Daily Archives: June 26, 2012

Chelios not a candidate for Wings’ assistant coaching job: “I’m not ready to take over a full responsibility job like that.”

DETROIT – Take one name off the list of possible candidates to assist Red Wings coach Mike Babcock behind the bench next season – Chris Chelios.

“I’m not ready to take over a full responsibility job like that,” Chelios said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I think I’m two years away from actually taking a full-time job again.”

The Wings have a vacancy behind the bench after they named Jeff Blashill as the Grand Rapids Griffins head coach on Monday. Blashill was an assistant in Detroit for one season.

“I can honestly say I would hope to find a position like that in my future, but right now I’m pretty content with having that freedom of going to see my kids play,” Chelios said.

Chelios worked with the Griffins’ young defensemen last year, on and off the ice. He was in Grand Rapids between two and three days a week and attended nearly every home game.

Chelios also helped in the press box, sending down information to the coaching staff regarding special teams.

“Obviously there’s been a coaching change in Grand Rapids with Blash going down there and taking over as head coach, so I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet,” said Chelios, who did make a few of the road trips with the Griffins. “I’m sure we will. I’d like to be asked back to coaching again.”

Chelios holds the record for most games played by a defenseman (1,651) and finished tied with Gordie Howe for most seasons played in the NHL (26).

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Chelios on unrestricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz: “Physically there’s no question he’s ready.”

DETROIT — Chris Chelios, who was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame last year, likes what he has seen from Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz.

“I’ve seen him play against Michigan State a couple of times and I’ve seen him play in a couple of tournaments,” Chelios said. “He’s a big, strong kid with a real heavy shot.”

Schultz, who turns 22 on July 6, became an unrestricted free agent on Monday and can start talking to teams about a contract, but can’t be signed until July 1.

Schultz is a two-time Hobey Baker finalist and WCHA defensive player of the year. He totaled 40 goals and 73 assists in 121 games over three seasons with the Badgers.

The Wings have had their share of Wisconsin defensemen including Brendan Smith, who was Schultz’s teammate in 2009-10, and Chelios (1981-’83).

“You’ll never know until he does it, but with his size, his strength and his skating ability, if he’s not ready he’s really darn close,” Chelios said. “College is a lot different than the NHL. The jump from college to the AHL is a lot easier. Physically there’s no question he’s ready.”

Wings general manager Ken Holland said Monday that they’re ready to give Schultz, a two-time Hobey Baker finalist, the opportunity to play in Detroit.

“With the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, there’s a tremendous opportunity,” Holland said. “We’re trying to rebuild on the fly. We think he would be a good fit.”

Money won’t be an issue in the negotiations since the maximum entry-level contract for a 22-year-old is two years for $925,000 per season with a standard 10-percent signing bonus. The only question would be if he’ll be guaranteed a spot on the roster.

And the Wings seem prepared to at least offer him a spot on the roster once training camp breaks.

Shanny snubbed from HOF

DETROIT — Former Wing Brendan Shanahan will have to wait at least one more year to get into the Hockey Hall of Fame after not being elected Tuesday in his first year of eligibility.

However, former Wings center Adam Oates was elected, along with Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic.

“I don’t answer to any surprise questions because all those guys are obviously deserving of getting into the Hall of Fame,” Chris Chelios said when asked if he was surprised Shanahan was not voted in.

Oates, who was also hired as head coach of the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, had 341 goals and 1,079 assists in 1,337 games with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim, and Edmonton.

“When I got traded I was really upset,” Oates said about the Wings dealing him to St. Louis. “Detroit was my first team. It was heartbreaking. But it gave me the chance to go to St. Louis and play with Brett (Hull) and really establish myself in the league.”

Oates has been eligible since 2007 to get added to the HOF.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t,” Oates said when asked if he looks forward to election day since being passed over so many times. “Maybe not as much as previous years, but I knew it was coming around and today was the day.”

Many thought Shanahan, who won three Stanley Cups with the Wings, was a shoo-in this year. He had 656 goals (13th all-time) and 1,354 points in 1,524 games over 21 seasons.

“You can only put so many in during a year,” Chelios said. “I don’t know how they pick them to be honest with you.”

While competing for Team Canada, Shanahan also won a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships, 2002 Winter Olympics, and a 1991 Canada Cup championship, which makes him a member of the elite Triple Gold Club.

Oates, not Shanahan part of 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame

DETROIT — Former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan seemed like a lock to make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, but will have to wait at least one more season.

Former Wing Adam Oates, who has been eligible since 2007 to get added to the HOF, along with Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin and Pavel Bure were elected this year.

It was quite an afternoon for Oates, who earlier in the day was hired by the Washington Capitals as their head coach.

Oates, who played for six seasons in Washington, was an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils and helped guide the team to a Stanley Cup Final berth earlier this month.

Shanahan, who is currently the NHL’s Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and head disciplinarian, helped lead the Wings to three Stanley Cups from 1996-2006.

Shanahan was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils second overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

Shanahan also played with the St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers.

Shanahan scored 656 goals in his career spanning over 1,500 games and, at the time of his retirement, was the leader among active NHL players for goals scored.

Shanahan is the only player in NHL history with over 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.

While competing for Team Canada, Shanahan also won a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships, 2002 Winter Olympics, and a 1991 Canada Cup championship, which makes him a member of the elite Triple Gold Club.

Wings seem prepared to offer defenseman Justin Schultz spot on blue line

DETROIT – Defenseman Justin Schultz hasn’t played a game in the National Hockey League, but that’s not stopping the Wings from all but guaranteeing the soon-to-be free agent a spot on their roster.

“He’s close to being an NHL defenseman,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s a young player. We’re prepared to give him the opportunity to be on our team.”

Schultz, who turns 22 on July 6 and played three seasons at Wisconsin, was drafted by Anaheim in 2008 prior to starting college, 43rd overall, but couldn’t reach a deal with the Ducks, who had until Sunday before he could begin talks on a contract with any other team.

And the Wings seem prepared to get a deal done.

“We’ve expressed we’re interested in signing him to a contract,” said Holland, who plans to meet with his agents (Don Meehan and Pat Morris) either Tuesday or Wednesday. “We think he’s a good prospect. We think there’s a tremendous opportunity in Detroit.

“With the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, there’s a tremendous opportunity,” Holland added. “We’re trying to rebuild on the fly. We think he would be a good fit.”

If a deal gets done, Schultz can’t official sign until July 1, which is the first day of free agency.

Money won’t be an issue in the negotiations since the maximum entry-level contract for a 22-year-old is two years for $925,000 per season with a standard 10-percent signing bonus. The only question would be if he’ll be guaranteed a spot on the roster.

And the Wings seem prepared to at least offer him a spot on the roster once training camp breaks.

Schultz is a two-time Hobey Baker finalist and WCHA defensive player of the year. He totaled 40 goals and 73 assists in 121 games over three seasons with the Badgers.

The Wings have had their share of Wisconsin defensemen including Brendan Smith, who was Schultz’s teammate in 2009-10.
Schultz (6-2, 185 pounds) is a highly skilled offensive defenseman that analysts say has good hockey sense. He’s a good skater, has the ability to move the puck and has a tremendous shot.

Schultz is also a right-handed shot. Ian White is the only other blueliner on the roster that shoots right.