Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

All Jeff Blashill

11/12/2020 at 2:19pm EST

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Q. You touched on the new guys. On paper, it does seem the roster is much more competitive and stronger than last year given all the new additions (goalie Thomas Greiss, forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestikov, defensemen Marc Staal, Jon Merrill, Troy Stecher).

A. (General manager) Steve (Yzerman) and his management staff did a real good job of helping us to be a better hockey team this coming season, but also planning for the future. We’re pleased with the guys that we signed, and I hope it makes us more competitive as a hockey team and more competitive within our group.

There’s still continued growth from a number of players and that’ll be a focus, and that’s not just young people, but everybody. We’ve had an opportunity over eight months to get better as individuals, some through trying circumstances where maybe you don’t have the same access for the perfect weight setup or ice setup, but I also think this time will show who has that great inner drive that the best athletes have, and I’m hoping a number of our guys have taken advantage of this time to make themselves better players.

We need to be a more competitive team, night in and night out. We certainly weren’t that last year and we need to be more more of that this year.

Q. Given all the new additions, is there an area you think you guys have gotten particularly better?

A. Given the the season we had, we needed to be stronger in all areas and I’m hoping we are. At each position, hopefully, we’re a little deeper and better. But we’ll see, time will tell. Again, you never know for sure what your group is going to look like until you get them going. Health always plays a factor.

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