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Paying Tyler Bertuzzi And His Play Continues To Improve

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Bertuzzi has hovered near 50 points two years in a row. That will help his cause in the offseason, as he’s a restricted free agent. He is coming off a two-year, $2.8 million contract ($1.4 million salary cap hit) and is likely to be signed to a four- or five-year contract in the $4.5 million annually range.

Read: Red Wings' 2017 draft review: 11 picks, but only 2 projected for rebuild

Bertuzzi, 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds, isn’t a fluid skater, but makes up for it with grit and savvy. He’s effective in front of the net, and at digging pucks out of corners. He has developed excellent chemistry with Larkin and Mantha.

Bertuzzi projects in the 25-goal, 55-point range for next season (based on an 82-game season, which the NHL has said there will be in 2020-21 even if the pandemic delays the start until January). If general manager Steve Yzerman makes improvements to the team — such as adding a puck-moving defenseman and shoring up goaltending — Bertuzzi could flirt with the 30-goal mark.

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Options For The Detroit Red Wings with The #4 Pick

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The list of players they might take includes centers Cole Perfetti of Saginaw (OHL) and Marco Rossi of Ottawa (OHL), Swedish wingers Lucas Raymond (Frolunda) and Alexander Holtz (Djurgardens) and defenseman Jamie Drysdale of Erie (OHL)....

The Red Wings need scoring and they need help on the blue line. They also need a goaltender of the future and Yaroslav Askarov of St. Petersburg (Russia) is sure to be available at No. 4. But it seems unlikely the Red Wings would take a goalie that high.

Here is a look at some post-draft lottery projections on who the Red Wings will select at No. 4:

Sportsnet: Cole Perfetti, C-LW, Saginaw (OHL)

Sam Cosentino writes: “There are countless ties between Detroit and Perfetti. Most importantly, Perfetti spent the season a short drive away from the Motor City, allowing everyone in the organization to get multiple looks as well as get up close and personal to know him away from the rink. He’s equally as impressive a young man as he is a player. For Perfetti, his hockey IQ may be the best in this draft class. His awareness is uncanny. Anticipating a play in neutral ice or jumping the play to earn a breakaway is not uncommon.”

TSN: Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL)

Craig Button says: “It changes significantly from 1 to 4, but it doesn’t with respect to Jamie Drysdale, a No. 1 elite, complete, right-shot defenseman. You can build a winner with Jamie Drysdale on your blue line.”

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Scouting Window In Europe May Be Open In The Fall For The Wings

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

...in September and October, just weeks before the NHL Entry Draft, many of the European prospects in this draft class will be playing hockey again.

With the pandemic easing in Europe, at least for now, most of those leagues should be up and running in the autumn.

The North American junior leagues likely will not be.

So, for Red Wings’ general manager Steve Yzerman and his staff, it’ll be another valuable scouting opportunity and chance for those European players to sell themselves on the ice — while comparable North American prospects are sitting.

“That could just confuse the situation even more,” Yzerman said. “We thought about that. In all likelihood, you’ll have some of these kids playing, the way it looks right now, and potentially, some of the North American kids not playing.

“So, depending on who’s playing, who’s not playing, who plays well, who doesn’t, it can complicate your decision-making even more.”

It certainly does offer, everyone around the NHL agrees, the unique opportunity for a young player to give himself a second chance to move himself up in the draft.

read on

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Reviewing Detroit’s 2017 Draft

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The 2017 NHL draft was a busy and unusual one for the Detroit Red Wings.

It marked the first time they were in the draft lottery, earning entry after missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 seasons. They finished with the sixth-worst record but were pushed back to ninth because expansion Vegas won the sixth spot and Philadelphia and Dallas moved ahead of Detroit. The Wings have been pushed back four straight years, including this year, landing the fourth pick despite finishing in last place.

They made 11 picks in 2017, including four in the third round that stemmed from trades and compensation from the Toronto Maple Leafs for their hiring of Mike Babcock. The Wings also had two picks in the sixth round.

Two picks from the draft already have made appearances with the Wings and look like they will help shape the rebuild.

Given how recent the draft was (only eight players overall from the class have topped 100 games), there aren’t many instances where it is clear if a better choice could have been made.

continued

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Take Your Pick

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answers a few questions...

Does picking fourth set back the rebuild? I was really hoping for at least second.

