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Defensemen At The Top Of The Draft

from TSN,

This year’s prospect class is shaping up to be a boon for teams looking for blueline help, with defencemen holding down the top four spots on the latest edition of TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button’s rankings ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft, scheduled for July 23.

Owen Power, the towering 6-foot-5-1/2, 213-pound Michigan Wolverines defenceman, is Button’s top prospect available after scoring three goals and 16 points in 26 games at the NCAA level. And his talents will be showcased again later this month as he'll play for Team Canada at the IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship in Latvia.

“Power’s combination of skills is unique,” Button said of the left-shot defenceman. “He’s got superb hockey sense, very good skill and superior size.”

Barrie Colts defenceman Brandt Clarke, who spent this season with HC Nove Zamky in the top Slovakian professional league while the Ontario Hockey League was on pause during the pandemic, comes in second in Button’s rankings.

Clarke, a right-shot defenceman who is 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, helped Canada win gold at the under-18 men's hockey championship in Frisco, Texas with two goals and seven points in seven games.

“Clarke brings a skill set that includes creativity, boldness and confidence,” Button said. “His game combines elements of Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns.”


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from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The wait continues around Little Caesars Arena.

The regular season ended Saturday for the Red Wings, but a decision regarding the future of coach Jeff Blashill has yet to be announced.

Tuesday came and went with no word from general manager Steve Yzerman regarding a decision as to whether Blashill will return for a seventh season.

The delay is a mild surprise.

Yzerman said during his news conference after the trade deadline in March that he would meet with Blashill quickly after the season.

Maybe the two have met, but an announcement on Blashill’s future still hasn’t made public, leading to more speculation and guessing regarding Blashill’s job security with the Wings.

The lack of news surrounding Blashill comes at a time while other NHL teams already have made decisions.

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Video- Vladislav Namestnikov Wearing A Mic

A little over 2 minutes long and from a CBJ game on April 27th.


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Do You Want Jack Eichel?

So to start to evaluate where Eichel could be traded, we asked The Athletic’s NHL staff to evaluate their team’s level of interest in Eichel and what they could offer in a package.

Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have the cap space, draft capital and farm system to put together a highly competitive offer for Eichel, who is a high-end No. 1 NHL center with elite scoring. That’s the kind of piece the Red Wings sorely need, and he fits their age range. But the cost to acquire him would be high, perhaps prohibitively so. The Sabres could reasonably ask for top defense prospect Moritz Seider, plus a high-lineup current NHLer and Detroit’s top 10 pick, at which point the Red Wings wouldn’t be much closer to contending than they are today. And Eichel wouldn’t likely be any happier, either. Yzerman should do his due diligence, but it’s not a great fit between two rebuilding teams. -Max Bultman

more (paid) teams...

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Waiting On Blashill And Looking At Scotty Bowman

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

What “very quickly" means to one person is not necessarily reflected in another person’s meaning.

The Detroit Red Wings’ season has been over since an overtime loss Saturday night in Columbus, and general manager Steve Yzerman still hasn’t shown his hand regarding Jeff Blashill’s coaching future. Last month, Yzerman said he’d sit down with Blashill “very quickly” after the season ended, but it has been two days and counting since the final horn.

Yzerman’s comments April 12 indicated he already knew what he was going to do: Extend Blashill’s contract, inform him his time with the organization is over — or perhaps tell Blashill there’ll be a new coach coming in, and offer him a different position, such as scouting.


from Bill Dow at the Detroit Free Press,

As part of his series on former Detroit sports figures, Bill Dow caught up with former Detroit Red Wings coach and hockey legend Scotty Bowman....

Bowman on coaching players:

“When you go to a new team, it takes a while to get to know everybody. Some players, you cater to more than others. Some players have to be pushed and prodded and some you have to be quiet with. Some players you can’t get on them or they’ll pack it up.

"I never tried to sugar coat it with the players and I think they wanted you to be honest with them. You have to tell them what is truthful and what is not. But when it’s all said and done, to get the most out of the good players they needed someone to be pushing them and that’s how they got into the NHL.”

more ($$$)

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It’s A For Subscribers Day Only

The three beat writers for the Wings all have articles up this morning and to read any of them, you need to be a subscriber.

