Abel to Yzerman
Steve Yzerman is making the transition from player to executive. And those around him, his former teammates and his newly-found peers, are watching the adjustment with some amusement.
"Yeah, he's got an office and everything," said Wings winger Kirk Maltby. Yzerman is a vice-president with the club after spending more than two decades as captain in Detroit. "I think he's getting the idea what being a general manager is all about, the time commitment ... I think I may have talked him out of it," laughed current Wings GM Ken Holland, who welcomed the retired Detroit captain into the management club a few months ago to mentor him along with longtime Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.More from the Edmonton Journal.
Pierre LeBrun said tonite on CBC's Hot Stove that the Wings and Pavel Datsyuk are far apart in contract negotiations. Datsyuk's agent was in Detroit this week to begin talks with Kenny Holland. It would appear the trip was wasted. Also, Igor Larionov will be hosting a charity hockey game in Moscow's Red Square on December 9th. Proceeds will go to Russian players from the 70's and 80's. Scotty Bowman is scheduled to attend.
Earlier today I posted a blurb from a new blog called Hot Oil. Alanah, the writer from H.O, essentially called out Wing fans and said that if Detroit truly deserved the title of "Hockeytown" fans wouldn't be leaving midway through the third, staying silent during a game against the team that gave us the Punch In The Face and pretty much sleeping through an exciting, hard-hitting contest. Care to argue with her? Check out the comment to that post from O-Joe. He says he can't, literally, give tickets away to Wing games this year. You want to blame the lockout? Go ahead. Blame the first round losses? Sure.
Yep. The NHL's going to an all online All Star voting system this year. According to the official press release from the NHL office, fans will be able to vote via their cell phones and on NHL.com. But, Wing fans, if you're looking for the goaltender leading the league in GAA and shutouts, well...don't strain your eyes. Because Dominik Hasek isn't even on the list of nominees. Hasek is sporting a GAA of 1.75 (1st), save percentage of .911 (11th), 3 shutouts (1st) and 8 wins (3rd). Nikolai Khabibulin owns a GAA of 3.36, 4 wins, 0 shutouts, 6 games played and a save percentage of .890. None of those are in the top 30. But, you can vote for him if you'd like. The other goalies you have to choose from? * Manny Fernandez, (2.17, .928, 8 wins, 1 shutout) * J.S. Giguere, (1.98, .928, 9 wins, 2 shutouts) * Miikka Kiprusoff, (2.44, .921, 6 wins, 2 shutouts) * Roberto Luongo, (2.45, .907, 8 wins, 1 shutout) * Dwayne Roloson, (2.47, .918, 7 wins, 1 shutout) * Marty Turco, (1.84, .931, 10 wins, 1 shutout) * Tomas Vokoun, (2.81, .912, 7 wins, 1 shutout) Those last seven goalies listed clearly belong on the ballot. But more than Hasek? It's a curious thing that he was left off, considering his career body of work and the fact that the league wouldn't have to defend itself by putting him on. Also add in the fact that he's at least top ten in every category but one, and leading in two? Four Wings are eligible for your votes: Nick Lidstrom, Matthieu Schneider, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
By now you've probably seen the Forbes list of most valuable franchises. Christy at Behind the Jersey breaks down the Wing-specific segments for us.
A few interesting tidbits from the Detroit section… 1) The average Red Wings game ticket is $51, which is $6 more than the New York Rangers’ average ticket but $19 less on average than the Toronto Maple Leafs’ tickets. The Dallas Stars worth $10 million less than the Wings has the average ticket price at $60. And here I am complaining about ticket prices at the Joe. 2) I thought that it was interesting that the Detroit revenue has fallen from the 2003-2004 season, which the Wings made $97 million, to the $89 million revenue from last season. In 2001-2002, the Wings not only won the Cup but made $114 million in revenue and were valued at $268 million.More
Looking around You Tube today and found this video. Grainy, not the best quality but...wow. If it's been a while since you've seen highlights of the early stages of Yzerman's career, take a look. Watch this and you'll have no doubt why Blackhawk fans have nightmares about #19.
Pointing you to a couple of places this morning addressing Wednesday's Oil/Wing game, the crowd at JLA and the hit on Williams. First, a dose of bitterness from Alanah at Hot Oil (a recent addition to the blogroll on the left).
Whenever I hear Detroit referred to as "Hockeytown" without a trace of irony, it's all I can do to keep my head from exploding. Hockeytown, my ass. In a true "Hockeytown," fans would stick around the arena until the final buzzer or, you know, actually sell out the games in the first place. In a true "Hockeytown," the cheers when Winchester was knocked flat on his back tonight would have been deafening. In reality, all the TSN microphones were able to pick up were a few halfhearted "whoo"s. Pathetic.I grudgingly see her point (although it would have been better received had it not come the day after the Wings dominated her team). Dead crowd, or so it appeared on tv, last night too. Two big rivalry games and a fairly mild audience. Before you blame the fans though, Alanah, you might want to point the finger at the organ-I-zation. While we're on the subject of the Oil/Wing game, we return to The Hit. I've expressed my opinion that I believe it was clean. Some of you disagreed, and I can see why. It's turned into quite the debate. I'm going to point you to two different sites where opinions are being intelligently expressed. Matt Saler and Brian List are really nailing this topic at On The Wings, as is Jeff from SISU Hockey. I suggest you visit both sites and read the accumulation of opinions on the Torres hit, and hits to the head in general.
I know. This is Bubba's year. It's his division. This is finally the season he waddles to the top of it and stays there for decades, establishing the dynasty in America's Mid South that we knew was coming down the pike. It's got to be frustrating for Barry Trotz, the Nashville faithful and the 6 Pred fans outside the Nashville area. Just when the geniuses were certain the Wings were ready to fade into mediocrity, they do the unlikely. I'm not talking about winning one game, or even 8. What we may be seeing is a philosophical transformation. First, the game...more deep ruminations (sorry Bubba..."thoughts") later. Andres Lilja and Brad Norton scratched. Lilja may never see the ice again in Detroit. I'm serious. Well, not completely serious. But considering the type of defense the Wings are playing, I can't imagine Mike Babcock is too willing to make even the slightest blue line change unless he has to (which he might...see below).
Update 2120 CST: Mike Babcock said Kronwall had a slight groin strain prior to tonite and it apparently flared up a bit. They held him out of the third as a precaution. Babcock says he should be fine for Tuesday. Wings take the first of an eight-game season series from Little Brother Bubba. A few details tonite, with a full game recap tomorrow morning * Dominik Hasek's second consecutive shutout, third on the year and 71st of his career. * Wings and Hasek haven't allowed a goal in 153:28 * Wings goals: Lang (5), Lidstrom (3), Cleary (4, EN) * Three Stars: Hasek, Lidstrom, Chelios * Wings now lead Bubba by 4 pts in the Central. Scary news: Kronwall didn't play a shift in the third. Neither the Wing tv or radio announcers have mentioned his absence. NHL.com scoresheet ESPN game recap
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: firstname.lastname@example.org