Archive for May, 2005

Firm Increases Bid to Buy NHL to $4 Billion

Bloomberg Business News is reporting that Bain Capital Partners LLC (a reputable Boston investment firm) has increased its offer to buy the NHL to more than $4 billion. Their previous offer was for as much as $3.5 billion at the governors’ meeting in March, as reported on On the Wings. As in the previous offer, the proposal would have all 30 teams run out of a central office. This league structure is currently in place in the WNBA and MLS, and was in the defunct XFL.

On the Wings Archives Binge

Rather than posting about every empty CBA meeting and all the other small events happening in the hockey world, I looked back in the extensive On the Wings archive and found some of the most interesting articles from the past two years or so.

Regular Season ’03-’04

(10/10/03) Wings 3, Kings 2 Yzerman wins it with 1.7 seconds left

(10/21/03) Joseph to Grand Rapids

(10/31/03) Wings 3, Preds 5Travesty in officiating courtesy of Mike Leggo, Yzerman ejected, CuJo season debut, great fight between Fischer and Scott Hartnell – revenge for hit last season that tore Fischer’s ACL

(11/4/03) Wings 1, Canucks 5 Bryan Allen breaks Zetterberg’s leg on dirty slash

(11/5/03) Messier passes Howe

(11/9/03) Preds 4, Wings 3 Wings allow 4 unanswered…

(11/13/03) Wings 6, Stars 2 Datsyuk /Turco Goal!!

(11/27/03) Wings 7, Oilers 1 Draper has two goals, Yzerman scored his 670th goal in his 1,400th game, Bootland’s first career goal, Holmstrom injures self diving into boards like a bonehead

(11/29/03) Wings 6, Isles 0 Thomas gets two goals and an assist, Datsyuk has three assists

(12/4/03) Wings 7, Ducks 2 ….Fedorov the Rat Returns … Datsyuk gets two goals and two assists

(12/5/03) Joseph Clears Waviers

(12/14/03) Wings 5, Caps 1 Datsyuk notches 2 goals and 2 assists, 10 points in last four games, moves into NHL scoring lead with 37 points

(12/21/03) Wings 0, Preds 1 The Battle of Boredom, CuJo hesitates after thinking offsides will be called on the Preds – lets in winner

(12/26/03) Barry Smith to Florida or Buffalo?

(1/1/04) Wings 6, Thrashers 5 (OT) article I and article II New Year’s Eve game, one of the best of the season

(1/11/04) Wings 1, Bruins 2 (OT) Datsyuk ejected – plays most physical game yet and lands Grosek face-first into boards, and Matt makes Sports Talk Cleveland radio!

(1/17/04) Wings 3, Coyotes 3 Yzerman’s 1700th point

(1/19/04) Sharks 2, Wings 1 Woolley has worst shift ever, Hull’s scoreless streak continues

Dirty Play: Fights Gone too Far

(1/23/04) Wings 5, Kings 4 Kronwall breaks leg in freak accident during pregame drills, Wings snubbed in All Star roster

(1/23/04) Jagr now a Ranger

(1/29/04) Lindros Suffers 8th Concussion

(1/31/04) Wings 4, Canes 4 An interesting story from Mickey Redmond about a guy getting called for two penalty shots in the same play, and (2/1/04) commentary on bad refereeing that cost Pavel Datsyuk a penalty shot

(2/6/04) Wings 3, Avs 2 (OT) Brett Hull one-timer wins it in overtime, Ray Whitney’s 200th career goal, both teams get away with murder for most of the third period, then a Steve Konowalchuck high stick on Draper and an Adam Foote high stick on the Captain with 1.5 seconds left in regulation give the Wings the two man advantage in overtime, (2/8/04) Foote was not suspended for the incident

(2/10/04) Dominik is Done Hasek gives it up after trying to return from his groin injury, and (2/10/04) we’re glad that he exited in time to give CuJo the #1 goalie treatment, (2/11/04) conspiracies arise as to the timing, but we(3/12/04) later learn that Hasek forfeits salary for games not played, finally signing with the Senators

(2/10/04) Injury troubles and reaction to Foote not getting suspended as well as sick happiness to Rob Blake’s broken leg

(2/11/04) Holland wants goaltenders chained to the net and we ask why?…(2/12/04) then we eat our words as Cheechoo runs CuJo behind the net and leaves him with a badly sprained ankle

(2/13/04) Roenick goes down struck in mouth by point shot, collapses in pool of blood

(2/15/04) Wings 2, Avs 2 McCarty hit on brow of helmet by Lidstrom point shot, is dazed but later returns, a scare after the JR puck to the jaw, Aebischer leaps and knocks puck out of mid-air on Hull shot – typical Brett slump luck

(2/15/04) An interview with assisant GM Jim Nill

(2/17/04) Wings 2, Oilers 1 Wings hold Oilers shotless in the 2nd, controversy about whether a Legace glove save crossed the line, eventually goal is disallowed

(2/20/04) Wings fail to get Zhamnov and why is Hasek still hanging around the locker room?

