Thursday, July 26, 2007

All four IHL teams sign players

The Flint Generals have signed defenseman Ryan Jorde and forward John DiPace.

"Our coaching staff is very excited to have Ryan Jorde back for a second season," head coach Kevin Kerr said. "He brings toughness and good leadership on and off the ice. He is a guy who will fit well with the new rule changes in the IHL. He will add a lot of toughness to our defense. Ryan is a very solid two-way defenseman."

DiPace is back for a second stint in a Flint uniform. He brings skill and speed and fits well with the coach's style of play.

"John is a feisty player who is not afraid to mix it up and can put the puck in the net," added Kerr.


Defenseman Dave Van Drunen re-signed with the Muskegon Fury today.

“Dave has been the ultimate warrior for the Fury for the past three years," Fury head coach Bruce Ramsay said. "No one battles harder and better every game than ‘Vandy.’ He is a model leader in the locker room as well as on the ice. He plays a ton every game, every night and leads with his seemingly tireless efforts. Not only that, but he may just be the best penalty-killer in the league and is on the ice in every key situation which faces our team.

"Anyone who plays with him and is around him benefits immensely from his entire approach to the game. I have known him for a lot of years; he is a class person both on and off the ice and we are really thrilled to have him back with us for a fourth season.”


The Kalamazoo Wings announced the signings of defenseman Ed Campbell and forward Joel Rechlicz.

“Ed is a gritty player that should thrive in our system,” said Wings' GM Wade Welsh. “With Campbell on the ice, our goaltenders won’t have to worry about opposing players crowding the crease.

“To be successful in the IHL you are going to need physical players. Joel is a young, tough kid that under the tutelage of (head coach) Mark (Reeds) can hopefully flourish as an all around player.”


Port Huron added defenseman Chris Bogas and forward Jeremy Tucker.

“Chris is a veteran d-man who plays in all situations," said Icehawks' head coach Stan Drulia. "He is also one of the funniest guys I know. His character and personality will help keep his teammates loose.

"(Tucker) plays hard every time he is on the ice, and he is very versatile. After taking three years off from playing before last season, we are looking for him to be more comfortable and a huge part of our success this season.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kalamazoo brings back popular trio

The Kalamazoo Wings announced the signings of forwards Mike Manley and Glenn Detulleo and defenseman Jeff Brown on Tuesday.

The last time K-Wings fans saw Manley in a Wings jersey he was hoisting the Colonial Cup. After playing last season in the ECHL with the Trenton Titans, Manley comes back to the team where he started his professional career. The forward was a member of the K-Wings from 2004-06.

“He (Manley) got caught in a numbers game in the ECHL with contracted NHL draft picks and didn’t get the ice time he needed to succeed,” said Kalamazoo GM Wade Welsh. “Returning to the K-Wings gives Manley the perfect opportunity to showcase his abilities.”

Manley is a bona fide performer that has a track record of scoring in the clutch and well as a proven commodity on the penalty kill.

During the 2005-06 season, Manley led all United Hockey League rookies in shorthanded goals with six. The six shorthanders by Manley still stand as the K-Wings’ single-season UHL franchise record.

Adding to the K-Wings offensive arsenal will be Detulleo. The native of Timmins, Ontario is coming off a postseason run, which he set the K-Wings’ UHL record for assists in a single playoff year (15).

“Glenn creates scoring chances for both him and his linemates,” said Welsh. “He’s coming off a career playoff year and we expect him to continue were he left off.”

Over the past two seasons, Detulleo has averaged 63 points, which includes the 2005-06 season with the Quad City Mallards. An iron man during that season, Detulleo set personal career high in goals (17) assists (53) and points (70). Last season, Glenn continued his scoring brilliance tying his career best for goals in a single season.

Originally, joining the K-Wings last November through a trade with Quad City, Detulleo split last season with the K-Wings, Mallards and Elmira Jackals.

Also returning to the K-Wings will be Brown. The 2007-08 season will be Brown’s tenth as a professional and second in Kalamazoo.

Last season, Brown helped anchor one of the stingiest defenses in the UHL, which surrendered 2.51 goals a game. Brown was also one of five members of the K-Wings to earn to be selected and start in the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic.

“When you have the opportunity to sign an all-star caliber player, you have to jump at it,” said Welsh. “Brown’s experience and leadership are assets to our blueline and locker room.”

