Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Farewell To A Founder

I started this blog on some sort of Wordpress deal back in December, 2005.  Paul pushed me to do it, actually. I'd been a poster over at MLive and decided I needed a bigger room, because I'm so smart and my wisdom needed to spread and spread fast.

So we began there. For about a day, because I was in Tennessee, I got all creative and called the blog "Hockeytown South". Stupid and Paul told me so. Abel to Yzerman was born then and continues to this day, with few fewer posts and ashamedly a little less wit.

I'm positive, but I believe Hockeytown Todd was one of our first readers.

I'm absolutely positive he had more influence over me than anyone else.

"Injuries and officiating".  That was Todd Sorensen's refrain and he repeated it every time we made our bombastic claims that the Wings wouldn't lose a shift much less a single playoff game ever again in history. 

Over and over again he reminded us that there were factors besides talent that would determine the Wings fate. I argued with him about that, but I always knew he was right.

He had a blog for a while and for the life of me I can't remember it.  I don't know. 

We had just started a deployment in 20, shit, 11? Might have been '09. I don't remember. I just know that I was meeting my ship in Mayport and I posted something from the Navy Lodge there, from the lobby. I didn't have a laptop. Money was a little tight in the Iwo household and I wasn't gonna buy one.  Anyway, I posted that I'd be a little scarce and probably hinted, like a little bitch, that I was laptopless.

I don't know how he did it, how he got the address to the Navy Frigging Lodge in Mayport, FLA.  But two days later, one day before I was gonna fly out to the ship, a package arrived.  Todd had sent me a laptop.  Insane.

He was a gruff old guy, an original member of the 19. A goldmine of hockey knowledge. He was outspoken but I know he held back when he could have ripped me for being a biased fan instead of a "responsible" blogger. I never have been and he always stuck with me, and us. Well, he's gone.

He was at the first Herm 2 Hockeytown. I wasn't and it really gets me today that I could have met him and never did.

Great old guy. Great friend to us all.

No more 19. The idea will always be there. We all know what it stands for and who it represents. But it's no more.

It's the 18 now.  Rest easy Todd.  Give 'em Hell from up there and keep us in line down here. As you always did.

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Avatar

We pray for the repose of his soul…

An incredible tribute by the best blogger in the game….

Posted by Rsambo00 on 07/30/13 at 09:19 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

I bow to the masses, as usual.  HTT is probably calling me names as we speak.

19 it has been, 19 it is and 19 and it will remain. He’d want it that way.

Bitches.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/30/13 at 09:25 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Would anyone be willing to donate some money for a charitable cause in Todd’s name?  If he had ongoing health issues perhaps towards a cause which was close to these issues.

I will organize a donation pool if the 19 are interested.  If Paul finds out more details of Todd’s passing we can determine the appropriate cause.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 07/30/13 at 09:49 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

You nailed it Voox.  Lets do it.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/30/13 at 09:51 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I bow to the masses, as usual.  HTT is probably calling me names as we speak.

19 it has been, 19 it is and 19 and it will remain. He’d want it that way.

Bitches.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/30/13 at 10:25 PM ET


I believe that would be his wish, also. So, in honor of Gramps,


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 07/30/13 at 09:59 PM ET

VooX's avatar

You nailed it Voox.  Lets do it.
Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/30/13 at 10:51 PM ET

Aye aye, Master Chief, I will post details tomorrow about the fund.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 07/30/13 at 10:13 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Thank you Voox.  There are leaders and then there’s… us.

Posted by calquake on 07/30/13 at 10:30 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

How about starting a 501(c)(3) charity to teach NHL referees the rules of Hockey?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/30/13 at 10:52 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I’ll repeat what hit me when I read Paul’s R.I.P. headline…

“Oh, no. Nooooo.”

They say we go to a better place when we die (well, most of us anyway). But from HTT’s new home, I doubt that he thinks it’s better than being in front of a TV watching a Wings game and bitching about that damn “officiating.”

It’s a shame he’ll have to watch the Wings take #12 this year from “on high.” Or maybe, just maybe, he’ll finally get through to “the powers that be” that fair officiating might not be a bad thing to try, you know, just this once.

Rest easy, gramps. You’ve earned you time of peace.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/30/13 at 11:15 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

For a variety of reasons, it’s been a long time since I’ve been around.  But another of The 19 informed me of this and I had to be here.

There’s an eyepatch to be hung in the rafters today.  Gramps will be missed.  One of the rare few who had seen so many things in his time that he was able to keep his head when the Hasek was knee-deep in vomit, excrement, and blood.  The things he could, and did, teach us neophytes were fathomlessly deep.  Today I count myself lucky that I got an eyepatch to put to the face, and a wealth of learning that I could have done with a lot more of, at the inaugural H2H.

