Tag Archives: vancouver canucks

Gustavsson OK; no update on Franzen; Weiss continues to progress

DETROIT >> Jonas Gustavsson will practice Wednesday and make the trip to Florida according to Holland.

Gustavsson made eight saves before departing after the first period of Monday’s 2-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks complaining of feeling dizzy.

“He felt normal after the game,” Holland said.

Johan Franzen (concussion) still has yet to skate since suffering a setback after returning Jan. 26 after missing 16 straight games.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll be ready when we come back from break,” Holland said.

Stephen Weiss continues to progress nicely from a sport hernia surgery on Dec. 23.

Weiss will practice with the Plymouth Whalers until the Wings resume practicing on Feb. 19.

“We’ll see in the next couple of weeks,” Holland said. “We need him to play in a couple games in Grand Rapids before he gets to Detroit.”

They’re aiming for him to play those games with the Griffins the weekend of Feb. 21-23. If it’s not that weekend they’ll shoot for the weekend after.

“We want him to play a couple of games in GR for conditioning.”

The Wings rank third in the league in man games lost this season at 245 according to mamgameslost.com.

“Our hope is that coming out of the Olympic break we’re healthy,” Holland said. “When you’re dealing with a concussion there is no time frame at all. Hopefully we’ll get good luck and get the team together for the stretch run.”

Riley Sheahan is expected to return to the Griffins during the break in order to keep playing.

Luke Glendening will not be sent down during the break because he will have played in enough NHL games to earn a break. He could however be sent down after the Olympic break.

Lashoff in for Smith; Gustavsson starting; Wings and Canucks both fighting to stay in playoff race

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to their game tonight against the Vancouver Canucks at Joe Louis Arena.

Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal and Brian Lashoff replaces Brendan Smith along the blue line.

Wings coach Mike Babcock shook his head no when asked if Smith was injured.

“I’ve seen lots from Lash so he’s going in,” Babcock added when asked what he’s seen of Smith lately.

Smith drew a tripping penalty in overtime that led to the game-winning goal by Washington on Sunday.

The rest of the lineup remains the same.

Vancouver and Detroit find themselves in unfamiliar grounds as they both are battling for their playoff lives.

“Things do change,” Babcock said. “We haven’t been the same team since ’09. We’re aware of that. There are number of options in the league. You can be bad for 10 years and get a bunch of first round picks or you can just try and do it on the fly and that’s how we’re doing it, on the fly. We want to continue to make the playoffs and try and improve our team.”

Both teams are in the second of two wild card berths in their respective conferences.

“We have a lot of kids in our lineup right now that have played well for us,” Babcock said. “We just think we need time for them to make progress. If we can hang in there, ideally we’ll get (Pavel) Datsyuk back, he’s a key guy for us, no different than (Vancouver’s) big guys. He will be a key addition.”

Franzen out Wednesday; Eaves in; Wings coach Mike Babcock: “We’re not very good right now, we’re going to be.”

DETROIT – Quick update from Wings practice.

Johan Franzen missed practice and won’t play Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks. His injury or length of time he will be out has yet to be revealed.

The Wings recalled Luke Glendening for their trip to Western Canada.

Drew Miller also left practice early suffering from the flu.

Darren Helm also appears won’t play Wednesday.

“I’m not even thinking about that,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked about Helm’s status. “When they tell me he can play. He didn’t look like he was playing to me today.”

Babcock didn’t reveal what his lines would be against the Canucks, but did say Patrick Eaves will be in the lineup.

“Eaves will be playing,” Babcock said. “He’s smart and he shoots the puck cause we don’t shoot the puck I need someone to shoot the puck and I need someone smart. If he’s looking at the bigger picture and if he’s looking for a larger chunk of cheese there’s lots out there cause lots of guys have left it out there for him.”

Eaves has yet to play this season after suffering a sprained MCL and ankle after a collision with Jeff Hoggan at practice on Sept. 21.

He could have returned last Saturday against the New York Rangers after coming off long-term injured reserve.

Babcock had his team focusing on the basics at practice.

“You can’t continue to give up 40 shots a night and hope to win,” Babcock said. “I said it earlier when we were winning when Gus was in the net that it’s fool’s gold and that’s exactly what it is. There’s a right way to play and a wrong way to play. We’re cheating the system and we’re paying for it.

