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Abel to Yzerman

19 Detroit Thoughts

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

With a nod to his number he wore, now raised to the rafters in Little Caesars Arena, here are 19 thoughts on what Yzerman has accomplished since April 19, 2019.

Trading Anthony Mantha was not an indictment on the state of the rebuild, it was an indictment on Mantha. Yzerman said early on he wanted to observe the team he took over from his predecessor, Ken Holland. Yzerman saw in Mantha what others in the organization had seen for longer: That the nights he was unnoticeable outnumbered the ones where Mantha dominated. Anyone who remembers Yzerman knows how competitive he was as a player — he played on one knee, basically, at the end of his career, and still gave it his all. Yzerman had had enough, and that’s what led to the trade.

- Since Yzerman took over, 14 NHL regulars are no longer part of the roster. In addition to shedding Mantha, Athanasiou and Abdelkader, Yzerman opted not to re-sign Jimmy Howard, Thomas Vanek, Luke Witkowski, Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson. He did not issue a qualifying offer to Martin Frk, Madison Bowey and Christoffer Ehn, and also traded Mike Green and Jacob de la Rose. Niklas Kronwall retired.

- Even with holding on to Bernier, Staal, and Luke Glendening, all pending unrestricted free agents, Yzerman carries 12 picks into the 2021 draft, including five in the first two rounds. That potentially could speed up the rebuild.

- One of the most important prospects is Moritz Seider, the defenseman Yzerman drafted sixth overall in 2019. Loaning Seider to Rögle in the Swedish Hockey League meant a season-long commitment — other European leagues allowed players to be recalled once hockey started up in North America — and it has worked wonderfully. The 20-year-old has flourished, tallying seven goals and 21 assists in 41 games, and is in position to win a championship. He’s poised to join the Wings’ lineup next season.

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Comments

Hootinani's avatar

If Mantha keeps it up, hes going to turn it into an indictment on Blashill and his “process”.  He playing like hes been let out of Shawshank.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/18/21 at 09:49 AM ET

Paul's avatar

If Mantha keeps it up, hes going to turn it into an indictment on Blashill and his “process”.  He playing like hes been let out of Shawshank.

Posted by Hootinani

Exactly.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/18/21 at 09:55 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/18/21 at 09:49 AM ET

And yet, if it’s apparent that we shouldn’t judge players based on Blashill’s coaching, why does Yzerman make that trade? He can let Blashill walk this year and give Mantha 2 more years to prove its a coaching issue and not a personal issue.

Or is it more likely that it really is a Mantha problem, and we should keep on simping for the yzerplan regardless if we agree with the move or not?

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/18/21 at 09:57 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

For clarification, three more years til contract expiration.

Is Yzerman really gonna sign a guy for 4 years, and give up on him after 4 months because of a supposedly lame duck coach?

Or did Yzerman already have it decided he would move on from Mantha, but needed to sign him to maximize his value?

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/18/21 at 10:14 AM ET

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re mantha:

it’s only 3 games in, suggest we give it a season or two, see if his play reverts to the mean..

personally, i like the captains track record so far.

Posted by rickytarr on 04/18/21 at 10:17 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

If Mantha keeps it up, hes going to turn it into an indictment on Blashill and his “process”.  He playing like hes been let out of Shawshank.
Posted by Hootinani
Exactly.
Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/18/21 at 09:55 AM ET

To be clear, the above statements suggestion our GM is a thumb sucking moron for trading a cornerstone player soured by a lame duck coach, that would be a direct indictment on Yzerman. I don’t think that, I don’t think you think that, but I know it easy to target and stop at the coach, while not critiquing OZ behind the curtain.

Simple to me, Mantha never did create much offense on his own, especially when he’s the prime target to defend,  and has always struggled with motivation.  We were not competitive, and he was guaranteed a top 6 spot and PP time here based on the name on his jersey and the lack of talent around him. 

In Washington, he has to earn ice, they’re in the mix,  he’s not the focal point of the offense, and he has offensive creators to feed him the puck, it’s why Washington traded for him, it makes sense, he’s going to be good for them. 

It’s kinda like Shanahan to some extent, though the game is different now, Shanahan needed to be fed, he needed the drivers to generate for him to shoot or power to the net and corners for him to do what he did

 

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 04/18/21 at 10:22 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Mantha also had a reputation to float in Grand rapids. When he was playing for Blash.

Blash was also the same coach who took GR deep in the playoffs and won an AHL championship, and was demanded to be the next Detroit coach by some fans on this very site.

So you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

As for Mantha, 3 games is an atrocious sample size so let’s just be patient and see what happens in the next year.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/18/21 at 11:16 AM ET

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Now, now, lets not be stingy.  It is possible that Mantha needed to go and Blashill needs to go too.

