Floating Heads

(Let’s see if I can get this to post correctly this time.)

I’ve managed to find some free time (shocking), and I’ve been meaning to experiment 外汇交易入门 with something completely digital. So here’s a couple of caricatures of a few forwards.

This is the first one.
Pavel still remains a challenge.
Haha, I could resist the text.

I’d like to do some more, but we’ll see if time frees up.

Howard starts, Quincey sits, Nyquist still in

A bevy of quick updates — despite Coach Babcock’s insistence that “anyone who can’t play Wednesday can’t play Friday,” the Red Wings will turn to Jimmy Howard to start tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators. that they’d be concerned he’d get run against the likely first-round opponent. Perhaps Ty Conklin’s less-than-inspiring (SURPRISE!) performance against the Blue Jackets rendered this decision a no-brainer, since all of the remaining will likely matter for playoff seeding and home-ice.

Continuing with the game-day news, MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that tonight, making way for Jakub Kindl to return to the lineup. We breached the question during the Columbus game: how do we feel about Quincey 2.0 a dozen games in? “A hell of a lot worse than we did after 二元期权平台 1 game” was the consensus response. Babcock says there’s nothing to this move and that he wants to get all of the lower-tiered defensemen rotated in to prep for the post-season. Jonathan Ericsson, meanwhile, will continue to lumber around the ice doing nothing of value.

Gustav Nyquist, who only played five minutes while relegated to the fourth line on Wednesday, in the lineup. There’s no word which forward will be a healthy scratch tonight (it was Jan Mursak two days ago), but here’s hoping Goose can get more than a few minutes to show what he’s capable of and continue to contribute as he had been when on a scoring line.

Franzen & Ericsson in; Mursak & Kindl out

Per , both Johan Franzen and Jonathan Ericsson are healthy enough to return to action tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Franzen had missed the previous five with back spasms. Ericsson has missed 13 since fracturing his wrist against Colorado on February 25th.

Jakub Kindl will be a healthy scratch (remember those?) on the blueline, while Jan Mursak will sit out. That means that Gustav Nyquist has proven himself too valuable to be taken out of the lineup. Duh. Now, we’ve just gotta get him on a line where he’ll continue to be a force…

Your only remaining injuries are Patrick Eaves (post-concussion, likely shut down for the year), Joey MacDonald (back spasms, no timetable), Darren Helm (sprained MCL, out until the playoffs), and Jimmy Howard. Howard had Friday circled on his calendar as the day he’d be returning, but Coach Babcock said if he couldn’t 如何炒外汇 play tonight, he won’t play Friday — likely to keep him out of harm’s way against the likely first round opponent. No one needs the Predators taking a run at Howard, knowing that they’d immediately have the upper hand in that playoff matchup should he be re-injured. He’ll likely play Sunday against Florida.

If Howard plays the final four games of the season, as I’m sure is the plan, he will have played in only twelve games over the final thirty of the season. Not ideal.

Tonight’s lineup:

Valtteri Filppula :: Henrik Zetterberg :: Jiri Hudler
Johan Franzen :: Pavel Datsyuk :: Todd Bertuzzi
Drew Miller :: Justin Abdelkader :: Dan Cleary
Tomas Holmstrom :: Cory Emmerton :: Gustav Nyquist

Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Brad Stuart :: Niklas Kronwall
Kyle Quincey :: Jonathan Ericsson

Ty Conklin
Jordan Pearce

Griffins loading up

The American Hockey League provides some excellent opportunities for their NHL counterparts’ cupboard of prospects. Not only is it the top developmental league in the world — and provides the springboard for so many future NHLers — it allows for players to sign professional and amateur tryouts at the end exness怎么样 of the season (or at time during the season, really), giving players whose seasons have ended a place to play. Junior and collegiate players have a chance to impress the teams that drafted them (or another NHL club if they’re free agents) and they don’t have to count against the NHL club’s contract limit.

