Monthly Archives: December 2011

To mic or not to mic, that is the question

DETROIT — Mike Commodore is a big fan of HBO and what they’ve done with their ‘24/7’ series, which has featured the time leading up to the Winter Classic the last two seasons.

But they best not ask him to mic-up for a game.

“They do a fantastic job,” Commodore said. “They’ve got great programming left and right. That adds to the event.

“The only thing I don’t like is being miced up during games,” Commodore added. “I did that once in the playoffs in Carolina and I think I was minus-3 in the first period and I tore the thing off at intermission. Whenever I’m miced up during the game I can’t stop thinking about it. You worry about what you say and I don’t talk a whole lot.”

If the Wings are chosen to participate and HBO does a series on the game coach Mike Babcock wants all the attention paid to the players.

“I think it’s great for the game, I think it’s great for the players,” Babcock said. “Myself, I’d rather not be involved in it but if that’s part of what you’ve got to do to have the Winter Classic, you gotta be involved. The game’s about the players. And I think as a coach, the more you’re in it, the more you understand that it’s about the players. I like the attention to be on the players.”

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Red Wings would relish to play in another Winter Classic

DETROIT – Tomas Holmstrom won’t be basing his NHL future on whether or not the Wings will get the next Winter Classic or not.

But the thought of playing in another one did seem to chipper up his already happy persona Saturday morning.

“It would be awesome to do it one more time, for sure,” said Holmstrom, who played in the 6-4 win over Chicago at Wrigley Field in the 2009 Winter Classic. “It was a great experience in Chicago. To celebrate New Year’s and the family was there in Chicago. It was the perfect day for it, too. It was fun the day before, the families were there. We skated outside. It was really good. And we came up with a win, too. But it was a great experience, something you’ll remember the rest of your life.”

A source told The Macomb Daily that the annual game could be coming to Detroit in the next season or two.

“It’s a short list and we’re on it,” the person said. “We’ll have the game in the not too distant future.”

Possible venues to host would be Comerica Park or Michigan Stadium, which hosted the “Big Chill at the Big House” in 2010 that had an announced crowd of nearly 114,000.

“It would be really cool (Big House), for sure, get the home crowd, too,” Holmstrom said.

The New York Rangers are also on the short list to host a Winter Classic. However, the Rangers play in this year’s event today against the Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Holmstrom is one of 11 current Red Wings that took part in 2009 game at Wrigley Stadium.

“I know I’m looking forward to watching the one (today),” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Anytime you get a chance to play outdoors, I think it’s a great thing. If we could do it in Michigan, it would be great for our fans and great for our franchise, great for our trademark, so a real good thing.”

Backup goalie Ty Conklin has played in three different outdoor games for three different teams.

Conklin played in the Heritage Classic in 2003 with Edmonton. It was the first regular season outdoor game in NHL history. He followed that with starts between the pipes for Pittsburgh in the 2008 Winter Classic and then was the Wings’ netminder in 2009.

“It would be a lot of fun to be able to play in one,” Jimmy Howard said. “Growing up, you skate on lakes and outdoor rinks, to be able to play an actual game (outdoors) would be a lot of fun.”

Rookie Joakim Andersson played in the first outdoor game in Sweden, the 2009 SEL Outdoor Classic. His team, Frolunda HC beat Farjestads BK, 4-1, in front of a crowd of 31,144, which at the time set an attendance record for a European game.

“It was the year before I came over, it was fun,” Andersson said. “It was a special feeling to play outside with a large crowd. It was pretty cool. It was an unbelievable game. I kind of had goose bumps at the start.”

Tomas Holmstrom still shooting to play Tuesday

DETROIT — Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate, which had all of four skaters take part in.

Tomas Holmstrom did not skate, but was in the locker room receiving treatment for his groin tear.

Holmstrom, who suffered the injury in Nashville, was placed on short-term injured reserve Thursday. He has yet to start skating, but hopes to do so Monday

“It’s going better,” Holmstrom said. “It’s still sore but way better than yesterday and a couple days ago. They didn’t want me to skate today so I’ll probably skate Monday, for sure.”

He also hopes to play Tuesday in Dallas.

“That would be good,” Holmstrom said. “I’ve gotta skate first but most, the range and everything, I feel pretty strong. It’s just some stretching areas, it’s still sore and pain.”

Holmstrom said groins injuries have never been an issue for him.

“It’s just bad luck,” he said. “I hope (it won’t keep out a long time). The big test is when you’re skating and push away with the groin. I will be real disappointed if I couldn’t skate Monday and play Tuesday. I would like to get back at it now.”

Helm out two days with groin; Holmstrom placed on short-term IR

DETROIT — Darren Helm hurt his groin in practice Thursday and will miss the next two games according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.

With Tomas Holmstrom, who was placed on short-term injured reserve, the Wings called up Gustav Nyquist from Grand Rapids.

Helm, who will be re-evaluated on Monday, will miss Friday’s game in Chicago and Saturday at home against St. Louis.

Holland said Helm is day-to-day and will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Nyquist is the second Griffin to be called up in two days. On Tuesday the team called up Joakim Andersson to replace Holmstrom in the lineup.

“We’re hoping the young kids will give us a boost,” Holland said.

Mursak getting closer

DETROIT — The Wings activated Jan Mursak off injured reserve and assigned him to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint that can last up to two weeks.

Mursak, who broke his left ankle on Sept. 25, is expected to play tonight in Lake Erie.

Joakim Andersson recalled from Grand Rapids

DETROIT — The Wings recalled forward Joakim Andersson from Grand Rapids to replace Tomas Holmstrom in the lineup.

This will be Andersson’s NHL debut.

Holmstrom stuffered a groin injury in Monday’s 4-1 win in Nashville.

Andersson has eight goals and nine assists in 29 games with the Griffins and is a plus-1.

In 109 games in Grand Rapids, Andersson has 15 goals and 25 assists.

Andersson was drafted in the third round, 88th overall, by the Wings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Conner out two weeks with a slight hand fracture

DETROIT — Chris Conner’s three-game point streak will have to put on hold.

Conner was placed on short-term injured reserve after suffering a slight hand fracture in Tuesday’s 4-1 win at Pittsburgh according to general manager Ken Holland.

Conner is expected to miss two weeks.

Holland also said another player is also suffering with a minor injury and might not be able to play tonight at Nashville. Holland would not say what other player is injured.

Because of that the Wings recalled forward Tomas Tatar from the Grand Rapids for precautionary reasons.

If that other inured player can play Tatar will rejoin the Griffins in Cleveland.

“We’ve got a player other than Conner that got hurt the other day,” Holland said. “We think he’ll play, but if he can’t we’ve got Tatar here as insurance.”

Cory Emmerton, who Conner has leapfrogged to become a regular in the lineup, will play tonight against the Predators.

Conner has a goal and two assists in his last three games playing on a line with Danny Cleary and Darren Helm.

Emmerton has been a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games. The one game he did get in it wasn’t to replace Conner, but an injured Valtteri Filppula.

Unlike two other Grand Rapids Griffins that have been called up this season – Fabian Brunnstrom and Gustav Nyquist – Conner is playing during crucial situations, killing off penalties.

Conner, who was leading the Griffins in scoring when he was called up, is averaging just over 11 minutes of ice time a game.