Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Video- Grand Rapids Griffins Are One Win Away From Advancing In The AHL Playoffs

video highlights are below

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A two-goal Tuesday by Filip Zadina and Wade Megan and three-point performances from Zadina, Martin Frk and Matt Puempel put the Grand Rapids Griffins within one win of advancing to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven years.
 
With a gritty 6-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves at Van Andel Arena – a game that featured a combined 144 penalty minutes and a near hour delay due to ice repairs – Grand Rapids grabbed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals. The Griffins will have a chance to eliminate the division champions for the second time in three years on Wednesday when they host Game 4 at 7 p.m.

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Video- Preview Of Grand Rapids Griffins Playoff Game Tonight

Best of five series, tied at 1-1.

 

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Sergei Fedorov Back In The Wings Organization?

from Evan Jankens of 97.1,

The sub plot to Yzerman being hired is that there is a possibility that he could bring Sergei Fedorov back to work for the Red Wings. He and Sergei remain close plus these is a belief that Sergei is not completely satisfied in his current hockey position in Russia and could be very interested in coming back.

Fedorov's current job status is in question, but a source familiar with Segrei's situation believes he’s not completely satisfied with his current employment situation.

Could bringing back Fedorov to the Red Wings pave the way to have his number 91 raised to the rafters?

a bit more

thanks to a KK member for the pointer

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Dennis Cholowski Feels His Defensive Game Has Improved

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

But by mid-February Cholowski’s play had slipped. His confidence was wavering and the Red Wings believed it was best for him to go to the minor leagues.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” Cholowski said as the Grand Rapids Griffins prepared for the AHL playoffs. “Nobody wants to get sent down.”

Cholowski’s defensive game needed to improve. There was too much indecision and opposing players were exposing Cholowski’s inexperience.

“They sent me here for a reason – my defensive zone (coverage), being a little more assertive, being a little harder to play against,” said Cholowski, the Wings’ 2016 first-round draft pick.

Cholowski, 21, wound up playing 25 regular-season games with the Griffins, posting 12 points (all assists) and an even rating.

“Since I’ve been down here, that’s (defensive work) what I’ve been working on and it’s been good,” Cholowski said. “Get that side of the game honed in, and bring that to next season.”

more

You may have read Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press yesterday, but in case you didn't, here is a tease....

Windows flew open. People shouted "Hallelujah!" Joe Louis Arena was seen doing a dance. Woodward Avenue curved into a smile. The Captain is back in the fold, and at the very least, one senior citizen is delirious.

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The Future Of Ken Holland

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

So what does Holland do now? Well, the next calendar year will almost certainly tell the tale. If he is still the Red Wings’ senior vice-president after the summer of 2020, you can probably count on him being a Red Wing for life. He’ll be close to 65 years old, he’ll have been out of the game for a year, the Seattle expansion team will have chosen its GM and the ship out of Detroit will have sailed.

Another thing that will almost certainly dictate whether Holland stays in Detroit or goes somewhere else is how much Yzerman leans on Holland, how much he makes Holland part of the decision-making process and how engaged and invested Holland feels in the future of the Red Wings. He’s 63 years old now and has made more money that he’ll ever need, but a guy who has been the key decision maker for almost a quarter of a century will have some adjusting to do here. But if he’s nothing more than a figurehead, that won’t work.

If playing golf, going to his summer home in Vernon, spending time with his grandchildren, seeing the world with his wife and having a peripheral management involvement with the only organization for which he’s ever worked is enough, Holland will stick around. If he gets antsy and needs to run a hockey department again, and there’s a team out there who will hire him on his terms, then there’s a chance Holland will pick up and go elsewhere.

But the thing is, nobody knows what the future holds because Holland doesn’t even know himself.

read on

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The Return Of Steve Yzerman

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

It wasn’t the first thing Steve Yzerman said upon his return. But it was the point he kept coming back to Friday as his long-awaited homecoming was made official.

The Captain is back as the Red Wings’ general manager, and amid all the trumpeted fanfare, there was the same measured leader we all remember.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Yzerman said, seated on the dais between his new boss, Chris Ilitch, and his old one, Ken Holland, another reminder of how much has changed over the last decade — and how much hasn’t. “And depending on your age, you know that this takes time. We’ve been through this before, and I caution everyone — and temper the excitement — that this is going to take time.”

It was time. Few will argue that, including Holland himself ultimately, which was something Ilitch went out of his way to say as he announced a contract extension for the longtime GM in his new role as a senior vice president.

continued

from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,

Steve Yzerman is finally coming home. No wonder Detroit Red Wings fans were crying when news broke Friday morning.

No wonder they were cheering. And celebrating. And texting and calling each other to revel.

"Did you hear?"

"Can you believe it?"

The Hall of Fame center and longtime Wings captain is taking the helm of the franchise he helped turn into Hockeytown, replacing current general manager Ken Holland.

continued

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The Bottom Line

from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

"What I did as a player, I did as a player. It's done, I can't do anything about that now," Yzerman said. "I have goals, I have things I want to do. One, I want to be a general manager, I want to win a Stanley Cup as a general manager. I wanted to do that in Tampa. I didn't get the job done. How the people in Tampa feel is one thing. I know how I feel about it and I'm disappointed. It makes me more determined to be more successful.

"But I'm coming back to Detroit not worrying about, oh, what happens if I don't get the job done? I'm coming in thinking I'm going to do everything I possibly can to do a good job here, to make this team competitive. That's hard to do. And I'm hoping we can win a Stanley Cup. At the end of the day, I'm going to do everything I can, I'm going to do my best and how I'm judged down the line, I understand how pro sports work and I'm not afraid of that."

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“It’s Different Now”

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

It was during a less formal interview Yzerman raised eyebrows.

“It’s been an interesting morning, actually,” Yzerman said. “Leading up to coming here this afternoon, reality starts coming in – I have to be on my game here. I’m excited to be back.

“Truthfully I’ve been in Detroit for the last bit, nobody really knows who I am or recognizes me. That’s been nice.”

That Yzerman, whose local legend was cemented with three Stanley Cup championships as a player, could go unrecognized around Detroit is hard to imagine. But he is almost a decade removed from leaving the team, and says things have changed. Or had.

“It’s different now,” Yzerman said. “Now you’re coming back as the general manager of the Red Wings. People that didn’t recognize me might watch the news and say, ‘oh that guy.’ There’s a little bit more attention now. But I have a lot of work to do.”

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Your New Executive Vice President And General Manager

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Yzerman, who served two decades as the Red Wings captain while leading them to three Stanley Cups, was named an executive vice president and general manager.

Ken Holland, who has been the general manager since 1997, has signed a multi-year extension and promoted to senior vice president.

“It’s an extremely exciting day in the history of our franchise,” owner Chris Ilitch said.....

Speculation immediately turned — as it has all season — to how long it would take for Yzerman to return to Detroit....

“I’ll tell you in five years,” Yzerman said.

Yzerman is excited about returning to the organization he had so much success with.

“This fan base is used to winning,” Yzerman said. “Depending on your age, this takes time and we’ve been through this before. It takes time.

“We have a lot of work to do and depending on your age, this takes time. We’ve been through this before (rebuilding).

“It takes time and I caution and temper the excitement. We will do the things necessary, we’ll follow the process, and we’ll get back to where we expect to be.”

more

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Video- Videos From Today

I will be adding videos to this post, so make sure to check back every so often.

added 4:15pm, Below, the full press conference.

added 4:24pm, Below, Henrik Zetterberg and Kris Draper.

added 5:17pm, Below, a nice picture of Holland and Yzerman.

First up, GM Yzerman after the press conference.

 

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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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