Sunday, April 13, 2008

Red Wings recall Black Aces

With Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Manitoba Moose drawing the curtain on the Grand Rapids Griffins’ 2007-08 American Hockey League campaign, the Detroit Red Wings recalled seven players to provide depth and serve as “black aces” during the team’s Stanley Cup Playoff run.

Joining the Red Wings are goaltender Jimmy Howard, defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey, and forwards Cory Emmerton, Darren Helm and Mattias Ritola. Grand Rapids head coach Mike Stothers, assistant coach Jim Paek and equipment manager Brad Thompson have also been summoned by and will provide their services to the parent club.
>> team release
Hey, there's Jimmy Paek, the first Korean player in the NHL and a guy who won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins in the early '90s. I didn't realize he was still on staff with a pro team.

Every team's going to have Black Aces, the reserve players who are there to fill in should injuries hit, and there have been some great stories throughout playoff history of these players chipping in during a long run.

I remember interviewing Doug Lidster a few years ago about his career, and he said that he enjoyed his role during his second Stanley Cup win, in his final season with Dallas, despite the fact he played just four games at age 38. "Every team needs those Black Aces," he said. "I absolutely felt a part of that win."

The good thing for Detroit is that quite a few of these youngsters saw NHL action this year, when they had all those injuries on the blueline. And Helm, a forward who lost in the Memorial Cup final last year, has great wheels and defensive ability. He could step in up front if need be.

A fifth-rounder in 2005, he'll likely be yet another late-round steal for Detroit.



At 1:55 p.m., April 13, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

Helm lost in the Memorial cup final last year. Damn those Giants - and Lucic!

He did beat Vancouver in the 7 game WHL final the week before though.

At 2:00 p.m., April 13, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Yeah, a silly mistake on my part — I was there talking to him after that game, and it wasn't a lot of fun.


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