Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A2Y- Video - Wrapping Up A Win In Edmonton

02/16/2023 at 7:38am EST

from Nate Brown of The Athletic,

The Detroit Red Wings have shuttled between the peaks and valleys of the NHL season, teetering at times but remaining steady. While they stumbled into the abyss last season, might this year be seeing a reversal?

Detroit will move past the halfway mark of its five-game road trip against Calgary tonight, hoping the victory in the early hours of the day against Edmonton will result in another against the Flames as night falls.

With two victories in as many games and collecting all four points, could something more be brewing?

“The guys are all pulling in the same direction,” Lalonde told Trevor Thompson post game via Bally Sports Detroit. “And it’s fun to be a part of. I’ve emphasized all year long we’ll give you structure–we’ll give you direction. But if we’re going to have any kind of success here, it’s gotta come from the room. And right now they’re making a really good push.”


Below watch the post game interviews and highlights.

Suter, Fabbri and Lalonde

Extended highlights


from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Their continued struggles are the topic of this mailbag, specifically regarding the job done by general manager Steve Yzerman, who was named to the position on April 19, 2019. Reader Gary C. emailed to ask, "It's been four years since Yzerman has become GM. As far as being more competitive, do you really think there has been that much improvement? Or should Chris Ilitch be looking for a new GM?"

The NHL is a results-driven business, but Yzerman has had good reason to parry any questions about when the Wings might return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Plenty of his colleagues around the league are having a hard time, too, including teams that have been in rebuilds longer than the Wings.

Yzerman inherited an aging roster and a sparse farm system. He made low-key moves early on, such as acquiring Robby Fabbri from the St. Louis Blues in 2019 for Jacob de la Rose, a forward the Wings had grabbed off waivers the prior season. They were moves that improved the on-ice product while Yzerman waited for his draft picks to develop, and for some of the veterans to finish their contracts. (He bought out two of them: Justin Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen).

Yzerman’s first two first-round picks — Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond — have already made big impacts, especially compared to some of the first-round picks that came before them: Filip Zadina (No. 6, 2018), struggling to gain a foothold; Dennis Cholowski (No. 20, 2016), exposed and lost for nothing in the Seattle expansion draft; Evgeny Svechnikov (No. 19, 2015), gone from the organization without anything any return. Whiffing on three first-round picks in four years set back the organization's development, and while the picks were made before Yzerman, their lack of success has been felt under his timeline. Imagine if the Wings had chosen Quinn Hughes instead in 2018 — the defense's top four would feature Seider, Hughes, Filip Hronek and Jake Walman.

Yzerman has not had the luxury of a No. 1 overall pick since he came to the Wings. Even with such an advantage, it can be hard to become a contender: The Buffalo Sabres picked Rasmus Dahlin at No. 1 in 2018 and Owen Power at No. 1 in 2021. Those are two franchise defensemen, yet the Sabres are tied with the Wings in the standings this season and have not qualified for the playoffs since 2011. The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t missed the playoffs since drafting generational forward Auston Matthews at No. 1 in 2016, but they also haven’t won a playoff round.

continued ($)


from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

On a night when he was posting a career high for points, the point that most excited Detroit Red Wings prospect Simon Edvinsson is the one he feels he’s arriving at in his tenure with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.

The teenaged Swedish rookie defenseman is locating a comfort zone, both between the boards and in terms of life in general.

“I think I am starting to play easier all over the rink,” Edvinsson said after collecting a goal and three assists in a 5-4 win on Wednesday over the Rockford IceHogs. “I think I can be more creative in the offensive zone now, because I play easier in the defensive zone, more physical.

“I’m feel better now than I did before when I came here in the start of the season. Everything feels a lot better now.”

It’s been a rough North American pro debut for the 19-year-old defenseman who was drafted sixth overall by Detroit in the 2021 NHL entry draft. There’s been plenty of ups and downs for Edvinsson in his rookie North American pro campaign.



Watched the game last night, Edvinsson was certainly one of the better players, but I still see some sloppiness in his game that would get exposed over an 82 game schedule against NHL talent, specifically he looks to pop his long stick to break up plays but he doesn't maintain body position/angle if he misses, works in the A, won't work in the show.  He's NHL talent today for sure, but he's not stepping in to our top 4, he still has development to reach that place.


"...Or should Chris Ilitch be looking for a new GM?"


Come on now. I wasn't one to kiss Yzerman's feet when he started or go with the trope "tRuSt ThE yZeRpLaN" but holy crap.


100%, you can be critical of some moves, but new gm, what a joke, multiple seasons away from even thinking that way, and its not going to get there, the team is going in the right direction. 


I feel like that if a fan can't see the improvement under Yzerman, they aren't watching closely enough. Yes, they haven't quite made the progress in the standings we'd want to see and some underlying numbers are still frightening but on a night to night basis they are a much deeper, more structured and more competitive team.

I was hoping, going into this season, for them to battle for a playoff spot. Right now they are clinging to that hope. But the reality was the East was stacked with good teams and making the playoffs was going to be incredibly hard unless Boston, Pittsburgh and/or Washington dropped off. Meanwhile Ottawa and Buffalo were bound to get better. That leaves so little margin for error.

I think Yzerman needs to continue the course, generally be a seller again at the trade deadline, get Larkin re-signed, look at re-signing Walman and explore those trade options for Bertuzzi. The real goal is to build a team that is regularly competiting for a Cup and that takes time, good decision making and a bit of luck. I think they are getting there and Yzerman has the right mindset to get it done. He won't do everything perfect but so far, his grade is pretty good to me.


Thankfully Campbell let in two very soft goals for us. 

Quick plug for Suter, he hasn't maybe lived up what we probably hoped he would be when he signed here, but he's also a guy that has good shifts no matter what roll we put him in, top 6 bottom line, PK, and he connects on the chances he gets. 


Yzerman isn't going anywhere as the rebuild continues.


The Wings were worst in the league last year in goals-against in the 3rd period. They were 21st in the league in goals-for in the 3rd period; they were even worse in the previous several years.  This year the Wings are 11th best in the league in goals-against in the 3rd period and 9th in the league in goals-for in the 3rd period.

This is a significant improvement over their late game performance in past number of years.  As much as one can complain about their possession numbers this year they are definitely improving.  With Edvinsson and Johansson looking good and the signing of Maata our defense looks like it will improve next year too.


Larkin's price tag is getting more steep.  Yzerman gambled on Larkin and Bert.  Assuming they resign Bert, Y won that gamble.  But he's loosing the Larkin gamble.  

Big win for the club.  

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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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