A School Known to All

I blew it. As soon as I heard the ping off the crossbar, I just thought: That’s it. You just saw your dream go out the window. I had just come down the ice on a 3-on-1 rush in the 2007 NCAA Championship. Tie game. Thirty seconds left. Puck on my stick.The exact moment every kid daydreams about. Just me and the goalie. I fired it high glove.


No. No.

I was crushed. I was playing for Michigan State, the team I grew up cheering for, against Boston College. Their roster was filled with a dozen NHL prospects. Our guys were nervous before the game. I know I was. We were heavy underdogs.

This game meant so much to me, because my family always bled green and white. There was definitely no maize and blue around my house. My grandfather went to Michigan State. My dad went there. Both of them were in the stands for the game.


The puck caromed off the post and rolled to the corner. At this point, I was at the lowest of lows. I had
my chance, and I blew it. There’s 30 seconds left. I circle up toward the boards. Boston College tries to clear it, but our defenseman pinches and keeps the puck in. I cover for him at the point.He chips the puck behind the net. My teammate gets to the puck. He’s got a chance. I make a move toward the front of the net. He looks up.

Out of nowhere, the puck is once again on my stick. I’m right in front.

I stab at the puck.

Next thing I know, the goalie is looking behind him.

The puck is in the net.

The puck is in the net?!

I’m stumbling. I almost fall down. I’m freaking out. My teammates mob me in the corner. What is happening?

I literally feel like I’ve blacked out for a few seconds.

The first thing I see is my buddy’s face. He’s screaming.

“Dude. Oh my god. Do you know what just happened?!”

We just won the national title.


Playing at Michigan State was some of the best years of my life. Every road is different, of course, but in my family, it was all about college hockey. True story: There were a few colleges scouting me by my junior year of high school, but the coach at Michigan State saw me play at a select tournament in Minnesota and approached my dad afterward.

The conversation went like this:

“Sir, I was pretty impressed with your son out there, and we’d like to offer h– …”

“We’ll take it! We’ll take it!”

He didn’t even get to finish his pitch. I was already a Spartan. A lot of parents might have seen dollar
signs, or just been blinded by the thought of their kid playing in the NHL. But my dad was always like, “Imagine the feeling of putting on the green and white jersey and playing for the entire school? How cool would that be?”

And he was right. It was cooler than I could’ve imagined. And it’s not just about the hockey stuff, like the racks of free sticks and the professional training staff (thanks, Mike Vorkapich, for making me puke the first day of conditioning), it’s about the college experience as a whole. Little stuff like showing up the first day on campus in East Lansing and seeing everybody in green hoodies building their loft beds in the dorm. Everything’s buzzing. You get hit with a feeling that you’re part of something bigger. A real community.

The first day on campus, every student gets a keychain with the Michigan State fight song lyrics on it.
This comes in handy, because when you’re a freshman on the hockey team, it’s your duty to stand up in front of the entire team during the pregame lunch and sing the fight song at the top of your lungs.

On the banks of the Red Cedar,

There’s a school that’s known to all!

(My voice is terrible.)

Then when you skate out onto the ice for the first time on a Friday night in front of a packed house, and you hear the band playing the fight song, it’s the best feeling in the world.

Just the rush of that first game, and your first realization that you’re playing for your fellow students — the same people you’re in class with the next day — is worth all the homework and the late-night Study Table sessions and the Computer Programming class that gives you nightmares.

The memories of my time at Michigan State are something that I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.

After the championship game, I just sat there at my stall with all my equipment on and I kept asking my buddy, “Tell me again what happened. Describe the play. ” It was like I was still in a blackout. We sat there going over it again and again.

When we got back to East Lansing that night, the campus was going crazy. Our buddies had a few barrels of refreshments waiting for us at the hockey house where we lived. Somebody had DVR’d the game, so we all stood there in front of the TV for hours, rewinding and rewinding that final minute. Every time I saw the puck go off the crossbar, it legitimately hurt. I was living the roller coaster all over again.

We probably watched that puck go in the net 500 times that night. Every time it went in, we would be
screaming at the top of our lungs. Moments like that I’ll remember forever.

The next spring, near the end of my junior year, it was time to make a decision. The Detroit Red Wings wanted me to sign a contract. I could play in my first NHL game that Thursday. As a kid from Michigan, I grew up rooting for the Wings. They had just finished the regular season with the best record in the NHL and were about to make a run at the Cup. Now I had a chance to put on the Red Wings sweater and be a part of it.

What a moment.

There was only one problem. I had 14 credits left to finish at Michigan State. I’d have to give up my final year of eligibility.

This is the biggest testament I can give to college hockey: I was being offered the chance to play in the NHL with some of the players I grew up idolizing, and a small part of me was thinking, Wait, is this it? I’m leaving Michigan State? All my best friends? The hockey house?

I only had a short window to let the Red Wings know my decision.

Of course, I couldn’t turn down the chance to play for a Stanley Cup.

But when I called my mom to talk about my decision, she had one
condition: “Promise me that you will finish your degree,” she said.

It has taken me six years, but I completed my bachelor’s degree in Business Management this summer. I won’t lie to you, it was pretty difficult to stay motivated — especially writing those term papers. But I found a way to make it relevant to my current career. My last assignment was a 22-page research paper on the emergence of advanced analytics in hockey, which was really interesting,
because I was able to use statistics to prove some of my gut reactions about the players I go up against in real life. I used metrics like High Danger Zone Scoring Chance and CORSI Differential to get a deeper look at some of my NHL colleagues.

It was a grind. But whenever I wanted to give up, I kept thinking about all the hours I spent doing Excel spreadsheets after hockey practice at Michigan State. There was no way I was throwing away three
years of hard work for nothing. As a pro, you see the reality all the time. Guys come and go. Hockey doesn’t last forever.

It’s a great feeling knowing that I didn’t just go to college — I graduated.

I’m a Spartan for life. Now I just have to get that degree framed.

Justin Abdelkader – Hockey’s Future


Justin Abdelkader was a key contributor to the success of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and their capturing of the Clark Cup (USHL Championship) last season. He finished tied for third on the team in scoring with 52 points (27 goals, 25 assists) in 60 appearances. He was also a member of Team USHL at the 2005 USHL Prospects/All-Star game. Prior to his arrival in Cedar Rapids, Abdelkader played for Muskegon Mona Shores High School where he was named the 2004 recipient of Michigan’s Mr. Hockey Award, which recognizes the top high school player in the state.

2006-07: This marked Abdelkader’s sophomore season with Michigan State University (CCHA). He was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 Frozen Four tournament. He scored the game-winning goal in the National Championship game against Boston College with just 18.9 second left- the latest a game-winner has ever been scored in an NCAA title game. He led the Spartans in penalties (40) and penalty minutes (91). He finished third on the team in scoring with 33 points, and tied for third on the squad with 18 assists. Three of his tallies were game-winners and he was one of six players to net four or more power play goals. 70 of his 91 penalty minutes came in conference games. He had a goal and an assist in a season-opening win over Western Michigan on Oct. 13. He tied a career-best three-game assist streak twice in the postseason- from game two of the CCHA quarterfinals to the consolation contest at the CCHA tournament, and from the Midwest Regional final to the national title game. He was also a member of team USA at the World Junior Championship, where he tallied two assists in seven games.

2007-08: His third and final season with the Spartans. He served as alternate captain and was named to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team. He was honored as the CCHA’s Best Defensive Forward and also received the 2008 Mike and Marion Ilitch Humanitarian Award. He was Pre-Season and Post-Season Honorable Mention All-CCHA pick and earned MSU hockey’s Spartan Fitness Award, as well as being voted the recipient of the Amo Bessone Award, honoring athletic, academic, and community participation. He started the “Shoot for a Cure” initiative to help raise money for children’s cancer, which raised more than $5,000 for the cause. He finished the season with 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 42 games with the Spartans and appeared in two games with the Red Wings, registering six shots.

Abdelkader singed with the Detroit Red Wings on April 3, 2008, forgoing his final season of collegiate eligibility and thus ending his career with Michigan State University (CCHA).

2008-09: In 76 games with Grand Rapids of the AHL, Abdelkader scored 24 goals and 28 assists for 52 points. He also earned 102 PIMs. In 10 playoff games with the Griffins, he scored 6 goals and 2 assists. Abdelkader was held scoreless in his two regular season appearances with Detroit, but scored 2 goals and 1 assist in 10 playoff games with the big club.

2009-10: In 33 AHL games, Abdelkader scored 11 goals, 13 assists for 24 points along with 86 PIMs. A rash of injuries for the Red Wings led to Abdelkader spending a majority of his season in the NHL. He scored 3 goals and 3 assist in 50 regular season games, adding 35 PIMs in rather limited action. He appeared in 11 more playoff games with Detroit, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist with 36 PIMs.


Talent Analysis

Abdelkader has made the move to forward, where his big body can be difficult for defenders to handle. He has the size and skill combination to be a prototypical power forward.


Justin Abdelkader’s Offseason Trade Value

With five years remaining on a seven-year, $29.75 million contract, a Justin Abdelkader trade could happen this offseason and might be the best move for general manager Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings.

Originally drafted by the Red Wings in the second round (42nd overall) in 2005, the two-way forward joined the NCAA’s Michigan State University Spartans (MSU) ahead of the 2005-06 season. He scored the game-winning goal for the 2007 NCAA National Championship in his sophomore season, where he tallied 15 goals and 33 points in 38 games.

Abdelkader was named an assistant captain ahead of his junior season at MSU. He scored career highs across the board with 19 goals, 21 assists and 40 points in 44 games. He was named the CCHA Defensive Forward of the Year and, shortly afterward, signed his entry-level deal with the Red Wings, foregoing his senior year. He went scoreless in a two-game stint with Detroit to end the 2007-08 season.

