First, and clearly most important: Niklas Kronwall. The latest is that he’ll miss 4-8 weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, which is the knee (but not the same ligament that was damaged) that he had surgically repaired in 2005. It’s a huge loss – he’s the leading scorer among Red Wings defensemen, riding a hot hand where everything seemed to be going in for him the last few weeks. More will be asked of Jonathan Ericsson, who has been falling onto some WTF lists lately.
Kris from Snipe Snipe Dangle Dangle puts it better than anyone else has so far: best case scenario is we have FOURTEEN GAMES of Lebda/Meech on the third pairing. Let that soak in for a minute. Ken Holland has said – like he has all season – he’s going with what he’s got. There are no intentions to sign a free agent or trade for an established defenseman. Will that change if Meech, Lebda, et al, shit the bed? Probably.
The top options seem to be:
A) Bring up Doug Janik to be a seventh defenseman. He played well in his one appearance with the Red Wings this season, and there is a bevy of salary cap space given the trauma ward we’ve acquired.
B) Bring up Jakub Kindl. Next season, he’s on a one-way contract, so the intention is that he’s a Red Wing in October. Seems wise to get him into a few games – think Kyle Quiincey and Jonathan Ericsson before they made the jump.
C) Sign Chris Chelios. The idea has been bandied about, and while I doubt it’ll happen, he’s probably the guy who best knows the system and players within it.
PENIS IN OUR HAND?
How is this the first I’m hearing of this?! I’m somewhat let-down, but perhaps I just blocked it out in a haze of depression all summer. I would fully expect Chief to use something like this as fodder in his famous war with Pensburgh.
In a Toronto Sun article, Eric Francis spoke to Miran Armutlu, championship ring designer. In it, managers of championship teams talk about his beautiful designs, but this little tidbit stood out:
Armutlu figures Sid and his Kids’ Stanley Cup rings represent the next step in changing the industry, given he used 23 different dies. The typical Cup ring involves five or six dies. The Penguins’ rings include two mottos inscribed inside: “The Pen is in our hand” and “Ya hungry.”
Really? Before you get all indignant, the philosophy of such a quote isn’t lost on me. It’s actually quite a nice thought that history is what you make of it, but I can’t help but think that the pen-is in their hands was actually attached to Little Gary Gumdrops.
There’s been a lot of talk this week regarding Brendan Shanahan’s #14 and whether or not it’s rafter-worthy at the Joe. Let me take this opportunity to once again express my undying love for Shanny, and would have given anything for him to continue his career as a Red Wing.
That said, I don’t think his jersey will be retired in Detroit. Red Wings Hardware has been doing a nifty feature regarding the jersey retirement debate for a handful of Wings – and breaks down some interesting numbers for the candidates.
Brendan Shanahan played less than half of his NHL games in a Detroit Red Wings uniform. Yes, his three championships came with the winged wheel on his chest. No, I don’t think the Red Wings begin their dynasty without him. However, the guys whose numbers are hanging from Joe Louis Arena’s rafters are, for the most part, epic, life-and-death Red Wings.
- Terry Sawchuk played 237 games with the Bruins, Leafs, Kings, and Rangers. That’s the most games played away from the Red Wings, but much of it came later in his career.
- Ted Lindsay played 206 of his final 275 games with the Blackhawks.
- Gordie Howe played 80 games with the Whalers.
- Sid Abel played 42 games with the Blackhawks.
- Steve Yzerman didn’t dream of playing anywhere but Motown.
- Neither did Alex Delvecchio.
Shanny, in his infinite awesomeness, played 808 of his 1524 games somewhere else. It just isn’t really the same kind of career dedication to the Red Wings. It’s not Shanahan’s fault he was drafted by the Devils and played some of his biggest seasons in St. Louis – I’m sure if he could have chosen, he would have been a Red Wing through-and-through. He spent quite a bit of his career in other uniforms, but for those nine years, there were very few better marriages than Brendan Shanahan and the Detroit Red Wings.
Can you even fathom a player like Derek Meech wearing #19 two seasons after Steve Yzerman hung up his skates? It’s sacrilegious to even picture that. It’s just my two cents, but I don’t see Shanahan’s #14 in the rafters, but I do wish they would have waited until he retired to re-enter it into circulation. But as soon as I saw the training camp roster and Meech was no longer #36 – he was #14 – I knew that Shanahan’s number wouldn’t be retired by the team.