With a bunch of prospects’ seasons coming to an end in the last week or so, the Grand Rapids Griffins are loading up with Detroit Red Wings draft picks and prospects. The Griffins playoffs hopes are fading, unfortunately, and they may have the opportunity to try a bunch of different looks and give the Red Wings a chance to see a bit of the players they’ll have to sign in the coming years. A quick rundown of the players currently in residence in Grand Rapids:

RAMIS SADIKOV :: Goaltender
He’s not Red Wings property, but he was an invitee to camp this past summer. He got a long look and the Wings may be looking to sign the Erie Otters goaltender to shore up net depth in the coming years. With Pearce and Conklin in Detroit, the Griffins can use all the help they can get with netminders.

ADAM ALMQVIST :: Defenseman
Almqvist is already under contract with the Red Wings, having signed a three-year entry-level deal last summer. There’s talk that he’ll be in the American Hockey League next season, which is excellent considering the Griffins are very likely losing another top-flight blueline prospect in Brendan Smith. Almqvist’s season ended and the to the Griffins today.

RICHARD NEDOMLEL :: Defenseman
The Wings’ sixth round draft pick from 2011 doesn’t need to be signed to a contract until next summer, but when his season came to an end (Swift Current of the WHL), the Griffins swooped in and signed him to an amateur tryout. He’s 6-4, 202 and had a breakout season offensively in Canadian juniors.

RYAN SPROUL :: Defenseman
Sproul was over the weekend, but his contract won’t begin until he turns pro — likely in 2013-14. His OHL season ended and he’ll be able to maintain his junior eligibility by signing an ATO with the Griffins. He’s a second round pick from last June.

RILEY SHEAHAN :: Winger
Unlike junior players, collegiate players have to forego their amateur status to join an AHL club, even if they sign an amateur tryout. Sheahan has said that he’s withdrawn from Notre Dame following his junior season, meaning he will almost certainly be signed by the Red Wings this summer and join the Griffins on a permanent basis for next season. For now, he’ll get into game where he can.

ALAN QUINE :: Center
Another second round pick from 2011 has joined the Griffins on an ATO. Like Sproul, he won’t be eligible to play for the Griffins permanently for a few seasons — and the Wings would have to sign him to an offer first anyway — but Peterborough’s season is over and the Wings would rather have him play somewhere than start his summer vacation.

Some other notes:

XAVIER OUELLET, who signed over the weekend with Sproul, will not be joining the Griffins at this time. His junior club, the Blainville-Broisbrand Armada of the QMJHL, is still competing in the playoffs. If that changes, he’ll likely join the fellas listed above.

JULIEN CAYER, a Red Wings draft pick from 2008, has completed his senior season at Clarkson University. He needs to be signed by August or the Wings will no longer hold his rights. As of yet, he has not been invited to join the Griffins, meaning he has likely been told that he does not have a future with the Red Wings.

BROOKS MACEK, like Cayer, is a draft pick whose rights are set to expire this summer. His Calgary Hitmen (of the WHL) are still playing, so we’ll see what happens when/if they’re eliminated before the Griffins season ends.

TOMAS JURCO, the gem of the ’11 Draft for the Wings, has not been signed (and won’t need to be for another year), and is still playing in the QMJHL tournament. I’m sure the Wings would love for him to join the Griffins, as a fortunate birthday means that he’ll be able to play in the AHL next year instead of the year after like most of his Draft classmates.

MAREK TVERDON, of the Vancouver Giants, is still playing and likely won’t be joining his 2011 Draft classmates in Grand Rapids unless that changes.

CALLE JARNKROK and TEEMU PULKKINEN, the two blue chip prospects playing in Europe, are both engaged in playoffs in their respective leagues. The Wings would love to get a look at each of them, but they’re in a different boat than the rest of the players mentioned: guys drafted from Europe don’t have signing deadlines, so they could pull an Axelsson and never come over unless they’re promised NHL time… or they could pull a Filppula and come over to be groomed by the Griffins.

