Abel to Yzerman
Not sure if this would be a fit cap wise, but this is the time of year when you can dream...
via Stu Grimson of NashvillePredators.com,
The NHL Draft has changed a lot since 1983, my first year of eligibility. Back then, the Draft consisted of 12 rounds and only the players that were ranked in the world’s top half would typically attend in person. Are you shocked that I didn’t get an invite to the event?
There’s nothing noteworthy about the fact that the Detroit Red Wings took me in the 10th round that year, other than to put a little historical context on the importance of that particular draft year for Detroit. The Wings take away that year consisted of Steve Yzerman, Petr Klima, Bob Probert, Lane Lambert (yes, former Nashville Predators Assistant Coach Lane Lambert) and Joey Kocur, in addition to myself and others. These (named) players were key in turning the "Dead Wings” of the 70s and 80s into, again, one of the most respected franchises in the game. The 1983 Draft was a key block in the rebuild; Yzerman was the sort of player and person upon whom you could pin your hopes.
Later in the summer of 1983, Red Wings Owner Mike Ilitch flew each and every draft choice to Detroit to welcome us to the organization and show us around the city. As we assembled in the lobby of the Pontchartrain Hotel on our first day in town, it became fairly clear that the Wings had a specific theme in mind as they approached the Draft of 1983. They were done getting a lot of sand kicked in their face. In fact, the cast of characters filling the hotel lobby on this day looked more like the post-draft take-home for the NFL's Detroit Lions than it did the Detroit Red Wings. Probert went 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, while Joey Kocur was just 6-foot-0, but weighed 220 pounds and had a right hand that hit like a mule kicks. I was the biggest skater taken that year at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, but 1983 Wings Draft picks Craig Butz and Jeff Frank, both 6-foot-2, 225 lbs, were plus-sized guys also. It’s worth making the point that these guys weren't known for their deceptive toe drags or their wicked saucer passes. These guys had other “skills.”
Detroit did not get immediately better, but they did quickly command more respect than they had enjoyed prior to the 1983 Draft. That new regard from the rest of the pack, a host of other successful Drafts and additional key transactions would ultimately allow the franchise to revisit the form of its Original Six roots.
First up is Ken Holland introducing Jeff Blashill as the 27th head coach in history, then Jeff Blashill with a few words.
I was there.
I would think most of you would agree, Jeff Blashill will be Ken Holland's choice to replace Mike Babcock.
But do you want another coach?
Coaches who may be available are:
Ken Hitchcock and Claude Julien may be available.
The eyes of the hockey world are on you, as they always are. Mick Kern (@expomick) tweeted something strange last night.
What I most love about Babcock to Toronto is all the whiny, snobby, know it all Red Wings' bloggers having to eat crow.
Of course, he doesn't mean just bloggers. They never do. They mean you, too. He means you. And he went on to say that the reason we should all "eat crow" is because we need to accept that Toronto "...is the centre/centre of the hockey universe. Accept it."
Well, when winning is the mantra, when it's "the thing", when you're all about winning and winning won't wait? Why not...
To be honest, if this is such a gut-wrenching decision, we'll catch you on the flip side, Mike.
Apparently, in whatever province the World Juniors were held, Uncle Mike and Tick Tock drove and drove and drove. For hours. More likely, somebody was driving them because driving on roads you're not familiar with is scary. A driver and probably some other guy in the passenger seat, TT and UM in the back, a foot or two apart.
That was probably really weird.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org