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Salei hopes to bring positive energy

Tuesday, 09.14.2010 / 2:39 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Salei hopes to bring positive energy
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DETROIT – Ruslan Salei is ready to bring some positive energy to the Red Wings this season. The veteran defenseman, who signed a one-year contract with the club in August was at City Sports Arena to skate with his new teammates Tuesday morning.

“It’s a legendary team. I’m proud to be here. I’m proud to have a chance to play for this organization,” said Salei, a 13-year veteran, who has played with Anaheim, Florida and Colorado

“It wasn’t too hard to make the decision to come here,” he said.

A former first-round draft pick of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Salei has logged 842 NHL games, but a back injury limited him to 14 games with the Avalanche last season.

Salei, 35, is a two-time player of the year for Belarus, his home country. He has been the squad’s captain at three different international events, including the Vancouver Olympics.

While the Red Wings’ locker room provides some new scenery, he is quite familiar with the team’s style, having once played two seasons for coach Mike Babcock in Anaheim.

“We had great success together in Anaheim,” said Salei, who was with the Ducks when they lost in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup finals to New Jersey. “I really respect him as a coach. We had good times and bad times when we worked together, but I think that’s how you build a relationship. I think we have an understanding of what he wants and what I can do for him.”

At 6-foot-2, Salei is an aggressive defenseman, who packs a pretty good shot from the point and should be a positive influence for Jonathan Ericsson, whom he’ll likely be partnered with on the blue line.

“I play a solid D and a pretty good PK,” he said. “I’ll play as physical as I can, and I think that would be my role on the team.”

He was asked Tuesday about playing together with Wings center Mike Modano, a player that he has a slight history going back to a 1999 game between the Ducks and Dallas Stars. Salei was suspended 10 games by the NHL for pushing Modano face-first into the end-boards. Modano suffered a concussion and a broken nose from the incident.

The two new teammates spoke with one another on the ice following Tuesday’s practice, but did not discuss the 1999 hit, Salei said.

“I think it’s more of a personal thing between me and him and not for media to discuss,” Salei said. “I don’t think it will be any distraction in any way for us. It won’t be a big deal.

“We really haven’t spoken to each other. It’s probably the highlight that we have with each other. We’re all competitive people and obviously when you play for the same team you want to be best teammates as you possibly can, and that’s what I will try to do, and I’m sure Mike is thinking the same way.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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