Archive for January, 2005

Yzerman no longer optimistic

After a week of fruitless negotiations, one of the Wings’ main optimists during the NHL lockout, captain Steve Yzerman, is no longer sure that there will be a season. He told the Detroit News yesterday that he doesn’t, “see it [a season] happening.” He went on to say,

“The philosophies haven’t changed and there’s no compromise in sight. I’d hoped at the last moment the owners would move off the salary cap, but they’re not going to. I don’t see a deal being done in the next week, and that’s pretty much all the time that’s left.”

Speaking about players who have waited to see what happens over here before heading overseas to play, The Captain pointed out that, “there will never be an official cancellation, so at some point, guys just have to decide to go.”

Yzerman believes there is a good possibility of the NHL being shut down until next January. In that case, there is a good chance we’ll never see him on the ice in the Winged Wheel again.

“If next season started on time and the Red Wings called about playing, it’s something I’d definitely consider. But starting in January might be different.”

While he won’t say whether he’d retire or not, he has made a decision and is just waiting for the right time to reveal it.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: I really don’t want my last experience watching Steve Yzerman play to be him writhing in pain on the ice. Do not deny my the ability to see him play again, Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow. He deserves a chance to make a better end to his career. Mitch Albom agrees.

Is there hope after all?

Eklund over at the blog ‘Hockey Rumors’ is reporting that the NHL’s next proposal will bring about the end of the lockout:

My source says, “This will absolutely be over by Saturday. Posturing is over. These talks are the final talks. We will know where we are in the next few days. I am convinced this new proposal is a result of what both sides have been working on. There is immense pressure coming from the big teams. The players are going to have a hard time turning down this offer. Word is they already know what it basically is and are holding a vote on their website as we speak. I would be stunned if the season was cancelled. It won’t go past the week-end. Not a chance.”

Eklund calls himself “an insider of 20 years,” and since I know nothing about him, I have to take his word for it. I’m sure he is what he says he is.

I hope he will pardon me if I’m a little skeptical about his asserton, though. I guess it seems too good to be true, however much I wish it were. I must say it would be wonderful if a deal could be reached very soon. I’m just not very optimistic about the chances of that happening, despite the apparent progress we’ve seen over the past couple weeks with all the talks.

I would be amazed and shocked if what Eklund’s source says is true but in a good way. It’s been a very long time since I had any hope of there being any semblance of a 2004-2005 NHL season. Now, I’m getting a glimmer, though I’m trying to keep it small so I don’t end up being disappointed when what I’ve resigned myself to turns out to be true after all.

Lidstrom to stick around

Our larger affiliate LetGoWings is reporting that Nicklas Lidstrom will not head overseas to Sweden during the lockout. Matt Schwartz, the head man over at LGW, has the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet as his source.

In a story published today, Lidstrom is quoted as saying,

“I don’t want to uproot my family and I don’t want to leave them behind.”

He will instead stay in the Detroit area and work out with other Red Wings teammates who are not going to Europe. He also will not play in the World Championships in the spring, saying,

“You can’t show up without any games behind you.”

There have been worries in Detroit for years that Nick would bolt to Sweden and never return if given the chance. Those fears seem baseless now, given his decisions during the lockout.

Now the only thing that will prevent Lidstrom from returning to Detroit after the lockout is his $10 million salary and the inevitable salary cap which would pretty much prohibit his presence on the team.

I’d provide a link to the original Aftonbladet article but I can’t read Swedish and my brain is smoking from trying to find it. If anyone out there understands Swedish, we sure could use your help!

1/15 Lockout Stats Update

Here it is, another exciting table of stats.

I just love that I have not seen any of the games in which these stats were earned. It’s a lot of fun to look at a mere bunch of numbers and know that you are being denied the ability to watch these players play all because a group of guys in New York can’t get it together.

New Look

As you can see, On the Wings has a new look. I spent a lot of time today tinkering with a pre-made Blogger template to get what you see. It’s not immensely impressive but it is a complete overhaul of the old template and should work a lot better. Most importantly, the load time should be down from what it was. The banner is pretty boring, I know, but my creative patience has worn down too much for me to make a better one. Maybe I’ll get to that later this week, I don’t know. I gave up on the three column look and dropped some of the extraneous content that wasted space. Even if there weren’t any performance problems with the old layout, this site needed something new after so long.

