Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Questions Before The Season

09/05/2021 at 9:17am EDT

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

1. Can Alex Nedeljkovic sustain his success?
Nedeljkovic went 15-5-3 with a 1.90 goals-against average,.932 save percentage and three shutouts for the Carolina Hurricanes last season. The 25-year-old goalie was a finalist for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL rookie of the year as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

The Red Wings acquired him July 22 and signed him to a two-year contract. He has played 29 NHL games.

"He's relatively inexperienced at the NHL level, but we think he's got real good potential and has a chance to play for us for a number of years," general manager Steve Yzerman said.

2. How much will the offense improve, particularly the power play?
Detroit scored 127 goals last season, one more than the Anaheim Ducks, who scored the fewest in the NHL. Their power play (11.4 percent) also ranked second-to-last, ahead of the Ducks (8.9 percent). But three of the Red Wings' top four scorers from 2019-20 -- forwards Dylan Larkin (12 games), Tyler Bertuzzi (47) and Robby Fabbri (26) -- missed significant time with injuries. Each is expected to be ready for the start of this season.

The Red Wings made key additions in the offseason: center Pius Suter, defenseman Nick Leddy and assistant coach Alex Tanguay. Suter scored 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 55 games for the Chicago Blackhawks last season. Leddy scored 31 points (two goals, 29 assists) in 56 games for the New York Islanders. Tanguay will run the power play.

"I think we're going to generate a little bit more offense, will score a few more goals, I think," Yzerman said. "How many, I really don't know."

continue for three more questions...

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