Abel to Yzerman
by George Malik on 02/01/11 at 07:37 PM ET
Of the many notable players who played for the Detroit Red Wings in the early-to-mid 90’s but departed before the Wings’ Stanley Cup run, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Sarnia-born Dino Ciccarelli was perhaps the most popular player not named Bob Probert. Ciccarelli even outpaced Paul Coffey in terms of the number of jerseys worn in the stands because Ciccarelli’s hard-working, scrappy nature and willingness to get the stuffing beaten out of him to stand in front of the net were adored by the Wings’ faithful (and there’s no doubt that Tomas Holmstrom plays the way he does because Scotty Bowman needed to find a player to succeed Ciccarelli in 1997). The Washington Capitals are honoring a player who only played four seasons for the Wings tonight, and Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau summarized Ciccarelli’s fan appeal perfectly in speaking to the Washington Post’s Katie Carrera:
Ciccarelli, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year, only spent four seasons with the Capitals from 1988-89 to 1991-92, but even still he became one of the enduring icons of the franchise, particularly for a certain age group of fans. Ciccarelli finished his career with 608 goals and 1,200 points in 1,232 NHL games.
“When you’re a smaller guy and you play hard people love you,” Boudreau said. “Because they love the common man that works and that was him, add a few goals to that—not a few 600—and you’re going to get somebody who’s going to be very very popular with the people.”
Ciccarelli only played for four of his 21 seasons in Detroit, but around here, Dino’s a Red Wing first and foremost because he was a classic blue-collar player.
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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org