(2/25/04) Daniel Sedin 4, Wings 2 McCarty exacts revenge on Bryan Allen, who caused injuries to Hatcher (torn ACL off incidental contact) and Zetterberg (broken leg off dirty slash), Bertuzzi falls on Cheli and he suffers an injured left shoulder, Fedor Fedorov gives terrible intermission interview

(2/27/04) Robert Lang becomes a Wing

(3/1/04) Wings 4, Flyers 2 Lidstrom’s 1000th game, Lang fits right in with three assists

(3/9/04) Wings 1, Lightning 1 Exciting 1-1 tie, Manny makes his case for a possible playoff debut, Lang suffers rib injury in the 2nd, and Hatcher makes his return to the ice after torn ACL
(3/10/04) Bertuzzi incident and (3/11/04) the ruling

(3/17/04) Wings 1, Flames 4 The Wings come up ‘incomplete’, and another injury scare

(3/19/04) Wings 1, Coyotes 1 High flying game, but bonehead ref Mike Leggo waves last second Wings goal after losing sight of the puck

(3/19/04) On the Wings: 1 Year Anniversary

(3/22/04) Ducks 8, Wings 6 A perfect example of when high scoring is not fun, a sloppy defensive effort by both teams, at one point the Ducks scored 5 goals in 10:04

(3/26/04) Wings 3, Avs 1 Wings again outplayed by the Avs, McCarty bloodies Barnaby, Shanahan duels with Cummins, anniversary of the March 26, 1997 ‘ Brawl in Hockeytown’ that left Claude Lemieux bloodied in his turtle shell

Playoffs ’04

Game 1, Wings 3, Preds 1
Game 2, Wings 2, Preds 1
Game 3, Wings 1, Preds 3
Game 4, Wings 0, Preds 3
Game 5, Wings 4, Preds 1
Game 6, Wings 2, Preds 0

Game 1, Wings 1, Flames 2 (OT)
Game 2, Wings 5, Flames 2
Game 3, Wings 2, Flames 3
Game 4, Wings 4, Flames 2
Game 5, Wings 0, Flames 1
Game 6, Wings 0, Flames 1

Assorted Articles

NHL Award Finalists Draper for Selke, Schneider shafted?…and the results
It’s over…thoughts on the playoff loss
Mike Danton legal problems
Doubt with Lewis’ performance, but he is retained with a one-year deal
Battle of the Hockey Gladiatorscancelled
Don Cherry re-signs with HNIC
Meet the Detroit Gladiators
Original Stars Hockey League
Hull doesn’t give a f— about the fans anymore….
Thoughts on Pistons/Pacers brawl…and hockey’s old-time version as Mike Milbury beats a fan with a shoe
The Shanahan Summit
Rob Ray Suing NHLPA
Heatley gets 3 years probation
Hockey patriarch Louis Sutter dies
NHL.COM sells flowers…
Red Wings Status Report
NHL to Uncancel season……or not ….THN and ESPN are full of crap, and EJ Hradek should lose his job
Firm offers to buy NHL
Down comes the mural
John Tavares, 14, to OHL

Studies

Where NHL Players Come From
NHL Playoff Format
Where Minor League Hockey Players Come From
Where All 5,592 Players in NHL History Came From
Draft Success of all Teams in NHL History: 1963-2002
Detroit Red Wings Draft Success: 1963-2002
The Top Offensive Players in International Hockey
The Hockey Project’s CBA Solution
NHL All Time Goal Scorers Leaders List

(1/31/04) Email from Bryan McCabe regarding his comments that his $3.85 million salary was a ‘decent living’ and a (2/3/04) follow-up email from McCabe.

Draper shuts down Datsyuk

For the second time in three years, Team Canada’s Kris Draper kept Team Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk from scoring a point in a game between the two nations in the IIHF World Championships. Draper, playing with Shane Doan and Kirk Maltby, kept Russia’s top line from registering a point in Team Canada’s 4-3 semifinal win over Russia last night.

Datsyuk wasn’t too upset at being held pointless in the game, however:

“Well he did not score tonight. Two years ago he scored two goals against my line, so at least he did not score. And we did have some chances tonight, two years ago we didn’t. But he’s hard to play against.”

Datsyuk was referring to the round robin game in 2003 in which Draper scored twice on his line on top of keeping it pointless.

Canada went on to face the Czech Republic in the gold medal game today. They were in turn held scoreless by Tomas Vokoun, losing 3-0 and failing to win their third championship in a row.

It’s good to hear that Pavel’s defensive abilities may be improving, though holding the Doan-Draper-Maltby line scoreless isn’t exactly a Herculean feat.

