Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

At First, Jakub Vrana Didn’t Like The Trade To Detroit

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Originally, though, Vrana didn’t think that leaving Washington for Detroit was a capital idea. According to his longtime youth coach Zbynek Zvadil, Jakub Vrana was initially quite sour about the idea.

Speaking to Czech news service idnes.cz, Zvadil told a tale that gave indications that it wasn’t love at first sight when Vrana made the move into the Red Wings lineup.

“He didn’t count on it at all, but it just happened,” Zvadil said of the trade. “He was a little mad about it....

“Washington is a nice city and Detroit has taken it away due to the fall of the car industry,” Zvadil explained. “He loved Washington, (the city) got along with him.”...

“In Detroit, it’s going to be the other way around on the ice,” Zvadil said. “He’s playing in the front line, going to (the) power play. They put together a new team. If he gets space, he will score a lot.”


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Video- Coming In June Wings/Avs

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One Win Against The Avs

This version of Mitch Albom’s Game 6 column for the Detroit Free Press appears in “Stanleytown 25 Years Later: The Inside Story of How the Stanley Cup Returned to the Motor City After 41 Frustrating Seasons.”...

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

The game was in the final minute, the Colorado goalie was pulled, and finally … finally … there really was nothing standing between the team and the dream. Brendan Shanahan raced to a loose puck, took good aim and put that baby in the open basket, unleashing a flood of noise that could be heard all the way to the Rocky Mountains.

Guess who’s coming for Stanley — again? From a warm summer Saturday, two years ago, deep in the swamps of New Jersey, the Red Wings had been waiting to get back to this night. Waiting for a chance to redeem their squandered potential, to correct the road they mistakenly turned off when last they journeyed to the Stanley Cup Finals.

“This team has so much character,” said a sweaty but happy Mike Vernon, the goaltending hero of the series, after the Wings dethroned defending champion Colorado with a 3-1 victory that sealed the Western Conference finals, four games to two. “Now we’re going for the big one.”

Well. One big one at a time. This night was already a Game 7 disguised as a Game 6. The Wings dared not blink. They did not blink. They dared not tire. They never tired. They dared not lose. And so they did not lose.


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A Change For Dylan Larkin

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More Coaching Candidates And Plans For Pius Suter

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Who are some of the leading candidates that are available, or have become available after being let go by other teams?

Spencer Carbery- 

- Pros: Carbery, 40, has been successful at every level he's coached in the minor leagues and is currently an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Carbery was in charge of the Leafs' successful power play, and has been praised for his communicative skills.

- Cons: Carbery doesn't have much NHL coaching experience, and for that matter, only four years in the AHL. Could be a big payoff, but the lack of NHL experience is somewhat worrisome.

David Carle

- Pros: Carle coached Denver to the NCAA championship this season, and two Frozen Fours in the past four seasons. Carle has three Wings draft picks on his current roster, the development staff is extremely familiar with him, and is a great tactician.

- Cons: Carle is only 32, and has only been a head coach for four years (assistant at Denver four years prior). It would seem like too little experience for a position like head coach of the Red Wings.


from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Continue Reading »

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The Game Has Started Clicking For Michael Rasmussen

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

...he finished with an NHL career-high 15 goals, including seven over the final 16 games. In his last five games of the season, Rasmussen scored three goals, had one assist and put 16 shots on net.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound center played with a purpose on both ends of the ice, and he was the type of physical force opponents will, or could, have difficulty matching up with in the future.

"(The season) was positive overall,” Rasmussen said during a season-ending media call. “I took a lot of strides in the right direction, got better at some stuff I needed to get better at. I just gained more experience, so individually it was good for me.”

Larkin talked about the confidence Rasmussen was playing with, and it was apparent. Completing this third NHL season, and only being 23, the NHL game was beginning to become natural and he was able to slow it down.

"It just kind of comes with confidence and with figuring things out," Rasmussen said. "Maybe I just started to kind of figure it out, maybe got some luck. I can't really put a finger on it. I try to play the same kind of way, play hard the right way.

"But maybe it's just kind of me slowly understanding it and stuff clicking for me."


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The Search For A Coach

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The list of potential coaching candidates for the Detroit Red Wings is long, including familiar faces who have had success with multiple NHL teams, some with a Stanley Cup championship on their resume.

Or maybe general manager Steve Yzerman will hire an up-and-coming NHL assistant coach, an AHL head coach ready for the next level, or a promising college or major junior coach....

If there is a most-compelling candidate, it’s Barry Trotz, the long-time Nashville coach who won a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018 and was fired by the New York Islanders two weeks ago.

