Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Open Post- Talking Detroit Red Wings And The NHL

The Wings are off until Friday when they will play a back to back 2 game series in Columbus to wrap up their season.

So we have some time to talk about the team.

Let's start off with a "what's on your mind" regarding the Wings.

Start the conversation and see where it goes.

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Comments

Paul's avatar

A few from me.

Most improved, Michael Rasmussen.  He looks different, seems much more motivated on every shift and his skating has improved.  I trust him in most situations.

Put Filip Zadina in the category too.  What’s impressed me is his 200ft. game, much better than last season.

Joe Veleno in his limited games has not looked out of place.  He will only get better when he adjusts to the speed of the game.

Regarding Blashill, I think the team needs a new voice and have been saying he will not be retained but it’s my opinion, no inside information from me.

The Wing need a #1 center to help stabilize the team.  How they go about attaining one is the question.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/03/21 at 09:51 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Wings need a new voice, but won’t be surprised if Blashill is back. I’ll laugh because the reactions will be GREAT.

Zadina I want more goals. 6 in 47 games aint cutting it for someone who was supposed to be a top 3 pick.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/03/21 at 10:40 AM ET

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I agree with you Paul 100% Ras and Z have been the best part of this short injury-plagued season.

What do you think about a guy like Nugent-Hopkins as a free agent? I’d be shocked if Yzerman swung for that type of player, but he could provide some skilled veteran leadership for our top 6 unlike Nielsen and Fil.

At any rate, the wings will also need to spend around 27mil to get to the cap floor next season. Our RFA’s will get us close, but we’ll learn a lot about the rebuild timing depending on how Yzerman chooses to get there (taking on salary for picks, verses signing players). I’d rather he sign one quality player and let the young guys fight for the remaining spots as opposed to signing a bunch of filler contracts like he did this past season (which was necessary after deciding to let the young guys develop overseas).

I think the Wings should hold on to Staal for a veteran presence, he’s proven enough to me. legorocks99 did a great video midseason about how Staal and Stetcher was actually the best D-pair in the league allowing the fewest goals when paired together. I’m not sure where they rank now, but that seems like a solid veteran spring board for Cholo, Lindstrom, and Seider, who should all see regular time next year. Plus you have Hronek, Djoos, and Dekeyser (who will likely be injured)

 

 

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 05/03/21 at 10:48 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I asked this question last week, didn’t circle back to see if anyone answered.

Who are we going to expose?  The Kracken are not taking any of our exposed forwards, the question is on defense.  Do we protect Stecher who is only signed for 1 more year and is then a UFA, or do we protect both Cholo and Lindstrom? 

A month ago, it would’ve been a hard choice, I think both have played well enough that I don’t want to give up any player that is on a cheap deal under team control with room to grow, I’m exposing Stetcher.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/03/21 at 11:03 AM ET

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I am genuinely excited about our team as I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. We have been looking like a solid NHL team (in terms of structure at least) for over 2 months now.
Next year with Larkin, Fabbri, Bert, Seider, maybe two Swede forwards, it should be even more exciting.
To be a playoff team we not only need a 1C, but also 1D. I doubt we will get one with the 7th pick in the draft.
I am fine with Blashill returning and I am fine with a new coach also.
I doubt Yzerman goes for any long term expensive UFA signing. Hamilton will be nice in terms of getting the puck to our forwards and making our flow of the game better. But it’s going to take 6-7 years at around $7 mil.
RNH will be nice for 3 years, he also might demand 6-7 for his last big deal.
Good question about who to expose. I would keep Cholo as he is very fluent skating and started playing better defense. I really like Stetcher and have not been concentrating too much on Lindstrom. But I think due to age, I will aldd also keep the Swede, but if he is no more than a third pair guy, keeping Statcher would be fine for me too.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/03/21 at 11:29 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Rasmussen is clearly our most improved player, if he builds on this season, I’m very excited to see what he can become, he’s got real good mobility for a player of that size and at times has been very physical.  I was a little disappointed yesterday that when the physicality ratcheted up, he stopped hitting, he’ll be 23 next year, I hope if/when those situations pop up, he’s not afraid to toss his body around, not to set any tones or anything, just don’t play different.

