Red Wings Agree to Terms with Green

I’m going to agree with George Malik here and just call Mike Green’s new contract official.

Bob McKenzie had previously nailed down the financials of a then-unconfirmed deal.

The move was long-rumored but I can’t say I’m thrilled with it.

With Xavier Ouellet having been bought out and Green brought back, the Red Wings have six defensemen on their roster for next season.  Seven if you count Luke Witkowski.

Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek, and Joe Hicketts have all been discussed as possibly ready to jump to the NHL.  The Red Wings have said that they want to get their youth more ice time.  How are they going to do that with six guys already on the roster?

Yes, they could move Nick Jensen.  That’s a possibility that’s been rumored for most of the summer.  If they do, it opens up one spot for three players.

It could have been two spots for three players.

It’s just not necessary and it’s frustrating to see the Wings organization once again talking about playing the kids but not leaving open roster spots available to them.

Red Wings Bring in Horcoff, Bring Back Cleary

A month ago I suggested that, as long as they were already bringing back Daniel Cleary, the Red Wings might also bring in Cleary’s good friend Shawn Horcoff.

I didn’t expect they would do it like this.

On Friday Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reported that Horcoff would retire as a player and join the Red Wings as their new Director of Player Development.  Matheson noted that Jiri Fischer, up until now the only person to serve in that role for the Detroit organization, would be “moving to another position in the organization.”

The Red Wings confirmed the move several hours later.  As reported by MLive’s Ansar Khan, Fischer will move into a player evaluation role.

“Jiri Fischer came to me this summer and said he loves the job but wanted the opportunity to grow as an executive and would like to get into the player evaluation side of the industry,” Holland said.

Holland also took the opportunity to reveal that Cleary will attend Detroit’s training camp on a pro-try out.

Earlier this week, Winging it in Motown published a piece about why bringing Cleary in on a PTO might not be a horrible idea.  While the NHL has since announced that veteran roster requirements will be relaxed in the aftermath of the World Cup of Hockey, I still think their argument is valid.

More importantly, I think a PTO for Cleary is a step towards sanity for Ken Holland.  Last year, Cleary was given a one-year NHL deal but still had to battle for a roster spot in training camp – a battle he lost before being waived and sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins.  That deal was similar to deals with Danny DeKeyser and Justin Abdelkader and Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl and Luke Glendening.  It was a contract based on hope for a player.  It was Holland saying, “Here’s your deal, now go out there and earn it.”

With a PTO, Cleary has to earn his spot before getting a contract.  It’s a smart move.

For the record, I expect Cleary to be signed to an AHL deal upon the conclusion of the preseason.

Third-Period Lead Not Enough as Red Wings Fall to Stars in OT

Pavel Datsyuk gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 lead with 8:26 remaining in regulation on Thursday night but it wasn’t enough, with the Dallas Stars scoring in the final minutes of the third and again late in the overtime period for a 4-3 win.

Datsyuk got the puck all alone at the top of the right faceoff circle and faked around Dallas’ Shawn Horcoff to get into the slot, then snapped a shot past both defender Jordie Benn and goalie Kari Lehtonen to put the Red Wings in front.

A Justin Abdelkader penalty for goalie interference would set up the Stars’ tying goal.

Skating six-on-four with 1:10 remaining, Cody Eakin got the puck at the left faceoff dot and whipped a shot through traffic and off of Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard‘s blocker, into the top of the net for a 3-3 tie.

The Stars would sustain pressure in the Detroit zone leading to the game-winning goal. Valeri Nichushkin dropped the puck to Rich Peverley down low on the left wing and Peverley looped back up that side of the ice, cutting across the top of the faceoff circle to the slot before snapping a screened shot past Howard to give the Stars the win with just 19 seconds remaining.

Detroit had opened the game’s scoring at 7:44 of the second period when Henrik Zetteberg fed Todd Bertuzzi for a one-time from the left side of the high slot that deflected twice before getting past Lehtonen.

With 5:10 left in the middle frame, Adam Almquist‘s first NHL goal made it a 2-0 lead for Detroit. From down low, Zetterberg sent it out to Almquist pinching to the right side of the slot for a snap past Lehtonen.

