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More Options For The Wings As Team Health Improves

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

After taking advantage of a four-day break to rest and reset during a hectic season, the Wings returned to practice Sunday at Little Caesars Arena. Captain Dylan Larkin was on the ice after missing the last four games, a good sign he’ll be available if not for Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, then probably Thursday’s. He practiced on a line with Robby Fabbri and Anthony Mantha, leaving intact Vladislav Namestnikov with Filip Zadina — a pairing that has looked quite good during Larkin’s absence. Sam Gagner has been on the line, as has Bobby Ryan.

“I think Vladdy’s game has been exponentially better at center, and I think Fabs’ game has been the same whether it’s center or wing,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “It allows us potentially to move Fabs to wing and let him play with Larkin and Mantha. Vladdy has been with Zadina and he’s been with Gagner lots, and some with Bobby Ryan as well. We are just trying to find the right combinations.”

Tyler Bertuzzi hasn't practiced since leaving the Jan. 30 game with an upper-body injury. Blashill said Bertuzzi is progressing but didn’t have a timeline for a return. He also didn’t think it would be such a long absence when it first happened.

“I would have given you better insight if I did think that," Blashill said. "It’s been a longer process than we realized, and that happens sometimes.”

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Paul's avatar

Max Bultman of The Athletic,

A year ago, Steve Yzerman’s trade deadline consisted of two moves: one relatively minor and one rather significant.

The first move, finalized just after midnight as deadline day began, sent defenseman Mike Green to Edmonton for a conditional draft pick. About 13 hours later, Yzerman shipped Andreas Athanasiou and prospect Ryan Kuffner to the Oilers as well, this time for two second-round picks and Sam Gagner.

As is the case with every deadline, those picks made for a nebulous return at the time of the trades. And one of them (the Oilers’ 2021 second-round pick) still is. But now a year later, there are names to place to some of those picks now — and, thanks to a draft-day trade, more of them than would have been expected….

As we near the final month until the NHL trade deadline (April 12), the question now is whether Detroit can top its 2020 return. Certainly, none of the Red Wings’ pending UFAs (Luke Glendening, Bobby Ryan, Jonathan Bernier are at the top of the list) can be expected to bring the same kind of return Athanasiou did.

There are cases to be made for Detroit to consider making a similar move to the Athanasiou deal by trading another established young forward such as Anthony Mantha or Tyler Bertuzzi. Craig Custance and Eric Duhatschek have reported a belief from at least one league executive that Yzerman could listen to offers for one of Detroit’s young forwards in the right deal. If a trade built around one of Mantha or Bertuzzi did happen, the ask should be higher than it was for Athanasiou, simply because both Mantha and Bertuzzi are more well-rounded players while boasting similar offensive track records and potential.

more (paid)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/08/21 at 09:28 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