The Detroit Red Wings 2022-23 camp kicked off Thursday at the Ice Center Arena, marking the first five days of sessions on and off the ice.
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde, who is overseeing his first NHL camp, said he’s happy with what he’s seen from his new club.
“We were excited to get things started,” Lalonde said. “We’ve talked about this to death in preparation and just want to see him translate on the ice. For the most part, I thought it was a good day, even as a coaching staff.”
Video: Derek Lalonde | Media Availability | 09/22/22
69 players are participating in the training camp this year, including 40 strikers, 21 defensive players and eight goalkeepers. And as Detroit’s 2022-23 roster begins to take shape, Lalonde is excited to help the Red Wings build a new identity.
“You can dissect last year’s season any way you want with defensive shortfall numbers or gaps here and gaps there,” Lalonde said. “I think Steve (Liserman) has done a great job of addressing those with free agency, but this is a group of guys that we feel can skate. We’re going to use that as an advantage and maybe an identity for us.”
Lalonde said he “worked really hard trying to get to know the group” this summer.
“We literally worked out a spreadsheet when we talked to a specific player, what we talked to and why,” Lalonde said. “It just forces you to stay ahead. I think these relationships are very important.”
The first-year NHL coach added that he prioritized building a relationship with the captain Dylan Larkin.
“Dylan and I have talked a lot,” Lalonde said. “Even some small projects, something as simple as our travel and hotel schedule. I paid a lot of attention to it and talked to the leadership group and got his feedback.”
Larkin hoped to set up a competitive training camp, noting that a lack of familiarity with the players and coaches could be beneficial.
“I was a little nervous today when I was on the ice,” Larkin said. “It’s something new and your first day to make a first impression. I think that’s very important for everyone on our team and for the new guys as well. It balances the field and it’s going to be a very competitive camp, but you get a clean slate and a new opportunity to impress the new hires.”
Video: Dylan Larkin | Media Availability | 09/22/22
Goalkeeper Alex Ndeljkovic He revealed that he felt the same tensed excitement.
“You can definitely tell in today’s training how much energy there was,” said Nedelijkovic. “There has been a lot of noise even at the rink in the past two weeks with all the new faces around and what things are going to look like and how they’re going to work on a daily basis.”
One of those new faces ahead David Peron, who signed a two-year contract with Detroit on July 13. And for Byron, the Winged Wheel represents an exciting opportunity for a fresh start in his 16th season in the NHL.
“It’s fantastic,” said Peron, 34. “The Original Six team, for me I have never had a chance (to play for one) on all the teams and opportunities I have had in my career so far. I think it is really exciting to get to know Detroit.”
The Red Wings are continuing training camp until Monday before starting their eight-game pre-season slate of 2022-23 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena next Tuesday.
Sundqvist is day by day
straight ahead Oscar SundqvistWho did not take the ice on Thursday, is considered day after day, according to Lalonde.
“I think our coaching staff is trying to figure out what’s best for him and how to manage it,” Lalonde said. “I don’t think anything would be too worrying.”
After arriving in Detroit by trade from the St. Louis Blues on March 22, Sundqvist scored four goals and four assists in 18 games last season with the Red Wings.