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Abel to Yzerman

How Did The Wings Do?

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Let’s take a look at the teams that look to have gotten better and worse — and some of who look to be a little bit of both — in the NHL offseason thus far:

Mixed bag

Detroit Red Wings: GM Steve Yzerman wasn’t going to make a high-profile signing just for the sake of making one. Forward Valtteri Filppula, defenseman Patrik Nemeth and goaltender Calvin Pickard addressed needs in the organization. What hurts the Wings these days is the continued strength of the Atlantic Division. It’s not going to be easy to move upward anytime soon.

the rest of the teams...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


ilovehomers's avatar

The Wings weren’t interested in getting better, at least not by a significant margin.

What they did was get some stop gaps to get them through the next 2 years until more kids are (hopefully) ready and some contracts fall off (Z, Franzen, most of the defense). Yzer said this was an option, and that’s what he did.

So personally, I am fine with the moves. Its cruise control until 2 years from now.

It’s only a tragedy for the crowd who wants more kids.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/03/19 at 06:47 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

and/or the tank tank tank crowd

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/03/19 at 06:50 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Unless you’re someone that expects a cup run this year, or someone who expects us to completely crap the bed and own the worst record in the league, this was a decent offseason.

People have to remember that KH isn’t in control anymore. Stevie has a plan, and he’s gonna execute that plan as best as possible.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 07/03/19 at 09:49 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

It seems to be consistent with what Ken’s plan was, which is fine.

Posted by RWBill on 07/03/19 at 10:20 PM ET


I’m from the “play the kids” crowd, but I’m a fan of Yzerman, so what he does I’m fine with. With his signings he didn’t give out any Neilsen type contacts. Was critical of the Filppula deal only because I personally felt Datsyuk is a difference maker, but don’t know if that was ever really possible anyway. I also feel Cholowski is ready and Blashill was signed for his ability to coach the kids. Broken record here, but our defensive strategy is terrible, so no matter who plays our defense stinks. I know there’s a plan, just don’t see it. Just venting, watched the tigers blunder two games yesterday, since they gutted that team. No consistent pitching, hitting. Sick of watching, Garcia, JD Martinez hit homers for other teams.

Posted by stateofmifan on 07/04/19 at 06:23 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Former Tigers are starring all over MLB.

Posted by RWBill on 07/04/19 at 09:13 AM ET


They did fine. I didn’t expect a big splash, and they didn’t make any egregious signings. I could’ve done without the Filppula signing, and I don’t like that it apparently pushes AA out of a centre slot, but on the whole it’s fine. Still plenty of room up from for young players and one or two on D as well.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/04/19 at 09:17 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

On a fully health roster, who is the 7th D? Nemeth has been a full time guy and averaging top 4 minutes.

We know Blash has the balls to healthy scratch Ericsson. But if it’s ever Hronek that is the healthy scratch…

And then theres Kronwall

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/04/19 at 10:00 AM ET


And then theres Kronwall

Not yet, there isn’t.

There’s not much point in counting the chickens before they’ve hobbled out of the egg.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/04/19 at 10:29 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Fair enough. *cracks open a beer*


Posted by ilovehomers on 07/04/19 at 10:38 AM ET


*cracks open a beer*

Luck you.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/04/19 at 10:59 AM ET


No harsh criticisms, but there are still ways to gather prospects and draft picks by taking on undesirable contracts from other teams, and there are ways to clear cap space using a buyout. Players like David Backes and Jack Johnson are probably available and those teams would have to offer picks if you are willing to take their player. Filling your roster with them and adding prospects or picks would have been better than gathering Filp and Nemeth getting nothing for it.

Legacy of the last GM is obviously there isn’t much cap space available. Cap space could have been used to get younger, faster and with higher quality prospects. The Rangers and Blackhawks are rebuilding faster.

Posted by mtta on 07/04/19 at 01:18 PM ET


Filling your roster with them and adding prospects or picks would have been better than gathering Filp and Nemeth getting nothing for it.

It’s one thing the pick up a first rounder for buying out Patrick Marleau, four years of Jack Johnson’s garbage contract? Just as the Wings are finally about to get out from some of their own garbage contracts?

No thanks. Not unless Pittsburgh is giving us a first rounder for each year we have to carry the contract.


Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/04/19 at 01:27 PM ET


The Rangers and Blackhawks are rebuilding faster.

The Blackhawks have the luxury of having the core of their three cup champions still intact, there is absolutely nothing comparable about the Hawks’ and Wings’ rebuilds.

And maybe let’s wait to see what the on-ice product actually looks like for the Rangers before we start praising them.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/04/19 at 01:31 PM ET


The problem with Backes and Johnson in particular is those guys have term.

And too much term really does clog the cap as well as opportunities for younger players when they are ready.

*If* everyone is healthy I’d guess the #7 would be one of Ericsson or Daley.
Maybe Bowey but unless he’s abysmal I think you’d want to give him as much
chance to show he’s worth a future contract - or not. And hopefully you’d waive the two veterans first - unless Bowey is abysmal and clearly needs time in the minors as he’s got to pass through waivers.

Yzerman is sort of hinting a healthy top four would be some combination of Hronek and DeKeyser, Green and Nemeth.

If Cholowski makes the team probably you pair him with a veteran he can learn from like Kronwall if he returns, or Daley. Kaski is another wildcard. Who wins a spot in camp? But that’s already ten defensemen, as unlikely as it is that both Kronner comes back and everyone makes it through the preseason healthy.

Taking what Yzerman says at face value: the veterans won’t block younger players who are ready. However, it’s common sense that you don’t keep Cholowski or Kaski to sit. I could easily see Ericsson and even Daley waived and certainly scratched most games even if Detroit keeps eight defensemen.

DeKeyser Hronek
Nemeth Green
Cholowski/Bowey Kronwall(?)/Daley

Kaski (prospect)
Lindstrom (prospect)
Saarijarvi (prospect)

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/04/19 at 02:25 PM ET

SYF's avatar

The fact that Yzerman signed three veterans who were coming off playoff teams just this past season is quite something.  Even if they were UFAs, they took a chance here in Detroit with little to no chance to make the playoffs.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 07/04/19 at 10:44 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Filppula said he came here because Yzerman was the only one who offered him two years instead of just one, it wasn’t because of some belief in the rebuild project, if that’s what you’re implying.

Posted by RWBill on 07/05/19 at 12:03 PM ET


I’m curious what’s different now, in Yzerman’s eyes, between Filppula today and the Filppula that he traded away—along with 4th and 7th round pick—in exchange for a 4th round pick a couple years ago.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/05/19 at 02:31 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

“I’m curious what’s different now, in Yzerman’s eyes, between Filppula today and the Filppula that he traded away—along with 4th and 7th round pick—in exchange for a 4th round pick a couple years ago.”  —- Posted by CharDeeMacDennis

I don’t think that was a normal trade (i.e., I think it was a salary-dump).

Posted by alwaysaurie on 07/07/19 at 07:14 AM 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