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.

Williams Rejoins Red Wings

After watching five players leave their team during the first month of free agency the Detroit Red Wings made their second move in three days on Thursday, signing forward Jason Williams to a one-year deal.

Williams broke into the NHL with the Red Wings in 2000 and was with the team until a 2007 trade that sent him to Chicago for Kyle Calder. Since then he has also spent time with the Atlanta Thrashers and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Williams is the second forward the Wings have signed this week, joining Patrick Eaves, who signed a one-year deal on Tuesday.

In 376 career games, Williams has 85 goals and 120 assists.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

Kings End Red Wings’ Streak at Eight

The Detroit Red Wings’ winning streak ended at eight games Thursday night, with the Los Angeles Kings scoring four goals in the third period to rally for a 5-3 win. The loss prevented the Red Wings from tying a franchise record with a nine-game winning streak.

Patrick O’Sullivan, Alexander Frolov, Brad Stuart and Anze Kopitar were the goal-scorers in the final frame as the Kings rallied from down 3-1.

O’Sullivan scored just 39 seconds into the period to begin the comeback. A shot by Stuart was knocked aside by goaltender Chris Osgood but the rebound bounced over the stick of Pavel Datsyuk to O’Sullivan in the slot for a one-timer back into the top-corner.

Frolov’s power play goal at 6:15 evened the game up. Former Red Wing Kyle Calder sent a pass from the bottom of the right circle across to Frolov in the left circle for a one-timer past Osgood.

With 6:53 left in regulation, Stuart’s power play blast from the blue line slipped through a screen and put the Kings up by a goal.

Kopitar iced the game 1:32 later when Stuart’s shot from the point was deflected straight to him in the slot for a backhander past Osgood.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring early, getting on the board just 49 seconds into the game when a Mikael Samuelsson shot slipped under Jason Labarbera‘s pad and Tomas Kopecky jumped in to knock it into the net.

Calder evened the game up with 9:43 left in the first, poking the puck past Osgood from the side of the net after the Detroit goalie thought it was covered up.

Henrik Zetterberg scored twice to build Detroit’s 3-1 lead.

With 1:09 left in the first, Zetterberg broke down the left wing and put a high shot short side on net. It slipped under Labarbera’s arm and into the goal to put Detroit back in the lead.

With 6:55 left in the second, he added another on a wraparound attempt.

The Red Wings finished the night without a goal on three power play chances while the Kings scored on two of their five chances with the extra skater.

Osgood stopped 20 of 25 Los Angeles shots in net for Detroit. Labarbera made 26 saves on 29 shots.

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 Regain Home Ice with Shutout of Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings regained home ice advantage in their Western Conference Final series with the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, picking up a 5-0 win to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

The Ducks had previously claimed a 4-3 overtime win in game two in Detroit, forcing the Wings to win at least one road game to get back the home ice advantage.

Anaheim pressured early, taking 14 shots in the first period, but the Red Wings’ defense and goaltender Dominik Hasek held them off the board. The Ducks were unable to convert on two penalties by Tomas Kopecky – in the Detroit lineup for the first time since breaking his collarbone in December.

Johan Franzen put the Red Wings on the board with 8:51 remaining in the period. Mikael Samuelsson carried the puck down the right wing while Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg went to the net. With the Anaheim defense focused on Zetterberg, Samuelsson sent a crossing pass to Franzen who deflected the puck into the open side of the net.

Zetterberg connected with Holmstrom on a similar play to give the Red Wings a two-goal lead with 43 seconds remaining in the period.

On a Detroit power play, Zetterberg gained the Anaheim zone down the left wing. Pavel Datsyuk cut through the high slot and drew the defenders, leaving Holmstrom wide open for a pass from Zetterberg in the right circle. Holmstrom stepped to the net and rifled a shot over the shoulder of goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Giguere would leave the game just 3:17 into the second period after Detroit’s third goal. Dan Cleary threw the puck at the net from the right wing and Giguere made the stop but the puck bounced off him, off the skate of Todd Bertuzzi cutting through the crease, and into the net.

Backup netminder Ilja Bryzgalov wouldn’t have much better luck, allowing a goal only 17 seconds after entering the game. Bryzgalov made a rolling stop on Valtteri Filppula‘s wraparound attempt but the puck came free and Holmstrom scored his second of the night, lifiting it in from the top of the crease.

