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Detroit’s Top Trio

from Craig Custance of The Athletic,

It’s a concept that was coined by former Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi when the Kings were at the peak of their power during the middle of the last decade. He called the trio of Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick the Kings’ microcore. The theory was pretty simple: Teams that build around high-end players at those three positions – No. 1 center, No. 1 defenseman and goaltender – should be in pretty darn good position to challenge for a Stanley Cup....

To get a sense of how each NHL team’s microcore stacks up, each team’s microcore was identified and presented to a panel from inside the hockey world to rate each one on a scale of 1-100. To provide an analytics balance, we added in ratings from The Athletic‘s Dom Luszczyszyn as part of the average.

Here was the breakdown of the panel: Two NHL executives, two NHL scouts and an NHL coach, plus Dom....

Tampa is rated first with Brayden Point, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy with an average rating of 90.9.

Detroit is ranked 30th with Dylan Larkin, Filip Hronek and Jimmy Howard and their rating is 63.9

It’s been a tough season in Detroit but this exercise is another example of just how badly the franchise needs high-end talent at key positions. The pain right now is necessary for a team that needs a couple more top picks in the system. “I like (Dylan) Larkin. He’d be a really good No. 2 center. Maybe a No. 1 winger,” suggested one executive. “(Filip) Hronek is more of a prospect. And you wouldn’t want to be a goalie in Detroit right now.”

“Hronek is their No. 1 D?” Asked one panelist. “That’s a tough depth chart. But I have always liked Hronek because of his compete.”

the rest of the teams ($$$)...

added 9:14am, Yesterday The Hockey News wanted to know if the Wings are the worst NHL of the salary cap era.  Watch below.

Detroit talk starts at the 7:58 mark.


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IwoCPO's avatar

That right there is fun for the whole family.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 12/10/19 at 10:51 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Well, as men age, their dong becomes flaccid, same as Jimmy.

Posted by RWBill on 12/10/19 at 03:40 PM ET


What a mess.

Going back several years, it doesn’t even look like a
team that was trying to prioritize D and goal, other than
a lot of “poke and hope” - half-hearted, lower-priority picks
and fringe signings.

Hindsight aside, the method does not look like one likely
to pan out.

We’ve been over this probably too many times,
but the Wings just didn’t prioritize D in the draft for several years,
even though it was long clear Nick and Rafalski we’re reaching the end.
Somehow, we have only one semi-credible prospect in goal, currently in the ECHL.
Is Eliasson a credible prospect?

This looks like a team that needs to find multiple star players (if not “generational”, superstar) over the next perhaps three drafts.

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/10/19 at 08:09 PM ET


Based on one advanced analytics metric in the Athletic - I think the
season preview, we featured in Ericsson, Daley, and Bowey, three of
bottom five, least effective defenders in the entire league.

The bad longterm deals for declining veterans who were never top players even in their prime has obviously gotten almost universal attention.
But what happens when a couple to a few of those players fall off the cliff
at once (aging and accumulated injuries at the same time you naturally slow down, in the midst of an ever-younger and faster game) is bad enough.

But it looks like Jimmy was at least battling and helping to prop things up until this season.

At what point does the psychological weight of being on a really bad team that’s increasingly getting blown out, even in games that are semi-competitive most of the way, begin to take its toll and erode the confidence and competitive edge necessary in the top league in the world? Not saying basic work ethic or professionalism is lacking. Or personal pride. More, aging and falling off at the same time there is too little young talent ready and no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of being competitive let alone beginning to contend. It’s like it’s the end of November for the Wings at the same time it’s April or May for much of the league.

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/10/19 at 08:23 PM ET


It’s a good thing we rebuilt on the fly so we’d avoid bottoming out and sucking long term.  Our last GM was probably the best GM in hockey for his genius in constructing this lineup.

Too bad no one could have seen this coming, eh?

Posted by captaineclectic on 12/11/19 at 07:57 AM ET

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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