Horcoff got the Stars on the board with 21 seconds left in the second. The Red Wings lost a puck battle along the right wing boards and Ray Whitney worked it to Horcoff all alone in front of Howard for a quick move to his forehand and a wrister into the back of the net.

Jamie Benn‘s individual effort at 4:08 of the third tied things up before the Datsyuk goal. Benn knocked the puck off Darren Helm‘s stick at the Dallas blue line then circled through his own zone before breaking down the ice, through four Red Wings, and sliding a shot under Howard while falling at the edge of the crease.

Howard would finish the night with 24 saves on 28 shots against. Lehtonen stopped 26 of 29 shots faced.

The Stars scored on one of two power play attempts. Detroit did not get any opportunities with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are back at it on Saturday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Almquist was playing in just his second NHL game… Johan Franzen, Brendan Smith, and Jonathan Ericsson all missed the game with injuries while Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo were healthy scratches… Tootoo cleared waivers earlier in the day… With Gustavsson returning from injury, Jared Coreau was returned to Toledo of the ECHL.

NHLPA Charity Game Rosters Announced

Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, rosters for Saturday’s “Rock Out the Lockout” NHLPA charity game in Windsor have been announced.

Team Red
Justin Abdelkader, #8 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Clarkson, #23 (New Jersey Devils)
Johan Franzen, #93 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Legwand, #11 (Nashville Predators)
Jamal Mayers, #22 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Steve Ott, #29 (Buffalo Sabres)
Mikael Samuelsson, #37 (Detroit Red Wings)
Drew Stafford, #21 (Buffalo Sabres)
Thomas Vanek, #26 (Buffalo Sabres)
Kyle Wellwood, #13 (Winnipeg Jets)
Kevin Westgarth, #19 (Los Angeles Kings)

Jonathan Ericsson, #52 (Detroit Red Wings)
Niklas Kronwall, #55 (Detroit Red Wings)
Jordan Leopold, #3 (Buffalo Sabres)
Nick Schultz, #55 (Edmonton Oilers)
James Wisniewski, #21 (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Jonas Gustavsson, #50 (Detroit Red Wings)
Michael Leighton, #49 (Philadelphia Flyers)

Team Black
Todd Bertuzzi, #44 (Detroit Red Wings)
Adam Burish, #37 (San Jose Sharks)
Dan Cleary, #11 (Detroit Red Wings)
Matt Ellis, #37 (Buffalo Sabres)
Cory Emmerton, #48 (Detroit Red Wings)
Darren Helm, #43 (Detroit Red Wings)
Shawn Horcoff, #10 (Edmonton Oilers)
Matt Martin, #17 (New York Islanders)
Brenden Morrow, #10 (Dallas Stars)
James Neal, #18 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Sergei Samsonov, #14

Trevor Daley, #6 (Dallas Stars)
Mike Komisarek, #8 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
John-Michael Liles, #24 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Jeff Petry, #58 (Edmonton Oilers)
Ian White, #18 (Detroit Red Wings)
Ryan Wilson, #44 (Colorado Avalanche)

Jimmy Howard, #35 (Detroit Red Wings)

All players will be available for a free autograph session in the WFCU Centre concourse from 4:45 – 5:30 PM. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

Update, 12/8 – 10:10 AM: Event co-organizer Steve Ott tweeted a full roster including jersey numbers this morning. There will be overlapping numbers in some cases. On Team Red, Drew Stafford and James Wisniewski will wear #21 while Niklas Kronwall and Nick Schultz will wear #55. For Team Black, Todd Bertuzzi and Ryan Wilson will both wear #44, Shawn Horcoff and Brendon Morrow will both wear #10, and James Neal and Ian White will both wear #18.

Wings’ Cleary Among Organizers of Windsor NHLPA Charity Game

Detroit Red Wings forward Danny Cleary is one of three NHLPA members organizing a charity game at Windsor’s WCU Centre.

Buffalo forward and former Windsor Spitfire Steve Ott and Edmonton forward Shawn Horcoff are also organizing the event, scheduled for December 8, unless the NHL and NHLPA can come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement before then.