The Ducks came unraveled and took five penalties to spend most of the rest of the period on the penalty kill.

One of the infractions was a two-on-one hit to the head of Holmstrom by Rob Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. Niedermayer was given a five minute roughing major and a game misconduct for the hit and Holmstrom missed the remainder of the period.

Holmstrom would return to the ice and to the scoresheet in the third period, assisting on the game’s final goal by sending a pass from the right wing through the top of the crease to Filppula on the far side of the net. Filppula tucked the puck in behind Bryzgalov with 9:02 remaining in the game.

Dominik Hasek stopped 29 Anaheim shots en route to his 13th career playoff shutout. Bryzgalov stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced while Giguere made 10 saves on 13 chances against.

Holmstrom’s first-period goal was Detroit’s lone power play tally on nine tries with the man-advantage. Anaheim had four chances with the extra skater, though one was for only 8 seconds at the end of the game.

Game four of the series will be Thursday in Anaheim.

Tomas Kopecky entered the Detroit lineup in place of Kyle Calder… The Ducks had not been shutout during the playoffs since April 27, 1999, when the Red Wings completed a first-round sweep of the then-Mighty Ducks with a 3-0 victory in Anaheim.

Special Teams Carry Red Wings to Win over Flames

The Detroit Red Wings scored three power play goals, a shorthanded goal and a goal on a penalty shot as their special teams led a 5-1 route of the Calgary Flames.

With the win, the Red Wings take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series. Game six is Sunday night in Calgary.

A rare shorthanded penalty shot opened the game’s scoring at 3:32 of the second period. Dan Cleary raced into the Calgary zone and was tripped up by Roman Hamrlik as he got a shot off, prompting the one-on-one opportunity. Cutting through the slot, Cleary faked to his left and cut right, lifting a backhander over goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

Henrik Zetterberg‘s first playoff goal of the season put the Wings up by a pair at 8:50 of the middle frame. With Detroit on a power play, Zetterberg blasted a one-timer from the top of the right circle through the legs of both Tomas Holmstrom and Kiprusoff.

Just 2:04 later, Chris Chelios scored his first goal of the season with the Red Wings on the penalty kill. Kirk Maltby carried the puck into the Calgary zone and Chelios followed the play, taking a drop pass to punch a one-timer off of Kiprusoff’s arm and into the net.

Zetterberg would score again at 5:12 of the third, taking a pass from Pavel Datsyuk in the slot and lifting a shot over Kiprusoff’s shoulder.

Andrei Zyuzin got the Flames on the board 5-1 later with a shorthanded goal. Zyuzin tipped a shot by Matthew Lombardi out of the air and past Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

Pavel Datsyuk would close out the game’s scoring on a Detroit power play with 4:18 remaining. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line wide of the net and Datsyuk jumped up to pick up the puck behind Kiprusoff, putting it into the net.

The game ended with chippy play on behalf of the Flames, an attempt to set up game six.

Before the Datsyuk goal, Daymond Langkow delivered a sucker-punch to Brett Lebda after the Detroit defenseman hit him with a hip check. Lebda was called for clipping on the play.

Dion Phaneuf and Todd Bertuzzi had a short scuffle with 4:42 remaining in the game but the real fireworks started when Wayne Primeau went off for a slash with 3:17 remaining.

Calgary coach Jim Playfair, seemingly looking to protect his star goaltender, replaced Kiprusoff in net with backup Jamie McLennan. McLennan promptly slashed Johan Franzen in front of the net. When the play was stopped, as Franzen skated by McLennan the goaltender delivered a two-handed whack to Franzen’s chest. After only 18 seconds of play, during which he faced no shots, McLennan was ejected from the game with 22 penalty minutes.

Calgary captain Jarome Iginla continued the rough play in the game’s final minute, butt-ending Mathieu Schneider before laying a cross-check on him.

The game ended with Marcus Nilson cross-checking Kris Draper, seemingly in an attempt to draw him into a fight.

Each team finished the game with eight power plays but Calgary had 47 penalty minutes to the Red Wings’ 25. Detroit scored three times and the Flames were held off the board.

Hasek stopped 23 of 24 shots against. Kiprusoff made 33 saves on 38 shots.

