Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Fan Mail Time For Helene St. James

08/04/2019 at 8:29am EDT

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answers some fan mail.

The first question is about the next captain for the Wings...

The Wings didn’t name a captain after Zetterberg retired last September, instead going with three alternates (Dylan Larkin and Frans Nielsen split wearing an ‘A’ between road and home games, unless one of the other alternates, Niklas Kronwall or Justin Abdelkader, was not in the lineup).

That softened Larkin’s adjustment to the duties of wearing a letter on his sweater. The decision reflected on Larkin’s age (22) and the knowledge the team would struggle (Yzerman was 21 when he was named captain, but that was in 1986, back in the days before the Internet and especially social media). Larkin handled the role well, speaking frankly to media after tough losses, and would seem to have earned a promotion.

The Wings open 2019-20 on the road, but host the Dallas Stars the next day, Sunday, Oct. 6. The Wings could reveal Dylan Larkin as the next captain before the home opener, but what a way to energize the fans at Little Caesars Arena if Yzerman comes out for a ceremonial puck drop after Larkin is introduced wearing a ‘C’ on his sweater.

The next question is regarding Moritz Seider and where will he play next season....

Moritz Seider’s Geman Hockey League team, Mannheim Adler, starts preseason games this month and begins the regular season Sept. 13. The Wings, however, plan to have Seider, their top selection (sixth overall) from the 2019 draft, at prospects camp and main camp. Those run Sept. 6-16 in Traverse City, followed by a nine-game exhibition season. Then Yzerman and his hockey operations staff will decide where Seider is best off to start the 2019-20 season.

Mannheim is the defending champion and Seider would be a valuable member of the lineup, getting top minutes.

There’s a strong argument for keeping Seider, 18, in North America, too, beyond adjusting to the smaller ice sheet.

The Wings signed Seider, 6-foot-4, 207 pounds, to a three-year entry-level contract in July. If he doesn’t look NHL ready, they could put him in Grand Rapids. He’d be playing on a team that potentially includes fellow top prospects Dennis Cholowski, Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno and Evgeny Svechnikov. The Wings could take a nine-game look at Seider at the NHL level (like they did last season with Zadina) without triggering the contract.

If Seider is in Grand Rapids, it’ll be considerably easier to keep tabs on his on-ice development, plus there’d be direct oversight over his off-ice activities, such as his training and his diet.

more on each of the above and a few more questions too...

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