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.

Griffins Jersey Number Updates

I’ve already looked at the Red Wings’ jersey number changes this season but now that the Griffins have released their camp roster, I can do the same for them.

None of last-season’s full-time Griffins are changing their numbers for the coming year but all of the players who joined the team late in the season have been assigned different numbers than those they wore during Grand Rapids’ Calder Cup run.

Defenseman Ryan Sproul gives up the #2 he had been wearing (having inherited it from Cody Lampl and Carlo Colaiacovo) to Joe Hartman, switching to the #7 vacated by Brendan Smith‘s ascension to the Detroit roster full-time. Fellow blueliner Xavier Ouellet switches from #37 to #16 while Richard Nedomlel goes from #41 to #45, a rare case of a Griffin wearing a high number.

With Ouellet taking #16, Marek Tvrdon drops to the #13 previously assigned to Gustav Nyquist, who seems poised to make the jump to the Red Wings.

Teemu Pulkkinen switches from #26 to the #6 that was briefly assigned to Andreas Athanasiou, with #26 going to free-agent signing David McIntyre. Calle Jarnkrok drops from the #25 he shared with Mike Knuble last year (and was originally assigned to Damien Brunner) to the #12 vacated by Brent Raedeke‘s departure. Kevin Lynch picks up the #25 from Jarnkrok.

Newcomer Alden Hirschfeld takes Francis Pare‘s old #9. Similarly, Martin Frk picks up Tomas Tatar‘s #27, Dane Walters gets Brian Lashoff‘s #32, Travis Novak will wear Jan Mursak‘s #39 and Alexey Marchenko gets the #3 that was shared by Erik Spady, Mark Mitera and Brett Skinner.

Goalie Jared Coreau gets his usual #31, meaning that he joins Landon Ferraro (#29) and Petr Mrazek (#34) as the only Griffins assigned the same number in Grand Rapids as they are in Detroit.

Joakim Andersson‘s old #18, Chad Billins‘ #14 and Danny DeKeyser‘s #55 were not assigned for camp.

Red & White Game Rosters Announced

The Detroit Red Wings announced the tentative rosters for tomorrow’s Red & White Game at Plymouth’s Compuware Arena earlier today.

Pavel Datsyuk will be a game-time decision, having arrived back in Detroit from Russia late Monday. Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson will be kept out due to injuries.

Wings’ Trade Deadline Recap

The 2012 NHL Trade Deadline may not have brought what Red Wings fans wanted but that doesn’t mean the Wings made the wrong moves.

As far back as last summer, fans were salivating over the idea of having virtually unlimited cap space at the trade deadline. With over $22 million available to spend, there would be no player Ken Holland would be unable to afford. After years of Detroit being unable to add a significant piece on the final day of NHL trading, the shoe would be on the other foot.

And then nothing happened.

With cap space to spend, Holland couldn’t find any trading partners. Unlike in previous years, there were no superstars on non-playoff teams in the last year of their contract to be had as rentals. No Ilya Kovalchuk, no Marian Hossa.

The Washington Capitals weren’t set to trade Alexander Semin, the New Jersey Devils had already stated they wouldn’t move Zach Parise and the surging Anaheim Ducks weren’t going to give up Teemu Selanne.

With those options unavailable, the Red Wings stuck to smaller moves. In two deals with the Tampa Bay Lightning, one last week and one today, Holland turned Mike Commodore, Sebastien Piche and a first round pick into Kyle Quincey and a conditional seventh-rounder. It’s an upgrade at the blue line with the potential to be more than a rental, as Holland has already stated that the Wings will at least tender Quincey a restricted free agent qualifying offer.

Detroit’s rivals made more moves, notably the Nashville Predators.

The Predators had acquired Hal Gill on February 17, then added Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad up front today. They paid a hefty price, giving up Blake Geoffrion, a first-round pick, and two second-rounders.

In essence, Nashville paid as much for fourth-line, free agent forward Gaustad – a rental – as the Red Wings did for restricted free agent defenseman Quincey – a non-rental.

So I’m okay with Holland standing pat. I would have liked a move for a depth forward; I’d been thinking former Wing Mike Knuble could be a good fit for cheap but as he wasn’t moved at the deadline, I have to think either he wasn’t available or the Capitals were asking too much from everyone.

I’m also not going to lie – I am concerned that Nashville, Chicago, Vancouver and San Jose all added players while the Red Wings didn’t. Those teams got better and got deeper. The Red Wings got better but are not a deep team.

That last note will be proven tomorrow in Columbus. Jonathan Ericsson is already out with a broken ankle and now Quincey has a sore groin. Brendan Smith has been called up and will be in the lineup, along with Jakub Kindl. Another defensive call-up could be necessary if Nicklas Lidstrom, who didn’t practice today, can’t go.