Kyle Calder was out of the Detroit lineup in favor of Jiri Hudler, who had played in game one and game two but was the odd-man out when Todd Bertuzzi returned for game three… The Red Wings had a goal called back at with 7:01 remaining in the first period, when Kirk Maltby was called for goaltender interference after being checked into Kiprusoff… Cleary’s goal was his first on a penalty shot… Chelios’ goal makes him the oldest player to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs in NHL history.

Red Wings Steamroll Blackhawks to End Season

Neither the Detroit Red Wings nor the Chicago Blackhawks needed a win in Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Original Six rivals but only the Blackhawks played like it, as the Red Wings rolled to a 7-2 win to clost out their regular season schedule.

A shootout loss by the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night assured the Red Wings that they had clinched the Western Conference’s regular season championship but that didn’t stop them from jumping out to an early lead and staying in control for the rest of the game.

Danny Markov got the Red Wings on the board just 4:31 into the game with a shot from the point that deflected off of a Blackhawk defender, hit the back boards, came out in front of the net, bounced off the skate of goalie Patrick Lalime, and went into the net.

It was 1:03 later that Detroit got a goal that did not require a series of lucky bounces, when Mikael Samuelsson scored the first of two on the afternoon with a quick shot from the right faceoff dot past Lalime.

Kyle Calder added a power play goal with 8:30 remaining in the period, deflecting a blast by Samuelsson.

Detroit kept the pressure on in the second, scoring at 3:51 when Tomas Holmstrom slipped a shot from the slot under Lalime.

Calder notched his second of the day against his former team 1:36 later. After a Blackhawk giveaway in their own zone, Robert Lang sent the puck up to Samuelsson, who threaded a pass back down low to Calder alone in front of the net to roof a shot over Lalime.

Samuelsson added his second with 7:30 remaining in the middle period with the Red Wings on a power play, seconds after the expiration of a four-on-three, when his wrister from the top of the right circle got past Lalime with Dan Cleary screening him.

Radim Vrbata got Chicago on the board with 1:46 remaining in the second but Kyle Quincey‘s first career goal put the Red Wings back up by six just 12 seconds later.

Nikolai Khabibulin replaced Lalime to start the third period and did not allow a goal.

Jeff Hamilton closed out the game’s scoring at 7:37 of the final period when his wrister from the top of the right circle deflected off of Markov and past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Osgood finished the game with 19 saves on 21 shots against, the first of which didn’t come until the Red Wings already had a three-goal lead. Khabibulin stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third while Lalime made 17 stops on 24 shots in the first two periods.

Detroit scored twice on eleven power play chances. Chicago was held off the board on their four tries with the extra skater.

The Red Wings now await to find out whether their first round playoff opponent will be the Calgary Flames or the Colorado Avalanche. The two teams meet on Sunday in what would be a de facto playoff if the Flames lose to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night and the Avalanche defeat the Nashville Predators.

Whichever team Detroit faces, general manager Ken Holland expects the series to begin on Thursday or Friday night, with game two to be held on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Wings were prevented from claiming a third-straight Presidents’ Trophy by the Buffalo Sabres’ win over the Washington Capitals, clinching Buffalo’s first regular season championship.

Red Wings Claim Central Division in Loss to Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings fell in a shootout to the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night but the point they earned was enough to clinch their sixth-straight Central Division Championship.

The Red Wings moved to three points ahead of the Nashville Predators, who can earn only two points with one game remaining. Detroit also moved to four points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks in the race for the Western Conference Championship. With two games remaining for Anaheim, they can still pull even with the Red Wings.

Detroit threw a season-high 58 shots at Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who made a career-best 56 saves on the night. At the other end of the ice, Chris Osgood saw only 21 shots, stopping 19.

Patrick Sharp won the game for Chicago in the fourth round of the shootout. Sharp went high to Osgood’s glove side with a shot that went off of the goaltender’s arm and into the top of the net.

Chicago had taken an early lead when Nikita Alexeev scored on a blast from the top of the left circle. That goal, scored just 5:03 into the first, also came on a shot that Osgood caught a piece of.

Blackhawks’ rookie Bryan Bickell put his team out in front by two at 3:04 of the second, tipping a shot from the top of the right circle by Jonas Nordqvist past Osgood.

