Where Are The 2008 Detroit Red Wings Today?

Where Are The 2008 Detroit Red Wings Today?

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. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2017

The 2017-18 NHL season has begun. Check out the latest notable news in your morning coffee headlines.

EDMONTON SUN: Connor McDavid tallied a hat trick as the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Calgary Flames 3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is wasting little time picking up from where he left off from last season’s MVP performance. As for the Flames, the good news was goalie Mike Smith gave up only two goals on 44 shots. The bad news is their vaunted defense didn’t play well against McDavid and company. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Wayne Simmonds also netted three goals to lead the Flyers to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

STLTODAY.COM: Alex Pietrangelo scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the St. Louis Blues spoiled the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Cup banner night with a 5-4 win. 

TORONTO SUN: Patrick Marleau scored twice while Auston Matthews and James van Riemsdyk had three-point performances to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 7-2 beat down of the Winnipeg Jets. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets yesterday announced the signing of winger Nikolaj Ehlers to a seven-year, $42-million contract extension. His new deal begins in 2018-19 and is worth an annual average value of $6 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets wasted little time locking up the skilled 21-year-old Ehlers, who followed up a promising 38-point NHL debut in 2015-16 with a 25-goal, 64-point effort last season. He finished third among Jets scorers in assists and points and fourth in goals. A highly-skilled winger, Ehlers is a valuable part of the Jets’ offense. Given his upside, this contract could look like a bargain in a few years. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks officially placed sidelined winger Marian Hossa (skin condition) on long-term injury reserve yesterday and signed defenseman Cody Franson to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise on either count. Franson was on a professional tryout offer with the Hawks but it was widely assumed he would make the roster. 

ORANGE COUNTRY REGISTER: Wednesday was a busy day for the Anaheim Ducks. They signed defenseman Josh Manson to a four-year, $16.4 million contract extension and placed veterans Ryan Miller (upper-body injury) and Patrick Eaves (lower body) on injured reserve. Manson will earn $3.25 million in 2018-19, $4.25 million in 2019-20 and $4.45 million in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed forward Daniel Winnik to a one-year, $660K contract. Winnik attended Wild training camp on a tryout offer. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals yesterday signed winger Alex Chiasson to a one-year, $660K contract. Chiasson attended Capitals training camp on a PTO. 

TSN: The Vegas Golden Knights inked free agent forward Brandon Pirri to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650K at the NHL level. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens traded defenseman Zach Redmond to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for gritty winger Nicolas Deslauriers. The latter will report to the Habs’ AHL affiliate in Laval. 

CBS SPORTS: The Canadiens also shipped forward Andreas Martinsen to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchanged for forward Kyle Baun.

TSN: Former NHL forward Jiri Hudler is accused of creating an outburst during a recent flight to Prague. He is alleged to have “in which he threatened flight attendants, demanded cocaine and tried to urinate in a food cart.” Hudler denies the allegations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wowsers! Sounds like a scene from a Hunter S. Thompson story. 


NHL Rumor Mill – March 24, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – March 24, 2017

Should the New Jersey Devils shop Cory Schneider this summer?

Players in need of a change of scenery plus the latest on the Stars in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin lists New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider, forwardsDaniel and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk and Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson as several players who could benefit from a change of scenery. He suggested they could be more beneficial to their clubs as trade bait this summer.

Larkin suggests the rebuilding Devils risk wasting the remaining best seasons of the 31-year-old Schneider, recommending he could be more beneficial to a club such as the Dallas Stars.  Moving the Sedins could help the retooling Canucks add more draft picks and prospects for the 2017 draft and could put them in good position for the first-overall pick in 2018.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this year, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks also suggested the Devils consider moving Schneider while his value remains high. As Larkin notes, by the time the Devils are ready to become a perennial playoff contender, Schneider will be past his prime. He could fetch the Devils either a skilled defenseman or a scoring forward. The Stars would certainly be interested if they can move Kari Lehtonen and/or Antti Niemi. So would the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche,  Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets and perhaps the Calgary Flames.

As for the Sedins, I defer to ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun. “Good luck trying to move their combined $14 million in salary (each Sedin makes $7 million).”

Duchene and Landeskog would attract considerable interest in the trade market. Varlamov wouldn’t have as many suitors but Larkin feels his market isn’t non-existent, suggesting Dallas and the Philadelphia Flyers as two clubs in need of help between the pipes.

Faulk could be used to bring the Hurricanes a scoring forward such as Duchene. Moving Johnson could bring the Lightning a top-four defenseman and allow them to re-sign Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat.  The Bolts also have a possible replacement for Johnson in young Brayden Point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was plenty of interest in Duchene and Landeskog before this year’s trade deadline. Once Avs GM Joe Sakic lowers his ridiculously high asking prices (good young defenseman or goaltender, first-round pick, top prospect and perhaps more), he won’t have any problem moving either guy.  Sakic should still get a good return, though obviously not one as high as what he sought before the deadline. Varlamov’s lengthy injury history and $5.9 million annual cap hit through 2018-19 makes him almost impossible to move this summer.

