Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Now We Wait For A Decision On Tyler Bertuzzi

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The Wings are proposing $3.15 million, while Bertuzzi is asking for $4.25 million. Bertuzzi will get a big raise under either figure, as he made $1.4 million last season....

Under the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement, an arbitrator must decide within 48 hours of the hearing's conclusion. But unlike in years past, the team and the player are no longer permitted to continue negotiating after the session begins.

The arbitrator’s decision will be for a one-year deal, and not necessarily what the team or player submitted; it could be somewhere in between. Bertuzzi will be a restricted free agent again next offseason....

The Wings also have two other restricted free agents, forwards Anthony Mantha and Dmytro Timashov, but neither filed for arbitration.

General manager Steve Yzerman has been working with Mantha’s representatives on a long-term deal.

Mantha 26, had 16 goals and 38 points in an injury-marred 43-game season. It was the third time in Mantha's young career that seasons have been cut short by injuries. He has had 24- and 25-goal seasons, but has yet to reach 30 in his career.

Timashov was acquired on waivers from Toronto late last season. There has been speculation Timashov might spend this coming NHL season in Russia, although his representatives have denied it.

a bit more on Bertuzzi...

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Will They Find Common Ground?

Hearing I believe is on the 25th of this month.

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Ken Holland On Going Into The Hockey Hall Of Fame

via Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

“I’ll have a range of emotions and nervous will be one of them,” said Holland, admitting it’s totally different than listening to Steve Yzerman or Nick Lidstrom speak about making the Hall.

When’s the last time Holland would be this nervous?

“Probably my first NHL game (as a goalie),” said Holland.

At least he could let the puck hit him. “Yeah, 86 percent of the time.”

Holland is getting into the Hall for his smarts as a scout, then a manager, not his hockey ability.

“Anytime you’re going into unchartered waters … playing your first game, a Hall of Fame speech, you’re nervous. You gain experience the more you do something, but your first game is a one-off, and so’s your Hall of Fame opportunity to thank all the people that helped make the dream a reality,” said Holland, GM for three Stanley Cups in Detroit.

“About half the 2002 Detroit team went in (Hall) and I’ve been to all of their inductions. (Chris) Chelios, Yzerman, Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, (Igor) Larionov, Brett Hull. I made it a point to be there for all the players who helped on the ice,” he said.

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Brian Burke On The Recent Moves By Steve Yzerman

from Mark Falkner of the Detroit News,

While on his book tour last week to promote "Burke's Law: A Life in Hockey," the 65-year-old Burke said Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is fast becoming the NHL's Mr. Fix-It after a last-place 17-49-5 season.

"He's MacGyver," Burke said of Yzerman, who signed free-agent forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov, defensemen Jon Merrill and Troy Stecher and goalie Thomas Greiss last week. The week before, he acquired defenseman Marc Staal and a 2021 second-round draft pick for future considerations.

"He's overhauled that team completely all on short-term deals," Burke continued. "No headlines, just solid signings. Bobby Ryan, who I drafted. Jon Merrill, who we tried to draft but he hit the gap on us. Stecher is a really good right-shot defenseman. Bringing back (Sam) Gagner, Namestnikov who I love. Greiss, Staal. In my mind, they are dramatically better than a year ago. It's sheer genius."

read on ($$$)

added 3:02pm, if you are interested in the sweater numbers for the new players...

Continue Reading »

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Faith In The GM

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“It’s a good young team,” Greiss said after signing with the Wings. “They have a very good future, and I trust Steve Yzerman that he is going to do a great job.”

Greiss isn’t alone.

The Wings signed five free agents — Greiss, forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Bobby Ryan, and defensemen Jon Merrill and Troy Stecher, along with trading for defenseman Marc Staal — and there was a consensus among them about where the Red Wings are in their rebuild.

Yes, the Wings have been through difficult times and still may not be a playoff team. But the base for a turnaround is there. And players are excited about expediting the turnaround and still view Detroit as an attractive option, in no small part because of Yzerman.

“I want to be part of the rebuild, want to be part of the Red Wings,” said Namestnikov, who lives in Commerce in the off-season and has longstanding ties to the Wings’ organization. “I’m going to come in here and try to help the team as much as possible.”


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Positive Projection

from Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic,

Here’s how much each team has changed this offseason, from highest value added to most value subtracted.

