Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A2Y- After The All-Star Break

02/03/2023 at 10:41am EST

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has a lot of work to do over the next month in preparing for the March 3 trade deadline, deciding who to re-sign and who to move while trying to reach common ground on a contract extension for captain Dylan Larkin.

Derek Lalonde and the coaching staff have their priorities. No. 1 is gaining traction. The Red Wings haven’t won more than two games in a row since November. They have been inconsistent. They’ve looked good in beating top teams like Toronto and Vegas only to lose to bottom-feeders like Columbus and Arizona.

They have improved slightly in most areas but aren’t flourishing in any aspect – ranking 22nd in goals per game, 21st in goals against, 21st on the power play and 20th on the penalty kill.

With 50 points, the Red Wings (21-19-8) are only two points ahead of their pace following 48 games a season ago.

But unlike 2021-22, when they collapsed down the stretch, going 11-19-4 the rest of the way and getting blown out a few times, the Red Wings expect to be more competitive and at least remain in the postseason conversation much longer.

They are seven points out of the final wild-card spot but would need to pass five teams to get there, making the task more difficult despite having up to four games in hand on a couple of those clubs.



Not sure why they'd expect to be much better the rest of the way... The D isn't going to improve, the goal scorers still can't score, if they're even in the lineup, Husso has fallen back to Earth (and will probably be over worked the rest of the way), and we don't have a consistent backup. This isn't a knock or a failure of some kind, and a high draft pick in this draft is worth missing the playoffs for another season -- and if you're going to miss, miss big and get into the Bedard lottery.


With 50 points, the Red Wings (21-19-8) are only two points ahead of their pace following 48 games a season ago.

I find this to be the most disheartening fact, given the changes in coaches and players over the summer from last year. And at this stage, in the Atlantic, they stand with the third worst points in the Eastern Conference. Given, Wings have games in hand on those above us, but Steve better be using this time off to gather the rest of the RW brain trust and come up with a real plan to shake things up by March 3 TD. Many of these games have been putrid to watch.

This rebuild, if you really want to call it that has all the speed of the movement of molasses. 


Why? You do realize the Wings had a cake schedule in the 1st half of last year?

If not, go back to the many posts I did on the subject last year—especially beginning around the time of the Eichel trade when I was begging SY to make the trade as the Wings needed a #1 centre as Larkin belonged as a #2. 

I saw the issue that if you aren’t going to tank for a top pick centre, then you’re going to have to trade for one as they don’t hit UFA. But the Wings still had time because their competitive window was still years away.

My biggest issue was: that time was running out on the Wings biggest advantage relative to the rest of the league—their cap room (vs other GM’s bind from the flat Covid cap).

I stated it was SY’s crunch time (last year before the trade deadline) as a GM. He largely punted to the summer.

The Wings choose to spend that cap room on UFA’s (most on short-term contracts). None of the guys they got were expected to be 1st line players. Chariot had that expectation on the back end—but there were plenty of warnings regarding that. The fact that Edvinsson will be expected in that role in 2 years mitigated that signing. 

They did get better—but the faced significant injuries and setbacks this season. Add a rookie head coach and you get comparable results to the cake schedule as last year. Okay, so as a GM you adjust on the fly and do what’s best for the team long-term.

The issue remains the Wings lack top-end talent. They have got too many middle-six forwards, good 2nd-pair d-men, a top-pair RHD (Seider), a top-line winger (Raymond).

It’s on SY to fix, and given the loss of Vrana (who management doesn’t want in the locker room—maybe for good reason if it was a Wash DC Caps cocaine issue) and ‘lil Bert’s injury and slow return (plus his upcoming UFA), and Larkin’s demand of top dollars. There might be a huge reset on the rebuild. Fans better be prepared for it. You simply can’t replace 3 potential 30 goal scorers easily. The Wings have a ton of young prospects they can bundle to acquire talent. But it’s going to take talent to get talent.

This plateau in the rebuild is the scenario I’ve been warning about for years. Blame the bounce of the ping-pong balls—but this is why I’ve advocated tanking for so long. For the rest of this year it’s the best option—so don’t loathe it: celebrate it.


