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Abel to Yzerman

Everett Fitzhugh’s Road To The NHL

from Mark Falkner of the Detroit News,

Detroit native Everett Fitzhugh can't wait for the expansion Seattle Kraken to play the Detroit Red Wings for the first time at Little Caesars Arena in the 2021-22 season.

Fitzhugh, who was named the first Black NHL team broadcaster by the Kraken last week, said "that game isn't even on the schedule yet and I've already got about 20 ticket requests."

A hockey trailblazer at the age of 31, Fitzhugh said the game in Detroit will be a tribute to his family, especially his mother, who adopted him on her own and raised him to believe in his dreams.

"I definitely will be shedding some tears before my first NHL game in Detroit, back home," Fitzhugh said.

Fitzhugh grew up as an only child on the northwest side of the city at Eight Mile and Meyers and attended Tappan Middle School and Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor before starting his hockey broadcasting career an hour away at Bowling Green University in Ohio.

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A One-Year Contract Extension For Evgeny Svechnikov

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today signed right wing Evgeny Svechnikov to a one-year contract extension.

Svechnikov, 23, completed his third full professional campaign in 2019-20, returning to the ice in October after missing the entire 2018-19 season due to a knee injury. In his first game back with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins on Oct. 5, he registered three points (1-2-3). Svechnikov totaled 25 points (11-14-25) and 61 penalty minutes in 51 total games with Grand Rapids, placing sixth on the team in points. He also appeared in four games with the Red Wings and has notched four points (2-2-4) and 10 penalty minutes in 20 NHL games since debuting in 2016-17. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound winger has skated in 182 games with the Griffins since 2015-16, notching 99 points (38-61-99) and 181 penalty minutes, while adding 14 points (6-8-14) and 24 penalty minutes in 26 AHL postseason games. As a first-year pro in 2016-17, Svechnikov registered a career-high 51 points (20-31-51) in 74 regular-season games and helped the Griffins capture the 2017 Calder Cup championship.

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Off To Europe They Go

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Projecting The Season For Anthony Mantha

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

He seems to be figuring out just how dominant he can be on a more consistent basis and how crucial his play will be in the rebuild.

In this edition of Detroit Red Wings Fast Forward, a series that projects how a player will perform in 2020-21, the subject is forward Anthony Mantha, who reached the 20-goal mark twice over the past three seasons and looked likely to get there again when the NHL shut down March 12 because of COVID-19....

While Mantha’s willingness to stand up for teammates is commendable, he’s far more valuable to the Wings in the lineup. At 6-foot-5, 230-odd pounds, he is their biggest forward and their best goalscorer. He, Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi (who was the player drated with that second-round pick from San Jose) have, since spring of 2019, emerged as the team’s top line.

Mantha’s 16 goals in 43 games extrapolates to 30 over an 82-game season. His shortened 2019-20 season (even before the pandemic) is likely to lead to a one-year extension for the 25-year-old free agent, giving him further time to make an argument for what would then be a long-term deal after next season, the year before he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency. Mantha has the skill set to be a 40-goal scorer, and projects to be a key part of the rebuild.

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Seider Will Play In Germany And Kotkansalo In Finland

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Concern over the coronavirus pandemic has prompted the Detroit Red Wings to loan Moritz Seider to his old German club.

He’s not the only prospect who may have a change of address for the 2020-21 season.

Seider, who was general manager Steve Yzerman’s first pick in the 2019 draft, at No. 6 overall, has been loaned to Adler Mannheim with the understanding the Wings can bring Seider to Detroit when it looks like they will have a training camp in advance of next season. The NHL is tentatively hoping to start games Dec. 1.

“It’s a very fluid situation, but our agreement is we can recall him any time,” assistant general manager Ryan Martin told the Free Press on Monday. “We think he’s in a good spot — he’s on the ice, he’s practicing with Mannheim.”...

The pandemic prompted defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo, a third-round pick from 2017, to decide not to return to Boston University this fall, and instead stay and play in his native Finland.

