Detroit Red Wings
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Wings head to great outdoors

Team to hold outdoor practice in southwest Detroit

Friday, 02.17.2012 / 3:36 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Wings head to great outdoors
Al Sobotka shaved more than 15 loads of ice off the rink at Clark Park in preparation for the Red Wings' outdoor practice. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)
DETROIT – For the first time in eight decades the Red Wings will head outdoors for a team practice in a Detroit neighborhood.

As part of USA Hockey’s annual “Hockey Weekend Across America” the Wings will hold an open practice at Clark Park in Mexicantown on the city’s southwest side this Saturday.

“I think practicing outdoors in front of our fans will be a fun experience,” Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “We’ve done it before with Wrigley, obviously, but it’s always fun when you can get outside and get to the root of the game. It’ll be a good time for us to enjoy and hopefully the fans will be there to see how we actually go through a practice.”

The Wings will make their first-ever visit to Clark Park as a team. Nicklas Lidstrom, Jimmy Howard and Brian Rafalski have all visited for different marketing initiatives, but whenever Joe Louis Arena hasn’t been available in the past, the Wings have typically used City Sports Arena on the city’s east side.

While most of the Wings participated in the 2009 Winter Classic and the outdoor practice at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Eve, for some, Saturday will be the first time they’ve been part of an organized outdoor team practice in years.

Before the club's nickname was changed to Red Wings, the Detroit Cougars, then the Detroit Falcons, would occassionally practice on an outdoor rink at Detroit Northwestern High, across the street from Olympia Stadium.

But when the Red Wings were bumped for the circus or concert, the team would travel to Ann Arbor where they would practice at Yost Arena on the University of Michigan campus.

“I don't know if I've had practice outdoors, professionally,” forward Drew Miller said. “It's been a long time, since I was a kid. Hopefully it doesn't rain. The big thing right now is the weather.”

According to The Weather Channel, temperatures Saturday in Detroit will be in the high-30s with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. The 45-minute practice is set to begin at 12 p.m.

The weather hasn’t been a very good cooperative partner this week, but Al Sobotka, the Wings’ resident Zamboni driver, spent a few days getting the rink ready by shaving several inches of excess ice from the surface.
The Red Wings will practice outside in Detroit for the first time since the Cougars used to head outdoors.

Asked about the experience of taking his team outdoors, Wings coach Mike Babcock hadn't given it much thought before he was asked about it Friday morning. But Babcock did ask his son, a junior forward on the varsity hockey team at Detroit Catholic Central High School, about the conditions at Clark Park, which is located in one of the city’s oldest and most-neglected neighborhoods.

“It's a big practice for us,” Babcock said. “We're going to play San Jose the next day, so it's important that we can get out there and actually practice. But I think anytime you can do anything outdoors it's fun, plus I understand the community is involved. There's going to be some people there, and that gives you energy, which I think is important.”

The Wings expect that a few thousand fans will attend the outdoor event, and one player suggests that fans bring a hearty appetite, especially if they like Mexican cuisine. There are several Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood, including Armando’s, Mexican Village and Xochimilco (pronounced so-she-MIL-co).

“I would recommend it, yeah, I would recommend it,” said defenseman Mike Commodore, of Mexican Village. “It’s the only Mexican place that I’ve eaten here. I’m used to good Mexican because I’ve spent time in San Diego, so I’m a little bit spoiled like that. But it was good. … Maybe I’ll have some after we practice.”

 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map