Thoughts on the Red Wings – Avalanche Alumni Game

If you were following DetroitHockey.Net on Twitter during the Red Wings – Avalanche alumni game at Coors Field (before my phone battery died on me), you could probably see the narrative I found most interesting about the event. It’s something I commented on when the ticket sale for this game was announced and when the rumor that the Red Wings might be visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs for an outdoor game last year broke.

When Detroit hosted their outdoor game, half the stadium was reserved for Toronto fans. The scoreboard videos pandered to each fanbase. Merchandise stands had items representing both teams. Even in Detroit at the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park, the rivalry was celebrated rather than the individual teams. It was treated much as a neutral-site game.

But come out to Colorado and it is very much an Avalanche home game. The video about the rivalry consisted mostly of Colorado goals and Patrick Roy saves. There was no clip of Claude Lemieux turtling, Roy left bloodied at the hands of Mike Vernon, or his Statue of Liberty save.

So it’s frustrating to have been to Detroit’s “home” game and seen extra effort made to make the visitors feel welcome, only to not have it happen when the tables are turned. Maybe the next time the Red Wings host one of these, they’ll get to keep it as a home game.


As for the game itself, I was shocked to see the final shot totals. Both Patrick Roy and Craig Billington made some really solid saves for the Avalanche but overall it felt like the Red Wings never got anything going. By shot totals, it seems like the goalies stole the show. I never got the feeling that Detroit was pressuring that much, though.

I did get the feeling that the Avalanche simply cared more. There were quite a few times a Colorado defender laid out to block a shot or a pass and it doesn’t seem like that happened as much in the Detroit end. The feeling I couldn’t shake throughout the game was that the Red Wings were just having fun and the Avalanche were trying to win.


I took a bunch of photos, mostly during warm-ups, and will aim to have those on the site next week.

Red Wings, Maple Leafs Each Add Four to Alumni Showdown Rosters

The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Thursday the addition of four players to each of their rosters for the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on December 31.

The Red Wings have added Petr Klima, Dallas Drake, Garry Unger and Paul Ysebaert to their alumni roster.

Klima was one of the Red Wings many eastern European draft selections of the 1980s.  He was selected in the fifth round of the 1983 draft and defected from then-Czechoslovakia in 1985.  He played in 293 career games with the Red Wings before being dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in 1989.  After stints in Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh, he ended his NHL career with a return to the Red Wings for 13 games in the 1998-99 season.

Drake also started and ended his career with the Red Wings.  Selected by Detroit in the 1989 draft, he made his NHL debut for the 1992-93 season.  Drake was traded to the Winnpeg Jets the following year and moved with the team to Phoenix.  He played six seasons for the St. Louis Blues before returning to the Red Wings to close out his career with a Stanley Cup in 2008.

Like Drake, Unger also played for both the Blues and the Red Wings.  Acquired from the Maple Leafs during his rookie season of 1967-68, Unger would play parts of four season with Detroit before being dealt to St. Louis.  He played nine seasons with the Blues and closed out his career with campaigns for the Los Angeles and Edmonton.

Ysebaert played parts of three seasons with the Red Wings from 1990 to 1993.  He started his career with New Jersey before being traded to Detroit, then moved on to Winnipeg, Chicago and Tampa Bay.

The four players added by the Maple Leafs were Joe Niewendyk, Borje Salming, Frank Mahovlich and Mats Sundin.

