersey before being traded to Detroit, then moved on to Winnipeg, Chicago and Tampa Bay.

The four players added by the Maple Leafs were Joe Niewendyk, Borje Salming, Frank Mahovlich and Mats Sundin.

The following players are confirmed to appear at the Alumni Showdown:

Red Wings
Red Berenson
Jimmy Carson
Dino Ciccarelli
Alex Delvecchio
Dallas Drake
Kris Draper
Sergei Fedorov
Petr Klima
Joe Kocur
Martin Lapointe
Igor Larionov
Ted Lindsay
Kirk Maltby
Darren McCarty
John Ogrodnick
Dennis Polonich
Mickey Redmond
Garry Unger
Luc Robitaille
Paul Ysebaert

Chris Chelios
Paul Coffey
Mathieu Dandenault
Jiri Fischer
Viacheslav Fetisov
Mark Howe
Vladimir Konstantinov
Larry Murphy
Aaron Ward

Chris Osgood
Mike Vernon

Maple Leafs
Dave Andreychuk
Wendel Clark
Russ Courtnall
Vincent Damphousse
Bill Derlago
Tie Domi
Ron Ellis
Doug Gilmour
Gary Leeman
Kevin Maguire
Frank Mahovlich
Brad May
Lanny McDonald
Joe Nieuwendyk
Gary Roberts
Darryl Sittler
Mats Sundin
Darcy Tucker
Rick Vaive
Tiger Williams

Dave Ellett
Jim McKenny
Bryan McCabe
Bob McGill
Borje Salming

Johnny Bower
Curtis Joseph
Mike Palmateer
Felix Potvin

Wings, Leafs Announce More Alumni Showdown Additions

The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs announced seven more players who will appear in the Alumni Showdown between the two teams in December on Thursday.

The Red Wings added Aaron Ward, Red Berenson, Jimmy Carson and Dennis Polonich.

Ward started his career with the Red Wings in 1993-94 and played seven seasons with the team, winning the Stanley Cup in 1997 and 1998 before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2001.  He won another Cup with Carolina in 2006.  He closed out his career with four seasons split between the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, another stint with Carolina, and the Anaheim Ducks.

Berenson, the legendary University of Michigan head coach, spent parts of five seasons with the Red Wings in the 70s.  He also played for the Montreal Canadiens, Rangers, and St. Louis Blues over 987 career NHL games.

Carson played part of four season with the Wings in the early 1990s.  He started his career with the Los Angeles Kings before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in the Wayne Gretzky deal.  The Oilers traded him to the Red Wings early in the 1989-90 season and the Wings sent him back to LA in 1993.  He closed out his NHL career with stints in Vancouver and Hartford, then retired from hockey after two years with the IHL’s Detroit Vipers.

Polonich played his entire NHL career in Detroit, serving as team captain during the 1976-77 season while Danny Grant was injured.  He was famously injured by Wilf Paiement of the Colorado Rockies in a 1978 game when Paiement smashed him in the face with his stick.  Polonich was sent down to the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings in 1983 and never made it back into the NHL.  He closed out his career with two season’s with the IHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks in 1986 and 1987.

The Maple Leafs added Tie Domi, Brad May, and Dave “Tiger” Williams.  May and Williams also spent time with the Red Wings over their careers.

The following players are confirmed to appear at the Alumni Showdown:

Red Wings
Red Berenson
Jimmy Carson
Dino Ciccarelli
Alex Delvecchio
Kris Draper
Sergei Fedorov
Joe Kocur
Martin Lapointe
Igor Larionov
Ted Lindsay
Kirk Maltby
Darren McCarty
John Ogrodnick
Dennis Polonich
Mickey Redmond
Luc Robitaille

Chris Chelios
Paul Coffey
Mathieu Dandenault
Jiri Fischer
Viacheslav Fetisov
Mark Howe
Vladimir Konstantinov
Larry Murphy
Aaron Ward

