Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Note to Bubba:  Gary Shafted You

I feel bad for the DD’s.  On a glorious weekend that many of us spent drunkenly sprawled in our backyards surrounded by half-eaten blocks of cheddar, Judy Blume novels and the left-over screws and bolts from the gazebo we put together without reading the instructions or paying much attention to the warning on the top step of the ladder that says “don’t step”; Kulfan, St. James and Khan(!) were all sweating it out with the rest of the “media elite” in beautiful Columbus.

So, away we go; a Sunday’s worth of deep digging and some summer thoughts.

Good god. The Wings drafted a Swede.  The wheels on the bus keep going round and round, don’t they? 

Detroit News/Kulfan

This year’s potential sleeper pick for the Wings could turn out to be third-round pick Joakim Andersson. Some scouting services had Andersson as high as the 21st best player in the draft, and many had him projected as a first-rounder.

A 6-foot-2, 198-pound center, Andersson scored 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 41 games with Frolunda Jr. in Sweden last season.

“We had him rated very high, and he kept him dropping, so we felt real good,” Nill said.

A huge Wings fan, what with seven Swedes on the roster, Andersson was overjoyed to be selected by his favorite team.

“My favorite player is Henrik Zetterberg,” Andersson said. “I’m very happy to be going to Detroit (rather than) going early (in the draft).”

Various reports liken Andersson to Franzen, in that he likes to play physically but has a little difficulty with the, um, skating thing.  George Malik, who likes to show off, was all over the draft yesterday…blogging and posting and writing and all that.  He’s got a full Andersson opus going on over at Snapshots.  Just rifle through it, story after story.  Best take on the pick?

The skinny: This being the Red Wings, Andersson will no doubt be a star.

That’s from the Columbus Post Dispatch, the main paper for one of our jealous little Central sisters.  God, I love the bitterness.

Seriously.  If you guys are looking for in-depth draft coverage instead sarcastic, ill-informed rambling…go to Malik’s blog.  I’ll be here when you get back.

Back already? K. Great.  I mentioned the little sisters of the Central?  Yes, I did.  A pathetic division has gotten decidedly worse the last two weeks.  Wunderkind and Uncle Mike are probably scheming a way to bring up the entire Grand Rapids roster for all 32 games against the Sisters next season because the Blues, Hawks, BJ’s and—yes—Bubba, are going to suck and suck hard.  Oh, the little Blues will give us a few games, but I’m telling you right now the Wings will win 26 games against divisional opponents next season.  Why am I bringing this up now?

Thank you for asking.  Here’s why.  Forget the tv “deal”, the lack of sponsorship, the officiating…forget all that and concentrate on only one thing.  Lend your laser focus to the Nashville situation and that should be enough to have Little Gary out on his ass yesterday. 

I’m no fan of Bubba…established.  But that was a damn good team, and there was a nifty little thing brewing between the Preds and Wings.  If nothing else, the games against Nashville gave the Wings a taste of competition within the Central they don’t get from anyone else in that romper room.  Well, consider that dead and done brother.  What’s happening to that team is criminal.  The only saving grace is that no one in Tennessee could care less. 

Only in LG’s NHL could you bring a team to the league, allow the franchise to improve every year to the point where they are considered legitimate contenders, then sit idly by while they jettison their best players due to the possibility that the team could move.  Timmonen, Hartnell, Kariya, Forsberg and Vokoun.  Gone and gone because no one knows what the hell’s going on with that team.

Oh, and they’re not done.  Check this out from Garrioch this morning.

The Predators are looking to move D Marek Zidlicky as the firesale continues in Nashville. “Right now, we have an owner who really doesn’t want to be an owner and he wants to cut the payroll,” said Predators GM David Poile. That’s D Kimmo Timonen, F Scott Hartnell and G Tomas Vokoun who’ve been sent packing in the past 10 days.


Ho-hum.  Oh well.  Nothing to see here, eh Gary?  Bottom line:  they never should have put a team in that pit in the first place.  Neat idea.  Hockey in the South.  Make it happen.  Screw Canada.  Don’t need ‘em.  Give Bubba some puck and watch him spin.  Three out of four ain’t bad, eh Gary?  Working in Carolina, Tampa, Atlanta.  Yeah, well…unfortunately, the team that went about it the right way: drafting well, consistency in the front office and behind the bench, progressively improving.  That team’s done.  And it’s the perfect example of why this league has been dragged down the tubes by Gary Bettman. 

Bubba…you used to be fun.  Now you’re just another Central Sister. 

Wings win that division by 20 points next season.  Guaranteed.  Nice job Gary.  Parity?  Try parody.

A week from today the markets open and Kenny’s stressing.  You don’t think so?  C’mon.  Matt Schneider’s in the catbird seat and everyone’s all a twitter.  “Hometown discount” is the wishful phrase of the summer.  Helene St. James has a free agent manifesto in the Freep this morning and she’s on the money where 23’s concerned.

He made $3.3 million last season, and his numbers over the past two years—52 points last season, 59 the previous—demonstrate he’s still one of the premier offensive blueliners in the NHL. He’s not going to get the kind of money franchise defenseman Kimmo Timonen will from the Flyers—an average of $6.3 million a year—but Schneider definitely has an argument for a raise.

Take it a step further.  “One of the premier offensive blueliners”?  Try top two.  Heck.  Try this:  Schneider is the most offensively dangerous dman in the league.  And hum this little diddy:  he’s looking for a payday to round out his career.  Loyalty to an organ-I-zation has its boundaries.  Loyalty to five generations of Schneiders doesn’t.  He’ll get 4 from the Wings.  He could get 6.5 elsewhere.  I, like you, would love to see Schneider back with Detroit next season.  But if he takes the cash from, say, Phoenix?...you can’t fault the guy.

Prediction?  Gone.

A little Smyth news for you today.  Garrioch reports that the Isles are making one final push to keep him on the Island, offering the future Wing the captaincy if he stays.  Naturally, he won’t.  That boy wants a Cup, and Long Island isn’t on the schedule to receive one anytime soon. Detroit (yes), Calgary (maybe…probably not), Dallas (potentially), Toronto (not a chance) are all listed as possibilities.

Alright troopers.  Back on the road this week.  Hopefully I’ll be posting a little bit more than the last trip.  I’ll tell you ahead of time, July 1st through the 8th may be a good time to take a vacation if you find yourselves eagerly starting your days anticipating the thoughtful analysis only found at A2Y.  I’ll be out of pocket that week, conveniently missing the first seven days of free agency.  Typical.



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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