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Team Canada’s Executive Director Steve Yzerman has kept busy this offseason — inking a deal with Upper Deck, preparing for Canada’s Olympic orientation camp starting today, and urging Ottawa forward Dany Heatley to speak to the media prior to camp. Yzerman talked to NHL.com about his expectations for orientation camp.
In Other News
- If you haven’t already purchased tickets to HockeyFest, you can head over to Ticketmaster to make sure you’re a part of a special day at the Joe. The event includes player appearances (captain Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom, Dan Cleary, and Jason Williams), a tour of the locker room, a photo opportunity with the zamboni and Al the Octopus, a special Q&A session with players and management, alumni autograph session, hockey memorabilia exhibits, and much more!
- The Detroit Free Press references an article by the Canadian Press that names defenseman Brian Rafalski as one of the leading candidates to become USA Hockey’s captain for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
- The Red Wings donated $19,525 to the Detroit Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Michigan. According to the article on DRW.com, “the Red Wings donated $5 from each ticket sold to DMC friend or family members. In total, 3,905 tickets during the regular-season and playoffs were sold through the DMC program.” The proceeds will go toward “Child Life Services, which incorporates non-pharmalogocal techniques, in conjunction with percribed medications, to help make young patients comfortable.”
- Hockey’s Future, which is a fantastic resource for NHL prospects, updated its list of the top 20 Red Wings’ prospects. Defenseman Jakub Kindl sits atop the list while Ville Leino, Brendan Smith, Daniel Larsson and Thomas McCollum round out the top five. They note that Jonathan Ericsson and Jimmy Howard graduated from the list, but Leino, Justin Abdelkader, and Darren Helm were still considered and made it onto the list.
- Due to the Wings continual success and lack of high draft picks, their rookies are not usually in the race for the Calder Trophy (given to the NHL’s top rookie). John Grigg of The Hockey News believes that Detroit’s own Ville Leino has a shot at the trophy, placing him at No. 2 behind only the 2009 NHL Entry Draft’s top pick Jonathan Tavares. Yes, Leino did play in 13 games for the Wings last regular season but will still be considered a rookie entering the 2009-10 season.
- Mike Mouat of the Detroit Examiner has his latest scouting report up on recently signed forward Patrick Eaves.
- ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside answers questions from hockey fans, talking about the Wings’ offseason and recent signing of Todd Bertuzzi.
- A blogger at Kukla’s Korner discussed why he thought Wings’ coach Mike Babcock was the appropriate choice for Canada. George Malik of Snapshots agrees with his conclusion, but thought his analysis was a bit shortsighted and explained his reasoning.
- Chris Chelios continues to play the waiting game according to the Boston Globe. He has two offers from KHL teams, including one from former Wings’ coach Barry Smith. Chelios wants to remain in the NHL or play with a minor league team, but has been told that “they want to look at their kids first.’’
- An article on the IIHF website wonders if more players will return home to Europe after winning the Cup, citing Jiri Hudler as an example. The article reports that Hudler told a Russian newspaper that he had already won the Stanley Cup and wanted to try to win the KHL’s Gagarin Cup.
- Puck Daddy takes a look at the ever-shrinking numbers of general sports columnists and concludes that this development is good for the sport of hockey.
- The NHL Network hopes to be in 50 million homes this year and are even considering the creation of a pregame show.
- According to CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, the Phoenix Coyotes have extended an amateur tryout offer to Aaron Downey (hat tip to AZ Vibe).