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POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 3:34 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Growing up a Steve Yzerman fan, playing for his idol and wearing his No. 19 has been a dream for Lightning center Dominic Moore. (Photo by Getty Images)
In 2007, the Red Wings made sure that nobody would wear a red-and-white jersey with the No. 19 affixed to it ever again when they raised the numerals high above the ice surface at Joe Louis Arena.

Steve Yzerman, the last to wear the number in a Wings’ uniform, is the reason so many budding hockey stars – from mini-mites to frozen pond rockets all across Michigan – still select No. 19 for their sweaters.

Now there were a lot of terrific hall of famers in the history of sports who did the No. 19 proud, from Baltimore quarterback Johnny Unitas to Cleveland fireballer Bob Feller, and even Colorado captain Joe Sakic. And today, there are 16 NHL players that wear the number, including Boston’s Tyler Seguin, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and San Jose’s Joe Thornton.

Players pick numbers for different reasons and who knows if the above mentioned wear 19 out of respect, or not, for the Wings’ legend, but for Dominic Moore wearing 19 in Tampa carries a whole different meaning and responsibility.

“My two idols were Doug Gilmour, a local guy, a Toronto Maple Leaf, and Stevie Yzerman,” Moore said, “because my mom would always say, ‘Look at that Steve Yzerman, isn’t he such a class act?’ She wanted for us to look up to people like him as a role model. And obviously he was an incredible two-way player and I looked up to that.”

Moore, who grew-up north of Toronto in Thornhill, Ontario, was one of the first free agent-signings by Yzerman when he took over as Tampa Bay's vice president and general manager in 2010.

The Lightning is Moore’s eighth NHL team in eight seasons. But playing for an Yzerman-led team and wearing the number that he made so famous during a 22-season Hall of Fame career has been a real treat.

“Everyone knows what type of guy he is and the reputation he has,” said Moore, who played collegiately at Harvard with his brothers, Mark and Steve. “He’s first class all the way and his track record speaks for itself.

“I like the number, but it’s one of those things that you want to carry yourself the best that you can and be yourself and play your game and nothing else.”

POSTED ON Monday, 11.28.2011 / 1:48 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

The hockey careers of Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock have crossed a few times over the years, including the 2010 Winter Olympics as Babcock coached Team Canada for GM Yzerman. (Photo by Getty Images.)
For the first time in his life, Steve Yzerman that iconic hockey hero known to a generation of Hockeytown fans as simply “The Captain” will make his return to Joe Louis Arena this week.

But instead of wearing a Red Wings’ lapel pin on his tailored suit, the Hall of Famer who won three Stanley Cup championships as Wings’ center will be sporting one with a cobalt blue lightning bolt when he accompanies his Tampa Bay squad into JLA Wednesday night.

Like Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, who eventually left the organization to play for other clubs, Yzerman will forever be a Red Wing for helping build a hockey renaissance that brought Stanley back to Detroit after a 42-year dry spell.

But for the last year and a half, Yzerman has been the vice president and general manager for the Lightning. He also served as executive director for a Team Canada squad that won the gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

While Yzerman will likely receive a lot of media attention this week, Wings coach Mike Babcock, who coached the 2010 Canadian team, said he’s looking forward to it.

“I’m a big fan of Stevie’s, obviously from coaching with him, from working with him, from working with him in the Olympics,” Babcock said. “I talk to Steve – regularly would be too much – but quite a bit. And I think they do a good job there. I’m a fan of the coach (Guy Boucher) there and they have good players and it should be fun.”

Tampa Bay plays the Minnesota Wild tonight in St. Paul and will travel to Detroit right after the game. The Lightning are taking the unusual approach and staying in suburban Birmingham and practicing at the Troy Sports Center. Tuesday the Bolts will stake from 2-4 p.m. EST, and they will have a morning skate Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
“We get to watch them on TV here tonight and see what they’re more about,” Babcock said. “We went through quite a bit of it today already, but we’re excited to play them.”

POSTED ON Sunday, 11.27.2011 / 4:37 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Ron Duguay was a fan favorite in Detroit, and he's still No. 50 in all-time franchise scoring with 90 goals and 127 assists.
It’s too bad there wasn’t an alumni game associated with the NHL’s Winter Classic when the Red Wings tangled with the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field a few years ago.

Now that the league has instituted a senior game, Wings’ fans get a chance to see a handful of old-timers with ties to Hockeytown back on the ice when the puck drops on the Winter Classic Alumni Game set for New Year’s Eve at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.

The New York Rangers and Flyers each have six former Wings on its rosters or acting as coaches, or in the case of 72-year-old Hall of Fame goalie Eddie Giacomin, who is representing the Rangers as an ambassador.

The game, which can be seen live on Versus, will feature a pair of former Wings’ draft picks in Rangers forward Adam Graves (second-round, 1986) and Flyers center Keith Primeau (first-round, 1990). Of the dozen former players, Primeau lasted the longest in Detroit, amassing 97 goals, 133 assists, 781 penalty minutes and a plus-61 rating in 363 games in a Wings’ uniform.

Primeau will be an assistant coach on the Flyers’ bench, while former defenseman Colin Campbell will be on the Rangers’ bench. Campbell is among three alumni participants whose final NHL games were played with the Red Wings. Giacomin and Mark Howe are the others.

Besides Primeau and Howe, Philadelphia’s other Wings connections will be goalie Mark LaForest, and defensemen Terry Carkner, Derian Hatcher and Brad Marsh.

Meanwhile, the Rangers will deploy former Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider, and forwards Ron Duguay and Kris King.

POSTED ON Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 5:52 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Sure it's frustrating, but Patrick Eaves remains positive and prepared for when he's called upon to play, as he will Saturday against Nashville. (Photo by Getty Images)
Nine different Red Wings’ players have been healthy scratches this season. But that doesn’t make forward Patrick Eaves, who has sat out the last five games, feel any better.

“There’s not really much to talk about. I’ve been waiting to get this opportunity,” said Eaves, who will play tonight against the Nashville Predators – his first time in the lineup since Nov. 15 in St. Louis. “I’ve just been staying in shape and keeping my mind in hockey mode; that’s all you can really do. You can only control what you can control.”

There was a time in Eaves’ career when he was considered a top-six forward. The Wings even tinkered with the idea in training camp of moving him up to the top forward line with Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary.

And despite signing a three-year contract worth $3.6 million last July, Eaves has appeared in just nine games with one assist and an even-rating.

But coach Mike Babcock says don’t read anything into Eaves’ situation that isn’t there.

“Eaves has been fine. The reality is the way our lineup is setup this year, I like Patty to play with two skaters,” Babcock said. “So he’s been the odd man out, not because of things he’s done. He played great in St. Louis. Other guys who aren’t quite as mobile have been using those two skaters. That’s just the way it goes.”

Against the Preds, Eaves will be paired with a pair of elite skaters in center Darren Helm and forward Jiri Hudler.

“As a player you want to play, so it's frustrating in that sense,” Eaves said. “I'm getting better every day (in practice). That's the beauty of the situation. Even though it's not what I want exactly, I'm getting better every day, I'm working hard and I'll be ready.”

Eaves replaces rookie Cory Emmerton in Saturday’s lineup. Emmerton was shaken up a bit in the third period of Friday’s 3-2 shoot-out win at Boston when he collided with Dennis Seidenberg, who received a kneeing penalty.

Emmerton said that he felt good enough to play, but Babcock made a decision to move Justin Abdelkader to the fourth line center role.

“It’s didn’t feel very good, obviously, at the start but I was fortunate,” Emmerton said. “I feel fine.”

Watch for Eaves to possibly play a physical role against Nashville. In 14 career games against the Preds, he has 23 hits, the most he’s had against any NHL opponent.

“I know the kind of player I am and the way I need to play,” he said. “That's what I try to focus on and I try to do my best at what I do.”

By the way, in case you're curious about the other eight players who have been healthy scratches, they are Fabian Brunnstrom (13), Mike Commodore (10), Emmerton (3), Drew Miller (2), Jakub Kindl (2), Tomas Holmstrom (2), Hudler (1), and Brendan Smith (1).

POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 4:17 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Mickey Redmond (with glasses) and Mark Howe dropped ceremonial opening pucks prior to the Red Wings-Flames game Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
As a player, Mickey Redmond was on a Hall of Fame pace with the Red Wings, becoming the first in franchise history to score 50 goals in a season – not once, but twice in 1972-73 and again the following year. In both seasons, he was among the league’s leading scorers, trailing future Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, who scored 55 and 68 goals those seasons, respectively.

Espo went onto to score more than 700 times and conventionally landed in the Hall in 1984. And while injuries cut-short Redmond’s career it didn’t stop him from blazing a different path to the Hall of Fame.

Last week, Redmond, the Wings’ longtime TV analysis, received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, which was first presented – ironically so at the same induction that honored Esposito – in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. The award recognizes members of the radio and television industry, who have made outstanding contributions to the profession and the game of hockey.

The award is named in honor of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada.

Redmond and newly-minted Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe, will be honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to Wednesday night’s Thanksgiving Eve game at Joe Louis Arena.

