With the NHL lockout over, NHL players that were playing overseas are flooding back to North America in anticipation of NHL training camp starting in a few days. That includes a few Detroit Red Wings players.
Henrik Zetterberg, Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were some of the Detroit players that played in Europe while the lockout was in progress, and almost all of them have returned to Detroit.
Datsyuk is staying in the KHL until he and his agent know when training camp is starting, and the status of Damien Brunner is unknown. He is currently playing for Zug in the Swiss league, but will likely end up in training camp in Detroit.
Tuesday night the Grand Rapids Griffins were not out scoring goals and checking players into the boards instead they held their annual Tip a Griffin at the Uccello’s Restaurants to benefit The Griffins Youth Foundation.
As I was sitting in my seat early Friday night at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids my mind was in full motion thinking of the upcoming game and season for the Grand Rapids Griffins. How would the team look this year? With players during the summer signing up overseas and the looming NHL lockout what were the Griffins going to look like and how would they perform?
Well, what a boring, disappointing, lackluster, saddening and gut wrenching offseason it;s been so far for the Detroit Red Wings. Look in a thesaurus and find more words that mean demoralizing, but the way things have gone this summer have not gone according to plan, if there was one at all.
For the millionth time, let's recap what happened. First and most importantly, Nicklas Lidstrom retired. No more number five on the blueline. No one to cover mistakes. No one to play 25 outstanding minutes a night. There is literally no one that can replace Lidstrom, although the Wings did try.
They made an attempt to pry Ryan Suter from the Nashville Predators, but he went to Minnesota to be forgotten for the rest of his career. Cross off the other defenceman from the UFA list because none come close to filling the void. The only other option was Shea Weber, Nashville's captain. Philadelphia signed him to a massive offer sheet, and the Predators matched it, allowing them to retain their star defenceman for the rest of his career.
In what will end up being a mediocre off-season in the eyes of Detroit Red Wings fans everywhere, the organization has done very little and seems to be all out of ideas. But does it make sense to go after yet another forward?
In what continues to be a stagnant summer for Detroit, the Red Wings have officially announced that Martin Frk, the Wings' 49th pick overall in the latest entry draft, has signed with Detroit to an entry-level contract. Frk played last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, where he logged 16 goals and 13 assists in 34 games.
An assessment of Frk shows that scouts feel his shooting ability is pro caliber, but many worry about primarily his skating and overall conditioning. With the system Detroit has in place, Frk will no doubt get the proper care he needs to develop fully into a reliable NHL forward. If he is able to bring his conditioning and skating up, paired with his already devastating shot, he could wind up becoming a star sniper in the Red Wings' future roster.
It's July 26th, three and a half weeks after NHL free agency began, and the Detroit Red Wings are not having the offseason many expected. With a boatload of salary cap room, the goal was to net big name players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, or both.
On July 2nd, the Red Wings made all of their offseason moves signing backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson, Swiss import Damien Brunner, ex-Red Wings Mikael Samuelsson and Nashville superpest Jordin Tootoo. Other than re-signing defenceman Kyle Quincey, the Red Wings have not made any other moves to improve their team.
Detroit has been mentioned in every report of big name talent, including Parise and Suter. They were also interested in Shea Weber and Rick Nash, but both Nashville and Columbus did not want to deal their franchise player to a divsion rival.
Detroit did what they had to today to keep their blueline from crumbling any further.
Reports are coming in that Kyle Quincey and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed on a 2-year contract, paying Quincey $3.55 Million this coming season, and $4 Million in the next. This currently makes Quincey the 2nd highest-paid defenceman on the Detroit roster, and unless something drastic happens between now and the start of the season, it will likely stay that way at the beginning of the 2012-2013 campaign.