Or maybe these late-season injuries will prove the depth the team can call on from Grand Rapids and show that a trade wasn’t necessary.

Finnished Off: Americans Eliminated by Finland

An exciting finish capped a lackluster Olympic run by the United States on Wednesday as Team USA was unable to complete a third-period comeback and fell to Finland, 4-3.

The American squad earned only one win in the preliminary round, earning a berth in the quarterfinals seemingly by default and finding their offense just in time for their defense to let them down.

The United States came back from two goals down once but couldn’t do it a second time.

Finland took an early lead when Ville Peltonen put the puck between the pads of American goalie Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders) 9:33.

The Finns extended their lead with 7:59 remaining in the period when Sami Salo (Vancouver Canucks) added a shorthanded goal.

Team USA began its first comeback just 1:13 later, getting on the board with a goal by Mike Knuble (Philadelphia Flyers).

The Americans tied it in the second when Mathieu Schneider (Detroit Red Wings) scored a power play goal just 1:29 into the second as a barrage of penalties took over the flow of the game.

Olli Jokinen (Florida Panthers) scored his first of the game on a Finland power play at 5:06 to put his team back in the lead and added a second goal on a five-on-three with 2:50 remaining in the period.

The United States got a goal by Brian Gionta (New Jersey Devils) with 4:27 remaining in the third period to pull back within one but they couldn’t get the tying goal.

Five Third Period Goals Spark Red Wings’ Victory

The Red Wings continued their dominance of the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena with a 6-3 victory in the only meeting between the two teams this season. The Wings were led by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk who each had two goals.

The teams skated to a scoreless first period with Wings shutting down four power play opportunities for the Flyers. The Wings also held the Flyers top line of Peter Forsberg, Simon Gagne, and Mike Knuble without a shot in the period.

At 13:20 of the second period Datsyuk put the Wings on the board first. While on the power play Zetterberg made a cross crease pass to Datsyuk who was positioned just off the right post.

The Flyers tied the game at 16:45 of the second with a power play goal of their own. Gagne was left alone between the circles and put a wrist shot past Manny Legace after a pass from Forsberg in the left circle.

The Wings scored two goals in the first 46 seconds of the third period. The first came only 14 seconds in when Chris Chelios found himself alone in the right circle after Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby forced a turnover while killing off Robert Lang‘s hooking penalty from late in the second. Then Pavel Datsyuk played a give-and-go with Brendan Shanahan skating on his right and took the pass in the slot to beat Flyers’ goalie Antero Niittymaki.

The Flyers pulled within one at 4:06 with a goal from Dennis Seidenberg, taking a shot from above the left circle, which was tipped by Andreas Lilja.

Zetterberg put the Wings up by two again at 8:37. Zetterberg had misfired on a shot just left of the goal from a feed by Pavel Datsyuk in the right circle. Zetterberg then gathered the puck along the boards and banked it off the back of Niittymaki’s legs.

The Flyers again pulled within one goal of the Wings, this time by a goal from Gagne at a tight angle at 10:33. Forsberg had controlled the puck behind the net and passed to Gagne just below the left circle.

Zetterberg scored his second goal from the left slot at 11:09 of the third period off a pass from Datsyuk which was close to a mirror image of Datsyuk’s first goal in the second period from Zetterberg. Then Robert Lang added the Wings sixth goal at 14:10 off a pass from Steve Yzerman on a 2-on-1.

Each team scored on one of their power play opportunities. The Flyers had six and the Wings had four. Antero Niittymaki faced 41 Red Wings’ shots, making 35 saves, while Manny Legace made 17 saves on 20 shots by the Flyers.

The Wings next face the New York Rangers at the Joe on Saturday afternoon.


The Flyers have not won at Joe Louis Arena since November 4, 1988 … Steve Yzerman recorded his 1051st assist, passing Gordie Howe for 7th place on the NHL all-time list. Yzerman is now only 29 assits behind Adam Oates who is 6th on that list.

Two Red Wings Named U.S. Olympians

Detroit Red Wings defensemen Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider were two of the 23 players named to the United States’ mens ice hockey rosrer for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The roster for the team was announced on Monday.

Chelios, along with Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, will be making his fourth trip to the Olympics. He was previously named to Team USA in 1984, 1998 and 2002, as well as for the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004.

“There’s no doubt the intangibles Chris Chelios brings to any team have to be discussed,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “We brought him back for his ability to play, but also because of his leadership and competitiveness. When he’s on your team, he believes your team is going to win, and he has an impact on the players around him.”

“I feel very lucky at my age and am looking forward to the challenge,” said Chelios, who will turn 44 in January.

Schneider, seemingly a lock for the team after his strong play in the 2003-04 season and early this year, will be making his second Olympic appearance for the United States. He was named to Team USA for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, but did not make the team in 2002. He also played for Team USA at the World Cup in 1996 and 2004.

