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1 Detroit Red Wings on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:40 pm

Nikle

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From the Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings held off a rally by the Chicago Blackhawks late in the third period of Game 5 to capture the franchise's 12th Stanley Cup on Thursday night.

Joe Vitale's 4th goal of the playoffs early in the third period held up as the winner in the 4-3 game at the Joe in Detroit.

Vitale's goal put the Wings up by three goals, but the Blackhawks rallied late, scoring twice, including one with their net empty. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews nearly tied the game just before the final buzzer on a wicked shot from the high slot.

Steven Stamkos won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs. He finished the playoffs with 11 goals and 31 points in the 19 games Detroit played.

"It's been unbelievable," Stamkos told Hockey Night in Canada. "It was tough but we battled through today and played an unbelievable game."

Goals were at a premium early on as the teams bottled each other up with most of the scoring coming in the third frame. Detroit struck first as Cal Clutterbuck scored on a partial breakaway to put Detroit up. The Wings extended their lead to two before Chicago got on the board, but Bogosian responded in the third as he unleashed a bomb from the high slot. Then Vitale scored on a partial break of his own before Chicago mounted a late charge, looking for the comeback.

This is Detroit's first Cup win since the 2007/08 season and Victor Hedman becomes the second Swedish born captain to win the Cup with the Red Wings, following in Nicklas Lidstrom's footsteps.

"We have great players and we played hard all year," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. "With all the changes this year, from the dispersal draft to the in season transactions, it was important to have a leader like Hedman, to keep all these guys on the same page and headed in the same direction."

Taylor Hall and David Perron were also outstanding for the Red Wings during their playoff run. Hall finished just 2 points behind Stamkos while Perron notched 4 game winning goals out of the 15 he scored in the playoffs.

"It was a difficult series. Chicago has a great young team and gave us all we could handle," said Perron. "It was probably the most difficult series I've played in a while, it wasn't surprising that so many of the games were decided by only one goal.

As the season draws to a close, the Red Wings have a lot of decisions to make as over 30 players will now becomes free agents, about 20 of them of the restricted variety. For now the organization will enjoy the Stanley Cup win, but it will be time to get back to work very soon.



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2 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:23 pm

Nikle

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...and remember, don't text in the keyword now, wait for the cue later this hour.

And now it's time to take a look back at the recent EEHL draft, and to help us with that is the GM of the Red Wings, Travis Elkin, welcome to the Bob and Danny show.


TE: Thanks guys, as always it's a pleasure.

Bob: You made a tremendous amount of moves last year, and as a result, ended up going into this draft with just a pair of picks. Did you not like the draft class this year?

TE: Actually, we quite liked it. The biggest problem with it was that we hoped to be nowhere near the top half of each round with our own picks. As an organization our goal was to aim for the Cup, and as such, we felt that we could get more value out of those picks before it became apparent that they would be lower end of the round selections so we tried to maximize the return we could get on them before they became devalued.

Danny: So if I'm understanding you correctly, it was more of a case of selling high, relatively speaking, than it was a concerted effort to, for lack of a better phrase, empty the cupboards?

TE: To a degree. Early on the plan had been to take picks back and to try and retain a few higher round picks from teams that might end up nearer to the bottom of the standings. As time went on, deals came our way that ended up shifting our thinking and caused us to re-evaluate our plans going forward.

Danny: Well see, that's not fair. You made so many deals this year that it's not all that easy to look back and try to figure out when that might have happened.

TE: Fair enough. Really though, it boiled down to shifting our focus from rebuilding over a couple of years to maybe not always getting the better player now, but to making our roster younger overall so that we won't miss those picks before we have a chance to recoup them.

Originally we had hoped to put together a roster that would challenge for the Cup over the next 3 years while we re-worked our prospect group to establish a pipeline to replace our EEHL players as they retired. With some of the deals that came to us during this season, we probably didn't accumulate the top talent we could have this season, but we brought in considerably younger players, so the window the current roster has should be quite a bit longer, allowing us that much more time to restock the cupboards as you say, without thinning out our EEHL roster.


Bob: Barring injuries of course.

TE: Yes, knock on wood. We have tried to make sure we have quality depth at the EEHL and AHL levels, but injuries are a wild card that is hard to account for.

Danny: Going back to the picks you did end up with, how happy were you with the talent levels available at your picks?

TE: We knew it'd be tough not picking until the third round, but we knew there would be some good talent left. We really trust our scouts and they liked the depth of this draft. Once you get past that round though, statistically speaking, you have to get lucky with those picks, so you do your homework and try to be as informed as possible, but in the end you're making those picks with your fingers crossed.

Danny: How does the D you took in the third round, Alex Merkley, look going forward?

TE: I'm really excited for this kid. He's only 18, but he's grown into his frame. When you're already 215 pounds at 6 foot 6 and able to skate like he does, you're a dangerous factor on the ice. Being that mobile at that size is a huge asset in this league and while we'd like to see him get a bit more engaged when it comes to physical play, even when he just gets in the way he's going to knock most guys for a loop.

Bob: In the 6th round you picked up the polar opposite by adding Nicholas Hebert, a smallish center to the organization. How is he looking?

TE: He definitely has some work to do, but there's a fire there. He's got great feet and while he's not going to beat many players in a goal line to goal line sprint, his quickness in tight sets him apart. Straight line speed is great, but when you're fighting in close quarters and going for rebounds, he's able to roll off a check and pick that puck out of the air on a consistent basis. It'll be up to him if he can develop enough other skills to go along with that to crack the EEHL club in the future, but we like what we've seen from him so far.

Danny: Thank you for your candor, we appreciate your time and thoughts.

TE: Not a problem, it's always nice to get a chance to discuss the team.

