Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Hope: Lost. Blow It Up.

40 years ago today, the greatest heavyweight fighter in boxing history, Rocky Jebediah Balboa, was introduced to the greater American public via the magic of the big screen.  We witnessed his angry destruction of one Spider Rico then sat, transfixed, for 112 more minutes as he authored (with a very limited vocabulary) the greatest story of grit and toughness any of us had ever seen. Ever. 

40 years ago today, the Detroit Red Wings were in the midst of authoring (with a very limited amount of talent), one of the worst seasons in NHL history. Ever.

On November 21st, 1976 the Wings were 5-11-4.

That team did not discover talent, and won exactly 11 more games the rest of the year.

This team, the 2016 version, is not as talent-less as the bicentennial team. However, their chances of winning a Stanley Cup are equal: zero.

Anyone who doesn't acknowledge that is...mentally irregular. 

And if you don't have a chance to win the Cup, why not take steps to make sure that a season like the one unfolding in front of us now never happens again?

Tank? No. Trade every available asset outside of Larkin and Athanasiou for picks and talent? Absolutely.

Absofrigginglutely.

Mrazek? I suggested dealing him earlier. Crazy? Why?  Is he going to bring us a Cup this year? No. Is he better than Howard? No. Is he younger? Yes. Comeau's even younger than Mrazek and has an equal opportunity to succeed in the future. Trade him for picks.

Zetterberg? Trade him.  Take on some salary and deal him. For his sake and ours. Oh, he's not a deal-able asset? Right. Tell that to Washington.  Tell me a team like the Caps wouldn't love to have that leadership as they try to, finally, reach the place where we used to be.  And give Zetterberg a shot at another Cup, a chance wasted by an inept GM with his eyes on a mediocre prize.

Tatar, Nyquist, Smith: move them.  Move them to teams on the cusp of success.  Move them to places like Dallas, Colorado, Florida, Ottawa, Columbus.  Move them for 2nd round picks. 

Vanek, Ott, Niellsen, even DeKeyser.  Three of the four would make any contender immediately better and they would bring back high picks or proven prospects. No reason to keep them. None. And it hurts to say that about DK, and I could be talked off that ledge.  

There is no reason not to blow this team up and do it immediately. Do not wait for the trade deadline, our annual day of impotence.  When you don't have a chance at the ultimate, why pretend you do and swim against a current that is clearly too strong?  

Trade and build.  Carolina, Philadephia, Toronto, Florida and Ottawa, New Jersey and Columbus are all ahead of the Wings.  That, in itself, as we approach Kenny Holland's declared date of organ-I-zational reckoning (the American Thanksgiving) should be enough to do two things: get him shitcanned, and convince whichever Ilitch is in charge that there is no hope to extend their precious streak, much less win more than a period or two if they get in. Not games. Periods.

Do not tank.  Trade and build.  Do not wait, unless the deadline is truly the most lucrative time to get more for every asset but Larkin and AA. 

This season is done. It's time to shift our optimism toward what can be gotten for who(m).  That is a tectonic emotional shift for 19 of us, but it's time to swallow some reality, whore style. It's time for people to leave, players and execs.

Blow it up.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

Paul's avatar

Twitter comment,

absolutely correct.  Except you are not trading any of these players for anything close to 2nd rounders.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/21/16 at 09:39 AM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Is he better than Howard?

Yes.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 11/21/16 at 09:40 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Other than what Sir Kenny thinks the Wings have almost zero value. Medium players with untradeable contracts. Thanks, Ken.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 11/21/16 at 10:13 AM ET

Avatar

That would require Holland admitting a mistake.  But he has never made a mistake.  He is just supremely patient while we ignorant rubes demand action.

Posted by captaineclectic on 11/21/16 at 10:13 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I like that we don’t like our team.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 11/21/16 at 10:28 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Posted by Hootinani on 11/21/16 at 10:54 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

sleep is a precious commodity, folks

Posted by Hootinani on 11/21/16 at 10:58 AM ET

Avatar

I would trade anybody on this team for the right price, even Larkin and Mrazek. I don’t think anyone on our team is “excellent”.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 11/21/16 at 12:04 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

just when I was starting to feel good aboot the future ...

Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that is…mentally irregular.

count me in: 63 (as of today) to 25 to 16 to 12

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/21/16 at 12:11 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

absolutely correct.  Except you are not trading any of these players for anything close to 2nd rounders.

