Found January 07, 2013 on
Just days before the Jan. 11th deadline, the NHL and NHLPA finally agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, ending a lockout that will cut the season nearly in half.
The players can now get back into team facilities and will do it fast, as the season is set to begin Jan. 19th. After months of arguing over money, the players will now have less than two weeks to prepare for a 48-game season.
And a few playoff games if they’re lucky.
For 21 straight years now, The Detroit Red Wings have been among those 16 lucky teams who get to compete for the Stanley Cup. This streak is by far the longest active streak in the NHL, and is tied for the fifth longest in league history.
Obviously, Detroit and its fans have high expectations for their team each and every year. This lockout-shortened season will be no different, and the Red Wings will once again be expected to reach the playoffs and make a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup.
In this 2013 season, however, Detroit may have a harder time doing so than they have in any of the past 21 seasons.
Last year’s team earned the four seed in the Western Conference before losing to the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs. Hardly the result the Wings were seeking after a season in which they set an NHL record for consecutive home wins and at one point led the entire Western Conference.
Now the Red Wings will aim for a better result despite losing Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom, 15-year veteran Tomas Holmstrom (Homer is expected to retire before the start of the season), goal-scoring Jiri Hudler, and defenseman Brad Stuart.
This tall task will have to be completed with a team that will look much different than the teams that fans have grown accustomed to seeing in Detroit during the past several seasons. Most notably, #5 will not skate out with the first defensive pair, although that number may be seen hanging from the rafters at some point this season.
Defenseman Ian White will be called upon to fill Lidstrom’s skates and Head Coach Mike Babcock will certainly move his other d-men around until he finds the best pairings.
Nyquist has excelled in Grand Rapids and will make an impact in Detroit
I expect White and Niklas Kronwall to begin the season as the team’s top defensive pair, but don’t be surprised to see a number of guys occupy the first pair if those two don’t gel right away.
The youth movement is on in Detroit with the exit of Lidstrom, Holmstrom and Stuart. Gustav Nyquist, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner and Brendan Smith will all play significant minutes for Detroit this year. These players will join Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Corey Emmerton and Jakub Kindl in the Red Wings’ 26-and-under club. These eight Red Wings have an average age of just 24 years.
The young players will be fun to watch, but I’m not sure we can expect greatness right away. This is not the same caliber team as the ’08 championship squad. The youth movement will rejuvenate the organization and bring wins in the future, but their inexperience worries me. Leadership in the locker room will be key in the growth of these youngsters.
Mikael Samuelsson returns to Detroit to don the winged wheel this season and veteran Dan Cleary will return for his eighth season as a Wing. There are leaders in Detroit, and this locker room knows how to win games. Babcock has won a Cup with Detroit and as one of the premier NHL coaches, will try to do so again in 2013. The key for Babcock will be getting his young talent playing at a high level. He’s done it with Helm and Abdelkader in the past, and I believe he can do it again this year.
Henrik Zetterberg will be another key player for the Red Wings. Zetty will be named captain before the season, and will be the first Red Wing not named Lidstrom or Yzerman to wear the “C” since Danny Gare in 1986. Hank is the right guy for the job and is a great locker room presence. He knows how to win and lead, and alongside guys like Todd Bertuzzi, Cleary, Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk, will lead this team and its young players.
It’s no secret that this Detroit team has a different look and feel. Losing a player like Nick Lidstrom affects any team in profound ways. But the talented youngsters that fill this roster are exciting indeed. Combined with the extraordinary talent of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and others, these rising stars can get this team back into the title conversation.
Whatever the scenario, I can’t wait to be able to turn the TV on and see hockey again. It will be good to hear Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond back on the air, and with any luck the two will be calling many Detroit wins this season. If the young guys play well and the old guys stay healthy, well, I think Mick says it best.
Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny
BEST OF MAXIM
According to Ansar Khan of Mlive.com, the Red Wings will soon announce that Henrik Zetterberg will become the new Red Wings captain replacing Nicklas Lidstrom who retired during this past offseason.
Since the 2006-07 season, Zetterberg has served as an alternate captain and has during that time been groomed to take the reigns when his time came.
It looks as though that time for Zetterberg...