Bob: That's it from the GM of the Detroit Red Wings, Travis Elkin. We'll take a small break, but up next on Bob and Danny, we preview the Lions season and discuss if they can get Stafford back on track. You're listening to 97.1, The Ticket.



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3 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:24 pm

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Major Changes Rock Motown

It's that time of year again. The opening of the EEHL free agency period. When teams run out to buy shiny new toys for their lineup and look to take the next step en route to the sports most fabled prize, the Stanley Cup.

You'd think the current champions would prefer to be pretty static with their roster if at all possible, to return as many pieces of the team that just won it all. This belief was reinforced when the team re-signed 22 out of a possible 25 upcoming free agents prior to free agency beginning.

That was the calm before the storm.

It didn't take GM Travis Elkin very long to reacquire his taste for transactions once the trading window re-opened. In all, he pulled off five deals last night that saw fifteen players become former Red Wing property including the goaltender that backstopped this team to the President's Trophy and the Stanley Cup mere months ago.

Quick had some stellar numbers last year, winning 64 games while only losing 13 in 77 games played. His 1.86 GAA led the league, well ahead of 2nd place Antti Niemi who finished at 2.15. The red flag however was his entirely pedestrian 0.900 save percentage that didn't even finish top 10 in the league. With a $5.8 million dollar cap hit and the fact that he was facing less than 20 shots a game, more was expected from the goalie some considered to be the best in the league when he was acquired.

Then the rumors hit that the Red Wings weren't happy with Quick's offseason workouts. Social media was buzzing with pictures of a clearly heavier Quick on numerous trips he was on recently. This led to questions that weren't getting the right answers. Tape of Quick during offseason workouts looking noticeably slower and less agile had the fan base and apparently the team wondering what was going on with their netminder. Those questions were answered emphatically last night.

Now the question is, who will be in net?

We know the returning Ales Hemsky will replace the departed David Perron on the second line. We're pretty sure that Matt Donovan will get a shot at playing on the third pairing. But who out of Thomas Greiss, Kevin Poulin and Jake Allen will lead the way in net? Greiss is the elder statesman of the group, 4 years older than both Poulin and Allen but many would argue that the younger duo have already caught Greiss when it comes to performance level. Will we see a three headed battle early in the season to see who can take control between the pipes? Will the youngster Oscar Dansk fight his way into contention for the job?

The numbers above are shocking. Fifteen players being sent out in one day is a huge number. Realistically though, only a pair of them in Perron and Quick would have been playing in Detroit this year. Of those, only Perron was obviously replaced by who the Wings got in return, so the question remains, is our next starting goalie a part of the team at this point, or are there other moves in the works? With this GM, the safe money is likely on the latter.



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4 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:45 pm

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Welcome back to the Bob and Danny show on 97.1 The Ticket. Coming up later we'll have an interview Lions super star Calvin Johnson discussing the first half of the 2014 season, but before that, we discuss the trades the Red Wings announced yesterday.

Bob: It really shouldn't surprise anybody that three more trades are in the books, it seems like we may need to stage an intervention for GM Travis Elkin soon.

Danny: As true as that might be Bob, it's hard to fault him for making a move to get such a talented kid. I mean, we were all pretty excited about what Oscar Dansk might be down the road, but to get a kid like Hamilton, who is already a legit second pairing defenseman in the league and is just scratching the surface of his potential, plus picks, how do you not make that move?

Bob: Here's what we know. Dougie Hamilton is good and has a chance to become very good. We also know that he's, at best, #5 on the blue line depth chart behind Hedman, Bogosian, Larsson and Josi. More relevant, he's the third best right handed D on the team behind Bogo and Larsson.

Danny: I get that, I do, but after the injuries we saw last year, depth is never a bad thing, he's affordable for this year, and Dansk wasn't going to crack this lineup until at least next year and more than likely not for 2 to 3 years barring some sort of catastrophe to the guys ahead of him. And it's not like Robin Lehner, Jake Allen and new comers Martin Jones and John Gibson don't have upside.

Bob: Hamilton is a free agent after this season, as is Yakupov, so if the cap doesn't jump the way it did last year, you're tying your hands. Jones looks okay, but that's a lateral move from Poulin and Gibson is even further behind in his development curve than Dansk was.

Danny: Exactly Bob, you make my point. I think if anything they've clarified the competition right now. Lehner and Jones are battling for the top spot here while Allen likely enters that fight next year. You've got those three pushing each other internally while Gibson gets a year or two to learn at the AHL level. If all three of the current goalies fail then you have to look outside of the organization, but these moves didn't hurt the team now, more than likely didn't hurt the team between the pipes in the future, and you've added a guy who makes each D pairing on this team dangerous.

Bob: Okay, let's go with your line of reasoning for right now. How long can all these D co-exist? Do you play each pairing 20 minutes a night or is somebody on borrowed time now?

Danny: So now you're complaining that they're too deep on D? That's a problem I'll take any day. Unfortunately I think injuries will probably provide the answer to that question at some point, but in the mean time, the ice time will go to the guys playing the best. It's a luxury to be able to mix and match guys back there to get the match ups you want. Opposing teams won't have a chance to wait for the easy matchup, the weakest pairing to come out and take advantage of them. They're set up to make teams earn every second in the offensive zone and pay for every shot on net.

Bob: Okay, we know your view, let's hear from the callers. Phone lines are open, what are your thoughts on the three moves made by the GM this weekend? Can Jones and Gibson offset the losses of Dansk and Poulin? Is Dougie Hamilton worth the risk these deals entailed? Your calls coming up next!



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5 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:04 pm

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From the Detroit Free Press

In a season that has seen some shocking coaching moves, the Red Wings added to the list, and to their team today, announcing Dave Tippett as a new associate coach at a press conference this morning.