I hope I never read the words “Draper shuts down Datsyuk” in any context other than that of international hockey. I would truly hate to have it any other way since it would mean one of those two men would no longer be a Red Wing. As things stand now, Pavel stands the greatest chance of not returning since he is still an unsigned free agent. Draper is signed through the 2007-2008 season, after inking a 4-year deal with the Wings this past summer.

Happy Birthday Stevie!

Even as workers erase his mural on the side of the Cadillac Tower building downtown, let’s all wish Steve Yzerman a happy 40th birthday. The Captain was born on May 9, 1965 in Cranbrook, British Columbia. During the lockout, Yzerman has kept a low profile and the last time Hockeytown has seen him was at the Pro-am Skate for Mott charity game in Ann Arbor in early December. He turned down a spot on Team Canada in the ongoing world hockey championship, citing conditioning and that he is still recovering from his eye injury.

John Tavares, 14, Ruled Eligible for OHL Draft

The Ontario Hockey League has reversed an earlier decision and will allow Toronto Marlie minor midget standout John Tavares, 14, to enter the OHL draft this Saturday. Back in March, the OHL’s board of governors had the issue on the agenda, but turned down even voting on it during a conference call. The previous age limit prohibited teams from picking players under 15 years old. Tavares turns 15 on Sept. 27, so he was short of the age deadline by over 4 months.

This is without precedent in an age where sports stars are making the dive into professional sports younger and younger. Six years ago, Senators Jason Spezza, then 15, was granted permission to play for the Brampton Battalion of the OHL. This was under a clause that allowed under-aged draftees if they played in their hometown. However, this rule will not apply to Tavares. Canadians have been calling for this ruling, in fear that Tavares would jump into the USHL (which has no such age restrictions) and never return for an OHL stint.

As a basis for their last-second ruling, the OHL panel interviewed Tavares, his mother, and his midget coach. They concluded he had the maturity to handle the OHL. The panel included Kevin Burkett, a labor arbitrator and longtime hockey coach, Frank Bonello, director of NHL central scouting, and Doug Gilmour, Don Cherry’s second favorite player behind Bobby Orr. Another factor that had to play in with the OHL panel was the fact that Tavares played 20 games with the Milton IceHawks of the Provincial Jr. A Hockey League, notching 13 goals and 15 assists in the league with mostly 20-year-olds. And Tavares is six-foot-one and weighs 180 pounds, so size isn’t a concern.

The Oshawa Generals have announced that they will select Tavares with their #1 pick in the OHL draft. This comes as no surprise, after he tore up his midget league with 91 goals and 67 assists in 72 games. The OHL draft starts at 9 am Saturday. By the way, Tavares seems to have the right attitude walking into the spotlight:

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself to turn this team around right away but I expect us to become a winning franchise in the next couple of years. I’m no Sidney Crosby or Bobby Orr, I’m John Tavares. I’m not expecting to score 150 points next year. I’m just coming here to help the team win…I think I’ll be fine on the ice. I’ve already experienced playing with kids a lot older than me, up to 20 years old. I think off the ice, making the transition from my family to living with another family, will be the biggest transition for me.”

If you’re looking for analysis, check out James Mirtle’s take. I have to agree with him of the risk of allowing Tavares to be drafted at 14 and on the road playing hockey with older teenagers. Wayne Gretzky went through a lot of crap as a young superstar, so hopefully Tavares is ready to be targeted with extra checks and can deal with being away from home and tutored rather than in a traditional school.

Notes

Tavares will not be the youngest player in OHL history: Bobby Orr and Denis Potvin were younger when they started playing in the then OHA (Orr was an Oshawa General, in fact). Also, Eric Lindros played for the Canadian national team when he was 15, and Nathan Horton played Jr. C hockey at 13.

Also, people need to stop spelling Sidney Crosby’s name wrong. It’s not “Sindey Crosby”, as TSN has had it, or “Sidney Crosbie”, as I just read in a CBC article. We don’t have much to talk about in the hockey world with the ongoing NHL lockout, so get these things right!

And when you Google “John Tavares” and come up with a lot of lacrosse articles, it’s because the Tavares we know shares the name of a National Lacrosse League superstar. So to recap,

John Tavares, lacrosse star and John Tavares, future hockey star.

Update on BELIEVE wristbands

The Detroit Red Wings and Ilitch Charities for Children brought you those red BELIEVE wristbands this past winter at Joe Louis Arena, Hockeytown Authentics, and Hockeytown Cafe. As of April 18, you can now purchase them at any Belle Tire location for $2 apiece.

“I feel very strongly about this project because I feel it’s important to continue to contribute to the community,” said Donald Barnes, Jr., President of Belle Tire. “I am extremely proud of the long-standing partnership between the Red Wings and Belle Tire and especially of all the wonderful things we have been able to accomplish together in the community.”

So far over 23,000 wristbands have sold internationally. Aside from purchasing the wristbands at stores, you can also download an order form on detroitredwings.com and fax it to JLA. Most of the wristbands will help kids dealing with cancer and AIDS in southeastern Michigan.