True, but it’s time to,unload and see what you can get. Protect the core younger players. Go for it.  hmmm

Posted by bigfrog on 11/21/16 at 02:10 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...give Zetterberg a shot at another Cup, a chance wasted by an inept GM with his eyes on a mediocre prize.

Fifteen months ago this appeared in an SI article about the Tigers…

On Tuesday, the Tigers fired general manager Dave Dombrowski, a move that seems surprising in the moment but really isn’t. Sure, the baseball world sees Dombrowski as an extremely successful general manager, a guy who built four straight AL Central champions before the team reverted to mediocrity this season. But that’s not how team owner Mike Ilitch sees him. Ilitch just thinks: I let you spend all that money, and you never won a World Series? Buh-bye.

If the Illitch family can pull the trigger on Dombrowski, why is it they can’t do the same with Hapless Holland? Seriously. Everything said above about Dombrowski can be said about Holland. And what the Illitch’s are doing right now with the Tigers’ roster is what the Wings need to do with theirs.

My only fear is that the powers-that-be in the organ-I-zation will think this is what “blowing it up” meanstongue rolleye

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/21/16 at 02:35 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/21/16 at 02:35 PM ET

I’m not arguing that KH shouldn’t be on the hot-seat, but I think Dombrowski was let go over more to do with getting rid of Prince Fielder than success relative to payroll. It was well know how much Illitch wanted Prince with the Tigers, and I’m willing to bet that Dombrowski said something to the effect that the Tigers couldn’t win with Prince. Which is how Dombrowski got the ok to make the trade for Kinsler. But when the Tigers couldn’t win without Prince, Mr I. said time to go. It’s my thought that if KH trades away any the Michigan natives, and/or not make the playoffs, that’s when he’s a goner too.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 11/21/16 at 02:47 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

If the Illitch family can pull the trigger on Dombrowski, why is it they can’t do the same with Hapless Holland? Seriously. Everything said above about Dombrowski can be said about Holland. And what the Illitch’s are doing right now with the Tigers’ roster is what the Wings need to do with theirs.

My only fear is that the powers-that-be in the organ-I-zation will think this is what “blowing it up” means. 

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/21/16 at 02:35 PM ET

I’ve been wondering that for a while. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 11/21/16 at 02:48 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I only disagree in one facet:

There is not a single person I can look at on the roster (or the Griffs) and go “Oh yeah DON’T trade him no matter what”.  Not a one.

Wings would live without Larkin,  Without Mantha.  Without Athanasiou.  Without Mrazek.  I don’t see any of them as part of the solution long-term at this point.  By the time DET right’s the ship, AA and Larkin’s explosive speed will be gone, and a big piece of their games with it.

But yeah, I’m ready to be done with all of this.  I’m not coming to a last game at the Joe this year, and I’m not going to one at the new digs next year either, because holy crap I’m not supporting this garbage anymore.  Not without some indication from ownership that the give a s**t.

And for God’s sake fire Holland already and clean house.

Posted by Primis on 11/21/16 at 05:08 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

but but but….the STREAK!!!

poop on the streak

“National Day of Impotence”  Truer words have rarely been spoken

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Taylor Tucky Metroplex on 11/22/16 at 11:09 AM ET

Avatar

www (dot) youtube (dot) com/watch?v=x4DhYAT-Feg

“COME IN NUMBER 51, YOUR TIME IS UP”

I’ve got nothing to add to this.

Posted by Alex7 on 11/22/16 at 07:02 PM ET

Avatar

I can see what is coming next, Blashill will get fired. Since Holland isn’t stepping down, it’s his last card to play. He blew his chance to make other moves months ago. I’m not sure exactly when it will happen but it almost seems destined to happen in the next 2 months.

I don’t think Blashill deserves a lot of the blame as a lion share is on Holland but Blashill isn’t exactly doing his part either. That way Holland can blame the rest of the mediocre season on a transition. If it continues to go poorly, he’ll hire yet another coach in offseason and Holland will “leave” at the end of his contract in 2018.

As Holland has attempted to rebuild on the fly over the last 5 seasons he’s done way more harm than good. I wouldn’t wish this mess on any successor. There isn’t much of a core to grow around. Vegas could be better than the Wings in year one.

Posted by evileye on 11/23/16 at 12:01 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