Posted by Ventr on 04/18/21 at 11:52 AM ET

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I thought I remembered seeing shortly after the trade that it was Washington pursuing Mantha more than Yzerman going out there looking to dump him. Kind of a “make me want to consider this” kind of deal.

Posted by RyanVM on 04/18/21 at 01:10 PM ET

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Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 04/18/21 at 10:22 AM ET

I wanted to make a comment, but Murray said exactly what I was going to say that Mantha was asked to drive the play here, but in Washington he is fed the puck and in a much better position to realize his talent surrounded by so much talent.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/21 at 01:54 PM ET

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Again, I do not want to sound like I come here to defend Blashill. For the record I really do not mind a new coach next season, but I want to be fair. Mantha and AA not succeeding in Detroit is Blashill fault? Zadina and Ras making gigantic improvement this season has nothing to do with Blashill? Improved structure, compete level has nothing to do with Blashill? But PP is all Blashill fault?

This is a maddening inconsistency with the fan base. Basically all the good things happening on the ice are despite Blashill?

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/21 at 01:59 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Ras’ improvement has nothing to do with Blash as he improved his skating over the summer/fall and in GR.

Zadina’s is a result of him getting more game action and maturing.

If you give Blash credit for anyone it’s Erne and Bert. But then you must fault him for the other players that plateaued (Larkin, AA, Mantha, Hronek, and possibly now Fabbri).

Then you have to talk about why a ‘developmental guru’ can’t develop 1st or 2nd round picks on a bottom feeder (Smith, Svech, Cholo, Lindstrom, and now Veleno) while allowing vets that make similar mistakes increased ice time.

And finally you must talk special teams and we all saw how atrocious that continues to be under Blash which can be traced back to his rookie season with both Z and Dats so I don’t want to hear about talent—as it cost the Wings a playoff series against the Lightning that year.

If the Wings re-sign Blash the rebuild stays where it is for the next 2 years.

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 02:25 PM ET

d ca's avatar

....as for Mantha…

He was given a top 3 role here when it should have been a top 6.

Newsflash it is the same issue with Larkin who would be a 2nd line center on a Cup contender. Same with Bert.

And while you can blame the draft lottery and past success for much of that—meaningless winning streaks just before the coach’s contract was up cost them Hughes in 2019 and will probably cost a top 5 pick this summer.

Martha’s gone because other teams (or at least one) believed he had untapped potential. That’s the biggest indictment on Blash there can be.

Yzerman moved him because either he put it on the player (and we fans are in trouble with a Blash extension) or because he knew the timing of the rebuild lengthened as the past 2 seasons of fractured development skewed the rebuild timing and Mantha’s value to the team decreased from last fall. Getting a younger player capable of putting up offense and a 1st round pick (the other pick is essentially for taking on a bad contract) meant he would be moved now.

I don’t fault him for the trade but it’s essentially a lottery ticket and what player comes out of it is what matters…unless you develop Vrana which you haven’t proven the ability to do yet.

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 02:43 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/18/21 at 09:49 AM ET

And it would be something that’s been said for years now: That Blash has to go.

It was a promising sign that Stevie didn’t give a “vote of confidence” to Blash during his post-trade deadline presser.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/18/21 at 03:14 PM ET

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Early still, Mantha 4G - 1A - 5PTS in 4 games. I always felt it was the coaches duty to position a player to help the team succeed. I don’t indict Yzerman he has a plan. As for Blashill in GR, I attributed his success as to having players like Mantha, Bertuzzi, AA etc while most teams pulled their talent and tried them in the NHL. Most these players on this team were not developed by Blashill,they’ve started elsewhere. I don’t feel at this point any coach really wants to come here. Remember when Tom Izzo was offered the job in Cleveland, he asked if Lebron was staying, when he couldn’t contact Lebron he wouldn’t take the job.

Posted by stateofmifan on 04/18/21 at 03:49 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/21 at 01:59 PM

Not disagreeing with anyone but let us not forget the only Pro coach Mantha and AA knew was Blashill prior to leaving Detroit.

Secondly Ras and Zadina thanks to Covid got to play outside the Wings organization and learn different schemes and styles which definitely had an effect on their confidence and skill maturity.

Not taking anything from Blashill but the kids got another taste they truly helped in their evolution.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/18/21 at 04:22 PM ET

d ca's avatar

....Secondly Ras and Zadina thanks to Covid got to play outside the Wings organization and learn different schemes and styles which definitely had an effect on their confidence and skill maturity.

Not taking anything from Blashill but the kids got another taste they truly helped in their evolution.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/18/21 at 04:22 PM ET

Sounds well reasoned….but…. Sorry, no…

He [Ras] said the long offseason enabled him to “work a lot on my skating, my edge work, a lot on my core and getting my center of gravity real low so I can protect the puck and be strong on my skates.”