Faulk had an off-year in 2016-17 but remains a well-regarded blueliner. The Hurricanes depth in rising young defensemen could make him expendable, especially if GM Ron Francis wants to add more scoring punch. Faulk was linked to the Avalanche in the recent trade chatter regarding Duchene. 

Johnson’s name surfaced in the rumor mill prior to the trade deadline and I wouldn’t be surprised if he pops up again in trade chatter once the playoffs end in June. It remains to be seen, however, if Lightning GM Steve Yzerman moves Johnson or shops someone else.  

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: In a recent live chat. Mike Heika speculated the Dallas Stars could bring back 33-year-old winger Ales Hemsky on a one- or two-year deal for a considerable lower price than his current $4 million annual cap hit. He doesn’t think they’ll re-sign winger Jiri Hudler. Heika also believes they’ll find a way to move defenseman Patrik Nemeth and doesn’t expect veteran winger Patrick Sharp will return. 

NHL Rumor Mill – February 9, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – February 9, 2017

Dallas Stars winger Patrick Sharp could be on the move by the March 1 trade deadline.

Latest on the Stars, Senators and Canadiens in your NHL rumor mill. 

ESPN.COM:  Pierre LeBrun reports the Dallas Stars’ strategy for the upcoming NHL trade deadline will depend upon their performance over the next three weeks. If the struggling Stars fail to gain ground in the playoff chase, they’ll have little choice but to start shopping some of their pending unrestricted free agents.

Topping the list is veteran winger Patrick Sharp, whose offensive skills and playoff experience could help any contender. Versatile forward Patrick Eaves, currently sidelined defenseman Johnny Oduya and winger Jiri Hudler could also hit the block.

LeBrun also reports the Stars have reportedly had preliminary discussions with the Pittsburgh Penguins about Marc-Andre Fleury, but there’s nothing imminent on that front. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika, responding to questions in a recent live chat, believes most Stars fans “would be happy if they gave up on the season, traded Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya, Patrick  Eaves and whatever else they can use to get prospects and draft picks and then start fresh next season.”

Heika thinks the fans want a new head coach, two new goaltenders and for management to use the cap space cleared by cutting loose their UFAs to pursue a top-two defenseman. He also feels Sharp, Hudler and Lauri Korpikoski could attract interest at the trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars are seven points away from the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. If they fail to gain ground in the next two weeks, GM Jim Nill will be selling. Sharp and Eaves would attract the most interest. Hudler really hurt his trade value with a middling performance last season with the Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers. If Oduya’s still sidelined by month’s end, I doubt he’ll be dealt.

I’ve suggested before that Fleury to the Stars for Antti Niemi might make sense for both clubs. However, that depends upon Fleury’s willingness to move and if the Stars are on his list of preferred destinations.

Having topped the Western Conference standings in 2015-16, the Stars’ performance this season could spark some changes. Because the roster was walloped by injuries, I doubt head coach Lindy Ruff will bear the brunt of it. A goaltending change is a must. They cannot carry on with the ineffective tandem of Niemi and Kari Lehtonen. At least one of them must go, and the expansion draft might not take care of that for them. Landing a top-pairing defenseman won’t be easy. 

OTTAWA SUN: Buried deep in this recent Don Brennan column is this little nugget regarding Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf: “It’s widely believed the Senators will protect Cody Ceci and Marc Methot along with Erik Karlsson, and ask Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-move with the thinking Las Vegas won’t touch the latter’s hefty contract.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sens ask Phaneuf to do this and he accepts, don’t be so sure the Golden Knights won’t claim him. Yes, Phaneuf has four more seasons at $7 million annually left on his contract, but maybe the Golden Knights management would consider him a worthwhile selection. 

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma recently reports a Montreal Canadiens was in Vancouver watching Canucks winger Alex Burrows. Kuzma claims Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin loves the Quebec-born Burrows. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens need depth at center, not a past-his-prime agitating winger. Canucks GM Jim Benning said he wouldn’t asking his players carrying no-movement/no-trade clauses to waive them. Unless Burrows wants out, he won’t be going anywhere if Benning stands by his word.

**UPDATE**  Kuzma also quoted Benning, who’s on a European scouting trip, saying “We’re going to see where we’re at.” He added that he’ll have individual conversations with those players at their agents, but he’s still hoping they can stay in the playoff chase. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2016

Latest World Cup of Hockey news, Stars sign Jiri Hudler, Coyotes hire NHL’s first female coach and more in this morning’s NHL headlines.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester replaces injured Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Duncan Keith on Team Canada.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester replaces injured Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Duncan Keith on Team Canada.

