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Abel to Yzerman

There’s Always Next Year

The Wings are off until Saturday night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins so we have some time to talk.

We all could probably use a breather to regroup and look forward to the future.

Below you will find Detroit's current roster which you can use as a reference to this question.

Who on the roster as of today, including players on IR, will be on the 2020-21 opening night roster?

Consider a player being traded, not re-signed, a possible buyout, retired or whatever else you can think of.

Just tell me who returns. and if you'd like, you can add players currently in Grand Rapids.

No strict rules and you can freelance too.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink



Nielsen is gone for sure imo and Abby is a probably/maybe. Obviously Daley, Big E and Green are gone with the first 2 retiring and Green maybe he finds a team somewhere at a real cheap price. they can’t buyout everybody so I think DeKeyser is here until his contract runs out. AA I could see maybe gone if they find a defenseman to get back. Bernier I think they just let the contract run out on him for another year and I’m not sure on Howie. Hasn’t looked good but who do you really have that’s there to replace him right now? I said it before and I’m 100% with how this is playing out. It’s better for the long term future of this team. Right now even with 3 teams winning the lottery the worst they’d pick is 4th and hope they get some luck and get #1. This is painful but necessary.

Posted by tmoore4075 on 12/03/19 at 12:00 PM ET


My hope for next year’s roster would look something like this

2Z Larks Mantha
AA Byfield Fabbri
Ras Filp Zadina
Helm LGD Smith

Hronek DDK
Nemeth Sieder
FA Cholowski


Nielsen Ehn Erne Abby

What will really happen?

2Z Larkin Mantha
AA Filp Fabbri
Helm Nielsen LGD
Abby Erne Ehn

Hronek DDK
Nemeth Cholowski
Stop gap FA’s



Posted by benzanato on 12/03/19 at 12:03 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

I don’t think that much will change up front. Ehn, Erne, Hirose, and Perlini are my question marks, but I could see all returning. I am hoping Nielsen gets bought out, but not expecting it.

The back end has a lot more doubt. DK, Cholowski, Hronek, and Nemeth are the only locks to return for me. Maybe Green is traded, but I’m not sure how in-demand he’d be. I could see Stevie bringing him back on a one year deal if he has no other takers. Hopefully, Seider and McIsaac make a push to join the big club.

I have no idea what will happen with the goaltending, but I hope they leave Howard unsigned.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 12/03/19 at 12:11 PM ET


I’m not feeling Cholowski or Rasmussen. And Zadina’s hanging by a thread.


Posted by pnwwing on 12/03/19 at 12:39 PM ET


And Zadina’s hanging by a thread.

Yeah, might as well cut bait on Zadina. He’s played nearly a quarter of a season, why isn’t he filling all the nets with pucks?

Very, very disappointing.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 12/03/19 at 01:08 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Zadina hanging by a thread lolol that’s rich.

Posted by RWBill on 12/03/19 at 01:16 PM ET


I could see Stevie bringing him back on a one year deal if he has no other takers.

I fully expect Yzerman to sign some sort of significant UFA D-man, and I don’t think there’s any chance that Green is brought back. It was a mistake the last time he re-signed and I don’t see why Yzerman would bring him back.

I could see DK, Cholowski, Hronek, Nemeth, Seider, an FA and thenMcIlrath or Kawski rounding out the D.

I don’t think that much will change up front.

Yeah, probably.

I’d love to see Nielsen and Abdelkader moved, but I’m not sure how likely that is.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 12/03/19 at 01:18 PM ET

tekjansen's avatar

Honestly just not sure enough because Yzerman will have changed the way the Wings approach summer. But based on your prompt, Paul, my ideal retain/promote roster is (non-current roster in bold):


with 29 and 73 as extras, I guess. And move/buy out/LTIRetire 81 - that hurts but he hasn’t given any indication he’s an NHL player. Honestly if the Wings are willing to waive Ericsson, I don’t know why Nielsen isn’t also near the chopping block right now.


Posted by tekjansen on 12/03/19 at 01:22 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

There’s Always Next Year

careful, the nfl Lions may sue for copyright infringement using their slogan

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 12/03/19 at 01:28 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Posted by tekjansen on 12/03/19 at 12:22 PM ET

Yeah, that is probably the best roster that can be constructed from the current 50 man squad.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 12/03/19 at 01:40 PM ET


Honestly if the Wings are willing to waive Ericsson, I don’t know why Nielsen isn’t also near the chopping block right now.

