Pucking Wings

Hockey is the best.

Stephen Weiss – What’s Next?

There’s no point in lamenting over the Stephen Weiss contract. I was pumped when the Wings signed him, so what the hell do I know?  Anyway, let’s take a look at his career stats, courtesy of www.hockeydb.com:

                                            --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
1998-99  North York Rangers          OPJHL  35   15   22   37   10
1999-00  Plymouth Whalers            OHL    64   24   42   66   35  23   8  18  26  18
2000-01  Plymouth Whalers            OHL    62   40   47   87   45  18   7  16  23  10
2001-02  Florida Panthers            NHL     7    1    1    2    0  --  --  --  --  --
2001-02  Plymouth Whalers            OHL    46   25   45   70   69   6   2   7   9  13
2002-03  Florida Panthers            NHL    77    6   15   21   17  --  --  --  --  --
2003-04  San Antonio Rampage         AHL    10    6    3    9   14  --  --  --  --  --
2003-04  Florida Panthers            NHL    50   12   17   29   10  --  --  --  --  --
2004-05  San Antonio Rampage         AHL    62   15   23   38   38  --  --  --  --  --
2004-05  Chicago Wolves              AHL    18    7    9   16   12  18   2   7   9  17
2005-06  Florida Panthers            NHL    41    9   12   21   22  --  --  --  --  --
2006-07  Florida Panthers            NHL    74   20   28   48   28  --  --  --  --  --
2007-08  Florida Panthers            NHL    74   13   29   42   40  --  --  --  --  --
2008-09  Florida Panthers            NHL    78   14   47   61   22  --  --  --  --  --
2009-10  Florida Panthers            NHL    80   28   32   60   40  --  --  --  --  --
2010-11  Florida Panthers            NHL    76   21   28   49   49  --  --  --  --  --
2011-12  Florida Panthers            NHL    80   20   37   57   60   7   3   2   5   6
2012-13  Florida Panthers            NHL    17    1    3    4   25  --  --  --  --  --
2013-14  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    26    2    2    4   12  --  --  --  --  --
2014-15  Grand Rapids Griffins*      AHL     1    0    0    0    0
2014-15  Detroit Red Wings           NHL     1    0    0    0    0
         NHL Totals                        681  147  251  398  325   7   3   2   5   6

He’s only played 7 career NHL playoff games? Holy shit Florida was bad. ANYWAY.

Let’s look at his recent history. In 2013, the lockout year, he played 17 games because he had a bad wrist. He was 30 years old, so missing most of a year isn’t easy, but not horribly difficult for an NHL player to recover and get back to full speed. The Wings signed him and we all know happened next.

He screwed up his groin in training camp and tried to play through it. Oops. He played 26 games, but I’d guess he was hurt for most/all of those. So, in two years, Weiss played a total of 43 games, which is ironic, because Helm used to always be broken.  Being a year older and missing most of another year is not good.

Enter this season. Weiss seemed healthy and played in quite a few exhibition games…and looked like shit. He was a healthy scratch in 8 of the first 9 games, only playing about 8:00 minutes against Toronto. A couple of weeks later, Weiss was sent to Grand Rapids to play two games on a conditioning stint. I thought this was a great move. Let him play in a couple of games then have him play for the Wings, which was the plan. Two periods in the AHL and a sore groin later…

So here we are. We have no clue how bad the injury is or how long he’ll be out for, He’s not making the three game road trip and will be seeing multiple specialists about said injury. I’m guessing one of the following three things will happen:

1) It’s a minor pull, he’ll take a week or two off and be fine and can get back into the lineup soon.

2) It’s a little more serious, and he’s out or a month or two. He’d have a difficult time appearing the rest of the year due to inactivity.

3) It’s really fucked up and he’s done for the year. If it’s this one, I have serious doubts about the rest of his career.

I know I escalated that a bit quickly, but think about it. Playing 43 games in two years, then one game in each of the NHL/AHL.  Three years of almost no hockey. Captain obvious, I know, but still. I’ve seen people compare Helm and how he came back. This is true. But Helm is a lot younger and his game hasn’t relied much on having hands. Weiss is more of a skill player, and being older, I have a hard time seeing him be anything nearing a top 6 forward.

Let’s hope it’s one of the first two and he can still have a productive career. But man, missing the rest of the year? Not good. Hopefully he would be healthy enough to buy out, which would cost the Wings this much per year in cap space:

Stephen Weiss buyout from CapGeek.com

  • 2015-16: $1,066,667
  • 2016-17: $1,066,667
  • 2017-18: $2,566,667
  • 2018-19: $1,666,667
  • 2019-20: $1,666,667
  • 2020-21: $1,666,667

That’s not too bad, especially if the cap keeps going up. So there it is. What are your thoughts on Stephen Weiss?

Red Wings Pledge Update

In case you forgot, I made a pledge to the Michigan Humane Society and challenged all of you out there as well. Thought I’d give you an update while my new furnace gets installed.


Click for larger view


1) haha Cleary (even though I think that’s a mistake…)

2) Needs more Mrazek

3) Seriously people, do this to whatever charity you want. It’s fun.

4) The Kid Line has been doing okay for the most part, but they’re not making me give up enough money. Hope that changes soon.

The Dan Cleary Conundrum

Let’s talk about the current state of Dan Cleary on the Red Wings. No, we’re not going to bring up the signing and contract and all that. It was terrible and curse the Flyers for making Holland “keep his word” or whatever. We’re going to talk about today, October 23rd, and the fact that Dan Cleary hasn’t played a game yet this season and why this might actually be a BAD thing.