Abdelkader’s NHL Ascent

Abdelkader joined the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Grand Rapids Griffins ahead of the 2008-09 season, where he scored 24 goals and 28 assists for 52 points in 76 games as a rookie. He went scoreless in another two-game stint with the Red Wings.

He suited up for ten playoff games during Detroit’s 23-game postseason stretch where the Red Wings lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final. The gritty forward scored two goals and an assist in that time.Abdelkader has made a name for himself as a two-way forward whose hard work is rewarded on the scoresheet (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Abdelkader split the 2009-10 campaign between the Griffins and Red Wings. He continued his AHL success with 11 goals and 24 points in 33 games and added another three goals and three assists in 50 games with the Red Wings, primarily as a fourth-line grinder.

He earned a full-time spot the next season, where Mike Babcock played him in a bottom-six role for the next four years as a stable, two-way presence. He had a career-year in 2013-14 with ten goals and 28 points. In 614 career games, he has scored 99 goals, 128 assists and 227 points.

In 2014-15, Babcock rewarded Abdelkader’s hard work by throwing him on the wing alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the top line. The then-27-year-old broke out for 23 goals and 44 points, where he did the dirty work for the skilled veterans.

New Coach, New Role

Babcock left the team during the 2015 offseason to take over as the new head coach of divisional rival, Toronto Maple Leafs — Grand Rapids coach, Jeff Blashill, replaced him. Blashill, a proven winner during his coaching career, praised several players, among them was Abdelkader.

“To me, that wasn’t an anomaly; that was his maturation process of learning how to survive in the league to then getting a little bit more tice time to now being who [he] is,” Blashill told MLive’s Ansar Khan in 2015. “What you saw last year is what I believe he is.”Blashill believes Abdelkader’s maturation and perseverance is what has helped him become a larger scoring threat in recent years (Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports)

Abdelkader would assume the same role under Blashill and followed up his breakout year with a hat trick on opening night. He put up just four goals and seven points through the team’s first 15 games before signing his current seven-year, $29. 75 million contract extension on Nov. 12.

The winger was three months away from turning 29-years-old. The $4.25 million per season wasn’t a terrible deal for the intangibles he brought and the potential for a few more 40-point seasons, but the commitment was concerning given the team’s cap position, his lack of progression and his spot on the team being protected by some degree of a no-trade clause (NTC).

The winger would finish the season with 19 goals and 42 points, which helped stave off critics for the time. But, in the summer of 2016, Pavel Datsyuk would leave the team for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which left a gaping hole on the top line. It would negatively affect Abdelkader, the new alternate captain, as he finished the first year of his extension with just seven goals and 21 points.

Future in Detroit

In all fairness, Abdelkader wasn’t the only Red Wing to watch his numbers drop in 2016-17. Nearly every player on the team took a step back in Blashill’s second season behind the bench as Detroit missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.

A number of players have enjoyed bounce back seasons this year — Abdelkader has 12 goals and 32 points in 70 games — but the Red Wings recent elimination from playoff contention is showing the need for real transition in Detroit.

That transition starts with a larger dedication to the youth that has shown flashes. Led by Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, a total of five restricted free agents are due for raises, be it small or large.The 21-year-old Larkin is leading the team in a new direction and will be due a large raise this summer (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

General manager Ken Holland will need to find a way to dump salary this summer given the team’s high salary cap hit and Abdelkader’s contract immediately comes to mind. Darren Helm (signed through 2021), Frans Nielsen and Danny DeKeyser (each signed through 2022) also come to mind, but all three also have some form of trade protection.

At 31, Abdelkader is past his prime and sits fifth among Red Wings forwards for time on ice. Abdelkader is a full-package player, that kills penalties, brings leadership, a strong two-way game and the ability to play anywhere in the lineup. His skillset could help Holland find a suitor, even if he is signed through 2023.

He wouldn’t fetch a whole lot, but the need to dump salary is more important than a fair return. On a contending team with cap space, the winger’s all-around game would be a huge catch, while a deeper offense would bode well for higher offensive numbers.

I offer opinions and insight on the Detroit Red Wings organization and its prospects.

Justin Abdelkader | A Drink With

How’s your cheekbone?

It’s still a little sore, but it’s getting better. It’s just an unfortunate part of playing this sport and the role I play. I fight at times. It’s not always pretty but it’s something I enjoy. Obviously, I don’t want to be the one taking these punches. I usually want to be giving them out but sometimes it goes both ways. That guy’s not standing there with his hands behind his back saying, “Hit me,” so unfortunately I broke the bone in my cheek. I can still play so that’s the positive. I have to go back to my college days where I have the cage on. I have to get used to that. It’s been 10 years now.

We’re at Mike’s Pizza Bar at the new Little Caesars Arena. Now that you’ve played some games here, what are your favorite parts about the arena and what are you still trying to get used to?

I think there’s a lot to get used to from the players’ aspect and then from the fans’ aspect, too. There’s so much to see walking around the concourse. You really see history everywhere around the arena. I think the atmosphere is going to be one of the best. Everyone is trying to get comfortable with a new arena and a new situation. When the bowl is full it’s going to be the best and baddest bowl in all of sports. The gondola suites literally hang over the ice. You feel like you’re over the ice, which is kind of scary. I’m not a big fan of heights.

Since we’re drinking with 50 of your fans right now, how much does the noise from the crowd affect the energy on the ice? 

Gosh, it’s amazing. That’s what makes playing here in Hockeytown so special.  As a player, it means the most to us.  When we’re on the ice and you guys are cheering loudly it gives us that extra energy boost. A lot of the time it can give us the extra boost and push us over the edge and help us score that next goal and win the game. 

When you were 4 years old you said you wanted to be a Red Wings player. At what age did you realize you had more talent than the rest of your teammates?

Playing for the NHL was always a dream and something that I strived to do. I think all my teammates would say the same thing. I think it became a reality as I got into high school. I started getting looked at from colleges first and then NHL teams. I got drafted going into my senior year of high school. It’s a lot earlier than other sports. 

Where were you when you got the call?

It was a different year. Usually, they invite the top 100-150 prospects to the draft venue but this was coming out of the lockout of 2004-2005, so they had it at a hotel and they only invited the top 20 players. I wasn’t invited. My family, some friends and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings in Muskegon, MI. We were watching and they were showing the first round and every pick, and I wasn’t selected. The second round they showed the first five or so and still nothing. I was kind of getting antsy. I thought, “Maybe we should just leave. It’s been a good day. I’ll get drafted eventually,” and then my phone rang. It was my agent. Everyone’s looking at me and saying, “What happened? Who was it? What team?” My agent said, “I just want to congratulate you, first. You just got drafted.” My family was like, “By who? By who?” I asked, “Who did I get drafted by?” and he said, “The Detroit Red Wings.” My jaw dropped to the floor. To this day my agent still tells this story to so many people. It was over a thousand people shouting at the top of their lungs. Everyone was so excited. I was so excited. We were all jumping for joy. My dad will always say he ended up buying a round for everyone at the bar. He said, “Whoever wants a drink, it’s on me!” It was the last team that I would have thought I’d be drafted by out of the 30 teams. I would have thought 29 other teams would have called first before Detroit. It was really special. Getting that draft jersey in 2005 was pretty exciting.

You won the national championship at MSU before playing for the Red Wings. From the outside, it looks like your career progressed seamlessly. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?

I had a big decision after my sophomore year going into my junior year [of high school]. I was playing high school football and I was going to be the starting quarterback for the varsity football team. To take that next step as a hockey player I could play for the Michigan Stars, which was based in Detroit. It was the best players from around Michigan. The [hockey] coaches around me said this is the next step I need to take to further my career and the football coach said, “Well you know, it’s not like you’re going to play professionally. Go play [football] with your friends.” You have your friends pulling you one way and you have coaches pulling you another way. It came down to talking with my parents. I had the same coach as a hockey player from fourth grade through grade 11. He was a good person for me to talk to, also. Ultimately, hockey was where my heart was.

Thank goodness you chose that path.

It’s funny because my dad was playing golf with one of his best friends and was asking for advice. He kind of said the same thing, “Let him play with his friends. He won’t ever do this professionally. Let him do what he wants to do. Let him be a kid.” Thank God my dad didn’t listen to his advice, otherwise I wouldn’t be here today. Those are decisions where I think you have to dig deep and think in your heart. I’ve loved hockey and I’ve been playing since I was 4 years old. Football was something I enjoyed and I think I enjoyed it because my friends played and I wanted to play with them. That was a huge decision. That year I ended up winning Mr. Hockey and the following year I got drafted, went to Cedar Rapids, IA for one year and then played at Michigan State. It felt like it happened really fast from that one decision. It really seemed like my career fast-tracked from there.

In your farewell letter to the Joe you wrote, “From the outside, the Joe might seem like just another arena, but like the city of Detroit, once you step inside you see what it truly is.” What makes Detroit so special?

Just the heart of the city, the heart of the people that make up Detroit and the people here today at the arena. I haven’t been any other place that comes close to the passion [Detroit has] for its sports teams. There’s something different. I don’t know what it is … You can’t really explain it. You have to step inside and meet the people. Everyone is so down-to-earth, respectable and just so passionate for what they do, their work and their sports teams. It’s the Motor City. There are a lot of deep roots here in Michigan. When Detroit was in a downturn, I think that’s when people really came together. It’s unfortunate what happened with the auto industry. Everyone had to dig in, get to work— and people did. And look at Detroit now. I thank people for coming back to the city and seeing it grow. This arena is a big part of it. No other city has four sports teams in the corner of downtown, and that’s something special … In Detroit— win or lose— fans are always behind you. In a lot of cities that’s not the case. There are a lot of bandwagon fans that will jump off if the team isn’t doing well. Here in Detroit the fans are so loyal, so behind you and that’s something you truly don’t see in any other city, and that makes it special, too.