Begs a question, does Yzerman go out and sign a UFA center? If he does, what’s that mean for Ram and Veleno, do they move to a #3 and #4 centers?

Zadina has also rounded out, I think once we can put a consistent top 6 out there,  he’ll be playing along side Bert, Verena or Fabri between either Larks or Ram, and will be a lot more productive. Not to mention hopefully having someone competent at the Key on our PP, that is the secret sauce to an effective/productive power play.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/03/21 at 11:52 AM ET

Paul's avatar

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Three weeks have passed since Steve Yzerman got an A-plus for his trade deadline dealings, specifically acquiring Jakub Vrana as part of the package return for sending Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals.

He has six goals in nine games with the Wings, and that doesn’t include the beauty of a shootout goal in the 1-0 victory over the Lightning over the weekend, because shootout goals don’t count as individual statistics.

Vrana leads the Wings with seven points since April 12, and has played in a lineup that lacked Tyler Bertuzzi, Bobby Ryan and Robby Fabbri and, since April 20, Dylan Larkin.

Both Vrana and Mantha scored in their debuts. But Mantha hasn’t had as hot a scoring hand, with four goals total among six points. He plays in a lineup that includes Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin (Ovechkin has missed four games in the three-week span).

Mantha, 26, is minus-2 on a team competing for first in its division. Vrana, 25, is plus-2 on a team second-from-last in its division.

continued

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/03/21 at 12:39 PM ET

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I agree with Paul on most everything he wrote.  I am pleased with what Ras is doing.  He was doing this last year in GR.  He no longer is just a tree.  What is great is that he is starting to make plays and not worrying about it when he does it.  That is just human to not want to make mistakes.  He also is a big guy who historically take longer to develope.  Z is improving as well.  He is about maybe .4 points per game.  It’s his first full year.  Veleno can skate.  Cholo is only -2 after 14 games.  On this team that is great.  He also only has one point, but likely that is fine now.  I’d rather see him protect vs. going gang busters offensively…we know how that worked out in the past.  Protect him.  We need a #1 center.  Larkin is a #2.  He needs to use his wingers more instead of trying to do it all himself.  Draft:  were do we fall or (rise maybe????)  I trust Steve and Verbeek.  Do we go after a FA center now?  Nope.  We are not going anywhere for at least 2-3 years.  Any FA center will be 30 or 31 then if signed now.  FA defenseman?  Next year wouldn’t we fall in love with Seth Jones.  Fast and a great skater.  His skills won’t diminish as fast as a forward likely and historically. Next year maybe.

Posted by MABO on 05/03/21 at 01:34 PM ET

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With the potential dmen available and deals still to be made, I don’t think they’d get enough value out of cholo or Lindstrom to take them.  Panik or Namestikov would be my candidates.

Stetcher is a no brainer.

Posted by ThatGuy on 05/03/21 at 01:41 PM ET

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Just heard Malkin is retiring?

Posted by ThatGuy on 05/03/21 at 01:43 PM ET

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Lol returning.  Getting old sucks. -_-

Posted by ThatGuy on 05/03/21 at 01:44 PM ET

Paul's avatar

TG, you owe me one minute of my life back!

You sent me scrambling especially since I tweeted he will be in the lineup tonight.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/03/21 at 01:46 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

With the potential dmen available and deals still to be made, I don’t think they’d get enough value out of cholo or Lindstrom to take them.  Panik or Namestikov would be my candidates.
Stetcher is a no brainer.
Posted by ThatGuy on 05/03/21 at 01:41 PM ET

You’d protect Stecher over Cholo or Lindstrom?

Why would the Kraken take a 4th line forward, with 1 year to UFA, over two kids with team control? If Stevie leaves Stetcher available, its possible they take Namestov, or Hirose.