“The bottom line is the second period is the hardest period,” Babcock added. “When we’re playing good it’s where we always eat the other team alive. They can’t get their people on the ice and we wear them out. We gave up 10 scoring chances. When you think of our team, we don’t execute coming out of our own zone so we spend too much time in our own zone in the second period and that means you end up out there tired.

“We don’t spend enough time in the O-zone because we’re too light on the puck,” Babcock continued. “We don’t get enough shots because we won’t shoot the puck. We don’t get through the neutral zone good because we don’t execute. That’s not a lot of positive things there, but in saying all that when I go through all the tape, rewind it, fast forward and back and forth and go over it over and over again we’re not that far away, but we’re a million miles away if we don’t execute and that’s us right now.”

Detroit is 0-2-2 in its last four games and have scored five goals in that stretch.

“We don’t score any goals, at least not what I’ve seen so let’s not give up 40 shots, let’s give up 20 shots, let’s continue to score no goals and let’s win 2-1,” Babcock said. “How’s about that. Sound like a plan.”

Babcock ended his interview with a CliffsNotes version of how his team has been, “We’re not very good right now, we’re going to be.”

It’s official, Carlo Colaiacovo placed on unconditional waivers by Wings to buy out final year of his contract

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings have placed defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo on unconditional waivers with the intention to buy out the final year of his contract.

This move was confirmed by a league source Tuesday night.

Colaiacovo has one year left on a two-year deal he signed last offseason.

If he clears at noon Thursday, the Wings will use one of their two amnesty buyouts to shed his $2.5 million salary-cap hit next season.

Teams are permitted two amnesty buyouts that can be used this summer or next summer.

They would be able to buy out a player at two-thirds of the remaining value of the contract and not have any of the salary count against the salary cap.

Colaiacovo’s actual salary is $2.85 million next season, which means the Wings will pay him roughly $1.9 million over the next two seasons.

With the buyout of Colaiacovo the Wings are in need of a veteran for Grand Rapids for insurance or they could try and swing a trade for a top four defenseman.

The move could also be to clear space so they can pursue Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler.

At the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday, Detroit was among several teams to make a pitch to the Canucks for Edler.

The Canucks didn’t deal Edler and on July 1 he had a no-trade clause kick in.

Edler, 27, begins a new six-year deal at a $5 million salary-cap hit a season.

The Wings were in need of a top four defenseman last offseason after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (trade) this offseason.

Detroit currently has six defensemen under contract for next season.

Brendan Smith is a restricted free agent and will get a deal done bringing the total to seven on the blue line heading to training camp.

The Wings have a number of defensemen coming up through the ranks, including Ryan Sproul, Xavier Oullette and Mattias Backman.

Detroit just re-signed restricted free agent Jakub Kindl to a four-year extension worth $9.6 million.

Kindl, 26, had four goals and nine assists in 41 games last season and was a plus-15, second only to Pavel Datsyuk (plus-21) on the team.

Kindl got a considerable raise after making $1.05 million last season. His average salary over the next four seasons is $2.4 million.

Colaiacovo, 30, was not the top-tier defenseman the Wings were looking for last offseason, but was the best option left on free-agent market.

The biggest concern was his health and that surfaced again this year.

Colaiacovo played in just six regular season games after suffering a sprained left shoulder in just the second game of the lockout shortened season.

He wound up playing just six games during the regular season, recording an assist and was a minus-4.

His game seemed to pick up in the playoffs when he replaced Brian Lashoff on the blue line, appearing in nine games. He had an assist and was a plus-3.

He has yet to play more than 67 games in any season.

Colaiacovo, who was drafted 17th overall by Toronto in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has some offensive ability and is a good puck mover.

Carlo Colaiacovo will be placed on unconditional waivers at noon Wednesday with the Wings intending to buy out the final year of his contract

DETROIT – A league source has confirmed that defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo will be placed on unconditional waivers at noon Wednesday with the Wings intending to buy out the final year of his contract.

Colaiacovo has one year left on a two-year deal he signed last offseason.

The move clears $2.5 million in salary-cap space next season.

Teams are permitted two amnesty buyouts that can be used this summer or next summer.

They would be able to buy out a player at two-thirds of the remaining value of the contract and not have any of the salary count against the salary cap.

Colaiacovo’s actual salary is $2.85 million next season, which means the Wings will pay him roughly $1.9 million over the next two seasons.

The team also does not intend to buy out Todd Bertuzzi, who has a one year left on a deal with a cap hit of $2.075 million.