NOW YOU SEE IT
When Red Wings sniper Pavel Datsyuk returns to Detroit, he’ll be in midseason form after tearing up the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia the past few months. As a parting gift, he left Russia with some sick dangles on a shootout goal from Saturday. Whether you’re on the “Boycott the NHL” bandwagon or not, it’ll be nice to have Pavel’s handywork back in the States...
Yesterday you saw a Henrik Zetterberg one-handed shoot out goal for his Swiss League team EV Zug.
Here we see another remarkable shoot-out goal, this time by his Red Wing teammate (I refuse to call them the Euro Twins… so lame) Pavel Datsyuk while playing for his KHL team CSKA Moscow.
That goal ended up being the game winner as CSKA went on to beat Traktor 3-2. Datsyuk ended up...
Pavel Datsyuk is leaving his KHL stint, as Puck Daddy puts it, “in the most Pavel Datsyuk way” possible. Datsyuk played his final game with CSKA Moscow, who he has been with since September, of the KHL on Sunday and delivered an absolutely nasty behind-the-back shootout goal in CSKA’s 3-2 SO win.
Watch the beauty below, and be thankful that talent like this is (FINALLY) returning stateside.
via Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo on 2/10/12,
In March 1998, late in his second season with the Detroit Red Wings, Holmstrom gave up No. 15 to newly acquired veteran Dmitri Mironov. He switched to No. 96 to honor the year he arrived in the NHL, but coach Scotty Bowman suggested something else.
The details have gotten hazy, and they depend on who you talk to. But the conversation...
With the NHL lockout ending today, this shootout goal will be the last goal that Pavel Datsyuk scores in the KHL, and was it an absolute beauty. I can’t wait to see him back playing for the Detroit Red Wings, because he is utterly incredible. There are a few details left to hammer out before the new CBA is signed, but hockey fans everywhere can rejoice, and get ready to see...
TROY, Mich. -- Just because there are going to be NHL games played again doesn't mean the fans will come to see them.
The Red Wings who have been skating at the Troy Sports Center during the long lockout are aware of this, but hope the fans will eventually forgive the sport and return.
"Everyone is allowed their opinion," Todd Bertuzzi said after the conclusion of...
TROY, Mich. -- The NHL and the Red Wings may be ready to play soon, but Patrick Eaves will likely not be ready.
Eaves, 28, has not played in a game since taking a slap shot to the side of the head on Nov. 26, 2011. Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi's shot broke Eaves' jaw but also gave him a severe concussion.
Eaves' jaw has long since healed but he still is...
As a change of pace from their usual routine, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters took a day Monday to help fill the void left by the cancellation of the 2013 NHL Winter Classic by playing an outdoor basketball game on the ice at Millenium Park at Portage, Michigan.
Using special ice shoes and hockey helmets, and using Detroit Red Wings alumnus Kevin Miller as their "secret...
from Larry Mahoney of the Bangor Daily News,
“There’s a lot of excitement in the air. I wish we had a chance to play a couple of preseason games, but everyone is in the same boat,” said Howard.
He spent the year in Detroit, training with his Red Wing teammates four to five times a week.
“We’d have 10-15 players every day,” said Howard.
He is currently...
Red Wings fans rejoice! HOCKEYTOWN is open for business!
After a 113 day labor dispute that locked out hockey for Red Wing and NHL fans alike the sport returns to the motor city. This news also comes in light of plans revealed a month ago on the possible new home for the Detroit Red Wings which could certainly attract a new and even broader fan base.
But first lets take a look at...
This discussion of our 3rd and 4th lines will be a bit tricky. Reason is there are guys that play in the top 6 that I don’t think should be there and there’s one guy, we’ll call him G. Nyquist, who I think should be getting more minutes. But, I’m not the coach.
We have a lot of guys to discuss, so we’d better get to it.
Full bottom 6 preview after the jump:
Aloha *******. This post will evolve over the next little bit, but I wanted to give you this ditty to start with. Khan(!)'s got himself a scoop and, in typical Digger fashion, attributes it to no one but his immense knowledge of the organ-I-zation.
Ever since Nicklas Lidstrom announced his retirement on May 31, it was fairly obvious would who replace him as Detroit Red...