Brown, who was the first round pick (22nd overall pick) of the New York Rangers in 1996, has an extensive resume which includes four years of Junior A hockey in the Ontario Hockey League, as well as international experience. During the 1998-99 season, Brown represented his country by playing for Team Canada.

The addition of Manley, Detulleo and Brown gives the K-Wings six players signed for the upcoming 2007-08 season.

Also signed for next season are forwards Nick Bootland and Tyler Willis and defenseman Adam Elzinga.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Detroit camp invite Engelage reflects

Hey Spits Fans,

Well, as I'm sure you all know, I was invited to attend the Red Wings strength and conditioning camp earlier this month.

I headed over to Detroit on July 4th and checked into the Marriott Hotel at the GM Renaissance Centre just across the river. I stayed with Jakub Kindl of the Kitchener Rangers for the week.

After checking in, we all met at the Joe Louis Arena and did our fitness testing. Then the week began. We had to wake up a little before 7:00 am to catch breakfast and our ride over to the Joe. We would do a team warm up before every skate in the morning. We were then on the ice from 8:30 am until 10:00 am. The skates were fairly tough for the goaltenders.

We had Detroit’s goalie coach Jim Bedard out with us for every skate which was great as it allowed me to learn a lot. After our skates we were able to go back to the hotel and catch about a two hour nap. Then we were back to the Joe for our workouts. We had different things to do each day, some days were upper body and some were lower body and some were core. We also went for two three mile runs along the Detroit River.

During the camp we also were able to attend several special events. We were lucky enough to attend two Detroit Tigers games versus the Boston Red Sox. We were able to sit in the Ilitch's suite which was located right behind home plate. We had the best seats in the house and a lot of food to go with it! Also, the Tigers won both games which was exciting.

We were also taken out to the Hockeytown restaurant for a nice meal. We were also able to catch a couple of movies. The hotel had its own movie theatres which were nice.

Overall, I feel that I did well at camp and really enjoyed myself. It was an experience of a lifetime.

See you all in September,

Andrew Engelage #1

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Generals add bruising defender Mallette

He's 6-foot-4, weighs 230 pounds, has averaged 243 penalty minutes during a seven-year pro career, can skate a regular shift and is reportedly a great guy to have in the dressing room.

Today, he's a Flint General.

The Generals landed the type of defenseman every team covets when they signed bruising blue-liner Kris Mallette to anchor their defense.

The Flint Jounal has the details HERE.

Stothers takes over in Grand Rapids

The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday named Mike Stothers as the new head coach for the Grand Rapids Griffins, their American Hockey League affiliate.

Stothers, 45, becomes the seventh head coach in Griffins history. Prior to serving the last five seasons as head coach for the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack, he spent 20 years in the Philadelphia Flyers organization as a player and coach.

The Flyers’ first-round pick (21st overall) in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, Stothers is one of a select group that has won the AHL’s Calder Cup as both a player and a coach. He first hoisted the cup as a defenseman for the Maine Mariners in 1984, then repeated the feat as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 1998.

Following a 10-year playing career that included 30 NHL contests with the Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs, Stothers enjoyed a phenomenal nine-year run as an assistant coach for both the Flyers and their AHL affiliates. During his first three seasons with the expansion Phantoms, he helped guide the club to three straight division crowns (1996-99), consecutive AHL regular season titles (1996-98) and the league’s 1998 championship.

After serving interim stints as an assistant coach with the Flyers during both the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons, Stothers worked behind the NHL team’s bench for two full seasons from 2000-02, capping off his tenure with an Atlantic Division title in 2001-02.

In 13 seasons as both a head coach and assistant coach in the NHL, AHL and OHL, his teams have never missed the playoffs. In 560 regular season AHL games, Stothers has compiled a 284-199-65-12 (.576) mark, along with a 36-26 (.581) record in 62 Calder Cup Playoff contests. His career coaching resume shows 529 wins in 1064 regular season games, plus 52 wins in 107 postseason affairs.

"For us, it's important that our coach has what it takes to succeed in our league. With his experience in the AHL, he understands what players go through in their development and that's important," Griffins GM Bob McNamara said. "It's a great fit for both organizations.”

