Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Video- Top 10 Plays This Season From The Detroit Red Wings

Five minutes to watch.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


from Kirkland Crawford of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings of the mid-1990s were labeled as soft.

Critics said they lacked the toughness to win the Stanley Cup, even though they resided atop the NHL standings for much of the decade.

On March 26, 1997, the Wings said enough was enough.

That night represented more than just revenge on Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche. It was more than just drawing blood to avenge the facial injuries Kris Draper dealt by Lemieux in  the 1996 Western Conference finals.

It was a chance to show the hockey world — and even themselves — they weren't going to be pushovers.

[ Darren McCarty: Mike Babcock cost the Wings the Stanley Cup in 2009 ]

And one could argue that the Wings got the Stanley Cup monkey off their backs, not in early June, but on this late March night at Joe Louis Arena.

With every fist that Darren McCarty dropped on Lemieux in that first-period fracas, the confidence level seemed to rise, both for the Red Wings, and for their fan base.

Let's look back at some of the finer details from that night:


Below, watch 15 minutes of highlights from the game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Video- The Playoff Goals From Tomas Holmstrom

All 46 of them, compiled by awood40.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

A Must Win To Lose Tournament

from Craig Custance of The Athletic,

While so much of the conversation on what an eventual NHL season might look like focuses on potential playoff formats for the teams at the top of the standings, those at the bottom might have a different focus. For those outside the playoff bubble, it’s all about the NHL Draft. And the eventual draft lottery. As it stands right now, it’s very possible the lottery looks different than what fans (and executivess) are currently refreshing on Tankathon.

According to an NHL source, the draft lottery format will likely be linked to whatever decisions are made regarding the schedule and playoff system. It’s still too early to get a full idea of what those solutions might look like, but a source said the league would consult with general managers and the board of governors before making a final call on any adjusted draft lottery process. Right now, the league is currently kicking around various concepts....

According to an NHL source, at least one team has submitted a lottery proposal that would include a tournament in which lottery teams play for the first-overall pick. At its face, the idea sounds radical but structured the right way this has the potential to be a real asset for the league.

more ($$$)

added 2:43pm,


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Thoughts On Dylan Larkin

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- One of the things I’ve wondered this year is how much Steve Yzerman discusses his early years in Detroit with Dylan Larkin. Yzerman went through tough times in Detroit and eventually was rewarded. What advice does he give Larkin on how to handle things?

“I have had very positive talks with Steve throughout the season,” Larkin wrote via email. “He has been very helpful and a mentor to me as someone who has been in this situation a few times as a player and manager. His advice has been to make sure my level of professionalism — in mindset, work ethic and leadership — is setting the tone and example for the rest of the team all the time.”

I thought that was really interesting. No matter how tough a season, there are always fun moments. What are the moments of this season that did make you smile?

“There have been a lot of bright spots. This season has had a lot of downs, but we have a great group of young players that have made it very enjoyable coming to the rink every day. I look back at our opening-night win against Nashville on the road and our home opener the next night against Dallas when Anthony Mantha scored four goals. We have played very well against top opponents in our division and that makes me excited for the future. We’ve also played better in buildings where we have struggled in the past.”

- Larkin made me laugh with this next one. Him, Connor McDavid and Mathew Barzal. Goal line to goal line. Standing start. Who wins, and by how much?...

more Thoughts from Friedman...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

On The Detroit Prospects

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

With a bit of convincing (as a condition of this article, I agreed to explicitly note Scott’s reluctance to make prospect comparisons), The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler agreed to lead our panel alongside former NHL GM and TSN director of scouting Craig Button. Then, to round things out, we asked Jokke Nevalainen, the head of European scouting at Dobber Prospects, and Will Scouch of Scouching to share their opinions on Detroit’s Europeans and North Americans, respectively.

Jared McIsaac, LHD, Moncton (QMJHL)
Wheeler: Alec Martinez. The first thing that comes to mind for me with McIsaac has always been that he’s a strong complementary player. He has been asked to be more than that throughout his career as a relatively high-end prospect, particularly in Halifax where he’s a power play-guy and relied on to produce points, but I’ve never seen a ton of skill in his game and I don’t think that’s the kind of player he’s going to be at the next level. Instead, I see a useful left-shot defender who can contribute mid-20s points, act as a safety valve for his partner and make the odd play at even-strength while not being shy physically.

