Tomorrow, the current Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will face off in the 2014 Winter Classic, but as part of today’s preview, some of the greatest players from each franchise got together to enjoy a game of outdoor hockey.
With a reported attendance of 33,425 braving the cold, the Detroit Red Wings alumni earned a 6-5 shootout victory. Those people rose to their feet to give their former captain Steve Yzerman, now the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, a standing ovation as he was introduced:
After that, former Detroit Red Wings teammates and Hall of Famers Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay got things underway with the dropping of the puck:
The Russian Five also posed for a picture, including Vladimir Konstantinov, whose career was tragically cut short when he was involved in a car accident in 1997 after the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup:
Chris Chelios played in 1,651 regular season games, another 266 in the playoffs, and won the Stanley Cup three times, but the 51-year-old defenseman clearly still can have fun when he gets on the ice. As you can see, he decided to partake in a fun little goal celebration:
If that had occurred in an NHL game, that might have been the subject of a controversy, but it’s Chelios playing alongside his fellow hockey legends, so he’ll get a pass.
’14 Winter Classic: Scenes from the Big House
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.