Thursday, May 31, 2007

Red Wings training camp tix on sale Saturday

If the third time is the charm, then the tenth time must signify a certain degree of intransience.

That decade of durability is what will be celebrated at the 2007 Detroit Red Wings Training Camp, set for Sept. 13-18 at Centre ICE arena in Traverse City. The 10th anniversary gets underway in earnest this Saturday, when camp tickets are offered for public sale from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. at Centre ICE.

The 10-year yardstick has offered camp officials a chance to reflect on the bigger-picture success of the event, which has traveled the path from conception to annual phenomenon.

“When we started, did we think we’d still be here 10 years later?,” mused Training Camp director Pete Correia. “Oh my gosh, no. Absolutely not. Why would we? We were just happy to pull off that first camp, but the whole thing has really developed into something that the community has really accepted into the local culture.”

According to Correia, the reason that Red Wings players and staff return to the region each fall to kick off another season is simple: It’s a great place to be.

“They used to do it right at Joe Louis Arena – guys would drive to practice, work out, and go home,” Correia explained. “Up here, they have a chance to get away and bond a little bit. It sounds simple, but they seem to think it’s pretty important. They love the area – the golfing, the fishing, the water - just the atmosphere.”

In addition to the volunteers who staff the events, the way the players are treated up north that adds an extra human element to the equation.

“I think the people up here just let them breathe a little, allow them to be themselves and enjoy their time here,” Correia surmised. “From early on, I have heard that from the players themselves. For example, we have a barricade set up around the autograph area outside Centre ICE, and our fans are very respectful of that barrier. Up here, it’s a barricade. Downstate, it’s just a hurdle.”

This year’s camp will feature as many as 60 players, which will be divided into three teams. The first three days of camp will consist of intrasquad games and on-ice workouts from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tickets for those sessions are $15 each. On Sept. 17, the top players compete in the annual Red & White Game at 6 p.m. ($25), and a unique affair caps the camp on Sept. 18: a 4-on-4 intrasquad game at 5 p.m. Tickets for the open-ice affair are $10, which includes a hot dog and soda.

“We certainly haven’t got it all figured out by any stretch – there are always challenges to putting on a first-class camp,” Correia said. “But we have such a great group of local volunteers who are organized, disciplined, dedicated and professional - and that resonates with the team, no question about it. They keep coming back for a reason, and we’d like to keep it that way.”

2007 Detroit Red Wings Training Camp Schedule

Thursday, Sept. 13
Physicals, Golf Outing (1:30 p.m. at GT Resort), Dinner

Friday, Sept. 14
Intrasquad game, On-ice workouts, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ($15)

Saturday, Sept. 15
Intrasquad game, On-ice workouts, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ($15)

Sunday, Sept. 16
Intrasquad game, On-ice workouts, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ($15)

Monday, Sept. 17
Red & White Game, 6 p.m. ($25)

Tuesday, Sept. 18
Four-on-Four Game, 5 p.m. ($10 includes hot dog & soda)

TICKETS: On sale Saturday, June 2 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Centre ICE

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reeds stays on as Kalamazoo bench boss

The Kalamazoo Wings announced a two-year contract extension for director of hockey operations and head coach Mark Reeds today.

Reeds just concluded his fourth season as head coach of the K-Wings. Under Reeds’ tutelage, Kalamazoo has made the playoffs in each of his seasons as the franchise bench boss, including two consecutive trips to the Colonial Cup finals. Two seasons ago, Reeds and the K-Wings captured the franchise's first championship in 26 years and first in the UHL.

“Mark is one of the finest coaches in minor league hockey,” said Kalamazoo GM Paul Pickard. “Not only does he have a great hockey mind, he knows how to extract the most out of his players.”

Reeds has produced winning teams everywhere he has coached and that was exemplified by capturing the Colonial Cup last May. The only man to be selected UHL Coach of the Year on more than one occasion (three times: 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2004-2005), Reeds ranks third on the leagues all-time coaching win list.

Under Reeds’ guidance, the K-Wings have become a perennial power. Reeds has been behind the bench for many of the franchise’s grandest moments including last season, where the K-Wings captured their first division title and Tarry Cup.

