Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Three Years Later: Wings Add Drake

At 35, I called for Dallas Drake.  That’s right, when I was 35 I said, “we need Drake.”  At 37, during the Summer of Ken, I called for Drake again.  I said we needed that kind of grit, that kind of leadership in our room.

And now, at 38, we land him.  Oh, and he’s 38 too…in case you were wondering.  A one-year deal for $550,000.  Three years later? I still like it.

Khan(!)

He’s spent the last six seasons in St. Louis and served as the team’s captain. The Wings have been trying to reacquire Drake for the last six years. Twice, the Blues outbid them in their efforts to sign him.

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You Wanted Some Perspective?

Editorial noteit’s rare, but sometimes I do stray into worlds that don’t necessarily include hockey.  In those instances, the word “perspective” will typically be in the subject of the post.  If the subject matter offends you, feel free to say so.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Perspective? Yes. I’ve got a little for you.  Back in the states after a short trip to The Cradle and I’ve returned to find a team that is Smyth-less, improved, yet largely the same.  Schneider’s gone, so is Bertuzzi.  Rafalski’s here and Hasek is back.  The blue line is better, but offensively there are questions.  The Groin that wasn’t an issue will most likely become a story by Christmas and there is at least one more UFA out there waiting to head to Hockeytown.

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Ummm….Kenny?

I woke up at 0218 (Bahrain time, also known over here as the time that the Saudis are all headed back across the border, driving home after a night of conveniently forgetting some of Allah’s more unreasonable prohibitions) in somewhat of a panic.

Why?  Most likely because that was the precise time Paul posted this little diddy:  Bertuzzi Signs With Ducks

No mention of money, not yet.  But, man…Kenny?  As someone noted below the Summer of Smyth is sucking, ‘specially when compared with the Summer of Ken.

Schneider, now Bertuzzi?  That’s tough.  I need to see the economics of this one….soon, because I’m on the verge of getting pissed off.  Khan(!) says the two-year offer vice the one from the Wings sealed it. 

No Hasek yet, but “he’s close”.  That’s nice.  Because if we don’t sign him soon we’ll have a problem, you know, “stopping the puck.”  But maybe that won’t matter because half our team has, what’s the word? Oh yeah…“defected.” 

F*&K.

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Rafalski To The Wings

Per the Emperor and TSN.

5 years/30 mil.

Essentially, the Wings have given up potent scoring for a very steady defenseman who can put up 50 points per season, and quarterback the PP almost as well as Schneider.  I’ll withhold comment on this until we see what else Wunderkind is up to.

added 7:23pm, Check out the transcript of the interview Rafalski did with TSN… Great job George…

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See Ya Schneids

Mathieu Schneider says sayonara and heads back to the Kings for six million/year.

Well, that was three days ago. Wrong team, but right state and damn near exact amount.  Sad?  Of course you are.  What do we lose?  A lot:  157 points over three years, a blast from the point, a constant threat and some violent tendencies rarely mentioned but always appreciated.

So…5.6/year?  Was that too rich for Kenny’s blood?

Maybe.  Or maybe he’s thinking Kronwall can put up 2/3 of that and we won’t be hurt by Schneider’s defection.  And maybe he’s hedging his bets and stashing his cash.

For who?  You know who.

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Will Wings Have To Choose Between Schneider and Smyth?

So, Sunday’s July the first; and July the first starts the Summer of Smyth.  And the Summer of Smyth better culminate with that frigging hippie eating cheddar in Hockeytown.  What seemed unlikely to the pessimistic among you now has a bit more reality attached to it.  The 50.3 Cap has given the Wunderkind some breathing room.  But a few million dollars doesn’t mean a stress-free existence for our boy Kenny.  Nope, he’s got some decisions to make; and one of them just may be the toughest of his tenure as genius behind the dynasty.

Could it come down to a choice between Mathieu Schneider and Ryan Smyth?  If so, who do you shell out the bucks to?  Ponder that while I dig a bit.

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Note To The Leafs:  You Missed The Bowman Boat

Good for us.  Scott Bowman has apparently been chatting back and forth with Toronto, most likely via instant message with LOL’s and BFF’s and ROFLMAO’s and little Generation Y emoticons.  But when the time came for a decision, the Leafs decided Scotty was asking too much.  He wanted to tip over that Toronto apple cart and start fresh.

Slam

Bowman, who has never been one to mince words, was prepared to bring in a young executive as the general manager in waiting. He even had discussions with at least one person about the position and discussed the roster of talent with many around the NHL.

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Note To Gary

You have to think Gary Bettman reads pretty much anything NHL-related.  Let’s go ahead and establish that.  Keeping that in mind, let me make one recommendation.  Don’t just read this article from The Emperor.  Digest it.  Ruminate on it.  And use it as concrete evidence that the hockey bloggers are the best group of friends this league has.

Access, Gary.  Full access to every team.  Three bloggers per team with the same opportunities as the MSM.  The results can only bring more exposure to a sport that sorely needs it.

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If Not Schneider…

...who?  If 23 bolts for the big bucks, which blueliner bolsters the back end in Hockeytown?  Well, that’s the question, eh?  We can certainly expect oft-injured and abrasive Dany Markov to return with the Schneider cash cleared, but there are other options…maybe even in addition to Markov.

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Note to Bubba:  Gary Shafted You

I feel bad for the DD’s.  On a glorious weekend that many of us spent drunkenly sprawled in our backyards surrounded by half-eaten blocks of cheddar, Judy Blume novels and the left-over screws and bolts from the gazebo we put together without reading the instructions or paying much attention to the warning on the top step of the ladder that says “don’t step”; Kulfan, St. James and Khan(!) were all sweating it out with the rest of the “media elite” in beautiful Columbus.

So, away we go; a Sunday’s worth of deep digging and some summer thoughts.

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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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