Pucking Wings

Hockey is the best.




He turns 25 today, but he’s number one in my heart!


My 2014-2015 Red Wings Pledge & Challenge

AWWWWWWWWWWW Source: @WingsFanGirl Seriously, if this doesn’t get you to donate, you have problems.

I love hockey. I love animals. I strongly dislike Dan Cleary being on the Red Wings. How do we combine all these things for a good cause?

Pledge money! This upcoming season, I’ll be pledging money to the Michigan Humane Society based on the following items listed below:

  1. $1 for every goal/$.50 for every assist by Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, and any other “kid” that plays.
  2. $2 for every Red Wings victory.
  3. $2 for every game Petr Mrazek starts.
  4. $1 for every game Dan Cleary doesn’t play/ $1 extra if it’s a healthy scratch
  5. $1 for every Justin Abdelkader penalty minute

I will double all of these for the playoffs. And if that’s not possible, I’ll give $50 if the Wings don’t make the playoffs since I’d easily spend that on playoff tickets. And if the Wings win the cup….I will throw in an extra $120.

I’m assuming that all of you know how much awesome the Michigan Humane Society contains. If you don’t, it’s lots and lots of awesome. Go to their website listed above to find out more. And no, I don’t work for them and have no relationship with them. Only thing we have in common is that we both feel animals are the best.

With that, I CHALLENGE ALL OF YOU to do something similar this season. I’m not kidding around; caps lock proves it. Give to any worthwhile charity, whether it’s a pledge drive or just because. Doesn’t matter how much, every little bit helps. Some ideas include:

Michigan Humane Society

You Can Play Team

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Cancer Care

ANY OTHER CHARITY! Just don’t give to politicians; support something worthwhile that can actually make a difference. I’m more than willing to keep track for people and sum everything up as needed, if you want to do weekly/monthly payments to your charity of choice.

And now, it’s about a month until training camp begins and less than two months until the regular seasons exists. Let’s do this.


Which Defensive Prospect Should Be The First Call Up?



So now that I wrote a thing about each of the Wings top defensive prospects (click the Prospect Report tag and off you go!), figured it’s time to talk about who I think is ready and who needs more time. I’ll give a quick summary of each then make my list.

Adam Almquist

Signed a two-year deal in the KHL. The Wings still hold his rights. You all know this. It’s for the best, he can develop overseas (see Rafalski, Brian) and if he’s ready in two years, come back and challenge for a spot. But for now, he’s out of the equation.

Nick Jensen

Still needs more time in the AHL. I don’t know how much time he’ll get. The Griffins have Paetsch and Evans, in addition to Sproul, Ouellet, Marchenko, and Backman. If the Wings 7 are healthy, GRG either goes 7 D or has to bench someone. Either way, he’ll be in GR and won’t be the first call up.

Mattias Backman

Looked like he was ready in minimal AHL time. Isn’t physical, but plays very smart. Seeing the North American style was huge for him and could help him make the big club this year.

Alexey Marchenko

May have been the first call up, but he’s still not fully healed from his ankle injury in September. He only skated a little bit at Development Camp, helping to warm up the goalies and such. He’s working out and should be ready for Training Camp, but I don’t like a young prospect not playing for so long. I think he needs to start the year in GR, even if only for a few games.

Ryan Sproul

I want him on the Wings power play right now. Obviously, his defensive game needs some work, but might be better off making mistakes at the NHL level instead of the AHL. He’s got the most upside of all the other D prospects, but isn’t a sure thing.

Xavier Ouellet

You know I have a huge thing for WOOOOOOuellet. Never going to be a top offensive guy, but won’t hurt you in the offensive zone, and his intelligence and decision-making will more than make up for that.

Enough babbling, who would you call up?

6 – Adam Almquist. Since he is ineligible, obviously.

5 – Nick Jensen. With the limited games and minutes last year, needs more time to develop.

4 – Alexey Marchenko. May have been one or two, but needs some game action to see how the ankle is and get back in game shape.

3 – Mattias Backman. Might want to get him some more games in GR to help his transition, but wouldn’t be against him in Detroit.

2 – Ryan Sproul. If something happens and Kindl isn’t on the roster (*crosses fingers*), he goes to number one. And he’s on the first power play with Kronwall.

1 – Xavier Ouellet. He’s the most ready, at least in the defensive zone. With no other injuries, he’ll be in GR, but he’s so close.


