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New day for Quincey, Wings' defense

Veteran will start season paired with rookie Brendan Smith

Friday, 01.11.2013 / 1:48 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - DetroitRedWings.com
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New day for Quincey, Wings\' defense
Defenseman Kyle Quincey and his Red Wings teammates skated for more than 90-minutes Friday morning in Troy. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)

TROY, Mich.Kyle Quincey likens the lockout-shortened NHL campaign to being told he’s been traded in midseason.

“We’re all in the same spot,” the Red Wings’ defenseman said. “Coming in from a trade it’s kind of everything is so crazy. It’ll be good for a fresh start.”

The 27-year-old Quincey knows a thing or two about trades. He’s bounced around to three different teams – and back again to the Wings – in seven NHL seasons. The Wings’ fourth-round draft pick in 2003, also hooked up with another team during the lockout. But this time, playing for the Denver Cuttroats of the Central Hockey League was for the purpose of staying in shape and being ready for when NHL players were ordered back to work.

Quincey, who has an off-season home in Colorado, said he joined the Denver club as a favor to some friends within the organization. He also skated occasionally with a few Avalanche players, who stayed in the Denver area during the work stoppage.

“My really good buddy, Derek Armstrong, is the coach there and it was an expansion team and I was really good friends with the assistant coach (Brent Cullaton) and knew a lot of guys on the team,” said Quincey, who produced two goals and 11 points in 12 CHL games. “At that time I wasn’t really doing much so I figured I’d give it a whirl, help them out and stay in shape.”

But now, if some published reports are accurate, the abbreviated 48-game season will be crammed into a 103 days with the regular-season finale set for April 27, and the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning on May 1.

Clearly, the majority of NHL players haven’t played so many games in such a short period. But Quincey said that isn’t his focus heading into next week’s training camp.

“I’ve never been through it,” he said. “Our job is to just stay in shape and be ready to go when they give us the nod. We’ve been doing this 4-5 months going back to almost June.”

However, the extended wait has given the Kitchener, Ontario, native a new founds respect for the game.

“Playing in the Central League and waiting you really figure out how much you love this game,” Quincey said. “I’m eager to go. I’m fired up. I can’t wait.”

Heading into next week’s mini-training camp in metro Detroit, two things are known: The Wings’ lineup is stacked with talent up front, and depth at those forward positions in Grand Rapids, should they need it. But not as deep on the back end where they have lost three top-four defensemen over the last two years with the retirements of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski, as well as the departure of Brad Stuart, who signed with San Jose in the off-season.

Coach Mike Babcock has made it known that the defense pairs will feature Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson, Quincey-Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl-Ian White.

The status of defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo is uncertain as he is recovering from a sprained shoulder. However, he could be in Troy as early as Friday, posting on his Twitter account Thursday that he was headed to Detroit.

“It’s going to be a fire drill for sure,” Quincey said. “Bab’s will do a good job with us getting us ready. We didn’t have a coach for so long. … It’ll be good to finally get a structure.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter |@Bill_Roose

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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