Red Berenson

Michigan coach Berenson on Big House: “I can’t imagine a better place to play an outdoor game”


Having coached the University of Michigan men’s hockey team for 28 years, Red Berenson knows a thing or two about how the game should be played.

As for where it should be played, Berenson says there’s no better venue than Michigan Stadium.

“I can’t imagine a better place to play an outdoor game,” Berenson told the New York Times. “If you want the impact of a record-breaking crowd, and in a facility that is located in a pretty central location — you know it’s pretty easy to get to Detroit. It’s already worked here.

“We had that ice in, and it fit. It had great sight lines, and everything was perfect.”

Berenson was asked about The Big House prior to tomorrow’s press conference, where it’s expected the NHL will announce the 2013 Winter Classic will be played at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Berenson was intimately involved in another huge hockey game played there — 2010’s “Big Chill at the Big House” between the Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans — which drew a world attendance record for a hockey game: 113,411.

Berenson remembers the game with fondness.

“We got the ice in early so the whole community could use it,” said Berenson. “We had high school games and midget games and every kind of game you could think of, plus public skating opportunities every afternoon and every night. For the public, so many people were down here, you never saw so many cameras and photo opportunities for people that maybe otherwise don’t even skate.

“They just had to come down and skate on this ice.”

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Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.