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Ty's Friendly Skies

Friday, 02.10.2012 / 2:56 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal
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Red Wings goalie Ty Conklin is a licensed private pilot, who flies a Super Cub, two-seat airplane, similar to this one.
Joey MacDonald used Thursday’s off-day to retrieve some things from Grand Rapids, including his enormous red Ford F-250, which the “Boys in the Parking Lot” affectionately refer to as Red Bird III.

But the Red Wing’ third string goaltender first needed to drum up transportation to the westside of the state. And that’s where backup goalie Ty Conklin entered the picture.

A licensed private pilot, Conks offered Joey Mac a lift, err, flight, to get his gear.

“It was good, he was awesome,” said MacDonald, of Conklin’s piloting skills. “I had to go there and he was flying anyways, so he offered to take me over.”

Flying out of Oakland/Troy Airport, the goalies took to the Wild Blue Yonder on an unusually picturesque February day in Michigan.

“It was enjoyable, a smooth ride on a clear day, you could see everything,” MacDonald said of the flight, which took 35-40 minutes from wheels up to wheels down.

Last Friday, MacDonald traveled from Grand Rapids to Edmonton – via a connector through Toronto – when he was called up by the Wings after Jimmy Howard fractured his right index finger in a shoot-out win at Vancouver.

Doctors told Howard that it would be 4-6 weeks before his finger healed, though he’s hoping to return to the Wings’ lineup a lot sooner. Still, MacDonald gives the Wings a chance to win every night. In three games, he’s posted a 1-1-1 record with a 1.83 goals-against average.

Clearly, goalies are adventurous types – anyone who stands in front of a 100-m.p.h. slap shot must be, right? – and after flying for the first time with Conklin at the controls, MacDonald said he’s entertaining thoughts of perhaps enrolling in flight school.
 
“I definitely would consider doing something like that,” MacDonald said. “I’ve always been interested in it, and I love flying. It’s fun and when you get to enjoy something like that it’s a nice hobby. … It was interesting to see what Ty has to do to fly something like that.

“He’s great, one of the best pilots, ever.”


SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89