NICK JENSEN and BENJAMIN MARSHALL are not eligible for ATOs, as they’re competing in collegiate hockey.

And thanks to our good friend @Kyle_Kujawa of the Grand Rapids Griffins who pointed out that we were incorrect to list PHILLIPE HUDON just above as a collegian. He while suffering from severe obsessive compulsive disorder. He’s joined the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL, meaning he cannot return to college hockey. He’s participating in the Q playoffs, as well, so he likely won’t be added to the Griffins — but we thank Kyle for the head’s up!

Red Wings sign Sproul & Ouellet

Sproul & Ouellet

On Sunday morning, the Red Wings announced the signing of a pair of defensemen drafted this past June. Ryan Sproul, of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL, and Xavier Ouellet, of the Montreal Juniors of the QMJHL, have signed three-year entry-level deals. The team had until June of 2013 to get them under contract or lose their exclusive negotiating rights.

Thanks to a bogus Canadian Hockey League rule, players are ineligible to play in the American Hockey League until they’ve played four seasons of junior hockey or they turn twenty (by December 31st of the current season). Neither Sproul nor Ouellet are eligible to play for the Griffins 外汇交易入门 until 2013-14 at the earliest. The twenty-year-old rule does not apply to the National Hockey League — if either player is able to make the Red Wings, he may be kept. However, he can’t be assigned to the Griffins until ’13-14; they would have to be returned to their junior clubs.

As a result, their three-year deals won’t take effect until a season in which they may turn pro. Like Petr Mrazek’s deal, these two deals will “slide.” Therefore, these two won’t count against the Red Wings’ 50 contract limit until they become professional hockey players.

Per club policy, financial details were not disclosed, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before CapGeek gets a hold of the numbers. We’ll pass them along — and add them to the Chart — when they’re verified.

From the Detroit Red Wings official press release:

Detroit, MI…The Detroit Red Wings today announced that defensemen Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul have both been signed to three-year entry-level contracts. In accordance with club policy, additional terms of these deals will not be disclosed.

Ouellet, 18, has skated with the Montreal Juniors/Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) franchise for the past two seasons where he has recorded 103 points (29G-74) and a rating of +43 in 130 career appearances. Selected by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ouellet was a member of Team Orr at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, played at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

Montreal’s first choice (14th overall) at the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft, Ouellet was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 and represented his home province of Quebec at the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario. Currently competing in the President’s Cup Playoffs with Blainville-Boisbriand, Ouellet finished third amongst all QMJHL defensemen with 60 points (21G-39A) in 63 appearances during the 2011-12 regular season.

Detroit’s third selection (second round, 55th overall) at last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, Sproul, 19, has spent the last two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds where he has amassed 37G-50A-87P-89PIM in 122 games played.  The 6’4”, 185-lb. blue-liner was chosen by Sault Ste. Marie in the sixth round (108th overall) of the 2009 OHL Priority Selection Draft after enjoying a standout season with Vaughn Kings of the Greater Toronto Hockey League in 2008-09.

A native of Mississauga, ON, Sproul was a member of the Ontario Hockey’s League’s Second All-Rookie Team in 2010-11 and was named the Greyhounds’ Top Defenseman in 2011-12 after finishing tied for third amongst all OHL rearguards with 54 points (23G-31A) in 61 games.

Photo Credits: Sproul — Andre Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images; Ouellet — Getty Images

You should be excited about Gustav Nyquist

Dapper.

The Wings’ late round draft record is no secret. They unearth gems like Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Tomas Holmstrom in the sixth, seventh, and tenth rounds — respectively. We’re reminded of that fact every few days, particularly when we’re stuck watching an opponent’s feed on Center Ice.

In June of 2008, fresh off of their fourth Stanley Cup victory in 11 seasons, the Red Wings found themselves in a familiar position at the draft: they’d be picking dead last in every round except for the second — where they wouldn’t pick at all, having dealt that selection away to the Kings in a package that brought Brad Stuart to Hockeytown.

