Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Writing Topics

This morning a KK/A2Y member left this comment regarding a post this morning.

I’m over these articles.  We know the wings were bad last year.  We know were rebuilding.  I hate crapping on the team before they’ve even had a practice.  Just don’t see the point in these.

With that in mind, let's try to help out those who write for a living so I am asking you what topics on the Wings would you like to read about during this down time?

Personally, I have had enough prospect talk and would like to read about what many of the players are doing to keep safe yet train to get into game shape.

Camps could be right around the corner and I sure don't want to see a player arriving at camp out of shape.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


Paul's avatar

from Givani Smith at the Wings website,

Wow, it doesn’t seem like it’s been six months since my last blog entry. But a lot hasn’t really changed in my daily routine since my last post in May.

Back in May, I had just returned to Canada after the cancellation of the remainder of the AHL season and was staying with my brother Gemel, who played last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning and their AHL team in Syracuse. We had a good time training and hanging out together. After a few months, I came back to Detroit and began my summer workout program, which I have been doing since I was 16. Around October, I came back home, decided to move back in with my mom, spend some more family time with my other brothers. So pretty much it’s been the same old - training three or four times a week and then pretty much repeating that cycle ‘til I hear what’s going on with the hockey news.

You may be wondering how I am able to travel between Canada and the States with a closed border. It has to do with my job. It’s been helpful for me with my training. I can go to America fine but once I go back home to Canada, I have to quarantine in Canada, which is around 14 days. I stay with my family. My family doesn’t have to quarantine, it’s a precautionary thing and I feel great.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/30/20 at 10:35 AM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

As an outsider who values Kukla’s corner for its coverage of ALL NHL topics, and I follow Detroit because they are in the Isles conference, let me give my $ 0.02

The quote from the reader about the rebuilding….I feel his/her pain.  We lived it on Long Island! 

I don’t think you folks in Detroit know how good you had it - and will have it. 

I think with the writing - it has to be HONEST.  Pointing out deficiencies, mistakes and lack of talent is ok - if done truthfully, fans don’t like to be lied to.  BUT - you have to also identify opportunity, some small victories, progress and prospects/future in order to both provide balance and incentive to continue to watch.

Look at the bright side - you have Steve Yzerman.  We had Mike Milbury, Don Maloney and Garth Snow.  Our fortunes were improving under Snow a wee bit…but clearly - we went from an ownership team (Wang) who would rather lose with his buddies than hire professionals = to an ownership group and management team which is rock solid!

Steve and the ownership team will turn it around.  Fairly quickly.

From a quick glance - you have 3 second round picks to go along with your first and other picks in the upcoming draft and a bunch of young talent not on the NHL roster who have talent with some money coming off the books next year along with 9 MM in cap space now.

But I would keep my chin up and cheer your team on.  No one outside will feel sorry for you.

I mean - like me.  Look at the Isles from 1994 to 2016 - the team did not make it out of Round 1 - sort of like the drought Toronto is in now smile  14 of those years with no playoff appearance and 7 consecutive.

It reminds me of the time I went to my only game at the Joe.  I arranged a biz trip around the Feb 21 2017 game at the Joe - because I knew it would be the last time the Isles would play at the Joe.  I bought a ticket and sat right in back of a family in full Red Wing garb.  GREAT FAMILY!  We talked hockey all night long - and they had a lovely young daughter who was about 18 years old who got to see them win a Cup in 2008/9?  Forget which year….and she was in tears at the end of the game (NYI won) and said ” I am so sad - we are not going to make the playoffs….do you feel sorry for me?” 

And I looked at her pop - and said - do you want me to answer honestly?  So I told her at least you got to see your team win a Cup in your lifetime.  I have kids who were born in 1990 and 1994 who were not old enough to see the the Isles win a playoff series - let alone all the success you have seen.

There is one big difference with the Wings lack of recent success and the Isles 20+ year run of disaster -  Steve Yzerman is in charge.  He is a WINNER.  The whole NHL knows it.  Tampa does.  He was the primary architect of the current champs.  KEEP THE FAITH IN DETROIT.  Given the Cap, given the fact that there are 32 (soon) teams - it’s harder to win now than ever before! 

