While they aren’t Hall of Famers like the four players Toronto added to its Winter Classic alumni game roster, the Detroit Red Wings still bolstered their roster with a nostalgic foursome.
James Jahnke reports that Petr Klima, Dallas Drake, Garry Unger and Paul Ysebaert will take part in the game that will serve as a prelude for the 2013 Winter Classic (knock on wood).
- Klima is most famous for two things: 1)becoming the first Czech player to defect directly to a U.S. team and 2) scoring a huge OT goal for the Edmonton Oilers against the Boston Bruins in the 1990 Stanley Cup finals.
- Drake began and finished his career with the Red Wings, spending most of his NHL days with Winnipeg/Phoenix and St. Louis. He’s not that far removed from action, having retired after 2007-08.
- Here’s Jahnke on Unger:
Unger appeared in 216 consecutive games for the Red Wings after being acquired in a trade with the Maple Leafs on March 3, 1968. The seven-time All-Star went on to set the league’s iron-man record (since surpassed by Doug Jarvis) by skating in 914 straight contests.
- Jahnke also shares an interesting nugget about Ysebaert. He was the first Red Wings players to win the plus/minus award with a +44 in 1991-92.
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.