17 Dec 1997:  Rightwinger Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche (left) in action against defenseman Viacheslav Fetison and leftwinger Tomas Holmstrom of the Detroit Red Wings during a game at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.  The Red Win

The Red Wings – Avalanche alumni game could get nasty

Some might say that all of these outdoor games that the NHL is putting on are bordering on overkill. It might be true according to the hockey fan that hasn’t been at one of these. Sure, you might have run out of novelty with these things. But the Red Wings and the Avalanche are staging another outdoor wing ding at Coors Field this Saturday. And if you don’t want to watch it, trust me when I tell you that you should at least watch the obligatory alumni game that happens on Friday.

For the young and/or uninitiated, the Red Wings and the Avs had a nasty rivalry in the 90’s while the Wings played in the Western Conference. These teams regularly met in the playoffs between 1996 and 2002, and there was much bloodshed and bludgeoning.

Dino Ciccarelli, who was a Red Wings mainstay during the early part of the rivalry, had this to say after a playoff loss to Red Wing enemy number one: Claude Lemieux:

And now, Ciccarelli will be in the middle of it again during the alumni game. And if you think that time heals all wounds, think again. Ciccarelli will be playing in his second alumni game in a week, having also played for Minnesota in their alumni game against the Blackhawks last Saturday. This one will be different. Waaaaaay different:

For Ciccarelli, he plays in the Red Wings’ alumni game next weekend in Colorado. He said this weekend was incredible because they did everything with the Blackhawks. They took the same bus to events, etc. He and old foe Denis Savard even kiddingly got into a scrap seconds after the faceoff.

Ciccarelli may not be kidding next weekend. He said he’s already disgusted the way the Avs are treating the Red Wings, saying “Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg have said they don’t want any interacting between the two teams. Next week’s game will be intense.”

He reminded that it was Claude Lemieux that rearranged Kris Draper’s face in 1996, not the other way around.

Should be interesting, and if you know Dino, he’s not joking around. He’s really ticked.

Ciccarelli, Lemieux, Kris Draper … they’ll all be there. And if you’re surprised at how seriously Patrick Roy is taking this with the ban on interaction, don’t be. He’s been practicing.

Take time out of your Friday night for the chance to witness middle aged men rumble one last time.