“It was a great, it was a whirlwind for 48 hours and it will more than likely set in and register a lot more once everything settles down,” said Redmond, referring to last weekend’s festivities in Toronto. “The fact that it was recognition for giving back to the game through broadcasting really meant the most to me because my mom and dad spent their lives giving to the game of hockey. It really meant a lot and felt good to me to be able to continue that tradition and continue to be a caretaker of the game, if you will, and to give back like my mom and dad did. That meant so much to me.”

Redmond, 63, has been a fan favorite for years with his whimsical repertoire of one-liners that he’s picked up long the way in his broadcasting career, like “Bingo Bango”, “Katie bar the door” and “No place for a nervous person”.

Dropping the puck tonight in front a raucous JLA crowd and a large TV audience isn’t a place for a nervous person either.

“I really hadn’t thought about it,” Redmond said. “I guess I try to minimize things like that when you’re in the public eye or in the middle of a crowd like that; hadn’t thought about it at all. But dropping the puck shouldn’t be a big problem, though you never know.

“I’ll just go with the flow, soak it in, just enjoy the moment, and keep the nerves down the best I can.”

POSTED ON Tuesday, 11.22.2011 / 3:58 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Niklas Kronwall is currently tied with Nicklas Lidstrom for second among NHL defensemen in goal-scoring this season. (Photo by Getty Images)
As the Red Wings near the end of the first quarter of the season, four defensemen have accounted for 34 percent of the team’s goals, which shouldn’t come as a mystery considering that nearly a third of the shots have been generated from the blue line.

Still, how have the Wings’ blue-liners had so much success to this point?

“Sometimes things like that just happen,” said Niklas Kornwall, who has six goals and is tied with Nicklas Lidstrom for second in goals among NHL defensemen. “I think that's something we would like to do on a more regular basis, and not just chip in here and there. Anytime you can spread out your offense it can only do your team good. We've had some success in the past with some goals from the D-men but everything starts from a solid overall game. Lately we've been doing OK.”

In some ways, the offense from the defensive corps has been a blessing, especially since Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have experienced uncharacteristically slow starts to the season with four goals each.

“We know when we're playing good and we know what we're doing right,” said Zetterberg, referring to himself and his Euro Twin. “We just have to figure why we're playing bad and just do better.”

Lidstrom, Kronwall, Ian White and Brad Stuart have scored a combined 18 of the Wings’ 53 goals. White and Stuart have three goals each. The team continues to lead the league in shots per game (35.2) while the defense is registering 10.3 of those shots taken.

But the most impressive first-quarter performance, Lidstrom said, just might be the all-around job that Kronwall has done.

“He's just so sound defensively, playing against the top lines, and he has some offensive skills too, whether it's knowing when to jump up into the play or moving the puck on the power play,” Lidstrom said. “It's great to see he's been rewarded by getting some points and scoring goals for us.

“And we have Stewie chipping in. … Anytime you can get the defense involved in the offense it can only help your team.”

POSTED ON Saturday, 11.19.2011 / 4:02 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

The NHL's float that Larry Murphy will ride on during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade next Thursday in New York City.
LOS ANGELES – Red Wings broadcaster Larry Murphy has been in some pretty big parades during his hockey career. But none that’s widely celebrated at the next one he’ll participate in – The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next Thursday in New York City.

“I’ve been in a couple of parades, a couple of good ones down Woodward Avenue that I enjoyed,” said Murphy who won four Stanley Cup rings, including a pair with the Wings in 1997 and ’98. “But besides that I’ve never done a parade. I’m looking forward to it, there’s no bigger parade, and I’m flattered that the league asked me to do it.”

The NHL asked Murphy and former Boston forward Cam Neely if they would ride along on the league’s new float that will help promote the Thanksgiving Showdown game the following afternoon between the Wings and Bruins at 1 p.m. EST on NBC and TSN.
It was a no-brainer for Murphy, who’s a big kid at heart anyway.

“I’m just worried about making sure that I don’t fall off the float, I mean that’s goal No. 1,” he said. “I want to stay on it for the whole ride.”

The float depicts an autumn scene near a frozen pond turned into a makeshift hockey rink that features a scoreboard, a 25-foot tall turkey as a goalie, and a perch for watching the 8-10 youth skaters doing their thing on the synthetic ice.

“Being there for that part of the year, just being part of that huge event, it’s going to be spectacular,” Murphy said. “You look at big events throughout the year, and that’s one of them.”

Besides the thrill of the parade, Murphy, who claims to have been a very good boy this year, a chance to meet Jolly Old St. Nick is a bonus.

“I’m hoping to meet him,” Murphy said. “I mean it’s an opportunity, and there are a couple of things that I want for Christmas, so hopefully I’ll be able to corner him at some point.”

