Tag Archives: David Legwand

Wings nab Waterford native Larkin with first pick; organization needed depth at center

DETROIT >> In desperate need of centers in their organization, the Detroit Red Wings selected Waterford native Dylan Larkin with the 15th selection in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Larkin, who’s enrolled at the University of Michigan next year, was the second-line center at the U.S. National Team Development Program and finished fourth in scoring with 31 goals and 25 assists in 60 games.

After center Calle Jarnkrok was included as part of the deal to land David Legwand prior to the trade deadline it depleted Detroit’s depth chart up the middle.

“I think center is a major piece of a building block in most organizations,” Tyler Wright, Detroit’s new director of amateur scouting said last week. “You can never have enough centers.”

The Wings’ top centers in the organization are Landon Ferraro, who is out of AHL options, Andreas Athanasiou and Mattias Janmark.

They’re a little deeper at forward with Anthony Mantha, Teemu Pulkkinen, Martin Frk, Mitch Callahan, Zach Nastasiuk and Bertuzzi.

Larkin is considered more of a shooter than a passer and has a potent slap shot.

He’s also a strong technical skater that can build up speed quick and isn’t afraid to go hard to the net.

Larkin is 6-1, 190 pounds.

In past drafts the Wings have focused on drafting players with good size, but would prefer players with good hockey sense.

“That’s what wins you games,” Wright said. “You can still have smaller players in the lineup, but you have to surround them with bigger players. Size is something we definitely will take into consideration.”

The Wings have seven picks in this year’s draft. They traded their second round pick to obtain Legwand from Nashville.

Detroit does have two picks in the seventh round, one of which from San Jose as part of the Brad Stuart trade two seasons ago.

The Wings’ selection was their highest since choosing Martin Lapointe with the 10th overall pick in 1991.

It’s the sixth consecutive year Detroit has taking a forward with its top pick in the draft.

Detroit scored big last season, trading down to snatch Mantha, who led the QMJHL in scoring and was also named the league MVP.

In the second round the Wings took forwards Nastasiuk and Tyler Bertuzzi, who have both been invited Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Development Camp.

Wings waiting on decisions with unrestricted free agents

DETROIT >> As far as the Wings’ pending free agents, Wings general manager Ken Holland said he probably won’t decide for another month on them.

The one that seems to be a lock to come back is Daniel Alfredsson, but only if he feels he can play another season.

“We had an exit meeting with Alfie,” Holland said. “He needs time to determine if he’s got the passion and desire to play again and if his body will let him do the things he wants to do.”

Holland told Alfredsson, 41, they wouldn’t be making a decision until the middle of June.

“There’s lots of time,” Holland said.

The other unrestricted free agents include David Legwand, Kyle Quincey, Jonas Gustavsson, Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson.

“I told Legwand, Quincey and Gustavsson we’re going to take time to have internal meetings,” Holland said. “In late May or early June I’ll reach out to their agents to let them know if we have a contract offer.”

Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan are both restricted free agents.

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on what Daniel Alfredsson and David Legwand has brought to the team.

“I don’t to take anything away from Pav or Z, because they’re huge parts of our team, but Nik Kronwall set the tone for this team this year because he did it every day, all the time. Alfredsson gave him another support guy, along with the Mule, in my opinion, because those other guys weren’t available to us.

“When you look at that group right there, to me they did the most of the work leadership wise,” Babcock continued. “That’s so critical. We all want to rave about our kids, but we don’t make the playoff unless Ken makes that deal at the deadline. If we don’t Legwand we don’t get in the playoffs.”

Legwand a minus-8 since joining Wings; dropped to third line

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock talked about needing more from his veterans after Thursday night’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

One of those players he was calling out is David Legwand.

“So, so,” Legwand said Friday after practice at Joe Louis Arena when asked to assess his performance since joining the Wings. “There is room to improve and be better in certain areas in the game.”

Legwand was dropped from the team’s top line in the second period Thursday to the third line, which is where he’ll begin the game Saturday night in Toronto

Legwand was also a minus-3 in the loss.

Over the last three games, Legwand has been a combined minus-6, which makes him a minus-8 with the Wings.

“We didn’t play very good so we changed things during the game,” Babcock said. “We’re just staying with what we finished with.”

Legwand will skate alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson.

“You have to go out there and do what we can do to help the team out in whatever way possible,” Legwand said.

He played the fewest minutes (12:36) he’s played with the Wings since they traded for him at the deadline.

