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Abel to Yzerman

To Become An Elite Team Again

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

They need to draft wisely, develop their prospects and young players and supplement the roster with value for value trades and the occasional free-agent signing.

After several years of trying to retool on the fly, picking up a veteran free agent or two in the off-season, buying at the trade deadline, the Red Wings have embraced the rebuild. Chris Ilitch and general manager Ken Holland both referred to it as a long process.

Building from the ground up through the draft is the strategy. They made several trades to accumulate 11 picks this year, including seven in the first three rounds. They have nine selections in 2019, including an extra second-rounder.

"That's the blueprint for our future," Ilitch said on April 7, when announcing Holland's two-year contract extension. "It's going to be a process, we're all going to need patience, but (Holland) has the skill and the experience to lead us through that process again."

Holland said they're not starting from scratch. They have a good core of young forwards in Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi. They're high on 2015 top pick Evgeny Svechnikov. They believe 2017 top pick Michael Rasmussen can make the leap from juniors to the NHL next season.

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Comments

Hootinani's avatar

Blah blah blah.  I wonder if Khan found it hard to type this article with pom-poms in his hands.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 06/07/18 at 10:10 AM ET

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Start by getting a real GM and a real coach.

Nothing is going to get better without those.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/07/18 at 10:13 AM ET

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Have to give credit where it’s due.  Holland saying they certainly need to overhaul the D was refreshing. 

But if I hear one more time, it’s a process…............

Holland says he Hope’s you can see where hes going though, so that implies a plan.  Hopefully its evil genius and not spray and pray.  I’m not sold on Wright or anyones evaluation ability in the org.  I appreciate the non-condescending sincere communication though, really do.

Posted by ThatGuy on 06/07/18 at 10:42 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

And find some way to flush:

Neilsen
Abdelkader
DDK
Helm

Easy

Posted by duhduhduh on 06/07/18 at 10:53 AM ET

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“the difference between genius and insanity is success”

Guess we will see which one Holland is soon

Posted by Iamhaljordan on 06/07/18 at 10:58 AM ET

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Guess we will see which one Holland is soon

How about neither?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/07/18 at 11:01 AM ET

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How about pre 2011 most people said he was an expert. Now that he doesn’t have the success…..

We’re all welcome to come to our own conclusions however I assume you agree with me and saying hockey isn’t a middle ground type of fandom

Posted by Iamhaljordan on 06/07/18 at 11:12 AM ET

dougie's avatar

My wife wanted me to paint the deck. I explained that it was part of a process, and that these things took time.

She was having none of it.

Posted by dougie on 06/07/18 at 11:22 AM ET

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Posted by dougie on 06/07/18 at 11:22 AM ET

Too bad your wife’s not GM of the Red Wings.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/07/18 at 11:54 AM ET

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We’re all welcome to come to our own conclusions however I assume you agree with me and saying hockey isn’t a middle ground type of fandom

Absolutely.

All I’m saying is that I’d never argue that Holland is a genius and I’d never argue that he’s insane.

I’d say mediocre.
I’d say wildly overrated.
I’d say completely out of touch with the modern NHL.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/07/18 at 11:59 AM ET

Colin's avatar

But if I hear one more time, it’s a process…............

Posted by ThatGuy on 06/07/18 at 10:42 AM ET

To be fair, I’ve noticed that basically every team in every sport uses the term process in one form or another all. the. time. I do get the frustration in our context though.

Start by getting a real GM and a real coach.

Nothing is going to get better without those.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/07/18 at 10:13 AM ET

Weird, Blash looked very real behind the bench of a real team at the worlds.

As for Holland, he is a real GM. He’s awful at managing the cap and knowing when to cut bait, but he has drafted quite well of late. Particularly when you consider we’ve only had the one lottery pick so far.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 06/07/18 at 12:29 PM ET

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Given the massive amount of picks will Detroit have to shed some contracts?  Kind of wondered if late round picks end up becoming kind of worthless as you get stuck between picking someone with a 2% chance of making the NHL instead of sticking with a fringe prospect that has a 10 or 15% chance.

Posted by neffernin on 06/07/18 at 01:16 PM ET

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My personal opinion puts the blame on Blashill and his constant line changes. While teams around the NHL do move players around, it’s not constant. Not having a go to first line causes Blashill to pull players from two or three lines on the PP and PK.  Depending on shift times, lines continually are makeshift. This is only one of many aspects that will delay us to the status of elite team status. Honestly,  I feel Blashill’s hockey hangups are holding us back and I blame KH for not correcting them. Need to unload these LTIR albatrosses we have.

Posted by stateofmifan on 06/07/18 at 02:48 PM ET

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Weird, Blash looked very real behind the bench of a real team at the worlds.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland’s new yacht, “Incompetence” on 06/07/18 at 12:29 PM ET

I concur.  It’s tough to make chicken soup with chicken poop.  Even the last guy was struggling to drag the team into the playoffs.  And he’s the greatest coach that ever lived.  The line mixing is maddening and the one thing I really wish he would move away from. I’d like to see common lines for 10-15 game stretches then if things don’t work move the pieces around. When you’re overloaded with 3rd and 4th line players there’s only so much you can do.

