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Abel to Yzerman

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The three beat writers for the Wings all have articles up this morning and to read any of them, you need to be a subscriber.

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Some intriguing decisions regarding the Red Wings are about to be made, including the one that might have the most importance.

Who is going to coach the Wings next season?

After Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss in Columbus ended what was a promising yet another losing season, the future of coach Jeff Blashill becomes front and center for the immediate future.

continued ($$$)

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings’ resilience made Blashill recall a saying favored by his predecessor, Mike Babcock.

“Babs used to talk about steadying the rudder,” Blashill said. “That was something he used to say lots. Our team did a good job of being steady on the rudder. We lost our way in that one stretch where we were missing those guys, but really if you look back, we’re seven games under .500, somewhere in that range. That COVID stretch was a tough stretch for us, but other than that, I thought we did a good job of responding when things went bad.

“I say this lots when I talk to people, I talk to businesses — like, it’s not about whether or not you get knocked down, you’re going to get knocked down. It’s if you continuously get back up. I thought our group continuously got back up. There’s a lot of good men in that room. On a night-to-night basis, we worked and competed to the Nth degree, and that’s something I’m proud of our group for.”

more ($$$)

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Now that Steve Yzerman’s second season as Detroit Red Wings general manager is over, the bulk of his work begins.

Yzerman has many items to cross off his checklist before players gather for training camp in mid-to-late September, in preparation for an NHL regular season that will start a week later than usual, on Oct. 12.

One task, figures to be completed quickly, as Yzerman indicated last month he will speak with coach Jeff Blashill immediately after the season to discuss his future.

Over the course of the next several weeks, and months, Yzerman has a number of decisions to make:

continued ($$$)

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Comments

WingDingy's avatar

FWIW, both John Tortorella and Rick Tocchet became available yesterday, having been launched, respectively, by Columbus and Arizona.  Along with the oft-mentioned Gerard Gallant, Stevie Y’s dance card is filling up.

Posted by WingDingy on 05/10/21 at 10:46 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

FWIW, both John Tortorella and Rick Tocchet became available yesterday

This fanbase can not handle John Tortorella holding players accountable, I’m a strong swimmer, but I’m unsure I could keep myself afloat in those tears.  Good thing we’re not important in the decision.  What is important… 

IMO I don’t think Yzerman is going to hire a coach at this point, that he can not completely control or gives him a second of pause that he won’t fall inline with the Yzerplan and tow any company line given to him.  That definitely rules out these two and spuddy too, IMO. 

Down the road, could/would he put a stronger coach in place, sure, but I just don’t see him doing that now.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/10/21 at 11:35 AM ET

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I don’t know Murray, it’s tough to say who he would hire given how reserved Yzerman is with his messaging. I could see him bringing in a tougher coach if they had the same vision as to what the Wings should be. Which would be the natural hire. I don’t know if you meant it this way, but it seems like you think he would only bring in a puppet. Just curious, do you feel that way about Jon Cooper?

Posted by Trade Deadline Rental on 05/10/21 at 02:04 PM ET

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Ras is playing with fire, zadina is trying to mature his game and be a leader, fabbri, larkin, lots of top guys whos attitudes look real good right now.  Add the time and work and were trending right.  Everyone seems motivated to get better, almost 0 floaters any shift.  The powerplay is the only glaring detriment and I def could see a replacemt there.  But its anyones guess.

Posted by ThatGuy on 05/10/21 at 02:40 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Pickard assigned to GR.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/10/21 at 03:23 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Just curious, do you feel that way about Jon Cooper?

Posted by Trade Deadline Rental on 05/10/21 at 02:04 PM ET

I think Jon Cooper is a mediocre coach. With the rosters that guy has had and has, his hands should bling like Mr. T.

To your question though, Cooper was an AHL coach before he took over for Tampa, he was right for the job at the time, as was Blashill (at that time) but he wasn’t some name who could come in and tell the GM what needed to happen, or getting on a mic in a presser or putting out “sources in the room” statements that rocked any boats.  Cooper also inherited a top tier playoff team with a well established roster and leadership.  That is not where the Wings are at, the Wings likely miss the playoffs next year, sell at the deadline next year.

Outside in, this is Steve Yzerman’s team, if Torts Tocket or Spuddy is in charge, that changes, I don’t think Yzerman wants that… yet. 

