Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman


It doesn't take a pharmacist to figure out what's happening here.  In fact, it's been coming for a couple years. 

In January it will be 9 years since we started A2Y and, simply, I'm going to fall just short of reaching that anniversary.  The main hatchway has, once and for all, given in.

Most of you know I started a new job in May and it's one I've wanted my entire career.  In order to do it right, I've had to devote considerable time to it.  My family will attest to that, believe me.  But most of you have realized it too. Blogging hasn't been possible. Paul's carried me. George and Red Menace too. 

But Balboa wasn't fond of being carried and he let Mickey know that at the 22 minute mark of Rocky III, one of the most dramatic moments in American film history.  I'm not a fan of it either, and I told Paul this morning that an exit strategy was in order.  I'm not going to drag this out. I'm not going to sporadically post (anymore). I'm just gonna call it quits and thank all of you for being great friends.  I'm not sure what's going to come of A2Y. I carry no parochial rights to the name or the blog, itself.  I'd say that if any of you are interested in stepping up, Paul would be very willing to listen.  The Live Blogs have carried Abel to Yzerman for the last couple years and I know the staple they've become for many of you on game day. 

It's hard to believe we've been going this long.  Together we've experienced some of the greatest moments in Red Wing history and we've suffered together through some soul-crushing episodes.  We've seen this team shift generations. We watched Nick Lidstrom hoist his final Stanley Cup together and it's incredible to think that, as a group of 19, we never saw The Captain do the same. 

We've waged silly wars with Dive fans, Pens fans, Duck fans, a Predator fan and the three people in Missouri who can read.  We've met Darren Garcia and cherished him for the city he represented so well.  We hated things together. Oh, my. Did we ever levy some hate.  Mostly me, but you guys too. Gary Bettman was target A#1. As I go out, I'd like to say to you Gary that I respect your role as commissioner of this great league and despite the criticism thrown at you here and from other corners, you're a good man and your integrity should never have been questioned the way it was here from time to time.

Re-phrase: you're a paranoid shrew who leads a pathetic league through incompetence, personal greed, personal bias and sheer stupidity. You're a laughingstock and ripping you to shreds has brought me pleasure that borders on the physical.

Sorry. Got off track.

We rode Stress Trains together, nearly two hundred of them stretching across 8 Springs (minus Gary's lockout year...you fuch).  We created juvenile names and they stuck: Charlie Buckets and William Tell. Tick Tock and Stillwuzzi, our favorite serial killer.  Wally and James Tiberius Howard.  You talked about his dong a lot.  We suffered through sphincter minutes and whiskey dick.  We loved our coach and we hated him.  We trusted him and we envied his hair.  We questioned him and we hailed him when he proved to be brilliant, which he is.  We begged Manny Legace to stop talking about it, and just do it.  We still talk about penalty kills from Kirk Maltby, Darren Helm and Hank Zetterberg.  We despised our villains: the Talbots, the Prongers, the Niedermayers. Many others.

We picked fights with other blogs. We stuck together at all times. We drank together and RWBill tried to pick up my wife right in front of me.  We are transplants and we are Michigan natives who never left.  I'll always consider myself one of you, long after I've typed my last word here in a few minutes.

Paul has put up with a lot where A2Y is concerned. Man, the emails he's gotten.  If I was a chick I'd put "LOL" right there.  The complaints from the masses about the fact that I may have said something a little offensive. But only a little.  He never once asked me to remove a word. Never changed a single post. Never did anything but defend us for our right to have an opinion.  He's been a great boss and a great friend.

I had a blast here. I did. I loved letting my mind wander and flow through the keyboard right to this blog.  Little structure. Very little discipline. Even less neutrality. I never claimed to be anything other than an arrogant Wing fan who happened to have people to talk to about it. I loved it.  Truly. 

