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Downey excited about opportunity

Former Wings' enforcer to tryout for roster spot

Thursday, 07.29.2010 / 4:48 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Downey excited about opportunity
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DETROIT – After a try-out with the Phoenix Coyotes didn’t go as well as he would have liked last September, former Red Wings enforcer Aaron Downey is determined more than ever for another shot at an NHL roster.
 
“I took a year off for a reason,” said Downey, in an interview with DetroitRedWings.com. “I trained the whole year. I worked on my conditioning. I worked on my body. I worked on my joints. Just the areas that needed work on, and I worked on my mental state.”

Downey played 56 games during the Wings’ 2008 Stanley Cup season, and he recently asked Wings general manager Ken Holland for a tryout when the team reports to Traverse City for training camp in September.

“I approached them, just like I called them the year that we won the Cup,” said Downey, who earned a one-year contract in 2007 after winning over the coaching staff in training camp.

“I still skated and I can still handle the puck,” he said. “I always thought that I would comeback, but I needed to rebuild the body and get ahead of everybody in the physical fitness department.”

Downey, 35, signed again with the Wings in 2008-09, though he was assigned to Grand Rapids for much of the season. Last season, the Red Wings went in a different direction, signing another veteran enforcer, Brad May, to a one-year deal.

In 2007-08, Downey collected single-season career-highs for games played and penalty-minutes (116). He also collected 10 fighting majors that season, with perhaps the most-memorable being his retaliatory bout with Ian Laperriere for the cheap hit that the Colorado forward had on Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom

A nine-year NHL veteran, Downey was well-liked by his Wings’ teammates, came to their defense on the ice, and was a positive influence in the locker room. The feeling, Downey said, is mutual.

“I went into the Phoenix camp and I thought that I could do it, but I couldn’t give it my all,” he said. “I just didn’t have that natural energy. … I felt that I left my heart in Detroit.

“I established so many wonderful relationships and winning the Cup, and just seeing how Detroit runs their organization. It’s just first class and there’s a reason why it says, “Family” on those Stanley Cup rings, because it’s run like a family.”

Following his failed tryout with the Coyotes, Downey stayed in Arizona, where he has trained for the last 10 months.

“Now I feel really good about myself,” he said. “I’m just coming there – like I did in ’07 and ’08 – with a better attitude, a lucky-to-be-alive attitude. I really want to come in there, shut my mouth and just do what I do. I want to show them that I’ve developed. And just because I took a year off doesn’t mean that I can’t handle a puck. I think I can handle it better now. … I’m in a better state of mind.”

Downey said that he expects to return to Detroit in early September to take advance of the per-camp training sessions at Joe Louis Arena.

“I’m really excited about coming back there,” he said, “and for some reason it just seems right.”


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  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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