TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.
– All good things must come to an end – even for Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk
For most of the All-Star forward’s 10-season NHL career, he has skated along-side linemate Tomas Holmstrom
. While it’s possible that the pair still may be reunited for the upcoming season, coach Mike Babcock is splitting the pair in training camp, which started today, at Centre I.C.E. Arena.
Saturday morning, Datsyuk anchored a new look line, flanked by forwards Danny Cleary
and Patrick Eaves
. Whether that line sticks, only time will tell, Babcock said.
“The bottom line is we’re going to do whatever we can to help our team be successful,” Babcock said. “Dan Cleary – in our opinion – is a top-six forward on our team. We’ve used Dan Cleary in many ways over the last (few) years; he’s just an easy guy to move.”
Each player brings a different aspect to the line: Datsyuk is a play-maker, Cleary likes to shoot, and Eaves is a hardworking, grinder-type.
The training camp roster (see below) is split into three separate squads with Team Lindsay, Team Delvecchio and Team Howe. Datsyuk’s line is on Team Delvecchio. Meanwhile, Holmstrom is paired with forward Drew Miller
and center Cory Emmerton
on Team Lindsay.
But if Datsyuk has his way, he’ll eventually be rejoined with Holmstrom.
“I miss Holmstrom already,” Datsyuk said. “I’ve played with him for most of my Detroit career. We’ll see how the season goes.”
Training camp and the preseason are the best time of year to tinker with line combinations and defensive pairings. And while Babcock remains non-committal – with three weeks to go before the start of the 2011-12 season – he has the luxury of having diverse players like Eaves at the forward position.
“Patty’s played on our fourth line. He played a little bit on the power-play when someone’s got hurt,” Babcock said. “He’s been a great penalty-killer for us. … I think he’s become a leader for us in the locker room, in the weight room, with his commitment to doing things right. To me, he’s kind of like a coach, the way he thinks the game, and if we can use his ability, and he can shoot the puck into the net enough for us, maybe he can play with them.”SATURDAY’S SCHEDULING:
The ‘real’ first day of training camp was supposed to be Saturday. But with a large contingent of players, coaches and management attending the funeral for former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, the original on-ice schedule at Centre I.C.E. Arena was scrapped.
Those players, who attended the funeral, first skated 30-minutes in the morning before bussing to Cherry Capital Airport, where they boarded a charter plane for the flight down state. The funeral for McCrimmon, who was among 44 people killed earlier this month when a Russian jetliner crash among takeoff, was held in Farmington, Michigan.
Coach Mike Babcock said that by attending the funeral, it gave closure.
“I think it was real important for our team,” Babcock said. “When you’re making these decisions with what we’re doing with our training camp, those are big decisions. I’m thankful today that we did what we did, just because I think it’s real important.” UP NEXT:
The Wings will practice Sunday at Centre i.C.E. Arena with all three scrimmage squads returning to the ice in the morning.
Team Lindsay will start off Sunday’s on-ice sessions with a 90-minute practice, which will cover offensive zone entries and special teams work from 9:30-11 a.m. Team Delvecchio will practice entries from 11-11:40 a.m., before taking on Team Howe in a 75-minute intra-squad scrimmage. Afterward, Team Howe will remain on the ice to practice entries from 1:05-1:45 p.m.
Here are the rosters for each of the three intra-squad teams:TEAM LINDSAYLine CombinationsJustin Abdelkader
– Darren Helm
– Todd BertuzziDrew Miller
– Cory Emmerton
– Tomas HolmstromTomas Jurco
– Joakim Andersson
– Trevor ParkesBrooks Macek
– Zach Franko – Nick OslundDefensive PairingsJonathan Ericsson
– Jakub KindlBrendan Smith
– Mike Commodore
Greg Amadio – Xavier OuelletGleason FournierGoaliesJimmy Howard
, Jordan PearceTEAM DELVECCHIOLine CombinationsDanny Cleary
– Pavel Datsyuk
– Patrick EavesJiri Hudler
– Ryan Johnson – Fabian BrunnstromWillie Coetzee
– Brent Raedeke
– Gustav NyquistMitchell Callahan
– Alan Quine
– Landon FerraroDefensive PairingsNiklas Kronwall
– Brad Stuart
Garnet Exelby – Logan PyettSebastien Piche
– Richard Nedomlel
Artem SergeevGoaliesTy Conklin
, Thomas McCollum
, Evan MosherTEAM HOWELine CombinationsValtteri Filppula
– Henrik Zetterberg
– Johan FranzenTomas Tatar
– Chris Conner
– Jan MursakAndrej Nestrasil
– Jamie Johnson
– Francis PareMarek Tvrdon
– Louis-Marc Aubry
– Adam Estoclet
Chris MinardDefensive PairingsNicklas Lidstrom
– Ian WhiteBrian Lashoff
– Doug JanikTravis Ehrhardt
– Bryan RufenachRyan SproulGoaliesJoey MacDonald
, Petr Mrazek
, Ramis Sadikov
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