Posted by Steve1306 on 06/07/18 at 03:04 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

My personal opinion puts the blame on Blashill and his constant line changes.

Was this really an issue? I seem to remember things remaining fairly consistent. Maybe not a full trio, but Blash seemed to keep pairs of players together. Z and Nyq on line 1. Larks and Tats on another line. Nielsen and Helm on the matchup line. Outside of the PP, I was honestly pretty pleased with Blash’s line combos.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 06/07/18 at 03:40 PM ET

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Was this really an issue? I seem to remember things remaining fairly consistent. Maybe not a full trio, but Blash seemed to keep pairs of players together.

Bowman also like to keep pairs of forwards together, semi regularly swapping out the third.  Of course he had a much better roster to work with.

Posted by wingsnut25 on 06/07/18 at 04:27 PM ET

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Weird, Blash looked very real behind the bench of a real team at the worlds.

Oh he was a good coach with an all-star team in a tournament that resembles an NHL season in no ways?

Well, toss him the Jack Adams then because he’s obviously great.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/08/18 at 09:33 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Oh he was a good coach with an all-star team in a tournament that resembles an NHL season in no ways?

Well, toss him the Jack Adams then because he’s obviously great.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/08/18 at 09:33 AM ET

I never said he was Adams caliber, but maybe, just MAYBE, the biggest problem with our team is the roster, not the coach?

At the end of the day, Blash can’t put his skates on and physically win games for us, the players have to do that.

Sadly, as we all know, our team is filled to the brim with albatross, barely-above-replacement players like Abdelkader, Helm, Ericsson, Kronwall, and DeKeyser. Our best offensive defenseman was an uninterested disaster in his own zone. Our best overall defenseman is a journeyman in his mid-30s who isn’t a great defender either. Of our players in their primes, Tatar, Jensen, and Nyquist, you have 3 undersized and rather one-dimensional players.

HOWEVER, of the young players we have coming up in Larkin, Mantha, Bertuzzi, and Athanasiou we have seen largely very good growth this season. Larkin rebounded from a bad sophomore slump and appears to be heading towards a 1C potential over a 2W. Mantha set career highs in goals and points while learning to be a more complete player. Bertuzzi emerged as a very good top-6 forward. Athanasiou has struggled but still managed to put up decent points and in all honesty, the greatest thing holding him back is his attitude and lack of desire to grow his own game.

I evaluate a coach based on how he influences the things he actually can ya know, influence.

Nobody is fixing Kronwall’s knee and making him 5 years younger. Nobody is rewinding the clock and teaching Ericsson how to skate and use his frame. Nobody is making Mike Green play defense, or packing 20 pounds of muscle onto DeKeyser’s frame. Nobody is giving Helm hands or Abdelkader better hockey IQ.

I don’t agree with everything he does, particularly with his lines at times, but when you look a the players he can actually have an impact on, he’s done some good to great things with those players. You could have Scotty Bowman coaching this team and we wouldn’t make the playoffs.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 06/08/18 at 09:47 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

To me, its 1/3 inevitability. 1/3 ownership/streak 1/3 GM/Jim Nill. 

The NHL has the most restrictive salary cap system in professional sports. Nothing is comparable, NFL can cut players, MLB has none, NBA has luxury and is based on a 2-3 players anyway, the NHLs system, is rigid and is a formula designed to punish success. A team that had such a long term run of success, and pushed to maintain the damn streak was bound to bottom out, it had to.  Teams like Chicago and LA are facing the same fate on the backside of making trades and having overpaid stars that are aging out. 

Ownership and the damn streak was a huge factor in the present mess. The streak should’ve ended 5 years ago, they needed to lose the last three years in the Joe, and open the new arena with good young talent on the ice and in the system. We should’ve traded Pavel, but Holland would’ve been skewered had he done that, both by ownership and this fanbase.

Holland did himself no favors. He overpaid guys he didn’t need to. That’s not why we suck, but its also unnecessary. The big failure came at the draft board when it was led by Jim Nill.  He drafted crap players that never amounted to anything and is doing the same in Dallas, look at his success rate.  No matter who runs what, that falls on the head of the GM.  Currently, he’s also took some chances on guys that had a primadonna or lazy reputation that’s living up to its billing.

Blashill is not as good of a coach as Babcock, who is one of the leagues best, but he’s not a bad coach. He was an NHL rookie, just like players they take time. Bowman was not as great of a coach as he was 5 years after the fact.  This is not on Blashill IMO.  All coaches jungle lines when they don’t perform, that managing ice time and subtle tweaks are few in game triggers they can pull.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 06/08/18 at 11:44 AM 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