Stothers joins returning assistant coach Jim Paek in preparation for the Griffins’ 12th season overall and their seventh AHL campaign in 2007-08.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bouchard first to sign with Fury for '07-08

The Muskegon Fury have announced that perennial all-star right wing Robin Bouchard has assented to terms and signed a one-year contract which will return him to Muskegon for his 11th season under the Fury banner. Bouchard will also serve as the Fury’s player-assistant coach.

Bouchard, 33, will be embarking on his 14th pro season overall. Last season in Italy, he amassed 46 points in 28 games on 18 goals and 28 assists with 60 penalty minutes. During the 2005-2006 season in Muskegon, Bouchard had 59 goals among 116 points. For his entire UHL career, he ranked at or near the top in virtually every major offensive category. His 490 goals, 202 power-play goals and seven game-winning goals all rank No. 1 for the league. His 483 assists, 973 points and 732 games all rank him as third-best in those three categories. He ranks fifth in career PIM with 1,730 as well.

“We are very, very excited to have Robin back with us," said Fury head coach Bruce Ramsay. "He means so much to this franchise both on and off the ice. His popularity here is undeniable and he is a true asset to our entire organization. Over the years, Robin and I have developed an outstanding relationship and we look forward with much anticipation of having him here the full year as our player-assistant coach. He will be a great aide in grooming and developing our good, young players in this upcoming season.

"The best way to probably say it today is that today’s signing of Robin Bouchard represents a major step in assembling our team for the new season in the exciting new IHL. With Robin back in our lineup, it’s another good reason why all of the Fury fans and this great hockey community will really enjoy watching our team this season.”

A year-round resident of the Muskegon area, Bouchard, himself, is both thrilled and determined as he eagerly gets ready for the new Fury season.

“I’m really happy to be back and be part of such an outstanding organization in the new IHL," Bouchard said. "What makes this even more exciting and enjoyable is the great new direction of our league. The IHL is doing it right. This is the model, the best direction for minor pro hockey and was one of the most important factors in my decision to come back to the Fury. I’m looking forward to the new season in a new league; it’s like a new life in the new IHL. As far as being the player/assistant coach is concerned, I’m also really looking forward to working with ‘Rammer.’

"Last season ended too early for us, but with ‘Rammer’ doing his usual great job of player recruitment, we’re going to have another strong season of Fury hockey. It’s fun to know that I will have been a part of the Colonial League, the United League and now the IHL.”

Icehawks sign veteran trio, including Adams

The Port Huron Icehawks announced the signing of B.J. Adams for the 2007-2008 season Friday. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman will also serve as the team’s assistant coach.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adams played four years of collegiate hockey at Bowling Green State University before turning pro for the tail end of the 1999-2000 season with the Milwaukee Admirals. He spent the next three seasons in the East Coast Hockey League and then joined the United Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs in 2003. After stints in Toledo (ECHL) and Odessa (Central Hockey League), Adams came to Port Huron with the Flags last season and played under current head coach Stan Drulia.

“B.J. was without a doubt our steadiest defenseman last year,” Drulia said. “He plays against the No. 1 line every night and we rely heavily on him during the penalty kill. He is also a great team leader and he will be instrumental in our recruiting process this summer.”

Adams suffered a shoulder injury last season that required surgery in the off-season, but still played through the injury during Port Huron’s playoff run last season. He is expected to be fully recovered in time for the upcoming season.

Adams is the third player to sign with the Icehawks since the newly reformed International Hockey League announced that hockey will return to Port Huron. Adams joins defenseman Mark DeSantis and center Kris Vernarsky.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Former Detroit coach Skinner passes

Jimmy Skinner, who served with the Detroit Red Wings for 42 seasons and coached the star-laden Wings to the Stanley Cup in 1955, died last Wednesday at his home in Windsor, Ontario. He was 90.

Skinner is credited with starting the practice of kissing the Stanley Cup, which he did in the spring of 1955.

“He had never seen the Cup before,” said his son, Jim Skinner, Jr. “He just leaned over and kissed it. He did it naturally. Now everybody does it.”

The 1955 Red Wings were one of the strongest clubs in NHL history, with stars like Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Terry Sawchuk, Alex Delvecchio and Red Kelly in their lineup. It was the fourth Cup winner in six seasons for the Wings, who didn’t win another until 1997.

Skinner’s coaching style relied heavily on veteran players.