“It’s a different system and a different group of players,” said Legwand, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. “It’s getting used to a few different things and things I have to adjust to, but you have to be a professional about it and do it the right way. It’s crunch time, there are nine games left and every point matters.”

In 12 games this season with the Wings, Legwand has two goals and five assists.

“I think he’s been good, I didn’t think he was great (Thursday) but he was in a club with some other veteran guys that weren’t very good either so you know we weren’t good enough any way you look at it,” Babcock said.

Babcock’s top line is now Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist, while the Kid Line remains intact of Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco.

“(The veterans) weren’t good,” Babcock said. “You’ve just got to play better, that’s all there is to it.”

With nine games left in the regular season the Wings still control their own destiny.

“Your season pretty much boils down to nine games,” Legwand said. “We control our own destiny pretty much and it starts (Saturday) night with beating Toronto and continuing Sunday (against Tampa Bay). We can get two big wins over the weekend and move on from there and put this other stuff behind us.”

Jurco back in lineup and inserted on top line alongside Legwand and Franzen

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ top line will have a different look to it tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.

Wings coach Mike Babcock has inserted Tomas Jurco to skate alongside David Legwand and Johan Franzen to at least begin the game.

“He’s a big guy, good speed and good skill level,” Babcock said. “He gives us another real good player. He’s been an important guy for us, missed him when he was injured, helps on the power play. Good two-way player.”

Jurco, 21, has missed seven games with a broken rib.

“He probably thinks he’s dragging those old guys around,” Babcock said. “I can put (Gustav) Nyquist back there in a heartbeat but Nyquist on that line is flying. (Jurco) has a skill set, he makes good plays with the puck, can really skate. That line needs more tempo. We’re trying to have more balance, we need to generate on more than just one line.”

That move keeps the new Kid Line intact – Riley Sheahan, Nyquist and Tomas Tatar – and drops Daniel Alfredsson to the third line with Darren Helm and Joakim Andersson.

“The big thing with having players back that haven’t played in a while they’re trying to catch up,” Babcock said. “So you get their number back and their name on the back of the sweater but you watch them and they’re not the same. I’m hoping Helmer, now after a few games under his belt, will be Helmer and be able to contribute. Normally your first game back you’re all right and then you fall off the face of the world for a couple of games. So hopefully Jurcs can go tonight.”

Jurco has five goals and 10 points in 26 games.

“It’s a good chance for me, good opportunity for me to get back in the game quick,” Jurco said. “I know obviously the second with Shea and Tats and Gus were playing good so I understand that coach wants to keep them that way so hopefully I’m going to fit in the first line and we’re going to play good too.”

Before getting injured, Jurco was a winger on that kid line with Sheahan and Tatar.

“I just have to play my game, that means just keep being physical and try to win some battles for them and just put some pucks in the net hopefully it’s going to go in,” Jurco said.

Not doing so much with the puck is what Babcock wants from Jurco.

“He’s going to score better eventually but he’s got to be physical, he’s got to be hard guy, he’s got to get on the inside, all the dangling stuff, that doesn’t score any goals, I don’t know what all that stuff is for,” Babcock said. “Entertain your friends in practice, I guess.”

Legwand won’t receive any supplemental discipline for ‘butt-ending’ incident on Malkin

DETROIT >> The Wings snapped their string of losing players Thursday night.

After losing six players in six consecutive nights due to injury, the team learned Friday morning that David Legwand won’t receive any supplemental discipline after his butt-ending major he received in Thursday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Legwand received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for butt-ending Evgeni Malkin late in the third period on Thursday.

“He took the penalty,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said Thursday. “The referee made the call. When it happened, to be honest with you, I thought because they had been all over him, I thought that it was weak. But when I watched it on video, he just made the call.”

Legwand drew the penalty after Malkin raked his stick over the back of Legwand’s head to the left of Jimmy Howard.

After losing Jonathan Ericsson to a broken finger on Tuesday, the Wings have lost a player to injury in six consecutive games.

Ericsson will miss four-to-six weeks after having surgery to stabilize his fractured finger and repair a partially torn tendon.

Jonas Gustavsson (groin) began the long list of injuries after leading the team to a win over the New Jersey Devils on March. 4. That was followed by Joakim Andersson (broken foot, March 9 against the New York Rangers), Tomas Jurco (broken rib, March 11 against Columbus), Todd Bertuzzi (lower-body injury, March 14 against Edmonton) and Justin Abdelkader (leg laceration, Sunday against Chicago.

The team is also without Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder) and Daniel Cleary (knee).

