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Red Wings prepare to be sellers

Detroit likely to move players before NHL Trade Deadline with playoff streak in jeopardy

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

DETROIT -- The day of reckoning has come for the Detroit Red Wings.

A month ago, general manager Ken Holland said he wanted to give them every opportunity to play their way into the mix for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But after a 3-1 loss against the New York Islanders at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday, they had the worst record in the Eastern Conference in terms of point percentage (.483).

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milestone

Sidney Crosby among fastest to 1,000 despite delays

Penguins center reaches points milestone in fewer games than all but 11 players in NHL history

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

The play itself was perfect.

Sidney Crosby isn't the best player in the world because he's more talented than everyone else. He's the best because he works hard, he's determined, and he's skilled, especially in tight spaces. He makes the most of his talent and his teammates better.

When the Pittsburgh Penguins captain reached 1,000 points with an assist in a 4-3 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday, he showcased his defining traits.

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NHL Insider

Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch remembered as great man

Mourners say goodbye inside Detroit theater he restored to glory

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

DETROIT -- The mourners lined up on the street in the biting cold, the length of a city block, some in dark suits and dresses, others in Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers gear. When Mike Ilitch's public visitation began Wednesday, they entered a side door of the Fox Theatre.

The lavish palace opened on Woodward Avenue in 1928 when Detroit was a boomtown. It fell into disrepair along with the city in later years. But then Ilitch bought it in 1987 and restored it to gilded glory.

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Motivated Claude Julien may be what Canadiens need

Montreal hoping new coach can help struggling team find its identity

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

When the Montreal Canadiens change coaches, the debate often goes beyond what it would in any other NHL market. It isn't enough to ask if this was the right time, if the outgoing coach deserved to be fired, if the incoming coach will be an upgrade. You have to ask if the Canadiens hired the best coach available or just the best coach available who speaks French.

Not this time. When general manager Marc Bergevin replaced Michel Therrien with Claude Julien on Tuesday, he seized a rare opportunity to check every box.

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NHL Insider

Mike Ilitch mourned, thanked by Detroit residents

At makeshift memorial, late Red Wings owner praised for rejuvenating city's downtown

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

DETROIT -- While Detroit mourns Mike Ilitch, his legacy continues to be built.

Fans, employees and neighbors lined up outside the main gate of Comerica Park on Monday to pay respects to Ilitch, the Detroit business and sports icon who died Friday at age 87. The sound was silence, except for the pounding, grinding, beeping and rumbling of construction.

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NHL Insider

Mike Ilitch was Red Wings fan 'just like they are'

Owner remembered for 'fabulous legacy' in hometown Detroit

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

Mike Ilitch was working at his pizza store in the Detroit suburbs one day when a nephew came in and asked if he could sponsor a youth hockey team. Ilitch had played defense for a couple of years on a youth team in his teens but could hardly skate. He didn't know what sponsoring a team involved. But he agreed, and when his sons heard he was buying jerseys, they decided they wanted to play too.

So Ilitch became a hockey dad. As his pizza business grew, he kept sponsoring more and more teams. In an interview in October 2003, he shared what happened next:

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NHL Insider

Claude Julien firing gives Vegas GM another option

George McPhee remains patient as former Boston coach joins list of available big-name candidates

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @Cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

George McPhee's phone lights up each time an NHL coach gets fired.

As general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, the expansion team that begins play next season, he's searching for a coach, and everyone knows it. People always wonder whether the latest to hit the market will be his man.

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Coaching change 'real wake-up call' for Islanders

Doug Weight making transition from assistant while New York chases playoff berth

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

DETROIT -- The last time the New York Islanders changed coaches, their captain was Doug Weight.

It was Nov. 15, 2010. They were 0-9-1 in their past 10 games and last in the NHL standings. When practice was delayed, the players figured something was about to happen. When general manager Garth Snow walked into the dressing room with Jack Capuano, who had been coaching Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, they knew Scott Gordon had been fired.

They knew they had gotten Gordon fired.

"The feeling we should have is a punch in the stomach," Weight told his teammates. "We failed Scott and we failed ourselves."

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Hockey Is For Everyone

Andrew Shaw ready to make difference

You Can Play ambassador for Canadiens volunteers to help teammates learn from his mistake

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @Cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

Out of all the players the Montreal Canadiens could have as their You Can Play ambassador for diversity, equality and inclusion, they have Andrew Shaw.

Yes, Andrew Shaw.

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Catching Up With...

Catching up with Pat Hughes

Former Oiler, now retired police officer, scored five goals in a game 33 years ago today

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Pat Hughes continued to sign autographs for years after his NHL career ended. Only the recipients didn't want them.

They didn't realize he had won the Stanley Cup three times, broken a record held by Wayne Gretzky and scored five goals in an NHL game. All they knew was he was an Ann Arbor police officer writing them speeding tickets.

"I was just another blue uniform out there," Hughes said.

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