Archive for August, 2006

The Captain’s #19 to be retired January 2nd, 2007

The CP is reporting that the one-hour jersey retirement ceremony will take place before the Wings’ Jan. 2nd game versus the Anaheim Ducks. Steve Yzerman’s jersey will be the 6th to be retired by the Wings and will join Terry Sawchuk’s #1, Ted Lindsay’s #7, Gordie Howe’s #9, Alex Delvecchio’s #10 and Sid Abel’s #12 in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena. If you want tickets to that game, camp out on your computer the night they are released because they’ll be gone very quickly, I’m sure. It’s either that or take out a loan in order to buy them off someone. By the way, does anyone know the ticket release schedule?

Johan Franzen re-signs with the Wings

The Mule’s new contract is for three years, $2.825 million, according to TSN. With the signing, Detroit now has 7 natural centers (Pavel Datsyuk, Jason Williams, Robert Lang, Henrik Zetterberg, Kris Draper and Greg Johnson are the others.). Glad to see you back, Johan.

Update (26. Aug, 8:27 AM): The Freep reports that, because Steve Yzerman’s $400,000 bonus from his last contract counts against the cap this season, the Wings are essentially operating under a $43.6 million limit. Franzen will earn $775,000 this season ($900,000 the next and $1.15 million in the third), leaving them only about $2.6 million left in cap space, according to the paper.

Since they’ll only be willing to part with about half of that figure in order to have a cushion, they really have only $1 million to $1.3 million to spend on another forward. Because players like Anson Carter and JP Dumont are asking for more than that, it seems very unlikely that the Wings will be making any more deals before the season.

Red Wings Central: the Wings’ training camp roster

Via George Malik, who writes “Lower [jersey] numbers mean a good chance of getting a ‘long look,’ while higher numbers tend to indicate a season in the minors.” George also points out an interesting entry in the list: 02 Jiri Fischer, Detroit (NHL). Since when is Jiri coming back, or at least getting a chance to try out? It must be a mistake, since you’d think someone would have picked up the huge story of Jiri Fischer’s amazing return to the ice. But maybe not… It would be nice to know what’s going on.

Helene St. James: Lidstrom to be the captain

No official announcement yet, this is based on a source the paper apparently has within the organization. Obviously, this isn’t surprising, if it’s true. Congratulations, Nick!

Update (5:16 PM): I found and posted the above link right before I left for work today. If I’d had more time, I probably would have questioned Ms. St. James’ story a little more. Fortunately, while I was at work, others did the questioning, namely IwoCPO at A2Y.

First, he broke down the story piece-by-piece. Then he posted a quote by Mike Babcock (via KK) in a CP report that refuted the Free Press article:

“I’m not saying Nick Lidstrom won’t be the captain but what I am telling you is that we haven’t spent one second on it yet. Anything written about it at this point is pure speculation.”

Obviously the Freep’s source is getting a little ahead of themselves and the organization.

Nick Lidstrom may very well end up being the captain and he probably should be. I still favor this rumor, however.

Update (6:54 PM): Iwo has more here.

Sean Avery: The Maxim Interview

Everyone’s least favorite ex-Wing had this to say about a former teammate:

Which player would you love to cross-check into the boards?
The guy I owe the most right now is Kirk Maltby from Detroit. ….. I know Malts would never square off and fight me. If I dropped my gloves, he’d skate away and I’d get a penalty.

No kidding Maltby wouldn’t “square off and fight,” you, Avery. It’ s not his job. His job is to draw penalties from hotheads like you and he’s one of the best at doing it. His other job, which he also excels at, is killing off penalties but I guess that’s something you wouldn’t know about. I’m sure your teammates know all about it, though. What’s your job? Penalty box inspector? (link via Checking Line)

Blast From the Past: Wings Sign Greg Johnson to Second Stint

Ken Holland is bringing together the Wings of old. Greg Johnson, 35, is back. Yes, that’s the Greg Johnson of 10 years ago, who was traded to Pittsburgh midway through the ’96-’97 season (just missing a Cup run) for Tomas Sandstrom. A horrible trade, it turned out. Sandstrom went 20 games in the playoffs with only 4 assists, and lacked the offensive punch seen earlier in his career. We hated Sandstrom back then, and wanted Greg Johnson back.

Well, Holland brought our old friend back. He’s put up some decent seasons, and has been a pretty consistent 10 goal, 20 assist player – that is, when injuries don’t plague him. Last season, he went 11 goals, 8 assists through 68 games, missing time with a groin strain.

My first reaction to this move was thumbs up. Johnson is speedy, and could be a great playmaker on a team like the Wings. Also, his TSN profile says he is good at killing penalties and taking faceoffs. But then I look at his age and what happened to him last season. If he stays healthy, this could be a great move. But, if a groin injury creeps up, it could mess up his entire season. I’m disappointed Holland hasn’t been able to sign more players outside the organization (second, third stints not included).

I give Holland credit for being creative and probably getting a bargain forward who can play fourth line center for the Wings. But I’d rather have seen the Wings go out and get a guy with more offensive potential: Bondra, Nolan, Carter, Dumont, etc. Johnson replaces Franzen (if necessary), and still leaves the need to fill in for Shanahan’s production. I’m still waiting…

UPDATED (8/15 11:03 am)

Greg Johnson’s base salary for 2006-2007 will be $500,000 via the NHLPA site, with I’m sure some performance-based incentives included.