Happy Holidays, Hockeytown! Tis the season of gift giving and seeing as though the Detroit Red Wings give to fans everyday, from giving back to the community to giving us some form of entertainment every other night, we decided it was time to give back to them! Here’s a look at what we as the writers of Winged Octopus would gift each player as their Secret Santa. Enjoy!
(Just a heads up, this is a group article so the players were written by different writers which would be the reason that the format is not consistent!)
#2 Brendan Smith– Smitty has been a constant fall guy for the fanbase to place blame on. Many believe that he makes too many dumb mistakes, causing the team goals or even games. How many times has he made a mistake and thought “If only I had a brain…”. What better gift than to send him on a journey to visit the Wizard of Oz so he can ask for a brain?
#3 Nick Jensen- Welcome to the show, kid. You know what you get for Christmas? I have no idea because truth be told, I’ve never been any good at secret Santa. I’d hand off the gift buying to someone on your team, but they would probably just get you a pie to the face made from shaving cream in the locker room… good luck!
#8 Justin Abdelkader- Normally we want a vacation around the holidays, and Abby has been on one since December 1st. I think I’ll get him some skating lessons and new skate blades for his return to make sure he hasn’t lost his step. After all, we wouldn’t want Abby to be the next Mark Borowiecki.
#14 Gustav Nyquist- “Nyquist with a pass to… wait, where’d that one go?” I’d solved Nyquist’s passing woes by bringing back Damien Brunner so Nyquist would no longer be passing to his ghost! The running joke is that Nyqvist’s errant passes always go to the ghost of Damien Brunner. What other way is there to solve that problem than to bring back Brunner himself?
#15 Riley Sheahan- For Christmas, I would get Riley a new stick. 0 goals in 34 games?! I think his stick might be broken or something. If not that, then I know that he recently moved out of his apartment that he shared with Glendening and Larkin so maybe we can get him some new roommates? He’s probably just lonely!
#20 Drew Miller- Rogaine, so he can continue to grow more of his infamous grey hair.
#21 Tomas Tatar- We all know that Tats takes his pre-game outfits very seriously, but how often do we see Tatar in a suit that isn’t blue? Hardly ever! For Christmas I would help Tats up his apparel game by buying I’m a suit that isn’t blue! Now i’m not saying there is anything wrong with his blue suits, but we all need variety in our lives!
#23 Brain Lashoff- An extra long hockey stick, that way maybe shooting and protecting become a little bit easier for him!
#25 Mike Green- Mike Green has scored a total of seven goals this season. Out of those seven goals, he has produced one hat trick with should have been two. He has been very beneficial to the team, even in times of despair. For Christmas he deserves a very earning gift so if I were to get him something, I would get him a magic wand so he can put up more hat tricks and score more goals. This would surely help keep his scoring up past the holiday season!
#26 Tomas Jurco- I’d buy Jurco a special edition of Monopoly. In this monopoly set, instead of a ‘Get out of jail free’ card, it will say ‘Get out of Grand Rapids free’! Jurco keeps getting sent back and forth between the big club and the Griffins so let the poor guy get a pass at least!
#29 Steve Ott- A blank check from the Illitch family along with a nice long contract. Aside from that, I’d get him some gloves that come off easier so that he can fight more.
#31 Jared Coreau- What I would get Coreau would have to be defense after he got hung out to dry in Pittsburgh during his debut. Now that he has the first game jitters out of the way, I would venture to guess that he will settle into a rhythm in the crease.
#34 Petr Mrazek- I’d get Petr a bungee cord! That way the team could strap it to both him and the net so whenever he tries to come out of his net to play the puck, it snaps right back so he can get back in net with enough time to make those saves. (No more silly mistakes, Petr!).
#35 Jimmy Howard- Of all the Red Wings’ players, Jimmy Howard is at the top of the nice list for this season. As a reward for his good behavior, how about we get him a puck cannon attachment for his stick? Now Howard will be his OWN goal support!
#39 Anthony Mantha- Mantha has been with the Red Wings basically all season long and has been really solid with his speed, size, and his rocket of a shot. But, there’s one thing that is lacking in Mantha’s game… physicality. With a 6 foot 5 frame Mantha should be destroying people and not losing any puck battles. With that being said, Mantha is 6’4 but just 215lbs so for Christmas I am going to be giving Anthony Mantha a daily one on one session with Darren McCarty.