What’s a perfect weekend in Detroit?

Hit a Red Wings game, Pistons or Tigers and then a Lions game on Sunday. I really enjoy Parc. You sit inside Parc and you look out and you have that big water fountain, you have the buildings and you feel like you’re almost in New York City. You have the ice arena right there and it’s just something that’s really cool.

Favorite song right now?

I like Imagine Dragons. [My wife and I] went to their concert here a couple of months ago. Amazing, really good.

Last book you read?

Lance Armstrong’s book.

When’s the moment you knew your wife, Julie, was the one?

Wow. Actually, we went to the Imagine Dragons concert at Meadow Brook Theatre. That was our first date. You just kind of know. You hit it off with someone and I just felt like we were the same person. It was as if I was talking to myself. She was easy to talk to and hang out with. Obviously, she’s gorgeous. I just couldn’t stop looking at her, but she’s a good person inside and out. Truly lucky.

Go-to karaoke song?

“If I Could Turn Back Time.”

Are you watching anything on Netflix these days?

We watched “Stranger Things.” We’re about to get into the second season and we’re watching “Narcos.”

Best memory with a Red Wings legend?

Probably meeting Gordie Howe for the first time. I was so nervous. I shook his hand and he knew who I was, which was impressive. It was my first year and we were in the playoffs in 2008. He was outside the locker room and I walked out and introduced myself. I’ll never forget he said that he really liked how I play and to keep going to the hard areas with my stick on the ice. I’ll try to continue to do that for him.

Do you have any advice for young athletes who are still chasing their dream?

Work ethic is the biggest thing. You can get discouraged at times but each day is a new day. There were times where it was tough. You have bad games, maybe even a bad year or bad season, but you have to realize that you have to put your work in front of your skill. That’s one thing I learned when I came to Detroit. We had some of the top skilled players around the league, but the thing they did best was work hard. They were out each and every day whether it was in practice or in games and put in 100 percent effort. All you can do is put in your best effort and then the chips all fall in line. I think that’s what it comes down to. Put it all out there. Make sure your diet and your health is in order because that is a big part of sports. When I was younger I was guilty of drinking pop and eating candy and doing all the wrong things. As we learn more and more about how to feed the body and how to feed the athlete it’s more and more important. It’s between that and your work ethic.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

Gordie Howe would be one for sure… just to talk to him and pick his brain about stories. I got to meet him a few times. I’ve had the privilege to talk to Ted Lindsay a handful of times. Another one is tennis star Roger Federer. I’ve become more of a tennis fan as years have gone by, and I enjoy the sport. His longevity, his career and how good he’s been is amazing. People still see him as one of the best— if not the best— in his sport. As a professional athlete, you always want to look at other athletes —whether or not they are in your sport— as they get older. What are they doing? Whether it’s a cold pressed juice or it’s their diet or their training. How are they staying as good as they are as they get older? That’s what you admire about athletes like Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. These guys have played a long time.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Photography by Aaron Eckels

Presented by Mike’s Pizza Bar

With heavy influence of Mike Ilitch’s deep roots for Detroit sports, this one-of-a-kind pizza bar is the perfect place to eat, drink, laugh and love sports. Combining simplicity and ionic quality, Mike’s Pizza Bar serves the region’s best craft beers, a diverse wine selection and hand-crafted pizzas for all to enjoy. Open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. – midnight.

Abdelkader now a veteran for Wings


Justin Abdelkader and some of his Detroit Red Wings teammates visit with troops at the Michigan National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing on Wednesday.

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Former Michigan State star Justin Abdelkader, right, watches as Tomas Tatar opens the door to a Humvee on Wednesday during the Detroit Red Wings’ sixth annual MI Wings Community Tour at the Michigan National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing.(Photo: Chris Solari/Lansing State Journal)Buy Photo

LANSING – To his left and to his right, the future of the Detroit Red Wings surrounded Justin Abdelkader on Wednesday.

Tomas Tatar, 21; Tomas Jurco, 23; Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff, 24. Those green players in red joined Abdelkader during the Detroit Red Wings’ sixth annual MI Wings Community Tour at the Michigan National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters.

Not all that long ago, the former Michigan State star was one of those fresh faces. Now, the 27-year-old enters his eighth NHL season coming off a career year and will be among the veterans who will be expected to lead the Red Wings this season.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys, but we have a lot of veterans and older guys, too,” said Abdelkader, who played for the Spartans from 2005-08 and was a vital part of their 2007 NCAA hockey title. “Just maybe (taking on) more of a vocal leadership in the locker room, and hopefully keep working on my game and getting better, and then I can give advice to the younger guys.”

Abdelkader becomes more and more recognizable along with the other stars’ names who are on the flip side of the winged wheel jersey, joining the likes of Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg as veterans who have spent their entire careers with the Red Wings.

The 6-foot-1, 219-pound left wing played just 70 games last season, yet Abdelkader eclipsed his previous career highs with 10 goals, 18 assists and 28 points. He also delivered 172 hits while posting a career low with 31 penalty minutes, another sign of increasing maturity both within coach Mike Babcock’s system and within his own brand of physical play. He’s expected to resume playing on the Wings’ top line alongside Datsyuk and Zetterberg, at least at the outset of the season.

“I just have to build off that and continue to develop, and keep doing the things I’m improving on,” Abdelkader said. “I’m getting better. No matter where they’re gonna play me, just do what I can and play my game to help out the team.”

In May, Abdelkader received a second chance to represent USA Hockey when he was named the captain the American team for the World Championships in Minsk, Belarus. It had some plusses, along with a few international incidents.

He was suspended for one game after what was deemed a knee-to-knee hit against a Kazakhstan player in the preliminary round and ejected from the Americans’ final game against Czech Republic for another illegal hit to the head of Vladimir Sobotka. Still, Abdelkader totaled three goals and an assist in six games and picked up some valuable leadership tools to bring back stateside, being more vocal with a young team.

“For me, when I first signed here just over a year and a half ago, he was one of the guys I looked to because he’s one of the guys I looked up to. He played college and he was from the state, so we get along really well,” said U. S. teammate DeKeyser, who had two assists in seven games as the Americans were eliminated in the quarterfinals. “He’s a big part of our team. He’s a leader out there. And he’s one of our more physical players, too, so he leads with that as well.”

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Defenseman Danny DeKeyser, left, and left wing Justin Abdelkader take pictures with soldiers at the Michigan National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing on Wednesday during the Detroit Red Wings’ sixth annual MI Wings Community Tour. (Photo: Chris Solari/Lansing State Journal)

Wednesday’s stop was the first of two for the Red Wings players, who were making the drive to Traverse City to begin training camp with a practice and scrimmage Friday morning at Centre Ice Arena. They also visited Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids, while the east leg of the tour — with Joakim Andersson, Luke Glendening, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan and Brendan Smith — made stops in Saginaw and Cadillac en route to Traverse City.

This western tour batch of players, which also included 27-year-old Jakub Kindl, signed autographs and posed for pictures for the men and women members of the National Guard and office personnel for about an hour and a half as highlights played above on two screens in the auditorium.

“We were fans since we were kids,” Kristin Schulte, a Guard member who is from Warren who was there with her brother, Todd Wood. “Our household was a huge Detroit sports house. We’re huge Tigers fans, Red Wings fans, Pistons fans, Lions fans. So this is an honor and a privilege for us to have members of the Red Wings organization out to meet with us.”

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Left wing Tomas Tatar stands atop a Humvee as soldiers watch on Wednesday during the Detroit Red Wings’ sixth annual MI Wings Community Tour at the Michigan National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing. (Photo: Chris Solari/Lansing State Journal)

The players also got a chance to explore a military Humvee and snap a few more pictures with some soldiers. Tatar, one of Schulte’s current favorites, climbed atop and walked about the roof of the camouflage Humvee to the delight of those surrounding it. Abdelkader kept a quiet, watchful eye on his younger teammate from ground level.

Just part of being a leader and one of the old guys now.


Where: Centre Ice Arena, Traverse City

Friday: Practice/scrimmage, 9:30 a.m.

Saturday: Practice/scrimmage, 9:30 a.m.; Alumni/Celebrity Game 7 p.m.

Sunday: Red & White Game, noon

Tickets: Call 231-933-7465 for availability

Blake’s Takes: The Offseason Rolls On

The NHL needs to take a page out of the NBA’s playbook and create some buzz during the offseason. There is no one talking about the NHL. Other than a few small signings, roster movement is dead. Thankfully, there were a few headlines that people were talking about this week. You can look forward to a personal story, a new alternate jersey, and a surprisingly long take about a player’s need for a dictionary. Enjoy!

1. My Latest Acquisition

[Photo Credit: Blake Isaacs]On Saturday, I was at the shopping at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, MI, doing my usual, popping into the same 11 stores and not buying anything. Then I went into this store called Gameday Detroit. It’s your typical sports apparel store that sells authentic team clothing, autographs, and other overpriced, miscellaneous items of the local teams. Then, I saw a Justin Abdelkader t-shirt jersey. I’ve been wanting an Abdelkader t-shirt jersey for a while now because he’s secretly my favorite player on the team. For those of you who are still reading after that last sentence, it’s for a few sentimental reasons. The first is that he went to Michigan State (Go Green!) and scored the game-winning goal to help MSU win the 2008 National Championship (the first college hockey game I watched on TV). He also wears my favorite number for my favorite team (#8 for the Detroit Red Wings). He is the only notable alumni of my dad’s high school, Mona Shores in Muskegon, MI. The last reason is that my girlfriend has an Abdelkader jersey, so I wanted to match. For all of those reasons, he’s my favorite player.

