Friday, July 23, 2010


I'm no longer posting at this can now find me at my new site, If you've made the journey over there, awesome, if not, just wanted to post a quick update. All the posts from here were transferred over, so really the only thing that's changed is the design and domain.


-- Nick

Friday, June 25, 2010

Updated: Welcome to Detroit, Riley Sheahan

One thing everyone should know by know: You don't doubt Ken Holland and company. Certainly, I don't see why the 2010 NHL Draft should be any different.

While many, myself included, wanted Emerson Etem in the red and white, seeing as he was available at the 21st overall pick, the Red Wings selected center Riley Sheahan. Sheahan is a freshman at Notre Dame, weighing in at around 200 pounds and is 6' 2" in height.

He posted six goals and and 11 assists in 37 games for the Irish this past season, and while those numbers may have hurt his draft stock a bit, he still has tremendous upside and has the opportunity to bulk up some more in college.

Like Chris Hollis said in Michael Petrella's live chat over at Winging It In Motown, you won't see him Detroit any time soon, as he'll more than likely stay in South Bend, Indiana for at least two more years. Scouts say he has adapted well to Notre Dame's style of play, which is also a contributing factor to his relatively modest point total in his freshman year.

We do need to keep in mind that he's only 19-years-old and was the youngest player in the CCHA. Even though everyone he was playing against others that were older than him, Sheahan still was featured on Notre Dame's top two lines and took shifts on the power play as well as the penalty kill.

Sheahan is a defensive-minded forward who needs to work on his skating, but NHL Central Scouting noted that he (paraphrasing) is very conscious in the defensive zone and will go to the front of the net.

George Malik compiled a ton of information on Sheahan over at Snapshots, including the fact that he was awarded the Junior 'B' Top Prospects Award in 2009.

Here are the rest of Detroit's draft picks:

Round 2 - Pick 21 (51 overall)
Round 3 - Pick 21 (81 overall)
Round 4 - Pick 21 (111 overall)
Round 5 - Pick 21 (141 overall)
Round 6 - Pick 21 (171 overall)
Round 7 - Pick 21 (201 overall)

Update (11:17 PM): Here is the newest Red Wing showing off some of his puck handling skills off-ice...

Update (11:28 PM): For some reason I can't grab the embed code, but here is another video of Sheahan speaking to the Edmonton Oilers following testing at the combine.

Update (11:47 PM): Here is Sheahan putting on the Red Wings sweater shortly after being drafted.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Is it October yet? Pre-season schedule announced

I don't put too much stock into the pre-season. This past season the Wings went 4-4-1 in exhibition games, and are 20-12-4 overall (including 2009-10) in the pre-season since 2006-07. Needless to say, a win or loss in the pre-season generally doesn't mean much for a team in the regular season. Just ask the Detroit Lions.

The 2010-11 pre-season does have an added incentive though: a chance to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first sporting event in their new building, the CONSOL Energy Center. What a nice way to kick-off the season that would be, eh?

I was a bit perplexed when I noticed we play back-to-back-to-back two times, but that seems normal after looking back on previous Detroit pre-season schedules.

Anyway, here is the schedule from

22 Wednesday @ Pittsburgh, CONSOL Energy Center, 7 PM EDT
24 Friday vs Chicago, Joe Louis Arena, 7 PM EDT
25 Saturday @ Chicago, United Center, TBD
26 Sunday vs New York Rangers, Joe Louis Arena, 5 PM EDT
29 Wednesday @ New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden, 7 PM EDT
1 Friday vs Toronto, Joe Louis Arena, 7 PM EDT
2 Saturday @ Toronto, Air Canada Centre, 7 PM EDT
3 Sunday vs Pittsburgh, Joe Louis Arena, 5 PM EDT

Friday, June 18, 2010

Don't worry, I'm still here

It may be hard to believe, but I actually am alive and do in fact plan on posting at a somewhat consistent rate this summer. I usually visit the site a couple of times a day just to stare at it and hope that a post will magically write itself, but unfortunately things don't work like that. I do realize that my last post here was on June 5, and coupled with the fact that as I write this it's June 18, gave me the motivation to put at least something up.

