Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
The Wings cleared out their lockers on Monday after taking this season’s team photo before heading out to their various offseason destinations around the world. For some of the guys, that means traveling to Las Vegas for the annual NHL Awards ceremony. You can catch the festivities this Thursday on Versus, starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
2009 NHL Awards
Tomorrow night, the NHL will award its stars with a variety of awards for their play over the past year. The Wings have a few guys up for honors, including Pavel Datsyuk who is a finalist for four awards (Hart, Lady Byng, Selke, and Lester B. Pearson).
The Detroit News writes about Datsyuk’s incredible game, but the lack of acclaim he has for said skills. Datsyuk’s agent believes that the lack of media attention thrown Datsyuk’s way is because Datsyuk doesn’t see himself as a superstar, rather a team player.
“He will never come off as a superstar,” said Gary Greenstin, Datsyuk’s agent, as his client decompressed from the dramatic, seventh-game loss in the Stanley Cup Finals to Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins and prepared for Las Vegas. “He will never think of himself as that. If you were to ask, he just doesn’t think it’s important. He is a team player.
“But I feel, right now, over the last few years, I myself think he has become a superstar,” Greenstin said. “He is one of the best two-way players in the league, and I believe he will get the awards, Thursday.”
Captain Nicklas Lidstrom is vying for his seventh Norris Trophy, but pundits believe the award will go to Capitals defenseman Mike Green who posted great offensive totals. Veteran defenseman Chris Chelios is a finalist for the Masterton Trophy. For a complete list of finalists, you can check out this page ESPN.com put together.
What do you guys think — which Detroit players will take home an award Thursday night?
NHL.com’s Brian Compton discusses how GM Ken Holland should be plenty busy this summer, preparing his team’s lineup for the upcoming season. Sportsnet wonders if backup netminder Ty Conklin will return or if the Wings will opt to insert Jimmy Howard as the backup. Howard cannot be sent back to Grand Rapids without having to clear waivers so that means the Wings are out of minor league options with the goalie.
While it looks like Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, and Ville Leino earned roster spots next season, forward Justin Abdelkader will likely spend another season in Grand Rapids. Yes he had two goals in the Stanley Cup Finals, but the Wings would like to see him play 20 minutes a night while he can still bypass waivers.
The big storyline this offseason will be if Holland can keep Marian Hossa in the lineup. If so, the Wings will likely have to say goodbye to restricted free agent Jiri Hudler and unrestricted free agent Mikael Samuelsson. Hossa says Detroit is his top pick and he wants to sign a long-term deal, but will both sides be able to agree on a number that works for the team under the salary cap?
In Other News
- Over 500 Wings fans participated in the Beard-a-thon this postseason, raising $17,335 for the Detroit Red Wings Foundation to use in its various initiatives.
- The Wings’ website is asking for you to send in photos of you in Wings’ apparel as you take vacations this summer. Going to Paris? Show us the Winged Wheel in front of the Eiffel Tower. Heading to Cedar Point? Wear your favorite Wings’ t-shirt in front of the Millennium Force ride. At a Fourth of July parade decked out in red and white? We want to see it all!
- Back in 1989 on this date, the Wings selected Sergei Fedorov with their fourth-round pick (74th overall). While we don’t know who the Wings will pick on June 26th when the 2009 NHL Entry Draft kicks off in Montreal, you can review the selections made by the team in previous years.
- If you haven’t heard about all the injuries the Wings had to endure this postseason, be sure to read Michael Rosenberg’s column in the Detroit Free Press.
- Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals was the most watched NHL game since 1973, 36 years ago. Around 8 million fans watched the Pittsburgh Penguins win their first Cup since 1992.
- The Wings announced that their Traverse City training camp will be shortened to three days this fall due to opening the regular season in Sweden and the NHL taking a break in February for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Interested in attending camp? Center Ice Arena will start selling tickets on June 27th at 10 a.m.