Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Slow Rebuild

02/24/2020 at 8:24pm EST

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The Red Wings selected Yzerman with the No. 4 pick of the 1983 NHL Draft. They didn't win the Stanley Cup until 1997, after they endured more hard times, drafted players like center Sergei Fedorov and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and acquired players like center Igor Larionov and Brendan Shanahan. They won the Cup again in 1998 and 2002. After Yzerman retired in 2006, they won it again in 2008 in large part because they drafted centers Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

"Honestly, I was here for a long time, and we didn't win anything," Yzerman said. "We need the next Lidstrom and Fedorov and Larionov and Shanahan and Datsyuk and Zetterberg. So you need a bunch of good players."

One of the reasons the Red Wings are in this predicament is missed opportunities in the draft. They had three picks in the second round in 2011. They selected forward Tomas Jurco at No. 35, defenseman Xavier Ouellet at No. 48 and defenseman Ryan Sproul at No. 55. Each is long gone. Among the players they could have had: goalie John Gibson and forwards Nikita Kucherov, Brandon Saad and Vincent Trocheck.

"I knew what I was getting into," said Yzerman, who took over April 19, 2019. "I think I have a general idea of what it takes to build a team and how to go about it. You need a little bit of luck. You try to minimize your mistakes, and that speeds it up a little bit. But the reality is, even the best organizations don't get everything right. There's a lot of unpredictability in it, I guess."

Yzerman said he hopes the fans embrace the process. He thinks they get it. At the same time, he knows their patience won't last forever.


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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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