Wings vs Canucks Preview: Battle for the West

After a tough loss to Chicago on Tuesday night, the Wings look to extend their home win streak to 24 wins tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. The Wings sit atop the league with their 84 points while the Canucks are second with 82 points.

Long time no see!

Kyle Quincey will be making his debut tonight so I will for sure be paying close attention to him. Pavel Datsyuk is also out and Kindl and Commodore are scratched. This game has big playoff implications as a win tonight gives Detroit a nice advantage over the Canucks for first place in the West. Considering how good they’ve been playing at home, getting the #1 seed is going to be crucial to a Wings cup run.


Johan Franzen — Henrik Zetterberg — Todd Bertuzzi

Danny Cleary — Valtteri Filppula — Jiri Hudler

Justin Abdelkader — Darren Helm — Drew Miller

Jan Mursak — Cory Emmerton — Tomas Holmstrom


Nicklas Lidstrom — Ian White

Niklas Kronwall — Brad Stuart

Jonathan Ericsson — Kyle Quincey


Jimmy Howard

The game starts at 7.30 on NHL Network.

NHL Realignment Dead: NHLPA rejects new plan

Well that was a bummer! The NHLPA has rejected the plan for the new conferences next year, which was voted in favor of by the owners 26-4.

When the new plan originally had come out about a month ago I had very mixed feelings, however as time has passed I have become very much in favor of the plan and the benefits that it brings the Wings. Unless something unforseen were to happen in the near future, we will still be sticking to the old West and East conference formats next season. This is very disappointing as most hockey fans really like the realignment and that it would benefit a lot of teams, including the Wings.

This statement was released by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly:

“It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a plan that an overwhelming majority of our clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including players,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the plan with no success. Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the realignment plan and modified playoff format for next season.”

So now the questions will start to arise of why the NHLPA rejected the realignment plan. Did they believe that a team or some teams were either being to fairly treated or being unfairly treated or does it have something to do with the expiring CBA. Another factor that could now be in play is that if they do now stick with the old West and East conferences for another year, could they still move Winnipeg is a 1 for 1 switch, this opens it up for the Wings, Blue Jackets, and Predators to make the switch.

Has the NHLPA totally screwed the league, yet again?

Ken Holland as expected was also very upset with the news as he and the rest of the Wings organization was “Thrilled” when the realignment was approved.

“We’d be disappointed if it’s on hold for a year,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “This is the first I’ve heard of it, but we’d be disappointed. We voted for realignment.”

As Winging it in Motown pointed out this could very well be the start of a “War” between the NHL and the NHLPA and could lead to another lockout. I don’t want to start potential lockout talk just yet but I have to say this, if there is a lockout of any sort, I will have lost all my respect for the NHL and the NHLPA. These next few days will surly be interesting as they will give us some more info on why this happened and what it will mean for the NHL’s future.

So for now lets just hold on and see where this takes us. Are we on the beginning of yet another sports war, or is this just a slight bump in the road. I will post more news as soon as more info comes out.

Update #1:

The NHLPA has released a statement saying the two major issues for not approving the realignment was travel and that two conferences had 8 teams while the other two only had 7. The NHLPA also said that it is still open for negotiations which is good news. This means that their is still hope that the realignment can happen before next season and although it does seam unlikely, we have to keep our hopes up.

Winter Classic News: U of M Approached about hosting a game?

An interesting piece was posted in the Ann Arbor Post. Via Pete Cunningham:

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed Thursday that he has been approached by the NHL about playing host for the Winter Classic, in what would be the league’s sixth annual New Year’s Day outdoor game.

“We have been approached by the NHL about utilizing our facility for the 2013 Winter Classic,” Brandon said in a statement. “There are a lot of complex circumstances that need to be ironed out before anything moves forward. We will have more to say if/when something materializes.”

While the NHL has yet to announce who will host next years Winter Classic, most people believe that Detroit is the most likely location for it. It perfectly fits the bill that Gary Bettman has stated, that it be held in a NHL City and in an appropriate Climate. It won’t be in a Canadian city for various reasons and won’t be held in a climate that isn’t cold, snowy, and can maintain a nice sheet of ice for a couple of days. Detroit fits the bill perfectly and now the question becomes where the game should be held, at the Illitch owned Comerica park, or the 115,000 seating University of Michigan stadium located in Ann Arbor.

In the article mentioned above it says that UofM has been approached by the NHL on whether it would won’t to hold the Classic. Obviously there are different cases for where it should be held but It makes perfect sense that it should be held in Ann Arbor. The biggest issue that most people have is that Comerica Park is owned by Mike Illitch which means he doesn’t have to pay Michigan for borrowing their stadium and he at the same time he creates good advertisement for him and the Detroit Tigers.

The Big House!

There are big differences between playing at Comerica Park and at the Big House. First of all the Big House has room for about 115,000, which is more than double the capacity of Comerica Park(41,000). The game would certainly be sold out and would create a lot of revenue for the Illitch family. Another factor is that the stadium would be rocking and it would be a home-field advantage for the Wings. I mean, imagine when the other team goes on a PP, they won’t be able to hear themselves think.

Of course with so many people going to the game, that means that Illitch will be able to sell way more jerseys and merchandise. However, despite all the potential financial benefits that he could get from having the game at the Big House, Mike is a Detroit guy and would certainly want to see his city host it.

Regardless of where it could be hosted the game would be a blast and I would buy a ticket as soon as they go on sale. We will just have to wait and see but It is of course very interesting to speculate.