You know as well as everyone else that they will NOT tank. At least, on purpose. The toughest schedule for the second half will do them in. And with a major question mark as to who is the true second goalie, either an overworked Husso, or worse, and injured Husso will send this team to the bottom of the conference.


The rebuild only really began last year, when we finally were bringing up new REAL talent, rather than riding out bad contracts and hitting bottom -- and covid didn't help for anyone. I don't think the higher-ups expected or even necessarily wanted a playoff berth, for one more kick at the draft lottery can. The only people predicting playoffs this year were ppl trying to find something optimistic to write about.

I expect some fairly big moves from Stevie and co. I'd be sad but not surprised if Larkin was traded (tho his NTC kinda skews that) and Bert (altho I'd be less sad). Maata, Oesterle, Suter, and Erne are all on expiring contracts, and should be moved for something, either as a sweetener, or for a mid-round pick. Hoping we can re-sign Wallman and Sunny, tho trading them might fetch something, if there's no deal to be had.

The first, middle, and last thing SY said when he was announced was, "Be patient". He's not infallible, but I trust his instincts more than most GMs, and he's trying to build a lasting culture, not just trying to make the playoffs every year.


Have to disagree. The Wings rebuild started with the trade deadline in 2017 when they traded Jurco, Smith, Vanek, and Ott for picks. 

If you disagree with that you have to look at 2018 when they moved Tinky Winky—I mean Sheahan, Tatar, and Mrazek for picks. 

Now those picks took a long time to develop and be able to hit the NHL—but the rebuild includes the slide to the bottom. Not just when you hit the trough and start to rise.

So, Wings fans have been very, very patient and gave a switch in GM’s a reset of his own. But the writings on the wall: this core (Larkin, ‘lil Bert, Seider, and Raymond) isn’t going to be enough. We’ll see what changes SY makes this deadline and in the summer—but it’s been 10 years since they’ve won a playoff series and six years since they’ve made it (make it 7 in April).

That’s patient enough for any fan base.


I remember a good portion of the Cup drought, and the entire Dead Wings era. I know something about patience. So does Yzerman, which is why he preached it.


re: “Derek Lalonde and the coaching staff have their priorities. No. 1 is gaining traction.”

so prove it, bring V back from the farm..


Management doesn’t want a locker room with an alleged addict/basket case around it. If you saw the Wash Caps cocaine vids and subsequent positive tests you can understand why—which is probably why Vrana was included along with those picks in the Mantha trade.

But Vrana’s play is making it an easy decision for management—he’s been benched and scratched multiple times in the AHL level.

You simply don’t need that in the Wings locker room.


Not defending the guy, he's definitely had issues he's working through, but that's a lot of speculation. Also, he was scratched in the AHL partially because of the veteran rule. The griffins actually traded out a center to get younger and around that problem. Guy has 4 goals and an assist in his last 5 games, so maybe we don't bury him just yet.


Many things have gone wrong and/or backfired. Vrana and Bert as two examples. Yzerman has a big job in trying to correct it in a short period of time. Don't rely on the Bettman lottery balls as he shafted the Red Wings EVERY time. Don't expect anything different.

Create an Account

In order to leave a comment, please create an account.

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.

Most Recent Posts

Most Recent Comments

Comment by MurrayChadwick in Abel to Yzerman from the entry A2Y- Video - Coach Lalonde Today After The Skate - 32 minutes ago
Comment by damndogrevenge in Abel to Yzerman from the entry A2Y- Video - Coach Lalonde Today After The Skate - 2 hours ago
Comment by Paul in Abel to Yzerman from the entry A2Y- Video - Coach Lalonde Today After The Skate - 2 hours ago
Comment by Paul in Abel to Yzerman from the entry A2Y- Video - Coach Lalonde Today After The Skate - 2 hours ago
Comment by Paul in Abel to Yzerman from the entry A2Y- Video - Coach Lalonde Today After The Skate - 2 hours ago