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Have The Wings Learned Their Lessons?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

For as much as they struggled to win, the Detroit Red Wings take encouragement into their offseason.

Before they broke for the summer last week, general manager Ken Holland addressed players, his message acknowledging that they’re not missing the playoffs for lack of effort. It resonated with Dylan Larkin, the team’s most important player.

“Kenny brought up only five games that we really didn’t have it and we didn’t play well,” Larkin said at last Monday’s locker cleanout. “Five games out of 82, it’s going to happen. We’ve had tough stretches but we’ve always come back and practiced hard and battled hard.

“We’ve learned how to face adversity and we’ve done it together. There definitely has been chemistry in here and a jell where we had fun doing it. We kept it loose and we did it together and that’s the most important part.”


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Ever wonder why people never say, why didn’t the wings draft Pasternak when complaining about how poorly Detroit drafts?

Dylan Larkin: showing why the wings know a thing or two about drafting.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/14/19 at 08:40 PM ET

WingDingy's avatar

Another puff piece from Helene.  Of the 75 forwards and defensemen Ken Holland has drafted since 2008, less than10 have had any real impact. That should tell you all you need to know.

Posted by WingDingy on 04/16/19 at 12:45 AM ET

d ca's avatar

How does a player that fell to them get the Wings credit for drafting smartly?  I don’t get it. Look at the list below players either fell to the Wings or were projected right about or exactly at where the Wings took them.

2012: AA drafted 110th overall. I can’t find McKenzie draft rankings with him but he had him 39th in preseason. SourceTSN’s Craig Button had him a pre-season 8th overall. Central scouting had him #24 in NA skaters mid season and #41 at the end. ISS had him # 36 overall at the end.
2013: McKenzie rated Mantha 16th. Wings picked him 20th. Went so far as to call him a “off-the-chart” shooter. Source
2014: McKenzie rated Larkin 12th. Wings picked him at 15th.Source
2015: McKenzie rated Svechnikov 18th. Wings picked him 19th. (Can get source from 2015 pages on same website and so on)
2016 McKenzie rated Cholowski 25th. Wings picked him 20th right after McKenzie’s next higher d-man (Logan Stanley 22nd ranked came off the board at 18)
2017 McKenzie rated Rasmussen 9th. Wings picked him 9th.
2018 McKenzie rated Zadina 4th. Wings picked him 6th.
2018 McKenzie rated Veleno 14th. Wings picked him 30th.
2018 McKenzie rated McIsaac 26th. Wings picked him 36th.
2018 McKenzie rated Berggren 38th. Wings picked him 33rd.

Now you want to point to little Bert picked 58th who was drafted 3 rounds before projected as the Wings dominant drafting skills that would be an example. The others as you can see…hardly

Posted by d ca on 04/16/19 at 02:51 AM ET


Posted by d ca on 04/16/19 at 02:51 AM ET

I’m not sure what your point is if all these players “fell” to detroit making them terrible at drafting or Bob terrible at predicting. It seems the wings were pretty smart not letting go of Larkin when AZ, Washington and Dallas all acted stupidly. oh boy, imagine Washington with Larkin! or Columbus! or….Tampa!

I’m sure old Bob never predicted someone would be drafted later they actually were….what the HECK Stevie Y doubting Bob by taking Anthony Deagelo! He wasn’t even in Bob’s top 30. And Colorado…..Conner Bleackley….please. also not in Bob’s top 30. they sure paid for not consulting Bob’s list. Sadly, the NYI’s must have been looking at Bob’s list and took Michael Dal Colle (#5 and #5) when they could have had Dylan Larkin. Stupid drafting NYI.

don’t worry, I’m going to take up my issues with McKenzie’s rankings with him and I won’t comment on your (mere) interpretation of his meager words. rest easy brah.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/16/19 at 06:20 AM ET

d ca's avatar

First of all you don’t understand “old Bob’s” rankings: they are a composite of a survey 10 NHL head scouts before the draft—not the opinions of one “old guy.” That is why they are so accurate.

I get it you think the Wings are awesome at drafting and when shown facts that they simply took players that fell to them making it so easy my 4 year-old niece could do it (taking a list and crossing out names when called. Then calling the the name of the highest ranked player left.): you want to attack because your perception is under question with facts to back it up.

You want to give the Wings credit for coming to a consensus that at least 9 other teams did (assuming they were one that answered the survey: 10 if they weren’t). My point is that makes them average at drafting—not soothsayers.

Now if the Wings went off the board of all these scouts and selected someone outside their top 30. Then that player turned out. Then they deserve all the credit in the world. But if the Wings merely took a player ranked ahead of where they were drafting that fell, we’ll that something Matt Millen could have done. For example drafting Zadina or Veleno. Okay give them credit for taking the best player available instead of drafting for need (but that is tempered because they still needed top 6 forwards)—but does that make the organization great at scouting or drafting: not in my book. Or Larkin rated 12th and taken at 15 do they really deserve praise for taking a guy 3 spots lower then a consensus of NHL head scouts believed he would go (say Larkin went a pick earlier and then the Wings took David Pastrnak which would be significantly earlier than scouts consensus—then they deserve credit for getting the right guy and drafting well. But grabbing the highest player left on a consensus list…

Well that would be silly and that’s my point and what that list shows.

Posted by d ca on 04/16/19 at 12:35 PM ET


I’m sorry, I’m confused. Are you saying Detroit is dumb for taking a guy who, according to your perception, “fell” and should have taken the guy who Bob’s list said they should take? Or, maybe you are saying all teams should follow Bob’s list and are stupid if they don’t?

What it really sounds like, to me, is you are trying to justify your position using Bob’s list as a way to justify it. Frankly, Bob’s is nothing more than an amalgamation of 10 people’s educated opinion as you pointed out. It’s certainly not the final opinion that all teams should follow. Dal Colle is a perfect example of how these scouts are fallible.

Was Detroit Larkin “fell” to them? Sure, he fell based on an “average” of those scouts. I’m sure they all didn’t agree on him being #12 (or what ever). I would wager a few of them had him 15 and higher and a few 12 and lower. When you look more specifically at those scouts individual rankings you get a different story. This is why using Bob’s list as a final say is a bit incredulous.

In my opinion, Detroit was smart for taking the guy who was available, who met their requirements and who has turned out better than anticipated. You can call that lucky and that’s your opinion. It’s really disengenuous of you to say they didn’t do a good job picking him but were merely lucky. Who knows….maybe Bob’s rankings are made up of the entire Red Wing scouting staff? I’ve heard him refer to this list on his pod cast while saying he will not say who they are beyond NHL scouts.

So please refrain from personally insulting me when you make assumptions about what I know and don’t know. It only makes you look like a sore loser when you are wrong.

Enjoy the last word if you take it.


Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/17/19 at 04:07 PM 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