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02-14-2005, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Foley
I saw Nedomansky play at the very end of his career for the Red Wings; he was probably in his mid-30's when he started playing for them.

To start, what I remember about the beginning of his time with the Wings was the hype that surrounded his arrival. A lot was expected from him, mainly to help bring the Wings their first playoff appearance in about a decade (a pretty sad track record for a team in an era when 16 out of 21 teams made the postseason). He didn't have a great season point-wise his first year, but the Wings did make the playoffs, which took him off of the proverbial hook for not meeting the expectations of many fans. The following two seasons (78-79 and 79-80) he did really well, but the team fell back into the bottom 5 of the league. In his first year, he had a ton of scoring chances but just couldn't finish; bad luck on his part. The chances he missed on his first year he buried the two following years.

Even though he was one of the older players on the team, he easily had the best overall skill set on the team, IMO. What a skater; he was probably the fastest player on the team, even at that age, which made you wonder how fast he was in his prime. Not only very good speed, but moves to match. When he entered the offensive zone, it was fun to see him do his thing and create scoring opportunities. He was a strong guy, also; he could score off the mad scramble in front of the net as well as score the finesse goal. He was a good passer and wasn't selfish; when opponents focused on him, he could dish it off at just the right time and give a linemate a good scoring chance. The best word I could use to describe him offensively is polished. It's too bad he didn't have a lot of help; Dale McCourt and Reed Larson were about the only other Red Wings with decent skills when he played in Detroit.

Man, it is really hard to come up with a comparable player today to Nedomansky. I keep wanting to compare him to Sergei Fedorov, not so much for the speed, but for his skating ability. Much like Sergei, Ned was a guy you had to keep your eye on at all times if you were the opposition.

Thank you VERY much. That was an awesome response and was exactly what I was looking for. Sounds like one of the main reasons he didn't continue his ridiculous pace from the WHA and international competitions was because of linemates, which is a shame. What do you think he could have done if he'd gotten to play with someone like Dionne or Federko (I'd also say Lafleur, Trottier, Potvin, or Bossy, but I think we can all agree the Habs and Isles were plenty stacked already )?
As for comparisons, I'd read Jagr, but I got the impression that that particular little snippet had more to do with him being a big, skilled Czech than anything else. If he was like Federov, he really must've been something.

Anyway, thanks again for the fantastic response. Learning about old Eastern Block players like Neddy and Holocek that nobody knows about has become a hobby of mine.

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