Abel to Yzerman
It won’t be just a local story this time. Nope. The Wing win last night, as fun as it was to see, will be secondary to the echo chamber they played in. As Mike Emrich and Ed Olczyk did their pre-game deal on camera, the results of Red Wing apathy jumped out at us on Versus. A thousand empty seats just minutes before faceoff.
So prepare yourselves because that’s going to be the story today. When Detroit can’t fill the Joe on opening night against a team that barely beat us in the conference final…well, just stand by.
Your Deep Diggers set a new standard for laziness over the summer, and we wouldn’t have expected anything less. But, at the risk of losing their “write-from-home” status, every one of them awakened this week to provide us riveting previews of the season ahead. Yesterday was the News, followed today by the Free Press and Booth (Mlive).
Detroit News Preview
Masterminds of Hockeytown
Breaking Down The East
Breaking Down The West
Ten Moments That Shaped The Rise To The Top
Steady Guard: Youngsters Benefitting from Vets
Forever Young: Age Just a Number For Wing Old Crusty Bastards
Interactive Look At Nick Lidstrom
The offseason hadn’t been this short in nearly five years. But it sure did drag. A lack of drama over the summer, perhaps? Most likely. Our big discussion topic was a Russian kid who’s not even on the roster, and may very well play his way back home.
Other than that, it was a summer of recovery. Recovery from losing in the Western Finals to a team the Wings had on the ropes, and to a lumbering idiot like Chris Pronger. Since last May, two Wings have defected to the hockey hotbed of SOCAL and Anaheim named a Sasquatch their Captain.
Have you forgotten precisely how you felt about Pronger? I think I had, so I went back and read a few posts from last May, just to get the hate working in preparation for the season opener on Versus!!!!
Ted Kulfan’s weblog last night had a few nuggets you might be interested in. First off, he mentions the fact that the trend of disinterest continues. Opening night, against the Cup champs the Wings should have beaten in the West Final, is far from a sell-out. The only redeeming factor is that the game will be played on Versus!!!, thereby ensuring the majority of the country won’t see the empty seats.
There’s a headline I’ll bet you’d never expected to see here, eh? It’s well-earned. John Niyo, Ted Kulfan and Bob Wojnowski recently sat down with Mike Ilitch, Jimmy Devellano, Jim Nill, Scotty Bowman and Ken Holland. Name a hot topic the last twenty five years and they touch on it: the defections from the Eastern Bloc, the brilliant drafts of ‘83 and ‘89, the near-trade of Steve Yzerman and the current mindset of us against the NHL.
Devellano: Kenny Holland and I have been in the company of at least two general managers—and I won’t tell you who they are—(who said), ‘We can hardly wait until we have a salary cap so we’re on a level playing field with you.’ (They were) intimating that once the salary cap is in place, they’re going to come and pass us. Well, one team missed the playoffs last year, now that they’re on an even playing field, and the other just about caught us but didn’t quite do it.
The anti-Digger, Bruce MacLeod, just blogged from the Joe that the lineup is set.
Matt Ellis is on the roster and moving his wife and child to Detroit this week.
Aaron Downey has been offered a two-way contract that he says he’ll likely accept. If he does, he’ll start the season in Detroit.
Mark Hartigan has been put on waivers with the intent of being assigned to Grand Rapids.
Igor Grigorenko has been assigned to Grand Rapids.
I don’t know what idiot blogger guaranteed Grigorenko would start the year in Detroit. I’ll find out who and get back to you.
And despite earlier hints at a Chelios injury, he’s attending the Wirtz funeral; which is why he wasn’t practicing this morning.
Helene St. James reports from the Joe that the Wings have begun practice. Ellis is on the ice. Downey is on the ice. Grigorenko…is not.
The Red Wings have just begun their practice at Joe Louis Arena this Monday morning, and Igor Grigorenko is absent from the group, indicating he may have been sent to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint.
The Wings haven’t released their final roster moves yet, but here’s the outlook from practice: Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey are on the ice. Mark Hartigan is not.
What appeared to be nothing more than pre-season circumstance a week ago has been made official. Pavel Datsyuk will join Henrik Zetterberg and Kris Draper as alternate captains.
“...because we think he’s a big part of our leadership group,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We want Datsyuk to understand that.”
St. James said the Wings will figure out a rotation between Datsyuk, Draper and Zetterberg.
Weird. Brent Sopel travels to Toronto with the Wings yesterday, only to tell them he’s signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks. It makes sense, from a fashion standpoint.
A2Y Reader, SRT
good luck with your fellow giveaway partner with the equally dashing hair…
Let’s see what we can find on this one, eh?
Brent Sopel’s a happy boy today. Because nothing makes you smile like the misfortune of others, at least that’s the case when you used to make millions and now you’re about a 50/50 shot of playing in the NHL this year—at least for the Wings.
There’s one fewer candidate to win a roster spot on the Red Wings defense.
Kyle Quincey was walking around the locker room Friday with a cast on his left hand, the result of a broken bone suffered during intra-squad scrimmages back in Traverse City earlier in the month.
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