Ken Holland and Jim Nill always say that if you can find two players in each draft that will eventually contribute to your program, it was a success. Most years, that isn’t a problem. 2008 was a different beast.

Their first and third round picks from that draft are a little disappointing. First rounder Thomas McCollum has failed to to make a decent impression on the Wings — or even the Griffins, for that matter. Third rounder Max Nicastro has been removed from Boston University and its hockey team among allegations that he’s guilty of sexual assault on campus.

Fifth rounder Julien Cayer has completed his senior season at Clarkson University and must be signed by August 15th or the Wings risk losing his rights. With the 50-man contract limit what is, and the Wings’ available slots, it’s unlikely that Cayer has a future with the Red Wings — though he’ll likely be signed to the Griffins/Walleye without the Wings’ “involvement.” Sixth rounder Stephen Johnston is no longer Red Wings property, as the team declined to sign him after two years. Seventh rounder Jesper Samuelsson is a European player whose rights will never expire, but he doesn’t seem inclined to come to the States and toil in the minors.

That leaves the fourth round pick. The 121st pick of the weekend. The Wings looked to Sweden, as they often have, and selected an undersized forward playing for Malmo’s junior team who was not selected at all the first time he was eligible for NHL selection. He was committed to come to the United States and play collegiate hockey — something he knew he wanted to do all along — for the Maine Black Bears, meaning the Wings had four years to make a decision regarding signing him instead of the usual two: a perk for an unknown quantity. His name: Gustav Nyquist.

After nearly scoring a point-per-game in his freshman year, he absolutely tore the roof off of the collegiate game. He was a back-to-back Hobey Baker finalist in his sophomore and junior years, and it was clear that there was nothing left for him to accomplish — individually, anyway — at that level. He signed an amateur tryout with the Griffins to finish off the 2010-11 season. He scored immediately and — after two years of constant prospect ranking chart-climbing — we got a better look at a kid that was as exciting a prospect as the Red Wings have had in recent memory.

No disrespect to guys like Cory Emmerton, Mattias Ritola, or Jan Mursak — but “Goose” had a touch of mystique to go with his pedigree. Guys like Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader — who had cups of coffee with the Red Wings during playoff runs or as call-ups — were a little more of a “known quantity” than Nyquist: they’re grinders, they’re hard-working bottom half of the lineup kind of players. Nyquist, like Zetterberg and Datsyuk before him, was built to be a top line player. The only unknown about that is the “when.”

This year was Nyquist’s first professional season. Forgoing his final year of collegiate eligibility, he signed an entry-level deal with the Wings and he knew he’d likely have to spend some time with the Griffins, because that’s how the Red Wings roll.

Coming into training camp, there were a few guys vying for the final two spots on the NHL roster. Cory Emmerton, who could not be sent to Grand Rapids without first being waived, seemed like a shoo-in. Jan Mursak, who was also out of options, was the de-facto “last man in.” A handful of tryouts, including Fabian Brunnstrom, made things interesting — as did recently-signed talented veteran Chris Conner.

And Nyquist. Who was given Brendan Shanahan’s old #14 (as Derek Meech weeps), instead of some bullshit number assignment like 52, 63, or 48. As trivial as it sounds, the Wings seem to “groom” their legit prospects for the show by giving them numbers like 2 (Smith) or 28 (Jurco) or 21 (Tatar).

When Mursak was injured, the competition for that final roster spot got interesting. Gustav Nyquist, who blew the doors off of the pre-season, became the fan-favorite of many of us. At one point, I proclaimed that he was one of the twelve best forwards in the organization right then. If the best players truly made the team at the end of September, he would simply have to be a Red Wing. But that’s not always how things work. The safe thing to do would be to sign one of the tryouts — it would end up being Brunnstrom — and allowing Nyquist to grow his game in Grand Rapids. Fair or not, it was probably for the best — Nyquist would get big minutes on the farm and would get acquainted with the speed and size of the pro game.

