Kyle Quincey All-Stars Stay at Seven

Emergency call-up Ben Street did not play for the Red Wings in Montreal last night.  The mystery forward Street was called up to replace (probably Frans Nielsen) was able to play and Street was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins.  With that, Street’s chance to become the eighth member of the Kyle Quincey All-Stars passed, at least for now.

As I Tweeted yesterday, the Kyle Quincey All-Stars is my name for the players who have played for both the Red Wings and the onetime-bitter-rival Colorado Avalanche.

Quincey is perhaps the most famous of the set, starting his career in Detroit before going to the Los Angeles Kings via waivers in 2008, then moving on to Colorado via trade in 2009.  In 2012 the Red Wings brought him back via the Tampa Bay Lightning, averting what would have been the first trade between the two teams.

The first member of the group was the infamous Uwe Krupp.  Signed as a free agent by the Red Wings from the Avalanche in 1998, Krupp played just 22 games of the 1998-99 season before suffering a back injury that (after being re-injured) kept him out until the 2001-02 season, when he played eight more games.

Todd Gill was the first player to go from Detroit to Colorado.  After parts of three seasons with the Red Wings, he signed with the Avalanche in 2001.

With just four games played in Colorado and eight in Detroit, Anders Myrvold is the shortest-tenured member of the group.  He broke into the NHL with the Avalanche during their inaugural season of 1995-96, then bounced around quite a bit before coming to the Red Wings’ organization for the 2003-04 campaign.

Brad May played 64 games for the Avalanche across parts of two seasons before being traded to Anaheim in 2007 for a goalie who never played in Colorado.  Anaheim traded him to Toronto in January 2009 for future considerations, then the Red Wings signed him as a free agent at the start of the 2009-10 season and he played 40 games with the team before being sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

May was followed by fellow Number 24 Ruslan Salei.  After parts of three seasons with Colorado, Salei signed a one-year deal with Detroit for the 2010-11 season and played 75 games before fatefully signing with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL.

Brad Stuart is the most recent addition to the group.  With the Red Wings for parts of five seasons, including a Stanley Cup in his first year, Stuart returned to the San Jose Sharks in 2012 for family reasons.  After two years there, the Sharks dealt him to Colorado, where he played just 61 games across two seasons.

Of course, there’s a whole subset of players who were property of one of the teams but never actually played a game for them.  The Darryl Bootlands and Tomas Fleischmanns.  For now, Street remains in that group.

Thoughts on a Mike Ilitch Jersey Patch

The Red Wings are expected to reveal an on-jersey tribute to owner Mike Ilitch, who died last Friday at age 87, tonight as they host the St. Louis Blues.

I’ve commented before on the Red Wings having a tendency to make their memorial patches “text in a box” and I expect we’ll see something along those lines tonight.  With that in mind, I’ve put together something I’d like to see the Wings do.

First off, if I were the team, I’d scrap the Gordie Howe patch (which I never liked anyway) and make a combined patch for Howe and Ilitch.  I’d put this new patch on the shoulder and restore the “Farewell to the Joe” patch to the opposite shoulder for symmetry.  Since the arena patch is probably gone for good, keeping the memorial patch on the chest is also feasible.

My idea for a Gordie Howe / Mike Ilitch memorial patch.

The patch would feature the signatures of the two men, one over the other, separated by a black band with the Winged Wheel over it.

I thought about using the blue from the “Believe” patch the Red Wings wore in honor of Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Mnatsakonov and the “BM – RS – SL” patch memorializing Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei, and Stefan Liv, but ultimately went with black because I thought the signatures should be black and didn’t want to introduce an additional color.

I have no idea what the team will actually do and I doubt it will be this.  I suppose we’ll see in the coming hours.

Datsyuk to Wear Salei’s #24 in Preseason

As the Detroit Red Wings opened the on-ice portion of their 2011 training camp on Saturday, Pavel Datsyuk‘s tribute to fallen former teammate Ruslan Salei was revealed.

Datsyuk will wear Salei’s #24 on his back during the preseason this year, rather than the #13 he’s worn since making the Detroit roster ten years ago. The temporary number switch was announced via the Red Wings’ official Twitter account minutes before Datsyuk stepped onto the ice for the team’s first practice.

The team later tweeted a photo of Datsyuk in the #24.

