Flames Claim Goalie MacDonald on Waivers

The Calgary Flames claimed goaltender Joey MacDonald on waivers from the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. MacDonald, 33, has missed the entire 2013 season due to a back injury.

MacDonald played well enough during a call-up from the Grand Rapids Griffins at the end of the 2011-12 season to take the backup role in Detroit away from Ty Conklin. Heading into the 2012 offseason, it looked as though he would be Jimmy Howard‘s backup with the Red Wings but the team opted instead to sign Jonas Gustavsson.

Though Gustavsson has been injured for much of the season, the emergence of rookie goalie Petr Mrazek made MacDonald expendable.

Rather than first send him to Grand Rapids on a conditioning assignment, the Red Wings waived MacDonald in an effort to accommodate his request to join another NHL team.

It marks the second time the Red Wings have lost MacDonald on waivers. The Boston Bruins claimed him on February 24, 2007. He has also spent time with the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Red Wings Place Goalie MacDonald on Waivers

The Detroit Red Wings placed goalie Joey MacDonald on waivers on Sunday as they prepare to bring him off the injured reserve list. MacDonald has missed the entirety of the 2013 season with a back injury.

MacDonald outplayed Ty Conklin late in the 2011-12 season while Jimmy Howard was injured, earning the backup spot in Detroit. Heading into a 2012-13 season where he had a one-way contract, it looked like MacDonald would remain Howard’s backup until the Red Wings signed Jonas Gustavsson to fill that role.

Like MacDonald, Gustavsson has spent most of the season on IR, but the emergence of rookie netminder Petr Mrazek has provided the team yet another option. With MacDonald desiring to remain in the NHL, the Red Wings waived him to see if another team will take a chance on him.

Should he go unclaimed, MacDonald is expected to be sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins, at least for a reconditioning stint. His one-way deal means he’ll be paid the same amount and have the same salary cap hit in Grand Rapids as he would if he were in the NHL.

On the Other NHL Goalie Looking for a Trade

While the hockey media buzzes over the possibility of Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo being traded, one of the more forgotten stories of the NHL’s return is the to-be-determined fate of Detroit Red Wings netminder Joey MacDonald.

MacDonald supplanted Ty Conklin as the backup in Detroit late last season while starter Jimmy Howard was injured and was in net for the team’s record-setting 23rd consecutive home win. With Conklin a free agent last summer and MacDonald entering a season with a one-way deal, it looked like MacDonald would be the Wings’ backup for the 2012-13 season.

Then Jonas Gustavsson was signed.

Howard and Gustavsson are locked in as the tandem in Detroit for the coming campaign. MacDonald could be waived with the intent to send him to the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Wings have a logjam in the crease in their system, however, as Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum have carried the Griffins to a tie for the top spot in the Western Conference and Jordan Pearce is already down with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

The likely move is that MacDonald will be dealt in the week between the opening of training camp and the start of the season.

That said, a deal doesn’t have to happen so quickly. With the Red Wings carrying 14 forwards and six defensemen into the season due to injuries to Patrick Eaves and Carlo Colaiacovo, there is room for the team to keep three goalies on the roster.

Obviously MacDonald isn’t the goalie that Luongo is, so there’s not going to be as much buzz about what happens to him, but a move of some kind is coming. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

Griffins 2012-13 Jersey Number Changes

With twenty-two players having been sent to Grand Rapids by the Red Wings in advance of the expected NHL lockout, the Griffins web site has updated the team’s roster with all the new player jersey numbers. Here’s a look at the changes we’ll see for the 2012-13 season.

Incoming netminder Petr Mrazek picks up the #34 worn last season by Ty Conklin during his AHL demotion, making him one of two Griffins wearing the same number as they are assigned by the Red Wings.

Nathan Paetsch takes the #4 vacated by Travis Ehrhardt. Adam Almquist switches from the #6 he got at the end of last season to the #5 that had been worn by Riley Sheahan, who takes the #19 from outgoing Mike Thomas.

