Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Draft Preparation

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Red Wings had their amateur scouting meetings last week. There was much debate. Wright indicated they're still formulating their list.

"I don't think it was a unanimous decision going into these meetings," Wright said. "To be honest with you, the decision hasn't been made. We don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out who's taking who. We're trying to identify where we want to go and make sure we have those guys in order....

"You got some really good puck-moving defensemen, you got some smaller offensive dynamic (defensemen), you got some big, powerful wingers, you got some skilled wingers," Wright said. "Up the middle it might not be as deep as in previous years. With that said, there's still good players.

"I think the industry has identified some separation with certain players. Going into last year's draft it was a little harder to evaluate because you could have gone either way and there's guys that emerged late."


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Video- Anthony Mantha’s 24 Goals This Season

via the YouTube page of awood40.


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A Three Point Day For Dylan Larkin

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin scored a goal and added two assists Sunday to help the United States defeat Norway 9-3 at the World Championship in Herning, Denmark.

The U.S. has won all six of its games (4-2-0-0, W-OTW-OTL-L), good for 16 points and first place in Group B. The Americans conclude pool play Tuesday against Finland (6:15 a.m. ET, NHL Network).

Larkin had three shots on goal and a plus-2 rating in 16:23. He has three goals and five assists in six games.

continue for a bit more...

Larkin is in the top 10 of scoring at the World Championship.

added 2:47pm, Game highlights of today win can be watched below.

Continue Reading »

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Frans Nielsen At Home

from Aaron Vickers at NHL.com,

A decade ago, Detroit Red Wings center Frans Nielsen couldn't have imagined standing on the blue line of a sheet of ice in his hometown singing "Der Er Et Yndigt Land," Denmark's national anthem, with nearly 11,000 hockey fans.

Even five years ago, he admits, would have been a bit of a stretch.

"Not a few years back, no," Nielsen said after singing alongside 10,800 fellow Danes to celebrate a 3-0 victory against Norway on Friday. "It's been exciting. It's been fun. The whole city has backed us up here. It's been incredible.

"All we've hoped for."


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More Tank Needed

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Red Wings team that has some hard decisions to make about their long-term plan.

Considering the lack of star power on the roster right now, there is a very reasonable argument to make that Detroit should plan to tank, in order to improve their chances to acquire high-end talent around which they can rebuild.

That doesn’t require dramatically sinking the team’s hopes; really it’s not much more than allowing nature to take its course with this roster. The Red Wings have seven picks in the first three rounds this year, and if they’re in the lottery next year, then that would offer a shot at another high-end player.

While this might be a reasonable approach for a team with a new management team, looking at a five-year plan, I have my doubts that the current Red Wings management is prepared to do that.

As an aside, when I do these Off-Season Game Plans, I try to come up with a plan that seems reasonable and consistent for the current management and that means their established tendencies should be part of the consideration. Thus, even if I might think that the long-term plan for the Red Wings should be focused on a long-term rebuild, I’m skeptical that Red Wings GM Ken Holland would venture down that path.

read on

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Tomas Tatar On His Time With The Vegas Golden Knights

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

For a player who the Golden Knights sent the Wings a first-round draft pick this year, a second-rounder next year, and a third-round selection in 2020, it is a bit eye-opening to not see Tatar in the lineup.

“It upsets you a little bit sometimes,” Tatar said of the benching. “But right now, it’s all about winning and doing whatever it takes to help the team win. I want to win. It upsets you sometimes, but it’s all about being supportive, creating a good environment and it’s all about winning.”

Tatar said he understands Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant leaning toward players, and a lineup, that Gallant has been familiar with from the start of the season.

“I’m just working hard off the ice to be ready,” Tatar said.

Tatar played in 20 games with the Golden Knights after being traded, posting six points (four goals, two assists) with a minus-11 plus-minus rating.

Tatar admits the adjustment was gradual, with the shock of being traded for the first time in his career. But the tight-knit, and inviting, Golden Knights roster has helped getting comfortable in Vegas.


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Racism Rears Its Ugly Head In The Givani Smith Incident

from Curtis Rush of the New York Times,

The troubling incident rocketed around the hockey world: Givani Smith, a black player in a top junior league, needed a police escort to a recent playoff game after online threats and racist taunts from fans.