Chris Osgood
Mike Vernon

Maple Leafs
Dave Andreychuk
Wendel Clark
Russ Courtnall
Vincent Damphousse
Bill Derlago
Tie Domi
Ron Ellis
Doug Gilmour
Gary Leeman
Kevin Maguire
Brad May
Lanny McDonald
Gary Roberts
Darryl Sittler
Darcy Tucker
Rick Vaive
Tiger Williams

Dave Ellett
Jim McKenny
Bryan McCabe
Bob McGill

Johnny Bower
Curtis Joseph
Mike Palmateer
Felix Potvin

Howard Injured, MacDonald Re-called

Via former Red Wing Aaron Ward‘s Twitter feed:

Report out of Detroit that Joey McDonald has been called up.Jimmy Howard sustained a hand injury in the win over Vancouver last night. #TSN

As I said in the game thread, I skipped last night’s game so I have no idea what play it might have been on.

Update (10:05 AM): The Red Wings sent out a press release with some details:

The Detroit Red Wings today announced that goaltender Joey MacDonald has been recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. MacDonald will serve as Ty Conklin‘s backup tomorrow night when the Red Wings take on the Edmonton Oilers at 10:00 p.m. ET (FOX Sports Detroit, CBC and AM 1270).Detroit’s starting goaltender, Jimmy Howard, suffered a broken finger on his right hand during the third period of last night’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Howard will miss the next two games of the Red Wings’ current four-game road trip and will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Detroit on Tuesday.

Helm Out vs. Phoenix

You asked for it, you got it. More injuries!

Darren Helm is out tonight with a wrist injury. He apparently suffered it on Saturday but is unable to go today. Kris Newbury has been called up from Grand Rapids.

Meanwhile, the Chief points out that Aaron Ward is on waivers. Part of me says “Why the hell not?” but part of me says “If Carolina is waiving him he can’t be that much better than Lebda.”

Red Wings Sign Forward Patrick Eaves

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Tuesday that they have signed forward Patrick Eaves to a one-year deal. As per club policy, financial terms of the contract were not announced.

Eaves spent the 2008-09 season with the Carolina Hurricanes, scoring six goals and adding eight assists in 74 games. He was traded to the Boston Bruins on July 24th for Aaron Ward before being bought out of a contract that would have paid him $1.1 million this upcoming season.

Eaves broke into the NHL in 2005-06 as a 21-year-old, scoring 20 goals and 9 assists in 58 games for the Ottawa Senators. He tallied 32 points the following season but has not broken 20 points since then.

In an offseason where the Red Wings have lost Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Mikael Samuelsson and Jiri Hudler, Eaves is the team’s first free agent signing expected to play significant time in the NHL next season.

Hurricanes Hold Off Oilers to Claim Cup

Rookie goaltender Cam Ward led his Carolina Hurricanes as they held off a third-period comeback by the Edmonton Oilers to claim the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Championship Monday night.

Ward made nine saves on ten shots in the final period, including several key stops in the game’s closing minutes. He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs after the game.

Carolina’s veteran defense put them out in front early, when Aaron Ward – who earned two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 – opened the scoring just 1:26 in on a screened shot from the left circle.

After an apparent Carolina penalty shot attempt was called off late in the first, Frantisek Kaberle scored on the power play at 4:18 of the second to extend the Hurricanes’ lead.

Just 1:03 into the third, Edmonton struck back, with playoff hero Fernando Pisani banging in a rebound to pull the Oilers within one.

Cam Ward kept the Oilers from pulling even and with 1:01 remaining, Justin Williams added an empty net goal to seal Carolina’s victory.


The 3-1 final score is identical to that of the final game of Carolina’s only appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Hurricanes by that score in Game Five of the 2002 series to claim the cup. Both games featured a final goal scored into the empty net.

Detroit Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Carolina

A flurry of shots during a last-minute power play wasn’t enough for the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night, failing to score a tying goal and falling to the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2.

Detroit had allowed the game’s first three goals before scoring the next two to pull within one.