I knew I had to pull the trigger on the shirt now because the longer I wait to buy one, the uglier his contract looks, and I want to get some use out of this shirt. I have three other Red Wings t-shirt jerseys, all of which are no longer on the team, Nicklas Lidstrom, Gustav Nyquist, and Petr Mrazek, so it was easy to talk myself into buying another one. The coolest part is that it has the “A” on the chest, which most t-shirt jerseys don’t have. I’m hoping Abdelkader can resurrect his career this season so people don’t jeer me when I go to a game in Detroit.

2. Ekblad’s Need for a Dictionary

[Photo Credit: NHL]I was reading a bunch of articles the other day when I stumbled across one from The Athletic. The article was a Q&A with Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, asking him questions about his career and the Panthers’ offseason. It was a good read. There was one thing that caught my eye: author George Richards said the following to Ekblad during the interview,

“There’s no question there are big expectations on this team right now.”

In which Ekblad responded:

“Maybe in the past people overlooked us, but right now, I would say we go into this year as the team to beat. With the players, we’ve brought in and the core we have established, I mean, if we don’t, you know things are going to go sideways pretty quick. We have to realize and know if we want to stay together, we have to win.”

Those are three very powerful sentences. The second two are fine. The Panthers did have a great offseason and have some lofty expectations after brining in Joel Quenneville as Head Coach and Sergei Bobrovsky to mind the net. It’s the second half of the first sentence that’s troubling. “I would say we go into this year as the team to beat.”

Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m pretty sure the powers in the East aren’t looking at the Panthers and saying, “Man, we want to beat Florida if we’re going to prove ourselves this season.” The Panthers haven’t won anything yet. They might be a team that people are curious about, but they are not the measuring stick. If they had acquired two megastars like P.K. Subban and Phil Kessel, in addition to what they already did, then maybe they would be the team to beat. But this isn’t the NBA, it’s almost impossible for a franchise to change their fortunes with guys they acquired in one summer. You have to already have the core pieces in place to win hockey games.

Look at the Maple Leafs. You could have argued that they were the team to beat after acquiring John Tavares last summer. The keyword is argued. They already had a roster with Morgan Reilly, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander. The Panthers have talent, but far less than the Leafs had last year before signing Tavares.

I love to see that Ekblad is trying to charge his team up for the season, but let’s not forget about the other team in Florida that’s looking for every reason to blow the doors off of them in their first meeting. The Panthers are at BEST a fifth-seed in the East right now, behind Toronto, Tampa Bay, Boston, and Washington. Carolina, New Jersey, and the Islanders will be gunning for that fifth spot too. Ekblad and the Panthers are going to have to come out swinging if they’re going to live up to his comments. I’m sure they won’t be able to.

3. Buffalo’s Golden Jerseys

[Photo Credit: NHL]Last week, the Buffalo Sabres unveiled their newest alternate jerseys which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the franchise. Basically, they changed the yellow to gold and added some stripes. That’s all they did.

Aesthetically (I spelled that right on the first try), the jerseys are solid. Sometimes less is more and I think the Sabres did a nice job with these. I wouldn’t buy one, but I don’t think fans in Buffalo will have any issues emptying their bank accounts for them. Because let’s be real, there isn’t that much to celebrate up in Buffalo. Hopefully, the Sabres will win a few games in these sweaters and can provide some good memories for the fans driving home through the snow with their four-wheel drive.

4. Nichushkin Signs with Colorado

[Photo Credit: NHL]Former first-round pick Valeri Nichushkin has signed a one-year deal with the Avalanche for $850,000. Nichushkin was picked 10th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2013 draft. After spending three seasons between Dallas and their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, Nichushkin opted to go back to his native Russia. After a two-year stint in the KHL, he returned to Dallas last season and played in 57 games scoring 10 points.

Nichushkin has had a rather disappointing career for a first-round pick, scoring only 0.33 points per game. His KHL numbers are much better, having averaged 0.55 points per game with Traktor Chelyabinsk and CSKA Moskva. Still, there is no risk for the Avalanche with this deal. If Nichushkin doesn’t work out, then they have only committed the minimum to him. If he provides anything more than the 10 assists in 57 games he put up last year, this is a win for Colorado. The Avalanche still have to sign superstar Mikko Rantanen, and signing Nichushkin gives a bit more breathing room if they have to overpay him.

5. Season Preview: Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks are not going to be very good. Not very good is a compliment to the team they are going to put on the ice this season. They will be without franchise mainstay Corey Perry as he was bought out this summer and signed with Dallas. They will also be without seasoned veteran Ryan Kesler, who will miss the entire season with hip surgery. But, let’s focus on the positives, they will still have captain, Ryan Getzlaf, who is still capable of putting up points. They will also have a few young forwards to watch, like Troy Terry and Daniel Sprong.

On defense, Cam Fowler is still providing some stability on the blue line. The team did add Michael Del Zotto, which should help a bit. Their strength is in net. John Gibson is one of the best goalies in the league and had a tremendous season last year, finishing with a 2.84 GAA and a .917 sv%, which is fantastic considering the Ducks were terrible.

If there is anything to look forward to in Anaheim this season, it’s that Gibson continues to prove he’s a top-tier goalie and their young players show they’re on the right track in their development. If either of those things goes south, all the Ducks can do is wait out their awful contracts and hope they nab a franchise-changing pick. That’s not a lot to look forward to. ■

Blake Isaacs is a die-hard Red Wings fan that doesn’t go to as many games as he should. He is also a big fan of 7-Eleven Slurpeees, Chipotle, and all things Michigan State. Follow him on Twitter .

August 2014 – Clark’s Blog

I’ve written before about branding a fake hockey team, but with this week’s announcement of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ formerly-annual alternate jersey design contest, I got to try my hand at doing it for an actual team.

The contest is still running so, unlike usual, all of the images included in this post are watermarked (I should probably do this anyway). Also, if any Griffins employees are reading this and the existence of this post somehow breaks the contest rules, please let me know, that’s not my intent.

I’d had a few ideas kicking around in my head for awhile, waiting for this contest to come back. I knew I wanted to go with a “vintage” look, with a muted red and blue and an off-white instead of the Griffins’ standard colors. I also knew that I wanted to use an interlocking “GR” logo of some kind and a more “traditional” griffin in silhouette rather than Grand Rapids’ primary logo.

My initial thought was that the GR logo would be a standard block font and would appear on the shoulders. Then I decided to work with the team’s existing lettering from their alternate logo to make something similar to one of their old alternate logos. I didn’t think the lettering would stand on it’s own so I placed it inside a shield to use as the jersey crest. That didn’t really work, either, so I relegated the letters back to the shoulders and decided to keep the shield as a crest, with the griffin silhouette inside it.

To finish off the shoulders, I reached to my design work for DetroitHockey.Net and placed the interlocking letters in a roundel based on that which I use for DH.N. The text in this version of the logo reads “Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey Club – Est. 1996” (the Griffins use their original IHL founding date of 1996 rather than 2001, the year they joined the AHL).

The crest shield is actually the same shape as DH.N’s primary logo. The griffin itself is based on several griffin designs (it’s hard to find a live griffin to use as a model these days) but the tail is taken directly from the team’s primary logo as an homage.

The crest logo for my Griffins concept jersey.

The shoulder logo for my Griffins concept jersey.

The jersey design I submitted for the contest is primarily vintage white with blue shoulders outlined in red and then blue again. The cuffs of the sleeves and the waist follow the same pattern – blue outlined in red and blue. The player’s nameplate is a standard block-serif font in blue while the back and sleeve numbers are a modified version of those used by the Chicago Blackhawks. To keep the vintage feel, the numbers and nameplate have no outlines. Carrying over my favorite design element from Grand Rapids’ red alternate jersey, the webbing in the collar features the player’s jersey number – something only possible in the AHL as the NHL has reserved this space for the league’s logo.

My submitted Griffins concept jersey.

One thing that was a little difficult for me to decide on was how to present the striping. In the template I usually use, I would show a straight line with a straight line. However the contest template showed more stitching detail than my template does so I had to decide whether to follow those curves with the understanding that they would appear straight in 3D. As such, the hem stripe appears curved but isn’t intended to represent a curve, while the sleeve stripe is straight. The shoulders would follow the curve of the jersey template. I clearly over-thought this.

My Griffins concept jersey, blue with white shoulders.

My Griffins concept jersey, blue with red shoulders.

My Griffins concept jersey, red with white shoulders.

My Griffins concept jersey, red with blue shoulders.

I could only submit one jersey for the contest so I went with the white one as the Griffins typically wear white at home and three of the five past contest winners were white jerseys. That didn’t stop me from designing a full set, though. There are two blue jerseys and two red ones, each a color-swapped version of the white. My favorites are the blue with red shoulders (represented with Anthony Mantha’s name and presumed number above) and the red with blue shoulders (Tomas Jurco above). I worry that I gambled wrong by submitting the white one over these.

Michigan State Spartans – Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State University Intercollegiate Sports Teams

Big Ten logo in Michigan colors

The Michigan Spartans are the sports teams representing Michigan State University. The school’s sports program includes 25 student sports teams. Their mascot is a Spartan warrior named Sparti, and their school colors are green and white. The university participates in the National Divisional Council and the Football Bowl Subdivision for Football.Spartans participate as members of the Big Ten Conference in all collegiate sports. Michigan offers 12 varsity sports for men and 13 for women.

The previous sporting director of the university was Mark Hollis, who held this position from January 1, 2008 to January 26, 2018, when he retired along with other university staff in the aftermath of the sexual assault gymnastics scandal in the United States in which he participated. former medical worker of Moscow State University.School faculty member Dr. Larry Nassar. Bill Beekman took up this position temporarily until July 17, 2018, when he was appointed to the permanent position.

