Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Sunday Odds and Ends

Couple of interesting quotes from Chris Chelios on WDFN regarding the Williams/Torres situation. Among them were , "it's not over yet;" a reference to the fact that the Wings have two more games (regular season) with Edmonton and this situation has yet to be resolved by the players. Chelios also tells a story of Williams showing up at the rink the next morning, in scrubs, with dried blood in his hair. Listen to the entire interview here. Bruce MacLeod, a quality deep digger with the Macomb Daily Tribune, has some views on the Torres hit. Pretty strong views.

Raffi Torres was not finishing his check. Not this past Wednesday night, not when he knocked Jason Williams unconscious, not when he expressed afterwards that it was part of the physical nature of hockey. Not a chance.
MacLeod believes Torres had Danny Markov's hit on Jared Stoll (from two weeks prior) in mind when he drilled Williams. Dan Cleary is on fire. Well, for a Red Wing he is. The empty netter he scored Friday against Bubba was his fourth of the year and leaves him just behind Zetterberg and Lang for the team lead. According to the Detroit Free Press, the logical explanation is that his mom's in town.
"She always brought good luck," Cleary said of his mother. "I said it before she got here, I would score when she got here." Babcock apparently has a plan to keep Cleary going when his mother leaves town. "I told Drapes to make sure he gives him a big hug every day from now on," Babcock joked.
Oh yes, an implosion is on the way. That lockerroom is in utter disarray. Dave Lewis is having a tough go of it in Boston. It's tough to see because he's a nice guy. But it's not exactly surprising because, well, he's a nice guy. Milford Daily News
Lewis knows a thing or two about winning teams, and about turning around a moribund franchise. He served as an assistant and later head coach in Detroit, where the Red Wings rose from basement dweller to champion. "I came to Detroit when they were called the Dead Wings and I left when they were finished winning three Cups," said Lewis.
Yes, they did Dave. I'm thinking Scotty Bowman may have had something to do with that. Terry Frei writes this morning about Patrick Roy, and the swagger he brought with him. According to Frei two of the most memorable press conferences he ever covered featured Roy. He mentions Roy's reply to Jeremy Roenick when he said his ears were plugged with Stanley Cups as one, and Roy's open challenge to the Red Wings in '97 as the other.
I'll never forget that news conference on an off day when they were down, and they were struggling. He walked into a room in a hotel there and basically challenged the Red Wings to beat him by himself. He sounded like he should have been in 'Animal House,' giving the speech John Belushi made.
Yep, we fondly recall that too. A blog we like, The Puck Stops Here, believes there is one clear pick for MVP of this young season.
Nicklas Lidstrom leads the NHL in +/- with a +17 rating. He has 14 points in 16 games and has been a power on the Red Wings blueline for almost 26 minutes a game. That is why I pick Nicklas Lidstrom as the MVP of the season to date.

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“He’s got an office and everything.”

Steve Yzerman is making the transition from player to executive. And those around him, his former teammates and his newly-found peers, are watching the adjustment with some amusement.

"Yeah, he's got an office and everything," said Wings winger Kirk Maltby. Yzerman is a vice-president with the club after spending more than two decades as captain in Detroit. "I think he's getting the idea what being a general manager is all about, the time commitment ... I think I may have talked him out of it," laughed current Wings GM Ken Holland, who welcomed the retired Detroit captain into the management club a few months ago to mentor him along with longtime Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.
More from the Edmonton Journal.

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Hot Stove Talk: Dats and Wings far apart

Pierre LeBrun said tonite on CBC's Hot Stove that the Wings and Pavel Datsyuk are far apart in contract negotiations. Datsyuk's agent was in Detroit this week to begin talks with Kenny Holland. It would appear the trip was wasted. Also, Igor Larionov will be hosting a charity hockey game in Moscow's Red Square on December 9th. Proceeds will go to Russian players from the 70's and 80's. Scotty Bowman is scheduled to attend.

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JLA Not The Barn It Used To Be

Earlier today I posted a blurb from a new blog called Hot Oil. Alanah, the writer from H.O, essentially called out Wing fans and said that if Detroit truly deserved the title of "Hockeytown" fans wouldn't be leaving midway through the third, staying silent during a game against the team that gave us the Punch In The Face and pretty much sleeping through an exciting, hard-hitting contest. Care to argue with her? Check out the comment to that post from O-Joe. He says he can't, literally, give tickets away to Wing games this year. You want to blame the lockout? Go ahead. Blame the first round losses? Sure.

