Chase Is On To Reach Career Milestones During 2021 NHL Regular Season
Ten years ago, the Detroit Red Wings were the NHL’s dominant team. They and their fans were basking in their 2008 Stanley Cup championship, marking their fourth title in 11 years. Despite the departures of long-time stars such as Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan, the Wings remained atop the NHL mountaintop as a perennial Cup contender.
Those glory days have since passed. The following season, the Wings fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Stanley Cup Final rematch, beginning a lengthy decline that saw them bottom out by missing the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
As the Wings rebuild their roster, here’s a look at where the notable players from their last championship team are today.
Nicklas Lidstrom. One of the greatest defensemen in hockey history, the former Wings captain retired in 2012 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. He lives in Sweden with his family where he coaches his sons. He co-owns an assets company and also works in real estate.
Henrik Zetterberg. Winner of the 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy, Zetterberg is now the captain of the Red Wings. Hampered in recent years by back injuries, his status is unclear for the 2018-19 season.
Pavel Datsyuk. Considered among the best two-way players of all time, Datsyuk retired from the NHL in 2016. Returning to Russian, he joined the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg, captaining them to the Gagarin Cup championship in 2017. He signed a one-year contract extension in April.
Chris Osgood. The often under-appreciated “Ozzie” backstopped the Wings to the 2008 Stanley Cup. It was his third Cup title and his second as a starter. Osgood would play three more seasons with the Wings before retiring in 2011, becoming just the 10th goalie in NHL history to reach 400 wins. He’s gone on to work in the Red Wings organization, as well as providing analysis for Wings games on Fox Sports. He’s also part-owner of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit.
Dominik Hasek. 2007-08 was the final NHL season for “The Dominator.” He was Chris Osgood’s backup during the postseason, seeing action in four games. Hasek spent 2009-10 in the Czech Extraliga and 2010-11 in the KHL before retiring. Ranked among the greatest goaltenders of all time, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014. Today, he’s an entrepreneur in the Czech Republic and also stays involved in hockey and charities.
Chris Chelios. One of the NHL’s great defensemen, Chelios returned with the Wings in 2008-09 and briefly saw action the following season with the Atlanta Thrashers before ending his 26-year NHL career. He spent several seasons with the Wings in the front office and coaching staff before joining the Chicago Blackhawks in July 2018 as a team ambassador. Chelios was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.
Brian Rafalski. The skilled puck-moving defenseman played three more seasons with the Red Wings before retiring at age 37 in 2011 to spend more time with his family. They currently reside in Florida where he works with a local hockey program.
Johan Franzen. Multiple concussion injuries cut short Franzen’s playing career. Though still under contract with the Red Wings through 2019-20, he hasn’t suited up since 2015. In May 2018, Franzen’s wife revealed her husband was going through “intensive treatment” for brain injury as he continues to deal with post-concussion syndrome.
Niklas Kronwall. Since Lidstrom’s retirement, Kronwall became the linchpin of the Red Wings’ defense corps. Now 37, his physical style of play has led to injuries that in recent years limited his effectiveness.
Tomas Holmstrom. A long-time physical presence in front of opposition nets, Holmstrom spent four more seasons with the Wings before retiring prior to the start of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. He lives with his family in Sweden and coaches youth hockey.
Jiri Hudler. After four more seasons with the Wings, including one he missed when he played in the KHL during a season-long contract dispute, Hudler spent his final five NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars, winning the Lady Byng Trophy in 2015. Last fall, he was involved in an incident aboard an international flight in which he reportedly used cocaine in the washroom and threatened a flight attendant.
Kris Draper. Following three more seasons with the Wings, Draper retired in 2011 and joined the Wings’ front-office staff. He is now a special assistant to general manager Ken Holland.
Mikael Samuelsson. After another season with the Wings, Samuelsson spent parts of four campaigns with the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers before returning to Detroit for a last hurrah in 2013. Retiring in 2015, Samuelsson is a European Development Coach with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Valtteri Filppula. Departed the Wings as a free agent in 2013 to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 2017, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. He recently signed a one-year deal with the New York Islanders.