The Moscow State University football team won or shared six national championships in 1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965 and 1966 and won the Rose Bowl in 1954, 1956, 1988 and 2014. The men’s basketball team won the NCAA national championships in 1979 and 2000. The MSU men’s ice hockey team won national titles in 1966, 1986 and 2007.


In 1925, the institution changed its name to Michigan College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences , and as an agricultural school its teams were called “Aggie”. In an effort to expand beyond its agricultural roots, Michigan ran a competition to find a new nickname. They decided to name the teams “States Michigan”. George S. Alderton, local sports columnist for the Lansing State Journal, decided the name was too cumbersome and looked through the entries to find a better and more heroic name.He settled on the “Spartans”, but, unfortunately, forgot to write down who submitted the proposal.

With the heroic name, the Spartans quickly became the team’s new nickname. They later changed the lyrics of the Fight Song to reflect the change in the name of the college and its sports teams.

Pink bowls
1954 Michigan 28 years old UCLA 20
1956 Michigan 17 UCLA 14
1966 UCLA 14 Michigan 12
1988 Michigan 20 Southern California 17
2014 Michigan 24 Stanford 20

As the college grew, he wanted to join a major university conference.When the University of Chicago abolished college football in 1946 and withdrew from the Western Conference (now the Big Ten), Michigan President John A. Hanna lobbied for his seat. Despite opposition from the University of Michigan, the Big Ten accepted the MSC on May 20, 1949. After joining the conference, head football coach Clarence L. “Biggie” Mann led the Spartan soccer team to the Rose Bowl in the 1953–54 season. beating UCLA 28–20. Successor coach Hugh “Duffy” Dougherty moved the football team to the second draw of the Rose Bowl, where they again beat UCLA, 17-14.

Michigan has 23 NCAA Division IA varsity teams: 11 sports teams for men and 12 for women. They participate in the Big Ten conference, with the exception of fencing, where until 1997, from the moment the university was founded, Moscow State University considered fencing to be a university sport. During this time, Moscow State University was trained by the first American recognized as a master of fencing, Charles Schmitter, for 45 years, from 1939 to 1984. After retirement, his student Fred Freiheit coached from 1984 until fencing was demoted.in 1997. The Michigan State University Fencing Club is a member of the Midwest Fencing Conference, which consists of sixteen (16) schools with varsity or club programs.



Men’s basketball

The Michigan men’s basketball team won the national championship twice, in 1979 and 2000. In 1979 Erwin “Magic” Johnson teamed up with Greg Kelser, Jay Vincent and Mike Brkovich to bring MSU a 75-64 win over Indiana Plane trees with Larry Byrd.In 2000, three players from Flint, Michigan, Morris Peterson, Charlie Bell and Matin Cleaves brought the team their second national title. Called the Flintstones, they were key to the Spartan victory over Florida 89–76. In addition to two championships, the 2008-09 team reached the NCAA Championship game but lost to North Carolina 89-72.

Michigan State has been coached by Tom Izzo since 1995, who held a record of 606-231 until April 5, 2019. Izzo’s coaching has helped the team make it through six of the twelve NCAA Finals from 1999 to 2010, winning the title in 2000 and leading ESPN.to define MSU as the best team of that decade. Michigan State Basketball has been selected to compete in 22 consecutive NCAA tournaments under Izzo. The Spartans have won one NCAA championship, nine Big Ten regular season championships, and six Big Ten tournaments (the most teams in the Big Ten) under Izzo. The team played two NCAA championship games and advanced to eight finals of four, 10 elite eights and 14 Sweet Sixteens under Izzo.

Overall, Michigan has won two NCAA championships, 15 Big Ten regular season championships, and six Big Ten championships.The Spartans have competed in three NCAA Championship games, 10 finals of four, 14 Elite Eights, 20 Sweet Sixteens, and 30 NCAA tournaments.

Spartans formerly or currently in the NBA include Adreian Payne, Deyonta Davis, Bryn Forbes, Denzel Valentine, Maurice Aiger, Alan Anderson, Charlie Bell, Shannon Brown, Matin Cleaves, Paul Davis, Terry Furlow, Jamie Fake, Draymond Green, Johnny Green, Gary Harris, Erwin “Magic” Johnson, Greg Kelser, Mike Peplowski, Morris Peterson, Zach Randolph, Sean Respert, Jason Richardson, Scott Skills, Steve Smith, Eric Snow, Sam Vincent, Jay Vincent and Kevin Willis.

Women’s basketball

Moscow State University also has a rather successful women’s basketball team, the biggest achievement of which was the second place in the country after Baylor in 2005. MSU began its women’s basketball in 1972-73 under the guidance of coach Mickey Baile. There have been five coaches in the history of the women’s team. The current coach of the Spartans is Susie Merchant. The Spartans have played one National Championship game, one Final Four game, one Elite Eight, three Sweet Sixteens and have entered 15 NCAA / AIAW events.

Michigan football has a long tradition. Starting as a club sport in 1884, football acquired university status in 1896. During this time, the Spartans had a number of impressive players, including Lynn Chandnois, Dorn Dibble, Meredith Assaly, and Don McAlliffe. In 1951, the Spartans ended the season undefeated and accomplished the same feat the following year, in addition to their longest winning streak of 24 games. According to the results of all official polls, the team was recognized as the “undisputed champion of the country”.

After several years of waiting, the team was finally admitted to the Big Ten conference as a permanent member in 1953. They quickly won the league championship (losing only one game during the season) and beat UCLA in their first Rose Bowl game. … After the 1953 season, legendary Spartan coach Biggie Mann handed the team over to his protégé and future legend Duffy Dougherty. The daughter won the 1956 Rose Bowl. George Perles was head coach when the Spartans defeated USC in the 1988 Rose Bowl.

The current coach is Mark Dantonio, who was hired on November 27, 2006. Dantonio has a 63-29 coaching record at the end of the 2013 season.

Under the leadership of Dantonio, Moscow State University won three conference championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015. During this period, the Spartans won three Big Ten Division championships and two Big Ten Championship games. In 2015, MSU was selected to the college football playoffs as third place, but lost to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl.He also led the Spartans to victory in the 2014 Rose Bowl, the 100th edition of The Grandfather of Them All.

In total, Michigan won six national championships and nine big ten championships.

Today, the soccer team competes at Spartan Stadium, a refurbished 75,005-seat soccer stadium in the center of the campus.

The traditional main rival of Moscow State University is Michigan, with whom they compete for the Paul Bunyan Trophy; Moscow State University has a 23–34–1 record in the annual trophy game.The Spartans have won the trophy seven of the past eight years, according to the 2015 season.

Michigan State Rivalry with Notre Dame, with whom they compete for the Megaphone Trophy, was held annually until 2013. Moscow State University’s record in a series of trophies against Fighting Irish – 26–34–1.

Notable MSU alumni who have played in the National Football League include Morten Andersen, Plaxico Burress, Andre Rison, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, TJ Duckett, Flozell Adams, Julian Peterson, Herb Haygood, Charles Rogers, Jim Miller, Wale Morroltes , Bubba Smith, Tony Banks, Percy Snow, Rob Fredrickson, Jeff Smoker, Tony Mandarich, Lorenzo White, Hank Bullough, Drew Stanton, Devin Thomas, Toupe Peko, Domata Peko, Chris Morris, Greg Montgomery, Paul Edinger, Javon Ringing L.Rucker, Chris Baker, Cedric Irwin, Eric Smith, Greg Jones, Brian Hoyer, Garrett Selek, Jack Conklin, Shilik Calhoun, Benny Fowler, Will Gallston, Keith Mumfery, Max Bullough, Donavon Clark, Joel Heath, Jeremy Langford, Darkez Denn Dionne Sims, Tony Lippett, Lawrence Thomas, Kellen Davis, Trae Waynes, Jerly Worthy, Connor Cook, Aaron Burbridge, Kirk Cousins ​​and Leveon Bell.


Historically, Michigan’s men’s cross country team has been one of the school’s most successful programs.Between World Wars I and II, Michigan State College participated in the Central University Conference, winning titles in 1926–1929, 1932, 1933, and 1935. The State of Michigan has also achieved IC4A success at Van Cortlandt Park in New York, winning 15 awards. team titles (1933-1937, 1949, 1953, 1956-1960, 1962, 1963 and 1968). Since joining the Big Ten in 1950, Michigan has won 14 men’s titles (1951-1953, 1955-1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1970 and 1971). The state of Michigan hosted the first NCAA cross-country skiing championships in 1938 and every year thereafter until 1964 (with the exception of a year off in 1943 due to war).The Spartans won eight NCAA championships from 1930 to 1959, including 1939, 1948, 1949, 1952, and 1955-1959 (minus 1957). Walt Drent is the current director of the men’s and women’s cross-country skiing and athletics programs. After joining Moscow State University in 2004, Drent led the men’s cross country team to bid for the 2004 NCAA championship. The women’s cross country team also qualified for the NCAA Championship after winning the Great Lakes Regional Race.


Cold War

Michigan has two varsity hockey teams: the men’s hockey team and the women’s hockey team.Helen Knull is the head coach of the women’s national bandy team.

The men’s ice hockey team plays at the Mann Ice Arena. The head coach was Rick Comley, who had a result of 116–73–19 at Moscow State University. The current head coach is Danton Cole. In the 2013-2014 campaign, the Big Ten conference debuted Division I hockey, (Michigan State previously competed in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with the Big Ten sister schools of the University of Michigan (UM) and Ohio State University).

