Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

All Jeff Blashill

05/05/2019 at 7:20am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,,

I caught up with Blashill to get his views on the World Championship, and working with Yzerman.

Is this as talented a roster as you’ve had in three years?

"Yes. It speaks to the depth of U.S. players that I think every country gets people that say no because of a variety of reasons. I think what’s happening in the U.S. is that as our player pool continues to grow, we can absorb enough no’s and still assemble a team that has the potential to be great. I’d also say the teams we brought the last two tournaments – two years ago we lost in the quarters after winning six straight, it showed we were good enough to win. Last year, everybody believed we were good enough to win gold. So I think once you have that belief that the team is going to go over there and be good enough to win gold, you are going to be more likely to sign up. As a result, this is certainly as talented a roster as I’ve taken over.

You and Steve had your first extensive meeting May 1. How did that go?

"I’ve been fortunate over the last four years to have worked with future Hall of Fame general manager Ken Holland. That’s been an unbelievable experience and has helped my growth to a great degree. Now I have a chance to work with another Hall of Famer. I have an opportunity to learn and grow from him, and find ways to push his organization to where we all want it to be, and that’s on top. I know he spoke at the press conference that it takes patience. He is going to make sure he doesn’t take any shortcuts for short team to success, that is very evident. It’s a long-term plan. I think that’s great."

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