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Red Wings Training Camp Roundup: Fans, Players Happy to Be Back

January 14th, 2013 at 8:36 PM
By Frank Vajcner

We're talkin' about practice.

The Detroit Red Wings officially opened training camp Sunday at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, Michigan in front of 1,500 fans. 25 players participated in two separate workouts.

“I told the guys this morning I really missed them,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Being around them all the time is a thrill for me. Even watching today, how hard they worked and how they compete, it's pretty special to get to do what we all do for a living."

Despite this season being the first since 1990-91 without Nicklas Lidstrom, who retired in June, Babcock is not approaching this year any differently.

“I have the same attitude every year when we start,” he said. “We've got to get off to a good start and we're going to keep getting better each and every day and play our best hockey at the end. So that's the attitude I bring each and every day, each and every year. Every year when I talk to you at this meeting right here, I'm scared to death just to make the playoffs. Every single year I've been here and this year's no different."

A highlight of Sunday was TV play-by-play man Ken Daniels firing up the crowd over the public-address system, calling them, "the best hockey community in the world."

INJURY UPDATE: Center Darren Helm remains out with a back injury. He is expected to be out until Thursday, when the Red Wings return to Joe Louis Arena for the remainder of training camp.

Forward Mikael Samuelsson was held out of practice Monday with what is being called a sore groin.

KNUBLE IN CAMP: Former Red Wing Mike Knuble is in camp with the team, with hopes of making the team. The odds are against him with the amount of depth the Red Wings have at forward.

"It's just an opportunity to play." Knuble said. "You get your name out there that you're still active, still looking to play. This organization is very highly regarded around the league, so if they're going to give you a shot, if it doesn't work out here, then it opens some eyes somewhere else."

Knuble began his career in Detroit in 1996. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native was a member of both Stanley Cup winning teams in 1997 and 1998. He has also played with the Rangers, Bruins, Flyers, and most recently, the Capitals.

If he does make the team, Knuble would end up playing a Tomas Holmstrom-esque role–being a net presence on the power play–because of his size (6-3, 230). Another asset Knuble brings with him is a right-handed shot, which is something the Red Wings need. Damien Brunner, Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo, and Ian White are the only other right-handed shots on the team.

PAVEL'S BACK!!! (and tweeting too): Pavel Datsyuk arrived in Detroit from Russia earlier this afternoon. He is expected to be with the team at their on-ice practice at 9:30 AM. For the record, Datsyuk is now on Twitter (@Datsyuk13).

QUOTABLE:

"Do you have a dog? You know when you let them loose and they've been inside for 10 hours? That's how I felt. Just running around. It was just so fun to be out there."

Jonathan Ericsson on starting training camp.

Tags: Darren Helm, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Jonathan Ericsson, Mikael Samuelsson, Mike Babcock, Mike Knuble, NHL, Pavel Datsyuk

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