Five games into the post season (one game short of my playoff tickets) and the Detroit Red Wings have done the unthinkable.
Started their golf season early – just not as early as the Leafs, Blue Jackets, etc.
The Detroit Red Wings have become the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs; which means no more hockey for Detroit fans to enjoy (well other than if the Flyers beat the Penguins).
All of the Detroit stars and done, gone, no more hockey until the fall right. Well maybe, but adds are that is not true either.
You see there is this “little” known hockey tournaments every year (well not on Winter Olympic years) called the IIHF World Championship; and guess what. NHL players are allowed to play.
Now that the Red Wings have been eliminated early there is a chance that some of them will be asked to join their native country in the tournament that is taking place split between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.
Currently none of the Red Wings have agreed to join their teams; however, other than for injury reasons I am sure a few may. Especially the Swedes and the Finn.
Team Sweden has gained Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Fabian Brunnstrom and Tomas Holmstrom to their potential player pool. I know Nicklas Lidstrom is a Swede, he was captain for Tre Kronor in the Vancouver Olympics; but The Perfect Human is still injured and I do not see him joining the team.
Event co-host Finland now has Valtteri Filppula available. Last year Finland won gold without Filppula; however with Mikko Koivu‘s injury during the NHL regular season and the loss of goaltender Niklas Backstrom to surgery Filppula is probably already receiving calls.
Russia has been lackluster in the international tournaments as of late and could use the help of Pavel Datsyuk; however, injury may keep the Magician off the ice.
Justin Abdelkader, Chris Conner, Doug Janik, Drew Miller, Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin have become available for Team USA. With the horrible finish in last years tournament the USA needs a strong push this time around and hopefully Miller, Howard and Abdelkader can have a better ending to their season by helping out the national team.
Tomas Tatar has seen two season end thus far but could still be a big part for Slovakia.
And Slovenia The Red Wings have given you Jan Mursak.
Now Detroit fans and National Team fans sit and wait to see who will be joining as the Red Wings clear out their lockers and scatter for what is the longest off-season they have had since before winning the cup in 2008.