Prior to coming to Kalamazoo, Reeds honed his winning coaching style as assistant coach of the Peoria Rivermen (IHL). After four seasons as an assistant coach, he was named head coach of the Rivermen when they joined the ECHL. While the bench boss of the Rivermen, Reeds guided Peoria to the Kelly Cup semifinals in 1996-97 and a Northwest Division and Northern Conference title in 1997-98. From 1996-98, Reeds compiled more wins than any other coach in the ECHL.

Following his tenure in Peoria, Reeds became the head coach of the Missouri River Otters and right away established the standard for an expansion franchise. The River Otters are still one of three expansion teams in UHL history to average 40 wins in their first three seasons.

Reeds’ tenacity and commitment behind the bench started back during his playing career. Reeds laced up his skates for 12 professional seasons including eight in the National Hockey League. He was a fifth-round (86th overall) selection of the St. Louis Blues in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Before turning pro, Reeds found success as an amateur, as he was a three-time Ontario Hockey League champion with the Peterborough Petes (1976-79), and a three-time Memorial Cup finalist, which includes the 1979 Memorial Cup championship.

In his first season as a professional, Reeds was a member of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, winning the Central Hockey League Adams Cup championship in 1980. From there, he played six seasons with the Blues and two with the Hartford Whalers.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Rockford leaves UHL as champions

Game 1 - at Rockford 3, Kalamazoo 2 (OT)
Game 2 - at Rockford 6, Kalamazoo 1
Game 3 - at Kalamazoo 3, Rockford 0
Game 4 - at Kalamazoo 6, Rockford 5
Game 5 - at Rockford 6, Kalamazoo 1
Game 6 - at Kalamazoo 6, Rockford 2
Game 7 - at Rockford 3, Kalamazoo 1
(Rockford wins series, 4-3)

Rockford, Ill.- A storybook season came to a storybook end.

The Rockford IceHogs clinched its first ever Colonial Cup championship with a 3-1 Game Seven Colonial Cup finals win over the Kalamazoo Wings in front of a franchise postseason record 6,236 at the Rockford MetroCentre.

The IceHogs won the championship series 4-games-to-3.

The home team won all seven games in the finals and this one went down to the wire. Rockford grabbed the 1-0 lead early in the first period while shorthanded. Center Kevin Ulanski picked off a Kalamazoo pass and broke over the Wings line on a 2-on-2 breakaway. Ulanski pulled in the high-slot and beat Ryan Nie 2:47 in to give Rockford the 1-0 lead.

Kalamazoo battled back and tied the score at 1-1. Wings wingman Nick Bootland was camped out in front of the Rockford net while Kalamazoo was on the power play and he tipped in a Tyler Willis pass past Frederic Cloutier for his 12th postseason goal at 9:08.

The tie game was broken in the second period when Hogs winger Jason Notermann would notch the eventual game-winning goal. Notermann broke into the Wings zone and fired a shot in on Nie. Nie made the initial save, but Notermann was there to clean up the garbage and knocked in his fifth postseason goal at 6:11 to give the IceHogs a 2-1 lead. Notermann also netted the game-winning goal in the IceHogs semifinals clincher.

The game was tight the rest of the way and wasn't iced until late in the contest. Up by just a goal and with the Wings pressing to tie the game, winger Nicolas Corbeil finished off Kalamazoo when he blasted home his ninth postseason marker at 18:27. Corbeil's goal sent the MetroCentre crowd into a fury and the Hogs road out the 3-1 win and its first ever UHL championship.

Cloutier made 24 saves in the win and tied a UHL postseason record with his 12th win. Ulanski was named the Colonial Cup postseason MVP after leading the IceHogs with 21 points in its 17-game championship run.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Detroit eliminated by Anaheim in six



Game 1 - at Detroit 2, Anaheim 1
Game 2 - Anaheim 4 at Detroit 3 (OT)
Game 3 - Detroit 5 at Anaheim 0
Game 4 - at Anaheim 5, Detroit 3
Game 5 - Anaheim 2 at Detroit 1
Game 6 - at Anaheim 4, Detroit 3
(Anaheim wins series, 4-2)

Anaheim will face Ottawa in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Flags fold, but hockey may stay in Port Huron

The United Hockey League announced on Friday that the Port Huron Flags are ceasing operations immediately.