POSTED ON Friday, 11.18.2011 / 9:30 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Smith made his debut Thursday, skating more than 19-minutes in the Wings 5-2 loss to the Sharks. (Getty Images)
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Looks like rookie defenseman Brendan Smith will play in the second game of his career, while veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi hopes to get back into the lineup when the Red Wings face the Los Angeles Kings Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.

“Smith's playing,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I liked him a lot, what I don't want him to do is be careful. He knows he belongs. He's just got to eliminate some mistakes. But he's like all kids, he's going to make some mistakes.”

Smith had a solid performance in making his NHL debut Thursday – a 5-2 loss to San Jose. He logged more than 19-minutes of ice-time, including two-minutes on the power play. The one mistake he made was on a giveaway deep in the Wings’ zone that led to the Sharks’ third goal of the game.
Still, Thursday’s game provided a look into Smith’s bright NHL future as a dominant two-way defenseman.

“I thought he played well, skated well,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom. “He's got that good shot. Played well with the puck, too.”

Shortly after the Wings’ practice here Friday at the Toyota Sports Center, Smith alerted his 6,300-followers on Twitter, writing, “As of right now looks like I will get another kick at the can in tomorrow's game. Excited to try to get my first NHL win/point.”

As for Bertuzzi, his status for Saturday’s game isn’t as cut and dried. He was placed on short-term injured reserved last Sunday, and has missed the last six games with vertigo-like symptoms which began as a sinus infection.

Babcock said that Bertuzzi will be a game-time decision Saturday. However, if Bertuzzi has anything to say about it, he’ll either play Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening at Anaheim.

“I felt a lot better today. We'll see how it is tonight,” he said. “I didn't come all the way here without thinking there was a chance (to play). Got to see how I feel in the morning.”

POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.16.2011 / 6:36 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

That did not take long at all.

In just one day, the Red Wings sold all 23 special commemorative jerseys that paid homage to their former teammates and coach that perished in tragic plane crash that killed all onboard, including every member of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team last September in Russia.

The jerseys were those worn by the Red Wings in their Oct. 7 season-opening win over Ottawa at Joe Louis Arena. And Wings' fans stepped up by once again showing their incredible generosity and continued support for these families and the organization.

All 23 red jerseys in the set were sold out by Wednesday afternoon, raising more than $15,000 for the families of the former Wings.

Each jersey has an arm patch containing the initials BM*RS*SL in red letters along with a blue stripe. Red and blue are the Lokomotiv team colors. Recognized on the patch are the initials of Brad McCrimmon, an assistant coach from 2008-11 and defenseman from 1990-93; Ruslan Salei, a defenseman with Detroit last season; and goalie Stefan Liv, who was drafted by the Wings in 2000 and was a prospect until 2007.

Each jersey also contains a unique tag imprinted on the inside with game date and opponent as well as the words “Love For Lokomotiv”, guaranteeing that the jersey is a part of the Wings’ one-time opening night set. Each purchaser also received a photograph from the Oct. 7 depicting the player wearing the jersey.

POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.16.2011 / 2:06 AM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Brendan Smith is anxious to make his NHL debut. But will it come this week in California? That's the $64,000 question. (Photo by Rena Laverty)
After Tuesday’s morning skate at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, defenseman Brendan Smith characterized the last two days with the Red Wings as an audition.

“Kind of like training camp, show what I got,” Smith said before the Wings’ 2-1 loss to the Blues.

With the injury to defenseman Ian White (fractured cheekbone) last weekend, Smith was recalled from Grand Rapids, which was an ideal time for him to serve the last of an eight-game NHL suspension, which he did Tuesday night.

The question before the Wings set-off on a seven-day trip Monday afternoon was would Smith stay with the team for the duration, or would he be returned at some point to the Griffins?

The question was answered Tuesday night, well, sort of.

Without knowing how Niklas Kronwall will fare from a first-period hit-from-behind that he took from the Blues’ Chris Stewart, Smith’s presence is insurance should Kronwall not be able to play Thursday in San Jose.

Coach Mike Babcock told the media immediately following Tuesday’s game that he “had a few minutes to think” about Smith’s travel itinerary.

Well moments later, Smith boarded Red Bird III and was California-bound with the rest of the Wings. Detroit also plays Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, and Sunday evening in Anaheim.
It’s no guarantee that Smith will make his NHL debut in the next three games, nor is it assured that he will be with the team for the rest of the seven-day trip. But at least the suspension is over, he said, and he can begin concentrating on making his debut.

“Finally, to get this out of the way, I can get my sights set to maybe playing an NHL game, my first game,” Smith said. “But we'll see how that goes.

“I'm excited that I'm still coming up and seeing some of the boys. It's been a long time, just bag skating here after the stuff and doing the fundamental stuff instead of getting my sights set on playing my first NHL game.”




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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