Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

The Competition Is About To Begin

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Steve Yzerman declared that his first training camp as Detroit Red Wings general manager will be highly competitive. Players must earn their roster spot. Nobody will be handed a job.

Contracts, the salary cap, waiver status and experience will still be significant factors, however, in determining who makes the season-opening 23-man roster.

Could it get uncomfortable for underperforming veterans? Perhaps. Many young players will be pushing for jobs as the team transitions to a younger roster over the next couple of seasons with several contracts set to expire. Several young players impressed at the NHL Prospects Tournament, which the Red Wings won by defeating Dallas 6-5 Tuesday in the championship game.

The Red Wings will have position battles at forward and defense when they start training camp at Centre I.C.E. in Traverse City Friday during the first of four days of scrimmages. Their preseason opener is Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena.

Here are 10 things to watch in training camp and the preseason:

Will Filip Zadina make a bigger impact in his second pro season?

He should. The goal-scoring winger with a tremendous shot had a tough transition to the pros (16 goals, 35 points in 59 AHL games; one goal, three points in nine games with the Red Wings), but he played better the second half of the season, creating more space for himself on the ice. He needs to play with skilled linemates to maximize his ability, so unless he can earn a spot on Detroit’s second line, he’ll start in Grand Rapids.

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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