I’d guess it has to do with their contracts. We all know that Ericsson won’t be here next year, so Yzerman felt comfortable waiving him. Plus, there are a bunch of D in Grand Rapids that Yzerman needs to be able to check out in terms of whether or not they have potential to be NHLers or not, so clearing a spot for guys like McIlrath, Hicketts, Bowey, Biega to audition for the future team is more important than keeping Ericsson “happy”. (In this instance, “happy” is in the NHL)

On the other hand, Nielsen is *potentially* here for another two seasons after this one AND his contract his bonus-laden so buying him out isn’t a great option so the only probable way to get rid of him is to trade him, and it’s harder to trade a guy who has term left on his contract but has been scratched by his bottom-of-the-barrel rebuilding team. (See also: Kovalchuk)

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 12/03/19 at 02:16 PM ET



I’m guess this is going to be Bernier-Comrie

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 12/03/19 at 04:35 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Its long winded but, this is what happens when I put the thought process is put on paper.

With Howard out it would be nice to see newly acquired Eric Comrie in a couple of games to see what he’s got.
Filip Larsson injured and Calvin Pickard failed in a big way in his one opportunity, it looks like Howard will get a 1 year deal making next seasons goalies the same as this season unless Comrie can prove otherwise.

The clusterf**k that is the Detroit defence ... who stays and who goes will depend on who is tradeable for what at the deadline as well as late season performances. Veterans Green, Daley, and Ericsson are on the last year of their contracts with Green having the most trade value, but you’ll need experience on the back end to help teach the kids. With Daley out injured more than he’s available to play and Ericsson being the human pylon that he is, its looking like Green stays. Grand Rapids call-up Dylan McIlrath looks much better than he did when first acquired and qualifies for this seasons “pleasant surprise” award along with Patrick Nemeth. Cholowski has been inconsistent, Madison Bowey has been in & out of the lineup like a yo-yo and doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances ... Alex Biega has been in a similar situation since being acquired.  When DeKeyser comes back from his knee injury, you’d have to assume either Cholowski or McIlrath will be sent to GR. Hopefully, its Cholowski that goes so we can see more of McIlrath. Bowey, and Biega in order to decide who stays & who goes. Gotta make room for Hicketts, and with all of the superlatives being thrown around about the play of Moritz Seider, someones days are numbered.

Assuming Ericsson and Daley aren’t re-signed, Green gets a 1 year deal, Biega fails to impress and is waived then sent to GR, and Cholowski is sent to GR for more schooling, our defence will be:

Danny DeKeyser
Filip Hronek
Mike Green
Patrick Nemeth
Joe Hicketts
Dylan McIlrath
Madison Bowey
Moritz Seider

with Oliwar Kaski being the leader of the “next wave”. There is also the possibility of Yzerman picking up another veteran UFA which would put the screws to either McIlrath or Hicketts.  Another possibility .. will McIsaac make a push in training camp ??

All I can say is Yikes !! The possibilities are endless.  With the only UFA being Matt Puempel and 12 RFAs that include Bertuzzi, Mantha, Athanasiou, Fabbri, Perlini, Ehn, Erne, Hirose, Svechnikov, Kuffner, Puempel, and Turgeon, Yzerman has a lot of analysis and decision making to do. With 36% of this seasons schedule accounted for, Athanasiou is currently a minus 31, Abdelkader no goals and just 3 assists in 16 games, Nielsen no goals and just 1 assist in 26 games, Perlini no goals and just 1 assist in 16 games (but showing promise), Adam Erne no points in 22 games, Christoffer Ehn no points in 23 games ... its looking like Yzerman is going to be a busy man at the trade deadline. Helmer being a plus 5 in a sea of minuses is an indication of how hard the guy really plays and its a shame more people don’t take notice. Dominic Turgeon is in the same situation in GR. 5G 6A in 24 games played and is a team leading plus 5. Sure, everyone in the Red Wings organ-I-zation is disappointed he doesn’t have more of his dads goal scoring touch, but he does everything else so well, its a mystery to me why he’s still in GR. Him, Svechnikov, Zadina and possibly Givani Smith are on my short list for next seasons new full timers. The questions are, where do you put them and who goes to make room ??

In an ideal situation the lines will be:

Larkin - Mantha - Bertuzzi
Filppula - Athanasiou - Fabbri
Glendening - Svechnikov - Zadina
Ehn - Helm - Turgeon - Abdelkader/Smith

which means Nielsen, Perlini, and Erne are gone.  If Abby is bought out then Smith is in. All of this goes out the window depending on who is acquired at the trade deadline and who is picked up as a free agent coming out of college late season or in the off season.

To conclude ... something to make you go “hmmmmmmmm” ....
I still can’t get the Jesse Puljujarvi situation in Edmonton out of my head.  Does Yzerman go bold and trade AA for his rights ??  Its already looking good trading de la Rose for Fabbri.  Can lightening strike twice ??

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 12/05/19 at 02:12 AM 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