Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Building The Foundation And Who To Keep

05/06/2022 at 7:35am EDT

from Nate Brown of Detroit Hockey Now,

Going all the way back to the 1996-97 team that snapped a 42-year Stanley Cup drought, the Red Wings were buoyed by five foundational players that the other players were built around. The five?

Steve Yzerman (drafted 4th overall in 1983)
Sergei Fedorov (drafted 74th overall in 1989)
Nicklas Lidstrom (drafted 53rd overall in 1989)
Brendan Shanahan (acquired via trade from Hartford in 1996).
Vladimir Konstantinov (drafted 221st overall in 1989)...

When looking at the 2007-08 Red Wings, several names come to mind as foundational pieces:

Henrik Zetterberg (drafted 210th overall in 1999)
Pavel Datsyuk (drafted 171st overall in 1998)...

Larkin, Seider, and Raymond are Foundational Players
With Moritz Seider on the cusp of winning the Calder, and Lucas Raymond likely right behind him in voting, it doesn’t seem preordained to peg both as foundational pieces. They’re exactly what any organization hopes to snag with high picks in the draft.


from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Yzerman has several decisions to make on pending restricted and unrestricted free agents. Here is a breakdown of how the rebuild would be best served by the players not under contract:

F Sam Gagner (UFA)

At the start of the season it seemed unlikely Gagner would be extended, but 13 goals and 18 assists is a really nice return on an $850,000 contract. Gagner scored nine goals in the second half, when games were more intense. He'll be 33 in August, but his durability showed in playing 81 games in 2021-22. He's a good mentor, knowing the pressure of coming into the NHL with sky-high expectations — he was the No. 6 overall pick in 2007. He provided a right-shot option, too, where the Wings don't have much depth. For the same deal, he's worth considering keeping.

D Marc Staal (UFA)

He turned 35 in January, but he still played 71 games. (He missed the Wings' final two games after testing positive for COVID-19.) Staal brings size (6-4, 208 pounds) and plays a smart game — as bad as the Wings were defensively in the second half, Staal finished a respectable minus-1. He's a great mentor for young defensemen and has been vocal about how much he likes playing in Detroit. On a similar deal (one year, $2 million), he's a keeper.

F Filip Zadina (RFA)

In the years since he was drafted at No. 6 overall in 2018 on the basis of his excellent shot, Zadina has 25 goals in 160 games. (Raymond, the No. 4 overall pick in 2020, already has 23 goals in 82 games). It's not for lack of opportunity — Zadina saw time on the first and second lines and was a regular on the power play. He's 22, so there's certainly hope he figures things out, and maybe a new coach will help. But it's been a disappointing return on a guy who was expected to play a key role in the rebuild. A qualifying offer is warranted, but he hasn't earned a long-term deal.

more names ($$$)

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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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