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Abel to Yzerman

Don’t Feel Sorry For The Wings

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Sorry, no tears are being shed here over the plight of the Red Wings, whose historically bad season got them no more than the fourth-overall pick of the draft as a consequence of the way the pingpong balls bounced in Friday’s lottery drawing.

Do you think the Detroit organization, always arrogant in the good times, agonized when the 2016-17 Avalanche, nearly as bad as this year’s Wings, also slid to fourth out of the lottery while the Devils, who had recorded 22 more points than Colorado, scored the first pick?

And by the way, wouldn’t you say Colorado did just fine by tabbing Cale Makar three spots after the Devils selected Nico Hischier? Who do you think goes first in a re-draft; Makar, Miro Heiskanen (third to Dallas) or Elias Pettersson (fifth to Vancouver)?

I wrote weeks ago that the lottery should have been restricted to the NHL’s Seven Dwarfs who were omitted from the Hub-Bubble 24-team extravaganza that is tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of July. The draw thus would have been limited to Detroit, Ottawa, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, New Jersey and Buffalo, with the Sharks’ pick owned by the Senators. That seemed fair to me.

But the NHL went its own way, designed a system to create some intrigue, and I spent all of 0.2 seconds fretting about it.


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We definitely dont want anyones pitty.  I dont feel sorry for a single other team and their plights.  Rangers included.  Panerim should be dynamo for you this year.

Posted by ThatGuy on 06/27/20 at 10:46 PM ET


Yeah and that was pretty much Stevie’s answer:

Colorado was by far the weakest team a few years ago and
they dropped to four and picked Makar - who definitely moves
the needle on a rebuilding team.

Yeah it would sure be nice to have a draft where the
teams below the top two get to choose between the likes of Heiskanen,
Makar, and Pettersson.

Really that draft also kind of underlines how much sustained hype and
and hardened consensus among scouting services and media experts, etc.
can lead to a situation where it’s presented and taken as a given that
the top two teams drafting have to and will obviously take Patrick and Hischier
in some order and then it’s ok to gamble on the super-smart, skilled, mobile defensemen. Then it’s ok to gamble on the frail looking hyper-skilled Swedish center.

In retrospect it looks like NJ and Philly lost that lottery draw because
they ended up in the two spots where the overwhelming consensus was you had to pick these one of these two “sure thing” forwards. Not saying this draft is similar at all in which types of players are available and how teams will behave.
But it’s why I liked the Seider pick so much even without knowing too much about the player. If a guy is naturally big and comfortable with physical play and he’s very mobile and has great hockey sense and very good and improving offensive skill..and he’s already a standout playing among men…who cares if the consensus of experts who always rank the same few players top ten or top five think he’s a reach? Who cares if people think it’s a positional reach. It might be both a positional reach and absolutely the right pick filling the highest need.

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/27/20 at 11:51 PM ET


The problem is that the Red Wings need an influx of talent immediately, and any prospect they draft we will likely have to wait for another few years.  This, on top of having to wait another 6 to 8 mi this to see our team again.

Posted by bababooey on 06/28/20 at 12:01 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I respect Larry to no end. He’s been on the Rangers’ beat since the 70’s and he was the one NHLPA-supporting voice during the 04-05 lockout, so reading Brooks’ columns were a rarity and a relief for the rare pro-player fans like me.

All of that being said, there are times that Brooks treats the Rangers like they’re the only important team in the NHL, and he talks about the NHL’s need to put the needs of big market-teams like the NYR first…

So I’m a little puzzled as to why he’s ragging on the Wings, and a little pissed off. The Wings’ GM took no pity and required no sympathy on Friday night, but “we fans” are more than a little bit upset, and that’s our job—to be passionate about our team’s interests.

So Brooks gets a rare middle finger salute from me this weekend, as do the other media types who suggested that the entertainment factor of a chaotic draft lottery made its baffling result “fun.”

Friday was “fun” if you didn’t have a rooting interest. It was a cluster-you-know-what if you were a non-playoff-team’s fan, or Alexis Lafreniere.

I’m also not a believer in the argument that it’s “no fun” for a franchise-lifting player to go to a non-playoff team. If the draft isn’t a place that teams go to re-stock and rebuild, what purpose does it serve?