Unfortunately, the current ownership chose not to move forward with the operation of the franchise.

"We regret that we were not able to go on further with the Port Huron Flags hockey team, but we are happy that there are continued negotiations with others to keep the Flags in Port Huron for the upcoming UHL season," Flags chairman Charlie Barrett said.

“The league owes a lot to Charlie Barrett and the group of civic minded individuals that kept the Flags going the past two years,” stated UHL president/CEO Richard Brosal. “They have allowed us the time to find new ownership that can hopefully be announced in the next couple of weeks."

The UHL hopes to have an announcement in the upcoming weeks regarding a new ownership group that will keep UHL hockey in Port Huron next season.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pronger suspended for Game 4

The National Hockey League announced today that Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger has been suspended for one game for a blow to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom in Western Conference Final Game #3 in Anaheim, May 15.

The incident occurred at 11:40 of the second period.

Pronger will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, Thursday at Anaheim. He will be eligible to return for Game 5, Sunday at Detroit.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Wings sign prospect Igor Grigorenko

By Ansar Khan, Booth Newspapers

Six years after being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings and four years after his near-fatal car accident in Russia, Igor Grigorenko is finally coming to North America.

The 5-foot-10, 209-pound left wing is no longer the Wings' top prospect, but he still has an intriguing set of skills. Next season, the Wings will see if he's ready to play in the NHL. The club has signed Grigorenko to a one-year entry level contract worth $858,800. He'll be competing for a job in training camp in Traverse City this fall.

"He was a real top prospect for us a number of years ago but unfortunately had that accident,'' Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "He's had a couple of years where he's been able to play and get healthy. We feel it's time to come over and see where he's at.''

The Wings selected Grigorenko with the 62nd overall pick (second round) in the 2001 draft. He was one of the top players in the Russian Elite League before sustaining a broken left femur and two fractures in his left tibia when he lost control of his car on a rain-slicked highway on May 16, 2003. He nearly died in the hospital after sustaining a fat embolism in his lung, but he recovered from his injuries well enough to resume his hockey career in Russia in December 2003.

"He's got great hands, a goal-scoring touch. He can drive to the net, he's hard to knock around, he's so solid,'' Holland said. "Skating was the only part of his game he had to improve on. Obviously, the accident set him back.''

Before the accident, Grigorenko was talented enough to play on the same line with Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk in the 2003 World Hockey Championship.

"When you bring a European player over you never know, but we feel the timing is right and he's as healthy as he's ever been,'' Holland said. "How's his speed going to be and how's he going to react to physical play?''

Grigorenko, 24, signed a two-way contract, meaning he'll make considerably less in the minors (about $70,000). However, he has a clause in the deal that allows him to return to Russia after spending about three weeks with the Wings' AHL affiliate, Grand Rapids, at the start of the season if he doesn't earn a spot on the NHL roster.

Wings advance to Colonial Cup finals

Game 1 - Kalamazoo 4 at Muskegon 3 (OT)
Game 2 - at Muskegon 2, Kalamazoo 1
Game 3 - at Kalamazoo 5, Muskegon 4
Game 4 - Muskegon 4 at Kalamazoo 1
Game 5 - at Muskegon 4, Kalamazoo 2
Game 6 - at Kalamazoo 5, Muskegon 1
Game 7 - Kalamazoo 3 at Muskegon 2
(Kalamazoo wins series, 4-3)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

K-Zoo's Lawmaster, Karlander suspended by UHL

The United Hockey League announced Monday that two Kalamazoo Wings players, Jason Lawmaster and Kory Karlander, have been suspended for their actions during Saturday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals of the Colonial Cup playoffs against the Muskegon Fury.

Lawmaster was involved in an on-ice cross checking incident as well as an off-ice incident.

“Mr. Lawmaster’s actions will not be tolerated or condoned by the UHL, and due to his actions, he is receiving a 15-game suspension. His on-ice cross check to his opponents’ head along with his off-ice conduct was deplorable,” stated UHL president/CEO Richard Brosal. “We will not accept this type of behavior from our players.”

