Former Wings Lidstrom, Fedorov Named to Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced on Monday that two former Red Wings will be included in their Class of 2015.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov were elected to the Hall in their first year of eligibility. They join Phil Housley, Chris Pronger, Angela Ruggiero, Peter Karmanos, and Bill Hay in making up the latest class of inductees.

In his twenty-year career, spent entirely with Detroit, Lidstrom won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defenseman seven times, trailing only Bobby Orr’s eight. He won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and was named the playoff MVP of their 2002 championship run.

Lidstrom played 1564 career games, with his final season of 2011-12 the only one that saw him miss more than six games. He scored 264 goals and added 878 assists for 1142 career points while taking only 514 penalty minutes.

For the final six seasons of his career, Lidstrom captained the Red Wings, taking over that role after the 2006 retirement of Steve Yzerman.

Outside the NHL, Lidstrom represented his native Sweden four times at the Olympics, winning a gold medal in 2006.

Both Lidstrom and Fedorov were drafted by the Red Wings as part of their legendary 1989 class that included Mike Sillinger, Bob Bougner, Dallas Drake, and Vladimir Konstantinov.

Fedorov played 13 seasons with Detroit before moving on to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim as an unrestricted free agent. From there he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets and then the Washington Capitals. He ended his NHL career in 2009, returning home to Russia to play three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League with Metallurg Magnitogorsk before retiring.

In 1248 career NHL games, Fedorov scored 483 career goals and 696 points for 1179 points. He won three Stanley Cups – all with the Red Wings – and won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP in 1993-94. That same year he was awarded the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the league’s best player, as voted by his fellow players. He was also twice named the league’s best defensive forward.

The pair will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame on November 9, 2015.

Cleary Rejoins Red Wings

On the morning he was expected to take to the ice for the first time as a Philadelphia Flyer, Daniel Cleary is instead en route to Traverse City to rejoin the Detroit Red Wings at their training camp.

The Red Wings announced on Thursday morning that they had signed the veteran forward to a one-year contract. General manager Ken Holland revealed that the deal is worth $1.75 million.

Cleary had joined the Flyers on a pro try-out contract and had reportedly agreed to terms on a three-year deal that couldn’t become official until Philadelphia cleared salary cap space by placing Chris Pronger on long-term injured reserve. He was expected to skate with the team at 8:30 AM today but wasn’t present.

TSN’s Aaron Ward later stated via Twitter, “All indications are that Dan Cleary is going to join the Detroit Red Wings at Training Camp.”

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, who was the first to report on Cleary’s deal with the Flyers, later Tweeted, “And here we go: Per Daniel Cleary ‘Flying to Traverse. I’m back. Signing tonight.'”

The Red Wings now sit roughly $2.4 million over the salary cap and are carrying 17 forwards. They will need to be cap-compliant and down to 14 forwards in time for the start of the regular season.

Cleary had originally joined the Red Wings on a pro try-out after the 2005 NHL lockout, where he earned a spot with the team He’s been with the Wings ever since. He was reluctant to leave Detroit, as seen by his spurning of the longer deal for more money from the Flyers.

2013 Red Wings Jersey Number Wrap-Up

I’ve already touched on the sweater numbers worn by the Red Wings at their development camp in July and the fact that Joakim Andersson has (as expected) switched from #63 to #18. Since the full training camp roster is now out, I’ll take a look at some of the remaining numbers.

With Daniel Cleary accepting a PTO from the Flyers (with a three-year deal on the way as soon as they can clear the cap space by putting Chris Pronger on LTIR), there’s no conflict as Daniel Alfredsson takes #11.

Griffins defenseman Brennan Evans, having lost the #3 he wore in January’s Red and White Game to Nick Jensen, takes the departed Valtteri Filppula‘s #51. Similarly, Nathan Paetsch drops from #71 to the #24 vacated by Damien Brunner and Triston Grant takes the #28 that formerly belonged to Carlo Colaiacovo. Grand Rapids captain Jeff Hoggan goes from #73 (now assigned to Griffins’ forward David McIntyre) to the #81 worn in the development camp by Mattias Janmark.

