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Abel to Yzerman

There’s Always Next Year

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Next season, whenever it’ll begin for the Red Wings, will be a big one for forward Evgeny Svechnikov and defenseman Moritz Seider.

Svechnikov, 23, is a 2015 first-round pick who has spent the majority of his professional time in Grand Rapids, in the minor leagues.

Svechnikov either stays on the Wings’ roster after next training camp, or will be lost on waivers. The Wings will likely keep him around, but it’ll be up to Svechnikov to carve out playing time.

“The first thing Svech has to do is find a way to earn his way on the team and earn his way into minutes,” Blashill said. “As he earns those opportunities, we can start seeing how high he can go (in the lineup), but you have to start by making the team and earning more minutes. Those aren’t handed out to anybody....

The Wings are hopeful Seider will be ready to step into the lineup next season.

“He had a real good year in totality,” Blashill said. “It was a learning year, ups and downs, and when you’re a defenseman it’s real hard. The experience he went through, especially for him because he wants to attack the game an in an offensive manner, and that’s awesome. But part of that is learning not to bite off more than you can chew.

“He has a chance to be a real impactful defenseman. Can he do it next year? I hope so. He might have as many as eight months to get himself prepared to improve his body and turn his body to an elite pro body.”

more on the Wings...

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I’m glad Svechnikov has been able to train in Carolina with
his younger brother.

No idea, but sometimes when you read about a guy works
really hard and wants it so badly, but sometimes loses confidence
in himself; maybe prolonging cold stretches, it makes me wonder if he’s in his own head too much - overthinking.

Any top-notch sports psychologists available, ideally fluent in Russian?

Carolina is actually a team that could maybe use a heavier bottom six player
like Evgeny. And they have such ridiculous depth on defense.
I’d love him thrive with us, but, failing that, second best would be seeing him
doing well on a team with his brother.

Everyone who hasn’t played by next season is going to be rusty but I hope that full two years since his injury means he can really strengthen and be pain free.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/29/20 at 12:58 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Articles addressing roster construction are way too premature as the largest factor regarding these young prospects will be if there is an AHL season or not.

The AHL depends upon fan in seats.

If that can’t happen, there is not going to be a league year. These stadiums seat (for the most part) 8k. Social distancing would mean approx 1/2 that amount in capacity. Looking at attendance figures here. You can see many teams would be in serious trouble financially.

If the AHL season is canceled, what happens to these prospects? Does the NHL carve out expanded roster spots? Does the team have guys play overseas instead of the AHL if not?

Svechnikov doesn’t have to worry about the AHL as he probably wouldn’t pass through waivers. But he does have to worry about a roster squeeze if the NHL doesn’t expand beyond 23 and the AHL season is canceled. And no one knows if either of those things will happen.

Posted by d ca on 05/29/20 at 05:06 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

The AHL depends upon fan in seats.
Posted by d ca on 05/29/20 at 05:06 PM ET

Are you sure about that? I know the AHL doesn’t get TV or Radio money, but I thought that most of the payroll was paid by the big club but I could be wrong.

I don’t think the league would have this type of nightmare scenario over the amount of payroll in the AHL, I don’t see that being an issue, they might require a steep reduction as the cap in the NHL will too.

I could definitely see a roster expansion if they’re talking about playing a full 82 in a shortened season, or 4-5 games a week though.


Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/29/20 at 05:38 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Are you sure about that? I know the AHL doesn’t get TV or Radio money, but I thought that most of the payroll was paid by the big club but I could be wrong.
Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/29/20 at 05:38 PM ET

The AHL gets TV and Radio money—-it just happens to be a whole lot less—for GR it is WOOD 106.9 FM and 1300 AM. The league runs the TV network as a streaming service (it used to be Wood TV channel 8 until the AHL took it over) and those profits are shared…again not anything like the NHL’s TV deal.

From my memory: tickets were around 10 for the upper deck to 35 for front row and I think they drew around 4.5-6k back when I first started going 3 person slingshot for t-shirt days).

They also have/had a small pro shop at the arena (it’s where I used to go to buy tickets for the game on off-days—and it was staffed by two of my friends at GVSU who had internships there. They used to joke that I should be taking them to the game so they could get the day off) with a street entrance on the west side of the building’s ground level. I haven’t been in a while now so don’t quote me on it being there—but I suspect it is still there.  And they had another apparel booth at the top of the stairs too. So they do merchandise sales there too. It was really funny when the team switched affiliates and Ottawa Senators stuff (and old color scheme stuff front or back was being sold beside Red Wings stuff. I always wanted to buy their new colors jersey (shown here) but could never justify spending over $100 on a jersey. I could get my ice skates sharpened there for $2 but had to leave them overnight. It might have been the equipment mgr’s side hustle though.

