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Red Wings, Maple Leafs make coaching assignments for Winter Classic Alumni Showdown official

Updated with some quotes from Scotty Bowman at 12:38 PM: From the Red Wings’ PR department:

… Bowman and Smith, Kelly and Quinn to Reunite Behind the Bench on New Year’s Eve at Comerica Park™ …

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings® and Toronto Maple Leafs® today announced that former Detroit coaches Scotty Bowman and Barry Smith will be behind the bench against former Toronto coaches Red Kelly and Pat Quinn at the 2012 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown™ on December 31 at Comerica Park™, part of the 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™.

The winningest bench boss in NHL history with 1,244 career victories, Bowman has been a part of 12 Stanley Cup-winning teams, including a league-record nine as a head coach. Bowman helped direct the Red Wings to three Cup titles (1997, 1998 & 2002) and retired from coaching while skating with the Cup following Detroit’s 10th Stanley Cup in 2002. Smith was with the Red Wings from 1994-2005 and was part of three Stanley Cup championship teams with Detroit following two titles as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Red Kelly, the eight-time Stanley Cup winner and first James Norris Memorial Trophy recipient, coached Toronto to four consecutive playoff appearances from 1973 to 1977. He will join forces with the NHL’s fourth winningest coach and two-time Jack Adams Award winner Pat Quinn, who also led Team Canada to back-to-back world titles with a gold medal in the 2002 Olympics followed by the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Player thus far announced for Detroit’s roster include 50-goal scorers Mickey Redmond and John Ogrodnick; Hall of Famers Luc Robitaille, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Chelios, Larry Murphy and Mark Howe; all four members of ‘The Grind Line’ – Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty and Joe Kocur; Stanley Cup-winning goaltenders Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon; and Red Wings legends Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio.

Members of the Toronto Maple Leafs® alumni currently scheduled to participate on New Year’s Eve at Comerica Park™ include: Hockey Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler; 50-goal scorer Rick Vaive; fan favorites Darcy Tucker, Felix Potvin, Mike Palmateer and Kevin Maguire; Stanley Cup champions Dave Andreychuk and Doug Gilmour; rough-and-tumble winger Wendel Clark; 454-win goaltender Curtis Joseph; and Maple Leafs® legends Johnny Bower, Ron Ellis and Jim McKenny.

Further alumni will be announced in the coming weeks.

A limited number of 2012 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown™ tickets will be made available in mid-August via ticket lottery. 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™ GLI, AHL and OHL tickets will go on sale in late August at http://DetroitRedWings.com ticke,tmaster.com or by calling 313-396-7575. Fans should register at DetroitRedWings.com/2013winterclassic to receive all the latest information on these events.

2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® tickets are currently available for Red Wings® and Maple Leafs® season ticket holders as part of a pre-sale process. Additional ticket information will be released at a later date. Fans should register at http://DetroitRedWings.com/2013winterclassic to receive all the latest ticket information.

Update: Bowman spoke to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose about his participation in the event:

“This looks like a great event coming up,” Bowman told DetroitRedWings.com. “This is going to be quite the experience for everybody. When you haven’t been around the people for a longtime it’s exciting, for sure.”

Under Bowman, the Wings registered 410 victories, finished atop of the Central Division six times and won three Cups over nine seasons. Only Jack Adams and Sid Abel coached more games from behind the Wings’ bench than Bowman. But against Quinn’s teams – in Vancouver and Toronto from 1993-2002 – Bowman’s Wings were 7-7-2.
Now at 69-years-old, Quinn, who last coached the Oilers in 2009-10, told a Vancouver newspaper that he would like to return to an NHL team, perhaps in the same type of senior advisory position that Bowman is currently in with the Blackhawks. But Bowman never thought he would still be in hockey 20 years after he left Montreal in the late 70s. Yet here it is 30-plus years later, and he certainly knows what Quinn must be feeling.

“When you’re in hockey all of your life there are certain things, like when you don’t go to training camp, it’s so strange when you’re a coach like he was,” Bowman said. “Evening time comes in the winter and you begin thinking about where you would be because you’ve been behind the bench for so many years. I’ll be 79 in the fall and I don’t do a lot, but to be able to say that you’re with a team means a lot to you and I think that’s the way Pat’s feeling too. When you’ve been with a team and in a job for a long time – I really believe in staying connected.”

The Alumni Showdown will be Bowman’s first public appearance in Detroit since he left the Wings’ organization following the 2007-08 season when he accepted a position to work along side his son with the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Us leaving Detroit was a family decision because we didn’t know if Stan was going to be able to beat that Hodgkin’s; you never know with those things,” Bowman said. “I’ve been with the Blackhawks since ’08, but when we don’t do well or we don’t continue to play I still feel a lot of inter-workings for Detroit, because I think I was with Detroit more than any other organization, even longer than Montreal. It was a tough call to leave.”

Returning to Detroit will be a homecoming of sorts for Bowman, who coach 13 of the 15 former Red Wings who have already committed to play in the New Year’s Eve game. He just hopes that Mother Nature cooperates.

“It’s the unpredictable,” Bowman said. “You never know what the weather is going to be like. You have to make the right preparations and we’re all going to be there to have a good time. It’s going to be a lot more fun than a regular game or an All-Star Game because it’s going to be a great weekend in Detroit and in Michigan.

Update #1.5: The Detroit Free Press, TSN and the Detroit News are confirming.

Update #2: DetroitRedWings.com’s Will Posthumus posted a video of the announcement:

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Cal's avatar

What?!  Kelly and Quinn aren’t playing?


Posted by Cal on 07/26/12 at 03:42 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

Semin signed with Carolina.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 07/26/12 at 05:53 PM ET


that was the straw…guess we’re gunning for a higher draft pick…if I was an aging Z or Dats (or even the Mule)...I would be pissed as their are only so many chances left.

a one year deal….don’t talk about risk involving a one year deal….it’s not like they don’t have the cap space for 1 yr. They were saving cap space to re-sign players in July 2013…but that wouldn’t have mattered.

Posted by dca from in Mich on 07/26/12 at 06:03 PM ET




so angry can’t type and spell

Posted by dca from in Mich on 07/26/12 at 06:04 PM ET


Unless Detroit signs Doan (laugh right now) or manages to trade for Ryan (laugh again):

Carolina, Columbus, Tampa and Edmonton will start the year with a higher payroll than Detroit !!!

This would be the perfect year to announce a new stadium as the product on the ice doesn’t look like a contender.

Posted by dca from in Mich on 07/26/12 at 06:19 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.