Luke Glendening gets Jamie Johnson‘s old #10. Chad Billins claims the #14 last worn by Chris Minard after having shared #23 with Ryan Sproul last year, with #23 going to Triston Grant.

Fabian Brunnstrom‘s #17 goes to Max Nicastro and Chris Conner‘s #25 goes to Damien Brunner.

Tomas Jurco claims #28 from Alan Quine, making him the second Griffin with the same number he’s currently assigned with the Red Wings, pending Carlo Colaiacovo‘s number selection. Colaiacovo wore #28 with the St. Louis Blues and could request it in Detroit.

Finally, Brennan Evans will wear the #44 of the deceased Bryan Rufenach.

Hockeytown Shifts Gears To Watch Worlds: Americans Discover Yearly Hockey Tournament

Five games into the post season (one game short of my playoff tickets) and the Detroit Red Wings have done the unthinkable.

Started their golf season early – just not as early as the Leafs, Blue Jackets, etc.

The Detroit Red Wings have become the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs; which means no more hockey for Detroit fans to enjoy (well other than if the Flyers beat the Penguins).

All of the Detroit stars and done, gone, no more hockey until the fall right. Well maybe, but adds are that is not true either.

You see there is this “little” known hockey tournaments every year (well not on Winter Olympic years) called the IIHF World Championship; and guess what. NHL players are allowed to play.

HOLY CRAP.

Now that the Red Wings have been eliminated early there is a chance that some of them will be asked to join their native country in the tournament that is taking place split between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.

Currently none of the Red Wings have agreed to join their teams; however, other than for injury reasons I am sure a few may. Especially the Swedes and the Finn.

Team Sweden has gained Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Fabian Brunnstrom and Tomas Holmstrom to their potential player pool. I know Nicklas Lidstrom is a Swede, he was captain for Tre Kronor in the Vancouver Olympics; but The Perfect Human is still injured and I do not see him joining the team.

Event co-host Finland now has Valtteri Filppula available. Last year Finland won gold without Filppula; however with Mikko Koivu‘s injury during the NHL regular season and the loss of goaltender Niklas Backstrom to surgery Filppula is probably already receiving calls.

Russia has been lackluster in the international tournaments as of late and could use the help of Pavel Datsyuk; however, injury may keep the Magician off the ice.

Justin Abdelkader, Chris Conner, Doug Janik, Drew Miller, Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin have become available for Team USA. With the horrible finish in last years tournament the USA needs a strong push this time around and hopefully Miller, Howard and Abdelkader can have a better ending to their season by helping out the national team.

Hockey Canada… Detroit gives to you Todd Bertuzzi, Danny Cleary, Riley Sheahan, Garnet Exelby, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith, Corey Emmerton, Brad Stuart, and Ian White… if you shall choose.

To the Czech Republic Jiri Hudler and Jakub Kindl would be good additions to your team.

Tomas Tatar has seen two season end thus far but could still be a big part for Slovakia.

And Slovenia The Red Wings have given you Jan Mursak.

Now Detroit fans and National Team fans sit and wait to see who will be joining as the Red Wings clear out their lockers and scatter for what is the longest off-season they have had since before winning the cup in 2008.

Red Wings Rout Blue Jackets to Clinch Playoff Spot

The Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff spot for the 21st consecutive season on Monday night with a 7-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The streak is the longest active in professional sports. The NHL’s all-time record is 29 consecutive seasons, set by the Boston Bruins.

Four goals in the first ten minutes of the game propelled the Red Wings to the win, including two power play tallies by Tomas Holmstrom.

Holmstrom opened the game’s scoring just 1:06 in with Columbus’ Cam Atkinson off for tripping. Niklas Kronwall sent a pass from the blue line to Henrik Zetterberg at the side of the Blue Jackets’ net. Goaltender Steve Mason overcommited towards him and he sent a pass across the crease to Holmstrom to bang home.