GM Travis Elkin wrote:We reached out to coach Tippett shortly after his dismissal from Phoenix and continued dialogue until a deal was reached. It's rare to have an opportunity to add a coach of his calibre, it was a chance we couldn't pass up. Coach Babcock was a driving force towards selling him on the situation and we're happy to make this announcement today.

Multiple sources have reported that the deal is for the remainder of this season plus next year, a key when it came to negotiations. Apparently the conversations went as high as the owner of the Red Wings, Mike Ilitch, who flew Tippett out for a weekend sales pitch on the job and to show him what would be waiting for him if he decided to join the team.

Mike Ilitch wrote:When your GM and coach approach you about a move like this, how do you not run with it? We're talking about a coach who is one of only seven head coaches to lead teams to back to back 50+ win seasons, has won the Jack Adams, and other than last year, had never finished a season under 500. We're ecstatic to add him to the family.

Some have questioned how two long time pro coaches will co-exist behind the same bench and if this may signal a potential changing of the guard in Detroit. To that end, the owner, the GM and both coaches involved maintain the same reply, that this is simply adding another hockey mind to an already established collaboration to try and improve the team, not as a threat to anybody's job.

Mike Babcock wrote:It happens all the time in the league. The nature of coaching is one of change, whether it's the systems you play from year to year, or how you're viewed by the results you achieve. Phoenix decided to move in another direction and I saw this as a great opportunity to improve our team by adding a hockey mind that I respect like few others. Coach Tippett has shown a great ability to get the most out of any type of line-up and one thing we can't afford here is to stay stagnant, we always want to try and take another step in a positive direction.

Prior to last years 20th place finish, Tippett led teams had finished with 97+ points in 8 of his 10 seasons as head coach (83 points in 08/09 and 51 points in the strike shortened 12/13 season). And while he had achieved great regular season success with the Stars and Coyotes, there is still one major hole in his resume that he'd like to see filled, a Stanley Cup.

Dave Tippett wrote:It's been an interesting month or so, that's for sure. Last year was a tough one, but with being just one year into a new contract, I thought we'd get a chance to bounce back this year. The writing was on the wall when they hired a new GM though so I kind of knew it was coming. In the long run though, this opens up an opportunity to achieve a few things I haven't to this point. Coach Babcock was passionate in describing what he hoped I could bring to the team and we've had a great mutual respect for one and other for a long time. I'll help where I can, see what tweaks I can suggest and do my very best to help this team repeat it's success of last season.

He's won Olympic silver with Team Canada as a player, won the Frozen Four while going to the University of North Dakota, but as a coach, his best result to date is a pair of conference finals losses in 07/08 with Dallas and 11/12 with Phoenix. Ironically enough, the Red Wings have eliminated Tippett led teams in the playoffs three times. Now, maybe they'll be the team to take him to the promised land.



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6 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:11 am

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From the Detroit Free Press

Detroit Names New #1!



The question that started when Jonathan Quick was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the summer, has apparently finally come to an end nearly midway through the 2014/15 season. The original answer of a competition between Jake Allen, Thomas Greiss and Kevin Poulin never came to fruition after a late offseason trade to acquire Robin Lehner happened. At the time, it appeared that the answer would now be a competition between Lehner and Poulin, then the Dougie Hamilton trade happened and it looked like Lehner was the final answer.

Then Martin Jones happened.

A cold spell by Lehner gave him the opportunity and it's one he hasn't given back since. The final straw appears to have been a 3 game losing streak by Lehner to drive home the point that Jones has been the superior option between the pipes.

Yesterday the Red Wings announced the deal that sent Lehner and a 2nd round pick to Buffalo for the exciting young center, Sean Monahan.

GM Travis Elkin wrote:We want to have our best assets on the ice, period. Whether it's at the EEHL or AHL level, we want to get our best players playing as many minutes as possible. After Martin seized the opportunity, it was only fair to give Robin a chance to start elsewhere. This is a deal that improves both clubs and Sean will get a look at the EEHL level while we deal with injuries and his play will dictate if he stays up or spends some time in the A once our guys are back. We want to see how he fits in with our style of play before making any decisions. We're really excited about what he can bring to the ice, but there's no reason to rush him at this point in his career.

The injuries that have hit the Wings lately have caused a big shuffling of the deck in the system and as a result, more moves are likely to be seen rather than risk losing recent call ups to waivers as the players return from injury. If Monahan earns a spot on the big club, that will mean a depth player or two like Hejduk, MacKenzie or Dwyer will have to be moved and when Hedman returns, one of Sanguinetti or Ruhwedel will need to be dealt or put on waivers.

More importantly, is Martin Jones just the answer for now between the pipes, or the answer for quite a long time?



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7 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:56 pm

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Stamkos Becomes First Red Wing to Score 50 in 50 or Less

Friday, 01.18.2015 / 12:48 PM / Press Release
By Tadd Bream - Detroit Red Wings Communications Director

DETROIT - While Alexander Ovechkin is starting to make it look routine and John Tavares joined the group himself this year, in no way is the significance of what Steven Stamkos accomplished last night being overlooked. With his 50th goal of the season coming in the teams 45th game of the season, Stamkos becomes just the 8th player in NHL/EEHL history to score 50 goals in his teams first 50 or less games of a season, and the first to do it for the Detroit Red Wings.

Stamkos scored 57 goals in 72 games last season, the second highest total he's had in his career after scoring 60 in 82 games in the 2011/12 season with Tampa Bay. Barring injury he should establish a new career high in goals this year while also looking to improve on his career high point mark of 112, established last season, as he's already at 90 points in 47 games so far this season.



