Former Red Wings Rutherford, Nedomansky headline HOF class
Two players who played with the Red Wings during the 1970s and 1980s are part of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jimmy Rutherford, who was a Detroit goaltender for nine seasons (1970-71 and 1973-74 to 1980-81), was inducted in the Builders category, while Vaclav Nedomansky, who was a Red Wing from 1977-78 until 1981-82, got the call as a player. A native of the former Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Nedomansky – a center – was the first player to defect to North America and play professionally.
The other members of the Class of 2019 are Guy Carbonneau, Sergei Zubov, Hayley Wickenheiser and Jerry York.
Rutherford, who also played for Pittsburgh, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings during his playing career, ran the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes front office for two decades – losing the Stanley Cup Final to Detroit in 2002 – before moving on to the Penguins in 2014. There he won back-to-back Cups in 2016 and 2017.
Nedomansky played in the old World Hockey Association for four seasons before being acquired by the Red Wings, with whom he scored 38 and 35 goals in 1978-79 and 1979-80, respectively, at ages 34 through 36.
Zubov, an offensively talented defenseman who was a four-time All-Star, played 12 of his 16 seasons with the Dallas Stars – he previously played for the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins – and won the Stanley Cup in 1994 with New York and in 1999 with Dallas.
Carbonneau was an outstanding defensive forward who played most of his career with the Montreal Canadiens and also skated for the Stars and the St. Louis Blues. He won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward three times and the Stanley Cup three times (1986 and 1993 with Montreal and 1999 with Dallas). He was named the Canadiens’ captain in 1989.
Wickenheiser is considered the greatest women’s player of all-time, winning four Olympic gold medals with Canada. She is the assistant director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
York, the legendary coach of Boston College, was selected in the Builders category along with Rutherford.
He has been an NCAA coach for more than 40 years – he’s been at BC since 1994 – and has won five national championships (four with Boston College and one at Bowling Green). York was the first Division I coach to reach 1,000 wins.
Yzerman looks back on draft
After the Red Wings’ surprise selection of an 18-year-old German defenseman with the sixth overall pick at the NHL draft in Vancouver on Friday, GM Steve Yzerman talked about Detroit’s overall draft, his first as the head of the organization.
“Generally, I guess I can say I’m pleased how it played out,” Yzerman told the media in Vancouver. “Once you get into the later rounds, it’s a little bit of a guessing game as far as who might be there. Each pick we had was a player we knew well that we had interest in picking in that spot. All things considered, it worked out OK, and keep our fingers crossed.”
The Wings did not select any players from the Canadian junior leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League, nor the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“They just didn’t fall into place. They were either just gone before or they were right behind,” he said. “It’s just the way it falls.”
Larkin likes Seider selection
Count Detroit center Dylan Larkin as a Seider fan.
"Played against him in Germany” when Larkin played for the United States during the World Championship in May. “I think he's going to be a great player,” Larkin told the team’s website on Monday at his Larkin Hockey School at Lakeland Arena in Waterford.
“He played really well in the exhibition game I played against him in Mannheim, definitely opened my eyes because we knew he was draft-eligible coming in but obviously had never seen him play. I thought he played really well, did not look like an 18-year-old in that game.”
He added: “I really love his game. I think he's got a lot of skill, he moves well, he's a big body, and right-handed defensemen, especially big ones that can skate, aren't out there. I'm happy we got him. I think he's going to be a heck of a player."
Checking up on the prospects
The Wings are getting an up-close look at Seider and other prospects – including last year’s first-round draft picks Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno – this week at the team Development Camp at Little Caesars Arena, which began on Tuesday and runs through Saturday.
Forty-seven players – 24 forwards, 15 defensemen and eight goaltenders – split into Team Howe and Team Lindsay will be put through their paces with on-ice skill development and off-ice workouts. There will be a 3-on-3 tournament on Friday and a Red-White scrimmage game on Saturday.
Izzo makes big donation to MSU hockey
Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo and his family have donated $1.1 million to the Munn Ice Arena expansion project.
Michigan State’s Board of Trustees last week approved an $18.8 million budget for the Munn improvement project, which will include an expanded concourse, locker room, weight room, players lounge and more.