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Abel to Yzerman

The Future Of The Detroit Red Wings

Adam Gretz of NBC Sports takes a long-term look at the Wings,

This is kind of an odd situation at the moment because the players with the longest contracts and biggest financial commitments are players that probably do not actually fit in with the long-term direction of the team.

For example, here is the list of players that are actually signed to contracts beyond this season: Dylan Larkin, Filip Zadina, Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Valtteri Filppula, Luke Glendening, Patrick Nemeth, Alex Biega, Danny DeKeyser, and Jonathan Bernier.

Out of that group, Larkin and Zadina (who is still on an entry-level contract) are the only ones that are under the age of 28.

Nemeth (who is 28) is the only other player under the age of 30.

Mantha, Bertuzzi, and perhaps Fabbri all figure to stick around for a while and are still under team control as restricted free agents this summer, but they are not technically signed yet.

All of that leaves general manager Steve Yzerman with a fairly clean slate to build from. He also has a couple of really interesting building blocks in Larkin, Mantha, and Zadina.

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Comments

Alan's avatar

The future is bright. How soon we get there is another question altogether.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/02/20 at 08:01 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

How soon we get there is another question.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 04/02/20 at 08:21 PM ET

Avatar

Missed my cue for the “altogether”

In what will probably become a borderline OCD tic
repeated weekly for the next few months, I’m thinking
ahead to hypothetical depth charts (and to give myself a chance to enjoy
what if before we lose the lottery - reverse jinx?)
am assuming we get our pick of top forwards and land a player who can move right into the NHL:

Lafreniere Larkin   Mantha
Bertuzzi   Fabbri   Zadina
Helm       Filppula Glendening
Timashov Nielsen Svechnikov
Hirose     Ehn     Smith

            Rasmussen
            Veleno

Is even Lafreniere ready for top-like NHL duty?
Probably not, but I’m looking for two more balanced
top lines. Don’t want two rookies or near-rookies on the same line.
Everyone can be swapped though Larkin and Mantha should probably stay together.
And Bertuzzi and Mantha on separate lines gives each some bite.
Mantha and Zadina on separate lines gives each a shooter.
The key might be whether Fabbri can thrive as a second line center at least part-time.

The Filppula line could be a strong checking line though one wouldn’t know it from his +/-  It’s mostly a reflection of those three being the biggest minute, more experienced players left.
I’m assuming there is either going to be only one compliance buyout offered by the league or made by the Wings. So, one more season of Nielsen as a defensive center and PK guy who can tutor two younger players with a bit of upside: Timashov and Svechnikov. If either shows more offense they could go with Filppula on more of a (weak) third line, and retain three veteran checkers on a shutdown line.

Ehn is qualified as a center who can skate and check.
Hirose as a skill guy who can fill in on top-three lines.
And Smith as a forechecking, net front, physical presence.

Rasmussen is mostly kept in the minors to grow into his body and
hopefully play big minutes and develop as a center.
Veleno likely just plain needs another year to mature and emerge as a consistently impactful AHL player.

Abdelkader is bought out or waived.
Perlini and Erne aren’t qualified.

DeKeyser - Hronek
Nemeth -  Seider
Biega - Lindstrom
Cholowski - Bowey

Hicketts
McIlrath
Lashoff

McIsaac

Mostly Self-explanatory.
Bowey is qualified as a hedge in case Cholowski needs more time
to figure out how to be an offensive but well-rounded defenseman.
Or maybe one of the two will be packaged in a trade.
The three AHL veterans can all fill in if injuries pile up.
McIsaac will be in his first pro season, but might eventually get a quick look.

Maybe a UFA will be signed or a young veteran will come back in a trade.
Otherwise, I could see this being another year for patience in taking small steps
and drafting high again and not rushing into extensive UFA signings.

Bernier


Pickard
Larsson

Ideally Pickard and Larsson could be the effective AHL veteran-prospect tandem
Intended this past season, giving other prospects in goal another year to develop in college/overseas.

But whether it’s trade, UFA, expansion draft, college or overseas signing,
this organization looks like it needs not only a strong number two with upside,
but also probably a better young number three with potential as well.

Then maybe by Summer 2021, we’ve traded another veteran or two at the deadline,
picked another player among the top few draft prospects, brought in an off the radar signing, and can if warranted then make a Summer UFA signing that put this team closer to pursuing the playoffs.

Posted by lefty.30 on 04/03/20 at 04:41 PM 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