ONE REASON TO HATE HIM :: Participated in the Detroit Sucks chant growing up in the Chicago area. Bastard.
RANDOM FACT :: Scored his first NHL game on opening night in 2005 – the first Red Wing to do that since Greg Johnson twelve years earlier.
ONE-LINER :: “We’re glad we don’t have to practice in the morning.” – at a stage we like to call “Professor” Lebda
HE’S A FAVORITE OF :: Leprechauns, Speedy Gonzales, Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow, Charlie Weis.
BIO :: One of a handful of Fighting Irish in the NHL, Brett Lebda joins Brian Rafalski on the Wings’ blueline as every day contributors that had gone undrafted. Invited to camp on a free agent tryout, he impressed the brass with his speed and smart play enough to earn himself a contract.
After spending the lockout season in Grand Rapids, Lebda was in the Wings lineup for the first post-lockout game – scoring his first NHL goal in the second period of his first game. He bounced back and forth between Grand Rapids and Detroit, but was soon a regular for the Red Wings.
FUTURE :: As we’ve mentioned before, the Wings plan on moving a defenseman after training camp if Lilja’s healthy enough to play. The popular choice seemed to be Derek Meech, but I’d argue that Lebda is more likely to be traded. He counts a bit more toward the cap (although still not much), he’s more NHL-polished, and he’ll garner a higher return. If he’s not traded in September, it’s a safe bet this will be his final season in red and white, with guys like Ericsson and Kindl gearing up to take over in 2010-11.