Bertuzzi missed just one game and Gustavsson returned to his backup role Thursday.

Wings coach Mike Babcock on David Legwand’s butt-ending penalty

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on the five-minute major for butt-ending Evgeni Malkin and game misconduct assessed to David Legwand late in the third period with the game tied 4-4 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He took the penalty,” Babcock said. “The referee made the call. When it happened, to be honest with you, I thought because they had been all over him, I thought that it was weak. But when I watched it on video, he just made the call.”

Legwand drew the penalty after Malkin raked his stick over the back of Legwand’s head to the left of Jimmy Howard.

Legwand leaped at ‘once in a lifetime chance’ to join Red Wings; Pulkkinen recalled as insurance

DETROIT >> When David Legwand heard the news the Detroit Red Wings were interested in trading for him it didn’t take the veteran center long to decide to waive his no-trade clause.

“It was pretty much a phone call home and that pretty much took care of it,” Legwand said Thursday after his first skate with his new teammates at Joe Louis Arena prior to the game against the Colorado Avalanche. “I never gave (Nashville) a list, was never asked to waive it and I never asked for a trade. This happened kind of, obviously with their injuries and the people going down the middle, happened. It’s a once in a lifetime chance.”

The deal to acquire Legwand, who attended Grosse Pointe North High School growing up, happened late in the afternoon on Wednesday as well.

“Around 12:30 (central time) it started and actually got finished around 1:59 central time,” Legwand said. “I think they got it in at the nick of time and they allowed it.”

After shutting down Pavel Datsyuk for three weeks due to an injured knee and learning that Darren Helm is battling headaches, the Wings ramped up their search for a first- or second-line center and landed Legwand from Nashville in exchange for Patrick Eaves, prospect Calle Jarnkrok and a third-round draft pick, which could turn into a second-rounder if they make the playoff this season, back to the Predators.

Detroit is also without Stephen Weiss (sports hernia surgery) indefinitely and Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery) for the rest of the regular season.

“We needed a veteran guy to help these kids,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “These kids are real good players, but a little leadership helps. He’s got 40 points, can pass the puck, he can play on your power play and he can play against real players, so it’ll be a good fit for us. He’s been well-coached in Nashville. He knows how to play the game and he’s from this area and knows the guys good. He’s skated with them lots in the summers and that, so I think it’s a good fit for our team.”

Legwand did add that there were a few other teams interested in his services, but he didn’t want to elaborate on it.

“It was a long day, I can say that,” Legwand said.

Legwand, 33, has 10 goals and 30 assists this season for Nashville in 62 games.

“You just have to go out and play, do the right things and learn how they play as quickly as possible,” Legwand said. “I’ve played a ton against them in the past years. I played a lot of minutes in Nashville and Bab’s is going to count on me for big minutes here and in big times here. I’ve just got to be ready to help out the team.”

Legwand, who will wear No. 17, is in the final year of his contract, with a salary-cap hit of $4.5 million. There’s a good chance the Red Wings will re-sign him before he hits free agency in July.

“The hockey will take care of itself and the contract stuff will come after,” said Legwand, who added there was little talk about a contract extension to remain in Nashville. “We have to win some games here and get into the playoffs.

“They’re still a skilled team and they’re smart,” Legwand added. “The only difference now from the 2000s is they’re a little younger. The (Tomas) Tatar’s and (Gustav) Nyquist’s are coming up and they’re hell of players. They’re good young talent. It’s exciting. The old regime is gone and the young guys have come in here. They’ve done a hell of a job.”

Legwand centered the top line of Johan Franzen and Nyquist.

“Gus is a skater that can make plays,” Legwand said. “His hockey IQ is huge. Mule’s a big body and can skate. I think everyone has seen him score goals and he gets in those areas to score goals.”

He’ll also play on the second power play unit, along with Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser.
Legwand was drafted second overall by the Predators in the 1998 draft, behind Vincent Lecavalier. He leads in every franchise record in Nashville, including goals (210), assists (356) and games played (956).

“I think age is a number,” Legwand said. “I think guys that skate well and are smart are going to last a lot longer than guys who can’t. I’ll play as long as I can and I love playing, love being at the rink, love being around the guys and I’m excited to get started.”

Legwand also played his junior career with the Plymouth Whalers. In his final year of juniors he won the Red Tilson Award as the Ontario Hockey League’s most outstanding player after totaling 54 goals and 51 assists.

Ins and outs

Because of the Wings’ lack of depth at forward, they had to recall Teemu Pulkkinen from Grand Rapids as an insurance policy.