When I tested out this template, I used Mozilla Firefox, which is the browser I use for just about everything now. So it looks great in Firefox but it may not work fully in another browser, as you may have noticed, if you have Internet Explorer. I don’t really know what to do about it since I made no structual changes to the pre-made Blogger template and I would have expected it to be cross-browser compatible. Firefox is more web standards compliant than IE anyway and you really should all be using it if you’re not already. Get it here.

Red Wings Lockout Stats

Taking a cue from Jes Golbez, I’ll be posting a spreadsheet-turned-graphic update of the Red Wings players who are currently active in European or North American leagues on a weekly (or so) basis. This is something I should have been doing all along but honestly, I don’t have Excel on the family computer and only have it now because I finally got my iBook.

The names on this list are more or less players already on the main roster and a couple prospects of interest to Wings fans. Some players are listed as playing in Europe when in fact they have not done so yet. I have put them on the list anyway in case they do end up playing over there after all. I don’t think I missed anyone but if you think I should make an addition, let me know.

Here it is:

The three highest scorers on the list are, as you can see, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Jason Williams. All three are doing very well and Wings fans should be very happy about that, for sure.

Williams’ performance is particularly good to see, considering the relative disappointment he has been so far in Detroit. It seems the lockout has done him some good and hopefully that will translate over the NHL if he comes back when the lockout ends. He may just decide to hang around over there. I hope not but who knows?

Zetterberg has been scoring at a pace similar to Peter Forsberg, who is playing for Modo, all season. He is currently #6 in SEL scoring. It is good to see that Henrik is still one of the strongest players in the SEL, as he was before he came to Detroit. One day, he’ll hopefully play the same role in the NHL. That’s assuming he returns to the league after his contract expires on July 1. After that, he’ll be free to sign anywhere in the world and he may decide to stay with Timra IK.

Kronwall has been making waves in Grand Rapids this season and has become their version of Nick Lidstrom as a blueline anchor. The Wings think he is ready for a full-time NHL spot and he is just another player to look forward to. Maybe now that I’ll be going to school over in Grand Rapids this semester, I’ll be able to make it to a Griffins game or two.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the two biggest disappointments: Igor Grigorenko and Pavel Datsyuk. Both are slated to be the foundation of the next generation Wings team but they are faltering in so-called lesser leagues.

Grigorenko, still recovering from that near-fatal car accident, has an excuse, somewhat. Still, better things are expected of him and hopefully the move to Ufa from Tolyatti will get him going again as it seems to have done. I’m still looking forward to seeing him play and I know he has a great amount of determination to make it here to play for the Wings.

Datsyuk’s stats are not that alarming but I have him down as a disappointment because he should be doing better. The RSL is a very strong league but Pavel tore it up last year in the NHL and should be able to dominate on the larger ice surface and with less clutch-and-grab. You’d think he’d be on a point-per-game pace in a so-called lesser league. Maybe I’m just being too hard on the guy but my expectations are high!

Tomas Holmstrom has come off the torrid pace at which he was scoring earlier in the season. Still, his stats are, for a guy not known as a huge scorer, quite respectable. He is NHLPA.com’s current Player of the Weekend, by the way.

Jiri Fischer seems to be doing pretty well after returning from a shoulder injury sustained in the World Cup of Hockey. Everyone is looking for improvement from Jiri, who had a generally awful season last year. He was not the same player he was during the 2001-2002 season when he was paired with Chris Chelios. The knee injury he suffered in the 2002-2003 season had an obvious effect on his play last year. Hopefully the lockout will serve as a wake-up call for the man who is supposed to be the Wings’ future anchor on the defense.

I don’t know much about the Norwegian Hockey League but if it’s any good at all, Wings fans should be pretty excited about Anders Myrvold. His near-point-per-game pace is impressive, though his 94 penalty minutes in 27 games is not.

The number of Wings players overseas (or active in the AHL) is not large but I expect it to grow as the lockout progresses, especially now that the cancellation of the season is all but certain. Hopefully, they won’t get to like it too much over there and decide not to come back. That would be a big blow to the Wings and if it were to become an epidemic, to the League as well. I doubt either side in the current dispute would be too happy about that. The NHL can’t afford to lose it’s stars and neither can the NHLPA. Regardless, it could happen and it is yet another reason to commence negotiations as soon as possible. But I don’t expect the NHL or NHLPA to be that sensible.

NHL All-Time Goal Scoring Leaders List

250 or More Goals Club

The following is a list of all the players in NHL history with 250 or more goals. In the event of a tie, games-played is shown in parenthesis, and the player with the least amount of games-played gains the advantage. Last updated 1/8/05.

