Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ray Slover at the Sporting News,
Oh, yeah, one more thing about Bertuzzi: If this man can clean up his tarnished reputation, he has come to the right place to do it. The Red Wings have perhaps the best atmosphere and leadership corps of any team in the NHL.
But it’s up to Bertuzzi. St. James says the team already is reaching out to him as a teammate, and he’s reaching back.
No matter what you think of Bertuzzi, he is an impact player.
more... Hmmm, wonder how Andy Strickland feels about this…
from the Detroit Free Press via the Mercury News,
“He called me right after the deadline and said: `Now I’m a Red Wing,’ ” former Canucks teammate and close friend Markus Naslund said. “He seemed really excited.”
New teammates saw the same enthusiasm on Bertuzzi’s first day at practice. When Kris Draper got to Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, Bertuzzi was there, humbly introducing himself to those he didn’t know, happily reacquainting himself with all those he did, whether it be from Team Canada or All-Star appearances.
“It was clear he’s very excited to be a part of the Red Wings,” Draper said. “The first thing he said to me: `Geez, you guys are on fire,’ and then he’s kind of like, `again.’ He had a smile on his face.”
Update from practice Monday: Tomas Holmstrom will be out for the next couple of games because of an undisclosed upper-body injury. It apparently happened during the third period of Friday’s game against Chicago but Holmstrom was able to play through it Sunday.
By George James Malik
The Red Wings’ open practice revealed a myriad of small details about the players’ tendencies, the team’s work ethic, and in Saturday’s case, the astonishingly long shadow cast by an injury of unknown severity, but there is one fact you must know about the Wings’ transformation from a Bowman-era team to Mike Babcock’s team, and it can be summed up in one word: crisp.
I saw two practices last season, and they were very herky-jerky in terms of pacing. Babcock had to stop his drills regularly to either explain himself again or to admonish players for their lack of hustle.
The giggling, hot-dogging, and joke-cracking that form the groundwork for any practice remain, but once Babcock, McLellan, and MacLean explained the next 90-to-180-second drill, the boys got “professional” fast. Hustle like there’s no tomorrow, skating your brains out while doing a simple cycling drill? Check. An innate understanding of not only the technical aspects of what’s being asked, but also the expectations of the coaches in terms of fit and finish? You bet.
By George Malik: I just don't get it. The Red Wings just installed a beautiful set of LED displays on their scoreboard, finally updating the video system after using big-screen TVs for almost fifteen years. You'd think that the organization would utilize that scoreboard to at least show some replays, or maybe tap into the rink's Center Ice package to show some highlights from around the league. It can't be that difficult to call down to the Fox Sports truck and ask, "Hey, can we see that last play on the board?" Right? Wrong. The scoreboard rarely shows replays. In the instances of controversial calls, reviewable goals, and even hard hits, fans attending games may as well bring an AM/FM radio with them, because the in-game production crew spends its time telling its rink-side camera crew to do crowd shots. Little kids dancing? You bet. Uncomfortable shots of fans who are told to "make some noise" but are unenthusiastic? Yes, indeedy. Awkward pauses, with the cameras pointed at an empty rink? Of course! It can't be that hard to splice into the Fox Sports feed to show replays on a regular basis. Yes, when we're talking about controversial hits, borderline penalties, or reviewed goals, showing those replays might get the crowd incensed, which steps on the NHL's toes ever so slightly, but isn't getting the crowd worked up the entire point of having that big video screen?
By George Malik: The Red Wings have made some great strides over the past month. The broadcast that Fox 2 produced earlier this month was tremendous. It broke away from the stale recycled clips from Red Wings Weekly that the FSD production crew sees fit to use over and over again for a month as pre-game, intermission, and post-game content. Instead, we were treated to at least one player interview per period, multiple post-game interviews, multiple interviews with the coaching staff, and a fascinating game-long feature on the insides of the Red Wings locker room, something that we in Detroit have (for better or worse) never seen before The broadcast teemed with an enthusiasm that's lacking from the FSD broadcasts, and gave us a sense that, at least when the game's on Fox 2, we'll get some locally-produced must-see Red Wings television. While the Wings mentioned it offhandedly during a road game, the arena is finally getting rid of the 3x3 blocks of big screen TVs from 1989, and it's replacing them with LED displays. That's a substantial investment in making the in-game experience better, which is encouraging. It's not charging less than $15 for parking (that's a real deal-breaker), but it's a good start back on the right track. The Wings also made Henrik Zetterberg available for an autograph signing at Hockeytown Authentics this past Monday that simply required the donation of a working smoke detector with batteries for low-income families in Detroit. In years past, they'd simply mention that it was smoke detector time, and that the player involved had signed a jersey and a puck which two of the however many people who donated at the rink could win in a raffle--which they did this year as well--and left it at that. Progress is progress, especially when it's for a good cause.
The Red Wings have decided to charge $15 for something other than parking at the Joe:
There is a brand new program at 'The Joe' this season -- the Red Wings Kids Club. The kids club is an exclusive fan club for the little Wings' fans. Kids who join the club will receive a members-only goody bag, have the chance to win tons of super cool prizes, and even be able to attend a Wings' practice. In addition, Niklas Kronwall has agreed to be honorary president of the Kids Club this season. He will send out birthday cards and welcome letters and will even hold a question-and-answer session at the Wings' practice.
The Wings' PR arm doesn't just blow off its paying customers; it stiff-arms the media as well. The Red Wings and Islanders are the only teams in the NHL that don't release their media guides to the NHL's media, their press releases are sparse, the team's inaccessable. "Headshots," which look suspiciously like "first day of school" pictures, are important as they add faces to the names that newspapers or websites write about. They're seen as simple, easy-to-provide references that should be made available by, at the latest, the beginning of the season. The Wings don't buy into the concept of having "courtesy" for anyone, whether you buy a ticket, watch games on TV, buy team merchandise, or write about the team, and that attitude's symbolized in the "when we feel like it" approach it takes to making these beauties available:
By George Malik: from the Detroit News:
A promotion in which fans could snag the right to buy two World Series tickets by purchasing a Detroit Red Wings ticket package has ended. At noon on Wednesday the offer was made to existing Red Wing season ticket holders and members of the Red Wings World fan club. All of the ticket packages were gone by 9 a.m. today, said Mike Brinich, Red Wings media relations manager. Brinich would not say how many of the packages were sold. Buyers had to purchase 20 single game tickets to be able to buy two of the World Series tickets for either Saturday's or Sunday's games. He said the promotion was a way of saying thanks to season ticket holders and members of the fan club for their support. "We thought it was a fun way for fans of both teams to participate," Brinich said.
Ken Holland made the understatement of the summer when he said the following about Dominik Hasek:
Dom is like a Ferrari. Dom knows his body, and, Dom, you know. He goes down, he's like a contortonist, and he's down and has got his body going in different directions, and he's got to feel good, that he can make his moves, or he's not going to play.To say that Dominik Hasek's a Ferrari doesn't do him justice--nor "the groin."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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