Alumni Showdown Roster Review

I’ve been (finally) going through my photos from the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on New Years Eve and my lack of familiarity with some of the Toronto players has been causing some problems. I look at my photos and say “Who is that guy and why don’t I see a #28 listed on the roster?”

Well, it’s because the announced rosters weren’t the final rosters. A couple players were listed for one game and played in the other or were listed with different numbers or were listed and didn’t actually play. I went back through the player introductions to put together a complete list and I figured I’d share it out for posterity.

Game One

Toronto Maple Leafs

# Name Pos.
33 Doug Favell G
1 Mark Laforest G
1 Peter Ing G
4 Mike Pelyk D
4 Cory Cross D
33 Matt Martin D
3 Brad Marsh (A) D
4 Greg Hotham D
24 Dan Daoust F
21 Mark Osborne F
19 Bill Derlago F
9 Stew Gavin F
15 Pat Boutette F
12 Rob Pearson F
15 Claude Loiselle F
10 Brad May (A) F
14 Dave Reid F
19 Tom Fergus (A) F
26 Mike Krushelnyski F
7 Dave McLlwain F
8 Todd Warriner F
20 Mike Johnson F
16 Nikolai Borschevsky F
32 Lou Franceschetti F

On the Toronto side, Doug Favell wasn’t listed on the roster but did play. Jamie Macoun and Shayne Corson were listed but didn’t play. Mike Johnson wore #20 after being listed without a number.

For Detroit, Ken Holland was on the roster but did not play.

Game Two

Toronto Maple Leafs

# Name Pos.
29 Mike Palmateer G
31 Curtis Joseph G
29 Felix Potvin G
24 Bryan McCabe (A) D
34 Jamie Macoun D
4 Dave Ellett D
15 Bob McGill D
33 Al Iafrate D
34 Bryan Berard D
27 Darryl Sittler (C) F
22 Rick Vaive (C) F
17 Wendel Clark (C) F
93 Doug Gilmour (C) F
14 Dave Andreychuk (A) F
16 Darcy Tucker (A) F
18 Kevin Maguire F
4 Gary Leeman (A) F
9 Russ Courtnall F
7 Gary Roberts (A) F
7 Lanny McDonald (A) F
22 Tiger Williams F
16 Mike Walton F
28 Tie Domi (A) F
11 Mike Gartner F
25 Joe Nieuwendyk (A) F
32 Steve Thomas (A) F
11 Steve Sullivan F

For Detroit, the only oddity was that Joe Kocur was introduced in and played the first period wearing Bob Probert‘s #24 jersey.

For the Leafs, several things were different. Macoun played after having been on the Game One roster. Curtis Joseph wore his usual #31 and Felix Potvin wore #29, having been listed with #35 and #36, respectively. Bryan McCabe wore #24 instead of #29. Up front, Gary Leeman wore #4 instead of #11, Tie Domi wore #28 instead of #20, and Mike Gartner wore #11 instead of #22.

As I said, compiling this list is nothing groundbreaking, I just wanted it to be documented somewhere so I figured I’d write it up.

Alumni Showdown Rosters

Possibly lost in the shuffle yesterday between the Griffins/Marlies tilt at Comerica Park, the Red Wings’ visit to Nashville, and other build-up to tomorrow’s Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Bill Roose had the rosters for Detroit’s two alumni teams for today’s Alumni Showdown.

Kocur was listed as wearing his usual #26 but announced that he would don #24 in honor of Bob Probert.

On Free Agent Splashes

With about fourteen hours before NHL free agency opens up, Hockeytown anxiously awaits what Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland will do to address the holes in the team’s lineup.

Holland has gone on the record saying that he’s looking for a defenseman to help offset the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, possibly a top-six forward (especially if Jiri Hudler bolts) and possibly a goaltender (either to back up Jimmy Howard in Detroit or to take Joey MacDonald‘s spot in Grand Rapids, with MacDonald as Howard’s backup).

There is an expectation that the Red Wings will make a “splash” given those holes to fill and approximately $20 million of cap space to use.  The primary targets are expected to be Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter and New Jersey forward Zach Parise.

Here’s what terrifies me:  Considering who Detroit has already lost this summer, would signing Suter even be a splash?

That move seems more like signing Brian Rafalski when Mathieu Schneider left the team, or Curtis Joseph to replace Dominik Hasek when he retired the first time.

As much as we talk about the Red Wings being big spenders, aside from Marian Hossa in 2009, those are the kind of moves they’ve made since the last lockout.  Their big signings are still somewhat lateral overall.

To make a splash, the Wings can do no less than sign both Suter and Parise.  I’d love to see it but I’m less and less convinced that it’s possible,

I’ve decided to lower my expectations.  There’s no replacing Lidstrom and it’s hard to replace Stuart, but it’s impossible to do that by promoting from within given the Red Wings’ current blueline.  That means that Suter is a must.

Parise?  I hope so but it’s not enough without Suter.  I’d rather Suter and Alex Semin or Shane Doan than Parise without Suter.

Of course, 24 hours from now I might be saying something else entirely.  We’ll see what Holland does for us.

Datsyuk, Lidstrom Each Score Twice as Red Wings Rout Coyotes in Game Seven

With their season on the line, Detroit’s top players came through as Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom each scored a pair of goals in leading the Red Wings to a 6-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Seven of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

Henrik Zetterberg and Brian Rafalski each had three assists on the night while Brad Stuart and Todd Bertuzzi rounded out the scoring.

