James O'Brien

Video: Red Wings fans pay tribute to Mike Ilitch at Joe Louis Arena

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Teams from around the NHL have shared their condolences for late Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, who passed away at 87 last Friday. To little surprise, the tributes were that much more heartfelt at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday.

As the Red Wings host the St. Louis Blues tonight, fans said goodbye to “the consummate owner.”

The team also added a nice tribute on the Joe Louis Arena rink, too, with “Mr. I” on the ice.

You can watch the video tribute above this post’s headline.

More on Ilitch below:

Now on other side, Julien isn’t shying away from Habs – Bruins rivalry

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 02:  Head coach Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins gives instructions to Brandon Carlo #25 during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 2, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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In the very short time that Claude Julien went between being fired by the Boston Bruins and hired by the Montreal Canadiens, he said he wasn’t “sitting at home hoping that [the Bruins] would lose.”

That doesn’t mean Julien is scared off by the unavoidable truth: the Bruins and Canadiens boast a historic rivalry, and to some, this can be chalked up to the latest round between the two franchises.

(Habs GM Marc Bergevin explained some of that away, but still.)

It sounds like Julien is willing to stir the pot a bit, as CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out.

” … I’d say every guy in there was a good person. I never had issues with any of them. So you sit here and you want them to succeed,” Julien said. “Having said that, I’m with another team now and I need to succeed with that team. There’s obviously a rivalry that exists between those two organizations, and I intend to keep that rivalry going. But on the ice, not off the ice. I have too much respect for those [Bruins] players.”

(Anyone else have a little Jerry Seinfeld – Larry David routine pop in their head with Julien using “Having said that?” No? OK, moving on …)

Considering Julien’s comments, it’s a real bummer that the teams lack regular season contests against each other. There’s a solid chance they could meet in the playoffs, but a few dominoes need to fall in the right way for that to happen.

Still, this doesn’t seem like it’s intended to be a quick-fix hire, so Julien vs. the Bruins might end up being like one of those serial dramas ending a season with a “To be continued” cliffhanger.

For a detailed look at how Julien expects to make changes in Montreal, check out this great post.

Video: Shattenkirk loves St. Louis, makes peace with trade possibilities

Kevin Shattenkirk isn’t burying his head in the sand; he realizes that he very well might be traded from the St. Louis Blues.

He seems pretty calm about the whole thing, at least if the video above accurately depicts his feelings.

Shattenkirk admits that, over the last year or so, the trade rumors have gotten to him at times. Even so, he’s adapted to those questions and learned to soak in the positive atmosphere in St. Louis – for however long it lasts.

It’s an interesting look into Shattenkirk’s seemingly quite professional outlook on the whole situation. Could that crumble if an actual trade happens? Perhaps we’ll find out … unless the Blues feel like they’re better off going all-in and keeping him around.

WATCH LIVE: Blues at Red Wings – Wednesday Night Rivalry

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 7: Jaden Schwartz #9 of the St. Louis Blues loses control of the puck against Daniel Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings at the Scottrade Center on February 7, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings will play six games without Gustav Nyquist, beginning with Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. (They seem like they’ll get Thomas Vanek back, though.)

Detroit was already in a tough way with the talented forward. They’re currently ranked last in the East – which, to be fair, is remarkably competitive top to bottom – and have lost four games in a row.

The Blues, meanwhile, are a on four-game winning streak as they continue to benefit from the breath of fresh air that is Mike Yeo being coach (and Jake Allen bouncing back in a big way). While the Red Wings must ponder being trade deadline sellers, St. Louis’ outlook seems pretty bright.

Of course, things can twist and turn pretty quickly in this era of parity, so let’s see if this game between two former division rivals makes an impact on either teams’ fortunes.

You can watch the action on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream.

Gustav Nyquist suspended six games for high-sticking Jared Spurgeon


After holding a telephone hearing on Wednesday, the verdict is in: Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has been suspended six games for high-sticking Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon.

The NHL notes that Nyquist was clearly acting in retaliation to a cross-check to the back, though they buy his argument that he was swinging his stick to cross-check in return (thus allegedly high-sticking Spurgeon more dangerously in the face on accident).

The Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings will not attempt to appeal the suspension.

Two factors seemed to help his cause: Spurgeon seemingly avoided injury and Nyquist doesn’t have a disciplinary history. The suspension will cost Nyquist $158,333.34.

Here is the explanation video via the league:

Impacts for the Red Wings and Wild

MLive’s Ansar Khan notes that, with the bye week in mind, Nyquist is getting a pretty long unpaid vacation:

Meanwhile, the Wild are relieved that Spurgeon is OK, as this decision might actually have some drawbacks in more practical terms: