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Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Posted on May 17, 2016 at 01:44 PM.
Editor's Note: I have not updated my OS Dynasty since January 2014 and I have played significantly fewer video games since, to my chagrin. However, I have revived my NHL 14 Be a GM, and we begin with a recap of Hendricks' Red Wings tenure, as his contract with the team was not renewed.

Earlier this summer, the Detroit Red Wings announced that they would not renew the contract of General Manager Jeffrey Hendricks. This decision comes after three seasons with the team. In his first, his Wings won the President's Trophy, and eventually, the Stanley Cup. In the second year, he broke Detroit's consecutive playoff streak, as the team fell below .500. In his final year, the team held 3rd in the Atlantic with a month to play, but sputtered late and took a Wild Card team to the Conference Final, losing to the Florida Panthers in 5 after upsetting Carolina and then Philadelphia. Both upsets took 5 games.

Hendricks reported being shocked, yet understanding about the firing. He only reached the wins goal set by his owner in the first season, but sincerely believed that "all was forgiven" by his team's playoff performances when they qualified. He always put his teams in a position to compete, and that is all you can ask a general manager to do. Key deadline acquisitions that fueled the Conference Finals run were Andrew Ladd, Marty Havlat, and Michael Frolik. Ladd finished the regular season with a career high in goals, and Havlat had six assists in two games in the pivotal Eastern Conference Semifinal.

Hendricks is also bummed out because he had concrete plans for Detroit's future in his final season. He acquired Matt Duchene, Sean Couturier, Nick Bonino, Brad Marchand, Jesper Fast, and Braden Holtby while trading away Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, other aging stars, picks, and prospects who he thought would never pan out. He had been scheming with regards to Niklas Kronwall, but never got the chance to pull the trigger before his firing.

Nevertheless, he had to let that all go and start the job search. Hendricks' agents expressed his desire for a lengthier contract, even if this meant taking on a rebuilding project. After looking at teams offering four-year deals, he came across Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and San Jose. All had under-performed in the previous season, regardless of whether or not the roster actually needed a lot of work. Tired of the Eastern Conference, Hendricks opted to head out to San Jose.

We asked him specifically, why San Jose? He says it's a privilege, honor, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with Pavelski, Couture, and Burns. Any GM would kill to have that be the backbone of their forward lineup. After the Marleau retirement and the Thornton trade before Hendricks arrived, he named Pavelski the captain and Couture and Burns as his two alternates.

Knowing that defense failed him in Detroit, Hendricks hit the ground running and bolstered an already stout defense. He signed Dana Tyrell and Shawn Horcoff, 2 two-way forwards who will bolster those 3rd and 4th lines, even though neither will play their natural position of center.

He re-signed Tomas Hertl, Matt Halischuk (traded to SJ by Hendricks when he was in Detroit), Raffi Torres, and goalie Michael Hutchinson to ensure a respectable amount of continuity. He traded for Drayson Bowman and Johan Franzen. Dealing with Carolina was a frequent occurrence for Hendricks in Detroit, having sent Franzen there two season ago.

San Jose won their first pre-season game on Monday by a score of 6-4 over Phoenix, who won the Pacific Division last spring. Drayson Bowman recorded a hat trick and Franzen tallied 4 assists.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Posted on January 23, 2014 at 08:48 PM.
GM Hendricks is never satisfied with the Detroit Red Wings. Any doubters should see this latest slew of moves executed by him. Perhaps Hendricks is concerned about his future. The executive is in the third and final year of his contract, and his owner's expectations are high.

Despite winning the Stanley Cup last season, some insiders are still concerned about his status. Regardless of which team he calls the shots for next season, Hendricks has at least made sure that the Red Wings are fiscally responsible:

Detroit acquires Jarome Iginla from Calgary* in exchange for Bryan Bickell and a 2nd Round Pick. Before this deal, Hendricks had gained a repuation for acquiring skilled veterans with expiring contracts. The most recent of these moves (the acquisition of Patrik Elias) boded well for Detroit last year, and they hope Iginla will spark scoring on that 3rd line. Brandon Sutter was also injured at the time of this trade, so it prevented a call-up from Grand Rapids.