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8 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:38 pm

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Multiple Red Wings Enjoy Career Seasons

Wednesday, 04.15.2015 / 3:22 PM / Press Release
By Tadd Bream - Detroit Red Wings Communications Director

The 2014/15 season saw less than half as many transactions as the previous season and the decrease in moves led to what can only be called a higher comfort level on the ice that saw quite a few personal bests this season.

After leading the team in points last year with 112, Taylor Hall didn't disappoint this season. His 60 goals and 70 assists were both personal bests as he hit 130 points on the season. This would only rank him third on the team though as Steven Stamkos (121 G - 62 A - 183 Pts) and newcomer Patrice Bergeron (44 G - 135 A - 179 Pts) both crushed previous career highs and put their names on some very short lists in league history for goal scoring and assists respectively. Stamkos was on fire over the second half of the season, scoring 71 goals over the final 37 games (after scoring his 50th of the season in the 45th game of the year). Had Bergeron not missed 7 games due to injury, there is an outside chance that he could have taken a run at becoming just the second player to hit 200 points in a season. Bergeron also paced the league, winning an impressive 77.3% of his faceoffs on the season. Nail Yakupov notched his first 40 goal season while Ales Hemsky finished the season averaging over a point per game (42/34/76 in 69 GP) for the first time.

On the blueline, Victor Hedman may have missed 11 games, but he still managed to top his impressive Norris season of a year ago, scoring 9 more goals and adding 22 more assists as he cruised to an impressive 116 points this season. Adam Larsson basically doubled his output from last year, jumping from 15 goals to 32 and 27 assists to 53 which put him third in the league in defensive scoring behind only Hedman and P.K. Subban.

The most impressive jump though was one from obscurity as goaltender Martin Jones first earned the starting job, then established career highs across the board. He ended up starting 58 games this year, leading the team to a 57-1-0 record in those starts. He led the league with a 1.11 GAA while posting a .922 save % and recorded a remarkable 15 shutouts (1 in every 3.87 starts). Not only did those numbers blow away anything he had done at any level previously, they topped the numbers that Jonathan Quick put up with the Wings last year in pretty convincing fashion (1.86 GAA, .900 sv%), making the once thought of as controversial move away from Quick seem like a very sound decision.

Some very tough opposition awaits in the playoffs this season, but in no way did this squad suffer from a championship hangover this season and it seems like they're as hungry as ever to hoist the Stanley Cup.

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9 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:12 pm

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From the Detroit Free Press

The time it takes a bullet travels 900m.

The time it takes a snail travels 1cm in the rain.

The time it takes a honey bee flaps its wings 200 times.

The time it takes for 5,700 liters of carbonated drink to be consumed.

These things happen every second of every day. On Thursday night, with 1.1 seconds left on the clock in the third period, Victor Hedman scored the Cup winning goal, denying the Chicago Blackhawks a chance to force a game 7 by winning in OT.

"It was unbelievable," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock, "to see Hedman look so calm and cool with time winding down, avoid the check and get the shot off, well, as euphoric as it was on our bench, I can't even imagine how heart breaking it was to be on the other side of that one."

Not only did the goal cement the Cup win for the Wings, it meant back to back Cup final losses for the Chicago Blackhawks. In fact, 3 of the 4 series for the Wings this year featured rematches from last year and they proved up to the task each time out. One goal differentials were the norm and injuries played a major role in each round of the playoffs.

"It was a roller coaster ride this year," said Conn Smythe winner and Red Wings captain Victor Hedman. "We lost Hall, Hemmer, Stevie (Stamkos) and then Dougie (Hamilton). It was a real next man up playoff run and in the end we were able to get that next goal often enough to get the wins we needed."

This is the third time in franchise history that the Wings have won back to back Cups (1936/37 and 1997/98). First year Wing Patrice Bergeron led the way with 35 points while Victor Hedman paced all defensemen in the playoffs with 28 points. Only one other Wing (Nail Yakupov, 19 points) eclipsed the 14 point mark as the injury situation meant a spread out scoring pool for the champs. Martin Jones wrapped up his Cinderella season going 16-4 with a 2.38 GAA.

A special moment was had on the ice following the win as coach Babcock handed the Cup over to recent hire Dave Tippett, completing his 31 year quest for a Stanley Cup win.

With another season in the books, GM Travis Elkin heads back to team headquarters to chart out how this off-season will go. Last year they had over 30 upcoming free agents to deal with and this year there are only 8. A few big raises are likely due as both Jones and Yakupov are up for new deals, but expect to see more wheeling and dealing from the now tenured GM as it should take much less time to get their in house tasks taken care of. The quest for the first threepeat in team history promises to keep this group hungry for more.



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10 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:05 am

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An Offseason of Trades and Shock

Detroit fans are starting to appreciate what George R. R. Martin fans go through now. You'd think back to back championships would buy you plenty of job security, but GM Travis Elkin is testing that theory this offseason.

For a while, he could do no wrong. Winning back to back Cups followed by a trade to get Matt Duchene had most of the fan base on their feet in celebration. A small minority were upset that the team might lose the trade given the potential of Sean Monahan and the way Ryan Kelser is currently playing, but most agreed that it was a price worth paying.

The decision shortly thereafter to only qualify last years biggest surprise, Martin Jones, had a bigger group of the fan base scratching their heads. The confusion turned quickly to shock when the netminder was dealt to the Calgary Flames.

That was just the first blow of the Red Offseason. Next it was Stamkos, yes, that Steven Stamkos, being dealt to Washington for Nathan MacKinnon. Sure this MacKinnon kid has talent, but we just lost one of only 3 players to ever score 100 goals in a season and you had to send other pieces with him to get the deal done?

Before the outrage over that deal could even begin to fade, the 4 team deal that rocked the league was announced. Worse than outrage, worse than anger, a collective horrified gasp was heard from the Detroit fan base. That couldn't read right could it, the Wings have dealt Taylor Hall? TV's and radios were turned off, papers left unread, even twitter and facebook feeds going unchecked for fear of what deal would be announced next.

