Everyone misses watching hockey in some way or another.
As Red Wings fans, we miss Mickey and Ken. We miss Osgood. We miss having something to talk about with the other hockey fans in our lives.
Personally, I think I miss “Hockey Night in Canada” the most because it has been a rare occasion over the past 25 years when I have not tuned in for the Saturday night action on CBC.
But we’ve made it this far, and many of us certainly have much more important issues to face right now. Hockey will return to our screens soon enough, relatively speaking.
Moritz Seider takes a hard fall into the boards 😬
Meanwhile, there is hockey being played on other continents. The Red Wings have players and prospects participating in several different leagues, working to stay in shape for when the NHL returns (more on that below).
Moritz Seider, for instance, is playing with Rogle BK Angelholm in the Swedish league. He’s popping up with highlights all over social media this season. The 19-year-old defenseman has 8 points in 11 games right now. His physicality has been well documented. He has been described as a “human wall” more than once. Add that to his high skill and mental prowess for the game in front of him and you have a Red Wings fan base extremely excited for this kid to join us back here in North America.
Everyone is paying attention to Seider, so it’s alarming when you see a video of him taking a hard fall into the boards this weekend. When you take a second look at that video, you realize he actually went into the boards at a less harmful angle than he could have. His legs were straight and parallel to the wall, and he took the fall mostly on his hip, it appears. That still hurts.
He got up on his own legs and hobbled off the ice, but he returned to play, seemingly alright. Phew! We need the “Big German” to stay healthy. He’s going to be a key piece for the Grand Rapids Griffins, of course, but perhaps we can see him up with the Red Wings sooner than later during the pandemic-shortened season.
The NHL season start status 🕰️
And that brings us to the important question of: When will the NHL even return to play? Negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA have been ongoing for weeks. Reports Friday were that the league and players union are looking at the possibility of starting a 56-game regular season in mid-January 2021.
There is no expectation for the league to play a full 82-game schedule after such a delay to the start due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the expectation for months had been a Jan. 1 start. That’s a highly unlikely possibility at this point as the league and players have been negotiating next steps.
Honestly, if they can start the season safely by Jan. 15-16, that’s a lot earlier than I was expecting as these negotiations drag on. Gary Bettman has always come out the winner from these talks. He might have actually screwed this one up, though.
BTW: The last time the NHL played a shortened season was in 2012-13 when a labor dispute between the league and players union delayed the season’s start until Jan. 6, 2013. They ended up playing a 48-game season, just as they did in 1994-95 due to another lockout.
I was listening to a SportsNet podcast the other day during which former NHLer Colby Armstrong said he remembers players really enjoying the shortened season, describing it as a fun sprint to the playoffs. I can understand that. Players consistently complain about the grueling 82-game schedule. They can’t do that here.
Patrick Roy blowout anniversary 🥅
Thursday was 25 years since the Red Wings put nine pucks past Patrick Roy on Dec. 3, 1995 in Montreal. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the crowd cheering when he stopped a dump-in. I remember laughing, probably wearing my Sergei Fedorov T-shirt (#Retire91).
I still can’t believe it happened. To leave your franchise goalie, the guy who single-handedly won the 1993 Stanley Cup, in there for nine goals is such an amazing sign of disrespect. Truly astonishing. I mean, we know Roy had a reputation for what you might refer to as an “abrasive” attitude. But he always backed it up on the ice.
Of course, what I remember more clearly are the next four months after this night. Roy was granted his trade which sent him to the brand new Colorado Avalanche, giving birth to one of the best sports rivalries of the modern era. He ended up beating the Red Wings in the conference final that year (yes, the 62-win Red Wings) en route to his third Stanley Cup.
The Red Wings eventually got back at Roy, as we know -- several times, in fact. But that 1995-96 year goes to him. I think what happened that year really cements him as one of the top five best hockey goalies of all time. That story alone.
Yzerman’s offseason grade 🅱️➕
Finally, if you didn’t catch my writeup on Steve Yzerman’s offseason grade, check it out.
The hockey writers at theScore gave him a B+ for the signings he made the past few months. I generally agree with what they had to say.
“You don’t want to watch Dylan Larkin suffer more 200-foot laps around the ice that ultimately result in the opposition scoring in spite of his determination to put the team on his back and make it work. It just won’t work like that, and it’s a terrible habit to see a young center such as Larkin fall into. We saw someone else suffer through this in the 1980s and 90s (Yzerman).”
- Red Wings roundup Nov. 22: The awful new ‘practice’ jersey, new NHL season update, cool division changes
- Red Wings roundup Nov. 16: New roster, key signings, draft recap, more