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Abel to Yzerman

All About The Draft Lottery

from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,

The Montreal Canadiens carry the best odds this year after finishing a league-worst 22-49-11 only one season after a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens have held the No. 1 pick an NHL record five times, however all those instances occurred between 1963 and 1980.

The last time a Canadian franchise besides the Edmonton Oilers or Toronto Maple Leafs had the top pick was in 1996 when the Ottawa Senators used it to take Chris Phillips.


The draft lottery underwent a couple tweaks to its format in 2021. Not only was there the addition of a 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, but the NHL downsized to two lotteries instead of three. There had been separate draws held for each of the top three picks from 2016 to 2020.

Two new changes go into effect this year and the main alteration is a big one. Teams will now be restricted from moving up more than 10 spots in the pre-draft order. This means that unlike in the preceding years, not all teams participating in the lottery are eligible to win one of the top two picks. The main purpose for this change was to ensure the team that finishes last in the standings in the regular season won’t be slated to pick any worse than third overall.

Also going forward, no team can win the top pick in the draft lottery more than twice in a five-year span. Whichever team wins the No. 1 pick on Tuesday will only be eligible to do so one more time between 2023 and 2026. The Oilers, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils each won the draft lottery multiple times over the past decade.


I'll have a post going up at 5:45pm so you folks can discuss the lottery picks.

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Nick Lidstrom On The Coaching Search

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is promising to leave no stone unturned in his search for the next coach of the team. They will be taking all qualified applicants under consideration.

Evidently, they are preparing to span the globe in pursuit of the next bench boss. Red Wings vice-president of hockey operations Nicklas Lidstrom offered indications that European coaches will be in the mix for the position.

Swedish coaches Rikard Grönborg of Swiss club Zurirch and Roger Rönnberg of Frölunda have been mentioned in speculation regarding the Detroit job. Canadian Cam Abbott, who coaches Rögle in Sweden, is another who has been connected to Red Wings coaching rumors.

“We will try to find the coach who is best suited for the Red Wings’ development going forward and who can help us get better,” Lidstrom explained to Swedish media site Aftonbladet.se. “Then we will see where that coach comes from.”...

“The process has not really started for us yet with candidates for a new coach for Red Wings,” Lidstrom said. “I do not really have any comments about the name of the coach yet. There will of course be a lot of speculation on possible candidates.”

read on

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Barry Trotz Could Be A Fit For The Wings

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

The New York Islanders’ decision to fire Barry Trotz could alter the look of the Detroit Red Wings’ coaching search.

First, the Red Wings could be interested in a proven coach like Trotz. Second, one of the Islanders’ possible Trotz replacements is Lane Lambert. He is a plausible Detroit coaching candidate because he is a highly respected assistant coach. Also, Yzerman knows Lambert from their days together as Detroit Red Wings players. Lambert has been Trotz’s right-hand man.

Trotz’s dismissal comes as a shock.  GM Lou Lamoriello said he believed the Islanders needed a new voice.

GM Steve Yzerman indicated he will be open-minded when it comes to choosing a replacement for Jeff Blashill. He’s not looking for a specific type of coach. However, one of the team’s priorities is improving the team’s defensive ability. Last season, the Red Wings ranked last in dangerous scoring chances given up. They were second-to-last in with a 3.78 goals-against average.


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Season Ending Grades

Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News with his season ending grades including the GM and the coach.

GENERAL MANAGER Steve Yzerman continues to grind away at a rebuild that is proving to be painstaking and difficult. The deals at the trade deadline were low-key this season, and the roster Yzerman put together — after a promising first half — faltered late. Yzerman's draft picks are beginning to arrive, and certainly Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond were outstanding. But much work remains. GRADE: C

COACH It's already been announced Jeff Blashill will not return next season. The difficult second-half schedule certainly played a part, but the Wings' collapse was more than just the schedule. The team defense was porous most nights and the special teams, for another season, were alarmingly ineffective. Blashill did a credible coaching job during the rebuild and got as most as he could out of his lineups. But it was likely time for a change. GRADE: D

read on ($$$) for the players in slideshow format...

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Player Grades And Elmer At The World Championship

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Beyond coaching, there were players who turned in mediocre performances, too, especially in the second half. Let's examine who got what grade, and why:

Tyler Bertuzzi: A
Age: 27.

Status: Signed through 2022-23 at a $4.75 million salary cap hit.

Stats: 30 goals, 32 assists, minus-11 in 68 games.

The buzz: He reached career highs in goals and assists, provided energy and grit and was missed in the nine games he couldn’t play in Canada because of his vaccination status.

Adam Erne: D
Age: 27.

Status: Signed through 2022-23 at a $2.1 million salary cap hit.

Stats: Six goals, 13 assists, minus-22 in 79 games.

Grade: Erne wasn't as productive as last season (11 goals, nine assists in 45 games) and didn’t provide energy on a consistent basis; had no power play points despite averaging nearly a minute per game on man advantages.

Filip Zadina: D
Age: 22.

Status: Expiring contract with $894,167 salary cap hit; restricted free agent.

Stats: 10 goals, 14 assists, minus-24 in 74 games.

Grade: Showed sporadic signs of productivity but went long stretches where he barely was noticeable; was given a chance to play in the top six and regular power play time and didn’t make much of it.

more (paid), all the dmen received C or D besides Seider A and Stall B+.

