Oilers at Red Wings, G69 ’10-’11

When the Detroit Red Wings traded Frank Mahovlich to Montreal for Mickey Redmond (and magic beans), the Red Wing ownership and fanbase adopted Redmond as “the future.”

And why not? Redmond (in photo, L-R, Reg Leach and Marshall Johnston for the Seals, Ron Stackhouse marking them at the blue and then Redmond coasting back for Detroit. Delvecchio is at the back of the frame and I can’t identify the Seal with his stick up at center ice) was a bona fide star in the making and should have had an enormous career.

What happened? Redmond got hurt. In 1974-75 he got hurt (back injury) and that was pretty much all she wrote. The Red Wings owners were at first in denial, and then angry, and there were lots of hard feelings at the time. I was just a kid, but well remember the Hockey News stories about how much impact that injury would have on the Red Wings moving forward. That injury combined with Marcel Dionne leaving for the left coast made certain that Detroit would spend an entire generation out of the second season.

The Detroit Red Wings made the playoffs exactly twice between 1967 and 1983. They made it in 1970 with Garry Unger (42 goals), Frank Mahovlich (38) and a 41-year old Gordie Howe (31 goals) leading the way, and they also made it in 1978 with a young Dale McCourt leading the way.

Injuries had an enormous impact on the Detroit Red Wings of the era. Redmond, Danny Grant on it went. Sometimes things come in three’s, sometimes in multiples of three.

The Sam Gagner injury is one to watch. There was some conflicting information available last night with regard to its severity. In the thread below, Woodguy summed up the situation:

  • TSN: “During a short surgical procedure on Thursday, doctors found no major tears, but they did uncover a series of small tears and injuries.”  Edmonton Sun Oilers’ beat writer Derek Van Diest tweeted that a tendon was severed. I asked him his source (since it was different than TSN report) and he said that is what the team told him.

That’s a real downer on a season that already had its share of the blues.

I don’t think you can really count on the current Oilers to win a game down the stretch. If they win tonight, it will be goaltending, luck and Detroit on a down night. This club has been stripped down and is sailing to the hinterland.

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