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Abel to Yzerman

Sunday Odds and Ends

It’s been nearly two years since we came up with the blog title, “Abel to Yzerman.”  For most of you, the significance of that has been pretty clear.  “Abel” refers to Wing legend Sid Abel.  “Yzerman” is our tribute to a little-known role player who somehow eeked his way onto the Detroit roster for 23 consecutive seasons. 

Why do I bring that up? 

Two reasons.  First, I still see other sites refer to A2Y as “Able to Yzerman” as if it were some sort of wacked-out verb phrase.  Kind of nifty, really.  But not our intent.  Secondly, our resident transvestite Dive fan reader occasionally defends himself by claiming this as an “NHL blog, not a Wing blog”. 

Hopefully, we’ve cleared that up for him a bit.  Hey…join me for one chorus, will you?

“Hail, hail to Michigan the champions of the…”

In case you were wondering, UM hasn’t won a game since Bo Schembechler died the day before Lloyd Carr’s most recent annual trip to the OSU dentist.

Speaking of unemployment, the Toronto hockey media, Steve Simmons in this case, is still pushing the Bowman/Leaf agenda; only now with a different tact.  Scotty’s a lying liar.

If anything has been proven accurate in this continuing two-step with the legendary Bowman—other than the Leafs inability to get a deal done—it’s that almost nothing Bowman has said for attribution can be believed.

Just coming to that conclusion, Steve?  We’ve known that for more than a decade.

Hey, here are some things on my mind this morning.

Justine Henin won the US Open last night.  Don’t care.  Don’t care. Don’t care. Please tell me hockey’s not on the same level of disinterest as women’s tennis. Please.

A Hooters girl was kicked off a Southwest Airline flight.  I care deeply about that.  Will let you know when I have my class action suit ready to go.  I’m, in case you didn’t know, not a Hooters girl but I do have appreciation for what they bring to the table.  I’m talking about Wings, of course. 

Back to hockey.

The Free Press has “five questions” about the Wings this morning. 

1. How will the lines shake out?

The Wings face major changes in their four forward lines. The players who made up last year’s second line—Kyle Calder, Robert Lang and Todd Bertuzzi—are gone. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg need to be split up for the good of the team. Coach Mike Babcock told the Free Press last month that he’d go into camp with Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom and either Johan Franzen or Jiri Hudler on one line, and Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson and Franzen or Hudler on another. The other two lines going into camp will be Valtteri Filppula with Dan Cleary and Kris Draper, and Tomas Kopecky centering Kirk Maltby and Dallas Drake.

I’m guardedly optimistic about those third and fourth lines.  I believe Filpulla’s going to have a breakout year (yep, I’m sticking with 20 goals) and a combination of Drake and Maltby on one line has great potential for causing emotional duress.  I’m wondering where Grigorenko fits in, as we all are; if he makes the team. 

He can make $838,000 with the Wings or $75,000 if he’s sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Grigorenko has a clause in his contract that allows him to go back to Russia if he’s not on an NHL roster in November.

So, Grigorenko does some damage in TC, turns some heads (which he did last night) and makes the team.  What then?  Who’s the forward Babcock sits?  Nobody.  If Grigorenko heads to Detroit after camp, someone’s getting dealt.  Who? Hudler.  That’s my guess.  And according to Grigorenko’s agent, decision time is coming.

“Everyone wants to play in the best league,” said Grigorenko with his agent, Mark Lapush interpreting.

“He will be playing here definitely,” said Lapush. “Wait until you see what he does if they put him with someone like (Pavel) Datsyuk.”

Interesting reference to the Wings in the Boston Globe this morning.  Check this out.

One of Holland’s priorities will be to lock up Zetterberg, who has two more years on his current deal, to a long-term extension, most likely at a tick under Datsyuk’s annual pay of $6.7 million.

I guess I’m curious about that.  If the Cap wasn’t an issue, which may be the stupidest sentence I’ve written since “Sign Martin Gerber Kenny…now”, would anyone pay Zetterberg a “tick under Datsyuk”? Nope.  But the Cap is an issue, as we all know, and it’s something that Holland has to be stressing over every day.  Despite Zetterberg’s claims that he wants to be a Wing for life, when the time comes to cash in…




Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: abel, bo, bowman, datsyuk, drake, grigorenko, maltby, transvestite+avalanche+fans, um, yzerman, zetterberg


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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