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Abel to Yzerman

Moritz Seider Has A Chance To Make The Detroit Roster

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Moritz Seider’s pursuit of a roster spot will be one of the main storylines of Detroit Red Wings training camp, whenever that may be.

The franchise has not had a defense prospect with this much promise since Nicklas Lidstrom and Vladimir Konstantinov joined the team in 1991. Seider, the sixth overall selection in 2019, is highest Detroit has taken a defenseman since 1975, when Rick Lapointe was picked fifth.

“I think he has a chance to be a really good, impactful defenseman. Can he do it next year? I hope so,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He might have as many as eight months to get himself prepared, to improve his body, to turn his body from a young guy’s body to an elite, pro body.

“He’s got a chance to work on the ice to improve the different skills in his game and add more to his arsenal so that he can come and demand that he’s on the team. So, like any young player he’ll have to earn it.”


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Mattias Brome Has A Shot At Cracking Detroit’s Lineup

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings have not had much success recently with undrafted European free agents.

Steve Yzerman hopes Mattias Brome ends that trend.

The Red Wings signed Brome, a 6-foot, 183-pound left wing from Sweden, to a one-year entry-level contract in April.

“I like his hockey sense, I like his competitiveness,” Yzerman said. “He’s not a Henrik Zetterberg- or Pavel Datsyuk-type of finesse player, he’s a worker with some skills and can contribute and make plays and finish a little bit. We’ll see if that translates in the NHL.


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Looking Back, Looking Forward

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

It’s time, then, to pour one out for each of the teams done playing this season. What went wrong? What went right? What happens next?

We start with the Detroit Red Wings (17-49-5), who posted the lowest points percentage since the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers. Year 1 under new GM Steve Yzerman was a true tank job, with the Wings keeping most of their top prospects vacuum-sealed in the minors.


The Wings scored a league-low 2.00 goals per game. They allowed a league-high 3.73 goals per game, the most by any team since 1999-00. They had the league’s worst penalty kill and 29th-best power play. They averaged the fewest shots per game and allowed the fifth-most. They sat dead last in 5-on-5 Corsi. They generated the fewest scoring chances for and allowed the second-most scoring chances against per 60. They were almost undisputedly worst NHL team of the past two decades.

And there’s a strong case to be made that was entirely by design. After Yzerman took over last off-season, he counted aging center Valtteri Filppula as the team’s biggest off-season addition. When the 2019-20 regular season began, Detroit kept most of its top prospects in the AHL, from Moritz Seider to Filip Zadina to Joe Veleno, and even demoted Michael Rasmussen, who’d made the team the previous season. Only a husk of roster was left to toil in the NHL.

read on

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More Team Grades

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,


Jeff Blashill and staff (D): They did not have much talent to work with, and injuries to key players compounded the problem. Yzerman has been consistently supportive of Blashill, who will return for a sixth season. Some young players (Bertuzzi, Fabbri, Zadina, Hronek) showed growth. Poor special teams was a major problem.

the players..

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How Bad Do They Want To Be A Hockey Player

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

They don't know when they'll play again. November? December? January?

"We'll learn who really wants to be a hockey player," general manager Steve Yzerman said Wednesday. "Guys that want to train are going to figure it out, guys that want to get better and improve are going to figure it out, and we're going to provide the resources to do that.

"The ones who truly don't are going to find way [not to], and they've got as good a reason as they're ever going to have of not being able to train right now.

"So a lot of the onus is on the kids' motivation."


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An Average Coaching Staff

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Coach Jeff Blashill and his staff

The Wings were a one-line, one-goaltender team that suffered so many injuries, 14 players were used on the back end alone. Yzerman charged Jeff Blashill and his coaching staff with focusing on developing the young players key to the rebuild.

Larkin, Mantha, Bertuzzi and Hronek endured rough patches but showed growth. Blashill scratched underperforming veterans when he could, but injuries limited his ability to do so. He had no choice but to keep playing Howard (when Bernier needed a break) because neither Calvin Pickard nor Eric Comrie was a viable option.

