Tag Archives: steve yzerman

Alfredsson nominated for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

DETROIT >> Daniel Alfredsson has been named the Detroit chapter of Professional Hockey Writers’ Association candidate for this season’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The annual award is given to the player that best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Alfredsson, who is a leading advocate for mental health causes, was a finalist for the award in 2012, but lost out to Montreal’s Max Pacioretty.

Two Red Wings – defenseman Brad Park (1983-84) and center Steve Yzerman (2002-03) – are past recipients of the award.

Alfredsson has 17 goals and 28 assists in 63 games this season with the Wings.

Detroit landed the long-time Ottawa Senator on the first day of free agency, inking him for one year at $3.5 million plus $2 million in bonuses that would bring the deal up to $5.5 million.

Alfredsson spent his entire career, 17 seasons, with the Senators.

The award is named for former Minnesota North Stars center Bill Masterton, whose 1968 death was the result of a head injury suffered in an NHL game.

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Gustav Nyquist and Brett Hull

DETROIT >> Should Gustav Nyquist score tonight against Montreal it will extend his goal-scoring streak to seven consecutive games. Brett Hull was the last Wing to score in seven straight (Nov. 26 to Dec. 8, 2003).

“I was pretty young, so not much,” Nyquist said when asked what he remembered of Hull. “I didn’t know he had the streak but I’m not surprised, he was a great player. I had no clue about the streak.”

Daniel Cleary was the last Wing to score in six-consecutive regular season games (Nov. 5-17, 2010).

“He’s been good everywhere he’s been, he’s led his leagues in scoring, he’s always been a real good player, but you never know if it’s going to translate in the NHL,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve all seen tons of good players in junior or college and they come to the American League and it doesn’t happen. He’s got hockey IQ off the charts, very, very smart. He can create space, he’s competitive, he’s a real confident kid in his own abilities and he’s played well and he’s on a roll.”

Steve Yzerman holds the team record with goals in nine consecutive regular season games (Jan. 29 through Feb. 12, 1992).

Nyquist has 25 goals and 17 assists in 47 games this season.

“I can’t say that I expected to score this many goals,” Nyquist said. “Again, I think all the young guys have done a good job. Injuries have created a lot of opportunities for different players and we’ve grown more confidence from it.

“Some of the goals have been off pretty good deflections as well, so it’s nice to see the puck go in,” Nyquist added. “It’s been a crazy year with injuries, we’d like to have some key players back, but we’ve gotten an opportunity to play a lot more minutes and in different situations. That’s given us all some more confidence.”

Steve Yzerman expects ‘enjoyable afternoon’ when Red Wings, Maple Leafs alumni meet

DETROIT – It looks like Steve Yzerman may indeed have to go out and buy a pair of skates.

The long-time Detroit Red Wings captain made it official Tuesday that he has committed to the Alumni Showdown against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 31 at Comerica Park.

“Looking forward to celebrating the history of the Red Wings with all my former colleagues as well as the faithful fans of Detroit,” Yzerman said in a text message. “It will be an enjoyable afternoon.”

The next question that needs to be answered is whether he’ll play in the game itself.

When Yzerman and his Tampa Bay Lightning were in town on Dec. 9, he seemed very noncommittal on the whole event that will take place the day before the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

“I haven’t given it really much thought,” Yzerman said at the time. “I’ve been pretty busy with our team, and watching a lot of hockey games for the Olympics, so I really haven’t looked that far ahead.”

He also said that he has only skated a few times since his 2006 retirement and has had no desire to skate since.

“I don’t even own a pair of skates,” Yzerman continued. “So, I may have to take up a collection.”

Yzerman’s last game in a Wings jersey was on the road in Edmonton, in Game 6 of the 2006 playoffs.

“They didn’t know at the time that was going to be his last game,” Chris Osgood said. “This gives them another opportunity.

“It’ll be big for the fans to get a chance to see him on the ice,” Osgood added. “It’s a good thing to have one of the greatest Red Wings in the game.”

Yzerman, 48, played all 23 seasons of his NHL career in Detroit and worked under Wings general manager Ken Holland for four seasons in the front office before leaving to be the Lightning general manager.