On October 6, 2001, the team took part in what was the most attended hockey game in history at that time: the Cold War. The Spartans set up a hockey rink in the middle of their football stadium, Spartan Stadium, and played UM in front of a crowd of 74,554. The game ended with a score of 3–3. Ten years later, the same two teams were once again competing in the most attended ice hockey game in history. This time Michigan played host to rivals at their stadium in Michigan. Big Chill at the Big House set the current record with an officially certified crowd of 104,173.

The MSU hockey program includes seven CCHA regular season championships and 11 CCHA tournament titles. Moscow State University also won 11 titles at the Great Lakes Invitational. The Spartans have competed in NCAA tournaments 23 times, in nine Cold Four games and three national titles (1966, 1986 and 2007). On April 7, 2007, the Michigan Spartans won their third collegiate championship, beating the Boston College Eagles 3-1.

Former Michigan National Hockey League players include Rod Brind Cupid, Anson Carter, Duncan Keith, Donald McSwin, Adam Hall, John-Michael Lyles, Tory Krug, Sean Horkoff, Justin Abdelkader, Jim Slater, brothers Kelly Miller and Kip Miller …as well as their cousins ​​Ryan Miller and Drew Miller. Two MSU players won the Hobie Baker Prize: Kip Miller in 1990 and Ryan Miller in 2001. Few other players have done well in other leagues as well, including striker Brock Radunski and defender Brad Fast.


MSU Women’s Fastpitch softball team won the 1976 Women’s College World Series to take the AIAW national title, the only team east of the Mississippi River to win the WCWS until Michigan did it in 2005 The team ended up in the six women’s college World Series in 1973 , 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1981.His trainer, Jackie Joseph, has led the program since 1994. Since Joseph took over the program, Joseph has helped bring MSU to a 668–677–1 record and four regional NCAA records. performances.


Wrestling was one of the first sports created at Michigan Agricultural College. Although the sport was discontinued in 1906, it was reformed by the college 16 years later in 1922. The high school wrestling team won the NCAA Division I Championship. In 1967, its current head coach is Roger Chandler.Before Chandler became head coach, their head coach for 25 years was Tom Minkel, who raised 33 All-Americans, 11 Big Ten champions and one NCAA champion. The Spartan wrestling team competes on the Jenison Field House campus, which seats 5,017. Former Spartan wrestlers Bobby Nash, Gray Maynard and Rashad Evans are current UFC fighters. Maynard is a former two-time UFC light heavyweight title contender, and Evans is a former UFC light heavyweight champion.

Since the mid-2000s.the Spartan wrestling team began to decline. From 2004 to 2016, the team had one season better than 0.500 and finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten, including the last four times. During the 2015 championship, the team finished last with negative team points (-0.5) thanks to just one qualifying tournament and an unsporting behavior penalty. Minkel announced that he would retire after the 2015-16 season.

Michigan State University Spartan Wrestling Team Achievements :

  • 8 Big Ten titles (1961, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972)
  • 57 Individual Big Ten Conference Champions
  • Ranked Top 5 in the NCAA Championships 9 Times
  • 24 individual NCAA champions since 1936
  • 100+ Americans since 1931

Other varsity sports

There are other game sports at Moscow State University.Like many other NCAA institutions, Michigan has a baseball team for men and a softball team for women. Jake Boss Jr. is the head coach of the Moscow State University baseball team. Former Michigan players in Major League Baseball include Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, Robin Roberts, and Mark Mulder. Since 2007, the baseball team has played the popular annual show game against the nearby minor league Lansing Lugnuts.

The Spartans also have a men’s soccer team that won two championships in a row in 1967 and 1968.They shared the 1968 title with the University of Maryland at College Park. The male coach is Damon Rensing, who has served as head coach in Michigan for the sixth year. The men’s soccer team fights Michigan annually in the Big Bear Trophy, a series in which the Spartans lead 10-3-1 against their state rival. The women’s team is coached by Tom Saxton.

There is also a volleyball team; Katie George has been the head coach of the women’s volleyball team since 2005.During her first year in Michigan, she led her team to a 12-18 record, including a 5-15 record, finishing ninth in the standings.

There are a number of contact sports at Moscow State University, including boxing and wrestling. The MSU boxing team won national titles in 1951 and 1955, although it is no longer an NCAA collegiate sport.

Rowing and swimming are among the water sports at Moscow State University. The women’s rowing coach of Moscow State University is Matt Weisz, who has been working as a coach of the Spartan team for the tenth year.In the third year of his tenure as head coach of Moscow State University, Weise coached the Spartans and took the best sixth team place in the program at the NCAA championship. Matt Janiodis is the head coach of men’s and women’s swimming and diving. In four years of work as head coach, Spartan swimmers and divers have broken 14 university records.

Other sports at Moscow State University include golf, gymnastics, and tennis. Golf at Moscow State University has a long tradition. Hall of Fame coach Bruce Fossum helped MSU win its first Big Ten title in 1969.The Big Ten title eluded the Spartans until 2005, when perhaps the best teams ever assembled took the rings home in a star fashion. Not only did the Spartans win the Big Ten championship in 2005, they won two more titles and climbed to fifth place in the United States. Casey Luban coaches the men’s golf team. A former assistant coach at Stanford University, he is in his fourth year as head coach.

Stacey Slobodnik-Stoll coaches the women’s team.She has led the Spartans to nine straight matches in NCAA regional tournaments over the past ten seasons. Spartan golfer have won the country’s individual student championships twice: Joyce Kazmersky in 1966 and Bonnie Lauer in 1973.

The MSU men’s gymnastics team won one national title, which they shared with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1958. In 2001, the MSU Board of Trustees disbanded the team to comply with Title IX rules.The women’s team has retained its university status. In 2008, the team took 17th place in the country in the final table of the season, which is the highest in the history of the program.

Jean Orlando is the coach of the men’s tennis team. During his 26 years as head coach of Moscow State University, Orlando led the Spartans to four NCAA championships, and in 2016 his team reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament Double. Coaches the women’s team Kim Bruno, who is already at the helm for the 4th season.

Notable non-university sports


Michigan State University Rugby Football Club was founded in 1964. Michigan rugby has been continuously improving in college rugby in recent years. In the 2010-11 season, the Spartans played in the second division, finishing with a score of 10-3 and qualifying for the playoffs. The success of the Spartans led to their transfer to the AA Division 1 in the 2011-2012 season. In the 2012–2013 season. The Spartans moved back to a higher level of competition – the Big Ten University Conference D1-A, against traditional Big Ten rivals such as the University of Michigan and Ohio State University.The success of Spartan rugby is largely attributed to former head coach Dave Pockett, who has coached in Michigan since 1992 and retired in 2013.

Water polo

The Michigan State University Water Polo Club was founded and officially recognized on November 17, 1967. At the time of its inception, the team played for the Midwest Collegiate Water Polo Association, along with Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Loyola, Drake, and others, and Western Michigan.Now Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Northwest Region, Wisconsin, Purdue and Illinois are joining the Big Ten of the University Water Polo Association, while Ohio is moving to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Having won consecutive Big Ten championships in 1993 and 1994, the Spartans would have lived for the next half decade without a Big Ten championship. In the next conference championship, the Spartans will win their first national varsity club championship in 2000.Michigan will continue to make great strides in the 2000s, winning the Big Ten championship in 2002 and 2005–2010. This included an impressive four-year period, which included the country’s second and third championships in 2006 and 2008, as well as finishing second in the national championship in 2005 and 2007, as well as finishing third in 2010. The Spartans will return in the final two minutes of the schedule to upset Michigan in a Big Ten title match for the eleventh Big Ten championship and seventh in ten years.

Moscow State University Athletics Hall

In 1992, thirty former Spartan athletes, coaches and administrators were included in the Moscow State University Athletics Hall as its charter class. On October 1, 1999, the university opened its new Athletics Hall of Fame at the Clara Bell Smith Academic Center for Student Athletes.



Academic All American



NCAA Team Championships

Michigan won 20 NCAA national team titles.

  • Men’s (19)

    • Basketball (2): 1979, 2000
    • Boxing (2): 1951, 1955
    • X-Country (8): 1939, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959.
    • Gymnastics (1): 1958 (co-champions)
    • Hockey (3): 1966, 1986, 2007
    • Football (2): 1967 (second champions), 1968 (second champions)
    • Wrestling (1): 1967
  • Ladies (1)
  • See also:

Other National Team Championships

Below are 10 national team titles that have not been awarded by the NCAA.

  • Men’s (9)
  • Ladies (1)
  • See also:

NCAA Division I Directors Cup

See Footnote and NACDA Directors Cup.
Year Rank: National Rank: Big Ten
1993–94 60th 10th
1994–95 76th 10th
1995–96 41st 8th
1996–97 31st 7th
1997–98 54th 10th
1998–99 34th 6th
1999–00 22nd 6th
2000-01 39th 8th
2001–02 29th 6th
2002-03 26th 6th
2003-04 37th 7th
2004-05 33rd 7th
2005–06 46th 10th
2006–07 34th 7th
2007-08 29th 6th
2008–09 27th 6th
2009-10 39th 7th
2010-11 42nd 9th
2011–12 34th 7th
2012–13 30th 7th
2013–14 29th 7th
2014-15 34th 8th
2015–16 53rd 10th
2016–17 53rd 13th
2017-18 50th 11th
2018–19 47th 11th

See also


External Links

90,000 Boston extended the contract with Zborzhil for two years and $ 1.45 million

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21:33, 09 Oct Khudobin extended his contract with Dallas for three years and $ 10 million Goalkeeper Anton Khudobin remained at Dallas. The 34-year-old Russian has signed a new three-year contract with Stars. His average salary will be 3.3 million …

20:55, 09 Oct Khudobin extended his contract with Dallas for three years and $ 10.5 million Goalkeeper Anton Khudobin remained at Dallas. At 34, the Russian signed a new three-year contract with Stars.His average salary will be 3.5 million …