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Vote Early And Often, Just Not For Dom

Yep. The NHL's going to an all online All Star voting system this year. According to the official press release from the NHL office, fans will be able to vote via their cell phones and on NHL.com. But, Wing fans, if you're looking for the goaltender leading the league in GAA and shutouts, well...don't strain your eyes. Because Dominik Hasek isn't even on the list of nominees. Hasek is sporting a GAA of 1.75 (1st), save percentage of .911 (11th), 3 shutouts (1st) and 8 wins (3rd). Nikolai Khabibulin owns a GAA of 3.36, 4 wins, 0 shutouts, 6 games played and a save percentage of .890. None of those are in the top 30. But, you can vote for him if you'd like. The other goalies you have to choose from? * Manny Fernandez, (2.17, .928, 8 wins, 1 shutout) * J.S. Giguere, (1.98, .928, 9 wins, 2 shutouts) * Miikka Kiprusoff, (2.44, .921, 6 wins, 2 shutouts) * Roberto Luongo, (2.45, .907, 8 wins, 1 shutout) * Dwayne Roloson, (2.47, .918, 7 wins, 1 shutout) * Marty Turco, (1.84, .931, 10 wins, 1 shutout) * Tomas Vokoun, (2.81, .912, 7 wins, 1 shutout) Those last seven goalies listed clearly belong on the ballot. But more than Hasek? It's a curious thing that he was left off, considering his career body of work and the fact that the league wouldn't have to defend itself by putting him on. Also add in the fact that he's at least top ten in every category but one, and leading in two? Four Wings are eligible for your votes: Nick Lidstrom, Matthieu Schneider, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

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Analyzing The Forbes List

By now you've probably seen the Forbes list of most valuable franchises. Christy at Behind the Jersey breaks down the Wing-specific segments for us.

A few interesting tidbits from the Detroit section… 1) The average Red Wings game ticket is $51, which is $6 more than the New York Rangers’ average ticket but $19 less on average than the Toronto Maple Leafs’ tickets. The Dallas Stars worth $10 million less than the Wings has the average ticket price at $60. And here I am complaining about ticket prices at the Joe. 2) I thought that it was interesting that the Detroit revenue has fallen from the 2003-2004 season, which the Wings made $97 million, to the $89 million revenue from last season. In 2001-2002, the Wings not only won the Cup but made $114 million in revenue and were valued at $268 million.

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  Tags: fellow+bloggers, ilitch

Young Yzerman

Looking around You Tube today and found this video. Grainy, not the best quality but...wow. If it's been a while since you've seen highlights of the early stages of Yzerman's career, take a look. Watch this and you'll have no doubt why Blackhawk fans have nightmares about #19.

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  Tags: video, yzerman

On JLA crowds, Williams and hits to the head

Pointing you to a couple of places this morning addressing Wednesday's Oil/Wing game, the crowd at JLA and the hit on Williams. First, a dose of bitterness from Alanah at Hot Oil (a recent addition to the blogroll on the left).

Whenever I hear Detroit referred to as "Hockeytown" without a trace of irony, it's all I can do to keep my head from exploding. Hockeytown, my ass. In a true "Hockeytown," fans would stick around the arena until the final buzzer or, you know, actually sell out the games in the first place. In a true "Hockeytown," the cheers when Winchester was knocked flat on his back tonight would have been deafening. In reality, all the TSN microphones were able to pick up were a few halfhearted "whoo"s. Pathetic.
I grudgingly see her point (although it would have been better received had it not come the day after the Wings dominated her team). Dead crowd, or so it appeared on tv, last night too. Two big rivalry games and a fairly mild audience. Before you blame the fans though, Alanah, you might want to point the finger at the organ-I-zation. While we're on the subject of the Oil/Wing game, we return to The Hit. I've expressed my opinion that I believe it was clean. Some of you disagreed, and I can see why. It's turned into quite the debate. I'm going to point you to two different sites where opinions are being intelligently expressed. Matt Saler and Brian List are really nailing this topic at On The Wings, as is Jeff from SISU Hockey. I suggest you visit both sites and read the accumulation of opinions on the Torres hit, and hits to the head in general.

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  Tags: attendance, fellow+bloggers

More Housekeeping: A2Y Glossary

The A2Y Glossary is back. Now, hold your horses. I'd stricken a few. "Sasquatch" doesn't apply because Pronger kicked our butts. The inevitable self-destruction we called "the implosion" didn't occur so I took that out, too. And, I think another entry may carry the same title soon so it's gone for now. There may be a few others I've forgotten. If you recall any, please let me know and I'll get them back in there. You can find the glossary under the Head to Hockeytown section on the left, or click here. As always, if you have suggestions feel free to comment here or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Game 1 To Wings

I know. This is Bubba's year. It's his division. This is finally the season he waddles to the top of it and stays there for decades, establishing the dynasty in America's Mid South that we knew was coming down the pike. It's got to be frustrating for Barry Trotz, the Nashville faithful and the 6 Pred fans outside the Nashville area. Just when the geniuses were certain the Wings were ready to fade into mediocrity, they do the unlikely. I'm not talking about winning one game, or even 8. What we may be seeing is a philosophical transformation. First, the game...more deep ruminations (sorry Bubba..."thoughts") later. Andres Lilja and Brad Norton scratched. Lilja may never see the ice again in Detroit. I'm serious. Well, not completely serious. But considering the type of defense the Wings are playing, I can't imagine Mike Babcock is too willing to make even the slightest blue line change unless he has to (which he might...see below).

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  Tags: central, hasek, hudler, lang, lidstrom, maltby, schneider, zetterberg

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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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