“With his ability to skate and handle the puck… the way he played two years ago and this year, it became pretty obvious that he had to be on the team,” Holland said.

“We think our depth on defense is as good as it’s ever been,” Team USA general manager Don Waddell said.

Almost half of the team has ties to Michigan, either having come from the state, played for the Red Wings, or played for one of the area’s college teams.

The full roster is as follows:

Goaltenders (3)
Rick DiPietro
Robert Esche
John Grahame

Defensemen (7)
Chris Chelios
Derian Hatcher
Jordan Leopold
John-Michael Liles
Aaron Miller
Brian Rafalski
Mathieu Schneider

Forwards (13)
Jason Blake
Erik Cole
Craig Conroy
Chris Drury
Brian Gionta
Scott Gomez
Bill Guerin
Mike Knuble
Mike Modano
Mark Parrish
Brian Rolston
Keith Tkachuk
Doug Weight

Bruins Take Season Series in OT

It was a much closer score in the Red Wings’ second game this week against the Boston Bruins, but once again a timely goal by Bruins captain Joe Thornton decided the game. Boston took a 2-1 decision in overtime.

The Red Wings held a 1-0 lead for most of the game, thanks to a nice goal by Kirk Maltby 8:00 into the game. Steve Yzerman intercepted the puck in the Boston zone and sent a pass up to Ray Whitney. Maltby picked up the rebound from Whitney’s shot and fired it past goalie Andrew Raycroft.

Just as it was in the Wednesday matchup between these two teams, the goaltending was very good on both sides. Raycroft was continuously in just the right position to block oncoming shots, while Curtis Joseph was in fine acrobatic form, sprawling and twisting to block the shots the Bruins were sending in from strange angles.

In spite of the quality of the Bruins’ scoring chances, Boston wasn’t able to get on the board until they were handed a five-minute power play. Pavel Datsyuk was given a boarding major and a game misconduct for an ordinary-looking check against Michal Grosek.

The penalty-killers did a good job for the most part, but they did give up the lead when Marty Lapointe put the rebound of a bad angle shot by Mike Knuble past Joseph on the glove side.

Detroit controlled the play for the last several minutes of the third period, but Raycroft’s solid play sent the game to overtime. Halfway through the extra session, Dan McGillis carried the puck up the right side of Detroit’s zone, luring everyone towards him, then made a back pass to Thornton coming through the slot with no one to cover him. Thornton easily put the puck into the mostly empty net.

Raycroft made 27 saves on the 28 shots he faced, while Joseph stopped 33 of 35.
The Red Wings have a few days off before their next game. They’ll be back in action Wednesday night when they face the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

Wings Can’t Crack Bruins

Boston rookie goalie Andrew Raycroft was most assuredly the star of this game. The Red Wings peppered him with shots and set up numerous scoring chances, but Raycroft always seemed to be right where he needed to be, and the bounces all went the Bruins’ way. Boston won the game 3-0.

Detroit outplayed Boston considerably in the first period, outshooting the Bruins 13 to 3. Raycroft was solid, making big saves on Pavel Datsyuk, Kris Draper, and Ray Whitney. The Bruins, unfortunately, scored on only their second shot of the game. Dan McGillis knocked the puck away from Brendan Shanahan at the blue line, then got it to Sergei Samsonov. Samsonov made a short pass to Joe Thornton, who faked to his left, then pulled the puck back to the right and put it between Curtis Joseph‘s skate and the goalpost.

Boston, having a lead, began to shut down the game at that. They played a skillful trap, and the Red Wings had a tough time breaking through the blue line to generate offensive chances. Meanwhile, Boston scored their second goal of the game on an odd bounce off the back boards. The Bruins won the faceoff in Detroit’s zone, and Jeff Jillson banked the puck behind the net. The puck bounced back off the side of the net and into the goal crease, and Travis Green was able to whack it into the net.

Mike Knuble topped off the scoring for the Bruins by taking a nice pass from Sean O’Donnell and bouncing it off Joseph and into the net.

The Red Wings tried even harder to pressure Raycroft after that, but he was steady, sliding all the way across the net to make a save against Brett Hull and stoning Henrik Zetterberg on a near-breakaway chance.

Raycroft made 35 saves for his second career shutout. Joseph made 23 saves on 26 shots. The Red Wings will soon have the chance to avenge their loss: these two teams will play the second game of their home and home series Saturday afternoon at the Fleet Center in Boston.


Dave Lewis is guaranteed to be either the head coach or assistant coach of the Western Conference All-Star Team in February. The jobs go to the head coaches whose teams have the highest and second-highest points percentage (points earned divided by points possible) after January 8. Whether Lewis goes as the head coach or the assistant depends now on whether Tony Granato and the Colorado Avalanche win or lose tomorrow night against Nashville.