Wings’ New Numbers

i wonder whats going to happen with the whole jersey number thing, but i dont think kopecky should have to give it up. he did earn it in my opinion.

The Wings’ site has been updated with new jersey numbers. Tomas Kopecky switches to #82 with Brian Rafalski taking #28. Dallas Drake takes the #17 vacated by Kyle Calder‘s depature, with the #28 he wore during his first stint in Detroit now taken and the #11 (Cleary) and #10 (retired for Delvecchio) he has also worn unavailable.

The players most likely destined for Grand Rapids haven’t been updated.

Red Wings Announce 2007-08 Schedule

The Detroit Red Wings, along with the rest of the NHL, announced their 2007-08 season schedule on Wednesday.

The Red Wings will open their season in Detroit on October 3, hosting the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks eliminated the Red Wings from last season’s playoffs and then signed Detroit free agents Mathieu Schneider and Todd Bertuzzi in the offseason.

Detroit does not visit New Jersey, former home of new defenseman Brian Rafalski.

The team’s annual New Year’s Eve game tradition will continue this year with the St. Louis Blues coming to Joe Louis Arena.

After recent schedules included many home-and-home matchups, this season will see only three, against Dallas, Columbus and St. Louis.

The Wings will play on back-to-back nights 11 times throughout the season, each time with travel involved between the games.

Red Wings Sign Blueliner Rafalski

The Detroit Red Wings announced the the signing of defenseman Brian Rafalski on Sunday, just hours after Mathieu Schneider left the team to sign with the Anaheim Ducks.

Rafalski, a Dearborn native, had spent his entire eight-year NHL career with the New Jersey Devils, signing with them as a free agent in 1999 and playing on their 2000 and 2003 Stanley Cup Championship teams.

As per club policy, official financial terms were not announced, but TSN of Canada reports that the deal is worth $30 million over five years.

Rafalski is coming off of a career-best year that saw him score eight goals and add 47 assists.

He is a three-time All-Star and won a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic team in 2002.

Two Red Wings Named U.S. Olympians

Detroit Red Wings defensemen Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider were two of the 23 players named to the United States’ mens ice hockey rosrer for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The roster for the team was announced on Monday.

Chelios, along with Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, will be making his fourth trip to the Olympics. He was previously named to Team USA in 1984, 1998 and 2002, as well as for the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004.

“There’s no doubt the intangibles Chris Chelios brings to any team have to be discussed,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “We brought him back for his ability to play, but also because of his leadership and competitiveness. When he’s on your team, he believes your team is going to win, and he has an impact on the players around him.”

“I feel very lucky at my age and am looking forward to the challenge,” said Chelios, who will turn 44 in January.

Schneider, seemingly a lock for the team after his strong play in the 2003-04 season and early this year, will be making his second Olympic appearance for the United States. He was named to Team USA for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, but did not make the team in 2002. He also played for Team USA at the World Cup in 1996 and 2004.

“With his ability to skate and handle the puck… the way he played two years ago and this year, it became pretty obvious that he had to be on the team,” Holland said.

“We think our depth on defense is as good as it’s ever been,” Team USA general manager Don Waddell said.

Almost half of the team has ties to Michigan, either having come from the state, played for the Red Wings, or played for one of the area’s college teams.

The full roster is as follows:

Goaltenders (3)
Rick DiPietro
Robert Esche
John Grahame

Defensemen (7)
Chris Chelios
Derian Hatcher
Jordan Leopold
John-Michael Liles
Aaron Miller
Brian Rafalski
Mathieu Schneider

Forwards (13)
Jason Blake
Erik Cole
Craig Conroy
Chris Drury
Brian Gionta
Scott Gomez
Bill Guerin
Mike Knuble
Mike Modano
Mark Parrish
Brian Rolston
Keith Tkachuk
Doug Weight

Brodeur Blanks Struggling Wings

Maybe it’s best that this road trip is over.

The Red Wings closed out their unmemorable four game road trip unable to get past the stifling defense of the New Jersey Devils, and the Devils took a 1-0 win.