One other thing to keep in mind - As an Islander fan - we were harder on our team than the biased Canadian media and are used to being the red headed bastard stepchild of the NHL.  But don’t let any Toronto fan or BlackHawk fan talk smack about your team.  Stand up for them.  See you guys on the ice soon!  Paul - keep up the good work.  Detroit will turn it around - and Steve is building a team that will contend for years.  One reason to believe in the rebuild.  The Isles spent too much draft and trade capital to make the playoffs the few times they did so they could get waxed in Round 1.  That is bad.


Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 11/30/20 at 10:42 AM ET


I agree, id love to know where some of these guys are skating,if they’re skating with anyone else from the team.  Have our new guys hit the ice with any vets from last year? How’re players training themselves to be better next year.

Id be interested to hear if the playersthink they’re as bad a team as all the writers have been saying. 

Why can’t we get a good third jersey? We’ve had 1, “real gud” design.

Are management going to be a part of the bubble next year and if so ozzy going to bring back theshirtless interview.

What were the players favorite moments from a bad season?

What were the best pranks played, if any.

Plenty of fun or positive things to write about or at least neutral.

Posted by ThatGuy on 11/30/20 at 11:06 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I feel the same way as the quoted commenter.  Every writer seems to feel the need to slip a jab in there about how the Wings have no shot at the playoffs despite the changes made.  I’m not delusional, but it gets old fast.  Now if/when the season starts and they tank the first 10 games, then have at it with the I told ya so’s.  But for now lets enjoy a decent offseason that brings some hope for improvement.

And as for news, I love prospect info.  I couldn’t care less about the personal lives or workout routines of players.  The proof of their dedication will be on the ice, not in an article.  But I love hearing how our guys are doing in Europe or where our prospects might slot in at on whatever team they end up playing with this season.  And I do like articles keeping us up to date on the NHLPA/NHL “negotiatons”, regardless of how pissy as they make me sometimes.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 11/30/20 at 11:07 AM ET


Nailed it Kas,  gimme some small victories.

Posted by ThatGuy on 11/30/20 at 11:10 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I like the prospect news if it’s how they’re currently doing and not just idle speculation; especially the kind of coverage George has been doing over on his site.  There’s still hockey being played.

It’s also cool to hear some of the player stories out there during the slow season.

Maybe some coverage on the upcoming TV negotiations, what the on-air product might look & feel like in the future, any technological innovations on gear and metrics coming down the pike…

At the end of the day though it’s just the slow season and it is what it is…

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 11/30/20 at 01:35 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

At the end of the day though it’s just the slow season and it is what it is…

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 11/30/20 at 01:35 PM ET

And on top of it, everything is out of sync because it’s never the slow season during Thanksgiving.  Holland would always say he wouldn’t look at the standings until Thanksgiving because teams were too close otherwise.  Here we are, going into December, and no games are even scheduled. 

It FEELS like we should be talking hockey as I watch some snow falling outside my window and unbutton my belt buckle from this past weekend’s food intake.  But in reality this is more like July than November.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/30/20 at 02:47 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I hate crapping on the team before they’ve even had a practice.  Just don’t see the point in these.


On the flip side if your positive, your a HSJ, a homer, too soft etc. etc. unlike “real media” in other places, bla bla bla

I see no problem with telling it like it is, dude yo baby is ugly, sorry, we’re not expected to be in the playoffs.

As far as content here, no complaints, what else is there to talk about, other than the wings still suck, we made some offseason moves, and whether we’ll even play.  I mean we’ve had a what 2 year offseason it feels like? Each day sitting at home counts as 2 off my life IMO.

My complaints generally lie with the beat writers who sit on their hands for weeks and months until say Mantha signs, and they they flip a story waxing poetic, but don’t break down the finite points of the contract like how many RFA vs. UFA years were covered, or Bertuzzi how much team control is there at the end, what the up/down side is to the short term, qualifying rights/offers at maturity etc.