Based on Cleary’s performance last season (traditional stats, advanced stats, or just people who watched the damn games), it was clear he lost a step. He did not play in a game after January due to being a healthy scratch for a few then getting injured during the Olympic break. He played in a few exhibition games this year, which are hard to judge because they are played at half speed and they’re not all on TV.  And then the regular season began.

And as of this writing, we have all played as many NHL games as Dan Cleary this season.

Yes, this is for the best in the short-term. Cleary is the 15th best forward on the roster right now, so why play him? The Wings are 3-1-2 (and could(should?) be 4-0-2 at the worst based on odd circumstances) and are obviously a much faster and harder team to play against. That’s all good, but what happens when the inevitable sore groins and other random injuries happen?

Dan Cleary is going to be 10 times worse than we remember, and that’s before we include all of our biases against him. If he doesn’t play until November 7th against the Devils (the day before my birthday weeeeeeee!), it will have been over a month since he appeared in an exhibition game. That’s the Wings 14th game, well past the times that players are “getting in to game shape”. Cleary will have three things going against him:

  1. He’s Dan Cleary and he’s old and not very good at hockey anymore
  2. He will have not played in a meaningful game since January
  3. Both his teammates and the Devils will be in “game shape” and won’t have the early season rust we sometimes see

With roster limitations, it’s only a matter of time before Dan Cleary plays in an actual game. The Wings do have some options to get him in a few games:

Play him on the 4th in place of Andersson. Even though Andersson has been better this year, he’s still a 4th liner who would not be missed a bunch. If Cleary only played 7 or 8 minutes, it really shouldn’t have much effect on the game. Could always put Helm back on the PK if Cleary proves he is not able to successfully keep up at all.

Send him to Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint. Cleary could go down to the AHL, if he consents, and play for no more than two weeks to get his legs back. This may be the best move. If it’s obvious after a couple of games that he’s done, or he doesn’t agree to do this, then there’s another option.

Place Cleary on waivers and see what happens. Okay, yeah, not a single NHL GM is dumb enough to claim Cleary. This would give Cleary no choice but to go to Grand Rapids if he wanted to get paid. This would also give the Wings $925,000 in additional cap space, even though we’re not currently struggling in that regard. It would also get Cleary some games, and if he’s total garbage and it’s clear his career is done, he could get healthy scratched and just be done, even though I doubt the Wings would do this to DAN CLEARY.

Personally, I would have him go on a conditioning stint for a couple of games. If he still has enough to be a 14th forward occasional 4th liner, great.  If he hasn’t improved, put him on waivers and just be done with him. Hopefully, this will be done sooner rather than later. If the Wings wait until December or so without playing him, I don’t think there’s any chance at all he can ever get back. If they start now or soon, Cleary could maybe not totally kill the 4th line if he has to play a handful of games this season.


If The Red Wings Don’t Trade One Of Their Top 7 D…

The Griffins D will look like this:

Ouellet – Marchenko

Backman – Sproul

Paetsch – Jensen


I don’t know if they’ll go with 7 D, like they did at times last year, or if they’ll sit Paetsch or Evans, who have AHL only deals. Something to look forward to, I guess. I’d rather look forward to seeing Kindl traded and having one of the kids fight for the 6th spot. Lashoff is the perfect number 7.

That is all.

My Messed Up Relationship With Hockey Writing And The Interwebs

I like hockey.  I like the internet.  I don’t like when these things mix.

Seems strange, eh? Especially since you’re reading this on a hockey thing…on the internet. Irony is fun!

Here’s my biggest pet peeve – I spend hours writing a detailed post on a goal breakdown or breakdown Xavier Ouellet’s shifts. Good (at least okay?) material about actual hockey things. What happens? It gets ignored. I write a shitload of posts with a horribly misleading title and that’s it (OFFICIAL LIST OF REASONS MIKAEL SAMUELSSON SHOULD BE ON THE WINGS) and people actually, you know, give a shit. Drives me crazy.

I didn’t start writing to get clicks, I swear. I started because I was sick of seeing articles on the Wings or hockey in general that were just plain wrong. I still remember the final straw. It was a national article that had the incorrect number of Norris Trophies for Nicklas Lidstrom at that time. It’s not a quick typo on a tweet or a brain fart; we all have those. This is supposed to be a “knowledgeable” Wings person but was getting basic facts wrong. Especially on Lidstrom. Not cool. And sadly, I see so many factual mistakes in writing today. I don’t want to be “That Guy On The Internet” but also don’t want other people to read some of this shit and think it’s factual. Life is fucking stupid.

This extends to people’s bias as well. How the fuck can anyone seriously listen to anything I say about Cleary, Samuelsson, Tatar, or Nyquist? I like to think I can be reasonable and objective when analyzing players, but I know I can’t do it 100% of the time. Pretty much every writer has these and I think sometimes it takes too much mental exercising to deal with it. Have to remember that Darren Dreger is in the NHL/Leafs back pockets, that Helene St. James has a direct link to Ken Holland’s brain, and that basically every writer for all local teams/blogs has some kind of bias for certain players. Every time Dreger posts something, especially during the Lockout 3.0, had to take what he said, remove the NHL’s smell from his lips, then actually take in the information.

What’s this post going to accomplish? Absolutely nothing. I have no clue if I will be continuing to write or not. I’d like to be able to pump out more goal breakdowns or analytic posts, but what’s the point if 10 people read it? People are stupid and would rather look at slide shows of the Red Wings asses or some shit. I like doing it but I guess not as much as I thought.  Oh well.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your evening. And may Gustav Nyquist be forever in your dreams.




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.


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