Salei was among 44 people killed in the September 7 crash of KHL team Yaroslavl Lokomotiv’s chartered plane. Included in that group were former Wings’ prospect Stefan Liv and former Red Wing Brad McCrimmon.

Three Former Wings Among 43 Dead in Plane Crash

Former Red Wings Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei and Stefan Liv were killed in a plane crash today, reports out of Russia state.

The chartered Yak-42, reportedly carrying the entire roster of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team, collided with a radar tower shortly after liftoff outside Yaroslavl. The plane was en route to Minsk, Belarus, where Lokomotiv was to play their first game of the KHL season.

Lokomotiv’s roster included several former NHLers, including Josef Vasicek, Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Alexander Vasyunov, and Karlis Skrastins.

McCrimmon was the team’s head coach, having moved to the KHL after his contract as an assistant with the Red Wings was not renewed this summer. Former NHL players Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev were his assistants.

Salei signed with Yaroslavl after being unable to come to terms with an NHL team. He spent the 2010-11 season with the Red Wings after stints with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Florida Panthers, and Colorado Avalanche.

Former Detroit prospect Liv also joined Lokomotiv over the summer, jumping from fellow KHL squad Novosibirsk Siber. He dressed for Detroit but never saw game action during the 2006-07 season, splitting his lone North American season between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Toledo Storm.

The only player reported to survive the crash is Alexander Galimov, who is in critical condition. One member of the crew is reported as having survived.

Free Agent Preview 2011

We’ve got under four hours until the NHL’s 2011 free agency season kicks off, so I’m going to take a quick look at the Red Wings’ roster, where they stand with their own free agents, and who they might be looking at on the market.

Forwards
Four forwards who were with Detroit last season are set to become free agents.Mike Modano won’t be back with the Wings but he’s not ruling out playing another year somewhere. His departure seems to have been a mutual decision as the team doesn’t have room for him and he didn’t have a particularly fun year in his hometown.

Kris Draper wants to return but has been told he won’t be offered a contract immediately. If the team can replace him they will.

Patrick Eaves is supposedly close to a deal to stay in Detroit but little is known about that. Reportedly, his concern is more about playing time than money.

Drew Miller has an offer on the table from the Wings but wants to test the open market. Like Eaves, he supposedly is looking for a place where he won’t have to worry about being a healthy scratch on a nightly basis.

Defensemen
The Red Wings kept Jonathan Ericsson in the fold, signing him to a (some might say ridiculous) three-year, $9.75 million deal last night. I don’t agree with the money but it gives Detroit six defensemen signed to NHL contracts for next season.

Detroit will look to replace the retired Brian Rafalski via free agency but their options are becoming limited. Christian Ehrhoff signed with Buffalo yesterday and James Wisniewski – long believed to be the Red Wings top target – seems to be set to sign a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tomas Kaberle is available as a third option from the top-tier talent but the Wings may have to look for a cheaper, less-talented player to round out their blueline corps. The name most mentioned to that extent is Ed Jovanovski.

If the Wings are looking to go cheap and roll the dice on defense, I’ve got a feeling about Sheldon Souray. Assuming a low contract, he’s the kind of low-risk, high reward guy Ken Holland likes to go after.

Of the team’s own free agents, neighter Ruslan Salei nor Derek Meech will be offered deals.

Goaltenders
Like Kris Draper, Chris Osgood won’t know if he’ll be back until the Red Wings are done shopping elsewhere. After injuries the last two seasons, the team is worried about Osgood’s health. With a relative glut of goalies on the market, he could be easily replaced. Former Osgood backup Ty Conklin is a possibility, among many others.

Joey MacDonald will not return to the Detroit organization. He’s looking for a one-way deal in the NHL or he’ll head to Russia. The Wings wanted him on a two-way deal so he could continue mentoring Thomas McCollum in Grand Rapids and be called on in Detroit if needed.

Red Wings Score Early, Down Coyotes 4-2

The Detroit Red Wings scored twice in the first three minutes Monday night, jumping out to an early lead that the Phoenix Coyotes never recovered from en route to a 4-2 win.

With the victory, Detroit leads their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup, 3-0, and will go for the sweep in Glendale on Wednesday.

Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller scored just 44 seconds apart to get Detroit on the board.

At 1:57, Darren Helm fought off a check by Ed Jovanovski to get the puck along the back boards and send it out to Salei at the top of the right faceoff circle for a blast past Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. At 2:41, a Niklas Kronwall shot deflected off of Drew Miller to make it 2-0.

