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Abel to Yzerman

Wings Still Fighting An Uphill Battle

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

Now that they’re back in the Atlantic Division, the Wings aren’t close to being as competitive as the back-to-back-defending-Stanley-Cup-champion Lightning. They’re not as deep or as talented as their fellow Atlantic teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and Florida Panthers. Yes, they’re better than the Buffalo Sabres, but that’s not saying much at all. Heck, they may not even be as good as the Ottawa Senators, who have been in a painful rebuild for about as long as Detroit has.

This is not to say the Wings are bereft of talent. Certainly, center Dylan Larkin is a first-rate player. Yzerman also pulled off a minor-and-potentially-major coup when he traded to acquire former Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic this summer, and he added some veteran help on defense with a deal that brings Nick Leddy into the fold. However, the fact remains the Red Wings aren’t a deep team, and that means one or two injuries to key components this coming year could send them into a tailspin, and guarantee another bottom-of-the-pack finish.

None of this is Yzerman’s fault. He’s like the GMs of many teams – unable to land a franchise cornerstone by the good fortune of winning the entry draft lottery and winding up with an Auston Matthews-Mitch-Marner type of combination, and unwilling to take risks on larger transactions that could leave the team in worse shape than he found it. He can’t sell potential acquisitions on the weather and the income tax situation, the way he could in Tampa. He doesn’t have a head coach who can boast of being a Cup-winner, the way he did when he was a player. All these factors make it next-to-impossible for the Wings to make the leap from pretender to contender.


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RWBill's avatar

But those who thought Yzerman would instantly replicate the success he had remaking the Tampa Bay Lightning in his first GM job were mistaken.

I don’t know of anyone who thought that.

Posted by RWBill on 09/14/21 at 09:28 AM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Clearly Adam Proteau is underestimating the mad skills of our beloved Coach! 

Then again….

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, sing along The YzerMan Can!...... on 09/14/21 at 09:59 AM ET

bigfrog's avatar

The article is spot on about the lack of depth. A couple of key injuries can make for a long season.. Again. sick

Posted by bigfrog on 09/14/21 at 07:24 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

“Built by Ken Holland, and maintained by coaches like Scotty Bowman and Mike Babcock, the Wings were the gold standard for hockey “

This guy knows nothing about the Wings. Jimmy D built this team along with Bryan Murray and Bowman. Kenny got handed a Dynasty. Who is this writer???

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 09/15/21 at 02:25 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