Drafting second would have given general manager Steve Yzerman a choice of Tim Stützle and Quinton Byfield, who are expected to go after Lafrenière, the consensus top pick. Instead, Yzerman is likely to choose from top forwards including Marco Rossi, Cole Perfetti, Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz, and defenseman Jamie Drysdale. Picking lower isn’t a setback if Yzerman makes the right choice.

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Picks After The First Round Are Important Too

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Now, first-round picks are important. But for an organization like the Wings, those picks in the second, third, and fourth round and beyond are just as vital.

“You need some of those picks to turn into players,” general manager Steve Yzerman said. “If it’s just going to be we’re doing to draft and count on our first-round pick playing every year, it’s going to take forever to build a good team.”

Given their trading of veterans on expiring contacts at the trade deadline the last several years, the Wings have stockpiled a particularly deep treasure chest this year.

The Wings have three second-round picks (their own, Washington’s and Edmonton’s) and two third-round picks (their own, and San Jose’s) in this year's draft.

In recent years, they’ve added prospects such as defensemen Gustav Lindstrom (second round, 2017),  Antti Tuomisto (second round, 2019), Albert Johansson (second round, 2019) and Jared McIsaac (second round, 2018); and forwards Robert Mastrosimone (second round, 2019) and Jonatan Berggren (second round, 2018) beyond the first round.

“We’re going to need players to come in the second and third rounds, later rounds, year to year,” Yzerman said. “You’re not going to hit on every pick every year, obviously. You’re not going to hit on your first pick every year, as much work as we do on it.

read on

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It’s Been Ten Years Since The Death Of Bob Probert

from Mark Falkner of the Detroit News,

Dani Probert expects Sunday to be bittersweet.

To mark 10 years after the sudden death of her husband, Bob Probert — the former Detroit Red Wings enforcer and one of Detroit's most popular and polarizing sports figures in the 1980s and '90s — the 52-year-old widow plans on a "somber" day with her four grownup children but also a day "full of celebration" in the Windsor and Essex County area.

Still, as a lifelong planner, organizer and now fundraiser who is helping to improve cardiac care in her community, Probert says there's also only so much she can prepare for when they get together Sunday to honor her husband and her children's father.

continued plus another Probert related article here...

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Draft Lottery Odds Need To Change

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The seventh-best team during the regular season could land the No. 1 pick in the NHL entry draft.

The Pittsburgh Penguins accumulated 86 points in 69 games for a .623 points percentage before the NHL season paused on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. They were on pace for 102 points.

The Penguins were fifth in the Eastern Conference, missing out on a bye into the first round of the playoffs. They will play 12th seeded Montreal in the qualifying round. If Pittsburgh loses that best-of-five series, it will join the other seven qualifying round losers in the second phase of the draft lottery.

Each of the eight teams has a 12.5 percent chance of securing the top pick, certain to be left wing Alexis Lafreniere.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings, who finished 23 points below the next-worst team – with 47 fewer points than the Penguins -- and posted the worst points percentage (.275) for a non-expansion team since 1997-98, will select fourth, as determined by Friday’s first lottery phase.

continued

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Wings Move Training Camp To LCA

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today announced changes to their annual events held in Traverse City, Mich., including the relocation of the team's 2020-21 Training Camp to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and the cancellation of the 2020 NHL Prospect Tournament and Training Camp Golf Classic. The Red Wings look forward to both events, as well as training camp, returning to Traverse City next year.

"The health and safety of our fans, players and staff is our top concern," said Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman. "Based on discussions with local health experts, we have decided to hold our 2020-21 training camp at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. We look forward to returning to Traverse City next year. The Traverse City community is extremely hospitable to our organization, and Centre Ice Arena is an ideal location for us to hold our events each September."

Continue Reading »

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The Spirit Of The Draft Is Tossed Aside

from Pat Caputo of 97.1,

Think of :

- Toronto adding Lafreniere to Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander.

- Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Lafreniere

- Chicago with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Lafreniere.

- The Rangers with Lafreniere and the second overall selection from last year, Kaapo Kakko....

The twist of the knife to the Red Wings’ back is they did anything but tank. The Red Wings waited far too long to go into total rebuilding mode and continually overspent on veteran players.

Everything about this process goes against the spirit of the draft, which is to provide competitive balance.

The adding of the losing qualifying round teams to the lottery mix because of the pandemic was absurd, For one of those teams to get Lafreniere - especially if it is one of the Red Wings’ rivals - because of sheer chance adds salt to the wound.

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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