Calle Jarnkrok gets the #70 that was worn in development camp by free-agent tryout Jaimen Yakubowski. McIntyre’s #73 came from try-out Brody Silk. Teemu Pulkkinen gets #56.

Free agent try-out Michal Plutner gets the #75 worn by James de Haas in July while try-out Cam Lanigan gets the #68 that was worn by Jake Patterson.

As per usual, most of these changes mean nothing as they relate to players not under contract with Detroit. The Red Wings do have a tendency to give players acquired in midseason the number of someone already in the organization, as those jerseys are already made up, but given the cap space this year Detroit is unlikely to be making any big deals.

Thoughts on the Lokomotiv Plane Crash

I’ve been trying to come up with the right words to explain what I’ve been feeling since hearing about the plane crash that claimed the lives of the entire roster of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv today. The problem I keep coming back to is that the ones I want to use are losing meaning.

When Derek Boogaard died earlier this year, I said, “Anytime something like this happens it’s a terrifying reminder of just how human our hockey heroes are. I’ve said it before, we think of them as invincible but they’re just men.”

I feel like this should have hit me when Vladimir Konstantinov was nearly killed in 1997 but it was too easy to chalk that up as a car accident, something that happens every day. Instead, it’s an idea that I first really realized when Chris Pronger collapsed after blocking a shot during the 1998 playoffs. It’s been reinforced with every death or major injury since, most notably Steve Yzerman‘s eye injury in 2004 and Jiri Fischer‘s 2005 collapse on the Detroit bench.

So it was easy to break out that line in May, an idea that’s always there but you never want to think about. But then in July you have Rick Rypien’s death, so soon after Boogaard’s. The words that came so easily don’t have the same meaning after so little time.

Two weeks later and Wade Belak is gone. Isolated incidents or an epidemic?nbsp; There’s almost panic in the feeling of “This is not supposed to happen.”

Three deaths in a single summer. It’s pretty much unprecedented. The idea of this being the worst offseason in NHL history is being thrown around.

And then an entire team is wiped out at once.

There are no words anymore because this is not how it’s supposed to be.

No, our hockey heroes are not invincible, they are just men. They are men in their prime, however, and it makes no sense for them to be cut down. There is no understanding it. We can only hope to come to terms with it.

Franzen, Hossa Each Score Twice as Red Wings Defeat Ducks

Johan Franzen and Marian Hossa each scored two goals Thursday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks and evening their Western Conference Semifinal series at two games apiece.

Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for the Red Wings.

Franzen’s goals both came in the first period.

With 8:11 left in the frame, Franzen took a drop pass from Valtteri Filppula and snapped a shot from the high slot past Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller, tying the game.

Franzen gave the Wings the lead with 36 seconds left in the first, tipping a Niklas Kronwall shot from the point past Hiller.

Corey Perry scored the Ducks’ first two goals, matching Franzen to have the game tied with 8:57 left in the second period.

Perry’s first came just 42 seconds into the game, taking a stretch pass from Chris Pronger during a bad change by the Detroit defense and snapping a shot past netminder Chris Osgood.

Perry tied the game on a bit of a broken play, as Ryan Getzlaf gained the zone while fighting of both Jonathan Ericsson and Nicklas Lidstrom, dropping the puck to Perry for a long blast.

Marian Hossa broke the tie and scored the eventual game-winner in a 3:02 span late in the second.

Hossa put a wrister from the right faceoff circle past Hiller with 3:58 left in the period, then beat him with a power play slap shot with 56 seconds left.

Samuelsson found the top corner on Hiller on a rush at 2:46 of the third.

Scott Niedermayer scored a power play goal with 9:57 left in regulation, pulling the Ducks to back within a pair, but Zetterberg’s empty-net goal with 2:33 remaining finished off the scoring.