This list may change after camp and preseason. Look for me to do another post. But I will say that if Brian Lashoff plays more games than any of the top 4 on this list, I will be mad. These kids can all do better than this. The future is here, Kenny.

The Leino Scale Update – Dan Cleary

The Dan Cleary contract is terrible. A $1.5m cap hit this year and another $1m in bonus money either on this seasons cap or next year.

It’s only a 1 year contract…for now. The cap hit isn’t terrible all things considered.  The player, however…

Fire Ken Holland.

Leino Scale Rating: 4.5

This might not all be about hockey but I don’t care…Cleary sucks.


I’ve been semi-open about this on twitter recently, but if you only read my blog, know that I’m not a perfect definition of “mental health”. I thought I was a little bitch as a high schooler and young adult because I couldn’t get a girl and such. Eventually, I’d grow out of it, right? I’m 30 now. Nope.

A couple months back, my brain basically shut off for a week. I went on a road trip to Toronto with my best friend and forced myself into having a good time. Didn’t want to be there but damn sure I’m not going to ruin the trip for others.  The next week was the worst of my life. I’ve been better now but still have my moments.  There’s a lot going on in my head. I probably need to see someone about it, but I’m a man and all that stupid shit I tell myself.

Hockey is the main constant in my life.  My brain is tied way too much to how the Wings do and how my rec team is doing. Play a bad game? I’m in the shitter for two days. Wings lose a two-goal lead in the third? Fucking die already. It wasn’t like this before 2011 because I had enough logic that they aren’t going to win every game. They’ll make the playoffs and it’ll be fine, still have a shot at the cup. Now? hahahahalolololamorotlfinghahahahlol

The Wings then signed Dan Cleary. Every positive thought I had – gone.  I had a previously scheduled dinner with a friend who doesn’t hockey much, so that helped. But now I’m home. I’m texting a few of you reading this right now, and you’re all as pissed as I am. Your mental status goes up and down as the Wings do. It’s extremely un-healthy, but we do it.

Today might be a good day. It might be the day that I try to really focus on the rest of my life. I will never not like hockey and the Red Wings. But I can control how much money I give them and how much of my brain they take. I know I’ve been saying this, but I need to start enjoying other things in life. I need more friends. More friends and human interaction means less brain issues. Both of those things mean that I might actually find a female and not die alone. Hooray!

I doubt I’ll be able to do this. Hopefully I can. I’ll get pissed every time I see Cleary out there while Jurco and Mantha and Pulkkinen and Callahan are in the minors. Let’s help each other out. The Wings don’t deserve our love and devotion when this shit happens.

I am better than this (how I know I’m better, never would have said that three months ago). I am going to be able to enjoy my life and not deal with this bullshit.  Like I said, I’ll watch and cheer and such. But I really hope I can not have my whole life revolve around the Wings any more.  I deserve better.

Fire Ken Holland.




Fire Holland

There is no excuse to sign Dan Cleary. None.


I am too angry to write coherent thoughts about this. Worst move possible,

The Leino Scale: 2014 Edition

It’s time for my favorite post to write every year. The post where I analyze the major UFA signings and assign a 1 to 5 rating. It’s based on our favorite bad UFA contract – Ville Leino.  1 Leino means it’s a great contract, 5 means it’s terrible, 9,999,999 means the Red Wings signed Mikael Samuelsson. And here…we…go!

He wasn’t out of work for long…. Source: Buffalonews.com

Matt Niskanen – Washington. 7 years/$5.75M Cap Hit

Niskanen was the “prize” of this years UFA class – a right-handed puck-moving defenseman. He’s only 27 years old. He’s always been a “good” player, but after Letang went down, he upped his offensive game with Pittsburgh at just the right time.  I think it’s a little much, but at the same time, they all are. It’s also easily movable if he doesn’t fit, so I like this deal for Washington.

Leino Rating: 2


Paul Stastny – St. Louis. 4 years/$7M Cap Hit

Another “a little overpayment” but only for 4 years. St. Louis has struggled with offense. Stastny will help. The 4 years makes this a very attractive deal. Great job by St. Louis

Leino Rating: 1.5


Ryan Miller – Vancouver. 3 years/$6M Cap Hit

New GM, same horrible goaltending decisions. Vancouver is not a cup contender. Eddie Lack is a good enough goalie to get them through the transition and hopefully back to top-tier status. Miller is not young and won’t be getting any better. The only thing that saves this is that it’s only a 3 year deal and could be movable if another team has a goalie get hurt.

