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Abel to Yzerman

Final Grades

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Ultimately the record shows the 2018-19 Detroit Red Wings were not very good.

They played hard and they played with speed, but they had trouble scoring (2.73 goals per game, 21st in the NHL), they had trouble keeping the puck out of their own net (3.32, 27th). Their power play was good in spurts but middling overall (18.1%, 19th) and their penalty kill was among the worst in the league (77.1%, 28th)....

Justin Abdelkader
2018-19:
6 goals, 14 assists, 19 points in 71 games.

Salary cap hit: $4.25 million.

2019-20 status: Signed.

Grade: It’s troubling just how much Abdelkader’s play has dropped off. He doesn’t contribute much offensively (he went 40 games between goals five and six), isn’t physical, and doesn’t move well. There are four years left on his contract. If next season begins as poorly as this one has gone, the Wings need to consider sending a message and putting him on waivers. D.

Andreas Athanasiou
2018-19:
30 goals, 24 assists, 54 points in 76 games.

Salary cap hit: $3 million.

2019-20 status: Signed.

Grade: He’s realized how much of an impact he can make, and is doing it consistently. He’s become a threat both at wing and at center, and has asserted himself as a central part of the rebuild. With continued growth, he could become a 40-goal scorer with his ability to create on his own. A.

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Comments

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It’s troubling just how much Abdelkader’s play has dropped off.

If only it were unexpected in any way.

He doesn’t contribute much offensively, isn’t physical, and doesn’t move well.

Kind of amazing that every single person in the hockey world except Ken Holland saw this coming miles and miles and miles and miles away.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/10/19 at 09:14 AM ET

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She didn’t rank Cholowski for some reason…

Posted by Dseven on 04/10/19 at 09:24 AM ET

SauceBoss's avatar

It’s troubling just how much Abdelkader’s play has dropped off


At this point I’d rather have 8 years of 1.145M on the books then have to suffer through 4 more years of watching that pylon on skates

Posted by SauceBoss on 04/10/19 at 09:42 AM ET

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Agree with most grades. Could have had Green/Daley/E a half or full grade lower but understand injuries played a part. Thought helm deserved a D too. Kind of surprised by the D+ for Ras, stick him with plugs on the 4th line and what do you expect from him? Biggest disagreement is with the coaching staff at a B…

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/10/19 at 09:50 AM ET

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At this point I’d rather have 8 years of 1.145M on the books then have to suffer through 4 more years of watching that pylon on skates

At this point I’d rather have $3M+ in dead cap and Abdelkader riding the bus in Grand Rapids “teaching” with Brian Lashoff.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/10/19 at 10:09 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

What’s a guy gotta do to get a failing grade around here?

Posted by RWBill on 04/10/19 at 11:12 AM ET

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Bizarre uses of “stoke” and “nurture” for a professional writer.

C-

It’s still insightful to see HSJ indicate Abdelkader could be waived as a wake up call (he needs to be more productive somehow but it’s not unusual for an oft-injured, and aging player by current league standards to lose mobility and effectiveness. Abdelkader was physical by playing on a edge and he may have lost too many lopsided fights to keep it up. It’s hard to forecheck when you can’t keep up. And hard to put up points when you don’t have lucky #13 banking pucks off your body.

It’s also interesting to see her suggest Ericsson might struggle to even play next season due to injuries.

An A is a little premature for Hirose though his play was encouraging for sure. Howard and Ehn were graded a touch too high. Rasmussen was in a tough spot due to age but the grade was honest. If Ericsson was a C- I’d have given the same to Daley.

Yes, odd she avoided grading Cholowski. Kind of a tale of two seasons. Did she forget or did someone tell her the kid would take a C too hard?

Mostly grades looked pretty fair. I mostly see what she says as an insight to management’s thinking.

 

 

Posted by lefty.30 on 04/10/19 at 11:44 AM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

A little high on AA, Mantha, Daley and Vanek, but everything else seems about right.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 04/10/19 at 12:14 PM ET

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it’s not unusual for an oft-injured, and aging player by current league standards to lose mobility and effectiveness.

Also not unusual when that guy loses the two hall of famers who were carrying him.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/10/19 at 12:27 PM ET

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An A is a little premature for Hirose

Premature? These are grades for the 2018-2019 season. The 2018-2019 season is over. What more do you want them to judge him on?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/10/19 at 12:28 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Premature? These are grades for the 2018-2019 season. The 2018-2019 season is over. What more do you want them to judge him on?