Matt Cullen scored the game’s opening goal at 5:45 of the first. After a Detroit turnover in the neutral zone, Cullen carried the puck into the Red Wings’ zone before defenseman Brett Lebda dropped to the ice to block a possible shot. Cullen outwaited Lebda and stepped around him before wristing a shot past Detroit goalie Manny Legace.

Just 3:36 later, the Hurricanes went up by two with a power play goal. A backhand shot from the right circle by Bret Hedican deflected at the top of the crease to former Red Wing Ray Whitney at the far side of the goal. Whitney banged it in on his second attempt.

With 5:52 left in the period, Erik Cole scored Carolina’s third goal. Cole broke in on goal from the right circle and Legace came out to make the stop. Cole got the rebound and moved to go behind the net as Legace attempted to poke check him. Legace never recovered from the poke check and Cole retained the puck for an open wraparound.

The Red Wings would shut the Hurricanes down for the remainder of the game but the damage was already done.

Steve Yzerman showed that he’s not out of tricks yet, beginning Detroit’s comeback attempt just 1:59 after Cole’s goal.

Yzerman carried the puck on his own through the neutral zone and into Carolina’s end, cutting through the high slot and into the right circle past a pair of defenders. He moved back into the slot to get around Hurricanes’ goalie Martin Gerber and caught him sideways, lifting the puck over his outstretched pad.

Detroit pulled within one at 3:26 of the second period when Henrik Zetterberg scored a fluke power play goal. Zetterberg attempted a pass from the side of the net that deflected off former Red Wing Aaron Ward at the edge of the crease and past Gerber.

Detroit outshot Carolina 19-6 in the third period but the Red Wings could not even the score.

Legace finished the game with 22 saves on 25 shots as Gerber stopped 36 of 36 attempts in net for Carolina.

The Red Wings went one-for-six on the power play and allowed one Carolina power play goal on four chances.

Detroit will be back in action on Thursday when the Philadelphia Flyers visit Joe Louis Arena.

Wings Skate for Charity at Yost

Thursday night should have been time off for the Detroit Red Wings, a day to rest one day after hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets and one day before the Chicago Blackhawks came to town. Since the NHL lockout began on September 16, most of the team has done nothing but rest, so a night off wasn’t needed.

On a night that should have been between games where the Red Wings would see 20,000 fans cheering them on, a handful of current and former Detroit players played in front of 7,000 fans at the University of Michigan’s Yost Arena in a charity game to benefit Mott Children’s Hospital, as part of an all-pro team facing off against the U.S. under-18 national team.

Current Wings Manny Legace, Derian Hatcher, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper and Steve Yzerman were all present. Former Wings Doug Brown, Steve Duchesne, Aaron Ward, Kevin Miller and Sergei Fedorov were there.
Former Wolverines David Roberts, Chris Tamer, Bill Muckalt and David Harlock, former Michigan State University Spartans Bryan Smolinski and Kip Miller, former Detroit Viper Sergei Samsonov, and former Detroit Jr. Red Wing and Michigan K-Wing Jeff Mitchell rounded out the pro roster.

Detroit native Kid Rock dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening faceoff and acted as coach for the pro team, flanked by celebrity assistants Bobby Higginson and Tera Reid.

The pros didn’t beat up the teenagers too badly, taking only a 1-0 lead after the end of one period and finishing the game up 6-2. Chelios, the Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, played most of the game as a forward, cherry-picking at Team USA’s blue line.

Ward opened the game’s scoring and goals by Draper and Fedorov followed in the second period. Draper scored again before Team USA got a goal when Phil Kessel crached the net to finish the second period scoring. Draper finished his hat trick early in the third. Andreas Vlassopoulos scored Team USA’s second goal before Kip Miller closed out the scoring, putting in the rebound from a Doug Brown shot that bounced off the glass behind the goal and came back out in front.

The game could have been overshadowed by the announcement earlier in the day that the NHL and NHLPA would meet for the first time since the lockout began, but it wasn’t. For one night it wasn’t about the lockout, it was about a packed arena where seasoned veterans took on teenagers to benefit charity.