Detroit acquires Alex Stalock from San Jose in exchange for Jonas Hiller and a future 3rd Round Pick. Detroit controversially traded Jimmy Howard this offseason in exchange for Boston's 1st Rounder. Thankfully, they still have one of the league's worst record. Regardless, the "Jonas Hiller" experiment that was intended to save Detroit for this year did not work. Stalock is essentially a young Hiller.

Detroit acquires Mikael Backlund from Calgary in exchange for Derick Brassard and a future 2nd Round Pick. The Red Wings overpaid to keep Brassard under contract (with help from funds after the release of Pavel Datsyuk). However, his $5.4 million price tag for the next two years would not bode well, since Detroit intends to retain Michael Grabner. He leads the league in goals. Nevertheless, Detroit trusts that Mikael Backlund will be able to produce in a capacity similar to Brassard. That is why the trade was made in the first place.

*Using NHL 13
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Posted on January 7, 2014 at 06:28 PM.
The stars aligned for Detroit at just the right time. They could barely afford the talent that they did have, and contract negotiations broke the bank. At least they won the Cup.

Call this off-season aggressive. The departure of Datsyuk wasn't the only big move for the Red Wings. We'll start with the draft. The picks weren't big news, but the trades were:

Detroit acquires two 1st Round Picks from Phoenix for Luke Schenn and a 2nd Round Pick.

Detroit acquires Bobby Sanguinetti from Carolina for Dennis Seidenberg, Francis Pare the restricted rights to Cory Emmerton.

Later on, Detroit found Datsyuk's "replacement", and took active steps to improve their defense:

Detroit acquires Jordan Staal from Carolina for Gustav Nyquist. Staal was named alternate captain upon the trade. Staal is cheaper than Datsyuk and solid enough of a replacement to not be a concern. Nyquist is by no doubt a budding star, but Detroit will win the trade (in the beginning).

Detroit acquires Rene Bourque from Montreal for Jan Mursak and future draft picks. Bourque provides the defense that Mursak couldn't. His longer contract is also a plus.

In a cap-cutting move, Detroit acquires Justin Shugg from Carolina for Hal Gill and a 3rd Round Pick.

In another cap-cutting move, but a much more controversial one, Detroit acquires next year's 1st Round Pick from Boston (worst record in previous season) for Jimmy Howard. Jonas Hiller was signed the next day.

Detroit acquires Mark Giordano and re-acquires Jakub Kindl from Calgary for Jordan Leopold, Mike Weaver, and future picks. Giordano is younger and has a longer and cheaper contract. Jakub Kindl was added for depth on defense.

Detroit acquires Shawn Matthias and Jeff Taffe from Florida for Darren Helm and Teemu Pulkkinen. This move was made to beef up the 4th line. Helm's contract was also expiring.

Detroit also signed D Joonas Jalvanti. He joins Sanguinneti on the 2nd line of defense.

For the future, Detroit is still concerned about the expiring contracts of Stalberg, Paajarvi, Grabner, and both goalies. The forwards will ask for big raises. Detroit will prioritize Grabner, but the front office is more confident in goalie negotiations. Detroit will keep Hiller if he has a good year and doesn't decline an unreasonable amount.
Posted on January 7, 2014 at 02:06 PM.
Citing issues in contract negotiation, the Red Wings felt "forced" to release the star forward to free agency. Datsyuk sought a one year deal of approximately $9.5 million in value.

Simply put, the Red Wings felt uncomfortable allotting half of their remaining cap space for re-signing players to Datsyuk, despite his superior skill. Instead, they opted to re-up Derick Brassard, Brandon Sutter, Dennis Seidenberg, T.J. Brodie, and Hal Gill. The remaining is to be used for Pavel Datsyuk's "replacement", even though his replacement would never be able to fill his shoes.

That replacement could come either through free agency, or the trade market. Players in Detroit likely on their way out, because of their trade value are Jan Mursak and Gustav Nyquist. There is much more to come in these unfortunate, but interesting developments out of Detroit.
Monday, January 6, 2014
Posted on January 6, 2014 at 04:35 PM.
Carolina put up strong defense for the first 54 minutes of the game. I say that, because the score was 1-0 in their favor for a good portion of the 3rd Period. Jordan Staal's goal, in that period, looked to be the game-winner for quite a while.

Luke Schenn took offense to that and rattled home his first of the playoffs with less than 6 minutes to go in regulation. Carolina was expecting to sneak away with a 1-0 victory and force the series back to Detroit.

