Dandenault Re-ups With Wings

The Detroit Red Wings resigned defenseman Mathieu Dandenault on Thursday, coming to terms with the restricted free agent for a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Dandenault won his third Stanley Cup with Detroit this spring, although he played only three total games in the 1997 and 1998 championships.

Detroit selected Dandenault in the second round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. After starting his career as a forward, he has been shifted back and forth from wing to the blueline before finally settling in on defense last season.

“Mathieu played a valuable role in our Stanley Cup success this past season,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He has shown steady improvement throughout his career and we’re happy to have him on our team as we defend the Cup in 2002-03.”

With the signing of Dandenault, the Red Wings have four remaining restricted free agents left to resign. Igor Larionov, Jiri Slegr and Steve Duchesne are all unrestricted free agents who played with Detroit last season.


The NHL announced their schedule on Wednesday. The Red Wings will open the season on a West Coast swing before returning home to raise their Stanley Cup banner against the Montreal Canadiens.

BELIEVE, One More Time

It was June 13, 2002, about 11:00 pm in Detroit. A buzzer sounded inside Joe Louis Arena, barely audible over the screaming of 20,058 fans. Players in white jerseys streamed onto the ice, hugging, laughing, some of them barely able to believe they’d finally reached their ultimate goal. All over Metro Detroit, in sports bars in Royal Oak, apartments Downriver, parties downtown, whoops of joy and celebration echoed out into the cool early summer night. For the first time ever, Dominik Hasek, Luc Robitaille, Freddy Olausson, and Steve Duchesne, deserving veterans all, hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup above their heads. And a few moments later, Sergei Fedorov brought the Cup to fallen defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and helped him lift it above his head, one more time.

The Game Five victory against the Carolina Hurricanes did not come easily. As ever, the Hurricanes played their defensive trap and played it well. Matters were compounded for the Red Wings by the NHL suspension of Jiri Fischer for a hard cross-check laid on Tommy Westlund in Game Four. Trade deadline acquisition Jiri Slegr was brought in to fill the spot on the blue line, in spite of the fact that he had not played a game since the regular season. Slegr was ready, however. “Everybody’s dream is the Stanley Cup, and here I’m playing in it right now,” he said.

The first period was scoreless, although the Grind Line created some scoring chances, and Luc Robitaille rang a strong shot off the goalpost. Sergei Fedorov got in all alone on a breakaway, but his shot thudded into the chest of goaltender Arturs Irbe.

The Red Wings opened the scoring early in the second period. Series star Igor Larionov made a centering pass from the right corner behind the Carolina net, and Tomas Holmstrom lunged forward to poke it in for the goal. He was being shoved down at the time, and as he landed flat on his back against the boards behind the net, Holmstrom raised his arms in celebration.

The Hurricanes had a chance to tie the game when Jiri Slegr was given a penalty for holding up big Erik Cole along the boards, but Dominik Hasek made a phenomenal save, screened on a redirected shot, and the Red Wings kept the lead.

The Wings gained a goal cushion, and the eventual game winning goal, on a power play of their own. Jaroslav Svoboda was in the penalty box for roughing, and Steve Yzerman fired a shot on net. The puck flew high, but Fedorov found it behind the net and passed it out front to Brendan Shanahan, who one-timed it past Irbe.

The Hurricanes scored their only goal of the game late in the period, on the tail end of a shortened penalty on Shanahan. Jeff O’Neill took a hard shot from a bad angle on the left wing side. Hasek was screened by Cole, and did not see the shot until it was too late. The shot was so hard and the puck was in and out of the net so quickly that the officials had to review it to make sure it had actually gone into the net.

Play in the third period went end to end, staying mainly in the neutral zone. Carolina played frantically, trying desperately to create needed scoring chances, but the chances would not come. Finally, with just a minute left to play, they pulled their goaltender in exchange for a sixth skater, but Shanahan got the puck from Yzerman, skated it to just outside the Hurricanes’ blue line, and fired a laser shot which landed solidly in the empty net to clinch the Red Wings’ third Stanley Cup in six years. The players wound down the remaining forty seconds or so. The buzzer sounded, and the celebration began. And Jiri Fischer was the first one to jump off the bench and join his teammates on the ice. In front of the net, Hasek jumped up and down like an excited child. “It’s a fantastic feeling, and I’m so happy!” he said.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman presented the awards. The Conn Smythe Trophy for the most valuable player in the playoffs went to the highly deserving Nicklas Lidstrom. And then the Stanley Cup itself, to Steve Yzerman, who took his little daughter Isabella with him to accept the award for the team.