 NHL.COM:  Team Canada announced St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will replace Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Duncan Keith in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Keith is giving his right knee, injured during last season, more time to heal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canada’s management and coaching staff will point to Bouwmeester’s many years of international hockey experience to justify this move. However, they once again passed over Nashville Predators blueliner P.K. Subban. That’s raising some eyebrows, as Subban’s in the prime of his career while Bouwmeester’s performance declined over the last two years. 

AZCENTRAL.COM:  The Arizona Coyotes yesterday announced the hiring of Dawn Braid as their skating coach. She becomes the first full-time female coach in NHL history. “Braid worked part-time for the Coyotes last year and has served as a skating consultant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames.” New York Islanders captain John Tavares is among the notable NHL players she’s worked with over the years. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars signed unrestricted free agent winger Jiri Hudler to a one-year, $2 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  A good, affordable addition by the Stars. The 32-year-old Hudler is a versatile and experienced forward. He has two-way skills, can play all three forward positions and should provide additional depth to their forward lines. He could also provide a little insurance if young winger Valeri Nichushkin continues to struggle. 

STLTODAY.COM:  The St. Louis Blues are expected to announce today that they’ve named defenseman Alex Pietrangelo as their new team captain. 

NBC SPORTS:  Team Sweden announced Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm will replace Detroit Red Wings blueliner Niklas Kronwall. The Wings rearguard is still dealing with a troublesome knee injury. 

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo continues to make strides in his recovery from offseason hip surgery. He remains confident of being ready for the club’s season opener on Oct. 13. 

TSN: In an interview on a number of topics, NHLPA director Donald Fehr doesn’t sound optimistic about the NHL avoiding another lockout. “The general sense I’ve had is that for a very long time now in all the salary-cap sports, every single one of them, there is a lockout in every single negotiation,” said Fehr. He also said he tells the players to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fehr isn’t saying for certain there will be another lockout, but his comments won’t inspire much hope among NHL fans that another work stoppage can be avoided. In September 2019, the league and the PA can decide to opt out of the current agreement in September 2020. Otherwise, the agreement expires in September 2022. 

CBC SPORTS:  The NHL remains in a stalemate with the International Olympic Committee over its attendance at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the upcoming World Cup of Hockey proves to be popular with hockey fans and generates considerable revenue for the NHL, I believe they will forego any future Olympic participation. 

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Jurco underwent minor back surgery and will be sidelined for at least four-to-six weeks. 

SPORTSNET: Unveiled its national and Hockey Night in Canada broadcast schedule of NHL games. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Pittsburgh Penguins single-game tickets go on sale Friday. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Buffalo Sabres are introducing a new tier system of ticket prices. 

Latest on the Bruins – August 24, 2016

Latest on the Bruins – August 24, 2016


Can the Boston Bruins improve their defense corps for 2016-17?

Can the Boston Bruins improve their defense corps for 2016-17?

Why the Boston Bruins defense still needs improvement, plus the five best available free agents who could help them.

NBC SPORTS: Joey Alfieri reports the Boston Bruins defense still needs some work. The Bruins’ front office has acknowledged since the end of last season the need to land a transitional defenseman. So far, however, their efforts to address that issue have been unsuccessful.

St. Louis Blues rearguard Kevin Shattenkirk was reportedly available via trade, but the Blues have hung onto him. Unless the Bruins can swing a deal soon, Alfieri believes they’ll start the season with their current corps. Captain Zdeno Chara is aging and no longer a dominant force, while Torey Krug is their only significant puck-moving defenseman. Alfieri suggests the Bruins blueline could struggle against the rest of the Atlantic Division.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty lists forward Jiri Hudler, defenseman Kris Russell, Winnipeg Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba, forward Brandon Pirri and aging rearguard Marek Zidlicky as his five best free agents who could help the Bruins. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were believed among the suitors for Shattenkirk, but the Blues apparently set a very high asking price for him.  Blues GM Doug Armstrong has indicated he’s willing to start the season with Shattenkirk, so the Bruins will have to look elsewhere.

One possibility could be Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks, as there’s speculation he could be shopped once the Ducks re-sign Hampus Lindholm. Fowler’s a left-handed shot, but I doubt the Bruins would pass over an opportunity to land him for a reasonable price. 

Of the two forwards listed by Haggerty, Hudler has a proven record and could be a decent short-term addition to provide depth on the wings. Pirri has size and some scoring potential, but he’s been plagued by inconsistency in his short NHL career.

As for the defensemen, Trouba is the best of the bunch, but he’s also a restricted free agent. The Bruins will have to pay big to pry him away from the Winnipeg Jets. They could go the offer sheet route, but Haggerty considers that unlikely. Russell is a fine shot-blocking defenseman with some puck-moving abilities, but he won’t address the Bruins need for a transitional d-man. Zidlicky is now past his prime and won’t help the Bruins.