The following players are confirmed to appear at the Alumni Showdown:

Red Wings
Red Berenson
Jimmy Carson
Dino Ciccarelli
Alex Delvecchio
Dallas Drake
Kris Draper
Sergei Fedorov
Petr Klima
Joe Kocur
Martin Lapointe
Igor Larionov
Ted Lindsay
Kirk Maltby
Darren McCarty
John Ogrodnick
Dennis Polonich
Mickey Redmond
Garry Unger
Luc Robitaille
Paul Ysebaert

Chris Chelios
Paul Coffey
Mathieu Dandenault
Jiri Fischer
Viacheslav Fetisov
Mark Howe
Vladimir Konstantinov
Larry Murphy
Aaron Ward

Chris Osgood
Mike Vernon

Maple Leafs
Dave Andreychuk
Wendel Clark
Russ Courtnall
Vincent Damphousse
Bill Derlago
Tie Domi
Ron Ellis
Doug Gilmour
Gary Leeman
Kevin Maguire
Frank Mahovlich
Brad May
Lanny McDonald
Joe Nieuwendyk
Gary Roberts
Darryl Sittler
Mats Sundin
Darcy Tucker
Rick Vaive
Tiger Williams

Dave Ellett
Jim McKenny
Bryan McCabe
Bob McGill
Borje Salming

Johnny Bower
Curtis Joseph
Mike Palmateer
Felix Potvin

Wings, Leafs Announce More Alumni Showdown Additions

The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs announced seven more players who will appear in the Alumni Showdown between the two teams in December on Thursday.

The Red Wings added Aaron Ward, Red Berenson, Jimmy Carson and Dennis Polonich.

Ward started his career with the Red Wings in 1993-94 and played seven seasons with the team, winning the Stanley Cup in 1997 and 1998 before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2001.  He won another Cup with Carolina in 2006.  He closed out his career with four seasons split between the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, another stint with Carolina, and the Anaheim Ducks.

Berenson, the legendary University of Michigan head coach, spent parts of five seasons with the Red Wings in the 70s.  He also played for the Montreal Canadiens, Rangers, and St. Louis Blues over 987 career NHL games.

Carson played part of four season with the Wings in the early 1990s.  He started his career with the Los Angeles Kings before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in the Wayne Gretzky deal.  The Oilers traded him to the Red Wings early in the 1989-90 season and the Wings sent him back to LA in 1993.  He closed out his NHL career with stints in Vancouver and Hartford, then retired from hockey after two years with the IHL’s Detroit Vipers.

Polonich played his entire NHL career in Detroit, serving as team captain during the 1976-77 season while Danny Grant was injured.  He was famously injured by Wilf Paiement of the Colorado Rockies in a 1978 game when Paiement smashed him in the face with his stick.  Polonich was sent down to the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings in 1983 and never made it back into the NHL.  He closed out his career with two season’s with the IHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks in 1986 and 1987.

The Maple Leafs added Tie Domi, Brad May, and Dave “Tiger” Williams.  May and Williams also spent time with the Red Wings over their careers.

The following players are confirmed to appear at the Alumni Showdown:

Red Wings
Red Berenson
Jimmy Carson
Dino Ciccarelli
Alex Delvecchio
Kris Draper
Sergei Fedorov
Joe Kocur
Martin Lapointe
Igor Larionov
Ted Lindsay
Kirk Maltby
Darren McCarty
John Ogrodnick
Dennis Polonich
Mickey Redmond
Luc Robitaille

Chris Chelios
Paul Coffey
Mathieu Dandenault
Jiri Fischer
Viacheslav Fetisov
Mark Howe
Vladimir Konstantinov
Larry Murphy
Aaron Ward

Chris Osgood
Mike Vernon

Maple Leafs
Dave Andreychuk
Wendel Clark
Russ Courtnall
Vincent Damphousse
Bill Derlago
Tie Domi
Ron Ellis
Doug Gilmour
Gary Leeman
Kevin Maguire
Brad May
Lanny McDonald
Gary Roberts
Darryl Sittler
Darcy Tucker
Rick Vaive
Tiger Williams

Dave Ellett
Jim McKenny
Bryan McCabe
Bob McGill

Johnny Bower
Curtis Joseph
Mike Palmateer
Felix Potvin

Four of “Russian Five” to Appear at Alumni Showdown

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Thursday that four members of the famous “Russian Five” will appear at the Alumni Showdown on December 31 at Comerica Park.