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Some intriguing decisions regarding the Red Wings are about to be made, including the one that might have the most importance.

Who is going to coach the Wings next season?

After Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss in Columbus ended what was a promising yet another losing season, the future of coach Jeff Blashill becomes front and center for the immediate future.

continued ($$$)

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings’ resilience made Blashill recall a saying favored by his predecessor, Mike Babcock.

“Babs used to talk about steadying the rudder,” Blashill said. “That was something he used to say lots. Our team did a good job of being steady on the rudder. We lost our way in that one stretch where we were missing those guys, but really if you look back, we’re seven games under .500, somewhere in that range. That COVID stretch was a tough stretch for us, but other than that, I thought we did a good job of responding when things went bad.

“I say this lots when I talk to people, I talk to businesses — like, it’s not about whether or not you get knocked down, you’re going to get knocked down. It’s if you continuously get back up. I thought our group continuously got back up. There’s a lot of good men in that room. On a night-to-night basis, we worked and competed to the Nth degree, and that’s something I’m proud of our group for.”

more ($$$)

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Now that Steve Yzerman’s second season as Detroit Red Wings general manager is over, the bulk of his work begins.

Yzerman has many items to cross off his checklist before players gather for training camp in mid-to-late September, in preparation for an NHL regular season that will start a week later than usual, on Oct. 12.

One task, figures to be completed quickly, as Yzerman indicated last month he will speak with coach Jeff Blashill immediately after the season to discuss his future.

Over the course of the next several weeks, and months, Yzerman has a number of decisions to make:

continued ($$$)

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Wings Assign Three Players To Grand Rapids

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today reassigned right wing Givani Smith, center Joe Veleno and goaltender Kaden Fulcher to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins from the taxi squad.

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The Work Begins

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Yzerman may take Sunday off to celebrate: It is his 56th birthday, and it is Mother’s Day. But business beckons.

First up

The coaching situation appears to be first on Yzerman’s list, given that last month he said he’d “sit down very quickly after the season and discuss that” with Jeff Blashill. The perception within the organization is that Blashill has done a good job with what he has been given. The work ethic and culture, of which the Wings are so protective, has been maintained, and it speaks well for Blashill how hard the Wings competed, even as Tyler Bertuzzi, Bobby Ryan, Robby Fabbri and captain Dylan Larkin all suffered season-ending injuries.

Yzerman’s second task includes exit meetings with players, many of which will be conducted virtually. Young players such as Filip Zadina, Michael Rasmussen and Joe Veleno will receive feedback on their performances and what they need to work on over the summer. Meanwhile, the veterans will find out if they fit into next season’s plans.

Who to retain

A number of players are eligible for unrestricted free agency, but it’s unlikely all hit the market. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier figures to top that group, given how well he has played in two straight seasons. There’s no one in the farm system ready to push for an NHL job, and signing Bernier for two years provides a degree of stability. (Thomas Greiss is under contract through next season, as well.)

Luke Glendening is another clear-cut candidate to bring back — he’s a reliable defensive forward who is one of the best faceoff guys in the NHL and a big part of the locker room culture.

Forwards Sam Gagner and Ryan are likely to figure into next season’s plans, too...

read on (paid)

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Videos- Media Time After A Shootout Loss To Columbus

First we have Danny DeKeyser and Jeff Blashill in one video, below are the game highlights.  added 12:05am on 5/9/21, BSD did a 2 part season wrap and look ahead, Watch both parts below.  added 12:24am, below is Steve Yzerman with his thoughts on the year and the future.


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The Last Quick Recap Of The Season- DRW/CBJ

Not a bad game for both teams playing their last game of the season.  With nothing to play for but bingo balls, there was a bit of nastiness to this game.

With the sore tied 2-2 after forty minutes, the Blue Jackets scored first in the third, but the Wings evened the score.

Columbus scored with jus over five minutes left to make it 4-3.  But Detroit tied it up with under four minutes to play.

You knew OT was in the plans for the last game of the season.

Blue Jackets win 5-4 in OT.

Team Stats

Detroit goals are below.

Now Steve Yzerman gets to work.

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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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