“He treated everyone with dignity, like a family really,” recalled defenseman Marcel Pronovost, himself a member of the 1955 team, and now a scout for the New Jersey Devils.

Illness cut short Skinner’s coaching career, and he retired from coaching in 1958 with a record of 123 wins, 78 losses and 46 ties. He served the Wings in a variety of front office positions, including head scout, farm director and director of player personnel. He was general manager of the Red Wings from 1980-1982.

Skinner was born on Jan. 12, 1917, in Selkirk, Manitoba.

Article courtesy, photo courtesy Detroit Red Wings Forever

Friday, July 13, 2007

Griffins loading up on prospects

By Matthew Wuest

The Detroit Red Wings continue to stock up their top minor-league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

The Red Wings confirmed today the signing of center Mark Hartigan to a one-year, two-way contract. He’s the third high-profile minor-leaguer to be signed to a two-way contract by the Red Wings since July 1, joining center Mark Cullen and right winger Carl Corazzini.

Hartigan (57 points in 59 games) Cullen (52 points in 56 games), Corazzini (57 points in 68 games) were all extremely productive in the AHL last season and should provide significant offensive punch for the Griffins.

The squad could also see the return of do-everything captain Matt Ellis, who signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Wings in June.

Notable Red Wings prospects such as Darren Helm, Evan McGrath and Ryan Oulahen stand to benefit from their presence.

The Griffins should be stocked on the blue line, with at least three prospects among the group of Kyle Quincey, Derek Meech, Jakub Kindl and Jonathan Ericsson expected to be assigned to the minors.

The Red Wings also inked bruising defenseman Brad Ference to a one-year, two-way contract earlier this month.

Jimmy Howard and Adam Berkhoel are the anticipated tandem in goal.

The Griffins are coming off an average season, having gone 37-32-6-5 and losing in the first round of the playoffs. The off-season housecleaning should see the team make significant gains in the standings.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Red Wings announce '07-08 schedule

Oct. 3 Anaheim, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 Edmonton, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 Calgary, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Los Angeles, 8:00 p.m.
Oct. 15 at Anaheim, 10:00 p.m.
Oct. 18 at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Phoenix, 9:00 p.m.
Oct. 24 Vancouver, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 San Jose, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Vancouver, 10:00 p.m.
Oct. 30 at Edmonton, 9:00 p.m.

Nov. 1 at Calgary, 9:00 p.m.
Nov. 7 Nashville, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 Columbus, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 11 at Chicago, 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 13 at St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 17 Chicago, 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 18 at Columbus, 5:00 p.m.
Nov. 21 St. Louis, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 22 at Nashville, 8:00 p.m.
Nov. 24 at Columbus, 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 27 Calgary, 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 29 Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 1 Phoenix, 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 4 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 7 Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 9 Carolina, 5:00 p.m.
Dec. 10 at Nashville, 8:00 p.m.
Dec. 13 Edmonton, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15 Florida, 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 17 Washington, 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 19 Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 20 at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 22 at Minnesota, 8:00 p.m.
Dec. 26 at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 27 at Colorado, 9:00 p.m.
Dec. 29 at Phoenix, 9:00 p.m.
Dec. 31 St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 2 Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 5 at Dallas, 2:00 p.m.
Jan. 6 at Chicago, 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 8 Colorado, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 at Ottawa, 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 15 Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 Vancouver, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19 at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
Jan. 23 at Anaheim, 10:00 p.m.
Jan. 30 Phoenix, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 Colorado, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 5 at Minnesota, 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 7 Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 at Toronto, 3:00 p.m.
Feb. 10 Anaheim, 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 12 at Nashville, 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 15 Columbus, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 at Dallas, 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 18 at Colorado, 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 22 at Calgary, 9:00 p.m.
Feb. 23 at Vancouver, 10:00 p.m.
Feb. 26 at Edmonton, 9:00 p.m.
Feb. 29 San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 2 at Buffalo, 3:00 p.m.
Mar. 5 St. Louis, 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 9 Nashville, 3:00 p.m.
Mar. 11 Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 13 Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 15 Nashville, 1:00 p.m.
Mar. 16 at Columbus, 3:00 p.m.
Mar. 19 Columbus, 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 20 at Nashville, 8:00 p.m.
Mar. 22 at Columbus, 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 25 at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.
Mar. 28 St. Louis, 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 30 Nashville, 3:00 p.m.

