In Red Wings Land
One of the most positive storylines around the Red Wings this year has been the play of Dylan Larkin. Ted Kulfan has a nice writeup about Larkin’s resurgence.
Larkin entered training camp with a determined attitude, wanting a bigger role and responsibility.
Given that opportunity, Larkin, 21, has arguably been the Red Wings’ best all-around player.
Around the NHL
It’s year-end list time and Sean McIndoe (Down Goes Brown) has a year-end trade grade list. He has Detroit doing pretty well in last year’s sell-off, and I think he makes fair points, both positive and negative.
“The NHL’s holiday trade freeze ends at midnight tomorrow. That leaves the league’s GMs with four more days to get any last-minute deals into the “2017” file.
“This year, it sounds like some teams might be looking to do exactly that. But most will probably call it a year. These days, trades are relatively rare in the NHL, with many teams going an entire year without making any moves of any real significance.
“And that’s all the more reason to celebrate the deals we do get. So today, as NHL GMs enjoy their last few days off before having to answer their phones again, it’s time for our annual trade grades column, in which we hand every team their marks for all the deals they’ve made over the course of the calendar year.”
The hockey community lost a legend Tuesday as Hall of Fame goaltender Johnny Bower died at the age of 93.
Bower made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers in 1953, playing every second of every game that season—he did that without a mask by the way, which speaks to the valour he had as a player. The Prince Albert, Sask., native was known primarily, however, for the decade-plus he spent with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he won two Vezina Trophies and four Stanley Cups.
In addition to his remarkable 552-game NHL career—he was named one of the top 100 players of all time earlier this year—the Second World War veteran also played nearly 600 games in the AHL throughout the 1940s and early 1950s winning three Calder Cups and three Les Cunningham Awards, given to the league MVP.
For anyone going to the game today, I’ll be in section 112, likely in a Nielsen home jersey. Stop by and say hi if you’re there!