#40 Henrik Zetterberg- I’m fairly convinced Santa and Zetterberg could be the same person. They pull off the red and white, have impressive beards and are the leader of their teams, so for Christmas, I would get the Swede a Santa suit… I mean why not play the part if you already look it?
#41 Luke Glendening- For Christmas I would wrap Glendening in all the Christmas lights in the world, and keep him on the second line forever… Sadly, he probably still wouldn’t be able to light the lamp.
#43 Darren Helm- A body bumper for protection considering he is always getting injured.
#48 Ryan Sproul- Sproul’s biggest gift this year should a huge present of more appreciation and recognition for being one of our better defensive players.
#51 Frans Nielsen- Neilsen’s Xmas list: -shootout goals, -a better arena to play in outside of Barclays center (CHECK!), -Danish foods.
#52 Jonathan Ericsson- For Christmas this Swede is going to get a gold ‘+’ plaque, because he is one of the only 6 Red Wings players with a positive +/- rating. Not bad for a traffic cone. On second thought, maybe I’ll make it an orange plaque.
#53 Alexey Marchenko- A giant Christmas card is what I would by Alexey for Christmas. I say this for the soul purpose that I could express Wings’ fans appreciation of him inside of the card because he truly is one of our under appreciated D men.
#55 Nicklas Kronwall- Kronwall, a name associated with huge hits, Kronwalling. Father time is catching up with him, but Father Christmas might be able to help. I’d gift Kronwall healthy knees just magically over night. He’d wake up Christmas morning and feel 25 again.
#59 Tyler Bertuzzi- Considering his uncle is the reason I became a hockey fan, I think the best gift I could give him is his actual uncle Todd Bertuzzi playing again right besides him in the current Red Wings lineup. Okay, so maybe that won’t actually happen…but maybe we could give him a water bottle? I don’t think his uncle ever bought David Clarkson a new water bottle so maybe he could?
#61 Xavier Ouellet- Since there aren’t many French players in the league (French as in from actual France…not Quebec) I think Xavier deserves a little gift basket whenever he gets homesick. So I’d gladly buy him anything that originated from his country! French cheese, French wine, French bread….even throw in some French toast crunch! Basically, anything that comes from or even resembles his French background. (However, lets leave out the very outdated old fashioned Guillotine….that’s one French thing we can all agree should be left in the past).
#62 Thomas Vanek- I would give Vanek a time machine that way he can go back to his career high 2006-2007 season with Buffalo and remember what it was like to be youthful and put up 80+ points in a season. Maybe after his travels he can come back to the Red Wings season remembering how he used to play.
#65 Danny DeKeyser- He has been one of the Red Wings’ defenseman over the last few years. Although play has fallen off a decent amount this year, DK is still a part of the future as he inked a long term extension this summer to keep him with the Wings for the extended future. With the holidays coming, what I am going to put under the tree for Danny is going to be better offensive ability. With how good he has been in the past, defensively, if he could be more of a threat offensively the Wings would be in much better shape in regards to scoring and the power play.
#71 Dylan Larkin- Fans have been ragging on him for not being able to grow facial hair. While he’s made some strides this season, I’d gift Dylan the ability to grow a full face of facial hair! Although he’d never reach Captain Z levels of beard growing, at least he wouldn’t get ragged on.
#72 Andreas Athanasiou- This kid has lethal speed, incredible hands, and is one of those players that can be a game changer if you let him (Jeff Blashill hasn’t gotten the memo apparently). As AA still is usually on the 4th line with the likes of Steve Ott and Luke Glendening, he is still making the most of his opportunity but he needs one thing and this is what his twin is going to be getting him for Christmas, all fluorescent orange everything, so he sticks out when Coach Blashill sees him on/off the ice as we have all been begging to see more AA on the ice. (I’ve been told that I look like Andreas).
#93 Johan Franzen- Another Swede, another great gift! Everyone’s favorite Mule has a history of injury, so I’m going to get him one of those inflatable Zorb balls with slots cut out for his skates and stick. The Red Wings can redefine the definition of tip drills with this addition!