Apr. 2 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Apr. 3 Columbus, 7:30 p.m.
Apr. 6 Chicago, 3:00 p.m.

Elzinga to return to Kalamazoo blueline

The Kalamazoo Wings have announced the signing of defenseman Adam Elzinga; per team policy, the terms of the contract will be undisclosed.

After leading all K-Wing defensemen in goals (10) scored a season ago, Elzinga is set for his third season in Kalamazoo . An assistant captain last year, Elzinga lead by example setting personal career high in points (34), goals (10) and assists (24) and amassed a plus/minus rating of +14.

Elzinga was a pillar of consistence all season and his stellar play didn’t go unnoticed by the league or by the fans. During the season, Elzinga was selected by the league and media to represent the K-Wings during the 2007 UHL All-Star Classic. Not only did the fans recognize Elzinga’s accomplishments midseason by selecting him to the all-star starting lineup, but the K-Wing faithful also honored the native of Burbank, Ill., by bestowing upon him the team’s Fifth-Third Bank Defenseman of the Year.

“Over the past two seasons, Adam has established himself as one of our top defenseman,” said Kalamazoo general manager Wade Welsh. “We expect him to continue to be an anchor on our blue line and help us reach our ultimate goal of winning another championship for the city of Kalamazoo.”

Elzinga has helped the K-Wings reached league supremacy in the recent past. Forever being linked to Kalamazoo ’s last championship (2005-06), Elzinga recorded an assist on the K-Wings Game Five Colonial Cup clinching goal, which earned the franchise its first hockey title in 26 years.

Monday, July 09, 2007

K-Wings captain Bootland to conduct clinic

Wings Stadium, which is also home to “The Annex” and “The Cube," announces Kalamazoo Wings forward and team captain Nick Bootland will conduct an Adult Development & Learn to Play Hockey Clinic for both men and women in August.

Adults 18 years and older can hit the ice and learn the coolest game on Earth from the K-Wings’ captain. Bootland will teach participants how to play, shoot, skate and pass from 7-8 p.m. every Tuesday in August (7th, 14th, 21st, & 28th).

All skill levels are welcome; however, participants must bring their own equipment. The fee to partake in the clinic is $175 per person. Registration has already begun and will conclude on Friday, August 3.

For more information on registration, please contact Jeff Weber, Ice Events Coordinator, at (269) 345-2277 or by e-mail.

Stadium Management Company owns both the Wings Stadium Complex and the Kalamazoo Wings hockey team. The Wings Stadium Complex is comprised of three buildings; Wings Stadium seats more than 5,100 fans for K-Wings home games and more than 8,000 people for concerts and other stage events. The Annex seats 1,367 for ice events and can seat up to 2,850 for non-ice events such as car, boat, and trade shows. The Cube is the newer of the three facilities, that plays host to both ice and non-ice events. All three buildings are available for rental and feature numerous catering and meeting opportunities.

Drake signs one-year deal with Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings today announced the team has agreed to contract terms with forward and former St. Louis captain Dallas Drake on a one-year contract.

In keeping with club policy, additional terms of the deal are not available.

Drake, 38, was originally selected by the Red Wings in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft (sixth round, 116th overall) out of Northern Michigan University and played two seasons for Detroit before being traded to Winnipeg in 1994 with goalie Tim Cheveldae for goalie and Michigan State alum Bob Essensa and defenseman Sergei Bautin.

"We're very pleased to have Dallas join the Red Wings," said Detroit GM Ken Holland. "He's a very physical player who will add grit to our lineup and make our team even more difficult to play against. He's a veteran player and you can never have enough experience and leadership on a team."

In 14 NHL seasons with Detroit, Winnipeg, Phoenix and St. Louis, Drake has appeared in 944 NHL games, tallying 174 goals, 297 assists for 471 points and 844 penalty minutes

Bootland bolts Motown for the Island

The New York Islanders have signed right wing Darryl Bootland to a one-year deal.

The 25-year-old Bootland comes to the Islanders after playing in the Detroit Red Wings organization for the past five seasons. He played 68 games for the Red Wings American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, last season totaling 18 goals and 13 assists with 222 penalty minutes.

"Darryl will be counted on as a power forward, who will contribute points on a consistent basis," Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) president Howard Saffan said. "His experience with the Red Wings will benefit our young players because he will be able to show them what it takes to compete at an NHL level every night."