Just heard Malkin is retiring?
Posted by ThatGuy on 05/03/21 at 01:43 PM ET

He’s returning to the lineup

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/03/21 at 01:49 PM ET

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If I’m Seattle I’d attempt to build good will with SY by working with him on the Detroit pick.  I don’t think that any player taken will have an on ice impact, so look for secondary payoff.

Posted by Ventr on 05/03/21 at 04:16 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

We have been looking like a solid NHL team (in terms of structure at least) for over 2 months now.

I noticed they played with structure lately which resulted in being in more games, and being blown out less. As for Coach Blashill coming back, flip a coin. smile

Posted by bigfrog on 05/03/21 at 06:06 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

I am just hoping for Larkin and Tbert to be back with no lingering issues. Hoping Steve can find a steal during the expansion draft from a team with too many good players to protect.

I would like to see the roster cleaned of a few vets and Hirose brought up for more offense. This team has too many 4th line d only grinders. Bring back Staal and Gagner and that’s about it.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/03/21 at 08:10 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I think the operative theme next season is gonna be:  “Who’s gonna be a driver?”  I think that’s the next step.  Under Yzerman:  first season is strictly looking at what he’s got and lining up his priorities.  Second season is seeing if there is marked improvement up and down the lineup (by extension - coaching as well).  Third season is probably finding out who can drive lines and sustain it for a whole season.  I think we’re gonna miss out on the playoffs again next season, but not without kicking some ass along the way.  We will have fun next season.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/03/21 at 08:21 PM ET

SYF's avatar

And that wasn’t the answer to the question!  lol

Ras and Zadina are the most improved and I enjoyed seeing them embracing playing both sides of the puck.  Erne to me was a huge surprise.  In the few games I watched him play, he had wheels a bit like Draper - constantly churning.  Hronek plateau’d and I was high on him at the start of the season.  The tandem of Bernier and Greiss with Pickard spotting in once in a while was above average in effort and in some nights, they really gave us chances to win some games.  I’m proud of that.

Coaching…

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/03/21 at 08:25 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

I didn’t realize Hirose is a UFA so he might not be back.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/03/21 at 09:05 PM ET

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I didn’t realize Hirose is a UFA so he might not be back.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/03/21 at 09:05 PM ET

Yeah i’m not sure what happened there but i’d be real surprised to see him back, maybe if Detroit is the only team to offer him a deal. I thought he looked good last year and could have provided more offense than frans, filppula, helm, gagne but never got a callup.

Posted by MZ2215 on 05/04/21 at 06:48 AM ET

WingDingy's avatar

First of all, while I’m happy with our goaltending this year, neither Bernier or Greiss are long term solutions.  I see nothing that makes me think we have an NHL caliber goaltender in the system.  Over the medium to long haul, that’s a shortcoming that needs to be addressed.

Unlike others, I’m not sold on Zadina.  He was drafted as a goal scorer, but he rarely scores.  in three seasons (albeit some partial) he’s played 84 games and scored a total of 37 points (15 goals and 22 assists.  His +/- is -21.  And to say he’s not a mucker would be an understatement.  In 84 games he been penalized just once!  I still rue the day we took Zadina over Quinn Hughes.  One last pie in the face from Ken Holland, arguably the most overrated general managers in the modern history of the NHL.

On the upside, and as others have already pointed out, Michael Rasmussen looks like he may be the real deal.  You just don’t find guys his size with the kind of soft hands and puck sense he’s shown over the last couple of months.  While I don’t think he’ll ever be the kind of net front presence Tomas Holmstrom once was, he could wind up being part of the conversation.

Got to see more from Larkin and we need to keep Bertuzzi healthy. He’s the kind of guy who consistently shows up in areas you can’t measure with statistics…until and unless they create a category for pests.

Lastly, we need help on the blue line.  The group we’ve seen this year is not going to get it done going forward.  When you don’t have a single guy who you can call indispensable, you’ve got problems. Moritz Seider, where for art thou?

My two cents.

Posted by WingDingy on 05/04/21 at 09:33 AM ET

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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