Karlander was on the receiving end of an unfortunate situation while on the ice. A spectator in the LC Walker Arena found it necessary to throw a golf ball on the ice in the direction of Karlander at which time he caught the golf ball and tossed it back into the crowd.

“Although we can’t penalize the fan who inexcusably threw the golf ball on the ice, we do have to discipline the player for his actions. I want to stress that Kory Karlander’s demeanor along with his reputation in the hockey world is very good. His actions were one of reacting, and at no time do I feel were made with any malice or thought of striking anyone with the golf ball,” said Brosal. “Mr. Karlander is suspended for two games at a very critical time in the playoffs.”

Lawmaster’s suspension began with Game 6 on Monday. Karlander also missed that game and also will be ineligible to play Game 7 scheduled for Wednesday.

“The league stands by these decisions due to the actions of the players and hopes that this sends a strong message to the league about unacceptable conduct,” Brosal added. “In addition, one of these incidents was instigated by irresponsible fan behavior. The fans must also take responsibility for their actions and stay within the bounds of appropriate conduct while enjoying exciting UHL action.”

Red Wings down Sharks, Ducks up next


Detroit (1) vs. San Jose (5)

Game 1 - San Jose 2 at Detroit 0
Game 2 - at Detroit 3, San Jose 2
Game 3 - at San Jose 2, Detroit 1
Game 4 - Detroit 3 at San Jose 2 (OT)
Game 5 - at Detroit 4, San Jose 1
Game 6 - Detroit 2 at San Jose 0
(Detroit wins series, 4-2)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

UHL hands out awards to Michigan team staffers

The United Hockey League announced Monday the following front office awards based on the contributions that the individuals made to their respective team and the league during the 2006-07 season.

Governor of the YearCharlie Barrett, Port Huron Flags
General Manager of the YearPaul Pickard, Kalamazoo Wings
Marketing Director of the Year – Scott Sproat, Fort Wayne Komets
Public Relations Director of the YearMike Modugno, Kalamazoo Wings
Broadcaster of the YearNed Bowdern, Flint Generals
Merchandise Director of the Year – Bloomington PrairieThunder

Detroit's Maltby signs three-year extension

Detroit Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby has signed a three-year extension worth $2.65 million.

Maltby, 34, joined the Wings in 1996 from Edmonton. He played in all 82 regular-season games this year, totaling six goals and five assists.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Griffins eliminated in Game 7 Tuesday

Game 1 - at Manitoba 1, Grand Rapids 0
Game 2 - Grand Rapids 4 at Manitoba 1
Game 3 - at Grand Rapids 2, Manitoba 1 (OT)
Game 4 - Manitoba 4 at Grand Rapids 1
Game 5 - at Grand Rapids 4, Manitoba 3 (OT)
Game 6 - at Manitoba 2, Grand Rapids 1
Game 7 - at Manitoba 4, Grand Rapids 1
(Manitoba wins series, 4-3)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lidstrom and Datsyuk up for NHL awards

Goaltender Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and goaltender Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks have been voted finalists for the Hart Trophy as League MVP as the NHL announced today the nominees for eight annual awards.

Crosby and Luongo each received his first career Hart Trophy nomination, Brodeur his third. All three Hart finalists are nominees for multiple awards; Luongo also is a nominee for the Vezina Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award, Brodeur for the Vezina and Crosby for the Pearson.

The winners will be announced Thursday, June 14 during the 2007 NHL Awards Television Special at the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto (CBC, 8:30 p.m., ET).

For the first time since the inception of the NHL Awards Television Special in 1983, there are more than the traditional three finalists for an NHL trophy. A third-place tie in balloting for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the League's top goaltender as voted by NHL General Managers, has resulted in invitations to four finalists for that honor.

Following are the finalists for each trophy, in alphabetical order:

CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding rookie): Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins; Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche.

FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY (outstanding defensive forward): Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes; Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim Ducks; Jay Pandolfo, New Jersey Devils.

HART MEMORIAL TROPHY (most valuable player to his team): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.

JACK ADAMS AWARD (outstanding coach): Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres; Michel Therrien, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks.

JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings; Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks; Chris Pronger, Anaheim Ducks.

LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY (sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct): Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche; Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning.

LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD (most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.

VEZINA TROPHY (outstanding goaltender): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames; Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.