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Wings Want The Puck

from Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press,

The most intimidating guy inside the toughest NHL rink to win in is surrounded by security at a table in the Joe Louis Arena concourse, where he’s selling books, autographs and memories for 35 bucks.

Ted Lindsay is 86 years old, still pumps iron every day and, with something that sounds like a cross between a snarl and a chuckle, puts his finger on the crux of how the Detroit Red Wings remain hockey’s most remarkable team.

“You play together and control the puck the way they do, you control the game,” Terrible Ted barked. “When they don’t have it, they fight like hell to recover. It goes down the line—ownership, management, coaching and the talent. You need the players. Detroit was the first team scouting in Europe, back when everyone thought a hockey player had to be from Canada.

“They keep finding the players they need to win.”

That’s why everyone hates playing them.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

He might as well have been talking about Ian White, who went from Toronto to Calgary, Carolina, San Jose—to end up as Lidstrom’s partner on the blue line this year.

“I’ve learned so many things just from being around him and talking to him,” White said. “What has he learned from me? Nothing.”

That is some funny shi* right there.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 02/11/12 at 12:43 PM ET

DocF's avatar

I believe the hockey press is finally starting to understand the Red Wings.  Every one of the players or coaches who has commented on playing the Red Wings says they are tough and physical.  They beat opponents up incrementally, not by throwing down the gloves.

More and more teams are emulating the Red Wings each year.  Perhaps they have something in their system.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 02/11/12 at 01:38 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Greatest. Organization. Ever.

suck it, Pittsburgh

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/11/12 at 01:44 PM ET

Avatar

Lol.  The red winger obsession continues.  It’s ok, we all know deep down inside you love the Pens.

Anyway, pre-lockout the Wings were fortunate (maybe skilled is a better word) enough to draft great players and also have the ability to keep them if they chose to do so.  Post lockout, they have done a fantastic job of keeping cap space and determining core players early enough to get them to sign cap friendly deals on their terms.  Obviously the biggest thing moving forward will be replacing Lidstrom, something that won’t happen regardless of who they bring in, but will most likely determine the direction of the franchise for years to come.  of course, no one knows how the CBA will be shaped next year, but Holland and company will adapt and make the best of it.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 02/11/12 at 01:56 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

The most intimidating guy inside the toughest NHL rink to win in is surrounded by security at a table in the Joe Louis Arena concourse…

Yah, right. Like Ted needs security. If anything ever happened with a guy that he couldn’t handle himself, the fans would pummel the hell out of the hapless idiot.

...all in what can be argued is the toughest division in hockey.

Gee, ya think? Four of the top six teams in the West are from the Central. And all of that is either in spite of or because of the amount of travel they do. On the other hand, a four-game road-trip for the Rangers might include the Isles, the Devils, the Flyers and the Pens – all just a bus ride away from sleeping at home after the game.

I can’t wait to see how the Leastern teams fare once the four “division/conference” realignment comes. Then we’ll see how “fresh” they are come playoff time.

“I never once felt like an underdog or that we were going into a game we wouldn’t win,” said (Kronwall)

A little less of that attitude when playing teams like the Isles, the BJs and the Oil might be helpful. smile

Detroit was the first team scouting in Europe, back when everyone thought a hockey player had to be from Canada.

“They keep finding the players they need to win.”

And they’re stacking up Euros right now like cordwood for a future fire. Read some of the stories that Matthew Wuest has written over at Red Wings Central. Then read his Mid-season Prospect Rankings.

In addition to Canadians Smith and Sheehan, the top prospects list is filled with highly skilled Euros like Nyquist, Tatar, Jarnkrok, Mrazek, Jurco and Pulkkinen. Hakan Andersson and his crew continue to do a masterful job with second- and third-round picks.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/11/12 at 03:11 PM ET

SYF's avatar

After winning the Olympic gold in Vancouver, Babcock said the biggest challegeof his coaching career came when he was 24 and had to keep the thirsty Whitlley Warriors, a top team in England, out of the pub the night before.

Luckily, he ain’t coaching rugby union.  Separating those men from their pints will be met with resistance that would make the Vancouver riots look pitiful.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/11/12 at 04:24 PM ET

SYF's avatar

In addition to Canadians Smith and Sheehan, the top prospects list is filled with highly skilled Euros like Nyquist, Tatar, Jarnkrok, Mrazek, Jurco and Pulkkinen. Hakan Andersson and his crew continue to do a masterful job with second- and third-round picks.

Posted by OlderThanChelios on 02/11/12 at 12:11 PM ET

If I ever make my way to Sweden, I would seek him out and have a pint with the man.  The guy’s an unequaled genius.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/11/12 at 04:25 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Nice to see the Wings get kudos in a well-written story in the Canadian press.

The one piece of the puzzle he did not mention was great ownership.
It all starts with Mike Illitch, who hires only the best managers (Devellano, then Holland & Nill.
That is why Stevie Yzerman went to Tampa…to work for a great owner (Vinik).

I would argue that the best example of what the Wings can do for a player is how they rehabilitated Todd Bertuzzi.  That guy is amazing!

Posted by w2j2 on 02/11/12 at 06:02 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Both of the times I met Mr. Lindsay at the Joe, there was no security present. Maybe some off duty cops were in line for autographs?

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 02/12/12 at 12:27 AM ET

Avatar

Stefan Persson (SWE), Anders Kallur (SWE), Tomas Jonsson (SWE), Mats Hallin (SWE).

First Europeans to win the Cup - see Islanders 1980 thru 1984 (Not to mention Nystrom).  Red Wings did a good job picking up Devellano from the Islanders, but certainly weren’t the first to realize Europe had good hockey players.

Hell they didn’t even have the first Russians. See 1994 New York Rangers Alexander Karpovtsev (RUS), Alexei Kovalev (RUS), Sergei Nemchinov (RUS), Sergei Zubov (RUS).

So yes the Wings organization has done many things well in the last 20 years, but let’s not exaggerate.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/14/12 at 07:26 PM ET

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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