If I were doing a PPV like the Athletic, would be good to do a projected future lineup or just salary cap ramifications and such, and how many players we need to “pan out” at what positions, when it makes contractual sense to call up a player and start their pro career. etc. When free agents are coming and what the wings might be able to do at that point.  As someone point you’d have to thing that the lower RFA age starts producing better UFAs that make sense to sign, vs. overpaying guys near 30.

George does a nice job on the training camps, but you need a camp to report on it.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 11/30/20 at 03:24 PM ET

Bill_H's avatar

How about writing about hockey things writers don’t know about…you know, do some digging and ask some questions.  What does it take for a hockey club to survive business-wise; junior, AHL, SHL, NHL?  What are/can communities do to help?  George Malik seems to be the only one following our prospects in Europe, where are some stats on them?  More in-depth on them?  What do those communities look like? Who’s going to the games?  What are US/Canada pee-wee leagues doing?  How are they getting along?

For our own, where are they?  What are they doing?  What are their workouts like?  What are eating habits like?  Are they skating?  What does RW mgmt think about the work these players are putting in.

Posted by Bill_H on 11/30/20 at 03:36 PM ET


your a HS

Sorry, is the complain that Helene is too positive? And not that she pulls things out of her behind and has no basis for anything she writes?

“George Malik seems to be the only one following our prospects in Europe”

I guess so, if you ONLY go to George’s site and KK. There’s plenty of prospect talk/news on other sites, and Paul himself has posted numerous articles about the prospects playin in Europe.

Posted by PresidentJoeByzerman on 11/30/20 at 03:59 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

There’s on-ice activity at Little Caesars Arena for the first time in nearly nine months.

The facility has largely stood empty since the NHL and NBA shut down in mid-March because of COVID-19, but with an NHL season on the horizon — maybe — ice was put in at the practice rink over the weekend.

Detroit Red Wings players who are in the area — a group that includes Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha — took to the ice there Monday for the first time since March 11….

Wings players are able to stage their own practices, similar to what they do in early September before heading to Traverse City for camp.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/30/20 at 10:44 PM ET


It’s good to hear from Givani even if it’s mostly status quo and standby and there isn’t too much news to report.

I love hearing updates about the Wings prospects playing
abroad because as Dave said, it’s the closest to Red Wings
playing actual games as we have. There is lots of good news
from Sweden with our prospects there (even if Rögle hasn’t played
in a couple weeks - Seider seems to have a good head on his shoulders
and getting to and beyond the end of these guys’ seasons abroad
safely and in good health is what counts.

I’ll be sure to check out George Malik’s stuff more regularly.
Could use more in depth info about how Hronek and Zadina are doing
in Czech and especially how Rasmussen is doing in Austria.

To me the biggest question about prospects was ironically about the guys in North America who aren’t playing. More info on Svechnikov than the endless “make or break season…loads of pressure to win a spot and produce” articles would be good.
How is the kid doing? How is his knee feeling? Is he working on anything new with his brother? Developmentally, the guys who aren’t playing abroad and who are either on the bubble with the Wings or ticketed to Grand Rapids are the ones whose rust and progress I worry about the most.

Finally, I’d be interested in more in depth scouting reports and
projections for how the new signees might fit onto the roster.
What are their strengths and weaknesses? What at this point in their careers is their likely upside or in what ways are they most likely to help? Like, Namestnikov is arguably as qualified as anyone to be our second line center. He’s bounced around after having his most productive seasons playing with really talented players in Tampa. What’s realistic for him in Detroit? What does Jon Merrill do best? What are his limitations? Some of this stuff might be deep-dive Athletic type material. Some might be more based on eye tests from fans and others who have seen these guys play a lot on their previous teams.

The gold standard is still what Mathew Wuest did with his Red Wings Central
prospect reports. All of the comments from front office insiders and assessments of strengths and weaknesses. The best possible version of that applied to the entire roster and system - signed players and prospects likely to be signed - would be Christmas morning for a lot of Wings fans

Posted by lefty.30 on 11/30/20 at 11:25 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

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