Gustav Nyquist made it 2-0 at 5:35 with his first career NHL goal. In the slot, Pavel Datsyuk spun to send a pass to Nyquist all alone at the edge of the crease, where he roofed a shot past the diving Mason.

Holmstrom’s second came at 8:55, when Kronwall sent a hard pass from the point to Zetterberg in the slot, who turned and sent it backwards through his legs to Holmstrom for a shot past Mason from the left faceoff circle – another power play goal.

Jiri Hudler rounded out the period’s scoring 56 seconds later. After Mason stopped his initial shot, Hudler wrapped around the goal while Valtteri Filppula gathered in the rebound. Filppula sent a pass to Hudler to knock home from the side of the net to make it 4-0.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 5-0 at 6:17 of the second period, sliding a shot from the right faceoff dot under Mason’s pad after almost whiffing on the chance.

Brad Stuart ended Mason’s night 2:17 later, jumping into the play to take a feed from Todd Bertuzzi and beat Mason from the inside edge of the right circle.

Datsyuk capped off Detroit’s scoring at 1:25 of the third period. Zetterberg spun in the right circle before sending a pass across to the left side for Datsyuk to knock past backup goalie Allen York.

The Blue Jackets would finally get on the board just 19 seconds later, with Mark Letestu splitting the Detroit defense to break in alone on Ty Conklin and snap a shot past him.

Rick Nash made it 7-2 with 9:28 remaining, blasting a shot from the top of the right circle off the post and in behind Conklin.

Conklin finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots against, half of those chances coming in the third period. Mason made 22 saves on 28 shots in 28:34 while York stopped 10 of 11 in 31:26 of play.

Holmstrom’s goals were the only power play tallies on the night, though Lidstrom’s goal came on a delayed call. The Red Wings finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play while the Blue Jackets went 0-for-4.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday in Columbus for the second game of the home-and-home series.


Detroit was without goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, and forwards Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves.

Postgame: Blue Jackets @ Red Wings – 3/26

I’ve got a migraine coming on so the postgame notes will be quick…

Easy to say this one was “only Columbus” but two points are two points, and some of the plays tonight were impressive against any NHL team. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk each with nearly-blind passes leading to goals, for example.

On one of those, fantastic to see Gustav Nyquist get his first career goal. He’s really finding his game in Detroit and clicks well with Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi. I’d kind of like to see him stay there as the Wings get healthy and see what could happen but I don’t know if Johan Franzen works on the third line.

Ty Conklin didn’t have to do a lot but looked pretty good, much better than he did in his first stint with the team this season.

Two more points in Columbus on Wednesday would be huge but the Blue Jackets are going to want to bounce back from this one.

Zetterberg Leads Red Wings’ Rally Past Hurricanes

Henrik Zetterberg scored the first two goals for Detroit on Saturday night, leading the Red Wings to a 5-4 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The win snapped Detroit’s six-game losing streak and coincided with the return from injury of defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl.

The Red Wings were down 4-1 when Zetterberg scored his second of the night. With 3:02 left in the second period, Zetterberg took a feed from Valtteri Filppula and snapped a shot from the high slot off Carolina netminder Cam Ward‘s mask and into the net, through a screen by Jiri Hudler.

Just 18 seconds later, Todd Bertuzzi batted the fluttering rebound of a Gustav Nyquist chance out of mid-air and past Ward to cut the Hurricanes’ lead to a single goal.

At 8:10 of the third, Filppula banked the puck off the side of the net and out to Brad Stuart just inside the blue line. Stuart’s shot deflected first off Hudler in front of the net, then off defender Jay Harrison before trickling across the goal line to tie the game.

With 8:25 left in regulation, Drew Miller gave the Red Wings their first and only lead. The Hurricanes won a faceoff in their own zone but Cleary knocked the puck loose to Miller, who went to the front of the net alone and beat Ward on the backand to make it 5-4.

Carolina had opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the game, when Jiri Tlusty threw a backhander from down low on the right wing towards the Detroit goal. The puck deflected off defenseman Ian White‘s stick and went over the shoulder of goalie Ty Conklin to give the Hurricanes the early lead.