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04:00, 18 Dec Berdin extended his contract with Winnipeg for 2 years and $ 1.5 million in the NHL Winnipeg announced the extension of his contract with goalkeeper Mikhail Berdin. The new agreement with the 22-year-old player is for two years, the average annual wage …

02:00, 15 Apr Washington has extended its contract with Shiri for 2 years and $ 3 million. He has 19 points in 40 games. Washington have signed a new contract with striker Conor Shiri. The agreement is for two years with a salary of $ 1.5 million per season.Total su …

21:28, 10 Oct Boston signs 3-year $ 9.3m deal with Craig Smith Striker Craig Smith will continue his career at Boston. The player’s contract is for three years. His salary will be $ 3.1 million (total sum …

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19:28, 09 Oct Chicago extended Kubalik for two years and $ 7.4 million, Malcolm Subban for two years and $ 1.7 million. “Chicago”. Subban signed a two-year agreement with the club for two …

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19:55, 03 Jan Pittsburgh extended the contract with Marino for 6 years and $ 26.4 million Defender John Marino has extended the agreement with Pittsburgh, informs the official website of the club. The new contract will take effect from the 2021/22 season. The term of …

19:35, 11 Oct Dallas extended the contract with Faxa for 5 years and $ 16.25 million forward Radek Faxa signed a new contract with Dallas, informs the club’s official website.The term of the agreement is designed for five years. Salary – 16 …

22:35, 10 Oct Edmonton extended contract with Smith for a year and $ 2 million Goalkeeper Mike Smith signed a new contract with Edmonton. The agreement with the 38-year-old goalkeeper is valid for one year. His salary will be two million …

19:00, 05 Oct Spezza has extended his contract with Toronto for a year and 700 thousand dollars Striker Jason Spezza has signed a new contract with Toronto. The 37-year-old hockey player has extended the agreement with the club for one year with a salary of 700 thousand dollars…

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20:00, 05 Oct Los Angeles extended the contract with Luff for a year and $ 700,000 Los Angeles and striker Matt Luff agreed to sign the contract. The new agreement was concluded for one year. The agreement is bilateral in nature…

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12:11, 01 Jun Vovchenko extended his contract with Severstal for 2 years Severstal forward Daniil Vovchenko will continue playing for the Cherepovets club. The 24-year-old hockey player accepted Severstal’s qualification offer …

19:11, 28 May CSKA extended the contract with Dalbek for two years CSKA and defender Claes Dahlbek agreed to sign the contract. The new agreement with the hockey player is signed for two years.Last Regular Champion …

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Football-Hockey – DAY NEWS

1979 Installation of the head coach of “Spartak” Konstantin Beskov. A year after returning to the top league, the red and white became champions. Photo by Sergey KOLGANOV


The red-whites have not won the championship for 13 years and have almost lost the chance to do so this year.But when it comes to great clubs, the black bars end sooner or later. Fortunately, the heartwarming stories of how someone was killed in football often have a kind and bright continuation in the Renaissance style. Today “SE” decided to remember how the top clubs were reborn from oblivion – in the hope that this experience will be useful to someone in Russia.

It is naive to believe that the great, star clubs are firmly nailed to the football firmament and forever shine to us from cosmic heights with the shimmering of gold and the noble gleam of cups.Nothing like this. Almost all of them, at least once in their lives, fell into the abyss with all their titles, for many years of dishonor they disappeared from the field of vision of the stargazers, becoming the object of evil ridicule, an ideal target for merciless criticism and a regular cause of cheerleader tantrums.

At times it seemed like it was forever. But the majestic essence each time helped these clubs pass the test of decay and, having reborn from the ashes as a phoenix, become even stronger and more beautiful than before.

* * *

Let’s start with Spartak.The mistakes of ten years ago led to the grandiose fiasco that befell the red and white in the fall of 1976, the favorite club of millions. The fact is that in transfer opportunities (if this term can be applied to Soviet times), “Spartak” has always been inferior to “Dynamo” and CSKA, which could “shave” any player. But these realities forced us to carefully and thoughtfully choose from those who did not come to the attention of the departmental monsters.

Spartacus in the mid-60s, one got the impression, rowing to themselves from the province of all indiscriminately.If only there is talent – and what kind of person, what is his character and potential, is the tenth thing. So it turned out that, having flashed on fresh air, making an impression in the first matches, the newcomers, spoiled by Moscow and quick glory, in a year or two turned into ordinary players and went home or simpler clubs. And “Spartak” floundered in the middle of the table.

A breakthrough to gold in 1969 became, obviously, possible also because the team received replenishment that year mainly from Moscow and the Moscow region and from its own double: there was simply no one to pull it back into the outback.In addition, the old-timers of “Spartak”, all as one, were in their prime, and Nikita Simonyan, still very young, had already filled the coach’s bumps and knew everything in football inside and out. From that moment on, the club in breeding work clearly focused on a given direction.

* * *

But by the mid-70s, the former resource was exhausted to the bottom, the “guys” were no longer pulling, and it was necessary to work painstakingly with understudies and green shoots from the nearby area. After the departure of Simonyan, the great Nikolai Gulyaev was diligently engaged in this, but in the winter of 1976, having reached retirement age, he was released from the team.

Anatoly Krutikov, famous in the past Spartak sportsman, champion of the USSR and Europe, was appointed coach. They proceeded from the fact that he worked for several years at the Spartak school and knows how to raise boys, and in 1974-1975 he did a good job in Nalchik. Alas, Krutikov did not have enough coaching skills, he could not assemble a single whole of boys and “old men”, as Simonyan once did. And the players from the outside who could help, the red and white took very carefully, reluctantly. And “Spartak” went to the first league.

Sergey SHAVLO receives instructions from Konstantin Beskov. Photo Fedor ALEXEEV

What did Konstantin Beskov do? Yes, he simply returned to the practice of the 60s: to look for talents everywhere and take from everywhere. But the approach has changed radically. An outstanding coach, Beskov tried on each invitee to his team, looked closely, studied: will it fit, will it comprehend the meaning of the Spartak game, is it ready to give myself to Spartak? Thanks to this, the team stopped appearing random people who love themselves in football more than football itself.But almost every newcomer – both young and already well-deserved, experienced – became his own in him and played an important role.

This is how Spartak was reborn. Becoming the strongest Russian club for almost the entire next quarter of a century.


One bad season is just a slump, a pothole on the championship road. Two or three – a crisis, caused, as a rule, by a belated or protracted change of generations, an erroneous choice of a coaching candidacy, a temporary economic and managerial disorder.Milan had several such crises, and just now you can watch the next one. A similar thing happened in the mid-60s, when the Rossoneri, after years of dominance, accompanied by five Scudettos and the Champions Cup, fell into the middle of the table for two years. Another similar one overtook the team at the end of the 20th century. From all these situations, “Milan” quickly and cleverly extricated themselves.

A real failure occurred in the early 80s, but its origins must be looked for back in the 70s, when presidents and head coaches began to change like gloves in the team.For ten years they passed through the club, respectively, seven and twelve! Moreover, the coaching stream was monotonous: either growing specialists who had shown themselves hitherto only at the lower levels, or former football players of the club, but without success, or even without any experience in the coaching field, got into it.

Photo www.freewebs.com

Staff turnover, excessive self-esteem of all new coaches and poor selection work have led to the fact that “Milan” has lost the continuity of playing traditions and, as a result, stability.On old luggage and thanks to the unfading skill of veterans – Rivera, Capello, Anchietti, Bigona, goalkeeper Albertosi – the team kept afloat for some time, although it dangled it up and down the table, won the Italian Cup, and in 79th even got to the scudetto.

But that was the swan song of the old people, a demobilizing chord. Without them, the composition of “Milan” looked very mediocre. This was confirmed soon, when the club was involved in a scandal with an underground sweepstakes and expelled into Serie B: having saved almost all the youth, the Rossoneri returned to the elite in a year, but they could not stay there and were now relegated to a sporting principle.And after a new upsurge for many years they became just ambitious middle peasants.

* * *

The renaissance began in 1986 when the club, mired in financial problems, was bought by TV tycoon Silvio Berlusconi. First of all, he strengthened the roster with talented young Italians, bought Donadoni, Galderisi, Costacurta, Massaro, Borgonovo, Ancelotti, goalkeeper Galli. Domestic footballers of this level and in such numbers have not appeared in Milan for twenty years, since the days of Rosato, Prati, Cudicini, Anchietti.

The next step was sensational: instead of the Swede Lidholm, who won his last Scudetto with the club in 1979, and then won it with Roma, Berlusconi appointed a physical education teacher, Arrigo Sacchi, to the coaching post. his playing career took place in the water pumping championships, and his 10-year coaching experience included only other people’s doubles, youth teams and a couple of provincial teams. The oligarch believed in the potential of an unknown specialist, or rather, in the stories of respected people about him, whose words can be trusted.And he made the right decision.

Rud GULLIT, Marco VAN BASTEN and Frank RYCARD brought Milan back to Olympus. Photo tumblr.com

The last load-bearing wall in the construction of the superclub was the purchase of three flying Dutchmen: Gullit, van Basten (it is interesting that Rud was at that time almost eight times more expensive than Marco) and, a little later, Rijkaard. Then there was only decoration and cosmetic improvements.

Over the next nine years, Milan, a recent middle peasant, won five Scudettos and three European Cups.


Before World War II, Manchester was not listed, but in the first post-war decade, literally before our eyes, it grew into a powerful team, demonstrating charming football. From 1947 to 1957, she won three English championships and only twice finished below fourth place, which by British standards, especially the old ones, can be considered a prize.

However, in the spring of 1958, a disaster struck her: the plane carrying Manchester United from Belgrade from the quarter-final match of the Champions Cup crashed on the runway, killing eight leading players.And although in the next season the team, due to the richest internal reserves and almost without strengthening from the outside, heroically reached the second place, it was not enough for more. Matt Busby had to rebuild everything.


What he did, not paying attention to the sad indicators in the table, where “MU” sank lower and lower – became 7th, 15th, 19th … Year after year, accurately, “pointwise”, Busby replenished a team with youth and team-style fit inexpensive but gifted outsiders.This is how the pupils of their own school Stiles and Sadler, the Irish Dunn and Kentwell, the Scots Heard, Lowe, Crerend, the young genius from Ulster Best, appeared and became entrenched in the composition. And their leaders were fighters loyal to “Manchester” who survived in 58th – Charlton, Brennan, Foulkes, goalkeeper Gregg.

Nobody put pressure on Busby, did not demand results from him here and now. All were patient. And they were fully rewarded for this. In the spring of 1963, Manchester United won their first trophy in five years – the FA Cup.A year later he became the second in the championship, and a season later he triumphantly climbed to the top, and Dennis Lowe became the best footballer in Europe. Ahead was another league title and, like the crowning achievement of Busby’s, the Champions Cup in ’68.

* * *

But the story doesn’t end there. When that team exhausted itself, and Sir Busby grew old and could no longer keep up with the rapid pace and strict requirements of the time, “MU” steadily crept down. In the mid-70s, he showed up in the second division (the current Premier League was then the first), then for many years he was in the middle peasants, only occasionally joining the championship race.With the arrival of Ron Atkinson to the coaching post in 1981, the team again became formidable and combat-ready, however, regularly winning cups, it could not get to gold in any way, and it did not see great prospects.

Alex FERGUSON inscribed his name in golden letters in the history of Manchester United and the entire world football. Photo www.whoateallthepies.tv

It was then that Alex Ferguson appeared. Already treated kindly by fame as the overthrower of Scottish authorities and the owner of European cups with “Aberdeen”, which he created with his own hands, – therefore, he was entrusted with the same in “MU”.And everything repeated itself: unhurried work for the future, the systematic construction of a strong club, trust in our students, and in the transfer market there is a clear preference for young talents. Only four years later, Ferguson won the first Cup with Manchester – despite the fact that he finished that season in the League 13th. But then!


The indestructible and legendary “red car” performed in the 70s not only on ice hockey. At the same time, the strongest football team in Europe was Bayern, also dressed up in red.Yugoslav Zlatko Tchaikovsky created that magnificent team, and Udo Lattek, ex-assistant of Helmut Shen in the FRG national team, raised to the maximum height.

Tchaikovsky did not create a team, but a whole symphony: under him and thanks to him, Beckenbauer, Schwarzenbek, Gerd Müller, goalkeeper Mayer grew from beardless youths into the best men in world football. Lattek added Breitner, Heness, Rummenigge to them, and led in 1974 to the victory in the Champions Cup. With which she did not part then for another two years.

Franz BECKENBAUER (# 5) is attacking.Photo – www.taringa.net

However, in the 74/75 season, the team, which had previously captured not only the main European Cup, but also, almost in full force, the gold of the World Championship, played unsuccessfully, and on this basis Lattek fell out with the club president Wilhelm Neudecker. He arrogantly said that with such players as in “Bavaria”, the coach can be anyone. “Well, well,” Lattek chuckled and left to win titles with Borussia Mönchengladbach, which he instantly elevated to the ranks of the strongest European teams.

“Bavaria” really appointed the first comer to the coaching post – Dettmar Kramer, who played football only in the yard. Before he worked as the head of various small clubs, an official in the German Football Union, a journalist on television, then he leaked to the Shen headquarters, where Lattek was – that’s, in fact, the whole biography.

* * *

Neudecker was right about something: the stars that played for Bayern do not need a coach at all.At least in Europe, where they, even if they lost the Super Cup to Dynamo Kiev, nevertheless, as already mentioned, remained the guardians of the Champions Cup for two more years. But every match in this tournament is a one-time effort, while in the Bundesliga you need daily routine work, knowledge and coaching skills, which the theorist Kramer did not have. Confusion began in the team, it slipped down and from great and terrible very quickly turned into just terrible.

Success on the continent ended – in 1977, “Bavaria” was knocked out of the Champions Cup by the Kievites with their wonderful coach.And in the championship, she settled on 7th place. But the apotheosis happened a year later, when the Munich team fell to 12th place, conceding 64 goals in 34 rounds, and for the first time in 15 years flew past the European cups.

The Hungarians, who were still highly regarded in football at that time, were called to rebuild the team. Gyula Lorant returned Breitner to Munich, acquired a young, but not wise, Augenthaler, and made the main bet in the attack on Rummenigg, who had hitherto been in the shadow of Müller. Pal Chernai, who replaced Laurent a year later, retired the aged Mayer, pulled up the clever Dremmler from Braunschweig, and replaced the departed Uli Hoeness with the namesake Dieter.

Karl-Heinz RUMMENIGE. Photo galleryhip.com

The effect was amazing: in the championship, a good third of which steadily made it to the European Cup semi-finals, the newly reconstructed, still very raw “Bavaria” again became the first. And she had no more failures – only recessions.


The most recent example is Atlético. One of the leaders of not only Spanish, but also continental football of the 60s – early 70s, a multiple champion of the country and winner of European cups, and in the following decades was in sight, achieved success, played in the finals, and received medals.And with the coming to power of the eccentric President Jesus Gil, he straightened his shoulders again and even made a “golden double” in 1996.

But then someone slipped coach Ranieri into Gila, and Atletico went to the second division with a swift jack. And although he soon returned back, already under the leadership of Luis Aragones, from that moment on for many years he turned into an ordinary gray mouse, of which the example is full. It took a long time for the new president, Enrique Cerezo, to “guess” with the coaches and learn to do smart things in the transfer market.Only in the seventh year of his presidency, “mattress” achieved the first success – and then not in Spain, but in the Europa League. And the real revival of its former glory began when Diego Simeone took the helm.

Diego SIMEONE made the whole world talk about Atlético. Photo REUTERS

* * *

In the 90s, Liverpool got into a long losing streak, in the recent past the generally recognized flagship of football in Europe. The greatness of the “red” was based, first of all, on the excellent selection work, which was carried out by the keen-sighted Bob Paisley: the backbone of the team was made up of gifted players from all over the UK.However, its pupils in it were in short supply, and another equally sharp-sighted specialist in the district was not found, and when Paisley left, “Liverpool” predictably began to wither, being unable to withstand the previous level of personnel work.

Only after it was possible to bring the training system to full capacity and the guys from Liverpool began to take the leading roles in the club – McManaman, Fowler, Owen, Gerrard, “Liverpool” began to regain their lost positions and replenish the trophy box.The only pity is that in the market conditions that have engulfed English football since the beginning of the 21st century, it looks too romantic and cannot yet compete on an equal footing with the titans of the football bourgeoisie from London and Manchester.

Liverpool’s Promising Talents Michael OWEN and Stephen GERRARD. Photo www.dailymail.co.uk

* * *

CSKA is also in the glorious line of the reborn, and twice. Nowadays, the club has revived through the efforts of Evgeny Giner, Valery Gazzaev, and now Leonid Slutsky.But everyone remembers this story very well even without newspapers, while the previous one gradually recedes into the distance along the tunnel of memory. As in the story with “Spartak”, the head coach was the engine of progress in that case. More precisely, even two. But if the Spartak team was revived by the Dynamo player, then the army team was by the envoys of Leningrad.

After the dispersal of the great “team of lieutenants” the army team played second and third roles in Soviet football for almost forty years, and even winning the USSR Championship in 1970 did not change this fate.Yuri Morozov was the first CSKA mentor after Valentin Nikolaev – that is, in 15 years – who of all the breeder’s virtues preferred thoughtfulness. In the past, a cool player himself, a candidate for the Union national team, Morozov had an excellent taste for football players, and with him, CSKA finally stopped bringing talents from all over the country like a dump: Yuri Andreevich carefully chose who could really be useful to the team, and who , with all the talents, it will only spoil it.

Yuri MOROZOV.Photo by Alexander FEDOROV, “SE”

This is how an interesting team was formed. The only thing missing was the result: she was too young for the Major League. That’s why it took off. But Morozov nevertheless finished what he had begun, convincing him to appoint Pavel Sadyrin in his place, who a few years earlier had just as well embodied all his ideas in Zenit. With Sadyrin, CSKA naturally rushed galloping, winning the love of the public, like Spartak a decade earlier, while still in the first league. CSKA returned to the top level as favorites.

* * *

Remembering Pavel Fyodorovich and Yuri Andreyevich with a kind word and stammering about Zenit, which through their efforts reached the champion’s peak, it is impossible to keep silent about how they, separately, but equally reverently, putting their souls in, resurrected the St. Petersburg club.

At the end of the 80s, “Zenith” collapsed into the abyss – flew out of the “tower” and was of no use to anyone. Morozov at that time helped Lobanovsky in the USSR national team, Sadyrin thundered with CSKA, and then took the helm of the Russian national team – they could not physically come to the rescue of their native wretch.In 1991, “Zenith” barely stayed in the first allied league, taking third place from the tail. And in the Russian championship that arose the following year, the team, included there for the number, finished second to last and flew practically into grassroots football. Soon they forgot about her.

The revival began in 1995, when Sadyrin, dismissed from the national team, returned to St. Petersburg and began to build a new team. “Zenith” immediately got stronger, grew, got involved in a dispute for leadership and in the same year, thanks to an increased quota, jumped back to the Major League.So a springboard was created for the first Russian takeoff of the team – winning the Russian Cup-99, which happened after Sadyrin’s departure.

Pavel SADYRIN and Gennady ORLOV.

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