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Quick Hits around the NHL - Feb. 19 Edition

I am going to make a strong effort to revive our Quick Hits feature and expand it to include news around the NHL, but obviously with an emphasis on all things Red Wings.

  • The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 2 and 3 in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the NHL Premiere games to kick off the 2009-2010 season. The Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers will play a pair of games in Helsinki, Finland as well. If you count the 26-player roster, there are eight Swedes so it's definitely a homecoming that many of the players are looking forward to.

“We’ve got a great fan base over there, and it would be wonderful to play there,” Swedish Wing Henrik Zetterberg said. “The Cup was almost two weeks in Sweden, so Red Wings are big in Sweden, so I think they will be really happy if we can come there." ...

"It’s something I’m really excited about and looking forward to," Lidstrom said. "Same with my teammates, too, they’re all looking forward to it, too, to get a chance to play overseas. I was hoping it was going to happen sooner or later, and I’m happy about the opportunity to play back home."

  • With two assists and a big hit like Jordin Tootoo last night, defenseman Niklas Kronwall has played like the athlete we saw last postseason. With his partner Brad Stuart out with a rib injury, Kronner has been paired up with Nicklas Lidstrom and it has really helped his game.
  • Over the past week and a half or so, we've gotten a chance to watch Ville Leino and Darren Helm in the lineup. Head coach Mike Babcock believes they belong. Helm may have only one point since being called up, but he has made his presence known on the ice, most noticeably with his speed and grit. Leino, on the other hand, has three goals and two assists in the last nine games.
  • IwoCPO has an entertaining post at Abel to Yzerman as he tries to stir a debate up with regards to who will stay and who will go next season
  • Be sure to check out Puck Daddy's interview with Pavel Datsyuk (part 2). It's a fantastic read -- gotta love Datsyuk's humor.
  • DRW prospect Justin Abdelkader kept a diary for the Grand Rapids Press about the Griffins' road trip.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins fired head coach Michel Therrien. Can't say I'm heartbroken over this development. PensBurgh has more on the firing.
  • Japer's Rink has a frame-by-frame look at Alex Ovechkin's latest amazing goal.