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Abel to Yzerman

Looking Back, Looking Forward

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

It’s time, then, to pour one out for each of the teams done playing this season. What went wrong? What went right? What happens next?

We start with the Detroit Red Wings (17-49-5), who posted the lowest points percentage since the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers. Year 1 under new GM Steve Yzerman was a true tank job, with the Wings keeping most of their top prospects vacuum-sealed in the minors.

WHAT WENT WRONG

The Wings scored a league-low 2.00 goals per game. They allowed a league-high 3.73 goals per game, the most by any team since 1999-00. They had the league’s worst penalty kill and 29th-best power play. They averaged the fewest shots per game and allowed the fifth-most. They sat dead last in 5-on-5 Corsi. They generated the fewest scoring chances for and allowed the second-most scoring chances against per 60. They were almost undisputedly worst NHL team of the past two decades.

And there’s a strong case to be made that was entirely by design. After Yzerman took over last off-season, he counted aging center Valtteri Filppula as the team’s biggest off-season addition. When the 2019-20 regular season began, Detroit kept most of its top prospects in the AHL, from Moritz Seider to Filip Zadina to Joe Veleno, and even demoted Michael Rasmussen, who’d made the team the previous season. Only a husk of roster was left to toil in the NHL.

read on

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Comments

yzer19man's avatar

Only a husk of roster was left to toil in the NHL.

Ouch.

Thank goodness that Stevie sheltered our prospects in GR. It was the right move.

 

Posted by yzer19man on 06/01/20 at 04:44 PM ET

Avatar

Thank goodness that Stevie sheltered our prospects in GR. It was the right move.

But the Red wings have a coach who’s great at player development!

Posted by BaromirBragr on 06/01/20 at 04:47 PM ET

Avatar

And I don’t buy that it was more of a tank
to give the prospects more time mostly or
exclusively in Grand Rapids

Not only were there good developmental
reasons to do so in their own right, but I’m not
sure the record would have been any better
if they’d been promoted.

You can say that asking Filppula to be
your second line center - especially at this point in
his career - is very optimistic. But what’s the alternative
- overpay a better, younger UFA on a long-term deal
who nonetheless might not be that impactful when it
really counts in a couple years? Trade picks or prospects
to get a better veteran player now?

This team was very bad and incredibly thin and the GM
added players a variety of ways.

Tank is a bit of a misnomer in the case of this team.
They are letting the roster bottom out as a natural part of the rebuild.
They aren’t wildly gutting the roster or plotting to lose games.
But a lot of hockey columnists can’t seem to tell the difference or made being
sloppy with language.

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/01/20 at 07:24 PM ET

Avatar

But a lot of hockey columnists can’t seem to tell the difference or made being
sloppy with language.

That’s because a lot of hockey columnists have no dog in the fight so they don’t have to pretend that the GM of their favourite team isn’t tanking on purpose.

They can simply accept the blatantly obvious rather than trying to convince themselves that the sky is green.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 06/02/20 at 11:09 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Thank goodness that Stevie sheltered our prospects in GR. It was the right move.


Ohhhhhh the irony…

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/02/20 at 01:30 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