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

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Possible UFA Targets For The Wings

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

The Red Wings won’t do a deep dive into free agents. It is too soon. But Steve Yzerman knows his team needs to be more competitive than they were last season

But here some potential unrestricted free agent forwards the Red Wings could look at:

Center Vince Trocheck, Carolina Hurricanes

He has Michigan roots. Born in Pittsburgh, moved to Detroit when he was 13. Played in the Little Caesars program. His Ontario Hockey League career was spent in Saginaw and Plymouth. Most importantly, he registered 51 points this season. He has scored 20 or more goals four times. Trocheck also registered 185 hits this season. Would be a significant upgrade over Pius Suter at No. 2 center. Trocheck offers grit and fire. Very good on faceoffs. He has been at 54.4% for Carolina over the past three seasons. Quality defensive player. Hard to play against. The negative is he turns 29 this summer.

Center or wing Andrew Copp, New York Rangers

Grew up in Ann Arbor. Played quarterback for Ann Arbor Skyline.

more names...

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Yzerman’s Coaching Search

from Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic,

But in saying very little, Yzerman also gave a glimpse into his thought process as he ponders his most critical offseason move. Does he go with a known commodity behind the bench, someone that’s fallen into his sphere of influence over the years? Or look beyond that. The value of doing it the first way, which is also the more traditional path, is that Yzerman would know the successful candidate on a deeper level and they would start out on the same page. That carries less risk and NHL GMs tend to be a risk-averse group.

But as Yzerman was musing aloud about the process, he conceded he might need to push himself to look beyond his circle and consider candidates from other corners of the hockey world – a difficult concept to wrap his head around....

A name that’s constantly being bandied about in NHL circles is Lane Lambert’s, who is currently with Barry Trotz and the Islanders. Lambert and Yzerman have a history that dates back to their playing days, so he would certainly fit the bill of someone that Yzerman’s familiar with.

The problem with casting his net further afield, as Yzerman nicely articulated, is how does he – as a prospective employer – genuinely evaluate the contributions of an assistant coach when teams deliberately go out of their way to make them so anonymous. It’s very difficult.

But Yzerman acknowledged that he’s at least thinking along those terms, by noting that his search might also include assistant coaches currently involved in the NHL playoffs....

 Of course, if Boudreau moves on, does that then make Paul Maurice the favorite to land in Vancouver, if the game of musical coaching chairs is set in motion?

Or does he fit in with what Yzerman is looking for in Detroit? Way back, Maurice coached the Detroit Jr. Red Wings (1993-94 and 1994-95) and got them to the 1995 Memorial Cup final. He played his junior hockey in nearby Windsor with the Spitfires. He was behind the Carolina bench in 2002 when the Yzerman-captained Red Wings defeated the Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Final. At the age of 55, Maurice is seventh on the all-time NHL coaching wins list (775).

more ($$$), with other teams mentioned...

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Will You Pay $20 Per Month For Bally Sports?

from Sean Shapiro of The Athletic,

For fans — and teams for that matter — that have struggled with the fallout of Bally Sports’ regional networks and their carriage issues, some good news came this week.

The downside? It’s going to come at an additional cost for the consumer.

The Bally Sports RSNs, which are owned and operated by the Diamond Sports Group and a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, own the regional broadcast rights for a dozen American NHL teams, including the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers, who recently re-upped with Sinclair this season.

Because of carriage disputes, it’s not easy to find these channels if you don’t have DirecTV or Spectrum. Streaming services like YouTube TV and Sling used to carry the Bally RSNs, but have since dropped them, and Dish Network hasn’t carried the RSNs since 2019. When it comes to streaming games on a Bally RSN, the only option at this point is DirecTV Stream.

Out of both design and necessity, Diamond Sports Group has been angling to create its own direct-to-consumer solution, which it announced will be called Bally Sports+ on its quarterly call. The service is expected to have a soft launch this quarter and will come with an annual fee of $189.00 or $19.99 per month.

continued (paid)

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Building The Foundation And Who To Keep

from Nate Brown of Detroit Hockey Now,

Going all the way back to the 1996-97 team that snapped a 42-year Stanley Cup drought, the Red Wings were buoyed by five foundational players that the other players were built around. The five?

Steve Yzerman (drafted 4th overall in 1983)
Sergei Fedorov (drafted 74th overall in 1989)
Nicklas Lidstrom (drafted 53rd overall in 1989)
Brendan Shanahan (acquired via trade from Hartford in 1996).
Vladimir Konstantinov (drafted 221st overall in 1989)...

When looking at the 2007-08 Red Wings, several names come to mind as foundational pieces:

Henrik Zetterberg (drafted 210th overall in 1999)
Pavel Datsyuk  (drafted 171st overall in 1998)...

Larkin, Seider, and Raymond are Foundational Players
With Moritz Seider on the cusp of winning the Calder, and Lucas Raymond likely right behind him in voting, it doesn’t seem preordained to peg both as foundational pieces. They’re exactly what any organization hopes to snag with high picks in the draft.


from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

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Final Prospect Rankings Released By NHL Central Scouting Bureau

NEW YORK (May 5, 2022) – Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont.), a center from the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs, and Juraj Slafkovsky (Kosice, Slovakia), a left wing for TPS in Finland, rank No. 1 among North American and International skaters, respectively, as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau today released its final rankings for the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft.

Wright, who can become the first Frontenacs player selected No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft and the first OHL player since Connor McDavid in 2015, maintains the No. 1 spot he held in the mid-season rankings. Wright ranked eighth in the OHL with 32-62—94 in 63 games during the regular season and is currently skating in the second round of the OHL Playoffs (2-6—8 in 6 GP).

“Shane Wright is the complete package as an NHL prospect. He is a strong stride skater who possesses deceptive speed and quickness to beat defenders, evade checking or lead a rush,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “He has elite hockey sense with his vision, anticipation and composure to execute quickly on plays and has proven that he can carry the load and lead the way when it’s needed in game situations.”

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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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