A pair of first liners, 3 of your top 6 forwards and your starting goalie, gone in the turn of a few pages.

Sure there are new heroes emerging, or so we hope. Jake Allen signed an 8 year deal after a stellar season with the AHL club and looks to fill in the void left by Jones. Exciting goalie prospect Gudbranson was added to stock the pipeline. Duchene, MacKinnon and Wood are all tantalizing attackers coming in and the biggest benefactor of Hall being moved will likely be the already emerging Nail Yakupov.

But that's of little solace to the fans that just lost Stamkos, Hall and Jones. It's just too soon.

Who will be next is the question on every fans mind.

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11 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:33 pm

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From the Detroit Free Press

2015/16 Detroit Red Wings Preview

Last Year: In many ways last year was a series of repeats for the Wings. Atop the league as a team both offensively and defensively, they managed to both score more goals and allow less than their league leading totals the season prior. They successfully defended not only the President's Trophy, but also earned their second straight Stanley Cup after four tough playoff series featuring almost exclusively one goal games.

There were some new faces in the lineup as Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Kesler, Dougie Hamilton, Simon Despres and Martin Jones all played big roles in helping the Wings improve on their performance of the previous season.

This Year: This year's edition of the Red Wings look to cement their place in team history as the first to win three consecutive Stanley Cups. Another wave of new faces join the effort while some fan favorites won't be around to see the job to the end.

Jake Allen becomes the 5th starting goalie in the past 3 seasons while Nathan MacKinnon, Jerry Wood and Matt Duchene look to join Nail Yakupov as core building blocks in the top 6 forwards.

It was a crazy offseason for the defending champions, and while there were major names lost, there were exciting names added as well. Given how young so many of the key players on this team are, there should be multiple guys looking to establish career best seasons at every position on the team.

Offseason Departures

• Steven Stamkos (LW/C): An elite talent in the league, but was entering the final year his deal and it's rumored he would have been looking for $10+ million a year on his next deal.
• Taylor Hall (RW): Still had 4 years left at $6 million per but was the key piece that made the 4 team blockbuster deal happen.
• Ryan Kelser (C): Played well but was always a stop gap 2C for the Wings. Went to LA along with Monahan in exchange for Duchene.
• Sean Monahan (C): Like Hall, a piece they were reluctant to move, but also like Hall, necessary to facilitate getting a deal done.
• Martin Jones (G): According to inside sources, the toughest move of the offseason which is saying something when Stamkos, Hall and Monahan were also moved. His contract demands ended up pricing him out of what the Wings were willing to give and he was moved for a highly regarded netminding prospect.

New Additions

• Nathan MacKinnon (LW/C): Acquired in the deal that saw Stamkos go to Washington. Has all the tools to be/surpass the player that Stamkos is, but the question is if and when that will happen.
• Matt Duchene (C): The left handed center the Wings have been searching for to compliment Bergeron in the top 6. Will play heavy minutes in all situations.
• Jerry Wood (RW/C): 4th overall pick in the recent draft, the key piece Detroit acquired in the 4 team deal. Is a 5 tool prospect and can also play in the middle if need be.
• Freddie Hamilton (LW/C): Joins his brother in the organization but will have to work hard to have a shot to play with him in Detroit.
• Trevor Gudbranson (G): High upside to elite level goalie prospect acquired in the Jones deal. Will likely take 2-3 years to come anywhere close to seeing EEHL time but is highly regarded around the league.

Current Depth Chart


Left Wing

Center

Right Wing

Left Defense

Right Defense

Goalie

MacKinnon

Bergeron (A)

Yakupov
Hamilton

Hedman (C)

Allen*

Hemsky

Duchene

Wood*

Bogosian (A)

Josi

Cannata*

Fasth

Arniel*

Andersson

Larsson

Despres

Morin

Sobotka

Roussel

Donovan

Vitale

MacKenzie
*denotes rookie

The top 6 up front gets a revamped and younger look with the additions of MacKinnon, Duchene and Wood. Hemsky is the only forward over 30 while Bergeron is closing in on that mark as he's now 29.

Arniel makes the jump from the AHL and has already surpassed Sobotka on the depth chart, though the importance of the righty/lefty splits on this team mean either could see time in the top 6 depending on who is missing. This is also seen with Vitale (right) and MacKenzie (left) being the two extra forwards as both are natural centers but can fill in on their respective wings when necessary.

Jeremy Morin and Antoine Roussel would likely be third line wingers with upside on most teams. Both bring speed, skill and a lot of sandpaper to their games.

On the back end, all 6 primary defenders return from last year and each looks to take a step forward in their development curve. Bogosian and Josi are the elder statesmen of the group at just 25 years of age. As good as they were last year, they should be even better this year as for most, they're just entering their 3rd or 4th full season in the league.

Jake Allen signed an 8 year deal this offseason which may have been the tipping point in deciding whether or not to bring back Martin Jones. Allen was dominant in the AHL last year and likely would have been called up to start had Jones been hurt. Allen was willing to sign long term while Jones wanted more money up front, so at least for now, Allen will get a prolonged audition between the pipes.