In the middle of the revelry, Scotty Bowman dropped the revelation he’d been holding onto: “This is my last game as a coach.” He had made the decision during the Olympic Break in February, that regardless of this season’s outcome, it was the right time to retire. On top of his coaching game, having broken another of his mentor Toe Blake’s records by winning a ninth Stanley Cup, and ready to go, the winningest coach of all time.

Most of the players have indicated that they wish to return for another season. Chris Chelios and Brett Hull are especially eager to keep their skates for another year. Steve Yzerman, once he recovers from the much needed surgery on his right knee, will return to lead the team again. Dominik Hasek has not yet made a decision. The outcome of the 2002 off-season decisions will be known, eventually.

The outcome of the 2001 off-season decisions was realized tonight, as the Stanley Cup returned home to Hockeytown.

Sharks Chomp Down

The first multiple-goal game of Jason Williams‘ young NHL career was not enough to make up for the Red Wings’ defensive mistakes or the determination and skill of the San Jose offense, and the Red Wings went down to the Sharks 6-3, while the theme from “Jaws” blared over the speakers in the Shark Tank.

The Red Wings started out with more jump to their offensive game, but got into penalty trouble early on when they got caught with too many men on the ice. The Sharks’ power play passed effectively and got the puck to Mike Ricci behind the net. Ricci passed it out front to Patrick Marleau, who put the puck into the net high over Manny Legace.

Detroit continued to pressure offensively, and Legace made some big saves to cover his team’s defensive lapses. The Red Wings scored their first goal on their fourth power play attempt late in the first period during a hooking penalty to Gary Suter. Sergei Fedorov passed the puck from the left point up to Brendan Shanahan behind the goal line, and Shanahan passed it back to Jason Williams at the left faceoff dot. Williams took a quick wrist shot and put it into the net past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, whose view of the puck was blocked by Tomas Holmstrom.

San Jose regained the lead early in the second period on another power play goal, this one on a penalty to Uwe Krupp. Owen Nolan got the puck as it bounced off the boards, then fired quickly on net, using Mathieu Dandenault as a screen to keep Legace from seeing the shot before the puck was in the net.

The Sharks scored again within a few minutes. A bad turnover by the Red Wings gave Nolan a breakaway. Legace stopped the first shot, but Nolan was able to pick up his own rebound and bank it into the net off the leg of his teammate, Vincent Damphousse.

Williams put Detroit back within one goal shortly thereafter. Kirk Maltby held the puck in at the blue line, then fired on net. Darren McCarty redirected the puck to slide underneath Nabokov, and Williams tapped it in for that extra speed it needed to cross the goal line.

The rest of the second period was all Sharks. Marleau scored two more times before the period was over, first by knocking a rebound from Marco Sturm’s shot out of the air and into the net, and then by intercepting a pass by Jiri Slegr and going in on Legace all alone.

The Wings did score once more, midway through the third period. Nabokov had been given a penalty for roughing Holmstrom (the penalty was served by Marleau), and Holmstrom was the one to make him pay for it. Igor Larionov shot the puck from the blue line, and Holmstrom deflected it into the net.

A fight started by Scott Thornton against Sean Avery and joined by the other skaters on the ice led to a double penalty to Avery and a single penalty to Bryan Marchment, leaving the Red Wings shorthanded and taking away their chance to come back from their two-goal deficit. Teemu Selanne took the puck into the left wing corner and passed down and across just as he was being hit. Mike Rathje, coming up the right wing side, got Selanne’s pass and put it off the crossbar and into the net past the beleaguered Legace.

The shots on goal were thirty-four to thirty-two in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings will return home and have a few days off before facing the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.


The Sharks’ victory tonight moves them past the Colorado Avalanche into second place in the Western Conference standings”¦. Luc Robitaille and Chris Chelios were both healthy scratches for this game”¦. Steve Yzerman is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday night against Chicago.

A Sound Thrashing

The Red Wings’ recent problems against spoiler teams unable to make the playoffs were eradicated tonight, with their high-energy 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

The first goal of the game came during four-on-four play resulting from offsetting roughing calls to Darren McCarty and Chris Tamer. The Thrashers got a breakaway on Manny Legace, but Legace made the save and set up a three-on-two for his teammates. Igor Larionov, Jiri Slegr, and Brett Hull carried the puck down the ice. Some crisp passing got the puck to Hull in the Thrashers zone, and he paused just long enough to fake out goaltender Frederic Cassivi before snapping a low wrist shot into the net.

The Thrashers had two power play chances in the first period, but just as they had done all period, the Red Wings kept the puck away from Atlanta for the most part, and kept the Thrashers from making any passes to get a scoring play set up. Legace only had to face five shots in the first period, compared to the twelve that Cassivi faced.

The second period continued with the same Detroit intensity the Wings had shown in the first, leaving Atlanta scrambling to get any time controlling the puck. Mathieu Dandenault posted the Red Wings’ second tally of the night during a high-sticking double minor penalty to Yannick Tremblay. Dandenault skated up a clear path from the blue line down the middle, took Larionov’s pass from behind the net, and tapped it past Cassivi for his eighth goal of the season.

Atlanta ran into more penalty trouble when Tremblay was sent back to the box for hooking a moment later. Sergei Fedorov won the faceoff, and slipped the puck back to Hull. Hull’s first shot bounced off of Tomas Holmstrom and straight back to Hull, who wrested the second shot high and into the net. The entire power play lasted five seconds.

Atlanta tried to play with more intensity in the third period, and they were rewarded with a goal two and a half minutes in. Legace flopped down low to block Tomi Callio’s original shot, but J.P. Vigier was able to get the puck and flip it in high before Legace could return to his position.

The Red Wings answered with another goal of their own a few minutes later. Larionov made a good pass to Dandenault, who fired on net from the right wing side. The puck bounced off the leg of Jason Williams and into the net.

A fight broke out in the final minutes, when Francis Lessard attacked Chris Chelios, and McCarty followed up on Lessard. The resulting penalties- a slashing to McCarty, a roughing to Chelios, and one of each to Lessard- offset each other and did not put either team on the power play.

The final count of shots on net was thirty-two to twenty-two in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings were three for six on the power play and kept Atlanta from scoring on any of their four power play chances. The Red Wings’ next game will be Monday night, when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Brendan Shanahan and Nick Lidstrom sat out tonight’s game to rest minor injuries. Scotty Bowman plans to rest Lidstrom by leaving him home during next week’s West Coast road trip”¦.. The team is planning on having Uwe Krupp return to the lineup sometime during that California trip”¦.. The Atlanta Thrashers have not once beaten the Red Wings in their three seasons of existence.

Rallying Late

After a slow start and difficulty with penalties, a late-game rally by the Red Wings brought them from behind to tie the Nashville Predators at 3 goals apiece.

The rematch against the Predators did not get off to as good a start as the Wings would have hoped. Just before the midway point in the first period, Detroit had to kill off a minute and sixteen seconds of a five-on-three Nashville power play resulting from overlapping penalties to Jiri Slegr and Kris Draper. The Predators were able to capitalize when Andy Delmore passed along the blue line to Kimmo Timonen, who one-timed a shot which deflected off the skate of Kirk Maltby and into the net past Dominik Hasek.

The Predators followed up their lead by clogging up the center ice area and keeping the Red Wings from setting up quality scoring plays in the Nashville zone. Many of the shots Detroit sent against goaltender Tomas Vokoun were blocked by Nashville players before they could even get to the net.

The Red Wings had a few power play chances of their own, including a high-sticking double minor to Steve Dubinsky early in the second period for clipping Brendan Shanahan on the nose. Even so, the Red Wings were unable to score, and then they ran into more penalty trouble.

