That's right Joe, Episode 4's answer is Paul "Rocket Man" Ysebaert - not to be confused with "Yzerman." What are the odds of having two names starting with "Yseh" on the same roster? Slim. Slim odds indeed.
Ysebaert did in fact earn the 1991-92 NHL Plus/Minus award with a solid plus 44. The next Red Wing to win this award would be Chris Chelios for the 2001-02 season. Chelios recorded an impressive plus 40 - which wasn't even his career best - plus 48 in 1999-00 with Detroit.
On to the next. Good friggin' luck with this guy.
Think "Dead Wings" or "Dead Things" era - circa 1970s. This guy played in 314 games with Detroit from 1970 to1983. That's a long time, yes. The sad thing is, during those 13 seasons, he only appeared in three (THREE) playoff games. He also spent some time with the now-defunct OHA affiliate Hamilton Red Wings.
The youngsters are stepping it up. Jan Mursak broke out with a goal in last night's exhibition against Chicago. This is fun to hear about. I wish I could see some of these games, but such is life.
Mursak has been in and out of the Grand Rapids Griffins roster since 2006. He played in a total of 130 games in the past two seasons with Grand Rapids. He had 24 goals in 79 games during the 2009-2010 campaign. Maybe he's for real now. He is 22 and hails from Slovenia. I would place a picture of him here, but they all suck. He has to earn some decent photos before I start placing them on DRW.
Tonight, the Red Wings allow Chicago to play host. Some of the Wings regulars will be making the trip, but not all.
Again, hopefully another young guy makes the most of his time wearing the winged wheel. It means a lot to the organization, clearly, but it also makes Chicago look like fools. I'm not sure which is more important to me.
Time to take the central division back. Never too soon to start. Pre-season what?
Detroit brought some guys up from the Griffins, sat a lot of starters, and lost 5-1 in Pittsburgh. That's what happened.
I am pretty unimpressed by some of the defensive numbers in the box score. These guys are trying to make the team right? I mean, get it together. Where is the hunger?
No one should ever go minus 4 on the Detroit Red Wings. Yeah, I'm talking to you Brian Lashoff. Also, If Derek Meech wants serious minutes this year, he's going to have to start playing actual defense.
I am going strictly off the numbers. But, sometimes that's all you can judge. I'm not OK with Ruslan Salei doing all the scoring.
How did Todd Bertuzzi get 17 penalty minutes?
I hope these are the worst numbers I see all season. What a nightmare to look at.
I turned on Sports Center last night, saw a hockey highlight. Surreal. It's difficult to see those during the regular season, let alone the pre-season.
So, the truth is I have been uber busy with life. You know, trying to stay alive and enjoy it too. Blogging always seems to get thrown on the sidelines. However, the season is almost here! I have to do my due diligence.
The Red Wings face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, in Pittsburgh. Yeah! I'm excited! Can you tell? Not. Just a tease folks. This isn't even on the TV.
But, pay attention to the stats and box scores. Some of those young prospects are still fighting for a spot. I love it. NHL exhibition games are tryouts. For Red Wings players, this is extremely important. There is a ton of young talent on the team and in Grand Rapids.
Let's go! This is the most I have ever used exclamation points in my life... !
When you pay attention to the entire NHL with an objective viewpoint of each team, managing a fan blog for just one franchise becomes increasingly difficult. This post has nothing to do with the Red Wings. Deal with it.
Captains around the league:
Roberto Luongo gives up the "C" in Vancouver:
Earlier this week, Vancouver Canucks star goalie Roberto Luongo stepped down after two years as Canucks captain. He was the first goalie in franchise history to be named captain. Seriously, who makes the goalie captain? I never agreed with it. But, I am not in the locker room. Maybe he really was the best decision. That's unfortunate.
Of course, now the hot topic in the great northwest is who should be named his succeeder. I really don't think there is much debate beyond two players here: Henrik Sedin or Ryan Kesler. Moreover, I think Kesler edges out Henrik simply from a charisma and media standpoint. Plus, he's younger and grittier. I, and all Canadians, would be fools to tell you it doesn't matter in Canada if your Captain is not North American - must I mention the epic Mats Sundin fail? Yet, Kesler is a dirty American, so take your pick.
More Captain news in Montreal:
This is definitely one of the best/worst things to be in the NHL: The captain of the Montreal Canadiens. Just ask Chris Chelios.
Brian Gionta will be named the 28th captain in franchise history. He is American. So that's something to think about - Chelios is the only other American to hold the title. Gionta will love it. Gionta will hate it. Good luck son. Whatever, he's gone in a year anyway, right?
It's obvious he will face some criticism for being an American. This isn't something I am making up. This is from CBCSports.ca:
"Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois says she would like to see more francophone players on the Montreal Canadiens."