Another quick goal made it 2-0, with Chard Larose scoring just 26 seconds into the second period. Larose was left alone in the left corner of the Detroit zone and he cut to the middle to take a pass from Eric Staal before beating Conklin.

Zetterberg scored his first of the night to halve Carolina’s lead at 5:10 of the second. Zetterberg threw the puck to the net from the right circle and it deflected off defenseman Bryan Allen to get past Ward.

A pair of power play goals gave the Hurricanes their 4-1 lead. With 4:22 left in the second period and a single second left on a five-on-three, Jamie McBain rifled a shot from the top of the left circle past Conklin. Tlusty got in behind Kyle Quincey and tapped in a chance from the edge of the crease just 17 seconds later.

Those two goals were the only power play goals by either team on the night. Each team had two tries with the man-advantage.

Conklin finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots, with the Red Wings holding the Hurricanes to just three shots in the third period. Ward stopped 45 of Detroit’s 50 shots on the night.


With Lidstrom and Kindl returning to the lineup, Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch. The Red Wings reassigned him to the Grand Rapids Griffins after the game. Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald remain injured for Detroit.

Postgame: Hurricanes @ Red Wings – 3/24

There were a lot of players who made tonight’s win happen, a very solid overall effort, but I’ll be damned if Henrik Zetterberg didn’t put the team on his back tonight and carry them when they needed it most. I said it over Twitter (all of my commentary tonight was on Twitter, sorry about that forum users), he knows the playoffs are coming.

That said: Drew Miller. Does the guy score any goals that aren’t clutch? He’s got 14 goals this season and 4 are game-winners.

Speaking of trends, Todd Bertuzzi really does love the atypical goals. Spinoramas and batting it out of the air are kind of becoming his thing.

I love the fact that the Wings competed all night. Effort.

With Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl back, the blue line seemed much more calm. Brendan Smith was returned to the Griffins after the game as the defensive corps will be 100% healthy once Jonathan Ericsson returns (supposedly on Monday).

With all the good things, there were a couple bad notes.

Really disliked Ty Conklin on the first goal against. He was down early and leaning off the post. Yeah, the shot ramped up on him, but that was an awkward position to try to make a stop from.

Danny Cleary‘s penalty to give the Hurricanes a five-on-three was pretty boneheaded. His decline in play could be related to the knee injury that I’m sure he’d be resting if Johan Franzen (and Pavel Datsyuk before him) weren’t hurt.

Speaking of boneheaded… Tomas Holmstrom gets checked into Cam Ward and then called for goalie interference. What a joke.

But a big win anyway, putting the Wings back of the Blues by six points. No games in hand but the next two for Detroit are against Columbus and there’s one more matchup between the Wings and Blues this season, so there are points to be had.

Red Wings Fall to Rangers in Overtime

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, stretching their losing streak to six games.

Goaltender Ty Conklin, recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins with both Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald injured, stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced in the effort.

Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan gave his team the win at 2:42 of the overtime period. Brandon Dubinsky gained the Detroit zone and passed off to Michael Del Zotto on the left wing, who sent it back across to Callahan all alone in the high slot for a shot past Conklin.

Detroit had opened the game’s scoring just 3:36 into the first period. Henrik Zetterberg‘s wrister from the top of the right faceoff circle found it’s way through a screen and past New York netminder Henik Lundqvist.

Brad Richards responded for the Rangers with 5:02 left in the opening period and Detroit down a man. The Red Wings’ left a lane up the middle of the ice open and Richards carried the puck end-to-end before skating around Niklas Kronwall and beating Conklin from in close.

It was the only power play goal of the game, with the Rangers having three tries with the extra attacker and Detroit having one.

Lundqvist finished the night with 26 saves on 27 shots against.

The Red Wings look to snap their skid on Saturday night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.


In addition to Howard and MacDonald, Detroit was without Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Nicklas Lidstrom.