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Abel to Yzerman

Justin Abdelkader’s Contract Is Considered Untradeable

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

With Lucic’s contract now dealt, let’s look at the top 10 seemingly untradeable contracts in today’s NHL. Only contracts with at least four seasons remaining were considered:

Justin Abdelkader, Detroit: The Red Wings are on the hook for four more years with a $4.25-million cap hit. That’s an awful lot of money to pay a guy who gives you little more than quality leadership and serves as a mentor for the young players in the organization. Abdelkader posted a career-low with six goals and tied his worst season with just 19 points in 2018-19. Abdelkader was once an effective two-way winger, but at 32, those days are behind him.

nine more players...

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Video- Top Dylan Larkin Plays

From the last season, just over 5 minutes to watch.


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Reflection Time

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

As he set about to patch the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup, new general manager Steve Yzerman had a self-created mandate: no long-term contracts.

His venture into the unrestricted free agent market yielded forward Valtteri Filppula, defenseman Patrik Nemeth and goaltender Calvin Pickard. All were signed to two-year deals. Yzerman’s reasoning makes sense: describing himself as “somewhat new to the organization,” he sought to make the Wings more competitive without saddling the roster with deals that might complicate re-signing Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi (all of whom are entering a contract year) or limit opportunities for prospects.

The signings reflect a team in rebuilding mode. Free agency was more fun back when the Wings were a contender. Here is a lock back at their 10 best and worst unrestricted free agency signings from 1998-2018.


1. D Brian Rafalski
Signed: 2007 (5 years, $30 million)

A master at tape-to-tape passes, Rafalski produced 204 points in 292 regular-season games and 40 points in 63 playoff games before retiring early because of injuries.


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Joe Hicketts Signs A Two-Year Contract

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today re-signed defenseman Joe Hicketts to a two-year contract.

Hicketts, 23, skated in 11 games with the Red Wings during the 2018-19 campaign and has totaled 16 NHL appearances over the last two seasons, compiling three assists, two penalty minutes, 18 shots on goal, 26 hits and 39 blocked shots in 18:12 average time on ice. Hicketts also appeared in 64 games with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins in 2018-19 and more-than-doubled his point total from the previous season, leading the team’s defensemen with 27 points (3-24-27) in 64 games. Entering his fourth professional season, Hicketts has played 204 AHL games with the Griffins since 2016-17, posting 73 points (13-60-73), a plus-seven rating and 139 penalty minutes. He captured a 2017 Calder Cup championship as a rookie and has recorded 11 points (1-10-11), a plus-seven rating and 18 penalty minutes in 29 career AHL postseason games.

Continue Reading »

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One Bad Contract

from Dave Stevenson of PuckProse (Fansided),

Detroit Red Wings: Justin Abdelkader

Contract: $4.25 million cap hit over the next four seasons; Full no-trade clause until 2020, modified no-trade clause (depending on if Red Wings make playoffs and playing time) through 2023

The Detroit Red Wings used to be the model of consistency in the NHL. In order to remain that way for a few more seasons, general manager Ken Holland signed a bunch of bad deals. None of them look worse right now than Justin Abdelkader’s.

According to Evolving Hockey, his -1.4 WAR was not only the second-worst among all Red Wings skaters, but it was also the eighth-worst in the entire league (minimum 800 minutes during all situations).

continued plus one bad contract for every NHL team...

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Video- Detroit’s Worst Plays Of The Year

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Day 3 of 31 Dang Its in 31 days is here featuring the Red Wings showing the world how to "properly" execute a 3 on 0 breakaway.

Mostly Steve Dangle talking...


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Video- Givani Smith Feels He Could Play In The NHL

via WXYZ's YouTube page,

Red Wings prospect Givani Smith thinks he belongs in NHL this season. He spoke with reporters, including WXYZ's Brad Galli, at Red Wings youth camp on Monday, July 15



added 4:45pm, Brad Galli spoke with Dennis Cholowski too, watch below.

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Video- Ted Lindsay On The Death Threat He And Gordie Howe Received

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Experts Review The Wings’ Summer

from Greg Levinsky of the Detroit Free Press,

In Steve Yzerman's first summer as general manager, the Detroit Red Wings surprised by drafting Moritz Seider sixth overall, then in free agency added Patrik Nemeth, Calvin Pickard and Valtteri Filppula.

Here's what experts have said about the moves:

Moritz Seider

What they're saying: "Steve Yzerman's first draft as Red Wings GM went relative well for a guy who was armed with double-digit picks at his disposal. Overall, he could have done better, but he also picked up a half-dozen quality prospects with legitimate potential for NHL success. Although his weekend began with his surprising selection of big-bodied puck mover Mortiz Seider at sixth overall, Yzerman went on to overdraft another physical presence in Finnish blueliner Antti Tuomisto (35th)." — Sporting News' Steve Kournianos

"Still, you can’t help but wonder: could the Red Wings have traded down in the draft and still gotten their guy in Seider? Sometimes, it’s not just about judging the quality of draft selections, but also “reading the room” and managing assets properly. At this very moment in time, the Red Wings opened themselves up to a ton of questions." — NBCSports' James O'Brien

Patrik Nemeth

What they're saying: "Patrik Nemeth is a nice addition to the blue line at two years and $3 million AAV." — ESPN's Greg Wyshynski

"The 27-year-old gives the Red Wings a big body (6-3, 219 pounds) who defends well and kills penalties. He is slated to play on the left side with a right-handed offensive defenseman, either Mike Green or Filip Hronek." — NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika

more players

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Past Drafts

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The success or failure of the draft class won't be known for some time — it  generally takes at least two years to judge a draft — but we do have the benefit of hindsight when looking at the Wings' best and worst selections from 2008-17:...

The Misses
1. G Tom McCollum

Age: 29.

Drafted: 30th, 2008

He played three NHL games with the Wings. Meanwhile. at 93rd in that draft, the Washington Capitals drafted Braden Holtby, their franchise goalie and a Stanley Cup champion.

2. F Tomas Jurco, D Xavier Ouellet, D Ryan Sproul
Ages: 26; 25; 26.

Drafted: 35th, 2011; 48th, 2011; 55th, 2011

None are in the organization anymore and all spent last season in the AHL. They’re grouped together because they were drafted ahead of Nikita Kucherov (58th, Lightning). Kucherov is the leading scorer (462 points) from this draft class and the Wings had three shots at him in the second round and whiffed.

3. F Riley Sheahan
Age: 27.

Drafted: 21st, 2010.

Sheahan carved out a serviceable NHL career (149 points, 447 games), but he pales against the first-round picks the Wings could have landed: Evgeny Kuznetsov (26th, Washington) has 337 points in 416 games. Brock Nelson (30th, Islanders) has 124 goals among 241 points in 480 games; Charlie Coyle (28th, San Jose) has 248 points in 500 games....

more Misses and all the Hits...

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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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