And another voice in Zadina’s ear gaining him confidence? No, you’re off-base there too.

Zadina was loaned to HC Ocelari Trinec, where Zadina’s father is an assistant coach, I’m sure Zadina’s father coaching isn’t something that new where he learned different styles or schemes.

Now if you want to stress how these two came back in game-shape vs camp-shape condition-wise then that’s a fair point—-but the different voices helping….nope. One got faster/stronger skating and the other more experience with more pro games.

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 06:36 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Then you have to talk about why a ‘developmental guru’ can’t develop 1st or 2nd round picks on a bottom feeder (Smith, Svech, Cholo, Lindstrom, and now Veleno) while allowing vets that make similar mistakes increased ice time.

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 02:25 PM ET

The problem with that statement is that none of the above, outside of Cholo spent much time here to actually be coached by Blashill, especially this year with no training camp, preseason, or otherwise, your just blaming him for any kid in the org. No coach makes a make or break difference coaching a player for 3 months, sorry.

Sorry, but if you’re going to say this organization has failed to develop the young kids, that an indictment on Steve Yzerman as GM.  A team’s NHL head coach is responsible for the game in game out plan practice and play of players on the big club, not the entire org, that burden is on Yzerman, he is in charge of the development plan for our talent.  Yzerman chooses the GR coach, he chooses the development coaches, the strength guys, video guys, horcoff and such, Yzerman chooses Blashill and will choose his replacement, and more importantly, Steve Yzerman decided to on bring back Erne and Gagner, and signing Ryan and Namestov, and trade no pending UFA forwards. 

Heavy is the head the wears the crown, hail hail the YzerKing

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 04/18/21 at 06:45 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Are we sure Rasmussen gained nothing at all by scoring 16 pts in 18 games in Austria? lol…

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/18/21 at 07:08 PM ET

d ca's avatar

The problem with that statement is that none of the above, outside of Cholo spent much time here to actually be coached by Blashill, especially this year with no training camp, preseason, or otherwise, your just blaming him for any kid in the org. No coach makes a make or break difference coaching a player for 3 months, sorry.

Sorry, but if you’re going to say this organization has failed to develop the young kids, that an indictment on Steve Yzerman as GM.  A team’s NHL head coach is responsible for the game in game out plan practice and play of players on the big club, not the entire org, that burden is on Yzerman, he is in charge of the development plan for our talent.  Yzerman chooses the GR coach, he chooses the development coaches, the strength guys, video guys, horcoff and such, Yzerman chooses Blashill and will choose his replacement, and more importantly, Steve Yzerman decided to on bring back Erne and Gagner, and signing Ryan and Namestov, and trade no pending UFA forwards.

Heavy is the head the wears the crown, hail hail the YzerKing

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 04/18/21 at 06:45 PM ET

He had a whole year with Ras when he had the Jr transfer agreement issue that meant the Wings had to keep him on the active roster as a 19 year old. So you’re wrong. Now add in 2nd rounders Frk and Xavier Ouellet.. Then add in players that plateaued under Blash: Larkin, Mantha, AA, and Hronek and we see a pattern even some regression. Extend it to more recent development players like Svech, Smith, and Lindstrom who went through campS plus additional month/months with the team and the pattern gets stronger.

I can’t put Yzerman on blast for not being able to develop kids from April 19, 2019 to April 18, 2021 during a pandemic where much development time was lost. He’s still a day short of 2 years and the 1st year was largely spent trying to figure out what they had. He identified a core and adjusted when he saw the rebuild taking longer. It’s not that I trust him implicitly like some on here—it’s that I don’t think 2 years is enough when he’s done the only thing that he can with prospects: draft the right ones with the pick he had (unlike Holland and the Zadina vs Hughes debate which will rage in Detroit for years to come).

...but that doesn’t mean Yzerman will get a free pass on player development to keep players on their ELC slides and maximize team control while keeping cap space free to acquire more draft capital until he assembles a playoff team. It’s just that Yzerman has had success in the pro’s as a GM unlike Blash in the pro’s as a coach.

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 07:50 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Are we sure Rasmussen gained nothing at all by scoring 16 pts in 18 games in Austria? lol…

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/18/21 at 07:08 PM ET

Yes, I am sure 18 games at the pee wee level were much greater in Ras development like you say rather than a year at the NHL level as a 19 yr old because of a Jr transfer agreement when he couldn’t go to the AHL like I say.

LOL

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 07:52 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 06:36 PM ET

Oh I see we have a Know it all here. Please everyone bow to the Great Big D CA.  The Guru of all hockey knowledge. Please tell us more oh great one!  Us peasants of meager hockey knowledge thirst for more of your great insights.
LOL!