Brad Stuart. Following four more seasons with the Wings, Stuart returned to the San Jose Sharks (where he began his NHL career) for two seasons and signed a two-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche. A back injury ended his playing career in 2016.
Dallas Drake. The 2007-08 season was Drake’s last, retiring after 15 NHL seasons. He lives with his family in Michigan and coaches youth hockey.
Darren Helm. The 31-year-old winger is entering his 12th season with the Red Wings.
Dan Cleary. Following seven more seasons with the Wings and one with their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, Cleary retired in 2017. He’s now the Red Wings’ co-director of player development.
Darren McCarty. After one more season with the Wings, McCarty retired in 2009. He published his autobiography in 2013 detailing his free-wheeling lifestyle and battles with addictions. He lives in Detroit where he works for a real-estate company and is also trying his hand at stand-up comedy.
Kirk Maltby. The long-time Red Wings checking-line forward played two more seasons before retiring in 2010. He soon joined the Wings as a pro scout and remains in that role today.
Andreas Lilja. The Swedish defenseman spent two more seasons with the Wings. After spending three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers, Lilja spent two years playing in Sweden before retiring as a player. Next season, he’ll be an assistant coach for Kristianstad.
Islanders re-sign Brock Nelson, Golden Knights ink William Carrier. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders avoided salary arbitration with Brock Nelson. The two sides agreed to a one-year, $4.25-million contract. Nelson will either have an opportunity to compete for a top-six role or could be pushed to retain his third-line center role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Nelson will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. This season could determine if he has a long-term future with the Islanders.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed forward William Carrier to a two-year deal worth $725k per season.
STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo and his wife Jayne are the proud parents of triplets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Pietrangelos on the safe arrival of their three children.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have named Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios as a team ambassador. Chelios is a Chicago native who spent nearly nine seasons with the Hawks during the 1990s. He recently left the Detroit Red Wings organization to be closer to his family, especially his aging mother.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils have named Rick Kowalsky and Mike Grier as assistant coaches. Kowalsky was head coach of the Devils’ AHL affiliate. Grier had a 14-year NHL playing career and was recently a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The logo has been revealed for the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers’ Stadium Series game on Feb. 8, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Latest on Mike Hoffman and Chris Chelios plus the latest notable contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
OTTAWA SUN: Monika Caryk, fiancee of former Senators forward Mike Hoffman, is seeking the disclosure of cyberbullying allegations levied against her by Melinda Karlsson, wife of Senators captain Erik Karlsson.
Caryk swore out an affidavit in Toronto on July 12 denying the allegations, maintaining her innocence and desire to help the Karlssons discover who actually did this. Hoffman was traded last month to the Florida Panthers in a three-team deal.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Hall-of-Famer Chris Chelios is leaving the Detroit Red Wings organization to return to his hometown of Chicago to be closer to his aging mother. He spent two seasons (2014-2016) as an assistant coach and had since served as a team ambassador and special adviser.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets avoided salary arbitration with forward Adam Lowry, signing him to a three-year, $8.75-million contract.
NBC SPORTS: The Washington Capitals re-signed defenseman Madison Bowey to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $1 million.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed unrestricted free agent center Derek Grant to a one-year, $650K contract.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames placed restricted free agent defenseman Brett Kulak on waivers. He’s slated for an arbitration hearing on July 23.
If unclaimed, this tactic could buttress the Flames’ case that his value isn’t as high as his salary demands, which are currently unknown. Kulak earned over $650K at the NHL level on his previous contract.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights and the U.S. Army have reached an agreement that will allow the franchise to use its nickname. The Army has a parachute team also known as the Golden Knights.
Latest on Steven Stamkos, Vladimir Tarasenko, the Coyotes arena lease squabble, the Devils name their new assistant coaches and more. (more…)