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Abel to Yzerman

Any Interest In Dougie Hamilton?

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

So can Carolina afford to retain its most important defenseman? Probably, but it’s complicated. On paper, the Canes project to have almost $28 million in cap space this off-season, but GM Don Waddell must make that money go a long way. Star left winger Andrei Svechnikov is an RFA. Even if he opts for the en-vogue bridge deal at three years, it should come at an AAV of $6 million or more. The Canes also have 0.0 NHL goalies signed for 2021-22, as Petr Mrazek and James Reimer are UFAs and, more importantly, breakout No. 1 netminder Alex Nedeljkovic is an RFA. Checking forwards Jordan Martinook and Brock McGinn hit the open market, too. So it’s not like Carolina can throw $9 million at Hamilton without pausing to ponder it for a moment.

So if we do see a sign-and-trade scenario and a new address for Hamilton, which teams are the best fit?

So if we do see a sign-and-trade scenario and a new address for Hamilton, whichRed Wings GM Steve Yzerman has indicated he’s willing to add a big name but only if it’s a young player with upside who can be a core contributor for years to come. The Jakub Vrana trade met those qualifications. For that reason, I included the Red Wings on a list of potential Jones suitors, but Hamilton feels like more of a stretch given he’s 16 months older and likely to cost more. He turns 28 later this week, and Jones turns 27 in October.

more teams....

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Sam Gagner Or Bobby Ryan?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

If only one is brought back, the odds favor Gagner. He’s younger, and he can play both special teams. Ryan was limited to 33 games this season and 24 in 2019-20 — he took much of that season off to address a substance abuse issue — and has not played a full season since 2018-19. And while he expects to make a full recovery from surgery, it will impact his ability to train this offseason.


There is, of course, the possibility Yzerman brings both back. Even if rookie Joe Veleno is a full-timer next season, the Wings will need depth. Ryan didn’t have the offensive season that both sides hoped for in October, but put him on a line with someone who can feed him the puck, or finish his passes, and there’s a good chance Ryan will deliver better numbers.

ROSTER REVIEW:Here are the players the Wings can't afford to lose in expansion draft

There’s no reason to sign either player until after the July 21 expansion draft. In all likelihood, Yzerman will bring back Gagner, and Ryan could be added later, depending on what happens in free agency, which is slated to start July 28.

more ($$$)

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Trading For Jack Eichel Or Seth Jones

Max Bultman of the Athletic answers some fan mail,

For Eichel, one of the league’s top scorers under contract for five more years, the cost would be immense. It could mean a deal headlined by Lucas Raymond or Filip Zadina, the No. 6 pick this year, plus either another current top-six NHL forward or another high draft pick or top prospect.

It’s possible Eichel’s neck injury changes that price a bit, but the safe assumption is that Buffalo will be able to command a mint for a 24-year-old right-shot center who has been near or above a point per game for five seasons.

And if that is the price range, it probably doesn’t make sense for the Red Wings to be a major player in those talks. It’s always worth checking in, but that kind of package would be so costly, with so many of the pieces Detroit is counting on in its rebuild, that the Red Wings may not end up being significantly better off than Buffalo is right now. Eichel is a great player, but Detroit still needs so much more....

Columbus would be effectively starting a rebuild if it traded Jones, which means they’d surely want tone-setting value for their No. 1 defenseman. But while Jones is a highly respected blueliner — he earned Norris votes in the four seasons preceding the most recent one (2021 voting has not yet been announced) — exactly where he fits among the league’s top defensemen is up for some debate. His shot share and quality numbers were down in a big way last season on a bad Columbus team.

The team context matters in that, no doubt. But it certainly doesn’t make it easy for an acquiring team to justify giving up premium value, especially if that team would then need to turn around and sign Jones to a huge extension. It just doesn’t look like a good fit for the Red Wings.

more ($$$)

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“It’s A Good Time To Be A Wing”

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Stecher was also the partner throughout the tournament of Michigan defenseman Owen Power, who projects to be the No. 1 overall pick in the July NHL Entry Draft.

"He's real good, a lot like Seider in that he's good in every aspect," Stecher said. "He isn't overly offensive or defensive, he's just a real good two-way defenseman that can contribute at both ends of the ice."

The infusion of young talent coming into the NHL lineup, plus the way the Wings finished last season — as well as played for the majority of the season, save for a three-week early battle against COVID — gives Stecher optimism about the Wings' future.

"You look at the young guys coming in and the impact they made last season like when Joe Veleno came in, and he played real well in those games he played," Stecher said, "and knowing we're going to have more young players coming in and making an impact, it's a good time to be a Wing."

more (paid, mostly World Championship talk)

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The Wings Will Have The #6 And #22 Picks In The First Round Of The NHL Draft

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Now that the Stanley Cup playoffs are down to the final four teams, the draft order for the first 27 spots has been finalized.

The Wings sat steady in the June 2 draft lottery, getting the sixth pick. But they have a second first-round pick thanks to general manager Steve Yzerman’s trade-deadline deal with the Washington Capitals, and that will be at 22nd.

The first round is July 23.

The spot would have been at 23rd had the Arizona Coyotes not violated combine testing policy in 2019-20; part of the penalty for that was forfeiture of what would have been the 11th pick this year.


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Anthony Mantha On The Playoffs

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

...Washington was eliminated in five games by Boston, with Mantha contributing two assists and no goals in the five games. His ice time dwindled to a series-low 12:23 seconds in Game 5....

"All the excitement that goes with it, the continuous overtimes," Mantha said. "You don't want to make any mistakes. You're trying to create something offensively. Just playing a couple of games will help out a lot in my future.

"The fact we didn't win was the only (negative). It's fun, exciting, but at the end of the day you're playing to win every playoff series. It didn't go our way and so you look back and you're real disappointed we didn't get to advance."...

"I'm a little disappointed in myself, the way I played," Mantha said. "But hopefully I can come back stronger next season and I'll know what to expect.

"I went some games there at the end of the year when I didn't score any goals. We had couple of games that went into overtime in the series. If you score two goals, maybe you win those games.

"It's so tight out there (on the ice), there's not a lot of room. I just need to create more space for myself in those types of games."

more ($$$)

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Exposing The Wings

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press on who may be exposed by the Wings for the Seattle expansion draft,

In addition to Panik and Nielsen, that also leaves exposed Vladislav Namestnikov. Yzerman signed him last fall for two years, $4 million, and Namestnikov delivered 17 points and a minus-5 rating in 53 games. If he were to be protected, it would bump Smith off the list, and though Smith has played just 37 career games, he’s shown he can be asset.

Evgeny Svechnikov also will be exposed, but the 2015 first-round pick was on waivers twice this past season, making it clear the team doesn’t view him as part of the rebuild. Also exposed are pending unrestricted free agents including Glendening, Helm, Sam Gagner and Bobby Ryan....

I think there’ll be the biggest debate among Yzerman and his inner circle. Do either of Cholowski, 23 years old, or Lindstrom, 22, get bumped in favor of protecting 27-year-old Troy Stecher? Stecher will help the Wings next season more than either of those two, but odds are that if Lindstrom or Cholowski is exposed, that’s who the Kraken will select.

Cholowski has shown in spurts just how good he can be. He might play 10 years. Stecher won’t. Lindstrom plays a safe, smart game. With Seider — who like Stecher shoots right — poised to join the lineup next season, I’d risk exposing Stecher.

more (paid)

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Sweet, Sweet Silence

I'm sure the Emperor was going to get to this soon, but I relish the opportunity to beat him to this particular punch.  I stayed up last night just in case I had the chance to witness, and listen to, this...

From Mark Kiszla, Denver Post. 

There’s no sound sadder in pro sports than joy slowly hissing from a deflated crowd when the home team loses a playoff game in the oh-so-sudden death of overtime. After Golden Knights winger Mark Stone found nothing except open ice between him and Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer and hammered the game-winning goal only 50 seconds into the extra period, it felt like a stake through the hearts of 10,495 spectators in Ball Arena.

Continue Reading »

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The 42 Year Drought Ended 24 Years Ago


Check out Galli's recent tweets for more.

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Fixing The Power Play

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Blashill used the word “tactician," a coach with “different offensive ideas” to describe what characteristics he and Yzerman are looking for in the assistant coach.

“Especially a guy with an offensive kind of mindset, somebody that brings some different, potentially unique, ideas,” Blashill said. “It’s hard to come up with things that are real different or unique in the game, and that’s not necessarily how you win.

“But ultimately is there some fresh ideas or unique ideas or different thought processes?”...

“We need to add to our personnel to get the right fit so our power play has a chance to be more successful,” Yzerman said. "We have to do something different with our power play, for sure. Our power play is 31st, collectively. It struggled the last few years.

"We need to add to our personnel to get the right fit, so our power play has a chance to be more successful and we need to do things a little bit differently than we have done. The spots players are put in and the way we bring the puck up the ice, it needs to be addressed.

more (paid sub.)

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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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