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Abel to Yzerman

Review Of Detroit’s 2015 Draft

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

F Evgeny Svechnikov Drafted: 19th.

Scouting report: Considered a complete package of size, skill and strength.

Wingspan: It looked promising when Svechnikov notched 20 goals among 51 points in 74 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins as a rookie, and then helped them win the Calder Cup with 12 points in 19 AHL playoffs games. His second pro season, though, started with a slump — Svechnikov had just five points his first 27 games with the Griffins. He righted himself enough to pump 17 points into the next 25 games, and earned an audition with the Wings. Svechnikov scored his NHL goal March 20 and recorded a first multi-point game (goal, assist) on March 29 to finish with two goals and two assists in 14 games.

A knee injury sustained last September led to ACL surgery in October and sidelined Svechnikov the entire season. The Wings made Svechnikov eligible for the 2019 AHL playoffs because at that time (February) there was still hope he’d be able to play by late March, but that plan was scuttled as Svechnikov didn’t show enough progress.

At least that decision buys the Wings time — because Svechnikov, 22, was sidelined the entirety of what would have been his third season of pro hockey, his last year of waiver exemption carries over to 2019-20.

D Vili Saarijarvi Drafted: 73rd.

Scouting report: Mobile and smart player.

Post draft: Bounced between the Griffins and the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye in his first pro season of 2017-18. Had 16 points in 70 games for the Griffins in 2018-19. Saarijarvi, who turns 23 on May 15, has yet to see NHL action. He had a nice season with the Griffins, but he’s been overshadowed by Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski, and will soon be dealing with competition from more recent draft picks in Gustav Lindstrom and Jared McIsaac, both of whom are very skilled players, as well as free-agent signee Oliwer Kaski.

Assessment: Has dropped on the depth chart.

more on the above players and other draft picks...

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Video- Mantha Getting Fancy

And he just scored another, two for the day, 7 for the tourney

Watch the highlight goal below, two versions.

Continue Reading »

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Video- The Best Moments From The Wings Season

2 1/2 minutes to watch.


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Luke Glendening On Team USA And Flip Hronek Named Rookie Of The Year By Detroit Media

from Jeff Carpenter of USA Hockey Magazine,

It’s his first time representing the U.S. in an international event, throwing the USA crest over his chest after receiving the invitational call from general manager Chris Drury.

“It’s really an honor. It’s such a great feeling to represent your country, especially now for my first time as an older guy,” the recently turned 30-year-old said.

There are a few familiar faces among the U.S. contingent for Glendening. There’s Detroit’s franchise cornerstone Dylan Larkin as well as head coach Jeff Blashill, in his third year at the helm for the Americans.

“Glenny is a total winner,” Blash said. “He goes out every shift and wins his shift. He blocks shots, wins pucks, creates forecheck pressure and goes to the net hard. He’s just that type of winning hockey player.”...

“It’s definitely nice to have that prior relationship with him and be familiar with his systems and what he expects from us,” Glendening said. “I’m definitely not the most skilled guy on the team, but he knows that he can depend on me to help the team however I can and to win faceoffs.”


Below, Filip Hronek named Rookie of the Year by Detroit Sports Media.

Continue Reading »

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Goodbye To The ‘Joe’

from Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press,

Though it's time for Joe Louis Arena to go, you can't help but feel sad as you watch the demolition process unfold.

Thanks to Detroit Red Wings photographer Dave Reginek, we now have a new look inside the Joe as demolition work continues inside the arena.

Reginek posted a variety of photos on his Facebook and Instagram pages Wednesday, including a 360-degree look from where center ice used to be.

The ice is gone, of course. Though most of the beams are still up, the lower bowl is now piles of rubble. The views, especially from the concourse, are somewhat jarring, especially for those with fond memories of going to Red Wings games over the years.

continue for the pictures...

update 11:30am, the pics in the article have been removed, so basically not much reason to visit the link.

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Outlook For The Detroit Red Wings

from Scott Burnside of The Athletic,

Here is a look at the questions facing every general manager in the Atlantic Division and what options are available to them....

Possible Free-Agent Targets: Ryan Dzingel, Micheal Ferland

Best Fit: Micheal Ferland would be a nice complimentary player for some of Detroit’s rising young offensive stars, providing some sand up front while still capable of 20 to 25 goals.

Outlook: Here’s the hard part for a Red Wings team now three years into the hockey hell known as the rebuild: No one really knows how many stages of said hell there are. Did the Red Wings take a step forward by repatriating Steve Yzerman as the team’s new GM? Most certainly the answer is yes. Yzerman brings with him instant credibility and a familiar name in Pat Verbeek, who was an important part of Yzerman’s team during his almost decadelong run in Tampa. But credibility wasn’t the issue before Yzerman returned home to take over for his old boss Ken Holland. What has been in short supply in Detroit is successful drafting and developing of players, as the Red Wings inked underperforming veterans to onerous contracts while the team slid further out of sight....

One thing seems certain: Without much cap room and really not particularly close to anything, the Red Wings won’t be spending willy-nilly in free agency as they must still bide their time waiting out onerous contracts bestowed on Frans Nielsen, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson and Mike Green. There is also the unknown of whether captain Niklas Kronwall will return for the coming season. “There’s a lot of dead wood there,” the source said of the Red Wings’ contractual obligations. One of the first things that Yzerman did in taking over the GM post was to confirm that coach Jeff Blashill will return. The clock is ticking with the change in management but there are signs this remains a very good fit. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Yzerman in returning to his hockey home, a place where he is a virtual god, is managing the expectations for this once great franchise.

more (paid subscription) plus a look at the other Atlantic Division teams...

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Name The Not Impressive Coach

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Dangle Mantha Or Athanasiou For A Defenseman?

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Few players are generating as much buzz at the current world championships than Anthony Mantha.

The Red Wings’ forward has carried his late-season scoring surge into the world tournament. Mantha was second in the tournament with seven points (three goals, four assists) in only three games for Canada, skating and playing with the puck about as well as he did at any point during the regular season.

Which is great news for the Red Wings, as Mantha, possibly further increases … his trade value?


The chances are slim of Mantha being dealt, especially given the way the line of Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi exploded the final weeks of the regular season....

That leaves Athanasiou and Mantha, primarily, as two names that jump out.

So, why not ship a good young forward for a talented young defenseman?...

Could the Avalanche be a trading partner? Or maybe Carolina, with its deep defense, or Anaheim or Nashville, both looking to reshape their lineups and searching for scoring depth, with perhaps a defensemen to spare?

There are teams which could be a good fit.


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Video- Top 10 Saves Of The Year By Detroit’s Goaltenders

2 1/2 minutes to watch.


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It Appears Oliwer Kaski Will Be Signing With The Wings Soon

Elite Prospects on Kaski.

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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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