When I worked concessions (or get pulled to help a raffle or the puck toss table) at Van Andel (didn’t even apply or interview, but was asked by both of the girls I knew that got jobs after their internships and went straight to training—I think they were desperate for workers) they would have 3-5 booths rented out to a charity/organization for basically like 60% of sales. In the other booths the arena kept 100% and I remember sales being between 2-5k for that one booth I was in—we were a ways away from the main stairs but had beer in the one I worked, but I think they had like 12 total booths plus popcorn and ice cream carts—so figure 20-25k at least they were pulling in per game—probably more as our booth was away from the main traffic area). After the game we’d go to Margarita Grill (which was connected via the above ground walkway), Tapps, and/or J Gardella’s afterwards and I’d spend almost everything I made—so I basically worked for beer money only.

The 50/50 split was between 1 and 5k so there is another revenue source (the 10k total take was usually the New Years Eve game with the after party at the Amway Grand—which is also connected via the sky tunnels).

As far as payroll expenses….depends: is it an AHL contract or an NHL contracts. NHL contracts assigned to the AHL are paid by the NHL—but AHL contracts are not. Confused? Think about the 50 contract limit the Wings have—-all those are NHL contracts. I made somewhere around $12 per hour (to which I was sworn to secrecy) back then for about 5 hrs per game and would scam all kinds of free food (oh look we made too much and why let that last pitcher clearing the tap lines go to waste let’s go trade with the ice cream cart/pizza booth)....thankfully the cameras weren’t as good as now-a-days…because they would have told me I was the main expense….jk

For GR here were the AHL contracts last season.
Dominik Shine
Matthew Ford
Jarid Lukosevicius
Gregor MacLeod
Eric Tangradi
Charle-Édouard D’Astous
Tory Dello
Alec McCrea
Pat Nagle

But there is no AHL salary cap. The teams can spend whatever they want. There is; however, a minimum contract value in the AHL and depends on what year the contract is started (it was 50k this past year in USD). They also have to pay a per diem allowance to their players on the road (all days away from home count in the regular season or postseason). The rates are:
  2019-20 - $77
  2020-21 - $79
  2021-22 - $81
  2022-23 - $83
  2023-24 - $83

unless the game is within a 7 hour roundtrip: then the per diem is only 25. If the AHL team combines with the NHL team for training camp the per diem is to be paid at the NHL rate. The NHL rate is around $118 (it is tied to the CPI-U index base year being 2013 for $100) per day but teams can lower it by $12 by providing breakfast and another $15 by providing lunch to the players.

There is no capgeek—-I mean capfriendly—-site listing salaries as that information is hard to come by. But the estimate I saw was 90k for an average veteran on an AHL contract. Remember those minimum salary guys skew that data, but even so figure 9 players x 90k = 810k in salary. And unlike the NHL, the AHL players get paid based on the number of postseason games they appear in (there is a bonus pool and calculations for each players share that I am just not going to go into).

The AHL team has to pay travel (airfare over a certain distance), lodging, and food expenses for the player, his legal spouse and their children to get to the AHL team city at the beginning and to get back from the AHL team city at the end of the year.

Some clubs are owned by their NHL parent: others have affiliation agreements where they are not going to contribute financially if necessary. So again it depends.

I think it’s going to come down to the NHL agreeing to help the league somehow financially under guise of needing the league to develop these young players vs needing that plus the AHL team to make as much of a profit as possible like pre-Covid. I personally think the league goes forward but has to shut down mid-season as you can’t socially distance 18-20 year olds nor effectively do that when filling and emptying a stadium.  I just don’t see the economics if the NHL doesn’t give them a major subsidy.  I suppose they can wear more sponsor patches….but even that has a limit.

Posted by d ca on 05/30/20 at 08:15 AM ET


What’s with all this negativity regarding Svechnikov? Loss of confidence?

I see a guy who had a wildly successful season considering that he missed the entirety of the previous one. He played most of GR’s games and a handful of the ones he missed were because of being called up to the Red Wings, where I can’t imagine anyone would give him a failing grade during his call-ups.

He’s better than plenty of the dreck that made up the roster last year.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 05/30/20 at 04:42 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