Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

See Ya Schneids

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.

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Will Wings Have To Choose Between Schneider and Smyth?

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.

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Note To The Leafs:  You Missed The Bowman Boat

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.

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Note To Gary

You have to think Gary Bettman reads pretty much anything NHL-related.  Let’s go ahead and establish that.  Keeping that in mind, let me make one recommendation.  Don’t just read this article from The Emperor.  Digest it.  Ruminate on it.  And use it as concrete evidence that the hockey bloggers are the best group of friends this league has.

Access, Gary.  Full access to every team.  Three bloggers per team with the same opportunities as the MSM.  The results can only bring more exposure to a sport that sorely needs it.

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If Not Schneider…

...who?  If 23 bolts for the big bucks, which blueliner bolsters the back end in Hockeytown?  Well, that’s the question, eh?  We can certainly expect oft-injured and abrasive Dany Markov to return with the Schneider cash cleared, but there are other options…maybe even in addition to Markov.

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Note to Bubba:  Gary Shafted You

I feel bad for the DD’s.  On a glorious weekend that many of us spent drunkenly sprawled in our backyards surrounded by half-eaten blocks of cheddar, Judy Blume novels and the left-over screws and bolts from the gazebo we put together without reading the instructions or paying much attention to the warning on the top step of the ladder that says “don’t step”; Kulfan, St. James and Khan(!) were all sweating it out with the rest of the “media elite” in beautiful Columbus.

So, away we go; a Sunday’s worth of deep digging and some summer thoughts.

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Looking for Wing Pick Info?

Your boy Teddy Kulfan’s got short breakdowns on every Detroit pick. You can see them here.

Also check out Red Wings Central for quite a bit of news on the first round selection, Brendan Smith.  Not much over there on the later round selections, but those guys are prospect nuts so I’m sure they’ll have comprehensive reviews on all the youngsters soon.

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Wing Talk From The Draft

Updated 1420 EST:  A Rice asked below if I’d heard anything about Ryan Smyth.  Considering I’ve coined this the Summer of Smyth, it seems logical I should provide an update on the future Wing.  Here’s the latest from Tim Wharnsby at The Globe and Mail.

There will be plenty of speculation as to which sweater soon-to-be-unrestricted free agent Ryan Smyth will wear next season between now and when the free-agency period begins on July 1. In less than 24 hours in Columbus, we’ve already heard four different scenarios concerning Smyth.

1. The New York Islanders were confident that they will re-sign Captain Canada any day now.
2. He will only sign with a Canadian club.
3. The Islanders were trying to trade Smyth’s rights.
4. Smyth would prefer to test the market on July 1 and then decide on the best fit.

The first rumour is false. At this point, the Islanders have no chance at re-signing Smyth. The third circumstance may happen, but the buyer should be aware that the third scenario is the direction Smyth wants to travel. He wants to sign with a team that appears to him a win-win situation. The first win is the contract and the second win is how competitive the team will be.

And from Bruce Garrioch.

There’s a lot of talk Anaheim could bring in Ryan Smyth next season. He will be an unrestricted free agent and GM Brian Burke could have the money to spend if Teemu Selanne retires.

Expect a cap of 50.5.  If you’re wondering if you should like that…you should.

Word is Todd Bertuzzi’s looking for 3 million/year for 3 years.  Not gonna happen with the Wings.  Detroit’s looking at a one year, incentive laden contract; then probably looking to sign him longer term if he proves himself after next season.

Mathieu Schneider is willing to discuss a home team discount with Detroit, but he only has so much will power.  If someone offers him something insane like 6mil/year over two or three, it would be tough for him to turn it down.  However, if the offer is “reasonable”, like 3 or 4 over two or three, then he’d probably accept 400k less to stay with the Wings.

Hasek’s deal is as good as done, just working out some of the minor details.

And there’s this…Igor Grigorenko is considered about 80 percent of what he used to be, but the Wings are still looking forward to seeing what he can do in TC and chances are good he’ll end up with a spot.

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Fans are Rabid For Hockey In Okinawa

Unbelievable interest in the NHL in the Far East.  As I ordered my Orion beer, seaweed and raw fish the waiter was discussing Nick Lidstrom’s 5th Norris Trophy with a few patrons just to my left.  They were speaking in Japanese so I couldn’t understand precisely what was being said.  In fact, I couldn’t understand a single word.  But I could tell by their excited tone that Lidstrom was the subject.  Rumors on the streets here (e5) are that Gary Bettman heard a similar converstaion while watching Speed Racer in a Karaoke bar in Tokyo four weeks ago, just before he sang “Chevy Van.”  Heading to the airport to begin my 25 hour trek back to the states.  Semi-regular posting will re-convene soon.

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Singapore Loves Its Hockey

Blogging from the East, the far East.  A whirlwind tour of Singapore, Guam and Japan has left me hockey-less and incommunicado the last week or so.  Regular posting will re-commence soon.  I will mention that Tiger Beer is good, very good.  Have patience troopers.  A2Y will return in a few short days.

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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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