“I think it’s great for the organization that he committed to the game,” said Kris Draper, who was Yzerman’s teammate for 12 seasons. “It’s great for the fans and their chance to get one more look at a player who did so much for the organization on and off the ice. We’re excited to go on the ice with Y-zer one more time.”

Other players committed to playing are Niklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Kirk Maltby, Osgood, Draper, Sergei Fedorov and Paul Coffey.

“I don’t want to speculate why he committed, but maybe he saw all the guys who committed to playing,” Draper said. “The Russian Five will be there, Shanahan and all the guys. Maybe he just wanted to be around the guys one more time that he had so much success with. Maybe that played a part in it. I think everyone involved in the game is excited that he is playing in the game.”

Yzerman is the longest-serving captain in NHL history and ranks among the franchise leaders in games (fourth with 1,514), goals (second with 692), assists (first with 1,063) and points (second with 1,755).

He was drafted by the Wings in 1983 and was named captain in 1986.

“Steve is one of the greatest Red Wings players ever,” Holland said in a statement. “His presence at the Alumni Showdown makes a great day even better.”

Yzerman, who retired as the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history, played on three Stanley Cup winning teams (1997, 1998, 2002) and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the playoff MVP, in 1998.

He also won the Selke Trophy, as the league’s best defensive forward, in 2000.

“He influenced so many of us on and off the ice,” said Draper, who learned of the announcement over the NHL ticker. “This is special for the Red Wings organization.”

Lidstrom in; Yzerman, Fedorov next?

DETROIT — With the official announcement of Nicklas Lidstrom returning to play in the Winter Classic alumni game, the question remains if Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov will follow.

“At some point I’m going to reach out to Steve,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Let’s get these other people lined up and then tell Steve. Obviously, Steve knows the game is going on. He knows everyone wants him to play. I haven’t officially asked him. I’ve sort of, on occasion, cracked some jokes, but at some point and time here, once we get out of training camp and the season gets up and running I’ll officially reach out and see what he’s thinking.”

There are 44 players committed so far according to Holland.

“If the Winter Festival were last year (Fedorov) was in,” Holland said. “He’s interested. I think depending on how his team is doing as we get closer. We have our fingers crossed that it’s going to work.”

Fedorov is the general manager of HC CSKA Moscow that competes in the KHL.

Weiss was compared to Steve Yzerman growing up: “The comparisons at that age were a little scary.”

DETROIT – When Stephen Weiss was growing up and playing juniors in Plymouth, a comparison to his style of game surfaced quickly and thus a nickname was born.

Weiss was simply known as “Weisserman”.

His play was comparable to former Red Wing Steve Yzerman.

“The comparisons at that age were a little scary,” Weiss said. “But I think it came from playing a two-way game and being responsible one both sides of the puck and that’s something that I take a lot of pride in.

“The Red Wings were always a team I looked at growing up,” Weiss continued. “I always dreamt of playing for the Wings one day. And to have them interested in me and to have that opportunity is just awesome. Words can’t really express that right now.”

Weiss played three seasons with the Whalers, averaging nearly 75 points a season. His best season was 2000-01 when he scored 40 goals and had 47 assists in 62 games.

“Playing up against the best players and trying to shut them down and also being accountable offensively too, I think that’s where those comparisons came from,” Weiss said. “Obviously, we’ve had pretty different careers to this date, but it’s neat to come back to a city where I’ve played before and used to watch the Wings and watch Steve play there before, and wondered about maybe playing for that franchise one day.”

Weiss will get to do just that at least for the next five seasons after inking a deal on the opening day of free agency Friday for $4.9 million a season.

“It’s kind of surreal, but I’m not coming there looking to be anything that he was,” said Weiss, who averaged nearly 30 goals in three seasons with Plymouth. “I’m going to play my own game and do what’s asked of me and just try to help the team win in all of our games and listen to the guys who have been there before.”

Daniel Alfredsson was the first to sign on Friday with the Wings, one year at $5.5 million.

Weiss, who was able to attend a number of games at Joe Louis Area while playing for Plymouth, was that second-line center Detroit coveted in free agency when it became apparent that Valtteri Filppula had priced himself out of the Wings’ plans.

Weiss, who missed the final 26 games of last season with a wrist injury, does lack size (5-foot-11, 190 pounds), but has an offensive upside, scoring 20 or more goals four times in the past seven seasons.

