Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Black Friday Shopping

I'm going out on a limb and saying right now I was the only U.S. hockey blogger out of bed at 4:30 this morning, on the road by 4:45 and knee deep in the trenches by 5. Yes, I did. I waded into Black Friday battle. Am I proud? No. I'm humilitated and, frankly, more than a little shaken. Nothing in my military career prepared me for the violence, the viciousness and game-day intensity brought to the table by the housewives today. They elbowed me, glowered, cursed me and intimidated me. It was horrifying. But I wasn't the only Wing fan shopping today. Ken Holland was too, and he was much better prepared than I.

15 million for five years?  1.5 for ‘07-‘08?  Yes, the numbers increase each year but this is a steal for Holland as he locks up a player who will be considered among the top 5 dmen in the league by the time this contract hits its third year.


The negotiation to extend Kronwall’s contract has been ongoing between the Red Wings and JP Barry of CAA Sports since last summer.

This new agreement avoids the potential for the unpleasantness some restricted free agents face and rewards a highly touted player who could have also faced an off-season that included an arbitration battle.

Kronwall’s inability to stay healthy is a concern, but signing this player to this deal is a risk Holland had to take.  A fantastic move.


Bob Mckenzie chimes in this morning on the Mitchell hit, claiming many league GM’s were distressed not only by the hit itself; but also the league’s decision not to suspend the Canuck defenseman.

But the Mitchell hit on Franzen could yet be something of a turning point in the head shot debate that has been ongoing in the wake of devastating hits on Trevor Letowski, Aaron Downey, Jason Williams and now Franzen.

While most general managers have been adamant that hitting is part of the game and the occasional shoulder to the head is the cost of doing business in an often violent sport, quite a number of them didn’t like the Mitchell hit on Franzen.

They thought it was a late hit and now, instead of picking up the flag on the cause of headshots, their rallying cry seems to be, let’s crack down on late hits.

I haven’t seen the hit yet.  I’m searching YT and other places this morning to track it down, so I’m going to avoid comment until I do.  If any of you have a link please post it.  As for Franzen, he visited the Joe yesterday but will be out at least a week with a concussion and possible knee injury (x-rays revealed no serious damage, but a sprain is possible).  Chris Chelios echoes McKenzie’s comments from above.

Detroit Free Press

Chelios said suspensions on late hits would stop the problem. “Anytime a guy passes the puck and starts watching the play and you want to run and hit him, you can do it,” he said. “If it’s only going to be two minutes—I mean, look at the seriousness of the injury it can cause. There was intent there. The defenseman knows it was late. You can do that every game if you want to.”

Pissed off is what the rest of the Wings seem to be, especially considering Mitchell himself just recently recovered from a concussion.

Detroit News

“Mitchell is coming off a concussion, and he’s going out there like that head-hunting, that stuff comes back to haunt you,” Dan Cleary said.

Quite a coincidence that the Wings have lost two forwards in a span of three weeks, each of them after being run.  One hit clearly legal, the other just the opposite.  Yet, despite assurances like Cleary’s and a similar statement from Chelios following the Williams hit; we see nothing close to retribution from the Red Wings.  I don’t mean a late hit, headhunting or even dropping the gloves.  But you kind of expect to see a ramp-up in intensity, a few more hits, even the slightest indication that the Wings don’t enjoy playing the patsy.




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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