Category Archives: Detroit Red Wings

The latest Detroit Red Wings news, rumors, schedule, roster, video and more.

Former Wings F Thomas Vanek says NHL ‘Isn’t that tough anymore’

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek is a veteran of 14 seasons in the National Hockey League, and he’s seen just about everything over the course of the 1,029 career games he appeared in.

And to that end, he apparently wants to make one thing clear – the NHL isn’t as tough as it once was.

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Vanek offered a rather frank assessment of the League’s toughness, or rather lack thereof during a recent appearance on “The Instigators” podcast.

“The last four-to-five years, besides (Zdeno) Chara, the league isn’t that tough anymore. I think we can all agree on that,” Vanek explained. “I think early on when we all played together and you got the (Chris) Pronger’s, the (Derian) Hatcher’s, that was tough.”

“Standing in front of the net, there were no penalties back then. The ref would say, ‘Hey, loosen up Pronger’ and Pronger would look at the ref and was like ‘Don’t ever talk to me again.'”

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Of course, fans of the Red Wings are all too familiar with the bruising Pronger, who had plenty of run-ins with the team during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Fellow defenseman (and one-time Red Wing) Derian Hatcher was also known for his physical presence, while 6’9 Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara continues to intimidate opponents.

However, the NHL has seen a reduction in so-called “goon” players, who offered little in terms of offense and made their living with their fists while protecting their squad’s star players with physicality.

“I don’t know if it was really dirty (in the past), that’s the way it was – if you go in front of the net, you’re taking a punishment,” Vanek said. “Now the game has changed. You’ve got a lot of smaller defensemen who are more mobile. They cross-check a little bit, but those guys are nonexistent really anymore.”

Vanek, while not officially retired, currently coaches an under-14 single-A team in Stillwater, Minnesota. During his career, he tallied 373 goals and 789 total points.

– – Quotes via Brandon Maron of TheScore.com Link – –

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman pushes back on “inaccurate” reports

While the starting date for the 2020-21 National Hockey League season has yet to be made official thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, a further complication has arisen stemming from the League asking the players to re-open the six-year CBA agreement that was signed in July.

Due to the likelihood of fans not attending games next season, the NHL is looking for millions in additional concessions in the form of salary deferment.

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However, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is pushing back against reports of attempted renegotiation, which he calls “inaccurate”:

Will we see next season ultimately be played?

Steve Yzerman should sign ‘Diamond in the Rough’ to be goalie of the future

Let’s face it, the Detroit Red Wings‘ GM Steve Yzerman has been wheeling and dealing throughout the offseason not only to make the team more competitive in the short-term but more so, to build for the future.

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Heading into the 2020-21 season (odd to write that since the season will begin in 2021), the Red Wings will roll with Thomas Greiss and Jonathan Bernier as their top two goaltenders.

But is either Greiss or Bernier a goalie who will be around when the Red Wings are ready to contend for a Stanley Cup? Probably not.

So, who will be the Red Wings goaltender of the future?

Well, according to Peter Ploshehanski of The Hockey Writers, Yzerman should consider signing a ‘diamond in the rough’ from the University of Michigan.

That ‘diamond in the rough’ is Wolverines’ goaltender, Strauss Mann.

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Here are some comments from Michigan head coach Mel Pearson about Mann, via The Hockey Writers:

“He has no doubt flown under the radar,” said Wolverines head coach Mel Pearson. “But that’s probably because he hasn’t taken the usual junior path to where he is today.”

“He reminds me of, dare I say, Marty Turco, just how calm he was in the net and the way he approached the game,” Pearson said. “Completely different personality-wise away from the rink though.” Mann is slightly undersized compared to today’s typical goaltender at six-feet-tall and 174 pounds. I believe this has forced him to develop other areas of his game. As Pearson noted, “He’s a student of the game that studies other teams’ shooters and top power-play units… He’s one of our better athletes and an excellent skater with a high hockey IQ.”

Ploshehanski believes that Yzerman, and his right-hand man Kris Draper, should give Mann a long-hard look and consider signing him to a deal.

From The Hockey Writers:

Yzerman and Kris Draper should give Mann a long look. Yzerman is known for making bold moves and he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger when the time is right. With the Tampa Bay Lightning, he found a lot of talent outside of the first and second rounds of the draft, and he has loaded up on free agents this offseason.