That would not be the case. This game, instead, was decided in overtime. Oddly enough, two games back in the 2002 Finals between these teams were decided in OT as well. However, Detroit opted to re-write the history books and end it all in four games.

Conn Smythe runner-up Patrik Elias (the game gave it to Jimmy Howard ) deflected in the Cup winner at 13:58 in overtime. Captain Henrik Zetterberg was circling down low, found an open Dennis Seidenberg at the point who tried to wrist one home. Patrik Elias got his stick on the puck, and the rest is history. Congratulations, Detroit!

*Using NHL 13

Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes
May 27, 2014123F
DET (4-0)0012
CAR (0-4)0011
Three Stars
Cam Ward, G
.970 SV%, 53 SV
Patrik Elias, RW
1 G, 1 A, +2
Jimmy Howard
.960 SV%, 24 SV
Team Stats Comparison
Shots on Goal5525
Faceoffs Won-Lost22-77-22
Penalty Minutes4:006:00
Power Plays Converted01
Power Play Opportunities32
Time on Attack9:575:26
Scoring Summary
CAR2:05 PP J. Staal (11), (J. Faulk, D. Bowman)
DET14:47 L. Schenn (1), (N. Kronwall, P. Elias)
DET13:58 P. Elias (13), (D. Seidenberg, H. Zetterberg)
Posted on January 6, 2014 at 03:35 PM.
With another 3-0 shutout of Carolina, Detroit is now one win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup. One concern from tonight's game is Detroit's inability to execute on the powerplay. They went 0/5 today, including a minute of 5 on 3.

Patrik Elias is making a strong case to be named the winner of the Conn Smythe trophy. He scored his 12th goal of the playoffs in this game, keeping up his average of one point per game this postseason.

What will Game 4 hold for both teams? They'll find out Tuesday.

*Using NHL 13

Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes
May 25, 2014123F
DET (3-0)0213
CAR (0-3)0000
Three Stars
Cam Ward, G
.940 SV%, 40 SV
Jimmy Howard, G
1.000 SV%, 17 SV
Jan Mursak, LW
1 G, +1
Team Stats Comparison
Shots on Goal4317
Faceoffs Won-Lost21-77-21
Penalty Minutes2:0010:00
Power Plays Converted00
Power Play Opportunities51
Time on Attack8:462:01
Scoring Summary
DET9:07 J. Mursak (2)
DET14:03 P. Elias (12), (J. Leopold, H. Zetterberg)
DET3:13 N. Kronwall (3), (M. Grabner, D. Brassard)
Posted on January 6, 2014 at 02:52 PM.
Both teams have the offensive firepower, but defense wins championships! It certainly won Game 2 for Detroit. The plan for Detroit last offseason, after the shocking loss to the Blackhawks, was to beef up. They got pushed around too much.

The acquisition of more defensively minded players have paid off well for Detroit. They're halfway to their first Stanley Cup since 2008.

Team Notes
Chad Larose was injured in Game 2 and would only return in case of a Game 7.

*Using NHL 13

Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings
May 23, 2014123F
CAR (0-2)0000
DET (2-0)1203
Three Stars
Niklas Kronwall, D
2 A, +2
Patrik Elias, RW
1 G, 1 A, +2
Derick Brassard
1 G, +2
Team Stats Comparison
Shots on Goal1330
Faceoffs Won-Lost4-1111-4
Penalty Minutes4:000:00
Power Plays Converted00
Power Play Opportunities02
Time on Attack3:407:23
Scoring Summary
DET11:32 D. Brassard (5), (N. Kronwall, P. Elias)
DET12:48 P. Elias (11), (P. Datsyuk, N. Kronwall)
DET16:48 V. Stalberg (4), (L. Schenn)
Posted on January 6, 2014 at 01:44 PM.
This year's Stanely Cup Final* is a rematch of the 2002 series won by Detroit in five. However, Carolina won Game 1 of that series... at the Joe... in overtime.

Detroit got on the board in the middle of the first to lead off the scoring. Pavel Datsyuk took advantage of a screen on Cam Ward and wristed it past him. But in the second, Carolina went on the powerplay. Detroit's slot defense broke down and Jordan Staal slapped one home, his tenth of the playoffs.

