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Blashill And Mantha Talk It Out

from Will Burchfield of 97.1 TheTicket,

In Blashill's quest to turn Mantha into a star, the kind of star the Red Wings can build around up front, the coach pushed the young forward away. He alienated him.

For Mantha, a supremely-skilled 23-year-old still finding his way in the NHL, the seemingly constant rebukes were difficult to swallow. At times, his mom would call, wondering why her son was a favorite target of the head coach. It's part of hockey, Mantha would tell her. Not wanting to create any drama, either in the locker room or in the media, Mantha kept his head down and continued to work.

But Blashill's dissatisfaction nagged at him. It wasn't so much dispiriting as it was perplexing. Oftentimes, Mantha didn't understand the root of his coach's frustration. He didn't understand where he had gone wrong.

Finally, midway through this season, Mantha sought answers.

"The one thing he said to me was, 'Can you show me? Can you show me what you’re talking about?'" Blashill recalled. "And I said, 'Absolutely.'"

read on

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In The Middle Of A Rebuild Plus The Russian Five

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

Nobody in the Red Wings dressing room wanted to be there Tuesday. Not like this, anyway. Not like last year, when the tradition-rich franchise’s 25-year playoff streak ended and a new reality finally started to dawn.

But better now than later, they agree. And better late than never, right?

“Eventually, there’s no other way than to start to rebuild,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “And we’re right in the middle of it.”

Well, that’s the hope, at least, one that his eventual successor, Dylan Larkin, one of the few bright spots in a dreary, 73-point hockey season in Detroit, echoed as he stood in front of his locker, taking note of his surroundings inside Little Caesars Arena.

“You look all around this building, and there’s reminders of the past and the Stanley Cups and the great players,” Larkin said. “And as a young player in this organization, I want that.”


from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press on the Russian Five,

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What Direction Are The Wings Headed?

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

Standing amid the tatters of a misused season and asked to consider the Red Wings’ final game, which included yet another multiple-goal lead blown in yet another one-goal loss, Henrik Zetterberg said, “Well, we’ve seen this before.”

Then, Zetterberg apologized for the performance of the team this season. An owner, Christopher Ilitch, pleaded for patience Saturday, and extended GM Ken Holland’s contract two years. Holland announced Tuesday coach Jeff Blashill will be back for the fourth year of his contract.

And the defensemen are likely, still, to have trouble next season getting the puck out of the Wings’ zone. It is a problem daunting them since the start of the “rebuild on the fly” after Nicklas Lidstrom retired in 2012.

The Red Wings are stuck, mired in inconsistency between a successful past and whatever the future holds.


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Jeff Blashill Is Back For Another Year

from Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website,

Just as young players need some time to develop, so do young coaches.

Detroit Red Wings vice president and general manager Ken Holland said as much when he announced that Jeff Blashill would return as the team's head coach next season.

"I think in Jeff's case, he's got three years of experience," Holland said. "Some of those ideas that he might have had when he became an NHL head coach, with the success that he had in the American Hockey League, the success he had in college, the success that he had in junior hockey, this is a totally different set of circumstances. The team played hard right to the end. We've been out of it for … unless we went on a massive, won seven or eight or nine in a row, we really just sort of stayed behind and then we lost nine in a row in March and the bottom fell out. But I thought even when we lost nine in a row, we lost a lot of games by a goal, we played hard.

continued plus more topics...

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Ken Holland Today

Sorry for the lack of posts, had an ISP outage since 1:30pm.

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

There’s plenty of work ahead for the Detroit Red Wings as they embark on the summer and months of rebuilding before next season.

General manager Ken Holland, who was given a two-year contract extension Saturday from ownership, said this season wasn’t good enough.

“Very disappointing season,” said Holland on Tuesday, about a season that saw the Red Wings miss the playoffs by 24 points and finish fifth from the bottom in the NHL’s overall standings.

Holland talked for 45 minutes with the media on locker cleanout day, with the emphasis on the Red Wings’ young prospects, the Entry Draft, and what the organization needs to do to stem a two-year streak of not making the playoffs, after qualifying for the postseason for 25 consecutive years.


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Ken Holland Wraps Up The Season



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It’s Clean Out Their Locker Day For The Detroit Red Wings

I will update as news comes in.

Craig Custance tweet,

Niklas Kronwall says he has every intention of playing next season. Embraces idea of working with young d coming.

Eariler, the gathered media reported Dylan Larkin will be playing in the World Championship

Ansar Khan tweet,

Frans Nielsen confirms he is playing in World Championship in his native Denmark.

added 12:37pm, Helene St. James tweet,

Kronwall says he sees no reason why Zetterberg wouldn’t play next season so long as his back holds up.

added 12:58pm, St. James tweet,

Zetterberg says he’s glad Blashill staying, has seen growth in him since first year.

added 1:02pm, Custance tweet,

Anthony Mantha said he met with his agent Pat Brisson in LA when Detroit was out there. He’s RFA, expects talks to pick up in a month or so. Sounds like he prefers a bridge deal. Thinks he still has more to give before locking in long term.

added 1:12pm, Gregg Kurpa tweet,

Z. says he will certainly be back and is hoping that a good summer leads to better performance next season,

he thinks his 2016-17 "much better" than 2017-18, and he hopes to be better next season.

he will talk to teams sweden about 2018 Worlds before telling us.

Below will be the landing spot for some media, right now just Kronwall talking.

added 12:35pm, Watch Tyler Bertuzzie below...

added 12:39pm, Gustav Nyquist below...

added 12:58pm, Andreas Athanasiou below...

added 1:04pm, Justin Abdeldader below...

added 1:08pm, Jimmy Howard

Continue Reading »

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Is Aggressive Hockey Coming Back To Town?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Red Wings were the game's best puck-possession team for years with Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in their prime and a host of other skilled players before that.

That's no longer the case, so it calls for a change of approach. They still want to possess the puck, but when they don't have it, they need to be more aggressive, coach Jeff Blashill said.

"More forechecking and a faster transition game," Blashill said. "I think in the past it was bring it back and loop and do some things and it was awesome for a while. Some of that was with the number of Russian players that were here, that's how they'd grown up playing. Some of that is the league was much different, there were huge disparities in talent from one team to the next.

"It's not that way anymore. We've tried to implement a much faster transition game to try to make use of what I think is one of our best assets -- our speed. I didn't think enough coaches said to me last year that our team was fast. I don't know if there's a coach I talk to now that doesn't say our team's fast. I think we've learned to play way faster, and part of that is being willing to put pucks behind people and go forecheck a little bit more. This certainly wasn't noted as a forechecking team in the past. I think everybody in here knows that you have to be that if you want to win."


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Jeff Blashill Named Head Coach For 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Jeff Blashill (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), who recently completed his third season as head coach of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings and guided the 2017 U.S. Men's National Team to a 6-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, has been named head coach of the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team it was announced today by USA Hockey. The squad will compete in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship, set for May 4-20 in Herning and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Blashill will be joined by assistant coaches Dan Bylsma (Grand Haven, Mich.), Don Granato (Downer's Grove, Ill.) and Seth Appert (Cottage Grove, Minn.).

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What If A Miracle Happens And The Wings Win The NHL Draft Lottery?

The Wings have drafted #1 three times, Claude Gauthier in 1964, Dale McCourt in 1977 and Joe Murphy in 1986.

Is 2018 the year Detroit has the honor to draft Rasmus Dahlin?



If the ping pong balls fall Detroit's way, does the rebuild change?

High profile UFA signing, trades become and option to get better quickly?

I would imagine all options would be on the table for the Wings.

Of course, the salary cap could get in the way.

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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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