The Russian Five was the first group of five Soviet-trained players to play as a unit in the NHL.  Assembeled by coach Scotty Bowman – who will be behind the bench at the Alumni Showdown – in 1995, the line consisted of Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Vladimir Konstantinov and Viacheslav Fetisov.

All but Kozlov will be at the outdoor game against alumni from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In addition to the four Russians, the Maple Leafs announced six new players who will appear: Gary Leeman, Russ Courtnall, Bill Derlago, Bob McGill, Vincent Damphousse, and Dave Ellett.

Confirmed participants for the two teams are now as follows, with more to be announced:

Detroit
Chris Chelios, Dino Ciccarelli, Alex Delvecchio, Kris Draper, Sergei Fedorov, Viacheslav Fetisov, Mark Howe, Joe Kocur, Vladimir Konstantinov, Igor Larionov, Ted Lindsay, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, Larry Murphy, John Ogrodnick, Chris Osgood, Mickey Redmond, Luc Robitaille, Mike Vernon

Toronto
Dave Andreychuk, Johnny Bower, Wendel Clark, Russ Courtnall, Vincent Damphousse, Bill Derlago, Dave Ellett, Ron Ellis, Doug Gilmour, Curtis Joseph, Gary Leeman, Kevin Maguire, Bob McGill, Jim McKenny, Mike Palmateer, Felix Potvin, Darryl Sittler, Darcy Tucker, Rick Vaive

Partial Rosters Announced for Red Wings – Maple Leafs Alumni Game

In a Comerica Park press conference on Wednesday, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs announced a handful of the players who will participate in the Alumni Showdown in December.

The Alumni Showdown will consist of two games to accommodate all of the players interested in appearing.  No details on how the games will be broken down are known at this time.

The confirmed Red Wings’ alumni are as follows:

Chris Osgood
Mike Vernon
Dino Ciccarelli
Alex Delvecchio
Ted Lindsay
Joe Kocur
Kirk Maltby
Kris Draper
Darren McCarty
Mickey Redmond
John Ogrodnick
Luc Robitaille
Larry Murphy
Mark Howe

The team will be coached by Scotty Bowman.

Among the confirmed Maple Leafs players are former Red Wings Curtis Joseph and Wendel Clark, Felix Potvin, Darcy Tucker, Doug Gilmour and Dave Andreychuk.

And From There, Pandemonium

It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since the infamous “Brawl in Hockeytown” that inspired the Red Wings to make their 1997 Stanley Cup run and really kick-started what was briefly the NHL’s fiercest rivalry.

It’s kind of funny that the game is so celebrated, as removed from the emotion of it all, it really was a dirty affair. Darren McCarty jumping Claude Lemieux, Brendan Shanahan and Mike Vernon teaming up on Patrick Roy and Adam Foote. In today’s NHL, I have to think we would have seen suspensions galore.

But at the time, it was a kind of catharsis. Until then, the league knew that the Wings were a soft team that wouldn’t stand up for themselves. The league’s two-game suspension to Claude Lemieux for breaking Kris Draper‘s face in the 1996 playoffs was light and there was almost an unspoken mandate that if the Red Wings didn’t like it, they’d have to do something about it themselves.

That they did, with McCarty playing the hero with his fists and his stick.

Fifteen years removed, I won’t say it was good hockey but it was what the Red Wings needed and it’s still fun to go back and re-watch.

Osgood Blanks Blue Jackets in 4-0 Red Wings Win

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped al 23 shots he faced Sunday night, leading the Red Wings to a 4-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The shutout was the 49th of Osgood’s career and his 385th career win, tying him with former Red Wing Mike Vernon for 11th all-time. He now sits four wins behind Dominik Hasek for 10th all-time.

With the win, the Red Wings clinched a playoff spot for the 18th consecutive season and reached 100 standings points for an NHL-record nine seasons in a row.