During the 2006 Calder Cup playoffs, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Bootland helped Grand Rapids make the Western Conference Finals by scoring five goals and seven assists in 16 games.

Over the course of the Bradford, Ontario native's AHL career, he has registered 72 goals and 68 assists with a total of 1,164 penalty minutes in 293 games. In 28 career NHL games, all with Detroit, Bootland has a goal and an assist with 83 penalty minutes.

"The style of play that I have always prided myself on playing is one of accountability," Bootland said. "My new teammates, coaching staff and fans will always be able to rely on me to put forward an honest effort every time I step onto the ice."

Flint signs ex-WMU goalie Marvin

The Flint Generals have signed goaltender Eric Marvin for the upcoming 2007-2008 season.

Marvin played seven games for the Generals after his collegiate career at Western Michigan University in 2006.

The 24-year-old from Naperville, Ill., was a member of the Laredo Bucks in the Central Hockey League last season and posted a 20-8-4 record along with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.

“Eric is a top notch goaltender,” said Flint head coach Kevin Kerr. “He was a big reason that the Laredo Bucks went to the playoffs and made the finals last season.”

"I’m excited to be included in rebuilding the tradition,” said Marvin. “Working with The Perani Group, front office personnel and the coaching staff is something to be proud of. We’ll have a young, exciting team that should immediately compete for an IHL championship.”

Friday, July 06, 2007

Red Wings re-sign the Dominator

DETROIT (AP) - Dominik Hasek and the Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms of a one-year contract Thursday that is worth more than $2 million in base salary and gives the 42-year-old goalie a chance to earn an additional $2 million in bonuses.

"It's a lot less than he should be making," Hasek's agent Ritch Winter said. "It's one of the few deals that I do in which the player, the club and the agent agree the player is worth $5 (million) or $6 million and we talk it down from there.

"Dom didn't want more. He's taking one for the team. It's not one of my fun deals, but Dom is happy and that's important."

The six-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time MVP informed the Red Wings that he wanted to play in Detroit again, but it took weeks for the sides to reach a deal.

In July 2006, he signed a one-year contract worth $750,000 and earned $900,000 in bonuses after helping the Red Wings advance past the second round for the first time since 2002. Detroit was eliminated in the Western Conference finals by the Anaheim Ducks, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Hasek was 38-11-6 with a 2.05 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and eight shutouts during his 15th regular season and third in Detroit. In the playoffs, Hasek was 10-8 with a 1.79 GAA, .923 save percentage and two shutouts.

For his legacy and bank account, Hasek didn't need to put on his skates and equipment this season. And he certainly didn't have to play another year in the NHL.

One of the world's best goaltenders has had a lot of personal success and earned tens of millions of dollars.

He's won, too, leading the Czech Republic to the gold medal in the 1998 Olympics and helping Detroit win the Stanley Cup in 2002.

When Ottawa decided last summer that it didn't want him back after an injury-plagued season, he could have retired again knowing his spot in the Hall of Fame was secure.

But a big part of what has made Hasek an all-time great - an insatiable appetite to compete - brought him back to Detroit with a bargain-basement, incentive-laden contract.

"I didn't come back to play and to make money," Hasek said in April. "I came back because I want to compete for the Stanley Cup, and to win the Stanley Cup. I didn't have a chance because of my injuries and the lockout the last four years and now I am back and I'm excited about it.

"I was waiting a long, long time to be back in the playoffs."

Hasek looked a lot like he did in his previous playoff appearance in 2002, when he had six shutouts in the playoffs en route to a Stanley Cup title that seemed to complete his career and led to his one-season retirement.

When Hasek signed last July, however, eyebrows were raised and the move was questioned.

He retired shortly after winning the Cup in his first season with the Red Wings only to come back a year later, creating an awkward situation for them because they signed Curtis Joseph to replace him.

Then, a groin injury limited Hasek to just 14 games during the 2003-04 season. After the lockout, the same ailment knocked him out of the Olympics last year and from the Senators' lineup.

Hasek showed again that when healthy, he's still one of hockey's top goalies.

He won 38 of 56 games - giving him 362 career victories over a 14-year career in Chicago, Buffalo, Detroit and Ottawa - and allowed an average of just two goals.

