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Abel to Yzerman

Sunday Morning Odds and Ends

The LONGEST SUMMER IN HISTORY is ending.  Really.  Unfortunately it’s ending at the same time as the UM football season, a fact that had fetal implications for me yesterday for about an hour.  Michigan football’s a recipe for sadness even if you weren’t already aware that a tough Hemlock High School team has a chance against them if they feature a scrambling quarterback.

Took the family ice skating yesterday and heard the UM halftime score driving home.  Here’s the brief conversation with my wife.

“I wil NOT stress about Michigan football this year.  I can’t. I won’t.  Too much else to worry about.  Too much.”

“Great.  Bed, Bath and Beyond is on the left.”

Remember that dude Big Snake?  Was that his name?  The guy invited to TC a few years ago?  His abrasive style earned him a legion of fans, scared the kids and had the Osgood Puckbunny Nation on the verge of protest.  This Aspenlind kid has the look of another hometown favorite.

“It’s gonna be a blast,” he told the Chilliwack Progress in British Columbia. “I don’t know how I’m going to feel stepping out onto the ice with some of those guys. You see them every night on Sportsnet, and it’s going to be fun playing with them.”

But the right winger says he’s going to Traverse City to get noticed, so he might not be the only one with stars in his eyes.

“I’ll go into the corner and give Chelios a bump,” said Aspenlind, 21. “I’m going in there to play the style of hockey I play, and I’ll hopefully do some things other guys won’t do because they’re intimidated.”

Dish out a B.C. Cheli-whack, eh?

Aspenlind said he wouldn’t shy away from dropping the gloves, either: “If that’s something they want to see, then so be it. What’s a broken nose here and there if I’m playing pro hockey?”

Sounds like Dallas Drake about fifteen years ago.  Actually, it sounds like Dallas Drake about fifteen minutes ago.

I heard the PTI guys whining about this on the radio on Friday.  How dare an NHL team take a public swipe at the NBA?  Kornheiser, that piece of garbage hack, said you “just don’t do that to a brother league.”  Here’s what I’m talking about.

A new ad campaign for the Dallas Stars includes billboards that state, “The only thing our refs shave is the ice.” Is that how bad things have gotten for the NHL? You can’t sell your own sport, so attack the NBA’s problems in hopes of attracting a few stray fans?

That guy needs to shut up.  Kornheiser should have zipped it years ago.  He rips hockey every chance he gets, and it’s only gotten worse as his popularity has grown.  Me?  I like it.  For once we see an NHL marketing strategy that’s on the offensive rather than vice versa.  If it were up to me, the Atlanta Thrashers would host a “bring your puppies to the rink night.”  Prove you don’t breed them to scrap in the backyard and see some free hockey.  Oh…woops.  Poor taste?  My bad. 

Todd Jones is not making friends of the media in Detroit.  A Tiger closer joins the other two town martyrs (Lions QB and Wing goalie) as lawful whipping boys.  Well, he’s set himself up for big-time abuse with his column this morning.

The one section of people who you need to stay away from, in my opinion, is the talk-show guys. The radio talk-show guys have ruined the credibility of the other guys in the media. They, for the most part, are the troublemakers in town. They whip all the fans into a frenzy by design every day. These guys, who wore blue socks in gym class, criticize the players and try to get fans to take the bait.

Geography makes it tough for me to listen to Detroit sports radio so I can’t say this with any certainty; but I’m betting that Jones just gave a lesson in setting bait. 

Miah at All Things Red Wings has saved you a few bucks, if you’re not a Hockey News subscriber.  He’s combed the summer edition and transcribed anything Wing-related.

Four Red Wings made the annual THN Top 50 NHL Players list…another indication that this is still a good team.

Top 50 NHL Players:

3. Nick Lidstrom
The Clark Kent of the NHL, this consistent veteran quietly controls games, playing superbly at both ends and becoming Superman when the outcome is on the line. With five Norris Trophies in the past six seasons, Lidstom has cemented his place in the Hall of Fame. All that remains to be seen is if he can lead the Red Wings to another Stanley Cup.

25. Henrik Zetterberg
The quiet Swede is clearly a solid offensive performer, but the 26-year old must step it up if a Stanley Cup is in the Wings immediate future.

29. Domink Hasek
How he does it is irrelevant. The fact is, Hasek, 42, continues to perform at a high level, looking like he’ll play forever.

26. Pavel Datsyuk
He answered his critics with a fine playoff performance after equaling his single-season high of 87 points.

Prediction:  if Hank Zetterberg stays healthy, that 25 ranking will shift to something closer to 7 or 8 by April.  Prediction:  Pavel Datsyuk will be in the running for the scoring title.  Prediction: Dominik Hasek plays no more than 45 regular season games.

Came across a press release from the Traverse City chamber of commerce.  Accessible players.  Practices open to the public.  Take all the pictures you want. 

Yep, a regular family hockey hoedown in the Great Up North.

Then it’s on to Detroit where the doors are locked and the fans are reminded that you just don’t matter. 






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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