Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

The Morning Skate

The only report this morning are Gemel and Givani Smith are skating.

If more becomes available, I will post it here.

added 11:41am, Below find Jeff Blashill and the Smith brothers after the skate.

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Justin Abdelkader Signs A PTO With Grand Rapids Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday signed left wing Justin Abdelkader to a professional tryout.

The 14-year-pro competed with the Griffins for two seasons from 2008-10 before moving on to the Detroit Red Wings, where he ultimately played parts of 13 seasons. The Muskegon, Mich., native became the first West Michigan native to suit up for Grand Rapids when he made his AHL debut on Oct. 11, 2008. Abdelkader skated in 109 games for the Griffins and totaled 76 points (35-41—76) and 188 penalty minutes, earning AHL All-Rookie Team honors during the 2008-09 season when he logged 52 points (24-28—52) in 76 contests.

Should Abdelkader play on Saturday when Grand Rapids hosts Milwaukee at 7 p.m., he would set the new standard for longest time span between Griffins appearances at 4,305 days, or 11 years, nine months and 12 days (April 10, 2010 to Jan. 22, 2022). The record is currently held by Jonathan Ericsson at 3,888 days, or 10 years, seven months and 22 days (March 1, 2009 to Oct. 23, 2019).

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Video- Jeff Blashill Today

13 1/2 minutes of coach Blashill.


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Video- Listen To Lucas Raymond

Raymond is mic'd up for the 4-0 win over Buffalo.


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Practice Time

via Ansar Khan tweet,

practice lines before tomorrow’s game vs. Dallas


added 12:30pm, Khan...

power play units:
1. Bertuzzi (net front), Fabbri (bumper), Raymond-Larkin (flanks), Seider (point).
2. Erne (net front), Suter (bumper), Hronek-Zadina (flanks), Leddy (point).

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Discussing A Zadina For Brannstrom Trade

Max Bultman and Ian Mendes of The Athletic discuss a Filip Zadina trade to Ottawa for Erik Brannstrom.

Bultman: I don’t think it works for Detroit. Change of scenery trades do happen in the NHL, and Brannstrom is certainly young enough that he could very well pop in new surroundings (or, of course, with more time in Ottawa). But I’m not sure Brannstrom really checks many boxes for the Red Wings right now. For starters, he’s not the profile of defenseman they’ve targeted so far under Yzerman — over the last three years, Detroit has gravitated toward defenseman with long, rangy builds, whereas Brannstrom stands 5-foot-10. Add in that the offense hasn’t actually materialized yet for Brannstrom, and the fit looks tenuous.

But beyond that, Detroit’s left-side defense pipeline is one of the areas the franchise has invested the most draft capital in recent years — using a first-rounder, three second-rounders, and two third-round picks on left shot ‘D’ in the last three years alone. So trading a young player at one of their positions of relative weakness (scoring wing) for a left-shot ‘D’ who is outside their typical profile at the position is just tough for me to see.

The Red Wings will likely need short-term left-side ‘D’ help next year, with some key contracts expiring. But I think it’s more likely they’ll look to add veteran stability to insulate young prospects like Simon Edvinsson and Albert Johansson when they arrive, rather than another relatively unproven blueliner — even knowing Brannstrom’s pedigree.

much more (paid subscription)

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More Grades

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Red Wings aren’t likely to contend for the postseason, trailing the Boston Bruins, who have four games in hand, by five points for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are still in the rebuild phase, but they have taken another step.

Here are their midseason grades, based on performance vs. expectations:

Tyler Bertuzzi: A

GP: 32 G: 18 A: 14 PT: 32

He hasn’t missed a beat after missing all but nine games the previous season due to a back injury that required surgery. He’s playing with the same energy and tenacity he has throughout his career and is on pace for his most productive season while posting a team-best plus-14 rating.

Adam Erne: C

GP: 39 G: 3 A: 6 PT: 9

He has taken a step back offensively after tying for the team lead with a career-high 11 goals. Part of the problem is he has no points on the power play, where he isn’t a regular but has logged 44 minutes. He leads the team in hits on a third line that has provided energy at times.

Robby Fabbri: B-

read on

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Updated Schedule For The Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – The National Hockey League today announced a comprehensive update to the 2021-22 regular-season schedule, one that will enable all 32 teams to complete their respective 82-game slates by the regular season's original closing date of Friday, April 29.
The Red Wings updated schedule includes the below changes:

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At The Half Way Point

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Take a look at the standings as the Red Wings reach the halfway mark in the schedule.

It's all right to do so. Unlike the last several seasons, you'll be pleasantly surprised. You won't have a look of horror and pain.

Very likely, you'll smile. Gasp, even.

The Red Wings are 18-17-5 through 40 games and can do no worse than being a .500 team at the exact halfway marker.


Now, most everyone expected some semblance of improvement this season. The mix of all that young talent arriving, and maturing, was expected to produce benefits at some point of the rebuild.

But to do it to this extent the first half of a busy, COVID-filled, wacky schedule has been impressive.

In fact, it's entirely admissible to talk playoffs.

continued (paid) and in the slideshow, the lowest grade went to...

Filip Zadina — 38 games, four goals, seven assists. Analysis: It's as if Zadina has regressed in certain areas. There's been more defensive lapses, and the goal-scoring ability has yet to surface on a consistent basis. Too many invisible evenings, and now he's fallen out of the top six forwards and needs to show he deserves the move back up. Grade: D

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Gemel Smith Now A Member Of The Detroit Red Wings

Brother of Givani.

added 4:05pm, Press release is below.

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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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