Might Brooks of all people suggest that, instead, the flat cap that’s looming with the next CBA might provide detritus in the form of free agents from top, top-heavy cap teams upon which lower-salaried teams can predate? Maybe cursed parity (neither Brooks or I are fans) is the answer after all?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/28/20 at 01:54 AM ET

calquake's avatar

It’s not just this draft. The Wings have dropped in their draft order 4 years running. 4 years running! That’s what Wings fans are pissed aboot.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 06/28/20 at 01:58 PM ET


Hard for me to care if there’s a conspiracy against the wings when they are so committed to their own failures these days.

Posted by Ventr on 06/28/20 at 02:40 PM ET


OK Larry.  Better not read any whining about the rags after the next expansion draft, be a shame if he needed to be reminded of his own words in the future.

Posted by maltby18 on 06/28/20 at 02:41 PM ET


Better not read any whining about the rags after the next expansion draft

Why not? He’s not saying the Wings cant be upset, just that he doesn’t care.

Why would he care about how the Wings and their fans feel and why would his not caring about the Wings mean he’s not allowed to care about the Rangers?

Posted by BaromirBragr on 06/28/20 at 03:33 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

It’s not just this draft. The Wings have dropped in their draft order 4 years running. 4 years running! That’s what Wings fans are pissed aboot.

That’s the point. Red Wing fans smell a fix. angry

Posted by bigfrog on 06/28/20 at 05:22 PM ET


The thing is just plain old statistical chance over four
iterations can easily do this to a team as it has to the Wings
these last four times. When these are your first high picks in
forever it stings even more.

That’s why it’s on the league to understand just how much
the vicissitudes of chance can repeatedly boost or hobble
teams who weren’t even tanking, weren’t trying to game the system,
but were just finally really bad.

That’s why it’s on the league to stop trying to overcorrect for
tanking. That’s why it’s on the league not to allow a bunch of teams
to have it both ways by getting a shot in the playoffs and a shot at a top pick.

I’m assuming no conspiracies and no outright corruption.
Though the league sure makes it hard to assume that.
It’s the failure of the league to more responsibility constrain the
ways that sustained bad - or good - lottery luck can boost teams that
don’t need it and hobble teams that do need a break.

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/28/20 at 09:02 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Part of me wants the team who got the number one pick to win the cup or go deep just so it’s another egg in the face of the league who doesn’t give a sht.

Problem is, they don’t give a sht.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/28/20 at 09:38 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I really like Larry Brook’s work and his willingness to take on the power brokers of the league.

My only issue with this piece is his claim of “...always arrogant in the good times,...”.

Just imagine how insufferable New York fans & media would have been making the playoffs 25 straight years and winning 4 cups over that period…..well, luckily the rangers when cups about every 40 years, so I’ll be dead the next time happens and won’t be forced to watch the ticker-tape parade. Stay classy N.Y. ... confused

Posted by Down River Dan on 06/28/20 at 11:55 PM ET


I kind of like Brooks’ old school unapologetic
abrasiveness and willingness to ask hard and unpopular
questions, too.

I got a prolonged dose of how annoyingly self-congratulatory
and smug NYC sports media itself can be with the Yankees alone.
Even though everyone knew they were wielding a far bigger budget
relative to their peers than the Wings ever did pre-cap.

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/29/20 at 01:13 AM ET

Rumbear's avatar

I have a life and as a result have no idea who Larry Brooks is. A GOOGLE search is not real favorable.  Apparently, he is a New York Post hack who has opinions on the Wings. The Wings are everything his beat team is not. That sucks for him.

“...always arrogant in the good times,...” Here’s a tip….Wings are also arrogant in the bad times. Why?......we have a future. We are the Red Wings. As the Chief has been known to say…. I am not a hockey fan, I am a Red Wings fan.

Stay in your lane and write your blather on what you know and feed your kids Larry. Otherwise, piss off…...

LGRW !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, waiting for YzerMan Plan...... on 06/29/20 at 01:15 AM ET


/me waves at George

Posted by RyanVM on 06/29/20 at 09:51 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/28/20 at 09:02 PM ET

100+ points for working “vicissitudes” into a hockey discussion.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 06/29/20 at 05:09 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