Marian Hossa scored from the side of the net 5:09 into the first period, getting the Wings on the board after an apparent goal in the game’s first minute was waved off due to Tomas Holmstrom having a foot in the crease.

With the Red Wings on a five-on-three 3:53 later, Niklas Kronwall blasted a shot past Columbus goalie Steve Mason to put Detroit up by a pair.

Mikael Samuelsson beat Mason on odd-man rush slap shot with 1:32 remaining in the second period.

At 9:40 of the third period, Johan Franzen sent many of the Columbus fans at Nationwide Arena packing, cutting through the top of the crease and putting a backhander in behind Mason to finish off the game’s scoring.

Kronwall’s goal was the only power play goal by either team. Detroit had five tries with the extra attacker while the Blue Jackets had four.

Mason stopped 26 of the Red Wings’ 30 shots.


Detroit was without forward Valtteri Filppula who missed the game with back spasms. Defenseman Derek Meech was shifted to forward to take his spot in the lineup.

Osgood Returns to Wings

A familiar face will return to the Red Wings crease for the 2005-06 season, as Detroit announced on Monday that they had signed goaltender Chris Osgood. Terms of the contract were not officially announced but the deal is reportedly for one year at $900,000.

Osgood broke into the NHL with the Wings in 1993-94 and helped them claim their second Stanley Cup Championship in as many years in 1998. His 221 wins and 30 shutouts as a Red Wing are second only to Terry Sawchuk in team history.

In his 12-year NHL career, Osgood has 305 wins, 41 shutouts and a 2.44 goals against average. In the playoffs his record is 44-33 and his GAA is 2.22.

Osgood shared the Detroit crease with Tim Cheveldae and Bob Essensa in 1993-94 and with Mike Vernon from 1994-1997 before establishing himself as the full-time starter during Detroit’s Stanley Cup run in 1997-98.

He became the scapegoat for the Wings’ 2001 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Kings and after the team acquired future-Hall-of-Famer Dominik Hasek that summer, Osgood was claimed by the New York Islanders in the waiver draft. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues at the 2003 trade deadline.

Former Wing Osgood Traded to St. Louis

Former Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood was traded by the New York Islanders to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. The trade marks Osgood return to the Central Division, where he began his career with Detroit.

Osgood was traded to the Blues in return for defenseman Justin Papineau and a draft pick.

In thirty-eight games this season with the Islanders, Osgood has compiled a 17-14-4 record and a 2.92 goals-against average. He split playing time with Garth Snow and Rick DiPietro and spent some time out of the lineup with an injured ankle.

Osgood won the Stanley Cup in 1997 and 1998 with the Red Wings. After backing up Mike Vernon through the 1997 playoffs, he battled through several bad goals to help Detroit to the Cup in 1998.

St. Louis has used six different goaltenders this season. Osgood will be their seventh netminder, likely taking the starting role away from Brent Johnson.

Joseph to Sign With Wings

Curtis Joseph, widely reguarded as the best goaltender available in this summer’s crop of free agents, is reportedly set to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. A late-morning press conference has been called to announce the signing.

Joseph, a Calgary Flames for two days after his rights were traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs, has also played with the St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers. He backstopped the Maple Leafs to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002 and played for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Reportedly, Joseph spurned a three-year, $26 million deal from the Maple Leafs to accept a $24 million, three year deal with incentives for a fourth year and bonuses for winning the Stanley Cup.

Joseph comes to Detroit to replace Dominik Hasek, who retired after leading the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup Championship this spring.

The thirty-five year old Joseph made it clear that he intended to come to a Cup contender. Joseph has never won the Stanley Cup.

It will be the second time in the last three attempts that the Red Wings will try to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions while riding a different goalie. After winning in 1997, Mike Vernon was sent to San Jose as Chris Osgood sucessfully defended the Wings’ championship. Osgood was kept around after the 1998 Cup win. Hasek led the Wings to the 2002 Cup but retired last week.