Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

The Return Of Steve Yzerman

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

It wasn’t the first thing Steve Yzerman said upon his return. But it was the point he kept coming back to Friday as his long-awaited homecoming was made official.

The Captain is back as the Red Wings’ general manager, and amid all the trumpeted fanfare, there was the same measured leader we all remember.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Yzerman said, seated on the dais between his new boss, Chris Ilitch, and his old one, Ken Holland, another reminder of how much has changed over the last decade — and how much hasn’t. “And depending on your age, you know that this takes time. We’ve been through this before, and I caution everyone — and temper the excitement — that this is going to take time.”

It was time. Few will argue that, including Holland himself ultimately, which was something Ilitch went out of his way to say as he announced a contract extension for the longtime GM in his new role as a senior vice president.

continued

from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,

Steve Yzerman is finally coming home. No wonder Detroit Red Wings fans were crying when news broke Friday morning.

No wonder they were cheering. And celebrating. And texting and calling each other to revel.

"Did you hear?"

"Can you believe it?"

The Hall of Fame center and longtime Wings captain is taking the helm of the franchise he helped turn into Hockeytown, replacing current general manager Ken Holland.

continued

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Comments

RWBill's avatar

Thanks for the link dd.

Posted by RWBill on 04/20/19 at 11:35 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by RWBill on 04/20/19 at 11:35 AM ET

Concur. The examination of what Yzer’s plan might be is what I was wondering about yesterday. This goes over a few of his options.

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/20/19 at 11:48 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

For sure, this is going to take a couple of years just to unwind the knot of some of these contracts.

Posted by RWBill on 04/20/19 at 12:00 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

For sure, this is going to take a couple of years just to unwind the knot of some of these contracts.

Posted by RWBill on 04/20/19 at 12:00 PM ET

Yeah no doubt there Bill. I am interested what his first personnel moves will be (not including the draft or free agency)? I think we should see something before July 1st.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/20/19 at 12:52 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I still think the most important moves to make will be in the front office.

And while Stamkos is obviously a star offensive center, if Larkin can continue to pot 30 or so a year, his 2-way talents make him more valuable.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/20/19 at 01:02 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/20/19 at 11:16 AM ET


Nice article, but the writer seems to forget about the salary cap. Sure, we’ll take Callahan, etc, except that we have no cap room and some dead/unmovable cap space ourselves. Not to pick nits, here, but that seems to be like his grand strategy.

But the overall gist is that it’s going to take time, and that’s something we all accept. We’re just glad to have Stevie back, not least bkz he’s proven his chops as a no-BS kind of GM.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 04/20/19 at 04:35 PM ET

Avatar

And while Stamkos is obviously a star offensive center, if Larkin can continue to pot 30 or so a year, his 2-way talents make him more valuable.

There is still nobody even close in the system to Hedman

Posted by VPalmer on 04/20/19 at 05:18 PM ET

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——Whether it was convincing Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman to sign team-friendly deals
——I still think the most telling moves Yzerman made was trading St.Louis and Lecavalier and that early in his TB tenure. It’s like a new rookie GM comes to Detroit in let’s say 2012 and trades Dats and Zetterberg. It takes guts.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/20/19 at 05:27 PM ET

Avatar

I still think the most important moves to make will be in the front office.

——I still think the most telling moves Yzerman made was trading St.Louis and Lecavalier and that early in his TB tenure.

This journey will be interesting.

Posted by VFUSION on 04/20/19 at 08:33 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Nice article, but the writer seems to forget about the salary cap. Sure, we’ll take Callahan, etc, except that we have no cap room and some dead/ unmovable cap space ourselves..

Except we do have cap room and it is a viable strategy as long as you acquire a player on only an expiring deal

Callahan has 1 year remaining at 5.8M cap hit. Beyond that:
(1)Callahan had a not so great year and was non-existent in the playoffs—so Tampa could be shopping him.
(2)Tampa is in cap trouble too—makes Callahan more available/team more desperate to get rid of him.
Brayden Point is coming off his ELC and so is Cedric Paquette so they’ll need significant raises (add in 2 other cheap RFA’s) and replacements for 4 defensive UFA’s and that adds up to cap trouble. Right now Tampa has 73.123M in salary and buyouts on their books with a projected cap of 83M—that means they need 8 players and only have 10M to spend. Trade away Callahan and you have 15.8M and 9 players to get—a much easier task of filling out that roster (since Volkov and his .925M will slot in making it 8 and 14.88M left).

The Wings only have Kronner, Witkowski, and Vanek as free agents. The Wings estimated cap total is approx 60.26M (plus Z’s and the Mule’s 10.04 of LTIR). Figure Rass goes down to the AHL and Zadina comes up in his place a net loss of 0.031M. So 60.29M (with another 10.04 in LTIR). Say Kuffner goes down and Pope comes up meaning a zero dollar difference (worst case internal replacement). Say all the bonuses were hit in ‘18-‘19 for another 0.963M so 61.254M (10.04 LTIR).

So this is where a new GM and his hard decisions about what’s best for the team vs loyalty for Wings come into play.

Have the Wings acquire Callahan along with prospects or picks and retain 50% of Daley’s contract in a trade going the other way* and Yzerman could even have figured out a way for either Cholowski or Hronek to make the roster. Tampa gets a #5 d-man for 1.583M and gains 5.8M in cap space (Wings get prospects or picks and Callahan for 1 year).

*assumes Tampa is not on Daley’s 15 team no trade list

Let’s do the math:
61.254M + 50% of Daley’s which is 1.583= 62.837M (with 10.04M in LTIR)
assume Cholowski is kept (who has the larger cap hit of 0.894M) = 63.731 (+10.04 IR)
account for Callahan: 63.731+5.8 = 69.531M (+10.04 LTIR)

So now you have 1 forward spot and 1 d-man spot with approx 3.5M in actual cap space and 10.04M in LTIR space as replacements for 2 bodies. How is that not enough space for 2 players? So please show me numbers from next year about the Wings not having cap space to acquire a 5.8M contract.

Posted by d ca on 04/22/19 at 02:41 AM ET

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Good points d ca. This is exactly the sort of approach I hope to see them take. It’s not easy but not impossible. The key is not to add any bad contracts in coming years. Plenty of cap space is coming.

Posted by evileye on 04/22/19 at 12:55 PM ET

Avatar

The scariest thing was KH with $15-20 cap space adding washed up veterans this summer. Now I am sure it’s not happening.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/22/19 at 05:21 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