Detroit hoped that history would not repeat itself in overtime, and after 13 minutes of suspense, Magnus Paajarvi snuck a puck off a post and behind Cam Ward for a game-winner. (Now the title makes sense.) The goal came off a two man rush. Credit the helpers to Wayne Simmonds and Luke Schenn.

*Using NHL 13

Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings
May 23, 2014 123OTF
CAR (0-1)01001
DET (1-0)10012
Three Stars
Cam Ward, G
.956 SV%, 42 SV
Magnus Paajarvi
1 G, +1
Jimmy Howard, G
.950 SV%, 20 SV
Team Stats Comparison
Shots on Goal2144
Faceoffs Won-Lost4-1212-4
Penalty Minutes0:004:00
Power Plays Converted10
Power Play Opportunities20
Time on Attack3:567:22
Scoring Summary
DET9:56 P. Datsyuk (6), (D. Seidenberg, P. Elias)
CAR19:05 J. Staal (10), (J. Faulk, M. Ryder)
DET7:00 M. Paajarvi (4), (W. Simmonds, L. Schenn)
Posted on January 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM.
To no one's surprise, the Red Wings were ready to go back on the road in these playoffs. Blame a poor showing by Mike Smith over the final two games as the reason why Phoenix ends their season earlier than hoped. Here's how things turned out in Game 3.

1st Period
4:46 M. Paajarvi (1), (C. Larose, L. Schenn)
12:34 M. Lombardi (2), (K. Yandle, M. Hanzal)
13:21 J. Mursak (1), (D. Seidenberg, P. Datsyuk)

2nd Period
1:11 P. Datsyuk (5), (J. Mursak)
12:17 N. Kronwall (2), (J. Neal, D. Brassard)
17:13 P. Elias 2 (10), (I. White, J. Leopold)

3rd Period
3:14 A. Miele (4), (Z. Michalek, M. Lombardi)

Five juicy rebounds, a deflection, and a wicked wrister went under the goal column for the Wings in the final Western Conference* game of this season. Detroit knows that they won't get this many pucks behind Cam Ward (who currently has his Hurricanes up 3-0 on Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals).

Game 4 Summary
  • GWG: V. Stalberg (3)
  • PHX scores at 9:48 and 10:51 in 2nd Period to draw within two.
  • M. Grabner halts PHX momentum with goal less than a minute later.
  • Elias' point streak snapped.
  • M. Paajarvi: 2 G (3), A
  • T. Brodie, L. Schenn: 2 A each

*Using NHL 13
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Posted on January 5, 2014 at 10:28 PM.
Fans were on the edge of their seats all the way through. After a quick 1-0 start by the Red Wings, who thought that this lead would hold up all the way through?

1st Period
4:47 B. Sutter (2), (W. Simmonds, V. Stalberg)

Team Notes
Despite not being fully healthy, James Neal has been cleared to return for Game 3. Gustav Nyquist, as a result, is now a healthy scratch.
Posted on January 5, 2014 at 09:51 PM.
Score early, and score often was the mantra for Detroit. The first period gave fans the illusion that this game was going to be a shootout, but the Red Wings' defense tightened up after the 1st Period. 6-2 was the final.

1st Period
1:30 P. Elias (8), (J. Mursak)
4:33 M. Hanzal (5), (A. Miele, M. Stone)
4:56 P. Datsyuk (4), (J. Mursak, D. Seidenberg)
11:16 C. Brown (2), (O. Ekman-Larsson, J. Swarz)

2nd Period
1:43 P. Elias 2 (9), (D. Seidenberg)
2:25 C. Larose (1), (T. Brodie, L. Schenn)
7:10 B. Sutter (1), (D. Seidenberg, N. Kronwall)

3rd Period
3:23 J. Leopold (1), (D. Seidenberg, P. Elias)

*Using NHL 13
Posted on January 5, 2014 at 03:03 PM.
To start off the Stanley Cup Playoffs*, Detroit has reigned supreme over two fierce rivals: the Chicago Blackhawks, and now, the Colorado Avalanche. Neither series was short on drama. Here are the scoring summaries for Games 2-4 of the Colorado series. (Detroit scores are bolded.)

