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Abel to Yzerman

Talking Detroit’s Defense

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,\

“I’m definitely excited to see what comes about,” DeKeyser said. “We have young guys knocking on the door who think they’re ready to play and it looks like they are ready to play. So there are probably going to be some tough decisions that are have to be made, maybe more so this year.

“I just hope that our D-corps improves every year, whether it’s the same guys we have or if we have new guys.”

New general manager Steve Yzerman did not return a message seeking comment. There’s been no word yet on what veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall, 38, will do –he played 79 games last season and looked like he’s figured out how to manage the pain of his bad left knee, but people who were in the locker room the night of the Wings’ finale, April 6, said he was emotional, as if it might have been his last game.

“I know he’s up in the air, from what I’ve heard,” DeKeyser said. “I’m hoping he’s coming back. He’s a great leader and on the ice he’s always cool and confident. If he’s gone, I’ll definitely miss him. I love Nik.”

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Comments

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Think the world of Kronwell but it’s time to go, especially since we’re stuck with all that dead weight on defense that we can’t unload. Shame but Kronwell is blocking a spot for a prospect. I believe Stevie knows what he wants to do and I would think that would be to evaluate the talent he has available.

Posted by stateofmifan on 05/22/19 at 03:03 PM ET

Paul's avatar

HSJ on soon to be UFA Witkowski,

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

He has history with Yzerman from their days with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was already in the organization when Yzerman was named general manager of the Lightning in 2010, having been drafted 160th overall in 2008. Witkowski was re-signed three times by Yzerman in Tampa.

Witkowski described his relationship with Yzerman as “actually pretty close. I didn’t hesitate to send him a text. Actually the last time I talked to him was right before free agency when I was with Tampa. They wanted me to come back and I came here.”

More: Wings have a question mark, many misses from 2015 NHL draft

Witkowski has a supporter in Wings coach Jeff Blashill, with whom he has history dating to their days at Western Michigan.

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Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/22/19 at 03:43 PM ET

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Actually the last time I talked to him was right before free agency when I was with Tampa.

Oh wow, you talked to him two years ago?  You are pretty close.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/22/19 at 07:03 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

It sure sounds like Yzerman wanted nothing to do with Witkowski in TB.

Just like I was told. wink

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/22/19 at 08:27 PM ET

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My favorite line, Yzerman didn’t return her call.

Things are improving fast?

Posted by Ventr on 05/22/19 at 10:03 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

The only way I’ll be happy with next seasons defence is if Yzerman buys out the last year of Ericsson’s contract.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 05/23/19 at 12:05 AM ET

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The only way I’ll be happy with next seasons defence is if Yzerman buys out the last year of Ericsson’s contract.

I too was hoping this could happen but it might not be possible. An injured player cannot be bought out. I’m not sure what determines if a player is injured or if there are any exceptions.

Posted by evileye on 05/23/19 at 10:20 AM ET

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I’d much prefer they buy out Abdelkader and just give Ericsson third-pairing minutes or ride the pine if he’s definitively outplayed by a prospect.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/23/19 at 11:20 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

The only way I’ll be happy with next seasons defence is if Yzerman buys out the last year of Ericsson’s contract.
Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 05/23/19 at 12:05 AM ET
I too was hoping this could happen but it might not be possible.
Posted by evileye on 05/23/19 at 10:20 AM ET

How about it might not be… oh i don’t know, smart in any way shape or form? Why would this make any sense to buy him out in the last year of his deal, for a season in which we have zero cap issues?  Just waive him to the minors and eat the cap hit. 

Just another another example of a Hey Hey Hockeytown brain farting while others cheering it on.  Sometimes think beyond your nose.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/23/19 at 02:22 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Absolutely not Murray ... I don’t want him in GR either.
Ericsson be gone ... the organ-i-zation thanks you now go home.

I don’t want him on either team taking up space that could and should be used by a “prospect”.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 05/23/19 at 02:44 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I don’t want him on either team taking up space that could and should be used by a “prospect”.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 05/23/19 at 02:44 PM ET

Very smart, buy him out now and eat a cap hit for two years, instead of this throw away season, so we don’t bury him in the minors where we have guys like Lashoff and Mcilrath and others AHL vets, because we’re not holding back d prospects at any level in this organization.  Very smart. You must’ve stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/23/19 at 02:56 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Murray,

You are making valid points but why are you back to your childish personal attacks? You are a better person than that. Come on man.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 05/23/19 at 03:00 PM ET

Paul's avatar

In case anyone is wondering, buyout period begins June 15th and ends June 30th at 5pm ET.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/23/19 at 03:04 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 05/23/19 at 03:00 PM ET

I’m not sure children would understand the relevance of staying at a Holiday Inn.  You’re right, the constant drum beat of fan hate that has no grasp of reality sometimes gets to me.  Again, it is why I wanted no part of Steve Yzerman being this team’s GM.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/23/19 at 03:04 PM ET

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I’d much prefer they buy out Abdelkader and just give Ericsson third-pairing minutes or ride the pine if he’s definitively outplayed by a prospect.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/23/19 at 11:20 AM ET

As much as I’d like to see Abdelkader bought out, having his cap hit on the books for the rest of eternity is sickening. If Yzerman can find a way to somehow trade or dump that contract, they should name the city after him.,

Posted by Charles1986 on 05/23/19 at 03:13 PM ET

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Why buy anyone out who’s salary still affects the cap, just make him a healthy scratch.
Murray, you’re staying at the wrong place, we’ll leave the lights on for you, matter of fact, we’re afraid to turn them off.

Posted by stateofmifan on 05/23/19 at 03:50 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