But Trotz has several options, including Vegas, Dallas, Winnipeg, Chicago and Philadelphia, other teams with coaching vacancies. Trotz, who turns 60 in July, has one year remaining on his contract with the Islanders at $4 million and might opt to take a year off and return in 2023-24, when there will be other, possibly more desirable destinations.

The same could apply to former Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, 59, the other high-profile coaching free agent who has one year remaining on his contract with Toronto at $5 million.

Wherever Trotz and Babcock go, it’s probably not going to be for a short-term deal at a team-friendly price.

The list of available names includes many others with NHL experience: Pete DeBoer, Paul Maurice, John Tortorella, Joel Quenneville, Claude Julien, Dave Tippet, Alain Vigneault, Rick Tocchet, Kirk Muller and Jim Montgomery.


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The Future Of Lucas Raymond And Suter vs. Seider In The WC

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

Eighteen of Raymond’s goals came at even-strength. “Raymond does have good vision,” Blashill said. “He’s got real goopoise with the puck. I think where he’s gained through the course of the season is his confidence level in those situations that he can spend a little more time with the puck and make some plays and he’s got real ability to do that. He’s just going to continue to grow. He’s got a great competitiveness. He wants to be a great player and he wants to win and those are great qualities.”

Nobody on the Red Wings speculates about how many goals Raymond will average when he’s in his prime. All we know for sure is that he has a high ceiling.

more (I could not do any more Blashill quotes)...

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Detroit Red Wings players are filling key roles on both sides as Switzerland and Germany are facing off on Tuesday for first place in Group A at the IIHF World Championship.

Red Wings center Pius Suter and the Swiss are atop the group with a perfect 6-0 record. Detroit defenseman Moritz Seider and Germany are 5-0-1. The difference in the standings is that the Swiss beat Canada 6-3, while the Canadians handled the Germans 5-3.

“It’s a special duel,” Calder Trophy favorite Seider told German website n-de.tv.


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Coaching Fit For The Detroit Red Wings

from Scott Burnside of the Daily Faceoff,

To be clear, no one will balk at getting an NHL head coaching job. There are just 32, after all. But these openings are not created equally, so let’s have a look at how the current vacancies size up, with some pros and cons and who might be good fits....


The Red Wings have all kinds of shiny young assets starting with Moritz Seider, who should be the rookie of the year in our books. And they have the eighth-overall pick in this summer’s draft. And you are in a relatively new arena in an Original Six market where ownership has been nothing but supportive of the team for decades. What’s not to like so far? In spite of that, expectations are relatively modest, which isn’t to say coaches look for an easy path, but having realistic expectations that are in sync with management and ownership is critical to a long and healthy relationship....


The cons are pretty much all on the ice. The defense is still a mess. The goaltending is, well, fluid at best and marginal at worst. You had a talented player in Tyler Bertuzzi who thought so little of his team and teammates that he wouldn’t get vaccinated and thus couldn’t travel to Canada when the Red Wings crossed the border....

Who Fits?

Again, expect the unexpected from Yzerman. What about David Carle, coming off an NCAA championship in Denver, and a young but accomplished coach who could grow into a contender with this Red Wing team? Top non-North American coach Rikard Gronborg has been at least given some consideration by a number of NHL teams in recent years and, given the strong Swedish connection that has long been part of the Red Wings’ DNA – Yzerman recently promoted Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom to a management position – if Yzerman feels Gronborg can take this team where it needs to go, he would have no hesitation in hiring him. I’ll continue to advocate for a tandem of DeBoer and Maurice, both of whom have strong connection to the Detroit area and, well, it would be a ton of fun plus they might just be able to get the Red Wings back to contender status in short order.

more plus other teams in need of a coach...

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Wings At The World Championship And The Status Of A Former Prospect

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

A pair of Detroit Red Wings, and someone who would like to re-sign with the team next season, are flourishing at the World Championship in Finland as pool play nears completion.

Center Pius Suter has seven points (two goals, five assists) for surprising Switzerland, the only unscathed team in the tournament (6-0-0-0, W-OTW-OTL-L; 18 points). Suter is tied for third on his team and tied for fifth among all players in points.

Suter will face Red Wings teammate Moritz Seider on Tuesday when Switzerland faces Germany (5-0-0-1, 15 points) in a battle between the top teams in Group A, which concludes pool play.

Seider, coming off an outstanding rookie season that earned him a Calder Trophy nomination, has a goal and five points in six games, leading German defensemen in scoring.


from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Not so long ago, the billing was displaying Filip Larsson as the goaltender of the future for the Detroit Red Wings. Today, he is a goaltender facing an uncertain future.

The final year of the three-year entry-level deal he signed with the Wings done, Larsson was recently given his release by HV71. He was among 11 players dropped from the squad that earned promotion to the Swedish Hockey League from Hockey Allsvenskan, the Swedish second division.


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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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