The Detroit Red Wings are put out over the latest Derek Sanderson caper. Hear General Manager Ted Lindsay in appealing to the president of the National Hockey League: "The actions of the Pittsburgh club, Sanderson's agent Bob Woolf and Derek himself somehow destroy your faith in people."
Here the Red Wings and Penguins are going tooth and nail, not to mention head to head, for a wild-card playoff spot and after Detroit picked the former Boston Bruin hotshot off the scrap heap, he up and signed Monday night with Pittsburgh. Lindsay wanted President John Ziegler (until this season a Detroit vice president) to rule that Pittsburgh's action constituted tampering and to assess penalties for same.
Center Sanderson, released by Vancouver last fall, was a lost soul after bouts with alcohol, drugs and what not. Then Detroit gave him a chance to work into shape, and intimating it would recall him soon, assigned him to its Kansas City farm club. Then the Wings said he would finish the season in K.C. Then the bombshell.
Lindsay: "Although we had not signed Derek to a contract, we had incurred considerable expense with him . . . No way he is ready to play."
Al Savill, Penguins owner: "There's no doubt Derek can help our club."
Sanderson: "I'm very grateful to Ted Lindsay for his unselfish effort on my part. I hope I can pay back the people who had faith in me."
Finally, via Washington (he was here on business), Ziegler: "Based on the information we have, we do not believe we are in the position to prevent Sanderson from signing with any NHL club."
Making it welcome to L.A. last night for Sanderson as the Pens took the ice to play the Kings.