Detroit inks Ellis, Ference, Berkhoel

By Matthew Wuest

The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Matt Ellis, defenseman Brad Ference and goaltender Adam Berkhoel, a team source said Thursday. Ellis, who has been in the Red Wings' system for five seasons, took a pass on unrestricted free agency to sign a two-year deal, while Ference and Berkhoel have inked one-year contracts.

The 26-year-old Ellis served as captain of the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins last season, recording 26 goals and 23 assists for 49 points in 65 games. He also made his NHL debut with Detroit, averaging 5:35 of ice time and going pointless in six games. Ellis will have a chance to win a spot as Detroit's 12th or 13th forward at training camp, but he could also return to Grand Rapids.

Ference, the 10th overall pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, has played just five NHL games over the past three seasons. The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder, known for his nasty disposition, had three goals, 23 assists and 210 penalty minutes in 73 games with the AHL's Omaha Knights last year. Ference is a veteran of 250 NHL games, during which he has recorded 565 penalty minutes. He'll likely play in the AHL next season.

Berkhoel, meanwhile, is No. 4 on the Red Wings' goaltending depth chart, and could serve as Jimmy Howard's backup in Grand Rapids next season. He spent last year with the ECHL's Dayton Bombers, posting a 2.44 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 44 starts. The 26-year-old Denver University product appeared in nine NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2005-06 as an injury replacement.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Red Wings re-sign Hudler through 2009

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced today the team has re-signed forward Jiri Hudler to a two-year contract.

In keeping with club policy, additional terms of the deal are not available.

In his first full NHL season in 2006-07, Hudler appeared in 76 games and led all Detroit rookies in goals (15), assists (10) and points (25). He finished strong down the stretch, collecting over half (13) of his 25 points in the final 20 games of the season.

The Czech Republic native also made his Stanley Cup playoff debut in 2007, playing in six games with two assists.

Hudler was voted the 2007 Red Wings' Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. Past winners of the award include Johan Franzen (2006) and Henrik Zetterberg (2003).

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Windsor's Engelage gets Wings tryout

Jim Parker
Windsor Star

Windsor Spitfires goaltender Andrew Engelage is certain to split some allegiances.

Playing in a border town known for its split rivalries between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, the 18-year-old Engelage has chosen to pursue his hockey future with the Wings over the Leafs.

Bypassed in last month's NHL Draft, Engelage was offered a chance to come to camp with both teams, but had to make a decision when both camps lined up the same week.

"It wasn't tough when you're looking for the best opportunity," Engelage said. "There's not a ton (of prospects) in Detroit's system."

So Engelage, who grew up a Toronto fan, will instead attend Detroit's strength and conditioning camp for prospects at Joe Louis Arena from Thursday through next Tuesday.

"It's a little disappointing they didn't pick me up in the draft, but they (the Red Wings) called me after the draft and asked me if I wanted to come and I took the opportunity," Engelage said.

Detroit didn't take a goalie with any of its five picks in this year's draft, but assistant general manager Jim Nill spoke glowingly about the six-foot-five, 192-pound Engelage before the draft.

"He came out of nowhere," Nill said of Windsor's 13th round pick in 2005.

"He still has to work on some things, but for a big man he moves well for his size. Big goalies that move well are hard to find."

Engelage assumed Windsor's No. 1 goaltending job when Anthony Guadagnolo was dealt early last year and went on to post a 12-24-0-3 record with a 4.35 goals-against average and a .880 save percentage on a very young Windsor team.


"He played well considering how tough a year it was," Nill said. "A lot of nights, he was on his own out there."

Engelage is the youngest of three goalies invited to Detroit's camp along with 20-year-old Real Cyr, who played for Prince George in the Western Hockey League, and 20-year-old Pier-Olivier Pelletier, who was a former second-round NHL pick by Phoenix and played for Drummondville in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"That's how my whole hockey career has gone," Engelage said. "The whole time it's been to show people I can play."

While a pro contract won't come out of this camp, the fact Engelage plays in Windsor will give the Red Wings a chance to follow him closely next season.

Nill usually takes in a handful of games at Windsor Arena during the season.

