Red Wings’ Howard, Mrazek get new masks for Military Appreciation Night

Jared Clinton
Jimmy Howard (left) and Petr Mrazek (right) will wear special masks for Military Appreciation Night. (via Detroit Red Wings/Twitter)

The Detroit Red Wings are suiting up for their first contest since Veterans Day when they host the San Jose Sharks Friday night, and goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek are set to honor those who’ve served with brand new helmets.

Vaughn, one of the largest producers of goaltending equipment, donated the masks to the Red Wings netminders. The helmets are primarily camouflage, but both have subtle design differences. The back panel of Howard’s mask features a silhouette of the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima, an iconic image from the second World War, while Mrazek’s mask features the POW/MIA flag. Take a look: Read more

Abdelkader’s seven-year, $29.75-million extension is risky in final years

Jared Clinton
Justin Abdelkader (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

One week ago, reports were the Red Wings and Justin Abdelkader were closing in on a deal that would keep him in Detroit long-term. That contract became official Thursday, as Detroit GM Ken Holland announced Abdelkader has been inked to a seven-year, $29.75-million deal.

“Signing my extension, hoping to end my career in Detroit,” Abdelkader said of the extension Thursday. “It’s a dream come true for me.”

Through 15 games this season, Abdelkader has notched four goals and seven poitns and is on a pace that would see him reach roughly the same point totals as last season’s career-high 23 goals and 44 points.

The original report of the deal, which came from’s Ansar Khan, said Abdeklader’s deal would be longer than his current four-year contract. And Khan was on the nose with the money figure — it’s just slightly above the $4-million mark per season with a $4.25-million annual value. The one big issue for the Red Wings, though, will be having Abdelkader’s body hold up to his grinding, drive-the-net style of play until the time his contract expires at 35. Read more

Alex Ovechkin took 15 shots last night – but Petr Mrazek saved all of them

Alex Ovechkin (G. Flume/Getty Images)

I was thinking about the highly-anticipated Caps-Wings game last night before it started, about how Detroit would prepare for an evening when Washington captain Alex Ovechkin had the chance to break Sergei Fedorov’s record for most goals by a Russian-born NHLer.

Fedorov, who was just inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, had been asked late last week about the impending milestone and told that he hoped Ovechkin would wait until Tuesday’s game against Detroit to break his record (instead of the previous game vs. Toronto). He even dropped the ceremonial puck last night.

But in my head, I imagined Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill motivating his troops thusly:

“OK boys (that’s how all hockey speeches start), we know Ovechkin is gonna try to get that goal tonight and we know ‘Feds’ is hoping he does it here. But guess what? THAT RECORD DOES NOT GET BROKEN ON OUR ICE. ‘Feds’ wore the Winged Wheel with pride (never mind he also played with Ovechkin on the Caps – motivational speeches always contain poetic license) and No. 8 will just have score that goal some other time, ARE YOU WITH ME?????

I have no idea if this is how Blashill talks behind closed doors, but the fact is his netminder was a brick wall last night:

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Prospect Need to Know: Chad Krys has been golden for Team USA

Chad Krys at the All-American Prospects Game (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

It’s a busy time in the prospect world with several events wrapping up and others just beginning. In this week’s Prospect Need to Know wrap, I’ll shed the spotlight on players from the World Under-17 Challenge, the Five Nations under-18 tourney and Four Nations under-20 showdown. So we’re getting into all the age brackets today. Also, the CHL-Russia Super Series kicked off, with the WHL taking Game 1 for the major junior side. That’s a series to watch for the next 10 days, as Canada’s world junior scouts will be grading carefully.


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Stars’ Ales Hemsky bloodies Red Wings’ Jonathan Ericsson with unpenalized high hit

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Ericsson (via Streamable)

Dallas Stars right winger Ales Hemsky isn’t known for his physical play, but the 32-year-old threw a dangerous check Sunday night that left Detroit Red Wings blueliner Jonathan Ericsson downed, bloodied and serving a minor penalty for roughing.

Hemsky’s blow to Ericsson came with less than eight minutes remaining in the third frame of Sunday’s tilt. With the puck in the corner and Ericsson attempting to make a play along the boards, Hemsky came in from behind and delivered a high hit that left the Red Wings defenseman bleeding from the right side of his head: Read more

Sunday Long Read: Pronger and Lidstrom polar opposites as Hall of Famers

Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Pronger shake hands after their 2009 playoff series. Photo by Tom Turrill/NHLI via Getty Images)

During what is now a Hall of Fame career, Nicklas Lidstrom garnered so much respect that he earned the nickname, The Perfect Human. Not The Perfect Hockey Player. Not The Perfect Defenseman. The Perfect Human. People called Chris Pronger lots of things during what is now a Hall of Fame career, too. None of them is suitable for publication on a website that might be viewed by young people. Many of those words begin with the letter ‘F’.

It was not easy to play the game the way Lidstrom did, but he made it look that way. Playing the game and preparing for it the way Lidstrom meticulously did and maintaining a ridiculously high standard on and off the ice presented its fair share of challenges. But it’s also not easy going to the opposing rink from the time you’re a kid and knowing that you’re going to be the most hated guy there. But like Lidstrom, Pronger embraced his role and status. Lidstrom wore the white hat and Pronger donned the black, and both of them managed to do it while becoming two of the most dominant defensemen of their generation.

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Getting To Know: Dennis Hextall

Dennis Hextall (Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Former NHL left winger from 1967-1980 with Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, California Golden Seals, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals. Currently coaches hockey in Edwards, Colorado at Battle Mountain HS.

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 175 pounds
DOB: April 17, 1943 In: Poplar Point, M.B. Read more

Fedorov believes Mogilny and Tikhonov should join him in Hall of Fame

Alexander Mogilny (left) and Pavel Bure (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

Now that Sergei Fedorov is taking his rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame and Pavel Bure was finally inducted in 2012, nine long years after he retired, there is an empty spot that needs to be filled. And next year might just be the time to do it.

Because if Alexander Mogilny is going to find his way into the Hall of Fame, 2016 presents a golden opportunity. For one of the few years ever, there is not a slam-dunk Hall of Famer who retired after the 2012-13 season, so the Class of 2016 is wide open for the likes of Mogilny and Eric Lindros.

And Fedorov, for one, believes Mogilny should be in the Hall of Fame immediately.

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