Smith, 20, a forward with the Kitchener Rangers and a Detroit Red Wings prospect, is one of only about a dozen black players among the roughly 500 players in the Ontario Hockey League, one of three major junior hockey leagues in Canada for players ages 16 to 20 who often go on to N.H.L. careers.

For decades, black hockey players at all levels have experienced incidents of racial abuse. “A lot of players of color go through this,” Smith’s agent, G.P. Daniele of TPG Hockey, lamented. “It’s almost par for the course. It’s unfortunate.”

But the level of abuse directed at Smith so concerned the O.H.L. commissioner, David Branch, that he requested the police escort, a move he had not felt obligated to take before....

“Obviously, it’s disgusting that people do that to another human being,” Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland said. “We support Givani. He’s a tremendous young man. We think he’s a really good prospect for us. He had a tremendous playoff. It’s about what you do on the ice. He’s a committed athlete, and we’re thrilled to have him in our organization. We’ve talked to him since the incident and made sure he understands we’re there to support him.”


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Who’s The Backup Goalie And Trade For Dahlin?

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answered a few questions today.

You'll know the question by her answer or read the headline.

HSJ: They’ll have to sign a goaltender, because there’s no one in the system ready to promote to back up Jimmy Howard. I know they like Carter Hutton, a 32-year-old who went 17-7-3 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 32 games with St. Louis. He’s coming off a two-year, $2.25 million contract, and if he can be had for just a bit of a raise, that’d be a good fit. 

HSJ: I’ve received variations on this questions since the night of the draft lottery, and my answer is — why would Buffalo give up Rasmus Dahlin for anything? Package the pick at sixth, Anthony Mantha, Dennis Cholowski, Tyler Bertuzzi — that’d be a ransom’s price and still, why would the Sabres surrender a draft pick who is considered a generational player, and a defenseman at that? The Sabres get to build around Dahlin, Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen for the next decade. That’s now their fortune, after seven straight seasons of missing the playoffs, six straight seasons of finishing in the bottom third, and finishing last in the NHL three of the most recent five seasons.

more Q & A...

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Shawn Horcoff On David Pope

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Time will tell if David Pope turns out to be another late-round pick that pays off for the Detroit Red Wings, but the club is high on his potential.

He's a good-sized left wing (6-3, 200) with offensive skills, coming off two strong seasons at Nebraska-Omaha.

The Red Wings signed him to a two-year entry level contract on Monday and expect him to compete for a roster spot in training camp.

Shawn Horcoff, the Red Wings director of player development, said the best way to describe Pope is that he's a shooter.

"He's a kid that has improved his skating over the years and I think that's helped him get to the areas where he can score," Horcoff said. "He's great on the power play, he's got a real good one-timer off the flank and a great wrist shot in stride. He's a kid that's really come on the last couple of years and had a great senior year."...

"He's had to earn everything in his life," Horcoff said. "He's a little bit of a late bloomer. He's a winger that gets up and down the ice well and he's a guy that can shoot it. Put him with good players, put him in position to score goals, he's going to put it away. We're hoping he can come to camp and show us that."


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Coaching For A Win At The World Championship

from Craig Custance of The Athletic,

He pulls on gray slacks, pulls over a navy USA Hockey shirt. Grabs a pair of boat shoes and puts them on without socks. Even this early, the stylish Blashill is polished.

At 44 years old, he’s still one of the youngest coaches in the NHL. But his fast track to the coaching heights has been derailed a bit, more by timing than anything. He got the job in Detroit as the coach of the Red Wings during a time in which the franchise was downshifting from contender to rebuilder.

“He’s a really good hockey mind,” Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez says. Martinez has known Blashill since he was 16. Blashill recruited him to play at Miami. Blashill went to Martinez’s Stanley Cup parties when the Rochester Hills, Michigan, native was winning championships with the Kings, always careful not to touch the silver trophy. Blashill is one of the main reasons a veteran like Martinez is even playing in this tournament, typically a duty for the youngest American NHL players.

“He had one of the most rapid ascensions to the coaching ranks I’ve ever seen,” Martinez says. “There’s a reason for it. He’s won everywhere he goes.”

more (paid subscription)

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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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