Traverse City – New team, new surroundings. You have to believe that it looked strange to new Red Wings striker David Byron.
A famous player in St. Louis, and has always been an essential part of the identity of the Blues, Byron played many matches against the Red Wings.
So wearing a Wings jersey on Thursday for your first training hat, yeah, was weird.
“I didn’t get some of my gear until last week, so I still had my blues gloves on and it was weird to skate with that,” Peron said.
In fact, Peron thought of his days as a teenager which made Thursday practice more comfortable.
“When I was 13 or 14, I got some Sergey Fedorov’s red gloves, and that kind of reminded me,” said Peron, who quickly warmed up to being a red winger and lives in Detroit. “It’s really cool. The Original Six team, I’ve never had a chance[to play with one]. Just getting to know the Detroit area and getting my kids into school and starting a game of hockey, going to the rinks.”
Signed as an unrestricted free agent in July, Peron has strengthened the wings in several ways. Scoring goals, particularly in a strength game that has been a weakness for Wings, defensiveness, leadership, and a certain veteran pedigree is invaluable, especially on a younger team.
“What was really exciting about David and talking to him over the summer is that he himself admitted that he has improved in his career,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “His work ethic, his approach, and this is an incredible example of where he is now. He expects the practice to be at a high pace and he wants men to work throughout the practice. He embraces that role.”
At this point in his career, Perón, 34, is very focused on the team’s goals.
“Just help the team move forward,” Peron said. “At this point in my career, I want to be a team maker on the snow, and I still bring up some of the things I used to do in St. Louis, which is just finding chemistry with the guys and finding the right mates. But team-wise is where I want to make a difference, In terms of leadership, sort of being an extension of the coaching team, kind of preaching the right things in the room by talking and playing on the ice, making sure the core elements defensively and all the time our system is there every night.”
Peron was a key member of the 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, along with his then Wings teammates, goalkeeper Phil Hosseau, defender Jake Wollman (both were black ace owners and did not make the squad), and forwards Robbie Fabri and Oskar Sundqvist.
Having several of his former St. Louis teammates now in Detroit aided the transition.
“It made the transition easier,” Perron said. “When I saw Mania (Hoso) being traded and signed (with the wings) a few days before my chance (to come to Detroit), I got excited, and about the other guys from St. Louis. In different situations throughout my career where I didn’t know anyone or knew Some guys, but I’m excited to join a group where he hears (general manager) Steve (Yeserman) talk about it, we’re ready to start pushing in the right direction and the dog days are over and hopefully we’re on the right track.”
more: Good news: New Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde takes first training a step further
Hoso and Alex NdeljkovicOn paper, give the wings one of the best goalkeeping duos in the NHL.
At least early in the season, expect Lalonde to give a lot of work to both goalkeepers, with no real number or No.
“It’s going to be a healthy competition,” Lalonde said. “The only thing I told them was that they would score early. We feel that both goalkeepers are making progress in their game. We want both goalkeepers to compete with each other, and we want this to be a healthy competition.”
Nedeljkovic and Husso spanned their short NHL careers as they demonstrated top-level ability. But both also struggled in the second half of last season, Nedelkovic with the wings and Hosu with the Blues.
“If one of these two people manages to hack that network at some point, that’s great,” Lalonde said. “But early on they will both get the grid.”
Sundqvist was the only regular return who wasn’t on the ice in the first practice sessions of the season. Lalonde felt it was going to be day by day in terms of when Sundqvist would return.
“I don’t think it would be anything too worrisome, but it will be day in and day out early during camp here,” Lalonde said.
… Nedelkovic had the opportunity to work on the ice with the goalkeeper Sebastian Coussa (2021 first round draft) this summer.
“He looked really good there,” said Nedelkovic. “I skated with him today, he was in our group, and he looked really good and sharp. You can tell he’s been working at it and looking a lot better than he did last year. It’s a great sign for a little kid to come and show what he’s got.”
… Lalonde will use a variety of frontline and defense combinations during camp and exhibition games, adding no stock in what you see on a given day in practice.
“I wouldn’t look at these lines very often,” Lalonde said. “Tomorrow you’ll see some drastic changes with the streak. Eight exhibition games is a lot, so we’ll get a chance to look at a lot of different combinations.”
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