Each team finished the night with a power play goal. The Red Wings had five power play tries while the Ducks had three, though two of those for each team were short.

Osgood made 25 saves on 28 shots against. Hiller stopped 28 of 33 Detroit chances before being pulled after Samuelsson’s goal. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped all six shots that came his way in relief.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday as the series shifts back to Detroit for Game Five.


The Red Wings were once again without Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper… The Ducks were without James Wisniewski, who was injured while taking a puck to the chest in Game Three.

Zetterberg Leads Red Wings to Win over Ducks

Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal and added two assists Friday night, helping lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Ty Conklin made 24 saves to earn his 11th straight home win in net for Detroit.

Ryan Getzlaf scored on an Anaheim power play just 52 seconds into the game, then Zetterberg took over.

With 6:12 left in the first period, Zetterberg fought off Chris Pronger in the right corner and sent the puck to the slot for Dan Cleary to deflect past Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

With under a minute remaining in the period and the Red Wings on the power play, Zetterberg notched his second assist by sending the puck from behind the net out front to a streaking Pavel Datsyuk, who snapped it by Giguere.

Zetterberg scored his goal on another Detroit power play, beating Giguere on a slap-shot from the left circle with 8:11 left in the second period.

Johan Franzen scored his third goal in two games since returning from a hand injury at 1:23 of the third, stealing the puck as the Ducks attempted to break out of their own zone before turning and firing it past Giguere, who seemingly let up on the play.

Bobby Ryan pulled the Ducks back to within a pair with 6:05 left in the game after Conklin lost the puck in his skates but Kris Draper finished things off with a breakaway slap-shot in the game’s final seconds.


The game was the 1,000th of Pronger’s career… One game after going five-for-six on the power play, the Red Wings went two-for-five.

Red Wings – Ducks Game Thoughts

Let me just say that the middle of a West Coast road trip, with its late games on back-to-back nights, is not the time to get sick.

The more I think about last night’s game between the Red Wings and the Ducks the less I think anything substantitive can be taken away from it.

Yeah, it’s always good to beat Anaheim. It’s always good when the Wings can wear down Chris Pronger. That said, Detroit’s win came thanks to a lot of luck.

The bounce that led to Jiri Hudler‘s goal? That’s the kind of bounce I always complain that the Wings never seem to get. Without it, that’s not a goal, even if Hudler’s shot was dead-on.

Johan Franzen‘s goal? I mentioned at the time that I’d be shocked if it was allowed. I think the replay was inconclusive and the Red Wings have a history of having goals called back (Franzen’s game-tying goal in Minnesota nothwithstanding). Another break caught there.

The Wings definitely played better than they did on Monday in Dallas. Oddly, Chris Osgood didn’t have as good of a game even with allowing fewer goals but I would definitely say he’s playing better than he was at the start of the season. One bad goal (Anaheim’s third) does not mean he’s reverted to early-season status, especially factoring in the big late-game save on Corey Perry.

In the end, the success of this road trip will not be gauged by last night’s win but by what happens in San Jose on Saturday.

Red Wings – Ducks Wrap Up

I’ve been trying to think of some nice, all-encompassing line or two to sum up last night’s OT loss in Anaheim but I’ve got nothing. Instead I’ll just repost (with corrected spelling) something I said over at Abel to Yzerman before the start of overtime.

You know what I love about that tying goal? It proves that Red Wings hockey is better than Ducks hockey. All that extra-physical, “Let me whip it out and show you how much of a man I am” sh*t Anaheim does bit them in the ass, with Beauchemin going for the hit instead of cutting off the pass.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t automatically make the Wings the better team or give them the win. Just makes me feel better.

With how the game ended, I’m not sure it makes me feel better anymore. Anaheim did what they always do, they did something that’s technically against the rules but isn’t bad enough that the league punishes them for it.

