Looking to the sky, one might see dimming on the Detroit Red Wings’ season. While true, even in times of darkness, there’s a glimmer of light. As we give thanks to our loved ones, let’s not forget to be thankful in terms of the Red Wings.
Here are the five things I’m most grateful for this season, and I hope you are too!
1. Håkan Andersson
Where would the Red Wings be without Håkan Andersson? This isn’t a question I like to ask, but during this time of giving thanks, I have to ponder this query to fully appreciate Andersson’s impact on the Red Wings.
The loyal Red Wings’ super scout is a treasure in endless ways.
While he’s responsible for drafting Tomas Holmström, Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg (to name a few), possibly his greatest accomplishment is convincing Steve Yzerman to draft, in the first round, a 5’11” defenseman, which leads me to my next point of thanks.
2. Red Wings prospect Axel Sandin-Pellikka
My naive self believed that we had seen the climax of talent level within the Red Wings prospect pool with the likes of Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.
However, the 17th overall pick in the 2023 National Hockey League (NHL) draft is having a stupendous season, to say the least. Illustrating the tip of the iceberg, in 18 contests, he amassed 10 points. Axel Sandin-Pellikka is one to keep an eye on over the next few months.
To reduce the chances of jinxing him, which I do quite regularly, I’ll end with this sentiment: Please watch him on Twitter.com, YouTube.com, and Google.com, or live if you get the chance. He’s worth taking the time to admire even before he jumps across the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Simon Edvinsson’s Flow
No matter the score, and the Griffins have tested this hypothesis on many occasions, Simon Edvinsson is worth the price of admission alone.
His silky skating is something that I would happily watch all day (even if he goes in circles).
A confident energy, dare I age myself with the term swag, is something I have come to appreciate about Edvinsson. Some people misconstrue this self-assured nature as arrogance or a disingenuous attitude, but I don’t find it to be so.
Even though all the Griffins players have been courteous to their fans, Edvinsson provides an extra something. It might be fairy dust, his Hollywood smile, or how he feeds off the crowds, but Edvinsson has a little something special about his interaction with Griffins fans.
In turn, the Griffins seem to feed off of Edvinsson’s energy.
If Dylan Larkin is the heart of the Red Wings, I suggest that Edvinsson is the spirit of his Griffins team and the Red Wings in the future. In short, he has an infectious personality that transcends the lineup. When Edvinsson is feeling it in a game, his teammates do too.
Taking in Griffins games has been challenging throughout the season (and it’s not only the five-plus hour drive for me but a flashback to the last few Griffins seasons). Edvinsson has made the trip worth my while every single game. I can’t wait to see Edvinsson in a full-time Red Wings uniform, and I’m thankful for the hope he brings.
4. The Red Wings’ Goal Song
Arguably, one of the most annoying Eminem songs was chosen, with the most obnoxious part as our goal song.
Love it or hate it, I sway on my opinion as often as I fluctuate with my Cherokee roots and electing which wolf to feed (very often), and this situation isn’t changing any time soon.
Our goal song is ridiculous in every sense of the word: funny, entertaining, and showboating.
It’s a gesture my late cousin, a huge Red Wings fan, would have approved of, and it makes me thankful every time I hear that silly goal song.
5. The Red Wings Family
Before getting involved in the Red Wings’ online community, I had little knowledge of prospects—especially ones overseas or in other parts of North America. Throughout this crazy ride, I have found many amazing people dedicated to helping all Red Wings fans. Quite a few of them aren’t even Red Wings fans. They’re just ice hockey fans and are happy to provide insights on a Red Wings prospect who played for their favorite team.
Incredibly, I get to see the likes of Sandin-Pellikka chasing records in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), Nate Danielson scoring goals even when the deck is stacked against him, or salivating over the most fun clips of Dmitri Buchelnikov doing the thing in Russia.
Hearing amazing stories from a cat-sitter in Ängelholm, Sweden, helping to convince a budding Austrian-star hockey player to play hockey there, to fans and how they fell in love with the Red Wings, is all so rewarding.
Individuals who let me know on a daily basis where Red Wings prospects are playing, which may seem so simple, yet is something I wouldn’t have even thought about five years ago.
The tremendous dedication of those diehards covering various camps and tournaments that the Red Wings and their prospects attend. Countless hours were spent so we could learn more about the team.
The list is endless, so I’ll stop for now, but it’s a remarkable community.
I hope you have enjoyed this list and will add to it, as there are so many reasons to be thankful as a Red Wings fan.