"They're just 10 minutes away," Engelage said. "I think it helps that they can just pop over and catch a game more than anywhere else." or 519-255-5777 ext. 413

Monday, July 02, 2007

Red Wings lose Lang, Bertuzzi, Calder

All courtesy TSN

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed centre Robert Lang to a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 36-year-old appeared in 81 games for the Detroit Red Wings in 2006-07, collecting 19 goals, 52 points and 66 penalty minutes in his second full season in Motown.

''Robert gives us another offensive weapon at the center position,'' said general manager Dale Tallon. ''He is a right hand shot who will be able to help us on our power play. He has played with Martin Havlat in international competition and they have a very good chemistry together. He definitely gives us more strength up the middle.''

The Czech Republic native was selected by Los Angeles in the 1990 entry draft and played for four seasons with the Kings.

He then played five seasons in Pittsburgh, scoring a career-high 32 goals and 80 points in 2000-01.

In 2002, the Washington Capitals signed Lang to a five-year deal worth $25 million. He played in Washington for almost two seasons before being traded to the Red Wings in February of 2004.

Lang has played in 799 regular season games over his 13-year career, posting 213 goals, 581 points and 308 penalty minutes.


Todd Bertuzzi is re-uniting with Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke, signing a two-year, $8-million deal with the Ducks.

Bertuzzi, 32, played in only 15 regular season games with the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings last season because of a herniated disk in his back.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound winger tallied 11 points in the regular season before adding four points in eight playoff games.

Bertuzzi scored a career-high 97 points with the Vancouver Canucks in 2002-2003, where Burke was the general manager, but has been unable to match that production since.


Looking to add some much-needed scoring punch, the Los Angeles Kings today signed forwards Ladislav Nagy, Michal Handzus and Kyle Calder.

Calder, 28, appeared in 78 games with the Red Wings and Flyers last season and had totals of 14 goals and 21 assists.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Detroit inks Dearborn native Rafalski

Canadian Press

DETROIT (AP) - Defenseman Brian Rafalski agreed to a five-year, $30-million deal with the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, shortly after defenseman Mathieu Schneider chose to leave the team in free agency.

Rafalski scored eight goals and had 55 points last season for the New Jersey Devils. He has 44 career goals and 311 points in seven NHL seasons, all in New Jersey.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound defenseman was born in Dearborn, just outside of Detroit, and turns 34 in September.

Schneider signed a two-year deal worth $11.25 million with the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks. The 18-year veteran will make $5.5 million this season and $5.75 million the following year. He had 11 goals and 52 points last season for the Red Wings.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland expected to lose Schneider in free agency.

"We would love to have him back, but I expect him to hit the market and I don't blame him," Holland said Saturday night. "He's 38 years old, so he doesn't have a lot of chances to really take advantage of free agency."

Holland was cautiously optimistic on the eve of NHL free agency that he and Dominik Hasek would agree to contract terms to bring the star goaltender back. The six-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time MVP informed the Red Wings several weeks ago that he wanted to play in Detroit again.

The Red Wings also want to re-sign forward Todd Bertuzzi, if he is willing to return with a shorter-term contract.

Wings lose Schneider to Cup champs Staff

The Anaheim Ducks have signed defenceman Mathieu Schneider to a two-year deal paying him $5.5 million and $5.75 million.

Schneider played his last four seasons in Detroit and appeared in 68 games last season, recording 11 goals, 41 assists and 66 penalty minutes.

The veteran blueliner has played in 1,132 regular-season games over his 17-year career for six different teams. The two-time All-Star has recorded 200 goals and 463 assists in his career, while collecting 1,115 penalty minutes.

He was originally drafted in the third round, 44th overall, in the 1987 entry draft by the Montreal Canadiens.

After spending seven seasons in Montreal (and helping lead the team to a Stanley Cup in 1993), he was traded to the New York Islanders along with Kirk Muller and Craig Darby for Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakhov in 1995.

In 1995-96, he was packaged with Wendel Clark and D.J. Smith to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty and Kenny Jonsson. After three seasons in Toronto, Schneider was dealt to the New York Rangers for Alexander Karpovtsev and fourth-round pick in the 1999 entry draft.

In 2000, he signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Los Angeles Kings, where he played for almost three seasons. He was traded to the Red Wings in 2003 for Sean Avery, Maxim Kuznetsov, a 2003 first-round draft pick and a 2004 second-round draft pick.

Schneider has represented the United States at the World Hockey Championship in 1996 and played for Team USA at the Olympics in 1998 and 2006.