Pang says Yzerman as Red Wings GM is an all-around winner
When it comes to Steve Yzerman, Darren Pang is an excellent source of information.
The former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender, who is an analyst for St. Louis Blues television broadcasts and for national NHL telecasts, grew up with Yzerman in suburban Ottawa and is still good friends with the new Detroit Red Wings general manager.
And Pang is happy to see his old friend running the franchise with which Yzerman played his entire career.
"Obviously I'm thrilled for Steve to be back here," Pang said on the Red Wings website. "Steve's just a special guy. He does things the right way, he's an honorable friend, he's loyal. … I went up there to his offices to see him and spent a half a day. I saw him in the Red Wings golf shirt and I just looked at him and I said, 'Boy, does that look good.' And it does look good. He's a special guy and I'm lucky to have him as a friend for a long time."
And Pang has no doubt Yzerman will ultimately lead Detroit back into Stanley Cup contention.
“He's a worker, he's a grinder,” he said. “Every day he's thinking about another way of making the team better. And Hot Stoving and talking about this player, that player, this coach, that coach, this assistant manager. He thinks about it.”
McCarty backs up his words
Former Red Wing Darren McCarty has been outspoken about how marijuana has turned his life around after a lifetime of drinking almost killed him.
And now McCarty, 47, is forming a partnership with Pincanna, a cannabis company that is building a medical marijuana growing and processing operation along I-75 in Pinconning, north of Bay City.
He will continue his advocacy and lend his name to products, including edibles, marijuana strains and rubs.
“I have a couple of ideas for the names (of the marijuana strains). Something to do with four cups, maybe sweet revenge,” McCarty said, referencing the four Stanley Cups the Wings won with him on the team and his fight with the Colorado Avalanche’s Claude Lemieux in 1997.
“The names will come from some pretty big moments that I’ve had,” he added.
Hicketts ready for a challenge
Even after signing a two-year contract, defenseman Joe Hicketts knows what he’s up against in trying to make the Red Wings roster.
Hicketts, 23, has played with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League for most of the past three seasons, along with 16 games with Detroit over the last two campaigns.
“I have to go out there and, like the last two years, have a really good training camp and preseason,” Hicketts – who is only 5-foot-8 – told www.mlive.com. "If I can do that, I buy myself some time. At the end of the day, that’s what I’m trying to do – get an opportunity that I belong in the NHL.
"I hope it's with the Wings. But if it's not, you hope you can prove that you can play with another team at that level if it comes to that."