As for Mikael Samuelsson, he’s not eligible to be bought out because of his injured pectoral muscle. If the Wings deemed him healthy, Samuelsson, who will make $3 million in the final year of his deal, could dispute it.

With the buyout of Colaiacovo the Wings are in need of a veteran for Grand Rapids for insurance or they could try and swing a trade for a top four defenseman.

The move could also be to clear space so they can pursue Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler.

At the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday, Detroit was among several teams to make a pitch to the Canucks for Edler.

The Canucks didn’t deal Edler and on July 1 he had a no-trade clause kick in.

Edler, 27, begins a new six-year deal at a $5 million salary-cap hit a season.

The Wings were in need of a top four defenseman last offseason after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (trade) this offseason.

Detroit currently has six defensemen under contract for next season.

Brendan Smith is a restricted free agent and will get a deal done bringing the total to seven on the blue line heading to training camp.

The Wings have a number of defensemen coming up through the ranks, including Ryan Sproul, Xavier Oullette and Mattias Backman.

Detroit just re-signed restricted free agent Jakub Kindl to a four-year extension worth $9.6 million.

Kindl, 26, had four goals and nine assists in 41 games last season and was a plus-15, second only to Pavel Datsyuk (plus-21) on the team.

Kindl got a considerable raise after making $1.05 million last season. His average salary over the next four seasons is $2.4 million.

Colaiacovo, 30, was not the top-tier defenseman the Wings were looking for last offseason, but was the best option left on free-agent market.

The biggest concern was his health and that surfaced again this year.

Colaiacovo played in just six regular season games after suffering a sprained left shoulder in just the second game of the lockout shortened season.

He wound up playing just six games during the regular season, recording an assist and was a minus-4.

His game seemed to pick up in the playoffs when he replaced Brian Lashoff on the blue line, appearing in nine games. He had an assist and was a plus-3.

He has yet to play more than 67 games in any season.

Colaiacovo, who was drafted 17th overall by Toronto in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has some offensive ability and is a good puck mover.

Ian White hasn’t asked to be traded; wants to remain ‘mentally positive’ for when he returns to lineup

DETROIT – Defenseman Ian White is all about being a team player.

But that doesn’t stop him for wanting to know his position on the team.

White was a healthy scratch for a fifth straight game Thursday night.

“It’s a little bittersweet because you want to be with the guys when they’re playing well,” White said after the morning skate Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. “When they’re playing well, you seem to play well, too. So it’s frustrating all around but usually there’s some sort of reasoning behind it that helps make it more understandable.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock sat White after Detroit’s 8-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 24. He did so because he was having difficulty getting the puck out of his zone.

And with the return of Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey to the blue line, White was benched.

“I talked to Mike two days ago, just asking what it’s going to take to get back in the lineup,” White said. “The way it went was after the Vancouver game we won two in a row at home and went to L.A. They have fairly big forwards, so they figured they’re going to throw all the biggest D we have against them. We ended up playing pretty well defensively, gave up that last goal, but overall played a pretty good game. And then went to San Jose and other pretty big group and only gave up one. Come home and played Chicago, similar story, played sound defensively and again the day before, didn’t allow a goal until the end. So it’s pretty hard to change the lineup when you’re letting in one goal a game.”

Heading into Thursday’s game, the Wings had allowed just five goals in the last four games, all with White as a healthy scratch.

“From talking to the coach, what it’s going to take is a poor defensive game,” White said when asked what it will take for him to get back in the lineup. “We’ve been playing pretty solid defensively, not letting in too many goals, so it’s tough to change the defense up. So that’s what it’s going to take for me to get in, or an injury.

“In terms of trying to stick with it and how I deal with it, you’ve got to come to the rink and be a good teammate, can’t put yourself above the team and be pouting and moping around here,” White continued. “That doesn’t do anyone any favors. Just try to stay positive, there’s more to life than just hockey, too. You’ve got your family at home to worry about. So there are lots of things on the go other than this. But it’s really a frustrating time.”

This is all brand new for White, 28, who was paired with Nicklas Lidstrom most of last season after signing a two-year deal worth $5.75 million to replace Brian Rafalski on the blue line.

White, who is the elder statesman on the blue line playing 492 games, said he has not asked to be traded.