But I don't have the time and, honestly, I can't remember the last post I gave you that was more than a few paragraphs and even those felt forced.  I told my wife about this today and she asked if it was permanent or a sabbatical or what. I'd say it's permanent. I don't see my job slowing down and, I don't know...maybe I'll throw something up when the playoffs start. But I'm not counting on it. I plan to be at sea, on a Destroyer, probably throwing up because that thing moves in heavy seas, brother.

Thanks for reading me the last (almost) 9 years. Thanks for your friendship and your loyalty to the greatest organ-i-zation in sports. Ever. 

Somewhere Murph is frigging wasted.  The Cup comes back to Detroit about 20 Tuesdays from the next one.  16 more wins to 12.

I'm out.  Bitches.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


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Nate A's avatar

Sad day.

Say safe out there Master Chief.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 11/28/13 at 05:48 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

I just looked at the calendar and it isn’t April 1. Thank you, Chief. You ruined a perfectly good holiday by dropping this bombshell, so **** you for that….but you’ve transformed and galvanized a group of ridiculously creative hockey fans into one hell of a great group of folks to share hockey with.

Thanks for all you’ve done, all you are doing, and I personally thank you for continued service.

You better be back here for playoffs, someone needs to mop the Hasek.

Cheers, Sir. You will be missed greatly.

Posted by The Hurricane on 11/28/13 at 05:51 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Fair winds and following seas, Chief.

I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for this blog. Can’t thank you enough.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/28/13 at 05:53 PM ET

FranzensMouthguard's avatar

Godspeed, Chief. Thanks for the memories

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 11/28/13 at 06:01 PM ET

Fugazi's avatar

As a Sharks fan I always enjoyed how you lead this blog with a humor and grace that only a rabid Red Wings fan could.

Good Luck from the Left Coast

Posted by Fugazi from Bay Area, Left Coast on 11/28/13 at 06:01 PM ET

eyesris's avatar

Chief… While it sucks that you are hanging up the skates I can’t even come close to thanking you for all the posts throughout the years. I don’t comment like I did back in the day (twitter took over a long time ago for me) but I’ve always read each and every post here. There were many days when one of your posts showed up in my RSS feed and, well, I’d get excited. You ruined all the Wings blogs that came after you because, to me, they were all just trying to be you and they couldn’t even come close. Well, except for George because he’s George smile

I’ve said this before here but thank you for giving my grandfather his last look at the Wings on his death bed in Febuary of 2008. I’ll never forget that, sir.

Godspeed sir. Godspeed.

Posted by eyesris from Asheville, NC on 11/28/13 at 06:02 PM ET


Thanks for the memories Chief, you’ll definitely be missed. Stay safe, Master Chief!

Posted by TheNorm41 on 11/28/13 at 06:02 PM ET

Bent's avatar

A sad day.

We’ll miss you Chief.  As long as someone is willing to start the posts, we’ll keep the place warm while you’re out, and hope to see you back someday.  The other blogs just aren’t juvenile enough for the 19.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 11/28/13 at 06:05 PM ET

Paul's avatar

It has been a pleasure having you around Bill and honestly, you were able to put in to words what I could not.

Best in the future and like probably everyone here, you will be on my mind on a daily basis.

I will be posting something in a few days about moving forward, but one thing is for sure, Abel to Yzerman will remain with KK for at least the remainder of the season.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/28/13 at 06:06 PM ET

elphantasmo5000's avatar

Very happy to hear you are where you want to be career wise. That is a great feeling and a great place to be at. Thanks for the wonderful years. Don’t be a stranger forever. Thank you Chief! Godspeed.

Posted by elphantasmo5000 on 11/28/13 at 06:07 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

Thanks for everything done in these 9 years, Chief
I’ll certainly miss the live blogs. Even if I never posted on them, reading them before the game started was and still is a tradition!
I’m certain that someone will keep it alive, even if not as sarcastic and petulant as you were (and yes, those were compliments!)

Anyway, you are still part of the 19, I take it? No need to give such emotional goodbye, please show up whenever you can!

