2006: A Wings’ Year in Review
A lot happened in 2006 for the Detroit Red Wings organization. Unfortunately, many of these happenings were disappointing or even a little sad (okay maybe for just me). Sad to see No. 19 retire. Sad to see Shanny leave for Broadway. Sad to lose in the first round of the playoffs after accumulating 124 points in the regular season. So here is the BtJ year in review for the 2006 Detroit Red Wings.
In 2006, the Detroit Red Wings finished the regular season with 124 points and a record of 58-16-8. They also led the league in the power play with a 22.1% success rate. The Wings also killed off 85.5% of their penalties placing them third in the league, only behind Minnesota and Buffalo.
Fortunately for Oilers fans everywhere, the Red Wings acquired Cory Cross at the trading deadline providing plenty of fodder come playoff time. The Wings also sent Jamie Rivers to Phoenix in exchange for a seventh round draft pick.
Then in April, the playoffs happened. What could have been a wonderful joyous time for the league’s best (in the regular season) became “The Punch in the Face.” If you’re an Oilers fan, you can gloat at how idiotic my prediction turned out to be for the series (and I wasn’t alone). And for those of you who want to revel in the glory of an Oilers’ series win or want to remind yourselves of the agony experienced by Wings fans, you can check out my postgame recollections of Game #1, Game #2, Game #3 (a liveblog of the game), Game #4, Game #5, and Game #6. Then I broke down the playoff series with the Wings version of the Good, Bad, and Ugly.
In May, Chris Chelios signed on for another year with the Red Wings for $850,000. GM Ken Holland also decided to not pick up Cory Cross’ option, much to the dismay of Oilers fans everywhere.
In June, goaltender Manny Legace learned that he would not be offered a contract by the Red Wings. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Pavel Datsyuk both received awards at the end of the season. Lidstrom earns his fourth Norris Trophy in five seasons while Datsyuk took home his first Lady Byng. I also created one of my most popular posts on BtJ of all times – my Anti-Roy post, fun for the whole family. Lidstrom later took a ‘hometown discount’ and signed a two year deal worth $7.6 million per year.
On July 1st, Chris Osgood re-signs with the Red Wings for a two year contract worth $900,000 per year. Two days later, No. 19 announced his retirement. Yzerman’s bonuses worth $400,000 still count towards this season’s salary cap. Brendan Shanahan signs a one year deal worth $4 million with the New York Rangers. Had he stayed, it would of been his 10th year with the Red Wings.
Wings fans had quite a scare when veteran goaltender Eddie Belfour (aka Psycho Eddie) came in for a physical over the 4th of July holiday week. He ended up signing with the Florida Panthers, thankfully.
Within a couple of days, GM Ken Holland re-signed forward Dan Cleary and defenseman Brett Lebda. Cleary agreed to a two year deal worth $1.325 million. Lebda will be with the Wings at $2.6 million over four years.
In late July, Holland finally signs someone who didn’t play for the team last year. Defenseman Danny Markov signs a one year deal worth $2.5 million to help bolster the Wings defense.
Holland was able to avoid arbitration with forward Jason Williams by getting him to sign a $1.6 million/year contract for two years.
On July 29th, Behind the Jersey moved from Blogger to its own domain!
Goaltender Dominik Hasek returns for his third stint in Detroit for $750,000 plus incentives that won’t kick in until after the first round of the playoffs.
Center Greg Johnson signs a one year contract worth $500,000. Johnson played for Detroit in the mid-90s and was traded away right before the Wings won the cup in 1997. Unfortunately, Johnson was diagnosed with a heart condition (similar to Jiri Fischer’s) during a physical and was forced to retire.
On August 30th, the Detroit Red Wings announced that they were retiring Yzerman’s jersey number on January 2nd. Almost a month later, the Wings organization announced that Yzerman was named the new vice president.
On opening night for the Wings (Oct. 5th) in a game against Vancouver, the new Red Wings captain was announced – defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
Five hockey greats, including Yzerman, were honored by receiving the Lester Patrick Award in a ceremony held at Joe Louis Arena.
The Wings later announced that a statue made in the likeness of Gordie Howe will be in placed inside the new Gordie Howe Entrance at Joe Louis Arena next spring.
In December, an article surfaced reporting that TV ratings have dropped in most markets including Detroit.
At the end of the year (excluding the results from tonight’s game), the Wings are currently 23-9-5 with 51 total points placing them fifth overall in the league. Their power play is awful, only 14.8%, the fifth worst team in the league in that regard. The penalty kill isn’t quite so bad at 13th in the league with 83.3% success rate. Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom leads the league with a plus/minus rating of +24. Goaltender Dominik Hasek also leads the league, but in the GAA department with 1.82.
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