Game 2

1st Period
15:10 D. Brassard (1), (J. Neal, T. Brodie)
17:06 H. Zetterberg (3), (D. Seidenberg, N. Kronwall)

2nd Period
2:01 M. Duchene (6), (P. Parenteau, C. Gaunce)
5:49 P. Stasny (2), (E. Johnson, S. Downie)
7:44 M. Grabner (2), (D. Brassard)

Game 3

1st Period
10:31 J. Neal (2), (B. Sutter, W. Simmonds)

2nd Period
4:20 H. Zetterberg (4), (P. Elias, D. Brassard)
15:15 D. Brassard (2), (T. Brodie, J. Leopold)

3rd Period
10:23 J. Neal 2 (3), (T. Brodie, I. White)
11:05 S. Downie (1), (P. Stasny)
14:35 T. Brodie (2), (L. Schenn, D. Helm)

Game 4

1st Period
12:24 P. Elias (7), (N. Kronwall, I. White)
14:12 B. Little (1), (G. Walker, C. Kobasew)

2nd Period
13:47 D. Brassard (3), (I. White)
16:06 M. Duchene (7), (P. Parenteau)

2nd Overtime
8:02 M. Grabner (3), (D. Brassard, V. Stalberg)

Team Notes
With his goal in Game 4, Patrik Elias has 8 points (7 G, 1 A) in this season's nine playoff games. Elias celebrated his 50th career playoff goal earlier in the series.

Detroit lost both Henrik Zetterberg and James Neal to injury in Game 4. Neal will return for Game 5 of the Phoenix series (if necessary) or the Stanley Cup Finals. Zetterberg could only return to the Phoenix series in case of a Game 7. If not, the team expects him back after the start of the Cup Finals.

*Using NHL 13
Posted on January 5, 2014 at 11:28 AM.
Had this game occurred in real life, it would have eclipsed, in length, my favorite game as a young Red Wings fan: Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals.

Anyways, in this one, you can credit veteran Patrik Elias with both Red Wing goals. He scored one in the first, and the other with about 2 minutes to go in the 3rd overtime.

Offensive momentum had swung in favor of the Red Wings in the third OT period. They moved to a more aggressive offensive style, but they just happened to be stymied by the goal post. Both Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk hit one in the period.

With the 2-1 win, Detroit leads Colorado in the Western Conference Semifinals* 1-0. Detroit is coming off of a five-game series win over the Blackhawks in the Quarterfinals. The Game 1 win for Detroit is a great sign; they were blown out 5-1 by the Blackhawks in the first game of that series.

*Using NHL 13
Posted on October 5, 2013 at 02:10 PM.
These deals have radically transformed the Tigers; however, they created over $25 million in new budget space for Detroit. Nevertheless, stars that were central to the success of the Tigers last season are gone.

In three separate deals, the Detroit Tigers acquire Dee Gordon (from LAD), Pablo Sandoval (from SF), Jhoulys Chacin (from STL) and prospects (from STL) in exchange for Ryan Braun (to LAD), Matt Cain (back to SF), and JJ Hardy (STL).

The Tigers lose a superb contact/power blend in Braun, but Dee Gordon knows how to get on base and also has more speed than Braun. Brett Lawrie takes over left field full time; he was often under-utilized as a platoon man.

Pablo Sandoval has enough hitting ability to supplement the loss of Braun. Matt Cain's departure is strictly for financial reasons. He was owed $80 million over the last 4 years of his contract. On the other hand, Chacin is entering prime and will avoid contract negotiations for the next 2 years.

With the acquisition of Gordon, there is no need for JJ Hardy. It is a contract year for Hardy, and he is exiting prime.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Posted on October 4, 2013 at 02:17 PM.
**Using MLB 2K12**

Notable Resignings
Fernando Rodney: 1 yr, $1.7 M
Adam Wainwright: 2 yr, $20.6 M

Notable Releases
Kyle Farnsworth
Scott Kazmir (AAA)

Storylines for the Upcoming Season
Will budget troubles finally hurt the Tigers?
-The Tigers have hoarded talent over the past 3 years, and performance bonuses won't keep up with more expensive contracts from stars in their prime.

Will the Tigers re-sign JJ Hardy at the end of the season?
-He will be 32, and he makes $5.5 M this season.

How much will it cost to re-up Justin Verlander?
-He may be exiting prime, but he's still an ace in high demand.

Are the offers on the table for Matt Cain real?
-A compelling offer is coming out of St. Louis that frees up $15 million for Detroit.

Is Jim Leyland going to start giving his runners the green light?
-The Tigers were dead last in stolen bases last season.

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