Tag: Jim Devellano


Welcome Anthony Mantha to the trade rumor mill


At the NHL trade deadline Anthony Mantha was a prospect the Detroit Red Wings were unwilling to part ways with; however, it appears things have changed.

According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, the Wings’ are now willing to trade Mantha and their first round selection at this month’s draft (19th overall) for the right price.

Cox reports the 6-foot-5, 205-pound forward is the piece that killed any trade talks between the Wings and Leafs, which would’ve sent defenseman Dion Phaneuf to Detroit.

Mantha had a tough first season adjusting to the professional game.

The Red Wings’ first-round selection (20th overall) at the 2013 NHL Draft broke his leg back in September at the team’s rookie tournament in Traverse City.

When he finally returned to game action in mid-November, the 20-year-old struggled to find his groove.

“That injury was hard. It took me two months off so that means I started two months later than everyone,” Mantha told PHT in February. “I’ve started to play really good, but I mean I’m still two months back of everyone so I need to put double the effort in.

“After my injury, it had been five months since I had played a real game and it hurt my confidence a little bit and obviously my game is not the same.”

After consecutive 50-plus goal seasons with Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Mantha finished the 2014-15 season with 15 goals and 18 assists in 62 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He added two goals and two assists in 16 playoff games.

His poor first season in Grand Rapids led to some brutal honesty from longtime Red Wings executive Jim Devellano when asked about Mantha last month.

“Very, very, very disappointing,” said Devellano. “And I say that with a lot of sadness. Coming out of junior, we had such high hopes for him.”

Following the season, Mantha agreed many areas of his game need improvement heading into the 2015-16 season.

“I need to work on my strength, for sure,” Mantha said in May. “I need to work on a lot of aspects of my play, like getting quicker on my skates … I got better as the year went along but I need to keep growing for the summer.”

Despite the rough rookie campaign in Grand Rapids, Wings’ coach Jeff Blashill believes Mantha will be a good pro.

“He’s got special skill for a guy his size. He can do things that other guys just can’t do,” said Blashill in February. “He’s going to be a great player; I truly believe that and its just going to be a matter of time.

“When you care as much as he cares, as soon as he learns the daily attention to detail and the daily work ethic it takes, with his skill set, he’s going to be a special player.”

NHL fines Red Wings for Devellano’s “cattle” comment

Ken Holland, Jim Devellano

Red Wings senior VP Jim Devellano caught the ire of the NHL and now his team will pay for it.

The NHL announced they’ve fined the Red Wings an undisclosed amount for comments made by Devellano in a recent interview. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly had this to say about the comments:

“The Detroit Red Wings’ organization and the League agree that the comments made by Mr. Devellano are neither appropriate, nor authorized, nor permissible under the League’s By-Laws,” Daly said. “Such comments are neither constructive nor helpful to the negotiations.”

In that interview, Devellano refers to the players as “cattle” and the owners as “ranchers” regarding the labor battle between the two sides.

“It’s very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle,” Devellano said. “The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.”

The league by-law Daly refers to says only he or Gary Bettman are allowed to speak on labor matters. Devellano’s point of view doesn’t do much to help keep peace in the situation and shows why they want to control who says what.

UPDATE (12:25 p.m. ET) : TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the fine may be as much as $250,000. That’s enough scratch to make sure no one else decides to speak out publicly.

PHT Morning Skate: Where Jordan Staal starts talking contract with Carolina

Jordan Staal

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Jordan Staal and the Hurricanes will start talking contract soon. (News & Observer)

New CBA talks will start up on Friday. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that get wrapped up quickly? (Globe And Mail)

Uh oh, someone told Bill Plaschke about the Kings’ missing Stanley Cup puck. (Los Angeles Times)

The Oilers are set to make Ralph Krueger their new head coach. (Edmonton Journal)

John Tavares is set to be one of the players figuring into the CBA discussions. Not bad for a still pretty young kid. (Sportsnet)

Acquisitions don’t seem to turn out that great for the Sabres after guys arrive in Buffalo. Well that’s depressing. (Buffalo News)

Red Wings executive Jim Devellano has always regretted trading now Hall Of Fame center Adam Oates out of Detroit. (Detroit Free Press)

Speaking of Oates, bet you didn’t know he used to be a punk in high school, dyed hair and leather jackets and all. (D.C. Sports Bog)

Robin Lehner is working hard to be the hot prospect in Ottawa again. (Senators Extra)

Brad Staubitz wants to return to Montreal. (Montreal Gazette)

Taylor Fedun’s comeback from a shattered leg is incredible. (Edmonton Journal)

If Atlanta moves to Winnipeg, how should the NHL realign the divisions?

Detroit Red Wings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Four

Sometimes here we have to expand our minds a bit and start drawing up scenarios for potential situations. We don’t usually delve into the fantasy world here but with the chatter growing louder about the possibility of the Atlanta Thrashers being sold to David Thomson’s True North group and moved to Winnipeg we can’t help but get wondering about some things. Mostly, we want to know what happens to how the divisions and teams will be lined up.

If Atlanta moves to Winnipeg there’s no logical way to have Winnipeg be in either the Eastern Conference nor the Southeast Division and with the NHL not being eager to have a mismatched number of teams in each conference, someone in the west would move east. The questions here are who would be the one to move and just how would the divisions be set up? We’ve got some ideas on how things could play out.

You’d have three instant candidates to move to the Eastern Conference: Detroit, Columbus, and Nashville. The easy part of this equation would be what would happen to Winnipeg. The move that makes most sense for them would be to have them slide into the Northwest Division and take the place of the Colorado Avalanche. There they would have a local rivalry with the Minnesota Wild and be lumped in with the three other Canadian teams in the West.