This time, they had to kill off fifty-six seconds of Nashville’s five-on-three because of penalties to Tomas Holmstrom and Nick Lidstrom. The three men out aggressively harrassed the Nashville players and kept them from getting comfortable enough to set up a scoring play, until the first penalty had just expired. Just as Holmstrom was stepping out of the box to head up to the play, Timonen sent a blue line pass to Delmore, who one-timed a wrist shot past Hasek.

Detroit finally got a five-on-three power play of their own early in the third period, on calls to Legwand and Cale Hulse. Lidstrom passed the puck along the blue line to Brett Hull at the left point, and Hull sent off a one-timer which bounced off of Vokoun and into the net.

Unfortunately, the Predators used an unusual bounce to score once more and regain their two-goal lead. After a turnover at the blue line, Legwand fired a shot from close to the net. The puck bounced off of Scott Hartnell, then off of Mathieu Dandenault and over Hasek’s shoulder.

Finally, with less than four minutes to play, Kris Draper brought his team a goal and the momentum which went along with it. Draper deflected Steve Duchesne‘s point shot, but Vokoun was able to block. Draper tapped his own rebound into the net as he was falling to bring the Wings back within one, scoring a career-high fourteenth goal of the season.

Shanahan tied up the game a minute and a half later. Hull was unable to hit the original shot hard enough to get it into the net, but Shanahan grabbed the puck before Vokoun could cover it and stop the play. Just as on Draper’s goal, it took two tries to put the puck past Vokoun, and Shanahan made the successful shot while being knocked to the ice.

Pavel Datsyuk had a chance to put the game away before the end of regulation time, with Vokoun caught behind the net, but his shot rang off the goalpost and away from the crease. Neither team was able to score in the overtime period.

Shots on net were forty to twenty-four in Detroit’s favor. Their next game will be Saturday night against the Atlanta Thrashers.


Steve Yzerman plans to begin skating and accompany the team on next week’s West Coast trip, hopefully to return to the ice against one of the California teams”¦.. Dominik Hasek needs three more victories to tie Terry Sawchuk’s franchise record for the highest number of victories in one season”¦.. Scotty Bowman needs four more victories to tie Jack Adams‘ franchise record for number of wins as the Red Wings’ head coach”¦”¦ Tonight’s tie, with Philadelphia’s loss to Carolina, has won the Red Wings the President’s Trophy and guaranteed them home ice advantage for every round of the playoffs.

Not Their Nicest Win

The Red Wings played a lackluster game overall Thursday night, but star moments from Nick Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, and Sergei Fedorov, as well as a good, solid debut for Jiri Slegr, were enough to carry them over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2.

The game began on a somber note, with a moment of silent remembrance for Brittanie Cecil, the little girl killed by an injury from a deflected puck at the Blue Jackets’ game against Edmonton on Saturday night.

Columbus played a clumsy game in the first period, making several mistakes in attempting to clear the puck from their zone. Even though the Red Wings were able to set up a few scoring chances from the Blue Jackets’ errors, they were unable to put the puck past goaltender Marc Denis.

The Blue Jackets came on harder and the Red Wings eased off in the second period. Columbus opened the scoring just over two minutes in. David Vyborny put an unremarkable shot towards the net, but it slipped past the Red Wings’ defensemen and Ray Whitney managed to redirect it just enough to put it into the net past Dominik Hasek.

Kirk Maltby evened up the game a few minutes later. Nick Lidstrom passed the puck to Maltby, who flew up the right wing side and threw a hard shot towards the net. Igor Larionov was skating towards the net looking to pick up the rebound, but it proved to be unnecessary, as Maltby’s shot bounced off Denis’s blocker and in for the goal.

Columbus regained the lead midway through the period, managing to score against an uninspired Red Wings power play. Espen Knutsen intercepted a pass and took off down the ice, then passed across to Jaroslav Spacek coming up the left wing side. Spacek brought the puck in close to the net, then backhanded a shot over the top of Hasek.

The Red Wings tried to kick up the offense in the third period, but seemed to have to kill off a penalty just as the game’s momentum would be starting to favor them. Sergei Fedorov finally tied the game with less than five minutes remaining. Lidstrom passed neatly to Brendan Shanahan, who fired towards the net, but the puck angled off a Columbus player’s skate and directly to Fedorov, waiting with a hard one-time shot. Denis was being screened by Darren McCarty, and did not see that the puck had angled across to Fedorov, so was completely out of position for the shot.

