Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A2Y- Reason To Play

03/15/2023 at 6:36am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings have 15 games left, and seven points and five teams stand between them and a wild-card spot. It's been three weeks since they rode a 7-1 stretch into wild card position; since then, they lost six in a row, amidst the turmoil of seeing four teammates traded at the deadline, then went 2-2 over the past week. To their coach, Derek Lalonde, what matters is that the Wings don't give up easy offense, that they defend well and build good habits.

"I’m just happy we are playing the right way," Lalonde said. "That stretch around the deadline where we didn’t play well, probably felt sorry for ourselves a little bit. But we’ve got our group now, and we’ve got some guys slotted correctly, we have some rhythm with our group. I just want to play and the right way, and for the most part, over these last four games, we have. It’s a little frustrating (Tuesday) that we I felt we deserved a better outcome, at least a point out of this game."

Lalonde has, from the start of the season, preached an emphasis on performance over outcome. And given they lost a top-line winger in Tyler Bertuzzi and a top-four defenseman in Filip Hronek at the trade deadline, the Wings' overall response has been pretty good.

"They’ve shown that with their compete and their play," Lalonde said. "Now, if that tails off, then we have a different story and maybe a different approach. But there has been very little tail-off from our group. It’s been good, really good."

read on


Shanya Goldman of The Athletic ($) takes a look at non-playoff teams and what they are missing.  You'll see a chart on the Wings if you click the link...

The Red Wings’ current makeup looks bleak, with just one player boasting checkmarks. That one player, Jake Walman, has had such a positive impact in a short time alongside Moritz Seider who currently falls short of his projections after a really rough start to the year.

Elsewhere, though, this doesn’t look like a recipe nearly ready for the oven. Steve Yzerman moved out some expiring ingredients after it was clear the current combination wasn’t going to cut it. Now, Detroit’s poised to make a big move this summer, whether it’s refilling on defense after the Hronek trade, or adding another difference-making forward to help slot the rest of the lineup more appropriately based on its true caliber play. Between developing players already in Detroit’s system and some help elsewhere, there’s potential for this team to spice it up considering their cap space and trade assets at the ready.


Agree with the article, but I would say Seider is very well on track to be an elite d-man in the future. Take Larkin out of the elite centre and put him into the top line centre role (instead of Copp like they list) and that's a better actual representation of where the Wings are at.

Still not good.

SY did the right thing and traded 'lil Bert out. He also got a high price for Hronek by selling after a breakout (or statistically anomaly) year.

Yet, the problem remains lack of top end talent. Wings have good - very good players, but missing that superstar ingredient. You have to tank (or get really lucky in the draft) for that.

And as far as acquiring it: not going to happen in free agency.
Klingberg (will turn 31)
Dumba (will turn 29)
Erik Johnson (turns 35)
Damon Severson (turns 29)
Shattenkirk (just turned 34)
Travis Hamonic (turns 33)
Radko Gudas (turns 33)
Justin Holl (just turned 31)
Scott Mayfield (turns 31)
Troy Stecher (turns 29) and other retreads like Luke Witkowski (33), Madison Bowey (28)

O'Reilly (turned 32)
Sean Monahan (turns 29)
JT Compher (turns 28)
Ivan Barbashev (turned 27)
Tyson Jost (turned 25)
Nolan Patrick (seems like the next SY 2nd chance project will turn 25)
Ryan Donato (turns 27)

So, the Wings direction will be made if SY uses the draft capital for picks or as part of a trade. No trade means rebuild drags on for at least 3 more seasons.


One line had a "reason to play" and that was the 4th line looking to secure NHL jobs next season here or elsewhere and they played like it.  The rest of the team, outside of Husso and Larkin who I assume is playing dinged up, looked pretty comfortable after packing this season in to me. 

The old bench boss would be getting called out this morning by the fan base, I guess less results with better talent is ok. 

Remember as a prospect when Joe Veleno best attribute was his "speed" what happened to that?


I think there were no more than 60 posts on last night’s game thread on here. “The fan base” is gone. Nobody cares about this lackluster team anymore, and last night’s game was emblematic of two unwatchable teams playing out the string. It’s not a good time for Red Wings Nation.


Disagree. Nashville is in a far better position than the Wings. They have multiple elite players.

Their best player is their goalie who will be turning 28 in April. Their captain (and elite rated d-man--Josi) is turning 33. He's backed up by Tyson Barrie. They have very good wingers in Duchene and Forsberg.

They've got 1st/2nd rounders NHL rookies and sophomores (Philip Tomasino, Luke Evangelista, Cody Glass, and Egor Afanasyev) and they've got 1st and 2nd rounders starting to hit their peak playing years (Dante Fabbro, Cal Foote, and Jeremy Lauzon). 

Then there is the next wave like 1st rounder G Yaroslav Askarov who is ripping up the AHL. They have 3 1st round wingers that are 18 & 19 (Zachary L'Heureux, Reid Schaefer, and Joakim Kemell).

Those types of young ELC players are what is necessary for cap purposes to balance Nashville's good established vets like Ryan Johansen and Ryan McDonagh.

Then there is the draft. They've got 10 picks in the 1st four rounds of this year's draft (2x 1st, 2x 2nd, 3x 3rd, 3x 4th) plus 3x 2nd's next year.

It wouldn't be a shock to see Nashville in the playoffs next year and to steal a round or two. The Wings--not even close to that.


DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Austin Czarnik and right wing Matt Luff to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

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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.

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