Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Jobs Are Available

09/19/2018 at 7:29am EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"I think it's clear as day jobs are available based on where we've been the last two years (out of the playoffs) and also based on the push we have coming from some young guys," coach Jeff Blashill said. "If you don't have that push you can talk all you want, it's not real. They know it's real this year because they can see there's guys that are pushing for jobs.

"Some guys that are coming back, they look like they want more ice time. I noticed marked improvement in certain areas with certain guys coming back. We want to be as competitive as possible."...

"From Day One, just the amount of pace, attitude, it hasn't been easy by any means, but it's been good," Frans Nielsen said. "I think this is how camp should be, you should come in prepared and ready from Day One."

Ten forwards are assured of roster spots: Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Gustav Nyquist, Thomas Vanek, Justin Abdelkader, Andreas Athanasiou Darren Helm, Luke Glendening, Tyler Bertuzzi and Nielsen.

That leaves three or four open spots. Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina, the club's top picks in each of the past two seasons, will have ample opportunity to win jobs. Rasmussen will play tonight on a line with center Joe Veleno, the 30th pick this year, and Abdelkader. Zadina is dealing with a groin strain and won't play tonight but might be ready for Thursday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. When he's cleared, Blashill intends to play him on a line with Athanasiou and Vanek.

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