All he did with his first season in the American Hockey League was be named to the Western Conference All-Star Team, break the Griffins’ franchise scoring record for rookies, and usurp several players on the depth chart — including Tomas Tatar and Chris Conner, both of whom have played very well in various stints with the Wings. The first forward called up from the Griffins this season occurred on Halloween. It was Nyquist.

With the injury situation what it always seems to be, Nyquist has been able to play a few games Detroit. You hate to get too excited about a young man when they’re only in the lineup for a handful of games, but there’s something about this kid. So far, having played in 11 games — most with severely depleted lineups — Nyquist has seven assists. Five of those assists have come in the last six games. He’s fxcm playing on a line with Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk. He’s playing more minutes than some of the more established players in the lineup — even though he’s not getting a sniff of the power play. If he kept up the pace he’s on for a full season, he’d hit the 50-point mark and would have 47 right now: that’s more than everyone on the Red Wings except for Franzen, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Filppula.

And it’s not just the score sheet. He’s making things happen — and several times a game. It doesn’t look out of place at all in this league. The last time I can remember someone adjusting so well to the NHL game in his first dozen contests was Valtteri Filppula. And he had a full season of AHL hockey under his belt.

Goose is a winner everywhere he goes. Three years in Maine proved he was one of the better players in college hockey. Less than a full season in the AHL proved he was capable of quickly adapting to professional hockey: he’s still the Griffins’ leading scoring, despite playing ten fewer games than most; he’s also tenth in AHL scoring, having played fewer games than everyone above him — hold for Keith Aucoin. Less than a dozen games in the NHL proved he’s going to be a legit player for this team — and soon.

Don’t be surprised if Gustav Nyquist never plays another game in Grand Rapids.

When Helm and Franzen are well enough to play, the Red Wings are going to have a decision to make regarding the roster and which twelve forwards play in the playoffs. Perhaps it’ll be a chance to rectify an error made in October — and Goose will be on the big club for good.

Rapid Fire: injury updates, Fedorov and Hasek to retire?

Thanks to the excellent work done by MLive’s and The Detroit News’ at today’s morning skate, we have a clearer picture of the injury situation as the season very quickly winds down.

First, the good news. It sounds like Jakub Kindl is ready to return to active duty tomorrow night against Carolina. He practiced on a pairing with Brendan Smith. Doug Janik was returned to Grand Rapids, so the team was confident that one of Kindl or Nicklas Lidstrom would be ready to play against the Hurricanes. Coach Mike Babcock was “under the impression” that Lidstrom would be playing, but seem to indicate that Nick is unsure and still wary of the pain.

Jimmy Howard won’t play the next two games, as he’s yet to take pucks in practice. On Wednesday, the goaltender said that he would have been able to backup Jordan Pearce if Ty Conklin was claimed on re-entry waivers, but now it sounds like he’s going to take his time getting back into the lineup, choosing instead to rehab slowly rather than rush back and risk another tweaking of the groin.

Joey MacDonald has a “slightly bulging disc” that he doesn’t think will need surgery (and he would know — having had that surgery once before). Nevertheless, it sounds like he may be shut down for the remainder of the regular season, but he remains hopeful that he’d be able to return for the playoffs. The playoffs, of course, where we would hope not to need a backup goaltender.

So for the next few days, it looks like your goaltending tandem is Ty Conklin and Jordan Pearce — a pair of guys who, three short weeks ago, were the tandem for the Griffins.

Johan Franzen missed practice again, but took a spin on his own prior to drills. Each day that goes by delays his return since he’ll have to get back into “game shape” after missing all of this practice time. Jonathan Ericsson is scheduled to return next week, as well — perhaps he and Howard will both be ready for next Wednesday’s Columbus game or next Friday’s Nashville game.