Posted by Zqto on 11/28/13 at 06:14 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Thanks, Bill.

Seriously, many, many Thanks for your wit and your service.

Be safe. We’ll keep the light on. Join us for No. 12 in ‘14.


Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/28/13 at 06:16 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

+19 for inspiring us Wings fans for all these years Bill. You will certainly be missed up here in Toronto. All the best on your future adventures, and thank you for keeping us all safe - LGRW!

Posted by BrendonTO on 11/28/13 at 06:20 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Sad day. For a long time now, I open Chrome and four tabs, then type R+enter (rwbrasil), A+enter (a2y), M+enter (gmail) and G+enter (grantland).

When I think of Wings “fans”, I think of the 19. When I think of Wings “fan”, I think of the Chief, who gathered so many people in his Wing-church, who made us angrier than we would’ve been otherwise, more arrogant than we could ever ever, and especially more united than fans, even on the same room, ever were. I think of him kicking off the greatest week of my life and not even being able to go and receive his well-deserved hug and Zamboni ride.

If it wasn’t for the Chief, I’d probably never start blogging. My avatar would be different. Heck, maybe I’d watch the few games that ESPN brings me and get the rest of the scores on the next day. But you started this madhouse, somehow we maniacs found each other here, and I had to watch every game, even if I’d spend 65% of the game with the screen on A2Y and not on the feed.

Thanks, Chief. We are all proud of you, for what you’ve done to this community and for everything else that you represent, hockey or not.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 11/28/13 at 06:28 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Sad day indeed…I was not here for nine years, but I really enjoyed reading your posts.

Congratulations on your dream job

Un gros merci smile

Posted by gowings from MTL on 11/28/13 at 06:29 PM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

Honestly almost teared up reading this. Almost. I mean you’re not dead or anything, so no, I didn’t really cry. Salt water did not pass my eyelashes. I think that’s a solid “not crying” but dammit it was close.

I know I’ve retreated to lurker status on here but I’ve still been around. I miss slingin’ jokes with you all. And the fact is, Chief is basically both the Adam and Eve of internet Red Wing fanhood. It started and cultivated here and I’ve come to know so many people because of this place.

Never had the chance to meet you in person Chief, but I don’t even feel like that matters. I’ve known you enough to have an impact such as nearly fuching tearing up reading this. You’ll be missed, and that’s an understatement.

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 11/28/13 at 06:36 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

You are one of a kind, Bill, and there are no words to adequately express how much you, and your wonderful writing, will be missed. Thank you. All the best to you, your family, and the fine people who are fortunate enough to have you as their Command Master Chief.

+19 stick taps to you, Sir.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 11/28/13 at 06:37 PM ET

Kate-made in Detroit's avatar

Thanks Bill. For everything. You dared to put into words, what many of us are thinking. Then, we dared to do the same. Every challenge that has come our way we have answered as a whole. A unit. That is because you helped us to realize that it’s ok to say exactly what we think. No holds barred.

Whatever the future holds, I hope that A2Y remains as the home we have all come to know and love. Free to express our disappointment and our joy, all at the same time.

You will be sorely missed Houlihan. Godspeed, and all the best to you and your family.

With great affection,

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate-made in Detroit on 11/28/13 at 06:46 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

If I wasn’t already in a turkey induced coma, I’d probably shed a tear.  Or not.  Had to tell with all this tryptophan coursing through my veins.

Anywho, I haven’t been around as long as most, but I appreciated your pre game rants, which became must reads before each game.  Good luck on the high seas, and GO RED WINGS!

Posted by Hootinani on 11/28/13 at 06:55 PM ET

dougie's avatar

And here I thought the crushing blow I had to deal with today was the 2 rump ranger stepsons hanging around for hours.

Most of the time when things come to an end, it is long overdue. But for me, this blog was(and still is) the best part of being a Wings fan. The. Best.

I enjoyed reading what you wrote, Chief, and I hope to be able to do it again someday.