The Red Wings began their comeback with 40 seconds remaining in the middle frame. After a chance in front by Johan Franzen, the puck came to the corner. Pavel Datsyuk picked it up and threw it back into the slot, where Tomas Holmstrom outwaited Khabibulin and lifted a shot over him.

At 9:36 of the third, former Blackhawk Kyle Calder tied the game on a Detroit power play. Khabibulin made the stop on Calder’s initial chance from the top of the crease but Calder pushed at the Chicago netminder, shoving the puck into the net.

That was the game’s only power play goal. It came on the last of Detroit’s three chances with the extra attacker. Chicago had only one power play opportunity.

The Red Wings will have the chance to lock up their final playoff seed on Saturday when they host the Blackhawks in both teams’ final game of the season. If the Anaheim does not win on Friday night, the Red Wings will need one point in Saturday’s game to clinch the conference title.

Nicklas Lidstrom sat out the game with to continue resting his back sprain. Mathieu Schneider was back in the lineup to take his place… Todd Bertuzzi left the game as a precautionary measure after the first period, during which he collided with Osgood. He did take shifts after the collision and was described as having a sprained neck.

Red Wings Ride Third Period Scoring Past Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings survived two lackluster periods of hockey Tuesday night by scoring three times in the third period to pick up a 3-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The victory came despite being outshot 35-23 on the night.

Neither team scored until Kyle Calder got Detroit on the board just 16 seconds into the final frame.

Calder laid a hit on Columbus defenseman Ron Hainsey at the bottom of the left faceoff circle in the Blue Jackets’ zone, knocking the puck loose. He picked it up and cut to the net, backhanding a shot past goaltender Fredrik Norrena.

Todd Bertuzzi would pad the lead with 2:24 remaining and the Blue Jackets pressuring, going to the front of the net and knocking the puck past Norrena on a second chance.

Kris Draper added an empty net goal with 47 seconds remaining and the Red Wings killing a penalty.

Dominik Hasek held on to preserve the shutout after losing one on Sunday when the Blue Jackets scored their only goal of the game with 59 seconds remaining.

Neither team scored a power play goal. They each had six tries with the extra skater.

The win, combined with the Nashville Predators’ shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, means that one point earned by the Red Wings or failed to be earned by the Predators will clinch the Central Division for Detroit. Both teams have two games remaining.

The Red Wings will close out their season with a home-and-home series against the Blackhawks starting on Thursday in Chicago.

Detroit was without defenseman Mathieu Schneider, who sat out with a sore elbow. Nicklas Lidstrom returned to the lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a back sprain.

Out in Front: Red Wings move into first place with win over Predators

The Detroit Red Wings leapfrogged into first place in the National Hockey League Wednesday night with a 4-2 win over the Central Division rival Nashville Predators. The Red Wings now lead Nashville by one point in the standings while retaining a game in hand.

Detroit needed a comeback to earn the win and rookie Jiri Hudler delivered, scoring twice to even the game and then put his team out in front.

With the Red Wings down 2-1 and 3:37 remaining in the second period, Robert Lang threw the puck out in front from behind the net and Kyle Calder got a whack at it. The rebound came out to Hudler, who whipped it past Nashville goalie Chris Mason to even the game.

At 5:41 of the third, Hudler would score the eventual game-winner, sneaking in behind the defense and taking a pass from Lang before roofing a shot over Mason.

Kirk Maltby added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

Alexander Radulov opened the scoring for the Predators with 1:54 remaining in the first period. Radulov stole the puck in the neutral zone and got around defender Andreas Lilja, who couldn’t get back to stop him from putting a shot past netminder Dominik Hasek‘s glove.

Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game just 1:16 into the second, blasting a shot from the top of the left circle past Mason.

Jason Arnott put Nashville back out front 8:56 later, knocking a fluttering puck past Hasek with the shaft of his stick.

Hasek finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots against. Mason stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced.

Neither team scored on the power play. The Predators had five chances with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had one.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Saturday night in Vancouver in the first game of a brief two-game Western Canada road trip that will wrap up on Tuesday in Calgary.

The Red Wings lost rookie Valtteri Filppula to an unspecified lower body injury at the end of the second period.

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