Former Red Wing great Sergei Fedorov . The 42-year-old Russian has played the last two seasons in the KHL after an NHL career spanning 1,248 regular season games and three Stanley Cup championships. While he may have had a tumultuous exit from 福汇 Detroit, there’s no denying how special a player he was for the Red Wings and it’ll be a sad day to see such a dominant player from your youth ride off into the sunset. In a few short years, he’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

Likewise, former Wings goaltender . The 47-YEAR-OLD netminder told a Czech newspaper that if he doesn’t receive a contract offer by June, it’ll likely officially spell the end of an unbelievable hockey career that spanned four different decades and includes several retirements, a stint overseas, and a pair of Cups won with Detroit.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Conklin clears, Lidstrom nears

Ty Conklin has cleared re-entry waivers and will start tonight in New York. That’s good news. Approximately.

A handful of injured Red Wings to returning to action. The gist:

  • Nicklas Lidstrom could return Saturday vs. Carolina. There’s still some pain when he turns, so I bet he holds off another game or two, but he’s a gamer.
  • Jakub Kindl could return Saturday as well.
  • Jonathan Ericsson is aiming for one week from tonight vs. Columbus.
  • Jimmy Howard said he could have backed up tonight if he needed to. That’s encouraging.
  • Johan Franzen is receiving treatment but hasn’t started skating. Hopefully he won’t lose 影梭 too much conditioning so that it won’t take the requisite two weeks to get his legs under him.
  • Joey MacDonald is not on the trip, instead saying behind to see a back specialist in Detroit. Joy.
  • Darren Helm is shut down until at least the first week of the playoffs.
  • Patrick Eaves hasn’t begun skating and I would be shocked if we see him at all again this season.

Sheahan leaves Notre Dame, joins Griffins

The Red Wings first round draft pick in 2010 (21st overall) has left the Fighting Irish and will join the Grand Rapids Griffins on an amateur try-out contract. Three seasons of collegiate hockey is usually what the Wings expect out of their draft picks, and Sheahan has proven to be no different. In joining the AHL, even on an ATO, he is foregoing his final year of college eligibility.

While he hasn’t yet been signed by the Detroit Red Wings (and, thus, not counting against the 50-man contract limit), it’s pretty clear that he will be this summer. It’s an exciting time for our good friend 二元期权 — I was lucky enough to be immediately following his selection in Los Angeles, and . While he never tipped his hand regarding the team’s plans for him, many of us were expecting him to join the professional ranks this summer.

Sheahan’s a big two-way center (he’s listed at 6-2, 210 lbs) and grew up in St. Catharine’s, Ontario — just on the Canadian side of the border near Buffalo. He didn’t produce a ton of points in the CCHA, and the Wings will likely ask him to continue to be responsible defensively and potentially make an impact physically.

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images North America

You’ve got to be kidding me… Howard injured, Conklin recalled

, we explored the seven bodies that were injured in Detroit and hoped for some relief soon. Well, we got the opposite this morning. MLive’s Ansar Khan that Jimmy Howard has re-aggravated his groin injury and the Red Wings have recalled Ty Conklin on an emergency basis, meaning he won’t first need to clear waivers to join the team. Per the CBA, however, he’ll need to be returned to Grand Rapids as soon as Jimmy Howard is medically cleared to play.

FOLLOW-UP: It appears that Ty Conklin has been subjected to re-entry waivers after all. TSN’s Bob McKenzie (who’s never wrong) has him listed on today’s waiver wire, meaning that Detroit must not have invoked their emergency clause. If some other team claims Conklin on re-entry waivers, the Red Wings would be on the hook for half of his salary and they would no longer have the use of Conklin at 左旋肉碱 any level. If he clears waivers, however, he would not need to be sent back down to Grand Rapids once Howard is healthy enough to return. If he was recalled under emergency recall, he would have to have been demoted to Grand Rapids as soon as Howard was cleared. Under traditional recall, he can stick around as long as the Red Wings want to carry three (or more) goaltenders.