Just as Fedorov, Shanahan, and Lidstrom sent the game to overtime, they also brought the overtime to a speedy conclusion. Only twenty-five seconds in, Fedorov grabbed up a rebound from Shanahan’s shot, set up by Lidstrom, and skated it quickly around the back of the net, then stuffed it in before Denis could quite realize where the puck had gone.

Shots on goal were twenty-two to twenty-one in the Blue Jackets’ favor. The Red Wings’ next game will be Saturday afternoon at the Pepsi Center in Denver, facing down their archrivals, the Colorado Avalanche.


Trade deadline acquisition Jiri Slegr, after being a “”21 in the plus/minus rating with Atlanta, was rated a +2 in his first game with his new team…… The Columbus players will wear Brittanie Cecil’s initials on their helmets for the rest of the season. Visiting teams to Nationwide Arena will do likewise, so as to honor the little girl and her family.

No Victory to Celebrate the Trade Deadline

The Red Wings made a decisive move to increase their defensive depth today at the trade deadline by acquiring Jiri Slegr from Atlanta in exchange for Yuri Butsayev and a third round draft pick. That being done, the Red Wings just couldn’t seem to get worked up for this game, even though by the numbers, it should have been a simple win. Numbers don’t always tell the whole truth, however, and the Mighty Ducks of Anahiem squeaked by Detroit, 2-1.

The first two periods went by at a quick pace, with few stoppages in play. Neither team was able to score, in spite of three power play chances for each team. The Red Wings outshot the Ducks twenty to eighteen through the first forty minutes of play, and four of the Wings’ shots belonged to Brendan Shanahan, still looking for his 500th career goal. His teammates kept trying to set him up with scoring opportunities, but it was no good.

Goaltenders Dominik Hasek and Steve Shields were both sharp, keeping all pucks out of their respective nets, until only four seconds remained in the second period. Paul Kariya got set up on a breakaway pass by German Titov, and flew down the left wing side. Kariya flung a hard wrist shot at the net, and it went right past Hasek, who had come forward to cut down the shot’s angle.

The Red Wings came on hard in the third period, and finally were rewarded during a high-sticking penalty to Pavel Trnka. Nick Lidstrom passed the puck along the blue line to Brett Hull, who let go a hard one-timer. Shields, who was being screened by Shanahan, never had a chance.

Kariya put the Ducks ahead for the win, just as everyone was settling in for overtime. Steve Rucchin dumped the puck into the Detroit zone at a cross angle, rather than straight along the boards, and Jeff Friesen went behind the net to get it. He centered a pass to Kariya, who wristed it high over Hasek’s right side.

The Wings pulled Hasek from the net for the final minute of play, but the flurry of shots from six skaters were not enough to put the puck past Shields.

Shots on net wound up twenty-eight to twenty-four in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings’ next game will be Thursday night at Columbus.


Steve Yzerman will be out for at least ten and as many as fourteen more days, resting his sore knee thoroughly before attempting to return to the ice. The team definitely expects to have him back before the playoffs start”¦”¦ According to NHL.com, the Red Wings new defenseman Jiri Slegr scored his first ever NHL goal against Patrick Roy. And that, in this reporter’s view, can only be a good sign.

Last Minute Deal Brings Slegr to Hockeytown

The Detroit Red Wings waited until nine minutes before the NHL’s trade deadline to make a move.

After seeing highly-coveted Darius Kasparaitis head to the Colorado Avalanche and Lyle Odelein get dealt to the division-rival Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit dealt Yuri Butsayev and their third-round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft to the Atlanta Thrashers for gritty defenseman Jiri Slegr.

Slegr, twenty-nine, has three goals and five assists in thirty-eight games with the Thrashers. He brings with him a minus twenty-one rating and fifty-one penalty minutes. He had previously played for Vancouver, Edmonton and Pittsburgh before being dealt to Atlanta last season.

Butsayev, twenty-two and the Red Wings’ first choice, forty-ninth overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, has six goals and four assists across three seasons in the NHL with Detroit.

The trade is one of thirteen reported on Tuesday, the day of the NHL’s trade deadline.