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Abel to Yzerman

Do You Agree With This Statement?

from Casey Ippolito of The Hockey News,

If Detroit falls short of the playoffs this year, their streak will end, but the culture of winning won’t. By the time Datsyuk and Zetterberg retire, the next generation of Wings stars will be established impact players, ready to carry the franchise torch on another run of dominant seasons. That’s how Detroit has operated for nearly 30 years, and one season out of the playoffs won’t change anything.

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Too early to tell. Who will be the dominant players? We got some really talented youngsters, but I don’t know about dominant.

Posted by George0211 on 02/03/14 at 10:10 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I agree… IF they come up with a couple of top-tier players to take the reins from Pav and Z.

That’s not to say it can’t come from within. The next season or two will be very telling. I like the kids and think the Wings have a great chance to build an affordable, young, and deep team, kind of like Chicago did. The difference is, Chicago put that skilled depth (Sharp, Bolland, Burish, Byfuglien, Saad, Leddy, Versteeg, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, etc.) around a core of Toews, Kane, and Keith, and a huge UFA signing in Hossa.

While I like a lot of these kids the Wings have drafted and developed, I can’t say I have any expectation that two or three of Tatar, Nyquist, Jurco, Sheahan, Andersson, Pulkkinen, Jarnkrok, Ouellet, Sproul, Mantha, Marchenko, Athanasiou, and Almquist will elevate to Toews/Kane/Keith levels.

Mantha is the one guy that looks to have the potential for that next level. But really, can you get your hopes up that high for anyone still in the Q other than a once-in-a-generation guy like Crosby or Super Mario? Once he has a professional season under his belt, then we can start to run the hype machine. Even a guy like Toews played a full additional season in major college hockey after he was drafted.

I’m encouraged by all these other guys, but realistically, someone in that group is going to have to bloom a bit later and surprise us. The defense is the scarier part. There is enough forward skill in the pipeline that even if none of the guys pan out into being top level stars, there’s a lot of consistent offense there. But who is going to be the Wings’ Duncan Keith? Even truly great forwards can’t score much if the defense doesn’t move the puck well. It’s the biggest problem the Wings D has had the last season+. Despite frustrations, their play in their own zone has been pretty decent considering the prominent roles guys like Lashoff and Smith have had to play. It’s the lack of consistent puck movement outside of Kronwall/Ericsson that is scary and mires this team in offensive droughts.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/03/14 at 10:16 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Yep, the dominant D-man might be the missing piece.

And a new leader in the locker room will have to emerge. Who is that?

But don’t overlook the impact of the front office. Wings rise to dominance had, in my opinion, almost as much to do with Mr I driving the desire as it did the talent of the team. Mr I might not be around much longer, Kenny seems stuck in the last era. If they are to build a new wave, Kenny has to reinvent himself a little, maybe.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/03/14 at 10:41 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Kenny seems stuck in the last era. If they are to build a new wave, Kenny has to reinvent himself a little, maybe.

Posted by MoreShoot

I agree completely. And I’d add Babcock to the “reinvent himself a little” equation.

Right now, they both seem to be ready to do that. Whether that’s just something convenient to say because they currently have to play the kids or whether they actualy are prepared to put a greater emphasis on youth remains to be seen.

It also remains to be seen whether guys like Helm, Sheahan, DeKeyser, Nyquist and Tatar can lead the Wings to future “dominant seasons.” But I like the compete level of all of those guys. Hopefully Blashill is instilling that same attitude in the next wave of Wings prospects.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/03/14 at 11:09 AM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Yep - I agree. The culture will not change despite what happens this year. This is the brilliance of Mr I, Jimmy D and Ken H - they built a culture of winning that will survive the vagaries of whatever happens in a particular season.

Posted by joedaiceman on 02/03/14 at 12:17 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

I’m not that proud of the playoff streak, it’ll be nice if it continues but if we miss it during our 3-year rebuild I won’t mind.

The two streaks I was most proud of have already ended:

* 10 straight years we won home-ice for the first two rounds of the playoffs(1st or 2nd in the conference), &
* 17 years we won home-ice for the first round of the playoffs(top-4 in the conference).

Those are impressive to me. Yes, yes, yes… “any team in the playoffs can win the Cup”, but the top-2 in each conf. have a serious shot every season and most Cup winners were in the top-4.

Our streaks of 3-straight and 4-straight President’s cups are also nice, and our streak of 2-straight Cups is even nicer.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 02/03/14 at 12:20 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Totally agree with the replace Kenny and Babcock sentiments.

As far as the Culture of Winning, to have such a culture, one must win. As new NHL players, Pavs and Z were around the ‘02 run (Z was a Black Ace that year?) that whetted their appetite for winning. In the current under-30 crowd on the Wings, Helm, Abby, E52, and, believe-it-or-not, Q were around the ‘08 run. It is this group, not Pav and Z, that needs to impress upon the Griffwings that as amazing as it was to win a Calder Cup, winning The Cup is infinitely better.

Related to this issue, is the salary cap. The cap itself (no team can spend more than X dollars) is not a problem. There is no shortage of talent willing to take a haircut on salary for a legit chance to win The Cup. Where the cap kills the ability to win is by punishing mistakes in player signings. Who wouldn’t love to just release Bert, Sammy, Buckets and even poor Mule (I mean that last one sincerely). I loves me some Mule when he’s being mulish, but if you were Kenny would you have given Mule such a long term deal with his concussion history? In the pre-cap era, sure. But not in the cap era where that salary hangs around the neck of the organization like a dead weight with a player who isn’t healthy enough to play. Kenny was too slow to adapt to the new era. And let’s be straight, Babs still hasn’t adapted, the injury list just gave him a different deck of cards to play with. When healthy, he’ll likely go back to the old deck.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/03/14 at 12:40 PM ET

Avatar

Nope.  There are a couple good players coming up but there hasn’t been any evidence thus far that any of them are dominant face-of-the-franchise type players.  Maybe someone will emerge to fill that role but it’s waaaaaaaay too early to say that with any confidence, and I think it’s realistic to say the odds of any of these players having that kind of impact are small.

Posted by RoneFace on 02/03/14 at 12:53 PM ET

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I like a few of them, but it is too early to tell on most.  Their performance without the current stars is encouraging.  One problem may be if some of the current stars fall off before the young guys make to their prime.  For example, Z has back issues (and has had them for a while).  That type of problem only tends to get worse over time and with age.  I don’t see him making it anywhere near the end of his contract.  Three more years max.

Posted by cantskate on 02/03/14 at 03:17 PM ET

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Totally agree with the replace Kenny and Babcock sentiments.

I completely missed it where anyone said that. And I don’t think there is anyone out there better to run the Wings, particularly in a time of transition who has admitted that he likes coaching young players. The ONLY guy I can think of offhand that I would like to see as a coach of the Wings is Bruce Boudreau. Saying that, the experiments in NY and Vancouver should have shown us that the grass is not always greener. Maybe some of the vets have tuned out Babs, but if you don’t think he’s changing his spots, see Sameulson, Mikael; Cleary, Dan; Bertuzzi, Todd and the recent scratch list. That WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED probably even the beginning of this season.

Posted by teldar on 02/03/14 at 05:14 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I completely missed it where anyone said that.

Not surprising on account of no one said it. 

Captain Dennis is a very adamant “fire Babcock/Holland” guy.  I guess he kinda has it on the brain.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 02/03/14 at 07:25 PM 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