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Quincey willing to fight for spot with Red Wings

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Quincey willing to fight for spot with Red Wings

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey isn't looking for a fight, he just wants to add an element that will increase his value.

That's why Quincey worked on improving his fighting skills over the summer, getting pointers from team enforcer Aaron Downey.

"I'm not going to go look for it, but when it happens, hopefully be ready,'' Quincey said. "Just trying to find my niche. Some guys need protection. If I'm on the ice, I'm going to jump in. It's part of my game I kind of enjoy doing. If it helps me make the team, it helps me make the team, so I'm going to do everything it takes.''

That's what Quincey told general manager Ken Holland during his exit interview in June.

"He just said, 'I don't want you fighting heavyweights,' '' Quincey said. "I said, 'I know, Kenny, I'm just telling you I'm here for the team.' I want to be here so bad, I'll do anything.''

The Red Wings have more defensemen (nine who aren't exempt from waivers) than they have room for (eight) and are about $300,000 over the $56.7 million salary cap.

Quincey, who on Tuesday signed a two-year contract that averages $525,000 a season, will compete for a roster spot with Brett Lebda, Derek Meech and Andreas Lilja. One is likely to be traded before the regular season.

Quincey, 23, hasn't fought much during his junior career or in the AHL with Grand Rapids. When he has, he said he "would just throw (punches), no rhyme or reason.'' So he got together with Downey, who lives less than an hour away from Quincey's off-season home in Orangeville, Ontario, and hit the heavy bag.

"I owe a lot to Downs,'' Quincey said. "Fighting is a skill, just like stick-handling and shooting, so it's something I have to work on. We got a lot of skilled guys that shouldn't be doing that, so guys like me should step in and do it for the team.''

Downey said the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Quincey has some potential as a fighter and said he shared some philosophies with him about "the art of fighting.''

"I worked on some basic fundamentals with him, learn how to tie a guy up, learn how to throw a proper punch, learn how to defend himself,'' Downey said. "He's got good size and a good reach, now it's just up to him. It's the mental part, learning how to turn it on, when to engage, when not to engage, when to do it for the team.''

Has he gotten better?

"I think so,'' Quincey said. "My first fight we'll see.''

Quincey's main objective is to play solid defense, like he did during a pressure-packed 13-game stint as an injury replacement in the 2007 playoffs. Any chance he had of winning a roster spot last season was dashed when he shattered a bone in his hand in training camp. He was further hampered by a herniated disk in his back throughout the season in Grand Rapids.

"Ken Holland was saying to me the last couple of years, 'Just be patient, your time will come,' ''Quincey said. "It's up to me to show them when my time is. If I'm ready, they'll find a spot for me.''

And if he's not?

"You can't worry about what you can't control,'' Quincey said. "If they decide to trade me, then that's their decision.''

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Great read, Quincey sounds like he is another great character and I thought he did great in the '07 playoffs.

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Well, he'll never be as great a fighter as Lilja, but it's still good to see that some other guys on this team are willing to scrap a little.

Hopefully, his first fight will be with Patrick Sharp. That should be a nice confidence boost for his future fights. :D

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Good read. Happy to see Kyle has the dedication to the team, however I just don't see him as being able to enforce a middle weight or be someone the other team is going to be intimidated by on the ice. Time will tell though, the Wings still have Downs and Mac and could probably be in a worse situation when it comes to having to enforcer.

Edited by ManLuv4Clears

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Last night the NHL channel played Game 5 of the 2007 WCF against the Ducks and I remembered that even though he didn't throw Kronvallian Hits, he was solid. He always got the puck out of the zone and with no screw ups. Might seem like not much to ask for, but I'll take that kind of play any playoff.

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