Wings say goodbye to Commodore; call up Smith

Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Brendan Smith will have a chance to prove his worth after being called up for the Red Wings following the trade of Mike Commodore Monday. Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Mike Commodore’s trade-deadline departure will make room for rookie-defenseman Brendan Smith on the Detroit Red Wing depth chart.

Commodore was sent to the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday for a 2013 7th-round draft pick. He recorded two points in his  17 appearances with the Wings.

“I played 17 games, was a healthy scratch for 30 games, that’s not going to cut it,” Commodore said. “It would have been nice to see this thing through here. It’s a good team here, they got as good a chance to win as anybody else, but this is probably better for me. I get an opportunity. I never really got an opportunity here.”

With Jonathan Ericsson benched for a month with a wrist injury and defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey suffering day-to-day injuries, Smith will get a chance to prove his worth.

The rookie recorded 10 goals and 22 assists in his 47 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins this season. Earlier in the season he appeared in three games in a Red Wings uniform, tallying three assists.

“I was in Grand Rapids a couple of times this week,” Holland said in a Freep story. “Brendan Smith was on the all-rookie team last year in the American league. He’s got 10 goals. Obviously a tremendous college career.”

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Michigan State Spartans: Breaking Records and Taking Titles

Well where to begin? It was a good week for Michigan State basketball.

The now No. 5 Michigan State Spartans clobbered the undermanned Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday 62-34. Michigan State’s defense continues to dominate the opposition. The 34 points allowed is the fewest since Michigan State played Brown University when it opened up the 2006-2007 season. It was the least amount of points allowed in Big Ten play for the Spartans since the 1999-2000 championship season against when MSU played Northwestern. Finally for Nebraska, it was the lowest scoring effort since the shot clock was invented.

Senior forward Draymond Green joined an elite group of Spartans when he grabbed his 1,000 rebound of his career. Green joins Antonio Smith, Johnny Green, and Greg Kelser in the 1,000 rebound club, and has let Kelser know he is coming after his record of 1,092 rebounds.

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Bringing The Wood: Brandon Wood Leads Michigan State Comeback Over Minnesota

Seniors Austin Thornton and Brandon Wood share a post game hug. (Photo Credit AP)

Senior Brandon Wood has been around a lot of colleges during his basketball career. His long journey has included playing for Southern Illinois, transferring to a division II school, transferring to Valparaiso University and finally ending it playing for the Michigan State Spartans.

While at Valparaiso Wood was the star and averaged over 17 points during his sophomore year, and 16 his junior year. Wood graduated and decided to test the NBA waters by putting his name in the draft, after hearing what scouts thought of him, he decided to polish them even more at MSU.

Wood has had a good season for MSU, he averages over 8 points a game, and while that’s less than he did at Valparaiso there is 10 times the talent on the MSU team, and Wood no longer needs to be the star. A few weeks ago Wood’s stepbrother was shot in the head. He survived but it was an emotional strain on Wood. A week later Wood faced more strain, coming in the form of a shoulder strain. Wood has since lost his starting spot, and is now equipped with a shoulder brace but that isn’t stopping him from becoming a force for the Spartans.

Under Tom Izzo,  and assistant coach Dane Fife, Wood has transformed into a defensive minded guard, something that the Valparaiso coaches would be shocked to see. Wood is rebounding well, and shutting down the opposition.

Last night the No. 6 Michigan State Spartans traveled to Minnesota in a key game with the Big Ten championship on the line. Down by as many as 9 points with under 10 minutes to play, Wood came off the bench and became the spark that the Spartan’s needed.

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Datsyuk undergoes knee surgery; Conklin earns start in Grand Rapids

Center Pavel Datsyuk leads the Red Wings with 59 points this season. Photo Credit: AP

The Red Wings will be without their leading scorer for a while.

Center Pavel Datsyuk underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday morning and Coach Mike Babcock said he expects he will be out two weeks.

“He had a fragment in his knee, an old thing that we wanted to clean up here, prior to playoff time,” Babcock said.

The center has recorded 59 points in as many games this season.

He is expected to be replaced by Dan Cleary Tuesday, who has been sidelined almost two weeks with a knee injury.

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Wings acquire Quincey in three-team trade

Defenseman Kyle Quincey returns to Detroit, where he made his NHL debut.

Kyle Quincey didn’t have much time to celebrate landing a spot on the Tampa Bay Lightning roster before being acquired by the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday.

The former Avalanche defenseman has appeared in 54 games this season, recording five goals and 18 assists.

Quincey, 26, is an Ontario native who originally entered the NHL as Red Wing in 2005.

After being drafted 132nd overall, he appeared in 13 games over three seasons before moving to Los Angeles.

The defenseman posted a career-high 38 points as a King during the 2008-09 season.

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No time to Celebrate


Columbus, Ohio native Trey Burke (left) and sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr. (right) hug after beating Ohio State. Photo Credit: Melaine Maxwell / Ann

After beating rival No. 8 Ohio State Saturday night the No. 13 rated Michigan basketball team is feeling pretty good.

The Wolverines are currently third in the Big Ten and has their best rank nationally since 1997.

That is all fine and great but it won’t mean a thing if they can’t finish out the Big Ten schedule.

Yes, it has the easier road to finish out the season in comparison to No. 6 Michigan State and the Buckeyes, but the Big Ten this season is one of, if not, the best conference and Michigan has to hit the road for three of the last four games.

Starting Tuesday the Wolverines head to Welsh-Ryan Arena to face a desperate Northwestern team who is ridding the bubble for a tournament bid and a win Tuesday could secure that bid. Continue reading

MacDonald proves his worth; Conklin waived

Ty Conklin congratulates Joey MacDonald following a recent Red Wing victory. Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Backup goaltenders in the NHL hold a special responsibility, called on when the starter begins to slip, needs a break or falls to injury.

The Detroit Red Wings found themselves relying on Ty Conklin after losing all-star Jimmy Howard for the last six games with a broken finger.

Conklin has slipped to 3-5, with a 3.40 goals against average this season and was recently waived by Detroit.

He last appeared in the 5-4 overtime loss to Edmonton on Feb. 4 when he was replaced by third-string netminder Joey MacDonald.

Despite dropping the game to Edmonton, MacDonald has led the team to six straight wins, building up a 6-1-1 record in the month of February.

MacDonald holds a 1.66 goals against average, solidifying his position as No. 2 netminder.

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And1 Shoe Company Sponsors Michigan State Against Wisconsin

When No. 7 Michigan State hosted No. 15 Wisconsin last night, the announcers seemed to spend the whole game yelling “And one!”

At one point, Michigan State had four straight possessions that resulted in and-ones. By dominating Wisconsin throughout on their way to a 69-55 win, Michigan State demonstrated that they are just plain good and the shoe company And1 is yet again irrelevant.  Continue reading