In retrospect, I am somewhat regretting naming this blog Hockeytown Quick Hits. Well, perhaps the name is fine, but I don't think that I'll be promoting it as exclusively a Red Wings blog from now on. Of course, that's not to say that the majority of the content will not be Red Wings based -- it will -- but experiments like my World Cup live chat and posts about other sports are things I'm interested in and will try to talk about every so often.

Speaking of the World Cup live chat, I'd like to quickly mention the fun time I had running (along with Andy from Fight Night at the Joe) it during the USA-England 1-1 draw. I would thank everyone who showed up, but I'm afraid that if I did, I'd miss someone and I don't want that to happen. These live chats are certainly something I will look into for future events, possibly another World Cup game and I think they could work during Red Wings games as well.

It's impossible to not use this cliche in posts like this, so I'll go ahead and post the inevitable: School is out, and I'll try my best to at least put something new up at a reasonable rate.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

USA-England Live Chat

Yes, this is a hockey blog, but I'm into soccer as well. What better way to start my live blogging career than with a World Cup match? It's USA-England and should be an awesome match, and I'll enjoy talking about it with all zero of you. (At least if I screw up, no one will see it.) I'll kick this thing off at 2:00 PM ET, about a half hour before kick-off, which of course you can watch on ABC.

Update: Thanks to those who stopped by. Perhaps this is something I could explore for the upcoming Red Wings season. I'll take a draw with England. We're still in good shape to advance out of the group. You can replay the chat below.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Updated: FOX 2: Holmstrom signed to a two-year deal

We have breaking news coming out of Detroit.

FOX 2 sports reporter Jennifer Hammond is reporting that Tomas Holmstrom has signed a two-year deal with the Wings.

Another Swede gets locked up by the Wings as the team comes to terms on a new two year deal with the net front warrior Tomas Holmstrom.

The 37-year-old scored 25 goals in 68 regular season games in 2009-10. I'll update this post as news begins to leak on the potential signing.

Update (5:51 PM): WXYZ-TV sports reporter Tom Leyden replied to me on Twitter regarding Holmstrom. He says he hasn't heard anything, but that's only due to the fact that he's been working on the Armando Galarraga story.

Update (6:22 PM): George Malik just pointed out that FOX 2 has posted Hammond's report online. "Sources" tell Hammond that Holmstrom has come to terms with the Red Wings. So far, she's the only media member to report the signing.

Update (6:25 PM): Hammond's report was also mentioned on FOX 2's 6:00 news broadcast.

Update (7:56 PM): Greg Brady out of AM 640 in Toronto tweeted about ten minutes ago that the contract is in fact for two-years, and the cap hit is 1.875 million per year. Sounds good to me.

Update (8:33 PM): Ansar Kahn files a report on the subject, saying the deal will likely be completed sometime next week. Brady has specifics on the cap hit after saying he got the figures right from the people who signed him, yet Kahn's report doesn't even mention financials and indicates that the deal is almost done, but not quite there.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nicklas Lidstrom and Ken Holland appear on FSN Detroit

I'm not sure that it's necessary to explain the Nicklas Lidstrom signing, for two reasons:

1) Unless you live under a rock, you already know that the Detroit Red Wings captain is coming back next year, signing a one-year deal worth around $6.2 million.
2) I could write the most thorough and insightful essay ever, yet it still wouldn't come close to topping what The Triple Deke posted today.

It's been a busy day for Lidstrom. He allowed us to breathe a sigh of relief this morning, and tonight he visited with Rod Allen and Mario Impemba in the third inning of the Tigers-Indians game on FSN Detroit. Wings general manager Ken Holland joined the two broadcasters in the fourth as well.

As I expected, the answers were relatively short but it is nice to hear what Nick and Kenny have to say about the signing.

I'll try and keep this simple by posting Lidstrom's responses to Rod and Mario's questions.

