TRAVERSE CITY — Nicknames in hockey tend to revolve around a player’s proper name, but every now and then, a unique one comes along.
Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (called “Larks” by teammates) laughed Thursday after the first day of training camp when asked if he knew why new head coach Derek Lalonde goes by “Newsy,” admitting to an awkward interaction.
“The first conversation, he called me and said, ‘this is Newsy’ and I was like, who?,” Larkin said. “It’s something that stuck a long time ago and it’s his name now.
“I still don’t know what the reference is.”
The reference is to Édouard Cyrille “Newsy” Lalonde, a former forward for the Montreal Canadiens who also enraptured his native Canada as a lacrosse player.
The Red Wings coach, 50, said the nickname began, “sometime in college.” The original “Newsy” pronounced his last name with the ‘d,’ while Lalonde is pronounced La-lone, but other than that, “it just kind of went from there. I still think there’s people to this day in Tampa that don’t even know who Derek is. They only know me as Newsy. I’m comfortable with it.”
David Perron referred to Lalonde as “Newsy” multiple times while discussing the drills the Wings did at Centre Ice Arena. In doing so, he’s already endeared himself to his new shot-caller.
“I don’t mind coach, but Coach feels very old,” Lalonde said. “It feels a little more personable when guys call me Newsy.”
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.