The Alternate Wings All-Stars

I was talking expansion draft with Michael Petrella, of the now-defunct Production Line blog, yesterday and we got on the topic of draft picks that the Red Wings have traded away.

Many of those picks were used to select players that were never heard from again but some were used to grab some guys who the Wings probably wish they could have gotten.

I went back through the last twenty years of traded Red Wings draft picks – players who could have landed in Detroit – and I give you the Alternate Wings All-Stars.

Forwards

Patrick Sharp
With 277 goals and 322 assists in 869 career NHL games, Sharp is easily the most productive player selected with a traded Detroit draft pick in the last twenty years.  Sharp was picked in the third round, 95th overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Wings traded that pick to Nashville on June 24, 2000, for a 4th-round pick in the 2000 Entry Draft, which they used to select Stefan Liv at 102nd overall.  The Predators later flipped the pick to Philadelphia for defenseman Mark Eaton.

Alexei Ponikarovsky
Ponikarovsky was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fourth round of the 1998 Entry Draft, 87th overall, with the pick the Leafs acquired from Detroit on March 24, 1998, in return for Jamie Macoun.  Macoun would with a Cup with Detroit that spring and play one more season with them before retiring.  Ponikarovski would go on to score 139 goals and 184 assists in a 12-year NHL career spent mostly with Toronto.

Mike Comrie
Coming out of the University of Michigan, Comrie was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round, 91st overall, of the 1999 Entry Draft.  The Oilers got that pick from the Nashville Predators in return for defenseman Craig Millar.  Nashville got it on July 14, 1998, as part of the package that returned Doug Brown to the Red Wings after the Predators claimed him in the expansion draft.  In a 589-game NHL career split across six teams, Comrie would score 168 goals and add 197 assists.

Defensemen

Mike Green
Now a Red Wing via free agency, Detroit gave up the chance to pick Green when they sent their first-round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft (29th overall) to the Washington Capitals in the deal for Robert Lang.  Green went on to score 113 goals and 247 assists in ten years with the Capitals, driving their power play.  He’s added 21 goals and 50 assists in two seasons since coming to Detroit.

Steve McCarthy
Never a flashy player, McCarthy nonetheless appeared in 302 career NHL games over a nine-season career split between the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, and Atlanta Thrashers.  McCarthy came into the league via Detroit’s first-round pick in the 1999 Entry Draft, 23rd overall.  That pick was acquired by the Blackhawks along with a first-rounder in 2001 and Anders Eriksson for Chris Chelios on March 23, 1999.  Chelios would play 578 games with the Red Wings over ten seasons.

Honorable Mention – Jakub Chychrun
Chychrun, a top prospect heading into the 2016 Entry Draft, slid down to Detroit’s spot at 16th overall before the Red Wings traded that pick and Pavel Datsyuk‘s salary cap hit to the Arizona Coyotes for the 20th and 53rd overall picks.  If he lives up to expectations, he could easily replace McCarthy on this list.

Goaltender

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Newly-annointed starter for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vasilevskiy has appeared in 90 NHL games, compiling a 2.60 GAA and a .915 save percentage.  The Lighting acquired him with the first-round draft pick in the 2012 Entry Draft (19th overall) that they got from Detroit in return for Kyle Quincey.

Red Wings Avoid Repeat of Blown Lead in Win over Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings rebounded from a Friday night game in which they blew a 3-0 lead late in the third period to hold on to the same lead on Sunday afternoon, earning a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

While the Red Wings allowed three late third period goals to the Dallas Stars on Friday before losing in the shootout, they kept the Blue Jackets off the board until the game’s final minute on Sunday, securing the victory.

Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek‘s shutout wasn’t snapped until 59 seconds remained in the final period, when Rick Nash scored on a wraparound attempt, banging in his own rebound.

After a scoreless first period, the Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 1:57 into the second when a blast from above the right circle by Brett Lebda found its way into the top of the net on a Detroit power play.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by a pair 8:30 later, putting the rebound of a Lebda shot around goalie Fredrik Norrena while being knocked to the ice by defenseman Marc Methot.

Pavel Datsyuk wrapped up the period’s scoring with the Red Wings on the penalty kill, stealing the puck from defenseman Anders Eriksson in the neutral zone and breaking in along on Norrena before rifling a quick shot past him.

Holmstrom added his second of the afternoon just 49 seconds into the third when a Kris Draper shot deflected off his skate, then the skate of defenseman Rostislav Klesla before getting past Norrena.

With the win, the Red Wings pull into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference, as well as the overall lead of the National Hockey League.

Hasek made 31 saves on 32 shots overall while Norrena stopped 21 of the 25 attempts he faced.