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/18/21 at 08:07 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

I can’t put Yzerman on blast for not being able to develop kids from April 19, 2019 to April 18, 2021 during a pandemic where much development time was lost. He’s still a day short of 2 years and the 1st year was largely spent trying to figure out what they had. He identified a core and adjusted when he saw the rebuild taking longer. It’s not that I trust him implicitly like some on here—it’s that I don’t think 2 years is enough when he’s done the only thing that he can with prospects: draft the right ones with the pick he had

It’s just that Yzerman has had success in the pro’s as a GM unlike Blash in the pro’s as a coach.

Posted by d ca on 04/18/21 at 07:50 PM ET

All things considered, this makes too much sense…... wink

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/18/21 at 08:15 PM ET

WingDingy's avatar

Mantha is a ten dollar talent with a ten cent head.  He has all the ability in the world but he’s neither motivated nor motivational…the antithesis of the kind of player Yzerman was back in the day.  I’m sure this rubbed him the wrong way, so he did what needed to be done.  More power to him.

Posted by WingDingy on 04/19/21 at 12:58 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

He had a whole year with Ras when he had the Jr transfer agreement issue that meant the Wings had to keep him on the active roster as a 19 year old. So you’re wrong.

I directly quoted your post, do you spell Ras Smith, Svech, Cholo, Lindstrom, and now Veleno? now? 

Ras is playing a lot better, he came in too young due to the rules and is developing just fine from my view, blash let him develop his game, of course no credit right, it’s despite Blashill. .

I can’t put Yzerman on blast for not being able to develop kids from April 19, 2019 to April 18, 2021 during a pandemic where much development time was lost.

But you can do the same with Blashill for a list players he’s not directly coaching?  You say how terrible he is on one side,  but ignore that his boss has let him just ruin the next gen of players on this team in your view for 2+ years? That’s what a superior GM does? D CA knows it from his keyboard, but YzerGod doesn’t?  Come on, step back, think, let it swirl, you’ll see the flaw in that logic.

I do like how you bash the coach for draft pics that are no longer in the league, ignoring that this organization hasn’t developed anything in the last what 12 years?  Actually the only top 6/top 4 players this team has developed has been under blash.  The failure here, started at the draft table, which is where Yzerman hopefully distinguishes himself.  Show me a player who left this organization and got better under a different coach, different structure, etc.  Mantha might be the first, but that’s because your sticking him with 5 players superior to him in talent.  In most cases, if a player lets 3 months of coaching or a camp take him off track to being a productive NHL player, they were not going to be a productive NHL player, water finds its level. Development is an organizational process, the NHL head coach is a small piece.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 04/19/21 at 09:48 AM ET

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Honestly, I’m sure part of it was an indictment on Mantha… we’ll never know.  But I think honestly, it was what Yzerman said.  They felt they got a replacement player PLUS the pick(s).  So in terms of a rebuild, unless you view Mantha as cornerstone and/or irreplaceable, I think you do that deal all the time no?  Even IF Mantha isn’t in the doghouse.  His age, cost, etc… I think it was worth the risk, even if Mantha ends up the better player or lights it up in Washington.  Do you think he was going to light it up here?

Keep in mind he’s playing with Backstrom and Oshie, on a much more deadly PP.  It’s not like he’s scored some other wordly goals.  He got a beautiful feed he tipped in.  Yesterday, a shot on the PP that was… just a shot.  A nice one mind you.  But… its not like he’s this dominating player there.  He’s just playing with more talent. 

I agree with DCA above.  I mean, is there anyone currently on this roster that is untoucable? I add Larkin to that as well.  As mentioned, he’s a second line C on a cup contender.  He doesn’t provide enough offense.  Lower tier top line C.  He makes up for a lot of it with grit and speed obviously. 

Missing out on top 3 picks is really kicking our arse in this rebuild.  Not to mention starting it so late that y ou don’t have the opportunities to get additional first round picks with trades of valuable players because nobody you have left has that value.

Lastly.  I still hold more of the indictment on this whole thing on Tyler Wright.  I suppose Holland for trusting Wright as well, but I know you never know how players will develop per say, but there are more questionable picks than not during his time….

Posted by DieByTheWing on 04/19/21 at 10:29 AM ET

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quote] Then add in players that plateaued under Blash: Larkin, Mantha, AA, and Hronek and we see a pattern even some regression.

I’m not a big Blashill fan and I do believe it is time to move on from him, but Larkin, Bertuzzi and Hronek have not plateaud. They have all made huge strides over the course of their careers here. What you are implying is that the only way to progress is a simple straight line up with no rough spots along the way. And that simply is not how the world works let alone how the development of young talent in the NHL works.

Posted by beantownredwings on 04/19/21 at 03:25 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