And so the Detroit Redwings have been knocked out of the playoffs, as the Anaheim Ducks advance to play the Ottawa Senators starting Monday for the Stanley Cup.
I selected this picture for a couple reasons. First is number 22, Brett Lebda. A recent addition to the Wings, but has everything it would take to become the next Lidstrom or Yzerman even. A defensive player with a thirst for getting the puck to the net, but who will sacrifice everything of himself to help out his own goalie.
Secondly, for number 39, Dominik Hasek. Wow. The Dominator. My “hat” is off to that man. He would get so bored, that he’d come out hunting for the puck. Sprawling on the ice in the butterfly or “snowman” positions, and wearing the helmet only someone who has played for 20 years would dare to wear. He retired in 2002 after winning the Stanley Cup with the Wings in 2001 Season…then returned for another short stint with them that didn’t go well, played for Ottawa for a year, and came back this year. He’s 42 years old, and one of the BEST goalies in the league. But he was on a 1 year contract for $750,000. He’s going to take the next few weeks to decide whether he wants to accept the Redwings offer for another year or not. I hope he does…obviously.
But with Yzerman gone already, Hasek and Chelios already in their mid-40’s…the Wings are becoming a new team. Not the one I grew up watching, but at the same time, they are. The longevity of these older players have allowed them to pass on certain philosophies and styles of hockey that the younger teams in the NHL would never be able to develop or train with. This team will always be my team.
We had a great year. We played a very competitive and physical game that we haven’t been capable of in 5 years at least. We conquered 28 of the 30 teams in the NHL, and can lift our heads high…We are STILL the Detroit Redwings…