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Abel to Yzerman

Still Rebuilding

from Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press,

Before we get to Derek Lalonde, I have an urgent matter I need to discuss and it happens to be about the Detroit Red Wings’ urgency, or lack thereof.

So let me take you back to April 19, 2019 — the day Steve Yzerman was introduced as Wings general manager.

Here’s what Yzerman said that day: “This takes time, and this organization has been through it before. I can't give you a specific timeline, but we are going to do this in the way that I believe will get us to where we need to be.”

And now, three years later, where exactly are the Wings? Still rebuilding, that’s where.

At every turn since that first news conference, Yzerman has balked at offering a timeline for a return to the playoffs. They’ve missed six straight postseasons.

So now they have a new coach, Lalonde, who is promising us … wait for it. Yep ... no timeline for the playoffs or marked improvement, and more talk about the hottest thing in sports rebuilds: The process.


As I mentioned yesterday, the Free Press and News no longer marks the article as Subscription, so every click of a link may be an adventure.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


TreKronor's avatar

Never heard of this Carlos guy, I am guessing he’s either drive by media or just doesn’t understand how the league works.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/03/22 at 09:41 AM ET


I no longer live in Michigan, so I couldn’t read the whole article however….it’s easy to criticize any of the 31 teams that didn’t win the Cup this year or the 16 teams that didn’t make the playoffs.  The Cup is the goal and not the playoffs.  Draft, develop and patience.  Mr. Monarrez seemingly unlike most Wing fans has little patience.  Yzerman has been here for 3 years.  Holland failed to draft well during his tenure.  Yzerman came in with little in the way of prospects.  He was starting at pretty much zero.  The Wings haven’t made the playoffs in 6 years, but the rebuild started 3 years ago.  I am 73 and have patience that I will see another Cup Final before I leave the planet.

Posted by MABO on 07/03/22 at 09:42 AM ET


This must be his first article because Carlos is an I idiot.

Posted by SevensForTed on 07/03/22 at 09:55 AM ET


Has Carlos ever heard of Ken Holland?

Posted by pnwwing on 07/03/22 at 10:18 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

The Wings started their foray into non-contention 6 years ago. Even then, years and years of draft ineptitude and bad contracts by the Holland regime set them back.

We are just now seeing the fruits of Yzerman’s labor. There is no and has been no Connor McDavid out there waiting for the Wings to pluck to immediately turn the franchise around.

Patience we will indeed have. They haven’t reached Tigers levels….

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/03/22 at 10:19 AM ET


Seriously, he inherited a nearly empty prospect cupboard and a number of albatross contracts that are only just now all off the books. Anybody paying attention to things knew this was going to take awhile to rebuild the foundation.

Posted by RyanVM on 07/03/22 at 10:35 AM ET


I guess he’s not a lions fan

Posted by akwingsfan on 07/03/22 at 10:58 AM ET


It would be fair to say Yzeman did not start at zero when he came. In fact he started in negative territory. First 2 years he got the team to zero and now he will be getting them above the ground. I am optimistic.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/03/22 at 11:10 AM ET

ChillDistiller's avatar

The article is Subscriber Only. Not sure what you’re seeing Paul.

Posted by ChillDistiller from Michigan on 07/03/22 at 11:13 AM ET

Paul's avatar

CD, When I went to the article it was available since I bought a sub.  I then signed out and was still able to see the article and both papers used to mark it as Subscribed or something like that.  Lately there has been no message like that.

I am just trying to make it easier to give readers the heads up but the papers are not helping.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/03/22 at 11:17 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Imagine putting out this article as your Subscriber Only content….

Posted by Primis on 07/03/22 at 11:23 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Maybe he is patterning himself after the late, Drew Sharp.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/03/22 at 11:25 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

there are some hilarious comments here, good for some laughs.

Don’t know who the writer is, but even though the Wings team still was bad at some fundamentals, like keeping the puck out of its own net, for the first time in years their recent draft picks are showing a lot of potential.  Certainly not enough talent on the roster yet but with continued draft success the team will be more than a hodgepodge of players thrown together as we had in Holland’s last few years.

Posted by RWBill on 07/03/22 at 11:35 AM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Well, on a positive note, no one is blaming Trump for the painfully slow progress!

Whatever happened to Tic Tock….is he still in the hockey biz?

LGRW !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, sing along The YzerMan Can!...... on 07/03/22 at 11:47 AM ET


Posted by Primis on 07/03/22 at 11:23 AM ET

If “news” sites don’t start putting out real quality content and not this dribble, which appears to be from someone who started watching hockey a few years ago, they’ll end up like CNN+

$300 million later and you have nothing.

Except sites like the DFP don’t have hundreds of millions to waste.

I can’t imagine they are making more money now than 5 years ago with this paid article crap.