The Habs did not have a captain last season during their magical run to the conference final.
Indeed famous for being traded for former Pittsburgh Penguin Tomas Sandstrom, Episode 3's old Red Wing is Greg Johnson. In August 2006, Johnson returned to the Wings. However, his career would be ended by health complications. He retired as a Red Wing in September 2006.
Moving forward. This next old Red Wing had a high impact in a short amount of time with Detroit in the early 1990s. He did not get to enjoy the glory of the ladder half of the decade, but he was instrumental in helping the Wings regain and sustain a competitive edge. His name is often overlooked and sometimes confused.
Moreover, he was the first Red Wing to win a certain very prestigious award from the NHL. Anything more would be giving it away.
No, that's not Ray Liotta, it's Adam Oates - the guy from "Goodfellas." Wait. Never mind.
Oates played four seasons with the Detroit Red Wings - 1985-1989. Never drafted, Oates joined the club after a great college career. He filled in as center on Detroit's second line and began to make a name for himself as a premier playmaker in the league. He compiled 145 assists in 246 games with the Wings. He could score too.
But Oates spent most of his career playing against the Winged Wheel. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues in a deal which involved teammate Paul MacLean, Blues' Bernie Federko and Tony McKegney. In St. Louis, he became part of the iconic "Hull 'n Oates" duo with line mate Brett Hull. Hull scored 86 goals in the 1990-91 season and Oates earned 90 assists. They were a deathly combination.
His best years were in the early-to-mid 90s with St. Louis and then the Boston Bruins. Oates earned 97 assists and a total of 142 points. This would have assured him the 2010 Hart Trophy, no problem.
Oates got a chance to compete against old friend and teammate Steve Yzerman in 1998 when his Washington Capitals met the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final. It was the first of two trips he would make to the Cup finals. He never won.
Oates was also an accomplished lacrosse player. He is now an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils - or maybe that's Ray Liotta.
I played EA's NHL 11 on Xbox yesterday. It was the first day since Tuesday which I had a chance to really sit down and get into it. At this point I am pretty decent. I played NHL 10, but never owned it. I never even owned an Xbox 360 counsel until a month and a half ago. So, I wasn't a pro with the controls right away.
However, I feel like I have come a long way in the past month due to playing the demo. I started a season with the Vancouver Canucks. I find it difficult to be Detroit in video games for some reason. I don't know. This has always been the case. Maybe I'm just superstitious. With the game play set to the "Pro" level I started to definitely appreciate and enjoy the realism of the game. I started the season out 6-0. Then I was 11-0-1. Ryan Kesler is pretty awesome in this. Then, I put it up to "All-Star" and of course realized how much I still suck. There is a huge gap between the two levels. The CPU becomes a bit unfair. It's very difficult to score. It's very difficult to force turnovers.
I know I have to get better, but with the CPU acting like untouchable gods on the ice, I feel like I'm staring at an impossible feat. I lost four games in a row. Then I put it back to Pro level, and lost a couple more. Not sure why. I think I just suck at these newer video games - NCAA 11 should have been a forewarning.
However, I think this game is awesome. It's as realistic as one can expect. The CPU seems a bit ridiculous, but whatever. I need to start playing humans. Then, I will be able to fully review this game.
One thing comes to mind when Stu Grimson is mentioned: Stuuuuuuuuuuuu. Next is the fighting. He did it well. He did it often.
A heavyweight fighter through and through, I consider Grimson to be one of the last members of the true heavyweight fighters club - which died off by the late 90s. There are fighters today, but their roles have definitely been reduced in the NHL. Back then, a player like Grimson was more than a novelty for fight-hungry fans, he was a necessity on most rosters. This culture still exist in the league, yet it's definitely not as prominent. And maybe it exists more outside of Detroit Red Wings hockey. Moreover, to be completely honest, just in the last few seasons, I have seen this culture start creeping back into the league, which is a great sign.
Bob Probert was let go in July 1994. Someone needed to fill the tough-guy void. In reality, Grimson only played 67 games in a Wings jersey between 1994 and the beginning of 1997 - nowhere near Probert's impact. He notched zero goals, a whopping one assist and 165 penalty minutes. Clearly, he was on the team to fight. He played 56 games during the 1995-96 season and earned 128 penalty minutes. However, his best fighting years were not in Detroit. In fact, arguably his worst years were with the Red Wings. Hurt much? Yeah, from what I recall. Still, he left his mark on the fans. Grimson was just an added bonus to the already impressive '96 team. Not only would the Red Wings win, but Stuuuu might kill someone too.
Let us recall Grimson's handy work against a familiar face: