Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Red Wings sign Peter Vandermeer

The Detroit Red Wings organization gained some low-level toughness yesterday by signing 28-year-old and career-AHLer Peter Vandermeer to a one year contract. As usual, terms of the deal were not disclosed but don't worry, the Wings aren't spending the big bucks on the man who led the AHL in penalty minutes last year with 398. He wasn't signed to play here in Detroit with the big boys but to replace the departed Ryan Barnes on the Grand Rapids Griffins so it is extremely unlikely we'll see him in the Red-and-White any time soon, if ever. He is not the combination of skill and toughness that we Wings fans have lusted over for years so don't get your hopes up. Vandermeer is a left winger who, in 307 AHL games, has scored 39 goals and notched 37 assists for a not-so-glorious total of 76. His most productive year was 2000-2001 when he scored 19 goals. What's interesting about that is the fact that 14 of those goals were scored on the power play. The Griffins' coach Danton Cole said "We'll certainly take a look at him on the power play. He's tough to move in front of the net." Probably the most good that will come out of this deal is that it will give that hothead Darryl Bootland a chance to focus more on his offense. We all know Darryl sometimes got a little carried away during his time here in Detroit, to the point where the coaches gave him an obvious order to tone it down. He is a player who does have the potential to play in the NHL permanently some day and having Vandermeer around to shoulder some of the gooning load will be very beneficial. Now if Ken Holland would get his rear in gear and sign some NHL-level toughness, we might actually make some progress. Everyone knows that is the Wings' biggest weakness and while stocking the Griffins is great, one or two rougher players on the main roster wouldn't hurt either.


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