The Alternate Wings All-Stars

I was talking expansion draft with Michael Petrella, of the now-defunct Production Line blog, yesterday and we got on the topic of draft picks that the Red Wings have traded away.

Many of those picks were used to select players that were never heard from again but some were used to grab some guys who the Wings probably wish they could have gotten.

I went back through the last twenty years of traded Red Wings draft picks – players who could have landed in Detroit – and I give you the Alternate Wings All-Stars.

Forwards

Patrick Sharp
With 277 goals and 322 assists in 869 career NHL games, Sharp is easily the most productive player selected with a traded Detroit draft pick in the last twenty years.  Sharp was picked in the third round, 95th overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Wings traded that pick to Nashville on June 24, 2000, for a 4th-round pick in the 2000 Entry Draft, which they used to select Stefan Liv at 102nd overall.  The Predators later flipped the pick to Philadelphia for defenseman Mark Eaton.

Alexei Ponikarovsky
Ponikarovsky was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fourth round of the 1998 Entry Draft, 87th overall, with the pick the Leafs acquired from Detroit on March 24, 1998, in return for Jamie Macoun.  Macoun would with a Cup with Detroit that spring and play one more season with them before retiring.  Ponikarovski would go on to score 139 goals and 184 assists in a 12-year NHL career spent mostly with Toronto.

Mike Comrie
Coming out of the University of Michigan, Comrie was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round, 91st overall, of the 1999 Entry Draft.  The Oilers got that pick from the Nashville Predators in return for defenseman Craig Millar.  Nashville got it on July 14, 1998, as part of the package that returned Doug Brown to the Red Wings after the Predators claimed him in the expansion draft.  In a 589-game NHL career split across six teams, Comrie would score 168 goals and add 197 assists.

Defensemen

Mike Green
Now a Red Wing via free agency, Detroit gave up the chance to pick Green when they sent their first-round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft (29th overall) to the Washington Capitals in the deal for Robert Lang.  Green went on to score 113 goals and 247 assists in ten years with the Capitals, driving their power play.  He’s added 21 goals and 50 assists in two seasons since coming to Detroit.

Steve McCarthy
Never a flashy player, McCarthy nonetheless appeared in 302 career NHL games over a nine-season career split between the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, and Atlanta Thrashers.  McCarthy came into the league via Detroit’s first-round pick in the 1999 Entry Draft, 23rd overall.  That pick was acquired by the Blackhawks along with a first-rounder in 2001 and Anders Eriksson for Chris Chelios on March 23, 1999.  Chelios would play 578 games with the Red Wings over ten seasons.

Honorable Mention – Jakub Chychrun
Chychrun, a top prospect heading into the 2016 Entry Draft, slid down to Detroit’s spot at 16th overall before the Red Wings traded that pick and Pavel Datsyuk‘s salary cap hit to the Arizona Coyotes for the 20th and 53rd overall picks.  If he lives up to expectations, he could easily replace McCarthy on this list.

Goaltender

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Newly-annointed starter for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vasilevskiy has appeared in 90 NHL games, compiling a 2.60 GAA and a .915 save percentage.  The Lighting acquired him with the first-round draft pick in the 2012 Entry Draft (19th overall) that they got from Detroit in return for Kyle Quincey.

Thoughts on Trading as a Fall Back Option

It’s been known since before the 2013-14 season was even over that the Red Wings would be looking to upgrade their defense this summer and their best opportunity to do some comes tomorrow as free agents become eligible to sign contracts with new teams at noon.

The costs are expected to be high, however. Even with the late additions of Christian Ehrhoff and Ed Jovanovski to the free agent pool (due to buyouts by Buffalo and Florida, respectively), there are roughly fifteen teams legitimately thought to be in the mix for only six or seven players.

If Detroit were to miss out on Ehrhoff or Matt Niskanen or Anton Stralman or whoever (as they did when they were unable to woo Ryan Suter in 2012 and had to settle for Carlo Colaiacovo), they would be forced to turn to the trade market, where their history isn’t quite so successful.

The Red Wings haven’t traded for a roster player signed beyond the end of the current season since acquiring Robert Lang from the Washington Capitals in 2004, when he was two years into a five-year deal.

Oh, sure, they picked up Brad Stuart at the deadline in 2008 and managed to sign him just before he became an unrestricted free agent that summer. They also got Kyle Quincey – likely departing in the coming weeks – in 2012 and re-signed him as a restricted free agent, as they expected to do when they paid the hefty price of a first round draft pick to get him.

By and large, however, Detroit’s method of acquiring players for the last decade has been via free agency, which means that if they miss out in the next few days they’ll be entering relatively-uncharted territory for the club.

Game Three Pregame Notes

Yeah, there’s no such thing as a “must-win” until you’re facing elimination but it’s pretty clear that we’re past the “feeling out” phase of this series.