Yzerman has surrounded himself with a keen-eyed staff. Signing a college free agent would cost the base salary of $832,000 which is next to nothing in the NHL. It’s a long shot for any player to make the NHL, let alone one who has taken Mann’s route, but he could be a diamond in the rough. Signing one of the NCAA’s top goaltenders for next to nothing? It could be a deal that pays off.

Nation, is this a signing you would like to see Yzerman make?

 

 

Wings score 9 on Patrick Roy in his finale with Canadiens [Video]

We all know that Patrick Roy played a big part in the Detroit Red Wings / Colorado Avalanche rivalry, but it was a regular-season game against the Montreal Canadiens on December 2nd, 1995 that would become the first significant moment that fueled many historic matchups between the two aforementioned teams.

The Red Wings laid a beating on Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens by defeating them by a score of 11-1 with Roy allowing 9 goals on 26 shots in an unusual night for the Hall of Fame netminder. This game added fuel to the fire of an already strained relationship between Roy and head coach, Mario Trembley.

After being pulled in the second period, Roy informed the Canadiens team president that it was his last game in Montreal; he was shipped off to Colorado shortly after, and the rest was history.

The Red Wings’ dominance that night was highlighted by a 5-point game from Sergei Fedorov and a 4-point game from both Vyacheslav Kozlov and Igor Larionov.

What a night it was!

Steve Yzerman listed among NHL’s top general managers

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman‘s resume certainly speaks for itself.

Already one of the greatest players in NHL history during his 23 year career on the ice, he carved a name for himself at the executive level by transforming the Tampa Bay Lightning into a yearly contender for hockey’s ultimate prize.

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Though he returned to the Motor City in 2019, the Lightning remained one of the top teams in the National Hockey League thanks to Yzerman’s moves. They enjoyed the Stanley Cup victory in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Yzerman certainly earned plenty of recognition.

And now, he’s making his mark on the Red Wings once again.

A flurry of moves in free agency coupled with the 2020 Draft as well as bidding goodbye to long-tenured veterans have transformed the roster that had earned the unfortunate distinction of being the 31st overall team in the NHL last season by a large margin.

Thanks to his moves, Yzerman has been recognized as the NHL’s 2nd best GM in a recent ranking by NBC Sports:

Certainly no argument from us!

– – Quotes via Adam Gretz of NBC Sports Link – –

Detroit Red Wings loan goaltender Calvin Pickard overseas

The Detroit Red Wings have loaned yet another player overseas as negotiations continue between the NHL and NHLPA regarding the status of next season.

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Goaltender Calvin Pickard, who played mostly with the Grand Rapids Griffins last season, has been loaned to the Vienna Capitals of the ICEHL, Austria’s top-tier hockey league.

A veteran of over 100 NHL games, Pickard has suited up for several NHL teams over his career. He appeared in 33 games with Grand Rapids last year, posting a 17-12-4 record.

Pickard joins Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, and Joe Veleno in journeying across the Atlantic.

Detroit Red Wings players skate at Little Caesars Arena

The Detroit Red Wings haven’t officially hit the ice since early March when the National Hockey League paused their season thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For the first time in several months, there were players on the ice at Little Caesars Arena this afternoon.

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According to Detroit Free Press writer Helene St. James, the players who skated on the practice rink ice included Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin.

The NHL’s targeted date of a return to action for the 2020-21 NHL Season remains early January, though negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA are ongoing.

Filip Zadina burns Red Wings teammate Filip Hronek and scores sick goal (VIDEO)

It was a little bit of Red Wing on Red Wing crime.

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Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina, who is currently on loan to HC Oceláři Třinec, scored a highlight reel goal against Mountfield HK.

The defender he decked around? None other than Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek.


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That’s sure to be a subject of conversation when the Red Wings reconvene!

Happy Birthday to Red Wings legend Chris Osgood (VIDEO)

The man affectionately known as “Ozzie” turns 48 years young today.

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With 400 career wins during his illustrious tenure in the NHL, Chris Osgood endeared himself to the fans of the Detroit Red Wings. And while their relationship wasn’t always the smoothest, fans will always hold a special place in their hearts for the goaltender who led them to Stanley Cup titles twice as a starter.

Let’s take a look back at some of Ozzie’s best moments:

Top 10 Bob Probert fights of all-time [Video]

When the discussion comes up about the best hockey fighters of all-time, former Detroit Red Wings enforcer Bob Probert is right at the top of the list.

