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This Week in Hockeytown: May 19

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Jimmy Skinner coached the Red Wings for three-plus seasons, leading them to the 1955 Stanley Cup championship, the club's last for 42 years. (Detroit Red Wings Photo Archives)

DETROIT – It’s a hall of fame week for several former Red Wings greats.

First, Jimmy Skinner, the fifth coach in Red Wings’ history, will be posthumously inducted in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony this Saturday in Selkirk.

Then Sunday, at the conclusion of the World Championship in Minsk, Belarus, former captains Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom will be enshrined in the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.

Skinner’s career with the Red Wings organization spanned four decades, beginning with his minor-league playing career as a defenseman. After he hung up his skates, Skinner accepted a position with the franchise, coaching the Windsor Spitfires (1947-53) and Hamilton Red Wings (1953-54). He then succeeded Wings coach Tommy Ivan and led Detroit to the Stanley Cup championship in 1955 – the last time the Red Wings would win the Cup for 42 years.

Skinner only coached Detroit for three plus seasons before an illness forced him to surrender his post but during the 1957-58 campaign. Still, he managed to compile a 123-78-46 record and coached in three NHL All-Star games. His .591 winning percentage ranks No. 21 among those who coached two or more years in league history.

In 36 years with the club, Skinner served in many managerial positions that included general manager, chief scout and director of scouting. He was GM when Mike and Marian Ilitch purchased the team in 1982.

Skinner was 90 when he died in 2007.

Here's the news, past and present, from around Hockeytown for the week of May 19-25:

MAY 19
Memorial Cup
– Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha and Val-d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will play their second of three round-robin contest of the 2014 Memorial Cup in London, Ontario. The Foreurs will face-off against another Wings prospect, Tyler Bertuzzi, and the Guelph Storm, the OHL champions, at 7 p.m. EDT at the Budweiser Gardens.

Final Tune-Up Gustav Nyquist and Sweden face-off against Italy in seventh and final preliminary-round game for both clubs in this year’s World Championship in Minsk, Belarus. The Swedes are looking to hold on to second place in the Group A standings. Nyquist has two goals and four points with a plus-3 rating in six games.

This Day in History Paul Coffey scored in the Red Wings’ Game 1 overtime loss to Colorado in the 1996 Western Conference finals. But in doing so, he moved past Denis Potvin on the NHL’s all-time playoff list for goals by a defenseman. Coffey’s 59 career goals remains the league’s playoff benchmark for defensemen.

MAY 20
Memorial Cup Continues – Red Wings fans throughout Canada can watch Mantha and his Val-d’Or teammates on Sportsnet and TVA Sports when the Foreurs battle the Edmonton Oil Kings, who where the Western Hockey League champions, at 7 p.m.

Hockeytown Birthdays – Forward Stu Grimson, Kamloops, British Columbia in 1965; and defenseman Jason York, Nepean, Ontario in 1970.

MAY 21
This Day in History – Legendary player Alex Delvecchio was appointed general manager of the Red Wings, the fifth in club history, replacing Ned Harkness in 1974.

Hockeytown Birthdays – Centers Pat Lundy*, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1924; and Alex Faulkner, Bishop Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador in 1936.

MAY 22
Hockeytown Birthdays – Forwards George Patterson*, Kingston, Ontario in 1906; Pete Kelly*, St. Vital, Manitoba in 1913; and Lude Check*, Brandon, Manitoba in 1919.

MAY 23
Hockeytown Birthdays
– Goalie Dolly Dolson*, Hespeler, Ontario in 1897; forward Vic Stasiuk, Lethbridge, Alberta in 1929; center Bryan Hextall, Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1941; forward Tom Rowe, Lynn, Massachusetts in 1956; and defenseman John Hilworth, Jasper, Alberta in 1957.

MAY 24
Bound for the Hall
– Skinner, the fifth coach in Red Wings’ history, will be posthumously inducted in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Selkirk.

Hockeytown Birthdays – Defenseman John Doran*, Belleville, Ontario in 1911; center Kris Draper, Toronto, Ontario in 1971; and forward Pat Verbeek, Sarnia, Ontario in 1964.

MAY 25
NHL Combine
– Beginning today in Toronto, the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau will bring together the league’s top draft-eligible prospects for seven days of testing, workouts and one-on-one interviews that are open to all 30 clubs. … This year’s NHL draft will be held June 27-28 in Philadelphia.

International Hall – The 18th class of the IIHF Hall of Fame will be introduced in Minsk when Yzerman, Lidstrom and the late Ruslan Salei will be enshrined in a ceremony in Minsk, Belarus. Joining the former Red Wings are Soviet Union legends Vyacheslav Bykov and Andrei Khomutov.

Hockeytown Birthdays – Defenseman Robert Picard, Montreal, Quebec in 1957.

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