I have the tendency to wax nostalgic about the site and/or make grand statements when DetroitHockey.Net’s birthday comes up. Nothing makes me feel quite as old as this date, though I’m told my kid’s birthday will do it as well.

Today DH.N is seventeen years old. I’m not going to do my Old Man Rasmussen spiel, though. Because the biggest news out of the Red Wings for the last couple days has been about jersey numbers, I’m going to talk about seventeen for a bit.

The first Detroit #17 I remember was Gerard Gallant. Like probably any kid who became a Wings fan in the 1980s, for me, his is a name tied closely to Steve Yzerman as the pair helped lead the team out of the “Dead Wings” era.

After Gallant went to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the number went unused until Doug Brown picked it up during the (original) lockout-shortened 1995 season. Brown would go on to become an honorary member of Detroit’s Russian Five. He was integral enough to the 1997 and 1998 Stanley Cup Championship teams that when he was claimed by the Nashville Predators (who talked about naming him their first captain) in the expansion draft, the Wings traded to get him back. Detroit was the only stop in Brown’s career where he wore #17, though it wasn’t the only number he wore in Detroit. During a comeback attempt at training camp in 2002, Brown wore the #71 recently adopted by Daniel Cleary because Brett Hull had claimed #17.

Hull took #17 straight from Brown in 2001, as Brown wasn’t brought back that summer and Hull was brought on. Hull was briefly listed as #16 for the Red Wings, taking the number he’d worn for most of his career. The team’s unofficial retirement of that number for Vladimir Konstantinov held, though, and Hull ended up with #17 instead, another case where Detroit was the only stop where a player wore that number. I disagreed with the Hull signing at the time (what do I know?). Detroit’s Stanley Cup win in 2002 combined with Dallas’ in 1999, while Hull was wearing #22, gives Hull the distinction of winning two Cups while not wearing the jersey number he was famous for. Like Brown, Hull would go on to wear a different number in one training camp, adopting #80 in honor of Herb Brooks in 2003.

Brad Norton would be assigned #17 for his six forgettable games early in the 2006-07 season before trade deadline acquisition Kyle Calder claimed it when his usual #19 was – of course – unavailable. A trend continued, as for both players it was the only time in their careers where they had the number.

Returning to Detroit for the final season of his career that summer, Dallas Drake took on #17 as the #28 he wore in his first go-round with the Red Wings was in use by Brian Rafalski. The #18, #11 and #10 he’d previously worn in his career were also taken, marking yet another time #17 went to a player who had never worn it before and never would again. Drake would close out his career with a Stanley Cup Championship that season.

Number 17 sat dormant for two seasons before being assigned to its current holder, Patrick Eaves, in 2010. Eaves joined the Red Wings after the Boston Bruins (for whom he never played a game) bought out the contract they acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in return for former Red Wing Aaron Ward. During his stints with the Ottawa Senators and the Hurricanes, Eaves had worn #44 but his arrival in Detroit coincided with Todd Bertuzzi‘s return to the team. Bertuzzi took #44, putting Eaves in need of a new number. Due to the Wings’ glut of forwards, Eaves’ future with the team is currently in doubt. If he doesn’t wear the number again he would be the sixth consecutive player to don #17 in Detroit and nowhere else.

Red Wings Earn Second Consecutive Shutout

The Detroit Red Wings and goaltender Dominik Hasek didn’t allow a goal for the second game in a row, holding the Nashville Predators scoreless Friday night en route to a 3-0 victory.

As they did Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers, the Red Wings defense started strong, allowing only 8 Nashville shots in the first period.

One of Detroit’s 20 shots in the opening frame was Robert Lang‘s goal at 8:46 of the period. Lang’s centering feed from the bottom of the right faceoff circle bounced back to him off the skate of Nashville’s David Legwand and Lang bounced an off-angle shot between the pads of goalie Tomas Vokoun to put the Red Wings on the board.

A defensive, scoreless second period saw Nashville take only 4 shots but hold the Red Wings to 8.

Nicklas Lidstrom extended the Detroit lead to two goals, scoring on a rebound chance with the Red Wings on the power play 1:28 into the third period.

With the Nashville net empty and 1:19 remaining in the game, Dan Cleary extended his goal-scoring streak to three games.

The Red Wings went 1-for-5 on the power play while stopping all four Nashville chances with the extra attacker.

Hasek stopped 21 shots on the night and Vokoun made 37 saves on 39 shots against.

Detroit will be back in action on Tuesday when they begin a road trip through Western Canada in Vancouver.

Brad Norton – called up to take the roster spot of the injured Jason Williams – was a healthy scratch, as was defenseman Andreas Lilja.

Cleary Scores Twice as Red Wings Defeat Blue Jackets

Checking-line forward Dan Cleary scored two goals Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

Cleary’s first goal came with 2:17 remaining in the first period, tipping a Chris Chelios shot from the point past Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire.

His second, a shorthanded goal, came with 5:56 left in the second period. Cleary streaked past the Blue Jackets’ defense down the left side of the ice and cut across the front of the net before lifting a backhand shot over Leclaire’s outstretched pad.

Between those goals, Ron Hainsey scored for Columbus to tie the game but Henrik Zetterberg quickly replied, putting Detroit back out in front.

Mikael Samuelsson added a goal on a delayed penalty just 1:29 after Cleary’s second.

Fredrik Norrena stopped all ten shots he faced after replacing Leclaire to start the third period. Leclair made 24 saves on 27 shots in the opening 40 minutes, while Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek made 16 saves on 17 shots.

Columbus’ lone goal came on the power play, putting them at 1-for-9 on the night. Detroit was scoreless in seven tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday night when they host the Edmonton Oilers.

Valtteri Filppula returned to the Detroit lineup after having been sent to Grand Rapids on Wednesday. Brad Norton, returning from a shoulder injury, was assigned to the Griffins to make room in the lineup.

Wings Blank Pens for First Win of Season

The Detroit Red Wings picked up their first win of the 2006-07 season Saturday night, shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2-0 victory.

The Red Wings allowed only 13 shots on Dominink Hasek’s net, including only one Pittsburgh shot in the second period. The shutout is his eighth as a Red Wing and the 69th of his career.

Detroit came out strong and got on the board 6:00 into the contest when a Jason Williams shot from the left circle was picked up by Johan Franzen in front of the net and banged home.

The game turned quiet for more than fifty minutes, with both teams playing solid defensive hockey.

It wasn’t until there was only 1:21 remaining in regulation that Kris Draper scored to ensure the Detroit win.

With Mikael Samuelsson and Robert Lang fighting for the puck in the right wing corner of the Pittsburgh zone, Henrik Zetterberg had time to go to the Detroit bench for a change. Draper stepped over the boards and into the right faceoff circle, where Lang sent got him the puck for a one-timer past Penguin netminder Marc-Andre Fluery.

Both teams were held scoreless on the power play, with Pittsburgh having four opportunities and the Red Wings getting two.

Detroit will be off until Wednesday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

Detroit’s first fight of the season came 4:26 into the game, when Brad Norton fought Andre Roy to a draw.

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