It seemed like every time Probert took the ice that he was looking to use his fists to his advantage and that is often what happened.

Throughout his career, Probert had a plethora of fights, and one fan put together what he believes are the best of Probert’s 16-year career.

Hockey fans, we give to you the Top 10 Bob Probert fights of all-time!

For whatever reason, the video embedded below stopped working so here is a link to the video.

TOP TEN NHL HOCKEY FIGHTS OF BOB PROBERT

The Bruise Brothers: Best of Bob Probert and Joey Kocur fights [Video]

When the Detroit Red Wings drafted Bob Probert (3rd Round) and Joey Kocur (5th Round) in the 1983 NHL Draft, they probably did not realize that those two players would develop into two of the best enforcers in history. Probert (2090) and Kocur (1963) still rank No. 1 and No. 2 on the Red Wings all-time penalty minute list ahead of the likes of Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, and Darren McCarty to name a few.

Because of their willingness (and love) to drop their gloves at any given moment, Probert and Kocur became known as “The Bruise Brothers” around the NHL. Their style of play is something that will probably never be seen again in the NHL, but at the time it sure was a hell of a lot of fun to watch!

Red Wings fans, we give to you, The Best of Bob Probert and Joey Kocur.

 

 

What the Detroit Red Wings new ‘Reverse Retro’ jersey should have looked like [Photo]

If you are a fan of the Detroit Red Wings (you are or you would not have clicked on this), you have probably seen the new ‘Reverse Retro’ jerseys that they will wear from time to time during the 2020-21 season.

In case you have already wiped the ‘Reverse Retro’ jersey from your memory because it is trash, here is a quick reminder (I am sorry).

YUCK!

Now, the jersey shown above is what we are stuck with but Bacon_Zetterberger from SB Nation’s Winging it in Motown blog put together a mock-up of what the jersey should have looked like.

Here is what Bacon_Zetterberger (cannot find his/her real name) has to say about what the ‘Reverse Retro’ jerseys the Red Wings will be wearing and what he believes they should be wearing.

When you discover the perfect design and scheme early on in your existence, it will always be scary to tempt the fates and try something new. This jersey is the result of said fear. If the Reverse Retro collection was the news anchor community from San Diego, the Wings are the Wes Mantooth anchor entourage. Even the guy who can’t think says something and all they do is just…stand there. Nearly every other team went into the fun zone in some fashion to try something different and it appears that the Wings didn’t see the appeal in that. I mean, why would they? They’ve stuck with what’s been an iconic look and have very rarely strayed away from that success. In many respects, that decision is beyond reproach…. but not all. Succumbing to metathesiophobia too many times is no way to operate a franchise. This is one area where peer pressure might be good! It worked for hiring a new GM, why not this? I mean, sure, that happened 8 years too late but still! It worked! X-P

So, once more, I shout into the ether: it is time for Detroit to spread their wings farther (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m trying to delete it) in the jersey design department. The Red Wings have abstained, courteously, from taking their “wing nut” hats off and putting their creativity caps on for far too long. And if they won’t do it, I have no problem answering that call. Fans of the show will recall this sentiment from my Red And White Sweaters article. In a weird way, I have to thank the Wings for choosing vanilla because that meant I had something to channel my pent up “Sports and Graphic Design: Why Do People Do The Bad Thing? rant” energy into. Let’s take a look…

“Dude, You Coming Over?” “Who’s All There?”
JWT / NHL.com

It was reported that the gray on the bottom stripe and sleeves was tribute to the Detroit Centennial jersey. Why they chose just straight up gray, over the actual silver that was used, is beyond me. That meant the first fix was to put our team red back into those areas. Porting over the standard AWAY Winged Wheel felt pretty darn lazy so that was the second fix to address. The Winter Classic at The Big House gave the Wings a great old-timey iteration of the wheel, so why not re-purpose? I’m happy with how this turned out and I’m curious about the level of ire or approval this will generate. Discourse! Nothing bad ever happens during…Discourse!

Nation, which of these ‘Reverse Retro’ jerseys do you like best? Personally, I am not a fan of either. In fact, if I had to choose, I would take the original over the remake.

What about you?

Ex-Red Wings forward Damien Brunner attempts to sucker punch opponent (VIDEO)

Damien Brunner had a brief career in the National Hockey League, spending the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with the Detroit Red Wings; he later suited up for parts of two years with the New Jersey Devils.