The Red Wings advance to face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Detroit outshot Phoenix 17-6 in the first period but couldn’t solve goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. It wasn’t until 2:01 of the second period that his countryman, Datsyuk, opened the game’s scoring.

With the Red Wings on the power play, Datsyuk took a bouncing feed from Lidstrom in the slot and snapped a shot through traffic in front of the net and past Bryzgalov.

Datsyuk scored his second just 1:41 later, taking a long stretch pass from Zetterberg and breaking in all alone on Bryzgalov. He faked to his backhand and cut back to his forehand, lifting a shot over Bryzgalov’s shoulder to make it 2-0.

Vernon Fiddler got Phoenix on the board at 8:23 of the second, taking advantage of a miscue by Datsyuk to snap a shot off the faceoff past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Lidstrom’s first of the night, another power play goal, restored Detroit’s two-goal lead with 6:08 left in the period. The rebound of a Zetterberg chance came into the high slot, where Lidstrom stepped in and blasted it past Bryzgalov.

The Coyotes had a chance to cut into the lead again in the period’s closing minutes with a 72-second five-on-three. Detroit limited Phoenix to only two shots, however, and turned the tables as the second penalty expired.

Lee Stempniak tried to throw a pass to former Red Wing Mathieu Schneider at the point but it was off target and left the Detroit zone. Just out of the penalty box, Brad Stuart picked up the loose puck and raced in to beat Bryzgalov with 4.6 seconds left in the period.

Bertuzzi banged home the rebound of a Valtteri Filppula chance 6:35 into the third period, virtually ending the series.

Lidstrom wrapped up the scoring with his second of the night, snapping a shot into the top corner of the net from the right faceoff dot. It was another power play goal, coming with 7:46 left in the game.

The Red Wings finished the night three-for-six on the power play. The Coyotes were scoreless on five tries with the extra attacker, including the 1:12 five-on-three.

Howard stopped 32 of 33 shots in earning the win. Bryzgalov made 44 saves on 50 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings are expected to open the second round on Thursday.


Phoenix captain Shane Doan sat out his fourth consecutive game after being injured in Game Three.

Red Wings Rally for First Road Win

Down by two goals just 7:05 into Tuesday’s matchup against the Vancouver Canucks, the Detroit Red Wings rallied for a 5-4 win. It was their first win on the road this season.

Vancouver took an early lead, scoring twice on their first four shots before Detroit goalie Chris Osgood was replaced by backup Jimmy Howard.

Howard stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced for the rest of the game, outdueling Canucks superstar netminder Roberto Luongo en route to his second career win.

Luongo stopped 37 of the 42 chances he faced.

Henrik Sedin scored just 30 seconds into the game and Christian Erhoff added another goal 6:35 later to chase Osgood from the net.

Tomas Holmstrom completed a pretty passing play from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk to put Detroit on the board with 4:13 left in the first period, tapping home a chance from the edge of the crease.

After a scoreless second period, Niklas Kronwall tied the game 3:51 into the third period, sneaking a shot through a screen by Holmstrom and past Luongo.

The Canucks regained the lead 1:14 later with a power play goal by former Red Wing Mathieu Schneider but Pavel Datsyuk tied the game back up one minute after that.

Datsyuk’s second of the night – a power play goal – gave the Wings a 4-3 lead at 9:31 of the period.

With Vancouver on a five-on-three, Sedin knocked in the puck from the back side of the goal to pull the Canucks back into a tie with 7:53 remaining in the third.

The Red Wings rebounded with another power play goal of their own as Jason Williams beat Luongo off a feed from Valtteri Filppula with 5:03 left in regulation.

Howard made several stops to keep the Wings in it in the final minutes as they held on for the win.

Detroit finished the night two-for-three on the power play. Vancouver went two-for-four including the five-on-three goal.


Brad May fought Tanner Glass midway through the second period… The Canucks lost Ryan Johnson after he crashed heavily into the boards in the second period.

Ducks’ Schneider Injured

Christy Hammond over at BtJ just pointed out that former Red Wing Mathieu Schneider suffered a broken bone in his ankle in his first exhibition game with the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

The injury will put him out for at least four weeks, putting his earliest return at October 14, meaning he’ll miss the Ducks’ visit to the Joe for the Red Wings’ season opener on October 3.

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.

Schneider Bolts Wings for Ducks

Defenseman Mathieu Schneider has left the Detroit Red Wings, signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Anaheim Ducks.

Schneider’s two-year deal with Anaheim will pay him $5.5 million next season and $5.75 million the following campaign.

Originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, Schneider had also played for the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings before joining the Red Wings in a trade-deadline deal in 2003.

Schneider had almost left the Red Wings once before, when he became a free agent following the 2003-04 season. It had been announced that he would not be returning to Detroit but the two sides were able to agree to terms on a deal following the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season.

With Schneider now in the fold, Anaheim defenseman Scott Niedermayer is expected to announce his retirement.

Wings Won’t Bring Back Lang

The Detroit News reports that Red Wings GM Ken Holland has opted not to offer a contract to forward Robert Lang. Lang will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“With the salary cap, you can’t bring back everyone,” Holland said. “It forces you to make decisions.”

Holland will be meeting with the agents for defensemen Danny Markov and Mathieu Schneider and goalie Dominik Hasek during the draft this weekend.

I don’t think a lot of people will be too surprised that Lang won’t return. He saw decreased playing time during the playoffs and has been a constant target of criticism across the blogosphere (I hate that word).

To replace him, I expect either that Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will be split up to center the top two lines or Valtteri Filppula will jump up to second-line center.