The Red Wings did what they had to do in Glendale, they came back home with a split and turned the series into a five-game affair in which they have home ice advantage. “All” they have to do is hold serve at home and the series is theirs.

In Game One the Red Wings failed to play the kind of game they will need to play to win this series. In Game Two they got there but it wasn’t a consistent sixty-minute effort. If the Wings continue to play the way they played the third period of Game Two, they will win this series.

They have to be strong on the puck. They have to drive to the net. They have to get shots through to Ilya Bryzgalov. They have to not back down from Phoenix’s physical play.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, seem to be in a bit of disarray. They know they can win when they make the Red Wings play Phoenix’s game but can they win one where the pace is dictated by Detroit? They’re also battling injuries, with Vernon Fiddler and former Red Wing Robert Lang not yet confirmed to be in the lineup this afternoon.

We already know how I feel about afternoon games and games on national broadcasters. This one’s a 3:00 start on NBC.

Red Wings – Coyotes: Series Preview

It’s been a long regular season, an odd regular season for most Red Wings fans, but here we are on the opening day of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Six weeks ago the Red Wings were out of the playoffs. Today they’re the Western Conference’s fifth seed, with a record better than six of the eight playoff teams in the Eastern Conference (and only a point back of the New Jersey Devils). That jump came courtesy of a 16-3-2 run after the Olympic Break, including a stretch of twelve games in which they earned at least a point.

The Wings come into the playoffs on a roll but in an unfamiliar position. They haven’t started a postseason run on the road since 1991, when they were the Norris Division’s third seed facing the second-seeded St. Louis Blues. They lost that series, 4-3.

Detroit hasn’t been the lower-seeded team in any series since the 2000 Western Conference Semifinals, when the fourth-seeded Wings lost to the third-seeded Colorado Avalanche in five games.

Additionally, the Red Wings haven’t headed into a playoff riding a rookie goalie since 1994, when Chris Osgood took over for Bob Essensa as Detroit fell to the San Jose Sharks, 4-3, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

While six weeks ago no one knew if the Red Wings would be in the playoffs today, a year ago no one knew if the Phoenix Coyotes would even exist right now.

The Coyotes are the NHL’s Cinderella story, finishing fourth in the Western Conference despite a year of ownership by the league itself after the team declared bankruptcy last spring.

Wayne Gretzky was replaced as head coach by Dave Tippett, the favorite to win the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s best coach. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov had a Vezina Trophy-worthy season.

The Red Wings were unbeaten in regulation against the Coyotes this season, going 2-0-2. However all four of those games came while Detroit was battling injuries and before Phoenix added veteran depth at the trade deadline.

Detroit has added forwards Justin Abdelkader and Brad May back to their roster but head coach Mike Babcock won’t be making any lineup changes for tonight’s Game One, choosing to ride a winning lineup.

Phoenix, meanwhile, is expected to start the series without former Red Wing Robert Lang, out with an upper-body injury.

Game time tonight is 10:00 on FSD and Versus.

Holmstrom Scores Two as Red Wings Down Coyotes

Tomas Holmstrom scored two goals and Jimmy Howard stopped 35 shots Saturday night as the Detroit Red Wings earned a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

The goals were the team-leading fourteenth and fifteenth for Holmstrom. Both came on net-front deflections, a Holmstrom specialty.

With 5:16 left in the first period and a Detroit power play having just expired, Holmstrom tipped a long shot by Nicklas Lidstrom past Ilya Bryzgalov to put the Red Wings on the board.

Matthew Lombardi evened things up at 5:53 of the second, taking advantage of a five-on-three for the Coyotes to get to the far side of Howard’s net and bang in a shot off a cross-crease feed from former Red Wing Robert Lang.

Holmstrom put Detroit up again with 19 seconds left in the middle period, deflecting another Lidstrom shot.

Pavel Datsyuk beat Bryzgalov with a shot from the slot into the top corner of the net on a Red Wings power play 5:51 into the third period and Darren Helm added an empty net goal to wrap up the scoring.

Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play, as did Phoenix.

Bryzgalov stopped 32 of 35 shots against.

The Red Wings continue their season-high five-game road trip on Tuesday in Anaheim.


The game was the 900th of Todd Bertuzzi‘s career.

Red Wings Fall to Canadiens in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings’ preseason record fell to 2-1-2 Tuesday night with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Ville Leino scored in the shootout for Detroit, snapping a wrist shot past Montreal goalie Carey Price. Max Pacioretty and former Wing Robert Lang scored for Montreal.

Pacioretty also scored the game’s opening goal at 4:42 of the second period, beating Detroit’s Jimmy Howard on a fluttering backhand attempt.

Leino scored Detroit’s lone regulation goal 1:53 later, pushing a shot between Price’s pads after picking up a loose puck all alone in front of the net.

The goal was the second of the preseason for the rookie who signed with Detroit after leading the Finnish Elite League in scoring last season.