1. Wayne Gretzky 894
2. Gordie Howe 801
3. Brett Hull 741
4. Marcel Dionne 731
5. Phil Esposito 717
6. Mike Gartner 708
7. Mark Messier 694
8. Mario Lemieux 683
9. Steve Yzerman 678
10. Luc Robitaille 653
11. Dave Andreychuk 634
12. Bobby Hull 610
13. Dino Ciccarelli 608
14. Jari Kurri 601
15. Mike Bossy 573
16. Guy Lafleur 560
17. Brendan Shanahan 558
18. John Bucyk 556
19. Ron Francis 549
20. Michel Goulet 548
21. Maurice Richard 544
22. Joe Sakic 542
23. Stan Mikita 541
24. Jaromir Jagr 537
25. Joe Nieuwendyk 533 (1177 games)
26. Frank Mahovlich 533 (1181 games)
27. Bryan Trottier 524
28. Pat Verbeek 522
29. Dale Hawerchuk 518
30. Gilbert Pereault 512
31. Jean Beliveau 507
32. Joe Mullen 502
33. Lanny MacDonald 500
34. Glenn Anderson 498
35. Pierre Turgeon 495
36. Jean Ratelle 491
37. Norm Ullman 490
38. Brian Bellows 485
39. Darryl Sittler 484
40. Peter Bondra 477
41. Jeremy Roenick 475 (1124 games)
42. Bernie Nicholls 475 (1127 games)
43. Denis Savard 473
44. Pat Lafontaine 468
45. Mats Sundin 465
46. Alexander Mogilny 461
47. Mike Modano 458
48. Mark Recchi 456 (1173 games)
49. Alex Delvecchio 456 (1550 games)
50. Theoren Fleury 455
51. Teemu Selanne 452
52. Peter Stastny 450 (977 games)
53. Doug Gilmour 450 (1474 games)
54. Rick Middleton 448
55. Rick Vaive 441 (876 games)
56. Steve Larmer 441 (1006 games)
57. Rick Tocchet 440
58. Pavel Bure 437
59. Vincent Damphousse 432
60. Keith Tkachuk 431 (856 games)
61. Sergei Fedorov 431 (988 games)
62. Dave Taylor 431 (1111 games)
63. Yvan Cournoyer 428
64. Brian Propp 425
65. Steve Shutt 424
66. Stephane Richer 421 (1054 games)
67. Steve Thomas 421 (1235 games)
68. Bill Barber 420
69. John MacLean 413
70. Garry Unger 413
71. Ray Bourque 410
72. Ray Ferraro 408
73. Rod Gilbert 406
74. John Ogrodnick 402
75. Gary Roberts 397
76. Dave Keon 396 (1286 games)
77. Paul Coffey 396 (1409 games)
78. Cam Neely 395 (726 games)
79. Pierre Larouche 395 (812 games)
80. Tomas Sandstrom 394
81. Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion 393
82. Tony Amonte 392
83. Jean Pronovost 391 (998 games)
84. Dean Prentice 391 (1378 games)
85. Rick Martin 384
86. John Leclair 382
87. Reggie Leach 381
88. Ted Lindsay 379 (1068 games)
89. Claude Lemieux 379 (1197 games)
90. Butch Goring 375
91. Rick Kehoe 371
92. Tim Kerr 370
93. Bernie Federko 369
94. Geoff Courtnall 367
95. Jacques Lemaire 366
96. Peter McNab 363 (954 games)
97. Brent Sutter 363 (1111 games)
98. Ivan Boldirev 361
99. Bobby Clarke 358 (1144 games)
100. Henri Richard 358 (1259 games)
101. Ray Sheppard 357 (817 games)
102. Bobby Smith 357 (1077 games)
103. Kirk Muller 357 (1349 games)
104. Eric Lindros 356 (678 games)
105. Dennis Maruk 356 (888 games)
106. Wilf Paiement 356 (946 games)
107. Mike Foligno 355 (1018 games)
108. Greg Adams 355 (1056 games)
109. Kevin Dineen 355 (1188 games)
110. Danny Gare 354
111. Rod Brind’Amour 351
112. Rick MacLeish 349 (846 games)
113. Owen Nolan 349 (915 games)
114. Andy Bathgate 349 (1069 games)
115. Trevor Linden 349 (1161 games)
116. Charlie Simmer 342 (712 games)
117. Ed Olczyk 342 (1031 games)
118. Adam Oates 341
119. Dave Christian 340 (1009 games)
120. Scott Mellanby 340 (1291 games)