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/10/21 at 03:38 PM ET

Shanny_Fan's avatar

The wings definitely looked better this year. Next year our trajectory should point up even more with Ras, Zadina, Veleno, Larkin, Burt, Fabri and Sider hopefully all healthy and on the team. Maybe Berrgren is also pushing for a spot thorough the year and Raymond maybe the year after. Now that we’re finally dumping a lot of our dead weight and our prospects are progressing, why not hire a new coach now to mold the team before we start competing for playoff spots again?

Posted by Shanny_Fan on 05/10/21 at 03:51 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Agree Shanny.., time for new voice and a new direction.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/10/21 at 03:52 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Ras, Zadina, Veleno are all young and improving just by gaining TOI. Ras improved his skating and edge work in the summer (sans Blash), Zadina worked on his defense (with his dad overseas) and is showing signs of being a two-way player (but did sacrifice expected offense), and Veleno has seen 5 games but looks exactly like the expected player they drafted.


Larkin, Bert, Fabbri all missed significant time this year and none finished with anything close to respectable numbers as far as totals at least. Bert was seriously hurt and determinations need to be made if he can recover to 100% as these injuries end careers or at least effectiveness even in player’s prime. Larkin appears to have plateaued and would benefit from moving to the #2 centre role that he would occupy on a championship team—keeping or hiring a coach isn’t going to fix that. Fabbri lead the team in shooting percentage, so you might want to design an offense to get the kid some more shots.

Any professional coach out there will help this team, but Larkin, Bert, and Fabbri would benefit from having a new voice.

Posted by d ca on 05/10/21 at 04:27 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Seider’s season is over.  His team lost 6-2 today, he had an assist on their last goal.

Chances of him playing for GR are probably slim, he’s had a long season and probably could use some rest.

No word yet if he will play in the World Championship.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/10/21 at 04:33 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Seider going to his teammates for one last goodbye.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/10/21 at 04:35 PM ET

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Outside in, this is Steve Yzerman’s team, if Torts Tocket or Spuddy is in charge, that changes, I don’t think Yzerman wants that… yet.

Gotcha, I understand where you’re coming from now. Cooper and Blash seem to be similar guys in very different circumstances. Curious how Blash would’ve done with a better roster. The one thing I think he was better at this year is letting some of the younger guys play, regardless of them making a mistake or two. Over the years I think he’s had too short of a leash with some young players, but he gave Ras, Zadina, and even Cholowski some room to grow this season. He wasn’t perfect, but he was better.

The whole “this isn’t a development league” stance makes sense if you’re giving minutes to kids at the cost of giving them to established, solid vets. But trotting out Abdelkader, Ericsson, Daley, Neilsen and the like over the years while developmental players got benched at the first mistake made the fans sour on him over time. We probably need a new guy behind the bench.

Posted by Trade Deadline Rental on 05/10/21 at 05:52 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

I don’t think I want to pay to read the same info they had in the last column on Blash.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/10/21 at 06:30 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

But trotting out Abdelkader, Ericsson, Daley, Neilsen and the like over the years while developmental players got benched at the first mistake made the fans sour on him over time. We probably need a new guy behind the bench.

Posted by Trade Deadline Rental on 05/10/21 at 05:52 PM ET

Except… he didn’t do that.  That’s a narrative run often, but aside from a press comment, the underlying lineups show that its not accurate. What rookie was held back by any of those players you mentioned? Chris Ehn? 

Blashill played those guys straight up out of need to field a roster. Zadina played, and earned minutes, Ras was in GR, Yzerman’s choice,  Lindstrom and Cholo were in GR, Yzerman’s call too, the right one in both cases. This year is different, because the team traded away talent to give them looks out of necessity. Cholo still looks out of sorts, Lindstrom rounding out to be an NHL Player, unsure at what ceiling.

Not a blashill defender for the upteenth time, predicted this was his last year due to a new voice being needed to set a new tone up and onwards, but balls are balls and strikes are strikes, I try to call them as much.