The PA announcer mocked the players. Chelios put fake hits on a linesman. It wasn’t the NHL, but it wasn’t supposed to be.

“Old and Tired”? Whatever!

It was the third longest game ever played in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was the longest game yet in the 2002 playoffs. And it was finally won by the oldest player ever to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. Igor Larionov played the hero to give the Red Wings a 3-2 victory in triple overtime and a 2-1 lead in the series.

The first period had good pressure early by Carolina, but then the Red Wings got two power plays right in a row. They were unable to convert, but they were able to take control of the game. As momentum from the power plays waned, Carolina was able to increase the pressure again, and Josef Vasicek opened the scoring with just over five minutes to go in the opening period. Detroit failed to clear the puck from their zone, and Vasicek picked it up in the circle, eluded Steve Duchesne, and wristed a shot high over Dominik Hasek‘s blocker.

The Red Wings answered early in the second period. Kirk Maltby and Aaron Ward were both in the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, creating a four-on-four situation. Brett Hull beat Glen Wesley to pick up an errant Carolina pass in the Hurricanes’ zone, and passed neatly to Igor Larionov at the bottom of the left circle. Larionov one-timed the shot over the shoulder of Arturs Irbe.

Jeff O’Neill regained the lead for the Hurricanes 7:34 into the third period. He slipped in behind Freddy Olausson and got a pass from Ron Francis. O’Neill’s shot rose high and fluttered over Hasek’s glove into the net. The Hurricanes closed down after that, willing to keep a one-goal lead and unwilling to take any risks that could turn into mistakes. They held onto their lead for a long, long time. Detroit got some shots on net, but they weren’t allowed any quality ones, and Irbe was quick to stifle any rebounds.

Finally, with just over a minute to play, the crowd in Raleigh was screaming for their team, ready to celebrate a victory and a series lead. The crowd back in Detroit watching the game on the big screen at Joe Louis Arena was ready to pack up their octopi and go home to regroup for Game Four. That was when Nick Lidstrom and Brett Hull got the job done. Carolina iced the puck, giving the Red Wings a faceoff in the Hurricanes’ end. Larionov won the draw cleanly to Lidstrom, who fired hard. Hull redirected the puck in midair, and it soared into Irbe’s net.

The first overtime saw an amazing number of scoring chances for Detroit. Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan got away on a glorious two-on-one rush, but Shanahan’s shot clanged off the goalpost. Olausson had a clear shot from the right point to the net, but the puck flew off the crossbar. Pavel Datsyuk completely fooled two Carolina defensmen and went right up to the net, but his backhand shot couldn’t lift quite high enough to beat Irbe.

Carolina tried to bring some pressure in the second overtime, but they were no match for Hasek and his acrobatic saves. Finally, past the halfway point of the third overtime, the Red Wings got the break they were able to capitalize on. Erik Cole left his post on Detroit’s blue line to rush up to the play, and the Red Wings got it out of their own zone, leaving most of the Hurricanes behind. Tomas Holmstrom carried across the Hurricanes blue line and left the puck for Larionov, while Mathieu Dandenault headed for the front of the net. Dandenault created a perfect screen to block Irbe’s view, allowing Larionov to skate across the slot and backhand a high shot in to end the game.

Final shots on net added up to fifty-three to forty-three in Detroit’s favor. Game Four will play in Raleigh on Monday night, even though Game Three could had very nearly enough minutes to be two games.


Ron Francis set a record in Game One of this series, being then the oldest player to have ever scored a goal in overtime in a Stanley Cup Final game. Looks like Igor Larionov stole that record cleanly just two games later….. Speaking of being old, certain media personalities who should probably remain nameless have mentioned throughout the playoffs how the Red Wings’ advanced age would be a hindrance to them in overtimes and long series, because they are “so old” that they would tire easily. Hmmm. It appeared to this reporter that those young, strong Hurricanes were the ones wearing out as the game dragged on through the overtimes. So much for youth culture in the world of hockey.