Valtteri Filppula made it 3-0 just 2:50 into the second period, carrying the puck through the slot and into the left faceoff circle before flinging it past Bryzgalov.

David Schlemko got the Coyotes on the board with 8:17 left in the middle period. With Phoenix on a power play, Schlemko got the puck in the left circle and drove to the net, roofing a shot over Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder.

Johan Franzen put Detroit back up by three 45 seconds into the third period, breaking in alone on Bryzgalov and sniping a shot over his shoulder.

Ray Whitney‘s power play shot with seven minutes remaining deflected past Howard to put the Coyotes back within a pair but Phoenix would be unable to pull closer.

The Red Wings were scoreless on four power play attempts while the Coyotes’ two goals came on three tries with the extra attacker. The last five Phoenix goals have all been on the power play.

Howard finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots. Bryzgalov made 30 stops on 34 chances.


Detroit was without forward Henrik Zetterberg for the fifth consecutive game. He is not expected to play in Game Four… Mike Modano and Jakub Kindl were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Postgame Thoughts

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted postgame thoughts and this game has a lot to talk about, so might as well give it a shot. Handling things somewhat chronologically…

Detroit came out with a solid first shift and then it was all Chicago for the next five minutes. Red Wings passes weren’t connecting and they couldn’t clear the zone. Both of those issues bit them in the ass when Troy Brouwer held the puck in at the blue line and worked it down to Jonathan Toews right on Joey MacDonald‘s doorstep. I don’t really blame Ruslan Salei for not being tight to Toews just then as the puck should have been cleared. Quick release by Toews, he didn’t have a lot of time there, nice shot.

Todd Bertuzzi‘s hit on Ryan Johnson a couple minutes later was not something I wanted to see. He deserved the penalty. He probably deserved the misconduct. I’m not sure about a suspension. On one hand, it was a hit to the head. On the other hand, first contact was with Johnson’s shoulder. On yet another hand, Todd Bertuzzi is an acceptable target to make an example of. It was a stupid play so I don’t think I’ll complain if Bertuzzi does get a couple games. Anything more than that and I’ll have a problem. That said, if I were the Wings and there was a hearing on this, I’d take the clip of Martin Erat‘s elbow to Justin Abdelkader in and say “We’ll take the same punishment this guy got.”

Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal to tie the game was a great shot through a screen but was also blown defensive coverage by the Blackhawks. That’s why everyone loves four-on-four so much, you just can’t make a mistake like that or it ends up in the back of your net.

Similar is Brent Seabrook’s goal to make it 2-1. Detroit never got properly set up off the faceoff in their own end and no one covered Seabrook. Somewhat understandable while down a man but painful to see on replay.

Funny thing about the second period is that, at the time, I remember thinking the Wings had a bit of control back. It was the period with no scoring, no penalties, and the only full period in which Detroit was outshot but I feel like they were getting back to playing their game, just not getting anything from it.

As I said at the time, Danny Cleary deserves a lot of credit for Henrik Zetterberg‘s third period goal. Zetterberg wouldn’t have thrown that puck to the front of the net had Cleary not gotten to the top of the crease, something Detroit wasn’t doing a good job of earlier in the game.

As for the end of the game, it’s not hard to guess my thoughts on that. No doubt that Chicago executed extremely well on the four-on-three in overtime. They deserve credit there. The power play itself was a gift, though. Tomas Holmstrom tripped on a breakaway in the second period is no call but a tap to the hip of Patrick Kane sends Zetterberg to the box with four seconds left in regulation.

That said… Had Detroit taken advantage of more of their power play chances (not that I think one-for-four is bad), that never would have come up. It’s not like each team didn’t get chances, I just think the calls were inconsistent, which is always my complaint.

Overall, my takeaway is that the Blackhawks were the desperate team tonight and played like it. The Red Wings did not, and Joey MacDonald kept them in this one so that they could get the point from it.

Red Wings Lose Howard in 4-2 Win over Maple Leafs

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 Saturday night but lost starting goaltender Jimmy Howard in the process, as he suffered a shoulder injury early in the third period.

With the Red Wings leading 2-1, Joffrey Lupul drove to the net and bumped Howard, then fell on top of him and swept the rebound of a Phil Kessel shot into the net. Howard could not continue after the play and was replaced between the pipes by Joey MacDonald.

