There is a greater than zero chance that fists fly in the Wings/Avs alumni game tomorrow

We’ve been hearing bit by bit about former players from the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche joining the roster’s for tomorrow’s Stadium Series Alumni Game. Today, though, the Avalanche announced the final rosters, and it looks like we might be in for a game more entertaining than the real one.

# Pos Colorado Player Rivalry GP # Pos Detroit Player Rivalry GP
1 G Craig Billington 7 29 G Ty Conklin 4
33 G Patrick Roy 57 34 G Manny Legace 10
4 D Rob Blake 23 2 D Jiri Fischer 14
7 D Greg De Vries 33 5 D Nicklas Lidstrom 97
7 D Curtis Leschyshyn 9 8 C Igor Larionov 50
8 D Sandis Ozolinsh 40 11 RW Mathieu Dandeneault 46
9 C Mike Ricci 18 14 RW Brendan Shanahan 60
12 LW Chris Simon 5 17 RW Doug Brown 39
13 RW Dan Hinote 18 18 LW Kirk Maltby 72
13 LW Valeri Kamensky 31 19 C Steve Yzerman 62
19 C Joe Sakic 75 20 RW Martin Lapointe 48
21 C Peter Forsberg 55 21 C Boyd Devereaux 16
22 RW Claude Lemieux 32 22 RW Dino Ciccarelli 14
23 RW Milan Hejduk 72 22 RW Mike Knuble 4
24 D Jon Klemm 41 23 C Stacy Roest 6
25 RW Mike Keane 20 24 D Chris Chelios 49
25 LW Shjon Podein 31 25 RW Darren McCarty 64
26 C Stephane Yelle 41 26 RW Joe Kocur 18
29 LW/D Eric Messier 37 28 D Steve Duchesne 23
52 D Adam Foote 75 33 C Kris Draper 88
77 D Ray Bourque 8 55 D Larry Murphy 32
        96 LW Tomas Holmstrom 74

Rivalry Games Played, in this games, means how many games that each Red Wing has played against the Avalanche while wearing the Winged Wheel, and vice versa. The amount of history these guys have against each other is astonishing, with a total of 1618 Wings/Avs games played and an average of 38 per player in the lineup. These weren’t games that long ago either; many of these guys are younger than Gordie Howe was before retirement. Heck, I’m pretty sure that Ty Conklin was just in an outdoor game, like, a week ago.

Not all of that history is clean, however. As fun as its going to be to see Stevie Y, Niklas “The Perfect Human” Lidstrom, and Igor Larionov turn back the clock with timeless intelligent plays, there’s also the totally serious possibility that this game gets under hand. Just ask Dino Ciccarelli. From the Star Tribune:

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.

This isn’t the only sign of competitiveness that has come out of the Colorado camp, either. Adam Foote was on a local radio station earlier today, and when asked who he’d like to punch in the face, he quickly and firmly responded with Kris Draper. It was all laughs at first, but with every second that passed, Foote went into more and more detail and showed that he was quite serious with his intentions. Patrick Roy has also been practicing for months to make sure he’s in top shape; it makes you wonder if the Wings intentionally avoided picking any of the goalies who have fought him in previous years.

As well, Chris Chelios told Ansar Khan that he expects a certain someone to, well, be themselves:

“There’s always that screwball that’s going to run around and take it serious, but as far as any of that, no,” Chris Chelios said. Who is this screwball to which you are referring?

“Claude (Lemieux),” Chelios said. “You always have to give Claude the nod for that. He’ll do something dumb. At the end of the day … who knows? One player thinks he got wronged, hockey players are hockey players.”

If nothing else, adds another layer of excitement for tomorrow. Whether we see players reminisce or throw fists remains to be seen, but hey, that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?