Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

You Can’t Always Get What You Want. But If You Try Sometimes, You Might Find, You Get What You Need

“You can’t have everything,” Jim Nill said to me a few times.  I didn’t record our conversations, it just didn’t feel right, but those words stuck in my head.

In the past, he said, the Wings would go and get any player they wanted, the only limiting factor was price.  Today, value is another important factor.

He went on to say the dedication to win comes from the top.  Mike and Marian on down.  “1A and 1B” as he called them.

The Ilitch family was determined to bring Modano to Detroit.  Nill stated that Mike Ilitch wanted Modano very badly because of his local history, including the Little Caesar’s program as a kid, which was very important to Ilitch.  He also wanted Modano because he knew he could get him at the right price.

The Wings have realistic expectations with Modano.  While they don’t expect him to get 30 goals anymore, 30 assists is a reasonable expectation.  If he was the Modano of three years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to afford him under the cap.

What Nill had to say about the cap itself, took me completely by surprise.

 

The Red Wings like the salary cap as it is.  They are not bothered at all by the upper spending limit.

Except for one season or so, we’ve never spent more on salaries than we do today, Nill said, the team is reaching the limits of what they can pay to players and still remain profitable.

In another post, I will be discussing in detail Nill’s comments about Lidstrom today and the Wings without him, Hudler, Bertuzzi, scouting players including a discussion on what he looks for and advanced statistical metrics, which players he expects to have great seasons, where he likes to watch games in the arena, and why he isn’t a GM somewhere else.

Today, I will discuss recent hot topics.  Continuing on with Modano and the fourth line, moving onto Salei/Mitchell/Lilja, and wrapping up with goaltending.

As Nill sees it, with Mike Modano centering our third line, Hudler returning, and Cleary healthy, the Wings will have the best four lines in the NHL.  And I can’t argue with that.  I asked about what that would mean for our fourth line and the guys fighting for spots.  Maltby has to accept the fact he is in his late thirties and not expect a roster spot.  Draper will be on the fourth line.  Kids like Helm and Abdelkader are locks, and will be getting as much ice-time as possible on the fourth/third lines, while the rest of the prospects will have to fight it out during training camp.  They are in a fight for their spot on the roster in Traverse City, each one of them better bring their best game.

The lines are all up to Uncle Mike.

Signing Abdelkader was not even a concern.  From the way Nill spoke of him being a lock on the fourth line, it seems certain Home Keys will be back next season.

And what about our defence? “You can’t have everything.”  But we still are alright.

Nill expects Ericsson or Kindl to really step up.  Smith seems like he will be in the mix as well during training camp.  It’s up to the kids to fight for their spots, but it seems like Ericsson and Kindl will be the guys.  Not once did Jim mention Meech.  I didn’t bother asking about him, either.

While many here are concerned we didn’t go after Mitchell, Nill is not.  He thinks Salei is a great addition for his price.  While Lilja would have been welcomed back, Andreas wanted a bigger role on the team.  The Wings weren’t able to offer that to him.  Nor could they fit in his salary demands under the cap after our other summer signings. 

Don’t look at Salei as a step-down from Lilja, though, Nill certainly isn’t.  To him, Salei is better with the puck than Lilja and, while smaller, has a grittier edge to his game than Lilja does.

Finally, the eternal “weak” spot of the Wings, goaltending.  Look for Osgood to have an amazing year, Nill promises, Chris will step it up and set team records this season.  And don’t worry about Jimmah, I was assured, he has been working hard with Bedard and is making subtle improvements to sharpen his game.

This is no spin from Nill.  He truly believes we are stacked and ready to go next season.  And I can dig that.

Let’s Go Red Wings!!!!!

Is it October yet?

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Comments

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J.J. from Kansas's avatar

My god…

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/23/10 at 12:41 AM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

quick, get out the blunderbuss, we’re bein’ hijacked!

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 08/23/10 at 01:00 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/22/10 at 10:41 PM ET

Sulu said that once while looking at a dense wall of stuff approaching.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 08/23/10 at 01:03 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sulu said that once while looking at a dense wall of stuff approaching.

I feel similar, especially with the dense part.

To also quote Sulu (or at least George Takei): Oh my…

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/23/10 at 01:06 AM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

I gave Bruce Wayne a valium and said settle your fuching ass down I’m ready for combat man.

Get it? Calm Bat Man.

Oh yeah: (Mathers, Marshal. Recovery, 2010.)

... Since we’re doing citations now.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 08/23/10 at 01:36 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Sheesh.  For the record, I never intended to start a full-blown shit-storm on this topic.  Just laying out some facts, pointing out what I feel is a long-standing misconception.  No hyper-ventilating on my end, just an opinion piece.  Feel free to disagree.  Damn.  Onward.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 08/23/10 at 02:27 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Nill expects Ericsson or Kindl to really step up.  Smith seems like he will be in the mix as well during training camp.  It’s up to the kids to fight for their spots, but it seems like Ericsson and Kindl will be the guys.

When we were all caught up in the drama over signing a number six D-man, the thought occured to me that there was no reason to rule out the possibility of one of the young guys to really step up.  Big E still seems like the likely candidate there. Nill’s thoughts on that front comforts me though.

At the same time I wish I shared his confidence in Ozzie.  Still feels like that could go either way.  Oh well, been a long week here.  I’ll take that Jameson’s.

October coming…

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 08/23/10 at 03:15 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Wow.  JFC WTF.

v00x thanks and congrats again, best scooping of original hockey news of the summer, hands down.

Kate , best of luck with the little one and hoping for the best results.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/23/10 at 03:39 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

SYF is she getting closer?
Any closer and I’ll blow a , well…

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/23/10 at 03:41 AM ET

Twig in Houston's avatar

who are the yankees?

