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McCarty eyes NHL comeback, to play in IHL

Tuesday, 01.8.2008 / 9:31 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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McCarty eyes NHL comeback, to play in IHL
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Darren McCarty's distain for the Avalanche is well-documented. The former Wing has set-out on the comeback trail.
DETROIT – Former Red Wings enforcer Darren McCarty is embarking on a comeback try that will begin later this week in Flint, Mich.

McCarty, who spent 11 seasons with the Red Wings and won three Stanley Cups in that time, played in 32 games in an injury-plagued 2006-07 season with Calgary. He could make his International Hockey League debut as early as this Friday when the Generals host the Port Huron Icehawks at Perani Arena.

“I spent a lot of time with the kids; family stuff,” said McCarty, who attended the Wings-Colorado Avalanche game Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. “I just realized that I miss the game a lot and I want to be around it and give it a shot to get back.”

McCarty hopes that he can revive an NHL career where he compiled 126 goals, 160 assists and 1,450 penalty minutes in 742 games.

He began practicing with the Generals on Monday.

“I will play a game soon,” McCarty said. “I’m just eager to get some games in and get back into game-shape. That’s the whole purpose of being there.”

The idea, McCarty said, is for him to return to the NHL by season’s end. But he’s not making predictions on exactly what that timetable will be.

“I guess I can’t answer that until I get an IHL game in,” McCarty said. “Obviously, I haven’t played in a year, so I’ve got to be some time to get back into NHL game-shape.”

A big part of the Wings’ Stanley Cup past, McCarty, along with teammates Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby, formed the famed Grind Line.

McCarty is perhaps best remembered for two events: scoring the series-clinching winner in Game 4 against Philadelphia in the 1997 Cup finals, and for his fight with then-Avs agitator Claude Lemieux on March 29, 1997.

“I’ve been to a few games here,” McCarty said. “Just talking to the guys, getting back on the ice, it’s been good. I’m tired of skating by myself. Now it’s nice to get a team to skate with.”

McCarty gives partial credit for his comeback to his friend, Draper, who has a business interest in the Flint team.

“He really helped me,” McCarty said. “I told him that I had the itch and I needed his help. He’s a longtime, true friend and he did everything that he could, and obviously with him being involved with the Flint team is a big reason. Everything sort of worked itself out.”

Ultimately, McCarty said that he desires a return to Hockeytown, but would accept an offer from another team if it got him back to the NHL.

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” he said. “Obviously, my heart is here, but the one thing that I’ve learned is you never rule anything out. You always have to keep your options open.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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