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Abel to Yzerman

Questions For Helene St. James

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answered some questions from a few readers,

The first question is in regards to Andreas Athansiou.

It was a pretty damming indictment when, at locker clean-out day on April 10, head coach Jeff Blashill spoke about what he’d said to Athanasiou at their year-end meeting: “My message to AA was as a coach you have to know what you’re getting every single shift and the growth in him is going to be to learn to work and compete every shift. If I’m guessing whether or not he’s going to work and compete, it’s hard to keep putting him out there because I don’t know what I’m getting. So that consistency level and work ethic and compete is going to be critical for AA.”

Now, learning to be consistent is a common theme among young players who have a skill level that allowed them to dominate at lower levels of hockey, only to find out how much harder it is to stand out regularly in the NHL. Athanasiou has the potential to be a big part of the rebuild, either as an in-house scorer or trade bait, but first he’ll have to put up better numbers. 

more on prospects....

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Comments

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so AA can say the same thing to the coach—
“every shift i am out with different linemates so i have to think about who i’m with and how they play, instead of playing the game.  I can’t trust you to make a decision that allows me to optimize my ability and effort since you appear to randomly throw players over the boards”

Posted by akwingsfan on 05/16/18 at 02:04 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by akwingsfan on 05/16/18 at 03:04 PM ET

BS argument, all coaches change lines, teams play in a system, system is generally universal.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 05/16/18 at 02:37 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

So true about AA - he’d have shifts where he was so dominate up and down the ice.  Then the next game he’d completely disappear.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/16/18 at 02:38 PM ET

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So true about AA - he’d have shifts where he was so dominate up and down the ice.  Then the next game he’d completely disappear.

So, he’s an NHL player.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/16/18 at 02:58 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

To me, the opinion on AA from users here went down. One move on the break, can only play the rush, lost in set o zone and d zone situations. More people I think labeled him as trade fodder.

That could be just my view, though

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/16/18 at 03:12 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/16/18 at 04:12 PM ET

I don’t think that’s an opinion, that’s pretty much the universal thought around here (save a few people still clinging to his potential). 

When he plays well, his best move is the breakaway but other than that he’s not bringing a lot to the table.  He’s the kind of player you want on a team that can go deep in the playoffs, but he’s not going to do anything to really help a rebuilding team. 

I don’t see any reason to keep him in Detroit for the next handful of years, so we should try to sign him for 1 year at the lowest possible cap hit (wouldn’t be surprised if this goes the arbitration route) and try to flip him at the deadline for a 3rd.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/16/18 at 03:19 PM ET

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Speedy, the high end on this type of player is Michael Grabner or Carl Hagelin

Not that productive, good role player

I don’t see how he develops or improves from here

Posted by mtta on 05/16/18 at 07:53 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

unfortunately, most opinions here are accurate.  AA is a sniper ... great speed, nice finish, but so far he’s a one trick pony.  It would be nice if he filled out a little more so he wasn’t so easy to knock off the puck.

He’s a follower not a leader so, as the team skill level improves he’ll produce more.  Like many young players, he’s having problems finding his sweet spot, and making room for himself so he can get off higher quality shots.

They held onto Helm because of his speed ... for now, they may do the same with AA.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 05/16/18 at 08:52 PM ET

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great speed, nice finish, but so far he’s a one trick pony.

These players are where coaching makes a difference.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/16/18 at 09:22 PM ET

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These players are where coaching makes a difference.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/16/18 at 10:22 PM ET

Unfortunately a coach can’t just play all players only in the specific situations they excel at or control the style of play enough for 30-40 seconds at a time to make them 100% useful. Players have to be able to play at least decent in more then one aspect to any game to be an NHL regular. This is a game where the play changes in a split second and what looks good for a players skill set can quickly go to his weakness and be exploited.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 05/17/18 at 08:36 AM ET

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Unfortunately a coach can’t just play all players only in the specific situations they excel at or control the style of play enough for 30-40 seconds at a time to make them 100% useful.

Who said they can?

Players have to be able to play at least decent in more then one aspect to any game to be an NHL regular.

Yeah, and if only players had…someone who could, I don’t know, COACH them?

This is a game where the play changes in a split second and what looks good for a players skill set can quickly go to his weakness and be exploited.

So maybe a coach helps a player do that, instead of just saying “you have to be more consistent”?

You know, coaching?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/17/18 at 09:42 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 05/16/18 at 03:37 PM ET

Tell that to the conference final contender Vegas Golden Knights. Gerard Gallant has shuffled his lines very little.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 05/17/18 at 11:23 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Tell that to the conference final contender Vegas Golden Knights. Gerard Gallant has shuffled his lines very little.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland’s new yacht, “Incompetence” on 05/17/18 at 12:23 PM ET

Or ask Tomas Tatar.

Posted by Primis on 05/17/18 at 07:35 PM ET

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Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/17/18 at 10:42 AM ET

I love splitting hairs with you….

Who said [coaches] can?
You did….
“[On trick ponies] are where coaching makes a difference”

[mic drop]

Yeah, and if only players had…someone who could, I don’t know, COACH them?
So maybe a coach helps a player do that, instead of just saying “you have to be more consistent”?
You know, coaching?

Not a lot of content there, but you sure are good at repeating the same thing different ways.

Don’t worry. I’m done pissing. Mine went farther.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 05/18/18 at 01:26 AM ET

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Or ask Tomas Tatar.
Posted by Primis on 05/17/18 at 08:35 PM ET

Ouch!

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 05/18/18 at 01:26 AM ET

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Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 05/18/18 at 02:26 AM ET

Don’t worry, he turns every topic into a rant about how much Holland and Blashill suck, and how he’s so much smarter than the both of them.

Arguing with him is like trying to teach a 5 year old quantum physics.

Posted by Snowy Shaw on 05/18/18 at 09:10 AM 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