She could have left him off of the list. Both Hicketts and Megan played more games than Kuffner and Hirose and were left off. Or she could have given him an INC grade like I’ve seen her do in the past.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 04/10/19 at 12:40 PM ET

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She could have left him off of the list. Both Hicketts and Megan played more games than Kuffner and Hirose and were left off. Or she could have given him an INC grade like I’ve seen her do in the past.

Maybe they should’ve included Hicketts and Megan, though both of those guys played their games over multiple callups whereas Hirose played a continuous 10 games.

As for the grades, I don’t know if you know this but they’re actually non-binding. Helene isn’t putting together the Wings’ roster next year based on these grades, they’re just a gimmick around which to build her article.

And what good does an INC do for the article? The whole point is for people to read the grades and debate about them, who’s going to debate an INC? I mean, besides you apparently.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/10/19 at 01:32 PM ET

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Vanek is a D in my book. 5-6 backhanded no look passes to nowhere ever single game.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/10/19 at 01:47 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

As for the grades, I don’t know if you know this but they’re actually non-binding. Helene isn’t putting together the Wings’ roster next year based on these grades, they’re just a gimmick around which to build her article.

You really are insufferable. It was apparently worth your time to call out lefty over a meaningless list then, huh?

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 04/10/19 at 01:47 PM ET

d ca's avatar

So 1 failing grade on a team
A team that finished 4th worst in the league
A team that should have finished 2nd or 3rd worse if not for an untimely winning streak which cost them in draft position
And only 1 player deserved a failing grade?

Talk about being too close to a team to write objectively

Has any reporter brought up the standings and some of the contract terms remaining with regards to a plan to improve. In other words is the plan to ride out the remaining years on these under-preforming players’ contracts, buy them out, or trade them by eating money?

What the plan is to bury Abdelkader with the A on his shoulder in the minors (when no one claims him on waivers)?

As far as roster next year:
I see only minor changes to next year:
Frk and Sadowy won’t be qualified,
Wings don’t extend Vanek or McIlrath,
Zadina makes the team out of camp but gets pulled up and down a few times.
Rasmussen and Kuffner gets assigned to the Griffins but go up and down too.
Cholowski and Hronek move up a pairing.
Bowey, De La Rose, and Witkowski are the healthy scratches most nights.
And if the Wings are lucky they move a healthy Daley right before the deadline allowing Lindstrom to stay up (as Kronner and Errorson will be hurt alot next year)

So what is expected another bottom 10 finish with the Wings progressing to 8th-10th worst team in the league?

Does Holland throw stupid terms and money in July at 29 year old Erik Karlsson or 29 year old Tyler Myers? Perhaps an offer sheet to Jacob Trouba (knowing the Jets will match and thus making Myers more easily available) or trade for rights to either before the draft? Make a run at 29 year old Jake Gardiner?

I am sorry I just don’t see next year being that much different than this year. We’ll all be rooting for a lottery win this time next year again laughing at 1 failing grade on a team near the bottom of the standings.

Posted by d ca on 04/10/19 at 02:00 PM ET

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I don’t think Mantha deserves an A. I’d put him more at a B. He pulled a Tatar by score a bunch when it didn’t matter.

I missed the F that people are referring to. Who got it?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/10/19 at 03:34 PM ET

d ca's avatar

I don’t think Mantha deserves an A. I’d put him more at a B. He pulled a Tatar by score a bunch when it didn’t matter.

I missed the F that people are referring to. Who got it?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/10/19 at 03:34 PM ET

I didn’t go to a public high school so I can’t speak to their grading scale. But for my high school and colleges, anything less than a “C-“ was a failing grade. That’s probably why you and I look at the grades differently.

Posted by d ca on 04/11/19 at 12:27 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

What’s a guy gotta do to get a failing grade around here?
Posted by RWBill on 04/10/19 at 11:12 AM ET

The grades must be on an internal team curve

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 04/11/19 at 03:32 PM ET

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Posted by d ca on 04/11/19 at 12:27 PM E

It really isn’t a stretch to understand a grading scale that most everyone uses. But, I digress…...I now understand your grade for Abbey is a C minus which, according to my scale
Makes him slightly below average to public school idiots. How’s that for my Brother Rice education (too) understanding of you point?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/11/19 at 05:04 PM ET

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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