With Weiss the Wings have more flexibility in their forward lines and could allow them to play Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk together more often.

“I think when you look at Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk and when coach said he wanted to put those two together and have me in the two spot it’s pretty exciting,” Weiss said. “Getting a chance to play with those two players and learn from them, those are two of the top (forwards) in the game and see what they do on a daily basis and try and get better as a player.”

In 654 career games he has 145 goals and 249 assists.

Weiss, 30, was the fourth overall pick by the Florida Panthers in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and spent his first 11 seasons there.

He made the playoffs just once with Florida, which what made Detroit that much more appealing.

“Coming from Florida and being there for about (11) years, only playing in the playoffs one year it was a pretty easy decision to come and play for the Red Wings organization that’s had the culture of winning over the years,” said Weiss, who made $4.1 million last season with Florida. “Their goal every year is to win the Stanley Cup and to come to a team and be a part of that is really exciting. I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to come to this team and do everything in my power to help out and fit in and do what I can to help the Red Wings reach that ultimate goal.”

The Wings have made 22 straight postseason appearances.

“I’m looking forward to the pressure of playing in that type of market,” Weiss said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done it, but I’m hungry to be a part of that type of situation again. I think my game will thrive.

“(I’m going to) listen to the Zetterbergs and Datsyuks, Kronwalls and Franzens, and guy like that who have played years in the playoffs and guys like Alfie as well, who have a lot of experience,” Weiss continued. “I’m going to come there and learn and help out as much as I can.”

Weiss will have to face his former team four or five times next season with at least two of the meetings taking place in Florida.

Detroit jumps to the Eastern Conference next season to compete in a yet-to-be-named division with the Panthers, Ottawa, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo and Tampa Bay.

Wings meet with Lecavalier; rumored to be looking for $5 million a season

The Wings did get a face-to-face meeting with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Vincent Lecavalier on Sunday.

“They’re talking to teams, we talked to him,” confirmed Wings general manager Ken Holland, who said the meeting lasted between 30 and 40 minutes at the team hotel. “I don’t know what their process is. They reached out to say Vinny was going to be in (New York) this weekend and was going to meet as many teams that had interest to meet him.”

Lecavalier was bought out by Tampa Bay on Thursday.

“He has to make some decisions personally, what’s on his priority list,” Holland said. “I don’t know the process. They asked if we wanted to meet. We said, ‘Yeah.’”

It’s rumored Lecavalier is looking for a five-year deal worth around $5 million a season.

There is some concern of the pace of Lecavalier’s game at this point of his career.

Detroit is in the midst of building a team that likes to get up-and-down the ice.

There would be interest in the 33-year-old center, who’s still good down low around the net, at the right price and length of deal, which they could jump at if it’s for one year.

“(The Wings are) a team I grew up idolizing,” Lecavalier said during a conference call Thursday. “(Detroit) and Montreal were my favorite teams. Steve Yzerman was my favorite player.”

Yzerman, who spent his entire career with the Wings, is the Lightning’s general manager.

Lecavalier has also reportedly met with Montreal, Dallas, Anaheim, Toronto, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got a move or two left,” Holland said. “Our goaltending is set, our defense is set. If we can get a top 2-3 defenseman we’ll look at it. They’re hard to find. We got 14 forwards signed (including RFAs). Some of them are kids. We have a move or two left over the next week or 10 days.”

The Wings currently have 12 players under contract and two others that are restricted free agents – Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist – will be signed sometime in the new future to bring the numbers up front to 14.

There are still three unrestricted free agents – Valtteri Filppula, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner – that could find their way back on the roster, but those deals may not happen until hours leading up to the start of free agency.

“We’re talking on a regular basis,” Holland said. “I talked to them all just know or yesterday but nothing imminent to report. We’re going to continue to stay in touch.”

If the Wings are unable to sign Filppula they may try and trade his rights to a team so they could try exclusively to negotiate a deal with the center before he hits the open market.

“I haven’t thought about (leaving Detroit), but obviously it’s a possibly that could happen,” Filppula said during the Wings’ end-of-season locker cleanout. “It’d be tough. It’s been a really great place to be. I’ve been so happy here. We’ll see if we go … if that’s what’s going to happen.”

The Wings did make offers to Filppula in August and September before talks broke down.