Jiri Hudler would put Detroit back in front just 38 seconds later, slapping a shot from the left faceoff circle past Toronto netminder James Reimer.

Todd Bertuzzi rounded out the game’s scoring with an empty net goal in the final minute.

Henrik Zetterberg had opened the game’s scoring 5:05 in, swatting a backhand rebound chance under Reimer with the Red Wings on a power play.

Nazem Kadri made it 1-1 with 2:04 left in the first, snapping a shot from the right faceoff circle through a Darryl Boyce screen and past Howard on the short side.

Tomas Holmstrom gave the Red Wings a second lead at 9:17 of the second period, deflecting a Niklas Kronwall shot from the blue line past Reimer on another Detroit power play.

The Wings finished the night two-for-two with the man advantage while the Leafs were scoreless on four power play attempts.

Howard stopped 15 of 17 shots before his injury. MacDonald stoped all seven shots he faced in picking up the win while Reimer made 25 saves on 28 shots.

The win puts the Red Wings at 1-1-1 in their current five-game homestand. They next host the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.


Detroit was without forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen due to injury. Ruslan Salei was a healthy scratch on defense… Red Wings general manager Ken Holland later said that Howard’s injury “doesn’t appear to be anything significant.” With normal backup goalie Chris Osgood on long-term IR recovering from a sports hernia, Detroit is expected to call up either Thomas McCollum or Jordan Pearce to back up MacDonald on Monday.

Red Wings’ Winning Streak Ends in Nashville

The Detroit Red Wings’ winning streak ended at four games Saturday night as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Nashville Predators. The win clinched Nashville’s victory in the season series between the two teams.

The Predators scored three consecutive goals to pick up the win after Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Blake Geoffrion tipped a Patric Hornqvist pass past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard from inside the crease at 8:42 of the second period to get Nashville on the board.

At 8:12 of the third period, Jonathan Ericsson blocked a Hornqvist shot but the puck bounced right to Jonathon Blum, who beat Howard for a power play goal and a 2-1 lead.

David Legwand added an empty net goal in the game’s final moments.

Detroit’s lone goal came with 22 seconds remaining in the first, when Danny Cleary tipped a pass from Henrik Zetterberg past Pekka Rinne, a power play goal.

The Red Wings thought they had opened the game’s scoring on a previous power play when Niklas Kronwall fired a shot past Rinne but it was called back for goaltender interference on Tomas Holmstrom.

Detroit went one-for-three on the power play while Nashville scored on one of two chances.

Howard stopped 36 of 38 shots against on the night. Rinne made 39 saves on 40 shots.


Detroit was without Pavel Datsyuk (lower body injury), Johan Franzen (unspecified injury), Jiri Hudler (flu) and Ruslan Salei (family leave). Due to the scratches, they played with only eleven forwards, seventeen skaters total.

Zetterberg Scores Twice as Red Wings Down Capitals, 3-2

Henrik Zetterberg scored twice Wednesday night, including the game-winning goal, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals.

Brian Rafalski, returning to the lineup after missing eight games with back spasms, assisted on all three goals as the Red Wings ended the Captials’ winning streak at nine games.

Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:37 left in the first period, taking a pass from Rafalski and one-timing a shot from the high slot past Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth.

The Caps responded just 33 seconds later, when John Carlson’s one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle went through a screen and past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Valtteri Filppula put the Wings back out in front with 5:15 left in the opening frame, tipping a Rafalski chance from the point past Neuvirth.

Alex Ovechkin knotted the game back up at 5:53 of the second period, snapping a shot from the high slot between the legs of defenseman Brad Stuart to beat Howard.

Zetterberg’s game-winner came at 9:57 of the third period. With the Red Wings on a power play, Zetterberg drove to the net along the goal line and lifted a backhander off the side of Neuvirth’s mask and into the net.

Detroit finished the night one-for-two on the power play. Washington was scoreless on four tries with the extra attacker.

Howard stopped 26 of 28 shots in the win. Neuvirth made 32 saves on 35 chances.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Thursday as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller were healthy scratches up front for Detroit… Defenseman Ruslan Salei was given the night off to visit his pregnant wife in California… Goaltender Chris Osgood did not return to the lineup as expected, citing soreness after the team’s morning skate.