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Abel to Yzerman

Featured Prospect Talk On Givani Smith

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings have a vested interest in the OHL semifinal playoff series between Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie that starts Friday.

It pits 2016 Detroit draft picks Givani Smith, a right wing for Kitchener, and Jordan Sambrook, a defenseman for Sault Ste. Marie....

Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development, has watched both players during the first two rounds. He said Smith is coming off a "fantastic series" against Sarnia. He scored twice in the deciding game and has seven goals and 12 points in 12 playoff games.

"He's a big, physical guy who's skating very well right now and producing offense," Horcoff said. "He's playing definitely some of his best hockey, really starting to come into his own.

"For Givani, a lot of it comes from skating, and right now he's skating fantastic and he's physical, very heavy body every shift, getting under opponents' skin. He's doing a heck of a job."

read on

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Dennis Cholowski Joins The Grand Rapids Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned defenseman Dennis Cholowski from the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

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Report- John Torchetti Will Not Return As Assistant Coach For The Wings

via Craig Custance tweet,

According to multiple sources, the Red Wings have notified other NHL teams via email that they won't be bringing back assistant coach John Torchetti.

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Surgery For Luke Glendening And Who Is Going To The World Championship

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Kronwall The Mentor

from Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website,

"Definitely ready, and I think it's time for these young guys on D to take another step and get a shot at playing for the team here. Again, it starts with hard work. Have a good camp, but both (Filip) Hronek and (Dennis) Cholowski seem to have really good years. It will be awesome and I very much look forward to watching them play."

Hronek, 20, was named to the AHL's All-Rookie team as he recorded 11 goals, 28 assists and was plus-24 in 67 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Cholowski, 20, made the Western Hockey League All-Star team. Cholowski had 13 goals, 26 assists and was plus-9 in 37 games with the Prince George Cougars.

After being traded to the Portland Winterhawks, he had one goal, 26 assists and was plus-20 in 32 regular-season games. In 12 playoff games with Portland, Cholowski had five goals, two assists and was minus-9....

"I think it's awesome when you have guys coming up," Kronwall said. "And I think obviously with where we are at, we're destined to have some young players, especially on D, taking steps. We've seen (Dylan Larkin), (Anthony Mantha), (Andreas Athanasiou), (Tyler Bertuzzi), we've seen some guys up front, and I think it's definitely time for the back end to also get rejuvenated with some young players."


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The Improvements Martin Frk Needs To Make

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"He's made lots of steps forward in terms of the completeness of his game, but I think it's going to come down to just making sure he executes at a high level on a game by game basis, not losing any opportunities, especially on the power play, with decision-making," coach Jeff Blashill said. "Making sure that when he comes in the zone, the decision-making's great, that there's no easy giveaways. That's going to allow him to have more time in zone. He's got to be a little bit better in those situations where we make sure we get in the zone and that he has the puck and he can use his skill."

Frk, the team's top pick in 2012 (49th overall), got off to a good start, with three goals in the first four games and six in his first 17 games. He wasn't as productive the second half and scored only one goal in his final 23 games.

"I wish I scored more goals," Frk said. "I was having kind of bad stretches. It's a hard league and I got to find a way to be better with that. You're also playing with great players on the power play. I learned a lot and I bet I will learn a lot in this league when I play more games."

read on

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Playoff Match-Up Is Set For The Grand Rapids Griffins

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

The Grand Rapids Griffins got what they needed in the regular-season finale Saturday with a win to secure second place in the division, highlighted by big nights from Colin Campbell and Filip Hronek.

Campbell had his second-career hat trick and Hronek had a four-point night with a goal and three assists as the Griffins picked up a 6-4 victory over Cleveland before 10,834 at Van Andel Arena to wrap up the regular season.

The win gives the Griffins (42-25-2-7) home-ice advantage to begin the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Manitoba. The best-of-five series begins Saturday at Manitoba.


Below, a press release from the GRG on the upcoming series.

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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. 


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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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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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