Detroit scored on one of three power play attempts. Columbus was without a goal on six chances with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will meet again on Tuesday night to close out the season series in Detroit. Detroit will then end the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Chicago Blackhawks.


The Red Wings were without captain Nicklas Lidstrom who sat out the game with a back sprain. He is expected to rejoin the team on Tuesday. Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to fill in on the blue line.

Jackets Down Wings in Regular Season Closer

In a game of no postseason consequence, the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, Saturday night. It was the last game of the season for both teams. The Red Wings had already clinched the NHL’s best record, while the Blue Jackets were already eliminated from the playoffs.

Columbus opened the game’s scoring 6:27 into the game. On the power play, former Red Wing Anders Eriksson fired a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Just outside the crease, the puck was deflected downwards and slipped under the glove of Detroit goalie Manny Legace.

The Red Wings tied the game just 50 seconds later. Defenseman Derian Hatcher fired a shot from the blue line that went wide of the net and bounced off the boards behind Columbus netminder Marc Denis. Steve Thomas picked up the loose puck at the other side of the net and banked a shot off Denis, tying the game.

Rick Nash scored his league-leading 41st goal of the season 4:07 into the second period to put the Blue Jackets back on top. Nash beat Legace with a shot from the bottom of the right circle.

Just 3:45 later, Trevor Letowski lifted a shot over Legace from in close to put Columbus up by two.

The Red Wings were unable to score to even the game up, and the Blue Jackets added a goal by David Vyborny with eight seconds remaining in the game.

Legace stopped 13 shots out of the 17 he faced in the game, while Denis made 32 saves on 33 shots.

The Red Wings will open the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday or Thursday night against either the Nashville Predators or the Edmonton Oilers.

Wings Down Columbus in Tight Game

A player coming back into a team’s lineup after missing quite a few games usually hopes to get through the game without making any glaring mistakes in timing. If he can make a positive impact, then that’s a bonus. Jason Williams and Curtis Joseph both provided the Red Wings with excellent bonuses tonight. Williams scored two goals in his first game since January 16, and Joseph made 31 saves in his first game since February 11, propelling the Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As always, the Blue Jackets were eager to play the Red Wings, and they got the game off to a good start. Trevor Letowski opened the scoring with 6:36 gone in the second period. Joseph made a save against Nikolai Zherdev, and his left side was still tight to the goalpost when he lost sight of the puck. The puck bounced off the back boards, and Letowski was able to get to it and slide it in to Joseph’s right before the goalie could get back across. Williams tied the game a little while later. Joseph settled the puck behind his own net and sent it along to Jiri Fischer. Fischer made a good pass to Brendan Shanahan to clear the defensive zone, and Shanahan sent it to Williams flying through center ice. Williams carried across the blue line, danced around defenseman Anders Eriksson, and backhanded a high shot past goaltender Marc Denis.

Detroit thought they had moved into the lead just a moment later when Tomas Holmstrom deflected a shot into the net, but the officials ruled that he had knocked the puck in with his stick higher than crossbar level.

The Blue Jackets had a very good chance to regain the lead early in the second period; they were awarded back to back 5-on-3 power plays. First Boyd Devereaux was sent out for hooking, and Darren McCarty followed with a tripping call. Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Steve Yzerman did an excellent job of getting in the Blue Jackets’ way and sending the puck down the ice, and Joseph made a surprising kick save against Zherdev, who thought he had a wide open net.

Just as Devereaux jumped back onto the ice, the referees assessed a high-sticking penalty to Chelios. This time Derian Hatcher, Mathieu Schneider, and Kirk Maltby weathered the power play storm.

The Red Wings took advantage of a bad line change by Columbus to move into the lead shortly after returning to even strength. Lidstrom forced a turnover at Detroit’s blue line and passed the puck across to Schneider. Schneider sent the puck ahead to Ray Whitney, and Whitney got it to Williams just as he was crossing the Columbus blue line. Williams faked a forehand shot, then switched to his backhand and lifted the puck over Denis.

Zherdev tied the game up with just 3:11 left in the second with a shot that beat Joseph low to the glove side.

However, Joseph made an excellent poke check against Rick Nash midway through the third, which not only denied the young forward an excellent scoring chance, but also set up Brett Hull‘s game winning goal. Yzerman picked up the puck from Joseph and headed up the right wing side on a three on two rush. He passed to Lidstrom coming up the middle, and Lidstrom made a neat pass left to Hull. Hull one-timed a hard wrist shot which went right through Denis. Henrik Zetterberg finished up the game with an empty net goal with 5 seconds left to play. Detroit outshot Columbus by a slight margin: shots were 35 to 33. The Red Wings will return home to face their next opponent, the Dallas Stars, Saturday afternoon at the Joe.