Posted by Twig in Houston from Houston, TX on 08/23/10 at 11:32 AM ET

FranzensMouthguard's avatar

Speaking of Ozzie, some Pen(i)s no name defensemen has fired the first salvo (i dont care if he was joking)

Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood got some good-natured ribbing from Penguins defenseman Eric Godard in the Sunday’s Vernon Morning Star.

Apparently Osgood pulled a no-show for a workout Wednesday with longtime fitness instructor Rhonda Catt, who also trains Godard and some other hockey pros.

Ozzie looks like Ozzie, slower than ever,” Godard told the Morning Star, a British Columbia newspaper

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 08/23/10 at 12:25 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Godard has fists of stone.  It makes sense though because he also skates like a boulder and has rocks in his head. 

If you’re ever both competing for the last slice of pizza, pick paper, not scissors.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/23/10 at 12:32 PM ET

Twig in Houston's avatar

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 08/23/10 at 10:25 AM ET

i know you said you don’t care if he was joking, but it does sound like he and ozzie are pals. drew has a pretty good post on this on nohs.

Posted by Twig in Houston from Houston, TX on 08/23/10 at 12:41 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

Wellllllst money sure can buy you a championship, just ask a Cubs fan.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from the Big House,January1,2013. on 08/23/10 at 02:24 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Posted in earlier thread, accidentally, will repost here:

Abdelkader re-signs.

http://twitter.com/RedWingsFeed/status/21925177202

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 02:30 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 12:30 PM ET

Damn I hate boners at work.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from the Big House,January1,2013. on 08/23/10 at 02:37 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Two year deal:
http://redwings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=536265

The Emperor has it up on the main page now:
http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/wings_sign_abdelkader_for_2_years/

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 02:41 PM ET

FranzensMouthguard's avatar

Wings resigning Abby makes me feel the same way as when I first saw Voltron being formed.

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 08/23/10 at 03:17 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Glad to lock him in and keep him in the fold, but also glad we’ve got Huds and Mike on the third line.  It says a lot for the depth of the organ-I-zation that we have Helm, Eaves, Draper and Abdulkader chomping at the bit to jump off the pine for 6 or 8 minutes of high energy, high speed action and some penalty killing.

Damn I’m way too excited.

is it October yet?

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/23/10 at 03:34 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Anyone else have the Detroit Red Wings App?

Abdulkader’s and Eaves’ playlists seem a liitle gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  After all I myself have shopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/23/10 at 03:55 PM ET

VooX's avatar

http://twitter.com/CraigCustance/status/21930585762

$787,000 cap hit.  I love this.

Is it October yet?

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 04:07 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

After all I myself have shopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Posted by RWBill from the mouth of Red Olent on 08/23/10 at 01:55 PM ET

Had you pegged as a Pottery Barn guy.  Bartender, a Pink Lady for our friend Bill!  Or maybe a Sea Breeze.  Whatever.  NTTAWWT.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 08/23/10 at 04:31 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 02:07 PM ET


Awesome news.  Gotta love the numbers on this deal.  No way I figured they’d get Abby for that kinda money.  I think we have everything we need. 

October!

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 08/23/10 at 04:36 PM ET

stayouttamalibu's avatar

Eric who? Ozzie didn’t feel like making it to the workout, his three cup rings provided plenty of weight for him to work out with at home.

Great to hear about Abdelkader, now we’re ready to go. Season, hurry up and get here already.

Posted by stayouttamalibu from California on 08/23/10 at 04:51 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Keep in mind, Godard is so valuable that Pens fans want him gone…

Posted by Primis on 08/23/10 at 05:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Godard is a portmanteau meaning “deity with a learning disorder.”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/23/10 at 05:10 PM ET

Twig in Houston's avatar

$787,000 will buy a lot of little caesars. esp if his neighbor pays for half…

Posted by Twig in Houston from Houston, TX on 08/23/10 at 05:27 PM ET

VooX's avatar

$787,000 will buy a lot of little caesars. esp if his neighbor pays for half…
Posted by Twig in Houston on 08/23/10 at 03:27 PM ET

Nice.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 06:02 PM ET

RWBill's avatar


..... a portmanteau meaning “deity with a learning disorder.”
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/23/10 at 03:10 PM ET

You seem like someone who would enjoy watching “The Mentalist”.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/23/10 at 06:16 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Apple-tinis all around Barkeep!

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/23/10 at 06:19 PM ET

RWBill's avatar


$787,000 cap hit.  I love this.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 02:07 PM ET

That’s tight.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/23/10 at 06:22 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You seem like someone who would enjoy watching “The Mentalist”.

Posted by RWBill from the mouth of Red Olent on 08/23/10 at 04:16 PM ET

I could not get into that show.  Nowadays, I only watch NCIS: Los Angeles to see if LL Cool J’s neck will collapse under the weight of his gigantic HGH-infused noggin. 

Here’s an artist’s rendition of what it would look like if LL Cool J ever got shot in the face:

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/23/10 at 06:31 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/23/10 at 04:31 PM ET

“A Trip to the Moon” reference.  Yet another reason you bitches are the best.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/23/10 at 06:45 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

$787,000 will buy a lot of little caesars. esp if his neighbor pays for half…

I wonder if the players get an employee discount.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 08/23/10 at 11:23 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

“A Trip to the Moon” reference.  Yet another reason you bitches are the best.

best class I ever took in high school: typing.

best class I ever took in college: film studies

I watched movies I never would have watched, and gained an appreciation for film I never would have had.

A Trip to the Moon
North by Northwest
Citizen Kane
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

after that class I went to Tai Chi class.

hey, F U.  I needed the credits and trig and 400 level computer programming (C++) were enough “real classes.”

that 80 pound little chinese woman had amazing balance, btw.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 08/23/10 at 11:28 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