"If we're paying you, you WILL earn that money."

I was fortunate to get to take in the exciting Detroit Red Wings/Phoenix Coyotes game last night, and just happened to have been gifted terrific seats.

I spent the majority of the game (with the help of a friend) trying to get pictures of the notes that the coaching staff of the Wings had jotted down, because I always get a kick out of seeing something brutally honest like “*Player Name*, lazy slug, isolate,” and figured you guys would too (no luck on that, sorry).

During my detective work, I noticed something else: the Detroit Red Wings make Ty Conklin take stats (likely hits and faceoffs). Because…they play junior hockey? Does Jimmy Howard do this when he backs up? Is this common in the NHL? …I have so many questions.

I’ve been asked to help out on stats as a healthy scratch in lower leagues, but this is the Red Wings.

Ty Conklin is a 35 year old man making 3/4 of a million dollars. He’s played in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Winter Classic, and hell….the NHL in general, for Pete’s sake. The Red Wings sell-out almost every building they play in. And they don’t have a guy for this?

Maybe they want him to pay attention?

I guess it’s not like he’s filling waterbottles, but who knows – he could be doing that too. Am I alone in finding this strange? Bueller?


(UPDATE: Ah-ha! It’s a Babcock thing.)

Comments (8)

  1. Yep, the Wings have the back-up goalie (be it Conklin, Howard, Ozzie, whoever) chart face-offs. I haven’t noticed that any other NHL teams have their goalies doing it, so I’m guessing it’s pretty uncommon. Don’t know the reasoning, though.

  2. As a Wings fan I’m a little surprised but at the same time it makes sense. It keeps the back up goaltender alert to what’s happening in the game in the event that Jimmy gets injured or god forbid, pulled from the game.

    It could also be possible that Ty Conklin requested this for the purposes of keeping himself alert or maybe Conks is interested in pursuing a coaching career after his career is over.

  3. I have seen enough other teams doing it that I don’t think it’s strange. I don’t know what the goalies are writing down, but a lot of them are definitely jotting notes.

  4. What I think is crazy is the amount of detail someone like Bourne could get out of sitting behind a team. Does this mean it’s easy to pull a Belichick and assign someone behind the opposing team?

  5. I heard that Paul MacLean has implemented the practice for his backups in Ottawa, but I don’t catch enough Sens games to have noticed it myself.

  6. Todd Mclellan has Sharks backups chart face-offs as well.

    Sounds like Babs has influenced his former assistants.

  7. Could this be the hockey equivalent of baseball pitchers charting pitchers the day before they start? Teams certainly have plenty of guys for menial tasks like this, but as has been pointed out it’s definitely a way for a guy to feel some level of involvement with the game.

  8. the backup goaltender’s for the St Louis Blues do the same things.. They do faceoff’s primarily (they’re #1 job) for coaches, and occasionally either scoring chances in 1st & 3rd periods, or hits.

    Ben Bishop, Halak, Chris Mason, Brian Elliott all have told me what the clipboard was for.

    Also the FoxSports Midwest telecast had Bernie Federko interview in game Brian Elliott, regarding this very topic I think last week or so..

    I believe most teams do their own Hits/Faceoff wins/etc, because the NHL person who’s in charge of that stuff, can’t keep up, or doesn’t know what a hit or Faceoff win is.. I always get a kick out of watching a game, and NHL’s live play by play webpage for the game, where a player goes to hit a guy like Oshie, and Oshie reverse checks him to the ground, and they score it a hit on Oshie! hahaha always cracks me up…

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