Filppula, who made $3 million last season, is believed to be asking for about a $2 million raise a year.

Centers Stephen Weiss, Matt Cullen and Patrik Elias could also garner some interest from Detroit along with wingers Jarome Iginla, David Clarkson and Nathan Horton.

There is also a chance the Wings could decide to use one or two of their allotted contract buyouts, but would need to do so by July 3 since that player or players has to go on waivers.

“I’m not even sure what we’re doing. We’re going to get through today. We’ll wake up tomorrow. I’m going to go home,” Holland said. “We’ve got until Wednesday or Thursday to make some decisions. I’ve talked to, if not all the teams, 25-26 teams yesterday or Friday. Probably lots of teams are like I am, they’re not sure what to make. There’s lots of talk but I can’t tell you I sense anything’s really happening. There might be something happening with a team or two or three.”

Teams are permitted two amnesty buyouts that can be used this summer or next summer. They would be able to buyout a player at two-thirds of their remaining value of the contract and not have any of the salary count against the salary cap.

Lecavalier would be good fit in Detroit; center says he hasn’t thought much about his options

DETROIT – With the NHL free agency period a week away, the pool of players the Wings may be interested grew by one.

And it was one they’re going to be very interested in once July 5 rolls around.

The Tampa Bay Lightning used one of their compliance buyout on center Vincent Lecavalier.

“I’m so motivated to go somewhere else and prove I can play at a high level,” Lecavalier said in a conference call Thursday afternoon. “I believe in myself and what I can bring to a team. I want to win.”

Even with the free agency period a week away Lecavalier said he hasn’t put much thought into where he’d like to play next season, but that the Wings will get some consideration.

“I haven’t really thought about that,” Lecavalier said. “(Detroit’s) actually a team I grew up idolizing. Them and Montreal were my favorite teams. Steve Yzerman was my favorite player.”

Yzerman is the Lightning’s general manager and spent his entire career with the Wings.

“My door’s open to everything, but I haven’t made a list yet,” Lecavalier said. “I’m really open to anything. I haven’t pinpointed anything.”

The Wings seem to be a good fit for both parties since they could be in need of a second-line center if they’re unable to come to terms with unrestricted free agent Valtteri Filppula.

When Filppula was asked if he thought he’d be back with the team when the Wings conducted their locker cleanout he said, “I don’t know. It’s too early to say right now. I just have to wait a little longer and see what happens.

“I haven’t thought about that too much, but obviously it’s a possibility that could happen,” Filppula added. “It’d be tough. It’s been a really great place to be. I’ve been so happy here. We’ll see if we go … if that’s what’s going to happen.”

Wings general manager Ken Holland said at the time the Wings made Filppula an offer in August and September before talks broke down.

Filppula made $3 million last season and is believed to be asking for about a $2 million raise a year.

Lecavalier’s addition would more than likely allow the Wings to rejoin Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the top line alongside Justin Abdelkader.

“They’re probably one of the best duos in the league,” Lecavalier said of the Wings tandem. “They made the playoffs the last 20 years. It’s a great team, a great organization. It’s definitely a place I would consider.”

Lecavalier could center Johan Franzen and either Gustav Nyquist or another free agent, possibly Damien Brunner if he re-signs with Detroit.

“As a hockey player you want to win,” Lecavalier said. “I want to be happy.”
Lecavalier, 33, spent his entire 15-year career with Tampa Bay, scoring 383 goals and 874 points in 1,037 regular season games and helped lead the Lightning to their first-ever Stanley Cup victory in 2004.

Lecavalier, who helped lead the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004, had 10 goals and 22 assists in 39 games last season.

The Lightning bought out the final 11 years of his $85 million contract, paying him two-thirds of the remaining value on the deal. That frees up $7.727 million in salary-cap space for Tampa Bay.

“It is,” Lecavalier said when asked if it’s going to be odd playing for another team next season. “(Playing for Tampa Bay) is all I’ve known. The thought of wearing a different jersey is weird in my head. It’s a challenge. I’m very motivated.

“I will work very hard to be in top shape, get to training camp and work with different players in a different environment,” Lecavalier continued. “It is weird to know I’m going to be playing somewhere else. The different environment is something I’m going to have to adapt to. I have to move on.”