In an unexpected turn of events, our Detroit Red Wings gifted fans with a win against a division opponent - the Florida Panthers - on December 23rd. Rumor has it that this wasn't the only gift given by the Wings around the holidays, as a Secret Santa event was privately held among players, management, and the media as the team returned home. With no games for a few days, I'm sure we are all keenly interested in what was exchanged...
Brendan Smith gave Riley Sheahan a box set of the complete “Teletubbies” tv show on blu-ray.
Sheahan, in turn, gave Ryan Sproul a puppy, rescued by the Michigan Humane Society. Supposedly, a note was attached to the puppy saying "To take your place in Blashill’s dog-house...”
Sproul drew Ken Holland’s name, and bought him a DIY Botox kit. I couldn't make out what was on the gift tag on this one, something something something “...am needs an injection of youth...”
Kenny got power-play architect John Torchetti’s name in the initial drawing. John unwrapped the classic board game “Clue” amid the festivities.
Torchetti was responsible for the gift to Thomas Vanek. Both coming from Minnesota last season, Vanek received a copy of the book “Where The Wild Things Are”.
Vanek was the Secret Santa for Niklas Kronwall, who received a signed copy of the book “5” about Lidstrom’s career with the Wings.
Kronwall had the good fortune of picking fellow Swede Johan Franzen when names were drawn. Apparently in good spirits despite his LTIR status, Franzen was given a nativity set that was missing its mule...
The Wings’ resident Instagram jokester played Santa for Dylan Larkin, who was given a gift basket with baby oil, diapers, and formula.
Larkin gifted Gustav Nyquist with Detroit Tigers slugger JD Martinez. Arrangements were made during the Florida trip...
#Tigers JD Martinez chats with #RedWings Larkin. pic.twitter.com/5q9y0ebcPQ— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) December 24, 2016
Nyquist gave a new set of scarves to Helene St. James. In a rare emotional outburst, Nyquist was seen crying and muttering in Swedish “Älskar du mig nu?”
Helene was responsible for giving a gift to Tomas Tatar. She had initially wrapped a box of Tootsie Pops for Tatar, but took them back after he opened the present. She apparently didn't “think sucking should be rewarded.” She was later seen sharing the present with Steve Ott and Drew Miller.
Tatar, willing to stand out from the crowd, was wearing a big red sweater with a bow all night. When it came time for Henrik Zetterberg to receive his gift, Tatar walked over and insisted that Z unwrap him. With the bow removed, Tatar gave one of his trademark post-goal hugs.
With the last gift of the evening, Z decided to dedicate his present to all of Red Wings Nation:
With his classic wink, Z wishes us all the gift of assurance that it'll all be OK.
Happy Holidays to all Red Wings fans out there!