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Just Terrible News, Cancer Takes The life Of Jamie Samuelsen At Age 48

Jamie recently announced he was fighting colon cancer for over a year.

 

 

via Anthony French of the Detroit Free Press,

Jamie Samuelsen, a longtime voice on the Detroit sports media scene, died on Saturday after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. He was 48 years old.

Samuelsen was diagnosed with colon cancer 19 months ago but kept his condition private until last week. Samuelsen died on Saturday tonight.

He is survived by his wife, Christy McDonald, and three children, Caroline, 16; Josh, 14; and Catherine, 11.

Samuelsen spent nearly his entire professional career in the Detroit market, most recently on WXYT co-hosting the “Jamie and Stoney” morning show with Heather Park since 2016. Before that, Samuelsen spent time at WDFN, WRIF and WCSX on the radio, Fox 2 on television and wrote blog posts on Freep.com for over a decade.

Kirkland Crawford of the Detroit Free Press on Jamie a few days ago,

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Need A Few Veterans Seattle?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

What is it worth paying to jettison an underachieving player?

That’s the topic of this edition of Detroit Red Wings mailbag. The NHL’s 32nd club, the Seattle Kraken, will stock their team next June from a list of players made available by 30 teams (Vegas is exempt).

The Kraken has to select one player from every club, and has quite the example to follow, as the Golden Knights used the 2017 expansion draft to build a team that went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season. The Knights made the playoffs again in 2019 and 2020.

Teams can protect either seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, or eight skaters (regardless of position) and one goaltender. I laid out a scenario of who the Wings are likely to protect July 26, noting that teams can make pre-arranged deals to decide who Seattle will draft.

A reader, C. Josefs, suggested Steve Yzerman should do so to get rid of either Justin Abdelkader or Frans Nielsen, writing “I would not be opposed to Yzerman shedding a bad contract if the “sweetener” was a third- or fourth-round draft choice or even a prospect. … Is Seattle in the same powerful position as Vegas was to demand high compensation for taking on bad contracts?”

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Video- Zdeno Chara Talks With His Idol, Nicklas Lidstrom

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Little Caesars Is Now The Official Pizza Delivery Of The NHL

DETROIT / NEW YORK (July 29, 2020) – Little Caesars and the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced a new North American partnership, naming Little Caesars the Official Pizza Delivery of the NHL®.

The multiyear agreement offers Little Caesars an array of exclusive marketing rights and designations that will connect the brand with the NHL and its events. Fans will see the Little Caesars brand displayed in a corner in-ice ad position during every game of the 2020 Stanley Cup® Qualifiers™ and 2020 Stanley Cup® Playoffs, as well as all exhibition games. The partnership begins immediately and runs through the 2020-2021 season.

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Projecting Robby Fabbri’s Season

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

In 51 games with the Wings before the NHL shut down March 12 because of COVID-19, Fabbri recorded 14 goals and 17 assists; his 31 points ranked third on the team in that time frame, behind only Dylan Larkin (41) and Tyler Bertuzzi (34). One area Fabbri needs to improve is his defense — he was a whopping minus-29. If he can make better decisions in that area, he will gain trust from the coaching staff.

Fabbri looks like he can be a 20-goal scorer as soon as 2020-21, especially if the Wings add a defenseman — possibly top 2019 pick Moritz Seider — other than Filip Hronek who is adept at getting the puck to the forwards. Given how well Larkin, Bertuzzi and Mantha play together, Fabbri is a good fit on the second line, possibly with Valtteri Filppula and Filip Zadina. That would give the Wings two scoring lines, something they rarely had this past season. Down the road, as the rebuild takes shape and more high-end players are added to the lineup, Fabbri could emerge as a 30-goal scorer.

He’s a restricted free agent this summer, coming off a $900,000 one-year contract, and certainly has earned a raise. A two-year deal seems to make sense, since Fabbri would still be restricted when it expires, and it’d give Fabbri the opportunity to make a case for a long-term deal at that point.

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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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