The game would be the latest of several organized by locked-out players, all benefitting local charities.

In addition to the three organizers, the following players are tentatively scheduled to appear:

From the Red Wings, Todd Bertuzzi, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White, Cory Emmerton, Darren Helm and Jonas Gustavsson.  From the Colorado Avalanche, Windsor-native Ryan Wilson.  From the Oilers, Eric Belander and Jeff Petry.  From the Chicago Blackhawks, Jamal Mayers.  From the Pittsburgh Penguins, James Neal.  From the Phoenix Coyotes, Keith Yandle.  From the Dallas Stars, Brenden Morrow.  Former Carolina Hurricane, Boston Bruin, and Detroit Viper Sergei Samsonov.

Howard Stops 29 Shots in Red Wings’ Win over Oilers

Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard allowed only one goal Friday night, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced in leading the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Howard is unbeaten in his last 22 games that ended in regulation, a streak stretching back to last March. He is 6-0-1 this season.

Justin Abdelkader scored his second goal in as many games to open the game’s scoring just 1:45 into the first period. He drove to the net on a two-on-one with Mike Modano and swatted the rebound from Modano’s shot under Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

The Oilers pulled back even on a power play at 5:26 of the second. Howard sprawled out in the crease to stop a chance from right in front by Shawn Horcoff but Horcoff dished the puck off to Taylor Hall, who roofed it from the side of the net.

Detroit responded with a power play goal of their own 3:20 later, as Nicklas Lidstrom and Danny Cleary combined to work the puck from the left faceoff circle to the right, where Valtteri Filppula snapped a shot into the open side of the net.

Cleary added an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining in the game to round out the scoring.

Khabibulin stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced, including a highlight-reel glove save in the second period.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while Edmonton had five.

The Red Wings are back in action Saturday night as they visit the Vancouver Canucks.


Detroit forward Jiri Hudler was back in the lineup after missing two games as a healthy scratch. Drew Miller sat to make room for Hudler.

Osgood Joins All-Star Roster

Detroit Red Wings netminder Chris Osgood will join three teammates and his coach in Atlanta for this year’s NHL All-Star Game, the league announced today.

With the starting lineup already determined by fan voting, the rest of the Western Conference team’s roster was announced Thursday. Osgood was named to the team, joining starters Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Nicklas Lidstrom.

The quartet of Red Wings will be coached by a familiar face, Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.

With Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo declining his starting spot in net for the Western Conference team, three reserve goalies were selected. Osgood will split time between the pipes with San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov and former Red Wing Manny Legace of the St. Louis Blues.

Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Chris Pronger (Anaheim) and Sergei Zubov (Dallas) joined the team on defense.

The forward reserves are Jason Arnott (Nashville), Marian Gaborik (Minnesota), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), Shawn Horcoff (Edmonton), Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles), Rick Nash (Columbus), Henrik Sedin (Vancouver), Paul Stastny (Colorado) and Joe Thornton (San Jose).

Red Wings Fall to Oilers to End Streak

The Detroit Red Wings’ winning streak ended at seven games Thursday night with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Oilers the win, beating Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek stick-side.

Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler failed to score for the Red Wings. Hasek stopped Sam Gagne on Edmonton’s first shot.

Detroit trailed late in the game but Henrik Zetterberg forced overtime, scoring with 2:40 left in regulation to tie the game. Zetterberg took a pass from Dan Cleary and went behind the Edmonton goal, coming out on the other side into the right circle to turn and put a shot over goaltender Dwayne Roloson‘s shoulder.

The Red Wings had gotten on the board first just 2:46 into the game, with Mark Hartigan‘s first goal as a Red Wing. Similar to Zetterberg’s tying goal, Hartigan beat Roloson on a wraparound chance.

Hemsky tied things up with 7:32 left in the period, scoring on the rebound of a Sheldon Souray shot from the blue line with the Oilers on the power play.

With 1:54 left in the first, Joni Pitkanen jumped across the Detroit blue line, taking a pass while splitting the defenders to rifle a shot past Hasek and put Edmonton in the lead.

