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.


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.


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.


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 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.

Osgood Out 2-6 Weeks

The Detroit News reported on Wednesday that Detroit Red Wings netminder Chris Osgood is expeced to miss 2-6 weeks with a broken bone near the wrist of his left hand.

The hand – his glove-hand – has been bothering Osgood, ‘causing him to miss his scheduled start against Edmonton on Saturday night. Rookie Joey MacDonald, Detroit’s third-string goalie to start the season, took Osgood’s place.

“I have to stay ready for when my opportunity arrives,” said MacDonald. “I know I can play in this league. I have to stay positive and see what happens.”

Unlike with the groin injury that Osgood suffered last season, he will be able to continue skating to remain in shape and make a quick return.

“It’s just a matter of it healing,” said Osgood. “It’s a bone that’s attached to tendons in the wrist. It hurts when I bend it. I just have to let it heal.”

The Red Wings don’t expect to call up a goaltender from Grand Rapids to take MacDonald’s spot as the No. 3 goalie. They had promoted Stefan Liv to be MacDonald’s backup in Edmonton but he was returned to the Griffins on Monday.

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.

Red Wings’ Streak Ends with Loss to Flames

The Detroit Red Wings failed to set a new franchise record for consecutive wins Friday night, falling to the Calgary Flames, 4-1.

Had the Red Wings won, it would have been their tenth victory in a row, a feat unmatched in the team’s history. They have won nine-straight games six times, including once last season.

Calgary’s power play led the way, with three of the Flames’ four goals coming with the extra attacker.

Kristian Husilius and Matthew Lombardi notched first-period power play goals to put Calgary on the board. Dion Phaneuf added another in the third period after an even-strength tally by Daymond Langkow in the middle frame.

Dan Cleary scored Detroit’s only goal of the game with 41 seconds remaining in the third. It was a power play goal.

While their winning streak was snapped, Cleary’s goal allowed the Red Wings to avoid being shut out, extending a streak of games in which they scored at least one goal that goes back to 2004.

The Red Wings will look to rebound on Saturday in Edmonton. With Chris Osgood injured, rookie goaltender Joey MacDonald could get his first career NHL start.

Prior to the game, the Red Wings retroactively placed Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall, and Chris Osgood on the injured reserve list. Darryl Bootland, Evan McGrath and Stefan Liv were called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to take their roster spots.

Red Wings Rally for Second Exhibition Win

The Detroit Red Wings started slow Sunday night but bounced back for a 4-2 win over the visiting Florida Panthers, evening their exhibition record at 2-2.

Florida scored twice in the first period before the Red Wings notched three goals in the second, two of those coming on the power play. Detroit added an empty-net goal to close the game.

Johan Franzen, Mathieu Schneider, Kris Draper and Robert Lang were the Red Wings’ goal scorers.

Dominik Hasek worked the Detroit crease for the first two periods and Stefan Liv came in for the third. Ed Belfour, who almost signed with the Red Wings over the summer, played the entire game for the Panthers.

Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said that injured defenseman Danny Markov is expected to play in an exhibition later this week.

“He’ll be ready to go in no time.”

Wings Fall to Wild in Preseason Opener

A shorthanded Detroit Red Wings team dropped their first exhibition game of the season Tuesday night, picking up a 3-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild.

The Red Wings skated without most of their expected regular season roster, leaving them behind in Traverse City and taking a lineup of prospects and try-outs to St. Paul.

The Wild opened the scoring with two quick goals on netminder Joey MacDonald.

Just 32 seconds in, Marion Gaborik ripped a shot from the left circle between MacDonald’s pads. Only 57 seconds later, Minnesota newcomer Pavol Demitra put in the rebound of a Brian Rolston shot to add to the lead.

The Red Wings bounced back with 3:16 remaining in the first, when Johan Franzen put a shot past goalie Manny Fernandez after a Minnesota defensive mix-up.

Eight minutes into the second period, try-out Boyd Devereaux banged in the rebound of a Krys Kolanos shot to even the game.

To start the third period, Stefan Liv replaced MacDonald in the Detroit crease. He allowed his only goal of the game 5:28 later, when Gaborik put the puck on net on a five-on-three, bouncing it in off of a body in front.

The Red Wings will play more of their regulars on Thursday when they host the Colorado Avalanche in their first home game of the exhibition season. Chris Osgood is expected to start in goal.

Report: Red Wings Re-sign Chelios

The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms with defenseman Chris Chelios, the Detroit Free Press reported on Wednesday. The report stated that the 44-year-old signed a one-year contract worth $850,000.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is also working to bring back expected Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Brendan Shanahan.

Detroit hopes to sign Lidstrom for around $7 million per season but the Tampa Bay Lightning’s recent signing of Brad Richards to a salary cap maximum deal of $7.8 million annually could drive Lidstrom’s value up. The Red Wings worry that they will be unable to upgrade in goal if Lidstrom’s price is too high.

Shanahan is coming off a season where he made $2.28 million and had an offensive resurgance, scoring 40 goals. Teams could outbid Detroit for his services but he his rumored to only be interested in returning to the Red Wings or going to the Boston Bruins.

“I talked to Brendan in Latvia; we sat for a couple of hours,” Holland said. “Brendan said he’ll talk with his wife and his agent and get back to me. Then we’ll decide if we’re going to negotiate or if he wants to hit the market.”

Also up in the air is the status of captain Steve Yzerman, who was expected to retire following this season but may be reconsidering after being one of Detroit’s better players in their brief playoff run.

Of Yzerman, Holland said, “I’ve told him I don’t need to know until the middle of June. When he feels he’s made his decision, I’m sure he will call me. He is making a decision on his career. I want him to have all the necessary time, but there is a time frame, heading into the draft on the 24th of June, that I would like to know.”

Holland’s only offseason move other than the Chelios signing was to agree to a deal with Swedish goaltender Stefan Liv.

Liv, the alternate goalie for Sweden in both the Olympics and the World Championships, is expected to compete for a spot on the team but spend next season in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

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