“No, we’re not there yet,” White said. “This is Game 5, you play so many games in a condensed period, it can get away from you pretty quick. All of a sudden you look after the weekend that’s seven straight games, if you don’t play. Where do I fit, we’ve got (Carlo) Colaiacovo coming back. You just try to get a determination of where he thinks you fit and where Ken (Holland) thinks you fit, now and going forward.”

Colaiacovo, who the Wings signed this offseason, is expected to return from a sprained left shoulder soon, which creates an even bigger jam on the blue line.

“You can skate, that keeps your conditioning up as much as you can for games,” White said. “Obviously, in games everything changes. The intensity is up more and your adrenaline is flowing a little bit. The one thing you kind of lose a little bit is your timing. Even your hands a little bit. It’s one thing to stick-handle in practice and do stuff there, but it’s usually not the same pace as the game.

“More than anything just mentally you’ve got to stay positive,” White added. “Times like this you question your abilities. You can’t do that. You’ve got to stay true to yourself, you know you’ve had success in the past, you know how to play the game. When you do get that next opportunity you’ve got to go back to playing the way you know how.”

White, who missed five games early in the season after suffering deep leg laceration, has one goal and one assist in 14 games. He’s also a minus-2.

“I’m confident I can contribute,” White said. “I’m sure, from speaking with them, they made it clear they want to keep me around. You just hope by keeping you around it means putting you in the lineup. Hopefully I’ll get back in soon and forget about this.”

A healthy Jonas Gustavsson will only help Wings

DETROIT – The Wings went right after backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson once free agency started this past offseason for a reason.

On Thursday night in San Jose, their investment in him finally started to pay off.

Gustavsson made 25 saves, in regulation and overtime, and then kept the Sharks scoreless in the shootout as Detroit skated away with the extra point after its 2-1 win.

“You play because you want to win, that’s the best feeling you can have,” Gustavsson said after the game. “I’m really happy with the win and how the guys performed. They helped me a lot, they made it easier for me.”

The start was Gustavsson’s first with the Wings and just his third appearance all season.

“I felt pretty good,” Gustavsson said. “Of course, it was a while since I played at this level. The guys made it easier for me. I could see most of the shots. I don’t think they had a scoring chance on a rebound.”

After taking over for Jimmy Howard in the season opener in St. Louis, Gustavsson re-aggravated his groin and didn’t dress the next 13 games.

Gustavsson’s next appearance came in relief of Jimmy Howard in Nashville and led the Wings to an overtime loss.

However, last Sunday Gustavsson, who signed a two-year deal worth $1.5 million a season, suffered a minor setback with his groin and couldn’t backup Howard in a win against the Vancouver Canucks.

“Of course that’s probably not the best situation but that’s the way it is,” Gustavsson said when asked if it’s tough to join a new team and begin things injured. “Through your career you’re going to have different challenges. You’ve just got to find a way to handle them and stay positive. For me that (injury) is in the past and I’m just trying to look forward to the game tonight.”

Howard has started all but two games this season.

“Obviously it wouldn’t hurt to see him play and I think it’s important that you’re starting goalie doesn’t have to play every night,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “The other thing about it is it’s a real good opportunity for him. We need a win on the road and he’s capable of doing that so get in there and play like you can.”

Prior to Thursday, Gustavsson had played just over 68 minutes this season.

“He hasn’t played,” Babcock said. “When you’ve been here this much time and you’re injured all the time it’s probably hard on you mentally as well. What I liked about him is he earned himself more time in net. The other thing is it never hurts to have competition and people pushing each other. The season’s a grind.

“Howie needs a breather every once in a while,” Babcock added. “Howie will go against Chicago and Gus will be ready to go right away.”

Gustavsson has had his fair share of health concerns, more specifically relating to his heart.

His heart issues were first noticed on the first day of training camp his first season in Toronto. An ablation surgery process needed to be performed on his heart.

In 2009, he had a heart murmur, which led to a second ablation surgery.

In 2011, he was pulled from a conditioning stint with the Toronto Marlies due to an accelerated heart beat and two days later he had a third minor heart ablation surgery.

“I’ve been feeling good, shouldn’t be any problems,” Gustavsson said. “I feel ready to go.

Gustavsson played his first three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he went 39-45-8 and had a 2.98 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

The Leafs traded his rights to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013 prior to the draft.

The two-year deal gives the Wings a bit of an insurance policy if they have trouble signing Howard, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason if a new deal isn’t reached. Howard will make $2.25 million this season.