Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 09/15/07 at 10:26 AM ET
There is, apparently, no valid reason to use the word “if” when referring to Dallas Drake’s chances of making the team. Naturally, intelligent readers like yourselves knew that the minute he signed.
Your boy Khan(!), already with a contract in hand to write Drake’s memoirs, has found himself a new BFF.
Drake’s experience as the captain in St. Louis will help. Babcock loves his competitiveness.
“Dallas Drake flat-out loves hockey,’’ Babcock said. “And playing for us, he’ll be re-energized and be a huge part of our team, from a leadership standpoint, from a physical standpoint and from just being an all-around good guy.’‘
Ted Kulfan, standing by his credo to report nothing that isn’t already being covered by every other outlet in town, also touched on the Drake addition.
Chris Osgood played with Drake in St. Louis, where Drake was a captain. Drake’s toughness, said Osgood, gives the Wings another needed ingredient.
“He’s another guy who opponents will have to worry about,” Osgood said.
“He’s been suspended for hits, and sometimes that’s not a bad thing to have a guy like that. He’ll put guys in line.”
Sarah Lindenau from Red Wings Central agreed with Khan(!) that Drake looked sharp in the first scrimmage. Unlike Khan(!), she’s been in TC since the prospects arrived and has been keeping an eye on Jimmy Howard.
“I am ready — I know I am,” the 23-year-old said on the first day of Red Wings training camp on Friday in Traverse City, Mich.
“I am chomping at the bit to show (the Red Wings) everything that I have and everything that I have worked on. I just want to prove myself.”
Howard went 21-21-3 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Howard is stuck behind incumbents Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood, but the Red Wings would likely make room for him if he forces the issue.
Hmmm. Not so sure about that. Not sure the Wing roster will be as easy to crack for a third goalie as it was last season. But, also unlike Khan(!), if Lindenau’s writing it I’m betting there’s a pretty good source. Dennis Chase of the TC Record Eagle squeezed a quote out of Babcock that’s pretty interesting.
“I don’t see us carrying eight D (defensemen),” he said. “The question is whether we would carry 14 forwards. If we like a couple forwards, and they give us different dimensions and we’re worried if we put them on waivers we might lose them, then we might carry an extra.”
Helene St. James, in the midst of her own John Hahn-directed mandatory Drake story, mentioned the fact that Uncle Mike appears to have his mind made up regarding line combinations.
Drake’s whole line shone Friday: He, center Tomas Kopecky and right wing Kirk Maltby led many a rush, and had the early makings of a terrific shut-down line. They’re likely to be together for a while, because coach Mike Babcock is committed to assembling his NHL lines early. The other three lines are: Dan Cleary, Valtteri Filppula and Kris Draper (who had an empty-net goal); Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom, and Jiri Hudler, Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson. Prospect Igor Grigorenko is with Mark Hartigan and Aaron Downey.
Roger. Got it. No mention anywhere of how Brent Sopel looked. Need to know that. Feedback please. Back to what Babcock told the Record Eagle above. Not carrying 8 defensemen..and a hint that 14 forwards may be likely. Let’s take a look at that.
23 roster spots. Let’s go with 14 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2 goalies.
Plus: Grigorenko and Downey
If I had to bet today, I’d say there’s your opening day roster.
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