The Red Wings will continue their exhibition schedule in Atlanta on Wednesday, a game that is expected to mark the return of captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who has been out since taking a puck to the face in the preseason opener.


Chris Chelios left the game with a knee injury after blocking a shot early in the third period.

Red Wings’ Streak Reaches Four

The Detroit Red Wings won their fourth-straight game Tuesday night, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 to pick up just their second win in six games this season against their Central Division and Original Six rival.

Rookie goaltender Corey Crawford kept the Blackhawks in the game, stopping 44 of the 46 shots he faced, but couldn’t do it all.

Kirk Maltby got the Red Wings on the board at 8:34 of the first period.

Playing in his 1,000th career game Dallas Drake picked up his 300th career assist on the play, knocking down a Chicago defender on his way behind the net, then taking the puck from him and sending it out to Maltby for a one-timer that was stopped by Crawford but dropped down just across the goal line.

The Blackhawks pulled even just 2:09 later when Rene Bourque one-timed a long rebound chance past Chris Osgood.

Halfway through the second period, Osgood stopped former Red Wing Robert Lang on a penalty shot attempt, setting the stage for Pavel Datsyuk to put Detroit back out in front with 4:08 left in the period.

An attempted outlet pass up the middle by the Blackhawks was tipped by Jiri Hudler and picked off by Datsyuk. He skated into the high slot all alone and snapped a shot that deflected off of defender Brent Seabrook and past Crawford.

The Blackhawks would pressure late in the third peroid but Johan Franzen added an empty-net goal to wrap the game for Detroit.

Osgood stopped 19 of 20 shots to earn the win in his first start in five games.

Neither team scored on the power play, with each team getting two attempts.

Red Wings Fall to Blackhawks in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings blew a 3-1 lead Saturday night, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in the team’s second shootout in as many games.

Rookie Patrick Kane scored the only goal of the tiebreaker, beating Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek on Chicago’s first shot. Hasek stopped Yanic Perrault while Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Jiri Hudler.

The Red Wings took an early lead just seconds after Dallas Drake and James Wisniewski squared off in Drake’s second fight of the season at 5:10 of the first period.

Brian Rafalski blasted a power play goal past Khabibulin 17 seconds later, rifling a shot from the top of the left circle.

Nicklas Lidstrom gave Detroit their first two-goal lead of the season just 1:39 into the second period. With the teams skating four-on-four, Henrik Zetterberg beat former Red Wing Robert Lang on a faceoff in the left circle of the Chicago zone. The puck went back to Lidstrom and he put a blast from the blue line past Khabibulin.

Tuomo Ruutu pulled Chicago back to within one at 9:43 of the second, scoring on an odd-man rush.

Tomas Holmstrom made the score 3-1 just five seconds into a Detroit power play at 10:55 of the middle frame, tipping a Rafalski shot into the Chicago net.

The Red Wings thought they had taken a 4-1 lead on a power play early in the third period. The apparent rebound goal was called back when referee Chris Rooney quickly lost sight of the puck.

On the same power play, Wisniewski would notch a shorthanded goal for the Blackhawks to make it 3-2.

With just 3:40 remaining in regulation, Lang tied things up with a quick wrister over Hasek’s left shoulder.

The Blackhawks finished the game with 27 shots to Detroit’s 26.


Johan Franzen left the game early in the second period with an apparent knee injury. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday.

Red Wings Open Season with Shootout Win over Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings earned a 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night, opening their season with a victory over the team that elminated them from the playoffs last spring.

Jiri Hudler scored the only goal of the shootout, faking out goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in the third round. Bryzgalov had previously stopped Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, while Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek made saves on Todd Bertuzzi, Ryan Getzlaf, and Corey Perry.

The Red Wings got on the board first with a power play goal by Zetterberg at 9:46 of the first period. Left all alone in the right faceoff circle, Zetterberg wristed a shot over Bryzgalov’s shoulder.

The Ducks tied things up with 5:28 remaining in the second. A shot by Perry deflected off the skate of Detroit defenseman Andreas Lilja and to the slot, where former Red Wing Bertuzzi grabbed it and wristed it past Hasek.

Bertuzzi connected with Getzlaf for Anaheim’s second goal, scored on the power play with 42 seconds remaining in the period.

Tomas Holmstrom tied the game at 4:04 of the third period on another power play goal. After a blast by Brian Rafalski, the puck came to Zetterberg at the side of the net. He threw it out front and Holmstrom lifted it over Bryzgalov.

Rafalski wasn’t the only Red Wings newcomer to make his presence felt, as Dallas Drake got in a second-period fight with Perry.

Hasek made 13 saves on 15 shots against. Bryzgalov stopped 40 of 42 Detroit shots.

Detroit went two-for-seven on the power play while Anaheim was one-for-five.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks, featuring former Red Wing Robert Lang.