Button: Jared to me is never going to be a big offensive player, but he’s going to be a really good defenseman. And by defenseman, you’re not going to hear me use “defensive defenseman.” He’s going to be a defenseman that’s going to be able to play in the defensive zone, he’s going to be able to start the play moving, break the play down defensively and get the puck in the offensive zone and in the neutral zone in transition. He reminds me a lot, in terms of competitiveness and style of game, of Ryan Lindgren (of the Rangers). Jared has got a quiet, quiet competitiveness to him. And the one thing I’ll tell you about Jared: The harder the game, the more important the game, you don’t ever have to worry about Jared shrinking, ever. He rises to that occasion. I think he’s a really quietly fierce competitor.

more (paid) players...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

A Look At Joe Veleno

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Like many young players, the jump from junior to pros has been a learning curve for Veleno, who turned 20 on January 13. He had just started to look more like the player the Wings hoped they drafted when the season was postponed. Now he’s on hold — including his strength and conditioning program. As part of the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, players have been told by stay home as much as possible. The Wings are trying to come up with alternate strength and conditioning routines.

Though Veleno looked better in the second half, he projects to spend more time in the AHL next season learning how to be the two-way center the Wings want him to be.

The Free Press spoke to Shawn Horcoff, the Wings’ director of player development, about Veleno’s progress.

“He’s had a really good second half of the year,” Horcoff said. “There’s been so much emphasis for him from the coaching side and the development side on his defensive game. He put a lot of hard work into that and he’s come a long way. He’s much more comfortable at that now. He’s playing big PK minutes, he’s on the ice at the end of the game — important minutes. So defensively we are really happy with his game.”

“The problem is sometimes when you do that, it can affect the offensive side. It can take time to figure out how to play at both ends of the rink properly. For Joe, he really started to figure it out in the second half. The biggest thing I noticed is his skating  he is starting to separate himself down there, he’s starting to have confidence to move the puck through the neutral zone, drive wide on D. That’s going to be an asset for him as he gains more strength and maturity.”


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

A Compliance Buyout Of Justin Abdelkader Or Not

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

With the 2020-21 cap expected to take a COVID-19 hit, there are rumblings the league may consider implementing a similar option in the near future — with the NHLPA’s blessing, of course.

And while a throwback to the compliance buyout is purely hypothetical at this stage, we found ourselves with enough time on our hands to sift through the rosters and drum up a list of potential candidates.

Justin Abdelkader, three years at a $4.25-million cap hit

Because the rebuilding Red Wings are in no rush to spend to the cap and assemble an immediate contender, and because they’ll also have a bunch of expensive contracts coming off the books this summer (Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley), they can still absorb overpaid veterans like Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen (two more years at a $5.25-million hit) with ease.

Here’s the question: Does Steve Yzerman still want a 36-year-old Abdelkader taking up cap space in 2023?

It’s easy to look at Abdelkader’s 2019-20 numbers — zero goals, three assists, minus-14 rating — and start dreading another three declining years of overpaying a depth winger.

There could be sentiment at play here, with Abdelkader being a loyal, career-long Wing and a respected leader. But remember this: Yzerman used a compliance buyout on local hero Vincent Lecavalier when he served as Tampa’s GM.

more names...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Audio/Video- Jeff Blashill On Hockey Central Today

via Sportsnet,

Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill joins Hockey Central to discuss the toughest season of his coaching career, but says if it doesn’t crush you, which it hasn’t, you have an opportunity at “unreal growth.”


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Youngsters Show Promise

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The promising thing for the Wings’ organization is the strong finish by some of the young players.

There will be plenty of time ahead to analyze more of the Wings’ recent draft picks. But it’s interesting to note right now, a handful of players were playing some of their best hockey of this season — putting exclamation points on fine seasons — when the coronavirus pandemic ended everyone’s hockey schedule.

Shawn Horcoff, the Red Wings’ director of player development, identified some of the organization’s late-season risers.

- Joe Veleno, center, Grand Rapids (AHL): The Wings’ second first-round pick in 2018, Veleno was in the process of his completing his first pro season and was looking like  a different player from the first half of the season.

Veleno’s overall game took off after he returned from a stellar performance during the holidays at the world junior championships for Canada.

The confidence and assertiveness in Veleno’s game was more evident, Horcoff said.

“The kid played really well the second half,” Horcoff said. “His game was starting to come on since he came from from world juniors. We really put a lot of focus on his defensive game. By the time Christmas hit, he was real comfortable and didn’t focus or think about it so much. Things were coming naturally to him.

“I’m happy with how his game came along. It’s not easy for a 19-year-old to play in the AHL, and he was playing in all situations.”

more players

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

« Previous        < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›      Next »

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


Most Recent Blog Posts