Chris Pronger elbows Pavel Datsyuk to the head? Pavs is fine, no big deal.

Game-winning goal from above the crossbar? Eh, it was only a couple inches, let it slide.

Red Wings hockey is better than Ducks hockey because there’s a difference in being physical and being dirty. The Ducks are a dirty team and frustrates me to no end that they get to play by a different rulebook.

Campbell Admits Holmstrom is a Marked Man

The Vancouver Sun (found via George Malik) has a quote from NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell where Campbell admits that refs have been instructed to watch Tomas Holmstrom closely.

“Babcock said we were watching for it. Listen, we’d be fools if we didn’t meet before games to talk about Holmstrom. He crowds the crease. You don’t have to be Sam flippin’ Pollock to figure that out,” the NHL’s senior VP of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, said in a telephone interview with The Vancouver Sun.

The Sun didn’t push further, choosing to focus on the need for video review in plays like the one we saw Wednesday.

He’s my question for Campbell: Who else is marked? Is Ryan Smyth watched just like Holmstrom? Are the officials on the lookout for slashes by Marty Turco or elbows from Chris Pronger or holds by Steve Ott?

Yes, Holmstrom crowds the crease. But when Pronger plays a highly-physical game it’s praised and referred to as playing on the edge. Holmstrom plays on a different edge but it doesn’t mean he should be treated any less leniently.

Red Wings – Ducks: More Random Babbling

I was going to recap the Wings-Ducks tilt from this afternoon but, especially with the way it ended, I decided I wanted to do something a bit more editorial.

Over at Abel to Yzerman, Bill’s got a piece posted called Screwed. It’s his opinion of what happened to the Wings on the potential game-tying goal late in the third.

I’m torn on agreeing or disagreeing with sentiment.

Part of me that says that on a day that saw Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik take a skate to the throat, arguing about a goal seems insignificant. We all remember Jiri Fischer here and when things like this happen, we’re all reminded that there are bigger things than the game itself in hockey.

That said, the events of a Buffalo-Florida game that hadn’t happened yet were not at the front of Wings fans minds this afternoon.

I spent most of the afternoon pretty upset, which is why I’ve kept my comments limited. I’ve tried to give myself time to calm down and gain perspective.

The non-goal at the end of the game is just the exclamation point on a game that was horribly-run from the beginning. It’s huge but it shouldn’t be the focus.

At 7:15 of the second, Chris Pronger was called for tripping Mikael Samuelsson and Sammy was called for diving. After the whistle, Chris Kunitz threw a couple punches at Samuelsson that went uncalled. In the ensuing four-on-four – which should have been a Detroit power play, whether by not calling the dive or by calling the roughing – the Ducks scored.

The officials spent the rest of the day trying to make up for that, calling cheap penalties on Anaheim that the Wings couldn’t capitalize on.

It made for an awful game. Wings fans will complain about the things that weren’t called, Ducks fans will complain about the things that were, and the national TV audience will have missed a chance to see a great game.

I don’t agree with calling extra penalties to “even things up.” It cheapens things. If the refs really cost a team a goal, they need to be able to own up and rectify it, but there’s no way to do that.

The funny thing is that the easiest way to even things up would have been to allow Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal to tie the game at 3-3 but that didn’t happen.

Do I believe that Tomas Holmstrom interfered with Jean-Sebastien Giguere‘s ability to make the save on that goal? No. From my replay, Giguere’s stick was impeded by Holmstrom’s leg only after the puck was in the net. Giguere couldn’t see the puck through Holmstrom’s screen and that wouldn’t have mattered if he was three more inches out. The video for that will go into my archive for if I ever start HolmstromCreaseWatch.com to archive these incidents.

Does that matter? Of course not. We’ll never hear what the Red Wings organization really thinks of that play. We’ll never hear what the NHL has to say about it. It’s done to them.

My thinking a few hours after the game? Forget about it. The whole game was a mess, might as well write it off and move on.