Abel to Yzerman
Udpated 0315: added Pete’s analysis of the Drake deal, as seen over at Yzerman is God.
Seinfeld reference. Sorry. I deliberately held off on this post because I had a hunch Dave from Gorilla Crouch would make the wait worthwhile. He didn’t disappoint, and he’s hating the move.
Whatever mystical presence Dallas Drake brings with his physical/gritty play, it sure doesn’t seem to do much as far as helping his team kill penalties, draw penalties, or just outscore their opponent. And I haven’t even really touched on the fact he’s one of the biggest cheapshot hitters in the league. That doesn’t concern me if you can actually bring something else to the table. Right now I highly doubt Drake can.
Dave makes a concrete argument, several actually, as to why this shouldn’t have happened. He’s eloquent, on the money and well-researched. All fine qualities I admire, but rarely replicate.
In other words, I disagree. I think the 550k was a steal for what Drake could bring this team. I think the role he could play is one of leadership and violence. And I think Ken Holland has an idea of what he’s doing. It almost reminds me of last August when Hasek was signed. On the surface, it appeared a desperation move. But we know it turned out better than any of us expected. Holland seems to have a plan, and I’m going to go with it for now. He’s earned the benefit of the doubt.
Stan Fischler, writing for the New England Hockey Journal, offers a few Wing-related observations in his latest column for one of the twenty three publications he seems to be affiliated with.
On The Captain
Any doubts that Steve Yzerman was serious about his front-office role were dispelled when he was a featured member of the Detroit Red Wings’ high command at the owners’ last conference in Manhattan.
Speaking of…I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t more than a little Yzer-influence on today’s Drake signing.
Christy Hammond at Behind the Jersey has gone to a variety of sources to translate an article that recently appeared in a Swede paper. In it, Zetterberg discusses wrist problems, back problems and his wishes to stay a Wing for life.
“If Detroit wants to, I’ll sign a contract for the rest of my career.”
Let me answer that for you Hank. Detroit wants to. And you’ll be the league’s highest paid player next fall.
At 35, I called for Dallas Drake. That’s right, when I was 35 I said, “we need Drake.” At 37, during the Summer of Ken, I called for Drake again. I said we needed that kind of grit, that kind of leadership in our room.
And now, at 38, we land him. Oh, and he’s 38 too…in case you were wondering. A one-year deal for $550,000. Three years later? I still like it.
He’s spent the last six seasons in St. Louis and served as the team’s captain. The Wings have been trying to reacquire Drake for the last six years. Twice, the Blues outbid them in their efforts to sign him.
Editorial note: it’s rare, but sometimes I do stray into worlds that don’t necessarily include hockey. In those instances, the word “perspective” will typically be in the subject of the post. If the subject matter offends you, feel free to say so. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Perspective? Yes. I’ve got a little for you. Back in the states after a short trip to The Cradle and I’ve returned to find a team that is Smyth-less, improved, yet largely the same. Schneider’s gone, so is Bertuzzi. Rafalski’s here and Hasek is back. The blue line is better, but offensively there are questions. The Groin that wasn’t an issue will most likely become a story by Christmas and there is at least one more UFA out there waiting to head to Hockeytown.
I woke up at 0218 (Bahrain time, also known over here as the time that the Saudis are all headed back across the border, driving home after a night of conveniently forgetting some of Allah’s more unreasonable prohibitions) in somewhat of a panic.
Why? Most likely because that was the precise time Paul posted this little diddy: Bertuzzi Signs With Ducks
No mention of money, not yet. But, man…Kenny? As someone noted below the Summer of Smyth is sucking, ‘specially when compared with the Summer of Ken.
Schneider, now Bertuzzi? That’s tough. I need to see the economics of this one….soon, because I’m on the verge of getting pissed off. Khan(!) says the two-year offer vice the one from the Wings sealed it.
No Hasek yet, but “he’s close”. That’s nice. Because if we don’t sign him soon we’ll have a problem, you know, “stopping the puck.” But maybe that won’t matter because half our team has, what’s the word? Oh yeah…“defected.”
5 years/30 mil.
Essentially, the Wings have given up potent scoring for a very steady defenseman who can put up 50 points per season, and quarterback the PP almost as well as Schneider. I’ll withhold comment on this until we see what else Wunderkind is up to.
added 7:23pm, Check out the transcript of the interview Rafalski did with TSN… Great job George…
Mathieu Schneider says sayonara and heads back to the Kings for six million/year.
Well, that was three days ago. Wrong team, but right state and damn near exact amount. Sad? Of course you are. What do we lose? A lot: 157 points over three years, a blast from the point, a constant threat and some violent tendencies rarely mentioned but always appreciated.
So…5.6/year? Was that too rich for Kenny’s blood?
Maybe. Or maybe he’s thinking Kronwall can put up 2/3 of that and we won’t be hurt by Schneider’s defection. And maybe he’s hedging his bets and stashing his cash.
For who? You know who.
So, Sunday’s July the first; and July the first starts the Summer of Smyth. And the Summer of Smyth better culminate with that frigging hippie eating cheddar in Hockeytown. What seemed unlikely to the pessimistic among you now has a bit more reality attached to it. The 50.3 Cap has given the Wunderkind some breathing room. But a few million dollars doesn’t mean a stress-free existence for our boy Kenny. Nope, he’s got some decisions to make; and one of them just may be the toughest of his tenure as genius behind the dynasty.
Could it come down to a choice between Mathieu Schneider and Ryan Smyth? If so, who do you shell out the bucks to? Ponder that while I dig a bit.
Good for us. Scott Bowman has apparently been chatting back and forth with Toronto, most likely via instant message with LOL’s and BFF’s and ROFLMAO’s and little Generation Y emoticons. But when the time came for a decision, the Leafs decided Scotty was asking too much. He wanted to tip over that Toronto apple cart and start fresh.
Bowman, who has never been one to mince words, was prepared to bring in a young executive as the general manager in waiting. He even had discussions with at least one person about the position and discussed the roster of talent with many around the NHL.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org