Detroit Red Wings

Wins Added: 5.9 wins

Salary Added: $14.9 million

In: Marc Staal, Thomas Greiss, Vladislav Namestnikov, Troy Stecher, Bobby Ryan, Jon Merrill

Out: Jonathan Ericsson, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Madison Bowey, Christoffer Ehn

The worst team in hockey has only one way to go next season: up. That’s especially true with the offseason they had. No, they didn’t sign any big names that moved the needle — but they did replace serious drags with actual NHL calibre talent. Every player on the way out was a negative value player last season, worth a combined minus-4.6 wins. That’s where most of the team’s added value comes from: addition by subtraction.

Aside from Marc Staal, who is comparable in value to the players on the way out, everyone else is projected to bring positive value. It may be small, but at least it’s on the right side of the ledger and not actively hurting the team. It may not make sense for a bad team like Detroit to sign all these players, but it helps create a less toxic environment of losing. There’s a difference between playing at a 45-point pace and one closer to 70. It still sucks but it’s a lot less demoralizing.

read on (paid subscription) for more teams...

The Wings did rank #1 in this category.

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An Early Camp For The Wings

from Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News,

It appears the Sharks and six other teams that did not qualify for the NHL’s postseason earlier this year will be allowed to have extra time to train and practice together before the start of any main training camp.

This summer, general managers from the seven teams asked the NHL if they could get an extended training camp — possibly as long as two weeks — before the start of the 2020-21 regular season. The GMs were seeking the same chance to skate the 24 other teams got during Phase 3 of the NHL’s Return to Play before the start of the postseason.

In an email to this newspaper, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly wrote the league and the NHL Players’ Association have a general agreement on the structure of extra pre-camp workouts for those seven teams, but have not yet finalized any details.


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Video- Bobby Ryan On The Word On Woodward

from The Malik Report,

New Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan spoke with DetroitRedWings.com’s Art Regner today on “The Word on Woodward.” The interview starts at the 1:20 mark and goes for about 15 minutes, and Ryan is surprisingly forthright and up-front regarding his career trajectory while speaking with Regner. Give it a watch if you’re able to do so:

watch at TMR or below.

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Contracts Still Needed For Tyler Bertuzzi And Anthony Mantha

Luke Fox of Sportsnet takes a look at the top RFAs...

8. Tyler Bertuzzi
Age: 25
Position: Left wing
2019-20 salary cap hit: $1.4 million
Arbitration rights: Yes — and filed
Bargaining chips: Made first All-Star Game appearance. Back-to-back 21-goal, 47-point seasons. Skates nearly 20 minutes a night. Organization has invested seven years developing him into a first-line threat.

The latest: One of the few bright spots on a sad-sack Red Wings, Bertuzzi has over-delivered on his two-year, $2.8-million bridge pact signed back in 2018 and deserves a nice pay bump.

Of the three pending RFA forwards GM Steve Yzerman still must make decisions on, Bertuzzi is the most essential. Yzerman has been busy rebuilding his roster through smart, low-risk UFA signings, while clearing out veterans through buyout (Justin Abdelkader) or simply letting them walk (Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson).

Bertuzzi has 30-goal potential, brings grit to his game, and should be seen as a building block for a rebuild that needs as many as it can get.

Negotiations with Yzerman have begun as the sides try to work out a deal prior to arbitration Oct. 25.

more players, including Anthony Mantha at #11...

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Ranking The Detroit Organization

from Corey Pronman of The Athletic,

...this updated version of the 2020-21 organizational rankings includes all players from the 2016 to 2020 NHL drafts who were first-year eligible at their draft.

In addition to ranking all the organizations from 1 to 31 based on this group of players, I’ve updated the ranking for each team’s players who are projected as legit NHLers or better.

13. Detroit Red Wings

Pre-draft org ranking: No. 18
2020 NHL Draft grade: A-

Things are getting better in Detroit. There’s still a lot of work to do given the Red Wings won 17 games last season. In terms of young players, they still need a lot more, particularly of the top of the lineup variety, but things are moving in the right direction. Their No. 4 pick Lucas Raymond has the potential to be one of the keys to ending the tough times.

1. Lucas Raymond, LW
2. Moritz Seider, D
3. Filip Hronek, D
4. Filip Zadina, RW
5. Joe Veleno, C
6. Jared McIsaac, D
7. Michael Rasmussen, C
8. William Wallinder, D
9. Dennis Cholowski, D
10. Jonatan Berggren, RW

the other ($$$) teams

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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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