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Abel to Yzerman

Detroit Went Off The Map With 7th Round Pick Otto Kivenmaki

from Craig Custance of The Athletic,

They picked a prospect who couldn’t have been further from the draft, who had no idea he was even under consideration. A kid who certainly wasn’t planning on it happening or preparing for any development camps. He didn’t even go to the draft combine in Buffalo.

Otto Kivenmaki was in Milan, Italy, with his girlfriend and her family, enjoying a meal while on vacation when his phone rang. It was his agent.

“Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that,” Kivenmaki told The Athletic.

With the 191st overall pick in the 2018 draft, the Red Wings took an 18-year-old forward who is listed 5-foot-8, 154 pounds. And that’s up from the 137 pounds he’s listed at on his hockeydb page.

more (paid subscription)...

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It’s Detroit Or Halifax For Filip Zadina

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings and Filip Zadina were both under the impression he could play in the AHL in 2018-19, but have been told his junior team wants him back if he does not make the Wings.

During last week’s development camp, Zadina, the sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft, said he had been loaned by his Czech team to his junior team. That was also what the Wings believed. It’s a significant distinction because if Zadina were on loan, he could be sent to the AHL if he does not make the Wings. That would make it easy to call him back up.

Tuesday evening, Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press he had been informed Halifax Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell wants Zadina back if he’s not in the NHL.


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Why The Wings Signed The Older Players

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

By bringing back Mike Green and Thomas Vanek, the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings are projected to have one of the oldest rosters in the NHL.

The moves might block a younger player or two from making the team.

But general manager Ken Holland cited several reasons for wanting to sign these veterans, not the least of which is their offensive ability for a team that ranked 28th in the NHL in goals per game.

Vanek, 34, signed a one-year contract for $3 million, after producing 24 goals and 56 points for Vancouver and Columbus last season.

"When we had him the season before, he was very popular in the locker room. The players looked up to him," Holland said. "We signed him to score goals, but he's as good a playmaker as he is a goal-scorer. He's a big body. He's going to be good on the power play as a net-front presence. He shoots right. We don't have a lot of right-hand shooters up front."

The Red Wings wanted to sign him a year ago but didn't have the cap space.


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Regarding The Wings’ Offseason Moves

Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News breaks down the draft, trades and UFA signings for many of the NHL teams.

On the Wings he writes this.


Detroit Red Wings: Loved the draft and okay with the Bernier signing, but didn’t care for bringing back defenseman Mike Green and Vanek. Those signings appeared to stall some momentum.

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Can You Have A Rebuild…

... and still be the oldest team in the league?


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All About Joe Veleno

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“We had him extremely high on the board,” Wright said. “We wanted to target centers, as well. He’s captain of Team Canada at Ivan Hlinka, he’s captain of the under-18 world championship team. Special exemption in the Quebec Major Junior League as a 15-year-old.

“If you’d have told me we were walking out with Veleno at 30, I would have been shocked.

“I don’t want to do a lot of comparisons by he skated a lot like Dylan Larkin.”

That’s what Shawn Horcoff, the Wings’ director of player development, also saw during last week’s development camp.

“Incredible,” was Horcoff’s word to describe Veleno’s skating. “He has a good skill set, too. He’s just a guy you can see out there. Can he become that kind of penalty killer with skill, a guy hard to play against and chip in with offense?


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A Look At The Wings Rebuild

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

The Red Wings did not try to make their best arrangements for drafting Rasmus Dahlin.

Did anyone really think they would do so for Jack Hughes next season?

The new news out of the first day of free agency, the day the world’s worst-kept secrets are confirmed, is that GM Ken Holland made clear he is not certain Henrik Zetterberg will continue his career.

The old news is, Holland’s rebuild lacks pace.

For those listening closely to Zetterberg's epitaph to the lowly 2017-18 season, when the Red Wings’ great captain last spoke in the dressing room, he said his return depended on his health.

He said he had some concerns, but expected to be back.


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Videos- Highlight Time For Jonathan Bernier & Thomas Vanek

awood40 put together a highlight packge of both Jonathan Bernier and Thomas Vanek from the most recent season.

First up is Bernier.




Vanek is below.

Continue Reading »

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What Rebuild?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

What happened to the rebuild and the youth movement?...

The Red Wings re-signed defenseman Mike Green, who turns 33 on Oct. 12, for two years at a $5.375 million cap hit. They brought back left wing Thomas Vanek, 34, on a one-year deal at $3 million. They inked goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who turns 30 on Aug. 7, for three years at $3 million per season.

"As we go forward over the next year or two and we're trying to transition from older people, it's important that we're competitive," Holland said. "It's important that we've got some veterans around our kids. At the same time, it's important that our kids are going to get an opportunity. We believe we can make both things happen."

The Red Wings expect forwards Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen, their top picks in each of the past two drafts, to compete for roster spots in training camp and the preseason and possibly make the jump from juniors to the NHL. Left wing Evgeny Svechnikov, their 2015 top pick who experienced a down year in 2017-18 with the Grand Rapids Griffins, also is in the mix for a job.

read on

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On Zetterberg’s Back Issue

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

General manager Ken Holland, during Sunday's conference call about the team's free-agent signings, wasn't certain about Zetterberg's plans.

"The last I talked to him, I think he's planning on playing," Holland said. "Obviously, his back is going to determine whether he can or can't. Do I have a clear green light? I'm expecting him to play. Do I have a clear green light? No. I don't know that I've got a clear green light.

"Obviously, when you are dealing with the back and you're dealing with the health of a person, it's hard to read the future when it comes to health. Obviously, that's a key piece for us. I'll stay in touch with Henrik as we get into July to see how his health is."


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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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