The first period was defensively strong for both teams. Shots were blocked, passes were taken away, and neither team had a very good chance to set up a scoring play. The Devils outshot the Wings by a count of 9-5, but Manny Legace was strong in net and the score stayed at zero.

The Red Wings began to carry the play more as the second period wore on, and they generated more chances against goalie Martin Brodeur. Sergei Fedorov had a breakaway try, and his shot rang off the post. Brett Hull was in the clear near the side of the net and received a bouncing pass from Henrik Zetterberg. Hull got the shot away, but Brodeur slid across just in time to deny Hull his 700th goal.

Detroit took a questionable penalty for having too many men on the ice early in the second (Luc Robitaille played the puck as Darren McCarty was stepping off of the ice), and the Devils were able to capitalize on their power play. Brian Rafalski passed to Scott Niedermayer at the right point. Niedermayer’s shot got through to the net, Legace was screened enough to not see the shot in time, and the Devils led 1-0.

Once the Devils had their lead, they tightened up their defense even more. The Red Wings were only able to get three shots against Brodeur in the entire twenty minutes of play, even though a sixth skater was sent in in the last minute of play.

The final count of shots on net was 29 to 16 for the Devils. The Red Wings will return home for their last game before the All-Star Break. They will face off against the Florida Panthers on Thursday evening.

Chris Chelios had an MRI on the injured leg which kept him out of this, his third straight game. The MRI showed nothing serious, but Chelios will rest and return to the lineup after the All-Star Break…. Tomas Holmstrom sat out this game with a bruised chest, but should return for Thursday’s game…. Manny Legace currently holds the NHL lead for save percentage, at 0.937. His goals against average is 1.86, which is second only to the Stars’ Marty Turco, who has 1.81.

Canadians Win Olympic Gold

For the first time in fifty years, the Canadian men’s ice hockey team has brought the gold medal back to the country that invented the sport.

The Canadiens defeated Team USA, 5-2, on Sunday, capping their gold-medal run in the most-watched hockey game in history. The loss snapped the USA’s seventy-year winning streak on home ice.

Paul Kariya and Jarome Iginla scored less than four minutes apart late in the first period to pull Canada into the lead. Tony Amonte had scored midway through the period to put the United States on the board.

American Brian Rafalski scored with less than five minutes remaining in the second period to tie the game at two goals each. Joe Sakic converted on a power play just under three minutes later to pull the Canadians into the lead for good.

Team USA didn’t give up and only Canadian goaltender Martin Brodeur preserved the lead with key saves in the third period.

Iginla scored his second goal to put the game away by redirecting a shot from the point by Steve Yzerman past American goalie Mike Richter late in the third.

Sakic added his second goal of the game with just over one minute remaining when he carried the puck through the American defense and ripped a shot past Richter.

The gold medal is Canada’s first Olympic medal since the team won the silver in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. The silver medal is the United States’ first medal since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid. It is their first silver since 1972 in Sapporo.

Seven Red Wings will come back to Detroit with Olympic medals. Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan won gold with Canada; Chris Chelios and Brett Hull claimed silver with the United States; and Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Pavel Datsyuk got the bronze with Russia.

Datsyuk, Chelios Invited to All-Star Game

Detroit rookie Pavel Datsyuk and veteran Chris Chelios will join Brendan Shanahan, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov and Dominik Hasek in this weekend’s All-Star festivities in Los Angeles.

Datsyuk will replace Phoenix’s injured Krystofer Kolanos in the YoungStars game on Friday night. Chelios will join Shanahan on the North American All-Star roster, taking the place of New Jersey’s injured Brian Rafalski.

Datsyuk said it was “very exciting news” through interpreter Sergei Fedorov.

The 40-year-old Chelios will be making his 11th All-Star appearance. “I’ve always enjoyed going, and obviously, I don’t have too many left,” he said.

All-Star Weekend is this weekend, starting with the YoungStars Game taking place Friday night and concluding with the All-Star Game on Saturday afternoon.