Pulkkinen, 22, took the pre-game skate, but was not needed.

Pulkkinen leads the Griffins in scoring (24 goals, 25 assists) and is tied for second among AHL rookies.

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on the loss of prospect Calle Jarnkrok in the trade to obtain David Legwand.

“That’s what I would say to you right there, is I hear he’s (Jarnkrok) a really good player, but I don’t know him very good to be honest with you. One thing we do (have) is we have kids, and so you go through that and that’s why you have pro scouts and a general manager. And they decide in those situations. We feel that this is a guy that can help us right now. We’re in a situation with the word we got yesterday on (Pavel Datsyuk) and the word we got on (Darren Helm), it’s not like they’re arriving back tomorrow. So, we felt we needed help.”

Decision to join Wings for chase to make playoffs an easy one for Legwand

DETROIT >> When David Legwand heard the news the Detroit Red Wings were interested in trading for him it didn’t take the veteran center long to decide to waive his no-trade clause.

“It was pretty much a phone call home and that pretty much took care of it,” Legwand said Thursday after his first skate with his new teammates at Joe Louis Arena prior to the game against the Colorado Avalanche. “I never gave (Nashville) a list, was never asked to waive it and I never asked for a trade. This happened kind of, obviously with their injuries and the people going down the middle, happened. It’s a once in a lifetime chance.”

The deal to acquire Legwand, who attended Grosse Pointe North High School growing up, happened late in the afternoon on Wednesday as well.

“Around 12:30 (central time) it started and actually got finished around 1:59 central time,” Legwand said. “I think they got it in at the nick of time and they allowed it.”

After shutting down Pavel Datsyuk for three weeks due to an injured knee and learning that Darren Helm is battling headaches, the Wings ramped up their search for a first- or second-line center and landed Legwand from Nashville in exchange for Patrick Eaves, prospect Calle Jarnkrok and a third-round draft pick, which could turn into a second-rounder if they make the playoff this season, back to the Predators.

Detroit is also without Stephen Weiss (sports hernia surgery) and Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery).

“We needed a veteran guy to help these kids,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “These kids are real good players, but a little leadership helps. He’s got 40 points, can pass the puck, he can play on your power play and he can play against real players, so it’ll be a good fit for us. He’s been well-coached in Nashville. He knows how to play the game and he’s from this area and knows the guys good. He’s skated with them lots in the summers and that, so I think it’s a good fit for our team.”

Legwand did added that there were a few other teams interested in his services, but he didn’t want to elaborate on it.

“It was a long day, I can say that,” Legwand said.

Legwand, 33, has 10 goals and 30 assists this season for Nashville in 62 games.

“You just have to go out and play, do the right things and learn how they play as quickly as possible,” Legwand said. “I’ve played a ton against them in the past years. I played a lot of minutes in Nashville and Bab’s is going to count on me for big minutes here and in big times here. I’ve just got to be ready to help out the team.”

Legwand, who will wear No. 17, is in the final year of his contract, with a salary-cap hit of $4.5 million. There’s a good chance the Red Wings will re-sign him before he hits free agency in July.

“The hockey will take care of itself and the contract stuff will come after,” said Legwand, who added there was little talk about a contract extension to remain in Nashville. “We have to win some games here and get into the playoffs.

“They’re still a skilled team and they’re smart,” Legwand added. “The only difference now from the 2000s is they’re a little younger. The (Tomas) Tatar’s and (Gustav) Nyquist’s are coming up and they’re hell of players. They’re good young talent. It’s exciting. The old regime is gone and the young guys have come in here. They’ve done a hell of a job.”

Legwand will center the top line of Johan Franzen and Nyquist.

“Gus is a skater that can make plays,” Legwand said. “His hockey IQ is huge. Mule’s a big body and can skate. I think everyone has seen him score goals and he gets in those areas to score goals.”

He’ll also play on the second power play unit, along with Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser.

Legwand was drafted second overall by the Predators in the 1998 draft, behind Vincent Lecavalier. He leads in every franchise record in Nashville, including goals (210), assists (356) and games played (956).

“I think age is a number,” Legwand said. “I think guys that skate well and are smart are going to last a lot longer than guys who can’t. I’ll play as long as I can and I love playing, love being at the rink, love being around the guys and I’m excited to get started.”

Legwand also played his junior career with the Plymouth Whalers. In his final year of juniors he won the Red Tilson Award as the Ontario Hockey League’s most outstanding player after totaling 54 goals and 51 assists.