Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Hey Toronto….You Want Wings? We’ve Got a Few Suggestions

Look.  We understand.  We know what a drought is. We know that one of the effects of said drought is a level of Lowe-like desperation that could prompt an organ-I-zation to execute plans many of us would consider to be less than savory.  We get it.

So we, the Wing fans, aren’t angry with Toronto for trying to steal away everyone from the janitors on up.  In fact, because the staffers here at A2Y appreciate the O6 and TO’s place within that legendary group, we’d like to help.  You can’t have Kenny, and you can’t have the Captain.  And, no, you can’t have Scotty either…even though you feel you’re owed a stop on the Bowman tour of hockey towns.

But there are plenty of other Wing icons to choose from.

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Just Move The Whole Team to TO

Yes.  Multiple sources.  Multiple.  Credibility abounds. Take your pick. 

Sportsnet

As reported in Sunday’s Toronto Sun, word around the league suggests that the Leafs will only make a move in the GM position if they can land a star name such as Mark Messier, Ron Francis or Steve Yzerman.

“The Leafs need to have somebody with star power,” said an NHL executive to the Sun.

Star power?  Larry Brooks has a suggestion.

Dialogue has resumed between Scotty Bowman and the board of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment aimed at working out a deal so the nine-time Cup-winning coach and one-time player personnel director would become the Toronto club’s president and director of hockey operations, Slap Shots has been told.

Enjoy your Monday.

 

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Comforts of Home? Grigorenko Struggling in Russia Too

Matthew Wuest at RedwingsCentral.com reports that the disappointments seem to be continuing for Igor Grigorenko.  After five games in the Russian “elite” League, he has only one goal.  More encouraging is his write up on the next Swede, Joakim Andersson.

He’s a go-to player, and that’s a good sign.

“I hate to use the comparison, but he’s a (Henrik) Zetterberg type of player,” Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson said. “The upside isn’t as high (as Zetterberg’s), but he’s going to be a very dependable player. He might get 40 points in the NHL and give you very good defense and kill penalties.”

Read more...including an update on the Ryno return to Sweden and a disturbing start for Jimmy Howard in GR.

 

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Life Without Rivalries?

We, the even-keeled staffers here at A2Y, admit that the Dive no longer present us with the rivalry we enjoyed so much for nearly six years.  We’ve come to grips with the fact that a team who misses the playoffs doesn’t provide the level of competition required to sustain the sort of hate-fest that we thrived on up until Roy’s failed State of Liberty in ‘02.

And, yes, we’ve been searching for a replacement.  Last night may have given a glimpse into what could be a future rival. But, honestly, there is none.  Not now.

Greg Eno has more on this.

Looking around the NHL the other day, I couldn’t come up with a single team that elicits anything close to the hostility that the Red Wings mustered up against the Colorado Avalanche a decade ago. Thanks to the league’s ridiculous unbalanced schedule, you can forget about getting anything going with any of the teams from the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings hardly play those teams anymore. It should be noted that residing in the East are such Original Six teams as the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, once fierce rivals with the team from Detroit. No longer, thanks to enforced separation.

Another reason to read?  A quote you may have forgotten from Patrick Roy that will remind you of what an ass he is and was.

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Central Concern?

Updated 1400 EST:  Be sure and read Baroque’sanalysis of the Central.  The statistical ying to my reactionary yang.

You’re still reeling.  This whole damn season is some sort of wacked-out opposite of everything we’ve come to take for granted thing.  Eleven games against the Central and only ten points out of a possible 22?  A sweep in the far west for the first time, what, ever?  Blanked by Chicago?  Can’t sell out the Joe?  Hasek in the tank and Osgood on fire?  And then, finally, this…
Khan(!)

“Tonight—and I never, ever say this—was the first time in a long, long time we didn’t have enough people ready to play and ready to compete. That’s unacceptable and that’s not Red Wing-like.’‘

It’s rare that Uncle Mike calls his buddies out in public.  Unprecedented really.  But there it is, and, yep, it’s deserved.  What was a cute little aside—this temporary difficulty with our little Central sisters—has become an issue.

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Live From Columbus

Danny Gare just told us Nationwide is jam packed, the largest crowd since they opened the place.  BJs coming off a shutout of Minnesota last night.  Wings with their rightful starter back in net.  Live blog here if you so choose.

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Kopecky, Ellis Out:  Interesting 4th Line As A Result

Now here’s an intriguing line for tonite’s matchup with the BJs.
Khan(!)

Jiri Hudler will center the fourth line with Dallas Drake and Aaron Downey. Hudler said he played center his whole career until coming to North America a few years ago and being switched to the wing. Kopecky, injured last Wednesday against St. Louis, said he hopes to resume skating Monday and play either Tuesday or Thursday.

 

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From Bitterness…Brilliance

Thankfully, here at A2Y, we choose the high road more often than not.  Oh, there are the rare occasions when we choose to point out some of the deficiencies of the 6 remaining Dive fans in Denver.  But only when their true colors are impossible to ignore.  Unfortunately for them, that’s weekly.

What we try very hard to avoid, here at A2Y—a blog dedicated to high-level, serious-minded conversation, is the denigration of another team (other than the HDID) or fan base (besides Darren Garcia and his friends).  Have the opportunities presented themselves to, for instance, attack our friends at Canucks and Beyond?  Certainly.  But book-store owners, in my experience, are easy prey. So we lay off.

But that’s not to say we don’t notice when they choose to hop back into the sewer.  Because sometimes….well, sometimes they bring to light valuable bits of info.

Like this…

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Statistically Speaking

Looking back at Thanksgiving 2007 and the only thing more painful than watching our Czech Miracle of Insanity try to get off the ice in the last 90 seconds was the 23 second shot Fox gave us of William Clay Ford attempting to put his glasses on.  Again and again the old man tried to find his nose, and it just wasn’t happening.  Riveting. 

Tonite the Wings wrap up a 9-game stretch against the division that Gary built. We can be thankful for that.  Why?  Not because the hockey’s been boring, as in previous years, but because Detroit’s performance has been mediocre—at best—against teams we’ve traditionally owned.  Detroit’s now lost five times to teams within the Central, the same number they pointed to in April of last year.  Only Columbus has yet to defeat Detroit.  And they probably won’t tonite either.

Why?

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Blame The Euro’s If You’re Stupid

Pretty good argument in the face of those who claim the reason for the decline in Wing attendance this year is due to the high number of Europeans in red and white.

If the Joe Louis Arena was rockin’ at capacity in 2001 with 11 Europeans, how can you attribute today’s attendance problem to the addition of one more player from across the Atlantic? There may be something to be said about the exit of such all-world players as Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan from the scene, but I find it hard for any fan, casual or not, of hockey to not be mesmerized in the same way by the smooth dangles and top-notch finish of guys like Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

More from Gauntlet Sports...

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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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