Nick on the signing: "I've very excited to be back with the team. I never did leave but I'm very happy to come back for another year."

On his long tenure with the Red Wings and the city of Detroit: "Doesn't seem like it's been 19 years. Time has been flying by and it's been a lot of fun and a lot of success and that's why I want to continue to be with the Wings."

On being voted best defenseman by his peers in a Sports Illustrated poll: "It is special, especially when it comes from players that you face on a daily basis. I think they know you the best, they know your tendencies and what kind of player you are so that means a lot when that comes from the players."

Lidstrom talking about his kids and their hockey careers: "I got four boys and they all play hockey so they're keeping the household busy [laughs]. They love doing it and I've very supportive of what they're doing. If they're going to have success I'll be very happy with that, but if not I'll take that too. I really know that they're enjoying the game."

On what it means to be a Red Wing: "It means a lot playing for the Wings. It means a lot to be part of this organization. Our owners [the Illitches] have been tremendouus and really supportive of the team and help put the best players possible on the ice."

In the next inning, Holland entered the booth and had high praise for Lidstrom, and talked just a bit more than Nick.

He began by talking a little about the signing, saying, "It's a great day for the Red Wings. Obviously, Nick's been the best defenseman of his era and we haven't missed the playoffs since he's been here. I think he was seriously considering his options and we're thrilled to have him back."

Impemba mentioned a quote that Holland gave that talked about how Lidstrom is such a mentally strong player. Holland expanded a little more on what he meant by that. "He makes everything look easy. He lets the game come to him. A lot of people chase the game but he knows how to position himself," Holland said. "He's physical when he needs to be but for the most part he's a quick stick, he knows how to take the puck away, he knows how to play the game, and he makes it look so easy."

Holland ended the question by mentioning something that is perhaps one of Lidstrom's greatest skills: "He wows you by watching him day after day with his attention to detail."

The conversation turned to a discussion about when Lidstrom became the six-time Norris Trophy winning Lidstrom we know and love.

"Nick really became Nick Lidstrom in 1997 when we had the car accident, and Nick knew that he had to take his game to another level," the GM noted. "He started to get lots of minutes against the other team's best players and all of the sudden his confidence took off and he took his game to another level. He was a really, really good defenseman, but from 1998 on he just took it to another level."

Mario and Rod followed up on their question to Nick about his fitness, and Holland added: "The great ones have something special that others don't have. Nick's 40 but he's really only 31, 32, or 33. He works real hard off the ice but [his body] is also a bit of a gift."

Probably the most intriguing part of the interview took place when Holland gave us a glimpse of what he's currently working on and his offseason plans. As previously reported, Holland mentioned that they are in fact talking to Tomas Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi.

"We're talking to Holmstrom and Bertuzzi. Ideally we'd like to get them done at numbers they're happy with and we're happy with. We'd like to keep them both."

Holland spoke about his intentions with the young guys on the roster: "We're going to move some kids up. It's time for Justin Abdelkader to be on our team full time. We want to give young players like [Mattias] Ritola and [Jakub] Kindl a chance to make our team. We're trying to move some kids in but at the same time we feel we have a real good core."

He also talked about the Wings' options after free agency begins.

"We find out what the cap is the last week of June and July 1 is free agency, and if we can get some people done and have a little money left over, we'd like to explore, maybe get a little toughness and some kind of secondary scoring," Holland said. "We're going to see how it sorts itself out in June."

The interview closed with the Tigers broadcast duo asking Holland about how the Wings develop their players:

"If you bring kids up too soon, and they start to face some adversity, they lose their confidence and then it just spirals out of control. It's really just how mentally tough they are.

"We try to leave our players in the [American Hockey League] for two or three years. When they come up, they're really mentored by Lidstrom, [Steve] Yzerman, [Chris] Chelios, [Chris] Osgood and [Kris] Draper. We're big on the mentoring and when they're ready, they're ready."

It's nice to know what Holland has planned for his offseason, and of course, very nice to know that our captain will be continuing to wow us night in and night out.