Posted by retrospecd on 07/03/22 at 11:50 AM ET

bigfrog's avatar

t does take time. As far as I’m concerned, there is no point in the Reds Wings making the playoffs just to get blown out in the first round. Better to miss them for better draft position instead( for now). confused

Posted by bigfrog on 07/03/22 at 01:04 PM ET


All I want from a coach is the sense that the sum is greater than the parts.  I have not felt that bar met in some time and I’m hopeful for the change.

Posted by Ventr on 07/03/22 at 03:30 PM ET

RhymeTimeWingsDings's avatar

@akwingsfan *that’s* Detroit sports humor lol!

Posted by RhymeTimeWingsDings on 07/03/22 at 03:31 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by MABO on 07/03/22 at 09:42 AM ET

No, no, no...I hate that you all are making me defend KH as I hate him as much if not more than anyone here.

I was calling for KH’s firing in the early 2010’s. He screwed the Wings cap wise, he traded way too many 1st rounders to continue to meet ownership playoff demands, and had a team that was loaded with under-producing but overpaid vets—-BUT didn’t leave the cupboards bare. Here are some names you are forgetting: Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Hronek, Anthony Mantha, Michael Rasmussen, Gustav Lindstrom, Givani Smith.

KH’s draft picks were starting in
2010: #21,  2011: #24, 2012: #49, 2013: #18, 2014: #15, 2015: #19, 2016: #16, 2017: #9, 2018: #6

NEWSFLASH PEOPLE: you are not going to find franchise players at these pick numbers Frankly, KH/Scouting dept was lucky to find Larkin and Mantha from these pick numbers.

You can say he blew the Zadina pick—but everyone thought Zadina was going 3rd that year. Rasmussen’s draft year was just not very good (Nick Suzuki was way too undersized in what the Wings were seeking at the time and he’s the only player you can say should have been taken instead of Ras).

Yet at the end KH did do it right as far in that he traded away all the vets he could (except maybe Mike Green because he didn’t hold him out to prevent an injury) for picks and left that draft pick cupboard somewhat stocked.

Here are those names they got because of those picks: Alex Nedeljkovic, Joseph Veleno, Jonatan Berggren,  Albert Johansson, Robert Mastrosimone, Eemil Viro, Gustav Berglund

And by the way the rebuild started in Feb 2017. Not 3 years ago. You know that by what the GM did at the trade deadline.

Tomas Jurco for a 2017 3rd (which became Keith Petruzzelli)
Brendan Smith for 2018 2nd (which became Jonatan Berggren) & 2017 3rd (which became Zachary Gallant)
Thomas Vanek for a 2017 3rd (which became Kasper Kotkansalo) & Dylan McIlrath
Steve Ott for a 2018 6th

Riley Sheahan for Scott Wilson and swapping a 5th rounder for a 3rd rounder (which became Jesper Eliasson)
Scott Wilson for a 2019 5th round pick (which became Gustav Berglund & Carter Gylander as Detroit traded down in the draft)
Petr Mrazek for 2018 & 2019 3rd round picks (which became Seth Barton &  Ronnie Attard)
Tomas Tatar for 2018 1st, a 2019 2nd, & 2021 3rd (which became Joseph Veleno, Robert Mastrosimone, & Alex Nedeljkovic through a trade for his signing rights)
Nick Jensen for Madison Bowey & swapping a 2019 5th for a 2020 2nd (which became Cross Hanas)
Gustav Nyquist for 2019 2nd ( Albert Johansson) and a 2020 3rd which was traded down in the draft for (Eemil Viro &  Alex Cotton)

Then you can add young players Yzerman was able to move that KH drafted with the return being: Sebastian Cossa and Theodor Niederbach.

Yzerman then traded a couple of young KH players (Andreas Athanasiou for Sam Gagner, 2020 2nd (which became Theodor Niederbach via trade down) and a 2021 2nd (which became Nick Leddy),  (Mantha for Vrana and a 2021 1st which was packaged and became Sebastian Cossa).

Yzerman even lost on a trade of one of KH’s prospects: when he swapped Alec Regula for Brendan Perlini.

So, Yzerman didn’t start anywhere near zero.Some of it was prospects forcing their way onto the team because it was so bad or because of OHL transfer rights like Ras vs Cal Foote or Gabriel Vilardi—whereas under a good team they would have developed longer in the AHL.  Especially Zadina who has played almost a full season more than #5 pick Barrett Hayton.

So stop making me defend KH…he didn’t leave Yzerman with nothing. It was more the Wings kept holding onto the idea that making the playoffs was the goal instead of competing for a Cup—which is the exact reason I hated Holland at the time.

Posted by d ca on 07/03/22 at 04:18 PM 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

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