Top 5 Prospects

• Jerry Wood: Hard to call him a prospect as he'll start in the EEHL from day one, but he was just drafted so for now he qualifies. Doesn't seem to have any weaknesses and the hope is that he's the real deal as he'll be counted on to fill the role Yakupov has played the last two seasons.
• Trevor Gudbranson: The top goalie prospect in the system now and one of the best around the league. He'll likely move to the AHL next year and the hope is that within 2-3 years he can start pushing to be the starter there.
• Alex Merkley: The only draft pick of the Wings appearing on this list, Merkley appears to be 2 seasons away from a shot with the club. At 6'6 and already 220lbs at just 19 years of age, he has all the physical tools to be a dominant force on the ice.
• John Gibson: Prior to the deal to acquire Gudbranson, Gibson had been the shooting star goalie prospect for the Wings. The club has reaffirmed their belief in him since the trade happened and he will likely get split starts in the AHL this year to prove his worth. If he can seize the job he knows the team doesn't have a problem moving highly regarded prospects as they did with Dansk last year.
• Roman Hlavac: A skilled forward who can play center or the wing, he still has some growing to do. He'll play in the AHL this year and look to continue the success he's been enjoying through his minor league career.

Season Prediction

The Wings have gotten younger, but likely also better, at almost every position on the team. The big questions are whether MacKinnon can fill the void left by Stamkos, if the combination of Yakupov/Wood can be as productive as Hall/Yakupov were and if Allen can supply the same level of goaltending Jones did.

While it's unlikely that MacKinnon can replicate Stamkos' production of a year ago, odds are that Yakupov/Wood can at least duplicate what Hall/Yakupov did last year. That means the improvement from the rest of the team has to make up the difference from MacKinnon to Stamkos. Given the improvements to the depth up front and the maturation on the blue line, this doesn't seem that far fetched.

In net, while Jones had a stellar year last season, the Wings already showed that they can win with league average or worse production in net two years ago. It's also very easy to believe that Allen will get until the trade deadline to show what he can do, and if need be, the team has the trade ammunition to go out and fill that position with a rental.

For the third year in a row the Wings will be contending for the President's Trophy and will earn a spot into the Stanley Cup playoffs. After that, it's as much up to luck as it is skill.



Last edited by Nikle on Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:11 pm; edited 2 times in total

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12 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Fri May 02, 2014 2:09 pm

Nikle

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Coach Quietly Signs Extension

Friday, 9.30.2015 / 8:22 AM / Press Release
By Tadd Bream - Detroit Red Wings Communications Director

DETROIT - The night before the new season begins the Red Wings have released a statement that coach Mike Babcock has signed a five year contract extension that will see him stay with the team through the 2019/20 season.

There had been some rumors circulating that the addition of Dave Tippett last season might have been a hint that the organization was looking to possibly move on from Babcock, but those have been laid to rest now. Tippett is signed through the end of the upcoming season and to this point, no comment from the team or coach has been made on whether they will look to extend his contract beyond that point.

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13 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Tue May 20, 2014 8:04 pm

Nikle

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Yakupov joins the 50 in 50 Club

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 8:36 PM / Press Release
By Tadd Bream - Detroit Red Wings Communications Director

DETROIT - Asked to step into a bigger role this season, Nail Yakupov has not disappointed as he becomes the second Red Wing to achieve 50 goals in the teams first 50 games. Last year Steven Stamkos became the first, accomplishing the feat in 45 games, this season, Yakupov matched that feat. All in all, a great achievement and some validation for the decision to elevate Yakupov in the lineup this season.

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14 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:15 pm

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Playoff Preview

Thursday, 04.14.2016 / 2:24 PM / Press Release
By Tadd Bream - Detroit Red Wings Communications Director

DETROIT - As the 2016 playoffs approach, seven members of the Detroit Red Wings prepare for their third straight EEHL playoff run with the team. 2014 hero Joe Vitale will likely see the least amount of action of that group, but that was the plan heading into the playoffs last year as well and he ended up appearing in all 20 of the Wings playoff games as he filled in for injured players.

Up front the way will be led by Nail Yakupov and Ales Hemsky who in addition to Vitale are the only consecutive forwards remaining on the team. The blue line has been a more stable group since the EEHL started as captain Victor Hedman, Zach Bogosian, Roman Josi and Adam Larsson will all make their third straight playoff appearance with the club.

This would have been Patrice Bergeron's second straight playoff performance with the team, but he's unlikely to return in time to play in any games the rest of the way. Antoine Roussel was with the team in 2014 for their first Cup run and returns to playoff action with the team this year. Joining him up front as second time playoff members are Joakim Andersson, Jesper Fasth, Jeremy Morin, and Vladimir Sobotka. If injuries dictate, Akim Aliu may see time with the big club during the most important time of the year again as well. On the back end, Dougie Hamilton and Simon Despres join the three timers to round out the starting six.

So while there will be some first timers taking to the playoff ice, including a few playing very important roles (Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Jamie Arniel, Jerry Wood and goalie Jake Allen), they'll have a wealth of experience to lean on as the Red Wings look for their first ever Stanley Cup three peat.



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15 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:25 pm

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Next Man Up

Friday, 04.15.2016 / 2:46 PM / Press Release
By Tadd Bream - Detroit Red Wings Communications Director

While the prior two years had been full of roster changes, once the puck dropped on the 2015/16 season, the front office seemed content to let the new look roster sink or swim with the group that started the season together. Only one trade would happen during the season, a deadline deal to upgrade at the backup goalie position, which came as some surprise given that they lost 163 man games to injury during the regular season.

Instead of adding from outside of the organization, the team relied upon their depth at the AHL level to get them through. Adam Burish, Matt Donovan, Joe Vitale and Doug MacKenzie all played 30 or more games this year with Burish leading the way at 67 games despite starting the season as a regular scratch.

Despite the injury situation limiting the top 6 to playing just 11 games as a group, the team still overcame the misgivings that a lot of the fans and media had coming into the year after watching Stamkos, Hall and Jones all being dealt in the offseason.

Nail Yakupov proved to be up to the task of filling Taylor Hall's skates as he established new career highs across the board (89-50-139) and led the team in scoring. Matt Duchene ended up finishing just a point behind Yakupov despite playing on the second line all year. Patrice Bergeron managed his second straight 100 assist season despite missing 24 games while Victor Hedman (104 assists) and Dougie Hamilton (51 goals) established single season EEHL scoring records for defensemen.