Now Imma go upstairs and kick somebody. Good luck to you, sir (exclamation point deleted for the last time).

Posted by dougie on 11/28/13 at 06:56 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Cheers man and good luck. You’ve been a colorful addition to the game and team I love for many years now. It’s really been pleasure and hope we see you in the comment sections at least here and there. Congrats on your successes

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 11/28/13 at 07:02 PM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

This is… sad..

Thanks for everything, Chief.

Seven feet under the keel!

Posted by detroitredwings on 11/28/13 at 07:03 PM ET

jennyquarx's avatar

You can lie about crying, Tyler, but I won’t. This is really sad.

I’m glad that you’re leaving because your life is full and good, and not for any other reason.

I’m not around here as much as I used to be, but I am proud to be one of the 19. I love you guys.  I met some of the most important people in my life here on this little blog. 

You dreamers are the ones who got Herm to Detroit, and the money to the kids, and we’re still doing that. And that is something that makes MY life rich and full, and I will always be thankful to you guys for that. And to you, Bill, for talking me through some of the hard stuff during the first one.

I hope this place is always here, or at least, someone please make sure the glossary is saved somewhere. Who will tell future generations of the jacketoreum??

Posted by jennyquarx on 11/28/13 at 07:22 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

from a Pens fan that I have clashed more than a few RW Fans here Good Luck in your New Job !!

Posted by Evilpens on 11/28/13 at 07:38 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

I hope this place is always here, or at least, someone please make sure the glossary is saved somewhere. Who will tell future generations of the jacketoreum??

A2Y Glossary


Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/28/13 at 07:39 PM ET

Paul's avatar

How about Bill’s first post when he started his own blog back in late December, 2005?

Motormouth at it again December 28, 2005

…and this time it appears to be irritating his coach.  Manny Legace, the NHL player of the month for October–and informal mouth that wouldn’t stop roaring during the lockout–is claiming he’s ready for action.

“Really close,” Legace said. “After a good week of practice with the guys, I should get it going for (Saturday).”

Naturally, that’s news to his coach.  Mike Babcock, proving to be more of a Bowman disciple every day:

“Manny hasn’t broke that news to me. I’m glad he let you guys (media) know first,” Babcock said. “So when he lets me know, then I can talk about it.”

IWO:  Legace had already earned a prominent place in Babcock’s doghouse by running his mouth about lying to the trainer and coaching staff about the condition of his original injury.  He’s probably found a home there after this one.  Babcock pulls no punches, apparently.  Babcock, already the longest tenured current coach in Detroit, has no problem pointing fingers through the media if he sees fit.  He’s also quick with the praise.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/28/13 at 07:47 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/28/13 at 06:47 PM ET


tanx for da link Paul.  good stuff.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/28/13 at 08:00 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Chief, you owe us not one damn apology.  Thanks for having a unified band of bitches like no other in the sports blogging world.  I started following you from another website and in the first few instances, I was intimidated by the camaraderie of The 19.  But you took me in and let me share stories about my grandfather on Veteran’s Day and I’m truly indebted.

Wherever your Navy ship sails, Sir, I always know you’re just doing your job.  But I thank you and the shooters under your Command for watching our backs.  Fair winds and smooth seas, Sailor.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 11/28/13 at 08:06 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I loved letting my mind wander and flow through the keyboard right to this blog.

And that is what I’ll miss most of all. Free-form, right-off-the-top, in-your-face observations and opinions that never, ever failed to enlighten and amuse at the same time. When it comes to writing, Master Chief, you have a unique gift. And KK just hasn’t been, and won’t be, the same without you.

Wherever you go, those who serve under you will be blessed. I hope they recognize what they’ve got as much as we all recognize what we’ve lost.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/28/13 at 08:20 PM ET

All American in MN's avatar

I have only been around this website since 2008, but wow has it been an interesting ride at A2Y! Thanks for all of the truly amazing posts!  We all will miss your work!  Yes, I’m going to go ahead and say it, you are like the Lidstrom of bloggers—maybe you lost a step the last year with career commitments, but still a force like no other, and going out on your own terms.

