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A Bigger And Better Filip Hronek

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The Red Wings wanted young defenseman Filip Hronek to get stronger and gain weight.

Hronek only weighed about 160 pounds when he was drafted in the second round in 2016. He wasn’t going to survive without adding some muscle.

So Hronek attacked the weight room, and the Czech Republic native also began eating.

“Now, I’m 180 (pounds),” said Hronek this week after a Grand Rapids Griffins practice, noticeably stronger through the shoulders and chest. “I tried to work hard (weightlifting), and spend time in the gym....

Griffins coach Todd Nelson was impressed with how Hronek kept elevating his performance throughout the long season.

“I didn’t think he’d develop as quickly as he has, which is great,” Nelson said. “From Christmas on to now, he’s been playing his best hockey. Maybe a month ago I thought, ‘Man, he’s really developed, he’s playing extremely well for us, not just the offensive numbers but you look at his plus-minus, he’s playing well defensively’.

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Michael Rasmussen Still Viewed As A Center

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"He's learning how to (play wing)," Horcoff said. "He's normally been a center. We know him to be that and view him as that. But at the same time, it's always good to learn how to play wing, which makes him more of a complete player."

Horcoff said Rasmussen is skating much better. That was the main concern when he was drafted. He has tremendous hands and offensive instincts.

"When he first started playing (the wing) it took a little bit, but once the playoffs started he found his groove and is more comfortable," Horcoff said. "He's hard on the puck. With his size and strength in that league he's hard to knock off the puck down low.

"He's making some great offensive plays, some great passes, showing some really good vision from below the tops of the circles, which is a nice asset to go along with his good hands and scoring touch out front."

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How About Those Trades

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings look like early winners in the Tomas Tatar trade.

Tatar has joined the list of Wings players who have not performed as expected after leaving Detroit. The Vegas Golden Knights wrote another chapter in their delightful story on Wednesday when the expansion franchise advanced to Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs after completing a four-game sweep of Los Angeles.

That feat, though, came without the services of Tatar, who was a healthy scratch after the first two games of the best-of-seven series. The Wings traded Tatar Feb. 26 in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018, a second-round pick in 2019, and a third-round pick in 2021. At the time of the trade, Tatar had 16 goals in 62 games with Detroit....

 On Feb. 19, the Wings traded Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 and a conditional third-round pick in 2019. Mrazek has played in Philadelphia like he did in Detroit: Up and down. He started out 3-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average and .947 save percentage. The next stretch saw him go 0-2-1 with a 4.54 goals-against average and .854 save percentage....

The Wings sent Sheahan to the defending Stanley Cup champions Oct. 21 in exchange for Scott Wilson and a third-round pick in 2018 (Sheahan had yet to score in seven games at the time in Detroit). Sheahan produced 11 goals and 32 points with the Penguins in the regular season (he had one assist the first three playoff games.). 

The Wings flipped Wilson to Buffalo in December, in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019....

There’s probably no team that would like to undo a recent trade with the Wings more than the New York Rangers. At the 2017 trade deadline, as defenseman Brendan Smith neared unrestricted free agency, the Wings traded him to the Rangers for third-round pick in 2017 and a second-round pick in 2018 (the 2018 pick was originally Ottawa’s, so it will be the second pick in the second round because the Senators finished 30th in the standings this season). 

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Featured Prospect Talk On Givani Smith

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings have a vested interest in the OHL semifinal playoff series between Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie that starts Friday.

It pits 2016 Detroit draft picks Givani Smith, a right wing for Kitchener, and Jordan Sambrook, a defenseman for Sault Ste. Marie....

Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development, has watched both players during the first two rounds. He said Smith is coming off a "fantastic series" against Sarnia. He scored twice in the deciding game and has seven goals and 12 points in 12 playoff games.

"He's a big, physical guy who's skating very well right now and producing offense," Horcoff said. "He's playing definitely some of his best hockey, really starting to come into his own.

"For Givani, a lot of it comes from skating, and right now he's skating fantastic and he's physical, very heavy body every shift, getting under opponents' skin. He's doing a heck of a job."

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Dennis Cholowski Joins The Grand Rapids Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned defenseman Dennis Cholowski from the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
 

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Report- John Torchetti Will Not Return As Assistant Coach For The Wings

via Craig Custance tweet,

According to multiple sources, the Red Wings have notified other NHL teams via email that they won't be bringing back assistant coach John Torchetti.

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Surgery For Luke Glendening And Who Is Going To The World Championship

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Kronwall The Mentor

from Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website,

"Definitely ready, and I think it's time for these young guys on D to take another step and get a shot at playing for the team here. Again, it starts with hard work. Have a good camp, but both (Filip) Hronek and (Dennis) Cholowski seem to have really good years. It will be awesome and I very much look forward to watching them play."

Hronek, 20, was named to the AHL's All-Rookie team as he recorded 11 goals, 28 assists and was plus-24 in 67 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Cholowski, 20, made the Western Hockey League All-Star team. Cholowski had 13 goals, 26 assists and was plus-9 in 37 games with the Prince George Cougars.

After being traded to the Portland Winterhawks, he had one goal, 26 assists and was plus-20 in 32 regular-season games. In 12 playoff games with Portland, Cholowski had five goals, two assists and was minus-9....

"I think it's awesome when you have guys coming up," Kronwall said. "And I think obviously with where we are at, we're destined to have some young players, especially on D, taking steps. We've seen (Dylan Larkin), (Anthony Mantha), (Andreas Athanasiou), (Tyler Bertuzzi), we've seen some guys up front, and I think it's definitely time for the back end to also get rejuvenated with some young players."

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The Improvements Martin Frk Needs To Make

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"He's made lots of steps forward in terms of the completeness of his game, but I think it's going to come down to just making sure he executes at a high level on a game by game basis, not losing any opportunities, especially on the power play, with decision-making," coach Jeff Blashill said. "Making sure that when he comes in the zone, the decision-making's great, that there's no easy giveaways. That's going to allow him to have more time in zone. He's got to be a little bit better in those situations where we make sure we get in the zone and that he has the puck and he can use his skill."

Frk, the team's top pick in 2012 (49th overall), got off to a good start, with three goals in the first four games and six in his first 17 games. He wasn't as productive the second half and scored only one goal in his final 23 games.

"I wish I scored more goals," Frk said. "I was having kind of bad stretches. It's a hard league and I got to find a way to be better with that. You're also playing with great players on the power play. I learned a lot and I bet I will learn a lot in this league when I play more games."

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Playoff Match-Up Is Set For The Grand Rapids Griffins

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

The Grand Rapids Griffins got what they needed in the regular-season finale Saturday with a win to secure second place in the division, highlighted by big nights from Colin Campbell and Filip Hronek.

Campbell had his second-career hat trick and Hronek had a four-point night with a goal and three assists as the Griffins picked up a 6-4 victory over Cleveland before 10,834 at Van Andel Arena to wrap up the regular season.

The win gives the Griffins (42-25-2-7) home-ice advantage to begin the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Manitoba. The best-of-five series begins Saturday at Manitoba.

continued

Below, a press release from the GRG on the upcoming series.

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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

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