 

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/10/21 at 06:44 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

I think the longer we wait, the higher chance that Blash stays

Something thats also been on my mind is if he is canned, I’d be interested to know the reason. I think it’d just be a new voice, the powerplay failures and not lineup choices/development reasons. Primarily, anyway

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/10/21 at 06:51 PM ET

Paul's avatar

via from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News (paid),

And now that the Wings have entered the offseason, some important issues will have to be tackled and worked on by Yzerman, who hasn’t shied away from making personnel moves his first two seasons running the Wings.

The first call will be regarding coach Jeff Blashill.

It was expected a decision on Blashill’s future was going to be made Monday, but an announcement from the organization never came.

It easily could occur Tuesday.

Believe me, nothing new in the paid article you haven’t read before.

 

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/10/21 at 07:23 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

the decision to fire him or not is a simple one.

To bring him back depends on some contingencies….

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/10/21 at 07:32 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I suppose that if Blash stays, he gets a new set of assistant coaches.  Weren’t Houda and Byslma hires by Holland?

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/10/21 at 11:17 PM ET

d ca's avatar

I just don’t see how it is even a discussion at this point.

PP %: 2020 (14.9%) vs 2021 (11.4%) that’s a 23.5% decrease
Goals/gm: 2020 (2.00) vs 2021 (2.23) that’s a 11.5% increase
Goals against/gm: 2020 (3.73) vs 2021 (3.00) that’s a 19.6% decrease

There offense got marginally better (minus the power play) and there defense got a step better THAN ONE OF THE WORST TEAMS IN LEAGUE HISTORY.

Dive into the offensive numbers and it gets worse:
Corsi For % at even strengthed:  46.1 (2020) vs 45.8 (2021) an actual decrease of 0.65% from ONE OF THE WORST TEAMS IN LEAGUE HISTORY
GF/60 35.38 (2020) vs 43.72 (2021) an increase of 23.57%
xGF/60 44.4 vs 44.85 an increase of 1.01%

Did I mention how bad last year’s team was and Blash could only get marginally improvement on that. I mean it’s obvious they played a much tighter defensive game (helps to have a few non pylons on the defense in Merrill and Stecher)—but is that really a excuse for why the offense was so bad that it compared to one of the worst ever? What is the excuse COVID condensing the schedule?

I think not: I think it is the same thing I’ve been complaining about for weeks: the Wings play a boring game (under Blash’s strategy) to try keep the score as low as possible and be able to steal a victory.

That is not what I nor a few others want to see….while I am glad their defense improved over one of the worst ever….I don’t need to be watching the New Jersey Devils circa the early 90’s cause Blash can’t design an offense to score.

Posted by d ca on 05/10/21 at 11:19 PM ET

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dca.. while I don’t disagree, I do think Blash would love to play an uptempo offesnive game, he’s said so a million times actually and tried it a few times the last few years.  Do you honestly believe he has the roster to do that?  I do think he maybe focuses too much on mistakes over letting creativity go, but that isn’t just him there are only a few coaches in the nHL that do that. 

I don’t care either way who the coach is because I still think this roster is woefully inadequate.  So as long as Yzerman believes Blash is helping players grow, Im ok, if he doesn’t, then he should go.  That’ sit.  The powerplay has been a problem for YEARS… is that Blash? They tried several PP coaches, or is it simply the players we have on the roster.  Without actually offensive D, its hard to have a good PP, better shooters, etc.

The fact of the matter is we do not have a playmaking C, not even close really.  We have no dominant offensive players at all really. 

I think the wings play a game that enables them to have a chance to win.  We can argue whether that is the right strategy or not, but that’s why he plays it.  We don’t have an A list goalie, we don’t have A list defensemen, so we play a safe game.  We don’t have offensive lines that can sustain pressure or keep possession… not sure what exactly you expect.

Tocchet would be ok, he’s highly regarded, but I feel he’d come in and play exactly the same way based on how I saw the Yotes play.

If Yzerman gets a coach , I think someone mentioned it before, I suspect it will be an up and comer rather than someone just fired or what not.

Im in the camp of those who wonder if Blash would be a better coach with a better team, but that’s the business.  We’ll see what Yzerman does.  Depending on feedback from players, assistant coaches, assistant GMs, etc… Yzerman will have the feedback he needs to make a decision, not on what us fans want or see.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 05/11/21 at 10:40 AM ET

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Posted by DieByTheWing on 05/11/21 at 10:40 AM ET

I agree with you

Posted by VPalmer on 05/12/21 at 01:53 PM ET

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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