Posted by All American in MN on 11/28/13 at 08:25 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Go forward with your life and your career.  Thank you for entertaining us with your blog for so long.  We will miss you, but it is a sign that you have your priorities in order.  I guess I view this longish post of yours with mixed emotions.  It is not often that someone actually get to reach the career goal he has had for a long time.  It also is not often that one has managed to make so many folks feel like friends and that they know you.  You are doubly blessed this Thanksgiving.


Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 11/28/13 at 08:31 PM ET

Alan's avatar

It’s been an honor and a pleasure, Chief. I may not have been the most active poster here in recent years, but I’ve made an effort to read whenever I could. On this day of thankfulness, I give thanks that you were able to touch the lives of so many Wings fans. I, for one, will miss the expertly crafted works of fine literature you posted.

I’m hoping A2Y continues, if nothing more than for live blogs and an occassional post-game rant. Those were always fun to read, win or lose.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 11/28/13 at 08:33 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Sad day indeed.
This place has made a bunch of imaginary fake innerweb friends come together on numerous occasions.I can honestly say I’ve made a few good friends from A2Y gatherings, some big and some small. From meeting Calquake & Capn’ D in CA to Gramps, Baroque, NateA and a few others in the D.
Chief. You sir have been a lightning rod for quite a few things and we are all glad to have had the chance to be part of what you did here.
Thank you Master Chief, or whateverthehell you are being promoted to.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 11/28/13 at 08:40 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I am just…. I…  I mean…

This blows.  I don’t say that to make you feel bad, Master Chief.  But it does.  This really, really blows.

I’ve been gone most of the day.  I got home, checked Twitter, and saw Tyler link to here and my mood just sank.  Just completely sank.

There’s just no way for me to be as active around here as I wanted.  I lost something during the last lockout, and I doubled down during the playoffs here with my activity.  It’s just been the perfect place during the playoffs.

Chief, if it’s any consolation, I’m pretty sure Malik is starting to channel you on Twitter during games.  I don’t even know if he realizes it.  I love it.  It’s the best.

Best of luck, Master Chief, and thanks.

Posted by Primis on 11/28/13 at 09:04 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I stumbled on this ate about five years ago. Read an LB one day after the fact and was hooked. I was as nervous as could be when I made the first post. Chief gave me a lukewarm welcome. He wanted to make sure I was able to be one of 19.

It was an LB where, for whatever reason, song lyrics were the order of the day. I changed the lyrics of KISS’s “Detroit Rock City” to make it an ode to Jimmy Howard. I’ll never forget Chief’s response: “YOU. CAN. STAY.”

Best blog ever on the best site ever.

Thanks so much, Chief. Best wishes.

To the rest of us: A2Y does not die, it never can.

See you tomorrow, because as many times as we’ve been kicked in the nuts, we know the sun will rise again.

And on we go.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 11/28/13 at 09:38 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“ate” = site


Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 11/28/13 at 09:44 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

“It was an LB where, for whatever reason, song lyrics were the order of the day. “

Oh, songs. My favorite band, Pearl Jam, I only know them because of A2Y. Of course, I knew they existed, but I only really looked them up after some one changed Better Man to Zetterman.

Man, I love this place.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 11/28/13 at 09:53 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

“It was an LB where, for whatever reason, song lyrics were the order of the day. “

Oh, songs. My favorite band, Pearl Jam, I only know them because of A2Y. Of course, I knew they existed, but I only really looked them up after some one changed Better Man to Zetterman.

Man, I love this place.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 11/28/13 at 09:53 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Thanks, Chief.  Good luck with your future endeavors, and hope to see you around.

Posted by Savage Henry on 11/28/13 at 09:54 PM ET


Godspeed, Chief!

Posted by pcoffey on 11/28/13 at 09:58 PM ET

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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: [email protected]