Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Perfect Fit And Tired Wings

01/13/2022 at 7:06am EST

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athltic,

Imagine that conversation 20 years ago in 2002, around the time Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom were winning a third Stanley Cup together, picturing a day when both Red Wings legends would be in the front office together.

Two legendary Red Wings captains. Two of the greatest NHL players of all time. Two people as humble as they come. Both in the same front office.

Could it really happen?

Honestly, Monday’s announcement that Lidstrom had been hired by Detroit as vice president of hockey operations kind of took your breath away.

The reality is that it’s something Yzerman had in the back of his mind, one way or another, almost from the moment he came back to Detroit to take over as GM in April 2019. At some point, Yzerman was going to gauge Lidstrom about it, but it wasn’t clear when that time would be.

“When I came back to the Red Wings, I ran into him somewhere in Detroit at the start,” Yzerman said over the phone Wednesday. “Every time you see your old teammates, you ask them what they’re up to, what their plans are.

“Nick’s very quiet and keeps things to himself,” added Yzerman. “He was happy doing his thing, his boys were at home and playing hockey, so we kind of left it at: ‘If you ever want to come back here, let us know.'”

Since then, whenever Lidstrom was back visiting in Detroit, he would occasionally pop in and say hi to Yzerman.

Finally, they chatted Hall of Fame weekend in Toronto two months ago, and it got more real.

“Once we talked in November about it, I remember thinking, ‘Boy this would be great for our organization if Nick wanted to get involved,'” Yzerman said.

“We followed up after (HHOF induction weekend) and talked about different roles and what the roles would look like if Nick was in whatever it would be, scouting, coaching, player development, all the different aspects,” continued Yzerman. “Ultimately we talked about what we thought would be the best for us, the best for him and that is kind of similar to what I did when I retired.”

more ($$$)

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Playing at home is the reason the Detroit Red Wings are treading water with a 16-16-5 record, and for a second time this season Little Caesars Arena beckons as a reprieve after a long week on the road.

It was a tired-looking Wings team that packed up at SAP Center on Tuesday, though there was no rush to the airport. With the Winnipeg Jets on the slate for Thursday, the Wings opted for a good night's sleep in San Jose rather than red-eye it home to play for the fourth time in six days.

"These are the challenges you face in the NHL, and you’ve got to overcome the challenges," coach Jeff Blashill said after Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Sharks. "Guys have to step up and play great hockey. We don’t have any choice but to face this challenge and try to find a way to overcome it."

Of the Wings' 16 wins, 12 have come at Little Caesars Arena. They have not won on the road since Nov. 30 against the Bruins in Boston.

The excursion to California lasted a week, but the Wings played three times in four days — with just two points, and no wins — because their Jan. 6 game at Anaheim was rescheduled to Jan. 9 when the Ducks had COVID-19 issues. Such a compact schedule isn't uncommon, but it is made more challenging by having to cross three time zones and then play again, 48 hours later.


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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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