Archive for August, 2011

Report: Red & White Game To Be In Grand Rapids

Update (3:11 PM): Got a copy of the season ticket holder email. It provides lower bowl pricing for tickets non-season ticket holders will be able to purchase when sales open on September 7th:

$25 for sections 120-124, 106-110

$22 for sections 112-118, 101, 102 and 128

(section chart here)

Not sure what the prices would be for an upper bowl seat. – Matt 

Update (1:51 PM): The Grand Rapids Press’ Michael Zuidema confirms. And Sarah Lindenau suggests there will be two Red and White games. – Matt

So says WZZM’s Dan Harland. Haven’t seen it anywhere else yet.

Harland says Griffins season ticket holders will get first dibs on tickets, though I wonder how it works if you already bought tickets for the game under the assumption it’d be up north, as our friend Sarah did.

Misplacing Smith

George shreds Helene St. James’ misreading of the Wings on Brendan Smith this morning. I’m right there with him.

Barring an injury to a defenseman or a miraculous camp, I just don’t see Smith making the team. It’s not the Wings’ way of doing things, as George points out. His time would be better served in Grand Rapids, at least early on. It’s something of a balancing act, because you’d also like to see him get some time in around Nick Lidstrom, but in theory that could happen in the playoffs.

Even if you want to make sure he gets a chance to hang around Nick, there’s still the fact that, as impressive as his offensive output was last year, he still has some things he needs to work out in his defensive game and limited time in Detroit isn’t going to do much to help him there. Even if he gets to share the lockerroom with Lidstrom. He needs to be the go-to guy in Grand Rapids.

Helene St. James may not see that, but I’d be surprised if the Wings don’t.

On Brett Lebda

Petrella has a solid piece on Brett Lebda out today that’s a definite must-read. There’s no denying Lebda’s become a running joke around the League, but Petrella offers a nice check to taking that too far.

I always tried to be fair to Brett, taking the stance that he was screwed by having to babysit a player far more worthless: Jonathan Ericsson. He was looking like a decent enough hockey player while under Chelios’ wing, if you remember. But being the guy shoehorned into a role holding Jonny’s hand (rather than, say, a more experienced guy, as is traditional) set him up to fail big-time. And guess what? He failed and became a punchline in the ‘base.

Going to the pressure cooker-slash-fishbowl in Toronto was good for his bottom line, but not so great for his, you know, actual hockey playing. But it did offer him the chance to become a joke to fans across the League. That was hard to watch, as Megan and I always liked him.

I thought ending up in Nashville would be good for him, that he’d be sheltered some by their system and have some room to grow.

Then he got bought out. I feel bad for the guy. It’s not a great way for a career to go.

That said, he got to wear two of the most storied uniforms in hockey and won a Cup. And he still has a chance to make a comeback. Maybe he’ll find the right place for his skating ability and have a bit of a reset on his career.

In the meantime, maybe there’ll be fewer Lebda cracks around the hockey intarwebs?

Full Circle: Brunnstrom Gets a Tryout

Update (8:48 PM): Again via George, Michael Zuidema has confirmation from Jim Nill. Sounds like he has his attitude corrected. Should be an interesting guy to watch in camp, and in Grand Rapids. – Matt

Says Aftonbladet, via George.

Three years after he turned the Wings down and headed to Dallas for a mediocre, too-quickly-started NHL career, Brunnstrom will be pretty much where he was then: trying to prove himself to the organization and headed for an AHL spot at best.