Throughout the losing streaks, players bought into Blashill’s program. Yzerman noted on multiple occasions he didn't think it fair to blame the record on Blashill. Grade: C

the players get their grades...

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Time To Call Him Captain Larkin

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

He wore the losses about as well anyone could expect in a season that threatened to make history for all the wrong reasons.

So now it’s time to see how Dylan Larkin wears the captain’s ‘C’ in Detroit, where living up to history is part of the job description.

I realize that’s probably way down the offseason list of priorities for general manager Steve Yzerman and head coach Jeff Blashill, who’ll return for a sixth season behind the Red Wings’ bench. But in the absence of any real hockey here for several months to come, it’s one that was top of mind this week as the team and its leadership talked about what went wrong this past season — it was a long conversation, obviously — and where they’ll go from here.


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There’s Always Next Year

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Next season, whenever it’ll begin for the Red Wings, will be a big one for forward Evgeny Svechnikov and defenseman Moritz Seider.

Svechnikov, 23, is a 2015 first-round pick who has spent the majority of his professional time in Grand Rapids, in the minor leagues.

Svechnikov either stays on the Wings’ roster after next training camp, or will be lost on waivers. The Wings will likely keep him around, but it’ll be up to Svechnikov to carve out playing time.

“The first thing Svech has to do is find a way to earn his way on the team and earn his way into minutes,” Blashill said. “As he earns those opportunities, we can start seeing how high he can go (in the lineup), but you have to start by making the team and earning more minutes. Those aren’t handed out to anybody....

The Wings are hopeful Seider will be ready to step into the lineup next season.

“He had a real good year in totality,” Blashill said. “It was a learning year, ups and downs, and when you’re a defenseman it’s real hard. The experience he went through, especially for him because he wants to attack the game an in an offensive manner, and that’s awesome. But part of that is learning not to bite off more than you can chew.

“He has a chance to be a real impactful defenseman. Can he do it next year? I hope so. He might have as many as eight months to get himself prepared to improve his body and turn his body to an elite pro body.”

more on the Wings...

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Stream- Jeff Blashill And The Media

via Nick Cotsonika tweets,

Blashill said it means a lot to have Yzerman's support. He's had clear conversations with him about the parameters in which he works. The Red Wings are taking a long-term approach.

Blashill talked about the negatives, such as losing game experience, but also about the opportunity for strength, conditioning and skill development.

Blashill said Red Wings changed defensive zone scheme midseason. It's hard to change habits. It took a while, but he thought by the end of the year it was where they wanted it to be and set a building block for the future.

Below, watch the live stream late (my fault), but you can rewind.

Continue Reading »

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The Future Looks A Bit Brighter

from Davis Satriano of NHL.com,

Here is a look at what happened during the 2019-20 season for the Red Wings and why things could be better next season:///

What went wrong

Goaltending: The Red Wings allowed the most goals in the NHL (265) and per game (3.73), so it's no surprise they ranked last in team save percentage (.886). Jimmy Howard, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, was 2-23-2 with a 4.20 goals-against average in 27 starts including 0-18-2 in his past 20 decisions, so figuring out the goalie situation will be important.

Special teams: Detroit did not perform well on the power play or the penalty kill, which cost them games. They ranked 29th in the League on the power play (14.9 percent) and last on the penalty kill (74.3 percent). Combine that with the fact that they took the fewest shots on goal per game in the League (27.1) and allowed the fifth most (32.8) and it's not hard to see why they were on the outside looking in.

No offense: With 142 goals scored in 71 games, Detroit was the lowest scoring team in the NHL, averaging two per game. They scored one goal or fewer 30 times and were shut out seven times.

Reasons for optimism

Yzerman as GM: The Red Wings legend should fare better in his second season as general manager and has shown the ability to turn teams around.


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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


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