Thursday, June 7, 2012

Geek Week: Beginning the Post-Lidstrom Era

Now that the hankie and Visine stocks among Red Wings Nation have started to recover, I thought I'd take a quick moment to recap some of the stories that have been taking place in the last week regarding Hockeytown since Nicklas Lidstrom's announced retirement.  The future begins now:

Wings Seek Entry-Level Contracts - Detroit signed a pair of prospects in the days surrounding Lidstrom's retirement.  Winger Teemu Pulkkinen and center Calle Jarnkrok were both inked to entry level contracts, but both will remain in Europe for further conditioning.  Meanwhile, two further prospects are likely to be signed soon.  Former Saint John Sea Dogs winger Tomas Jurco is waiting for the completion of a transfer agreement between the IIHF and the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation.  An indefinite extension has been granted to resolve the situation, and Detroit is expecting to sign the talented forward soon after the agreement is reached.

Nicastro Cleared, Wings Ready to Sign - The other prospect Detroit looks to bring into the fold, 2008 draft pick Max Nicastro, is finally getting a chance to prove himself in the AHL.  Nicastro, a defensive prospect, recently had legal charges that were filed against him dropped.  The Wings are eager to see what he can bring to the Griffins next season.

Emmerton Earns Best Rookie - As voted by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, Cory Emmerton was named the Red Wings' rookie of the year.  Cory still has lots of work to do to improve, but this should give him a good confidence boost going into next season.

A Moment for Bryan Rufenach - Finally, the Red Wings family was saddened to learn of the tragic death of one of its prospects.  Defenseman Bryan Rufenach, who split last season between Grand Rapids and Toledo, died in Grindelwald, Switzerland after being electrocuted by a power-line.  My personal condolences go out to Bryan's friends and family in the wake of their terrible loss.