The Avalanche would then jump to the Pacific Division where they would take the place of the Dallas Stars. The Stars would then jump into the Central Division where they would take the place of which ever team between the Wings, Jackets, and Predators that headed East. Of course, which of those teams would go is the part of the hot debate.

Detroit’s case that they would make to go is based upon location. They’re in the Eastern time zone and have historical rivals they could get reacquainted with very quickly in Toronto and Montreal. Travel is a major bugaboo for the Wings when they hit the road. After all, those west coast swings hurt. Red Wings senior vice president Jim Devellano says that a move won’t be happening next season for the Wings, but he hopes the NHL could cut them a break in the future.

What hurts Detroit’s case is their rivalry with Chicago. Red Wings-Blackhawks games are once again a must-see event with lots of their matchups ending up on national television. With both teams being perpetual playoff teams now, there’s a lot of money to be made off of these two teams duking it out a few times a year. Detroit and Chicago also represent the Western Conferences only original six teams. Leaving the Blackhawks on an island by themselves wouldn’t do the league any favors even in spite of Chicago’s budding rivalries with San Jose and Vancouver.

Columbus can make a similar case to Detroit in that they too are in the Eastern time zone. Geographically speaking they’re just a tad further east than Detroit and could develop an instant regional rivalry with Pittsburgh. The Blue Jackets have already asked the NHL about moving to the East so they’re at least on the record. Helping make their case is that Columbus has no real ties to the teams in the West. They’ve got a “rivalry” of sorts with Detroit thanks to locality and divisional ties but that would be traded out easily for Pittsburgh. A move to the East would also help lend a hand to the Blue Jackets to give them a better shot at the playoffs. Let’s face it, the Western Conference is a bit tougher than the East.

Something working against both Detroit and Columbus is that moving them to East throws the divisional setup way out of whack. Both teams would fit in well in the Northeast Division, but who slides out for them? Going by geographical set up, Boston would make sense to have them go to the Atlantic Division… But then someone needs to get out of there to go to the Southeast Division. Philadelphia is the southernmost team there and that doesn’t exactly jive well considering the Flyers’ rivalries with every single other Atlantic Division team. So what next? The logical move.

Nashville has established themselves pretty well in the Western Conference having made the playoffs more often than not over the last few years. They’re also a bit odd in that they’re stuck in a division that’s nasty year in and year out dealing with Detroit and Chicago. Moving Nashville to the Eastern Conference would give them another tough, nasty team and a seamless fit into the Southeast Division.

There they could strike up regional rivalries with a southern flavor with Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Florida. Nashville and Washington battling numerous times a year would provide some nasty and fantastic games. If the NHL wanted to help sell the game more in the south and get some great local rivalries to go with it, this would seem like a no-brainer because it doesn’t upset things quite as much. That move coupled with sliding Dallas into the Central Division where they could reinvigorate rivalries with Detroit and Chicago would give the NHL some dynamic divisional battles.

If this should come to pass with Atlanta getting bought and moved, there will be some tough choices to make here for the NHL. How they choose to go about it will be fascinating to see and how the politics of things play out would provide fodder for future conspiracy theorists. We want to know what you think though. Who do you think would move to the Eastern Conference if the Thrashers head west? Let us know in our poll and in the comments.

2010 Hockey Hall of Fame profiles: Devellano, Seaman (the builders)

Jim Devellano; Cammi Granato; Dino Ciccarelli; Angela James

Five people will be officially inducted as the 2010 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame. In the “players” category, the inductees are: Dino Ciccarelli, Angela James and Cammi Granato. Meanwhile, the “builders” who will be inducted are Jimmy Devellano and Daryl “Doc” Seaman.

In these two posts, we’ll provide a quick summary of the accomplishments of the inductees from each group. Keep in mind these aren’t meant to be comprehensive. Instead, these write-ups will provide a snapshot of five great careers. Each individual is listed in alphabetical order.

For profiles on the players, click here.

Jim Devellano (first person on the left in the photo above)

Talking points/numbers

  • Spent 29 seasons with the Red Wings organization and 44 overall in the NHL.
  • Given a lot of credit for building the generation-dominating Detroit teams that won four Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008.
  • He was the first person hired by the Ilitch family once they took over as Red Wings owners in ’82, according to the Red Wings.
  • He was also a part of the New York Islanders dynasty during the early ’80s, although he wasn’t there for all four Cup wins.
  • Devellano owns 14 sports-related championship rings.
  • The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame inducted him in 2006.

A few other things

Devellano’s master stroke was probably the in-roads he made to help the Red Wings earn a huge head start on international scouting, which helped them uncover stars such as Sweden’s Nicklas Lidstrom. Then again, he also drafted Steve Yzerman, which is borderline HOF-worthy in itself. He’s an obvious choice for the team builder category … it’s almost surprising it took so long.

I wonder if he’ll be joined by current Red Wings GM Ken Holland some day?

Daryl “Doc” Seaman

Talking points/numbers

  • One of the original owners of the Calgary Flames.
  • Seaman is receiving this honorary posthumously, as he died in 2009.
  • A key figure in getting Calgary’s Saddledome built.
  • Elected into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Received the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2008.
  • Also elected to Canadian Oilmen’s Hall of Fame in 1997.

A few other things

That’s about all I know about Daryl Seaman, except that his nickname is “Doc.” Doc is a beyond-solid nickname, I’d say.