An injury to Nathan MacKinnon limited his playing time to just 35 games but he still managed to score 31 goals and added 29 assists to hint at what he can be in this offense. Ales Hemsky hit the 100 point mark for the first time in his career, picking up his 64th assist and 100th point in the last game of the season. Jesper Fasth (26-36-62) and Jamie Arniel (17-44-61) both earned a lot of extra ice time covering for the multitude of injuries and in the process showed that they can handle top 6 duty if need be.

In any other season, Arniel would have played himself into rookie of the year contention, but this wasn't going to be his year as Jerry Wood stepped into Yakupov's old role and flourished playing alongside Duchene as he nearly hit the 100 point mark himself this year with a 32-62-94 boxscore on the season.

As impressive as Wood's inaugural campaign was, he's no shoe in for the award himself as that may end up going to Martin Jones' replacement, Jake Allen. In 70 games this year, Allen posted 21 shutouts on his way to a 1.16 GAA and a .914 save percentage. The voters are going to have a tough time deciding between the 19 year old true freshman rookie winger and the 25 year old rookie net minder.

It was an interesting year for the Wings as they managed to score 49 more goals than last season, but had to do it in a much more spread out fashion. 4 players scored over 100 points for them last year with Stamkos (183), Bergeron (179) and Hall (130) leading the way while this year, 6 players broke the century mark, but none topped 140 points. Extending down the lineup, an even dozen players scored 60 or more points this season while last year's squad featured 8.

Detroit heads into the postseason down their top forward, likely for the entirety of the playoffs as Patrice Bergeron suffers from post concussion syndrome. While injuries seem to have been the story of the season, the past two playoffs have shown that it can make the difference in a series, especially when they've been as close as they've been the last two years. The Wings quest to threepeat for the first time in franchise history starts now and like in the regular season, they'll need to trust the next man up to get it done.



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16 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:30 pm

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From the Detroit Free Press

It wasn't trading Hall. It wasn't sending Stamkos to Washington. It wasn't even dealing Martin Jones to Calgary that ultimately stopped the Red Wings from winning a third straight Stanley Cup for the first time in team history.

It was Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jordan Eberle played a huge role in dethroning the defending champions, but ultimately Toews set the tone by winning 60+% of his draws while also dominating play at both ends of the ice. On the blue line, Ryan McDonagh dominated, leading all rear guards in points, PIM and hits.

Wings fans didn't leave disappointed though. Despite the apprehension a lot of the fans and media felt heading into the season, the Wings showed that the new faces could fill familiar roles and excel. A third straight run through the power houses in the East proved that the revamped roster could live up to the GM's vision and ultimately the decimation down the middle left them with no counter to Toews and company.

Nathan MacKinnon stepped up to fill the void left by the departures of Stamkos and Hall while Duchene did his best to fill in for the injured Patrice Bergeron before succumbing to injury himself. Rookie Jerry Wood stepped in admirably in the middle, show casing the versatility that led to team being willing to move Hall for him. Zach Bogosian and Victor Hedman shouldered increased offensive roles while Jake Allen proved that not only could he handle the #1 role in Detroit, he could do it to an extent that Quick and Jones hadn't accomplished during their seasons in that capacity.

So while the ultimate prize eluded this group for the first time since the inception of the EEHL, there is a lot to be excited about as they get a chance to get healthy and retool then look to come back and reclaim what was taken from them.

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17 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:49 pm

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From the Detroit Free Press

2016/17 Detroit Red Wings Preview

Last Year: The quest for a threepeat came to a crashing end last year as the Blackhawks outclassed the depleted Red Wings in five games in the Cup finals. Up until that round it had been a season of familiarity for Detroit as they once again followed up a President's Trophy regular season with tight playoff victories over the powerhouse Canadiens and Flyers.

It was those two teams that played nearly as big of a role in the end of the Wings streak as the Blackhawks did. By the time the Wings took the ice for game one of the Cup finals, they were down their top 4 starting centers as well as Ales Hemsky. With over 170 goals from the regular season watching from the press box, Jonathan Toews and Jordan Eberle had their way on the ice while those who were asked to step up and man the middle did everything they could to try and stave them off.

Ultimately the Wings came away with a lot of positive answers to questions that lingered from the moves that saw Stamkos, Hall and Martin Jones depart the team prior to the season, but they now enter the offseason looking for a way to reclaim what they consider theirs.

This Year: For the first time since the EEHL began, the Wings will have the same starting goalie for a second season. Jake Allen passed his audition with flying colors though he wasn't able to provide any game stealing efforts in the finals, something he's determined to try and improve upon this year.

As has been the norm, the starting 6 on defense return whole. New backups will be featured as Jacob Trouba returns to Detroit and will be joined by Ville Sailio as the primary backups on the blue line, and if the GM is to be believed, potential depth wingers in case of injury.

Up front we see just one change in the top six as rookie Edward Peverley will join Patrice Bergeron and Nail Yakupov on the top line. In an effort to balance out the scoring depth, it looks like the Wings will try to cycle 3 scoring lines which led to the re-acquisition of Ryan Kesler to head up the third line and he'll be flanked by Ales Hemsky and the other rookie cracking the lineup, Jimmy Tambellini. That means that Nathan MacKinnon will team up with Matt Duchene and Jerry Wood on what might be the fastest line in the league. The fourth line features a bunch of faceoff savants as Jamie Arniel and Vladimir Sobotka both slide to the wing as the team picked up Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly to try and ensure that they wouldn't suffer through the same lack of options in the future if another injury plague hits like last season.

All in all, one of the quieter offseasons for GM Travis Elkin, but an obvious effort was made to shore up what caused them issues last year. It was obviously a retooling and not the start of a rebuild, a signal to those here this year that expectations haven't been lowered.

Offseason Departures

• Trevor Gudbranson (G): Ended up being a key piece moved in the deal to bring Kesler back to Detroit. Like Lehner and Dansk before him, a move that could come back to haunt the Wings, but one they've deemed necessary.
• Jesper Fasth (LW): High hopes were had for Fasth, but his development seemed to have plateaued. With the moves to increase the depth at center, salary had to be shed and he appeared to be a victim of the cap crunch.
• Joakim Andersson (RW/C): Had provided some excellent depth for the team the past three seasons but his salary caused him to be another necessary move to facilitate the bottom six makeover this offseason.

New Additions

• Ryan Kelser (C): Back as the third line center for the team and insurance in case anything happens to Patrice Bergeron. Will still see heavy minutes and lighten the load for the top six more than we've seen in the past few seasons.
• Edward Peverley (LW/C): Big, fast and strong, but needs some refinement to his game. Will do the dirty work on the top line to start but the coach and GM both think that if they can unlock the potential in his shooting abilities, that the sky is the limit.
• Jimmy Tambellini (RW/C): Speed to burn and an interesting prospect being added to the well. They'd like him to play a bit more physically but for now will act as the third line's speed demon and look to wreak havoc as a forechecker.
• Rich Peverley (C): Like Kesler, more center depth and is likely playing a line below where he would on most other teams in the league. A luxury the team can likely only afford for a couple years, but one they're happy to have.
• Chris Kelly (C): More depth down the middle and a guy you can rely on to win draws against nearly any opponent.
• Jacob Trouba (D): A high upside defensive prospect that the team hated parting with in the first place, they were able to bring him back at an agreeable cost. With how important the D are in Detroit, it's not a surprise to see them adding depth here like they are at center.
• Ville Sailio (D): A left handed version of Trouba more or less. World class speed and developing the rest of his game. Could be in line to replace Roman Josi in a few years if contract talks with Josi don't go well.

Current Depth Chart


Left Wing

Center

Right Wing

Left Defense

Right Defense

Goalie

E. Peverley*

Bergeron (A)

Yakupov

Hamilton

Hedman (C)

Allen

MacKinnon

Duchene

Wood

Bogosian (A)

Josi

Carrozzi

Hemsky

Kesler

Tambellini*

Larsson

Despres

Arniel

R. Peverley

Sobotka

Trouba

Sailio


Kelly

*denotes rookie

Top 5 Under 21

• Jerry Wood: Only 20 years of age and nearly cracked the 100 point mark as a rookie, the sky is the limit for this kid.
• Chad Zhao: Already 6'2, 200 pounds at the age of 19, he might have even been ready to play this year if he was on another team. Great speed and quickness to go with an already dangerous shot, he needs to work on his defensive game before he'll get a shot at the EEHL level.
• Edward Peverley: Looking to replicate Wood's success of a year ago isn't something Peverley will be asked to do. Instead he'll be tasked with taking his 6'4, 237 pound frame to the offensive zone and wreak havoc with his size and speed. Early on he'll likely get a majority of his points off of caused turnovers and goals from in the paint, but the Wings will look to develop his shot so he can be more dangerous off of the rush as well.
• Jayce Hawrelyuk: Probably the biggest boom/bust player on the list, Hawryluk could develop into being the next Patrice Bergeron or end up a career minor leaguer. He has excellent face off skills but needs to improve his skating a bit more to be effective at the EEHL level. Some scouts knock his work ethic, others say he has a quiet determination. The Wings have no reason to rush him and have the luxury of finding out which group is right before making a decision on him.
• Jimmy Tambellini: Already one of the fastest skaters on the team, Tambellini is also effective with the body and can fill in at center if need be. Needs to improve his shooting to have a shot at becoming a top 6 player. He's a safe bet to be an effective third line player, but with the proper training he could end up sneaking his way up the depth chart.

Season Prediction

Improved depth and a renewed hunger to reclaim the Stanley Cup should mean that the Wings come out even faster and harder this season than ever. Obviously the hope is to keep everybody fresh and healthy with the improved third line options. If the worst does happen, we should still see one of the more dangerous top two lines in the league even with a few injury fill ins.

In most cases, the Wings will be happy if we see repeats of last year's per game performances. Improved health could mean we see the Wings improve on their league leading offensive and defensive team totals for a fourth straight season. Jake Allen had the best statistical season of any full time Red Wing goalie in the EEHL but also became the first not to hoist the Stanley Cup. His position looks secure and they sport the best backup they've had yet to start the season.

Yet again, the Wings will be contending for the President's Trophy and will earn a spot into the Stanley Cup playoffs. After that, they'll hope to prove it's more about skill than luck.

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18 Re: Detroit Red Wings on Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:31 pm

Nikle

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Yakupov repeats, Bogosian makes history

Friday, 01.22.2017 / 7:36 PM / Press Release
By Tadd Bream - Detroit Red Wings Communications Director

DETROIT - After emerging with 50 goals in the first 45 games last year, Nail Yakupov turned the trick again this season, this time doing it in 47 games to join Alexander Ovechkin in the 50/50 club this season. Less than twelve minutes later, those two were joined by a third player as Zach Bogosian became the first defenseman in EEHL/NHL history to accomplish the feat. Prior to Bogosian, only one defenseman, an at the time team mate Dougie Hamilton, had ever scored 50 in a season, let alone doing it in 50 or fewer games.

It appears that Alex Galchenyuk has a good chance to join the club himself this year which will also be a new record as no team mates had ever accomplished the feat previously, soon likely two teams will be able to boast that feat.

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