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Red Wings fans will remember Brunner most for his dramatic overtime game-winner against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals:

Brunner is now suiting up for EHC Biel of the National League in Switzerland, and a recent incident is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Brunner attempted a sucker punch to the head of opponent Erik Brannstrom, though he didn’t connect with much force:

What exactly was going through the mind of the former Red Wings forward here?

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill discusses offseason additions to roster

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has been busy since the start of free agency, bringing aboard several new faces including the likes of forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov, as well as defenseman Troy Stecher and Jon Merrill, and goaltender Thomas Greiss.

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Of course, that was proceeded by a busy 2020 Draft that saw the likes of Swedish forward Lucas Raymond selected with the 4th overall pick along with a bevy of other new faces.

For head coach Jeff Blashill, he’s optimistic about the additions to the roster.

“With how our season ended last year, we hope we have improved in each area,” he said. “We’ll get a chance to know that when the season starts. There are always unknowns going into every season. I’m looking forward to here at some point here getting started and getting the opportunity to get better every single day.”

“With the addition of Bobby Ryan and re-signing of Sam Gagner, you have two right-handed shot forwards that are natural power play guys. Bobby is proven to have high end skill, the reason he was drafted as high as he was, the reason he’s scored as many goals as he has. He’s gone through trials and tribulations the last couple of years and I was excited speaking with him, seeing where he’s at personally, how he feels going into the season, and how excited he is being a Red Wing.”

Forward Filip Zadina, whom the team loaned to HC Ocelari Trinec to continue his development during the COVID-19 pandemic, got his first real taste of NHL action last season prior to a season-ending injury. Blashill is encouraged by what he saw:

“When he came up to play with us last year, I thought he grew as a player,” he said. “He was more dangerous than he had been previously, more confident. He seemed to be a little quicker and stronger.”

Of course, Zadina wasn’t the only injury the team had to deal with. Defenseman Danny DeKeyser appeared in only eight games before requiring season-ending back surgery.

“If we get Danny DeKeyser back, he makes us a much better hockey team,” Blashill explained. “He was one of the players I didn’t think going into the season we could afford to lose. We were a little thin on the back side. He was an extremely significant piece that when he went down, it hurt us.”

– – Quotes via Ansar Khan of MLive Link – –

Tie Domi mocked by Steve Yzerman after he gets his butt whooped by Bob Probert [Video]

In their first head-to-head fight, Tie Domi of the New York Rangers and Bob Probert of the Detroit Red Wings went toe-to-toe in what looked to be a pretty even fight, though Probert did get his eye cut open.

Following the fight, Domi was seen skating around and signaling that he had just won the championship belt from Probert as a wrestler would do. In fact, Domi used to refer to himself as the Macho Man.

In the rematch, Probert did not hold back and he absolutely took Domi to pound town.

After the Red Wings bench exploded when Probert knocked Domi to the ice with a punch, ending the fight, Steve Yzerman could be seen mocking Domi as he flashed the belt sign back at him.

*Fast forward to the 5:40 mark or so to see Yzerman mock Domi,

 

Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss excited to play in a “real hockey city”

The Detroit Red Wings needed to shore up their crease after making the decision to not retain veteran Jimmy Howard, who is currently an unrestricted free-agent.

And they found their man to team up with Jonathan Bernier early in free agency, inking former New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss to a two-year deal.

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While it can be hard to leave a place you’ve established as a home, the intrigue of a new challenge can prompt a change.

“It’s always difficult, but always nice to have change,” Greiss said. “Five years playing in New York, you definitely get settled in there and you’re very familiar with things. But change is always good and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”

Of course, with GM Steve Yzerman running the show in the Motor City now, it didn’t take too much of a sales pitch to encourage Greiss to come aboard.

“A big part was Yzerman, his personality and what he’s achieved in the past,” Greiss said. “I had a long phone call with him after (I signed). It was a very positive call and I look forward to working with him more. He’s achieved great things in the past in his playing career and his GM career, and I’m looking forward to the season.”

It also doesn’t hurt that the Red Wings have one of the richest histories of any NHL team, and are known for being a top-tier organization.

“(It’s) a great hockey city, a great organization that treats people well, very professional in every regard,” Greiss said about Detroit in a Zoom press conference when he signed. “I’m just looking forward to being in a real hockey city. I’ve played in the desert (and different markets) and just looking forward to being in a real hockey city.”

– – Quotes via Josh Berenter of DetroitRedWings.com Link – –