Leino Rating: 3


Brooks Orpik – Washington. 5 years/$5.5M Cap Hit

I love this contract. Mostly because the Wings are in the east and this makes the Capitals worse. Niskanen made sense. Orpik is 34 and already slow. This is going to be amazing to watch in 3 years when he is Douglas Murray at $5.5M a year. Just an awful contract.

Leino Rating: 4.5


Dave Bolland – Florida. 5 years/$5.5M Cap Hit

I mean, it is Florida here, and they had to reach the cap floor. When the Leafs don’t match the contract….yeah. He’s a solid third line player, so second line on the Panthers. Coming off a horrific injury, who knows if he’ll be up to full speed this year or ever.

Leino Rating: 4


Jarome Iginla – Colorado. 3 years/$5.33M Cap Hit

I would really like this move if it was to a cup team. But….Colorado. He doesn’t play D. He ain’t getting any younger and it might be hard to move in a couple of years when the Avs still aren’t coming close to being a cup team.

Leino Rating: 3.5


Mikhail Grabovski – Islanders. 4 years/$5M Cap Hit

Per standard UFA protocol, a definite overpayment. However, it’s the Islanders, and they managed to actually get a player to play there, so who am I to hate? This will give them some solid center depth after Tavares. Pretty good move.

Leino Rating: 2


Matt Moulson – Buffalo. 5 years/$5M Cap Hit

Ladies and gentleman, The Salary Cap Floor! Moulson is not a bad player, but he’s at best a support top 6 winger. But…it’s Buffalo. He has to follow in Ville Leino’s footsteps and score more than 0 goals this season. I think he can do it.

Leino Rating: 3


Mike Cammalleri – New Jersey. 5 years/$5M Cap Hit

I did not see this one happening at all. He’s not a bad player, but it just doesn’t seem like he’d fit in with the Devils. He’s also 32 and not a great scorer. The money is a bit high but the 5 years is why this contract makes no sense.

Leino Rating: 4


Anton Stralman – Tampa Bay. 5 years/$4.5M Cap Hit

He’s the definition of  “hidden gem”. Kind of like Brad Stuart when the Wings got him back in 2008. The Wings blew this one when they said he’s in the same class as Kindl, at least according to Ken Holland’s mouthpiece Helene St. James. Gut analytics. He won’t score many goals, but does make the team better. Damn you, Steve.

Leino Rating: 2.5


Dan Boyle – Rangers. 2 years/$4.5M Cap Hit

Dan Boyle really hates Detroit. OR loves New York. Or Ken Holland is bad at his job. Anyway, yeah, good signing for NYR. A bottom pair guy but can probably help out the power play. Missed time with a concussion last season and is not young at all, so could be bad if he gets hurt and/or regresses further.

Leino Rating: 3


Christian Ehrhoff – Pittsburgh. 1 year/$4M Cap Hit.

Thinking he just really wanted to play in Pittsburgh. Keep his stats high because of all the power play points and then next season, make an appearance on this list with a much higher number. But for this season, the Penguins won. Best contract signed.

Leino Rating: 1


Deryk Engelland – Calgary. 3 years/ $2.9M Cap Hit


Leino Rating: 5


Kyle Quincey – Detroit. 2 years/$4.25M Cap Hit

Yeah. I’m not thrilled with this move, but don’t hate it as much as most people do. Obviously, he’s overpaid. He’s worth about $3m a year, but as a defenseman who isn’t total shit when not paired with Brendan Smith, it is what it is.

My hope before free agency was the Wings would sign Quincey, trade Kindl, and sign someone who is better than Kindl. However, this didn’t happen. Kindl and Lashoff are both decent number 7s at best, so the Wings did not improve at all. At this point, since the Wings aren’t a cup team. I would still trade Kindl then have the 6th spot saved for Ouellet/Sproul/Backman/Marchenko. The future and shit. But then again, the only significant trade Holland has made the past few seasons is one I’d like to pull back with an iron hook.

Leino Rating: 3.5




Countdown: How Many Days Until Mikael Samuelsson Is An Unrestricted Free Agent?


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