My father passed away a little over a year ago.  He, like Gramps, was an old-school Detroit sports crank, with plenty of old war stories and opinions you wouldn’t be able to sway him of with a cutting torch.  And today another one goes, and we’re all left to find our way to #12 in a world that’s a little colder this morning.

Rest in Peace, Gramps.  If you run into Jack Adams, give him hell.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/31/13 at 03:06 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Thanks, Master Chief.

RIP Todd.  I will miss you.  Sorry I never had a chance to meet you.

Thanks for the tribute posts, dear 19.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 07/31/13 at 07:42 AM ET

Jennemy of the Skate's avatar

Beautiful post, Chief. While I’m incredibly sad to hear of his passing, I’m glad I had the chance to meet him. Rest in peace, Gramps.

Posted by Jennemy of the Skate from the bar car on the stress train on 07/31/13 at 08:02 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Injuries and officiating


Truer words were never spoken

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 07/31/13 at 08:24 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Sad news indeed.  His words are going to be repeated a lot during next spring.

Great idea VooX.  That’s the sort of thing A2Y does and is why it’s not just another blog or forum.

Posted by Primis on 07/31/13 at 09:47 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Well, damn. First of the 19 I met and certainly one of the best.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/31/13 at 10:07 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I’m wondering if Gramps had a favorite cause or chairty? At the risk of sounding too bossy, could the fund be set up to benefit children also? I know we already contribute to CHO-Detroit, but, as someone that has been around long enough, children are the future.

Whatever we do to help them now, will benefit the generations to follow.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 07/31/13 at 10:21 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I hope someone here knows Gramps’ family well enough to let them know about what’s been said here. Maybe they could print out some of the messages and post them at the visitation. I think it would mean a lot to his family and friends to know how well-respected he was.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/31/13 at 10:54 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Aww hell.  RIP big guy.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/31/13 at 02:53 PM ET

monkey's avatar

I’m wondering if Gramps had a favorite cause or chairty? At the risk of sounding too bossy, could the fund be set up to benefit children also? I know we already contribute to CHO-Detroit, but, as someone that has been around long enough, children are the future.

Whatever we do to help them now, will benefit the generations to follow.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Eye patches for everyone!

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 07/31/13 at 04:23 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Guess I’m late chiming in on this…..
But I had the pleasure of meeting Gramps a few years ago well before H2H was born. A few of the 19 converged in Detroit for a game (that same game was also Miss Baroque’s first live Wings game).
We exchanged e-mails after that point intermittently… and upon Gramps learning of me being a baseball coach of 7 and 8 year olds, he sent me a book about coaching youth sports out of the blue.
I’m sad to hear this news and my best wishes are with his friends, family and the 19 that knew him.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 08/01/13 at 12:16 PM ET

Aphaea's avatar

I don’t have the time I used to have to hang around these parts, but I remember HTT, who could cut through the BS with ease. “Injuries and officiating.” That’s what I remember the old guy by, and it’s a phrase I’ve shamelessly stolen when teaching hockey to the nephew. Hat tip, Gramps. RIP.

Posted by Aphaea on 08/01/13 at 05:37 PM ET

VooX's avatar

A quick update:
I’ve been travelling with little to no internet the past 48 hours.  I will have access tomorrow to pull together a Paypal donation site with a post to inform everyone about details.  Stay tuned.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/01/13 at 10:27 PM ET

SYF's avatar

We exchanged e-mails after that point intermittently… and upon Gramps learning of me being a baseball coach of 7 and 8 year olds, he sent me a book about coaching youth sports out of the blue.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 08/01/13 at 01:16 PM ET

An immeasurable act of generosity.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 08/02/13 at 11:08 AM ET

cementslinger's avatar

Sad times indeed.  Rest In Peace Gramps. You will be missed.

“Injuries and officiating”

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 08/02/13 at 03:41 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

I realize I’m a bit late in reading this, but RIP Todd.  I always loved his posts.  The man knew hockey.  Like… KNEW hockey.  Just about everything he wrote here rang true.

We’ll miss you Todd.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 08/02/13 at 10:04 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

I believe Gramps got pissed when I labelled the 19 as a Band of Bitches.

We’ll all miss the big guy.  RIP HTT.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 08/02/13 at 11:03 PM ET

Trish's avatar

Well hell.  Haven’t been here in a while and now this. . .

Rest in Peace Gramps.  The 19 will miss you.

Posted by Trish from Tampa/Clearwater FL on 08/06/13 at 08:37 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

So, I haven’t really been paying an awful lot of attention to KK since the season ended (sorry, Paul), let alone A2Y (sorry, Chief)...

... but wow.

I remember wondering what the significance of the eye patch on his avatar was; then I met him at H2H and thought, “That’s *#$%@& awesome.”

Take the love of Red Wings Hockey with you to the next life, Gramps. I’m sure we’ll see you again.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 10/02/13 at 11:32 AM ET

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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