Zetterberg evened things up with his first goal of the night, scored on the power play with 6:36 left in the second period. Brian Rafalski sent a hard pass from the top of the right circe to Zetterberg in the slot for a deflection past Roloson.

Fernando Pisani gave the Oilers the lead back 2:09 later, fighting off Brett Lebda to score from the front of the net off a pass from Gagner.

Hasek, who was seemingly injured after Shawn Horcoff slid into him, played the full game and stopped 22 of 25 shots against. Roloson made 39 saves on 42 shots.

Both teams went one-for-four on the power play.

Wings Hold off Oilers for Second Win

After blowing a two-goal lead on Saturday night, the Detroit Red Wings held off a late charge from the Edmonton Oilers on Monday to earn a 4-2 win.

Mikael Samuelsson opened up the game’s scoring just 6:51 into the first period, just as a Detroit power play expired. From behind the net, Samuelsson reached around and banked a shot off of Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson‘s skate and into the net.

Chris Chelios, who was without a goal throughout the 2006-07 regular season, scored with 5:50 remaining in the first to put the Red Wings up by two. Chelios picked up the puck from Samuelsson while jumping up towards the net, whacking away at it twice before Roloson went down and he could put the third shot over the sprawling goalie.

Only 19 seconds later, Shawn Horcoff got the Oilers on the board with a blast from the slot on a defensive breakdown by the Red Wings.

Tomas Holmstrom scored 27 seconds into the second and 14 seconds into a power play to put Detroit back up by two. A hard pass from the blue line by Lidstrom was tipped on to Holmstrom from Henrik Zetterberg in the slot. Holmstrom pounded away from the top of the crease, shoveling the puck into the net.

Rookie Andrew Cogliano scored his first career goal with 10 seconds remaining in the middle frame but it wouldn’t be enough for the Oilers. Kris Draper added an empty net goal for Detroit to hold on for the win.

Detroit’s power play went one-for-five and the Oilers were without a goal on four attempts.

Hasek made 18 saves on 20 shots while Roloson stopped 31 of 34 in the Edmonton net.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Wednesday when they host the Calgary Flames in the second game of a three-game homestand.


With an assist on Samuelsson’s goal, Nicklas Lidstrom passed Peter Forsberg for second place all-time among Swedish-born players in NHL scoring… Chelios skated in his 1550th career game, breaking a tie with Alex Delvecchio for eighth place in career games played.

Red Wings Fall to Oilers in Shootout

A goal by Raffi Torres in the seventh round of the shootout lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night, just one night after the Red Wings fell to the Calgary Flames.

Edmonton had a late 3-2 lead but Jiri Hudler tied the game with just over three seconds remaining in regulation, deflecting a shot from the right circle by Dan Cleary past Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson.

The Red Wings never led the game, with Shawn Horcoff opening the scoring for Edmonton at 4:38 of the first period beating Detroit netminder Joey MacDonald on a one-timer from Ryan Smythe.

Kris Draper tied the game 2:50 later on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Henrik Zetterberg, putting a shot into Roloson’s glove which was – after lengthy review – determined to have crossed the goal line.

Joffrey Lupul put the Oilers back out in front 3:18 later, bouncing a shot from behind the goal line off of MacDonald’s pad and into the net.

Danny Markov‘s first goal as a Red Wing pulled Detroit even again at 5:11 of the second period but Torres snuck a shot past MacDonald at 8:52 of the third to restore Edmonton’s lead.

In his first NHL start, MacDonald stopped 18 of Edmonton’s 21 shots. Roloson made 38 saves on 41 shots.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Detroit getting two tries and Edmonton taking three attempts with the extra attacker.

Having closed out their road swing through western Canada, the Red Wings will return to the ice on Wednesday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.


Jason Williams made his return to the lineup after missing three games with a concussion. Darryl Bootland and Evan McGrath were returned to Grand Rapids to make room in the lineup… Continuing the effort to keep Dominik Hasek from playing on back-to-back nights and with Chris Osgood still injured, Stefan Liv backed up MacDonald.