Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Detroit’s Roster Next Season

from Helene St.James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings have 14 NHL regulars signed to next season’s squad, leaving room to grow.

A handful of the spots on the 23-man roster will be absorbed by the restricted free agents who need contracts: Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou and Martin Frk. That would bring the number of forwards signed for next season to 11.

The Wings have seven returnees on defense (counting Luke Witkowski) but there are possible changes coming.

First, what will happen in the June draft? The NHL draft lottery is April 28, and if the Wings’ 8.5 percent chance of winning the right to draft first overall lands them the top spot, Rasmus Dahlin will reshape the defense.

Second, there is the possibility Dennis Cholowski, the team’s first-round pick from 2016, will show he’s ready for the NHL.

There’s likely to be at least one free agency signing, as the Wings need a goaltender to share the net with starter Jimmy Howard.

Here is a breakdown of the roster situation.

Jimmy Howard

Age: 34.

Status: Signed through 2018-19 at an annual salary cap hit of $5.3 million. He has played very well two seasons running. Will be trying to show he’s worthy of one- or two-year extension. 

more

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Dennis Cholowski Headed To Grand Rapids

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Detroit Red Wings prospect Dennis Cholowski will join the team’s top farm club in the coming week.

Cholowski’s junior team, the Portland Winterhawks, was eliminated from the Western Hockey League playoffs Friday, losing its second-round series 4-1 to Everett. Cholowski had five goals among seven points in 12 playoff games. He split the regular season between Portland and Prince George, packing 66 points into 69 games. 

continue for a bit more...

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Anthony Mantha On Contract Talks

from Arthur J. Regner of DetroitRedWings.com,

Unlike his offseason boxing plans, Mantha isn't expecting a fight with the Wings. When the team was in Los Angeles last month, Mantha's agent, Pat Brisson, told him how the process usually goes.

"He told me what he thought was going to happen is that Ken or the coaching staff or the organization here is going to take a month or two to just settle in and compare probably stats and contracts of other players and then they'll reach out," Mantha said.

"Pat told me usually they give two or three options of contracts and we choose one. I'm pretty excited to see how that goes, to be honest. Obviously, I want to sign here again and I want to be here. I hope it doesn't take too long into the summer. I hope we get things settled pretty soon and have my head resting instead of stressing out the whole summer."

more on Mantha and his summer boxing plans...

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More Grades

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are the final grades, based on performance vs. expectations.

Justin Abdelkader

GP: 75, G: 13, A: 22, PT: 35

Contract: Five years remaining at a $4.25 million cap hit.

He improved from a year ago but didn’t reach the level from the previous two seasons due to a lack of consistency. The club was hoping for 20 goals. He led the team in hits, though a fractured cheek bone that forced him to wear a face shield earlier in the season might have limited some of his abrasiveness and physicality.

Grade: C+

read on

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Right Move To Retain Holland And Blashill?

from Jamie Samuelsen at the Detroit Free Press,

I’m not going to convince you that the decision to retain Ken Holland and Jeff Blashill is the right one or the wrong one. The gathering storm to oust Holland started years ago. Two straight years of missing the playoffs only makes that storm louder and stronger. I’ve long argued that Holland doesn’t get nearly enough credit for revamping the payroll on the fly after the 2005 lockout and rebuilding the team around Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to win the Stanley Cup in 2008. But I also agree that his draft picks, free agent signings, and perhaps worst of all, contract extensions have been mostly disasters in the last six years.

The most common complaint that you hear about Holland is that he’s too loyal to his players, he has stunted the development of his younger players and that he waited far too long to end the Red Wings quest for the playoffs when it was clear that they were no longer contenders for the Stanley Cup even though they were still contenders for a low playoff seed.

The final argument is 100 percent valid. The thought of “just getting in and seeing what happens” stayed around longer than it should have. It was bolstered by the 25-season playoff streak, the seven-game loss to the Blackhawks in 2013 and the seven-game loss to the Lightning 2015.

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Dominic Turgeon Out While Undergoing Treatment For Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday announced that center Dominic Turgeon will be out of the lineup indefinitely while undergoing treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome, which caused a blood clot affecting his right arm that was diagnosed yesterday prior to the team’s road game against the Texas Stars.

Dr. Ryan Turley performed a procedure to alleviate the clot Wednesday evening at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center in Round Rock, Texas. Turgeon is scheduled for another procedure today before a consultation next week in Tampa, Fla., with Dr. Karl Illig, who successfully treated Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos for a similar condition two years ago.

It is expected that Turgeon will resume his playing career after making a full recovery. Further updates on his condition and prognosis will be provided as warranted.

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‘A’ Grade Players

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Here are the final grades for 2017-18: 

Tyler Bertuzzi A

Key stats: 7 goals, 17 assists in 48 games.

The buzz: What a delight to watch. Hardnosed, smart, goes to the net and scores. Does little things to keep plays alive. Worked his way into the top-six mix and power-play time. Imagine what a big summer in the gym will do for him next season.

Jimmy Howard A-

Key stats: 22-27-9 with a 2.85 GAA, .910 save percentage in 60 games.

The buzz: Gave teammates a chance to win most games. Ended up starting 57 games because of Petr Mrazek’s first-half struggles and Coreau’s second-half struggles. Howard did what he could to make team successful.

Dylan Larkin A

Key stats: 16 goals, 47 assists in 82 games.

The buzz: Led the team in scoring most of the season. Made linemates better, developed his all-around game, showed a shiftiness to his skating, and played both special teams. High-character guy with strong sense of self-motivation. Future captain material. Showed tremendous growth overall.

more

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You Have To Do It Every Game Andreas

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Asked if his compete level has been where it should be, Athanasiou said, "I think I can compete at a high level. I think I can compete in playoffs. I kind of showed that the last time we were in the playoffs (2016) when I got in that Tampa series. I think competing at a high level is very important. There's a lot of times where the stage is big here and you have to compete on that level, and I think I do a really good job of competing on the big stage and at the highest level."

Not consistently enough to suit the team.

read on

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Fixing The Front Office

from Craig Custance of The Athletic,

“Could we use another person that’s got that experience to join us?” Holland said. “Certainly that’s something I’m considering and thinking about.”

Holland didn’t specify in which area, outside of experience, he’s looking. And it’s a bit of a tricky situation. It’s fairly easy to take your former players and move them into the front office. It’s a bit of a gray area as to whether the Red Wings can try to poach talent from other organizations through a promotion in title....

“You have to bring in somebody you like and trust,” said the Western Conference executive. “You have to be a little bit careful there. Most guys won’t do it, but if you have a guy who has any inkling they can take the job, you can get in trouble in a hurry.”

more (paid subscription)

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Video- See You Next Season Hockeytown

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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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