121. Al MacInnis 340 (1416 games)
122. Phil Housley 338
123. Ron Ellis 332
124. Wendel Clark 330
125. Mike Bullard 329 (727 games)
126. Kevin Stevens 329 (874 games)
127. Adam Graves 329 (1152 games)
128. Ken Hodge 328
129. John Tonelli 325
130. Nels Stewart 324 (652 games)
131. Paul MacLean 324 (719 games)
132. Pit Martin 324 (1101 games)
133. Scott Young 324 (1102 games)
134. Vic Hadfield 323 (1002 games)
135. Dale Hunter 323 (1407 games)
136. Tony McKegney 320 (912 games)
137. Bob Carpenter 320 (1178 games)
138. Zigmund Palffy 318 (642 games)
139. Dave Gagner 318 (946 games)
140. Geoff Sanderson 316
141. Bill Guerin 315
142. Petr Klima 313 (786 games)
143. Don Lever 313 (1020 games)
144. Paul Kariya 311
145. Denis Potvin 310
146. Bob Nevin 307
147. Cliff Ronning 306
148. Brian Sutter 303 (779 games)
149. Dennis Hull 303 (959 games)
150. Petr Nedved 301 (889 games)
151. Ulf Dahlen 301 (966 games)
152. Russ Courtnall 297
153. George Armstrong 296
154. Alexei Kovalev 292 (849 games)
155. Mike Ridley 292 (866 games)
156. Tom Lysiak 292 (919 games)
157. Alexei Yashin 291
158. Markus Naslund 290
159. Neal Broten 289
160. Pete Mahovlich 288
161. Tony Tanti 287 (697 games)
162. Larry Murphy 287 (1615 games)
163. Rene Robert 284 (744 games)
164. Brent Ashton 284 (998 games)
165. Bill Goldsworthy 283 (771 games)
166. Dick Duff 283 (1030 games)
167. John Anderson 282
168. Bobby Holik 281 (1024 games)
169. Bob Pulford 281 (1079 games)
170. Red Kelly 281 (1316 games)
171. Camille Henry 279
172. Jim Pappin 278 (767 games)
173. Ralph Backstrom 278 (1032 games)
174. Wayne Cashman 277
175. Ron Stewart 276
176. Jimmy Carson 275
177. Ron Duguay 274 (864 games)
178. Murray Oliver 274 (1127 games)
179. Al Secord 273 (723 games)
180. Shayne Corson 273 (1156 games)
181. Bobby Schmautz 271
182. Howie Morenz 270 (550 games)
183. Aurel Joliat 270 (654 games)
184. Bobby Orr 270 (657 games)
185. Sylvain Turgeon 269 (669 games)
186. Martin Gelinas 269 (1052 games)
187. Glen Murray 268
188. Dan Quinn 266 (805 games)
189. Murray Craven 266 (1071 games)
190. Keith Primeau 265
191. Kent Nilsson 264 (553 games)
192. Ryan Walter 264 (1003 games)
193. Danny Grant 263
194. Stan Smyl 262
195. Dickie Moore 261 (719 games)
196. Derek King 261 (830 games)
197. Red Berenson 261 (987 games)
198. Donald Audette 260 (735 games)
199. Brian Mullen 260 (832 games)
200. Guy Carbonneau 260 (1318 games)
201. Miroslav Satan 259 (704 games)
202. Dmitri Khristich 259 (811 games)
203. Blaine Stoughton 258 (526 games)
204. Bill Mosienko 258 (710 games)
205. Mario Tremblay 258 (852 games)
206. Bob Bourne 258 (964 games)
207. Darcy Rota 256 (794 games)
208. Ken Linseman 256 (860 games)
209. Ross Lonsberry 256 (968 games)
210. Shawn McEachern 254 (883 games)
211. Claude Provost 254 (1005 games)
212. Anton Stastny 252 (650 games)
213. Ken Wharram 252 (766 games)
214. Vyacheslav Kozlov 252 (800 games)
215. Robert Reichel 252 (830 games)
216. Mel Bridgman 252 (977 games)
217. Craig Ramsay 252 (1070 games)
218. Mats Naslund 251
219. Jarome Iginla 250 (626 games)
220. Eric Nesterenko 250 (1219 games)

If you see any errors or omissions, please leave a comment below or e-mail me.