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Abel to Yzerman

Recapping UFA Day For The Detroit Red Wings

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Steve Yzerman’s free agency selections show a desire to improve the Detroit Red Wings while recognizing they are not a playoff contender.

Free agency is Yzerman’s second big assignment since taking control of the Wings on April 19, and he spent the week after his first big task – the 2019 draft – laying groundwork for Monday’s decisions.

He made safe choices that should improve the Wings defensively: two-way forward Valtteri Filppula, defenseman Patrik Nemeth, and depth goaltender Calvin Pickard, each signed for two years. The Wings were not in play for any big nam

“We were looking at doing shorter term deals with everyone we spoke with,” Yzerman said. “Being new to the organization, I wanted to proceed somewhat slowly and kind of get to know what we have within the organization. I think I have a good handle on the NHL team, but the kids, the prospects we have coming, the players we have in Grand Rapids, I want to balance the flexibility of providing opportunity for our young players, but also try to help the Detroit Red Wings immediately as much as possible.


from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Filppula said his decision boiled down to the Islanders and Red Wings, who offered him an extra year that New York did not.

Nemeth (6-3, 219) is a left-shooting 27-year-old defensive defenseman who Yzerman envisions being paired with a rightly like Mike Green or Filip Hronek. He had one goal and nine assists in 74 games with Colorado.

“He’s a big, strong, solid, defensive defenseman,” Yzerman said. “He kills penalties well, he defends well, he’s a heavy body and we felt whether playing with Mike Green or Filip Hronek, he’s going to be a very good partner for that type of player, a puck-mover, offensive right-handed shot.

“We felt with the uncertainty of Nik Kronwall (who’s still deciding whether to play another season or retire) and Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson missed time with injuries and are going into the last year of their contracts, it was important to bring in a defenseman that can play now on the left side and help us in the future as well.”


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Paul's avatar

Dana Wakij of the Wings website,

Yzerman said bringing Filppula back gives the Wings needed roster flexibility at center and allows them to put Andreas Athanasiou where he fits the best.

“We had a hole in the middle, we felt, on our roster, with Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen, Luke Glendening down the middle, potentially (Jacob) de la Rose can play there, Abby (Justin Abdelkader) can even play there, Darren Helm could play there,” Yzerman said. “We have options but we’re looking for someone that, playmaking, can play on the power play, so we wanted to add another centerman and that allows the coach to put Andreas Athanasiou back to the wing.

“He played some center at the end of the season and looked good there, but his natural position is on the wing. That allows us to put him on the wing. Fil’s a very good two-way centerman. He can win face-offs, he can play in all situations. We really felt we were going to plug a hole by bringing him in.”

Filppula said he has already discussed his role with coach Jeff Blashill.

“I’m gonna start at center and obviously I’ve played wing as well, so if that happens I don’t think it will be too big of a surprise,” Filppula said. “But the plan is to play center.”


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/01/19 at 05:07 PM ET

Paul's avatar

I should have caught this but HSJ gave all 3 signings today an ‘A’.

You can read about it in her article above.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/01/19 at 07:51 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