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Helmets, and sticks, and gloves, oh my!

Friday, 10.7.2011 / 5:18 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal
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The Wheel Deal

Opening night starts in a few hours, but for Red Wings equipment manager Paul Boyer, the season began seven weeks ago.
The new patch that the Red Wings will wear to honor their fallen friends.

“My opening night started August 15, by loading a truck, getting orders, making sure that I have pants and gloves. It never stops,” said Boyer, in his 17th season with the organization. “It’s more exciting at the beginning of camp, when we know that we have to get going again. We have to get 63 guys up to Traverse City and get going.”

In the hours leading up to the season-opener against Ottawa, Boyer and his crew had to put new league-mandated two-inch numbers on the front of each players’ helmet. They also had to adhere patches, which pay homage to three former Red Wings killed last month in a Russian jetliner crash, to the left sleeve of each players’ jersey, as well as sew a special commemorative ‘Love for Lokomotiv’ patch on the inside of the jerseys.

Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei and former prospect Stefan Liv were among 44 people who died Sept. 7 when the plane that was carrying their Lokomotiv hockey team crashed shortly after takeoff.

Tonight’s set of jerseys will eventually be sold to the public, with the proceeds going to the McCrimmon and Salei families. The plan is for the Wings to also make a special road ‘white’ set available. They will either wear that set later in the year at Anaheim of Philadelphia.

The new helmet numbers are meant to help the broadcast cameramen identify players.

“Really, it’s not much more than a regular game day,” Boyer said. “It’s the time leading up then just the day itself. Now today with our new patch going on, we have a little more to do.

“Normally, we like to wear the first set of jerseys in the last exhibition game, but we couldn’t do that because we hadn’t decided on a patch yet. And we also still had a lot of (Grand Rapids) guys still up here. But it’s the whole week that’s busy.”

Boyer has been busy with getting guys fitted with new skates, helmets and gloves. Typically, he would take that time after camp to get guys broken into new equipment.

“I don’t have the time to think about the excitement of opening night,” he said. “You just have too many things to get done. I’m just trying to make sure that we can get on the ice and play tonight.”
The new NHL-mandated numbers that the players must now wear on the front of their helmets this season.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80